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Thread: Maintaining weight loss

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Shop Now

    I have recently lost a significant amount of weight eating very low carb (and primal), but because I'm not 'middle age' but 'old' and hypothyroid, I also have to keep my calories very low. I won't share the number because it might scare you (and it's unique to me), but here's what I've discovered about maintenance--which is also true of a friend who is in her 40s and recently has lost weight.

    The calorie level you're eating at when you get to your goal weight is not significantly less than you will need to maintain. Perhaps you can add 200-300 calories--tops. Keep in mind that your smaller body simply needs less food. The difficulty I have is that my 'head' wants to feed my body more food than it needs (or wants). That is, we're used to a certain amount of food, but it is habit more than need.

    The key to maintenance is to be neither gaining nor losing. Both my friend and I have found that for those of us who were obese, maintenance has challenges that are different from weight loss, but still significant challenges. Once you go from being 'hard core' to eating a little more 'liberally,' it's easy to go too far.

  2. #22
    Emmie, that makes a lot of sense, in a sad sort of way : )

    I think part of what I'm trying to figure out for myself is whether easy maintenance at 140 is a better solution for me than working my way down to 125 and then really not being willing to maintain it (which is what has happened in the past).

    I have a lot of mental and emotional work to do around food and my habits in general before I'm ready to maintain a smaller body size, I think, in addition to the primal things I'm still working on.

    It's possible that IF'ing will end up being a better solution for me than trying to eat less each day, I don't know. I have not really managed to experiment successfully with it, as part of my job is chief cook and bottle-washer... it's hard to fast while still feeding other people all day long!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    SW England, UK
    I personally believe that it's healthiest to lose weight slowly through increased exercise rather than increased calorie restriction. This tends to produce the best results in the long-term in terms of body composition, health and basal metabolic rate.

    I think it'd be a good idea to try techniques like IFing before restricting calories further. That's what I'm experimenting with now, as I think I only want to lose another 16 lbs. I also plan to spend one or two weekends a month doing long hikes (15 km +) both on Saturday and Sunday for further body fat reduction.

    I'm not prepared to try chronic low carb or low calorie because it tends to lower basal metabolic rate - not for everyone but that seems especially common for women.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Santa Barbara
    Quote Originally Posted by SuBee View Post
    I guess that what I'm after is--what is people's experience with maintenance in general? I'm particularly interested in other middle-aged women's experience, as maintenance was no problem for me when I was 22. And in specific, if you are someone who felt that calorie restriction was necessary for you to achieve your happy-with-it body, how has it worked for you to transition from restricting calories to regular eating again?
    I have been sort of wondering about this, too. I wonder how does one know it's a plateau vs what your natural weight is? How do you know when to try to force your weight lower or to just accept what you've got? And is it possible on this diet to just find a level of eating that keeps you feeling satisfied without thinking about it and have that level work toward your ideal weight and then have your ideal weight automatically be where you stop, no changes needed in what you eat at all ever? Can the level that works to reduce your weight be the same level that leaves you satisfied AND also be the same level that gives you maintenance? Or do you have to reach some ideal through a lot of purposeful restriction and then consciously stop the loss by eating more? In other words, does eating primal in a natural way simply cause your body to reach an ideal equilibrium that's also visually appealing without any particularly vigorous tinkering through either exercise or food?
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Try using this link:
    Food Focus - Nutrition & Weight Management
    It's really helped me to evaluate my diet. I do look at calories but, on the whole, I focus more on Fat, Carb & Protein grams per day. It's a bit of a faff to start off with but, once you've got the hang of it, it's pretty helpful. I used it in conjunction with the weight loss section in PB to calculate how much fat & protein I needed to start losing weight (again, bit of a faff but it's working so I can't complain!). It's helped me get my head around things, mght help others too :-)

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Calgary, AB
    The only thing that works for me to maintain weight is continually keeping tabs on it. Otherwise fat always creeps back up. Primal helps with stabilizing hunger to a reasonable # of calories better than anything else, but I have to count otherwise my lazy over-eater nature always triumphs and I start slowly but surely overeat, a littl' bit every day... and we know where it ends. My 'I am Okay with it' weight range is 118-122 lbs, and whenever I stop counting calories, and 'just eat reasonably', it starts going up to 130 lbs unstoppable. Normally I catch myself somewhere around 124-127 lbs, and start dialing it down, and it is hard. It is easier to keep on top of it always than re-losing the 5-10 lbs. My weight creeps were almost non-existent before I had my child. It seems that gaining weight with pregnancy re-set the body to wanting to just gain more and more fat. I so far was unable to drop and hold below 118 lbs, while I held 115-118 easily in the University when I was 23 yo, had a bowl of oatmeal or a couple of toasts with jam for B, a source yogurt and a couple of apples for L, & a normal supper with a dessert, went to skate at lunch & did a few buns of steel a week.
    Last edited by Leida; 09-19-2012 at 06:48 AM.
    My Journal:
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  7. #27
    I understand your post is about calorie restriction during maintenance phase but it seems a bit cart before the horse since you are mentioning sleep and exercise and some of the other components aren't dialed in. I have found when my weight starts to creep back up, it's not from overeating/excess calorie volume, it's from not taking care of those other components in my life. People severely underestimate their power and it's a shame that's the case. That remaining 20% might be what your looking for to both break a plateau & conquer maintenance... what's the harm? You are at peace and well rested?

    best of luck to you.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I think the problem with "maintenance" is that one tends to go "off the diet" when they've lost weight. In other words, they cut calories to lose weight, then once the weight is gone they tend to revert to eating the way they did before... obviously this causes weight gain (or they wouldn't have had excess weight in the first place), and yes, in general it means putting on MORE weight than you started with (experienced this myself).

    The point is that when you enter maintenance you CAN'T go back to eating what you did before. You weigh less, therefore your caloric needs are less, and eating the previous amount of food will put the weight back on. I think it's a fine line! Obviously, you don't want to get obsessive counting calories forever (which goes against everything the PB stands for), in fact, I don't think you should count calories NOW, just cut back a little on the quantity you're eating.

    My aim is to eat the right amount that lets me get to my goal weight AND keeps me there. I don't want to "diet" my way to weight loss, rather find the ideal amount of food FOR ME to be where I should be.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New Zealand
    Maintenance has always been my sticking point, too. I am 48, 5'4", 60kg and not wanting to lose more. I exercise 2-3 times a week in a weights class or gym routine.

    I found primal on June 22 and have been eating this way ever since. I easily lost the weight I wanted to, and was becoming a little scared that I would not be able to stop. I have consciously added some extra (still primal) calories and so far have been maintaining for a few weeks now. It feels like a fine line, though.

    I am starting to realise though that I am not actually afraid if I do gain a few pounds, I now know how to get rid of it again. Whereas before, I had success on low-carb diets but the weight would always come back when I reverted to eating normally, which was not junk but I now realise still far too heavy on the grains.

    Now that I eat gluten free I feel so much better that the weight loss (which is what I was aiming for and does feel great) now doesn't actually seem to me to be the main thing!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Shop Now
    I think if you're listening to your body and not just being a glutton you're going to be just fine. No worries!

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