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A question for major losers who've maintained

Over the past five years I have lost 70 lbs. I'm just under the "healthy" BMI limit, but am having trouble losing the last few lbs. Even more frustrating, if I let up on the exercise or healthy eating an INCH the pounds start pouring back on. I never did extreme dieting or anything, yet my metabolism seems permanently unbalanced. Can those of you with experience tell me, realistically, am I just going to have to accept lots of exercise (an hour a day consistently, cardio and weights) and constant vigilance with food, for the rest of my life? And if so, do you have any tricks for fitting in exercise efficiently into each day?

Thu. Dec 21, 8:42am

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I would probably say since you aren't losing any more and gain if you let up at all that yes you have reached that point where based on the number of calories your eating and the amount of excercise your doing that you need to keep up that amount to stay where you at. Not a bad thing just not the best news. You could try to scale back your calories more if you really want to lose weight but otherwise just stick to what your doing as a maintenance plan.

I would look to get some sort of home excercise equipement that way you don't have to make time to drive to the gym, it's there in your house. If you have some favorite TV shows you can set it near the TV and workout for an hour a day while watching that show and the time will pass very quickly.

Thursday, December 21, 2006, 10:36 AM

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In my experience with over a hundred pounds lost for over five years, yes, you're just going to have to get used to the exercise and consistency with diet to maintain. It's not a start to finish timeline, it's a lifelong process. It's also my understanding the current recommendations on exercise are 30-60 minutes most days of the week anyways, even for "normal" people. It totally stinks, but once you get out of denial that you're going to be on the far end of the spectrum for what your body needs to stay healthy and just do it, it does get easier.

As for fitting it in, well, find things you like to do for exercise like dancing, biking, swimming, whatever makes you feel good, strong and motivated, and do those at least a couple times a week. Weights are a necessary part of the process, but they aren't much fun for most of us, nor endless treadmilling. Find your passion in exercise as well as in what you eat!

Thursday, December 21, 2006, 10:56 AM

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Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with the last two posters - I lost 90 pounds over a couple of years and have kept it off for about a year and a half. I sometimes will go weeks and weeks without exercising (I had to after I had surgery, for instance), but on a "good" week, I work out about 3 times, maybe half an hour each workout, sometimes only cardio, sometimes weights, sometimes both. I eat comfortably - yes, I am careful, but I've learned enough good habits that I don't have to obsessively count calories. I am able to maintain my weight within 5 pounds, and if I have some "bad" eating days, I just work a little harder at getting back on track and I'm fine.

Have you worked with a personal trainer? A year ago, I was maintaining my weight by myself, eating about 1200 - 1400 calories per day and working out about an hour 4 - 5 times per week. After working with a trainer for a while, I now eat between 1500 - 2000 calories per day and, like I said, working out a lot less, sometimes not at all for a while. And my body fat percentage is around 22 - 23%, which is right smack "healthy" for a woman my age. What I learned was that I needed to build enough muscle - and my trainer and I worked hard to get me to that point - and then my metabolism went up, because muscle burns more calories than fat, and I learned how to balance my diet better, with more protein, which I was not eating enough of before. Once you build that muscle, as long as you maintain a healthy diet, you won't lose it easily, so the key is just getting there. That's where a trainer can really help, because we just don't push ourselves hard enough on our own.

Please feel free to take a look at my blog; back in the archives I have a lot of number crunching and posts you might find helpful.

Kate (kissmekate02)


Thursday, December 21, 2006, 5:09 PM

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I would recommend a book that you might be interested in, it's called 'Thin for life'. Its based on interviews with a number of hundred people who have lost various amounts of weight and kept it off for anywhere from two or more years. It's written by Ann .... (I've forgotten the last name). You can get it second hand off amazon or a similar site. There is a new edition that came out in the last year or so, but they're not too different - though you can probably get the new edition second hand now anyway if you wanted to save book

The book is really helpful in terms of thinking about maintenance. The main things that I took away from reading the book is that everyones weight loss journey is different as is everyones strategies for maintaining, but that what you need to do to maintain the loss (in terms of lifestyle) is not so different from what you needed to do in order to lose the weight in the first place. Not withstanding Kates advice which also sounds sensible in terms of building up your muscle mass in order to raise your resting metabolic rate. The previous posts I think are also very helpful and quite right about this being a lifelong journey.

Thanks OP for posting your question, the threads a useful read.

Thursday, December 21, 2006, 5:48 PM

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For Kate

Did you get to your goal weight though and decide you were ready for maintenance or did you just hit a point where you cannot lose anymore weight?

To me if you hit a point where you are not losing anymore weight and if you letup you are gaining then yes you cannot slack off or you will gain.

If they hire a PT they can gain enough muscle to slack off some but no regular excercise will still need to be part of their normal routine.

Friday, December 22, 2006, 7:51 AM

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