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Maintaining=dieting for life?

I am dieting and 23. I am cutting cals, watching what i eat, etc. I workout alot too.

I was wondering....when I finally get to goal weight, what will change? Do I always have to eat light? I can understand monitering but for people who have lost weight: do you still diet? what's your diet like? Whats your life like? Do you feel deprived? Are you scared of gaining it back?

What's life like after the weight change?

Wed. Sep 26, 9:42pm

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Great idea for a post! I am interested in this, too. I am doing WW and they have you at a certain number of points for maintenance. Although, I am not sure if they are more or the same as you get while losing...

I'd love to hear others experiences, too! Thanks!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 10:40 PM

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Maintaining is very hard! I lost 30 lbs on WW and kept it off for 6 years (till I got pregnant.) The thing about maintaining is that you don't have the same motivation as when you are losing -- your body is not getting more attractive, healthier, etc. So you have to find other sources of motivation.

yes, it's a lifetime change. Yes, you always have to think about it. But yes, you also get to eat a bit more and take it easier than when you[re actively losing. ( I think in WW you add in 4 points per day and see how that affects your weight, and then alter it if you're still losing or gaining.)

I was scared of gaining the weight back for the first full year. Then I realized I could do this! But then everytime you have a slip, like gaining 5 pounds, you get scared again. At least that's my experience!

Thursday, September 27, 2007, 7:08 AM

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I have lost 30 pounds, and have been maintaining that for a year. One of the ways I do that is by logging here. I find that if I don't keep track, it's too easy with my lifestyle to slip into bad habits. I go out a lot, I travel often and if I'm not writing it down, it's so easy to slip up just a bit too often here and there especially when you eat in nice restaurants 2-4 nights a week.

Am I scared of gaining it back? Heck yeah! It was work losing that and I don't want to do it again. So I weight often and I monitor my intake. I don't often monitor what I eat, but I do actually like healthy food - I cook very healthfully at home, so it's the going out where I have to be pretty vigilant about portions. That works pretty well for me as long as I don't eat things that are too heavy or rich too often. I can be a lot less vigilant if I'm making my 5x a week workout schedule, but since I moved and joined a new gym that I don't like that much, it's been more of a challenge.

Honestly I really enjoyed getting healthy and active and I don't have a hard time keeping it up for the most part, but the eating out kills me. You run into challenges though here and there, so you have to overcome that. I weigh to keep on track and I log, but I don't obsess about what I eat. However, I can't just pretend that I won't gain the weight back if I don't eat right and exercise though - you have to keep healthy living in your mind when you're going about your life. It really is a lifestyle change and not a diet that keeps it off. I'm lucky I have a loving husband who also enjoys eating healthy and being active, so this is just the way we live now and not something I did for a few months until I could get back to 'normal' - my life now is normal and what I did before was self-destructive.

Life is better. I'm happier when I'm healthier. I enjoy my new active hobbies. I have friends over and cook healthy meals (and no one usually even notices how healthy they are). I love to garden, hike, walk, swim and play like crazy with my nephew. I sleep better and I have more energy during the day. My skin looks healthy and so do my eyes and hair. My sex drive is better and so is my marriage because we get to really talk while we're doing all these healthy activities together or cooking something good. Not only am I not bummed that I don't live on junk food, caffine and sit at my desk playings video games anymore - I'd feel like someone was punishing me if I had to. Life is good.

*whew* sorry that got long, but you definitely got me in the mood for reflection. Best wishes on your own journey!

Thursday, September 27, 2007, 10:05 AM

Add comment this is just the way we live now and not something I did for a few months until I could get back to 'normal' - my life now is normal and what I did before was self-destructive".

Thank you! That was vey inspiring!

Thursday, September 27, 2007, 10:18 AM

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yes, I agree ... the 10:05 poster was very helpful and insightful. Thanks for taking the time to write down your experience.

Thursday, September 27, 2007, 11:22 AM

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I've lost about 75 lbs and have maintained that loss for more than a year and while no it isn't "dieting" per se, I do still keep careful track of what I eat, and exercise 6 days a week. I have come to love exercise (and crave it!) so luckily that aspect is easy. Eating is more difficult-there is always a reason to "celebrate" (someone's birthday, a promotion, a wedding, camping trips), you name it, there is always some event going on that the main event is food. I love food and definitely do allow for a day here and there where I eat whatever I feel like, and if I happen to go overboard a little, that's okay, I've learned that I can make up for it by just being good for the rest of the week. It's just one day.

One thing I've discovered about people who are naturally thin is that they don't eat minimally every day. But they also don't pig out every day. Life isn't so structured that you can do that. The reason their weight stays stable and in a healthy place is because they naturally eat less during part of their week and if they happen it eat more on a day or two, it has no effect on their weight because of their smaller intake in previous days. I try to remember that when I feel the urge to beat myself up over a piece of cheesecake or an extra piece of pizza. It's just one day!

To maintain a loss, you are going to have to watch what you eat and exercise or you will gain the weight back. There is no simple formula, no magic pill, no day that will come when you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. It is work. It will always be work. But it is so worth it, to feel healthy and strong and know that we are treating our bodies well.

Thursday, September 27, 2007, 11:35 AM

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I'm bumping this topic because I wanted to see if anyone else has ideas about this. I've lost 87 lbs and still need to lose at least 15 more before reaching my goal. The idea of "maintenance" has really been freaking me out lately. I'd like to hear from more people who have lost a chunk of weight and have maintained it. Or, if you haven't maintained it, what happened?

I have nightmares about gaining it all back...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 12:14 PM

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I'm so glad this post is back - it's so helpful and inspirational. Unfortunately I have a few more pounds before I hit this stage, so I too am hoping others have experiences to add...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 1:50 PM

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I have lost 162 pounds and stlll have plenty to go before I am ready for maintainence. But my niece was asking me the other day, what will I do when I lose all the weight. Will I always have to eat like this?
Well I told her yes. I will be able to add a few more calories and exercise but I will always have to vigilant about what I eat.
I have lost and gained weight many times and I did one time keep 90 pounds off for almost 5 years. Well 70 pounds. I gained 20 pounds in 2 years and then kept the other off for a while. Anyway just like others I went back to my old lifestyle. And you know how it goes, if you want to see different results you can't keep doing the same thing.
So I needed to read this thread. Thanks to whoever bumped it up here again.
I really like the idea about THIS is normal. Before was self destructive. So true.
Good luck to you all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 2:21 PM

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It may depend how small you are after you are at your goal. If your goal weight is 120, then you really can't start eating a ton and not to expect to gain. Depending on what your relationship is with food, you may have to log on a regular basis to keep yourself from overeating.

Also, it's a constantly changing process. Life changes, so you have to adapt your eating and exercise habits accordingly. Maybe you live in sunny California now, but then you move to snowy Boston and can't workout outside in the winter. So, maybe you buy a dog who forces you to walk every day. Maybe you develop bursitis from running but then you learn to love swimming. Maybe you discover a great salad bar in a neighborhood grocery and it replaces your steady diet of lean cuisine. You'll figure it out, just keep working hard for your health and happiness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 2:56 PM

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