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To those who have lost weight and kept it off

I've recently lost all my baby weight and have decided to lose another 15-20 lbs to put me at a healthy weight for my height. And honestly, it hasn't been that hard. Eating healthier, counting calories, walking every day, and the pounds just keep coming off. But I still struggle with cravings to eat like I used to....big handfuls of cookies, plates of nachos with melted cheese....mostly higher-fat food in larger portions than I allow myself now. I hardly ever give in, or I have something else instead, but I'm wondering how I'm going to keep this up. My thinking is that this isn't a 'diet', it's a total change in how I intend to eat for the rest of my life, for my sake and my family's sake.

So, for those who have made this type of lifestyle change, how do you deal with the desire to eat the way you used to? Does the craving for a Big Mac and fries ever really go away? Do you feel deprived because you don't eat a pan of brownies at a time? Does it get easier? I don't mean just one day, I have all sorts of strategies for dealing with momentary cravings (like on the thread I want 5 cookies right now!), but I mean long-term. I have some nights where I'm sure my husband is tired of listening to my complaints about wanting a fatty snack!

Thu. Nov 22, 10:09am

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I think its important for you to find a balance. It is okay to have that fatty snack, just not every day. If you do have that thing you want make up for it, walk an extra mile or so or eat 100 cals less. If you plan for it it won't hurt you. The problem comes from when you start having those things on a daily basis and too much. Constantly denying yourself what you truly want is how most diets fail and people end up gaining the weight back. You need to be realistic, are you never going to eat a piece of pie or those 3 cookies?

I have lost 88 pounds in the last 2 years and the only way it has worked for me is to know that I can allow myself to have a little something when I really want it. Its okay it have a treat. The thing is to portion it out or buy it so you don't have a lot of it just enough for one serving. But denying yourself and thinking you can never have another goodie is crazy. And yes it does get easier. Over time you realize what you have accomplished and you feel better about yourself and you see that it can be done it just takes caring about what you put into your body and willpower.

Thursday, November 22, 2007, 11:13 AM

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What a great question! And I can certainly relate. I always wonder - will it always be a 'struggle' (even though I win 98% of the time?) Part of how I have dealt with that question is to just to accept that I'm a person for whom food requires thought - i.e., I'm not naturally inclined to just have a taste of this or that and be satisfied and be done with it, for me eating triggers the desire for more and I have that internal battle of 'don't do it!' Some days are easier than others, though. Some days I feel great b/c I've said 'no' vs. feeling deprived. It's when I feel deprived that the battles feel the greatest.

Thursday, November 22, 2007, 11:57 AM

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I've maintained a 75lb loss for more than a year (40 lbs of that for 3 years) and you always have to be vigilant. I have found a balance where I eat very very well for most days of the week and here and there I allow a day or two to relax. This doesn't mean I pig out and go nuts-it just means I don't count calories and "think" about food. If I want a calzone, I have one. If I want an extra bowl of cereal, I have one etc. I just don't do it everyday. Even on the days when I eat well, if I crave something I can have it, but portion control is key. My weight has stayed very stable over the last year-it may go up 2-3 lbs after a few big meals but after 2-3 days it's back to where it needs to be w/o too much effort.

You have to remember that you aren't on a "diet"-to think that way sets you up for disaster for afterwards. I worked way too hard to lose the weight to allow it to creep back on. Exercise is a priority in my life and I weigh myself several times a week so I don't gain weight w/o knowing about it. I got rid of all my clothes that were loose (except for a few pairs of sweat pants/workout pants) so that if they suddenly get tighter I know I'm gaining weight and need to cut back. If you have extra room in your pants, it's easier to lie about our choices.

Maintenance doesn't have to be scary but it is still going to be work. I've committed to a healthy life and it's worth the extra care/thought. Good luck!

Thursday, November 22, 2007, 1:17 PM

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I'm on WW and have lost 44 lbs and reach my goal this week actually. I am anxious about maintenance because I'm so used to eating what I'm supposed to eat. I have WW friendly desserts after lunch and dinner so I won't feel deprived. WW makes amazing icescream desserts, or I'll have fat free chocolate pudding. After ,my lunch, I'll eat a WW candy bar or low fat chocolate chip granola bar to satisfy my sweet tooth. It is a lifestyle, which I'm finding. I go off once a week and have something I'm really craving, but within reason. Keep on truckin !

Friday, November 23, 2007, 8:05 AM

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I've been maintaining for awhile, and whenever I maintain, I find that I can be a little more lax than I am when I'm trying to actively lose weight. I eat a bit more, don't gain weight, and stay there awhile. Then I start slipping a little further, eating a bit more. Still okay. Then I get to the point where I start gaining a bit again. I tend to deny it for a bit. But I have a "stop" weight - a weight at which I know I am gaining weight. For me, it's only 4lbs more than my "maintenance" weight. But I know when I get to it, that I am losing my battle and I need to refocus my efforts. Then I do, and re-lose those 4lbs, and start maintaining again. Sure, the cycle continues, and I guess it's kind of a roller coaster of weight gain/loss, but it's all within a 5lb range, so I think it's okay.

Maybe not the best way, but at least I get some time without seriously thinking about what I eat.

Monday, November 26, 2007, 2:51 PM

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