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Maintaining Weight Loss

by Dave on October 31, 2011

It is now 2 years since I reached my original weight loss target  of losing 4 stone or 56lbs  ( a little over 26 kilos if you want the metrics ). 12 Months later I posted again talking about keeping the weight off  and how I had not only managed to do so, but was now at a weight of  164 lbs  approx 74.5 kilos 11 stone 10 lbs.

maintaining weight loss

Me before a run in my five fingers on October 27th 2011

That post about maintaining weight loss was a year ago today. My weight today, right after the weekend, is 75 kilos, so more or less the same. I have kept my weight in the same range for the last 12 months, and more importantly I have now kept off the weight I originally set out to lose for 2 years.  I find my usual weight range these days is between 74 and 76 kilos.  This weight loss blog will be 3 years old on New Years Day 2012.  Writing my first Retired Dieter post back on January 1st 2009 I said I would never go on another diet again. I wanted to change my view of food, and weight loss. I was no longer going to deprive myself of foods I enjoy, or think in terms of good or bad foods. instead, I would simply focus on finding a way to eat less.  If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you will know by now that intermittent fasting  , in its many different forms was the main tool I have used.

Losing weight is one thing, keeping that weight off , over time is something else. In the past I had lost weight ” on diets ” but of course the problem was as soon as the weight was lost, the diet was done, and I was ” off the diet ” and back to the same cycle.  2 years of maintaining a healthy weight, without cutting out foods I enjoy from my diet, confirms to me , that diets as they are sold to us, simply don’t work. The reason I was finally able to solve my weight issues, was because I finally understood the only thing that matters when it comes to losing weight, or maintaining weight loss….. calories in v calories out. Even now people still argue on this point, but after losing weight, and keeping it off, nobody can tell me it does not work.You can dress weight loss up in any form you like, but no matter what others tell you, it still comes down to the fact you will lose weight if you eat less calories than you need, and you will gain weight if you eat more calories than you need. So one way or another you have to find a way that works for you that enables you to eat less. In my experience viewing foods as good or bad or healthy or unhealthy won’t help. Thinking you can’t eat a pizza, or a cheese cake, because it’s not healthy or, not good for you only ads to the problems. I do think looking back , that so much of the weight loss and diet issues I had were mental ones.

I would have to say the key factor in the change for me, was just finally getting an  understanding how many calories I need on a weekly basis to stay in the weight range I want to be. How those calories are made up is less important than making sure I am around the number.  The diet industry is still selling more and more products, and people are still getting bigger, but it still just comes down to eat less and move more if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

 

weight loss success

Close Up Of Paper Click On The Image For Proof of Date

Keeping Weight Off

Yes It Is A Current Photo !

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  • Delmer

    I always tell everyone that the best way to lose weight is to never gain it in the first place. It’s so much easier not to eat now than having to starve yourself and exercise later on in order to lose weight. Just though I’d give my 2 cents on the subject :-)

    Dave’s Reply

    And how does this help those of us who HAD gained the weight ? I assume with a comment like this, you have never been overweight ? as nobody who has had weight issues would post such a comment

  • http://oneeightyfive.tumblr.com Scott

    Your story is inspiring to me.

    I am SO very tired of dieting. I’m tired of following an endless list of rules. I’m tired of not being allowed to eat certain foods.

    I, too, want to retire from dieting because it is so exhausting and, in the long run, doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried intermittent fasting in the past for brief periods and it has worked, but I was lured away from it by people who claimed I was “destroying my health.”

    I just have to decide what sort of IF is best for me. I like the idea of a daily eating window, but know that the Eat Stop Eat approach is more popular. What do you think would be good for a beginning IF’er?

    • http://retireddieter.com Dave

      Hi Scott,

      I know what you mean about the pressure from other people. Nobody thinks I am “destroying my health” now though ! As I said in the post, so much of my weight loss issues were mental, and part of that would be people telling me what I was doing was not good for me. Ask them to point to the research that backs up their claim, and of course they can’t, but it does not change the fact they will give you their baseless opinion on it. It’s why I always advise anyone trying I.F these days to just keep it to themselves at the start.

      For me these days, the arguments don’t last very long, losing the amount of weight I did, and then staying where I have is hard to argue with, but of course when I started out at 231 lbs, I could not make a case that what I was doing was right. Everyone wants to give you their 2 cents when you look to lose weight. ” Carbs are bad for you… ” fasting is not healthy ” …. ” you need low GI foods ” You name it, I heard it, that was why when I started using I.F. I just quietly got on with it. Even when friends saw the changes and would ask for the diet I was on, I would just say I am not on a diet, I am just eating less

      To answer your question . As an I.F beginner, my advice would be to just start slow. I did find the fasts get easier, but you can start by just doing one a week. Also it really is about finding what fits best for you. I still mix up my I.F routines now, depending on what I do. For example though I use the eat stop eat method of one or two 24 hour fasts per week, even on what would be called a regular eating day, I may still miss out one meal. It is one the main things fasting changed for me. I no longer think ” oh it’s 1pm, I need to eat lunch. Just keep it flexible.

  • paul

    Hi dave i,ve got the eat stop eat book,just a question for you sir,i,ve done a couple of fasts and so far i,ve done 20 and 21 hour fasts so far.Will i still get some of the health benefits with the slightly shorter fasts.i plan on gradually extending the fasts in the future,just at the moment it seems tough after approx 21 hrs,although i think it,s mainly in my mind.I too have been overweight most of my adult life and i am amazed that i could go 20hrs without food,that,s huge for me.thanks in advance for you,re reply.

    • http://retireddieter.com Dave

      Hi Paul,

      yes you will still get benefits with fasts of 20 and 21hrs. Like you I was surprised at how going without food for long periods was something I could do. As I say it does get easier, so keep up the good work, you will learn a lot about yourself during those fasts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elijay522 Jordan D.

    I think the concept of “good vs. bad foods” should be replaced with “problem foods.” In other words, the foods that a particular dieter has trouble with. (And it varies from person to person, so there aren’t any universal problem foods.) I agree that it’s about the calories, not the type of food, but I think that tends to gloss over how difficult moderation/ portion control can be for some people (especially people that have difficulty controlling their food intake.)

    From a strictly caloric standpoint, if a certain food item is 350 calories per serving, and the dieter finds it hard to resist not eating three servings, that’s over a thousand calories, which could totally trash his or her weight loss efforts for that day. And for some of us, one bad day can easily spiral into a few bad days, or even a bad week. (That’s certainly happened to me many a time.) So it might be helpful for some people to just avoid that test of wills entirely.

    It depends on the person, of course. Some people will do better with moderation, while others will benefit from not being around that food for a while. Perhaps every dieter should ask themselves the question: “What would be easier for me, one serving or no servings?” And go from there.

    So while I do wholeheartedly agree that it’s about calories and not “bad foods,” I also think that it’s perfectly appropriate to avoid certain foods for awhile.

    • http://RetiredDieter.com Dave

      Jordan,

      That is a great way of looking at it. You make a great point there. I know John Barban refers to them as hot button foods. I can eat a piece off a chocolate bar and put the rest away, it drives people who know me mad ! However crunchy nut cornflakes, if I start eating them I can’t stop, so those are something I do avoid most of the time, but it is very different to thinking that I should not eat them and if I do, that I have failed in some way. This was my problem in the past, take the Atkins diet, I would end up wanting some carbs, so I eat a box of Crunchy Nut, then I would feel like I sinned !. My solution now if I did want them would be to just buy a small box instead of a large , so again eating less. As you say, people differ , and when looking to lose weight, avoiding or limiting a food that you have little control over is a smart idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elijay522 Jordan D.

    You’re absolutely right, people shouldn’t feel like they sinned when they eat a certain food! Diet shouldn’t be a religion, but sometimes people treat it like it is. :-) And I’m not referring to eating “clean” because, like you and chocolate, there are plenty of “junk” foods that I don’t have a problem with. For example, yesterday I had a cup of rice pudding. There’s sugar in that, of course, but I didn’t feel any impulse to have any more than that. I just ate it, stopped, and that was that.

    Re: a small box, that’s a good point. I like to buy the individual servings at the store. I can go to the bakery section and get one or two donuts instead of a container of donuts. They also sell individual servings of pie, cupcakes, ice cream, and a small package of two slices of cheesecake. Those are great options for those of us who have issues with portion control.

    So I guess it’s not really the food that has to be avoided, but particular *situations* that should be avoided, at least temporarily. For me, it would be bringing home a tub of peanut butter ice cream or a whole chocolate pie. I could eat a whole pie in two days, no problem!

    • http://oneeightyfive.tumblr.com Scott

      This is my biggest issue right now. A bag of potato chips or a box of crackers? I could and would eat them in their entirety within a half-hour. Even loaves of bread are hard for me to resist eating until they’re gone. So, what’s the solution? I’ve tried portioning out chips, cereal, crackers and the like in little Ziploc bags, but even that doesn’t work. I guess I’m just better off avoiding them completely, at least until I’ve lost some more weight and gotten a better handle on my eating.

      • http://www.facebook.com/elijay522 Jordan D.

        Scott, I know exactly how you feel. It’s so easy to keep digging into that bag of chips. Crackers are hard to handle, as well. I’ve been there, done that. So, I would either buy individual servings of those foods instead of the big containers, or I would replace those foods with other foods that I enjoy, but are easier to control the portions thereof ( I call them “substitute foods,”) or I wouldn’t eat them at all. One of the three.

        The reason the Ziploc bags didn’t work is because you still have that big bag or box in the house, it’s just spread out. It’s still there, creating a temptation, and forcing you into a test of wills. That’s why the individual servings work so well. I can go to the store and buy one donut and no matter how good it tastes, I can’t eat any more. There are just no more donuts in the house to eat. No willpower necessary. If you can’t buy individual servings, find substitute foods that you enjoy but have better control of them.

        If neither of those two options are doable, the only other alternative I can think of is to go cold turkey. I just don’t think it’s possible for some of us to have *multiple* servings of a problem/ trigger food in the house and not overeat.

  • Ryan

    Dave, thanks for keeping us updated, and congrats on the lasting success! Out of curiosity, what is the ballpark number of cals you take in a week? And are you still as active as you were when you walked 5 miles a day?

    • http://RetiredDieter.com Dave

      Hey Ryan,
      Ball park calories I would say is around 14000 calories per week for me now. If I am looking to lose some weight, then I drop to ,11,000. Yes I am still as active. I enjoy getting out for a walk or a gentle run. This is just something I like to do, It’s something I have done for so long now, that I miss it if I don’t go. I still do my body body weight exercises, and this year have been working my way through the convict conditioning exercises.

  • Gin

    I stumbled across your blog Jan 2011. I had given birth to my first son June 2010 and I was still holding onto 10 lbs of pregnancy weight, and even before getting pregnant I was 12lbs heavier than I wanted to be. I started intermittent fasting in Jan and by May I had lost 20lbs, so I was better off than before getting pregnant. I stalled after that 20lbs for months; the scale didn’t budge in any direction – so I gave up. Here we are in Nov. and I’m going to get started again. I found IF to be a huge benefit during busy social (eating) occasions, so the holidays are a perfect time for IF. Hopefully my 6 month hiatus won’t hinder my success. In addition to needing to lose weight, I also have high blood pressure, so fingers crossed that IF can help that as well. I appreciate your blog! Thanks and congratulations on your health success!

  • amelle

    I have given up on diets long ago. I remember when I dieted, I use to lose the weight but the weight always came back quickly when I got off the diet. Now, I eat what I want when I want but in moderation and tend to try and fill up on the healthier foods so I won’t have much room in my stomach for the bad foods. I found by depriving myself of certain foods, I would just get terrible cravings for them. The best foods for weight loss are lean proteins, leafy veg, salads and fruit and foods that contain fibre.
    The other thing I do, is take more exercise, if I eat too much one day, I’ll just make sure I do exercise more. This approach seems to keep my weight stable.

  • http://www.wellnessword.com Jim O’Connor

    In my opinion, intermittent fasting is only going to get bigger, and bigger. It is a viable strategy to not only put yourself in a caloric deficit, but also train your body to become more metabolically flexible.
    Yes, I agree! Maintaining weight starts with a lifestyle of watching your caloric intake, and exercise.

    Congrats on your weight loss success!

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