You've Lost A Lot Of Weight. How Do You Keep It Off?

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    Jun 18, 2012 8:07 AM GMT
    INTRODUCTION
    You ate carefully. You trained. You wrote down everything you ate and the details of every training session. You reached your goal. What happened next?

    Most people who lose weight gain it back. How can someone avoid this?

    The purpose of this subject thread is to discuss successes and failures in keeping lost weight off.


    MY STORY
    Ten years ago, I lost a lot of weight: 140 pounds.

    No one can diet for ever. Losing weight must come to an end. But what should any reasonable person expect to happen when he abandoned the diet and exercise adopted to lose weight?

    I gained back the 140 pounds plus 20 more when the diet, the diary and the training regimen outlived their apparently useful life.

    Just over year ago, I decided to try to lose the weight again. I organized my plan on a spread sheet, just like a science project with tables and graph to track progress. It worked. I lost 165 pounds over 12 months. No surprise there.

    This time before I began, I thought long and hard about what should I do differently so I didn't repeat the same cycle. Here are some of the things I did and am doing differently this time hoping to avoid a replay of the last weight loss and gain:

    1. I found a gym with really observant, knowledgeable trainers who provided a fresh workout every week based on my changing abilities and fitness: no more stale unresponsive routines that outlive their usefulness.

    2. I began eating mostly whole foods, with only the occasional taste of processed foods.

    3. I studied lots of new (for me) ways to prepare fresh vegetables.

    4. After I reached my weight goal, I continued to record my diet and training in a log. One of the owner's of the gym reads it every week. I am learning how much whole food I can eat and maintain the same weight.

    5. About two months into the project, I took up a high energy sport that requires developing skills. The intent was to find a lifelong challenge. Rowing is now my passion. I may be among the world's oldest novices but I row with truly accomplished master athletes. I train 3 or 4 times a week under a an extraordinary rowing coach who has been both brutally honest and totally supportive. Rowing was something I always wanted to do, and I somehow I stumbled into this amazing opportunity to learn the sport.

    6. I am also looking for ways to expand my connections with various communities, that includes posting here to meet other gay men who enjoy staying fit. Going public is all about accounatability.

    REWARDS
    Yes, there have been rewards: the fun of learning a sport, complements from friends, new friendhips from rowing and new opportunities to socialize. My firm gave me a generous raise and bonuses based on what they perceive as changes in my energy level and other changes I've made.

    WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
    Have you ever lost weight only to gain it back? What happened?

    Have you lost weight and kept it off for several years? What did you do to make it work?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 18, 2012 11:15 AM GMT
    I've lost 50 pounds and am still SLOWLY loosing. I just make lifestyle changes that I am able to keep up instead of going on a diet.
    I think thats the difference.
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    Jun 18, 2012 11:19 AM GMT
    I have recently lost over 100 pounds for the third time. I don't feel like I've reached my goal yet.

    I thought that I had conquered this demon this time, but I seem to be falling backwards as of late. Not necessarily in the weight loss - that fluctuates naturally with my weight training and eating plan and I never gain more than 5 pounds or so during a cycle, but with my motivation and confidence level getting shaken again.

    That's a big part of it for me. So, I wish I had an answer. I do know that statistics say - if you can keep the weight off for a year, you are drastically more likely to never gain it back - because you have made a lifestyle change - not just a diet.

    This is an interesting topic, I do look forward to what others have to say.

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    Jun 18, 2012 12:02 PM GMT
    Real simple. Leanness is natural. Eat natural food ( nothing processed) and you will maintain your natural weight without being a gym rat. Read the "Paleo Solution" . It's a full fat diet so you don't feel you are on a typical "diet"
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    Jun 18, 2012 12:06 PM GMT
    The most i have ever gained is 20lbs so maybe i shouldn't be talking.... but I do know why i haven't gained more. I'm into cycling. If you feel comfortable riding on the streets of your community then it's one of the quickest and easiest ways of keeping it off. Last year riding 40km/day I saved a ton of gas, dropped to a bf of 8.5% and felt great doing it. Good Luck
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:41 PM GMT
    robbee333 saidThe most i have ever gained is 20lbs so maybe i shouldn't be talking.... but I do know why i haven't gained more. I'm into cycling. If you feel comfortable riding on the streets of your community then it's one of the quickest and easiest ways of keeping it off. Last year riding 40km/day I saved a ton of gas, dropped to a bf of 8.5% and felt great doing it. Good Luck


    How long have you been cycling? How long have you kept the weight off?
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    onaquest saidI have recently lost over 100 pounds for the third time. I don't feel like I've reached my goal yet.

    I thought that I had conquered this demon this time, but I seem to be falling backwards as of late. Not necessarily in the weight loss - that fluctuates naturally with my weight training and eating plan and I never gain more than 5 pounds or so during a cycle, but with my motivation and confidence level getting shaken again.

    That's a big part of it for me. So, I wish I had an answer. I do know that statistics say - if you can keep the weight off for a year, you are drastically more likely to never gain it back - because you have made a lifestyle change - not just a diet.

    This is an interesting topic, I do look forward to what others have to say.




    What is shaking your motivation and confidence, Onaquest?

    Care to share the details?
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:52 PM GMT
    Alpha13 wroteReal simple. Leanness is natural. Eat natural food ( nothing processed) and you will maintain your natural weight without being a gym rat. Read the "Paleo Solution" . It's a full fat diet so you don't feel your on a typical "diet"

    '
    I wish leanness were natural for me. Based on my experience, it's not.

    It's easy to become bored by repetitious gym routines. That's why I took up rowing. It gets me out in the fresh air and challenges me in a lot of ways . Do you not train at the gym at all, Alpha 13?

    What is the difference between eating whole foods and a Paleo Solution diet? Have you lost weight with it or do you use it to maintain fitness?
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:54 PM GMT
    S60turbo saidI've lost 50 pounds and am still SLOWLY loosing. I just make lifestyle changes that I am able to keep up instead of going on a diet.
    I think thats the difference.


    That seems to be the most important thing. What changes did you make? How are they working for you?
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    Jun 18, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    For me its a balance between eating healthy, I don't starve myself at all but eat more nutritious food instead of junk or processed stuff. Also exercise based on my diet. If am enjoying Pizza then am going to do extra cardio that week.
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    Jun 18, 2012 4:45 PM GMT
    Some people are naturally thin.

    For the rest of us, it takes a lifetime commitment to proper diet and exercise to keep the weight off.
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    Jun 18, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidSome people are naturally thin.

    For the rest of us, it takes a lifetime commitment to proper diet and exercise to keep the weight off.


    I think this is true. There's been a lot of research backing this up too. I think if you were once really obese, you have to recognize food is a crutch and that just like an alocholic, you'll have to struggle with that your entire life. If you let your guard down, you'll gain weight again.
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    Jun 18, 2012 5:02 PM GMT
    For me its NOT a diet anymore. Its how I live now. Ive lost over 100lbs and kept it off for more than 7 years.
    I started at over 300..got to 200 and then thanks to my fast food emotional crutch, I went back to 235 and hovered around that weight for a couple years. Until last june when I said enough and cut out fast food. Im now 185. Years ago me and my brother (who was also over 300lbs) started with simple food changes like skim instead of whole milk. And included more exercises. Over time the small diet reformations became a total transformation. But since it was gradual it wasn't a harsh abrupt change that we couldn't live with.
    1. Make yourself accountable and let everyone know your goals and that you intend to accomplish them.
    -workout journal that includes days times sets reps and reasons why you didn't make rep goals. (I still have 10 years worth of journals)
    2. Small achievable goals even after you've reached your initial. There are always ways to better best yourself.
    3. CHEAT days. Have them. Also, Friends and family functions will always arise, plan around them when possible, if not possible, simply dont gorge.
    4. Never stop working out. Even if you backslide on healthy eating, continue to move!
    Before you know it youve reached your goals. But its a lifestyle it is NOT. A diet
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    Jun 18, 2012 5:03 PM GMT
    The_Novice said
    Alpha13 wroteReal simple. Leanness is natural. Eat natural food ( nothing processed) and you will maintain your natural weight without being a gym rat. Read the "Paleo Solution" . It's a full fat diet so you don't feel your on a typical "diet"

    '
    I wish leanness were natural for me. Based on my experience, it's not.

    It's easy to become bored by repetitious gym routines. That's why I took up rowing. It gets me out in the fresh air and challenges me in a lot of ways . Do you not train at the gym at all, Alpha 13?

    What is the difference between eating whole foods and a Paleo Solution diet? Have you lost weight with it or do you use it to maintain fitness?


    Since I started Paleo when I was 50 or so I got rid of the middle age fat that no amount of exercise seems to budge. Chemically the diet fixes the fat to muscle ratio thing that starts to work against us old guys. I don't get into the gym much now that I have taken up Vinyasa yoga. Basically you can make every day movements into exercise so I am kinda exercising everyday but my epiphany was that fuel is more important than exercise. Fat is a result of the body's allergic reaction to feeding alien stuff into the body which it is not programmed to recognize it as legitimate food.
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    Jun 18, 2012 6:04 PM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    The_Novice said
    Alpha13 wroteReal simple. Leanness is natural. Eat natural food ( nothing processed) and you will maintain your natural weight without being a gym rat. Read the "Paleo Solution" . It's a full fat diet so you don't feel your on a typical "diet"

    '
    I wish leanness were natural for me. Based on my experience, it's not.

    It's easy to become bored by repetitious gym routines. That's why I took up rowing. It gets me out in the fresh air and challenges me in a lot of ways . Do you not train at the gym at all, Alpha 13?

    What is the difference between eating whole foods and a Paleo Solution diet? Have you lost weight with it or do you use it to maintain fitness?


    Since I started Paleo when I was 50 or so I got rid of the middle age fat that no amount of exercise seems to budge. Chemically the diet fixes the fat to muscle ratio thing that starts to work against us old guys. I don't get into the gym much now that I have taken up Vinyasa yoga. Basically you can make every day movements into exercise so I am kinda exercising everyday but my epiphany was that fuel is more important than exercise. Fat is a result of the body's allergic reaction to feeding alien stuff into the body which it is not programmed to recognize it as legitimate food.


    Checking out the basic of Paleo Solution on-line, the only things I would need to do is eliminate the occasional small servings of cheese, whole grain toast and brown rice that I eat. That's not much of a sacrifice to make. If that doesn't work for me I can always add them to my diet again.

    How long did it take for you to notice a difference in body fat content,after you started eating this way, Alpha 13?

    Judging from the photos of your headstands on the surfboard, it looks like you are having a lot of fun turning everyday activities into exercise. That, my friend, is very cool.
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    Jun 18, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
    uoft23 said
    paulflexes saidSome people are naturally thin.

    For the rest of us, it takes a lifetime commitment to proper diet and exercise to keep the weight off.


    I think this is true. There's been a lot of research backing this up too. I think if you were once really obese, you have to recognize food is a crutch and that just like an alocholic, you'll have to struggle with that your entire life. If you let your guard down, you'll gain weight again.
    It's not just about letting your guard down. I've recently gained 15 lbs due to sheer boredom from working out of state for a few months. I still eat healthy, but my old routine of walking everywhere (bar, store, friends, etc) isn't possible here since it's a small town and driving is necessary.
  • Thorbaugh

    Posts: 110

    Jun 19, 2012 1:26 AM GMT
    First of all....

    To those of you who lost weight - congratulations.

    I'm currently on the weight loss journey and am dealing with co-morbidities because of my weight.

    I am reading this thread and learning and thanks to the OP who started this!!!
  • TexanNC

    Posts: 39

    Jun 19, 2012 1:30 AM GMT
    I lost 85 lbs. You can't use the word 'diet'. Diets are temporary (in todays sense of the word). To keep it off, you have to realize its a lifestyle change.
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    Jun 19, 2012 1:39 AM GMT
    It gets a bit harder as you get older. Making sure that you maintain your muscle mass is a good start, as more mass means your base metabolism is higher.

    Aside from that, don't "diet" but rather change your food habits. As many people in this thread have already said, generally avoid highly-processed food and adhere to a primarily whole-food regimen.

    Some people are susceptible to adverse spikes in blood sugar; in this case you would make a substantive change and avoid high-glycemic food (eg. Sugars and starches). Have you read up on the paleo diet?

    I tipped the scales at about 300 pounds, got down to 218, and am oscillating around 240. The majority of the gain has actually been muscle mass, but I am aiming to get a bit leaner than I am now.

    Good luck!
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    Jun 19, 2012 3:32 AM GMT
    TexanNC saidI lost 85 lbs. You can't use the word 'diet'. Diets are temporary (in todays sense of the word). To keep it off, you have to realize its a lifestyle change.


    The phrase "lifestyle change" is used a lot, TexanNC. It can mean a lot of different things.

    It might be helpful to write about the specific things you changed in your life and what were the results, positive or negative.

    You have made an awesome. long lasting transformation. I suspect a lot of us could benefit from whatever wisdom you gained from the experience.
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    Jun 21, 2012 12:22 AM GMT
    I lost 18 lbs earlier this year and was very proud. Unfortunately I've gained back 15 of them. So this thread is of great interest to me. My doom are ice-cream and chocolate and when my boyfriend or I am traveling. When I'm by myself I indulge in all the stuff I'm not having while we are together. He was gone for 2 weeks until last Saturday and I gained 8 lbs during that time.

    He will be gone for 1 week in July and I'm dreading the time (and also looking forward to the ice-cream binges I'm going to have because I will feel so alone icon_redface.gif )
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    Jun 21, 2012 4:36 AM GMT
    TexanNC saidI lost 85 lbs. You can't use the word 'diet'. Diets are temporary (in todays sense of the word). To keep it off, you have to realize its a lifestyle change.
    That's what I hate about the Paleo thing. It purports itself to be a "diet" but it's really just a healthier way of eating that tastes just as good or better than fatty/unhealthy shit...totally sustainable.
  • dougkh

    Posts: 5

    Jun 23, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    I'm interested in this, too. Since April 2011, I've lost about 75 pounds. I started at 230. I've stayed between 150-155 for the past three months. I'd like to lose another 15-20 (I'm 5'4"), but want to put on some muscle before I concentrate on losing any more. And I feel like I've made all the "easy" diet changes. The next step would probably be something like intermittent fasting, to get the scale moving down again. I don't know if I'm that motivated.

    Twice before, I've lost around 50 pounds on a conventional low-fat diet, and gained it back, with interest. I figured I was just meant to be a fat guy. Last March I began having chest pains and shortness of breath. When I went to the doctor, he said I was on the verge of diabetes, as well. So I went on Atkins, to bring my blood sugar down in a hurry.

    It worked. For a couple of months, I kept my net carbohydrates around 20 g a day. Since then, I've worked up to 30-40 g/day. I've had a few days where I've gotten around 50-60, but that leads to sugar fantasies, and overeating low-carb foods.

    "Lifestyle change" doesn't do it justice. Sometimes I feel like a soldier behind enemy lines. I haven't had any sugar (maple syrup, honey, etc) or starch since October. I quit drinking alcohol in July, because it weakened my resolve to stay out of the food. I quit all artificial sweeteners in February, because they were keeping the sugar dream alive.

    In order to track carbs, I weigh and measure almost everything I eat (I do estimate once in a while, in a restaurant, but I hardly ever eat in a restaurant anymore), and enter it into fatsecret. I joined Overeaters Anonymous in October. I have to take that absolutist stance against sugar and starch, like a recovering alcoholic. Abstinence from trigger foods is the most important thing in my life. I accept that one bite will kill me.





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 23, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    It's not about the weight number game. It's about the body composition percentage game.
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    Jun 23, 2012 6:17 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidIt's not about the weight number game. It's about the body composition percentage game.


    100% true.
    But in the beginning the numbers connected with the pounds are a driving force. Eventually the body composition and where you want to be, falls into place. I still struggle with ignoring the scale and focusing on the workout and whats in the mirror