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Weight maintenance advice, please.

Old 12-26-15, 05:38 PM
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Jed19
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Weight maintenance advice, please.

I was 215Ibs at the beginning of the year. I was not fat, but did have most of the weight around my gut. I made a resolution to get back to what I weighed when I graduated from college in 1984, which was 183Ibs. On November 19, I weighed myself at 170. At 170, I felt lethargic and kind of wispy (very feathery). I realized that going lower than 170 was gonna be a problem regarding feeling very lively. I have almost settled on the idea of being either 175 or at most, 180. I was able to drop the weight mostly from dietary changes. I cut way back on carbohydrates and increased my protein and fruits intake. Protein is mostly fish, no meats, except the occasional chicken. Fruits are mostly oranges and bananas. I use the fruits mostly as in-between meal snacks.

As of this morning, I weigh 181Ibs. I am 5' 10", do the gym 3 or 4 times a week. The gym routine is usually 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by an hour and a half of strength training with a mixture of free weights and machines. I then end my gym session with 200 push-ups. I generally stick to lighter weights and more repetition. My cycling, which is strictly recreational, is only once or twice on weekends, and the typical ride is about 70miles.

I am looking for advice and opinions on what I can do to maintain my weight at 175Ibs without starving myself. I feel much better now than when I was 215Ibs. Could people who know something about weight loss, weight maintenance and exercise programs please comment and advice on what I need to focus on?

Thanks for all inputs.
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Old 12-26-15, 09:01 PM
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I'm in the same place right now. For me, it was actually easier to lose the weight than to switch to maintenance. So I'm watching this thread for some suggestions too.

However, I'm continuing to count calories ... just raise them by 100 cal every 2-3 weeks until I find the point where I start to gain weight, then back off. And of course, I will continue to eat back at least half of my exercise calories.
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Old 12-27-15, 09:41 AM
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Weight maintenance is a combination of diet and exercise. The only way to be successful in long term fat loss is to make permanent lifestyle changes and change how you eat and exercise. One of the most effective ways to do that is to maintain lean muscle tissue and keeping your metabolism fired up. It takes some experimentation and trial and error to find what works best.

-- make time to move and do something physical everyday at a lower intensity
-- do high-intensity strength workouts 2-3 times per week using free weights and bodyweight exercises
-- high-intensity workouts should be intense enough so you only last 20-40 minutes max
-- get plenty of protein
-- get plenty of healthy fats
-- lower your carb intake but don't go too low, just enough to support your workouts and recovery
-- get your carbs from whole foods with a lot of fibre: starchy vegetables, fruits, salads, oats, rye
-- eliminate fast food, refined sugars, refined junk carbs and trans-fats
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Old 12-27-15, 02:45 PM
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Besides the above, with which I agree, small portions. 70 now, but down to the weight at which I climbed when I was 21, plus I'm stronger. A very good book outlining the principles of weight training and keeping the weight off is Body by Design. I don't follow it exactly because I don't eat meat, but I use the principles therein. I avoid eating a larger dinner by having 25g flavored whey protein in water when I'm starting to get hungry at bedtime. I have a healthy snack ~3:30 in the afternoon. That keeps my lunch and dinner size down. A favorite snack is a jigger of virgin olive oil and a handful of walnuts. I have a list of maybe a dozen snacks I rotate through. A lot of it is simply getting your stomach and body used to eating less.

I get a heck of a lot more aerobic exercise than in the Gethin book, total volume 8-15 hours/week depending on the season. Three of those hours are lifting in the gym. I always ride my rollers for an hour immediately before going to the gym. I try to lift to failure on the last set of every exercise. That's how you get strong while staying light.

On the bike, I use polarized training, see:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...l#post18411538
https://www.antoniocgomes.com/wp-con...e-enduran1.pdf
Polarized training has greater impact on key endurance variables than threshold, high intensity, or high volume training
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Old 12-28-15, 11:46 PM
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Journaling has been statistically shown to be one of the very most effective ways of weight loss and maintenance. And it works well for me, and a lot of others. Keeping track of what you eat and counting calories is not that tedious in the modern age with apps like "MyFitnessPal". I also think weighing is going to be important. It is for me. I weigh daily but, that's overkill for most. Once a week is more than sufficient. Identifying problems ahead of time.
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Old 01-02-16, 08:28 AM
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You might want to check out the 5:2 diet or way of eating. It's a form of intermittent fasting where two days a week you restrict calories to 600/day for men, 500 for women. There are a ton of benefits and it is well supported by science. If you are already at your goal weight, then a 6:1 is appropriate. It's really simple and offers some excellent metabolic stress.
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Old 01-04-16, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Viking55803 View Post
You might want to check out the 5:2 diet or way of eating. It's a form of intermittent fasting where two days a week you restrict calories to 600/day for men, 500 for women. There are a ton of benefits and it is well supported by science. If you are already at your goal weight, then a 6:1 is appropriate. It's really simple and offers some excellent metabolic stress.
I am intrigued by this 5:2 or 6:1 way of eating. I can easily restrict myself to 600calories for one day of the week. easily can be done on a non-gym day. Tell me more, or provide some links. I once had a boss who fasted every Thursday for spiritual reasons, but he was also a specimen for good weight management and overall health.
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Old 01-04-16, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
I am intrigued by this 5:2 or 6:1 way of eating. I can easily restrict myself to 600calories for one day of the week. easily can be done on a non-gym day. Tell me more, or provide some links. I once had a boss who fasted every Thursday for spiritual reasons, but he was also a specimen for good weight management and overall health.
It definitely is intriguing. If you're healthy and losing weight; you're doing the right thing. Though I think it's still an important thing to at least journal what you're eating the rest of the week and take care to avoid excess sugars, carbs, processed foods, etc. Sugar and carbs increase appetite. So a diet high in those would make that 7th day quite miserable.

Its crazy just how many calories there are in some foods. Some fast food desserts exceed 2,000 calories on their own. Yikes! It's easy to overeat during the week and not make it up with one or two fast days. Though with sensible choices the rest of the time, I bet it will work well.

I do know of someone who had success doing "both". She counter calories but ate her "maintenance" level. Then fasted once a week. I sometimes fast on rest/recovery days.
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Old 01-04-16, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
Journaling has been statistically shown to be one of the very most effective ways of weight loss and maintenance. And it works well for me, and a lot of others. Keeping track of what you eat and counting calories is not that tedious in the modern age with apps like "MyFitnessPal". I also think weighing is going to be important. It is for me. I weigh daily but, that's overkill for most. Once a week is more than sufficient. Identifying problems ahead of time.
Some really good Apps but some can be way off, like MyfitnessPal has been indicating that i should be 145-150lbs for the last 6 months yet i'm still 167
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Old 01-04-16, 03:24 PM
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I'm guessing your solution would be personal

for me, it helps to keep undesirable foods out of the house and in general stay out of the kitchen. for me, it's best if I exercise late and when I get home stay off the floor of my house that has the food. my weight problem stems from boredom at home, sitting on the couch and snacking in the evening. also Wifey likes stocking the house with bread, cheese, chocolate & cookies
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Old 01-04-16, 03:28 PM
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Journaling works if you are rigorously honest and disciplined in logging every morsel.
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Old 01-04-16, 07:02 PM
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OT: most fitness apps, at this time, overestimate caloric expenditure for a given activity.
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Old 01-04-16, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
OT: most fitness apps, at this time, overestimate caloric expenditure for a given activity.
Good point. I use kj from my powermeter rather than the MFP estimates. If you don't have a PM, you could just multiply the estimate by .75.
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Old 01-05-16, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Good point. I use kj from my powermeter rather than the MFP estimates. If you don't have a PM, you could just multiply the estimate by .75.
Not using a PM, and weighing around 200lbs, I tend to estimate calories burned at 20 per km, 30 per mile. Obviously that isn't accurate on any given ride because of wide variations in intensity, but they balance out over the week and the big picture seems to work reasonably well. And fwiw, it usually comes in about 20%-25% lower than my garmin 500 tells me, so your .75 formula may work just as well.

Interestingly, Strava (presumably based on their average power estimates) is generally closer to my own estimation.

Back to dietary regimens, the 5:2 thing really works and takes a lot of the pain out of it. One only has to be strictly disciplined two days a week and there's no need for a journal. But I found it was strictly an off-season thing. As the training intensity builds it becomes more and more difficult to insert sub-600 kcal days without impinging on performance.

Last edited by chasm54; 01-05-16 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 01-05-16, 07:04 AM
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You say you've lowered your carbs but fruits are carbs. With that said I would say to keep it carbed. Look more into a wholefoods plant based diet. You can get all your protein reqs from nuts/rice. The amazing thing is you can eat all day. I am at about 3-4kcal a day and the weight continues to drop. This is what got me from 230lbs to 150 at 5'8". Just remember that a calorie is not a calorie.
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Old 01-05-16, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
Some really good Apps but some can be way off, like MyfitnessPal has been indicating that i should be 145-150lbs for the last 6 months yet i'm still 167
Journaling is the important part. It takes tweaking. The scale, at the end of the day, is the most honest thing you've got. If you're meeting your goals, then your food intake and exercise level is right. If you aren't, then you either need to adjust your goals, diet, or your exercise! I don't pay much attention to the calories MFP says I burn, and I've adjusted and tweaked calorie goals and continue to do so. I try to stay in that 1-2lb / week lost range.

Like Dos says, it's sort of a myth that a calorie is a calorie (or if you wanna be really pedantic, a kilocalorie or kCal. What we're calling a "calorie" is actually a kCal, which is 1,000 calories.). Calories in and out does matter and the calculations are actually pretty ballpark for most people; but you still need to be eating a healthy, balanced diet. Calories come in Carbs, Protein and Fats. A diet low in calories but that is primarily carbs and fats is going to be less successful than a balanced diet that balances appropriate amounts of all three.
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Old 01-05-16, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post

Like Dos says, it's sort of a myth that a calorie is a calorie (or if you wanna be really pedantic, a kilocalorie or kCal. What we're calling a "calorie" is actually a kCal, which is 1,000 calories.). Calories in and out does matter and the calculations are actually pretty ballpark for most people; but you still need to be eating a healthy, balanced diet. Calories come in Carbs, Protein and Fats. A diet low in calories but that is primarily carbs and fats is going to be less successful than a balanced diet that balances appropriate amounts of all three.
Er, up to a point. I'm certainly not arguing against a balanced diet, but there does seem to be a wide variation in how people respond to similar diets. Some do very well on low carb, some seem fine on several hundreds of grams of carbs a day. In my own case, the calories in/calories out thing seems to work pretty well whatever the source of the calories.
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Old 01-05-16, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Er, up to a point. I'm certainly not arguing against a balanced diet, but there does seem to be a wide variation in how people respond to similar diets. Some do very well on low carb, some seem fine on several hundreds of grams of carbs a day. In my own case, the calories in/calories out thing seems to work pretty well whatever the source of the calories.
Yeah; I agree. But I still think the diet needs to be balanced. There are also other issues; like how sugary foods increase appetite.

I don't restrict carbs myself; but carbs are pretty heavy in calories so you do kind of naturally eat less when you're counting calories. Yesterday, for example, according to MFP I ate 41% carbs (some suggest as much as 55% for active people), 30% protein and 29% fat. So I could do with a bit more protein or carbs instead of the fat.

There's so much bunk out there surrounding metabolism. Some foods do increase appetite and exercise certainly does increase metabolism; but there are no magic foods that are going to 'boost' your metabolism, and you don't have a 'slow one'. I always used the 'slow metabolism' excuse but the reality was, I ate less healthy food and wasn't active enough. The reason most people who use those basic age and weight based calorie goals, and stick with them, lose; is because it works. Most of our metabolisms, for a given weight or age, are pretty similar. Calories in and out; it just works, and it's statistically (coupled with honest journaling) is the most effective form of weight loss. But at the end of the day, the most important thing is what you can do, what you can stick to, and what works.

Seems every couple of months around here, someone wants to lose weight and has started some fad diet, or some other 'plan' they found online that they've decided they can do, and they are frustrated that they aren't losing. Sometimes, they move to a calorie counting, or nutritionist, or some other diet plan that will work. Other times they just get frustrated and defeated because what they're doing isn't working, and they just don't think they can try anything else.

At the end of the day, the scale decides! If it works, and it's healthy, keep doing it. If it isn't working, change something.
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Old 01-05-16, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RomansFiveEight View Post
Yeah; I agree. But I still think the diet needs to be balanced. There are also other issues; like how sugary foods increase appetite.

I don't restrict carbs myself; but carbs are pretty heavy in calories so you do kind of naturally eat less when you're counting calories. Yesterday, for example, according to MFP I ate 41% carbs (some suggest as much as 55% for active people), 30% protein and 29% fat. So I could do with a bit more protein or carbs instead of the fat.
Why? If you're consuming, say, 1500 kcal per day and 30% of those come from protein, that's well over 100 grams of protein. Enough for anyone who isn't bodybuilding, I'd have thought. In that context I wouldn't worry about 29% fat, in fact iirc the WHO guidelines on healthy diets suggest around 30% of one's calories from fat.

At the end of the day, the scale decides! If it works, and it's healthy, keep doing it. If it isn't working, change something.
Can't disagree with that.
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