What comes after week 12

What advice can any of you offer to keep up the motivation when the nhs 12 week programme is ended? This is my last week and I shall really miss the feeling that I am following a plan. I still have a long, long way to go to get down to target weight and at the present rate of progress it will take at least another 28 weeks - and that is not allowing for any plateau-ing that may occur.

I know some of you have lost 4, 5, or even 6-plus stones so how did you prepare for the long haul and keep going? I''m looking forward to hearing drom you all :-)

24 Replies

  • I just carried on as when I started. As I see it as a plan for life and not just weight loss. I still plan my meals and count calories. I lost most of my weight last year and have kept it off by doing this. I did start eating a lot more earlier this year when I was doing manic exercise training for a marathon, but now my exercise has moderated and I still want to lose another 5 or 6 lb I am being careful again. If, like me, you now find that you have a better idea of portion sizes and calories it does get easier though, and I have never worried about the odd days I go over if I am out for a meal or on holiday.

    Well done for sticking with it and good luck for the rest of your journey.

  • Hi Windswept,

    Thanks for the encouragement. It's the plan-for-life bit that I find hard to live with. I don't miss sweet things or nibbles but I do have very savoury taste buds and that can be even worse. I drool if I think of the missing roast potatoes, chips, roast parsnips, etc. that I can't afford the calories to have :-(

    I shall keep going for as long as I can and hope the new eating style becomes second nature.

  • I am the same re sweet v savoury, crisps & cheese are my big temptation. I rarely ate sweet things before but now find if I do,I do not enjoy them at all.

    But I do have roasties and chips occasionally, and if it is only once in a while if you are on track the rest of the time it shouldn't put you 'off the wagon'.

    I occasionally have a bag of crisps if I am out and about but can't have them in the house. If I want them in for nibbles if I have visitors I have to get them to bring them with, otherwise they are gone before they get here. :-).

    If you do have the occasional 'treat' if it means you are more likely to continue long term that has got to be better. Remember it is a way of life and not a 'diet'.

    Saw you reply to Walkthisway. I too am a technophobe and don't use mfp. I have a weebook called 'pocket calorie counter'. It has sensible portion sizes with the calories count for most food.

  • What wouldn't I give for a bag of Cheese and onion crisps! Seriously, I can't trust myself at the moment - one would lead to two, to three, to ... I don't seem to have a stop button where some treats are concerned and eat them like a little piglet - correction, a big piglet. I don't have them in the cupboards any longer because of the temptation.

    What is the booklet you mention and where did you get it from? I do much better with paper and pencil technology.

  • It is called 'pocket calorie counter' by Carolyn Humphries and I got it from Amazon, but I see it on eBay too.


  • Thanks Windswept,

    I use Amazon a lot so I'll go online and find it. It aounds as though it will be really useful. Just got back from the gym so feeling pretty energised at the moment.

  • Hi Windswept,

    I ordered the pocket book calorie counter from Amazon yesterday and it arrived today (Thursday). It's the perfect size for a handbag and it really does cover everything. Thanks for mentioning it.

  • You're welcome. Good luck

  • I left it a few weeks and then started again. I've left a few months this time and intend to stat another 12 weeks at the beginning of September.

    After 2nd 12 weeks i've not watched what I have eaten at all but have maintained weight at 88kg after a 17kg loss over the 2 12 week periods.

    Do whatever suits you, if your putting back on again try the 12 weeks with a smaller goal and eat 1700cals per day?? Just a thought!!

  • Hi Reevespg,

    I shall be on cloud nine when I can afford 1700 cals again :-) At the moment even 1400 doesn't always produce a loss over the week and I have to cut down a bit the next week. The only thing I am sure of is that I shall keep going until I've cracked it. I want my BMI back in the normal range!

  • If your in your eighties you might need less than this. Are you sure of your calorie intake? Have you weighed and measured your food? It suprised me the actual value in some foods?? Keep up the good work.

  • Hi I am on week 10 and have thought about this as well. I will also have around 28 weeks left to reach my target weight - which does seem a bit daunting at times...The main support for me has been this group - and the health unlocked website - both have kept me going with advice, inspiration, motivation and information. I also use myfitnesspal and I have a fitbit to monitor my activity levels. I have enjoyed being on the plan - but I don't feel I rely on it anymore. It has given me the tools to manage my weight loss - and if I start losing the battle - I will shout HELP on here! I will also join the Monday weigh in which will stop me slipping up over the weekend.. Also happy to buddy up if you like as we both seem to be in this for the long haul!

  • Hi Walkthisway,

    Thanks for the buddy offer - that sounds good. Belonging on this group has been a big help and the Monday weigh-in gives me something to work towards! I think the most difficult part for me will be to keep motivated about going to the gym throughout the winter when it is so much cosier to curl up indoors.

    I've got My Fitness Pal but waiting for one of the youngsters to show me how to use it - I'm not brilliant at handling my smartphone. Let's keep in touch.

  • Rather than let someone else show you and use that as an excuse, either find out urself or the biggest thing that I know my parents do the same and I think I know the answer to this question...

    Have you even logged in to myfitnesspal? You don't need a manual, just trial and error it's how we all learned hoe to use software, and it really isn't complicated so don't be scared :) especially as most of the recipes and items have already been posted by others so you just search and click the one that's yours. Simples :)

  • Hi Yes we will keep in touch. My fitness pal is excellent and very user friendly - have a go yourself! You will be few pounds lighter come the winter and hopefully that will be motivation enough to keep getting you out of that door! That is what I am hoping anyway...

  • Hi jsports,

    I always enjoy your contibutions but right now I am guessing that you are late teens or early twenties so haven't yet discovered the joys of old eyes and ancient, dyslexic fingers :-). Yes, it is always smarter to figure things out for oneself and that's how I learnt the many variations of Windows, Firefox, Skype, iPad and Safari, Google, online forums and all the rest. Tiny smartphones are a whole new ballgame and octogenarians like me can find them hard to handle.

  • Hi Autumn Witch, I just finished week 12 last week and lost 2 stone and 10lbs. I still have a way to go and until I get down to my desired weight I shall continue as before and have marked off my calendar week 13, week 14 etc. I must admit the crisp thing is tempting and if I were desperate I would plan them into my daily calories maybe on just one day and then do a little extra exercise over the week. I feel that if I tell myself I can't have something then I'm setting myself up for failure. Perhaps your body just needs a sin occasionally so it has something to work on to shed the next pound! Good luck.

  • Hi Candystripe,

    I'm awed at what you have achieved. I have managed roughly a pound a week on, average, since I started and it has been quite a battle. That's why the next 28 weeks sound so daunting. Sometimes it is only the thought of the Monday weigh-in that keeps me on track. I think you are probably right about the small sin once in a while. It might make it easier if I rewarded myself for extra effort at the gym :-)

  • Dear Autumn-Witch, a pound a week is great; it's a loss and that is wonderful. In your photograph you don't look big at all and I bet you didn't start out at over 18 stone like myself!!! So, the weekly weigh in will keep us on track if nothing else! You sound so determined to succeed, that I don't think you're going to fall off the wagon at all, in fact, I'm going to be looking to you for advice now the initial weight has come off. Just think of all the hard work you have endured to lose that one pound a week and you've survived as you will do from next week on. Go for it and enjoy the new you X

  • I'm on week 14 of the 12 week plan! Essentially I am just still gollowing the plan, recording everything I eat and the calories contained as I still have 2 to 2.5 stone to lose. Once I get to my target weight I think I will still record for a bit in order to find the right level for me to maintain my weight. My motivation is seeing the weight continue to come off, and being able to get into all my clothes which have been sat in boxes in the loft for years!

  • Thank you, all of you, for the interest you've shown in my question. Having read all your comments I honestly think one of the best "aids to losing weight and keeping it off" is having each other's support on this forum. We can shout about our successes, get support when we have a bad week, get loads of motivation when the road seems too long and weary and somone always understands how we are feelig. I think all my determinagion to succeed comes from the contributions you all make. You're a great group to belong to.

  • PS. Dorry about the typo in the previous message.

  • Hi Autumn-Witch,

    Well a lot of the idea of the 12 week plan is that usually, by then, your 'new' eating habits won't be 'new' any more. They'll just be what you (now) do.

    So having changed your lifestyle to a more healthy one in terms of eating and exercise/activity, it should pretty much be a matter of carrying on as you are until you reach your target weight.

    Of course, you may well still need to fine tune some things as you continue on that journey. For one thing you'll need to adjust to the fact that you will be trying to get a lighter slimmer body to lose weight, compared to how it was when you started.

    But also, you'll be more aware of the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of the whole business too.

    Personally, I kind of did "12 week plan, round 2". Though they were really 13 week plans (3 months) for me and I got to my target at about 6 months in.

  • Hi Returner,

    It's true what you say, after 12 weeks it ought to stop being new and start to be normal. It's just that 28 weeks to get to the middle of my BMI range will take me until next Spring! I also know you are right when you say I shall need to adjust to getting a lighter, slimmer body to lose weight. Maybe yours is the best idea - just keep starting again with the 12 week plan. I'm definitely going to do what Candystripe suggested and build a small 'sin' into my calorie allowance to give myself a little treat. So, here's to the start of the next three months.

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