Maintaining weight after loss

Over the past 2 years I have managed to significantly lose a lot of weight. I did this by simply reducing my calorie intake to 1200/day and light walking. I was down to my target weight (10st 4lbs) around a month ago but recently started slowly increasing my food intake . I am now having around 1400 - 1500 calories a day. The trouble is that the weight is beginning to increase slowly (1-2lb a week for the past month and I am now 10st 10lb) and I need to take action! I am still having light exercise so it can't be that I have stopped exercising. My question is why is my weight increasing when, as far as I'm concerned, 1500 cals a day is not that high really and still well below what I would expect to be typical for an adult male. I am thinking that I need to go back to my 1200 a day regime but why should I have to only have 1200 calories a day!

19 Replies

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  • Hi. Don't want to be negative, but are you sure you are not sneaking in little extras? It is easy to become complacent and not realise you have increased your intake. I find it easier to find a regime that works for you and stick to it ie I don't eat breakfast (shock horror!) and try not to eat until a light lunch and then a "normal" dinner + pudding, then nothing to next day lunch. I know this sounds hard, but it works for me. If I go out, I have exactly what I want to eat and drink. Generally, I maintain quite well and if occasionally I do have too much, ie on holiday, I get back onto my regime straight away. Is your target realistic or is your weight too low now? I do think we all have a "happy" weight at which we can maintain, which could be a little higher than you think you would like. Maintaining isn't easy, but you do need to find your ideal eating plan which works for you. Go back to basics for a bit during the week and on normal days and relax a little if you go out and see if that works. Good luck

  • Hi. No it's not that as I am religiously recording what I eat (in a spreadsheet!) and have done from day one (it drives my wife bonkers as she thinks I am OCD!!). The main changes I have made are that I sometimes miss breakfast (where I used to have it every single day) but I am having marginally slightly larger portions for lunch, extra fruit and the odd treat such as a biscuit with tea or a dessert. However I am taking account of all these extras and of course I am losing around 150 - 250 calories in the morning when I miss breakfast and overall my daily intake is now around the 1500 mark instead of 1200. I realise that, with losing weight, my resting metabolic rate will have reduced but I was hoping that having gone through a strict regime I would be able to relax it a little so that I dont have to continue to stay at 1200 a day for ever!!

  • Have you rechecked your daily calorie allowance since you have lost weight? I know the NHS one doesn't give it you when you have reached healthy BMI but there are others on line that do. Unfortunately, I think the lighter you are the less 'resting' calories you burn. I think a lot of people trying to maintain find there is a lot of trial and error to see what works. If you type 'maintaining' in the search box you might get some tips from previous posts. Good luck!

  • Hi - thx for your reply, I will look into into this. I just assumed that daily calorie allowance was a standard figure (one for men and one for women). I know that the resting calories figure reduces with weight and mine is now around 1450 (when it used to be around 1750!) so I would have assumed that an intake of around 1500 cals almost cancels this out and that any exercise I do (even light) should help to at least maintain my weight and not increase! Can't understand it

  • Hi, you could feed your details into this calculator

    bestbmicalculator.com/

    just to double check, it will give your personal calories to lose or maintain. sounds like you are organised with it all 😊

  • Many thanks for this - not seen this calculator before. Entered my current details into it and interestingly it suggested my calorie intake should be 1280 to lose weight (which is what I was taking in) and 1780 to maintain weight. My BMR is 1485 which is what I thought it was. So , given that, I ought to be able to maintain my weight by consuming only 1500 cals/day (which is what I was hoping for). Still confused! May go back to my old regime to see if I can reverse the trend. It will be disappointing though if I have to stick to 1200!

  • pleased it helped. I think sometimes our bodies get used to things, so maybe try mixing things up a bit, eat different foods, make new recipes, if you normally walk, try a walking video a couple of times a week, Leslie Sansome has some free ones on you tube, the 1 mile walk and the 1 mile happy walk, both of which I enjoy. Good luck!

  • Instead of doing light exercise why not try to do more vigorous exercise a few times a week? I know running continues to burn calories even after you've stopped and it makes your metabolism go quicker. That way you can get use to having 1500 calories a day but burn more through physical activity. Try to find something you will enjoy and can really get into! I hope that helps!

    Sazkia x

  • Thx Sazkia. May try this although will be a real challenge as I suffer really badly with back problems so whilst light walking is ok (for up to 3 miles max) anything more strenuous is a problem. I may try increasing the pace of my walking (currently doing only 1 mile in 20 mins so may not be strenuous enough)

  • Have you tried swimming? That's a good one for people who suffer back pain or joint problems. I love it as it takes all my extra weight and I am free to swim! I hope you give that a try and it works for you. :)

    Sazkia x

  • I found reverting to a float for just stretching and doing the feet bit when swimming helped when I had a shoulder problem. It is important when you do not want strain on any part, swimming is really good. From Feelgood 41

  • I have back problems too, anything quicker than 18.5 can be a strain, I tend to go for increasing distance at a reasonable speed and doing the videos I mentioned above.

  • Many thanks to everyone for the advice. Plenty of food for thought (no pun intended!)

  • I discovered meals high in carbohydrates cause weight gain... I'm not saying complex carbs which are good ofcourse in moderation but things like biscuits do have added sugar, I could easily pile up 5lbs in 2 weeks if i munched on biscuits. Try finding a healthier snack, because i am not too big on fruit i always treat myself to an occasional trek protein bar or rude health bar. (Not trying to sound like a commercial). Cut out the snacking and you'll be fine.

  • I wonder if this might be part of the problem. Although I usually skip breakfast, when I do have it I now have a slice of toast (it was cereals before) and I also 'treat' myself to a biscuit with my tea/coffee (and am drinking more tea/coffee!). Although I am counting all this and it has only increased my calories by around 300/day it seems that just focussing on the numbers isn't sufficient and it may be important what those extra 300 calories are. I may try going back to proper breakfast (cereal not toast) and cutting out the biscuit 'treat'.

    My concern is that I don't want to become overly obsessed on my food (and I feel I may have already crossed that line!) and want to enjoy what I eat rather than only focus on weight all the time! Looks like I cant have it both ways

  • For a 'proper' breakfast I would suggest avoiding the cereals, as they tend to be highly processed carbohydrates, in spite of all the claims on the packets. Perhaps go for a protein breakfast, eggs, fish or some Greek yoghurt with a few nuts? Definitely cut out the daily biscuits, desert could be a treat once in a while.

    What you eat really is just as important as how much you eat. As we age our bodies can have problems handling a lot of carbohydrates, so it's a good idea to choose high fibre, low GI.

  • When I first reached my target in April 2015 I was thrilled but also really anxious about regaining even a pound. Having lost my 2st excess, I then slowly I increased my calories but not every day .

    Sixteen months on, I have maintained my weight. I more or less eat whatever I want on some days, and reduce on others so it can easily vary from 1200-2000. I still log this on myfitnesspal but I only think about the AVERAGE over the course of a week or so, I certainly dont fret about each day any more. I do also walk for an hour several days a week, but I avoid "eating back" my walking calories , I just see it as a health benefit.

    I am female, Bmi 22.5 , age 64 so quite low BMR but I have stayed in maintenance for 16 months now. I feel that by eating " up and down" I have probably helped my metabolism and can keep within a 0-4 lbs range even after my holidays , christmas etc.

  • This is really what I was saying elliebath - find a regime that suits you and stick to it even if others tell you that it not what you should be doing. I don't eat breakfast at all and feel better for it despite what everyone says. I seem to follow what is known as the 16:8 diet although I didn't intend to, ie 16 hours fasting and 8 eating - works for me. Like you I have just been away for a week and put on a couple of pounds, but that will soon come off when I'm back to my normal and back to work. I don't count calories, but tend to like healthy food anyway.

  • In order to put on 2lbs a week you have to eat an extra 1000 calories a day above what the body actually needs in order to survive. It sounds as though you are not moving enough and that you are eating too much fruit. Fruit has loads of hidden sugars. Stop skipping breakfast as it really is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your metabolism. If you do any exercise then try and do it before you have breakfast. This gets the body burning fat as a fuel and not food that is in your stomach.

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