Worried about maintenance after the we... - Weight Loss Support

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Worried about maintenance after the weight loss…

Lettikitten profile image
Lettikitten2022 July

Hello everyone,

Firstly, can I just say that from having a look around the forum, what an amazing, supportive and kind bunch you all are! Some forums can get kind of nasty or patronising, but every post I’ve read so far on here is just so warm and encouraging.

Now, I’m newish to this weight loss thing. I’ve tried in the past to shift a few pounds here and there but it never really stuck, and looking back, I wish I was now the weight I thought was “too big” back then!

Anyway, a few years ago, I stopped drinking alcohol for a couple of years. Even made it through lockdown without a drop! (And that was alongside homeschooling 3 children, one with additional needs. How I managed that, I don’t know.) But for some reason last July, I popped open the bottle of champagne my husband’s colleague got him Christmas 2019. And then I couldn’t stop again. I drank a couple of glasses of wine or beer most nights from then on. Sometimes none, sometimes 4 or 5…

I became unhappy with myself for this bad habit, so I gave it up again a few weeks ago and I wholeheartedly know I’m over it again. But I noticed that, along with alcohol, my dietary habits have worsened too. A lot of chocolate, the odd takeaway and much less fruit and proper veg. (Always chuck some salad leaves on every meal, made me feel less guilty I suppose.) And I knew I’d put on weight, but there was this moment last week when I realised it was more than I thought. My daughter had her prom at school, and photos were being taken. I was happily looking at them on the school website when I was shocked to see the back view of me and I didn’t recognise myself! (Well, clearly I did - but only from my hair and dress.) It really upset me and I vowed that I was going to put a stop to it and reverse it.

I purchased the year subscription to Nutracheck, which is brilliant - so insightful. But then I did what I do best (hmm…) and started researching, and worrying, and overthinking. I had originally intended to go on a 1200 calorie diet, so I could get rid of weight fast, but found I could only fit in about 1000-1100 over those days. And I read that restricting too much means it’s harder to maintain afterwards. So I upped my calories to 1400 a day, feeling like this might make slower progress, but hopefully I should be able to sustain that. I still find it hard to clock that number, I always come under by at least 100, but I’m trying. I’m finding it hard to eat so much!

I’m eating the right things: lots of veg, fruit, protein, no junk, some good carbs (brown rice, wholemeal small slices of bread.) but according to the app, the calories never quite get there.

And this is where my problem is: apparently, as the internet would have me believe, 1400 calories isn’t enough for a day in women and if I were to eat this many a day forever, I would be slowly starving myself to death. But on the flip side, I’ve read that once you’ve lost weight, you have to keep your calories near enough what they were when you were in a deficit forever more or the weight will come back on and fast! So which is it? I initially thought, well stuff it, I feel full and happy and not lacking - surely my nutritional needs are being met? Other than eating junk food, I’ve never been much of a big eater. I’ve never thought about getting enough calories before! I just assumed I was always way over. But cut the junk food, and I suppose there’s not a lot. And that’s eating what I would class as enough food - there’s only so many vegetables you can fit in in a day! I know when I’m smaller, I won’t need as many calories anyway, because my resting metabolism/set point/other fancy name all the diet and fitness people on the net seem to call it, will be lower. But can 1400 calories be enough forever? If I force myself (after weight loss) to 1600, will input weight on? I can only imagine managing it by bringing back chocolate, which I’m happy to leave out right now. I don’t want to muck this up. I want to do it the first time and stick to it forever. But I don’t want to hurt my health the other way either, by not eating enough.

Surely other people, the slim people who find it easy to stay slim, must not eat that much? Not to starve themselves, but because they feel full and stop and don’t eat many snacks etc. They probably don’t even think about it.

But that’s always been my problem; overthinking.

I’m lucky in that I only have about a stone to lose, but I am 36 now and notice that the weight has come on from not all that much “bad habits” in general. My husband is lucky to eat and drink whatever he wants and not really put on much, so maybe there’s a hormonal aspect to mine.

Please can someone reassure me that this will all be ok? And I’m not going to starve myself without knowing or force myself to eat more and put all the weight back on once I’ve lost it? What do you eat per day that has successfully helped you lose weight and more importantly maintain it? Is there much difference? Do you feel healthier for it? Not deprived or tired etc? Does it rule your life now?

I hope to be at my target by November, I’m happy not to rush (too much) but I’m also quite impatient!

I hope this all makes sense, I’ve got so many questions but I can’t seem to form them properly.

Thank you so much if you’ve read this far, I do waffle. Sorry about that. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum next time :) xx

8 Replies
BridgeGirl profile image
BridgeGirlAdministrator

Hello Lettikitten, great to have you with us.

Complicated, isn't it? 🙄 We used to have a member of the forum who once said, "Eating shouldn't require a post-graduate degree". That's always stuck with me. And the other good tip I picked up here is, "If the way in which you lose weight is unsustainable, then your results are going to be unsustainable".

I think you're very wise to pay attention to your health now, when you don't have a whole lot to lose. If you can find a healthy way of eating for the long term, especially with meals you enjoy, you're onto a winner.

You don't have to think in terms of calories: that can be very misleading: I'm sure you know that 100 cals of ice cream (or wine) and 100 cals of green veg have a very different effect on the body, though if you just follow the calories line, they should be the same.

Have a look at this straightforward plan and see if it would work for you - no need to count anything and it should also be flexible enough for the whole family, without having to be making different meals phcuk.org/wp-content/upload...

There's loads of support and information here so look through all these Pinned Posts healthunlocked.com/weight-l... and join in wherever you like - the weigh in and daily diary are good starting points and you'll soon get to know people. There's also the DrinkLess Club, though you may already be managing that. Anyway, look through them all.

Finally, here's some reading and viewing on the topic of calories: it might give you a different perspective healthunlocked.com/weight-l...

Good luck

Lettikitten profile image
Lettikitten2022 July in reply to BridgeGirl

Thank you so much for your lovely reply. Those links are all super helpful, and the calorie article is really interesting. As is the whole food meal plan! I always thought meals needed pasta or rice or potatoes, to bulk them up or there wouldn’t be enough substance. But I’ve never really enjoyed them as they are (except for a good crispy skinned jacket potato 😋) So that’s great to know. I worry about a diet of mainly chicken/fish and veg not being “enough”, but then I think that diets from the forties/fifties etc, probably didn’t have 2000 calories, and they all carried on in fairly good health with no real obesity crisis. So I do sometimes wonder about the whole “you need this many calories in order to exist.”

Anyway, thank you again, so much, for your thoughtful reply. It’s helped a lot :)

Twiggynot profile image
Twiggynot1st 7lbs

Hello Lettikitten. Thank you for highlighting something that has been puzzling me! I know I can lose weight ( this is the third time I have done it!). My difficulty is maintaining a healthy weight once I have got there!. The first two times I have lost weight I went onto really strict, reduced calorie diets. Then I stopped this dieting, relaxed and resorted to old eating habits and the weight piled back on….and more! This time I have tackled things differently! I have cut out most of the high sugar, highly processed junk. I never have eaten much fatty stuff. Instead, I have been eating much more fruit and veg - no cakes, puddings etc. I don’t count calories. I am trying to be more active. My weight is coming off but much much more slowly than the first two times. However, I am trying to see this more as a long term lifestyle change rather than a DIET per se. I had a massive health scare last year which really brought me face to face with my own mortality. I realised that if I want to see my grandchildren grow up I needed to take action. I realised that Eating sensibly and losing weight is something we actually do for ourselves and is far more than looking good for a special photo on a special day! I had never looked at the weight/ diet issue this way before. I do fall off the bandwagon from time to time - last weeks heat ( ice creams) combining with my husbands birthday cake were a disaster! But, I looked on it as a treat and have managed quite quickly to get back on track ( I hope - weigh in tomorrow)!

I hope you are successful in getting rid of that excess weight. You have 3 children and you need to be there for them, fit and well, to see them grow up. Losing weight and cutting the alcohol is the right way to go to achieve this. I understand your impatience but weight loss is a slow process if you want to do it healthily! Doing it healthily will also, in turn, set good examples etc for your children. Win win all round, I think?

I always try to do the weekly weigh in on this site. For me, it provides that bit of discipline and encouragement from others that I need! I do it on Sundays but you can chose the day of the week that suits you best. I have found that, in some way, the regular weights in are like friends although nobody knows each other’s identities! A very different but very supportive group of friends.

Good luck!

BridgeGirl profile image
BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to Twiggynot

Lovely reply, Twiggynot :)

Eryl profile image
ErylVisitor

I've never counted a calorie in my life. If you're careful not to eat the wrong foods you'll naturally restrict your calories. The worst food for weight gain is anything made with wheat as it increases the gycaemic index of any food you eat at the same time. I happened to hear the other day that conversley vineagar or other acids like citric acid will tend to lower the effective GI of foods so that sushi, fish and chips or meal with pickles will not be as bad as you would think. Other foods are ones made with refined ingredients like sugar or flour.My mother told me the other day that she bumped into a neighbour whilst shopping and noticed that she had dramatically lost a lot of weight since they last met. the neighbour said that she had changed her diet to just meat and a little veg. To my mind that is a bit extreme but the important thing is that the diet cut out all the refined carbohydrate.

Bee-bop profile image
Bee-bopMaintainer

Hi Lettikitten,

Cutting out alcohol is fantastic as it really does pile on the pounds when not accounted for. Quite a while ago, when I tried to calorie count on the NHS 12 week programme, I found I was having to really tweak my food because the drink was taking up all my calories which was ridiculous. I gave up in 2018 when I broke up with my ex partner. My last drink being a bottle of champagne to myself in May that year!

2019 I found out I was pre diabetic and that is when I started my weight loss journey. I lost the weight by ditching sugars, swapping things like sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, wholegrain rice instead of white rice etc. I eat tons of veg and salad and am wheat and dairy free anyway. In lockdown I joined this forum and lost weight with a tape measure as I don't have scales at home. I did slimming world to get here and am happy with the results and i currently maintain my weight mostly although there's always times that involve cake or a meal out to allow for I don't go too crazy.

I think the main thing to remember is that losing weight is not the end of the journey. No one can eat cake everyday and stay slim without exercise to maintain their intake or pulling it back somewhere else. Some things are trigger foods or drink that you have to watch, have occasionally or give up.

For now try not to get too scared if you go under or over your amount but think about any healthy swaps you can have as well as some treats so you don't feel deprived. 100 cals of nuts can be 14/15 almonds/10/11 cashews or 8/9 walnut halves or 30g of cheese or 2 small eggs or cup of milk if you feel you want to add to your daily amount.

Good luck on your journey 👍

Lettikitten profile image
Lettikitten2022 July

Wow, thank you all so much for your responses! I just finished work and sat down for a cup of matcha to read through them.

Such great advice from all of you, and I love to hear other’s experiences - it really helps to know to know you’re not the only one. Sometimes it can really feel that way when you’re going about your day to day.

I’ve had a busy old day today, it was delivery day in my store, which is always a physically taxing day. But I’ve had my cuppa, so now it’s time to cook some healthy quorn mince bolognese - only instead of spaghetti, which is what my family are having, I’m having a sweet potato!

Still have no cravings for any junk, I hope this resolve lasts! The health benefits are outweighing the brief pleasure I’d get from chocolate. I feel great that I feel easy about this now (and it’s pmt week for me, where I’m notorious for going through a few Dairy Milks! But not now, and I don’t even miss it.)

Thank you all so much again, I really do appreciate your time and kind replies xx

Trimmerteacher profile image
TrimmerteacherMaintainer

Hi Lettikitten and welcome. There is a Maintainers' thread which appears here on the first of every month, and you might find that helpful when it comes to maintaining your weight. You will certainly get the support there, but in answer to your question about what slim people do, well they are constantly watching what they eat! Maybe this is just true for women, because I know a lot of people who say their OH can eat what he likes. But I don't know many women who can - and that includes women I know who have always been slim.I lost weight here about five years ago counting calories. But these days if I need to lose a few pounds again (like right now!) I tend to cut out or cut down on carbs. I cut out rice, pasta, cereal, bread, cake obviously, and potatoes for a week or two. It works for me (when I can stick with it). We do eat very healthily, lots of veg, fish, eggs and meat, and I enjoy cooking ( I know that's not always easy with young children), but smaller portions of good food does seem to help with maintenance. I would say stop fretting about calories, eat when you're hungry and eat till you are full, good healthy meals and try cutting down on anything beige. Works for me.

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