Giving yourself a leeway

Discussion in 'CD 1000-maintenance' started by KD, 3 August 2009 Social URL.

  1. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Yesterday, a client of mine said "I want to get down to 10st, so that I can give myself a 7lbs leeway"

    I was thinking about this on my walk this morning. Why would she want to do that?

    I hear on other forums

    "I'll allow 4lbs (for water weight)"

    Okay, so she's eating exactly what her body needs and the scales say a 4lb gain (for water weight;)). What's she going to do about it then? Get water tablets? Go to the doctor as she has gain 4lbs in water? Ummm.

    Back to the 7lbs over overeating. Why wait until 7lbs? To me that's a bit like a kleptomaniac coming out of rehab, determined to deal with their issues saying "I'll steal £100 here and there, but as soon as it gets to £700, I'll do something about it".

    It doesn't make sense.

    That's not to say there will be times when they might be tempted to steal, but surely they should be thinking about returning the money immediately.

    Okay, so we know that it's not always easy to get the head back into place. But why preplan for the scales to reach a certain weight before we consider it a problem?

    Sometimes life is just too darn good to worry about controlling what we are eating. Sometimes the food is just too good also ;) but I feel it's important to deal with it as soon as possible, before the scales report the damage.

    Just say you did put on 7lbs fat. theoretically that's 24,500 extra calories above maintenance (and doesn't quite work like that, but that's what people believe).

    So they are saying as soon as I overeat 24,500 calories, I'll reduce my food by 24,500 calories. Eeek. That's pretty tough. Does my client really want to do that because she didn't deal with it sooner?

    Anyway, just thoughts :)
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  3. MissAma

    MissAma Silver Member

    That's a point I've long and hard wondered about. Especially since the mister seems to fluctuate a good 2/3 kg all the time since he entered maintenance. Surely there has to be a daily fluctuation allowance though, right? I mean how do you, and other successful maintainers deal with it? If it's a weekly WI then maybe it's easier to set it to 2lbs and then react but at least when coming off the plan and if one WIs daily *blush* there has to be some allowance before the big freak out. It's overkill to react by reducing 100 or 200 kcals the day after the scale went up 2lbs during TOTM, isn't it?

    Basically, when do you get alarmed, at any change at all?
  4. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....

    It probably doesn't make sense and maybe it won't when/if:)fingerscrossed:) I get to goal. But, for those of us who have been fat for years and years and thought we might never make it and who can't remember what they looked like at a sensible weight it's a kind of safety net you see.
    There's also the (natural?) fluctuation in weight. I've been sticking to the diet 100% - 810. I weighed 12st on my scales on Sunday morning but 12.9 last night. I didn't panic, this morning it was down to 12 again.
    I don't want to be rigid, neurotic or overcontrolling about my weight in the future, it just isn't me. So a small leeway 4-5-6-7-8-lbs? seems sensible to me. It isn't the beginning of the slippery slope. So, in the future I want to be 'around 11st,' to forget about CD for a while, eat sensibly and just catch up from time to time with folk on here.
  5. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Exactly. Which is why the scales are only a tool, not the real deal ;)

    I weigh daily. If I've overeaten the day before and the scales show a loss, I cut back a tiny bit anyway. If I've overeaten and the scales show a gain, then I cut back a tiny bit anyway. In fact, I don't let the scales bully me into anything. I make calories in vs calories work instead.

    If there is any big freak out, which there shouldn't be really, it will come after I've eaten too much, not when I hop on the scales.

    Absolutely. There again, if my rough estimate allows me to have 150 calories in crisps for the day (not that I work like that) and I have them early in the morning, then it makes sense not to add another couple of packets later in the day. One packet of crisps will give me a 2lb gain on the scales...4 packets of crisps will give me a 2lb gain on the scales. I know one pack is fine, 4 is excessive. If I go by the scales then after 1 pack of crisps I would need to cut my cals by 7,000. Umm...think not.

    The trick is to find out what you need in the first place :D If I'm eating more than that, then I'm aware that I am. Perhaps because I'm more in tune now. Does a person who knows they are eating too much have to wait until the scales report it?;)
  6. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    But I've been fat for years. All my life until Cambridge...well, not quite so much as a child..just a bit chubby. I'm about the same age as you Bess, so like you, it was a long time ;)
    Absolutely. So you would use that as a safety net? The fact that the scales show a fluctuation in your weight would be enough for you to panic?

    But, isn't that a contradition? You say that your body fluctuates (which it should do), so what will you do if it shows that 4lbs leeway?

    Will that be enough to change how much you eat? What if it's just a natural fluctuation? How will you know if you need to cut back, or if it's just your body being 'weird' like we women get?
  7. MissAma

    MissAma Silver Member

    I absolutely see what you mean here and can't agree any more. I think it's the definition of leeway that confuses us here. I was not advocating doing nothing despite a slip the day before simply because the scales didn't reflect it, far be it from me, in fact, I have been quick to insist the mister jumps on the Wii and weighs with regularity and after huge work convinced him to get a food diary despite a few weeks of no variation. I think what I meant by "freak out" is not the normal and necessary action of correcting the next day in numbers of kcal or carbs, correcting at the gym or correcting by jumping back on plan 110% with renewed dedication, let's refer to it as temporary, quick corrective measures but more drastic, longer term measures such as cutting kcals or carbs in half for a while or even returning to CD after a certain number of lbs piled on.

    Essentially I absolutely agree the scales should never dictate it -although I have to say I am relieved you WI daily and I can continue my little OCD habit- but your own Jimminy Cricket of food should dictate correction if that's of the temporary daily type (lowering food intake or exercise). What I was thinking the leeway refers to, is a sort of emergency plan to return to one of the phases of the diet if one's weight goes over with more than Xlbs in Y interval of time. Case in which I want me one of those too. I know to some that sounds like planning for failure, to me it sounds like I am prepared and know what I will do without reacting out of panic. Much like right now, the emergency plan if I cheat is to get back on the horse calmly and never think about it again yet it's not a plan I have had to use since I started CD.

    Boy I'm dizzy and tired, hope that made some sense :)
  8. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

    Very interesting... KD, you have been reading my mind again. I have just posted about setting a lower goal, as had planned to anyway, but after my festival break & then break away in France. The plan was to get to 10.7 and then see that 7lbs zone between there & 11st as a zone I would stay in.

    It is about leeway really, but I like seeing it as a safe zone better. I want to be at the bottom end of safe zone as much as possible, and if I start spending too much time at top end of it, then will cut back on carbs to get back there. You are right, I know when I have eaten too much or chosen less wisely... but the maintaining is still very new to me and my bad habits are still lurking not too far away. And a bit of me wants to push boundaries as far as I can... have been doing just that over last 4 weeks since working away & having bad cold, then festival, then holiday... now scales tell me I have settled in a new place, over 11st, a place I do not want to be. And if I listen, my body tells me I am eating too much also, and letting myself off hook too many times.

    Also, looking at holiday pics I think I can lose a wee bit more... I can see that I look better, but not sure if I look slim, if that makes sense. I FEEL slim, but pics tell a different story? (Having said that I know my head is messed up just now so who knows what I am seeing really!)

    This is a good thread with food-for-thought point to make, just at the right time for me. Trying to take it on board. I hope I get to a place when that leeway/zone way of thinking is not needed... I just don't think I am there yet!

  9. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Yeah. I love my scales :D Not to tell me what to eat, but a gentle reminder of where I've come from and how nice it is to see lower numbers. Also helps me with any ostrich syndrome symptoms that I can get. In other words, it reminds me to be responsible around food, whether it's a gain on the scales or a loss..makes no difference. It reminds me of where I've come from, what I've done.

    Yep, I understand that, but as long as you know the principle of dealing with any overeating there and then and how you are going to do that long before the scales send you into panic, then it's not really planning for's a back up plan if all else fails, rather than The Plan

    What concerns me a little are people who use the scales to dictate, who preplan this...rely on them to dictate their food diary for that day/week/month, instead of trying to deal with the issue itself.

    Balance again. A healthy relationship, not only with food, but with the scales :)
  10. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Good to see you back Katy:wavey: Glad you had a good time:cool:

    Yep. Understand that. I certainly used the scales to a certain extent to see how much I needed. Early days as you say :)

    Your body speaks wisely in this instance :D

    Fair enough. Something to aim for though when you get to where you want to be weight wise, and have worked out what you need to maintain...blah blah.

    Don't get me wrong folks. I'm not saying ignore the scales completely, just make this a 2nd, not a 1st. The priority needs to be eating properly. Then 'hopefully' it's easier to interpret what the scales are saying :)
    Last edited: 3 August 2009
  11. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    BTW Katy. If cutting back on carbs helps you to reduce calories, then fine, but you know it's only cutting back on the calories that causes fat loss. Cutting back on carbs will make the scales give an even more inaccurate weight loss.

    But as I say, if it helps you to reduce calories, fine ;)
  12. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

    Oh... you are right! I think the CD way (& the steps) has made me extra careful of carbs, and more aware of trying to include protein, and I guess that way of eating suits me better than the mindless sugar & carb fests I indulged in not so very long ago. (As a veggie, my meals were woefully lacking in protein before). So I have convinced myself that carbs are slightly menacing! I can keep this in mind while scoffing peanut butter... high fat, high salt... and still kid myself I am eating in a better way than before. Well, maybe, but only just!

    I do know that carbs will trigger hunger for me, ie hunger for more carbs and then sugar. So I am wary with good reason, but of course... it is cals.

    But... can you explain what you mean by cutting carbs making an inaccurate reading on scales? Do you mean you might go into ketosis & lose glycogen store? I hadn't thought of that. Was thinking more of keeping the carb balance good, but can see that you would have to be careful to avoid the seesaw of ketosis?

  13. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Well, I suppose the reading is accurate enough..just not the 'fat' reading if you know what I mean.
    Reduce carbs and you'll lose some glycogen, regardless of ketosis, and along with the glycogen, you lose the 3 to 4X it's weight in water. So, ketosis or no ketosis, they'll be more of a water weight loss showing on the scales..which of course, will go up again when you eat carbs.

    Nothing to do with fat so as long as you take that into consideration when you weigh, you'll be okay :)

    I don't think that it necessarily hurts to go in and out of ketosis. After all, many people who diet the 'normal' way do this every time they go to sleep (think manky mouth in the morning...along with no massive hunger even though we've gone hours without sleep).

    The ketosis isn't deep and is quickly knocked out with brekkie, but it's there in first thing so probably very normal :)
  14. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....


    So this is the answer?
  15. Bess

    Bess Plod, plod, plod.....

    Well yeah, it will. As long as I only take notice of the weight at the same time of day. I just don't think it matters if I don't stay exactly the same weight all the time - a few (and I mean a few) lbs less or more is ok. It's not going to be a big deal. It still isn't the slippery slope. Hopefully, for me it'll just be 'normal' whatever that means!
  16. Serena A

    Serena A Can't think of a title

    Just wanted to chime in and say that for me, the leeway school of thought has been the catalyst for the struggles I am having now.

    I told myself that I would allow my weight to fluctuate upwards by around 7lb or so, which it did whilst I was on holiday in June (although I didn't weigh myself I know from my measurements that's roughly what I'd have put on). And with the amount of calories I consumed, a good amount of that would have been fat. Ok I thought to myself, I've put on a few lbs. Not ideal, but no big deal because I still fit in my clothes and I'm still within my leeway weight.

    Where it all went wrong is that this leeway gave me "permission" not to tackle the gain immediately, and I told myself there was no point worrying about it until my birthday was out of the way which was three weeks later.

    The problem was this led to yet another couple of extra lbs sneaking on because I wanted to make the most of my "time off" between my holiday/birthday. Not consciously I might add, but my old habits are so deeply ingrained that it hasn't taken much for them to resurface.

    So my birthday came and went, but I'm already so used to being a size bigger again and indulging a little more often than I should that it's been horrendously hard to get my head back into gear. "It's not fair" fat me pouts, "I want to eat such and such", and because I didn't clamp down on myself earlier it is that much harder to quiet that voice down. I'm not huge now by any means but a few more indulgences, and it won't be long before I will be. And of course once you're at the top end of your leeway weight, you have no leeway left, which increases the pressure and subsequent feelings of "fat and miserable"-ness should you screw up.

    I know that everyone has different issues/triggers around food but I just wanted share my experience. An acceptance that you'll fluctuate by a lb or two on the scales because of water retention etc is all that's needed - if you've not overeaten then it's not a problem. You don't need to give yourself a leeway - it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

    IMHO of course ;) and sorry for rambling on :rolleyes: :)
  17. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    So are you saying that if the scales show a 4lb gain (even if it's water weight), you'll cut back on what you eat?

    Why would you do that?
  18. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Got it Serena :clap: Exactly what I was trying to say :D

    And this is the sort of thing that happened to me when I've tried to maintain before.

    I'd like to pick out some bits from your if you don't mind.

    And that's the other thing, people who go by their clothes. It doesn't really work does it.

    Exactly! and more's to the point, it was the eating that needed tackling rather than the gain.

    Yep, and if you can sort out the eating part, there's no need for a leeway is there.

    Spot on :clap:
  19. Serena A

    Serena A Can't think of a title

    Except I think I may have managed the feat of using more words than you :D Being concise was never my strong point :rolleyes:

    Exactly - still battling. Sadly my brain didn't realise that as soon as my eyes saw my goal weight on the scales that all my food issues should just disappear...haha if only!! I'll get there though, just need to keep plugging away at it :)
  20. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Nah...I still won that one :D

    Mine neither. The English teacher would ask me to do a précis of an article, and it always confused me. My answer was always "Why?? Seems good enough as it is without me fiddling with it" :D Such a rebel :eek:
    Ah, you will. Sometimes it's two steps forward and one back.
  21. Porgeous

    Porgeous Chilling

    My two pence worth.... I too have never used or thought about a leeway. I had a rough goal in mind and stopped when I felt comfortable with myself. I now weigh daily to monitor things and react accordingly, I have no upper or lower limit just an assessment of where I am at. One of the most important things I learnt from KD was not to react too quickly to what the scales tell you, it has to be read in conjunction with what you are eating which has already been discussed in this thread. The scales can jump up 2 or 3 lbs but if I know that I haven't been over eating it won't be a true gain in fat and it will fall off again over the next few days. On the other hand if I have been stuffing my face chances are the scales may be making a point!!


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