What exactly IS maintenance?

Discussion in 'CD 1000-maintenance' started by coley144, 18 December 2009.

  1. coley144

    coley144 Creating my life

    I've been pondering maintenance as I continue on my journey towards it.

    To some it may mean staying the same weight all the time.

    Whereas my fella fluctuates half a stone either way of his ideal weight (after holidays etc) but would see that as maintenance.

    I can see myself panicking if I go up more than a few pounds and thinking its all over but is that really a sensible way to think?

    How do you define maintenance?
  2. alexmummy07

    alexmummy07 Well-Known Member

    Personally I think KD has some fantastic thoughts on maintenance in her 'tips' thread at the top of all this - that for me sums it all up.
    PS - you have done so well so far :) Keep going xx
  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Good question :)

    I think people have various definitions of what maintenance is.

    Some will 'diet' when they've put on a few pounds. Some will eat throughout the year, but diet when the maintenance anniversary is due :D

    Some don't diet in the usual sense, though will cut back just a little after a period where things haven't gone to plan. Some don't do anything more than taking care of what they are eating when they eat it.

    Umm, well I must admit that I think this is the downfall of many over the longer term for various quite complex reasons. Generally speaking, I believe the majority of folk who've put on weight after a holiday (either because they have water retention after a long flight, or because they've eaten different things and been unable to estimate portion sizes or calorie amounts...or that they've just ate a bit more) will find that if they just go back to their previous 'maintaining' way of eating, they will lose it over 2/3 weeks or maybe sooner.

    Otherwise it's a case of just being a little more conscious of what they eat and perhaps moving a little more to deal with it.

    BTW, maintenance has tried to be defined by researchers
    Click Here

    There is currently no consensus on the definition of weight maintenance in adults. Issues to consider in setting a standard definition include expert opinion, precedents set in previous studies, public health and clinical applications, comparability across body sizes, measurement error, normal weight fluctuations and biologic relevance. To be useful, this definition should indicate an amount of change less than is clinically relevant, but more than expected from measurement error or fluctuations in fluid balance under normal conditions. It is an advantage for the definition to be graded by body size and to be easily understood by the public as well as scientists. Taking all these factors into consideration, the authors recommend that long-term weight maintenance in adults be defined as a weight change of <3% of body weight.

    That's worked well for me :)

    Oh and BTW again. I did a thread some time back about having a leeway on the scales for maintenance. I'll see if I can find it.
  4. KD

    KD Gone fishing

  5. alexmummy07

    alexmummy07 Well-Known Member

    KD - this is all very very relevant to me after a time of not being able to count my own calories etc for a full weekend wedding and 2 Birthday parties where the healthy choices were not available. As I put on my thread I am (in my eyes) too many lbs up, but really trying to fight the urge to 'strict diet' my way back down, (especially as I am in the midst of a heavy cold, and my son has Sus Swine flu aswell). I know for me that's when the starve/binge cycle can occur, so am trying to learn to just eat sensibly and back to how I was just before the wedding a medium carb 1200 cals a day as I find I am very carb sensitive.
    This, of course, with all the festive treats and temptations around, is proving a little difficult, but I am working hard on it, and learning to use the 'Pause' a lot. I am so pleased I have my new charger to be back on Mini's - this is when I really need to be learning, reading and so on, to get my head right back into this.

    I think I can, I know I can...x
  6. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Ha. Crikey...the last thing I want to do at a birthday party is make healthy choices..well, unless those healthy choices happened to be something I was craving anyway.

    I have enough healthy stuff over the course of a week to cover my nutritional needs. Sometimes I want other things and parties are great for that :D

    There could be a reason for your 'ups' that might not be fat related. A cold can give me a water 'up'. Eating a bit more at a party isn't going to give me a fat gain. Well, not more than 1/2 ounce anyway. If my eating day happens to be low carb (not purposely..just the way it can happen some days), then I can guarantee an 'up' on my normal eat day.

    Of course, you do need to keep an eye on the scales, but it's a poor indicator for fat gain on a day to day basis.

    Good on ya. It's especially hard this time of year, but important to try and keep a grip (gently). Personally I'm not a fan of going under 1500 for maintenance because of changes in leptin levels and the stronger urge to binge can backfire on me.

    You do need to find what works for you, but sometimes I see people's choices and I wonder if it will work for them long term, because that's what maintenance is really about; finding something you can live with, today, christmas day, holidays etc. Something without extremes either way. A way where food loses it's issues and cutting back a little feels comfortable and not mind consuming or hard work.

    We all can if we want it enough :)
  7. alexmummy07

    alexmummy07 Well-Known Member

    Thanks KD - it's related to the weekend wedding too, which was VERY much carb related and started the Friday night, and ended the Monday morning, much much more carbs than I am used to, then only had 4 days to eat normally ish before the 2 Birthday parties, and now have been bogged down by this nasty cold too. Fun times huh!
    I think I'm writing wrongly - I won't be sticking with around 1200 for the majority of maintenance as such, but 10 stone 1, was my aim for this year that was my big goal to get to a 'healthy BMI' and for the first time in my life be finally classed as 'normal' and not overweight, and after that in the new year to continue and get down to 9 Stone 10 which has always been my overall goal weight, so am not quite ready for the full on maintenance yet, just the very beginning of it in a sense over the festive period to not gain anymore, and to keep the 'control' in my head or I guess more so in my hands where it should be.
  8. alexmummy07

    alexmummy07 Well-Known Member

    PS - silly me didn't even think the cold could be adding to the scales, but yes of course that could be adding to it - must keep glugging away- if only I could convince my newly 2 year old that it would do him good to drink more fluids too...x
  9. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Sounds like a good weekend :D

    Let me just throw something out here to anyone reading, not at you particular.

    2 groups of people go away for a weekend.

    Group A have been dieting 'hard' for this weekend so they look their best :) They've been low to mod carbing as carbs bloat them (they reckon..possibly :)) They high carb at the weekend and come home to find a 7lb gain. Is it fat? Nah. Maybe a tiny bit if they've really overeaten, but in the grand scheme of things it's nothing that can't be rectified really easily.

    But, they panic and either go back to even lower carbs..obviously carbs don't agree with them ;) or they think "oh bovver...never mind, Christmas is coming, I'll make the most of this time and start again in January".

    Group B have been eating normally. They too have a high carb weekend. Probably more carbs than normal. They eat a little more than before, but not much because they've been eating similar foods throughout the year. They still come home to a 3lbs gain, but don't panic. They get back to what they were eating pre the weekend and it comes off.

    So which group has the biggest trouble maintaining? Group A I would say. Who has put on more fat? Possibly group A again, but the difference is negligible.

    Getting back to you, if you are carb sensitive and have a heavy carb weekend, then you will get more water weight issues as your body will go back to 'normal' glycogen levels. You'll need to take that into account and be more careful about panicking (glad to hear you're trying not to panic:)) It's important IMO to remember that when low or moderate carbing, your scale weight isn't really your 'true' weight so to speak as there will be some glycogen depletion there.

    Carb heavy weekends. In the most case, a calorie is a calorie, though people do react in different ways to those calories, but perhaps not as quickly or massively than they may think. Carb heavy weekends can happen and should be enjoyed IMO, but overeating will cause the fat gain much more than a reaction to carbs. But of course, carb sensitivity can make you feel sluggish and bloat. It can even possibly mean that a carb sensitive person puts on more fat in the long term, but maybe not as much as they think and over a long time span than they account for.

    I do believe (and again, not aimed at you), that many people feel they are carb sensitive when they may not have explored enough about what it really is. Putting on a ton of weight after low carbing wont mean anything. Putting on a few pounds of fat after months or years of high carbing might.

    I read on another forum about a group that wanted to find out if they were carb sensitive. It took them months of macro and fat recording to be sure and those who eventually turned out to be carb sensitive knew they couldn't overdo the carbs when they were away because it made them feel so ill they couldn't enjoy their 'outing'.

    You may well be carb sensitive, but I see others who are so sure but for the wrong reasons, and still panic when they read the scales after high carbing forgetting the glycogen issues after low carbing.
  10. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Aww bless. If he's two, he's probably drinking exactly what he needs...cos they are clever like that :D
  11. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Ack, don't worry. When people say things, I'm not judging what they are doing, just seen something in a message that prompts me to reply for the general reader IYKWIM.

    So if I say 1500kcals minimum, I'm not usually taking into account anything more than a general number for the general public doing general maintenance blah blah :D Sometimes it's more personal, but we are all unique and have different goals or are at different stations in our 'journeys' :)
  12. coley144

    coley144 Creating my life

    Thank you for your replies.

    Alexmummy07 - I have read KD's thread at the top and yes it is very interesting. I like the idea of not dieting but just eating like a thin person but I suppose the reason I started the thread was to ask a more specific question - about how you define that. I do think KDs right but I think everyone will have their own opinion of what that means. I'm interested as I form my own I suppose.

    KD - I do think my fellas way of thinking is more sensible to be honest. I don't want a rigid diet when I finish losing - but since I started dieting my tastes have changed anyway. I also don't want the all or nothing nightmare.

    My sister said something interesting. She thinks the problem is that 'party' food is something we now eat all the time. Chocolate, cake, ice cream - all celebration food that people see as normal every day fayre. Maybe the point is to put it back in it's place - and have it at parties. Of course that's can make Christmas a problem depending on the number of parties but I agree with KD - if I've put on over a holiday I have lost over the week or so when I get back without really trying.

    I suppose I am a perfectionist so I think a lot about maintenance because I want to define my own version of 'perfection' in a realistic way.

    Just edited to add that I am probably a bit weird in that I didn't set my own goal. It's set by the NHS if I want IVF treatment so it is a pretty rigid goal weight for me. I was dieting before this goal was set so I want to lose the weight but I'm not actually so fixed on a weight figure myself - just when it feels right.
    Last edited: 18 December 2009
    Katycakes likes this.
  13. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    For me, maintaining weight has nothing to do with weight at all. It's 'normal' eating and yes, I've done a thread on that too :D :D

    Exactly, so since a maintainer (IMO anyway) has the chance to eat that at any point, there's no need to go overboard at the party. The party becomes the entertainment rather than the food. The social aspect. l can go to a party and not eat anything and have a fab time. I don't 'not' eat because I'm watching my weight though. I just don't feel the need to eat because I've had enough before hand or these days, I forget about the food. Other times I may eat more, but never overdose much. Just a little of what I really fancy.

    It's taken a long time to get to this point though.


    Maybe, but wouldn't have worked for me because I would have then wanted it at other times and felt overly deprived if I couldn't have it. BUT there's a lot to be said for putting it in it's rightful place and not considering it routine to eat these types of food too often. Not because we have to deprive ourselves, just that food isn't for that purpose and we indulge too much.

    I hear parents talk about kiddos lunchboxes and say "but they must have their crisps or choc bar for a treat" and I just want to say "Why?????"
  14. MissAma

    MissAma Well-Known Member

    Oh how KD "heard" this from me too. I actually and rather strangely became obsessed with maintenance, what it will entail, how much, when, how since I had lost 50lbs or so and I was 20 BMI points away from goal.

    My story is strange and thanks to medical issues my whole utterly planned route became far more scenic and I am only now entering my own maintenance plan next month. I still struggle with the mental concepts involved. I feel the leeway thread says a lot, it speaks about a mental attitude that disallows us to binge or gorge as a result of a mistake or of a scale move which is, I think, most important. Two things are.

    Having a plan and avoiding panic. I do believe that's crucial. I know that if I have a plan, even if I stray I will return and I am likely to make sane decisions if I do not panic enough to give myself eating excuses.

    Looking back it's ridiculous what illogical mechanisms would allow me to go off the edge. "What does it matter anymore, I already had X, I can't gain more then Y, I may as well eat Z as well!" most often as well as stuff like "Oh but it was an emergency/was in front of me/ was necessary socially" and so on. I feel so much less crazy not to think in those clearly delluded terms anymore, it was nearly like I wished for limit situations so that I could justify losing it!

    I ramble, all I wanted to say was that I have been where you are, thinking about maintenance long before my time, I think it's a great method to ensure your head is in the right place when the time comes.

    Psychological issues out of the way, I am much more of an anti-carbist than KD :D I think for us IR folks it's less tolerance in numbers than going over board on calories but that's not the case for everyone and I do believe, to a degree, both count and that once you work out the right proportions to keep your weight stable, having a party, a night out, a Xmas dinner are all fine as long as you've planned for the extent of the damage and then controlled in in one way or another.

    More or less the same here. When at the end of a failed ICSI cycle the new consultant looked at me and said in shock "but your BMI is nearly 50, I can't treat you if it's anything more than 28, you'll never be pregnant, can you lose all this weight?!?" I was hurt and upset! She was surely wrong and up a high horse for no other reason than being skinny but after two months of mopping I started shedding it and never looked back. You'll get there and much as you may dislike that they dictated what weight you should be, when you get there you'll be happy they did.

    Here's to being skinny perfect maintainers with bumps and babies next year!
  15. coley144

    coley144 Creating my life

    Thanks MissAma - I've been planning for maintenance since I started this journey back in 2005. I was upset by the conclusion my infertility was weight related (and the decision not to test for anything else) but I am very happy that I have lost the weight.

    I suppose my point was really that my stated goal is not one I set. I don't know where mine is as I haven't weighed under 12 stone since I was 14...I have no clue what I want to weigh but I'm hoping I'll know when I get there.

    What I do know is that I'm not going back where I came from. Hence this thread. I'm a research girl. I like to gather all facts and opinions then draw my own conclusions. That's why I love Minimins.

    Ps what does IR stand for?
  16. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Yeah, I was like that. I made a goal of 13 stone, but went way beyond it. In the end I picked a day for goal :D I got to a point where I couldn't hack it anymore and felt it was better to stop whilst I was ahead and go up the plans, before I fell off the wagon big time. I was happy with my weight at that point anyway.

    Me too. Few forums mention maintenance and minimins wasn't around when I got to goal. I drew many of my own conclusions to personalize my maintenance plans via researching on the web...over and over again and trying to contradict every bit of evidence so that I really understood what I needed to do.
    Insulin resistance :)
  17. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    You're probably right there. I have to admit to not going into IR in much detail. There was a time when I considered that I had this 'problem'. Each test came out with me being borderline diabetic and the water weight gains each time I fell off Atkins panicked me into wanting an official label.

    In the end I decided that I didn't want to know, because for me (and yes, just for me)
    a) I loved carbs too much to want to reduce them forever
    b) I craved carbs too much.
    c) I actually feel good on carbs. A party which includes high carb food can get me as high as any druggie :D
    d) I feel rubbish on low carb diets. Struggle to get into ketosis. Don't get that euphoric feeling that others describe.
    e) It would stop me eating what I classed as 'normally' and I didn't want that. I would rather reduce calories and have more carbs if fat gain was going to be a big issue for me on a higher carb way of eating.

    Having said that, moderate carbs suit me reasonably well. Something like 40 to 45% rather than the guidelines of 55%, but I'm not that bothered about it.

    I do realise that it's a bigger issue for some others. People who do very well on low carb diets than I.

    But my concern, albeit with my limited knowledge of IR (carb sensitivity etc), is that if you are low/moderate carbing you get a jump on the scales when you higher carb for a night or weekend. Just like people who aren't IR. The difference is that if you believe (or are IR) it's easy to think that carbs are bad for you, or you've put on a ton of weight because of the evil carbs...and then proceed to strictly diet (low carbing), which of course reduces the weight big time for the first few days. Phew...must have been those evil carbs ;)

    I feel sure (again, with my limited knowledge on the subject) that even with IR folk, fat gain doesn't happen so quick with the carb increase that a few days of higher carbs is a big enough problem to need to be very strict on cutting back the calories. I also notice that people fight the water regain tooth and nail, rather than just accept they are glycogen depleted and so gained some of the stuff back again. It's all in the interpretation on the scales IMO.

    BTW, I see more panic about glycogen gain from people low carbing in maintenance than I see from low carb dieters. It's almost as if they feel that just because they are off the official diet, the glycogen thing doesn't count anymore. My thoughts are that if they have found lowish/mod carb way of eating works well for them, fair enough, but you need to make peace with the scales on higher carb days :)
  18. alexmummy07

    alexmummy07 Well-Known Member

    KD - My next question then is - if you have been mod-carbing as I do get v bloated on carbs and usually stick to say cous cous instead of rice etc, how would you suggest getting back to a 'normal' level of carbs?
    Just take the plunge and do it and let the levels even out of the next few weeks or something else?
    Would this not mean that there will be a gain on the scales overall and so put on 'fat' weight? Or would the carbs eventually even out and so scales would even out again?
  19. MissAma

    MissAma Well-Known Member

    Here's evidence of long term insanity :) - Ah that feels like a lifetime ago :)

    MiniMins.com - Weight Loss Support Forum - View Single Post - What are you doing to prepare for maintenance?

    KD - I see your point and I also admire your acceptance when it comes to carb addiction. One of the things you first said to me about experimenting with portions in maintenance was the example about the "just the one biscuit" and I remember thinking "hmmm that's a carb, no way can anyone have just the one, I won't put myself through that, I'll just avoid the triggers alltogher, that's a bit too much experimentation and masochism for me!" and you know what? I still think that's right for me. It doesn't mean I can always avoid my addictive nature and my carb addiction -heck I'm the sort who will overdo anything even without the insuline messing it up, I am fighting a Coke zero and a Sugar Free gum overuse at the moment!- but I admire that you worked out not only how to portion and retain control but how to do so when the hormonal response is potentially overwhelming which makes me believe that either you are the most strong willed person in the universe -quite possible!- or indeed, not really IR -more probable-.

    alexmummy07 -btw, wave, haven't spoken to you in ages, well done for reaching goal!- I would put my money on an Atkins/Low carb introduction of carbs, e.g. gradually experiment with 3/5 more a week till you see a gain and then return to the previous value thus verifying what is the maximum you can have without gaining, and then ultimatelly with various splits in your menu (e.g. how many do you tolerate in one sitting, the 7 Protein Power advocates or the 10 SouthBeach says is fine and so on.)

    There are no "normal" levels. Certainly not the criminal 400 carbs a day the ADA advocated in the past!
  20. KD

    KD Gone fishing

    Which is how it should be. Question and experiment..find what works for you but keep an open mind too :)

    Probably not IR, but there again I can get addicted to anything very easily, so the carb thing is just one of many things I can struggle with. As it happens, I find I'm more addicted to carbs with fats rather than carbs on their own. Yes, I can have a very strong desire for another biscuit, or even a few packets, but I don't seem to have quite the same addiction when it comes to eating bowls and bowls of plain pasta. I'd certainly stop after a while, whereas left to my body rather than my common sense, I could happily chomp the biscuits one after the other for days, or add some pesto with the pasta or creamy sauce and the urge is huge again.

    This is very common and the last I read they found few people were addicted to carbs alone. Their triggers were nearly always for foods that were high carb, but also with fats and even some protein.

    So maybe I am the strongest willed person in the world :D, but I think not. I've spent a lot of time with drug addicts, both still dependant and also ex druggies. I've also lived with an alcoholic who gave up the booze, though he did actually have the occasional one.

    How I saw it was that I was perfectly capable of having just one, because I had done it so very many times.

    When I was at other people's houses, I never once raided their larder or rendered them unconscious because they only offered me one biscuit. I coped. When I had a puppy, I didn't kill it in a desperate attempt to get at it's doggie biscuits because there were no carbs in the house. Okay, I might have taken one when puppy wasn't looking but not if I had visitors watching me.:D

    If I was in a restaurant, I never cried over only getting one bread roll with my meal, even if I had wanted another, I could manage.

    So, why could I cope in other places, in a different environment and not when I was home alone. Surely if we are true addicts, then we would not be able to function outside the home at all. Mind you, I was getting to that point where I didn't want to leave the house as I wouldn't be able to binge, but at least I realised that I wouldn't be able to binge IYKWIM. I was never so desperate for the carbs that if I had to leave the house, I caused harm to anyone but myself in an attempt to get to plain carbs.

    So that's what turned my thinking around. Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone needs to. Whatever works and whatever we can manage AND whatever we want to live with.

    Personally, living on lower carbs is my idea of hell and I think anyone who can do that must have the strongest willpower in the world :D :D

    alexmummy: yes, as misama says, you can increase carbs until you gain (aka atkins). Cambridge does it by increasing carbs whilst keeping cals low to avoid sudden shock on the scales. Other passionate low carbers have carb refeeding days which does show on the scales, but it doesn't bother them because they know it's not fat.
    I would say a normal level would be where you don't get a water gain with added carbs. Muscles refilled etc. I use the British and American guidelines which is about 50 to 55% carbs much of the time (well, when I track...which is rarely these days). It gives me approx 250g carbs on 1800 calories :)

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