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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Weigh In: Month 11 and Maintenance

Aren't diets supposed to get easier? Isn't anything you do day after day, week after week, just supposed to become routine? I have to admit, I've had a pretty easy time of it for the last 11 months of weight loss. The plan I chose, Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure, really clicked with me and I have been in the zone for almost a year. It isn't that my weight loss has stalled (which it has) or that I've gained a little back (3 lbs to be exact). It is that I expected this to be the easy part... I expected to coast by on maintenance.

Tanya Zuckerman's book The F Factor Diet talks a lot about how the Maintenance Phase of a diet is actually the toughest part. Maintaining your weight is more difficult than losing weight? Sounds crazy, right? But if you think about it, it could take a while to lose weight. Six months, a year or longer? That is a long time. But we have to maintain that weight FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. It also asks the question "How many times have you lost the weight?" For me, I've never lost all the weight before, but I've gotten half way there twice before this. Then she asks "How many times have you kept it off?" Well, none or else I wouldn't be reading this diet book.

Just yesterday picking up the Husband's granola, I saw a brand next to it that looked perfect for the BFC. I read the label, ingredients and decided to buy it. I even opened it in the car and ate a handful since I'd missed lunch. It was so good, I had a few more handfuls throughout the day amazed that it was low in sugar. I ever reread the ingredients. But the Husband took one look at the package and pointed out it had 10 sugars per 1/2 Cup, not the 5 I thought I had read. D'oh!

So where do I go from here? For now I am just chugging along, doing the Belly Fat Cure exactly as I did all along. Maybe I should start tracking again, maybe I should change things up a little. I think mostly I am feeling lots of stress right now that have nothing to do with my diet. When I am stressed I turn to food, and so that is the problem.

How do you handle maintenance and stress on a diet? I'd love your input!



  1. It is what it is. Look at your overall success and continue to take one day at a time. Granola is super dangerous for me. Even when I made it myself with just honey I threw half the batch away. Plus if you haven't been eating grains, your body was probably digging the oats!

    I'm also at a plateau though I feel much more in control of stress eating. The protein and low sugar have really helped me. I've also been mostly at home and not in a lot of tempting situations. Even so, the scale stays the same.

    I'll take it since this has been a stressful time.

    You know you can do this. Jiggle some things around until it starts working again or you stay stable. It'll happen. And, yes, this is the hardest part. I've also failed at it twice, but we just keep working at it and go on with our lives.

  2. I had a similar mess up reading a food label. Just today, I found plain english muffins with only 16g of carbs and 0 sugars! "I'll take it!" I said to myself at the grocery store. Still completely thrilled with my purchase and while putting groceries away at home, I decided to look at the back of the package one more time. "More good news.." I mused, "...also available are pita bread and bagels, it's a great day." So I thought, I read the ingredients (for the first time) and realized my awesome purchase was a complete failure because that is when I realized my newly acquired english muffins contained...Splenda!

  3. Have you read Gary Taubes' book 'Good Calories, Bad Calories'? I found that book motivated me and gave me some of the science behind BFC. He mentioned a study of a morbidly obese man losing weight while eating 7000 calories of fat and protein per day!

    I still want to lose some more weight (I'm wearing a size 10 now opposed to 10 weeks ago when I was wearing a size 14), but I already feel that my upcoming maintenance will be easier, since I finally understand HOW I gain the weight.

  4. I think that just like an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, I'm going to spend the rest of my life a few bad weeks away from a total sugar bender. I'm not at my goal weight yet but I'm getting pretty close. The last 15 or so lbs aren't going to come off easy, I can tell.

    For my maintenance, I think a few things are key:

    1) keep crap out of the house. If I'm going to have ice cream, I'm going to coldstone or an ice cream shop

    2) I make sure that Meat, eggs and vegies comprise the bulk of my calories. If I eat white potatoes, it's with the recognition that I'm consuming an inferior source of calories.

    3) Gluten is death. Wheat is addictive, destructive and completely unnecessary in the food-abundant enviroment in which we live. Plus it makes me feel like crap. I'll eat it once a month maybe and only if it's in an unavoidable part of truly life-altering dessert.

    If I stick to these, plus have a ready supply of my dried sweet potato

    Also, every few months I try to take a month and go extra strict, following these guidelines: http://whole9life.com/2010/05/whole-30-v2/

    I find doing that helps to reset any bad habits and give me a clean slate.

    But I think the key is to realize that I'll never be able to just relax and not think about it. I've got to be purposeful for the rest of my life. Which I'm fine with. Living and eating intentionally is better living anyway.

  5. Thanks! You all always have the best advice.

    Mike - I have to say I 100% agree with you on the comparasion to alcoholism.

    Jody - ive read alot about Gary's book but not the actual book. I hear he is coming out with a "summarized" version soon and I will definitely read it and review it here.

  6. Every ten years or so, I get back to the weight I like, and I get fit. I put it back on because I stop excercising. Then I get away from the health foods, and start hitting the fast food lanes. It's a pattern... so now that I'm in my mid 50's I see it! Reason: I love food, all kinds! Okay, help me remember I said this in a year from now when I'm in the maintenance phase! Because I have the gift to forget!!! Key point: KEEP TRYING EVERYDAY!

  7. Wish I could tell you I've been successful at maintaining or even that it's going to get easier. I don't think it ever does. Having lost 50-100 pounds at least 6 times in my life, I can only tell you that you need to look at the Maintenance Stage as the real testing ground. Go back to tracking everything that goes into your mouth. That way at the end of a week, you can go back and see exactly why your weight may have gone up a pound or so. It's very easy to allow 5 pounds to creep back the first year, then another 5 pounds the second year and so on. Stop the trend before you ever put back on that first 5 pounds and you will be successful! With Jorge's plan, you have the tools you need. Let yourself have a free eat what you want meal now and then, but then go right back to what you were doing to lose the weight. I'm just getting start on the BFC, so will be watching you closely to learn hints on maintenance. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  8. Amber, I am so glad you have been sharing your weight loss journey with us. I have always heard from my weight watcher classes that maintaining is harder then losing. But you have all the tools and I think you can do it. I am also glad to see that I am not the only one that has messed up and ate something not so Belly Good because I did not read the ingredients. It just goes to show we are all human and make mistakes. Thanks again for sharing.

  9. What a great topic - even the comments are helpful. Amber - I know you can stay the course. Take some time to just think about why you lost the weight in the 1st place remembering how you felt "before". I like to also think about why would I want to gain it back (self sabatoge)...what's in it for me to do that? I like the idea of getting back to basics but changing things up some. Mike has some great tips, too. Thanks Mike - I'll check out the link you posted. I've only hit maintenance once and then I went to college and gained the freshman 15! (or 20). And it went up up up from there. For some reason the BFC is really working for me right now and I am constantly amazed at how much sugar is in EVERYTHING. Any way...I could go on & on..Thank you all for sharing.