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If you lost significant weight and you kept it off, how did you do it?


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I've been doing an informal survey of friends and relatives about weight loss. No one that I know has ever lost weight and kept it off. I even know a woman who had gastric bypass, lost 120 pounds and put 80 back on. I know some people have been able to take off weight and keep it off, but it's unusual enough that some of them end up on CNN. Just from the numbers it appears that taking it off and keeping it off is incredibly difficult and unlikely.

 

If you've taken off significant weight and kept it off for a year, how did you do it? Is there something you did differently this time?

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I have, but not without a permanent lifestyle change and losing it very slowly. I put on a lot of weight with my first pregnancy and, after a year of feeling pretty stinky about myself, I lost it over about two years. I dieted for the first six months or so: a relatively strict diet of only lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, fiber supplements, and dairy supplements. This was VERY difficult for me, I am a Chinese food-Pasta-Cheese-Chocoholic, so to avoid going absolutely crazy, I allowed myself one cheat per week, but it had to be monitored by my dh to ensure I only had ONE serving. I only drank water for the first year. Throughout the entire two years, I did a minimum of 30 minutes of serious cardio 5 days a week, like running on the treadmill or using the elliptical while the kids napped, and **by far the most important part of my weight loss** weight lifting, especially free weights, which my dh helped me learn to do, minimum of 30 minutes 4 days a week. Gals, unless you want to be muscular and hunky hunk, stick to low weights with many reps.

 

The hard part: keeping it off. I think a huge part of keeping it off, including during my pregnancies, was to think of weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change, not something that could be achieved and done with. I now allow myself 3 cheats a week, and one serving of dairy per day. I try to stick one serving of carb per 30 minutes of cardio I do. I keep up with the aforementioned workout regimen, but sometimes only get around to 4 days of cardio and 3 days of weights. I generally stick to water. I drink skim milk and wine sometimes, but won't drink juice or other alcohols.

 

Oh, and a nice trick to lean up: I do 50 crunches and leg-legs (for inner thighs and bottom) the minute I wake up and right before I go to bed. This way, I never have an excuse not to get them done.

 

ETA: forgot to mention, overall weight loss was about 40 pounds without counting REAL baby weight gained.

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After the birth of my second dd I NEEDED to lose weight. I started exercising and doing light weights twice a week (I chose step aerobics) and I lost 80 pounds in less than one year.

 

I was able to keep the weight off for 8 years by walking about 1 mile every day I could (our dogs were great accountability partners).

 

I ended up gaining much of it back when I had back to back pregnancies (one midterm loss and one full term baby). After the baby was born I hurt my left foot (tore my fascia in half) and blew a disk in my back while picking up a baby blanket!!! This left me in chronic pain for over 6 years... and a bit more weight came back.

 

I've finally recovered from this summer's back surgery and I hope to begin exercising regularly again VERY SOON!

 

My secret to keeping weight off was to increase my metabolism. If I use dieting alone the weight comes back FASTER than it came off!

 

---

My dad had his stomach stapled in 1982. His weight before surgery was over 300 pounds! Less than one year later he reached his goal of 160 pounds (too thin IMHO). He looks much better at 180 since he DOES NOT EXERCISE! His weight has been stable (170-180) since his surgery. If his weight goes over 180 he adjusts his diet and it goes back down. In a way he is PARRINOID about 'weight' in general--and since I'm overweight--and my middle dd is too--we get harassed by his uncaring comments to the point that we avoid visiting him... (at least he IS supportive of homeschooling!).

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I lost 85+ pounds in 2006. I started in January and was at my goal weight by November.

 

I've kept it off.

 

I exercise daily. I eat smaller portions than I used to. I drink water (no soda, not even diet).

 

The main key for me is that I weigh myself daily. When I see the numbers start to creep up, I back off on what I'm eating to get them back down.

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Years ago I lost around 50 pounds by basically counting calories and exercising, mostly exercise videos. I kept it off for several years by generally making the good choices I learned to make while I was dieting and keeping my exercise up at a decent level (like 45 minutes of really sweaty exercise 5 days a week--stuff like the Firm worked the best).

 

But life got more complicated, there was pregnancy, kids (and their leftovers), a less flexible schedule, etc. So now I'm again working to take off a big chunk of weight with Weight Watchers. This latest round of weight gain has taught me that I must be accountable...write down what I eat, do regular weigh-ins, and yes, get my butt off the couch, if I ever hope to keep weight off permanently.

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It hasn't been a whole year yet, but I started losing weight in March. I ended up losing close to 40 pounds by watching what I eat and running. I have never been this thin before - the scale dipped to 121 yesterday:ohmy: (I'm 5'5").

 

I run about 30 miles a week and try to be careful about what I eat, but am not counting calories or anything. I also stopped eating breakfast (I know, "they" say you aren't supposed to), having a large cup of coffee instead, and then will often have a bowl of cereal for lunch. I eat treats, but in smaller portions.

 

For me, running has been the key. I've done it long enough that I am kind of addicted to it and actually look forward to my long runs (yesterday I ran for a little over 2 hours). I certainly love the results!

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I lost 20% of my bodyweight, 9% bodyfat, and 3 dress sizes through cleaning up my diet and increasing exercise after my oldest was born. I kept it off until this last pregnancy. This time around, I plateaued at about 6 lbs heavier than my pre-pg weight. I could probably lose the last bit if I re-joined a gym but that's just not in our budget at the moment.

 

I do best with a moderate low-carb diet like South Beach, Sonoma, or the ABS Diet.

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Well, I am not the person to ask because I have gained 20 lbs. in the last year. I was 10 lbs. underweight when I began but I would have been happy to stop gaining 10 lbs. ago. Mine is almost entirely due to a medication I take and stopping that med would make all the difference, but I have never known anyone in real life that lost weight and keep it off even with surgery. Dieting itself causes weight gain. You have to be willing to make a permanent change which is rarely possible. If you aren't willing to make a permanent change then you are just better off not dieting at all.

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To be honest I have a PITA for a DH. He loves me for me but wants what is best for me and our kids. Me being obese is not what's best. Harping would be an understatement. But he is always there for me telling me to keep up the good work. If I lost 5 he would not say 'good' he would say keep working at it. Frustrating to say the least. However I have lost 71 lbs. Of course that is over 5 years with 3 kids. Only after my last dc did I really start to lose.

 

My secret: coffee for breakfast, eat smaller portions. Little or nothing after dinner except liquids. No pop unless we eat out which is rare. Weight training and squats. I started jogging this fall but now it is too cold for me. I hope to start up again in the spring. While I was jogging things started to firm up. Big plus for me. Lifting weights helps a lot. I also weigh myself daily. Much easier to deal with if I keep tabs.

 

I absolutly REFUSE to limit what 'bad' foods I eat. If I do I crash and pay for it later. If I want 3 cookies I eat them and that is it. I don't feel bad about it. There is no cheating. To me moderation is key.

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I lost 85+ pounds in 2006. I started in January and was at my goal weight by November.

 

I've kept it off.

 

I exercise daily. I eat smaller portions than I used to. I drink water (no soda, not even diet).

 

The main key for me is that I weigh myself daily. When I see the numbers start to creep up, I back off on what I'm eating to get them back down.

 

:iagree:

 

I've only lost just over 40 lbs. I've kept it off for over a year, but it took me at least a year or more to lose that much. I exercise until I sweat, watch what I eat (both portion size and type of food), and weigh myself daily.

 

Exercise has been the biggest key for me. (You know the kind that makes you sweat, not the leisurely walks I used to think would do the trick.) That and eating oatmeal every day for breakfast.

 

HTH

Edited by MicheleinMN
forgot about the breakfast thing!
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i agree with alot of this.

 

i lost 120 pounds after my first son, kept it off for 6+ years, got pregnant 2 times in one year, lost 100 pounds again, and am at maintenance level now. pregnancy makes me HUGE!

 

the thing about weight loss is this: if you stop a 'weight loss' mentality, you'll probably gain again. weigh every day. work out, always challenge yourself. i see women in the gym who ride the bike for an hour...at about two MPH. then they mosey over to the weights and grab the 2.5 pounders and flail about with those for a few minutes...then they wonder why they aren't seeing results.

 

i disagree with the previous poster who said women should only do low weights with high reps so they don't turn into hulks...i work out with a 45 pound plate, 25 pound dumbells, a 45-50 pound bar, and anywhere between 20 and 70 pounds on the resistance bands and i'm not a hulk by any means. i am muscular, but i'm a woman and women don't natually produce enough testosterone to be truly bulky. honestly, i REALLY think most women who hit a plateau could easily move past it into levels of fitness they may have thought impossible for themselves if they just had a little more courage about weights. big weights aren't just for the guys, i honestly couldn't have reached my fitness goals without them.

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