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Weight Maintenance

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A question for maintainers
12 Dec 2016, 15:57
Hello hello

I've been maintaining my ~50lb weight loss for almost 3 years (my anniversary is Dec. 17) by doing 2-3 fasts a week. I'm not so strict about it these days, but still.... it feels a bit relentless. Also, it often becomes an excuse to eat crap on non-fast days, which isn't good at all.

I've been thinking of doing an eating window approach to maintain weight and even my days out a bit. I'm hoping it will lead to healthier eating, but I'm worried I'll gain weight.

So my question: How many of you use an eating window to maintain weight? Do you combine it with fasting as needed? If so, how often is it needed?

Thanks for your input :-)
Re: A question for maintainers
12 Dec 2016, 22:57
First of all, congratulations! that's quite an accomplishment!

I'm not ready to maintain yet, but I've been doing an eating window to lose weight, combined with reduced carbs and it's going slowly, but going. So I think it would definitely work to maintain. I couldn't deal with fasting, so this is much better for me. I am really used to not having breakfast now, although sometimes I cheat on the weekends. I would think if you started to gain at all, you could fast even just once a week to help.

There's an eating windows thread that might be a good place to post too!
Re: A question for maintainers
13 Dec 2016, 00:17
I like breakfast food too much (home made granola, bircher muesli or porridge) so I find the eating window approach too hard. Depending on the season I might bring it to work and eat it at lunchtime instead. Or I skip lunch if I think my calorie intake is too high. If I see my weight creep up I try not to snack at night during the week, thereby reducing the hours of the day in which I eat but it's nothing like the 16:8 approach. I don't like fasting particularly but do my best on Mondays. Sorry I can't be of much help. Congratulations on the three year fastiversary :).
Re: A question for maintainers
13 Dec 2016, 01:08
Hi MaryAnn

I have noticed that it is about 3 years since a number of us first reached goal. Congrats to you and all of us!

A number of maintainers do use eating windows - eg Barbarita, carorees, Margotsylvia (sometimes?) and I understand they combine this with low carb, rather than fast days. But I shouldn't speak for them!

If you need 2-3 fasts a week to maintain, then you are eating more than you need on the other days - I guess that is what you are saying, when you say that fast days have become an excuse to eat crap on the other days.

I do understand about fast days becoming relentless. (I also don't enjoy them and now only fast if I have really overindulged the day before.) Why not just give the windows approach a go, and see if it works for you? Assuming you think that you can restrict your eating to an 8-hour, or even narrower, window. (Not something I can generally do - like wmr309, I love breakfast, and I like the flexibility of eating when I feel like it.) At least try waiting til as late as possible to start eating for the day - only once you are definitely hungry. And begin the day with protein and minimal carbs, high fat if you want. Then eat according to your hunger, lots of veg and good protein/fat, make sure you meals are satisfying. And maybe hopefully you won't want to eat into the evening.

As has been said many times, our long term way of eating has to be something that is sustainable for ourselves. Explore options, see what works for you. Maybe a variety of approaches can be used, depending on your mood at the time?

As you may have gathered from some of my posts, I believe that eating mainly whole foods and lots of veg according to hunger is the ideal (though not necessarily easy) approach to weight maintenance. I don't do low carb - I believe that eating a wide variety of whole foods, including starchy veg and grains, is beneficial (assuming no allergies or food intolerances). I don't ban any foods from my diet - but I don't have a cake or biscuit with every cup of coffee, as I once did, though I will have cakes and biscuits from time to time. I do have more chocolate than ideal...

You may also have read that I no longer weigh myself - I did post a thread with a link to all the reasons why (not that it generated any interest). Although based on how my clothes fit I think I am a little heavier than my goal weight, that was an arbitrary figure and I believe that if I (most of the time) eat according to (genuine) hunger, then this is the weight I am meant to be. I do a fair amount of exercise, and though part of me would like to lose more of the excess around my hips, I know that I am healthy as I am and I am okay with how I look.

Thus endeth the lecture on my particular hobby horses!

Best wishes for finding an alternative to fast days that suits you. :clover: :smile:
Re: A question for maintainers
13 Dec 2016, 10:27
yea, like you I have been 3 years at this. Things to take into account are your age and your size.

My progress Tracker looks very much like the waves of the sea. I have come to accept that. I window fast twice a year. 4 weeks before Christmas, and about 7 weeks before Lent, Age comes to it. I was 60 y. old this summer, and I had to do an extra window fasting in August/September. I try to eat low carb -husband has rice I have cauliflower etc, etc

About size. I am very short. About 5 foot 2. When I eat normally I try only to eat two meals a day. I also love my breakfasts. So I skip lunch usually. And I walk about 5 km every day.

Because this thing goes on and on, I do find the window approach so much easier. Sometimes even that is ruddy hard!

But before I found Intermittent fasting I was desperate. Now I feel I have a tool that actually works!!!
I have upped my goal weight since I was 60. It is now 55 kg. I have not quite managed it as yet. Last Autumn I got down to 55.6 kg. I thought that was OK. I find all this dieting so much more relaxing now with I. F. :smile:
I hope this is helpful :heart:
Re: A question for maintainers
13 Dec 2016, 12:07
I like breakfast too, so sometimes I eat it for lunch or dinner!! Especially on the weekends, I might eat a late breakfast instead of lunch.
Re: A question for maintainers
13 Dec 2016, 20:25
As indicated by others, just give it a try. If you don't like it try the other way around: eat less on nonfastdays. It will enable you to fast only 1 day a week probably
Re: A question for maintainers
14 Dec 2016, 18:14
Thanks for your input, everyone! I have a few questions. @cblasz, how long is your eating window? @Margotsylvia, when you're not doing eating windows, are you doing 5:2, or just low carb?
Re: A question for maintainers
14 Dec 2016, 20:55
Hi MaryAnn, Actually I'm not that diligent about keeping a strict window. I plan to work on that a bit in the new year, but it's kind of hard with my work schedule. So basically I would say it's an 8 hour window. I don't eat breakfast, I eat lunch around 12 and then I eat dinner when I can and am usually done by 8, sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. But I'm sure I'd do better if I was stricter about it and maybe tried to do 7 hours even.
Re: A question for maintainers
15 Dec 2016, 10:46
Hello Mary Ann, from me too. When I am not fasting I do a maintenance plan of fasting once a week. A regular fast day, not window. Yes I try eat low carb all the time. But I am not terribly strict with it. Many years ago I lost weight by low carbing, but then it stopped working for me. Then I found Intermittent fasting, and that keeps on working :lol:
And once a year, at Christmas time, after the Advent fast, I do eat all the goodies. Trying to use common sense though. For example, one of the Christmas treats here is 'Christmas Porridge' - which is basically rice porridge, slowly cooked in milk. I do not have that. I have Cottage Cheese instead, which looks like it :grin: .
There is always the long Lenten fasts to take care of my Christmas indulgence. Mince pies, Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding.... Only 8 days left of my Advent window fast :lol:
Re: A question for maintainers
15 Dec 2016, 15:36
Mary Ann, I'm also a three year veteran 5:2 maintainer. Just recently have dropped 1 fast so now 6:1 and weight has remained the same. Over the spring-summer-fall I was quite active and started to go below my target between fasts, but now with winter setting in and being less active I think I may need to go back to 5:2. As for eating window, I tried but it didn't work well with my social life and family dynamics. Good luck with the transition... Merry Christmas, Happy New Years to all.
Re: A question for maintainers
21 Dec 2016, 07:02
MaryAnn wrote: So my question: How many of you use an eating window to maintain weight? Do you combine it with fasting as needed? If so, how often is it needed?


Firstly, congratulations on maintaining your loss so consistently - we know it's not just like falling off a log.

Secondly I somewhat resent the implication that doing an eating window is not fasting. I now do OMAD, my version of which is a one-hour window every day, ie 23-hours of zero cal fasting every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Rather puts 5:2 in the shade, eh?

Long may we all maintain, and if I don't pop back on before the holidays, Merry Christmas everyone.
Re: A question for maintainers
21 Dec 2016, 14:31
barbarita wrote:
MaryAnn wrote: So my question: How many of you use an eating window to maintain weight? Do you combine it with fasting as needed? If so, how often is it needed?


Firstly, congratulations on maintaining your loss so consistently - we know it's not just like falling off a log.

Secondly I somewhat resent the implication that doing an eating window is not fasting. I now do OMAD, my version of which is a one-hour window every day, ie 23-hours of zero cal fasting every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Rather puts 5:2 in the shade, eh?

Long may we all maintain, and if I don't pop back on before the holidays, Merry Christmas everyone.

Oh sorry, you're right. That was a bit sloppy on my part. I should have asked about combining eating window fasting with low cal day "fasting".
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