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weight management: my approach
Old 04-05-2021, 02:38 PM   #1
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weight management: my approach

I’ve been living inside a BMI 19 body since 2004, and love it. What’s my strategy for maintaining my desired body weight (no yoyo-ing in my world!)?

Some highlights:

• I eat either one or one-and-a-half times a day. My one reliable meal - the major meal - is around 11 am. The optional snack (the ‘one-half’) is around 5 pm. On those days that I don’t eat a snack I’m supposedly engaged in one of the many forms of “intermittent fasting”, which IMO is a terrible name for a great idea.

• I track my weight using an Excel spreadsheet with a 4-day moving average, which smooths out the distracting daily fluctuations that are useless for weight management. Temporary water retention or mild dehydration can have a major effect on any particular weight reading. For example, mowing the grass in the deep Florida summer can result in an immediate 2 lbs of weight loss. On one occasion I had diarrhea and lost 5 lbs almost immediately.

• 6 of the 7 major meals I eat each week are plant-based, as are all of the snacks. I eat fish once a week. The low caloric density of most plant-based foods is helpful in weight management. I’m not a fan of meat analogs (I’ve been mostly plant-based since 1996 - there weren’t many meat analogs around back then!).

• my snack is either Endangered Species dark chocolate (72% cacao) + fruit or Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy Cherry Garcia “ice cream” + fruit.

• So, how good is my weight regulation? Well, my daily 4-day moving averaged weight is usually somewhere within a narrow band only +/- 1/2 pounds from its long-term average - quite satisfactory IMO!

What’s remarkable to me is how easy weight management is for me: if I eat a snack day-after-day my averaged weight will inexorably creep upwards. In contrast, if I skip the snack day-after-day my averaged weight will head steadily downwards. It’s almost as if there is a switch on the side of my body with only two settings: GAIN WEIGHT or LOSE WEIGHT. Maintaining my desired averaged weight just means flipping this switch back and forth.

I hope your weight management journey is equally satisfying!
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:00 PM   #2
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These may be considered cliches, but my approach is much simpler: Everything in moderation, portion control, and exercise.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:14 PM   #3
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Everything in moderation, including moderation
FIFY - sometimes, you just have to fast
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Old 04-05-2021, 04:32 PM   #4
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+1

And avoiding salty snacks. Just like vampires, mustn't invite them in the house.

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These may be considered cliches, but my approach is much simpler: Everything in moderation, portion control, and exercise.
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Old 04-05-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
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I do something similar to the OP, but the one meal is 6pm and the snack might be 8pm. The meals are traditional home cookin' (meat, starch, veggies and fresh fruit for dessert). As much as I feel like eating. Then usually walnuts or other such if I feel like it, for the snack.

The spreadsheet and scale haven't been used much because there's never any news. I'll weigh-in for a few days in a row every 4 or 6 months, and it's always the same.

I'm trying harder to eat a varied diet lately, rather than repeating the same stuff. The purpose isn't to combat boredom (I'm fine with the stuff I like), but rather to give my body something different. I made kimchi for the first time a week or two ago. It's now my salad replacement for a while.
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Old 04-05-2021, 06:57 PM   #6
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I’ve been living inside a BMI 19 body since 2004...
Congrats! Consider adding your data to the national weight loss registry. They occasionally publish their findings to help others see examples of successful strategies.

For example:
Research Findings
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:32 PM   #7
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I don’t have a great strategy. I have a goal that whatever I lose, I keep off. About 10+ years ago, I topped out around 230. At 5’8”, that’s not good. I joined weight watchers and lost 40 pounds. Mostly due to portion control. WW was a good format to show me how much I was over eating. I kept that weight off by maintaining my recalibrated portion sizes and weighing myself frequently. If I gained more than a couple pounds, buckle down. Then about two years ago, I focused on eating a bit better and got down to 180. Again, anything lost stays lost. Maintain better eating habits and weigh myself often. This year, I’m going to try to get down to 170. In BMI terms, that’s just over normal and into overweight but I think that would be good for awhile if not permanently.

The main things I do today are - little to no dairy, significantly reduced grain intake and I’ve started a mild form of intermittent fasting by trying to stop eating around 6/7pm and not eating in the morning until after 9am. I’m sure it’s good to give my body that rest, but it’s also very good to reduce snacking. Still weigh myself frequently but I pretty much know when I’m not eating right. The scale though, is the unbiased arbiter. If I’m at 170 by Thanksgiving I’ll be happy, but I’ll work toward end of summer and then back to maintaining my new weight. Anything lost doesn’t come back. I am very committed to not doing the yo-yo dieting thing I’ve seen from so many.
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:45 AM   #8
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About 10 years ago my wife went on Jenny Craig and lost 50 lbs and has maintained within 10 pounds of that since -- I joined her and lost 40 lbs. Unfortunately I gained 80% of it back over that period -- mostly due to sloppy eating, late night snacking, and stress eating during tough times.

Last week I made a commitment to get back to my target weight. This time it is simple. Eat natural foods, eliminate added sugar, crackers, most bread, and processed foods, stopped "grazing", eat only when I am hungry, and concentrate on getting good balanced meals with lean meats, vegetables, and lots of water. Losing weight so far, feeling "full", slowly losing my craving for sugar, and feeling good.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:58 AM   #9
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A BMI of 19 on me would look positively gaunt. I'm content with the shape of 20.5.

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I’ve been living inside a BMI 19 body since 2004, and love it.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:10 PM   #10
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I got serious about my weight and have lost 50lbs. I am 5’7” and weighed 207. I now weigh 158 and feel so much better. First I quit drinking and that accounted for the first 12lbs. Then I ate 1600 calories a day except one day a week I ate what I wanted within reason. With Covid it seemed to be time to take care of myself.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
These may be considered cliches, but my approach is much simpler: Everything in moderation, portion control, and exercise.

+1


I do the same thing. I do not believe one has to make it more complicated than that.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:12 AM   #12
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I was about 20 lbs overweight while working, I lost that after retiring by eating better and no more cafeteria food. Now that I'm where I want to be, I just weigh myself every morning - if I put on some weight, I eat a bit less that day. Simple approach but it works for me.

I also try to eat only when I feel a bit hungry, not just because it's time to eat.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:16 AM   #13
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I had an interesting conversation the other day with a carpenter who did a little work in my kitchen (he's been to the house a number of times). He and his wife have 5 kids. The talk turned to the rising cost of groceries. He said they had gone, in a year, from about $700 a month for food, to $1600. He blamed it on "pandemic eating" - the kids were home and bored, so ate a lot more than usual.

There wasn't time to ask all the questions (e.g. how did you ever manage to feed 7 people, including a teenager, on $700 a month? and how fat are your kids by now? [the dad himself can't weigh more than 145]).
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:58 AM   #14
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My approach to weight management is intermediate fasting. I have lunch around noon and supper about 5pm then nothing till noon again the next day, and repeat. My 5pm supper is the bigger better quality meal everyday.

I pretty much eat anything I want to eat, in those 6 hour time frame. Chips, candy bars, ice cream etc. I like those things and haven't stopped eating them.

I do get quite a bit of exercise in a day thou. I have been on this routine for just about 3 years and have maintained the keep that 17/18 pounds off with this schedule. I never was considered over weight before but I wouldn't want to loose to much more weight then where I'm at now (173 lbs.).
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:22 AM   #15
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I eat whatever I want, and let exercise control my weight. When I was running a lot, may weight dipped to 165. This was combined with a brief keto diet. Felt sluggish with little energy and strength.

After foot surgery in November, my weight escalated to 210. Now at 200, I feel great. Hiking or biking every day. And lifting weights. I'll probably get to around 190 this summer and stay there. To feel my best, I need to be between 185 -190 lbs. Since I'm not running any more, I may need to cut back some on the volume of bad foods to get to my desired weight.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:47 AM   #16
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I am happy at a BMI of 25 after losing 40 lbs 8 years ago. Veghead and walking 3-3.5 tough miles a day and I can drink all the beer I want.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:20 AM   #17
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Good plan. BMI 20-22 seems to be the optimal healthy range. 19 is close enough.

You could probably be 20 and 21 and do the same thing, just less fasting. My weight is about 12 pounds less than I was when eating mostly meat/cheese/dairy. I feel so much better at 160-162 compared to 172-174.

I stay at 21 on a whole food, plant based lifestyle. We eat like kings. My wife is a fan of the replacement meats. I don't need them.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:37 AM   #18
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FIRE'ed 4+ years, and in the first year I lost 20lbs without even trying to. I seriously thought something bad was going on (I was having other weird health issues then too, which have since gone away, and I am a cancer survivor). Then lost another 5 or so and am a solid 180-183 BMI 23.8. Only a few pounds above my senior year in High School weight and I feel great. Clothes that I used to think "You're fooling yourself if you really think you are going to wear that again"... actually FIT.


Diet? I eat what I want. Seriously. Very limited sugar, very little red meat. Mostly seafood and starches. What I want tends to just be fairly healthy stuff. Fruits and veggies I could/should eat more of though.

I attribute it to two things. One I am way more active. I hike around 500 mi a year each year since retiring. 1.5-2.5 a day most every day. We are fortunate to be surrounded by tons of parks, conservation areas, land trusts and the like. I never get tired of hiking trails. Walking on pavement, neighborhoods bores the hell out of me.

The other thing is portion size. Since I am literally preparing all my own food, I just don't eat really big portions of anything. If we get take out, it is almost always 2 meals worth.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:43 AM   #19
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IMO, BMI is a guide line only. Every person is built different with bone structure etc. which can make a difference. Five pounds can mean healthy or not healthy, low or high risk, and I don't exactly feel that is always the case. I think a lot of healthy, has many more things involved then weight and height to consider totally our over all health. IMO
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:53 AM   #20
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I got serious about my weight and have lost 50lbs. I am 5’7” and weighed 207. I now weigh 158 and feel so much better. First I quit drinking and that accounted for the first 12lbs. Then I ate 1600 calories a day except one day a week I ate what I wanted within reason. With Covid it seemed to be time to take care of myself.
Congrats Teacher Terry!
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