Maintenance Strategies?

(KCKO, KCFO) #81

Just posting the current link to the monthly IF/EF chat: June 2019 - IF/EF Chat Thread (All Welcome)

(JJ) #82

Just brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to write such a well considered response. Lots of it resonated with me and will definitely have usefulness in my own maintenance.

Satiety is not a reliable signal for me either, my own headspace is too tricky around this to let the physical sensation prevail.

(jacqueline orrence) #83

I added the App and it is fun!

(Susan) #84

This is an excellent post you made, thank you (I am no where near this) but it is terrific. I am glad that someone found it and bumped it. It deserves a sticky it is spot on!

(KCKO, KCFO) #85

Welcome to the Maintenance Crew Jake1.

Are you near maintenance or have you been maintaining for a while?

(jacqueline orrence) #86

I’ve been in maintenance for about two weeks, though am toying with losing a bit more weight-about 5 more pounds. I’m doing Keto OMAD now with success.


I have been fiddling with maintenance for a month now. I keep slowly raising my carb limit and am still losing weight. Has anyone found the sweet spot? I am still trying.

(Robin) #88

I’m at the point where I just go with my gut… literally.
Most days I have well below 20 carbs, but I can also eat much more when I get the urge. I guess the urge comes from my body, because I hold steady in weight.

(Geoffrey) #89

I’m now where near ready for maintenance mode so I don’t really know how it work for someone like me who is carnivore.
But I am curious about something. I’ve heard that this is a “weight optimization” diet. So does that mean that you would just keep eating the way you are and eventually your body would just stop losing weight all on its own?


It must be individual (but if one loses in the beginning, it makes sense to me that the body is smart enough to ask for food when there aren’t extra fat reserves anymore. it doesn’t happen to anyone, these things can be tricked, apparently. but it probably happens to most). If I just eat as much as I want, even if just to get satiated but I do something not right (and I do that), I stay fat, probably though long term carnivore may give me some chance for a really slow fat-loss, I will try that if I ever can… I definitely have lots of days with a cute deficit on carnivore, well I do my absolute best to eat as little as I can on those days and in order to do that, I eat my top satiating items and eat in a small eating window.

So that would be my tool for maintenance if I would need one (I need to lose fat now and maintenance/stall is what I always do, no matter how I eat unless I force something but I don’t do that), choosing the right items (and maybe timing). Fat, chicken and probably fish barely satiates me but definitely not longer term so I easily boost my calories without a chance in satiation. The difference between my 1600 and 4000 kcal days is primarily my food choices (but neglecting meat for days and then roasting a big amount of fatty pork I like is a pretty sure way…). And I need 2 meals for the latter, it can’t be done with one meal, some can do that though. But both kind of days can be carnivore with meat, eggs and dairy. The difference is the fattiness and the amount, of course but I tend to eat more if my meat is fattier, it’s my taste and the apparently low satiating level of fat. Or low if I already had enough. Adding 100-200g extra fat typically feels the same to me. So I just need to add fat, there are too many good ways for that with my tastes.

Carbs used to boost my calories as I needed more fat to balance them out but now… I don’t think they would help with eating much more, rather the contrary. After a very long time of low-carb, keto and even being close to carnivore a lot for some years, my body really don’t want much carbs so I just crave fasting (and the strictest carnivore I can do) when I go against this wish, eating isn’t appealing and if compulsion forces it, it becomes impossible. And if it’s just a little carbs, staying keto… It’s hardly much difference.
I can boost my carbs and calories with milk though. But with any other fatty dairy items, actually especially the low-protein ones like my big loves, cream and sour cream. But fats help with it even more, no carbs are needed for me.

My own future maintenance policy is probably eating as little as I comfortably can, avoid really fatty items as much as I can so the usual. Or just eating whatever if that still works… But I hate overeating, it’s wasteful, an unnecessary burden, not polite, unnecessarily costly, may be inconvenient (but other times, very enjoyable)… I won’t need to change anything ever if I get disciplined enough and eat just enough to be satiated all the time (well, most of the time. I don’t want such an ascetic existence, I need my slightly looser days).

But this last one probably doesn’t help anyone else… We are individuals and I am not among the typical ones as I still tend to overeat if I don’t do things just right. And I have my own stubborn ideas and training and whatever else.

Of course if one needs only about 2000 kcal like me while this amount is just a single decent meal for me, eating too little long term isn’t even a possibility… That’s why I never expect a time where I don’t need to eat as little as comfortably possible just to avoid overeating.
But I could overeat, very easily, with the right items. And I never will need it, it’s sad. The luckiest ones maintain if they eat whatever and need a little effort, focus or something to gain or lose. The unluckiest naturally under- or overeat and doing anything else takes extreme efforts (or just being hungry a lot, my SO has it when losing fat and even at maintenance but at a tolerable level because he isn’t a hedonist who can’t stand hunger or even lack of satiation for long, that’s me. and this is with an active lifestyle, it gets way worse without it. so he can’t stop exercising, that fattens him up very quickly). I naturally overeat but still maintain my weight, too bad it is too much fat and not muscle. My maintenance range is pretty big, it’s extremely hard to eat outside of it.

I better stop already. Sorry.

Oh, @velvet, do you know your macros? What does your fat intake? Raising carbs a little alone can’t help much - or maybe can for people where that matters due to hormones, I forgot such people exist. My body doesn’t care, it’s about calories, pretty much, apparently. But anyway, calories matter a lot, if you need more than what you get from your food, you lose (or worse things happen but that is a rare problem) so raising fat sounds a good and virtually inevitable idea…

(KM) #91

I think that’s the idea. There is no such thing as maintenance, exactly. We eat for health, the body sheds its excess fat as health improves. As we approach what our body considers an ideal weight the weight loss slows, and eventually stops. Perhaps or perhaps not exactly where we’d like, but without a specific change in diet or calories or macros, because this is a way of eating from the start, not a diet.

That said, I think people who are successful with this learn how to tweak it to achieve their goal and stay there, at least that’s my interpretation of N=1.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #92

My maintenance strategy is to keep eating as little carbohydrate as possible and to keep on ketoing on. My weight seems to fluctuate within a 10 lb./0.5 kg range all on its own; there’s no need to worry about it. So maintenance keto for me is just like weight-loss keto, in terms of how I eat, and so forth. I’m still eating to satiety, and enjoying life.

Since my goal was to reverse my pre-diabetes and I’ve accomplished that, I’m not too worried by the fact that I’m still fat. I lost 25-30% of my starting weight; I actually lost more fat than that, but I put on some muscle, so that messes with the scale number. To look at me you’d think that I need to lose a second 80 lbs./36 kg, but my body seems to be happy where it is. Since my waist is 4"/10 cm narrower, and I can get up and down stairs without pain, and get up off the floor without spending ten minutes to plan how, I call that a win, regardless.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #93

For me, the “sweet spot” seems to be no carbs at all. I’m pretty much carnivore these days, and when I do eat some carbs, my cravings come back; if I don’t eat carbs, I don’t miss 'em.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #94

Yes. Unless you are eating a starvation diet.

Of course, it occurs to me that even on a starvation diet, weight loss stops eventually . . . and permanently.

(Geoffrey) #95

Good to know. It’s been on my mind lately because back in the day, when I was eating Adkins, I stopped my weight loss at 185 lbs. My military weight was 175 but in my late forties / early fifties when I hit 185 my wife thought I was getting too skinny so I stopped right there. I had a lot of subcutaneous fat but not much visceral.
Now in my late sixties, I’m very close to that same 185 mark but I’m no where near looking skinny. This time I have not just the subcutaneous fat but a lot of visceral fat. The belly just isn’t reducing like it used to.
So my plan was to just adopt this woe as my lifestyle and just let my body decide for itself what it should look like.

(Robin) #96

Hey, Geeze…
My experience… a tad over 3 years now
Year 1: Keto. Lost about 60-ish pounds.
Year 2: Carnivore. Lost my last 15.
Year 3…. Weight has stayed the same but body shape has changed pretty drastically, that belly fat and abdominal fat seems to have dissolved. For a while I had a cute little drape like an apron where the loose skin hung. Even that is almost gone.

Answer: Magic.