Lost 140lbs, gained it back, lost 150lbs ten years later, gained 20lbs back in 2020
By - ifonlyyouknew27
It's a battle, man. And food is such a tough thing, since it's not like smoking or drinking where you can just cut it out completely. Imagine telling a pack-a-day smoker that they needed to keep smoking one (but only one!) cigarette per day.
Sounds like you're doing the right things! Focusing on a healthy, maintainable lifestyle is what's important, and you're doing just that.
Super impressive journey, and I look forward to hearing more positive updates in the future
That cigarette analogy really explained a lot to me. I've been a smoker but never really had weight problems.
Doesn't smoking a lot keep you from gaining weight?
no it doesn't lol
It is common knowledge that nicotine is an appetite suppressant.
same w marijuana
edit: not sure why this got downvoted because weed literally damages the part in your brain that tells you you’re hungry lol. still support it and smoke it, but that’s a fact lol
I find when smoking regularly that my appetite exists only when I’m under the influence. When I’m sober and smoking regularly? Nearly zero appetite until I inhale.
weed damages the part in your brain that tells you you’re hungry (repeating from my edit lol). not a scientist but i believe it’s a similar process to how adderall damages your dopamine levels in your brain over extended use, it just overproduces a chemical to where you depend on weed to get hungry. it’s kinda interesting how it all works but a lot of pot heads like myself need a schedule to smoke to keep our eating habits healthy
Totally believe it based on my own experience and that of others. I also have to remind myself to eat regularly otherwise I don’t — until the evening toke, that is! Cheers friend, be healthy and well!
Some people it does I guess. I smoked on and off for 20 years. I found it more of a mental thing/distraction as instead of eating.
No, smoking doesn’t necessarily make you slimmer. If it did, there wouldn’t be any overweight smokers. Having a cigarette instead of a meal will temporarily delay the hunger cues unless you’re truly very hungry.
Not gaining weight is not the same as becoming slimmer, but thanks anyway!
I think they're differentiating between "smoking has a direct weight-losing effect" versus "smoking makes you OK with not eating, which indirectly keeps your weight lower".
Yeah I guess with English as my second language and the downvotes I received I must have misunderstood
> No, smoking doesn’t necessarily make you slimmer.
since my question was not about losing weight. :(
However, some foods contribute much more than others to weight gain, and you *can* cut those foods out entirely if you want. For example sweet drinks and snacks (goes without saying obviously), rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, and the like can be cut out entirely and you'll be hard-pressed to eat the same amount of calories with meat and plant matter (even fruit).
You can also cut out eating during certain times. For example, setting an 8-hour eating period and fasting outside of that (e.g. cutting out all food outside of the eating period). Sure, you can't stop eating entirely but you can set rules.
There's nothing wrong with rice, potatoes, bread, pasta... the difference here is making better choices, not eliminating whole foods groups. Brown or wild rice where the grain is still intact is a better choice than white rice. But also, white rice is a better choice than, say, processed meat like sausages and ham with eggs.
Each time something is eaten could be a missed opportunity to eat something healthier. More whole-food, plant-based choices for example.
Why is this downvoted?
"Paleo" as a Lifestyle is utter bullshit but there is no doubt that ketosis is an easy way to lose weight for those with lifelong adherence problems and is often used by diabetic and prediabetes to lose weight under medic supervision.
Because it’s needlessly restrictive. Do you really think someone who has gained and lost in the range of 100-150lbs several times over is more likely to succeed on a nutrition plan that eliminates an entire macro group?
Why not just teach portion control without making it harder to get all your essential nutrients? Keto works better for people who are disciplined and, imo, somewhat obsessed with controlling their every diet choice. But that’ll lead to burn out in a case like OPs, and he’ll likely just gain the weight back *again*.
You’re also understating the challenge that adhering to a Keto lifestyle is for many. I’m pretty surprised you’re making it out to be easy. Most Keto advocates will be the first to say that this is not a diet for people without self control. It involves strict limits or outright elimination of carbs, plus a reduction in choices across the board for vegetables and fruit. It can even be dangerous for some, since it requires less conventional food choices to cover those essential nutrients.
It has its time and place, but I don’t think OP fits that diet—at least for now.
This is why I like fasting. Very low effort/high return. I have breakfast at 10AM, cut out my afternoon snack and I don't eat anything after 7 PM. Other than that I haven't changed my lifestyle at all and I'm losing about 1 lb per week. It feels too easy.
Agreed! I think intermittent fasting can be a wonderful tool for weight loss. Just waiting until 12pm to eat can be the difference for a lot of people.
I wouldn't know about how hard it is tbh. But it can't be harder than what he's going through and it is demonstrably successful, at least as far as studies show.
I agree that it is restrictive and I don't like any "diets" per se - luckily I can eat freely. But when you're talking about someone who's actually had surgery, and is still having a problem, it's not like it's going to make things worse! Something that stops his blood sugar spiking and controls his hunger may well work. He may as well try it.
Do you really think be hasn't tried portion control for most of his life already?
>Do you really think be hasn't tried portion control for most of his life already?
Does Keto *not* involve portion control? If you eat too many calories on Keto, you're still going to gain weight. Keto is portion control *and* entire food-group elimination. OP's problem is consistency in her intake, not what her intake necessarily consists of. I just don't think it makes sense for her to jump from one extreme to another.
As for the difficulty of *maintaining* a Keto lifestyle, let alone beginning it, [here's](https://www.businessinsider.com/why-keto-diet-is-hard-2019-5) a decent rundown:
>This strategy makes sense for some people, especially those with a few specific health conditions. But researchers who study human habits and dieting behavior say the plan is unsustainable for most people.
>[F]or most people, a high-fat, low-carb keto diet can be really hard to maintain. Instead, habit experts recommend a different way to eat healthy: creating simple, sensible eating routines that are easy to follow and can become almost hardwired over time.
Some more guidance from an M.D.'s article on [Harvard's health blog](https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketogenic-diet-is-the-ultimate-low-carb-diet-good-for-you-2017072712089):
>A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow, and it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. We also do not know much about its long-term effects, probably because it’s so hard to stick with that people can’t eat this way for a long time. It is also important to remember that “yo-yo diets” that lead to rapid weight loss fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.
Obesity is a lifelong battle, keep up the good fight!
Thank you friend!
I know gaining 20lbs feels but remember youve lost 130lbs overally
Youre winning the battle dude
Thank you I appreciate that
I wonder if you meant to use the word maintenance... IF you're eating at maintenance, of course nothing is happening...
Sorry I was referring to losing weight to get back into my maintenance range! I was in the 330s got down to 177 and I was maintaining in the 180s which is where I want to be long term. Currently eating at a deficit.
Eating at maintenance while also adding exercise will make you lose weight. I think that's what op was implying.
It’ll make you lose weight very slowly, and only if you’re being super honest and accurate with counting calories in - which most people are not. Couple that with virtually every exercise tracker overestimating calories burned and you’re on a knife edge that could easily mean consuming more calories than you’re expending, not less.
Yeah I've been using my fitbit to see trends but it will say I've burned 4000 calories when I'm having a really anxious day but zero exercise, but only like 3800 when I take a long ass bike ride that day lmao
Yes, very much so. You can tune the stride length a bit to accommodate but they're still super prone to interpret non-stepping arm movements as vigorous exercise, and even if the step count is perfect, their translation of that into calories is massively inflated. Strava, Garmin etc are all just as bad.
Unless you've got a heart monitor strapped on you've got very little hope of getting an accurate calorie burn estimate from any tracker.
I agree with everything you said
Exercise simply increases your TDEE, thereby increasing maintenance caloric intake. Maintenance means calories in = calories out.
I'll try to chime in. Most of the psychology around this suggests that those who relapse continually into these habits have one or more of these:
* a very broken relationship with food
* no intrinsic desire to break the habit
* stressers that make them fall back to comfort
All of these can be extremely difficult to tackle. The first point means you basically have an eating disorder and need to seek professional psychological help to overcome it. You can do it alone but it's very hard to figure out what the root cause is that broke that relationship.
The second point is very common nowadays. People want to be the type of person that wants to be fit, but they themselves don't actually want to be fit. AFAIK this can't actually be 'fixed'. Anything you do solely for appearance will probably make you miserable and unhappy in the true long run. A lot of people start for appearance, fall in love with the endorphins and realize that's how they always want to feel. So they change, whether they keep that up for the rest of their lives? The research isn't clear on those timelines.
The last point is what most 'addicts' experience. A move, breakup, problem at home/work, whatever really makes them default to their old habits. You see this also in smokers, durg addicts etc.
TLDR; dig deep and ask yourself if a healthy lifestyle is truly what you want to be doing for the rest of your life, especially since you seem to be overfixated on short term weight loss. This is a very very long marathon, not a sprint. Slowly remove or change everything from your life that doesn't contribute positively towards your goal (people, relationships, jobs, foods), don't go cold turkey. And while a dietician is handy, always ask yourself if those are things you want to be doing forever. Because that's the ultimate goal; building habits that you can keep up till the day you die, otherwise you're just going to regain the weight down the line.
Use caution with the “till the day I die” rhetoric. I currently enjoy running and do so 3 days a week. But asking me to commit until I die gives me anxiety. I will run while I enjoy it, but if I don’t will switch to something else. I think the “all or nothing” deal can be problematic. Just commit to continuing to fight against weight gain with calorie restriction and exercise however that looks. But being rigid I think can make things seem impossible. And I’m a healthy BMI and am always fighting those pesky 5-10lbs.
Keep fighting friend. Your down 130 pounds which is a victory!!! Maintenance is tough but you can do it.
Maybe you should see a therapist again instead of a dietician. I know with myself like 90% of the battle is just mental and mood. I have bad tendencies to binge eat when stressed or upset.
With the amount of weight and the swings you are having to me it seems your relationship with food is the issue and no dietician is going to fix that.
I see a therapist also - every Friday at 10! There are definitely many more chapters to this story
Do you see a specialized therapist for food issues or a "generic" one to feel better overall?
I personally don’t believe in paying for help and am a fan of fixing myself.
Do you do all your own surgeries and electrical work too?
Now you’re just being silly.
What's silly is never paying an expert for help and doing everything yourself.
It’s a battle.
I, too, have previously lost a lot of weight (not as much as you, and gained it back. Life is hard, and the focus can’t be on diet and exercise 100% of the time, which is pretty much what it took me when I got all the way down to 160. Five years later, working full time, trying to start a new business... you start to lose focus and slip.
It’s important to understand your own needs, and set realistic goals. Maybe you’ll never be where you once were... but at least now you know what you can do to avoid sliding back down that hill.
Best of luck friend. We’re here with you.
If like me you're not willing to overhaul your lifestyle permanently, try to periodize your diet so you can contain the struggle to a manageable window of time. It helps a lot psychologically.
When I go on a cut, I cut for real. No bullshit, just pin my ears back, set a target weight, make the necessary plans (e.g. daily deficit goals, target date, etc), and then will myself through it. I find setting achievable targets in a decently short time frame of 8-12 weeks helps a lot to stay on track.
After that I go off. I try not to binge like a pig daily, and as much as I can I try not actively become overweight again, but generally I relax my dietary habits and eat whatever I want within reason. I set a threshold weight that, once reached, signals that I should go back on a cut again to regulate the weight.
The human body is fairly capable of functioning healthily within a range of weights. If you set a lower and upper end (about 5-6kg is a decent estimate) you know when to start working at it and when to relax. If done right, the off-period will be fairly longer than the on-period, which is huge mentally for you to keep the cycle going indefinitely.
I love this. This is realistic.
I've had the same struggle. Gained 100 lbs in college, lost it after on an annoyingly strict diet, now gained back 50 during quarantine. I'm getting back into a more physical lifestyle so that's helping but what has really changed my perspective is a food tracking app. I use Noom because it helped and is helping me change the way I think about food. It makes your learning an active part of the process. Highly recommend. I'm 20 lbs down now but it feels like I haven't changed much of anything.
I am like this. Yo-yo dieting and binge eating. You need to seek the guidance of a mental health professional that specializes in eating disorders.
Correct me if I am wrong here, but I see that you're setting short term goals and expecting long term results. Eating less, having a diet or doing lots of exercise for a short period of time will help you lose weight BUT is not maintainable in the long term. You should look at it more in terms of changing your lifestyle, make it something ypu enjoy so it doesn't become a chore, start small with little changes on what you eat, a little bit of exercise here and there but enjoy it, that's what is going to keep you on track FOREVER and thus will avoid the setbacks.
Yea I think you read into that wrong.
I once last about 50 pounds so I understand a bit, but recognize that the situations are different. Most importantly, congratulations on your efforts and dedication!
The unfortunate reality is that weight is a simple calculation of “calories in — calories out”.
If you want to lose weight, have your dietician help you weigh out food and stick with a small deficit diet. Exercise is secondary, but helpful to increase results.
Persistence is the key, just keep exercising and eating well, in the long term the balance is going to be positive
Thank you! That’s the thing just keeping at it and staying positive when you know you are doing things that are right for you and even if the body isn’t showing it on the scales it is showing it in other ways.
I am a robot, so for me, what has helped tremendously is the following:
1. A meal prep service that puts the calories/nutrients on the box
2. A paper on the fridge where I track my time+calories
Keto. Cut out polyunsaturated acids (vegetable oils) and carbs
Why not take the psychology out of it completely, and spend few days just paying attention to the pure numbers of how many calories the foods you tend to eat contain. Then make the necessary adjustments in volume (gradually, over a few days) until you can eat at your maintenance calories without thinking about it.
This helped me lose about 30kg.
Sadly the psychology didn't want to be kept out and hit like a truck causing me to gain almost all of it back..
Gotta stay on top of it, but for some people it's just not that easy.
Try intermittent fasting. After a week or so, it becomes second nature.
I've found that high protein meals are very satiating, and there are tons of options for quick and easy frozen vegetables. Apples are my go to for the sweet tooth, but that changes from time to time.
Thanks for the tip!
Read ‘Why We Eat (Too Much)’ by Dr Andrew Jenkinson.
TLDR; You need to lower your set point by increasing your insulin sensitivity.
I can’t say that I know the feeling. I am always struggling to gain weight, eating way more than I actually would like to eat, just stuffing myself to get the calories in. Not the most fun thing in the world as well. But I guess everybody is different in that sense.
If you’re willing, and your dietician isn’t a dinosaur - ask them about intermittent fasting (IF) and the possible benefits you might see. I struggle to stay at a healthy body weight with a “normal” meals and snacks type of structure. IF allows my body to use my fat stores as fuel more often and when I do eat, I eat way less as I have a better mind/body connection to hunger and knowing when I am full.
Good luck! If you find a lifestyle/way of eating and being active that works for you and that you enjoy, it’ll get easier, I promise :).
That’s not really how IF works. At least be honest if you want to offer “advice”.
IF is just a tool to reduce overall calorie intake. Most people aren’t good at accurately assessing what they eat so if you only eat in a small window of time, you will usually eat less overall.
Even on the IF Reddit, this information is clear.
I literally suggested they talk to their dietician about it - meaning they get their advice from a professional. So not sure why you’re ruffling your feathers about my “advice”.
There’s an abundance of research on the benefits of IF (yes many are rat studies, but more and more human studies/data are emerging) and if you want to get into the semantics, sure it can reduce caloric intake if someone cleans up their diet but it can easily lead to binge eating or the same bad overeating habits.
Further to your claim that I’m mistaken - there is evidence to support that IF can put your body into a state that allows it to use fat stores as fuel or energy:
“IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains (think white flours and rice), are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells don’t use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we don’t snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.” - Harvard Health Blog.
So anyway, I’m gonna stick by my statement(s). Each person has to find something that works for them. IF works for me, let’s me stay lean for athletics, and makes eating easy. They can try it for themselves and if they don’t like it, keep trying different approaches until something works for them in a way that is enjoyable.
You need to commit to a total lifestyle change.
It's not about numbers or appearances but about self care. Food is designed to be fuel. It's not obligated to make you happy/corfortable,or taste good.
How long have you been back at it? What are you expectations? Do you have any mental health issues(anxiety, depression?).
Like a lot of people said, it's a battle.
You've lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Which likely skews your expectations. From 2007-2009 you were losing 5lbs a month, which is a lot for anyone.
You're trying to undo all the eating habits you learned growing up. It's like learning how to walk a different way. Give yourself some time and grace. Set some non weight goals and take progress photos. Because if you're working out more you're likely building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat per volume. So you might weigh the same but now you have less body fat and more muscle and the muscle takes up less space so you look smaller. Measure how your clothes feel as well. Find something that fits well and check in every 2 - 4 weeks.
If you're measuring yourself daily, stop! Aim for once a week or once every two weeks. I can go +/- 2-3 lbs just based on if I'm hydrated or if I had salty food the day before. If I weigh myself while dehydrated, I'll think I lost more than I really did. But then if I weigh myself knowing I ate out the day before then I know I'm going to show I 'gained' weight but reality is you're looking for a trend downward overtime and not a drastic drop from day to day.
You're doing great and keep up the great work. It's hard and you're trying and that's the important part. Progress not perfection!
Well luckily I feel like I’ve already broken through the habits that got me obese. I have a much better understanding of myself now and I also love running (ran 10 miles straight a couple months back!) I just wanted to throw that in there because while my post was perhaps a little too hopeless sounding, there have been some amazing milestones and changes made.
I travel a lot for work, am usually out and about meeting people and travelling from city to city. That all stopped during covid and I literally was just inside four walls for a year (as we all were) so my lifestyle took a hit and things got complicated I guess. Went from 177 to 198 now I’m at 194. So i guess to answer your question I am impatient and definitely want to lose quicker. Literally just want to be 185 because I view that as a ‘safe zone’ for me as I intend to maintain in the 180s long term.
Please be kind to yourself. This last year has been hard for everyone. Extra stress, anxiety which all all plays a toll on us. Be kind.
You gained 20lbs in 12 months(I'm going to round up to 24lbs to make the math come out 'nice'). You gained .5lb a week for the year. Which makes complete sense if you think about. You were active just doing your job and being out and about. You easily could of been burning an extra 500 calories a day from where you are now. So when your activity stopped but your diet didn't adjust to the lack of activity, you gained weight.
What I'm trying to say is that our weight over the years will always fluctuate. The difference for you now versus before. You got to 198 and realized that your current diet/exercise plan isn't working for this point in your life. You didn't get back to the place you were before. Additionally, you need to ask your doctor/dietitian what is a healthy weight RANGE. Take 5 lbs off on either side and that is where you want to be. I got obsessive(thanks ADHD) about my weight after my 2nd kid. I got as long as 119(5'2")lb and wanted to get lower, but then I started lifting weights and biking harder and gained weight and I freaked out. Went to my doc and asked what a healthy weight range was. She said 115-135lbs. I took 5lbs off either side and I constantly tell myself that anywhere between 120-130 is healthy and 'safe'. You might need to evaluate or find a healthy weight range and not a specific number.
Reality is that it will likely take you another 20 weeks to lose the weight if you're perfect and lose .5lb/week. it will likely take longer because we aren't perfect. So aim for 6 months from now to be at your desired weight goal.
In the meantime, you need to find short, realistic goals to get you to that 6 month finish line. Maybe it's running X miles a week for 2 weeks. Maybe sign up for a running race(virtual or in person depending on your covid situation) and train for that.
You know you can do it, you know you have the tools and support to do it. Now you just need to accept that it will take time.
I will probably die if I lost 140 pounds.
Maybe try the slow carb diet? There’s a sub for it and a lot of people (me included) have found it effective in losing weight and staying at maintenance because it’s pretty lifestyle compatible and has a built in cheat day to help prevent the yo-yo effect. I tried a lot of diets and it helped eliminate the frustration of diets never “working.” Of course, the other diets worked, but I wasn’t following them exactly. Slow carb is pretty easy to follow EXACTLY and it’s been much less stress than other diets. Not saying it works in all situations but might be helpful and worked for me in the past :)
Not sure if this applies to your situation, but given your health history, you might be a candidate for continuous glucose monitoring. (CGM).
Top coaches all over the world are deploying this technique with their athletes to see how their bodies use glucose in real time. Apparently it gives a significant boost and performance and helps athletes know what their glucose response is to various foods, timing of meals, etc.
A tendency towards obesity is now being looked at not only in terms of behavioral variables, but genetic variables.
Hunger can occur in dysfunctional ways sometimes for those who have a genetic profile that tends towards obesity.
I learned about this in a book entitles Peak, by Marc Bubbs
I think it is probably the best book I have ever seen or read dealing with the variables involved in sports performance. It is completely science-based and amazingly thorough. The author also has a new book for those over 40.
You may not consider yourself so, but you are an athlete. We all are within a range of capability.
Going back to the continuous glucose monitoring, something like that along with working with your therapist and dietitian etc. might be one more tool to help you in your goal toward sustainable weight loss that you can maintain through the rest of your life..
My guess is that continuous glucose monitoring is probably not covered by insurance unless a position sees it as a necessity. Given your history, a talk with your physician might be worth it to see if this is something you can access, or if you have the means talk to a sports medicine physician about it.
Good luck on your journey friend, your story is impressive and an inspiration to others. Last, wife is full of battles and sometimes we fail, but the most important thing is to just get up and keep trying after a failure or a loss and try to learn from those. Wishing you the very best.
Don't beat yourself up. There are solutions and hopefully the psychologist will help you explore your triggers. I'd recommend asking them about CBT also.
After years of yo-yo weight loss and rebound as much as 100 lbs, I had all but given up on weight loss until I read The Power of Habit. I always knew I stress ate, but discovered other triggers as well. Primarily boredom and when doing anything unfamiliar.
/u/Shigothic nails this and /u/wagon_ear touches on it as well. In obesity research journals, these habits are part of a collection of factors referred to as "the obesogenic environment." They explain why most people who lose weight regain it.
The reason it's been a lot easier for me to not regain this time is becoming aware of the triggers and using research-backed strategies to create new habits that reinforce my normalized weight.
I wish you the best in your journey of self discovery and improvement 🙂
Haven’t lost as much as you, but I did have a few yo-yos. Currently accepted I can’t eat super healthy, so I Fast sun night - Tuesday night and it’s a lot easier to maintain.
Besides the health benefits it just might be easier to abstain from food. There’s other forms but I think doing 48 straight feels the best for me, and not only that you get full quicker after that first meal back