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Old 01-16-2014, 02:37 AM   #1
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Maintenance plans

Johnson & Varady both suggest moving into maintenance by increasing down day calories. I know there are some people here who do it by keeping down days low, but having fewer of them (often seems to be 5/2).

At the moment, Iím thinking of using the 5/2 approach, but I wondered if some of the maintainers could chip in and say what they do, and what their experience has been? Any useful tips?
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:16 AM   #2
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I like the freedom of having a larger DD range but I rarely use it unless I have to. (Eg, on a kayak trip, the group leader will sometimes mandate that we all have to eat something if they're concerned that some members are developing mild hypothermia - and it's less of an issue to insist everyone eats something than to single people out who by the very nature of the condition are more likely to be argumentative and deny there's a problem.)

I am 4:3. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I started reverse dieting after reaching my goal weight to increase my metabolic flexibility because I was concerned that learning to adapt to a tiny amount of kcals/food did not bode well for successful ageing. (As you age, you lose LBM and need roughly 10% fewer kcals per decade - if I'd stuck with maintaining at approx. 900-1000kcals per day, I'd have run into trouble quite quickly as it's difficult to ensure adequate nutrition within that range.) I'd say that I now average out at an extra 200-250kcals per day than when I reached my initial goal weight (and I'm >7lbs lighter now). I'm still pushing my intake as I'd like the maximum flexibility that I can get.

After I reached goal, I was so burned out that I took a 'proper' weight reading once a week (for our records) but in between times I just got on the scales to check that the middle number read '2' rather than '3' and ignored the rest (e.g., 128lbs rather than 131lbs etc.). If I'd seen a '3' and there wasn't an obvious reason for it, I'd have noted the number and taken action to reduce it (as per Berkeley's Refuse to Regain advice).

I've just mentioned this random observation in another thread. DH isn't vain but he does enjoy being one of the small number of normal weight/slim people in his age-group and amongst his professional peers. The upside of this is that he doesn't get grumpy/mardy about our WOE. And that includes the realisation that we rarely eat a traditional meal these days. We tend towards soup and a salad (also includes dishes like tapenade/ratatouille) with a protein or a selection of tapas size items on UDs. He's fine with this pattern of eating - it would be much harder to manage if he were not on board with it. I think downsizing from serving on dinner plates to thinking of several tapas-sized items has been tremendously helpful to us in managing how much we eat without thinking about it too much.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:23 AM   #3
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Thank you SlowSure. How do you do the reverse dieting?

Last time I lost the weight, I maintained OK for several years, so I probably won’t feel confident about this for at least ten years .
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:24 AM   #4
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I keep trying different things in maintenance, but I have a few medical issues that I'm trying to keep in check, so that's part of my "tweaking," but even when I find another plan works, I always gravitate back to JUDDD or 5:2. I haven't found the exact pattern, yet, that I'll stick with forever, but it's been fun experimenting.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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I dug through my numbers the other day:

Jan 2003 144
Jan 2004 116
Jan 2005 116
Jan 2006 112
Jan 2007 115
Jan 2008 117
Jan 2009 117
Jan 2010 120 est
Jan 2011 130 est
Jan 2012 138
Jan 2013 138
Jan 2014 120

The noticeable thing is that while I was maintaining, I have records of my weight. When it was going up, I stopped looking. I think that for most of my life, I have a pretty good idea of what I weighed up to about 120, and very little idea above that. Obviously I go into denial at that point!
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Oh my, I do the same thing!! (weigh when doing great, stop when regaining) Not going to do that again!

I am still very new to maintenance and plan to go back to WLM here soon for a bit...but I find it lovely & crazy flexible. I have indeed increased DD cals a bit, and sometimes even have a moderate day, but lower them instinctively back down if the scale number goes up more than my preferred range. I stopped counting UD cals as well...which, for me, can be dangerous as they tend to inch up a bit too much. Overall, though, maintenance has been delightful. I was terrified of it, as I've never managed it before, but so far, so good! Just need to get back in the game mindset to go a little lower now. Maintenance is so fun, it's hard to want to. hehe!
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:11 AM   #7
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Thank you, Dawn & Melinda. It’s reassuring to hear about the options!

I was just limiting carbs before. The combination with IF gives a lot more flexibility — but I need to keep monitoring, and not think that because I’ve done it for a certain time, it will take care of itself!
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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Let's see this is my 16th month in maintenance. I stopped counting calories a loooooong time ago. But I tended to eat in an approximate UD - MD - UD - 800ish cal DD - UD - MD.....pattern.

Just now I am strict LC while I get my BG under control. Then I would like to switch to a pattern like 5:2 or UD-UD-DD-UD-UD-DD and take my DDs down low again. However, DH thinks he is rotating (he isn't but it does keep his eating a little healthier) so I will have to do some fancy dancing to keep him supported while modifying my WOE.

Slowsure, that is interesting about not wanting to get the body used to eating at a very low caloric level. I guess thus far I have not really skimped on calories (my problem was eating enough to stop weight loss) and I certainly have more energy than most of my friends. Hmmm, interesting. That does make sense....something else to keep an eye on.

Man, this living happily ever after is tough work!
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:38 PM   #9
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Man, this living happily ever after is tough work!
I just love the way you put things, Nancy!
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:22 AM   #10
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Thank you SlowSure. How do you do the reverse dieting?
Protein researcher (amongst other things) Dr Layne Norton is interesting on this topic and has a well regarded series of video logs on his website on the topic of metabolic adaptation/damage. They're a tad 'broscience' in presentation style but he's excellent at discussing research and gives all of the links to the work that he cites.

He discusses reverse dieting which is, in effect, being at your goal weight and then deliberately adding back in small levels of macronutrients/kcals to start pushing the envelope of how many kcals you can consume to maintain your weight in a comfortable range. He works a lot with fitness models and body builders: he mentions that he starts some of them off on as little as adding in an extra 5g of carbs, every day, for a week. If there's not weight gain, then you might add in an additional 5g of carbs the week after, and rinse and repeat until the point at which you start gaining.

Now, he uses the example of carbs because most fitness models/body builders tend to drop them almost completely when they are shedding body fat before a competition. However, he also advocates this for people who have dieted to a certain level that suits them - because, it is almost inevitable (unless you are young and have never dieted previously) that your metabolism will now be functioning below predicted levels for your current weight. (The familiar vicious circle of dieting.)

He has excellent discussions of why abruptly jumping from WLM levels of kcals to 'normal' levels too often ends in weight gain, or disproportionate body fat gain for people. So, he advocates reverse dieting.

I'm following a migraine management protocol as a substantial part of my WOE, and it follows a JUDDD schedule. So, I couldn't add back that many carbohydrates (there's a ceiling on how many I can eat in a day without being vulnerable to a migraine). However, I have added some back - and I did that by very slowly upping my fat grams first (I think I was adding back 3g in some weeks) and then adding back some protein (4g at a time), and then carbs after that (3g at a time).

It's quite an extreme example but if you were to be maintaining your weight at 900kcals per day (averaged) in your 50s, by your 60s, you'd be approx. 810kcals to maintain, 70s = 730kcals, 80s = 650kcals or thereabouts. It would be unfeasibly difficult to maintain adequate nutrition at anything like those levels of intake. (My 20% WLM levels were approx. 340kcals on DD and <1400kcals on UD, iirc which did average out at 900kcals per day.)

I know that CR people argue that the lower your lifelong food intake, the better, but they also advocate a fairly sedentary lifestyle and most of us are starting later in life. Everyone's experience is different but I've opted to give myself more metabolic wiggle room by increasing my intake. Even on a DD, I'm rarely cold which tells me that my metabolism is maintaining my body temperature better than it did previously. I literally have more fuel to burn while maintaining the same weight.

Sorry for the length of this but it's tricky to describe without examples. For me, adding back kcals has helped me to feel more active, as if I can rely on my energy levels and, above all, it's given me some sense of managing my maintenance, rather than trusting the frail craft of my 'goal' weight to the rocky seas of 'hope for the best'.

Last edited by SlowSure; 01-17-2014 at 05:27 AM..
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:36 AM   #11
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That’s interesting, thank you! I’m not eating very low carb at the moment, and I’m not eating in a way that is controlled to within 3g of anything, so I’m not sure how feasible that would be for me, but if I start feeling my calories are too restrictive, it will be something to look into.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
Protein researcher (amongst other things) Dr Layne Norton is interesting on this topic and has a well regarded series of video logs on his website on the topic of metabolic adaptation/damage. They're a tad 'broscience' in presentation style but he's excellent at discussing research and gives all of the links to the work that he cites.

He discusses reverse dieting which is, in effect, being at your goal weight and then deliberately adding back in small levels of macronutrients/kcals to start pushing the envelope of how many kcals you can consume to maintain your weight in a comfortable range. He works a lot with fitness models and body builders: he mentions that he starts some of them off on as little as adding in an extra 5g of carbs, every day, for a week. If there's not weight gain, then you might add in an additional 5g of carbs the week after, and rinse and repeat until the point at which you start gaining.

Now, he uses the example of carbs because most fitness models/body builders tend to drop them almost completely when they are shedding body fat before a competition. However, he also advocates this for people who have dieted to a certain level that suits them - because, it is almost inevitable (unless you are young and have never dieted previously) that your metabolism will now be functioning below predicted levels for your current weight. (The familiar vicious circle of dieting.)

He has excellent discussions of why abruptly jumping from WLM levels of kcals to 'normal' levels too often ends in weight gain, or disproportionate body fat gain for people. So, he advocates reverse dieting.

I'm following a migraine management protocol as a substantial part of my WOE, and it follows a JUDDD schedule. So, I couldn't add back that many carbohydrates (there's a ceiling on how many I can eat in a day without being vulnerable to a migraine). However, I have added some back - and I did that by very slowly upping my fat grams first (I think I was adding back 3g in some weeks) and then adding back some protein (4g at a time), and then carbs after that (3g at a time).

It's quite an extreme example but if you were to be maintaining your weight at 900kcals per day (averaged) in your 50s, by your 60s, you'd be approx. 810kcals to maintain, 70s = 730kcals, 80s = 650kcals or thereabouts. It would be unfeasibly difficult to maintain adequate nutrition at anything like those levels of intake. (My 20% WLM levels were approx. 340kcals on DD and <1400kcals on UD, iirc which did average out at 900kcals per day.)

I know that CR people argue that the lower your lifelong food intake, the better, but they also advocate a fairly sedentary lifestyle and most of us are starting later in life. Everyone's experience is different but I've opted to give myself more metabolic wiggle room by increasing my intake. Even on a DD, I'm rarely cold which tells me that my metabolism is maintaining my body temperature better than it did previously. I literally have more fuel to burn while maintaining the same weight.

Sorry for the length of this but it's tricky to describe without examples. For me, adding back kcals has helped me to feel more active, as if I can rely on my energy levels and, above all, it's given me some sense of managing my maintenance, rather than trusting the frail craft of my 'goal' weight to the rocky seas of 'hope for the best'.
Slow, does DD coldness indicate to you a metabolic rate moving in the wrong direction?
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:32 AM   #13
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Slow, does DD coldness indicate to you a metabolic rate moving in the wrong direction?
For me, it was, is the short answer.

As ever, the long answer is that this needs to be interpreted within the context of how you're eating (the macronutrient ratios - and I'm only finicky about mine because of the migraine management), how you feel (I used to run out of energy and had to stop cycling for several months as I had one memorably awful ride home where I had to wrap myself in a survival blanket to continue), and what else is happening in your life.

Aside from the migraines (and I can't begin to describe the difference it makes to my life to not have them so frequently or viciously which is why it's worth the nit-picking of counting grammes for me) I have a couple of other things that possibly might be peculiar to me. I typically sleep <30hrs a week since my last concussion. It's possible that this level of sleep derangement makes it difficult for me to carry out general metabolic maintenance (you typically repair muscles when asleep) and so my metabolism may have over-reacted in its slow down for DDs and in general.

The still longer answer is that there is a fair amount of research that confirms that after weight loss, people's metabolisms seem to work so much more efficiently, that they do need fewer kcals than their weight would predict. It's akin to Berkeley's distinction that people who have been obese for most of their lives seem to have different metabolisms and therefore need different maintenance strategies than those who were overweight/obese for comparatively shorter periods.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:43 AM   #14
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Thanks. This is interesting. I appreciate your brain.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
Protein researcher (amongst other things) Dr Layne Norton is interesting on this topic and has a well regarded series of video logs on his website on the topic of metabolic adaptation/damage. They're a tad 'broscience' in presentation style but he's excellent at discussing research and gives all of the links to the work that he cites.

He discusses reverse dieting which is, in effect, being at your goal weight and then deliberately adding back in small levels of macronutrients/kcals to start pushing the envelope of how many kcals you can consume to maintain your weight in a comfortable range. He works a lot with fitness models and body builders: he mentions that he starts some of them off on as little as adding in an extra 5g of carbs, every day, for a week. If there's not weight gain, then you might add in an additional 5g of carbs the week after, and rinse and repeat until the point at which you start gaining.

Now, he uses the example of carbs because most fitness models/body builders tend to drop them almost completely when they are shedding body fat before a competition. However, he also advocates this for people who have dieted to a certain level that suits them - because, it is almost inevitable (unless you are young and have never dieted previously) that your metabolism will now be functioning below predicted levels for your current weight. (The familiar vicious circle of dieting.)

He has excellent discussions of why abruptly jumping from WLM levels of kcals to 'normal' levels too often ends in weight gain, or disproportionate body fat gain for people. So, he advocates reverse dieting.

I'm following a migraine management protocol as a substantial part of my WOE, and it follows a JUDDD schedule. So, I couldn't add back that many carbohydrates (there's a ceiling on how many I can eat in a day without being vulnerable to a migraine). However, I have added some back - and I did that by very slowly upping my fat grams first (I think I was adding back 3g in some weeks) and then adding back some protein (4g at a time), and then carbs after that (3g at a time).

It's quite an extreme example but if you were to be maintaining your weight at 900kcals per day (averaged) in your 50s, by your 60s, you'd be approx. 810kcals to maintain, 70s = 730kcals, 80s = 650kcals or thereabouts. It would be unfeasibly difficult to maintain adequate nutrition at anything like those levels of intake. (My 20% WLM levels were approx. 340kcals on DD and <1400kcals on UD, iirc which did average out at 900kcals per day.)

I know that CR people argue that the lower your lifelong food intake, the better, but they also advocate a fairly sedentary lifestyle and most of us are starting later in life. Everyone's experience is different but I've opted to give myself more metabolic wiggle room by increasing my intake. Even on a DD, I'm rarely cold which tells me that my metabolism is maintaining my body temperature better than it did previously. I literally have more fuel to burn while maintaining the same weight.

Sorry for the length of this but it's tricky to describe without examples. For me, adding back kcals has helped me to feel more active, as if I can rely on my energy levels and, above all, it's given me some sense of managing my maintenance, rather than trusting the frail craft of my 'goal' weight to the rocky seas of 'hope for the best'.


WOW!! WOW!!

I had never heard of this before! So interesting and very doable too!

Thank You Ever So Much For this great info!!
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:11 PM   #16
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Is this correct?:

Protein has the same calories per gram as carbohydrates.

6 (g) x 4 (cal) = 24cal
from protein per serving

SS - did you add back like only 24 calories of say protein at a time in say a week? If you added back only 4 g at a time would that be only 16 calories?

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Old 01-17-2014, 02:37 PM   #17
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Is this correct?:

Protein has the same calories per gram as carbohydrates.

6 (g) x 4 (cal) = 24cal
from protein per serving

SS - did you add back like only 24 calories of say protein at a time in say a week? If you added back only 4 g at a time would that be only 16 calories?
That is correct - however, in case that's sounding like a tiny, tiny amount of food - I remember it being an eggwhite And, I had to be unnaturally careful about what I added back so I didn't throw my macronutrients out of whack and start triggering migraines. It's possible that you [as in 3rd person singular] have to play Grandmother's Steps with whichever might be your, individual, potentially troublesome macronutrient and less finicky about the others (within reason). If people don't have trigger point vulnerabilities such as, e.g., carbs, then they have a bit more freedom about how they introduce items back - altho', depending on activity levels, I would think that people would have to be very cautious about adding back more than 2% of their TDEE at any one time. (That's just my opinion, however, I have nothing to support that figure.)

It is quite straightforward, once you build up a decent head of steam over a few weeks. iirc, the first carb add-back that I did was adding in a Peppadew pepper and that was delightful My initial fat add-backs were initially a more generous oil-dressing or mayonnaise and then when I had enough wiggle room, it meant that I could swap out some of my add-backs for a good portion of cheese or some such.

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Old 01-17-2014, 07:37 PM   #18
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My DH and I have kept maintenance really simple. We don't mind the DDs, and habitually eat 600 calories on those days. On our UDs, we don't count anything, we just eat. And I eat a LOT! I deliberately started pushing the envelope after I'd lost more weight than I really wanted to early on in my JUDDD adventure. I raised my goal by a few pounds because I was getting a little gaunt-looking. I really enjoy eating a lot, and not worrying about much.

Now, that said, I DO gain a little weight after holidays, and too many over-indulgent days, but I just stick with my rotations, and it usually settles back down by itself. When it doesn't, I just dial back the UD calories and pay more attention until the weight comes back down.

I had gained five pounds over the last three months that I couldn't shake by continuing my rotations, so yesterday I managed to keep my UD calories to 1900 (as I did when in WLM), and I dropped two of those pounds. Honestly, many days I probably hit 4000 calories! I feel very fortunate that JUDDD works so well for my body. Nothing else ever gave me this much satisfaction and control.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:33 AM   #19
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My DH and I have kept maintenance really simple. We don't mind the DDs, and habitually eat 600 calories on those days. On our UDs, we don't count anything, we just eat. And I eat a LOT! I deliberately started pushing the envelope after I'd lost more weight than I really wanted to early on in my JUDDD adventure. I raised my goal by a few pounds because I was getting a little gaunt-looking. I really enjoy eating a lot, and not worrying about much.

Now, that said, I DO gain a little weight after holidays, and too many over-indulgent days, but I just stick with my rotations, and it usually settles back down by itself. When it doesn't, I just dial back the UD calories and pay more attention until the weight comes back down.

I had gained five pounds over the last three months that I couldn't shake by continuing my rotations, so yesterday I managed to keep my UD calories to 1900 (as I did when in WLM), and I dropped two of those pounds. Honestly, many days I probably hit 4000 calories! I feel very fortunate that JUDDD works so well for my body. Nothing else ever gave me this much satisfaction and control.
Laurie, I still want to be you when I grow up! I haven't been able to let go of the reins well enough yet to not count and allow high UDs. I try, and freak out when they are 2500 or higher, and believe me, I could easily go MUCH higher.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:45 AM   #20
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It seems that I have three main options for stopping weight loss:
  • Eat more on up days;
  • Eat more on down days;
  • Fewer down days.

Iím already eating as much as I want to on up days. I could eat more on down days, but I suspect that could easily slide into having down days that arenít much lower than up days (especially if I donít want to start weighing and counting my food), and also that when I need to tighten up for a while, it would be hard to give up the extra freedom. So my favourite for now is looking like varying the number of down days.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by KeirasMom View Post
Laurie, I still want to be you when I grow up! I haven't been able to let go of the reins well enough yet to not count and allow high UDs. I try, and freak out when they are 2500 or higher, and believe me, I could easily go MUCH higher.
Lol, Dawn! I really hope your body will cooperate with you on this. I don't know why it works so well for me. I keep thinking I won't keep getting away with eating this much, but then I do. I chalk it up to the JUDDD magic.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ailuros View Post
It seems that I have three main options for stopping weight loss:
  • Eat more on up days;
  • Eat more on down days;
  • Fewer down days.

Iím already eating as much as I want to on up days. I could eat more on down days, but I suspect that could easily slide into having down days that arenít much lower than up days (especially if I donít want to start weighing and counting my food), and also that when I need to tighten up for a while, it would be hard to give up the extra freedom. So my favourite for now is looking like varying the number of down days.
This is how I look at it too. The thing that works for me is keeping the DD as low as possible. As soon as I start moderating that, it becomes as difficult as an UD and I don't want to have to put so much thought/energy into choosing DD foods EOD.
So my plan after a few more stubborn pounds, is to do 5:2.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:59 AM   #23
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That is what worlds best for me Ailuros, But just now I am enjoying the regular rotations, not that I seem to be losing anymore. But I am still within my goal range.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:03 AM   #24
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I’m fine with alternating days, and I suspect I’ll do what you do, Kissa, and switch between 5/2 and EOD as needed.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:04 AM   #25
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:09 AM   #26
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And all bets off for holidays .
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:16 AM   #27
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I switch between EOD and 5:2. And like you said the holidays or vacations maybe all bets off
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:30 AM   #28
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Now I just need to decide when I start doing it!
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:44 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
For me, it was, is the short answer.

As ever, the long answer is that this needs to be interpreted within the context of how you're eating (the macronutrient ratios - and I'm only finicky about mine because of the migraine management), how you feel (I used to run out of energy and had to stop cycling for several months as I had one memorably awful ride home where I had to wrap myself in a survival blanket to continue), and what else is happening in your life.

Aside from the migraines (and I can't begin to describe the difference it makes to my life to not have them so frequently or viciously which is why it's worth the nit-picking of counting grammes for me) I have a couple of other things that possibly might be peculiar to me. I typically sleep <30hrs a week since my last concussion. It's possible that this level of sleep derangement makes it difficult for me to carry out general metabolic maintenance (you typically repair muscles when asleep) and so my metabolism may have over-reacted in its slow down for DDs and in general.

The still longer answer is that there is a fair amount of research that confirms that after weight loss, people's metabolisms seem to work so much more efficiently, that they do need fewer kcals than their weight would predict. It's akin to Berkeley's distinction that people who have been obese for most of their lives seem to have different metabolisms and therefore need different maintenance strategies than those who were overweight/obese for comparatively shorter periods.
love this!!! you have so much good information in that brain!!
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:21 PM   #30
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fascinating thread
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