Monday, June 30, 2014

Post about "white knuckling it" in Weight Maintenance from Dr. Berkeley, MD

I enjoyed Dr. Berkeley's post about "white knuckling it" in weight maintenance.  Check out her blog post in the link included. I have to laugh ( in a kind but knowing way, not a mean way..) when I hear people say "There's no way I'm going to going to white knuckle weight maintenance".  Okay..... sure....  That could be true for some people. Good for them!!! I'm sure people have experienced weight loss and weight maintenance without the white knuckle. I could not.

White freesias
 In my experience weight loss was so much different from weight maintenance. Later in July and August 2014, I'll be writing a series of blog posts about my big differences in weight loss vs weight maintenance.

I white knuckled it for the first year and a half. The top reason: I had very limited success in 40 years of trying to keep weight off permanently. I could not maintain my weight as a child, teen, or as an adult. I had to travel to "techniques not tried" and the land of the unknown this time around.

It took several months to explore some things- new foods, higher fat food (avocados, olive oil, grass-fed beef). It meant facing the unknown.  I was well aware what going back to old habits would do.

It took planning, strength and courage to switch over to a Paleo template. And, a ton of white knuckling. I don't want to fail, but I'm committed to find what works for myself!  I'm convinced that more molecular genetics will reveal that people with certain gene rearrangements do better with different diets. That the same exact food template won't work for everyone. I could tell when something was or wasn't working by looking at these things:

What worked:
1. The scale. Daily weighing tells all! High inflammatory foods stuck out like a sore thumb
2. How I felt after I ate: eat grass-fed beef = feel fantastic! Eat pumpkin = blow up like a balloon
3. Being okay with the white knuckle. Yes, yes... a little bit of risk and experimenting means some failing. Allowing myself to white knuckle, knowing I could course correct quickly.
4. Being real, real honest. Nuts... need I say more? I wanted to eat nuts so badly, but it was not to be. It took a lot of honesty to get real and abstain on this binge food.
White knuckle of the cat!

What didn't work in the past:
1. Not weighing in much post weight loss and in weight maintenance. Scale avoidance = gain
2. Never putting what I ate together with really bad indigestion. I thought everyone felt that way!
3. Never being okay with experimenting with removing wheat/grains and taking a risk based on what the "Diet Industry" and the Food Pyramid was telling me.
4. Not being honest with what I know I needed to to- basically abstain from grains/processed sugar/dairy/legumes/nuts.

Did anything pop in the article for you? Anybody else experience the weight maintenance white knuckle? 


  1. I definitely felt like I white knuckle maintenance for a long time. Obsessively counting calories and doing math equations all day. But now that I've done the real mental work of maintenance, I find I don't have to white knuckle it anymore and just stay on my Paleo template easily.

  2. It's such a relief, Jeanette. Doing that work on the other side, the Paleo/Primal food&life template. Whew! No more white knuckling it for me either. Worth the work!! I think it took me longer because I was smack dab in the middle of menopause and I was so afraid of fat making me fat... not so. As you know... :)

  3. I imagine when I reach goal it will be that way for some time ... daily weighing and figuring out what I can add back in my diet without causing regain. Nuts are definitely a binge food for me so I try not to have them often. I miss things like sweet potatoes and oats, but I know I'll have to monitor closely if I decide to have them again. I am actually allowed oats once a week in my current plan but I'm too afraid to try them yet. I have a ways to go yet, but when I get to goal I know I'll need to be vigilant ... I know I'll also likely have loose skin issues, which I'm definitely not looking forward to.

  4. I followed that link you posted -- I see why you find that writer inspiring! thanks! :-)

  5. Yep, the white knuckling is over, but it was definitely part of the learning process.

    Because I'm so OCD (fortunate that I don't need to be medicated for it, like one of my daughters)...right now weighing once a month works best for me. I feel I have internalized the foundations and day-to-day living primal to not need a scale on a daily or even a weekly basis to stay true to it. I trust myself. I know what works and doesn't work for my body AND my health. Some can get there, some may not...that's okay. Our bodies and our psyche's for sure...are all different.

  6. Those white freesias look gorgeous.

    And Yes "eat grass-fed beef = feel fantastic!"

    All the best Jan

  7. I may have asked you this before - what is it about nuts? The crunch, hand to mouth sensation, taste? Were you eating plain, raw, no added salt, no added oil?

    Your biggest asset, in my opinion, is that you are able to look at cause and effect.

    I give you a lot of credit because you lost on one system and then had to learn about food (if I am interpreting correctly) in maintenance. I think that could have been really tough. It took me all of weight loss time to figure out the very basics. Then my real learning came in maintenance. Still learning. REALLY have to be objective to have long term success, in my opinion.

    You have done yourself a great kindness in being objective.

    1. Vickie- all nuts have been and will likely be addictive to me since I was age 5-6 (looking back). I thought I could "moderate them" but it just wasn't to be. Makes sense as other people in the Paleo template say similar things. Plain, raw nuts- I'm talking off the tree in some cases.

      Nut butters, whole nuts, salted, unsalted - no nut is not weird for me. I think we're talking brain chemistry and genetics 100% theory . The only thing keeping me from opening up the jar of nuts on my daughter's snack shelf is knowing that I'll get "binge brain" and a migraine. One is emotional pain, the other is physical pain. Pain's a pretty good my size 4-6 jeans.. ;)

      I really promised myself I would do whatever I was physically and mentally capable of to figure out long term maintenance this time around. You are right- we are still learning... and my body changed that first year (menopause), too. I was not planning on that one... But, if I'm getting my food template down- might as well set up a good routine/habit with that metabolic change.

      Thanks for the compliments. Knowing that there are other people out there who have done the same thing and are both dealing with it and improving was key for me knowing I could patch things together for myself. Thanks for all your input over the years.

      I figure if I can't be objective and really honest about my habits, behaviors and processes, I'll return to the cyclic weight gain and mind games. That's always worked for me as a scientist. I might not understand why an experiment didn't work out, but I can usually understand the biology of the system enough to trouble shoot to rule in, rule out, and even discover new things along the way.

      My hope is to live long enough for science to explain more things. Very interesting..