Saturday, January 28, 2017

Weight Maintenance: From weight loss to weight maintenance- Taking a quick look back over the last 5 years

I've been in long term weight maintenance about a week shy of 5 years. With about 8-10 pounds of variance, 70-ish pounds lost and maintained, approximately.

5 years long term weight maintenance, LCHF, Paleo, Keto

I can't do what worked 5 years ago. I've got to do what works NOW. Different age, menopausal status, and food template.

Looking back does help, so that I know where I was. I'll be able to plan where I'm going little better.

The first 1-3 years of weight maintenance were relatively easy for me. (lots of folks hated on me for saying that I found it easy). What do you want me to do, lie?  Not 100% easy but relatively easy. I'm not going to change how I feel to people please.

I yo-yo dieted 40 years with such hate from doctors, teachers, classmates, co-workers. YOU REGAINED IT! BETTER GO EAT SALADS and RUN A MARATHON. (that's such BS by the way), Can't outrun calories for many of us.  Not too many tools offered to those in maintenance.

 Relatively ,based on being obese in elementary school in the 70's,  I could keep a tighter variance on my weight. I would see and get faster results with easy tweaks in my food. My health got better. I felt pretty great, most of the time.  It's okay to feel how you feel.

 Everyone has it slightly different, so own your own experience. Just like kids, some are easy, some take different approaches to parenting.  None are the same, but some kids are similar.

Just like weight loss and maintenance. Your first 1-3 years could be hard. It is what it is. Time is going to pass either way, so DO YOU and don't give up at the slightest blip in the radar screen. Get ready to be tough, whenever hard arrives in weight maintenance, focus and do not give up.

Weight maintenance toughness is required.

In the past 2012 to 2014

 I could cut my carbs, eat Paleo, eat Low Carb , use the ketosis state to control my appetite (and sleep better) and use elimination 30-60 day periods to fine tune my diet.

For example years 1-3:

0. Removing Grains and Sugars helped me the most. (removed binge urges, joint pain)

1. Removing dairy helped me with (both my sinuses, my acne, and sleeping better and joint pain)

2. Removing nuts helped remove binge urges and migraines.

3. Removing emulsifiers ( along with grains, almost all sugars, and nuts) helped me greatly reduce binge urges that I had life long.

4. All = better sleep and very few binge urges. Meditation and walking helped too.

Then all those things helped my health and binge urges, but the weight started to creep back on despite EVERYTHING.

Super careful with food intake and choices.
Not binge eating anymore.

 It was frustrating but I told myself I would find something that worked for me. That others could maintain and be and feel very well. Even after a lifetime of overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity.

Once the 8-10 pound weight gain started about 1.5 to 2 years ago, I tried a lot of things,

Didn't work on their own for me, but might for you:

1. going super low carb,
2. alternating carbs,
3.intermittent fasting 2 meals a day,
4.intermittent fasting 3 meals a day.
5. Going  high or low on intake on calories, and
6. The Dr. Panda study with consistent shortened feeding windows.

Here's the tough part: It took 2 years and lots of combining different methods, but I finally found what worked for me in 2016 to 2017. ONLY  for the next year or so, really. I can't get too comfy.

A. Until I got into a 17 hr fasting: 7 hour eating   (17:7) AND
B. bringing my calorie intake down a bit, depending on my activity level, natural outcome of IF

= WINNING for me, that's when the sustained weight loss started to happen.

 Good things:  combining low carb with the ketosis in intermittent fasting takes my natural hunger way down and my energy way up.  It was a total win for me. I lost subcutaneous fat, ate my regular food template and feel pretty good. Back to EZ.

It's tough to realize that my calorie intake will HAVE to be in a certain, controlled intake the whole rest of my life.  But tools like My Fitness Pal make it a breeze to record my food and weight. EZ

This is where I do ME: I'm totally guessing here, but I'll bet it's a combination of my endocrine system, with my genetic disposition to be over weight, with a type 2 diabetes risk, combined with life long obesity.

Tough biologic environments  require tough planning for weight management.

Long story short is that once I found what weight loss method was going to work  in my 50's well, I just needed to stay on it until transition time. And, now I'm moving on to Phase 2. (more about the phases in my previous blog post

Karen's 5 phases of weight maintenance (link)

Next up. Exactly what concrete steps that I'm taking to get through phase 2.  And, my 5 year celebration in early Feb 2017.

Question: Does it help you or hurt you to look back? Can you determine if what you did in the past is in your way now?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Transitioning from Weight Loss to Weight Maintenance, the 5 phases of my weight maintenance management

The way I see it, there's about 5 phases of weight loss management. Only two phases are intended to be sustained. Lots of folks like to throw that word around. Sustainability.

Change management during the bolded phases is key to long term time in the sustained parts of weight management. If you are trying to gain weight, well, this is the wrong blog. Go elsewhere for help with that. Yes, I understand hard gainers, or ED's. This is not the right place for you. There are other great resources out there.

5 phases of weight loss maintenance
Karen's 5 phases of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance 

1. Weight loss, sustained

2. Transition from weight loss to weight maintenance

3. Weight maintenance, sustained

4. Transition from weight maintenance to weight gain*

5. Weight gain*

Notice  that there are three bolded items. Transitions from loss to maintaining, transitioning from maintenance to gain, and of course weight gain.

The bolded items are NOT intended for me to be sustainable. Only weight loss and weight maintenance are really needed for me to be sustainable and successful for my goals.

The other 3 phases are only meant to be short, transitional areas, for very limited spaces in time. 8-10 weeks? I need to put a truck load of effort into change management during 8-10 weeks. Those weeks are sink or swim for me.

* NOTE * It almost goes without saying I do not want to sustain the weight gain. Unless it's something my doctor and I both agree that is needed for my health.  But I'll go ahead and say it anyway.  I don't need to sustain weight gain that's above my healthy BMI for insurance reasons  & how I feel at high BMI and for my health .

Example: Jan 21, 2017. I need to transition from weight loss to sustained maintenance but not stay yo-yoing between transitions. I yo-yo-ed phases for 40 years. It is both emotionally and physically painful. What a drag and a drain the yo-yo is!

Ultimate Root Cause: Lack of change management!  Yep, I could have put a ton of effort into what worked in the past and done some self experimenting to validate my now me and would have had a ton of future success.

But hey, no would have, could have, should have. I'm in the here and now. So boom, y'll.  I'm ready for my 8-10 weeks of transition to maintenance. AGAIN. This time, it was only 8 lbs of 70 lost.  It took a year and a half, or more.

Unintended weight gain after weight loss is real. How I manage the change has kept me well physically and mentally. I did not go back to my old food addiction or to panic or to things I knew don't work like moderation or intuitive eating. (moderating and intuitive eating are both avenues for my food addiction disease to take front and center stage in my life). Ugh!!!

 Here's my theory:  If I take the time to take a well planned out, phased, data based approach during transition from weight loss to weight maintenance , then it will result in a much longer term sustained weight maintenance  phase.

I've gone through sustained weight maintenance only 2 to 3 times in my entire life. As a teen, at prepregancy, post pregnancy, and now post menopause. The post menopausal weight regain was only about 6-8 pounds. I nipped it in the bud.

 There are tons of blogs about weight loss and even a few about weight maintenance. (A good starting point is in the Refuse to Regain book by Barbara Berkeley, MD)  I adapted those rules and it took me 90% to where I wanted to go.

One real block to sustained weight maintenance: There are very few  resources about the skill of transition during weight maintenance and there are many, many resources out there that contain ways to regain your weight.  It's unintentional weight gain but it is still the end, unintentional result.  Regaining the pounds for many different and valid biological and disease, and evolutionary reasons. Yep. It's a thing and I've lived it. Many times over.

Over the next 8 to 10 weeks I'll be blogging about some of my best tools for transitioning from Weight Loss to wait maintenance in my desired weight.

 The time has come for me to successfully transition from about an 8 pound loss from July 4, 2016 to today January 21, 2017. So a transitioning I go. With nerves of steel and a tough not moderate approach.

 The steps I take next will determine the whole rest of 2017 so that's why am going to take a good 8 to 10 weeks to sharpen my tools practice my skills one by one, and observe my desired outcome

What's working now:
Change management is key and I'll be using every single tool I've got to make sure I'm on solid ground in weight maintenance.  My mind body soul and life depended on it so I going to put a lot of effort into this change management.  High stakes for my life. Extremely valuable and worth it outcomes. A life time of awesomeness came true after being obese at the age 6. I'm normal weight

What didn't work in the past:
Going back to old tools that kept me in weight gain and transition to weight gain. Moderation, old binge foods, intuitive eating, eating to get food high. Sigh. It is what it was. The old me.

Three cheers to those of you who are taking the time and effort to distinguish and work into sustainable vs transition. Eyes wide open and 110 percent honesty are required. Onward.

What phases do you sustain? It could and probably should  be very different, depending on your goals

Failure to transition will result in some crash-ups in weight maintenance

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Migraines and headaches while staying food sober in weight maintenance, careful what you tell yourself

I woke up today with near migraine headache. I did this to myself, all in the name of self-experimentation. However,  I know better and I can do better. I didn't drink enough coffee yesterday. Easy problem to have, and a good reminder, since I've done this experiment before and I know my outcome.

The I'm Sick Mindset: It's just like the cycle of food addiction. All those years of saying "Oh, look, Oprah's on the cover of People Magazine and she says it's all about eating what you want, but just not all the time, so I might as well eat XYZ(binge food)".

The irony is that I used my airline miles for 1 magazine subscription and that exact People Magazine- they lost half their weight issue is sitting on my coffee table with a smiling Oprah on the front. LOL. I'm curious to see if those in early weight maintenance stay or fall out in years 1-2?! Psssst- a calories in calories out, eat all the foods in moderation will only take some of us so far.

EATING bread will not work for me and I know it:  I've finally made peace with not following lemmings off a cliff!!!! LOL

I'm smarter than that. To be in recovery, and to keep my weight maintainer status, I have to fuel with only non-triggering foods. Not what is popular in magazines or on the top of those "Best Diets" lists, but what is going to be the correct fit for my biochemistry body and physical mind.

I need to be really, really careful of what I'm telling myself 

So my PRIORITY when I'm sick or nearly sick is to fuel with LCHF or Keto foods that will help me get well again. This includes some caffeine.

Yeah! I stayed just ahead of the headache, so I was able to drink my first cup of coffee and some water (some of my  near migraines are dehydration)

I fell prey to wishful/hopeful/let's see if I've changed mindset. The same mindset that opens the door to food addicts in long term recovery that decide to start eating cookies, cupcakes, frosting, and processed sugars and grains.

I need to be really, really careful of what I'm telling myself 

 Now that I'm in long term food addiction and I've learned what foods trigger migraines, but behaviors can trigger it, also.

Yesterday, I got my blood drawn and then went to breakfast and had a cup of coffee. Which was fine. I walked by probably 10 coffee shops and didn't stop, "Oh, I can get a cup at home, or I'll wait until I get to this next coffee shop before I stop". I know better! I really do. I don't need any other coffee experiments, I've done those.

 I need to be really, really careful of what I'm telling myself 

Ugh, I started feeling weird last night, then the massive headache this morning. I know as long as I can keep water or coffee down, that 99.9 % of the time, the headache will be gone without meds in 10-15 minutes.

I've determined that coffee is an okay beverage for me to consume before 11:30am based on my genetics and my ability to sleep at night. ALL of my most clear thinking, non Alzheimer, non dementia relatives drank coffee. ALL of my non-coffee drinking relatives did not fare well later in life. At least that's what I tell myself. It could be my own BS. Time will tell.

What is working now:
1. Staying in my food addiction & weight maintenance template. Low Carb, Ketogenic, no sugars, no grains, no nuts, no dairy.

2. Being mindful and careful about what I'm telling myself and what foods I do need to stay well at what times, like coffee in the morning and not eating past 1-2pm most days.

3. Not falling prey to eating all foods in moderation and counting calories crowd. Does total intake matter, YES, but being tough not moderate is KEY in weight maintenance

What didn't work in the past:
1. Using being sick to eat all kinds of sugars and grains. Comfort foods, because I'm sick. I swear I was sick more often so I could keep getting food high in the cycle of food addiction. Not a great cycle. I'm sick, bring me the cinnamon toast, the candy coated cough drops, the honey in my tea! The Skinny Cow Ice Cream for my sore throat, the Coke for my upset stomach. The meds for my headache. All the meds.

2. Copy other people's weight loss without owning the fact that I was yo-yo dieting by moderating all the food in #1. And eating the food knowing that weight maintenance would be about 3 weeks long. Ugh!

3.  Not being TOUGH with what I was telling myself, not mean, just needing tough, honest, real, and adult thinking in what was working and what did not work. I needed a good case of grown up adulting.

I had a wave of grief wash over me for all the wasted time in my life where I did it to myself. Where I had headaches and illness that could have been reversed. I forgive myself for my past.

All I can do is live today and plan better things for my future. With a 2-3 cups of coffee each morning.

I'll bet I'm not alone in needing to be careful what I'm telling myself. Onward and I look forward to my lab results. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

4 years and 11 months into long term weight maintenance 17:7 intermittent fasting for the WIN!

May 2011 to Jan 2017

May 2011 to Jan 2017

Starting weight 187.4 lbs
Goal Range 115-125  lbs
Current Weight 116.4 lbs
Keeping off  71.0 lbs

Time in maintenance 4 years, 11 months

Age 50
Menopause 3+years
Height 5'1"
BMI 22.0
BMI ave this month 22.1
BMI ave last month 22.2
Ave glucose (fasting & 2hr post this month = 73mg/dL)
Ave glucose (fasting & 2 hr post last month = 71 mg/dL)

Food Template:  Ketosis and/or LCHF, NSNG
Abstain from all grains, sugars*, dairy. Nut free, artificial sweetener free **
* 85% chocolate 1X per day
** Tiny bit of stevia in my Natural Calm

Food Timing or Time Restricted Eating Window or Intermittent Fasting 17:7

17 hours fasting (water only)
7 hours eating, 3 meals
Eating window is 6am to 1pm (approx)

Auto-Immune Hashimotos 1997, 100 MCG,  Levothyroxine  daily
Food Addict in Recovery: 5+ years
High Risk, but never diagnosed Type 2 diabetes

Walking 13,000-14,000 steps per day
Weight lifting 1-2 days per week, 

Sprints on the rowing machine 1 days per week , took a break this week due to procedure

Stair Ave/day for the month 15 stairs (Apple Health Kit)

What's working now:
1. The 17:7 intermittent fasting  I fasting 17 hours- water only, and eating 3 meals, during 7 hours is really having great outcomes.  Here I am, newly entered my next plateau and this weight happens to be my ultimate weight maintenance.  I typically eat from 6am to 1pm or so every day.

I eat at 6am, 10am, and around noon- 1pm about nine out of every 10 days. Variations occur during weekends, travel, or work meetings a few days. It's all good.

I've lost 6% of my total body weight, even within my weight maintenance range. About 1.2 pounds per month. More importantly, I've been maintaining that loss comfortably.

2. Plateau living: I will be working to stay on the 116 lbs plateau and will attempt not to cycle back to the 119's, if at all possible. Time will tell if this way of eating will produce year or 2 or 3 year results.

There are no benefits for me dropping below 113 due to clothes fitting and extra skin, so I'll be likely looking to stop losing weight, if I reached the 110-113 area. I've never had to try hard to gain, so I 'm not too concerned. LOL. ;)

3. Stable Blood Glucose:  I eat to my glucose meter. 

 My blood glucose has never been lower and I seem to have 15 ug/mL differences between fasting and 2 hour post. All that I could ever hope for to keep type 2 Diabetes from becoming a diagnosis. This is the best glucose control I've ever had.

4.  Good sleep : I'm able to sleep many nights closer to 7.5 hrs, the longest in my adult life. Not all the time, but most of the time I can get good quality sleep with only Natural Calm Magnesium supplement at night ( I count this as a supplement and it doesn't seem to impact my 17hr fast)

5. House and Personal projects, or just time for me- better time blocks: Since I'm only cooking for my daughter at night, I can either batch cook or reheat things for her, then sit and sip my water. I don't miss out on family time and I can block out the early evenings for house or personal projects and hobbies, gym time, or just time for junky TV for break.

It's nice to bracket or block my time. I get more done in each time block and that gives me more time for fun stuff.  I'm spending more time on my photography and focused in my favorite support groups, when I feel like it.

What didn't work in the past:

1. Eating all day long and at night. I ate probably 6:18-  I spent 6 hours fasting at sleep and eating mini-meals and snacks and regular meals for 18 hours per day, much of it at night.  Ugh!!!! No, keeping your glucose jacked up is not going to end well for many of us with obesity histories. It only fueled a thick layer of back fat and made me sleepy.

2-3. I used plateaus in the past to justify eating sugar and grains. "Well I didn't gain, so I might as well eat this cinnamon toast with Brummel and Brown spread and count the WW points because high grain fiber can be subtracted..... it's low fat....." Completely biologically false for a lean body outcome. Fooling myself so much. It's tough to think about that tub of Brummel & Brown.

 Sadly, I almost became type 2 Diabetic with this type of glucose control, very high spikes. Yikes!!!

I could have used that time to get into loss mode if I had acted sooner and tried low carb. It's watery butter spread over the river of former obesity now..... ;)

4. Sleep:  I slept 5-6 hours and tried to make it up over the weekend. Once menopause it, sleeping through the night became much more difficult.

5. House and personal projects took a back burner: I was too sleepy and too likely to sit on the couch early in the evening and doze because of my highs and lows of my glucose. I thought doing 3-4,000 steps a day was awesome. Ugh!!!

Onward and here's to always working to find what works for you. Always. Don't stop improving your health. 

CHARTS:   You know it, the charts speak for themselves. I started the 17:7 IF on July 4, 2016

6 months of 17:7 fasting

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A new support and resource group- 2 Keto Dudes and the Ketogenic Forums 2017 recommendation

2 Keto Dudes Podcast

Hello!  I'd like to recommend a Keto support and resource online forum Ketogenic Forums (pssst, you could use it if you are low carb, too, just saying...)

The group is the natural evolution of the 2 Keto Dudes podcast  and the result when their Facebook Group got too big to effectively manage.

A lot of the content and posts are public and searchable on Google. Some of the topics are listed as private.

Here's what I like about the Ketogenic Forums

1. Choice of platform is excellent- IMO, easy to use, searchable, rewards consistent use, intuitive.
2. Well moderated group.
3. Great resources, current.
4. Ability to start up topics that relate to you with the frame of Keto/ LCHF (Food Addiction, Weight Maintenance!)
5. Easy mobile device app for reading on the go.

Yeah!  If you are looking for a some great information and helpful, well moderated forms and others that are on your path, or if you are newbie ready to change your weight, avoid Type 2 Diabetes or get it into remission in 2017, the 2 Keto Dudes Ketogenic Forums come highly recommended.

Onward into 2017. Much of disease from modern day, processed, high carb foods is very reversible and is certainly preventable- IMO.  See you over on the forums.