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Ruined my relationship with food and metabolism?(7 Posts)
NC as I’m embarrassed by the state I’ve got myself into.
I’ve lost 4st in about 10 months calorie counting. Reached goal weight and promptly put on 2.5lb the following week. This made me feel like I’d failed. I was still calorie counting but averaged somewhere between 1400-1600 calories that week. Previously on 1200ish. Doesn’t seem like a lot to me.
I’ve been worried about what happens when the diet is over, read that the challenge is to keep it off.
I don’t want to be on a diet forever!
My relationship with food has changed- I choose food based on calories rather than what I want to eat. I ‘save’ calories for ‘treats’. I’m not sure I’m eating because I’m hungry- it’s been more to do with how many calories I have left.
I get anxious about food with unknown amounts of calories. I don’t trust myself to know what I can eat without weighing/ logging every mouthful.
This doesn’t feel like a (mentally) healthy place to be and I’m concerned that my body is now used to having so few calories that I’ll just pile it on eating normally (whatever that is!)
Has anyone managed to keep weight off and have an easier relationship with food than I seem to have? Am I doomed to yo yo dieting forever?!
Oh dear, what a pickle. Think back to when you were 4 stone heavier. How happy would you have been if you were told you would get to here?
I speak as someone with 4 stone to lose. I would be delirious with joy.
I don’t know if you used my Fitness Pal, but I would recommend you have a look.
Why don’t you write out your dream menu for a week, then count the calories. I’m guessing you don’t want black pudding and pork pies, with sides of cheesy chips at every meal.
Or you could look at the S plan thread on here, seems great for moving into maintenance.
I did lose weight 2 years ago and regained it. I think I got lazy about planning over relaxed on portion control and indulged in too many treats. , so hoping I learn from that.
Don’t be scared, enjoy yourself. I can’t wait to wear clothes because I like them, not because they are all that fits.
Hi, I do agree that to an extent your current relationship with food sounds unhealthy but I really wouldn't worry too much about the 2.5lb, that sounds within the realm of normal fluctuation, especially if it's TOTM or you had a few more carbs than usual so may be retaining water. I really doubt you gained that much 'true' weight in just a week of slightly increased eating. Obviously keep an eye on the situation but I wouldn't be panicing or resigning yourself to putting it all back on.
I think it's largely a myth that bodies go into 'starvation mode' or that dieting significantly messes with your metabolism to the extent you put weight on quicker than before, but I suppose it's true that many people think once they've lost the weight they can eat significantly more and plus overestimate how many calories they are really having once they stop counting, OR they don't realise that larger people have a higher TDEE than smaller people (I didn't know this not that long ago, I genuinely thought everyone needed 2000 regardless of age/height/size ), so if when you were overweight you could eat 2000 cals per day and not gain any more weight but at a healthy weight you now only need 1500 cals a day to maintain, if you go back to 2000 cals you will gradually put on weight - not saying this is what you've done but just where the whole 'yo-yo' thing mainly comes from IMO. I think most people who successfully keep weight off do continue to follow some kind of moderated or adjusted 'plan' or 'rules' in the long term, whether that's avoiding too many carbs or loosely keeping an eye on calories or whatever.
I suppose the difficulty is in finding a 'new normal' which is somewhere in between obsessively calorie counting to the point its making you anxious and going completely back to your old habits. Would you feel able to maybe continue for a few more weeks as you have been OP, eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and veg, keeping an eye on the calories averaged over the week but not avoiding treats altogether (maybe start with giving yourself a day a week 'off' altogether) and see how it goes? If you do see a continued upward trend on the scales then perhaps time to reevaluate but you may find you hit a happy medium where your body seems to naturally plateau and not fluctuate too much?
Good luck, it is really hard and you have done brilliantly so far so should be giving yourself a massive pat on the back!
Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. Very much appreciated.
I am delighted to have lost the weight, and yes it’s great to be able to think less about what I wear because things look better on me now. It’s easier to move around, I do feel much better. I am proud of what I’ve achieved, just anxious about putting it back on and I guess aware of what the process has done to my mental health. Im a bit obsessed I think! I wonder if this is common. I’m hoping not to be anxious around food in time..
I have used mfp to track which is how I’ve lost the weight. I’ll continue for now and take on board your ideas/suggestions. I’ll look at the S plan. Thank you.
Really interesting about the TDEE. I hadn’t thought of it like that either! Certainly given me a new perspective!
Yes, the ‘new normal’ is unknown for now- needs gradual adjustment.
Thank you for your support, really helpful
I was where you are now about 10 years ago. I fucked up my mental attitude towards food and honestly I've never really fixed it. It was horrible having to make every decision on what I was going to eat based on the calories or if it was allowed. Eventually it just got too mentally exhausting for me. Then I started binging and purging. Then stopped purging and kept binging.
I do think too much focus in general is put on losing weight and no consideration is actually given to whether or not the method of losing weight is healthy. You need to work on new healthy eating habits, not just focus on calories.
You need to find the right balance of eating what you enjoy in moderation, while also eating what keeps you full and nourished, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. It's also about recognising that a particular weight may not be right for you if it takes unhealthy habits to maintain it and making peace with that.
5:2 worked for me. I lost 4 stone last year with SW and have kept most of it off with 5:2. It means I can still have off days and eat biscuits and chips sometimes rather than having to stick to it every day.
Thank you BentNeckLady and Fatted for your ideas.
Fatted you have described my state of mind to a tee. Those are my fears. I also think too much focus is on simply losing the weight. I searched these boards for more ideas/others who have asked the same as I’m feeling but it’s all largely about losing weight from what I can see.
I hate the idea of being on some sort of ‘diet’ forever, am very aware that I don’t trust myself to make reasonable food choices and just feel like I’ve got myself trapped in an unhealthy mindset.
I’m thinking my way to find balance is probably going to be primarily psychological. I think I need reprogramming!
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