That's a good question. I'm not sure what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some poking around and get back to you if I got an answer. You should email the people at Nutrisystem as they probably could give you an answer..
Nice content, thanks! I will post my adventures on the boards, when they start...
Well, that was one of my biggest questions as I started maintenance....
I have tried to stay within the Nutrisystem plan guidelines and adding a few additional calories to my daily meals until I stopped losing weight. I have tried to keep about the same calories count to keep my weight at the same point..
This has been pretty successful for me as I have been within 3 lbs of my "new normal" weight for 4 months..
I have done this by consuming additional fruit and vegies mostly. I find that the vegies fill me up and don't add a lot of calories. I will eat an extra apple or banana (over what I did while on NS)..
I also eat on the same pattern that I did with NS. Something to eat about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This keeps hunger at bay and I don't fill the urge to binge..
I continue to be careful with my meals but I have strayed a little. However I am very careful about monitoring my weight and as soon as I jump up a little, I get right back on plan..
The one thing that I am not really good about is the water...I just can't seem to consume as much as I did when I was losing weight..
I'm similar to bwv in that I follow the same format as far as the timing of meals and breakdown of macro nutrients, ~50% carb, (low gi), 30% protein, and 20% fat. I started my maintenance by slowly adding 100 or so calories per day to the 1800 that I ended my loss mode with. This worked well, after several months on Nutrisystem you really get in tune with what's going on with your body..
I've changed my program up again for the winter and am doing an old school barbell strength building program. Because of the caloric demands of this program I'm eating just slightly above maintenance levels. I found the maintenance level by having my base metabolic rate (BMR) measured. There are also plenty of BMR calculators out there that can pretty accurately measure it. Since I'm trying to build muscle I've made up the extra calories primarily in protein, chicken, fish, etc. The challenge is getting enough calories in but keeping the calories "clean"..
I also try to eat for the demands of a particular day. What I mean is that some days I have scheduled some pretty intense workouts, so I make sure that I eat to support not only the effort but the recovery too. On light days or off days I adjust my intake accordingly. Naturally the key to all of this working is keeping accurate records of what you're eating. It's not too onerous when you figure out a system that works for you. I use the "LoseIt" app on my iPhone.
The good news is that once you find the right balance point it becomes easy to adjust up or down as needed. For me with my current level of activity I'm eating 2700 calories a day, with 200 grams of protein, and my weight varies from 210 to 212. It seems to be working great as my waist continues to get smaller, and not only am I seeing some real nice definition all over, but my chest, back and arms are much thicker than they were even just a month ago..
One thing to be aware of is the salt levels in foods that you eat when you come off of Nutrisystem foods. The biggest fluctuations in weight that I have seen have been due to fluid retention from too much sodium. This resolves in a couple of days with getting plenty of water, (another reason to drink plenty!), but I think must cause a lot of panic in people who just lost weight, possibly causing them to get depressed and fall off the wagon. It's just simply not possible to gain 2 or 3 pounds in a day, but that's the kind of gains you see when you get too much sodium..
Let me know if you have any more questions...
Thanks as always for content packed post, bear. Would think that with your loss rate, you would have needed to add more calories to get to equilibrium. Guess this means, I should be careful too. Especially if I ease off on some of the biking. On the other hand, I can't afford to go 15 pounds under 160 before I catch the reduction! Hmm.....
I had been consistently adding calories from about 1/2 way through to support my running. I try to eat about 2200 calories per day..
As you add make sure you're adding quality calories. You've been eating "big salads" and that's not a bad idea to continue doing that. Stay with the whole, unrefined foods..
You should be concerned about your calories because you have been working out hard all along but I don't think you ever added calories. You haven't lost the muscle mass that I did with the running so that will also be a consideration for you. I eat a lot of protein (shake for breakfast with whey powder, yogurt, peanut butter, banana and egg substitute, egg & chicken or fish in a large salad for lunch, protein bar afternoon snack and some protein serving for dinner). I also eat beans and rice or pasta each day. I eat one slice of bread each day. I eat fruit three times a day and a serving of some type of nut (sunflower, almond or walnut).
I do have days where I eat a lot of calories, usually on the weekends. But, my goal is to eat fresh, unrefined foods and to stay lean on the animal protein..
Congrats on a great job. Thanks for being willing to share your photos. They really help to encourage others that it's possible to be successful and I know they are a help to you to see the huge change you have made...
Right-On to what Dick, Bill, Clark, and Larry said! Nothing to add here, since I'm not really a Maintainer - More of a Bouncer and you don't need THAT kind of advice. LOL.
Once again, Poly, a BIG congratulations for OWNING this program and showing the way to make it work!.
Thanks, Dick. I had not internalized the change until looking at the photos. Didn't really own up to being fat when fat. Didn't own up to being skinny when skinny. Pictures tell more than the mirror..
I ran at 2000 calories during the midpoint of the diet, but am only 1650 now. It's hard to tell with all the random variation and such, but my impression was that food calories were pretty rational. IOW, everything else constant adding 500 calories/day takes a pound/week loss rate off..
I did find that getting lighter meant less intrinsic calories needed, but this is a different phenomenon and operates on a different time scale (monthly, not weekly)..
I don't really have a numerical feel for my calorie demands from exercise. Don't trust either tables or bodybugs. But in the common sense manner of 2 hours of biking/day losing more weight than 1 hour/day, I see the differences. Think exercise is something I need to keep up. Perhaps moderating the time commitment (easier on both joints and income) and maybe doing a surgery, which will limit activity during recovery..
As I ask questions and think out loud in the process, I've been coming to the conclusion that the calories added need to be good ones and that I should stick with a lot of the bulk that I have liked so far. Just think that will ward off the bad tendancies. And I could easily go to high calorie density food that would likely swamp even high exercise demands. I think carbs are kind of a medium type of input. Not sugar, alcohol, or fat. I really don't need any more protein or veggies, though!..