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What rules, tricks, or special lil quirks do you use to stay on plan?

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:23 AM   #1
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Default What rules, tricks, or special lil quirks do you use to stay on plan?

I'm trying to adjust my lifestyle to make it a permanent change...not another "diet spell." As such I feel like I'm not making rapid enough changes. I know I'll be calorie counting and the last two days I've gone for walks. I love the walks, I feel GREAT... more relaxed even. But I'd like to cement up my plan.

I'd like to find out what kinds of plans, tricks, rules you guys have that you feel have really helped you stick to it and make the change.

I'm also wondering, do you have "cheat days?" what sort of guidelines do those of you who have cheat days use so that you don't completely undo the weeks work?

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Old 05-22-2010, 10:34 AM   #2
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My rule is no cheat days. I don't know if you have a problem with compulsive eating, binges, or being out of control with food at all, but if you do (I do) then I find it's best to hang onto control while you have it for as long as possible.

Other than that, for me, the essentials are exercise, water, LOTS AND LOTS of veggies, plenty of protein, no junk, and watch the carbs
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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No sugar.

That's the foundation of my plan. So long as I keep to that, everything else is golden.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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Balanced nutrition within calorie limits, plenty of water and exercise.

I don't like the idea of "cheat" days, although if you look around the fora you will see many who do. If I want or need to have an off-plan meal, I make it a decision to have an off-plan meal and own it - I don't call it a cheat. Even then I try to use a little common sense.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calluna View Post
I don't like the idea of "cheat" days, although if you look around the fora you will see many who do. If I want or need to have an off-plan meal, I make it a decision to have an off-plan meal and own it - I don't call it a cheat. Even then I try to use a little common sense.
Ditto. (and I not only own it, I enjoy the heck out of it! lol!)

And this is an area where daily weigh ins help me - last night, I was looking at the bag of cookies (bought for my son) and I was tempted but really, really wanted to break into the 2-teens today and was more motivated to stay on plan to try to do that than I was tempted to eat a cookie.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:42 AM   #6
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I did not have cheat days when I was actively losing weight (with the exception of 2 meals - my birthday and Christmas dinner). With the exception of 2 drinks (wine on my birthday and a mimosa on Christmas day) I also avoided all alcohol. Now that I'm maintaining, I eat a treat meal (it is not cheating, it is a planned treat) once a week and probably 1-2 glasses a wine a week.

For my big tip - it's planning. I have found it is very very difficult to eat healthy by accident. We all know that an apple is a much better afternoon snack than a bag of Doritos. But, at 4:00 in the afternoon at work, which is the easier snack to get a hold of? If I want that apple, I have to plan to have that apple.

I do all my meal planning on Sunday, go to the grocery store on Sunday and pack lunches for the work week on Monday morning. Some people aren't happy with that kind of structure, but it is freeing to me. I don't have to "wing it", all my healthy food is ready to go!
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
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Here's what I have done to change this time around.
i walked 6 out of 7 days a week no matter what... I just did it. If you do it for a month your life will be ingrained with it.
Second, I count calories but I don't count them on the weekend as long as I can make good decisions and still stop at 6 pm eating.
I ate most of my crap calories after 6 anyway so its been easy.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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no processed foods... rules out most of the junk, sugar and high carb foods for me!!
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Two rules I live by:

1. I track my AVERAGE daily calorie deficit over 7 days. That way if I mess up on one day, I don't give up my plan, simply create a bigger deficit over the next 6 days to keep that average where I want it.

2. Once I got my exercise up to 6 hours a week (started out at 2.5 hours), that has become my minimum. So if I have a week that I'm coming up short, my Sunday hike may be extra long. However because hiking is my reward exercise if I'm already at 6 hours I still go for a ramble.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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No eating out period, drink only water! Besides my cup of coffee per day.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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Hi there! One girl told me that she takes a small spoon of milk when she feels hungry...I think that is cool and can work, try it!

Tara I like your way so I wolud like to join...if you wolud like e-mail to me to normalna2010@yahoo.com

I hope I will start doing someting with my weight because this is ..
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:32 PM   #12
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Hmmm...I feel like I say this a lot, alot, but it really is the one thing that has kept me going the most. I've done this so many times and this time something is different.

I gave myself a one year commitment to this life style, period, the end. No matter what happens, I am on plan because I'm that desperate to see how much I can lose in a year's time. It has really worked for me.

But to come to this conclusion, I did a lot of soul searching. What was it that had me quitting all those others times? I had only one answer. The scale. When the scale did not cooperate, I quit. So my answer was to start weighing daily instead of weekly and to give a year's commitment.

I think you have to ask yourself why YOU quit before and what do you ned to do in order to fail-safe it for YOU.
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:39 PM   #13
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What works for me:

Plan, plan, plan and then plan some more. I try to have at least 1/2 to 1 full day logged in advance. It's a pain the butt to change it all in fitday and I'm lazy so mentally it's just easier to eat what I planned in the first place. Logging and being aware of what goes in my mouth was really the first step for me, and I have a calorie range I stick to now. It also helps enormously to prepare meals in advance, so I just have to grab stuff rather than prep and cook when I'm already hungry.

Water. With the exception of coffee and the occasional party drink, I've pretty much cut out any other beverage. I love water so it's not a problem, but a Propel or a Crystal Light can make it more palatable if you prefer.

The gym. Or your living room or a walk down the street. Whatever works for you, just move. After my much whined about 3 month backslide, I'm in the gym again. I have a plan for that too, working gradually from 3x/week back up to the 5+ days I was working out when I went AWOL. Getting to the gym sucks -- I literally dread it. But once I'm there I'm fine, and I'm always glad I went.

The perimeter. Shop primarily around the perimeter of the grocery store, where you usually find lean meats, dairy, fruits and vegetable and not a whole lot of processed crap. I do this as much as I can, as having non-crap in my house doesn't really give me a chance to eat it.

Cheat days. They don't work for me for a few reasons. First, I don't believe in "cheating"...I hate what the word implies, just like I don't believe in being "bad" because it feels like some kind of moral judgment I impose upon myself. There are good choices and poor choices we consciously make, and we have to own those decisions (and believe me, I've made plenty of poor choices). Also, I can't be trusted with a cheat day -- I've proven time and time again that it takes me too long to get back to eating like a human being again after a full-on cheat day.

However, I don't deny myself anything either. I'll generally wait several hours or sometimes even a full day to indulge a craving. Most times it goes away. If it becomes overwhelming, I figure a small amount of that food into my tracking. My own personal rule is that if it's going to put me over my calories for the day, I don't do it. But if I can work it in (I'm talking to you, insane psychotic PMS chocolate craving -- I wound up having one small dark chocolate dove square I swiped from the bowl in my boss' office last week and it did the trick) I won't have it.

Don't look back. My wonderful cohorts here at 3FC have taught me this more than anyone. Celebrate the now and your successes. Don't beat yourself up about your past failures. Doing that and looking ahead has literally been like a rebirth for me. Awesome.

And lastly...

Communication. This was probably the hardest thing for me, because I'm so a give-the-people-what-they-want pleaser type. In the past I've also been pretty private with my weight loss efforts but this time around I just had to throw it out there and talk to my family and friends and let them know that while I love them desperately, I really don't want that huge dinner or big burger because it's not going to do me any good. Doing this was ultimately very freeing and makes mealtime a much more pleasant thing.

If my boyfriend wants a calorie-packed supper, I make it for him and have whatever I planned anyway. We don't need to eat the same thing to enjoy each others' company at dinner.

Along the same lines, I still go out to lunch nearly every weekday with one of my best friends because it's a nice break in the day and a time for us to catch up. He's a younger dude, super thin with crazy metabolism, so we're kinda like Jack Spratt and his wife or something . The unwritten rule is I need to be able to eat healthily wherever we go, and I don't expect him to do the same (he won't...the guy can eat a side of beef with 12 potatoes as a chaser and be hungry an hour later). If he offers me a bite of something which he almost always does, I generally turn it down and remind him that my butt is getting smaller and that's a good thing. It's amazing how accepting and happy for me people are now that I've given them the chance.

Oh, and just a note...I didn't take all these steps at once. Your original question was about small tweaks, and I definitely made these changes one at a time until I had the whole thing together. Life feels better and more hopeful now.

Sorry for the rambling, but I hope you find one or two things here that ring true and will help you out.

Happy weekend!
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:07 PM   #14
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I'll echo my fellow planners.

For me it is a MAJOR factor and the best *tip* to be had. "failing to plan is planning to fail". I plan out my foods in advance, knowing where each and every meal/snack is coming from ahead of time. Much easier to stay on plan when you've got a plan. Much easier avoiding the cookies if I KNOW that I've got a veggie platter and salsa coming up as my snack shortly.

Another tip - eat really, really, REALLY delicious foods. Seek out, look for, create wonderful tasty foods that just happen to be low cal and healthy. If what you're eating tastes so good, there's no reason to give into that other food - the foods that taste good, but aren't good for you.

Switch your way of thinking - Deprivation? We hear a lot about that. Realize that the true deprivation is not passing up on some high calorie foods - but in EATING them and remaining FAT.

Another big, big tip - remove the foods that you love, crave, and overeat the most, specifically the sugar-y/white stuff. I had a hard time stopping to eat certain foods once I started - my solution - don't start. Problem solved, 165 lbs shed for close to 3 years now. So no, I don't believe in a cheat day. This time, I was done taking chances. I made the decision to lose the weight once and for all, no matter what and permanently. As hard as it was (initially, 2 weeks or so), saying no to *those foods*, it was worth it big time. The less and less I went without them, the less and less I wanted them. For me, everything in moderation just doesn't work, just like it doesn't for an alcoholic.

Another tip - it's okay to tell yourself no! You're an adult, you don't have to give into temptation or a craving. You don't have to have something just because you want it. Discipline is a wonderful thing. Make reasonable, rational, mature decisions with your food, just like you do in other areas of your life. You don't drive recklessly - you shouldn't eat recklessly either.

That's about it - for now.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #15
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for me, i did a lot of internal work at the same time - as in, I found out WHY i got up to 300 pounds, that's made all the difference. I don't do 'cheat' days as that implies i'm on a diet which i'm not. I'm just eating like a real person, i hesitate to say 'a normal person' lol

I calorie counted, and yes i had some M&Ms in there but i counted them, every single one of them. Once you discover you can have a nice thick roast beef sandwich for the same caloric price as a handful of m&ms, you make different choices in a hurry LOL

i drink lots of water, cut out diet sodas, gave up 'diet' food like fake frozen dinners and 100 calorie packs, in favour of REAL food, just made sure good alternatives were always around - i'm not super planner, so i just made sure my 'spur of the moment' choices were made with good food in the house, and came on to 3FC to know i'm not the only one in the world going thru all this
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