Checking out other plans - need advice
Ok, here it is. I'm doing Intuitive Eating, which I love. I've been at it since early December, and lost 16lbs. However, I've regained 8 :(
My plan was to take a maintenance break, but my weight has continued to go up. While I know that I've formed loads of great habits so far (cutting way back on refined sugar, understanding that exercise makes me feel great, believing I can do it, learning healthy recipes that I love, finding out which foods make me feel better/worse, hugely curbing the binge eating, making weight loss feel sustainable and not a chore, not having to clear my plate... being just a few!) there is one MAJOR problem.
I find the whole introspective nature of IE really hard to follow when I'm under stress. My eating habits and my thorough examination of them takes a back seat while I figure out other problems. Trying to work out whether or not I'm hungry when I'm also trying to figure out how to pay bills this month is nigh on impossible. If I don't do something about this NOW, I can see the gain continuing.
I want to cheat on my plan! I think I need something different, firstly to improve my focus, as it'll be like starting out again. Also, I think most people can learn something new from every plan under the sun. I don't think there needs to be One Definitive Plan that works for me all the time. I'm thinking of it as simply adding another weapon to my arsenal in the battle against the fat monster!
A few things, I'm pretty broke, so can't be doing any meetings or similar things, it'll be best doing it off my own back with foods cooked from scratch. I don't see any foods as "good" or "bad" as for me (prone to bingeing) that gives food too much power. I have a few things in mind... paleo, low carb, calorie counting. I like apps so feel free to suggest any that support the plan you're doing.
I was just wondering if anyone could give me a brief (or long! :) ) rundown of what your plan is, what you like/dislike about it, how you've found it for sustainability, or whatever else you think is relevant? :)
Ps: sorry about the super-long post... I guess I'm venting my frustration about having gone halfway back on 2.5 months of progress in what seems like a few weeks. Rant over and thanks for reading/commenting :)
When I was first losing weight I used Myfitnesspal to count calories, carbs, fats, sodium etc... I also excerised and did not eat back the calories. It allowed me to eat a cookie once in a while or whatever goodie I wanted to add in. I lost 30 lbs doing this and only stalled because of my thyroid. I think it is one of the easiest plans to follow. I love keeping track of everything though, and I am a BIG list maker. The phone ap/barcode scanner makes it pretty simple to use when you're not always home. I will definitely return to calorie counting for maintenance. I am pretty sensitive to carbs (they tend to make me gain weight quicker than anything else), so I also eat low carb (or at least go a larger part of the week eating low carb). I also liked doing this because it was free! Basically there was nothing I disliked about it.
I have some of my close friends on MFP (along with some new diet friends), so that also helps with accountability. Watching their progress, getting to leave each other comments, and having them watch my progress is pretty fun.
Like you said, there is no "Right Plan" for everyone. I have never tried paleo, but I have heard a lot of great things about that diet as well.
Hope you find something that works for you (even if you end up sticking with your original plan). Good luck!
I already have that on my phone! :D I might start a new account and check it out properly. Right now I've used it to plug in my foods for some days out of curiosity, to see what foods I was gravitating towards, when I couldn't remember off the top of my head. I didn't know it had a barcode scanner, that sounds very handy :D
I'm impressed with your progress! I can see why actually using MFP properly would have so many benefits I haven't yet taken advantage of.
To be honest, I think IE is definitely my base plan, my default. However, it does take a lot of mental gymnastics, and ultimately my goal is to lose weight and keep it off, so I'm more than happy to dip into other plans when I want to keep a closer eye on what I'm doing, break through a plateau etc. I'm glad I DID log some stuff in MFP when IE was going smoothly, as now I have a baseline for how I eat "naturally" as in, without thinking about it (it usually came up in the 12-1400 cal range which is a good sign).
Can I find you on MFP if that's ok? :) I think I'm going to use it whatever plan I end up on, and for however long :)
I'm finding calorie counting easy--in large part due to MyFitnessPal. (LoseIt! is another popular app)
I've been reading the Beck Diet Solution (which is not a plan) and based on it, have been planning in advance. Instead of logging food after I eat it, I log food the night before as my plan for the next day. Before the day starts, I know what I'm going to be eating when. That makes it easy to be sure my calorie counts (and now protein, fiber, and carbs) are right before the day even starts.
I find that the planning works even when busy or under stress, because I took that 5 minutes the night before to plan the next day--stressed or not, I can follow a plan--I just can't create one under stress.
I think even with calorie counting, there is room for some level of intuitive eating, but I'm finding that a clear daily plan is working really well for me.
MyFitnessPal is an app, but there's also a website, so a smart phone isn't required. There aren't any other costs to it.
I will say that the MFP forums aren't anywhere near as good as 3FC, but I'm not there for the forums and support--I'm there for the calorie counting and the select group of friends I've gathered. (Think Facebook--it's a social media thing if you want it to be)
I follow Weight Watchers and my first year, I didn't go to meetings/pay for it. I used old stuff that I was given years before. I know people that just follow WW by using the free (or cheap 1.50 etc) apps. There was a version that someone on 3FC was following where you can choice points plus or the old version of Weight Watchers. (Iphone or droid).
I get a set amount of points which I should eat them all during the day. I also have weekly points that I can use throughout the week for special occasions. There is free fruit and veggies (I honestly don't like most fruits so I don't have to worry about overeating fruits. Some people only have 3 fruits and count the rest in their points). I like the free vegs part because it encourages me to eat veggies.
WW has worked for me before. I've tried calorie counting before but I never could keep up with it (but I loved the loseit! app). I try to follow a mismash of intuitive eating, the F factor diet, Beck diet solution and things that I think are just better overall. I've changed some "rules" and make it my plan. One of the things I have an issue with is the fact they want healthy oils and healthy fats don't count. From what I know of nutrition, that's crazy sauce. SO I count healthy fats as my oils. Last time I did this, I had a rule to limit myself to a 2 serving size limit of cheese cause I love cheese.
EDIT: I will message you my email since I know you aren't supposed to post them on the forums.
I completely understand what you're going through in terms of trying to stay focused on your weight loss when other things in your day to day are not going as you want them. The last few months have really been up and down for me in terms of my personal and professional life and sometimes it can be really hard to focus on anything other than the giant cloud of doom above my head.
About a month and a half ago I came back to this forum and it made me realize that despite whatever happens or does not happen in the day to day drama that is my life, I am determined to lose weight. I may not know how I'm going to keep my checking account out of a negative balance, but I know I'm going to lose weight.
Right now getting healthier is the only thing that I have complete control of right now. And as long as I try to remember that (and keep checking in here) I'm (mostly) able to stay motivated.
I'm using myfitnesspal to track my calories and exercise (my username is birdieey if you want to add me). I don't really restrict much from my diet, except regular pop, and just try to stay within my allotted calories. I have found that by tracking what I'm eating I am more prone to choose healthier options, but if I'm craving a burger and fries I'll have it and modify my calories and exercise for the rest of the day.
Right now I'm doing about 1 hour a day of cardio at least 5 times a week. But as of March 1st (for 30 days) I'm going to lower it to about 45 mins daily and add in a few days of weight training.
I've been doing this for about 6 weeks and I've been losing pretty consistently between 1-3 pounds.
I think maybe tracking your eating and or upping your exercise will help you start moving back in the right direction. Good luck and keep us posted!
Beth, I'd love to pick up that book when I can, I might check if a local library has it :) I don't think the planning in advance would work for me, but I can see exactly how it works in theory! As I don't have a permanent place to stay right now, it's easiest for me to just pick up food as and when I can, and I've learned a lot these past few months about what works and what doesn't... So I basically have some "go to" foods in mind. I'm always close to swimming pools, within a few miles, and I want to start going once a week. That plus getting a good 2 mile walk in every day (not hard as I'm moving about so much!).
Daimere, I did WW several years ago, and it did work! I lost 3 stone in maybe 6 months? This was when I went swimming practically every night after work for hours though ;) I didn't realise you could get apps for old versions of it... When I did it, I had a book and a sheet of paper and a pen, heh! ;) I'll check out the app store and online to see what I can find out. Might give it a try to see if I can incorporate some bits. And I know what you mean about hoarding the info, I have a bookmarks folder on my phone with health, nutrition, fitness and hormones info with a list of sites longer than my arm, all of which I've found useful at some point!
Charliee, the big black cloud of doom is very bad!! I just find that despite my best intentions I go running for the food when I'm stressed/depressed (which is regularly, especially right now:( ). I really do need to focus my mind somehow, when being "mindful" just isn't working. In the past, I used diets to beat myself up with because I fundamentally hated myself, then I almost instantly fell off the wagon and binged. I'm so scared of going back to that, but I know this time I have my head in the right place. I'm not losing weight SO I can love myself, I'm doing it BECAUSE I do. I think that's the fundamental difference this time that will make it work, the "this time it's different" thing. Because regardless of whether or not I lose weight, it IS different :)
And with that long rambling reply, thankyou all very much! :)
I like calorie tracking but I also want to move to a more plant based menu.
I just watched Forks over Knives on Netflix and a lot of what they said made sense. And while they advocate a totally plant based diet - I think even an increase in plant based foods is still a step in the right direction and can take some of the stress off. It's pretty hard to eat too many calories if you're eating mostly plants unless you drench them in oils.
I've been wanting to try intuitive eating but I really don't think it will work for me. My internal meter is broken after years (my whole life really) of overeating.
I've been using MyFitnessPal to track both calories and carbs and really like it. There are a bunch of people from 3FC that are also on MFP. The support I get from them is great! What I've noticed is that a lot of people use calorie counting in addition to another plan, ie. paleo, low-carb, GI, etc. It acts almost as a double check for them.
I'm calorie counting using lose it.com. I love it one by default it makes you eat healthier because hey who doesn't want to be able to eat more, but it also still allows me to indulge in some of my less wholesome favorites by budgeting them in. plus its simple and does the numbers for you "I tweak mine" but with what it set up I wouldn't have to if I didn't want to. It has a large data base and also tracks nutrition and exercise also with a huge data base. Though I assume that the exercise isn't always spot on. It's got a scanner option to scan in nutrition info that it doesn't have and they award badges so it's fun. Lol as you can see I like it .
I totally get your frustration. Its tough when something works and then doesn't.
Im using Lose It!, like it, but am thinking about shaking things up myself. Im looking into this 5/2 intermittent fasting. Anyone heard/done it?
I have indeed. I read this article recently- so I'm not sure what to think of it for women: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/wome...ttent-fasting/
I think I'm going to try to low-carb it for the next couple of months. I'd really like to stay in ketosis almost for the entire month- until Easter, when I make a lamb cake:
I'm a vegetarian and I calorie count. I don't track every calorie, nor do I write down my food, but I am VERY honest with myself about the calories in my food and pay VERY close attention to it. Primarily, I cook for myself, estimate the calories in the whole recipe (I know the calories in a cup of dried lentils/beans by heart!) and then divide the recipe into at least as many servings as need to get to a target number of calories.
For example: I want my lunch main dish to be at least 200 calories, but no more than 300 calories, so I make lentil soup, consider the ingredients, come up with "total calories in the recipe" of 1200 or 1400 and divide the recipe into 6-7 servings. Voila!
It is fairly simple once you start paying attention, though I think with things like meat and cheese and grains and starches like potatoes, weighing and measuring is more important.
I count out the number of croutons I'm allowed to have (six, precisely) and the number of olives I'm allowed to have. I don't weigh and measure veggies, but I do pay attention to the calories in my fruit servings.
The MOST IMPORTANT PART of any plan is that you plan ahead. I don't know what your schedule is, but during the week I work late and don't have time to cook regularly. I prep my salads and cut veggies primarily on Sunday (with a secondary prep night mid-week, which is usually AFTER I have eaten dinner). I have dinners ready to go when I get home so I don't have to worry about being frantic and hungry and wanting fast or convenient food.
Also, particularly early in the process, I gave myself permission to get a take-out salad or use those pre-packaged cut veggies or pour-out salad implicitly. My local grocery stores makes nice garden salads with loads of veggies that are $5 a pop. If I didn't have salad prepped I would run into the grocery store and get one of their pre-made salads and a bad of lettuce and turn it into a couple of days' worth of salad (lettuce alone is not a salad in my opinion).
I always have food at home that can turn into a quick dinner that I needn't think about. These are generally pre-made tofu and/or veggie burgers that I can pair with frozen veg or cut veg or whatever, something easy that requires no thought and little prep time, but that I actually like.
I have also researched calories in fast food options, and in the casual restaurant chains, and have some places that I know I can go to and get a meal that is vegetarian and is satisfying and is within my calorie limits. There aren't many, but I have those places always ready if I need them. Pita Pit, Subway, Ruby Tuesdays. Even Taco Bell. Panera for sure.
I NEVER fib to myself about the calories in food now. I did that alot before. I don't assume something is healthy if it sounds healthy. I LOOK IT UP.
And I NEVER have open bags of chips (even baked ones) or other tempting, mindless foods in the house. That doesn't mean I don't EAT chips. I do, pretty regularly, and certainly with lunch on both Saturday and Sunday. I just buy big bags of single-servings. Not necessarily 100 calorie packs, they may be 90 or 140 calories, but single-serving packs.
Or, if I want something like pop chips and they don't have single-serving bags, I search through all of the bags available to find - not the food with the lowest number of calories per serving, but the food that appeals to me that comes in the smallest PACKAGE. 3-4 servings maximum. It is easier to portion out 3 servings over time than ... 12! in a big open bag of food your brain sees as insufficiently memorable to stop you eating.
That's true of things like frozen french fries, too. I do buy those. I like fries. I just bake them in the oven and they are fine, but I buy Cascadian farms shoestring fries almost exclusively because they come in a 5 serving bag rather than a 12 serving bag. There's a certain strategy to that, as limiting access to those foods makes it harder to overestimate them and overeat them.
So: I think any plan can work, as long as you take the time to plan ahead and map out your strategies for dealing with stressful moments. Think about them ahead of time and have a plan that you can just implement and it is MUCH easier to make good choices than when you are stressed and starving and grumpy.
Calorie counting has always been the thing I have gone back to. I have tried allot of stuff and it just seems that calorie counting is so simple, free, and easy when you use and APP. I also use MFP and it has saved me I swear. They have an internet version that my Mom uses since she does not have an android and she loves it too. It really is the only thing that has worked for me. I have been heavy for a long time and I'll try something new and get no results and start getting frustrated thinking my body is not wanting to shed the pounds and and soon as I start tracking my calories I start losing. Now that being said when I eat great healthy foods more veggies and fruits and grains, I lose faster than if I was to eat the same amount of calories, but more sugery foods or carbs.
Good luck on whatever you chose. You can do this!!
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