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Working out a lifetime way of eating that works

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Old 07-29-2013, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default Working out a lifetime way of eating that works

Several years ago when I started losing weight after decades of morbid obesity I recognized that I had to make permanent changes. Finding a way of eating that works and that I can live with has been a top priority of mine. First, I ruled out exchange plans because I had tried and failed with them so many times. Next, I started with and tried everything in moderation with calorie counting. I had great success for a couple of years, lost over 100 pounds. I felt good and looked much better. Than a time of emotional stress hit and I feel off the plan and regained 55 pounds.

So I started over this spring and recognized that the everything in moderation does not work for me. Sugar seemed to be my primary problem, so I swore off sugar and decided that I had to give it up forever. I have been eating low carb and counting calories and it is working well. I am not hungry and am losing well. I have almost re-lost the pounds that I put back on.

Now, I am really thinking about my forever eating plan. I do not believe that I can stay forever on as low a carb plan as I have been on. I am on a doctor supervised plan so I talked to her about this concern. While I know that it is common, I don't want to be on a strict plan until I finish losing weight and then need to make a transition to a very different plan for maintenance. I am too afraid of gaining back weight then. I would rather maintain where I am now than to get back on the gain then lose cycle again. The plan that I have been on just seems too drastic to me.

Therefore, I am starting to slowly increase the amount of my carbs. I don't think that I can completely live without fruit so I am adding a little bit of fruit. I can live without a large amount of fruit, but I want a little. I am adding it back in slowly so that I can figure at what carb level my cravings start. I need to stay under that line.

The part that I am having trouble deciding about is sugar with no nutritional value. I have done very well without it and for the most part, think that I can leave it off the rest of my life. Note the "for the most part". The past 4 months the only time I have gotten off my plan was for birthday cake. I just stuggle with resisting some cake. Not the birthday cakes at the office, they are too often but on family birthdays, especially my grandchildren's. I am considering giving myself an annual allowance of one piece of cake on each of my grandchildren's birthday. That allowance would be followed by a few days of strict low carb diet.

I believe that finding a long term food plan that I can follow is the most important thing for me on this journey. Does anyone have any thoughts on my direction? Have you considered how you will handle food when you have finished losing weight?
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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Good luck with whatever decisions you make!
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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My direction is personally influenced - I maintain with the least effort and most comfort on a VLC diet, with the occasional moderate carb day a few times a year (moderate carb would be 40-80 net, I very rarely am over 25 net and am, for example, at 6 net today and done eating).

It gives me flexibility to eat satisfying, satiating foods without cravings, and overall the foods I choose to not consume are quite a short list compared to what I like eating, on the whole. I miss oatmeal and some tropical fruits - that's ALL I'm not eating, for life, that I would actually desire to consume.

Given the massive health and vitality gains I've had, without any expanding waistline or yoyoing, it is a negligible price to pay
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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I've been at this for five years, by the way. Not a thing will change in maintenance from what I do now, except that I'll resume my daily weighing. Everything else is identical when I maintain. The calorie level might vary a bit, but that is a matter of degree, not a change in behavior.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:25 AM   #5
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Thanks, Mozzy

Quote:
Arctic Mama originally posted My direction is personally influenced - I maintain with the least effort and most comfort on a VLC diet, with the occasional moderate carb day a few times a year (moderate carb would be 40-80 net, I very rarely am over 25 net and am, for example, at 6 net today and done eating).
Thanks, Taryl

It is encouraging to hear someone living on low carb for a number of years. I think that I will always need to keep track of my carbs. Do you mind if I ask how low calorie you are? My current plan has me below 30 net carbs and my calories run around 1,000 per day. I am on a medically supervised diet. It has been drilled into my head that I should be on at least 1200 calories a day but my doctor says that 1000 is safe. She originally had me on 800 to 900 a day. With this carb level I have been comfortable eating low calorie. I have recently added strawberries because I miss fruit.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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I've also given up sugar. My mother made homemade preserves and asked me to try a spoonful. I hadn't had sugar in so long, it didn't even taste good to me. You couldn't really taste the fruit, just the sugar.

I think you could budget for having special sugary treats several times a year, but you'll probably find that you don't miss them. Perhaps a bite would be all you need, and that wouldn't do much harm.

I've even considered looking at my consumption of natural sugars - especially dairy. I eat a lot of yogurt, and although the brand I like is artificially sweetened and low carb, it has a bit of natural sugar. I eat a lot of it because it's cool and I don't have to cook it! I wonder if it has anything to do with my plateau?

Otherwise, I eat low carb overall - no grains, and just a bit of fruit. It's not that difficult, and only occasionally do I miss something not on my plan.

Good luck with your journey!
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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How did the cake you ate affect you? I've also got a problem with sugar, mostly in cake form, but I'm generally OK so long as I don't eat it everyday. If I eat cake for a few days in a row, I then get obsessed with cake and am much more likely to succumb to temptation.

So, I eat the cake, even when I'm dieting, so long as it's not everyday. I also know that cake has such a strong social importance, that I feel deprived if I can't participate in celebratory cake, and I'm much more likely to go completely off track later on.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:31 PM   #8
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I thought very carefully about that before I started this - I watched in near horror as my mother has lost and regained and lost and regained and lost the same 150 lbs. throughout her life and I decided I did not want that to be me. That's part of what scared me off of even trying to lose.

The plan I have now is pretty non-structured - calorie counting & cycling, and clean eating. I try not to eat processed foods and I try to make choices I can live with for my entire life. I have my bad days like everyone, but occasionally I give into my craving and move on.

I have found that my sweet tooth is rapidly vanishing - I took a swig of my friends regular Coke last week and had to struggle to swallow it because it was so sweet.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by time2lose View Post
Thanks, Mozzy



Thanks, Taryl

It is encouraging to hear someone living on low carb for a number of years. I think that I will always need to keep track of my carbs. Do you mind if I ask how low calorie you are? My current plan has me below 30 net carbs and my calories run around 1,000 per day. I am on a medically supervised diet. It has been drilled into my head that I should be on at least 1200 calories a day but my doctor says that 1000 is safe. She originally had me on 800 to 900 a day. With this carb level I have been comfortable eating low calorie. I have recently added strawberries because I miss fruit.
Wow, I'd pass out that low! Granted, I'm fairly young (27) and nursing, but if I eat 1850 calories a day with 70/25/5 ratios of fat/protein/carbs, I drop weight at a good clip (but get a little hungry). If I eat like I have been the last two days, ad libitum low carb, my ratios are the same but my calories are in the 21-2500 range and I do NOT gain fat this way. That's about maintenance for me, or even a little below, when I'm nursing and being lazy on my workouts.

Not nursing, I lose quickly at 1600 calories a day and slightly slower at 1800. I always try to keep my carbs in that 25-35 net range, but I lose better when they're lower, as they are right now.

Does that clarify a bit?
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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I tried every diet in the world, low carb included. I lost about 30 lbs quickly but as soon as I ate sugar again, 40 lbs. came back on LOL

I'm not addicted to sugar/carbs, I was addicted to being a spoiled brat and eating whatever the frak I wanted when I wanted it and however much of it I wanted ha ha!!

I decided that I wasn't going to be on a "plan" there was no "stopping" it, you know? There was no transition, other than I could maybe eat a bit more some days if it was a special dinner out or something, but otherwise I eat the same as I did when I made the change over.

For me, I knew I could never ban sugar from "the world" it still existed, no matter how much I refused to acknowledge it, and an inanimate object wasn't going to rule my life. Some basic behaviour modification work helped sooo much, and now I have a 1kg bag of M&Ms under my desk at work and it's been there for 4 months lol

sugar, you ain't the boss of me!
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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Lifetime way of eating. One of my favorite topics! I guess I recommend exploring and researching and finding something that works for you. I finally found what I was looking for when I read Deep Nutrition:

http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Nutrition.../dp/0615228380

It focuses on traditional food: Deep Nutrition illustrates how our ancestors used nourishment to sculpt their anatomy, engineering bodies of extraordinary health and beauty. The length of our limbs, the shape of our eyes, and the proper function of our organs are all gifts of our ancestor's collective culinary wisdom. Citing the foods of traditional cultures from the Ancient Egyptians and the Maasai to the Japanese and the French, the Shanahans identify four food categories all the world's healthiest diets have in common, the Four Pillars of World Cuisine. Using the latest research in physiology and genetics, Dr. Shanahan explains why your family's health depends on eating these foods. In a world of competing nutritional ideologies, Deep Nutrition gives us the full picture, empowering us to take control of our destiny in ways we might never have imagined.

It really spoke to me.
I'm confident that you will find what speaks to you, as well.

I also recommend Intuitive Eating and Nourishing Traditions.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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I recently transitioned into maintenance and thankfully, with the help of my coach, have been doing well.

I focus on strict calorie counting during the week (with a deficit) so on the weekends I can loosen up and enjoy some more moderate food.

Not that it would work for everyone, but I generally do not eat before noon, then have a frozen low cal meal for lunch, fruit in the afternoon, and then a high protein snack before I leave for work. Dinner is protein & veg only (no carb) and for dessert I'll have 1 oz of sweetened nuts or choc covered raisins.
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