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How do you choose a Food Plan?

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Old 02-08-2006, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default How do you choose a Food Plan?

OK, I used to be a regular here, but it has been a very long time. I had been scanning the posts, and remember about 4 of you!

I know it's such a big surprise since I have been gone so long, but I am all the way back up very close to my top weight.

One of my main problems is finding a plan and staying on it. I switch around, and binge a lot in between decisions.

How did you guys decide on the plan you are on?

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Old 02-08-2006, 06:32 PM   #2
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Welcome back! I'm a newbie here. I count calories. Calories in...calories out...lots of cardio and strength training. And I aim for 40% carbs/30% protein/30% fat. It's just simple to me and it's what works for me. I can still eat lots of foods I enjoy, foods I will still eat at maintenance, and it hasn't been too hard...yet. This is my second serious attempt to lose weight. (Not counting the half-hearted 1-2 week long diets.) Counting calories worked for me before, but I was VERY restrictive and often only ate 800-1000 calories per day. This time I eat between 1400-1600 and it's going as expected.

Good luck finding a plan that will work for you. There is SO much information out there.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:33 PM   #3
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I had to find one that would work for me. WW didn't. Jenny scared me. So I went with a program I had never heard of before, Healthy Inspirations (google it or PM me if you want to find out more). There is also a sight online that I have been using....not sure if I am allowed to mention it....Spark People. LOVE it there. They will suggest a meal plan or you can make your own to stay within a calorie range. And the memberships are free!

Good luck! You can do it!
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:50 PM   #4
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Oh, my goodness!! There you are back with probably not-so-little Elijah (okay, I better have remembered that right!). How is he doing? How cool is this that two people (you and Jeanne) from "long ago" have posted this week.

Regarding your question, I chose Weight Watchers because it worked for me in the past so I knew it would work if I worked it. I need the group support, the bookmarks, gold stars, key chains, and lots of clapping. I also need the portion control and the healthy guidelines.

Welcome back!
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #5
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I chose weight watchers because of the flexibility and being married to a big eater! I have two sons who are picky eaters. I eat what I have to all day and limit portions of the bad stuff at night.
I like the flexibility, the fact that I'm not 'depriving' myself. Just being aware of what I put in my mouth and how much.
That being said the negative is that I can slip up so much easier because its here and if I'm not careful I eat it.
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:59 PM   #6
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back, Angi!

The plan I'm working now decided itself for me. I started out counting kcals (approx. 1600 daily) because it was the most flexible way of restricting my food intake. That kind of went by the wayside after I dropped below 200 pounds (and the pounds weren't shifting), so I ditched that and since the beginning of the year I've just been watching my portions and aiming at making healthy choices. So far it seems to be working well for me, and I feel quite liberated, yet at the same time much more in control than before.

Good luck with discovering what suits you.
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:51 PM   #7
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Well i think it's got to be something you think you can do for life, I dont think i could ever count points write down calories or minimize carbs the rest of my life so My plan so to speak has been to keep under 1800 cal's i do this by keeping acount of everything i eat and i only plan to do this for a little while longer till i really get a feel for how many calories im eating ect.., im just going to eat as healthy as possible fresh fruit's fresh veggies, no processed carp ect... oh and lot's of whole grains I don't really eat any white stuff. I think it's alot of obvious things you need to do like eat less move more eat healthy ect.. And i want to just incorporate all these things into a lifestyle instead of my old unhealthy ways.
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:59 PM   #8
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Pick what you need. Some people need tons of structure and others don't. Some feel they are too addicted to carbs and others don't feel the need to restrict this. Some can eat every 3 hours (which I do and is recommended) whereas others couldn't do it ever (and that's okay too). All ultimately reduce calories (even if you aren't counting them). Whatever you do, pick something you can stick with. If you don't, you'll end back up here asking the same question.

I chose to calorie count, but I never bought a book on it or anything. I chose to educate myself about nutrients, natural foods, etc and how they affect your body. I incorporate old fashioned nutrition with calorie counting (because I need that structure, not because it is completely necessary).

Bottom line for any plan, reduce calorie, eat better foods, excercise and WATER!
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:00 PM   #9
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Well hi there STRANGER!!!! How's life as a mommy?? Details!!! We want details!!
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:00 PM   #10
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Angi!! and Elijah!! It really is you!! I'll never forget how it was like we all went through the whole adoption process with you and now look at your little man!

Well, I guess its been a couple of years ... I remember I was about 20 lbs. from goal back then and now I'm ... about 25lbs. from goal. Anyway, I'm another supporter of Weight Watchers and considering I lost over 100lbs. on the program, I figure it works. Good to have you back.
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Old 02-08-2006, 09:01 PM   #11
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Right now I am counting calories and trying to make those calories as healthy as possible. If I try to get more strict than that right now, I know I won't do it. I realize that I may need to make some adjustments as I go, if I plateau or for other reasons, but right now this is what's working for me (I'm also exercising at least 6 times a week).
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:16 PM   #12
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I'm doing again what worked for me before I got sidetracked by cancer treatment and its aftermath -- I lost 84 pounds in 8 months, and in the process, completely rehabbed my cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and all the rest. My goal was to not just lose weight but to live a healthier life overall.

I did a bunch of research and combined what I found to be the best of what I'd learned about nutrition and weight loss practices. It might be too strict for some, but it works for me!

In a nutshell, it's:
  • 1100-1600 calories per day
  • Fluctuate my calories throughout the week, for an overall average of around 1200-1300
  • Log all my eats in my Diet Power software (a few folks here use it and love it -- among them Jennifer/teapot.) Of course, plenty of people really like Fit Day Some people like to log their food regularly; others only occasionally, just to make sure they're still on track. I think it's really important to do just so you have an accurate awareness of what you're actually consuming -- instead of assuming you've got it right. I don't have to measure and weigh my foods any longer because I did it for a long while and now can eyeball it; but if you've never done it, it's possible you could really be in for some ugly surprises.
  • Follow a low-glycemic diet (I feel this is key to my success) -- so foods that take longer to, or are less likely to, be converted to sugar in the body
  • In keeping with low-glycemic principles, try to eat some protein whenever I eat carbs
  • Overall average of around 40% protein / 20-25% fat / 35-40% carbs
  • Limited sugar
  • Limited saturated fat
  • 2-3 servings of dairy per day (yogurt, cottage cheese, skim milk)
  • I avoid processed foods whenever possible
  • High fiber (my daily goal is an absolute MINIMUM of 35 grams, but I usually do more like 40-45g)
  • Limited sodium
  • Minimum of 120 oz. water per day (I usually do more like 140-160 oz.)
  • Limited cholesterol - but that's not something I have to monitor, since I'm already following a lowfat diet
  • I allow myself to have a small amount of something that I've been craving for a few days (so not a momentary whim) -- but I have to plan for it, and it has to fit in with my overall weekly goals. So I'll do a lower cal day the day before, for example, and then allow myself a little pizza, if that's what I've been jonesing for.
  • When I worked this plan before my diagnosis and 6 months of chemo and steroids, I used to exercise doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio and weight training -- and I SWEAR by it!! Google it and learn more, if you're interested. My energy is still diminished, with a 60-hour work week and right now all of my exercise equipment is in storage for an interstate move. So what I can pull off at present is a WATP workout (of varying durations) every other day.
  • Extremely limited alcohol -- I find that if I drink at all, my resolve on the eats just evaporates, so I really have to take care to avoid the red wine that I enjoy.

Alright, I'm sure this sounds totally restrictive and like a lot of work, but it really isn't!! I spend about 2 hours a week cooking some batch stuff: grilled chicken; brown rice; sauteed tilapia or orange roughie; steamed, nuked, or grilled veggies; etc. These are for my lunches to take to work, and the odd back-up for our dinners, in case I don't feel like cooking after work some night.

After a week or two of living on this plan, I was totally on autopilot. I find that I repeat a bunch of meals and mini-meals and fall back on staples and some tried and true no-brainers.

I find this way of life totally sustainable, as long as I'm prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. After gaining some weight from the steroids during the half-year of high-dose chemo last year, I ate off plan and didn't watch my portions or do any of the other stuff I named above with any regularity, and I regained a grand total of 42 pounds -- about 20-25 during chemo, and the remainder in the months since then. I'm back on plan for good this week, and since Monday, I'm down 6 pounds!

Different strokes for different folks -- I have only offered what worked for me. I will say though that I am not a supporter of trying every diet du jour that comes along -- the way you lose it will be the way you keep it off -- so think of what will be sustainable for you over the long term. If you're miserable on the plan, no matter how well it's working for you, you'll find that the results are short-lived and easily reversible. For me, this plan is not restrictive; it feels great, there's leeway, it's not too much work, the payoff is immeasurable, and I love the gratification that comes from the knowledge that I'm caring for my health. And I still get to have the odd slice of pizza on occasion!

Best of luck to you -- and welcome back!
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:16 AM   #13
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Welcome back!!!

My plan is being guided by my doctors right now.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:29 AM   #14
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I asked around and went with what seemed to work for a lot of people, and what made sense to me.

I tried Jenny Craig and Nutri-Systems, lost weight, gained it all back and then some. I tried watching my carbs, lost a lot of weight, gained about 1/2 of it back. I finally decided to try Weight Watchers because, for me, it seemed to be something that I could do for life and I wouldn't be cooking multiple meals for my family. Yeah, the weight is coming off slower then I'd like, but it's coming off.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:55 AM   #15
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Low carb worked for me in the past, and it is working again. I love it. I do have to give up some of my favorite foods, but in doing so I get to keep some of the best foods, and I'm not as hungry as I would be if I were eating those high carb foods. The fat melts away quickly. I can eat when I'm hungry, but I'm not as hungry as I would be counting calories.

It is easier to avoid temptation and overdoing it because I simply "don't go there" when it comes to the foods that tempt me the most.
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