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Old 11-30-2006, 03:04 PM   #1
Xan
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Default What plan are you on?

Forgive me if this has been rehashed recently -- I'm new to this thread. Toni raised this question on the general thread, and I thought it might be worth posting separately.

I'd love to know what plan everyone is following. (Suzanne - would that be worth adding as a field in the profile, so that the plan would be visible on each person's posts, if they chose to answer it?)

If you have the patience, I'd also like to know how and why you chose the plan, and how it's working for you. It would be interesting to read about both ease of following/lifestyle compatibility and rate of loss.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:09 PM   #2
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I thought I'd start. Right now, I'm doing Weight Watchers flex. I lost weight on WW once before, years ago, and it worked well, and when I decided to try one more time, I went back. Counting points is easy for me, and I like the idea that, if you really let the plan work, it's trying to teach you how to eat "normally" -- i.e., allow for the one dinner out a week or the occasional splurge. I will say that I think the points are too high. I get 31 a week, and I don't lose on that. I need to be at 27 or 28.

I've tried low carb in the past succesfully too -- there's no question it works. But I've found it hard to stick to, and the, er, digestive fallout or lack thereof is an unpleasant side effect for me. I may try a low-carb-within-WW approach -- meaning, basically, WW without breads (my downfall).

What is everyone else doing?
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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Ooh, this thread has the potential to be extremely helpful for me! Thank you SO much!
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:47 PM   #4
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I am following *******. I've never gotten better results with any other plan.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:01 PM   #5
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I hope I'm not intruding by posting in this section, since I weighed 200 lbs at my highest and I'm currently maintaining. I don't mean to butt in, but I love talking about "my plan" and why it was so successfull for me, both in losing weight and keeping it off.

In July 2004, I was 35 years old and weighed around 200 lbs (not sure of actual highest weight, I was terrified of the scale and never got on it, or looked at myself in the mirror or at myself in the shower, I was in big denial). I had yo-yo'd for 20 years, beginning with my first "diet" in high school when I was an "enormous" 140 lbs. For me, diets always meant deprivation, restriction and yucky food that I hated. I could always lose weight in the short term, but I always gained it back. I never maintained a weight loss - ever. I would lose a little, gain it back, lose a little, gain it back, gain more weight. For 20 years, from a 140 lb 15 year old to a 200 lb 35 year old. Dieting made me heavy.

In July 2004, I was at my heaviest weight. I hated myself. I had no energy. I quit coloring my hair, quit styling it, just let it air dry curly and frizzy every day. I wore the same pair of loose fit jeans every day, the same pair of black loafers. No make up. I had given up. I dreamed constantly about magically being thin, endless fantasies. I had brief spurts of weight loss attempts, 1-3 days where I would be incredibly motivated, gung-ho, full of planning and Fitday and excel spreadsheets. I would eat exactly THIS, I would work out THIS MUCH, I would be thin by next week, Christmas, by my birthday...I would have a sexy, sleek bikini body like a model...These plans ever happened.

A culmination of events led me my "click" moment. I read this great book called Super Foods Rx: The 14 Foods That Will Save Your Life and standing at Borders, leafing through the pages it was like I grabbed an electric fence, I was electrified with purpose. All of a sudden, I realized that it was my "normal" eating that made me heavy - not genetics, or destiny or a slow metabolism. I ate way too many of the wrong kinds of food everyday and didn't exercise. Unlike a lot of diets, that I planned to start "tomorrow" or Monday or after Jan 1, I wanted to start that second.

I carefully carefully looked over all my old "diets" and tried to figure out why every single one had ultimately failed. My entire diet philosophy was built around a flawed premise. I knew that cutting calories led to weight loss, I took that one step further - if cutting some calories would lose SOME weight, cutting more calories would lose MORE weight. I restricted, I ate plain baked chicken, I ate ice berg lettuce leaves with a squeeze of lemon, I bought every diet food - baked Lays, Snackwells, Lean Cuisines, fat free dressing, fat free mayo. Nothing I ate while dieting ever made me happy and I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could eat nachos and pizza and muffins again. I got on the scale multiple times a day, my emotions were completely ruled by the scale - if the weight was down, I was ecstatic! If the weight was up, I was devastated. This happened multiple times a day, if the scale didn't go down, I felt like a failure.

Two things always happened:

1. I would restrict so much, my body would helplessly binge in order to get the nutrition it needed to survive. I would feel like a loser, a no-will power loser. I would hate myself. I couldn't figure out how other people could lose weight and I couldn't. How other people could eat one cookie and stop. I would give up, and return to "normal eating."

2. I would reach a "goal weight" and stop. I would return to "normal eating."

I was tired of failing and gaining weight back. I was tired of short term euphoria followed by eventual weight gain and self loathing. After reading Super Foods and looking at my past failures, I knew how to do it right this time, forever. Instead of concentrating on what NOT to eat, I concentrated on what TO eat. I made goals of eating a certain number of super foods a day. In the process, I cut out sugar and most processed foods without even realizing it. Without all that sugar, whole foods started to taste delicious. Instead of giving my body fake food, I started giving it highly nutritious, wonderful foods and I stopped binging (which was an amazing thing to me). I was actually satisfied by the foods I ate! I realized I liked baked sweet potatoes and grilled salmon and raspberries and whole grain bread and natural peanut butter.

So, I know I talked a lot (as usual) but my plan was simple - eat fewer bad foods, eat more GOOD foods, exercise. My goal was to eat nutritionally powerful foods (beans, broccoli, oranges, whole grains, salmon, spinach, blueberries) and avoid foods with little to no nutritional value (sugary soda, fast food, packaged baked goods). I went from 200 lbs to 127 lbs, a tight size 18 to a size 6, a 42DD to a 36C, I lost 10 inches off my waist. In February 2007, I will have maintained my weight loss for TWO YEARS - a miracle to me.

Maintenance is exactly like weight loss, I still do all the same things - I still food journal, I still count calories (although just a ballpark estimate these days), I still watch portion sizes (measuring if I need to), I still look at menus online and make healthy decisions before I get to a restaurant, I still weigh myself once a week, I still menu plan, grocery shop, pack lunches - it is a plan I can easily live with for the rest of my life.

I do think every plan needs to be individual - but in my experience, if you want LONG TERM weight loss, you must think long term. Not just "I want to reach my goal weight" but you must think "I want to reach my goal weight and then stay there forever." For 20 years, my goal was just weight loss, with no thought to how I was hurting myself by restricting and binging, losing weight and gaining it back. It was only after I changed my goal to long term weight loss that I was able to succeed. This is my normal eating now
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #6
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I follow my own guidelines. I have done South Beach in the past (as well as generic low-carb), but I'm sorry, I need more flexibility than that. I've also done the Idiot Proof Diet and had great results, but the idea of having 3 days "off" at the end of each cycle really backfired for me. I considered WW Points, but the idea of having to use a chart or calculator to figure out how many Points are in each food when I could just as easily count the calories that are printed right on the label sounded like a bit of a hassle to me. I also dabbled in a food groups exchange type plan, but I really just DO NOT like vegetables enough to get in as many as they always wanted me to

My current "plan" is as follows:
  • No more than 1800 average daily calories per week (this means that in a week, I may have some days over 2000, some closer to 1200, but as long as my daily average for the week is 1800 or less, then I'm good)
  • At least 100 grams of protein per day (this helps to keep me eating more nutritious foods rather than 1800 calories of junk--it's hard to get a lot of protein out of frosted cakes and candy bars )
  • At least 30 minutes of intentional exercise at least 4 days per week (I currently usually do 30 minutes 5 times a week)
  • At least 3 liters of water per day (no other beverages included--I may have diet soda, skim milk, or whatever in addition to my water, but I never include them in my water total)
As I become healthier and stronger (and lighter!), I will adjust my plan to best fit my needs (increase the amount of exercise, lower the calories, increase the protein...whatever it takes!).
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:10 PM   #7
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Glory, thank you for taking the time to post that. I just got the Super Foods book and it is a shock to realize how far my every day, and even "being good", eating is from that ideal. The start of your story is very like mine. I was told I was fat when I was a young teen, and weighed 145. I was much taller than others in my family, and I weighed 40 pounds more than most of them, so I was fat to them, but not fat generally. I've carried that burden since the age of 13 -- and eventually I got fat.

It's a good plan. I'm not sure it's right for me -- here, it may make a difference, 300 pounds and 200 pounds. Retraining of the kind you're talking about is something I'd like to do 80 pounds from now. I'm not sure it would work now -- but I could be wrong

Jill, that sounds like a good plan! I've been shy of calorie counting plans because......I don't know why. I guess because I'm afraid I'd include 500 calories of Snickers bars in those 1800 calories. But your rules make a lot of sense to me.

It's so interesting, and helpful, to read plans that people have adapted that work for them -- I hope there will be a lot more!

Last edited by Xan; 11-30-2006 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:22 PM   #8
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Jill, that sounds like a good plan! I've been shy of calorie counting plans because......I don't know why. I guess because I'm afraid I'd include 500 calories of Snickers bars in those 1800 calories. But your rules make a lot of sense to me.
But you learn very quickly that 500 calories of Snickers doesn't make for much of a meal--you learn to be smart about your calories or else you run out of them very quickly! And hey, you could do the same thing with WW Points...you could spend all 31 Points a day on junk food (and not much of it, since 31 Points is roughly 1550 calories--even less for junk since that's higher in fat) But you don't, right? Because you learn that you have to be smart about your Points
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:28 PM   #9
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Hi Xan,

Like yourself I am doing the Weight Watchers diet. I am doing the 123 Success Plan. I went to a group about 10 years ago, lost about 20 lbs, then stopped going. Over the years since then I have done the WW diet many times, but always gave up after losing anything from between 20 and 30 lbs. I don't know why I gave up all those times, just like I don't know why I HAVEN'T given up this time. What I do know is that WW is the only diet that I have ever had joy with. I like that I can eat what I want as long as I stay in my points range. So yes, WW is definitely the only diet for me.

Good luck with your WW plan,

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Old 11-30-2006, 05:29 PM   #10
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Jill, you're absolutely right. And I'm sorry (and this is to Glory, too) because I didn't mean to argue with anyone's plan. I'm very, very grateful to read about them, and especially the thought processes that you went through to find something that works for you.

Thank you, Ammi! Good luck to you too -- and I'm glad you're sticking with it!
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:36 PM   #11
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I've been shy of calorie counting plans because......I don't know why. I guess because I'm afraid I'd include 500 calories of Snickers bars in those 1800 calories.
That's why calorie counting used to fail for me too - I would eat whatever as long as I counted it (fast food, candy, Snackwells, sugar free pudding, etc etc - crap crap and more crap). These foods never satisfied me or my body, I was always hungry, restless, bingy, searching for something... Opening the frig, cabinets, lots of unplanned snacking.

Combining calorie counting, Super Foods and eating something every 2 hours was perfect for me. When I eat healthy foods, I am not endlessly restless or bingy. It's like my body gets what it wants and doesn't have to "quest" for it. When I eat before I get hungry, I make fewer bad food choices. For weight loss, my goal was 1600 healthy, whole foods calories a day. When you're trying to eat 10 different super foods every day, there is no room for Snickers!

It was a fun challenge to try to eat as many different super foods as possible per day - the limit was calories - I would plan in advance to make sure I got a good variety for the day's calorie limit. It's better now that I'm maintaining and don't have to make tough decisions like "should I eat this yogurt or have a handful of almonds?" I have calories in the day for both.

The foods I really really loved and couldn't give up, I still eat - whole grain bread (just watch portion size), small squares of dark chocolate, the occasional glass of red wine, birthday cake on my birthday. The foods I didn't really like that much in the first place (chips, fast food, soda) I just gave up completely. I don't miss it.

It's very hard to describe (so apologies if this doesn't sound right) but I KNEW I would be successful this time when I didn't want fast food or Snicker bars. It's like a switch was flipped. I just don't eat that stuff anymore, I don't want that stuff anymore, it feels right and simple. It's like a lot of the "angst" of dieting ended with Super Foods, I don't worry about chips or candy or cookies anymore, I don't want them anymore. I don't know how to explain it any better, it's like eating Super Foods changed me, changed my taste buds, changed my cravings. I have so much energy, being thin makes me so happy, this is how I want to be, I never EVER want to go back to the sad unhealthy me that hated myself.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:38 PM   #12
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Jill, you're absolutely right. And I'm sorry (and this is to Glory, too) because I didn't mean to argue with anyone's plan.
I definitely didn't take it as arguing! I feel very deeply that each person has to come up with their OWN plan, that makes them happy and satisfied. I love sharing my experience, but I realize it is MY experience and worked for me! Good luck finding your own special unique plan for you, just make sure you are planning for weight loss AND weight maintenance! Don't start something with the plan of stopping, start and live it!
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:32 PM   #13
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I didn't take it as arguing, either I was just trying to make the point that no matter what plan you choose, you have to be sensible about your food in order to get the most you can within whatever limits you set (whether it be Points, calories, number of carbs, etc.).

One rule I did set for myself that I forgot to mention in my original post (similar to Glory's "eat every 2 hours" rule) is to make sure to eat more than just 3 times a day. I used to try to eat at least every 3 hours, but then I felt guilty when I couldn't get food in time or whatever, so I changed my rule to just make sure I eat multiple times a day (usually at least 6).

I don't focus on Super Foods, but I do try to eat as many whole foods as possible (or close to whole, like whole-grain breads and such). I really can't stand many veggies at all, so I have a lot of lean meat (I think I've replaced all traces of beef in my diet with turkey substitutes), fat-free dairy (or low-fat...can't always choke down fat-free cheese ), whole grains, and some fruit.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
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It's a good plan. I'm not sure it's right for me -- here, it may make a difference, 300 pounds and 200 pounds. Retraining of the kind you're talking about is something I'd like to do 80 pounds from now. I'm not sure it would work now -- but I could be wrong
Ok...here's a 310 pounder for ya! I don't focus on Super Foods per se, but they are a big part of my plan. Nutritionally "dense" foods are my focus. I don't want to waste my calories and in turn, I eat more and am never hungry. Everyone has to find what is right for them, but the beginning weight shouldn't have a bearing on the choice. It took me a long time to figure out what was going to work for me. And I leave myself open to experimentation. This is for life and I won't do anything that I can't do for the rest of my life.

I eat whole foods. No sugar, flour, salt, caffine or anything artifical. You'd be surprised how much is left and how creative it can get! I drink about a gallon of water a day, and eat small meals every 2-3 hours. Mind you, it didn't happen over night. I eased into it. Starting the first 2 weeks with only stopping the soda and drinking more water. That was a biggie.

My story is much like Glory's. Average teen but I think I wore a juniors size 10/11 at the time *gasp* (note sarcasm) I "developed" early, felt really fat and out of place. I had a mother that would always nag so I never had a moments peace. I remember coming down the stairs one morning and passing out because I had been fasting for like 3 days in a row! Yo-Yo'd up and down my entire life. Swings as much as 100 pounds.

The difference now, as with many on here is, I finally had to get it through my head that this was never going to end! I haven't had a struggle since.
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Old 12-01-2006, 01:41 PM   #15
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I have been big all my life and have several emotional/mental hurdles that make following strict plans very difficult for me. Basically, as soon as I tell myself a food is off limits, then all I want is that item. I am hoping to eventually repair this, but I am just not there yet and I have learned that I need to work with myself rather than against to make change possible. This is why I find I can’t go on any plan that fully restricts anything, so I am doing calorie counting. I eat between 1800 – 2000 calories a day, and when I track it works very well for me. When I stop tracking and start trying to estimate, I don’t do so well. That said, I am more and more aware of trying to eat healthy, nutritious, whole foods and am adding them in more and more. It is rare anymore that I will go for something high calorie, low nutrition because it is just too “expensive”. I always make sure I REALLY want something by waiting several days to eat it, and then I work it into my calorie totals (when I am doing things like I should – this doesn’t always happen, but I try). I also eat many times a day, and try to never let myself get too hungry because I know that is one of my major weaknesses.

I try to do some form of exercise every day and am usually in the gym at least 4 days a week. I find exercise is an integral part for me because even when I am not doing so well food wise, at least if I feel I am accomplishing something with working out. Weight loss does not necessarily equal fitness, and many times I have noticed fitness increases when my weight didn’t budge that have really helped me in staying with things.
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