Whole Foods Lifestyle - Your weight loss or maintenance diet

01-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Hi wholefoods dieters,
I'm just curious what alot of you do for your diet strategy.
Do you count calories, points, high protien, low carb?
Does anyone do the thing where you eat when you feel hungry, not when you think you're hungry?

What kinds of things do people do when they just want to shed a few (or alot of) pounds.?

Are there certain foods you eat more of? that sort of thing.


01-29-2008, 06:05 PM
I count calories along with eating the whole foods way. I eat at specified meal and snack times, most of the time unless life gets in the way.

If you want to lose weight, this way of eating can be of help but with any eating plan you have to monitor your intake. Calories from too many whole foods can still make you fat. :) Find a way that you can monitor your portions that works for you.. measuring cups, calorie counting, points.. whatever, fitday.. etc.

I eat veggies at every meal because for me that full feelign is important. Bulking up my meals with veggies is a lower calorie way of getting that feeling. Also, I get hi fiber everything., tortillas, breads, cereals, etc. Drink lots of water as sometiems your body might tell you it is hungry but it could just need hydration.

Of course, lots of exercise keeps the brain clean, gets the endorpins pumping and helps your cells be younger. Just heard a story on the news about this yesterday that people who regulary exercise have cells that can appear as much as 10 years younger. Imagine that!!

Happy Whole Food eating!

01-29-2008, 07:19 PM
Hi, I lost over 70 lbs and have kept it off for 3 years with a combination of the following:

1. Eating whole foods and limiting proceesed foods. I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet, heavy emphasis on fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, low fat dairy, whole grains and healthy fats. I avoid as much processed foods as possible (but I do eat convenience foods like whole wheat boxed pasta, salad dressings, whole wheat tortillas, yogurt etc).

2. I count calories. When I was losing weight, I ate around 1400-1600 a day and I journaled my food intake carefully on Fitday. Now that I am maintaining, I eat around 1800-2000 calories a day (2200 if I work out) and I only estimate my caloric intake everyday.

3. Volumetric approach - I love eating and hate being hungry. I eat 6-7 times a day and eat large portions of vegetables and other foods that fill me up.

I didn't pay attention to points (I find it baffling, really) or protein (except to aim for 100 grams a day). I love carbs and eat around 200 grams a day - whole grains (pasta, tortillas, bread, waffles) and healthy foods like brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa and beans.

When I was losing weight, I didn't eat sweets, drink alcohol, eat fried foods, fast foods, sugary soda, etc. Now that I'm maintaining, I still have completely given up fried foods, fast foods and sugary sodas, but I drink the occasional glass of red wine and have made room in my life for treats (like splitting a dessert in a restaurant, eating a biscotti with my non fat latte, etc).

I had to make really hard decisions about how I could change my life forever, because for me losing weight was never the problem, it was keeping the weight off. In the past, I wanted to diet and then stop and eat normal. It took me 20 years to figure out my normal made me fat. I had to change normal. Which meant I had to eat in a way I liked and could stick to forever. I found out I could give up fast food forever (it's a complete non issue in my life) but I couldn't give up red wine, dark chocolate, birthday cake and natural peanut butter, etc.

My method works for me, because it's unique to me. You need to figure out what will work for you. I'm okay cooking a lot of dinners, I love grilled salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted kale with lemon, Kashi waffles with natural peanut butter, low fat Fage yogurt with blackberries, I don't mind packing lunches, I don't mind going to the grocery store A LOT. That's just what I do now.

What can you do forever?

01-29-2008, 08:46 PM
I 'm a calorie counter as well. I primarily focus on eating whole foods that I prepare at home with room for some treats.

When I was losing I ate approx 1500 calories per day and I eat approx 2000 calories to maintain my current weight. The only thing I really paid attention to percentage wise was to try to keep my fat under 30% of my total calories. I also drink lots of water and try to keep my fiber above 30 grams per day.

I eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, ww bread and pasta, plain yogurt, fish, tofu, etc. I don't eat meat very often, but that's for reasons other then weight loss.

Glory~ I really like how you put that you buy "convenience" foods. I too avoid processed foods, but buy those things that although somewhat processed are still a whole food in my book (like yogurt, ww pasta, etc.)

01-30-2008, 07:05 AM
thanks for the replies,
this is really helpful.

I hate to count calories, only because I tend to get so obsessed with it.
I think in the end of my last weight loss , i began using calories for things like candy, and not paying attn to the nutritional value of the foods i ate, just the calories.
but i tend to become addicted to sugary foods and need to eat alot to feel satisfied, so i ended up going over the calorie limit, and that was my undoing.

But it sounds like it is still very effective for most people.

I will keep all of your comments in mind.:dizzy:

02-01-2008, 11:11 PM
My approach has been very similar to Glory's. The most important part of my diet is counting calories. When I am losing weight, I eat around 1200 per day. I've never really pushed it on maintenance, so I don't know how much I'll be able to eat and maintain my weight. I suspect it will come in somewhere between 1500 and 1700.

I also use a volumetrics approach in that I try to eat foods that are filling, high in volume but low in calories. I eat a ginormous green salad (seriously, like 10 oz) every night with dinner. I also sometimes eat a salad as a snack or with my lunch.

Also, the longer I do this, the more I tweak what I eat. When I started, I never focused on protein but now I try to eat around 100g per day. I've become some sort of lean protein addict (which is strange because I never used to like meat at all unless it was super processed). I actually take vegetarian recipes and add meat to them. I pretty much insist on 2-4 oz protein with my lunch and 4-6 oz protein with my dinner.

I also eat a very low fat diet (around only 15% of my calories) and average 25g of fiber per day without really even thinking about it.

I don't drink any beverages with calories, except for the very occasional alcohoic beverage. I also don't eat fast food unless forced (e.g., when traveling) and I store nutrition info for fast food menus on my Palm so I can make an good choice if I have to eat at one. And I eat very few processed foods other than my breakfast cereal (although I must confess to the occasional Lean Cuisine Panini). In most cases, I find that the processed foods just have two many calories and not enough nutrients; I just can't survive on them. I only eat out for social purposes or special occasions and I make most of my own food.

Lately I've been thinking that I really need to give up refined sugars. I have a low calorie dessert every night. Sometimes it has sugar in it and sometimes it doesn't (for example, lately it's been pink grapefruit with cinnamon, topped with yogurt sweetened with sugar-free Torani syrup). When it has sugar in it (a couple of weeks ago my dessert was spice cake), I seem to struggle more with staying on plan during the day.

I've also been thinking about trying the sugarbusters approach, but am struggling with the idea of giving up corn. I'm reading the book, then I'll decide if I want to try it. I have a stubborn layer of fat on my stomach that I just cannot get rid of. I have an idea that the sugarbusters approach would take care of it, but I'm not sure if I want it bad enough to give up corn products (I love polenta, it is a staple for me).

02-01-2008, 11:44 PM
Barbara, tell me more about where you buy and what do you do with your polenta?

I love corn products too! I cannot eat kernels of corn or popcorn (or nuts & seeds, for that matter) because I have diverticulitis. I do love corn tortillas and low-fat, baked corn chips! I am allowed to have those!! I have always wanted to try polenta but have been afraid. I always thought it looked a little strange in the tube thing!!

02-02-2008, 01:28 AM
Until B2B posts, I buy the polenta in a tube, slice it thin, pan fry it (with spray oil, of course) until crispy and then serve it with spicy tomato pasta sauce - the YUM. The one time I tried to make polenta from scratch, it was way too mushy. I should try again!

02-02-2008, 02:13 AM
Like many others, I am a calorie counter.

I have done SB in the past and had lots of success with it, but I like my carbs too much to leave them behind. One day on the 'Beach, I just kind of snapped and went carb-crazy and never looked back (that ended that experiment). So now, I make room for carbs in my life, but they are "good" carbs. In moderate amounts.

One thing that has really helped me is to load up at breakfast. I have taken to eating 1/2 C of rolled oats ("real" oatmeal-- the instant stuff tastes terrible to me now!) with 1 C of wild blueberries and 2 T of ground flaxseed. This clocks in at something ridiculous like 420 calories, but honestly, I am finding that when I eat this, I am FULL all day-- DH and I barely eat dinner anymore!

Here's a typical day for me:

9a: Oatmeal, blueberries, flaxseed
12p: Whole wheat pita with 2 T natural PB and a banana
2p: Apple and a Babybel cheese
4P: 1/2 C raw broccoli, 10-15 baby carrots, 4-6 T of hummus
7p: Grilled chicken breast, spinach, sweet potato (or corn or sometimes rice, etc)
8p: 1 Dove dark square or sometimes some Fage 2% with 1-2 T of honey (if I work out or have some calories to burn)

Water and green tea throughout. And generally 16-24 oz of coffee with Splenda (alas, not exactly a "whole food") and a single Mini Moo creamer per cup. Actually, eliminating the "splash" of cream (it must have been 4 oz in a 20 oz container!) in my coffee has been huge for me-- I simply cannot be trusted with a container of half and half.

All this works out to about 1200-1400 cals a day.

This does have some flaws. The saturated fat content is too high, for one. Honestly, I could do much better with the protein-- I only get about 50 g a day-- mostly because I quickly get bored with chicken and turkey, I hate fish and I'm not the biggest steak fan either (love burgers, strangely). I used to really enjoy a protein shake (or 6) daily, but because I recently discovered that I am hypothyroid, I have been avoiding soy to some degree...although I am thinking I will try adding it back, because it's really never caused me any trouble and most of what I've been reading suggests that small amounts are no big deal.


02-02-2008, 04:54 AM
I buy the polenta in the tubes and I make it from scratch. I get the tubes at Trader Joe's. When I make it from scratch, I get it from Safeway. The brand I get is Golden Pheasant; it is the only brand my Safeway carries and it can be a little tricky to find. I think it is in the baking aisle.

I use polenta in lots of different dishes. Here are some of the things I've done with it:

I use the tube polenta as a substitute for corn tortillas in tamale pie (lower in calories and more filling than the tortillas).
I use it as a substitute for rice or pasta. So food that you would normally serve over rice, I sometimes serve over polenta. For example, I have a recipe for Morrocan Chicken Soup that I serve over polenta. I've also served Indian dishes that would normally be served with rice with polenta. And Italian dishes that would be served with pasta usually work well with polenta.
For lunch, I will often slice up 1/4 tube of polenta and eat it with a chicken breast and some type of sauce. Sometimes I pop the polenta and sauce in the microwave, sometimes I fry it in pan I use to saute the chicken. Sometimes I add spinach to it. Recently I topped the whole thing with a sunnyside up egg. It was a great lunch--very filling and lots of protein between the chicken and the egg.
I also make a lunch out of 1/4 tube of polenta, diced chicken, salsa, and refried beans. I put it all in a bowl and pop it in the microwave.
I use it as a bread substitute. For example, I like to have a gardenburger over polenta with some Trader Joe's light chevre. Or I'll eat it with chicken sausage and sauteed onions and peppers.
I have a casserole recipe that layers polenta with swiss chard and yogurt. I have a similar recipe that uses green tomatoes. Both can make a great side dish.
For breakfast I make egg cassoroles with polenta, ham, and light chevre. I cook the polenta in individaul ramekins the night before. In the morning, I top each one with ham, light chevre, an egg, and 1 tbsp FF half and half. Then I pop the ramekins in the oven at 375 until the eggs are set.

So you can see why I'm having trouble with the idea of giving up polenta. It's an important staple in my diet.

When I make polenta from scratch, I always make it in the oven. Forget trying to do the stove-top method. Just put the polenta in a casserole dish with the amount of liquid the package calls for (or more, if you want your polenta really soft) and stick it in the oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes, depending on how much you are making and how firm you want it. You should check on it to see how it is doing once or twice and stir it around some, but other than that, you can pretty much forget about it. If it cooks too quickly, just stir some more liquid into it and put a cover on it. I even use this method for single servings. Also, I always make my polenta with chicken broth instead of water, but that's just a personal preference. If you use chicken broth, you may need to use a little less salt than the polenta package calls for. Sometimes I throw in other spices, like saffron, oregano, basil, or cumin with the polenta. It's also good with sun-dried tomatoes stirred into it.

Also, the Golden Pheasant polenta says that 1 serving is 1/4 cup dry. I have found this to be way too much (and I normally eat pretty large portions). I find that 2 tbsp dry, which is 70 calories, is plenty for one serving.

Glory, when you make polenta from scratch, when it is warm it's always going to be softer than what you get in the tubes. If you make it in the oven though, you should be able to get the texture firmer than you can on the stovetop. And if you let it cool, it will reach the same firmness as what is in the tubes.

02-02-2008, 09:12 AM
I am a Weight Watcher! I eat 5-6 small meals a day, and at least 80% of my daily intake is from whole foods (I'm working on getting that percentage up). I also drink lots of water (at least 64 oz a day), get in 5-7 servings of veggies/fruit a day, and get in at least 2 servings of dairy a day. I also exercise 3-4 times a week.

02-02-2008, 10:38 AM
I am a calorie counter. I try to keep sugar and sodium at a minimum. I love sweets, but one bite will cause a binge. One helpful hint , if you want pie, cake , ice cream, etc have one serving at a restaurant or at a friend's house, do not have whole pie or whole cake or a half gallon of ice cream in the house.Once you get used to calorie counting it becomes easier.

02-12-2008, 06:48 PM
I like many am a calorie counter. I have a hard time with a program telling me what I should and shouldn't eat (I already know that!). I try and eat more on the all natural, minimal ingredients, organic when I can afford it etc... but I'm not perfect. I'm shooting for 1300-1400 cal/day, I'll decrease that as I get closer to goal if necessary.

02-12-2008, 07:01 PM
I am a South Beacher, which is mostly whole foods, and I am trying to learn to do without the part that is not - mostly a few sugar free products that I have gotten too dependent on. It helps me to have some basic and simple rules to follow. We focus on filling up with veggies, lean protein, and lowfat dairy, with some fruit and whole grains ( a couple of servings of each/day). You can eat carbs on South Beach, by the way, but they are healthy carbs from veggies, fruits, and whole grains mostly.
I calorie counted for a while, in conjunction with SB, but it was too much work. I am trying to tame the sweets monster - I try to use agave nectar when I must sweeten, or have a bit of dark chocolate if I'm really craving it.

02-12-2008, 08:36 PM
I do the 'no-diet' thing - whole foods including the fat. If it comes with fat, I leave it that way, ie whole milk, and yogurt, cream, meat, butter, eggs, etc. I avoid low fat foods, artificial sweeteners, soy products, and some other things.

02-14-2008, 09:26 PM
We do the low-glycemic, whole foods thing. Lots of non-starchy veggies, big variety of legumes, some whole grains like barley and quinoa, some low fat dairy like kefir or plain yogurt, a little lean meat like fish, poultry or bison, egg whites, sprouts, nuts seeds and unsaturated oils, a little fatty fish for the omegas. End up eating lots of salads, soups and stir-fries. We rarely eat out and pack our lunch most every day.

Glory87 and BlueToBlue mentioned volumetrics. I too eventually realized that I really like to eat and hate to feel hungry. So I'm a big believer in fiber-rich foods of low caloric density that will see me through to the next meal. Then I discovered somebody had a catchy name for it!

02-15-2008, 04:42 AM
Glory87 and BlueToBlue mentioned volumetrics. I too eventually realized that I really like to eat and hate to feel hungry. So I'm a big believer in fiber-rich foods of low caloric density that will see me through to the next meal. Then I discovered somebody had a catchy name for it!

:lol: That's how I discovered it too!