Only just joined the forum and could really use some major help! I need to lose about 100 pounds (no exaggeration). I have been on and off every diet under the sun for the past 10 years or so and have only succeeded in getting bigger and bigger.
I am due to get married next summer and would really like to make a change by then. I know there's no way I will get to my goal weight by then but would love to feel a little better about myself.
I have really got myself down over how I look recently and desperately want to find the answer:(
I'm more than happy to put in the work for my diet but I need to be flexible enough as I work away quite a lot and stay in hotels.
Basically - what I'm asking is - what plan/diet/method would you suggest as being the healthiest but most effective to lose weight.
Thanks so much for your help!
08-05-2008, 10:00 AM
Hellooooo. And WELCOME to 3FC. Losing 100 lbs or more is a doable thing! And you too most certainly CAN do it!! Please be sure to check out the 100 lb club forum. Lots of folks there with the very same issues as you.
As for what plan is best, that is one you will have to decide for yourself. For me, I knew the only way this weight loss thing would *work*, permanently that is, would be if I could find something that I could stick with LONGTERM, forever in fact, because not only do I want to lose the weight, but I want to keep it off - forever. It simply won't *work* if you dont' stick with it. Consistiency, consistiency, consistiency. STICKING with it is of course the key. Lifestyle change. Creating a new normal. No going back to the old ways. Permanent, sustainable lifetime changes.
So of course finding something that I could stick with was essential.
Things I needed/still need to be on my plan:
- I could never, ever be hungry. Just not for me. I despise that feeling and need to AVOID it all costs. It would only set me up for failure.
- I need LOTS of food, volume that is.
- I love food, always will and need to get enjoyment from it. So eating delicious, very tasty, satisfying foods was a MUST.
- I am terrible with portion control. I have no boundaries. My intuitive eating button is totally broken or just missing completely. So I need to fake it. I need something that forces me to set limits.
- I want not only to be thin at this point, I want to be healthy. Strong bones & muscles, good vision, healthy hair and nails, low cholesterol, normal sugar levels, high vitamin count, lower my risk of cancers.
So therefore, let's see if I can do this with one breath - I eat frequently, every 2 hours or so, choosing low calorie/high volume items (veggies), lots of protein and fiber (to keep me full longer), I count calories (forced portion control/accountability), I eat foods with high nutritional values, I've found foods that I LOVE, not *diet* foods per se, food that any one and every one can eat.
I also set myself up for success. By ridding my home of the junk (very crucial in the beginning, and still is). I got rid of the sugar, the rice, pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc... Sure I love the stuff, but I have no control with it. I figured I can not have it both ways. I simply can not have those foods in my life (very strict with it especially in the beginning, cold turkey in fact) and be that healthy, fit person I so longed to be. I have no control over them and realized I was just better off without them.
I keep my home fully stocked with tons and tons of veggies. I discovered fabulous ways to prepare them and now enjoy them more then the other garbage I was eating prior. Amazing how ones tastes change when you stop feeding it junk. Fruits and low fat proteins are my other main foods. I cook fabulous meals that my whole family enjoys. So finding yummy recipes that you like is essential. No reason to go off plan, when on plan is so good.
I also prepare ahead, as it is the ONLY way to succeed, IMO. Eating healthy does not happen by chance in our society. Therefore it MUST, MUST be planned out in advance. I know what I'm having for my meals and snacks days in advance. I pack food with me, taking it with me wherever I go, leaving nothing to chance. It's just THAT important.
I drink lots of water. It's something to do with my mouth, a delaying tactic and it keeps my tummy full.
And of course, there is the calorie counting. Would be no where without it. No where. Fitday.com can get you started on that. Since I don't know how to set limits for myself, counting calories is my answer. Counting and tracking my calories keeps me honest and keeps my food in check. Period.
Exercise has now become part of my life and is a big part of "my plan". I started out slowly and built up. Cardio & strength training. I make sure there is some kind of daily movement going on, 7 days a week.
Probably the biggest part of my plan though, was making a commitment. Deciding once and for all that I was going to "do this". I told myself enough is enough. I realized, once and for all that I didn't have to be fat if I didn't want to be. That it was something that I did indeed have total and complete control over. No reason on earth for me to waste another second of my life being miserable, worrying about my health and not living up to my full potential. Not being the very best ME that I could be. So I made a commitment to good eating and good health.
And that, in a nutshell (albiet, a VERY large one) is *my plan*.
With some *shopping around*, experimenting, tweaking and adjusting you too can and will find what "works for you". Good luck to you. And please, don't hesitate to ask questions. This is a terrific site, filled with loads of successful, smart people very willing to help. :)
08-05-2008, 11:38 AM
I have tried many diets and have found for me calorie counting works best, it is reliable, flexible and free and something I can use to maintain my loss.I plan all my menus ahead of time, just takes a few minutes to plan a days meals. I eat about every 3 hours, consisting of 3 meals and 3 snacks, by eating more often I do not reach the point of eating anything that doesn't move.
The best diet for you is the one you will follow. Good luck!
08-05-2008, 11:54 AM
I count calories too. Along with good "clean" eating. I eat very little processed foods.
I do keep a couple of low cal frozen dinner in the freezer for emergencies. Planning is so important, as Robin said, Good Eating does not happen by chance.
If you travel a lot go online and try to find nutritional information for the places you normally go to eat. Sometimes in business situations you end up not choosing where you dine. In those cases remember a few key points for ordering out. Grilled or Broiled not fried. Dressing on the side. Most restuarants have grilled chicken breast or sirloin on the menu, an orer of steamed veggies or salad and half a baked potato makes a diet friendly meal and no one will guess you are dieting.
I know 100 pounds sounds like a HUGE amount too lose, I had 150 to start with when I began this journey. break it down into small amounts so it doesn't sound so daunting. Focus on the first 10 pounds (or even 5) then the next and the next.
08-05-2008, 12:11 PM
Add me to the calorie counting and "clean eating" (mostly) group. I find that it's the only plan that is sustainable long term for me.
Also add me to the planning group. I have to plan my meals and my food out weekly. I've learned what restaurants are good and which ones to avoid, and I know what foods at which restaurants I can eat and what I should just say "no" to.
I travel a huge amount for my work and I'm often in situations where I cannot fix my own food and have to rely on what is essentially party food that's available. Knowing what is healthy and what isn't and being aware of how restaurants and caterers prepare food has helped me to make the best possible choices in difficult situations.
I will also say that EXERCISE has made a huge difference for me. I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer for the first 6 months. I needed someone to show me what I was capable of, rather than just running through the same old circuit of machines every time. I needed someone to push me to my limits and not let me quit or wimp out. I don't have a trainer any more ($$ issues - I'd love to keep going with one), but I still work out hard. And I don't just run through the circuit machines. I lift weights - free weights. I do body resistance work. I take a Pilates class. I put in at least 30 mins of cardio (either steady-state or high-intensity-intervals) 5 days a week. For me, exercise has been the key to getting the weight off and keeping it off. As it stands now, I can't imagine my life NOT going to the gym. I find that I get twitchy and don't sleep well if I miss my workouts.
Hope that helps some. Good luck to you! :)
08-05-2008, 12:16 PM
Eat fewer calories and exercise more. You will lose weight.
08-05-2008, 01:14 PM
I'm also in the "Eat fewer calories, mostly clean foods" group, with the same emphasis on "bulk" that Robin said...I just don't DO hungry. So I eat meals that are gigantic in portion but light on calories (usually, more than 2/3 of my plate is green veggies...but I get a GIANT plate, and the veggies are so delicious).
Exercise has also been a huge component for me. I do a LOT of exercise, both when I was losing, and now when I'm maintaining, and it's a great thing...of course it helps with the weight loss, but also with SO many other things...sleep patterns, depression issues...and it makes it easier for me to stay on plan, too.
ETA: And I know everyone else has said it, but it is so important that I'm editing my post to add it in...PLAN. Without planning ahead, you really will find it hard to continue making healthy choices. I carry healthy snacks in my purse on days when I'm running around, just so I'm never starving without healthy options around. When my schedule goes crazy and I'm traveling for work or whatever, my first stop on the way to the hotel is a grocery store, where I get things that I can pack easily in a purse or laptop bag and cook almost anywhere (protein bars, oatmeal packets, and thick skinned fruits like oranges). I look up restaurants before I go, look at the menu, and make the best choice BEFORE I'm sitting there, hungry and looking at the things my dining companions are eating. Plan, plan, plan!
08-05-2008, 01:17 PM
Listen to Robin!!!
And read some of the other stories in Goal Met--Glory87, Meg, Mel, Robin, Amanda, hmmmm who else? All are wonderful examples that IT CAN BE DONE!
08-05-2008, 02:03 PM
Great post by Robin!
Add me to the calorie counters and "clean eating" group.
Good luck, you've come to the right place for support!
08-05-2008, 08:55 PM
I'm in that "calorie counting (mostly) clean eating group" too! Really works for me. Though, I don't think I eat as many veggies as some of these other ladies and I did keep breads and pasta in my life -- though now I not only eat a lot less of them, I tend to eat whole grain versions too.
I'll add that this was not something I just jumped into. I baby-stepped to this approach. First I just did portion control, then I started counting calories, and then I started paying more attention to nutrition.
08-06-2008, 09:20 AM
Add me to the calorie counters, planners, and exercisers....I always know what's on the menu at least a day in advance..I have a small soft side cooler that goes literally everywhere with me. I keep bottled water, baby carrots, an apple, string cheese stuff like that in it, but always water...for me it's essential to drink 2-3 quarts daily and I don't want to get caught having to pay a dollar or more for a bottle when I can buy the 24 bottle case for $4!!!!!
Good luck loubylou, you've come to the right place for support and advice. There are a lot of terrific people at 3FC.
08-06-2008, 11:37 AM
I've lost 15.2 lbs in a month through exercise and counting calories. I don't really have a set limit of calories per day, but I do monitor what I eat and I'm still fine-tuning my diet to get in the proper amounts of nutrition and proportion of carbs/protein.
I try to go to the gym at least 5 days a week, and I'm to the point where I feel icky and irritable if I miss a day. I really enjoy going because I feel terrific afterwards, and working out has already improved my energy levels and attitude dramatically. I'm much more positive and cheerful than I was a month ago, and I think that has more to do with exercising than the small amount of weight (relative to my total poundage) that I've lost.
I highly...HIGHLY...recommend joining a gym. I was nervous at first, thinking people would stare at "the fat chick". Nope. They don't stare. They rarely look. They're far too focused on what they're doing. I find I don't really look at other people at the gym either. I notice the familiar faces of the regulars, but that's about it. Sometimes they greet me but it doesn't go any further than that. Nobody laughs and points; they're all adults. People of all races, shapes, sizes, and ages go to my gym.
You can do this...and the people here will cheer you on.
08-06-2008, 12:25 PM
I dont count calories (though I have tried it in the past, and I think it is useful if you can keep up with it without a problem) but I am also in the "eat clean / exercise a lot" camp. I also find it particularly useful to monitor my carb/suagr in-take; for several weeks I ate no bread, pasta, rice or anything with sugar in it but now i'm carefully adding in some flax breads (with 0g's of sugar), flax waffles and small amounts of other fruits. I find that my blood sugar swings out of control if I eat too many carbs and sugars (even whole wheat/multigrain carbs) and that can lead to binges and unstoppable hunger. That alone has made a huge difference in my ability to eat clean and control myself.
You can definitely do this; what is important now is for you to really try to figure out what will work for YOU in the longrun. for instance, calorie counting has worked for lots and lots of people on this site, but I find it extremely tedious and time consuming and it's not something I can keep up with (at least not with my life as it is now) but keeping an eye on my carbs is something that works for me, makes me feel in control of myself and is easier for me to do (since there are some foods I just avoid completely). Other people count Weight Watcher points, etc. Figure out what is doable for you; all our suggestions might be great, but if they won't work for you, you'd need to adapt them :-) Good luck and congrats on your engagement!!
EDIT: I just realized I didnt actually tell you anything ab what I do:
1. I exercise 5 - 6 times a week, about 50 - 60 mins. a day (sometimes more, sometimes less). I vary what I do, but generally I weight/resistance train to DVDs at home with freeweights (I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jillian Michael's, though there are other trainers that are also really good). I do resistance training like 4 times a week and cardio (either steady cardio at low-intensity for 40 - 60 mins. or high intensity for 30 - 40 mins.)
2. Breakfast on most days is either eggs and vegan soy sausage or Greek yogurt (Fage, full-fat) with strawberries and blackberries and coffee. I've been having flax waffles some mornings too these days. I try to keep the carbs low especially in the morning; if I eat a lot of protein and fats at breakfast, I feel full and satisfied well into the afternoon.
3. I usually buy lunch at work, and I will have either a "meal salad" with stuff like spinach, avocado, some cheese like feta, romano or goat cheese, walnuts, etc. and oil & vinegar or sometimes sushi. But the meal salad is the lunch of choice most days and i mix it up with different vegetables and add-ins.
3. Dinner is oftentimes a tofu stirfry in olive oil, with broccoli, onions, etc. lots of vegetables.
4. I don't snack too too much, but if I do, I have a few spoonfuls of peanut butter with milk or some berries. Or I will get a protein smoothie from a vegan restaurant near my job if I want something a bit heavier. when my fiance is home and we have dinner together, we'll follow it with some grapes or cherries.
5. Sometimes I "cheat" and I will have some dark chocolate (I like Green&Black's or Endangered Species brands). If my fiance is home on the weekends, we'll sometimes go have a greasy pizza or burek (Balkan spinach pie, omg so good) for lunch (but that is VERY occasional).
6. I (honestly, I'm not lying) drink only: water, seltzer (w. lemon & lime), coffee, tea, milk. I use stevia to sweeten coffee/tea. I'm fortunate here in that I just don't like most juices (orange and cranberry are good though) and I'm not crazy about soda so it's no hardship to avoid it. I drink about 64 fl. oz. of water a day.
Anyways, that's what I do.
08-11-2008, 08:56 AM
Thanks everyone for showing me so much support! I can definitely believe what you say about the level of help people on this site are offering to each other and you are giving me complete faith that I can do it.
I have decided that it's time to stop looking to diets made for other people to show me how to do it myself and instead am going to create the 'Me' plan - just looking at the things I know I need and what makes me feel healthier.
I plan to start doing more exercise too asap.
Will be checking in with everyone to see how well we are all doing
08-11-2008, 10:08 AM
Loubylou, I think it would also help to figure out what about your personality you can leverage to help you on your journey.
For example, I'm a tightwad and I *hate* wasting money. I can't stand it, it bothers me. I make plenty of it, but I hoard it like there's no tomorrow. My friends actually make fun of me for it. I'm generous when it comes to friends and family, but I also try to live on one paycheck and save the other. I'm weird like that; my friends think I should "live a little". Then again, I'm 33 and have a six figure nest egg and they don't, so it's paying off!
Given that, you might think it would be difficult for me to sign up for gym membership. Nope! If I use it a lot, I'm getting good value for money. I'm all about that. So, I go to the gym a LOT. I actually have it broken down by visit, i.e. I pay $x per month and I go x times per month, so I pay $x each time I go. The more times I go, the "cheaper" each visit gets. I'd be paying the same amount of money whether I went 1 time or 100 times, so I go as often as I can be motivated to go. Some days I'm simply too tired to go, or I feel a little creaky or sore. Then I do the cost/benefit analysis of doctor visits and injuring myself and not being able to go to the gym vs skipping a day. It might sound very Type A and stupid, but it's how I roll.
I can also apply this thriftiness to my food shopping. I now spend more on food than I used to even though I'm single now. This is because I no longer buy junk and I eat a lot more "whole" foods. Since I hate wasting money, I look in the fridge and think, "better eat those tomatoes before they go off," or "that bok choy was expensive...better make a stir fry." Sometimes I have a little sticker shock at the supermarket when I manage to drop $50 in a single visit on just myself, but then I think...."$50 vs diabetes, high blood pressure, shopping at Lane Bryant...it's worth it!"
On the other hand, I can be pretty lazy. Astonishingly so. I suppose it's tied to thriftiness...I don't like to waste energy. Knowing that I have lazy tendencies, I stock my freezer with plenty of healthy microwave meals for those days when I don't want to cook, or don't have the motivation/time to prepare a lunch to bring with me to work. This cuts out the temptation to hit the drive-thru or order a pizza. Hitting the drive-thru involves getting in the car, driving somewhere, waiting, etc. Ordering a pizza involves waiting and then there's always the irritation that comes with the pizza being late or cold. Or wrong. I pop a Lean Cuisine into the microwave on those lazy nights and avoid all that.
Basically I thought about who I am as a person...controlling, thrifty, but also somewhat lazy. I thought about how these tendencies could sabotage my efforts, but also how I could make them work for me. It's almost like I'm tricking myself. I know I'm doing it, but it has worked so far.
Also, since I'm a total control freak who borders on obsessive about certain things (the organization of my closet, how my dishes are stacked, etc.), I found religion about counting calories and weighing myself. It feeds into my control freaky/obsessive personality and in the wrong hands could be a bad thing, but in my case it imparts a discipline that might not be there otherwise. I obsess about calories, so I'm very likely to count every tiny little thing I eat, and every tiny little bit of exercise that I do.
So...figure out what your strong personality traits are, even if they're negative (as mine are), and try to make them work for you instead of against you. In the month before I actively tried to lose weight, I was doing a lot of thinking and jotting down. I wanted to go into this eyes wide open.
I'm 33 and it's very unlikely that I'll get less Type A as I get older. It's unlikely that I'll all of a sudden start blowing entire paychecks at Nordstrom's. It's unlikely that I'll suddenly become the kind of person who is active, active, active all day long. So, I'm trying to make the kind of person that I am work for me for a change instead of against me. That's something that does come with age...the wisdom to try to work with what you have instead of trying to become something you're not.
Good luck. :hug:
08-11-2008, 01:33 PM
txsqlchick - Thank you for that post. It was awesome and gave me a lot to think about.
08-11-2008, 03:55 PM
I agree! Way to make even bad habits work for you!
I can relate! I hate to exercise, and as I was seeking a way to make exercising work for me, I stumbled on... commitment. Each month I would commit to a certain number of minutes of exercise (it might vary based on how busy I'd be in a month). So, if my goal was 900 minutes, I'd know that's about 30 min a day. I HATED being behind in my "goal", so for over 2 years, every month I set a goal, I made it -- with the exception of the times I got injured or ill.
Of course, it's not a perfect system. Over time I realized that I never went OVER my goal. If it was Sept 29th and I'd already made my goal, I found it very difficult to make myself exercise! These days I'm playing around with different ways to keep my exercise regular.
So, that's what worked for me, but my husband doesn't seem to work that way at all... and I think that's txsglchick's point -- we all have to find a system that works for us...
08-11-2008, 10:45 PM
Thanks MonteCristo, Heather; I just know how my own strong traits can work against me so I tried to turn it around and make them work FOR me for a change!
08-11-2008, 11:08 PM
I'm going against the grain on this one.
Don't fall into this trap, please. I am more than 100lbs overweight myself, and was only a few pounds lighter at my wedding than I am two years later (though I'm now on a diet plan on my terms!).
Wedding planning is incredibly stressful. Families lose their minds, feelings get hurt, everyone wants to voice opinions, and it's your job to manouever those land mines and keep yourself sane.
If you want to lose a few (5 or 6) pounds to make yourself feel better, go nuts. If you feel like you need to lose 100 pounds before your wedding you will MAKE yourself nuts.
The best wedding advice I ever got was to remember to make myself and my fiance happy before everyone else.
Was my fiance going to refuse to marry a bride in a plus-sized dress? **** no. Even in a plus-size dress (two sizes larger than when we met, by the way!) he tried to get me out of it before we even made it back to the honeymoon suite.
My wedding dress was a size 22 and it was the happiest day of my life. I felt (and looked, judging by the pictures) absolutely radiant.