Weight Loss Support - When is it appropriate to post on specific diet threads?

04-22-2009, 11:29 AM
I confess that I often read the questions and posts on threads that are diet specific, such as Atkins, Calorie-Counters, and so on. And I have noticed that there are some members who enjoy posting dietary advice on these specific threads even when they are not on the plan. I have read the forum postits and see that each forum is specific for the followers of those specific diets.
While I have no issue with those who post to give non-dietary specific advice -- you know, "keep it up", or "you are doing awesome", or "plan your meals" or other non-diet-specific support, is it appropriate to post plan specific advice if you don't follow that diet itself? Especially if the info you post is not in line with the diet plan itself?
I guess I speak specifically for my particular forum, on which I have seen other members encourage non-plan specific behavior as dietary support in response to diet-specific questions. If I am, for example, on a Medifast forum, and have a Medifast-specific question such as "how do I count my lean and green meal", is it appropriate to give advice about including rice and/or pasta, which is definitely not part of the plan?
I know we all have the right to not listen, but I was wondering about the etiquette of this, and how to address it when it happens without getting peoples' knickers in a knot!

04-22-2009, 11:45 AM
My opinion is, this is a public forum and anyone can post anywhere they want. You can choose to respond to irrelevent advice or you can chalk it up to it being a message board with a broad range of opinions and move on.

I think with the supportive atmosphere of 3FC, people should feel welcome to post anywhere they feel they can offer something. I feel that wandering beyond the confines of the forums relevant to me gives me a much broader perspective.

If someone gives advice that goes against a specific diet plan, respectfully disagree and offer your own advice. For every opinion around here there is always a counter opinion :)

04-22-2009, 11:46 AM
Sometimes when I post I don't realize I'm in a specific section because I'll click on a post from the "latest forum posts" on the main page.

04-22-2009, 12:03 PM
I think usually it's a matter of people either being 1) not so computer literate, 2) not so observant or 3) not caring at all what forum they're in. It's sort of like when people post advice in a time-sensitive thread posted 4 years ago.

I've learned over time to not let it bother me. Ok, ok, I'm still working on it. ;) At least it doesn't bother me any more than people who write about "loosing weight."

It definitely happens more on some web sites than others... and since we at 3FC have such a wide array of users, with a variety of ages, education levels, computer experience, and cultural/etiquette backgrounds... we end up with quite a bit of it here.

04-22-2009, 12:10 PM
I agree with junebug and would just add that we are not medical people so it is your responibility to accept or reject information as it pertains to you. I try to only post what I know works for me. I will continue to welcome, and encourage people, however.

04-22-2009, 12:24 PM
We had a thread last week in the Carb Counters/Atkins forum that began to degenerate into somewhat of a pro/con Atkins debate, and the moderators stepped in and deleted the post that was con Atkins, and let us know that it's OK to respectfully debate (to some degree) in other parts of the forum, but on diet support threads it's not OK to debate the relative merits of a diet, because it's the "support" area.

04-22-2009, 12:40 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with junebug. Everything is open to everyone and you have to choose just what you want to listen to. There are no "rules" stating you can or cannot post to certain threads just because you're not on that plan or that the area doesn't pertain to you specifically. Thankfully this is a forum where there are very few snarky things said. More than not we're supportive of everyone regardless of the plan they are following. If someone asks for advice, you have to understand that there will be 100 different perspectives from 100 different people.

04-22-2009, 12:42 PM
I was wondering about that. Because I read the forum stickies, that say that the forum is for followers of a specific diet and for those who want to learn more about it. Otherwise why have a specific forum site? Like I said, non-diet specific advice is appropriate. But can someone who isn't on Atkins really advise you with respect to your program on the Atkins forum? If you are on South Beach and on that specific forum and have a South Beach question, should a non-South-Beacher give you advice that is against the South Beach principles?
I'm not talking about general diet questions here.
I saw the non-Atkins diatribe on the Atkins forum and it was clearly not an appropriate post for that particular forum and was deleted. Which was a good thing, in my opinion. You can post that sort of item on the general chatter or weight loss support forum, and it clearly isn't in accordance with the Atkins forum sticky. Which led to the question -- if I am an Atkins follower and have a question about induction and post it on the Atkins forum, is this an appropriate place for non-Atkins followers to recommend that you follow a whole foods lifestyle, for example...

04-22-2009, 12:46 PM
First, there is a forum policy on Agree to Disagree that can be reviewed here:

I think that sometimes people stumble into forums and offer advice and innocently don't realize that their advice might be counterproductive to the guidelines of a particular eating plan. That is when it might be appropriate to gently offer some information about the plan, allowing for learning and education. But we can all learn from each other and there are no restrictions on posting in or reading different forums. One of my favorite forums is the WLS forum, because I admire the strength and success of those folks greatly.

04-22-2009, 12:53 PM
Thanks, midwife. I know there aren't any rules about posting. I was just wondering how to respond to non-plan specific advice without getting peoples' knickers in a knot, and perhaps to just make people more aware of where they are posting and whether or not the post might be appropriate for that particular forum. (This happens all the time, where moderators move posts from one board to a more appropriate board -- it isn't a question of restricting posts, just placing them in a more appropriate location)...

04-22-2009, 12:54 PM
I think most people offering advice that is counter to a specific diet just don't realize they're in a specific forum. It's very easy to do when checking "New Posts." I'm sure there are occasional people trying to push their point of view, but I think in most cases, you're reading too much into their intentions.

04-22-2009, 12:55 PM
Thanks, midwife. I know there aren't any rules about posting. I was just wondering how to respond to non-plan specific advice without getting peoples' knickers in a knot

Gently and kindly always works well. :) But you know that. ;)

04-22-2009, 01:02 PM
Thanks, midwife. I wasn't trying to imply that people were pushing their particular plans. It just might make it difficult when you are a new member on a new plan to have a question and to receive confusing information, that's all. It is easy for those of us with experience with a program to sift out the program info from personal opinion, but if you are new and post to a specific forum about a program question, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with conflicting information. And usually the post itself indicates the type of question -- for example "how do I count these WW points" is a different question from "my scale numbers won't move"...
I was reading the post on the Atkins forum last night (it is now deleted) from a new member who gave quite a lengthy explanation as to why those on Atkins shouldn't be on Atkins. This is an interesting dietary debate but perhaps the Atkins forum wasn't the appropriate place for it. Which is why I brought up the question, that's all.

04-22-2009, 01:05 PM
I would also advise, do not spend too much time trying to analyze someone else's postings, some will be very good and others will not. I try to post what I know works for me, I am a calorie counter but have been on almost every diet there is, over the years. I will tell you what works for me, but I will not tell you what you should do. I think that is the best advise I can give.

04-22-2009, 01:23 PM
It is definitely bad manners to go to, say, the Atkins forum and post a thread bashing Atkins. That doesn't take a higher degree to understand.

Also, if you don't know the rules for a specific plan, how can you know whether your recommendation, even if well intended, is something allowed on that plan? (I don't mean "you" specifically.)

So the best guideline is to post encouraging posts, but not criticize plans you don't follow. It's generally OK to ask questions, as long as one is really seeking information and not simply hiding an argument.


04-22-2009, 01:34 PM
Thanks, JayEl!
Your post really helps. I know that on one of my diet-specific forums, there have been a number of posts to plan-specific questions that while well intentioned, are recommending strategies that are really not in line with my plan's guidelines. I'm not passing judgement on intention, nor am I reading anything into it other than a true desire to help. But the advice just isn't in line with the program. And for a new program follower, this is a bit confusing. And I'm new to the forum! So I just wanted to make sure that a response was appropriate as I don't want to step on any toes while responding...I hate being new to forums! It is hard to get the hang of the etiquette and to sift out what the unwritten rules are!
Thanks again,

04-22-2009, 01:35 PM
I was reading the post on the Atkins forum last night (it is now deleted) from a new member who gave quite a lengthy explanation as to why those on Atkins shouldn't be on Atkins. This is an interesting dietary debate but perhaps the Atkins forum wasn't the appropriate place for it.

Oh good thing I didn't see it before it was deleted... :devil: :carrot: ;)

04-22-2009, 01:38 PM
I've learned over time to not let it bother me. Ok, ok, I'm still working on it. ;) At least it doesn't bother me any more than people who write about "loosing weight."

Woohoo! Greetings, fellow speller!
And don't even get me started on the rogue apostrophe!
Not to mention starting sentences with conjunctions!

On the topic, I agree with Jayell.

04-22-2009, 01:40 PM
I tell you, DC (p.s. I was just in DC for the cherry blossoms, and I LOVED IT!) it was quite the post! While not rude nor offensive in tone or composition, it was really completely oppposite to what anyone who follows that plan needs to see on a forum that was designed to support those on the plan. It raised my eyebrows, that's for sure! I've been on other low-carb forums and posts like that pop up regularly and they are regularly deleted. So it wasn't surprising to see it gone this morning. And it got me to thinking. I'm beginning to think that I think too much! But, hey, if we don't question our assumptions from time to time, then we don't grow as individuals, IMHO...

04-22-2009, 01:47 PM
There is another forum policy in addition to "Agree to Disagree" - don't go into a plan-specific thread and be negative about that plan. So if someone in an Atkins thread asks for marinade ideas for beef, I don't think it's out of line to respond in that thread (but consider it courteous to have a basic idea of what is acceptable for that plan so you don't give a recipe that is useless to those on the plan). But replying in a thread in the Atkins forum by saying that Atkins is unhealthy, bad, etc. would not be OK, because we don't allow negative talk about a plan in that plan's forum.

04-22-2009, 01:47 PM
Dang, now I'm sad I missed it. My blood pressure has been nice and low recently since I got back from vacation...maybe I need another pressure spike to sort of get things moving. Because Atkins-bashing, low-carb-bashing threads and comments make me soooooooo angry. :) Well, I learned on the other Atkins thread from last week that I should let a mod know if I read another one that bothers me.

04-22-2009, 01:48 PM
And yes the cherry blossoms were superb this year!

04-22-2009, 01:57 PM
DC, I just noticed that you are a mere 1 lb away from the 100lb mark! Holy Smokes! Keep on doing what you are doing! It is clearly working!

04-22-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks. I'm plateauing. I've been stalled at 98-99 lbs lost since Feb 14...but I keep getting smaller, so I ain't complaining. :)

04-22-2009, 02:33 PM
I feel like I know the rules, but I too have wondered about the unofficial etiquette. I tend to keep to certain forums that definitely pertain to either me or everyone, but lately I read other forums increasingly.

I am very interested in reading about maintaining, of course (the next, and forever horizon). And since most recent or otherwise hottest threads in various forums are linked on the forum index, I end up randomly clicking on topics that interest me.

And I know it's totally fine to read whatever of course, it's the internet, but there has been a time or two when I went to post and then checked myself. Like when I saw a thread in the 300 lb club -- someone who lost a lot of weight asking a technical question re: her new size and having been that size, I could easily answer. But then it struck me that it might be rude as a sort of interloper.

04-22-2009, 07:07 PM
I think sometimes people worry too much about posting in places they don't normally post. 3fc is an open board and anyone can post anywhere. Whitepicketfences, if you felt you had something meaningful to say in the 300+ forum, then you are certainly welcome to post!

That being said, there are times when it isn't appropriate to make certain posts in certain places. Giving advice on the Atkins board that isn't appropriate to the plan is a good example.

And there are other times when it may be less appropriate, but for "fuzzy" reasons. For example, if the UK chicks start up a challenge, I probably won't feel like I'm "eligible" to join -- even if they did allow me to -- because I don't "fit" as a member of that group. I would probably stick with the group I feel more "like". But if I wanted to, I'd probably ask if it was okay to join...

So, I guess what I'm saying is not to worry too much about posting, but do be sensitive to the forum you're posting on!