General chatter - Sell me your way of eating!!

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05-27-2009, 08:36 PM my best friend came over to use my scale the other day. I blew the dust off it so she could use it and weighed myself. :fr: I now weigh more than I have ever in my life...unpregnant. Actually, I weigh ten pounds less than I did the morning I went in labor for my son when they weighed me at the hospital.

So, I have to do something. Sell me your way of eating. I NEED HELP!!!

Wolf Goddess
05-27-2009, 08:42 PM
Avoid alot of processed and pre-packaged foods.
Cook what you can from scratch, and learn to lighten things up.
Enjoy what you eat, but not too much.
Exercise a bit each day, and make what you do count.
Drink water, not soda and juice.
Enjoy non-food hobbies.

That'll be $19.99, check or money order. :p

05-27-2009, 08:44 PM
I'd pretty much say what Wolf Goddess just said. :)

05-27-2009, 09:18 PM
My WOE is a lower carb exchange plan, I adapted from the hillbillyhousewife website.

(the healthy eating tab, and then the dieting on a budget tab)

I basically took their higher protein 1200 calorie exchange plan and added 8 flexible exchanges (that I can use on milk, fruit, bread, or protein servings) and 3 more vegetable servings (optional).

I bought an exchange reference book (exchanges for all occasions) cheaply on I didn't even buy the most current edition (I bought the 3rd, edition), though I may buy the pocket-sized edition (the 4th edition) to carry in my purse (or maybe the book, The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Exchanges).

I also use online resources if the food isn't listed in my book, or if the computer is closer than my book, I just type in the food I'm wanting to look up and the words "diabetic" and "exchanges," (without the quotation markes)
into the google search box.

I love exchange plans, because they're flexible and make blanced eating "hard-wired" in. I need a lower carb plan for my insulin resistance (even too many fruit servings can trigger cravings and hunger), but if the insulin resistance is resolved, maybe I'll be able to include more carbohydrate-rich servings, without having to completely overhaul my diet. I can figure out the exchanges for almost anything, but it's easiest to eat whole foods (because they're easiest to calculate/count). It's like a built-in encouragement to eat more foods in their natural form.

Another plus in exchange plans, they're all pretty much modeled after the diabetic exchange plan, which hasn't changed much since it was developed in the 1950's. Or rather, the number/distributions of servings for each category
has changed over the years, and according to specific plans, but the exchanges themselves have remained the same. For example some plans may recommend more bread servings and fewer protein... which is why I like the hillbilly housewife site, which illustrates three different carbohydrate-level plans.

Because the exchanges haven't changed, most exchange-based cookbooks are virtually interchangeable. There are a few exceptions, but they're usually fairly easy to "translate," for example the in the DASH diet (developed to reverse high blood pressure) the exchanges are a bit different. Their protein exchange is equivalent to 3 protein or meat exchanges in other plans, and they've added another exchange for nuts (an ounce of nuts, I believe is 3 or 4 exchanges, in most of the other plans).

I collect cookbooks (usually from thrift stores and garage sales), so I pick up cookbooks with exchanges calculated whenever I see them (I just make a quick check, usually explained in the first chapter), to make sure the exchanges are similar. Some cookbooks I have or are on my wishlist on amazon are - any Weight Watcher's cookbook published before 1994, most diabetic cookbooks, DASH books, the Healthy Exchange cookbooks by Joanna Lund (although she relied heavily on name-brand processed foods), Richard Simmons' cookbooks....

05-27-2009, 09:18 PM
Calorie counting is the only thing that's ever worked for me.

I can eat what I want, and cc has been leading me to want healthier things.
No joke, they taste better.

AND I've lost 90 pounds (and hey, the year's not over yet!)

Is that a good sales pitch?

05-27-2009, 09:52 PM
If I was you the first thing I would do is give up hockey. Those pucks, blades and sticks in the face do add up on the scale.

Oh wait a minute....blood does have weight....the loss of blood versus the weight of a puck....


I better think on this and get back to ya.


05-30-2009, 09:15 AM
Thanks,'re right, is exactly what my problem was. All those night time practices and games = pizza, chinese food, McDonald's and concession stand food for dinner which = at least a ten to fifteen pound weight gain.

I have to say I was expecting a bigger response to this post, actually. I'm wondering about people experiences with Nutra System, Weight Watchers, South Beach, exercise videos you love, etc. I'd love to hear more of people's experiences and successes with the plan they're on.

05-30-2009, 09:17 AM
First, thank you all for all of the replies I have gotten!

Wolf Goddess: Your check is in the mail ;)

Calorie counting is the only thing that's ever worked for me.

I can eat what I want, and cc has been leading me to want healthier things.
No joke, they taste better.

AND I've lost 90 pounds (and hey, the year's not over yet!)

Is that a good sales pitch?

Any books or resources you can direct me to for info on guidelines for this? Honestly, I've never counted calories before. :dunno:

Kaplods: The calorie exchange thing sounds totally confusing. I have to admit to myself...if its complicated, I know I may give it a shot for a couple days, but then I'll give up. I know myself. It has to be simple.

05-30-2009, 09:46 AM is a good resource for counting calories, it's very user friendly.

Counting calories is working for me, knowing that I can eat anything I want doesn't make me feel deprived, and when I don't feel deprived, what I actually want to eat is good for me.

05-30-2009, 09:51 AM
I would say WW or calorie counting. Because you could have anything in moderation. Nothing is off limits.Because if you are like me, if there is something I am not allowed on a plan. That is what I will want.

05-30-2009, 10:17 AM
Definitely calorie counting (or WW, which is basically the same as long as you're doing their Flex plan). I can't seem to get it together right now to get the baby weight off, but I did lose 110 pounds by doing my own version of WW (basically counting points instead of calories but eating anything I wanted in moderation). If you're like me and you can't stand for things to be forbidden (that just makes me crave it more), then calorie counting is the way to go because you know you can have whatever you want as long as it fits into your calorie budget for the day. That makes you go for lower-calorie, healthier things anyway because you want to get more bang for your buck. It's a nice idea to try to eat all healthy whole foods but it's not always easy to do and for some of us it's too hard to completely stick to that. I tried that for years and I couldn't make it work. I can't do the "all or nothing" thing.

05-30-2009, 10:53 AM
Tech I remember those "game nights" well!

I am not sure if my way would work for you but if you click on the "MY JOURNEY" link at the bottom of my posts you can see what I did.

I was successful at it because I wanted it!

I have to admit, in shame :( that I am up 13 pounds from the 170 when I posted my 1 year anniversary. I am coming up quick on my second year too :mad:

All I can say is the way I did it worked for me.....and it would have continued to work for plan was fine for me...I failed to keep up on the plan....simply because I got LAY-Z...I got, as they say....too big for my britches ;)

You know it takes effort just like I do...

I felt so :carrot:wonderful:carrot: when I accomplished my goal...which in all honesty was about 5 pounds less than realistic for me...

Rather than "sell" you my way of eating I would rather "sell" you the feeling I had working toward my goal and finally reaching it :)

This baseball dad deserved that feeling...:)

Hockey mom's do too! ;)

Have a great week-end and go treat yourself to some :carrot::carrot::carrot:


05-30-2009, 11:58 AM
I use a very simple plan: it is a PORTION-BASED PLAN. Originally, this came from the diabetic exchange plan, but this is much simpler and very similar to the pyramid portion/servings plan, which you can base on a set # of calories each day ie 1200, 1500, 1800, etc. I have many charts for this from a book called "ACTIVE WELLNESS" and an exchange book I purchased many moons ago, called 'EAT & STAY SLIM' by Better Homes & Gardens.

For example, most days my smaller 10" dinner plate looks like this: 1/4 plate lean meat, 1/4 plate grain/starch carbs, and 1/2 plate veggies and/or salad. That's pretty simple. For the day, I may have 3-5 vegetable servings, 2-3 dairy, 5-7 grain and/or starch servings, 3-5 fats (or less if I can), and about 5-7+ ounces of protein portions a day. This is just a basic guide and I do vary it according to what I want to eat each day.

BTW, I agree that Weight Watchers Point Plan is similar in principal and very easy to use for those who (like myself and you) hate tracking every single calorie. I have incorporated some ideas into this plan from the Whole Foods and Volumetrics as well. Actually, I use any good ideas from any plan I hear about, if it helps me (ie lower fat versions of everything).

Like the CC's posting here, I am trying to learn to eat what I like, just in smaller portions ... as in 'Eat good food -- just less!'

05-30-2009, 12:26 PM
I'm not good at counting or anything like that... I get a little lazy about it. I use Diet To GO.. they ship me food.. I eat their food... I lose weight. Although it is kind of expensive... the food is very yummy and way better than anything I eat on my own!

05-30-2009, 12:43 PM
I am doing WW. It is really easy and as long as you track and stay in your point allowance you can have anything you want to eat. I actually find it easier to eat at fast food restuarants than sit down ones.

05-30-2009, 01:13 PM
I am doing the Fat Smash diet. It has changed the way I eat. The first couple of weeks are hard but you can eat unlimited amounts of fruits, vegetables, lentils and beans. After that you find yourself not craving the sugary and savory treats that you once relied on.

I've lost a little over 30lbs in the last few months. I chose this way because I couldn't handle the idea of counting my food whether it was by calories or exchanges.

05-30-2009, 01:42 PM
I use a combination of: eating whole foods, calorie counting/portion control/volumetrics.

I also discovered I had carb sensitivities. Certain foods - cold cereal, white pasta, crackers, pretzels, chips, packaged cookies, cake, cake frosting - set off an urge to eat more and more. (luckily complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, black beans, fruit don't seem to trigger the same effect).

Whole Foods
My original goal was based on the book Super Foods Rx: 14 Foods That Will Change Your Life. I tried to eat as may super foods every day (and their side kicks). I was concentrating so hard on this goal, there just wasn't much room in the day for "non super foods." It wasn't my intent, but I pretty much eliminated sugar (except for fruit) and all my weird binges/cravings seemed to vanish.

I went from a bingy, sneaky eater to well, a normal eater. I had always thought I had problems with food - but it turns out I really only had a problem with certain foods. Eliminating/reducing those foods from my life made a huge difference. I really surprised myself, I would have thought I had to have those foods, that I would be unhappy living without them. Although I have managed to work a few favorite back into my life as occasional treats (like birthday cake, or a nice dessert split in a restaurant, or a single packaged biscotti), overall I live without them very happily and don't miss them.

I am a food lover, I adore food. I had to find new foods to replace my old favorites. I had no idea that I loved baked sweet potatoes and greek yogurt with blackberries and roasted cherry tomatoes with sea salt. I have easily found foods I like just as much as the foods I used to eat (Domino's pizza, Taco Bell, Venti lattes from Starbucks, muffins, scones, huge plates of pasta with bread on the side) and I look forward to every meal time - that was really key for me.

Portion Control
Portion control was really a new idea for me. I bought a pretty set of measuring cups and a foodscale and after all this time I STILL measure the foods that are difficult for me to eyeball - salad dressing, peanut butter, servings of nuts, brown rice - I always always weigh the pasta.

I finally broke the habit of always having to have the BIGGEST of everything. Venti lattes, big bowls of ice cream. If I split a cookie with a friend, I always "angled" to get the biggest piece. If there were muffins at work, I took the biggest, etc etc. Now, I make a point to always always order the small (and to ask for a kiddie size if they have it!) and I am surprisingly happy with a small. This was a huge change for me.

I also hate being hungry - hate it! So a plan with big portions of vegetables really works for me.

Ultimately, I feel every person's plan has to be unique to them. What they like. What they can do forever.

My plan requires a LOT of planning, grocery shopping and packing lunches. It works for me, because I'm honestly the obsessive type and I thrive in that sort of structure. It has worked gloriously for me - 70 lbs lost, 4+ years maintenance, but that doesn't mean it would work for you.

If you've lost weight in the past, sit down and really think what worked, what didn't work, why you regained. Focusing in on WHY I regained was my true, catalyst moment. I had always wanted to diet (a short term, "balls-out", super deprivation, "I can do ANYTHING to lose weight" miserable diet) and then eat "normal." I don't know why it took me 20 years to realize that my normal way of eating is what made me fat. Everytime I stopped dieting and ate "normal" I gained weight. Now, I have a new normal. I found something I could do forever. Instead of dieting then stopping, now I just live this way and it's okay - I chose something I liked and could live with.

Once I figured THAT out, the rest dropped into place with an ease that surprised me and still feels like a miracle.

05-30-2009, 05:16 PM
Calorie counting is the only thing that works for me. I travel and eat out quite a bit, so I need a plan that is flexible. I hate deprivation - tell me I can't have it, and I want it all the more. Tell me I can, and it loses its power - and suddenly, it isn't so important.

I prefer to eat whole foods as often as possible, though my schedule necessitates having some pre-packaged items like Morningstar Farms or Boca or South Beach High Protein Cereal Bars sometimes. I prepare a lot of whole food dishes on the weekend so that I have lunches and dinners ready for most of the week. My George Forman grill, and my microwave/convection oven are GREAT tools.

I eat lots of veggies (volumetrics practices here), and BALANCE my eating (40/30/30).

I eat 6 times (or more) a day, so my meals are quite small. Each meal is something that I want to eat. I chose quality foods that I enjoy. I eat slowly, mindfully, and enjoy eating. I actually enjoy the act of eating far more now than when I ate twice as many calories.

I keep lots of grab-n-go items around so I'm never without a healthy snack, even when my schedule keeps me on the go from morning 'til night. (I'm a squirrel with food stashed everywhere - in my purse, in my drawer at work, in my car. I never have an excuse to eat off-plan).

When eating out, I do one or more of the following:
1. Split a meal with someone else
2. Order from the side menu
3. Order all sauces/condiments/dressings "on the side"
4. Custom order if necessary
5. Drink water instead of a calorie-laden beverage
6. Skip the bread basket (or whatever else they put on the table). If I can't refuse it (others at the table want it), I move the food and my plate away from me. Out of reach makes it much harder to grab and eat mindlessly.
7. Take a carryout container with me. Decide BEFORE I start eating, how much should be put away and out of sight. That way I eat less, eat slower, and eat more mindfully.

I used Fitday for most of my journey. Also a food scale. I needed to learn portion control and hold myself accountable. I still keep track of my calories mentally, and weigh my food periodically to make sure I am honest and accurate.

Mahina Lani
05-30-2009, 05:55 PM
I try to eat within the Low GI range of foods along with making sure I don't eat above a certain amount of calories per day.

I give myself a "day off" each week where I relax my rules slightly. This means that I don't crave things so much as I can tell myself "I'll have that on my off day if I still want it then" (chances are, by then I've forgotten that I wanted it anyway!!)

I drink a lot of water, eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and make sure my portion sizes are well controlled.

Most of all, I enjoy my food. I take time to plan menus for the week, I enjoy preparing and cooking the dinners and I make sure that I don't get bored with what I'm eating.

05-30-2009, 06:56 PM
I used to lose very well on WW counting points. I now eat South Beach and love it. I don't have to count and measure everything but I do practice portion control. I try to eat 4 1/2 cups of veggies a day, eat no sugar or white flour, only whole grains, and don't eat much processed foods. On South Beach I use olive oil daily, eat a serving of nuts or nut butters daily and eat dairy at least twice a day. I am eating way healthier than I did on WW, since I didn't always use my points for healthy fare. The first two weeks (Phase I) were easier than I thought it would be and I lost 11#, something I'd never accomplished before. I've also never been able to maintain my weight without a struggle and I was always thinking about food before I started South Beach. I'm much more satisfied, eat 5 times a day and lowered my cholesterol 30 points on this way of eating. I've kept my weight off for over a year now. My family gets healthier meals too.

06-02-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm very much enjoying this conversation. I will echo several of the folks here. In fact, Glory87 and CountingDown seem to have very similar working plans to my own. I've been able to combine exercise, volumetrics based eating, and a Richard Simmons philosphy since Jan. In addition, I count calories, journal, and became a vegetarian. I've lost 25 pounds. I've re-evaluated my final goal because I'm so close to my first (and "dream goal"). Now I have a "middle of BMI" as my goal (about 22 pounds to lose).

I discovered the Volumetrics book by Barbara Rolls Dec 08 and it clicked at just the right time. I love that it's goal is to avoid feeling hungry. I didn't believe that vegetables could be filling so in January I was very dubiously eating veges with very reduced rice/pasta/potatoes. It was great to find that veges are filling and when prepared well can be very yummy. Now I look for recipes that are consistent with most items I usually have on hand for the entire family but that will stay within the calories and food groups needed.

Richard Simmons
I bought a pack from the store that had cards covered by a plastic container with windows. The cards had little pictures of the five basic food groups, water, and exercise. You'd close the windows when you consumed a full serving of the food group. Depending on the calories, you'd have three "meats", three "dairies", etc. I want to make sure I'm eating fruits, veges, calcium, proteins, and grains. My biggest goal is to always have a full serving of calcium (tofu, low-fat cheese, appropriate veges) and protein.

I'm vegetarian for past few years. I gave up meat basically because I cared more about the tons of sauce and condiments on top of the thing underneath than the meat itself. Substituting various beans, tofu, garden burgers, etc. helped me to release my massive overconsumption. Now, I enjoy my food but without the pathological lust for the entire Chinese restaurant's crab ragoon, general tso chicken, and sweet n sour pork. I love General Tso Tofu and walk away from the bowl very pleased without screaming for more!

Calorie Counting
I have never been successful without counting. I've only counted twice successfully. I have a little fat notebook from the convenience store. I make a new page each day and pencil in what I've eaten. I do tend to have many regular foods so I can manage better.

I really plan things out. So, I'm usually writing in pencil the night before so that I can be sure to use up food in the frig, make sure I have the right food for my day depending on where I have to go, and what I'm interested in.

I've never been a journal keeper but since Jan, I've been occassionally writing down how I'm doing. It's been great. Just another way to keep myself "present" and mindful of what is important to me.

I've been strengthening my core, upper legs and knees. I've been experiencing severe knee pain which has really gotten better with my weight loss and strengthening. I use to over exercise way too much without having a comparable lower calorie intake. So, I really killed my knees. Now, I actually have reduced my exercise, diversified what I AM doing, and work holistically. I exercise with a dvd from the FIRM four times a week.

I want to mention that my family has been supportive and participatory in this process. Luckily, my kids have always had healthy habits. I'm from a background of very bad culture--creams, butter, starches, etc. My husband is from Asia. So, I'm more coming in line with them. My sons are in elementary school. But I'll be working out to my dvd (1.5 hours total when all counted in), my kids will be reading or watching a movie on a portable dvd (if they've earned time), and my husband on the laptop all in the same very small living room. Everyone knows not to bug mom when she's exercising (I fall down if distracted). So, we all co-exist without any trouble.

Thanks for sharing your own plans. I really enjoy reading.

Hello Nurse
06-02-2009, 08:04 PM
I recently started weight watchers online at home, and I love it! It is like a game tracking points online and seeing the graph of my weight loss. The thing I like best is you can eat what you want as long as you keep within the points. Not that it is something you can do every day, but once in a blue moon I can skip my afternoon snack and have enought points left for a small fry from McDonalds, and I get their grilled ckn sandwich without mayo to go with it. I have done ww at work before, and it was a pain keeping up with that stupid point counter slide rule thingey, but this online version is FUN!

06-03-2009, 12:29 AM
I calorie count and never had success until I started using and of course my george foreman grill.