100 lb. Club - What rules, tricks, or special lil quirks do you use to stay on plan?

05-22-2010, 11:23 AM
I'm trying to adjust my lifestyle to make it a permanent change...not another "diet spell." As such I feel like I'm not making rapid enough changes. I know I'll be calorie counting and the last two days I've gone for walks. I love the walks, I feel GREAT... more relaxed even. But I'd like to cement up my plan.

I'd like to find out what kinds of plans, tricks, rules you guys have that you feel have really helped you stick to it and make the change.

I'm also wondering, do you have "cheat days?" what sort of guidelines do those of you who have cheat days use so that you don't completely undo the weeks work?


05-22-2010, 11:34 AM
My rule is no cheat days. I don't know if you have a problem with compulsive eating, binges, or being out of control with food at all, but if you do (I do) then I find it's best to hang onto control while you have it for as long as possible.

Other than that, for me, the essentials are exercise, water, LOTS AND LOTS of veggies, plenty of protein, no junk, and watch the carbs :)

05-22-2010, 11:54 AM
No sugar.

That's the foundation of my plan. So long as I keep to that, everything else is golden.

05-22-2010, 12:10 PM
Balanced nutrition within calorie limits, plenty of water and exercise.

I don't like the idea of "cheat" days, although if you look around the fora you will see many who do. If I want or need to have an off-plan meal, I make it a decision to have an off-plan meal and own it - I don't call it a cheat. Even then I try to use a little common sense.

05-22-2010, 12:27 PM
I don't like the idea of "cheat" days, although if you look around the fora you will see many who do. If I want or need to have an off-plan meal, I make it a decision to have an off-plan meal and own it - I don't call it a cheat. Even then I try to use a little common sense.

Ditto. (and I not only own it, I enjoy the heck out of it! lol!)

And this is an area where daily weigh ins help me - last night, I was looking at the bag of cookies (bought for my son) and I was tempted but really, really wanted to break into the 2-teens today and was more motivated to stay on plan to try to do that than I was tempted to eat a cookie.

05-22-2010, 12:42 PM
I did not have cheat days when I was actively losing weight (with the exception of 2 meals - my birthday and Christmas dinner). With the exception of 2 drinks (wine on my birthday and a mimosa on Christmas day) I also avoided all alcohol. Now that I'm maintaining, I eat a treat meal (it is not cheating, it is a planned treat) once a week and probably 1-2 glasses a wine a week.

For my big tip - it's planning. I have found it is very very difficult to eat healthy by accident. We all know that an apple is a much better afternoon snack than a bag of Doritos. But, at 4:00 in the afternoon at work, which is the easier snack to get a hold of? If I want that apple, I have to plan to have that apple.

I do all my meal planning on Sunday, go to the grocery store on Sunday and pack lunches for the work week on Monday morning. Some people aren't happy with that kind of structure, but it is freeing to me. I don't have to "wing it", all my healthy food is ready to go!

05-22-2010, 12:49 PM
Here's what I have done to change this time around.
i walked 6 out of 7 days a week no matter what... I just did it. If you do it for a month your life will be ingrained with it.
Second, I count calories but I don't count them on the weekend as long as I can make good decisions and still stop at 6 pm eating.
I ate most of my crap calories after 6 anyway so its been easy.

05-22-2010, 12:56 PM
no processed foods... rules out most of the junk, sugar and high carb foods for me!!

05-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Two rules I live by:

1. I track my AVERAGE daily calorie deficit over 7 days. That way if I mess up on one day, I don't give up my plan, simply create a bigger deficit over the next 6 days to keep that average where I want it.

2. Once I got my exercise up to 6 hours a week (started out at 2.5 hours), that has become my minimum. So if I have a week that I'm coming up short, my Sunday hike may be extra long. However because hiking is my reward exercise if I'm already at 6 hours I still go for a ramble.

05-22-2010, 01:47 PM
No eating out period, drink only water! Besides my cup of coffee per day.

05-22-2010, 01:59 PM
Hi there! One girl told me that she takes a small spoon of milk when she feels hungry...I think that is cool and can work, try it!

Tara I like your way so I wolud like to join...if you wolud like e-mail to me to normalna2010@yahoo.com

I hope I will start doing someting with my weight because this is ..

05-22-2010, 02:32 PM
Hmmm...I feel like I say this a lot, alot, but it really is the one thing that has kept me going the most. I've done this so many times and this time something is different.

I gave myself a one year commitment to this life style, period, the end. No matter what happens, I am on plan because I'm that desperate to see how much I can lose in a year's time. It has really worked for me.

But to come to this conclusion, I did a lot of soul searching. What was it that had me quitting all those others times? I had only one answer. The scale. When the scale did not cooperate, I quit. So my answer was to start weighing daily instead of weekly and to give a year's commitment.

I think you have to ask yourself why YOU quit before and what do you ned to do in order to fail-safe it for YOU.

05-22-2010, 02:39 PM
What works for me:

Plan, plan, plan and then plan some more. I try to have at least 1/2 to 1 full day logged in advance. It's a pain the butt to change it all in fitday and I'm lazy :) so mentally it's just easier to eat what I planned in the first place. Logging and being aware of what goes in my mouth was really the first step for me, and I have a calorie range I stick to now. It also helps enormously to prepare meals in advance, so I just have to grab stuff rather than prep and cook when I'm already hungry.

Water. With the exception of coffee and the occasional party drink, I've pretty much cut out any other beverage. I love water so it's not a problem, but a Propel or a Crystal Light can make it more palatable if you prefer.

The gym. Or your living room or a walk down the street. Whatever works for you, just move. After my much whined about 3 month backslide, I'm in the gym again. I have a plan for that too, working gradually from 3x/week back up to the 5+ days I was working out when I went AWOL. Getting to the gym sucks -- I literally dread it. But once I'm there I'm fine, and I'm always glad I went.

The perimeter. Shop primarily around the perimeter of the grocery store, where you usually find lean meats, dairy, fruits and vegetable and not a whole lot of processed crap. I do this as much as I can, as having non-crap in my house doesn't really give me a chance to eat it.

Cheat days. They don't work for me for a few reasons. First, I don't believe in "cheating"...I hate what the word implies, just like I don't believe in being "bad" because it feels like some kind of moral judgment I impose upon myself. There are good choices and poor choices we consciously make, and we have to own those decisions (and believe me, I've made plenty of poor choices). Also, I can't be trusted with a cheat day -- I've proven time and time again that it takes me too long to get back to eating like a human being again after a full-on cheat day.

However, I don't deny myself anything either. I'll generally wait several hours or sometimes even a full day to indulge a craving. Most times it goes away. If it becomes overwhelming, I figure a small amount of that food into my tracking. My own personal rule is that if it's going to put me over my calories for the day, I don't do it. But if I can work it in (I'm talking to you, insane psychotic PMS chocolate craving -- I wound up having one small dark chocolate dove square I swiped from the bowl in my boss' office last week and it did the trick) I won't have it.

Don't look back. My wonderful cohorts here at 3FC have taught me this more than anyone. Celebrate the now and your successes. Don't beat yourself up about your past failures. Doing that and looking ahead has literally been like a rebirth for me. Awesome.

And lastly...

Communication. This was probably the hardest thing for me, because I'm so a give-the-people-what-they-want pleaser type. In the past I've also been pretty private with my weight loss efforts but this time around I just had to throw it out there and talk to my family and friends and let them know that while I love them desperately, I really don't want that huge dinner or big burger because it's not going to do me any good. Doing this was ultimately very freeing and makes mealtime a much more pleasant thing.

If my boyfriend wants a calorie-packed supper, I make it for him and have whatever I planned anyway. We don't need to eat the same thing to enjoy each others' company at dinner.

Along the same lines, I still go out to lunch nearly every weekday with one of my best friends because it's a nice break in the day and a time for us to catch up. He's a younger dude, super thin with crazy metabolism, so we're kinda like Jack Spratt and his wife or something :). The unwritten rule is I need to be able to eat healthily wherever we go, and I don't expect him to do the same (he won't...the guy can eat a side of beef with 12 potatoes as a chaser and be hungry an hour later). If he offers me a bite of something which he almost always does, I generally turn it down and remind him that my butt is getting smaller and that's a good thing. It's amazing how accepting and happy for me people are now that I've given them the chance.

Oh, and just a note...I didn't take all these steps at once. Your original question was about small tweaks, and I definitely made these changes one at a time until I had the whole thing together. Life feels better and more hopeful now.

Sorry for the rambling, but I hope you find one or two things here that ring true and will help you out.

Happy weekend! :)

05-22-2010, 03:07 PM
I'll echo my fellow planners.

For me it is a MAJOR factor and the best *tip* to be had. "failing to plan is planning to fail". I plan out my foods in advance, knowing where each and every meal/snack is coming from ahead of time. Much easier to stay on plan when you've got a plan. Much easier avoiding the cookies if I KNOW that I've got a veggie platter and salsa coming up as my snack shortly.

Another tip - eat really, really, REALLY delicious foods. Seek out, look for, create wonderful tasty foods that just happen to be low cal and healthy. If what you're eating tastes so good, there's no reason to give into that other food - the foods that taste good, but aren't good for you.

Switch your way of thinking - Deprivation? We hear a lot about that. Realize that the true deprivation is not passing up on some high calorie foods - but in EATING them and remaining FAT.

Another big, big tip - remove the foods that you love, crave, and overeat the most, specifically the sugar-y/white stuff. I had a hard time stopping to eat certain foods once I started - my solution - don't start. Problem solved, 165 lbs shed for close to 3 years now. So no, I don't believe in a cheat day. This time, I was done taking chances. I made the decision to lose the weight once and for all, no matter what and permanently. As hard as it was (initially, 2 weeks or so), saying no to *those foods*, it was worth it big time. The less and less I went without them, the less and less I wanted them. For me, everything in moderation just doesn't work, just like it doesn't for an alcoholic.

Another tip - it's okay to tell yourself no! You're an adult, you don't have to give into temptation or a craving. You don't have to have something just because you want it. Discipline is a wonderful thing. Make reasonable, rational, mature decisions with your food, just like you do in other areas of your life. You don't drive recklessly - you shouldn't eat recklessly either.

That's about it - for now. :)

05-22-2010, 03:24 PM
for me, i did a lot of internal work at the same time - as in, I found out WHY i got up to 300 pounds, that's made all the difference. I don't do 'cheat' days as that implies i'm on a diet which i'm not. I'm just eating like a real person, i hesitate to say 'a normal person' lol

I calorie counted, and yes i had some M&Ms in there but i counted them, every single one of them. Once you discover you can have a nice thick roast beef sandwich for the same caloric price as a handful of m&ms, you make different choices in a hurry LOL

i drink lots of water, cut out diet sodas, gave up 'diet' food like fake frozen dinners and 100 calorie packs, in favour of REAL food, just made sure good alternatives were always around - i'm not super planner, so i just made sure my 'spur of the moment' choices were made with good food in the house, and came on to 3FC to know i'm not the only one in the world going thru all this :D

05-22-2010, 03:45 PM
1. Eat enough. If, after the first couple of weeks of adjustment, you are having "break out" eating, where you give into temptation, you need to change your eating plan, not just "try harder". If you desperately need cheat days, if you are craving them, if all you can think about is a day or a meal where you get to eat whatever you want, then you need to eat more on regular days: 1500 healthy balanced calories every day is much, much better than 1200 healthy calories for 6 days and 3500 calories of crap on Saturday. And 3500 on a cheat day--when you know you need to eat it now because you can't have it later--is really surprisingly easy to eat.

Myself, I have one meal a month where I order without regards to health. But I don't eat until I am stuffed, and once the meal is over, it's over. I am right back on the horse. The reason for this one meal is so that when I have a specific, persistent craving I have a way to defer it.

2. Just because some of something is good doesn't mean that more is better. 64 oz of fluid is good. 128 oz is not better. Lowering your calories is good. Lowering them to 900 is not better. Lots of veggies is good. Eating nothing but celery and spinach is not better. Low fat is good. No fat is not better. This is HARD for me. I like extremes--they are simpler, and make me feel tough, macho, proud of myself. But they aren't the way to go.

3. Never complain, never explain. No one really care what you eat. If you go to happy hour and order a diet coke and don't eat the munchies others order, don't feel weird. Just ignore the food, don't worry about what others think. Don't explain why you aren't eating or drinking, or complain about how much you wish you were.

4. I say this here a lot, but every time you catch yourself thinking "X won't work for me because I have to . . . ", reassess. More things can be changed or worked around than you think at first.

Related to this: be open minded. We get an idea about what does or doesn't work for us based on some half-a$$ed diet we went on at 15 or based on what our mothers told us about ourselves at 12 and we never reassess. Just because you couldn't give up whatever or make yourself do whatever then doesn't mean you can't now. You're older and smarter and stronger now.

05-22-2010, 03:47 PM
I track calories and calorie distribution to keep an average daily breakdown of 25% carbs, 35% fat, and 40% protein. I also get the majority of my carbs from fruits and veggies instead of grains and sweets. My plan works for me but only because I gave a good hard look at why my previous attempts failed and based my current plan on addressing those issues. Don't be afraid to tweak your plan as you go if need be.

Edited to add that on holidays and my birthday I eat what I'd like for the main meal. I still track it though. Oh, and by holiday I mean Christmas or Easter, not Flag Day.

05-22-2010, 04:16 PM
I agree with being open minded and flexible. sometimes things work for a while for me, then they don't.

one thing I've been doing this past week that's really worked is to say to myself, I only have to focus on the food for today, I won't go off my plan today, just do today. Then the next day, I do it again. I needed to refocus and get back on plan after my birthday and a few months of being too lose.

as far as "cheat" days, that's evolved for me too. I used to give myself an entire day, then it was a meal, then a snack. I struggle with weekends (going out to eat), so I can't say I never go off plan, but I've evolved where a small something is ok, but I have to be conscious of it and not do it too often. I know what I need to eat to lose weight, that means being responsible and honest with myself and admitting if I eat X, I'm delaying further weight loss.

I do have a hard and fast rule of never eating until I am stuffed. I've had binge issues in the past. There are certain foods I can't have in the house, like potato chips and ice cream. The ice cream is easier, but it really is best if I just don't have it at all.

05-22-2010, 04:19 PM
Planning is key for me, if I don't plan then I don't stay on track.

05-22-2010, 05:44 PM
I eat mostly clean foods and have found that to be really helpful. Mainly fruits, veggies, lean protein and a small amount of dairy. I used to eat whole grains until I found out I had an allergy to them. I avoid processed and a lot of frozen foods. When I stopped eating junk, my cravings for them went away.

I always drink some water prior to eating to make sure I'm not eating out of thirst rather than true hunger. Like many others here I count calories and plan my meals although not usually for more than three days at a time.

I never did cheat days or meals while I was losing. I really was afraid to undo any progress I had made and just didn't trust myself to eat in moderation. Now that I'm maintaining I add a treat (about 200 calories) once or twice a week.

Good luck; you can do this!

05-22-2010, 06:01 PM
There are many good pieces of advice here. Here are a few of mine that I haven't seen mentioned.

I have a short list of single-serving foods that I use for snacks: apple, reduced fat cheese stick, yogurt, cottage cheese. I used to nibble all day long, and it's easier for me to have the habit of portion control if I eat these foods that are single-serving.

I do not have "just one bite" of anything off plan-- when people offer to give me a piece of candy or a bite of chips or cake or whatever, I say no. It's easier to say no then to get started which tends to trigger cravings.

I pack a lunch and multiple snacks for work-- I always bring MORE than I need so that I NEVER have an excuse to buy food or eat the crap in the break room.

I wouldn't count myself in the PLAN PLAN PLAN category, but I DO make sure to always eat meals, carry healthy snacks with me, and I NEVER put myself into temptation's way by heading to a convenience store or fast food place.

05-22-2010, 07:16 PM
Alot of good advice here. As for me, the most important point is sustainability of my improved diet (as a noun, not a verb).

For now, I calorie count as a learning tool, but I won't do it forever. I'm using this time while I get down to goal weight to train myself in the art of feeding my needs and to recognize what is a need and a desire. Once I reach goal weight, I plan to maintain my sane way of eating--only without tracking it daily.

For me, sustainability of this lifestyle means two things.

1. Plan when possible, but do the best you can when a planned option isn't available.
2. I deny myself nothing. If I want a donut, I eat it. (After all, do naturally thin people swear off donuts forever in favor of vegetables only? Is a size 6 really worth never in my entire life getting to bite into a chocolate glazed again? No, at least, not for me.) But the important part is to learn control and have just one donut instead of two or three. And also, to understand the accountability of our choices. As in, if I have a donut now, I still need to make sure I have my five servings of veggies in by the end of the day because that's what my body needs.

This ended up slightly longer than I thought it would be, but the bottom line is that what works for me, might not work for you. We all come into the journey with different baggage--different reasons why we ate our way into our current size. It might take some trial and error, but you'll find the thing that works for you.

05-22-2010, 07:22 PM
I know some of what I will say has already been covered, but it's the important part and can't be said too much.

Plan, plan, plan, plan - there was a point near the beginning that I not only had what I planned to eat written down, I had it divided up in tupperwares and ziplocs labeled "Monday breakfast", "Monday morning snack", "Monday lunch"..."Friday dinner", etc. There can never be too much planning in my opinion.

Balance - I try to keep what I eat as balanced as possible and I refuse to eat carbs with no protein. I do not ever eat a meal that has no veggies or fruit, and they frequently have both.

Do not be too hard on yourself and do not give up. If you go off plan you can't hate yourself over it, that does no good and will probably end in failure. If you do go off plan, don't let it make you give up, just get right back on the minute you realize what's going on. Don't wait for the end of the weekend, the next day, or even the end of that meal. Stop and put yourself back where you want to be right then. I have thrown away entire plates of food because I got my head back on straight while I was in the middle of eating things I shouldn't.

Exercise is a wonderful thing. Can you lose weight with diet alone? Well, sure. But if you exercise you will look and feel better for it.

As for the cheating thing, I don't consider anything a cheat. This is my life, not some game I'm playing, so there are no rules and it is impossible to cheat. If there is some treat that I want I figure out how many calories it is, what I would have to do in order to burn that many extra calories, and I do that before I eat the treat food. I make myself earn it before I have it rather than after. There are certain foods that for me I have to earn it before I will even let it into the house.

When I started out it really helped me to take one step at a time. I started by writing everything I ate and tallying the calories, fat, etc. Then I gave up soda (I used to drink 8-10 cans of mountain dew a day). After I got over the soda I gave up other junk food. I then added more fruits and veggies. I then switched to whole grain pasta and multigrain bread. Then I started giving myself a calorie limit for the day. Then I added exercise. Then I cut out fruit juice for the most part and switched to only whole fruit. Then I started cutting out as much processed food as I could (I still love Amy's and will never give it up). Then I added strength training. I have been taking steps since February 09 (with a backslide from mid April 09 until beginning of July 09). I'm still working on it, but because I made all the changes one small step at a time I have never ever felt deprived in any way.

Another important thing to do is to not be afraid to let people know when you need help. There is no reason for you to do this alone, especially not with 3FC here.

05-22-2010, 07:35 PM
I am glad you asked this question....you've gotten lots of good advice. Many of it is very similar - some kind of different. But, the one thing I do know about losing weight is "one size does not fit all". I think you will need to figure out what really works and make it something that you can 'live' with. Not to say that it can't change a bit over time. I suggest that you don't go on a 'crazy diet'.

For me, these are things that have been helpful:

1. Plan, Plan and plan some more. When I have my menu planned for the day then food thoughts of what to eat, etc - are not spinning around in my head all day. I try to stay with the plan the best I can. There are, of course, times when things might need to change once in a while.

2. Eating and healthier foods are not the only part of weight loss to consider. We need to learn to 'live' with food in a healthful manner. Every day I make a list of things I'd like to remember to do around food, such as: slow mindful eating, no seconds, fork down between bites, TASTE the food, try and feel for some fullness/or food actually down in my tummy, few distraction when eating, write down what I eat (planned or unplanned) etc. You are probably thinking - who is she kidding about all that??? But, I have made some real changes in how I live with food.

For years I have thought about food all day long. Yet, when it came time to eat it - I would eat so fast I hardly would enjoy it. I really work on eating slowly. So -slow done and enjoy your food!

3. I don't do cheat days. However, I will allow myself some 200-300 extra calories once in a while when I am on vacation, etc. If I did this every time there was a special occaision it could be nearly every other day. Between weekend days, birthdays, celebrations, weddings, parties, fundraisers, restaurant meals, holidays and more. I try not to over eat too often. Sometimes alittle more extra on xmas or Thanksgiving.

4. I like mini goals - for every five pounds lost, I treat myself to a nonfood goodies- lipstick, lotion, stationery, socks etc. That makes it fun and doable to meet a goal. I also include behavior goals in this too.

5. When food is calling your name and you don't know what to do remember the Five D's

Distance yourself from that food, if possible..
Distractions - phone, walk, knitting, computer, exercise
Deep breath - several of these can help forstall an over/extra eating time
Drink water - fill that tummy up with water
Destry that food. I am 'famous' in my house to taking liquid dish soap to extra food, left over, Dh's goodies. Better in the trash than in me.

You CAN do this!

05-23-2010, 09:53 AM
This is an awesome thread!

As far as cheat days.. nope don't have them, nor do I have cheat meals. I know what works for me is to be allowed anything I want, but I HAVE to be accountable for the calories of every bite of it.

I have learned from past "practice runs" (not going to call them failures, because I have learned from them, so they aren't something I failed at), I have to weigh myself every. single. day. I HAVE to.. I don't know what happens in my brain, but if I don't get on that scale, then my mind goes somewhere else for the day and I don't count my calories.

I don't really plan my meals ahead of time, I know my calorie allotment for that meal, and before I eat that meal/snack, I decide what I want to eat that will fit in that allotment (or if I want to eat more and "borrow" calories from another meal or snack for that day). I'm not good with having a list of things I have to do/eat for a given day.. it doesn't work well in other aspects of my life either (like homeschooling, I can spend weeks planning exactly what we are going to do on a given day... within a day or 2 of lessons I realize I hate "being told what to do when") so yeah... "planning" just doesnt' work for me.

I TRY to make wise choices.. but I don't always, I'm human.

05-23-2010, 10:51 AM
I used to be a planner. A week planner. I'd go to the grocery store on Saturday morning, get the discount meats, and then plan my whole week's menu, do the other grocery shopping and go from there. But then on Thursday I found I didn't WANT pork roast for dinner, or that on Friday I didn't want to do the big effort meal that I had planned. So now I do a mix of planning and what I like to call farm wife cooking. I plan the meals that my husband and I are eating together that I have time to make. Then, on my work nights, I decide what to do during the day based on how much effort I want to put out and what I feel like eating. Then I see what's in my pantry and make up a lean, healthy recipe. This has prevented me from running out to get a rotisserie chicken, or do fast food or delivery.

I do very little sugar. I don't deprive myself of it, but it's a treat only. Sometimes I just have to have a little ice cream (thank you Skinny Cow!). If I don't let myself have it now and then, eventually I'll have a binge. I can't do that. On a daily basis, though, no sugar, and only 1 grain carb a day at most. But that has to do with my insulin resistance.

I chew gum after lunch because lunch to dinner is my hardest time to not graze.

I try to get in as many veggies as possible.

I drink water like it's going out of style.

I weigh daily because it works for me.

Those are my tricks.

05-24-2010, 11:58 AM
Awesome input everyone thanks. I was so curious to see what everyone else was doing, and this is all very good advice.

I'm a planner mostly. I planned out the meals for the week down to the fat and calories in each and the totals for the day. My snacks are not planned but they are calorie limited. I know how many "open" calories I have a day and I plan on filling them accordingly. It helps me not feel so clautrophobic in my meal plan. I do things like a single serve yogurt, a piece of fruit, string cheese, cottage chesse, etc. I have learned I can not handle portioning out chips/crackers come snack time so those are lunch only items occassionaly.

I'm going the route of honey and splenda in replacement of sugar. I can not, currently, handle sugary treats, so we're just not going to do them. I also can not handle certain foods (oatmeal or cream of wheat for example) with out some form of sweetner.

I've also learned that it is important that I do the shopping by myself. I used to whine about it and want my husband to come along, but now, to be honest, I have a hard time sticking to my grocery list when he comes. I'm not good at telling him no when he's loading the cart with ice cream, chips, etc. So I have to accept the fact that I am souly responsible for the groceries now.

So for now, this is my plan. I plan ahead, I shop for the week, I keep good snack choices, no sugary treats, and no husband at the grocery store.

05-25-2010, 11:00 AM
You have gotten some wonderful input. I still want to add my 2 cents worth.

I don't have cheat days. I fluctuate my calorie limits, averaging them for the week so I can afford to have a day with a couple of hundred extra calories. I balance them out with a couple of days of lower calories.

Upon a lot of reflection, I think one of the big reasons that I am succeeding this time after failing so many times is because, when starting, I allowed for my weaknesses and planned a way around them. I started with a high calorie limit, 1800 calories, and gradually dropped that limit. I gave myself 200 or 300 calories for non-healthy food. That usually was baked Cheetos. That being said, those calories could not go for sugar. I had to get off of sugar to stop the cravings.

Over time, I was able to correct some of my weaknesses. Still working on that.

I had to recognize that this was going to take time. I made the long term commitment to getting healthy. I accepted that I will always have to count and record something, calories, points, fat grams.... I just do not have the ability to "intuitive eat". I accepted that I will always have to make the effort to exercise.

I have asked my family to help me. It makes a difference.

As most others are saying, plan, plan, plan.

I don't think I saw any posts here about planning for travel. This past year I have been on the road alot for family reasons.

For the time on the Interstate driving -
I looked at the nutritional information on several common food chains and know what to get to eat at them. I recheck every 2 or 3 months because that stuff changes. My family knows where I can stop and where I can't. They have a choice but I can stay on plan. I take fruits and veggies that travel well so that I have plenty of snacking food. One of our frequent trips takes 9 to 10 hours of driving. We stop a couple of times at rest stops and take 10 or 15 minute walks. I get a little exercise and the trip seems so much bearable.

At my parents -

They live in a small town and I find it harder to eat on plan. I stop at the closest Walmart to their house and pick up foods to help me. I take a cooler so that I can get items that need refrigeration. I talked to the owner and one of the cooks of the local restaurant that my parents favor. They don't post their nutritional information but were very helpful in helping me figure out what to eat there. There are some perks to small town living where everyone knows everyone else.

At my daughters - She lives in a city so there is more options. My biggest problem there is resisting all the junk they have sitting around. I make sure that I have snacks that I can eat and have learned the hard way to not take one bite of the sugary junk. One bite and I can't stop. I also checked the nutritional information for the restaurants close to both daughters houses and know what to eat where. That is such a help.

05-25-2010, 11:48 AM
I have struggled for 4 months trying to lose weight, only losing about 20lbs, and even so gaining and losing the same 5lbs over and over until I drastically cut grains (even whole grains -- wheat, flour, corn, potato, rice) and sugar. Now it's just falling off! I don't anticipate it to keep up at this pace... but if you're having a hard time, try getting off some of those things.

It's not just enough to count calories, you HAVE to pay attention to what you're eating. I was having some sort of grain at every meal. Bread, pasta, rice, crackers -- even whole grain varieties -- but it was hindering me from losing weight.