Weight Loss Support - Sooo... when IS IT okay to eat what you want?




neveragainbabe
07-02-2010, 04:31 PM
Hey ladies, there has been a lot of discussion over the great debate of whether or not "cheating" is allowed, or going out to eat and eating what you want is allowed. I think everyone is bringing up excellent points from both ends, and I don't really have a set opinion on this either!

All of the discussion led me to think about what us dieters are going through. Because we are dieting, does that mean from now until we reach our goal, we are never allowed to eat a bag of Cheetos? Or drive through Taco Bell one day and order what we want? I think it is really risky to do that. But on the other hand, I know for myself personally that if I deprive myself of ALL good foods, I might completely crack one day!

I'm just trying to get people's opinions on this! :)


MonteCristo
07-02-2010, 04:35 PM
When you can do it and still maintain your weight. And that will be different for everybody. I'm like you and don't entirely deprive myself, you just have to be careful. But I don't think I'll ever be able to just eat what I want...my body doesn't know what is good for it!

ncuneo
07-02-2010, 04:43 PM
Ok, I've been thinking about all of these types of posts a lot and I'm really sorry if any of what I'm about to say comes across harsh. To be successful at this you MUST change your lifestyle - diet's are temporary, but lifestyles are forever. Doing this takes TIME - a lot of it. It's take me 4+ years to get to where I am today. Now I regulary choose the healthier options on the menu because this is what I want to eat. Do I splurge occassionally on a truly decadent dessert - absolutly. Do I do it everytime I go out to eat - absolutly not. Do I feel guilty when I choose it eating the decadent dessert - not anymore. Do I see flucuations on the scale when I eat a decadent dessert - sometimes. You've heard it before - moderation and balance. If you eat that decadent dessert (or Taco Bell or whatever), well then you'll need to lighten up the next day or maybe even the next couple of days. I really feel like the 90 some percent of people who lose weight gain it back because they never truly understand this concept. They are on a diet and once the diet is over they go back to their old ways. So anyway that's just my two cents...sorry if it came across badly, I've just been a little frustrated with the multitude of "cheating" posts lately.


thesame7lbs
07-02-2010, 04:47 PM
I don't understand what you mean by "allowed" or "not allowed." Who do you think is making up the rules? Who do you think is enforcing them?

You are "allowed" to do whatever the heck you want to do. However, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will not lose weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Really, that's the only rule (medical conditions excluded).

For me, personally, I aim to eat an average of 1700 calories per day. Many days I eat 1500 or 1600. Then, occasionally, I will eat 2200. It averages out to 1700 over the course of a week or a month. So I eat slightly under my target most days so I can "allow" myself a dinner out, or a dessert, etc, on occasion.

Gold32
07-02-2010, 04:52 PM
Well, you're seeing a lot of mixed opinions because people are all radically different, with different plans and goals. It's nearly a proven fact at this point that weight loss is all about burning more than you eat. For some people this means they can eat cheesecake till they're at their limit and be fine. For others, that cheesecake could start a binge, send you in to craving mode, cause your body to burn less efficiently, etc. Then you have the question of, if you could do so, would you want to? A lot of people are losing weight for health as well as looks, but everyone is doing that to varying degrees. I want to be healthy, but I also want to enjoy life, and as much as my tastes have changed to the more healthy side, I'm always going to enjoy the occasional Dorito.

Personally, the only food I have to avoid is sugar. Everything else is fine.

So, there's my answer. Everyone is different. Novel, I know.

nelie
07-02-2010, 04:53 PM
Do you really think 'cheetos' and 'anything at taco bell' is GOOD food?

What are bad foods in your mind? Anything 'healthy'?

When I started at my highest weight, my priority was getting my food right and my exercise right. So I cut out all processed foods and the junk. I experimented with veggies and lean meats. I learned to feed my body healthy foods and I learned to love healthier foods and although there are splurges here and there, they are rare and portion controlled.

I absolutely love the food I eat every day and I absolutely love veggies. It didn't happen from day 1 but it became a learned behavior for me.

As for cheetos and taco bell, those aren't things that I would consider anywhere in the realm of good foods. And in fact, I used to love taco bell bean burritos, I didn't have them very often but I liked having them once in a while. Last year, on a road trip, I decided to go to taco bell which I hadn't been in probably 4 or 5 years. I had a taco bell bean burrito and the sad thing is it didn't even taste that good and afterwards my stomach hurt. You know what I did like? the sauces and the burrito was just a transport food for the sauces.

I should also say, you are just starting, hamburgers, fries, ice cream, cheetos, taco bell, etc aren't going anywhere. If it helps, tell yourself you are putting your health first and learning to live with healthier foods but if for some reason a few weeks from now, you want this or that that you can have it in a portion controlled manner. I will say if you continue to eat calorically high foods in large quantities you will continue to either stay the weight you are at or gain. What is more important to you? Do you want to lose weight or do you want to continue eating the same foods you eat now?

Glory87
07-02-2010, 04:55 PM
I think this will be a personal question and the answers will vary for every person.

I don't eat bags of cheetos or Taco Bell. Ever.

Even at maintenance, I have an internal calculator that helps me make these decisions.

Just using Cheetos as an example (not to pick on Cheetos, just an example). I honestly never LOVED Cheetos. They taste "okay" to me. Even though they just taste "okay" they are a hard food to stop eating for me (like chips, cookies, crackers). I can live the rest of my life in perfect happiness without ever eating another Cheeto.

My formula for "should I eat Cheetos even every now and then?" would look like this:

How much do I like it? Just a little bit
How many calories does it have? A lot for what you get.
Is it good for me? No.
Is it a sentimental food? No.
Does this food come in a multi-serving container and is it a hard food to stop eating? Yes/Yes
Am I starving and there is literally nothing else around to eat? No.
Based on this calculation, Cheetos are NOT WORTH IT for me.

Let's try the formula with something I DO love - chocolate molten lava cake (with that rich gooey center).

How much do I like it? Love it!!! One of my favorites.
How many calories does it have? Astronomical.
Is it good for me? No.
Is it a sentimental food? It can be, in a restaurant setting - it adds to a perfect evening.
Does this food come in a multi-serving container and is it a hard food to stop eating? No/Yes
Am I starving and there is literally nothing else around to eat? No (unlikely for molten lava cake)
In this case, the ratio of loving it to calorie amount makes this a SOMETIMES food.

If I'm going to eat something with a high calorie count (which may result in a week's super careful eating to get back to where I want to be) it has to be WORTH IT. Some foods, occasionally are worth it. Some foods, will never be worth it. Some foods (like nuts) are okay because their nutritional value is so high, their high nutritional value per serving makes them worth it. Some foods are out, because they are just too hard to stop eating (Wheat Thins, Oreos, crackers, chips, cold cereal, pretzels).

On a day to day basis, I fill my days almost 100% with low calorie whole foods that I love eating and look forward to eating. Even without a lot of treats, I don't feel deprived on a day to day basis. I do not feel like I'm hanging by a thread, or going to crack in any way. Sometimes, I do have to remind myself that at my heaviest, when I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted - I was not happy. The taste of food could not make me happy, it was ephemeral, my heavy body was the reality every second of the day. I tell myself "you had your chance to eat scones and muffins and pizza and cheesey nachos and half a loaf of sour dough bread with my pasta and Taco Bell and Hershey bars and big bowls of ice cream with chocolate syrup - HOW WAS THAT?" and I think, it sucked. I don't want that.

I do have indulgences, once a week I go to a nice restaurant - drink a glass of wine, order an entree that is probably more than I would normally eat (but not off the charts) and split a dessert.

TJFitnessDiva
07-02-2010, 04:56 PM
For me this is a lifestyle, not a diet to go off of once I hit goal ;)

If I want something that isn't to me considered healthy (I don't really eat much processed junk), I weigh the options of how bad I want it and do I want to spend the calories/points on it. Sometimes it's worth it but mainly to me it's not. I know what I can't control myself with (i.e. cake) and I know not to keep it in the house. You might think I'm depriving myself (and my family...we all eat the same way. My kids are 9,6 & 4) but there are so many healthy alternatives that we're happy with. :)

Instead of dwelling on what you can't have, explore your food options with an open mind. Negative thinking = negative consequences!

QuilterInVA
07-02-2010, 04:56 PM
First of all, dieting = failure. You need to make permanent lifestyle changes to be successful. So to answer your question, feel free to eat anything and everything you want if you don't want to be successful. Some can do this once and get back on track. For some its a downhill road to more and more eat what you want episodes and weight gain. I plan what I am going to eat, I do go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, I enjoy my meals and I'm losing weight.

yhahmd
07-02-2010, 05:03 PM
First of all, dieting = failure. You need to make permanent lifestyle changes to be successful. So to answer your question, feel free to eat anything and everything you want if you don't want to be successful. Some can do this once and get back on track. For some its a downhill road to more and more eat what you want episodes and weight gain. I plan what I am going to eat, I do go out to dinner 2 or 3 times a week, I enjoy my meals and I'm losing weight.

This, 100%. Hate to sound rude, but you can't always get what you want. You can't eat crap and lose weight.

I think you need to ask yourself: do I really want to lose weight? Or am I just saying I am and putting 10% effort in to make myself feel better?

Not saying that to be rude at all- but it's something we all have to ask ourselves. What's more important? That bag of cheetos, or being healthy and looking great? There has to be a limit. Supporters can only take you so far, you have to be willing to put in the effort.

Like I said, I'm honestly not trying to be rude or anything, but IMO you don't seem like you're 100% committed to this. Yeah it's hard (boy is it hard), but I look at it this way:

I'm 20. I have about 30lbs to lose. I'd really like to get control of it now, so I can spend my 20s thin healthy and happy, and not have to lose 100 or even more in a couple years, just for those bags of cheetos and those ice cream sundaes.

ninepaw
07-02-2010, 05:04 PM
Well, let's face it - No, none of us should probably ever eat a whole bag of cheetos again. We never should have in the first place. One of the mini, individual sized bags? Sure, whatever. The family sized bag? No. Not at all.

But everyone follows different guidelines, rules, strategies, mindsets, etc. Some people will never go for the cheetos again, because they lack nutritional value and some people don't see the need to eat food that doesn't actually fuel their body. Others will still eat the cheetos, but not nearly to the same extent, and not as often as they had prior to weight loss efforts.

As others have said, this isn't really a diet. It's a change in your life - Or at least, it is if you plan to keep the weight off. I think many people have the misconception that once your at your goal weight, nothing bad can happen. You will magically become one of those people who can eat anything and never gain an ounce. This simply isn't the case! You still have to work to maintain that weight - It's just slightly different work from when you're working to lose, as far as I can tell.

Yes. I think that most of us here would say that we indulge from time to time. I think people are getting way too caught up in what people are calling it - I Don't care if you call it a cheat, or an on plan cheat, or a treat, or an indulgance - Who cares!? In the end, it's all food. And all food has some kind of impact on you in some way or another. The kind of food changes the impact, sure, but it is ALL food. But the point is, those things that are "bad" for us, or that people call "off limits" or "cheats" or whatever... They are still around. And some of us, certainly not all, but some, are going to feel inclined to go back to those things now and then. It happens. We're human. But along with the fact that we're human comes the ability to exercise some self control and limit ourselves. Mini bag of cheetos vs. Family sized bag. Things like that. And we also have to realize we can't reach for the cheetos every time we want to - Or we won't ever get anywhere. Self control. It's a beautiful thing.

I don't even know if this even makes sense anymore. Each paragraph should, though. Sorry for the length, but I've been following all of these posts from the shadows and it's just amazing to me what people ar getting caught up on the last couple of days!

neveragainbabe
07-02-2010, 05:06 PM
Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread. It is being overanalyzed to death. I don't mean to be harsh. I just want everyone who reads this thread to understand that "Cheetos and Taco Bell" were JUST AN EXAMPLE, PEOPLE! I KNOW they aren't good for you!! I'm not PLANNING to eat that today along with that cheeseburger that I ate two days ago! I did FINE yesterday, and I ran. Got right back on track like everyone told me to! I am a little frustrated that a simple discussion topic to draw out people's opinions turned into everyone thinking that I am gonna eat Cheetos tonight and that I think it's good for me. lol this is just a HYPOTHETICAL discussion topic.

Yes, I do appreciate each and every bit of advice you all have given me. Please do not think I am being disrespectful. I completely understand all of your opinions on the matter. I just wanted to clear that up! :^:

yhahmd
07-02-2010, 05:08 PM
Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread. It is being overanalyzed to death. I don't mean to be harsh. I just want everyone who reads this thread to understand that "Cheetos and Taco Bell" were JUST AN EXAMPLE, PEOPLE! I KNOW they aren't good for you!! I'm not PLANNING to eat that today along with that cheeseburger that I ate two days ago! I did FINE yesterday, and I ran. Got right back on track like everyone told me to! I am a little frustrated that a simple discussion topic to draw out people's opinions turned into everyone thinking that I am gonna eat Cheetos tonight and that I think it's good for me. lol this is just a HYPOTHETICAL discussion topic.

Yes, I do appreciate each and every bit of advice you all have given me. Please do not think I am being disrespectful. I completely understand all of your opinions on the matter. I just wanted to clear that up! :^:

Well, sorry, but it is a weight loss forum. Sometimes things get lost in translation. Looks like that happened here. If the thread is frustrating you that much, just stop looking at it, or ask for it to be removed (can we do that on here? I'm not very forum-savvy). I don't think anyone's trying to attack you or anything, I guess people are really passionate lol.

JayEll
07-02-2010, 05:10 PM
I would like to suggest that "eating what I want" is how just about everyone here became obese. Isn't it? Did we really get up to that weight by binging on asparagus, broccoli, chicken breasts? I didn't think so.

So if by "eating what you want" you mean ordering just anything you like at a fast food place, based on your own habits--no, that's not going to fly. At least not very often.

I do eat Taco Bell occasionally for lunch. I have two crunchy Taco Supremes. That's it. 440 calories, and not very filling, but if I have to have it, that's what I get.

However, keep in mind that "eating what you want" is going to change the longer you stay on your new lifestyle of healthy eating. You won't like those foods anymore.

Jay

nelie
07-02-2010, 05:12 PM
We are using the examples you gave us. The real point is your examples are calorically dense food with little nutrition value. Which means for me, as someone who wants to lose weight and be healthy, those types of foods are very rare for me and the food I do eat on a daily basis is food I love.

Not only you, but anyone who wants to lose weight needs to heavily limit calorically dense food in their eating plan. It helps when you learn to explore and find foods you love that are also healthful and give you more caloric bang for the buck.

yhahmd
07-02-2010, 05:12 PM
You won't like those foods anymore.

Jay

I never used to believe it when people said that. But I was looking at a wrapper for one of those mini delights brownie bowls or whatever, and I didn't feel anything at all. No cravings or anything. The only "candy" I eat anymore is junior mints and those Werthers candies. I just rarely crave sweets anymore. I gotta say, I'm REALLY surprised.

ninepaw
07-02-2010, 05:12 PM
I don't think anyone was really thinking you were aiming to grab the cheetos or the taco bell tonight - We were just throwing the same examples around, because that's what you used in your own post.

And on my own "not trying to be harsh" note, I think part of the reactions you're getting stems from the last few threads you've made, which only seem to be about finding ways to get out of the healthy eating aspect of things as often as possible. It does get to a point where it doesn't seem like your heart is fully behind this, and you want things to progress without you having to make the changes necessary to make it happen.

Just my $0.02.

Onederchic
07-02-2010, 05:15 PM
I agree with the whole thing that what I am doing is a lifestyle change and not a diet and once I am maintaining, I will continue to eat healthy and exercise because I refuse to let myself fall back into my old patterns that worked me up to 330 pounds :nono:. I do have the occasional "junk" food but 99.99% of the time, I plan for it and don't just go willy nilly with it all.

Glory87
07-02-2010, 05:24 PM
There are some foods that I used to like that I don't like any more. A lot of foods taste "waxy" to me. Like Hershey's chocolate bars or Pop Tarts or Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, regular peanut butter, it's like they have this layer of yuckiness over them, kind of fakey. A bad "mouth feel" I guess.

Of course, there are some foods that still taste woooonnndeerfulll to me. McDonalds french fries. Nachos with cheese dip. Freshly made brownies. Big drippy greasy burgers. Some foods I can fit it, some foods I can't, no matter how much I adore them (excellent example - Outback Bloomin' Onion, to die for. Now that I know the calories in that thing, I just can't touch it, no matter how good it tastes).

beerab
07-02-2010, 05:25 PM
Answering the original question I think it's okay to eat whatever you want when you learn to eat the right sized portions and realize that even though you like something like Taco Bell that it's not going to be an everyday thing anymore.

If you are someone who say used to eat chips all the time, then you diet and say after a year you go buy a small bag cuz you really want some. So if you eat that individual size bag, enjoy it, and move on and get right back into things, then great- you are really changing your life.

But if you eat that bag, then go buy another, and another, and then go on a weeklong binge- THEN that's when you say "okay, I can't handle this yet, it's time to get back on plan and until I reach goal I won't eat those foods anymore."

My weight loss overall has been slow- I've been here over a year, almost two years, and I'm about halfway there- but for me I still eat out now and then, I still enjoy treats, and so on, because I know for myself if I went into this without ever treating myself I would have gone crazy! I do know the weight that has come off WILL stay off, so it doesn't bother me that it's taking me a long time :)

mandalinn82
07-02-2010, 05:34 PM
But on the other hand, I know for myself personally that if I deprive myself of ALL good foods, I might completely crack one day!


But you don't have to! You just have to figure out how to make good food that is also healthy. It's really not that hard, just takes some experimentation in the kitchen and Google for recipes.

I eat giant taco salads, fajitas, baked chicken parmesan, and all of my favorites foods...they're just tweaked a bit. Cheddar PopChips, in a reasonable portion, are a great Cheeto substitute if that's what you're into.

The point is that, in my opinion, dividing foods into "good" foods and "healthy" foods with no overlap isn't accurate, and can be very discouraging to staying on plan. Crucial to me was being able to say "I am SO looking forward to eating my meal tonight" for a healthy meal, instead of "I am going to suffer through this healthy, gross food to lose weight".

I love everything I eat. The foods I eat are both healthy and delicious. Those concepts are not mutually exclusive.

EZMONEY
07-02-2010, 05:46 PM
Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread. It is being overanalyzed to death...... :^:

:D Must be another new kid ;)

Serbrider
07-02-2010, 05:50 PM
I didn't read all the posts, I read a couple, and agreed with what they'd said. But... I just have to add what I personally am doing. It might not be the best idea in the world... but it's what's been working for me.

I have my calorie limit per day. I aim for 1700 to be my high limit, though I aim for more around 1200 to 1500.

I can eat anything I want. NOTHING is "not allowed", so nothing is cheating. I can eat whatever. If I want a burger at lunch, I can have a burger. BUT... in order to stay within my number limit, I can't have two burgers, I can't smother it in condiments and have a ton of other things on it, etc. Or if I do have more on it, I just don't get my afternoon snack.

I also am different from most people. Protein makes me hungry. I'm not kidding, or saying this wrong. It makes me hungry. I get told by so many people "eat more protein, you'll be more full". I have a bunch of nuts, meat, or whatever, and am still hungry. However, I have one piece of toast (carbs), and am full. And that's also helpful for me because I don't like meat or nuts. Beans... yeah... that's how I usually try and get my protein. That, and sugar gives me MAJOR stomach issues. It always had... but after a little over a week of lots of sugar, my stomach gets used to it. I guess... it's not as much the sugar as much as it is that my stomach is sensitive. Meaning, unless I'm willing to spend a few hours running to and from the bathroom, I should avoid changing up my diet (diet as in lifestyle eating, not "dieting").

But, to sum it all up, in my current plan, I can have anything I want to eat. It makes me feel like I'm not missing out when everyone else is having blue bell ice cream. I can have it too, but 1/2 a cup instead of 3 cups. It's all moderation I guess you could say.

So yeah... I dunno. I don't like to think of it as "I can't have that", but more like "I CAN have that, but would I rather have that, or something else?" or "I CAN have that, but is it worth it?"

neveragainbabe
07-02-2010, 06:02 PM
:D Must be another new kid ;)

hahah yes i am new here! i guess i gotta get used to how these forums work!

gardenerjoy
07-02-2010, 07:20 PM
I just lost 40 pounds and it was the SAME 40 pounds that were gone two years ago. What happened two years ago was that I decided I'd go back to "normal" for awhile and eat what I wanted. In one year, I put the 40 pounds back on. At this point, though, I'm grateful for the experience. Now, I know for sure that I can eat like "normal" due to my own warped proclivities around food and due to the warped marketing messages and food engineering that goes on in our society.

I've had to redefine normal as being "more like my grandmother ate in the early 20th century" and "only natural and minimally processed foods" and "mostly food purchased at the farmers market, or in my CSA box, or grown in my garden." I'm a little more than ten months into this lifestyle change and I like my new normal. I've eaten new foods, practiced new cooking techniques, and learned tons of new stuff about food from seed to plate.

Which isn't to say I never eat out; I do. But the best fun at a restaurant now is to find one that uses local foods just like I do and has a creative chef so that I'm learning new things just by reading the menu! Since those types of restaurants tend to be more expensive, that kind of naturally limits our restaurant occasions to a few times a month or less.

I love Glory87's formula for making a choice about whether or not to eat something. The one question I would add to that calculation is "will this food be triggering for me?" I learned the hard way that it's no good for me to eat a grilled quesadilla because it makes me crave Taco Bell for several days and that's no fun. Fast food of all kinds is off my list for environmental as well as health reasons and my life is better when I just forget those places exist.

Mommy in Motion
07-02-2010, 07:23 PM
Because we are dieting, does that mean from now until we reach our goal, we are never allowed to eat a bag of Cheetos? Or drive through Taco Bell one day and order what we want? I think it is really risky to do that. But on the other hand, I know for myself personally that if I deprive myself of ALL good foods, I might completely crack one day!

I didn't read every reply, but here are my thoughts on this. When I first started losing weight- I was entirely too strict with myself. And I never stuck with anything more than a few weeks, because I felt like I "wasn't allowed" to eat anything at all.

About 4 years ago I started calorie counting and looking at things from a difference view point. I started planning little "treats" for myself a few times a week. Not a huge splurge- mind you- but just something to keep myself from feeling like I was giving everything up.

As more time went on, my tastes began to change. Being from the south, I used to wonder how I could go "the rest of my life" (insert very melodramatic whining on my part! :D ) without fried catfish. Until I ate it again a year ago. And realized that I really just don't have the stomach for it anymore!

Now, if only I could lose the taste for pizza and chocolate, and I would be all set!

~Dagny

Leonor
07-02-2010, 07:29 PM
All foods can be part of a weight loss diet as well as a maintenance diet. In fact incorporating these foods into our diets prevents overeating on them. What matters is the sum of foods consumed. One can eat what one wants...but not in endless quantities and repeatedly.

Just as one can out on weight eating Cheetos one can put on weight eating only fruit. You just have to eat enough.

Psychologically speaking research has shown that small indulgences prevent big indulgences.

Personally, I eat between 1000-1800 calories, mostly it's around 1200-1400. Yesterday 250 of 1450 were waffle cookies. So what? The sum is still right :D

The thing is, there is no right way to eat. Humankind has been living, and living well, on all kinds of different diets. Personally I can not eat too much raw fruit and vegetables because I get stomach cramps, so instead I'll have said waffle cookies :dizzy:

Shmead
07-02-2010, 08:00 PM
Are you asking "Can you ever just eat totally mindlessly for hours or a complete day at a time without thinking about the health or calorie content of what you are eating?"

I think for many people, the answer is no. You can go to Taco Bell and order whatever, but you'll have to take it into account somewhere: you'll have to be aware of it.

My husband is crippled. He can't ever just casually walk. He always--and will always--have to stop and think a second about every single step he takes. He can still go where ever he wants (short of mountain climbing), but he can't ever be casual about it. Food is like that for me, if I don't want to be morbidly obese.

Is that fair? No. But we are living in a world where HIV-infected orphans are chained to looms for 18 hours a day. In the balance, I am blessed more than I deserve.

tea2
07-02-2010, 08:01 PM
I think the reason your posts are drawing a lot of attention is that your thinking is recognizable and also scary to people who have been where you are. Some here are strongly reminded of their old selves, and others recognize their present selves.

What I see in your posts (and identify with) is a recognition and fear and resentment that maybe you really *will* have to say you can never have certain things (or else risk gaining weight). I've come to that realization a couple of times, and sometimes that makes me mad and resentful. But then I try to deal with it. There are lots of pleasures in life other than food, I've discovered.

There's nothing wrong with trying to determine if and/or when you can eat certain foods. That will require some experimentation, depending on how much you tend to eat, how long it takes you to realize which stuff you just can't stop eating once you start, etc. I guess for me, I pretty much have to cut out the stuff I can't stop eating once I start (or have it in VERY controlled circumstances, like when I'm not by myself), but I am ok with a bit of some other foods.

This is just my 2 cents. I could be right off base on what you're saying. :D

motivated chickie
07-02-2010, 08:17 PM
I have decided to never eat at any fast food restaurant again. I don't care if McDonald's invents the most delicious dish with 20 kinds of vegetables, I won't do it. I absolutely hate what the industry has done to me and millions of other people around the world.

I try to eat nutritious and delicious food that has been made with care. So if I I'm going to have a dessert, I'll eat someone's homemade cookies or a special pie at a restaurant. But, if my coworker started bringing in homemade baked goods every week, I would not eat them at all because it could become a slippery slope for me.

I have become something of a picky eater. I am annoyed when I eat something that is high calorie and doesn't taste extraordinary. I didn't know how unflavorful junk food is.

Also, there are some foods that I have abused for so long, I've decided that I've had enough of those to last a lifetime. I'd make an exception for ice cream, but it better be the best ice cream ever for me to have a scoop.

GoldenLeaf
07-02-2010, 08:44 PM
I know from experience that I have to eat "on plan" if I want to maintain. I'm not talking about eating only green salad with dressing on the side on Christmas Day, obviously there are times during the year when you can relax and not worry about every last calorie entering your mouth, but I most definitely can not make "junk" a regular or even semi-regular thing. And really, noone needs takeout and processed food, ever. Humanity survived quite well for millennia without it. :)

But I know for myself that when I was a skinny person - and I was, for years - I ate well the vast majority of the time. I didn't eat things like McDonalds and when I occasionally did, because eventually circumstances do see one winding up there even if unintended, it was maybe one chicken burger or a salad, not Big Mac with fries and a coke. I got fat in the past couple of years because I did let my guard down. I did start thinking "oh... one won't hurt". Before I knew it, one had become all the time.

I've had this discussion with several friends [all currently maintaining] who have lost weight in the past few years and the consensus is there are some foods you just have to kiss goodbye forever. Depends what your trigger is. One lady I know just can't ever touch chocolate in any quantity or before she knows it she's gained 5kg. Another steers clear of chips because while she's been successfully maintaining for a year she knows it would risk her success. However the first woman could have an occasional packet of chips and the latter a slice of chocolate cake at a party and they won't fall "off the wagon" because those foods aren't binge triggers and they can fit them into their daily habits without it causing issues.

stella1609
07-02-2010, 09:35 PM
I eat whatever I want in small amounts. Nothing is off-limits, and if I really want it, then I'm sure gonna have it. Otherwise I'd never have stuck with this for so long (six months now, which is a lot for me). My body encourages me to make healthy choices (I spent a few days earlier this week eating a lot of junk, and I was just exhausted). However I've never been someone who really binged, and I was only ever just over the line to obesity. I effortlessly maintained 160 for three years just eating what I felt like eating. I am perfectly capable of eating one scoop of ice cream, or one square of chocolate, or one measured serving of potato chips, and it just satisfies the craving for me and I don't have to eat the whole bar/bag/carton/etc. You have to decide for yourself if you can do that.

Arctic Mama
07-02-2010, 09:58 PM
I am very much in line with Glory - I can ALWAYS eat good food, if I want to, but what is good varies wildly. And I CANNOT always eat good food, in any quantity my inner two year old tantrums for, and lose weight. I can't have it both ways - if I eat like a fat person I will remain a fat person. If I eat like a healthy, normal weight person I will end up looking like that person, barring metabolic complications like PCOS and Hashimotos.

I eat good food every day - things I love and crave. I eat a small portion of them, worked into my plan. I allow myself to enjoy what I eat AND be healthy, too. My plan in simple calorie counting with an emphasis on eating mostly whole, healthy foods and not eating when I am not hungry.

I probably have a serving of peanut M&Ms every day. I work it into my eating plan. What I CANNOT do is have the whole FAMILY bag of peanut M&Ms and expect to see results on the scale. There is NO cheating for me, no off plan, there is only eating, counting, journaling, and moving forward. And if I want to move forward, I must limit my calories to an amount that gives me a deficit.

Sometimes that includes Taco Bell, pho soup, or rocky road icecream. But not very often at all. 'Good' food means more to me now than decadent or convenient, it has to BE good for me as well, in most cases, or is limited heavily.

kaplods
07-02-2010, 10:41 PM
I always eat what I want. No one is holding a gun to my head, forcing me to eat broccoli.

I'm learning that many of the foods that I like the taste of, are bad for me (in a variety of ways). Some actually aggravate health issues, almost like a drug or allergic reaction.

If I had a severe food allergy to peanuts, it would be stupid to eat peanuts just because I wanted them. If I were an alcoholic, it would be stupid to drink just because I wanted to.

I've found that it's been easier to relearn new preferences, than to eat some foods "in moderation."

I'm still in the learning process, and I still amaze myself sometimes at my willingness to eat foods that I know will hurt me fairly dramatically. I wouldn't repeatedly hit myself in the head with a hammer, but I still try occasionally to eat foods in moderation that I've never been able to. It reminds me of the saying "Insanity is repeating the same action over and over, and expecting a different outcome." Or, "if you do what you always do, you'll get what you've always gotten."

TXMary2
07-02-2010, 10:51 PM
This is why I count calories - because there is freedom in that. I can have what some may call "cheat" foods, but 9 times out of 10 I don't choose them. If I do I eat a reasonable amount that fits into my calories. I am still at the beginning of my journey and I may only lose 2 pounds a week by eating more on the higher end, but I don't care anymore because it isn't a race. I am changing my ways and when I reach goal I don't EVER want to do this again......this being the pain of taking off 100 pounds. When I maintain I will still be counting calories and I have accepted that.

JulieJ08
07-02-2010, 11:09 PM
[B][COLOR="DeepSkyBlue"]Okay..... I'm beginning to regret even starting this thread.

I'm glad you did! Some really great posts in it.

maryea
07-02-2010, 11:55 PM
I love junk food...I love healthy food too...but I do love junk food...have to admit it...even with all my dieting the desire for junk food while it may be less than it was it is still there.

Once I lost 33 1/2 lbs (a pretty good loss for me..I was 174 lbs before that), and it only took me 2 1/2 months. I ate healthy, no junk food and kept to a 1200 calorie diet. But once the doctor said I no longer had a weight problem...I went back to most of my old eating habits...healthy meals mostly but also added back most of my junk foods esp snacks. And within 10 mo I gained 2/3 it back! I learned a good lesson...if you want the weight to say off you can't just diet temporarily...it has to be a change in your eating behavior...a lifetime change. Now I know that I will forever be eating the way I am right now (and hopefully better since I still get off-plan now and then and regret it).

In answer to your question...I don't plan on giving up cheetos or other unhealthy foods I like...but I will continue to have them only rarely and in small portions. I will likely count calories or at least estimate the rest of my life. Esp at my age with a fairly low metabolism, I know that is just my life. I am used to it anyway and it is a small price to pay for being healthier and feeling lighter and having more energy.

Heather
07-03-2010, 12:18 AM
I'm glad you started the thread -- a lot of good discussion here!

A lot of people have talked about this, but I wanted to highlight one line that has been discussed a little less (though a couple of people have touched on it)

Because we are dieting, does that mean from now until we reach our goal, we are never allowed to eat a bag of Cheetos? Or drive through Taco Bell one day and order what we want?

One of the hardest things to wrap our minds around sometimes is the notion that we can just get to goal and then we're done! Most of us are so focused on weight LOSS we forget about MAINTENANCE. It's kind of like focusing so much on a wedding that you forget that once it's over there's a marriage that has to be nurtured for a long time!!

I'm assuming that you don't just want to lose weight, you want to keep it off, right? Right! If so, then you are going to have to find ways to eat better... for LIFE!

This thought scared me at first! I asked the very same question you did -- will I never get to eat a brownie again?? I felt this sense of loss. Of regret. Sadness about the brownies I would not eat.

But I soldiered on. Figured I'd figure it out. And the reality turned out very different than I ever imagined.

The first brownie I saw, I really wanted. But then I thought, I wanted to lose weight more. There would be other brownies. I was not saying 'no' to the brownie, I was saying 'yes' to me. As I went on in the 'zone' of successful weight loss, I didn't really want the brownie.

But this is life. And sometimes, you may really want a brownie. Not any old brownie, but the perfect, chocolaty brownie with melted chips in it topped by ice cream. One day I wanted that brownie! I had some. It was SO worth it!

But reality is that I can't eat it every day. Or even every week. I've learned that if I try to trick myself into thinking I can work in the calories, that soon enough I ditch the calorie plan and just start eating more brownies. It's like "fat Heather" is back again.

So, to answer your question: you can do whatever you like, except change the laws of physics. Some of us decide to never eat the brownie again. Others decide to plan for a brownie now and again, but only a good one. Some of us learn how to make healthier brownies to satisfy their chocolate urges and fit better in calorie budgets...

Each of us has come to that conclusion based on a lot of practice... trial and error...

What's amazing to me is that when I'm doing really well, eating great food that I love... well, I just don't want the brownie very often. Who knew?

*Brownies are just used as an example here! :)

Natalia
07-03-2010, 12:36 AM
Wow, amazing topic and replies!
Here's my take on things:

I think you (general you,not you personally)owe it to yourself to start aplan with a good clean month, preferably 2, before starting with indulgences. Give yourself a running start. Have a carb laden farewell, if you must. But then be by-the-book for at least 4-6 weeks.

You are strong; you can do *anything* for 4 weeks! This gives you detox, a clean start, and some momentum. After that period, I would say it's okay to endulge "rarely" - as in once a month or less often. Once maintenance approaches, you could move it to "occasionally"- like one desired meal/item weekly. You'll appreciate it so much more. And, you may need to permanently stay away from personal trigger foods. For myself, I am unable to control myself around cream puffs, eclairs, anything with pate-a-choux and real whipped cream. Same with still-warm glazed donuts. I could eat a dozen and then go on a real bender. I'm just not ready for that. Perhaps there are a few things you can identify that may be problem foods for you. It can be SO much more than just, "okay, this donut had 220 calories, no problem" One becomes 6.. KWIM?

I really like the analogy of carb or sugar addiction to other addictions. One hit of cocaine (provided you don't O.D>) is not going to kill you, nor be particularly bad for your health. But for a former coke addict, can they stop there?? One becomes more.
same with cigarettes. One cigarette will never kill anyone. But for someone who quit recently, what if one turns into 3? More? Is it worth the risk?

It would be hard for a recoverin g alcoholic to take one shot a week (cheat meal) and let 'er go. Or how bout an occasional heroin user? Never heard of it? That's because (strangely, lol) there AREN'T any!!

Now that's not to say we can never have a simple carb again. I think the key is knowing when you are "ready" to start re-introducing them, and to identify what non-OP foods are your "heroin".

Good luck!

AnnieDrews
07-03-2010, 12:39 AM
Heather wrote: "Some of us decide to never eat the brownie again. Others decide to plan for a brownie now and again, but only a good one. Some of us learn how to make healthier brownies to satisfy their chocolate urges and fit better in calorie budgets..."

I think this is an all-around excellent statement about our community. Neveragainbabe, I hope all of these comments are helpful to you. I know they are all meant to inform and encourage you to find what works for you.

mandalinn82
07-03-2010, 12:56 AM
:bravo: Heather, for that excellent summary! All of the approaches (eat a good brownie once in a great while, make a healthier brownie, skip brownies altogether) work for some, and all are options when figuring out a plan that works for you.

I also want to say a big thank you for starting this thread. It's a great topic and really shows the diversity of plans that can really work for weight loss. It's all about what works for you, within those pesky laws of physics.

Sherrie568
07-03-2010, 05:51 AM
I also want to say a big thank you for starting this thread. It's a great topic and really shows the diversity of plans that can really work for weight loss. It's all about what works for you, within those pesky laws of physics.

Yes, a great topic, thanks from me, too!

Wysteria
07-03-2010, 05:59 AM
I'm very much of the mindset that you should be able to eat what you want whenever you want. This could be because I didn't set out to lose my weight through dieting, what happened was that I started exercising and my food changed as a direct result of that. But I can still go to a fast food place or a restaurant and not beat myself up about having something a bit naughty. I'm not a calorie counter, I never have been, I just... eat, and stop when I'm full. The thing is the 'full' limit has got lower as I've got thinner.

I'm almost at my target weight but honestly, it never was about weight for me. It was about how I looked and how I felt in myself. I set my target weight to just have an idea for what to aim for - if I end up lower than that, that's fine, if I get higher than that, equally fine, as long as I don't end up having to buy any clothes over a UK size 10 ever, ever again.

I eat what I like. But because my diet's changed as my body's changed, I tend to find that 'what I like' is usually something stupid like a bowl of rice or a yoghurt or something. It used to be stuff like KFC or Pizza Hut, but my food intolerances mean I can't really eat either of them. Which is no bad thing.

So personally, I am all in favour for eating whatever you like whenever you like, and using exercise to remove the calories. If you want KFC, go for it, just make sure you get your bum to the gym later and sweat it out :)

Beverlyjoy
07-03-2010, 09:28 AM
I think 'eating what you want' in those old quantities is a thing of the past. If there's something that you really want to eat and will eat it in a planned controlled amout without it causing a binge - then eat some.

But, the days of me scarfing down a bag of anything are gone (at least that's what I am aiming for) - for my long term food sanity and a healthy weight.

srmb60
07-03-2010, 11:15 AM
Yes, excellent thread!

SamanthaBea
07-03-2010, 12:00 PM
Probably like most of you, I have been dealing with weight issues my entire adult life. I am just prone to gain weight and hold onto it (whether the reason is genetic, environmental, emotional, bad habits, or a combination thereof). After gaining and losing and gaining and losing, I have fianally learned that I have to change my mindset from looking for a quick fix to managing a chronic condition.

For example, diabetics can sometimes "cheat" by having a food that is high in sugar; however, they have to plan for it and they certainly can't do this often or for an extended period of time. They can't just decide to take the day or the week off of their diabetes diet!

To me, obesity is a chronic illness like diabetes (I'm just using diabetes as an example). Studies have shown that the bodies of formerly obese people are not the same as those who have always been thin. Apparently, the body always wants to go back to its former heavier self. No, it's not fair, but neither are many other health problems.

So my "cheats" are now with this thinking. I have to plan and keep track of what I eat every single day--and this includes, birthday parties, cookouts, and holidays. I can occassionally have a little something "bad" (calorie dense with little nutritional value that is very tasty or traditional like birthday cake), but it has to be accounted for and worked into the plan. Sometimes I enjoy a small serving, someimes I bring my own food (like the 100-cal popcorn I snuck into the movies last night!), and sometimes I just say no. Honestly, I'm learning what works best for me as I go. The movie popcorn would have been hard to resist had I not planned ahead and brought my 100-cal popcorn bags.

The bottomline for me is that I will always have to actively manage my weight--including the cheats and treats.

Rosinante
07-03-2010, 12:13 PM
For me the answer is Never.
I have twice in my life lost a huge amount of weight (not to mention the 40+ years of on-off dieting that has defined every waking moment). And on both occasions having got to goal or as near as dannit, I started having what I wanted when I wanted and behold me, here I am again.

I've previously posted that losing weight/dieting for me feels like when I was learning to swim - I couldn't (still can't) work out how to float or how to put my feet down while swimming a width across the baths. I can swim a width or nothing. I can some times do two but I can't swim and breathe at the same time, so the distance I can swim is controlled by how far I can hold my breath.
I now realize my weightloss endeavours are the same. If anyone bumped into me while I was widthing, I'd panic, splash and sink. If anything disturbs my weightloss regime, I'm the same.

I'm not especially happy with that: yes, I've been on plan since I began (this time) - Day #40 today. On the one hand, Yay me! On the other, it's only because I daren't not be. I haven't won my fight with food, even if I'm holding it at bay on a daily basis. When I get to goal, to be honest, That's when my work will really begin: Do I learn to have a better relationship with different foods? Or do I just carry on holding my breath and doing widths?

Shmead
07-03-2010, 12:13 PM
For example, diabetics can sometimes "cheat" by having a food that is high in sugar; however, they have to plan for it and they certainly can't do this often or for an extended period of time. They can't just decide to take the day or the week off of their diabetes diet!


Right. If someone with HIV was like "You know, I get so sick of having to take all these drugs at precise times and dealing with these side effects. I am going to just say 'f**k it' and live my life without worrying about it for a couple days", no one would be like "oh, yeah, that makes sense. Enjoy a couple days and then get back on the wagon. You deserve that". Instead, we'd have suggestions on dealing with the side effects, or finding ways to make the remembering less of a pain in the butt. But we wouldn't say "yeah, just let it go for a while".

Ironically, I think if you are an obese person with HIV, the obesity is more likely to kill you these days than the virus is. But we treat it as a bother or a sin--a personality flaw, not a life threatening condition.

saef
07-03-2010, 01:31 PM
I get sad about this sometimes, I must admit. Being of a dramatic turn, I think of it as my great renunciation of the things of the world. It's like I entered the nunnery of a religious order. Inside the cloistered walls, I protect myself whenever possible from the polluting temptations of junk food commercials, magazine advertisements, or the sight of other people really pigging out in mall food courts, which would all disturb my new turn of mind. (Think of the cloister as being rather spa-like, actually, containing an incredible gym & also extensive organic gardens.) Now I exercise, meditate, journal, eat plain healthy fare at certain set times. My regular excursions out into the rest of the world are rather jarring, but I carry my habits & my precariously earned new state of mind with me everywhere, and that helps.

That sounds extreme, doesn't it? But it keeps me sane. And in this calmer existence, it can be easy to forget how unhappy I was before. Yes, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But oh, how I disliked the sight of myself. I didn't want to be photographed. I didn't really want to look in a mirror for very long. If I did, there was all this subtle mental photoshopping going on, adjusting the lighting, putting me at a more flattering angle. "I'm not really THAT fat." I felt so defeated after trying on clothes. I'd look across a department store with racks & racks of clothes, knowing that was just a tease, that nearly none of them were for me -- the clothes I'd wear would be confined to one little section in "Plus Sizes." There were whole stores that I never, ever entered & averted my eyes from. I'd see attractive, sexy women in ads & sometimes in real life (living in NY does not help with this) & feel they were a different species entirely -- they were purebred Arabian mares while I was this plodding mixed breed draft horse.

So, sorry, my life when I ate what I wanted when I wanted was really overrated. It didn't make me happy. The tradeoff, of being an asexual, maybe somewhat motherly or buddylike being, was really not worth it.

Also, let's talk about "normal." What the heck is normal eating, anyway? I've never known it, never practiced it. My old "normal" is totally dysfunctional. My new "normal" is closer to what the real thing is, but it doesn't come naturally (not exactly yet, but I have hopes this happens after a lot of practice). Also I want to be the REAL NORMAL, not the normal that some sectors of the food industry want me to think it is.

Lilstarrs
07-03-2010, 01:57 PM
My answer is to find healthier alternatives -- for example, if I am craving a decadent desert, I will grab a skinny cow fudge bar and the craving is sated. Or if I want fast food, maybe I'll put a piece of American cheese on my chicken breast sandwich on a whole wheat bun and grab a 100 calorie Doritos Snack Pack. These are neither healthy foods, nor are they straying too far off my plotted course -- but they are just enough to make me feel like I'm not depriving myself everything I love.

...though, when I was out of town with my friend, I did also have a glass of wine and some calamari. And that was just flat-out cheating. And I didn't feel so great about it afterward, honestly.

successfulhannah
07-03-2010, 02:21 PM
When I crave sweets I aim for my freezer with my 100 calorie skinney bar ice creams and they are great they hit the spot and I don't ruin my whole day! Just something you can look into.

Shannon in ATL
07-03-2010, 02:33 PM
I lost my weight calorie counting, and still count every calorie as a maintainer. I track everything I eat, and will forever I think. I do allow for foods that would be considered 'off plan' - I have ice cream, brownies, pizza, fries. I do recognize that these things can trigger me, so I have to use caution when u have them. I couldn't have then during active weight loss, I only allow for them in maintenance. And, even in maintenance I can't do them all the time Right now I am back in a trying to lose a little place because too many indulgences in recent months have caught up with me!

And, I do use a combo of Heather's listed
approaches (love that summary!) - I wanted pizza
this week, so instead of Domino's I made a
flatbread pizza with broccoli, onion, pepper, tomato,
spinach and a small amount of cheese. I wanted
ice cream so I got a box of light ice cream bars. When I level back out, I'll go bak with moderation to the higher cal items.

I will say that my tastes have changed, too. I just don't enjoy the foods I used to love. With the exception if fingers and chips from Zaxbys - still love those. Mostly though, when I splurge on an item at a restaurant I often find myself disappointed. I will never go back to the way I used to eat, no. I will however eat delicious food now that is good for me, and tasted as good to me as those greasy bad for me goods used to taste. At the beginning of my journey I never believed that would happen and I asked the same "when can I go back to what I used to eat?" question. The answer I found is that I don't want to. I enjoy the way I'm eating now so much more.

This is a great thread - don't feel bad about starting it, and I hope it helps you.

sept15lija
07-03-2010, 02:50 PM
That sounds extreme, doesn't it? But it keeps me sane. And in this calmer existence, it can be easy to forget how unhappy I was before. Yes, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. But oh, how I disliked the sight of myself. I didn't want to be photographed. I didn't really want to look in a mirror for very long. If I did, there was all this subtle mental photoshopping going on, adjusting the lighting, putting me at a more flattering angle. "I'm not really THAT fat." I felt so defeated after trying on clothes. I'd look across a department store with racks & racks of clothes, knowing that was just a tease, that nearly none of them were for me -- the clothes I'd wear would be confined to one little section in "Plus Sizes." There were whole stores that I never, ever entered & averted my eyes from. I'd see attractive, sexy women in ads & sometimes in real life (living in NY does not help with this) & feel they were a different species entirely -- they were purebred Arabian mares while I was this plodding mixed breed draft horse.

So, sorry, my life when I ate what I wanted when I wanted was really overrated. It didn't make me happy. The tradeoff, of being an asexual, maybe somewhat motherly or buddylike being, was really not worth it.

Wow this really resonates with me. I am going to print this off I think....this is exactly me, except I am still on the other end of it.

Mikkie
07-03-2010, 02:56 PM
For me, this isn't about weight loss as much as about being healthy. Junk food isn't healthy for anyone, whether they are thin or overweight. I just don't want to eat all those chemicals anymore. I now make my own food and it tastes so much better. The tradeoff for something that is more yummy is that it takes time to prepare it. It was so much easier to grab prepackaged processed stuff when I needed a quick fix.

Natalia
07-03-2010, 08:22 PM
Studies have shown that the bodies of formerly obese people are not the same as those who have always been thin. Apparently, the body always wants to go back to its former heavier self.

I couldn't agree more that formerly obese people always seem to be more conscious and aware of making healthy choices, and try harder to maintain than naturally thin people, probably a combo just as you said of genetics, habit, life experiences, coping skills.

What I *have* read, though, and although I am not sure it's true (but I sure hope it is!!) is that for about 3-6 months after you reach maintenance, your body tries to go back to it's old chubby self. "making" you hungrier, slowing your metabolism, all the tricks in the book. And then, at some point, apparently it give up trying and it's not such a struggle to maintain. It would still be more work than a naturally thin person, I'm sure, but easier than when first getting to maintenace. I , far from goal, have no experience or insight in this area (unfortunately).

I do know people who've gotten within 5lbs of goal (people who were morbidly obese) and they both say that once they pretty much were at goal, doing the same thing they had been doing, started re-gaining weight for no reason. I wonder if that's what makes the last few lbs. and the maintenance phase so challenging? If your body is requiring far less calories it might seem (in the moment) unattainable for a lifetime. I mean, you can only go so low without bingeing. This last paragraph is just a theory and me thinking out loud.. has anyone ever had this experience?

Heather
07-03-2010, 11:23 PM
What I *have* read, though, and although I am not sure it's true (but I sure hope it is!!) is that for about 3-6 months after you reach maintenance, your body tries to go back to it's old chubby self. "making" you hungrier, slowing your metabolism, all the tricks in the book.


Natalia -- It's not just for 6 months. Actually, the research suggests that the bodies of formerly morbidly obese people CONTINUE to want to go back to the old weight! There are chemical differences that tend to make us hungrier... just make keeping the weight off harder. We really are fighting an uphill battle. To keep it off you need to have developed good habits and make a long-term commitment.

Natalia
07-03-2010, 11:49 PM
Natalia -- It's not just for 6 months. Actually, the research suggests that the bodies of formerly morbidly obese people CONTINUE to want to go back to the old weight! There are chemical differences that tend to make us hungrier... just make keeping the weight off harder. We really are fighting an uphill battle. To keep it off you need to have developed good habits and make a long-term commitment.



So at no point does it become easier? (not easier like new habits getting ingrained but physically, metabolically, calorically) I was hoping that after a period of time, your body might "adjust" to your new set point and that would make things a little easier.

ubergirl
07-04-2010, 12:16 AM
I'm thinking that there must be an element of mastery here-- and I have not yet figured out how on earth people know when to eat a treat.

I remember I had a Swedish babysitter for a while and she told me that in Sweden it was simple because children were only given a treat on Sunday. And I thought "how clear and simple."

But I seem to have no grasp of how thin people seem to figure out that it's okay to go out for ice cream now and again. For me, the right moment to go out for ice cream would be every moment. The right moment to over eat is every moment of every day....

I'm like an autistic person who doesn't understand emotions. Only I don't understand how normal people naturally balance their eating.

So, there is not question of going back to eating like a normal person, because I never did in the first place.

I much prefer my new way of eating because it causes me so much less distress.

But, I do love the idea that maybe somewhere in the distant future I could be the kind of person who gets a small vanilla cone from time time, without having from time to time turn into every day and make that a large hot fudge sundae please.

srmb60
07-04-2010, 01:16 AM
So at no point does it become easier? (not easier like new habits getting ingrained but physically, metabolically, calorically) I was hoping that after a period of time, your body might "adjust" to your new set point and that would make things a little easier.


I suppose there's the notion that any muscle mass you build will make your body burn more calories??? Or if you feel better and move more easily, you'll burn more calories in your everyday life????
Some plans maintain that the body you build as you learn to eat better is better at using foods for energy.

Just tossing some ideas out there ...

asharksrevenge
07-04-2010, 04:37 AM
I choose not to eat things. I never consider what I "can't" eat. I don't worry about restricting myself because my only desire is to be thinner, healthier and to live a full and long life. If that Big Mac, Cheetos or even silly little animal crackers call to me (as they will), I tell myself, "That might taste good right now, but being able to fit in that kayak felt a **** of a lot better." I don't need rules because I have perspective. When I lose perspective and eating right or exercising is starting to become more difficult, I ask someone I trust for perspective. Either way, the Big Mac (which was my weakness) doesn't fit into my future plans. That Big Mac's not going to paddle my fat *** around a lake, and it sure won't celebrate with me when I'm done. I give it no power over me. It was a love/hate relationship, where I loved to eat it and then hated myself afterward. Hated my beautiful body and mind over a disgusting hamburger? I'm worth way more than that. Nothing has power over me like that anymore. Nothing.

HokieLoki
07-04-2010, 07:28 AM
I am another who will indulge in a not-so-healthy treat if I really want to, but most of the time, what ever is in front of me is really not that tempting. When my friends are eating delicious smelling but oh so high in calorie food, and I am on track, I can sit at the same table and be perfectly fine.

if I do decide to indulge, it's something that I REALLY want, and I work my butt off to make up for it. I used to be a gym rat, and I'm getting back to my old ways.

an example is today, July 4th. It's a quarter after 6 and I am getting up to get motivated by coming here, then a 6.5 mile walk with my dog, then most of the day today will be spent playing volleyball and swimming in the pool, not lounging around the food tables. I did the same thing on Memorial Day.

Jump back to 6 years ago, before the hypothyroid and depression, I was a size 1-2 until I was 25. I never wanted to eat a bag of Oreos, I never wanted to eat fast food. If I did have something, (the best example I can think of that I LOVE is scorching hot buffalo wings with homemade blue cheese dip and a (or four, haha) Flying Dog Drafts) I would go the the gym that day before I indulged or the next day. I would never beat myself up for eating anything. The gym forgives.

JayEll
07-04-2010, 08:14 AM
I am finally reading THE END OF OVEREATING by David Kessler. Kessler is himself someone who battles overweight, as well as being a scientist. And he became very interested in how it is that people overeat, even when they don't want to, even though they fight against it. His conclusions are tremendously interesting.

The culprits, he says, are sugar, fat, and salt. When these are combined, they make foods that are practically irresistible, not only to humans but also to other animals. The food industry people know this, and they deliberately produce foods that combine these. One example is those chicken wings with blue cheese dip. They even give the illusion that they are healthy because there's a bit of protein and some celery on the side!

What happens is that we become conditioned to eating these foods--it's essentially an addiction--and then even after losing weight, even months and months later, when we decide to have one of these foods, it acts as a trigger. We want more of the same, and the desire lasts for days.

I am not far enough into the book to find out whether Kessler presents a solution, but if you'd like to peek at the book, go here:

http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/1605297852/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278180015&sr=1-1

If you scroll down on the page, you can watch a video of the author explaining the ideas. This link is to the hardcover, but a paperback is also available.

Jay

Losing It 2010
07-04-2010, 09:26 AM
Thanks for posting this question..after some thought I realize I do eat what I want and what my body wants. After I hit the big 40 and had a major surgery my digestive system was really clear about foods it can't handle anymore. My brain may think I can eat like a 20 year old but afterwards I will pay for it big time so I watch what I consume.. I am trying to eat more healthy so my system stays on the right track but with that in mind if down the road I decide I want to eat a twinkie for example ( i don't like them just an example) then I will eat a twinkie but I will have to deal with the physical and emotional consequences. There is no right or wrong here, this is your body and no body makes the rules except you. I don't listen to what others say is right for me just what my body tells me.. hope this helps

Hey ladies, there has been a lot of discussion over the great debate of whether or not "cheating" is allowed, or going out to eat and eating what you want is allowed. I think everyone is bringing up excellent points from both ends, and I don't really have a set opinion on this either!

All of the discussion led me to think about what us dieters are going through. Because we are dieting, does that mean from now until we reach our goal, we are never allowed to eat a bag of Cheetos? Or drive through Taco Bell one day and order what we want? I think it is really risky to do that. But on the other hand, I know for myself personally that if I deprive myself of ALL good foods, I might completely crack one day!

I'm just trying to get people's opinions on this! :)

Heather
07-04-2010, 10:39 AM
So at no point does it become easier? (not easier like new habits getting ingrained but physically, metabolically, calorically) I was hoping that after a period of time, your body might "adjust" to your new set point and that would make things a little easier.

I think some things do get easier. Habits for sure. Planning my food for several days out used to be a lot of mental work. Not really any more.

But in other ways, I don't know that it does get easier. For me, success is easier by avoiding certain situations, as I have learned the hard way that while I might be able to achieve a thin body, I will never have the "mind" of a thin person. JayEll's point about certain foods being "culprits' is true for me. Donuts and cake are like crack to me. I have a donut and INSTANTLY I want more. The sensation doesn't last long and in certain situations I can diffuse it, such as if there's only one left, but otherwise I am in trouble. Don't quote me on this, but I read that our tongues have receptors that go to the pleasure centers of our brain! The second we taste that food, boom! I have to accept that I need to limit my "first bite" of these foods, unless I want to have that "must have it" experience. (YMMV, you may not be a person who experiences this). I know I can use willpower to overcome the urge to have a second bite, but why put myself in that situation to begin with?

This seems to be just one way that our bodies use to get us back to obesity. Another culprit may be leptin -- a hormone that controls appetite and metabolism. Obese people tend to have high levels of leptin, and apparently, this does not go down when they lose weight. There may also be problems in the leptin pathways of obese people (and formerly obese) such that they don't receive satiety cues.

Ultimately, there may be a number of ways that formerly morbidly obese people basically have bodies that "want" to go back to being fat. That's not to say that this is inevitable, but it does explain why so many of us gain weight back so quickly.

Please don't be discouraged -- after all, the alternative is to give up, and I'm not doing that!!!

rockinrobin
07-04-2010, 11:08 AM
I've been away for a few days (still am, limited internet access)and have missed some of these threads that have been started on this and similar topics and I have not read through all the responses on this thread.

For me, I had to change what I wanted. I had to stop wanting those foods - and I have. Cold turkey, definite no's, limits, boundaries - turns out to be a WONDERFUL thing. But luckily these foods no longer appeal to me. I am now too aware of the consequences of eating foods *like that*. A case of when you know better, you do better. And I know, I know.

I knew (hoped) I'd be okay giving up *those foods*, provided I found OTHER foods that were delicious and satisfying. So I had to find foods that I thoroughly enjoy eating and are good for me. I stopped settling for foods that JUST TASTED GOOD. I raised my standards. I required more from myself.

I wanted soooo badly to be a health minded, slim, trim, fit person and those foods just don't fit into the picture. You can't have it both ways. There is a restrictive component to adhering to a healthy lifestyle. But it's an enjoyable restriction. The control feels marvelous. And nothing, nothing was more restrictive than being super morbidly obese, obese and overweight. THAT was restrictive. THAT was unenjoyable.

Like Glory, I pick my splurges verrrry carefully (99.9% of the time anyway). And for me, the losing portion of my journey was different than maintenance - during the losing portion - splurges, high calorie splurges held no interest to me.

One has to decide what they want the MOST and when they want it.

Natalia
07-04-2010, 12:35 PM
Heather, thank you for posting. Strangely , donuts are what I always reference as well about being like my heroin. Particularly stil warm, glazed donuts. It's almost impossible for me to stop at one. My other problem food is pate-a-choux pastry with real whipped cream (like eclairs, and cream puffs.) Look out! High-carb/high-fat items; it's easier to abstain then eat in moderation (at least for me).

I think studies *have* shown that when some people eat these foods it does stimulate the same area in the brain that drug addicts get stimulated when they use drugs. I remember reading this a number of times.

Jay, I cannot wait to read that book, The End Of Overeating, as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories. Both are being ordered for me at the library. I think they will provide more insight.

Magrat
07-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Ok, I've been thinking about all of these types of posts a lot and I'm really sorry if any of what I'm about to say comes across harsh. To be successful at this you MUST change your lifestyle - diet's are temporary, but lifestyles are forever. Doing this takes TIME - a lot of it. It's take me 4+ years to get to where I am today. Now I regulary choose the healthier options on the menu because this is what I want to eat. Do I splurge occassionally on a truly decadent dessert - absolutly. Do I do it everytime I go out to eat - absolutly not. Do I feel guilty when I choose it eating the decadent dessert - not anymore. Do I see flucuations on the scale when I eat a decadent dessert - sometimes. You've heard it before - moderation and balance. If you eat that decadent dessert (or Taco Bell or whatever), well then you'll need to lighten up the next day or maybe even the next couple of days. I really feel like the 90 some percent of people who lose weight gain it back because they never truly understand this concept. They are on a diet and once the diet is over they go back to their old ways. So anyway that's just my two cents...sorry if it came across badly, I've just been a little frustrated with the multitude of "cheating" posts lately.

Count me as one of those who enjoys a decadent dessert whenever I go out to eat. On the other hand I go out to eat maybe once a year.

Magrat
07-04-2010, 04:04 PM
For me three things hold true.

If I eat whatever I want whenever I want I will be fat.
If I never eat what I want I will feel deprived and angry.
If I sometimes eat whatever I want (and maybe eat less of something else to account for the calories) I will be thin and content.

The only food on my personal never eat again list is sugar wafers. I cannot stop at one or two or three. I can eat the whole package and still want more. They are like crack to me.