Weight Loss Support - Tired of being on a diet




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rachinma
07-27-2010, 11:34 AM
Has anyone quit dieting before reaching their weight loss goal, with the intention of still reaching the goal? I think I'm quitting. :D

My goal is still to reach a healthy BMI for my height/build, and I set out the following behaviors that should help me get there. I'm also making a conscious decision not to journal, calorie count, or whatever. This is not to knock calorie counting -- I know it works, and many people love it. I just really don't feel like doing it anymore. Maybe it will take me longer to reach my goal -- or maybe I'll totally go crazy and gain weight! -- but I'm going to give it a try.

Here are some of the behaviors that I *do* plan to focus on:

- I will pack all meals for the day in the evening or before work in the morning -- lunch & two snacks. Some lean protein with lunch.
- I plan to eat all meals at home or in the office, whenever possible.
- When I must eat out (for work obligations), I will make healthy choices or choose small portions.
- Toss all “old” veggies into a stir-fry once a week. Wasting food makes me crazy...
- I will weigh daily for accountability, but record my weight only on Monday mornings.
- I will allow myself to eat one kiddie-sized ice cream per week from the ice cream place that I love near my house. Sometimes my family gets ice cream from another place -- not my favorite. If it's not from my favorite spot, it's not work it to me!

Has anyone else had any success ditching the diet?


bellona
07-27-2010, 11:44 AM
I have also ditched dieting/calorie counting now that I'm more active and finally at a healthy bmi/weight. I have been continuing to lose, but I know what choices are healthy at this point. I just don't want to be calculating down to the last calorie for the rest of my life. If I indulge one day, I really watch the next or add an extra workout in. It's been working for me for the past month. I'm still losing 1-2 pounds a week, and I'm not so obsessed with the scale/calories/numbers. Some people need to do that or they get off track, but if i weigh in a few times a week I can tell how I'm doing. I'm strict with my workouts, though. I definitely plan those!

hpnodat
07-27-2010, 11:47 AM
Me, I ditched it. I feel a huge sigh of relief from it too. My new motto is "good healthy decisions and choices", and I'm doing that not just in the way that I eat but in all other aspects of my life too.

I always have a choice of what to do even if I think I don't. I'm choosing to do what is best for me. But I have to put some thought into the decision before I make the choice.


want2bfit4me
07-27-2010, 12:45 PM
I don't think of it as a diet as just a healthy way of eating. Something as a type 2 diabetic is going to have to do for the rest of her life.......

motivated chickie
07-27-2010, 01:40 PM
I lost the first 25 pounds with calorie counting. And I have been losing the remaining 25 without calorie counting.

It's been working fine, but the main problem is I tend to undereat. I avoid foods that make me crazy like sugar, starches, and grains, but it's hard to eat enough. I've had instances where I've probably eaten well under 1,000 calories in a day, but I didn't know that because I wasn't counting calories.

The good thing about not calorie counting is I don't obsess about numbers. Now, I tend to choose food because it's tasty and nutritious, not because it's got 5 calories.

I think it's a good idea to do regular weighing. I weigh myself every day to get a sense if I'm eating properly.

Good luck in your journey.

d-chan
07-27-2010, 02:29 PM
After carb counting, calorie counting isn't so bad. Most of the time, I don't weigh or measure though. I use small bowls from a Chinese serving set and 5" dinner plates. I make sure that my lean proteins and veggies fill the plate and that tiny space left over might be for a faster carb. More fruits and whole grains (never more than one piece of bread a day a la South Beach), and low carb pitas/wraps when I can get them. My biggest problem wasn't my meals, it was all the terrible snacks like chocolate bars, cookies, ice cream, and huge helpings of bread that killed me.

I figure the counting stops when it becomes habit to eat right. It'll happen. ^_^

souvenirdarling
07-27-2010, 04:18 PM
Last summer I did some serious calorie counting and lost.

This summer, I've been keeping track of my calorie totals at the end of the day, just to see if and how I went overboard and to track my habits. I never say "I'm going to only have 1400".

I have also been emphasizing healthy eating, being active, and enjoying my life :)

I also haven't especially been losing :(

TXMary2
07-27-2010, 05:23 PM
Don't think of it as a diet then, think of it as a new way of living.

QuilterInVA
07-27-2010, 05:36 PM
Dieting does not work in the long run. The only way to successfully lose weight and maintain the loss is to make permanent lifestyle changes in what you eat and how you exercise.

Onederchic
07-27-2010, 05:52 PM
Dieting does not work in the long run. The only way to successfully lose weight and maintain the loss is to make permanent lifestyle changes in what you eat and how you exercise.

I agree.

19Deltawifey
07-27-2010, 06:18 PM
I quit dieting in March, I gained some weight because I went crazy eating everything and this came from depriving myself of certain things. Now that I have been doing this for a while my weight is finally coming off. I eat when I'm hungry, stop when satisfied, everything in moderation except for alcohol (2.5 weeks sober now). I have cut that out for a while, I can go without drinking alcohol but I can't go without eating food so I had to find a plan that works for me and that I can do for the rest of my life

kaplods
07-27-2010, 06:32 PM
I "quit dieting" a long time ago. What I do, still would look an awful lot like dieting to anyone who isn't me.

I try to keep a food journal and stick to my exchange plan, but sometimes I get distracted and don't count as carefully as I should have. I don't look at that as a slip or a failure or a reason to "star over," it's just what can happen if I get distracted by something else. Life is about imperfection. Most of our goals aren't acheived through perfection, sometimes the road to success is sloppy and filled with accidents. If I get side-tracked and forget to clean my house, or intentionally procrastinate and do something else, I don't beat myself up, accuse myself of sabotaging my efforts and secretly wanting to live in a dump. I don't see myself as doomed to live in filth, because I have a slightly messy house (or even not-so-slightly) and chose not to clean it up right away.

I think when it comes to weight loss, we often think we're doomed, if we don't follow a perfect path. The winding path can still get us there (as long as we haven't actually chosen a path that is circular, not winding).

I succeed best when I count my exchanges and log my food. That's probably going to be a goal of mine for life (or at least the foreseeable future), and although that looks a lot like "dieting" (in fact, it's indistinguishable from dieting), it's very different mentally.

I don't stress over imperfections, I don't see myself as "breaking" my diet if I'm not perfect, and I don't invision a time when this kind of attention will not be necessary (It could happen, but I'm not counting on it).

I think the dieting mentality is often fatal to weight loss. It's often so restrictive, it's hard to find enjoyable. That doesn't have to be the case at all. It's why I chose an exchange plan (and why many people choose other forms of calorie counting).

Even when I switched to low-carb primal eating as my goal, I still translated it into an exchange plan, because it doesn't feel like I've swithced to just one more different diet. Rather I'm integrating new knowledge and goals into my existing program - it feels like a smooth transition, not just one more "new diet."

When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of opinions, and even the experts can't agree, so experimentation is all we've got. Just remember a failed experiment isn't a failure, it's a success in discovering what doesn't work.

Shmead
07-27-2010, 10:25 PM
Dieting does not work in the long run. The only way to successfully lose weight and maintain the loss is to make permanent lifestyle changes in what you eat and how you exercise.

I agree that those things have to change, but I think that careful calorie counting and food logging--the tools I use to change my lifestyle--would be considered "dieting" by a lot of people, and they have also been successful for a lot of people.

girlonfire
07-27-2010, 10:32 PM
I gave up calorie counting when I realized that it always leads to obsessing and bingeing. Now I just pick healthy foods and eat treats in moderation. I just started this way, so I'll let you know in a few months :). I do know when I was in France and not counting a calorie and eating everything that was put in front of me, I lost weight.

Dieting is too restrictive that's why I don't look at this as a diet. This is my LIFE and I want to live it. Good luck with the rest of your journey! You'll do FAB!

Shmead
07-27-2010, 10:37 PM
It's really interesting to me how people find calorie counting restrictive: I find it liberating, because I KNOW. If I just think about "good" and "bad" choices, I always, always, always feel vaguely guilty about what I am eating, unless it's just lettuce and cucumbers. And I feel the same guilt for a small ice cream cone as for a chocolate brownie sundae and so I tend to go for the sundae.

It's just interesting to me how different people are from each other.

bunnythesAINT
07-27-2010, 11:03 PM
It's really interesting to me how people find calorie counting restrictive: I find it liberating, because I KNOW. If I just think about "good" and "bad" choices, I always, always, always feel vaguely guilty about what I am eating, unless it's just lettuce and cucumbers. And I feel the same guilt for a small ice cream cone as for a chocolate brownie sundae and so I tend to go for the sundae.

It's just interesting to me how different people are from each other.

It was interesting to read this! I feel like people talk about how they make lifestyle changes but for me personally, calorie counting is the lifestyle change not just a weight loss tool itself.

girlonfire
07-28-2010, 02:47 AM
It is interesting how different we all are, isn't it? My bingeing has gone WAY down since I dropped calorie counting. One thing that has stuck with me is making changes for LIFE. I can't count calories all my life. I eat lots of healthy food and I'm losing weight! I love it.

If calorie counting works for you, more power to you! I'm glad that we are all figuring out what works for us. :)

asharksrevenge
07-28-2010, 05:29 AM
"Dieting" doesn't work for me either. What does work for me is calorie counting, exercise, smaller portions and goal setting. I'm certainly not alone in thinking this plan works--people who stick to a plan similar to mine typically lose 40% more weight (and keep it off longer) than those who don't. That's not at all to say that people with different ideas won't lose weight (or as much) because if this forum tells us anything, it is that we have differing successful ideas on weight loss. I calorie count because I like to know how much I am eating. Statistics prove that people underestimate their portions and calorie intake, typically from 20-200%. Calorie counting doesn't feel restrictive, it feels liberating to me because I am aware and accountable for everything I put in my body; there's certainly no hiding behind "I didn't mean to eat it" or "What's a little candy going to hurt?"

This certainly doesn't feel like a diet, and "going off" is dangerous thinking to me. This has clearly worked so far so I won't quit what I am doing.

srmb60
07-28-2010, 06:09 AM
I agree with everyone who said "Try something else" It's not going to do much harm. You'll soon notice if it's not working. Calorie counting doesn't go away. You can always go back to it.

I learned an awful lot about nutrition by counting calories.

Did someone already mention South Beach-ish style eating?

JJ Canada
07-28-2010, 06:32 AM
I was so glad to read this thread. Being just two weeks into THE DIET, thinking of it long term makes me feel very discouraged. But the lifestyle change and the whole attitude of it NOT being a diet makes it so much better. I WANT to change my eating habits. It's not that I ate bad choices...it was the amounts. We eat a fairly healthy diet, better than most people, judging by what's in the carts at the grocery store!!;)

19Deltawifey
07-28-2010, 08:07 AM
"Dieting" doesn't work for me either. What does work for me is calorie counting, exercise, smaller portions and goal setting. I'm certainly not alone in thinking this plan works--people who stick to a plan similar to mine typically lose 40% more weight (and keep it off longer) than those who don't. That's not at all to say that people with different ideas won't lose weight (or as much) because if this forum tells us anything, it is that we have differing successful ideas on weight loss. I calorie count because I like to know how much I am eating. Statistics prove that people underestimate their portions and calorie intake, typically from 20-200%. Calorie counting doesn't feel restrictive, it feels liberating to me because I am aware and accountable for everything I put in my body; there's certainly no hiding behind "I didn't mean to eat it" or "What's a little candy going to hurt?"

This certainly doesn't feel like a diet, and "going off" is dangerous thinking to me. This has clearly worked so far so I won't quit what I am doing.

A whole lot of people also underestimate how many calories their body needs when it comes to CC. Eating the same amount of cals everyday never worked for ME because my body required different amounts of cals everyday. It also had me eating when I wasnt hungry and NOT eating when I was hungry. Of course the weight comes off slower with a non dieting approach but this isn't a race to see who reaches goal first or what diet plan is superior or what not. Some people try the non dieting approach and some of us do lump CC into the diet category. If CC is working for you then go for it, I would never tell someone to not CC if this is what's working for them. But for me it made me obssesive to where I was weighing everything and just couldn't relax and eat like a normal person.

rockinrobin
07-28-2010, 08:23 AM
I personally need the accountability and FORCED portion control that calorie counting provides. Whenever I just *watched myself*, *cut back* or *made better choices* - it didn't "work". It was too open ended. Not enough boundaries, limits, guidelines.. I couldn't just "wing it". For me, there is no point guessing with something SO vital. I count my calories (at this point just estimate). I adhere to a calorie budget. It is the amount that I have already determined is the *right* amount for me - the amount that keeps me at a healthy weight, a healthy person. It is directly related to my well being, my future, my health and it's worthy of the time and effort. It is the most productive use of my time in fact and frees me up to have the best life possible. I am now a vital, energetic, productive, confident, happy, active, slim person who is at her optimal. So yes, time very well spent. :)

For me, I became tired of being super morbidly obese. THAT was tiring.

And like someone else said, CC (along with making them the *right* calories) IS the life style change. I track my calories. At this point, I can do it with my hands tied behind my back so to speak. It is natural, automatic, effortless.

I had to change my mind frame and NOT think of this has a diet, but just what I need to do, should have always been doing. Being mindful, careful and responsible.

Just as I am mindful, careful and responsible with my money. I can't take a chance and use my debit card that there not be enough money in there.

So for me, I don't look at it as a burden - but a key to freedom, that's opened up doors for me, ones that I didn't even know were closed.

That being said, we have come from different places - I was close to 300 lbs at only 5 feet tall, you have been no where near that overweight, so clearly we've got *different issues*.

And like Susan, you can try losing without counting, experiment with it and if it's doesn't provide you with the results you are after - you can always take it up again, but hopefully with a renewed good feeling about it. :)

Slim CB
07-28-2010, 09:35 AM
I stopped dieting years ago but recently started to modify my portion sizes and the number of times I eat and it works. If you ask me how many calories I eat, I cant tell you 1550 or 1600 or 1780....cuz I really dont know. What I do know is for breakfast i have a sandwich, for lunch I will have 1 piece of chicken with 1 cup of rice and some veggies. Dinner is usually one of the lower fat Subway sandwiches again filled with veggies. My snacks which I eat 3 times a day are within 100 - 140 calories.

If I eat out, I make sure that my meal is filled with veggies and I choose grilled or steamed or stir fried items from the menu. Nothing to greasy or fatty. If I want to eat a dessert, I split it with my friends.

Thats all I do...modify the amount of food I was eating. And I also make sure I exercise at least 4 times per week. Thats all...and it has been working! This is a lifestyle I can maintain for the rest of my life and I intend to.

K-boogie
07-28-2010, 09:53 AM
I know for me I have tried it all (Low Carb ,Low Fat,CC etc...) anyway what I am doing now is take note of my calories. Meaning I don't try and shoot for a certain amount everyday, I see no point in forcing myself to eat when I'm not hungry just to meet some caloric goal for the day. I look at the serving size of food which really shocked me b/c I was definitely eating double/triple the serving size before. I look out for added sugar as well. I try to stick with whole foods for the most so I can get the most bang out of my calories.

motivated chickie
07-28-2010, 09:58 AM
I should add a caveat my original post. I don't calorie count, but I'm a huge fan of portion control and measuring. I like measuring because it helps me learn what a proper portion is. But I don't count the calories in something.

I was in OA for 4 years and I have adapted their philosophy. Advanced planning was central to their way of eating. And I was heavily influenced by the "3-0-1" plan, which is 3 meals, nothing in between, 1 day at a time.

I love the old fashioned divide up the plate thing... 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, a bit of fat. But in my plan, I usually skip the starch and add a low fat dairy.

So I am a counter... a portion size counter, not a calorie counter.

carter
07-28-2010, 10:12 AM
I stopped dieting years ago but recently started to modify my portion sizes and the number of times I eat and it works. If you ask me how many calories I eat, I cant tell you 1550 or 1600 or 1780....cuz I really dont know. What I do know is for breakfast i have a sandwich, for lunch I will have 1 piece of chicken with 1 cup of rice and some veggies. Dinner is usually one of the lower fat Subway sandwiches again filled with veggies. My snacks which I eat 3 times a day are within 100 - 140 calories.

If I eat out, I make sure that my meal is filled with veggies and I choose grilled or steamed or stir fried items from the menu. Nothing to greasy or fatty. If I want to eat a dessert, I split it with my friends.

Thats all I do...modify the amount of food I was eating. And I also make sure I exercise at least 4 times per week. Thats all...and it has been working! This is a lifestyle I can maintain for the rest of my life and I intend to.

This is pretty much what I do as well. I have tried meticulous calorie counting in the past, and it indeed does work very, very well. But I burn out on it, throwing all my energy into obsessively tracking calories in and calories out. And when I burn out (typically after about 6 months or so), there's no fallback position and I just gain everything back.

This time I'm trying an approach more like the one Slim CB has outlined here, one that is sustainable to me even when the rest of my life gets too busy for me to be meticulous about counting calories, or even when I just flat get bored with counting calories.

I know what healthy foods and healthy portions are, so all I need is the discipline to eat that way. And thus far I've lost 40 pounds this way, including a stable plateau of several months when I did not have time or energy to focus any effort on weight loss. I consider that a positive: I managed not to gain through one of the most stressful work cycles I have ever experienced.

I know I won't lose as fast this way as I did when I counted calories, but I'd rather lose slower and keep it off thanks to a sustainable plan, than lose quickly and put it all back on when I get bored with the plan. (I do count calories for a few days once a month or so just as a reality check.)

pucedaisy
07-28-2010, 10:31 AM
I lost about 30 pounds by making better choices, and pretty much following the original poster's to-do list. I have never been a calorie counter, though I read a lot about nutritional info. Calorie counting just sounds like a huge drag (FOR ME). I'm pretty sure I would resent it and it would backfire for me.

What worked for me was putting veggies in the CENTER of my diet, cutting out the things I tend to overeat (you know who you are, pasta...), making most of my own food and packing lunches and snacks, cutting way down on my wine consumption... and PLANNING so I never found myself ravenously hungry. It worked, and it was surprisingly easy, once I got in the habit. I really never felt deprived. (I have never been a fast food, junk food or soda consumer, so it wasn't so much of a stretch for me, just more consciousness)

Over the past year I've gotten sloppy (I would have gotten sloppy calorie counting, too) and started drinking wine more often, eating out more often (and choosing more caloric food), eating pasta more often (I should say overeating...) and guess what? So I'm back to my zucchini-instead-of-pasta, huge veggie-filled salads, planning ahead. It feels great.

Calorie counting has obviously worked for so many people here, but it's not the only way to go. So give it up and see how it works for you. You can always go back!

girlonfire
07-28-2010, 12:16 PM
Hehehe, I love the good old fashioned portion size measurements on the plate! I do 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 starch. For example dinner yesterday: 1 small lean steak(I didn't weight but I knew it was about 4 oz because there were 2 steaks in the package and it was under 8 oz), 1 half of a baked yam, and half a plate full of kale! My mom got a lap band and they gave her a special plate with lines to divide portions. I used until I became accustomed. My "starch" is always a whole grain type carb; I try to eat carbs every meal. Only the good kind though :)

While I applaud people for calorie counting, is kind of nice for me to find others that don't count calories. For awhile I thought I was alone in that one and it's nice to know that I'm not alone :)

kaplods
07-28-2010, 02:36 PM
I've been an exchange counter most of my life, beginning in the mid 1970's with Weight Watchers when I was around 8 years old. (the youngest age, Weight Watchers would accept with a doctor's permission slip).

Weight Watcher's was an exchange plan until fairly recently (they switched to points, sometime in the mid 90's).

I tend to "translate" almost any plan I'm on, into exchanges. It makes food journaling super easy. I just create a worksheet (you can find them online too, on diabetic websites) that has boxes for each food category, and I check each box as I use it.

I've even made a pocket version of the journal that is only 2" x 3" and about a quarter of an inch thick. If I write small I can even write down what I ate (although usually I just check off the boxes).

I've been exchange counting for so long, that I can do most foods in my head. I'm also prone to less obsessing than I am on "straight" calorie counting.

I'm trying to follow primal guidelines (the philosophy behind "ancestor diets" such as Primal Blueprint, Neanderthin, The Paleolithic Prescription, The Paleo Diet, The Evolution Diet...), and that fits right in with Paleo theory - I just pick paleo-friendly choices for my exchanges, and distribute my exchanges in a lower-carb pattern (more protein choices a few more fat choices, and a lot fewer carb choices than most standard exchange plans - but low-carb exchange plans aren't uncommon either).

I don't always meet my own guidelines. Sometimes I eat too many carb choices, or I eat non-paleo foods... I don't punish myself when I go off-plan, and for me that's what makes it a lifestyle and not a diet. When I dietied, I was horrible, even abusive to myself if I veered off-plan even by a smidgen. An extra piece of fruit, and I'd be telling myself that my failure to stay on plan, was proof that I was doomed to failure and fatness.

It's interesting that my goals are fairly similar to when I was "dieting." Even most of the behaviors are the same (including the proportion of days that I fail to adhere perfectly to plan). The only significant difference is my interpretation of the situation.

I no longer expect perfection, and I don't punish myself for imperfection.

When I think about exchange or calorie counting for the rest of my life, it seems unreasonable, until I look at why I think so.

I can't really come up with a good answer. It's not any more difficult than washing my face, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, showering, balancing my checkbook and a thousand other things I do on a regular basis.

Since I do it in my head anyway out of habit, writing it down takes an extra five minutes per day (at most).

I skip days now, out of laziness and I still lose weight as long as I'm journaling more often than not. As I get smaller I may have to be more dilligent, or maybe I can be less. I only have to follow the simplest plan that works.

I think we sometimes make too much of saying that you have to find something you're willing to do for the rest of your life. Yes, it is pointless to make choices you have no intention of keeping up. If you want to eat "normally" (meaning the way you ate to gain weight), that isn't going to work. You can't behave fat, and become thin.

However, you don't have to be committed to a specific course of action forever, you just have to commit to following a plan that is effective. You can change plans as often as you like, as long as you're getting results. For weight loss or weight maintenance the formuala is the same - do what works.

Finding "what works," and finding a way to incorporate those strategies into your life isn't exactly rocket science, but it's not "easy" either.

mylifeswork
07-28-2010, 07:40 PM
Interesting concept. I have been counting calories for a while (my plate app) and losing, so it seems to be working. At the same time, I wonder if I quit, if I would lose the awareness. Not ready yet.

bellona
07-29-2010, 10:39 AM
I also want to add to my original post that I'm actually not as hungry or prone to binges anymore. I just don't want/can't eat as much food as I used to. If I would lapse back into craving junk food or binging at night I would have to go back to counting calories, for sure!