General Diet Plans and Questions - How to Pick a Diet




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stocco88
08-16-2010, 02:01 PM
Just wondering, how did you decide what diet/plan to follow? What were the main characteristics of your plan that made you pick it?


Laureedee
08-16-2010, 02:06 PM
Calorie counting. It's easy, free and it works. Easy decision for me.

SCraver
08-16-2010, 04:29 PM
Trial and Error. Lots of Trial and Error! Lol! Dieting in HS was me starving myself. Then after college, I tried Weight Watchers. That was an eye opener as far as portion sizes. But I had a hard time paying money, going every week and I found being officially weighed in each week to be very discouraging (and sort of embarrassing).

I have been exercising on and off since Dec. 2001, but as they say, you can't exercise away bad eating habits. Then in Jan 2008, I decided to look at this from a more realistic (for me) approach. I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to eat normal. So I started working on eating my veggies. (Then I got PG, and ate Bagels and donuts and mini PB Cups and felt ill at the thought of eating veggies)

Earlier this year, I tried calorie counting. At this point, I know what a day of 1500 calories vs 3000 calories looks like. I try to aim for the 1500. And I am trying to eat a balanced diet of lots of veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. The better I do at eating healthy, the better I feel and the faster I lose.

As soon as I through a bag of cheddar combos into the mix, I feel bloated and sluggish. So - I try not to do that. Lol!

For me, I knew something like Atkins was out of the questions. I would actually rather eat apples than bacon. I am not going to do any shake drinks - they do not satisfy me. I am not going to attend meetings (no time with an 18 mo old! AND I would rather spend that time going to a Zumba class). I am not going to buy over-priced pre-package meals that would without a doubt give me heartburn. I just KNOW that these are things that I am not going to stick with... so I don't do them!

Instead, I have been experimenting with new things - trying new veggies (turns out, I love all squashes and eggplant is quite tasty on the grill) - trying new grains (I like quinoa, but I like barley better). I am looking at options other than chicken for protein - cottage cheese, fish and I would love to hear if there are any good tufo type things out there.

And all of this is stuff that my hubby and son can eat, which is important to me, b/c I am not cooking multiple meals.

(sorry - I didn't mean for this to be so long!!)


KarenBee
08-17-2010, 12:21 AM
Calorie counting -- it was an easy choice for me. I went on my very first 1500 calorie diet when I was in the 8th grade, in 1970. I have been aware of how many calories are in things since then, and have counted calories on and off over the years.

Besides, it just makes the most sense to me -- in order to lose weight, you need to take in less calories than you burn.

Another huge consideration is that it is free -- I have zero money to spend on special diet anything. And the thought of eating pre-packaged meals turns my stomach -- I like real food too much.

canadianwoman
08-17-2010, 11:54 AM
Just wondering, how did you decide what diet/plan to follow?

I tried a LOT of different plans but I decided that an exchange plan using low glycemic choices would work best for me.(At least that is what I am hoping :) )



What were the main characteristics of your plan that made you pick it?

I can control the calories, choices and the carbs.

billiegee
08-17-2010, 12:56 PM
I was interested in high protein, low carb diets, like medifast and ideal protein, because I have seen them cause remarkable results. They require high protein - but not total protein - intake, plus limited carbs plus one or two meals of fairly specific "real" food.

The foods they sell contain minimum carbs and maximum protein, PLUS reduced calories. Generally when you eat medifast meals they have carbs which are offset by high protein content. This keeps you in a "milder" stare of ketosis, so you're not constipated, grouchy and headachy, and dying for something that is not meat, chicken, fish, etc.

I decided to try this in a way that would not cost me $300/month. But I follow Medifast completely. I read food labels like a hawk. I carry with me at all times the nutritional values of every food they sell, so that any food I buy "matches" their products. The diet is available at their website. I make my shakes and drinks out of big jars of Whey Protein Isolates, or health food store brands, at a cost of about $1, instead of over $2 each. I use bars purchased at a health food store - also about $1, instead of over $2. I buy oatmeal and pancakes on ebay for about half the cost of medifast.

I totally recommend high protein/low carbs. The idea is brilliant. I have lost 7 lbs. in 3 weeks. At my age - 70 - that is wonderful. I rarely crave anything outside the diet. I vary the flavors of some things with sugar-free (carb free) syrups. My daughter has lost 40 lbs in 5 (?) months.

I will keep you posted about my progress, and share any information I've found.

kaplods
08-17-2010, 01:17 PM
I've lost 85 lbs, and it hasn't been on just one plan. It's been several, and it may be several more before I'm done.

Or maybe not.

My doctor recommended low-carb, and I've experimented different carb levels to see how low I have to go. I've been dieting since I was 5 years old, and am most familiar with exchange plan dieting (Weight Watchers was an exchange plan until 1997). If I can, I tend to translate any plan I'm on into an exchange plan. Any "style" of diet can be translated into an exchange plan (or a calorie counting plan for that matter), so it's a way to keep one aspect of my plan constant.

Because the foods within each exchange have similar carb and calorie content, it's also a way to count calories and carbs without having to do all of the math myself. It also helps me keep a balance to my diet, as with "straight" calorie counting I tend to go drift towards extremes. Too many servings of my favorite food groups, and little or none of those I'm not crazy about.

I budget in 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables, though my minimum is 4. I essentially consider veggies unlimited, as I've only reached 10 occasionally.

When I follow my plan, I do pretty well, but I make a lot of mistakes. In the past I always used that as an excuse to give up, because I thought it meant I was "doomed to fail." Instead, I learned that even with a lot of mistakes, I can make progress. So the only "rule" I've given myself is that I can't give up.

So far, that's worked better in the long run than any of the food plan components. I lose slower, but I don't regain. That's been a miracle for me. I've never gone so long, not by a long shot without a regain.

billiegee
08-17-2010, 03:34 PM
If it produces the miracles you are describing, it's good. One of the reasons I chose to follow the high protein/low carb plan is that my daughter is so committed to it. That way, when I am deciding what to eat when we are eating together, I don't hear "that's ridiculous" or "doesn't work" etc. She can comment on the fact that my off-brand meal substitutes are not as good as the $300+ per month kind, but it makes it possible for me to love the mother of my grandchildren and stay with a weight loss plan that is working.

My preference for meal substitutes - shakes, drinks, bars, etc. - comes from the fact that losing weight is so difficult because, unlike people who want to give up alcohol or drugs, for instance, we have to look at the things we are addicted to constantly. Every time I have to eat, I am fighting my food addiction again. Drinking a shake or drink, or eating some other thing that requires no thought about food makes it possible for me to actually go for a fraction of a second without thinking about food. LOL - I can actually go for hours without any thought of food. All I think is: Time for a shake. Time for a bar. No thought of food. That is my miracle.

billiegee
08-17-2010, 03:58 PM
These diets, which provide special foods and your personal advisor want you to believe the process is magical, not to really understand it If you think it's magical or secret, what will happen when you go back to real food? A dear firend is on the ideal protein diet and has lost 25 lbs in 3 months. Nothing has worked for her in a long time, so she is delirious.

She emailed me the other day to say that she had been at a camping retreat the previous weekend, and she didn't lose weight because she couldn't get all the green vegetables she was supposed to have and so she went out of ketosis.

The green vegetable really have nothing to do with ketosis. They are primarily for the purpose of variety and nutrients without affecting ketosis. She is an educated professional woman, but has said to me, "oh I guess there are some secret ingredients in their foods." I was going to email her back and say that the green vegetables don't have anything to do with ketosis, but if she needs the process to be mystical, perhaps I should not interfere. ???

For me knowledge is power. Maybe that is not true for everybody.