General Diet Plans and Questions - Resurrecting the Exchange Plan Support Thread

12-13-2010, 05:31 PM
Our Exchange plan support thread was going strong and then fizzled a few months ago, I think because it was under the LA Weight Loss plan (which is an exchange plan).

I thought this was a good time to ressurect the exchange plan support thread, and move it the Calorie Counters, where I think it fits better (since LAWL isn't the only exchange plan).

I know some people would argue that exchange plans aren't calorie counting, but I think there's more arguments for it being a way to count calories than against. After all, each exchange has approximately the same calorie count, so if you follow an 1800 calorie exchange plan, your calorie count is is going to average 1800 calories. You've counted those calories without counting each calorie. Counting by 5's or other units, is still counting. Rounding and estimation are still counting.

So fellow exchange plan followers, where is everybody?

12-13-2010, 09:15 PM
Hi Colleen! It's fine to have it here in CC but we could also move it to General Plans if you think you might get more responses.

I like to follow an exchange plan myself and I've had some good success with it.

What does your exchange plan look like?

12-14-2010, 02:26 AM
I trust your judgement, wherever you think it fits best.

12-14-2010, 02:41 AM
What does your exchange plan look like

I based my exchange plan on the high-protein (lower carb) plans I found on the hillbillyhousewife website

but I tweaked it a bit, because I tend to calorie cycle (so I can eat more on high-hunger days, and eat less on low-hunger days, and so I can eat a little more fat during TOM when I seem to be ravenous for it). I used the 1200 calorie high-protein plan as my "minimum" and then based my maximum mostly on the 1800 calorie plan plan as my "maximum." My fat and vegetable maximum limits are higher than the hillbillyhousewife limits (but mostly I take advantage of the fat and veggies during TOM).

My tweaked plan (1200 - 2000 calories)

2 - 4 Bread exchanges
2 - 8 vegetable exchanges
8 -12 protein exchanges
2 - 3 fruit exchanges
2 milk exchanges
3-8 fat exchanges

I also use the higher carb plans when low-carb eating isn't convenient. For example, on Dec 18, we're having our Christmas with my husband's family (who all think low-carb eating is very unhealthy). I probably will follow the 1800 calorie high-carbohydrate or middle-of-the road plan on the hillbillyhousewife site.

1800 calorie high-carb plan

9 Bread exchanges
4 vegetable exchanges
6 protein exchanges
3 fruit exchanges
2 milk exchanges
4 fat exchanges

1800 calorie middle-of-the-road plan
7 Bread exchanges
4 vegetable exchanges
10 protein exchanges
3 fruit exchanges
2 milk exchanges
4 fat exchanges

12-14-2010, 04:42 PM
I'm so happy to see this thread here in CC, since that is my main focus, but I also want to keep and eye on exchanges. Thank you, Colleen, for bringing it back to life.

The middle-of-the-road approach might be best for me to begin with, personally. I can tweak it if necessary.

I'm thinking I get more than enough fat and vegetables, and need to eat more fruits and proteins. I get lots of vegetables every day, because I love them so much!

How do you track your calories and exchanges?

12-14-2010, 05:13 PM
Until recently, I was using worksheets I created with my spreadsheet program. Every time I changed my plan, I would create a new worksheet, and print them out. I kept them in a binder of all sorts of weight loss tools (progress charts and stickers, articles and recipes I'd saved...). When the 8 x11 binder became WAY too heavy for me to work with, I shrunk the worksheets down to a 5.5 x 8 size dayplanner size (but even that got too heavy).

The worksheet was fairly simple, just boxes that I could check off, and space to write notes/log specific food eaten. The minimum exchanges were white boxes, and the optional exchanges were shaded boxes, and under the boxes I created lined workspace to log the time, the foods eaten, and the exchanges used and calorie estimation counts.

Really the calorie estimation was overkill, because the exchanges count the calories, but I did it anyway out of force of habit.

I have a lot of joint pain with arthritis and fibro, both are much worse in the winter, and I found that I was avoiding documenting because the journal was just too heavy.

I've changed my journal format though, and am now using small, spiral bound college-ruled notebooks, and I take it everywhere. I don't just journal what I'm eating, I journal everything. For example I even draw a face and draw my skin issues (I'm severely broken out today, so I drew the red and pimply areas on my face diagram).

I start each day with the Date, skip a couple lines and then write (each on it's own line) Protein, Veggies, Fat, Milk, Fruit, Carb and then use a tiny ruler (that I keep in the pocket of the notebook) to draw 11 vertical lines, to make 10 boxes for each exchange. It gives me 60 boxes total).

I don't use all 10 of course, but I know my range limits by heart (when I started, I wrote them in parenthesis after each exchange name, but before the boxes).

I just check off boxes as I eat them, and write in my journal when I ate the meal/snack and what I ate (and out of habit the calorie estimation).

I write down as much as I can - what the weather/temp is like, how I'm feeling physically and emotionally, hunger/craving issues, naps, pain charts....

Those also I have on a worksheet, but now I just write everything in the little notebook, as it happens.

I find I actually document more this way, so my plan is to save the notebooks (writing the start and end date on the cover).

12-15-2010, 09:34 AM
Colleen - That's very similar to my method. Remember the old WW sheets that had the boxes for exchanges? That's how I got the idea to put mine at the bottom of the page, one for each exchange, and I also include boxes for water consumption and exercise. The whole top part of the daily record form is blank, and that's where I itemize my daily food. I usually do this while watching TV the night before. These pages go in a 3-ring binder, and I also have sections in it for my weight record, and other miscellaneous notes. After each month, I take the daily record pages out and store them on a shelf in the closet so the binder isn't too heavy.

Now, in planning today's menus, I find I an short on milk/dairy. I will have 2 T of cheese on my noon salad, and 1/2 milk on cereal before bed. I do not like yogurt, and try to avoid puddings with artificial sweeteners. I guess I can just drink a glass of milk, but would like to add something more exciting than that, haha. Any suggestions? I was also short on fruit, but I can easily remedy that.

12-15-2010, 02:56 PM
Now, in planning today's menus, I find I an short on milk/dairy... I will have 2 T of cheese on my noon salad, and 1/2 milk on cereal before bed. I do not like yogurt, and try to avoid puddings with artificial sweeteners. I guess I can just drink a glass of milk, but would like to add something more exciting than that, haha. Any suggestions? I was also short on fruit, but I can easily remedy that.

The milk/dairy exchange is the hardest for me to fit in (and I take a calcium supplement, just in case I don't).

One thing that I've carried over from WW is that I count anything that has at least 20% of the RDA as a dairy exchange. So I actually use sardines to fulfil dairy exchanges. If I already used my dairy for the day, I count them as all protein.

So for 140 calories of sardines, I count as 1 milk and 1 protein exchanges (I eat the bones though. I'm not sure they'd still count if you pick them out). For sardines packed in non-oil marinades, the calories of one can is usually about 140 calories. If they're packed in oil (and drained before eating), it's about 190 calories (1 dairy, 1 protein, 1 fat).

Last night I still had my dairy exchanges left (and didn't want sardines), so I made Nestles's Women's Wellness Hot Cocoa. I made it with 8 ounces of skim milk (instead of the 6 ounces called for). The cocoa itself has 80 calories (and a whopping 35% RDA of calcium), so with the milk it came to 170 calories and a total of 55% RDA of calcium.

I'm not a huge fan of hot cocoa either, but it satisfied my TOM chocolate craving (except for TOM, I'm not much of a chocolate fan).

I think tonight I'm going to do the cocoa again, but will add a little cherry or raspberry flavoring.

Some cheeses can count as dairy exchanges (using the 20+% guideline). So I'll count 80 to 90 calories of cheese as a dairy (for hard cheeses like swiss, usually about an ounce to an ounce and a half).

12-15-2010, 03:52 PM
Hi, may I join you?

I lost my weight and am maintaining that loss by following the Richard Simmons Healthy Eating plan, and using the Foodmover. This is basically an exchange program

Following this plan helps me control the size of my portions, and eat a good balance of healthy foods.

Goodness me, I've been on this plan for almost 11 years now. How time flies when you are having fun. :D It has been a good plan for me, and I'm glad I stumbled on it back in 1999.

12-15-2010, 04:07 PM
Welcome JoJoJo! Yes, please do jump right in. A big whoo hoo for you, reaching maintenance! :carrot:

Colleen - I added some hard cheese to increase my dairy. Good idea - using the cocoa made with milk - thanks for that. I often get strong chocolate cravings, so that would be just the thing! Nice way to warm up on these chilly days, too.

Since not everyone here will be counting calories, I will recommend to Midwife that she go ahead and move this thread to General Plans. :)

12-15-2010, 04:12 PM
Welcome JoJoJo,

I've done Richard Simmons plans too. I had the deal-a-meal cards, and the foodmover.

The website has cards you can print out, much like the deal-a-meal cards. I thought it might be copyright infringement, but I learned that Richard Simmons didn't invent the concept. A dietitian who did, sued him, but I don't know how the case was resolved. I've heard varying accounts, some that she won, some that she settled out of court for unspecified damages, and some that it was considered a non-copyrightable concept, as food exchanges are considered public doman (because the American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association which created the original diabetic exchange plan wanted it that way).

12-15-2010, 04:15 PM
Moved. :)

12-15-2010, 04:25 PM
Thank you, Midwife!

12-15-2010, 06:13 PM
I have tinkered with the plan myself, mostly limiting the simple carbs since I am a diabetic. All plans get tinkered with, don't they?

As for any lawsuits, that was before I got interested in the exchange program. All the materials I have refer to the Richard Simmons program as being in agreement with the American Dietetic Assn. and the American Diabetic Assn. exchange programs. As to who invented it, that is of absolutely no interest to me.

It does work for me, that is what is important to me. :wave:

12-15-2010, 08:33 PM
Neither ADA sued Richard Simmons, it was a dietitian not associated with either ADA who sued Richard Simmons for using a playing card-based system. She couldn't sue him based on using an exchange plan (because that's public domain, because both ADA's have officially put it there - at least that's the rumor), she was suing him claiming the playing card idea was hers.

I don't know what actually happened in the case, just the conflicting rumors.
Not that it matters. I wasn't saying it is relevant to anyone - I'm just a trivia nut, and tend to insert little bits of trivia into posts.

I thought it was interesting, not necessarily relevant.

12-15-2010, 09:32 PM
The most successful plan I was on for weight loss was based on Weight Watchers food exchanges (they called it Selection) system. Showing my age I know. From there, I read about a new concept called Calorie Points from an article in Shape magazine in the 1980's. It was an easy way to count calories that dieticians used, long before WW ever came up with their convoluted system.

So I combined the two. I knew a fruit was 60 calories (1 calorie point), a protein 75 calories (1 calorie point), a fat was 1/2 calorie point, etc.

I stayed on my own hybrid plan for years. Honestly, I just lost it all and gained weight when the Weight Watchers points came out!

I think the food exchange system is an easy way of counting calories, even without the calorie point system that intrigued me so.

I'm glad to see a thread on it. Yes, I saw TOPS has cards one can use. How great of them to give downloads. I particularly like their diner calorie pad. So cute and useful!

12-16-2010, 09:33 AM
Good morning!

Coffeebrain - Yay for you, tweaking your own plan! I am convinced that we do much better when we do that to fit our own lifestyles and tastes. After all, this if for life, so it has to be something we can live with.

Colleen - the hot chocolate worked out for me yesterday. Thanks for suggesting it.

JoJoJo - how did you do yesterday?

Well, I found out that 7 breads is too many for me! Four or five is plenty. I do keep them healthy - whole grains, yada yada, for the most part. Also, 10 oz. proteins was 1 too many, so I've lessened that exchange, and increased my veggies. I would like to decrease the fruit, too, but won't just yet. When I figured my calories for today, after planning it all out, I was right on target. Seems 1700-1750, with 200-300 extra on Sundays works for me, and keeps me happy.

Off topic - my county in Indiana was hit hard with ice. All of our roads are closed, and even emergency vehicles are sliding off the roads. Scary business! My DH Neal had a doctor's appt. today, but I'll reschedule.

Have a good day. :)

12-16-2010, 12:10 PM
Checking in -

This is a difficult time of year for anyone who is trying to lose weight or to maintain that weight loss. There are so many tasty treats lying around, just calling my name.

I really don't want to gain any lbs., and I would like to cheer in the New Year at the weight I am. So I am taking it easy, saying "No, thank you" a lot, and enjoying the season.

We are expecting the school children from our parochial school who will be coming to sing carols to us this morning. That should be fun.

I hope everyone is having a great day. Let's enjoy this Christmas season.

12-16-2010, 02:28 PM
Good morning!

Colleen - the hot chocolate worked out for me yesterday. Thanks for suggesting it. :)

Glad it helped.

This thread has really inspired me to be more diligent about including my dairy, so I tried something new (well old, really) and that is milk jello.

My grandma used to make it with regular jello. If you use milk instead of cold water, the jello sets up in two layers. A creamy bottom layer, and an almost clear top layer. With orange jello, it tastes kind of like a dreamsicle.

You dissolve the sugar free jello in 3/4 cup of hot water. Then you add three or four ice cubes. When the ice cubes are melted, you add a cup of milk, and refrigerate until it's set.

I forgot about the ice cubes and used a cup of hot water and then a cup of milk.

DON'T DO THAT. If you pour the cold milk into the hot jello, it will curdle the milk, so you get threads of curd in the creamy layer. It still tastes good, but has a weird texture.

An other variation is to whip it with a hand blender after it sets (you can do that with plain sugar free jello too - or use a carton of yogurt in place of the milk).

I love whipped jello, because it's light and creamy like a mousse.

12-17-2010, 10:45 AM
Checking in -

The carolers came right on time yesterday morning and we really enjoyed having them. They were 1st and 2nd graders from our parochial school, and they did a great job with their singing. It put us right in the mood for Christmas.

I did make that milk jello that Kaplods mentioned yesterday, and it turned out just fine, a real treat. I used Almond Breeze for part of the milk, and that worked OK.

Let's make this a great day.

12-17-2010, 04:39 PM
Just popping in to say hi, and that I am OP, but just don't have a lot of time right now to chit chat. Neal had back surgery the 6th, and has some complications from that. We just got back from the doc, and I'm behind on everything. I will be back when I can chat more. :grouphug:

12-18-2010, 10:19 AM
I am thinking about doing my Deal A Meal cards again but I was wondering how to update them. Some foods that were not available back when DAM came out are available nowadays, like almond milk or coconut milk.

12-18-2010, 01:03 PM
Hi, Canadianwoman:

I use the Foodmover, and never had the Deal a Meal cards. However you could check with the Richard Simmons site and see if you could get a specific answer there.

I do know that almond milk is 30 cal. for 1/2 cup (also 4 carbs, 1 fat, 1 protein) so I count it as 1 extra on the Foodmover. I do use almond milk upon occasion.

The coconut milk is 50 cal. for 1/3 cup (also 4 carbs, 4 fat, 0 protein) but I've never used coconut milk.

Any dietary plan needs to be 'tweaked' at times, we just have to do the best we can.

As for me, it's 1 week until Christmas. I am trying with all my might to resist the tempting treats that are calling my name with great gusto this time of year. But I am hoping to get to 2011 without that Holiday weight gain that can so easily happen.

Let's all be careful with what we eat today, and every day. :wave:

12-18-2010, 01:11 PM
Thank you Jo. I am not a member of the Richard Simmons website but maybe I will email over there and see if someone gives me an answer.
I am just kind of wondering.

I just did an online grocery order. I got a $30.00 credit so I figured what the heck. I ordered lots of fruit, nuts, lean meats,veggies and a loaf of bread I have been wanting to try for a while. It is a cranberry and pumpkin seed loaf.
Groceries arrive here on Monday so I will start back on my deal a meal then.

I don't celebrate Christmas so no problems with starting now.

12-18-2010, 01:55 PM
There are a few ways you can determine the exchange values for any food.

You can google the food name and the words "diabetic exchanges." Many diabetic websites have huge databases of foods.

Some of the diabetic sites let you put in the nutrition information from a lable and will calculate the exchange (I don't use this one, so I can't recall any of the websites specifically).

If you have the nutrition label you can calculate their exchange value.

There's a "how to" chapter on doing the calculation in the book "Exchanges for All Occasions" (at least in the 4th edition). I bought mine on

Here's a website article that explains it also, although it's not as clear on how to calculate the values for combination foods. It requires a bit of trial and error math, and it's not an exact science, meaning we both could come up with different answers and they'd both be right.

12-18-2010, 03:41 PM
Hi all,

Colleen - thanks for the info on the book. Casseroles, soups, stews, etc are sometimes time consuming to calculate.

Jo - I'm trying, too, to avoid all the Christmas goodies everywhere! So far, so good, but next week will be a nightmare for me (and probably for almost everyone else reading this, lol).

Canadianwoman - the bread sounds good. I have trouble leaving food like that alone, though, so I freeze each loaf in thirds when I make or buy them.

Coffeebrain - :wave:

Once again, I was short one-half of a milk exchange and 1 fruit for today. :dizzy: I added 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 a banana as a snack. Plan, plan, plan!!

Does anyone know of an exchange app for smartphones?

Have a good weekend!

12-19-2010, 06:08 PM
Checking in -

Today was church and Bible class, then we went to a restaurant for lunch. Restaurant eating presents its own problems, but I do have my handy little Richard Simmons Food Mover Restaurant and International Food Exchange Booklet plus my little Carb & Calorie Counter booklet. These booklets help me make a good guess at the exchange intake. :wave:

It is cold and rainy here today. And if it freezes tonight, as it probably will, tomorrow will be a real mess.

But we keep smiling -

12-20-2010, 11:14 AM
Canadianwoman - the bread sounds good. I have trouble leaving food like that alone, though, so I freeze each loaf in thirds when I make or buy them.

I'm looking forward to trying the bread. Good idea on the freezing. I may just do that. Since my youngest son has finished highschool, I still have an abundant supply of sandwich baggies so I just might put a slice in each one and freeze the whole loaf. Then when I want a slice I can take one at a time.
Good breads are my downfall.

I am really looking forward to the brazil nuts I ordered. I can have 6 nuts for each fat exchange (4).

Anyway since my groceries will not be here until 6 pm today, I thought I would start tomorrow and that way I can further indulge in the chinese food we ordered last night for lunch today.

12-20-2010, 11:18 AM
I do have my handy little Richard Simmons Food Mover Restaurant and International Food Exchange Booklet plus my little Carb & Calorie Counter booklet. These booklets help me make a good guess at the exchange intake. :wave:

I love my CalorieKing counter book for just that very thing.:)

12-20-2010, 11:44 AM
I'm starting my traditional Christmas jerky today. We're visiting my family in Illinois this Christmas and I was told (jokingly) that I'd better bring jerky or I'd be in big trouble.

I love it myself, but the salt aways adds a few pounds of water retention. That's not the problem, as if I'm on plan it disappears in a few days. I just have to be extra dedicated to documenting absolutely everything so that I don't try to convince myself that "it's only water rentention," when it's really lack of portion control.

The jerky is low-carb, but it's also addictive, and there's not a food on the planet that I can't find a way to eat enough of to stall weight loss (well maybe iceberg lettuce, but I wouldn't even guarantee that I couldn't find a way to overeat that - maybe by deep frying it or something).

12-20-2010, 02:37 PM
Checking in -

Deep fried iceberg lettuce, that that is a tempting thought. :D I got rid of my deep fryer many years ago, so I can't try it. Shucks and other comments.

I do bake lots of Christmas breads for gifts, but I find that I'm much better off if I avoid that first bite. Freezing is a great idea though.

This morning I did my exercise early. If I don't do it early it might not get done.

Let's all work on making this a great day. :wave:

12-20-2010, 03:25 PM
I don't remember the last time I deep fried anything. I've never owned a deep fryer (my mom & dad had the fry baby when I was a kid. I only remember them using it for vegetable tempura and making taco salad shells from flour tortillas, and about once every two years for homemade fritters/donuts and rosette cookies. I don't even think they ever used for french fries because Mom always baked fries. I think they made onion rings and chicken in it once each).

We did great this year for holiday treats for ourselves. Hubby bought a bag of pistachios, and I bought a bag of cherry flavored sweetened craisins.

VIsiting my parents is going to be rough, because even though my Mom says she drastically cut back on her holiday baking, there'll still be crazy amounts. She didn't make peanut brittle or carmel corn this year either, but did make her amazing homemade caramels. I told hubby I'm debating between having one piece per day we are there, or setting a few aside to only eat on the way home. I think I'll have more luck eating absolutely none, and then taking three pieces to eat on the ride home (so there's no way to get more when I run out).

They're so addictive, it will be easier not to eat any while I'm there, than to eat one and stop there.

My aunt will also make a lot of chocolates, but every year she uses cheaper and cheaper "chocolate" so she can make tons and tons more candy (so instead of a few good candies, she makes a truckload of crappy ones. She uses the cheap dipping/coating candies that can't even be called chocolate, instead they're "chocolate-flavored coating" or "chocolate-flavored candy melts..."

She used to make one I liked (when she used good quality chips), that was white chocolate flavored bark with crushed potato chips. Sounds entirely trailer-trash, I know, but they were awesome. Not only did she start using waxier, cheaper candy for the coating, she started using cheaper and cheaper potato chips, so instead of being sort of like a chocolate pretzel in flavor, they're just greasy, sweet, salt.

The biggest problem is going to be her guilt-tripping. For the most part, I have no problem standing my ground with food-pushers, and can do it diplomatically enough that no one gets angry. But that doesn't work with her. She doesn't just get offended, she throws a tantrum. It will probably be easiest to lie and tell her I ate a bunch of them, and how "great" they were.

For the most part, I believe honesty works better with most people, but I'm not above lying to keep family peace if I have to.

The best news though is that we're going to be staying with my sister (who bought a condo a few months ago) instead of my parents' house where all the food is going to be.

12-20-2010, 07:12 PM
Hello, all!

CanadianWoman - Brazil nuts are one of the foods Dr. Oz raves about. I love them!

Jo - there are many foods that I avoid the first bite, too. It's just easier that way. Not sure why some foods have a hold over me, but I'm doing my best to outsmart them, haha.

Colleen - although I made quite a few cookies, I made only a partial batch of candy this year, and used Ghirardelli chocolate for that. I decided that if I'm going to indulge at all, it should be worth it, lol.

Oh my goodness, I went to Walmart today and the place was wall-to-wall packed at 2 in the afternoon! Hopefully, I won't have to go back until after Christmas.

Have a good evening,

12-21-2010, 06:13 PM
Checking in -

It is cold and rainy here in Wyoming, and I think the rain will be turning to snow this evening. Maybe, just maybe, we will have a 'white Christmas' this year. We often do.

I'm being very careful on the dietary front as I have no desire to gain any weight over the Christmas weekend. So far, so good.

Let's keep being careful. :wave:

12-23-2010, 08:59 PM
Hi everyone! I can't post links yet, but I found a very good website for food exchange information and general diet and exercise info. Google exrx and select the first available.

12-25-2010, 04:38 AM
Two days of NOT following my exchange plan (or any plan, not even food logging).

Made decent choices compared to previous Christmases, but I need to get back on track right this minute to get back to Wisconsin (Tuesday or Wednesday) without a significant gain.

12-25-2010, 06:48 PM
Yes, holidays can be difficult, especially when you are visiting someone.

I've been fortunate this year in that I hosted the Christmas brunch for the family, therefore I was in charge of the food. I still overate a bit, but hopefully not too much. I did dip into the treats, so we will see when I hop on the scales tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

12-25-2010, 11:25 PM
Not successful today. Started out well (documenting everything), but the extreme stress drove me to self-medicate with carbohydrates (unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating).

I wasn't quite as prepared for the situation as I thought. I knew that there would be some extra family drama due to an in-progress divorce in the family, three children under 10, and two poorly trained puppies (one dripping urine practically non-stop, and both of them constantly jumping into our laps to french kiss us while piddling in our laps). The dogs' owners, getting angry that we "hate their dogs," just because we don't enjoy our tonsils being lick or being mauled, tripped, and urinated upon.

When we point out that their tugging on our pant legs and weaving around our legs could get the little buggers injured if we fall on top of them (as the biggest one barely weighs 6 pounds, and the smallest probably about 2), we're the villains for "threatening" to hurt their dogs. We aren't threatening to fall on them, we're afraid we're going to fall on them (as if I would be willing to hurt myself just to crush an annoying little dog).

Only two more days of this insanity.

12-26-2010, 11:55 AM
A big hello to anyone reading this, :wave:

Colleen - yikes! If these family members visit on a regular basis, I do believe I'd give them the 800 number to a hotel across town beforehand. I understand stress eating, and have been fortunate to find a way to help in those situations. Doesn't always work, but helps a whole lot to say to myself, "If I overeat because because of this problem, then I'll have two problems instead of one." I've been known to say it right out loud! Come here and vent whenever you need to, as part of the weight loss process.

JoJo - I was hostess at my house, too, but the family wants certain dishes and goodies at Christmas, especially since I don't offer many goodies throughout the year. Yay for you, keeping it under some control.

thinin08 - please join us for accountability and friendship.

CanadianWoman - hope you had a good holiday, and will be checking in here soon. :)

I hope you each had a Merry Christmas, barring any snafus w/relatives, lol. My kids and grands were all here, but we had to move it all up from Christmas Eve evening to noonish, because of the snow. The little ones were so excited, and brought such magic to the celebration!

I ate too much Friday and yesterday, but not nearly as much as I wanted, lol. Today I threw away all the "problematic" goodies that the kids didn't take home. I am serious about losing this weight, and it just isn't worth it for me to eat my way through the New Year as I have in past years. Actually, in the past, I would begin at T'giving, only to be many heavier and very remorseful in January.

Have a good Sunday.

12-26-2010, 01:28 PM
A big hello to anyone reading this, :wave:

Colleen - yikes! If these family members visit on a regular basis, I do believe I'd give them the 800 number to a hotel across town beforehand. I understand stress eating, and have been fortunate to find a way to help in those situations. Doesn't always work, but helps a whole lot to say to myself, "If I overeat because because of this problem, then I'll have two problems instead of one." I've been known to say it right out loud! Come here and vent whenever you need to, as part of the weight loss process.

We're the ones doing the visiting, and the ones who can't afford a hotel room. When they visit us (about twice a year) it's a lot less stressful, because they don't bring the dogs, they stay in a hotel, and they usually only stay the weekend. I'm also less prone to stress-eating on my own turf, especially because I don't keep trigger foods around the house. Even the food I have for guests is usually food that has minimal binge potential.

When we visit them, we have so many friends and family in the area that we try to stay at least 4 days. We used to stay a week or more. Everyone complains that we don't stay longer anymore (but by the time we're leaving, you can tell they're getting sick of us too).

We were planning on leaving for home on Tuesday, but maybe Monday is a better idea.

12-26-2010, 02:14 PM
Those poorly trained puppies sound awful. That would stress me out for sure, and I would try my best to avoid them in the future.

I got the "munchies" yesterday evening, which did affect my glucose levels. I should do better than that. The scales were not affected all that much though.

Today is is firmly back on that proverbial "wagon." I do get tired of climbing back on the silly thing. You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now.

Let's all keep trying. There's no alternative.

12-26-2010, 07:59 PM
Colleen - oh, I understand the situation now! I know that, if it were me, I'd be leaving sooner rather than later. At least now you know to not stay there again!

JoJo - we've all had our turns hopping back on the wagon, lol. Hopefully, the things you have to munch on are fairly healthful. I love bread and butter pickles, made with Splenda. They are so good on a Triscuit cracker, and a little cheese, when I have the exchanges/calories available.

I'm 100% back on the wagon, too. Feels good. :)

12-27-2010, 12:24 PM
Luckily we haven't spent overnights in the house with the dogs (it is where we usually have stayed, but my sister moved out a few months ago and now has a condo a few blocks away, so we're staying there). The house with the puppies and all the other chaos though is where all the family gathering for the holidays took place so there wasn't much choice if we wanted to participate (and if we didn't, there really wouldn't have been much point in visiting at all).

But the drama is mostly over. We decided to stay as planned. Hubby reminded me that leaving early didn't really shorten the time in hectic house, because we don't really have anything going on there today. We were planning shopping on our own today. If we do go back, it will only be for a few minutes to say goodbye to everyone.

I'm feeling better already (hate to see what damage I've done on the scale, though).

12-27-2010, 06:20 PM
Checking in -

This is the lull between Christmas and New Year's, the lull between the 'big feast' and 'party time.' New Year's will also mark the end of what I have always called "The Eatin' Season" which is that period of time beginning with Halloween and ending with the new year in which it is just one eating opportunity after another and they are all focused on FOOD. That's FOOD in abundance!

This is certainly not the most friendly time of year for those of us who are weight-challenged. It is always a bit difficult to navigate through all the parties and tasty treats

We just have to do our best, and that is what we should be doing every day of our lives. :wave:

12-28-2010, 08:16 AM
Colleen - hopefully, you made it home ok. I think there is snow in your area, right? We got only about 2 1/2 inches, here in southern Indiana.

JoJo - yes, it's the end of the parties for awhile. The boards here will be flooded with remorseful newbies, and I hope a few of them find their way to our thread, haha.

My weigh-in day is Friday, and I'll know then how I did over Christmas, and for the month of December in general. I'm hoping for good news.

I've got all the Christmas decorations put away, and am enjoying the look of the house in it's normal state, as it was before I put out the Fall things last September. Before we know it, there will be Spring bouquets to bring indoors!

Have a good day!

12-28-2010, 01:31 PM
Checking in -

We leave our Christmas decorations up until Epiphany so we are still in the mind-set of Christmas. However I am delighted to report that my weight remained steady through the Christmas feasting, and I am very happy about that. I would like to drop a couple more lbs., which may or may not happen. It is no biggie, I am in the maintenance mode.

Today I did my exercise, and will be doing the general housewifey stuff around here. We have no special plans for New Years, and that's OK by me.

Today let's eat carefully. . . . :wave:

12-28-2010, 05:51 PM
Made it home safe and sound, with sanity mostly intact.

It will take a few days to evaluate the damage of the less than stellar eating. The scale is up about ten pounds, but I know from experience that most of that is water gain, and if I push the fluids, cut out the salt, and return to low-carb, most of it will be gone in 4 or 5 days, so I'm giving myself until the weekend before changing my ticker. It's funny how an inaccurate ticker can inspire me to work harder to make it true. I hate feeling like a "liar" so the inaccuracy actually inspires me to work harder. Maybe I need to always keep my ticker at one pound less than reality, so that I'm always striving to reach that dangling carrot.

12-29-2010, 01:32 PM
Checking in -

Glad you are home safe and sound, and without adopting any of those doggies you met.

Yes, getting the Christmas lbs. off can be a challenge, but that type of weight tends to come off quickly. Mine did. And I don't change my ticker unless and until there has been a significant weight change.

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions, however I am planning to focus on getting myself well under that 130 mark so that I have a bit of leeway during 2011. It may happen, it may not. I'm not particularly worried about it.

My big focus is to continue to do my exercise and eat a good mix of healthy foods, thereby staving off the inevitable as long as possible.


01-01-2011, 07:34 PM
Hello to anyone reading this, :wave:

Colleen - I agree that most of your gain is probably water weight. And yes, do what you have to do to motivate yourself to stay OP!

JoJo - your focus sounds spot-on!

I'm happy to say that I lost 2.6 in the month of December. I can't remember ever losing in December before. Total gone now is 52 pounds. Slow, but consistent.

Here's to a healthy, happy New Year!

01-06-2011, 03:13 PM
Hi folks.. I have been doing the Richard Simmons Foodmover plan again since early November 2010. It's a real comfortable plan for me. I loved the old, old Weight Watchers Exchange plan, too. I had been doing calorie counting a long time and needed to change it up. I was scheduled for surgery last year and I thought following exchanges would be easier to manage while I was recouperating. The surgery was cancelled... but, I've stayed with the exchanges.

01-06-2011, 03:37 PM
Hi, Beverly:

If it works for you, stick with it. I've been using my Foodmover more or less regularly for 11 years now, and it is still working for me. In fact I am maintaining my weight-loss now.

Let's just keep plugging along with this weight-loss business. We are in this for the rest of our lives. :wave:

Have a great day.

01-06-2011, 05:21 PM
Hi Jojojo - I don't actually use my Foodmover (although, I still have it). I write down all the categories with corresponding lines to X on during the day in my journal - as I eat varioius foods. I have a notebook that I keep all journally stuff there.. So it's in there.

It's a good plan.

You are right... we must keep plugging along. :)

01-06-2011, 07:37 PM
Hi, Beverly:

It's confession time. I still have my Foodmover, too. It sits on the end table next to my recliner, but I seldom open it any more. I do follow the Exchange Plan, but I just do it as I remember it. My Foodmover serves as a coaster for my coffee cup. :D

Whatever works, right? Have a good day.

03-09-2011, 03:19 PM
Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the Exchange Plan but not new to 3FC. I am ready to begin the Food Mover Program and I'm thinking that exchanges are the way for me to go. I have just ordered some books and have been doing scads of research. I'm excited to do this!!!


03-09-2011, 03:40 PM
Hi Gwen,

I love exchange plans. I started on Weight Watcher's for the first time and my first exchange plan in 1974 (I was eight years old). I was really disappointed when WW switched over to the points system (somewhere around 1997 I think).

I wish they had at least continued to put exchange information in their cookbooks. I wish all cookbooks that included nutritional information included exchange plan information, but some people consider it obsolete (which is odd logic considering how many exchange plans and exchange plan cookbooks continue to published every year.

In a lot of ways I think it's easier than calorie counting (once you have the basics down), and it's an easy way to focus on balance. No matter what you consider balance (I laughed when I read someone criticising exchange plans for being "too high carb" because the person missed the obvious - you can choose any configuration of exchanges that you want, so if you want fewer carbs, swap out some of the carby exchanges for less carby ones (swapping breads for proteins is the most common switch).

I think one of the reasons our little thread keeps dying, is that unlike other diet plans, we tend not to compare our plan to the other plans, and there's no need to ask "can I eat this" on this plan - so that leaves us without much to say.

I wonder if sharing recipes, or cookbook recommendations/reviews might help.

03-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Hi, Gwen - best of luck to you with your Foodmover and the exchange plan. If there is any way I can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to ask.

I'm a firm believer in the value of exchange plans. I lost my weight using the Richard Simmons Foodmover, and it worked well for me.

I have several of the RS recipe books, and also some other recipe books that list exchanges.

Let's all just keep plugging along. :wave: