Weight Loss Support - Strategies of 'dieting'




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Two threes are six
09-08-2011, 09:21 AM
For my weight loss (as opposed to my diet), I am wondering about the difference practical strategies than one can follow. For example, I have seen some calorie counters (and I am one of them) deliberately stagger their weekly calorie intake; they might take 1800, or more or less 1800 calories, on most days of the week, but have one or two other days where they will drop their intake significantly.

But I have been thinking about another side to this. Is there any mileage in going part of the day with few, if any calories, and then topping up to a 'reasonable' amount of calories later in the day?

I came to thinking like this as today, for example, I set out deliberately to make today a very short day on the calorie front. ie, whereas I might take somewhere between 1500 and 1800 calories, I chose today to cut right back. So I had my usual small breakfast of porridge, 3gms sugar and a coffee (also with sugar).

What I hadn't bargained for was having a problem at work which meant I was very late in having my usual late morning snack-cum-lunch. I usually aim for five meals of about 200-300 calories with the fourth, dinner, being ore like 500-600.

So in fact, I did not eat my second meal until around 1330hrs - much later than usual. Right now, not only am I calorie deficient in terms of what I eat in the entire day, but also relative to what I eat in the rest of the week.

Finally, getting to my point, is this also a viable strategy for fooling the body in the way that eating a random amount of food daily is supposed to be?

Sorry for ramble.


TheManekiNeko
09-08-2011, 09:30 AM
Maybe you should look at intermittent fasting. It's when you have an eating window, usually about 6 hours, during the day and this is the only time that you are allowed to eat.

For instance at the moment I break fast at 2pm and will have finished eating by 10pm.

IF works for me much better than calorie counting does. If you are interested in finding out more there are some IF threads on 3fc.

TL0812
09-08-2011, 09:35 AM
If I understand your question, the answer is no there is no value in eating the majority of your calories at once. In fact it might actually be stalling your weight loss.

It is true, weight loss is essentially calories in vs calories out but not eating for a prolonged period of time can cause fluctuations in blood sugar which can make you feel terrible, cause cravings, and make your body hold onto the calories once you do get them because it thinks you are starving all day.

It is much better to space out your meals like you had been doing. We all get busy some times and can't fit a meal in here or there and that is okay. One day shouldn't make that much of a difference but I don't think it is a good long term strategy.

As far as varying your calories day to day, I know there are a lot of people on this site that do this and it seems to work for them. I don't find it does anything for me. I aim for 1500 calories a day give or take 100.


2sw33t
09-08-2011, 09:44 AM
I second the suggestion to look into intermittent fasting, though this tends to be a bit easier if you are eating lower carb (read: less likely to have blood sugar spikes and valleys). I do my own version of IF - I drink only coffee with cream or half 'n half until lunch. It ends up being a slightly larger eating window (up to 8 hours), but it does help me keep overall food intake lower than when I eat from the moment I get up until the moment I go to bed.

So anyway, if it was easy for you to "fast" for part of the day, I say give it a try.

Esofia
09-08-2011, 09:46 AM
Go with whatever works best for you in terms of sustaining the dieting, feeling energetic, eating a reasonable amount rather than being so hungry you binge. For some people, that's little and often; for some it's three square meals and no snacks; some like eating in a small window (Intermittent Fasting) while others need to eat regularly otherwise their blood sugar gets unhappy. Being able to keep up the diet comfortably and happily is the main thing here. Weight loss is basically calories in vs. calories out, and your body doesn't care when you have those calories.

Two threes are six
09-08-2011, 10:57 AM
Thanks for those replies - very useful and interesting. I'm very much a beginner when it comes to understanding weight loss, andI do have other questions, naturally.

I was interested to note that the concept of cals in vs cals out came up a couple of times from different posters, and that chimes with my own view. That makes me think I need to ask a question about the food types we eat - ie, starches/carbs, proteins etc, and I'll do so on another thread, I think.

Thanks again.

RJ 1980
09-08-2011, 11:07 AM
Go with whatever works best for you in terms of sustaining the dieting, feeling energetic, eating a reasonable amount rather than being so hungry you binge. For some people, that's little and often; for some it's three square meals and no snacks; some like eating in a small window (Intermittent Fasting) while others need to eat regularly otherwise their blood sugar gets unhappy. Being able to keep up the diet comfortably and happily is the main thing here. Weight loss is basically calories in vs. calories out, and your body doesn't care when you have those calories.

This!! For me, what I've discovered works is 2-3 larger meals a day. I don't eat breakfast and my first meal of the day is usually around 1 or 2 pm. I see no point in making myself eat when I'm not hungry, so I don't. I get hungriest at night, so it's great that I wind up having a good majority of calories left at that time. I also have a 'range' of calories instead of one set number limit. One day I may eat 1300 cals, the next 1800. I aim for an average of 1500.

I feel that what works for YOU is usually what's best. I do think it's mostly just a matter of a calorie is a calorie, no matter when you eat them.

runningfromfat
09-08-2011, 11:24 AM
Go with whatever works best for you in terms of sustaining the dieting, feeling energetic, eating a reasonable amount rather than being so hungry you binge. For some people, that's little and often; for some it's three square meals and no snacks; some like eating in a small window (Intermittent Fasting) while others need to eat regularly otherwise their blood sugar gets unhappy. Being able to keep up the diet comfortably and happily is the main thing here. Weight loss is basically calories in vs. calories out, and your body doesn't care when you have those calories.

Yep to everything written here.

You have to do what works for you and what makes you least likely to overeat. I've found pushing back breakfast somewhat helps me a lot. Even if I'm up at 6am I try not to eat it until closer to 9am or later. It's really cut down on late afternoon hunger (and I make sure to have a snack them too).

You might even find that you want to change this up a bit some months down the road. Your nutritional needs and lifestyle aren't always static so just play around with your meal times/food choices if you find yourself getting all of a suddent hungry at certain times per day.

dragonwoman64
09-08-2011, 12:42 PM
That makes me think I need to ask a question about the food types we eat - ie, starches/carbs, proteins etc, and I'll do so on another thread, I think. Thanks again.

I've noticed that starches (mostly breads) tend not to hold me, I get hungry faster and I'll retain water from overeating them, so I'll see a blip up in my weight. The same tends to be true when I have sugar -- it increases my appetite when it's actually full of calories.

An apple is a good snack for me, bec it's sweet and full of fiber and low cal. I'll eat my fruits rather than have fruit juices for that reason.

when I eat a protein, like chicken, asparagus (which is a natural diuretic) and mashed yams it's like the ultimate diet dinner, ha. lots of fiber, holds me hungerwise, and tends to get rid of my excess water weight.

I also try not to use any artificial sweeteners or "diet foods" (foods that are sold as lower calorie specifically for dieting) bec I feel like they don't really satisfy my cravings, and so can lead to me eating more. plus, lower fat items can end up having more of other ingredients, like sugars, to make up for the flavor deficit.

I eat my potatoes with the skin on when possible, lots of nutrients there, and the fiber helps.

the water drinking has become controversial, for decades weight loss programs have advocated drinking lots of water. I do notice that drinking more water helps to satisfy what I may think is hunger. plus, for exercise and my general well being, ha, I like to stay more hydrated (rather than less)