Weight Loss Support - Make your own "rules"

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01-19-2012, 10:10 PM
I am almost 50 years old, and have gained and lost my own body weight 10 times in my lifetime, lol. I've calorie counted, done low carb, done Weight Watchers... This time around when I decided to take control, I'm not doing a specific plan. I started out just cutting junk food and eating more fruits & veggies. I love beer, and wasn't about to give that up, so I just reduced the amount. The idea of systematically counting calories really just put me off and I didn't think I'd keep it up, so I don't do that.

After all my years of dieting, though, I have a pretty good idea of what is hi and low cal, and I've tailored my eating to that. I have no idea how many calories I eat in a given day, but I do read the nutrition info of anything packaged that I buy and portion accordingly. So far I seem to be hitting the right calorie amount to eat and still lose. I switched to Bud Select beer, which only has 55 calories a can, and I drink a few of those every day. They have very little alcohol, which is fine, because it gives me the taste of beer which is what I want- don't care about the buzz so much. I could probably be losing faster without it, but I'm really happy with what I'm doing because I feel like I'm having what I really want and still getting the results I want.

I am eating way more fruits and veggies, but I don't really cook and I eat a lot of frozen dinners, mostly Healthy Choice steamers. I know I should be watching sodium more, and I am aware of it, but I love salt and I figure, I can't reinvent the wheel as far as my diet.

I see a lot of people strictly tracking calories, or eating clean, and just curious if anybody else is sort of just cobbling together what you have learned about weight loss and your own personal needs, and making it work for your lifestyle without a specific plan or method? For anyone just starting out, I have to say, I feel so strong in my determination right now, and I think it's because I have finally really figured out what will and won't work for me. Make your own rules, and make them ones you're happy to live by!

01-19-2012, 10:47 PM
While I do calorie count, I agree completely with the main message of your post: Make your own rules. I try to learn what I can, try strategies on for size, and keep only those that I know I can live with. In the past, I would try to force myself to do something because it was "supposed" to work. When it didn't, I blamed myself.

01-20-2012, 03:34 AM
I see a lot of people strictly tracking calories, or eating clean, and just curious if anybody else is sort of just cobbling together what you have learned about weight loss and your own personal needs, and making it work for your lifestyle without a specific plan or method? For anyone just starting out, I have to say, I feel so strong in my determination right now, and I think it's because I have finally really figured out what will and won't work for me. Make your own rules, and make them ones you're happy to live by!

Most definitely. I eat what I want. I eat when I'm hungry. I'll make plenty of compromises, but only on things I don't care about. So I like hot coffee black , but for cold coffee, I need milk and chocolate syrup. It's an easy choice to just make a new pot of coffee every morning. I can tell the difference between "I want chocolate and one piece will be enough" and "I want chocolate, and two pounds wouldn't be enough."

I'm slowly learning what solves "I want chocolate, and two pounds wouldn't be enough" - it clearly isn't chocolate, but today it was a half cup of macaroni and cheese and two or three ounces of polish sausage. It was a 500 calorie snack at 4:00, but I never got hungry for dinner, so it was a 500 calorie dinner that stopped my sugar/chocolate ovulation cravings in its tracks.

All I have to do is pay attention to my body, and to pay attention to what I eat. I have no urge to stop paying attention, so weight loss has become something that happens without conscious effort.

01-20-2012, 01:31 PM

01-20-2012, 02:02 PM
I do calorie count, but I agree with your basic message. Calorie counting works for me because I'm a numbers person. I need to see things down on paper in black and white.

But, that said, I eat pizza, I eat full fat peanut butter, I eat ice cream, bread, butter, cheese and processed box dinners. I just eat them in moderation. I take one serving and account for the calories. I'm not the kind of person who can eat "clean" for the rest of my life.... or even a week for that matter. I'm busy and I'm picky, lol. It's more important to me to lose weight in a way that I'll be able to stick with at the end, rather than doing it the "right" way (according to some) only to give up and/or gain back.

01-20-2012, 02:15 PM
I calorie count as well, but I'm doing that short term so I can figure out what calories are in stuff and what the portions should look like. I'm a big guy and I eat like a guy twice as big. So portion size for me doesn't work, because it makes no sense to me. I'm big on math and physics so calorie counting resonates with me as being right for me because it makes sense to me. And it works. I think once I figure out what you have already learned, I can stop keeping rigorous track of them. That won't be for a LONG while yet though. I totally agree with you that you have to do what works for you and as long as it is working then there's no reason to change it. Sometimes you have to try a lot of things to figure out what is right for you though.

01-20-2012, 02:20 PM
I made up my own "diet" too. I do calorie count, but on an easy phone app. It's fun to me and not a hassle, so it was easy to incorporate.

I don't measure anything though, but, I'm an avid cook and know sizes pretty well. Once in a great moon I'll measure something just to make sure I'm not way off and I'm not usually.

My phone app nutrition guides are always aftere me for my diet - too much fat and too few carbs, but that is what works for me. I'm not low carbing it by program, but picking and choosing to eliminate carbs that up my blood sugars and leaving some in (potatoes and apples). I don't fret over fat or salt too much because for now at least, everything is right on track. I try to make this as healthy as possible, but I won't fret over eating a slim Jim if I'm out and about and need something to eat and nothing else is available. A slim Jim will fill me up wherer as a granola bar would have me having shakes.

I can't imagine following rules and quite honestly, I'm shocked when I see posts that say, "is it ok to eat X in phase 1?". I could never follow something like tht. It goes against my grain.

01-20-2012, 02:20 PM
I'm struggling with this right now. I feel like I need the structure of a well known diet plan, but I don't really like any of them in its entirety. I struggle to count anything. I'd love to do what you're doing, but that gives me too much room to play. I'll totally make the wrong choices. So I know that I need structure. So I've sort of compromised. The only counting that I do is for carbs since I'm a diabetic. I just cut down on my portions, added more vegetables, and make realisitc food choices. I definitely don't nit pick about every choice that I make as long as its within the parameters of my plan. But I want to get to the point where I can be more relaxed about what I'm doing. Because my problem at the moment is that I beat myself up when I stray to far off the plan. I'm hoping one day I'll figure out how to stop doing that. :-)

01-20-2012, 03:48 PM
This might or might not help you feel better, aliasihaya. But what worked for me was to recognize that this was a process. And making wrong choices is part of that process.

I tried calorie counting, and that was a wrong choice for me. It led to a slew of 500-900 calorie days.

I tried low carb. That was a wrong choice for me. Again, my calories plummet and I feel -lousy-.

I tried low fat. Oy boy. Not working for me.

I tried high carb. Mmmmm, I -like- high carb, especially if all those carbs can be cake! Again, a bad choice.

Each time, I learned something about myself. This time, I did a lot of research into diets, and when I came across the oldways Mediterranean diet, I said "that looks like food I want to eat!" I translated the pyramid into a set of checklist boxes and off I went.

I have lots of boxes for things I want to eat a lot of, and fewer boxes for things I don't want to eat so much of. While it's been working wonderfully, that doesn't mean I haven't still made bad choices.

There were days that "I'll have a chocolate after dinner" turned into "I'll have a plate of chocolates after dinner" and "this soup is so good, I'll eat it every day" turned into "I'm not getting enough other stuff in my diet, because all I'm eating is soup!

There's a lot of trial and error. There's a lot of paying inordinate amount of attention to how I feel, and how food affects it. I've fallen for "I feel bad, wouldn't I feel better if I ate....?" and regretted it. And I learned what actually -does- make me feel better.

I love to bicycle and walk, but it started out as "I'll walk to the frozen yougurt shop, eat a frozen yogurt and walk home" And that was ok.

My goal with my rules isn't to be perfect. It's to be better than I was. A walk and frozen yogurt is "better" than sitting at home and having ice cream. A walk and a smaller portion of yogurt was the next step. Then a bicycle ride, with yogurt. Then a longer bicycle ride, and I'd stop on the way home. Then I said "Y'know, I'm just going to go on home and have lunch, I don't feel like stopping"

If I make this hard, then there's a wagon to fall off of. I saw your binge posting. You did better than you used to. It looks like you did -way- better than you used to. Pat yourself on the back for that. Think about what you learned. Will it be easier to remember that food didn't help next time?

01-20-2012, 03:53 PM
Oh, totally!!!

My current 'plan' is a whole mishmash of different plans I've tried. I took the pieces that fit my lifestyle the best and worked for me and used them!

If I'm going to do this for the rest of my life I better enjoy it!!

I find that I'm a lot less likely to play the whole "Ok I'll get back on plan tomorrow" game with myself these days. I'm always on 'plan' because it's MY plan and I made the rules. There's no reason to cheat myself :).

01-20-2012, 06:36 PM
Totally agree with you about making your own rules. But I do count calories (I don't really write them down, but count it in my head, because I did that last year for a quite long time, so I know now more or less how many calories different foods have, I do always first look at the nutrients thingy if it's there so I'll know exactly how many calories there are). But I eat junk food as well as healthy foods. I can't forbid myself anything, or I'll eat only healthy foods for two days or so and start binging after it again, and gain even more weight.