Weight Loss Support - Need a new strategy...suggestions?




kk2323
07-19-2012, 09:14 AM
Hi All,

I think I need a new strategy because calorie counting is just not working right now. It's become an unhealthy mind game of feeling guilty if I go over my calorie allotment, even if it's all healthy food - granted...sometimes it's not...but that's another demon I'm fighting. Can anyone else suggest another "plan" or way of eating that helped them lose weight and didn't involve weights and measurements (of food)? Or is calorie counting truly the only way?

Thanks!


seagirl
07-19-2012, 09:18 AM
why are you going over your calorie limits? if you are going to keep eating more food than your body needs, regardless of what plan you are on, then you won't lose weight.

What is your calorie limit? Can you post a sample menu and give some examples about when you find yourself going over? Is it a couple hundred calories a day due to hunger or a couple thousand on weekends due to outings?

LockItUp
07-19-2012, 09:41 AM
What is your calorie limit? Can you post a sample menu and give some examples about when you find yourself going over? Is it a couple hundred calories a day due to hunger or a couple thousand on weekends due to outings?

This!

Is your calorie limit super low, so going "over" still has you in a pretty big deficit? If so, it's as simple as raising your limit! If your current goal is, say, 1200, maybe that's too low and you need to make it more like 1400 or 1500.

But the foods you're eating could make a huge difference. Perhaps picking foods, if you're not already, that you can eat MORE off for the same amount of calories.

The amount you're currently eating which you consider going "over" could make a huge difference in the advice you get.


freelancemomma
07-19-2012, 09:44 AM
No matter what plan you're on you have to create an energy deficit, i.e., more energy going out than coming in. So yes, I believe it boils down to calorie counting or some variant of it, such as Weight Watchers exchanges.

That said, I never weigh or measure my food. I loosely count calories and use the scale as a guide. I'm in maintenance mode right now, but did the same thing during my 55-pound weight loss. I've always believed it comes down to listening to your inner "truth teller" -- the voice inside you that KNOWS when you're eating too much. I'm far from perfect and still succumb to temptation on frequent occasions, but ultimately there's no substitute for commitment and willpower, IMO.

Freelance

kk2323
07-19-2012, 09:45 AM
It's due to hunger. I'm trying to eat between 1400-1600 calories every day. Here's a sample day:

Breakfast - 1/2 c Quaker Oats w/ skim milk, 2 tbsp dried cranberries, 2 walnuts or almonds. Coffee (black or with a splash of skim).
Snack - Baby bel light cheese round with green pepper
Lunch - 2 oz low sodium turkey on Joseph's pita (low carb, full of flax and goodness - only 60 cals) with mustard. Piece of fruit.
Snack - Fage 0% fat with 1/2 c blueberries - sometimes 1 tbsp of almonds. I often have another cup of coffee (black or with a splash of skim)
Dinner - Baked chicken breast with veggies and either rice or potato. Skim milk.
Post dinner - Heeeere's where I get hungry...I try to reach for something small or low cal, but I'm just so hungry.

Throughout the day I drink copious amount of water - I'm a thirsty girl - and I workout for 30 minutes at lunch. I don't have any other time to workout during the week. On the weekends I workout for 1 hour either Sat or Sun.

I have to admit that I did splurge quite a bit on my vacation a few weeks back and that was a no-no from which I'm still recovering...ha. Usually weekends are pretty basic. If I do have some pizza, I pair it with veggies and try to work it into the cal plan. Meh...

twinieten
07-19-2012, 09:46 AM
I did LA Weightloss about 8 years ago. There was no calorie counting, just eating servings and serving sizes. Pretty basic

2 Protein (6oz chicken or fish, 4 oz beef)
3 veggie (1C raw, 2C cooked)
2 fruit (1C raw, 10 small strawberries, 10 small grapes, 1/2 large apple, 1 small apple, etc)
2 Carb (1/2 C pasta/rice... 1 slice bread, etc)
1 fat (butter, oil, etc. THey'd always say, "save your fat for your salad")

They also had you eat their protein bars, but since you won't have that, you can try just adding some fruit/veggies if you're hungry. I thought it was pretty easy to follow. I had a little chart I made so I could record what i ate, and check off my servings as the day went by so I'd know I got all of my fruits, veggies etc. without looking at my food log. I didn't worry about calories, just about serving size and the number of servings. Maybe try this?

kk2323
07-19-2012, 09:48 AM
Thanks freelancemomma. I am also a "momma" and I would rather spend time with my daughter than measure all of my food. Although I'm getting the sense from all of your great posts that cal counting is where it's at and I should go find my big girl pants and put them back on. :)

kk2323
07-19-2012, 09:49 AM
Thanks twinieten!!! I'll try that.

stimkovs
07-19-2012, 10:07 AM
you know whats funny? i know where you're coming from.

now, i might get some boo boo's on this particular post i am about to make, but bear with me.

also, taking my CURRENT strategy into account, please consider how long you have been aware of your food for, as i am comming up on my 3 year aniversary, and this is something i am VERY mindful of.


back story:
i started at 269 lbs. on weight watchers, which is point exchanges (except i never exchanged, simply ate my points). then i lost interest/plan changed. i did not exercise except for 1 hr of pilates a day. i was loosing well, and fast - while still having indulgences. my typical days would consist of breakfast- eggs/bacon, or a bfast sandwich, a peice of fruit, then lunch/dinner which was either carbs/protein/steamed veg or protein based salad. so i was having a very large salad instead of one meal- this lead me to lose 60 lbs.

then i picked up yoga, slimmed down a little, bla bla bla.

fast forward - 200 lbs- about 168 lbs i was calorie counting. about 1400-1600 a day, and here was where my problems began, closer to the mid 170's. i started binging. a lot, hard, often, i could no longer control my cravings, i could no longer control my food intake. i wanted to eat it all, and then the door handle. i developed a food obsession, a nasty food obsession. i was always hungry, because i was always thinking about how many calories i had left to eat in my "budget".

this lead to a regain of almost 20 lbs.

i stressed out, i thought about it, then i decided to try something new. mind you, i only started this new "idea" about a week ago, and mind you, i know what a serving/portion of something looks like. i know how much food i need to eat/ not eat to lose weight, but i am not counting. it's like a "loose" count.

like, i know if i have something carby- i need to have it with a very lean protein, one serving, and another meal that is VERY light. i eat the same thing for breakfast, similar things with a little variation for lunch, and similar with variation for dinner. but i don't count, i dont stress, i am intuitively eating when i am truly hungry, and i have seen the scale move 8 lbs this week alone. i even went out for dinner this week! mind you, this IS a tonne of water weight, but it is positive reinforcement.

current meal plan example:

bfast:
coffee (24oz)
skim - about 200 ml.

1/2c oatmeal + a fruit (blueberries, small banana, whatever is in the house).

snack:
peice of fruit. either berries, a grapefruit, etc.

lunch: today: about 4/5 oz salmon, and i grilled some mushrooms, some broccolli and a small zunchinni in pam this morning.

snack: handful of baby carrots, handful of snow peas.

dinner: tbd but it will be some lean protein/steamed veg, or a salad with ground lean turkey breast, and probably an apple with peanut butter.

i can guarantee this will account for a loss on the scale tomorrow morning for me.

KatieBug
07-19-2012, 10:50 AM
What I am doing, is getting at least 120 grams of protein a day. it goes like this,
Breakfast: 30 grams with 15 grams of carbs (one serving of fruit) (usually i make a smoothie with protein powder, water, a splash of milk and 5 strawberries)
Snack: 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs (usually 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 13 grapes) or 2 cheese sticks, 1 small apple etc.
Lunch: 30 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs (usually Im at school so Ill eat another protein shake, a salad on the side, and half a can of cooked green beans- cooked or steamed veggies count as a carb)
Snack- same 15 to 15, like one egg and one egg white, with cooked veggies or one serving fruit
Dinner- 30 to 10, like lunch, but ill have a hamburger patty, or lean meats like fish and chicken breasts, Cooked veggies on the side, side salad, etc.

You get the picture. It is very repetitive, so you have to get creative...

BUT. I am NEVER hungry. And I mean never. Sometimes I have to eat like a cucumber because I get a little more hungry in the afternoon but I seriously have to FORCE myself to eat. Im not even sure how many calories that is that I am eating, All i know is that the weight is literally just coming off me. Granted, I am working out every day for about an hour, so I am sure that definetely helps. But if you are starving, Im telling you get some protein in your diet!!!

Good luck
xxoo

MindiV
07-19-2012, 11:03 AM
When I started calorie counting I was always hungry too. BUT I was eating less of the bad stuff I had been eating. When I started eating better foods - more lean meats, veggies and fruits, and fewer fatty foods and carbs - I got less hungry and could actually eat MORE because the calories were lower.

twinieten
07-19-2012, 12:13 PM
The protein thing helped me too. Also, not stressing about 5-6 small meals a day. That was driving me batty. Now I fast for breakfast. Sorta'. I have my coffee with milk or cream and vitamins and then if I get hungry, I have a little munchie, like almonds, a little bit of apple or a piece of string cheese. Not much because usually by the time I'm hungry, it's almost time for lunch.

For lunch I usually have a salad, or some other veggie, a little bit of fruit, and a protein like chicken or fish. Sometimes I also have a carb like pasta or bread. I don't know how many grams of protein I eat.

I eat lunch super early because I get to work super early, but then I eat dinner late because I wait for my husband to get home and we have a family dinner. The period after lunch to dinner is very difficult. It's the point of my day where I tend to lose focus and eat everything in sight. So in the afternoon, I made my snack bigger, and to include a protein. So I'll have a veggie (like raw carrots or green peppers or something), yogurt, fruit and a hard boiled egg or cheese sticks.

Then standard dinner including protein, veggie and carb.

People seem to think that skipping breakfast is the end all metabolism killer and maybe it is. I just felt like I was "wasting" calories on breakfast when I wasn't hungry, didn't want to eat and didn't feel like I needed the calories. Then in the afternoon when I was really hungry and needed the extra calories, I had none to spare and was famished.

I've been tweaking my diet to get through the day without that horrible hunger (I can handle hunger, but this was bad), and I've been doing the skip breakfast and load up in the afternoon for about 2 weeks now. So far, it's helped with the hunger. Fewer, larger meals seems to be key for me where hunger is concerned. Only time will tell if this is what gets me losing again.

Dreamer2012
07-19-2012, 12:21 PM
I found that calorie counting didn't work for me. I also felt it was a mind game, but more of a discouraging one because I found I was hungry more than often. From when I did it, I have a fair idea of what foods have what amounts of calories in them. I don't log them everyday to find out now. I just eat what I eat and stick to my exercise plan. I know what foods I should and shouldn't be eating and while I try to stay in a low calorie diet, I don't strictly watch it. It seems to be working for me.

kk2323
07-19-2012, 12:43 PM
Seriously, this board never ceases to impress me. You guys are amazing! Thank you thank you for the advice! So, I'm starting to think that maybe it's still a little about portion control, but not so much measuring and logging. The tip about protein is really helpful. Next time I'm extra hungry I will reach for a protein instead of a fruit/veggie/carb. It looks like I'm starting to form a new plan that could work.

I want to especially thank those who shared their stories about when cal counting failed for them and why. Lately I feel like a diet failure and didn't consider the fact that maybe after an extended period of time certain lifestyle strategies might not work.

In other news, I just tore it up on the treadmill for the second time this week. Even if that doesn't make a difference on the scale this week I feel pretty freaking good that I can run like a *bawssss*. Haha.

laciemn
07-19-2012, 12:59 PM
couple of things i can think of
I think you need more veggies and fiber. a really big salad or something with only a little dressing, no cheese, maybe some chicken or something.

another thing is maybe take half of one of your snacks (about 100-150 calories) to eat about an hour after dinner or so. try to have a big gap in between eating dinner and going to bed.

another thing i notice is the coffee. caffeine gives me all kinds of insane cravings..so maybe try cutting back on the coffee, too. recently i stopped drinking coffee and you need a few days to sleep or go really gradual with it but i think its worth it.

ICUwishing
07-19-2012, 01:22 PM
I love this board for the variety of responses too. You've heard from the high protein and the high veggie crowd, now for a "tail of the distribution" voice for higher fat. IF nothing else works, spend an extra 100-200 calories a day on the good fats - fresh coconut, walnuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, canned salmon, olives. When I go below 30% fat, my hair starts to break, my nails shatter, my skin flakes off, and I can't think. It's a harder row to hoe, because the portion sizes are smaller due to the denser energy, and visually less satisfying ... but the "hang time" of a meal is extended and I don't feel a need to snack, which helps me keep my total calories in line. I'm kind of an outlier with this - yet it works, and my blood chemistries have never been better. Your results, of course, may vary - it's just another avenue to consider as you settle into a lifetime of eating the way that works for you. Good luck!

lin43
07-19-2012, 01:31 PM
Barring any special circumstances, weight loss mainly comes down to calories in/calories out. However, there are ways to regulate your calories without actually counting calories, weighing & measuring food, etc. I think someone else alluded to exchange plans. That's one way to do it. Some folks on this board have had success with this.

Another method of practicing portion control (thus, encouraging calorie limits) is something called the No-S diet (google it). Weight loss is generally pretty slow on that plan, but those who have been successful with it swear by it because it's a moderate plan that is easy to follow.

Good luck!

stimkovs
07-19-2012, 01:54 PM
I want to especially thank those who shared their stories about when cal counting failed for them and why. Lately I feel like a diet failure and didn't consider the fact that maybe after an extended period of time certain lifestyle strategies might not work.

.

you've deffinately got a point!

i think all of the listed, mentioned, and written about strategies DO work, at some point in time, for somebody. but they don't always work at the same time, for a particular person at any given time.

not only may it be diet fatigue, but also a mental fatigue. i recently read in a book, that we as people are happiest when we are learning, or getting better at something- it's why people switch hobbies. it's what a healthy lifestyle is about too isnt it? being happy with yourself! maybe you get tired of a plan, or your body gets tired of a plan, and you just need to switch it up!!

keep your head up, and keep learning!

Munchy
07-19-2012, 01:58 PM
It's due to hunger. I'm trying to eat between 1400-1600 calories every day. Here's a sample day:

Breakfast - 1/2 c Quaker Oats w/ skim milk, 2 tbsp dried cranberries, 2 walnuts or almonds. Coffee (black or with a splash of skim).
Snack - Baby bel light cheese round with green pepper
Lunch - 2 oz low sodium turkey on Joseph's pita (low carb, full of flax and goodness - only 60 cals) with mustard. Piece of fruit.
Snack - Fage 0% fat with 1/2 c blueberries - sometimes 1 tbsp of almonds. I often have another cup of coffee (black or with a splash of skim)
Dinner - Baked chicken breast with veggies and either rice or potato. Skim milk.
Post dinner - Heeeere's where I get hungry...I try to reach for something small or low cal, but I'm just so hungry.



The only way that I'm able to stay on such a small amount of calories is because I mix vegetables into nearly everything, which results in me being fuller for longer because I'm eating more volume.

I'd probably take that pita wrap and add a whole bunch of broccoli slaw, or spinach, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, etc to bulk it up and make it into a monster wrap for few calories.

I'd take that baked chicken and pound it out, adding all kinds of vegetables to the inside - broccoli, artichokes, spinach - whatever combos work for your palate, and roll it up to bake. 3oz of chicken can feel like so much more and so much richer when you have all kinds of low calorie vegetables (and maybe even a little bit of Neufchatel, cotija, or another cheese that gives you a lot of flavor "bang for your buck") right in it.

Same with the starch for your dinner. If you mix your starch (1/2 cup of rice, for example) with 1/2-1 cup of cauliflower rice (http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarbsidedishes/r/caulirice.htm) or saute a bunch of non-starchy veggies and mix with the rice (I like cabbage or a spinach/pepper/onion mix), you'll have the same portion for fewer calories.

Your potatoes can be mixed with rutabaga or celeriac, or even turnips for a similar flavor. I'd cut up the root vegetables and roast them with the potatoes, leaving potatoes to be 1/4-1/2 of the entire tray. Mashed potatoes and baked fries can be mixed with the same veggies (or other low calorie root veggies) almost undetectably, or steamed cauliflower can also be mixed in.

Volume is my key to not straying from healthy choices.

lavendergirll
07-19-2012, 02:04 PM
I have to say that I have learned some things from you ladies today. I just wanted to say that at one point when the scale was not moving; I was told that perhaps I wasnt eating enough protein. It was suggested that I have an egg for breakfast instead of the oatmeal or yogurt; or a spoon of peanut butter on an apple for a snack. I discovered that when I did incorporate more protein along with all the vegies and fruits; the scale started to move again. You have many supportive buddies here and I think you will see a difference soon!

ChickieChicks
07-19-2012, 09:26 PM
The only way that I'm able to stay on such a small amount of calories is because I mix vegetables into nearly everything, which results in me being fuller for longer because I'm eating more volume.

I'd probably take that pita wrap and add a whole bunch of broccoli slaw, or spinach, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, etc to bulk it up and make it into a monster wrap for few calories.

I'd take that baked chicken and pound it out, adding all kinds of vegetables to the inside - broccoli, artichokes, spinach - whatever combos work for your palate, and roll it up to bake. 3oz of chicken can feel like so much more and so much richer when you have all kinds of low calorie vegetables (and maybe even a little bit of Neufchatel, cotija, or another cheese that gives you a lot of flavor "bang for your buck") right in it.

Same with the starch for your dinner. If you mix your starch (1/2 cup of rice, for example) with 1/2-1 cup of cauliflower rice (http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/lowcarbsidedishes/r/caulirice.htm) or saute a bunch of non-starchy veggies and mix with the rice (I like cabbage or a spinach/pepper/onion mix), you'll have the same portion for fewer calories.

Your potatoes can be mixed with rutabaga or celeriac, or even turnips for a similar flavor. I'd cut up the root vegetables and roast them with the potatoes, leaving potatoes to be 1/4-1/2 of the entire tray. Mashed potatoes and baked fries can be mixed with the same veggies (or other low calorie root veggies) almost undetectably, or steamed cauliflower can also be mixed in.

Volume is my key to not straying from healthy choices.

This really works well for me, too! I'm all about volume!

twinieten
07-20-2012, 08:35 AM
not only may it be diet fatigue, but also a mental fatigue. i recently read in a book, that we as people are happiest when we are learning, or getting better at something- it's why people switch hobbies. it's what a healthy lifestyle is about too isnt it? being happy with yourself! maybe you get tired of a plan, or your body gets tired of a plan, and you just need to switch it up!!

keep your head up, and keep learning! Well that makes so much sense to me! I switch diets every few months or year or so. The diet works, it doesn't, I switch. Although I felt sort of guilty about it (like I can't stick with something, I spend too much money on promises and hope, etc.), I realized the newness and the structure was working. Now I feel better about it!

Ahealthyme007
07-20-2012, 08:44 AM
Do you workout at all?
If not, then maybe you could start doing that...this way you can up your caloric intake and still burn it off.

LockItUp
07-20-2012, 11:23 AM
Thanks freelancemomma. I am also a "momma" and I would rather spend time with my daughter than measure all of my food. Although I'm getting the sense from all of your great posts that cal counting is where it's at and I should go find my big girl pants and put them back on. :)

Calorie counting isn't for everyone, and weighing/measuring food isn't for everyone! Different things work for different people. BUT I measure or weigh ALL my food, and it doesn't take any time away from my 2 kids (3 yrs and 7 months), just wanted to put that out there. It takes like 2 seconds to put my bowl on the scale and add the yogurt to it to make sure I get the correct portion, it doesn't consume my time at all.

You do just have to find what works for you, and I hope you do!!! :D

bronzeager
07-20-2012, 02:14 PM
Would eating larger quantities of food help? My diet looked like yours at first, but I now eat PILES of vegetables,* which I don't count in calories. Mostly I roast or grill them on a big baking sheet, and I count only the 2 tsp of olive oil I use on them. I pile them into pitas and on sandwiches, eat them as a side to my protein with some balsamic vinegar or lemon or garlic salt, cold from the fridge in salads, put poached eggs on top (protein!). It's pretty hard to eat much more than 200 cal of dark green or red/orange vegetables in a day, and they end up being very satisfying. Took a while to retrain my menu planning but now it's perfectly normal.

*Examples of my "free vegetables" are peppers, tomato, beets, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, onions, mushrooms. Some of these are a little higher cal but it's worked out OK for me this way. Beans, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes I do count cals or rather portions for.

The protein thing helped me too, and also NOT going fat free for breakfast. All I changed was adding whole milk or 1/8 cup walnuts to my oatmeal instead of skim milk, and I stopped having horrible cravings every day by 10am. I compensated by not eating a starch (potatoes, pasta) at dinner and swapping in vegetables.

NewMommy1980
07-31-2012, 09:03 PM
To be honest, I've been really bad with calorie counting in my adult years. (I used to be so good at it when I dieted when I was a young teen! It definitely made me crazy though - I became very obsessed with the numbers and have since given up on it. So I totally get where you're coming from). I look at it in terms of meals. I have 3 meals a day (although now I'm substituting 1 meal with a protein shake) and 2 snacks. (One of my snacks is usually a Control chocolate bar which regulates your blood sugar and fills you up) Whenever I eat I try to make sure I have a healthy balance of protein, good carbs, and vegetables/fruit. Even my snacks. It's the best way to regulate your blood sugar and that's what makes you lose the weight.

I buy my snack and shake products from Delight Medical in case you're looking for diet food. It's an easy way to regulate what you eat without having to think about it, or count calories.

GardenBurglar
08-01-2012, 03:28 PM
The only way for me not to be famished is to make sure I'm eating plenty of veggies, protein, and healthy fats, but veggies especially. I don't eat low carb, but I have to be smart about my carbs. I base my meals around veggies, but have to include protein at every meal and snack or else my cravings go wild! Maybe low or lowish carb or grain-free might be a good ways of eating to try (as long as you get lots of vegetables and green things). I personally ended up ditching grains almost entirely, but I don't put any absolute restrictions on any foods other than the ones I am intolerant of (gluten and corn). And since I mentioned that, it might be helpful to know that undiagnosed food intolerances can also cause intense cravings and that feeling like you cannot stop eating. Just something to think about.