Weight Loss Support - Newbie with a few questions

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08-02-2012, 07:05 PM
Hello, all--

My name is AvaMarie, and I am a new member. I have read some of your posts thus far, and wonder if you would mind providing a bit of advice:

Do any of you have an inexpensive or free WL program you follow? I have been attending WW, but am in the process of filing for disability and have no income, so to continue on WW isn't really an option. I signed up with them b/c my insurance will cover Lap Band surgery if I go to WW for six months and my BMI is 35 or higher, but if I lose 20 pounds (which I think is reasonable in six months, yes?), my BMI will be "too low" to qualify me for surgery. Plus, I "only" have about 80 pounds to lose, so I doubt they would agree to pay for WL surgery.

That said, I decided to join 3FC to get ideas on what I can do on my own. My youngest is in college, so I don't "have" to have ice cream or snacks in the house (read: he took away my excuses when he moved on-campus!). I eat small amounts of turkey or chicken, but am basically a vegetarian. I drink a lot of protein drinks to keep my protein intake up, and add a scoop of vitamin powder.

I have run the gamut from being anorexic to being obese in my life; I was slim for the first 30 years, and have been overweight for the past 20 years (after having my sons). I suspect some of the medications I am on might hinder WL, but I DO NOT want to add Insulin to my list of meds, having been diagnosed as "pre-diabetic".

I genuinely appreciate any and all advice, and thank you for taking the time to read my post.


08-02-2012, 07:35 PM
Calorie counting is free. :)

08-02-2012, 07:39 PM
Hi AvaMarie, welcome! I'm counting calories, and it's been a great no-cost way for me to lose weight. There's a calorie counting section at 3FC and some of the "stickies" at the top of the calorie counting forum can help you get started. Best to you!

08-02-2012, 08:34 PM
I agree! :D Calorie counting is free and really simple. There are tons of amazing apps (if you have a smart phone) and websites that will help you calculate how much you 'should' be eating as well as help you keep track of what you've had that day.

08-02-2012, 08:54 PM
Add me to the chorus of people who've successfully used calorie counting. Weight loss need not be costly or complicated! I keep it as simple as possible and have no rules beyond loosely counting my calories (which is another way of saying eating in moderation). If you're reasonably disciplined, that's all you need.


08-02-2012, 09:01 PM
Go to your local library and get some books on the subject. I recommend two books by Anne M. Fletcher, Thin for Life and Eating Thin for Life. I also like The EatingWell Diet by Dr. Jean Harvey-Berino, Ph.D., RD, and Small Changes Big Results by Ellie Krieger, MS, RD.. There is The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan by Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. and Robert A Barnett. Your can also get the Mediterranean/Sonoma diet cookbooks as well as many others from the library. If they don't have what you want on the shelf, you can ask the librarian to get it for you from another library. Also, our library has back issues of magazines for $.25 each. Sometime they have EatingWell, Cooking Light and the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazines. All of the above provide inspiration and motivation. Personally, I think they are all really about calorie counting even though they may call it something different. You can get an idea of what kind of calorie counting you want to do.

08-02-2012, 09:28 PM
I definitely agree with calorie counting! There's a whole section here on 3FC just for it.

08-03-2012, 02:05 PM
Wow, thank you all SO MUCH for your replies -- I truly appreciate them!!

I am especially glad to know that I CAN lose weight without spending money, and will definitely check out the 3FC calorie counting info and the recommended books.

Again, MANY thanks!!


08-03-2012, 03:08 PM

I currently am doing Weight Watchers Online. I needed the payment to be motivated. However, due to financial reasons as well, I probably will not continue paying for the service.

I find that WW is a really nice alternative to calorie counting, but can definitely be done without paying for the meetings or the online service. There are lots of people that do it this way, and so if you like how WW works, I would suggest checking out the thread on this forum. There are many resources on the internet as well to be able to track points, research points, etc, without having to pay.

That being said, calorie counting is easier for most, and a very good percentage of the people here do that. Weight loss is mostly calories in vs. calories burned, so the calorie counting strategy is tried and true.

It's all about what you can keep up with, and this is certainly the place to be for motivation. Good luck!

08-03-2012, 04:21 PM
Lap band should be a last resort. I'd advise against it for many reasons the primary one being that it doesn't stop you from regaining weight lost it only makes it more difficult.

You're fortunate to have found this site.

To answer your question I am a fan of counting calories for any diet plan one follows because calories determine fat loss or gain - not the specific foods one eats.

That said most people find weight loss easier when eating lean proteins, lots of veggies, and a limited amount of fruit. Being on a limited budget does make things tougher because processed foods give you more per calorie than whole foods but it makes fat loss easier for a number of reasons to ditch the processed foods and limit the carb intake to those found in vegtables and limited fruits.

08-03-2012, 04:26 PM
I am another for calorie counting! I use My Fitness Pal and LOVE it! Very easy to track and take with me (great app).

Lori Bell
08-03-2012, 06:38 PM
I lost 190 pounds for free, and have maintained that loss, for free by counting calories. I vowed a long time ago that I would never spend another dime to lose weight. Yay, free is good! :)

08-04-2012, 12:59 AM
I do calorie counting paired with The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet by Dr. Heller and Heller. You can get the book on amazon for about $5.00

08-04-2012, 01:31 PM
Thanks again...you all look fabulous!

JohnP, I think you might live near my hometown of Castro Valley...cool area. Lap band would def be a last resort, and one I would prefer to avoid. I am cleaning up my diet and DO splurge on good, healthy (preferably organic) food, and now I have this site to give me the pieces of the puzzle I have been missing...thanks so much!

WAHMto5 -- Sunny Georgia is right -- we are wilting here in Atlanta this summer.

Lori Bell, I am in awe -- what else can I say? You look amazing.

ikesgirl80, you also look stunning, and I will definitely check out those books; I love Dr. Heller's works (both of them).

All of you are SUCH a great encouragement!


08-04-2012, 01:38 PM
Hi Ava, Welcome. All I can say is keep yourself busy, change your food intake perhaps count calories. Excersice and come here for support. Good luck!

08-05-2012, 02:41 PM
Count the calories and exercise for half an hour a day. That's free. Your head being in the right place is vital for successful weight loss also.

08-06-2012, 11:27 AM
Thanks very much for your responses!

My biggest struggle is binge-ing at night. Any advice on when to stop eating in relation to bed time? I feel certain that just overcoming this one issue would help me tremendously in my weight loss efforts.

Thanks much,

08-06-2012, 12:30 PM
My biggest struggle is binge-ing at night. Any advice on when to stop eating in relation to bed time? I feel certain that just overcoming this one issue would help me tremendously in my weight loss efforts.

Not so sure that it's really a matter of stopping at a given hour. If it's really bingeing (i.e. emotional eating, being unable to stop, etc—and not just "eating my dinner late"), telling you "you must not eat past 7 pm" (or 8 pm, 9 pm...) won't be that useful to you: it may, on the contrary, make you feel frustrated, and in need of bingeing... The most important thing is to identify the reason to evening-time eating: having stressful days? Boredom? Feeling compelled to eat whenever you're in front of the TV/computer? Once you isolate the factors, then you can work on solutions from there.

For instance, in my case, I got rid of the TV munching problem by having something to keep my hands busy with (working on canvas, for instance)... otherwise I keep them busy by shoveling food into my mouth! :rolleyes:

Hope this helps.

08-06-2012, 01:42 PM
Depending on the kind of evening eating you are doing (see Kery's post, above) having a planned evening snack can really help. Work it into your calories, look forward to it, then enjoy it and stop eating. (If it's emotional, uncontrollable eating, then you'll need to find other solutions...)