100 lb. Club - How important/effective are each of these things for weight loss?
10-29-2012, 10:10 AM
Just wondering, based on your experiences, past and present - how important are each of these things to see the scale move consistently downward?
- So everyone knows that eating fewer calories and creating a deficit causes weight loss. But does it matter the type of calories? Do you see a smaller weight loss/no weight loss if your 1400cals for the day lets say were more laden with fat or carbohydrates? Do you personally experience a difference based on the type of calories you eat, even if the same number of them overall? Or is a calorie a calorie as far as weight loss is concerned?
- Getting 7 hours or more sleep per night. Does sleeping fewer hours or not getting enough sleep stall the scale, even if you have been brilliant with your diet? Or does that not matter as long as overall calorie intake is right?
- drinking 64 ounces of water. Does falling short of that show up as no loss on the scale? So if you ate totally right for a whole week but didnt drink enough, would you lose less?
- does it matter WHEN you eat your calories? Like does late night eating really matter? If you had 130 calories through-out your day, does it make a difference whether they were mostly eaten in the morning ,or mostly eaten in the evening? What have been your experiences?
- drinking coffee - does it impact weight loss and slow it somehow?
- eating frequent meals. For the same number of calories does it show up as more weight loss on the scale if you made them into 6 meals vs 3 meals? Or is a calorie a calorie?
- anything else in your opinions that truly has an impact on whether the scale will move or stall?
10-29-2012, 02:39 PM
It's been my experience that I need to get plenty of sleep, about 8 hours. What makes the difference for me is that if I'm tired, I start getting bad cravings for simple carbs. And in my case, simple carbs are bad. They stir up my hunger and cravings.
I don't actually count calories, but keep a deficit due to being vigilant about my portion sizes and tracking what I eat (I keep a food journal). I've found that I have a much easier time sticking to plan and losing if I avoid simple carbs. Once again, they stir up my hunger and cravings. When I eat healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs, I'm more satisfied and am less likely to overeat. :)
Drinking a certain amount of water doesn't seem to make a difference for me, neither does the number of meals I have nor when I eat them.
Hope this helps!
10-30-2012, 11:30 PM
Ok here are my experiences:
- For me, I noticed a faster drop in weight eating low carb but I could never sustain eating in that way longer than a couple of weeks so I don't know if it would have eventually evened out if I'd continued. I have been successful at losing weight by counting calories (without much attention to type) alone and for me this has been easier to sustain in the long run so I'm willing to take the slower loss.
- I RARELY get 7 hours of sleep a night. I wish! However, I also NEVER eat after midnight (unless I'm on a long-distance nighttime flight) or before 6 a.m. however hungry I get so I don't do the late night snacking thing which may help. I think I have better weigh ins after a good night sleep but I wouldn't say not getting 7 hrs has inhibited my weight loss in the long run when I've stuck to my calorie plan.
- I find that drinking water (or fluids) helps me get rid of/prevent water retention which helps prevent scary weigh ins that can happen after a sodium-filled meal or sometimes for no apparent reason when you've been on plan. Drinking water also keeps me feeling a little full and less munchy because sometimes when I ignore thirst, it begins to feel like hunger. But I don't think that other than affecting water retention in terms of water weight, it actually really matters how much water you drink. There are all sorts of other benefits though to keeping your fluid-intake high.
- It doesn't matter to me WHEN I eat my calories. If anything, I like to save my calories for a HUGE dinner and eat just enough at breakfast and lunch to keep me ticking over till my big meal. Sometimes breakfast is my biggest meal or lunch and then I eat light at other meals and it doesn't change anything. I don't eat after midnight because that's when I close my calorie account for the day and more importantly, late night is when I tend to make my worst food choices and kind of lose control with snacking. But if a person had the calorie space for it, I don't think it would matter.
- The funny thing is I've only picked up a coffee habit now that I've lost weight. I NEVER drank coffee before, I thought it was gross! It hasn't stopped my weight loss at all. If anything, coffee is a mild appetite suppressant for me which I have mid-afternoon in that long stretch between lunch and dinner. I have it with a tablespoon of evaporated milk and splenda and it's a rich treat about 35 calories for a large mug. I think it's fine if it's built into your calories.
- I tried that whole 5 meals thing and it drove me insane. The truth is I don't like small little meals or snacks. I'd rather eat a large plate of food and know I've eaten. The small meals made me a little obsessive. Now I eat 2-3 times a day. I may start with a cup of black coffee with splenda. Then I'll have a late breakfast (cereal and a boiled egg or pasta with some pesto and shrimp tossed in depending on my mood), I may have a snack in the afternoon (breadsticks and hummus or yogurt and jam and my coffee treat or a sandwich) and then I'll have a solid dinner of some carb/grain with protein and some vegetable or it could be pizza or whatever I have planned. Because of work commitments, most days I only get in the two meals of late breakfast, coffee treat and big dinner. I think the difference between having 5 meals a day vs 3 really is if you're a grazer or if you want a big plate of food. Once in a while I have days when I want to graze and ultimately for me, it comes down to the calories
I hope this helps. I'm pretty much my own study subject and after nearly 4 years (in January eek!) at this, I'm still figuring stuff out and learning what works for me and what doesn't everyday. I don't know that I'll ever have it together and have the exact answers because for me they change everyday. I guess the thing that has worked the best and the most for me is sticking with it and keeping at it. Maybe I don't get 7 days out of 7 in a week right, but I try to keep at it and keep getting back on the wagon no matter how badly I messed up my plan with the last meal or the previous day or last weekend. That's what I've found works the best.
10-31-2012, 09:23 AM
thank you so much for all these helpful responses so far! With so much information out there on weight loss bombarded at you, its helpful to ask people what actually makes a big difference in their experience vs what doesn't. Even if of course everyone's body is different and so on.
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