General Diet Plans and Questions - What's working for you?




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livandletgo
07-24-2013, 12:07 PM
I'm trying to get back on the wagon. I've been researching different plans, but I would really like to know what's working for everyone! I tried Nutrisystem, but I really want to be doing hard workouts 5 days a week to get strong, too.

What plans are you having success/happiness with?

Thank you so much! I'd really appreciate feedback. :carrot::broc:


Sum38
07-24-2013, 12:11 PM
Calorie counting. Calories in - calories out = gain/loss

LuvBuns
07-24-2013, 12:17 PM
What worked for me was Ideal Protein. I lost 54 pounds in 6 months. It is an expensive program though but it was nice having a coach and getting measured/weighed each week. If you have a busy lifestyle their foods are nice and easy. The only con is that you can yo-yo on it and get dependent on their foods. Which I am trying to now get out of. I'm currently doing the JJ Virgin diet and that focuses on food intolerances and eating good food. It hasn't worked as well as Ideal Protein...but at least I got that major weight off and trying to better my lifestyle.


Tuscany
07-24-2013, 12:20 PM
Calorie counting. Calories in - calories out = gain/loss

Same here. I prefer a diet where I decide what to eat. I don't do well when I have to deal with "you can't eat this" or "you must eat that". Calorie counting is much less fuss and bother. I eat healthy, mainly salads and high protein (salmon, chicken), but I can basically eat what I want as long as I watch the portions/calories.

Wannabeskinny
07-26-2013, 09:13 AM
There's no one plan that works for me. I take nibbles of every diet, the parts that really apply to me, and incorporate them into my life.

1. Calorie counting. I'm not maniacal although I have been in the past. Because I did it for so long I'm better able to ball park it now. At the end of the day, I aim to stay within my limits.

2. Low-carb/paleo life - I don't banish carbs from my life, but I do limit them a lot. If I had to choose between bread and potatoes I choose potatoes, never both. I avoid wheat the most because it makes me bloated and hungry.

3. Mediterranean Diet - I grew up this way so it's a no brainer. Vegetables play a starring role in my diet, meat is an accompaniment. Legumes are allowed in small portions. I eat seasonally and make eating social. Greek yogurt with almonds and honey is my treat of choice.

4. Mind over Matter. By reading books like Brain Over Binge and The End of Overeating I have learned that certain foods trigger cravings. This has helped me overcome my past line of thinking that I was an emotional eater and that I was weak willed and unmotivated. By avoiding certain foods (salt, sugar), I feel more control of my eating. By ignoring certain hunger cues I learn to disengage from my cravings easily.

5. Intermittent Fasting - I was initially opposed to IF but I have found that snacking less between meals and having a continues 12-15hr fast between dinner and breakfast I feel much better and more in control of my impulses. It turns out that constant snacking was in fact making me hungrier.

6. I let myself feel hunger - by not snacking between meals I've learned to build my hunger muscle. I let myself feel the hunger, rather than panicking and trying to find a suitable snack. Hunger is not an emotion, hunger is not an emergency. It's not even comparable to a headache. Hunger pangs do go away, they can be dealt with, and I've learned from normal eaters that I can sit with hunger for a long period of time without letting it play headgames with me. This is the key I think, to being a healthier person: making peace with hunger.

I also keep around a long list of motivational quotes, some are at the bottom of my signature. I keep them on the fridge, on the bathroom mirror, in my closet, they really do help me.

luckymommy
07-26-2013, 10:09 AM
I'm a calorie counter too. It's free and I will probably do it for the rest of my life.

Garnet2727
07-26-2013, 10:28 AM
Calorie counting and Weight Watchers Online. I started with just Weight Watchers and lost close to 40 pounds that way then decided that I wanted to see what my calorie intake was too. I've been double counting for quite a while now. I'm an analyst by trade so this really works for me.

While both calorie counting and WW allow you, technically, to eat anything you want, I found that I naturally gravitated towards more low calorie foods. I tend not to eat near as many carbs as I used to. I also make sure that I eat at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables every day.

Lizzyg
07-26-2013, 10:43 AM
Calorie counting here too.

adlea
07-26-2013, 10:17 PM
Weight Watchers is working for me. I have lost 50 lbs. and do not feel I am depriving myself of anything. Its a life plan that lets you eat anything. Tonight I had some pizza and feel no guilt over having it. I know it is something that has to be done in moderation. Feeling very good on the program.

mdoc
07-26-2013, 10:20 PM
When I pulled myself back onto the wagon a month and a half ago, I tried Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live plan. I've never been a vegetarian, much less a vegan (and this is essentially a vegan diet), but I figured I could do anything for 6 weeks. I finished my 6 weeks today and lost 20 pounds over that period. I didn't find it difficult to do, and with all the vegetables and whole foods I've been eating, I feel great. I do plan to add meat and dairy back in small amounts, but I'm very satisfied eating a mostly plant-based diet. It's totally different from the low carb diet I was doing before, but just as effective.

IanG
07-26-2013, 10:26 PM
I made my own up. I don't count calories but try to be intuitive, sort of.

I keep breakfast light.

And go for a large-ish salad lunch, with some low-calorie, high protein addition such as pan-seared scallops, pan-seared snails, canned sardines, canned clams, canned rainbow trout, canned sockeye salmon, canned octopus, canned tuna, chicken, beans, canned eel, shrimp, canned spats or canned crab.

And then I skip dinner entirely and drink beer instead. The best hoppy beers. Not the crappy low calorie ones. Green Flash Palate Wrecker. Stone RuinTen. They make the dinner table.

So far, so good.

amandie
07-26-2013, 11:18 PM
Former WWer for 2 years off/on, although recently I began to double track alongside with MFP (outta curiosity of my caloric intake with WW.) About 2 weeks ago, I decided to fully switch to calorie counting and so far so good! I feel much better because with WW, I kind of felt like I had to "hoard" my daily points.

shutterbugmama84
07-27-2013, 08:35 AM
Calorie conting is the only thing that had worked for me so far! And it's made it dare I say easy to lose weight. I can still have treats as long as I factor them into my daily calorie limit. It's free. And I can workout hard at the gym and then eat back some of those calories.

Jacqui_D
07-27-2013, 09:50 AM
I have counted calories in the past, and it always worked in the short run (approximately 6 months in my case), but for me, it always took a lot of will power, and as soon as I slipped a few times, I'd throw in the towel and fall off the wagon. I have a strong family history of insulin problems so carbs have always been an issue, so this time around, I decided to try a diet that I thought would be a better match for the carb cravings I get and wouldn't take so much will power but would work with my body in a more natural way. I am on the Slow Carb Diet. It focuses on eating only lean protein, legumes, and non-starchy veggies, and avoiding grains, dairy, fruits, and sweets. But also there is one cheat day a week, which is recommended to fool your body into not thinking you're dieting and to allow you not to feel you're deprived from certain foods. I've only been on it for about 9 days now, and so far, it's working great for me. It's really curbed my carb cravings, which are my trigger, so I don't have to rely so much on will power to succeed. Good luck on whichever plan you choose!

carter
07-27-2013, 09:57 AM
Calorie counting worked for me but even more important than the overall strategy I use to limit intake are the tactics I use to make it easier to stick to my plan.

It has been essential for me to engineer my environment so that staying on plan is the path of least resistance. For example, coming home at the end of a long day hungry and tired without knowing exactly what is for dinner makes it hard to stay on plan. It leads to "Hm, what do I feel like eating?" and "I'm so tired tonight...I'll just get takeout." So I plan ahead, do lots of cooking on the weekend so I have planned leftovers ready for dinner during the week, and at most all I have to do is a few minutes to prep a salad or saute some extra veggies.

That is just one example, and its specifics may not match your needs and lifestyle. The point is the general principle: that whatever plan you choose, do some thinking about the situations when it becomes hard to make the choice to stick to that plan, and think about ways you can plan ahead with with your shopping, preparation, and thinking to make the right choice easier when those moments come.

To me, that is what "works".

aly352
07-27-2013, 11:34 AM
Well I`m doing my own plan but it like any other diet counting calories eatting only lean protein,vegetables and 1 bite of sweet once a month. Only thing new im doing now is taking roxylean fat burner since I was told it helps with my work out at planet fitness.

Lost total of 50 lbs from just exercise and counting my calories :)

My workout is one hour of cardio one day and next day I do one hour of cardio and strength exercise

EatMoreCelery
07-27-2013, 11:41 AM
Doing what has worked for me in the past~
Counting calories ... low carb ... low fat ... lean protein.

Hyacinth
07-27-2013, 01:01 PM
I go for a two-mile or longer walk every day (this is up from zero miles per day), and I only eat two meals a day, a small breakfast and a bigger dinner usually, with healthy snacks in between.

It has never been as simple as following a few rules for me, though. I found it important to set myself up with easy exercise opportunities, healthy relationships and boundaries with people, and the personal resources to change my habits. I find it helpful to be flexible and open-minded to trying new things. I always thought I would be sedentary, even if I was a thin person. All that changed when I bought a house and learned the manual (i.e., less expensive) methods of lawn care. And then after never identifying myself as a dog person, I got a dog. It was more for reasons of personal safety, but she has certainly infused exercise into my schedule!

Jennifer 3FC
07-28-2013, 09:26 AM
I made my own up. I don't count calories but try to be intuitive, sort of.

I keep breakfast light.

And go for a large-ish salad lunch, with some low-calorie, high protein addition such as pan-seared scallops, pan-seared snails, canned sardines, canned clams, canned rainbow trout, canned sockeye salmon, canned octopus, canned tuna, chicken, beans, canned eel, shrimp, canned spats or canned crab.

And then I skip dinner entirely and drink beer instead. The best hoppy beers. Not the crappy low calorie ones. Green Flash Palate Wrecker. Stone RuinTen. They make the dinner table.

So far, so good.

:lol3: I was reading so intensively!

madelinerose94
07-28-2013, 05:47 PM
I don't count calories, it doesn't really work for me. Instead, I have become really aware with what I am eating and the size of my portions. I eat healthy foods (i.e. fruits and vegetables), healthy fats (i.e. avocados) and if I want something delicious, like a muffin, I make healthy alternatives. Everyone is different, and perhaps further down the track I may count calories if I hit a plateau.

mandmsgirl
07-29-2013, 04:17 AM
The diet plan that works best for me is 1) I never eat anything with sugar in it. 2) I only eat healthy foods. 3) I am a vegetarian 4) I drink smoothies with chia seeds in them...I've lost a lot of weight...I never count calories

lulu3
07-29-2013, 01:23 PM
I literally have tried every diet out there, and probably numerous times.....so this time, which is working.....I am watching what I eat, portions, lots of fruit, lots of vegetables, protein beef, chicken, tuna, pork... and if I want a sweet I have one, BUT, the size of the sweet is probably 2 fork fulls, and yes for once I am satisfied. I also drink only water all day with 1 cup of coffee in the morning.

It is working for me and I made it a point to do it this way because I want this to be a lifetime change. I have to cook everynight, husband, 3 teenage boys, so there is food in the house all the time, but how I approach food now seems to be the total difference. It is truly life changing and I realize that this is how it will be the rest of my life!!:D

curvynotlumpy
07-30-2013, 01:30 PM
I made my own up. I don't count calories but try to be intuitive, sort of.

I keep breakfast light.

And go for a large-ish salad lunch, with some low-calorie, high protein addition such as pan-seared scallops, pan-seared snails, canned sardines, canned clams, canned rainbow trout, canned sockeye salmon, canned octopus, canned tuna, chicken, beans, canned eel, shrimp, canned spats or canned crab.

And then I skip dinner entirely and drink beer instead. The best hoppy beers. Not the crappy low calorie ones. Green Flash Palate Wrecker. Stone RuinTen. They make the dinner table.

So far, so good.

:wave: Ian! I've been really impressed with your steady and consistent weight loss. I've also been impressed and interested in how you approach your diet. It seems like you've achieved that wonderful balance between healthful eating and not sacrificing everything you love i.e. beer ;) I do have a few questions regarding your approach:

Like you, I love a big, green salad with protein. And of course there are countless ways to prepare a healthy salad. With that stated, do you ever get bored with a lunch salad or do you see yourself switching this up at some point in the future?

How long did it take you to acclimate to your light breakfast, healthy salad, and no dinner routine? Has this always been your plan or did you experiment to find what works for you? Most days I do have a healthy salad for lunch that keeps me full until dinner and beyond. Yet, I still find myself eating dinner and at this point I think this is working against me. I think my fear is that I'm going to be ravenous come morning if I DON'T eat dinner. I've never tested the theory so I can honestly say I'm not sure.

Finally, your workouts seem intense. Has there been any noticeable impact on how you physically feel? By this I mean, do you ever feel extra hungry on days that you lift, or lightheaded because you maybe haven't eaten enough? Do you ever struggle during a workout because you're at a calorie deficit?

Thanks for being such a great motivator!

lin43
08-01-2013, 05:05 PM
It has been essential for me to engineer my environment so that staying on plan is the path of least resistance. . . . The point is the general principle: that whatever plan you choose, do some thinking about the situations when it becomes hard to make the choice to stick to that plan, and think about ways you can plan ahead with with your shopping, preparation, and thinking to make the right choice easier when those moments come.

To me, that is what "works".

I agree completely. The more I become aware of situations that derail me, the more apt I am to stay on plan. For instance, I now accept that---at least for this point in my life---I cannot have treats at home. If I have them, I will eat them immoderately. For the most part, if I can resist buying them when I grocery shop, I'm in good shape. Today, for example, I resisted buying pretzel rods and Nature's Valley peanut butter granola bars. However, I did not resist buying Talenti Gelato covered pops (dark chocolate over sea salt caramel). I had realized some time back that I cannot have a pint of their sea-salt caramel gelato in the house because I eat it in one sitting. However, because these were the bars (& only 170 calories each), I talked myself into buying them, believing that I could eat them moderately. Wrong. I ate all three just this afternoon (and I was supposed to limit myself to just one tonight). So, I am much better off keeping that stuff out of my house and just eating that sort of thing outside of the house in small portions.


To the OP, I also calorie count and have been doing so since June 2011. I do not find it tedious as some do. What has made it much easier is using a smartphone app to enter it.

crispin
08-04-2013, 10:47 PM
I've been doing well for over 4 years now. Different things have worked for me at different points.

In the beginning, I didn't need to be that strict calorie-wise. Mainly what I did was...
~ A little exercise: walked 3.5 miles 4-5 times a week.
~ Focused on eating a diet that kept my blood sugar steady.
~ Ate more fruits and veg. I've always loved them, but I made it a point to eat 5+ servings a day.
~ Nerding out on nutrition research to learn which foods could make me feel best. Then I made it almost like a game to get as many of those foods in me belly on a regular basis.
~ Checked labels for fiber and sugar grams. I preferred 5g+ for fiber and under 10g for sugar in processed foods. Exceptions were made. :D

Most of my weight came off during this time. I went from a size 12/10 to a 4.

Then I went down to a size 2 by doing more intense exercise and calorie counting.

I put on a few pounds after I became less active and careless about calories. So now I'm focusing on exercise and staying aware of calories. I don't desire to get down to my lowest weight (103'ish) but would like to be 106-109. I feel best at that weight. I know those numbers sound v low, but I'm only 4'11" and it works on my frame.

spryng
08-05-2013, 02:57 PM
For me it depended on where I was at in life to what plan worked for me. I started with a very low calorie plan and I'd do that mon-fri and take the weekends off, that shed 45 lbs.. then I switched to more exercise and more calories, that took off another 10 lbs and now that I'm just 10 lbs from goal I'm doing the IE (intuitive eating) plan and I've shed several more lbs by simply tuning into my body, only eating when truly hungry and only eating what I'm truly hungry for which has been a life saver for me. Now that I have found IE I'll NEVER go back to a structured diet again, I'm having to re-learn my own body signals and throw out my diet mentality but it's been so freeing and the scale is once again my friend :)