Weight Loss Support - The word "diet" and calorie counting




mandymercier
03-12-2014, 09:59 PM
One thing that has a helped me through my weight loss journey has been getting rid of the word "diet." I never say things like "I'm on a diet" or "When I come off my dietů" I try to focus more on living a healthy lifestyle that I can only achieve by making changes to my current lifestyle without looking back. What about you guys- do you find yourself often saying you're on a "diet" ??

I also stopped obsessing about calories. I've realized that the more I counted calories, the more I stressed out. I stopped checking the food label to find out how many calories I was consuming and realized it doesn't really matter if I go slightly under or slightly over some days. Do you count calories??


abetterme
03-12-2014, 10:14 PM
I never say that I'm on a diet. I always say "it's a healthy lifestyle change" I don't see the point of diets. I would rather just eat healthy and enjoy what I'm eating rather than call it a diet. Just never made sense to me.
I count calories on myfitnesspal but I don't get that upset if I'm over my limit for the day. I usually only count breakfast and lunch and eat til I'm full for dinner. I do get obsessive if I track every little thing. By tracking just breakfast and lunch I get a general idea of what I'll have for dinner. And sometimes I track dinner after I already ate it and I'm usually never too far over the cals anyways :)

kaplods
03-12-2014, 10:55 PM
I do not have the stereotypical dieting mindset, but I still use the words I've grown up with.

Diet (noun) - the foods a person eats on a regular basis. A synonym for the currently more pc term WOE (way of eating).

Diet/dieting (verb) to make conscious food choices with a purpose in mind (such as blood sugar management for diabetics, symptom control for allergies, weight loss for obesity, weight gain for underweight.....)

I have no problem with saying, "I'm dieting," or "I'm watching my diet," because I know I'm talking about long-ranging lifestyle changes, not quick fixes with a starvation/deprivation focus.

I do experiment with different ways of eating, and I'm confortable calling them either diets or WOEs. I normally wouldn't say that I'm "on" a specific diet (because it does sort of imply temporariness), but I might say something like, " I'm currently experimenting with a low-carb paleo diet.

I don't mind when I or others use the new or old terms, but I do dislike the way a few people use the terms (as if the terminology itself will determine success or failure). These folks are easy to recognize. Usually there's some pretentiousness or self-righteousness in their tone of voice, as they look down their noses and declare that you are doomed to failure because you used the term diet, while they are guaranteed success because they used the more pc, term WOE, or lifestyle change (even if you're happy and consistent with your "diet" and they are miserable and change their lifestyle or WOE every day of the week).

I think having a positive, goal-oriented, non-punishing, long-term focused attitude is more important than which terms you use. If you need or want a new term to overcome negative attitudes and associations linked to the old ones that's fine, but it's also ok to use the old terms with a new attitude.


abetterme
03-13-2014, 12:21 AM
I do not have the stereotypical dieting mindset, but I still use the words I've grown up with.

Diet (noun) - the foods a person eats on a regular basis. A synonym for the currently more pc term WOE (way of eating).

Diet/dieting (verb) to make conscious food choices with a purpose in mind (such as blood sugar management for diabetics, symptom control for allergies, weight loss for obesity, weight gain for underweight.....)

I have no problem with saying, "I'm dieting," or "I'm watching my diet," because I know I'm talking about long-ranging lifestyle changes, not quick fixes with a starvation/deprivation focus.

I do experiment with different ways of eating, and I'm confortable calling them either diets or WOEs. I normally wouldn't say that I'm "on" a specific diet (because it does sort of imply temporariness), but I might say something like, " I'm currently experimenting with a low-carb paleo diet.

I don't mind when I or others use the new or old terms, but I do dislike the way a few people use the terms (as if the terminology itself will determine success or failure). These folks are easy to recognize. Usually there's some pretentiousness or self-righteousness in their tone of voice, as they look down their noses and declare that you are doomed to failure because you used the term diet, while they are guaranteed success because they used the more pc, term WOE, or lifestyle change (even if you're happy and consistent with your "diet" and they are miserable and change their lifestyle or WOE every day of the week).

I think having a positive, goal-oriented, non-punishing, long-term focused attitude is more important than which terms you use. If you need or want a new term to overcome negative attitudes and associations linked to the old ones that's fine, but it's also ok to use the old terms with a new attitude.

You make a good point there. When I think "I'm on a diet" it makes me think, ok so does that mean they'll eventually go off diet and not be eating healthy anymore? I never hear anyone say "I'm on a lifetime diet" So that's why it comes off as negative at times. But I do say things like "My diet is a full of fruit, veggies, and grains" or even "I'm watching my diet" The word dieting does seem temporary when used, IMO. Maybe because most of the people I know who have said that, did in fact, gain their weight back. I know that's not all people who are dieting, though, and would never tell someone they're wrong for being on a "diet". I still just say lifestyle change or just trying to eat healthier from now on because it helps me explain my healthy eating better to people who ask and it's just what I prefer. The being on a diet mindset doesn't help me push further, maybe because growing up being on a diet was always a temporary thing for me that I could never sustain. So maybe it's negative in my mind because of that. Interesting thought, though. Never really thought of it that way.

Koshka
03-13-2014, 03:04 AM
I agree that it is not a good idea if you think you will go on a diet to lose weight and then plan to get off the diet once you've lost weight.

As far as calories, I do count calories and I also count Weight Watchers points. I find that it helps me if I can know what I'm taking in and what calories I'm burning (I use my Fitbit to determine that). If I don't track what I eat and set some limits then I gain weight.

yoyoma
03-13-2014, 08:23 AM
I agree with everything Kaplods said about the terminology. In my case, and probably in yours as well, the term diet has become associated with a temporary condition so it's better for us to think about it as a WOE even though it is perfectly legitimate to use the term diet (noun or verb).

Regarding calorie counting, I am pretty sure I've read that most folks on the National Weight Loss Registry who lost weight and kept it off did so by CC and continuing to CC in maintenance.

That said, I have gotten to a goal weight several times, usually with CC. But despite my resolution to keep CCing, I inevitable stop during "maintenance" and regain some weight until I get around to making a big effort to do it again.

So, this time instead of CCing and resolving to keep CCing at maintenance, I have taken my own limitations into account as well as all the experience I have with other approaches and designed a WOE that lets me lose weight (or at a minimum not gain, but in fact I have been losing) without counting calories. It involves an eating window and guidance (a bunch of rules) and it's very specific to me. It also involves a lot of non-eating things (sleep being a huge factor for me), so I really should call it a Way of Living, not just a Way of Eating. But the primary difference is that everything takes into account the type of behavior that I know (or am at least pretty sure) I am willing to continue permanently (another big tip of the hat to Kaplods).

I am somewhat worried that my approach does not align with the most-frequently successful strategy as those of the registered successful maintainers, but I've tried repeatedly to fit myself to that mold and failed. So, instead I am trying to tailor my approach sufficiently to overcome the odds of bucking that statistic, and that, for me, does not involve calorie counting.

pixelllate
03-13-2014, 09:26 AM
To me I don't experience any sort of direct causation of my success (or lack thereof) between the word that I use and my results. I am a dieter and I follow a diet to lose weight and its never been a hindrance. I do think that when I am actively trying to lose weight, I use methods that I don't mind repeating and that are similar to what I want to do in maintenance but there are differences (otherwise I'd be losing forever! lol). But that is also because I like losing at a particular pace.

Personally, as far as calorie counting goes, I think that it depends on the individual. I am a list maker, and I work in data analysis, so doing these things relaxes me, so it depends on the individual.

Its all so individual, even though the result is (biologically) very similar - if terminology has a large effect on how a person approaches weight loss/maintenance, or the degree of calorie counting, etc.

Wannabeskinny
03-13-2014, 09:26 AM
We're on a weightloss forum, so obviously we're using words related to our eating patterns. I'm trying to completely disassociate myself from all buzz words because to me they all mean DIETING, and that inlcudes diet, WOE, lifestyle change, etc. I prefer to just call it it eating.

I don't find anyone pretentious or self righteous, we could really use an eye roll icon. If people take pride in what they do and what they accomplish then they owe it to themselves to feel good about that.

Munchy
03-13-2014, 09:34 AM
We're on a weightloss forum, so obviously we're using words related to our eating patterns. I'm trying to completely disassociate myself from all buzz words because to me they all mean DIETING, and that inlcudes diet, WOE, lifestyle change, etc. I prefer to just call it it eating.

Agreed! My diet is one that I've followed for six years and plan to for the rest of my life (with minor tweaks as I go). It encompasses many facets of many different "diets" but it's just the way I eat.

carter
03-13-2014, 10:25 AM
I do not like thinking in terms of "lifestyle change." I find it both hokey (almost as bad as the cloying "weight-loss journey") and daunting. I don't think in terms of the rest of my life. That's just too darn long. I think in terms of the next food choice I have to make.

I do have a plan for active weight loss when I am pursuing active weight loss, and a plan for maintenance when I am maintaining, and I think in terms of "on-plan choices" and "off-plan choices". Part of my plan includes counting calories.

So, that's the terminology I've developed myself over the years I've been working on this.

Locke
03-13-2014, 10:26 AM
When I talk about diet I'm referring to what a person eats. Dieting of course has man different definitions. I find that if I restrict the types of foods that I eat, count calories, etc I run into problems. What I'm doing right now really suits me.

miniapplecocoa
03-13-2014, 10:55 AM
I do not like thinking in terms of "lifestyle change." I find it both hokey (almost as bad as the cloying "weight-loss journey") and daunting. I don't think in terms of the rest of my life. That's just too darn long. I think in terms of the next food choice I have to make.

I do have a plan for active weight loss when I am pursuing active weight loss, and a plan for maintenance when I am maintaining, and I think in terms of "on-plan choices" and "off-plan choices". Part of my plan includes counting calories.

So, that's the terminology I've developed myself over the years I've been working on this.


HAND CLAP! I'm still trying to figure out "weight-loss journey" It might be a "trip" but it ain't no "journey" with an end. For me its a "PROGRAM" to get back to health and stay there. I do not intend to spend my LIFE so intensely focused on eating, weighing, measuring whatever. I'll go crazy! Got to fix my programing/conditioning fits for me! I'm glad there might be others that don't feel comfortable with that language.

kaplods
03-13-2014, 01:46 PM
I never hear anyone say "I'm on a lifetime diet"

And why would you? This is just another myth of weight loss, that every change has to last or be invisioned for a lifetime. You have to be willing to do something forever, but what that something is can change. What you're doing today doesn't have to be what you're doing tomorrow.

Besides which, how often do you ever hear anyone's "forever plans." Do you ever hear anyone say, "I showered, pooped, and brushed my teeth this morning, as I plan on doing every morning until I drop dead"?

Why should weight management be any different than all the other things people do without a definite end in sight?


The word dieting does seem temporary when used, IMO. Maybe because most of the people I know who have said that, did in fact, gain their weight.

And most of the people I know who use the word lifestyle change also regain. They're also more likely to continue to call their failed weight loss attempts diets and only their current method a lifestyle change (until it too fails, and then it becomes just another failed diet).

While you're trying not to be judgemental, you are falling for the mythology: 1. That "every choice must be forever" 2. must be proclaimed to be forever, and 3. that terminology affects outcome independent of attitude (which you generally cannot see in another person).

Dieters fail frequently, but so do lifestylers, just as frequently. Weight management is a very difficult skill, made harder by all the rules, myths, and catch phrases that come in and out of fashion.

"Lifestyle change not a diet" has become one of those catch phrases for at least 25 years, probably closer to 35, but permanent weight loss statistics are no better than they were then. Surely, if the "lifestylers" were more successful, there'd be more evidence.

You personally may benefit from the cognitive shift a terminology change can make easier, but statistics are pretty clear that weight management is damned difficult, no matter what you call it, or how frequently or infrequently you change your strategies.

The problem isn't that diets don't work. It isn't that forever-commitments to a course of action are necessary. A string of diets can work just as well, so long as you string the diets like unspaced beads, one touching another, rather than spaced like a rosary (forgive the sacreligious imagery).

We're taught and encouraged socially to take breaks between weight loss efforts, so if we decide the diet or lifestyle path isn't the one we wish to pursue, or if it's not yielding satisfactory results, the traditionally sanctioned response is to take a break while finding the better path.

Those socially sanctioned breaks are perhaps the biggest obstacle to permanent weight loss, or perhaps weight loss is just damned difficult no matter what you call it, or how you attempt it.

abetterme
03-13-2014, 02:19 PM
And why would you? This is just another myth of weight loss, that every change has to last or be invisioned for a lifetime. You have to be willing to do something forever, but what that something is can change. What you're doing today doesn't have to be what you're doing tomorrow.

Besides which, how often do you ever hear anyone's "forever plans." Do you ever hear anyone say, "I showered, pooped, and brushed my teeth this morning, as I plan on doing every morning until I drop dead"?

Why should weight management be any different than all the other things people do without a definite end in sight?




And most of the people I know who use the word lifestyle change also regain. They're also more likely to continue to call their failed weight loss attempts diets and only their current method a lifestyle change (until it too fails, and then it becomes just another failed diet).

While you're trying not to be judgemental, you are falling for the mythology: 1. That "every choice must be forever" 2. must be proclaimed to be forever, and 3. that terminology affects outcome independent of attitude (which you generally cannot see in another person).

Dieters fail frequently, but so do lifestylers, just as frequently. Weight management is a very difficult skill, made harder by all the rules, myths, and catch phrases that come in and out of fashion.

"Lifestyle change not a diet" has become one of those catch phrases for at least 25 years, probably closer to 35, but permanent weight loss statistics are no better than they were then. Surely, if the "lifestylers" were more successful, there'd be more evidence.

You personally may benefit from the cognitive shift a terminology change can make easier, but statistics are pretty clear that weight management is damned difficult, no matter what you call it, or how frequently or infrequently you change your strategies.

The problem isn't that diets don't work. It isn't that forever-commitments to a course of action are necessary. A string of diets can work just as well, so long as you string the diets like unspaced beads, one touching another, rather than spaced like a rosary (forgive the sacreligious imagery).

We're taught and encouraged socially to take breaks between weight loss efforts, so if we decide the diet or lifestyle path isn't the one we wish to pursue, or if it's not yielding satisfactory results, the traditionally sanctioned response is to take a break while finding the better path.

Those socially sanctioned breaks are perhaps the biggest obstacle to permanent weight loss, or perhaps weight loss is just damned difficult no matter what you call it, or how you attempt it.

You have made very valid points and I see where you're coming from.
Was thinking about this a bit more and the reason I had associated the word diet as negative was because of my failed diet attempts that were not even sustainable. They were very restrictive. And also the type of diets friends would consider like "the cabbage soup diet" things like that. So the weight would come back on after they stopped. But if someone were to tell me their diet was something sustainable and works, that would seem good to me. So yeah, just associating it with my own personal experiences, I guess. But I see what you're saying and it does make sense.

lin43
03-13-2014, 02:56 PM
I do not have the stereotypical dieting mindset, but I still use the words I've grown up with.

Diet (noun) - the foods a person eats on a regular basis. A synonym for the currently more pc term WOE (way of eating).

Diet/dieting (verb) to make conscious food choices with a purpose in mind (such as blood sugar management for diabetics, symptom control for allergies, weight loss for obesity, weight gain for underweight.....)

I have no problem with saying, "I'm dieting," or "I'm watching my diet," because I know I'm talking about long-ranging lifestyle changes, not quick fixes with a starvation/deprivation focus.

I do experiment with different ways of eating, and I'm confortable calling them either diets or WOEs. I normally wouldn't say that I'm "on" a specific diet (because it does sort of imply temporariness), but I might say something like, " I'm currently experimenting with a low-carb paleo diet.

I don't mind when I or others use the new or old terms, but I do dislike the way a few people use the terms (as if the terminology itself will determine success or failure). These folks are easy to recognize. Usually there's some pretentiousness or self-righteousness in their tone of voice, as they look down their noses and declare that you are doomed to failure because you used the term diet, while they are guaranteed success because they used the more pc, term WOE, or lifestyle change (even if you're happy and consistent with your "diet" and they are miserable and change their lifestyle or WOE every day of the week).

I think having a positive, goal-oriented, non-punishing, long-term focused attitude is more important than which terms you use. If you need or want a new term to overcome negative attitudes and associations linked to the old ones that's fine, but it's also ok to use the old terms with a new attitude.

ITA! No offense at all to the OP (more power to you--whatever works), but for me, as long as I know what I'm doing, what I call it really doesn't make that much difference. In fact, there might be just a slight advantage to me using the word diet as it seems to be an easy, quick explanation for why I turn down certain foods that others tend to want to push on me. If I say, "I'm dieting" I might get the standard "Oh, you don't need to lose weight," but they'll generally stop offering me whatever food they were offering.

lin43
03-13-2014, 03:05 PM
I do not like thinking in terms of "lifestyle change." I find it both hokey (almost as bad as the cloying "weight-loss journey") and daunting. I don't think in terms of the rest of my life. That's just too darn long. I think in terms of the next food choice I have to make.

I do have a plan for active weight loss when I am pursuing active weight loss, and a plan for maintenance when I am maintaining, and I think in terms of "on-plan choices" and "off-plan choices". Part of my plan includes counting calories.

So, that's the terminology I've developed myself over the years I've been working on this.'

It's so refreshing to read your post (and kaplods). I'm not sure why, but I often think that "it's just me" when I just don't connect with the majority on something that is so accepted, like the words and phrases used in lieu of dieting. The funny thing is that "diet" actual just means what you eat, but it's taken on a connotation of eating for weight loss. I would argue, though, that phrases like "weight loss journey" or "lifestyle change" now just have the connotation of being code for weight-loss dieting. I would say that most people who hear those phrases realize that the person using them is on some sort of plan in which eating is restricted in some way to lose weight.

Of course, as I mentioned before, if it helps someone to use a phrase rather than "dieting," that's great. Whatever works.

Locke
03-13-2014, 03:07 PM
The only difference between someone calling something a lifestyle and someone calling it a diet is that "diet" tends to be thought of colloquially as temporary. I agree with others that whether or not you consider your change in habits to be temporary or permanent doesn't make you any more or less likely to succeed. I've seen people on other forums argue about this same subject: "Ketogenic eating is a LIFESTYLE, not a DIET!!!".

Whether or not you consider your habit changes permanent can effect your actions. I don't think it should be a point of focus. My best success in dieting and any endeavor comes from taking things a day at a time. It's best not to worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Just make the best choices you can right now.

magical
03-13-2014, 03:23 PM
I never knew what "lifestyle change" meant until I passed the stage of true maintenance where a lot of my eating habits have literally become habits i.e. actions without much conscious thought.

For example, one habit I have is to not eat when I'm focused on something else - work or a unique event etc (so my original thought about me not being an emotional eater may not be entirely correct, hmmm). Looking back, I think in this last 6 days since the Malaysian Airlines flight went missing I only ate like 1000 cals a day as I have been really focused on the new developments of the story. Hunger was the only thing that drove me to the kitchen and if nothing nice is there, I leave empty handed.

Marniadec
03-13-2014, 03:43 PM
I use the word diet to mean "eating at a caloric deficit". I don't know how else to say it. Weight loss journey sounds silly and lifestyle change means a lot more than losing weight to me so it doesn't seem quite right.

hhm6
03-13-2014, 04:10 PM
For me saying I'm on a diet (to myself) makes me more accountable about what I eat and how I eat, like actively counting calories, making sure to work out. I'm trying to slowly get used to it and incorporate into my daily lifestyle so my portions are in the same sizes that I would measure out.

Before I would eye-ball things and didn't lose an ounce because I was eating at maintenance. For me, I have to use all these silly terms, but I agree there are days where all these weight loss things feel like a complete drag! (my no-loss weeks lol!)

Radiojane
03-13-2014, 04:41 PM
I find "Weight loss journey" to be a most ridiculously saccharine term. But that's just me.

I still use the word diet, because at this point I am still "restricting" but I know that I will be eating this way (with a few more calories) for ever. But outside of here, I don't talk about it period. I don't want to be defined by the fact that I'm losing weight.

ReillyJ
03-13-2014, 04:49 PM
I don't use the term "dieting" when talking to others about my lifestyle because of what THEY might interpret it as.... a specific way of eating (usually calorie and food restriction) for a LIMITED portion of time to achieve a goal and then you fall off the wagon, LOL

I just say my way of eating, or more to the point: portion control which most (esp) Americans have no concept of.

I understand the definition of "diet" is more correctly to describe one's food intake but i don't think the average person thinks of it in those terms which is why i don't use it w/others.

kaplods
03-13-2014, 06:03 PM
I understand the definition of "diet" is more correctly to describe one's food intake but i don't think the average person thinks of it in those terms which is why i don't use it w/others.

Maybe this varies regionally, but this isn't my experience. I find that most people do use and understand diet as a generic term. I hear people (thin people too, not just overweight people) all the time talking about diet in the generic sense:

"I'm concerned about my five year old's diet, I can't get her to eat any vegetables."

"I need to reduce the amount of fat in my diet, my doctor is concerned about my cholesterol."

"My diet would be a lot healthier if I didn't like fried foods so much.

"Now that I'm diabetic, I have to watch my diet more carefully."

"If you want to bulk up, you need to weightlift and add extra protein to your diet."

Context tells you how the person means it.

"On a diet," or "dieting" is generally weight loss. "On a special diet," or "my diet" could mean anything, but usually you can tell what the person means by how they use the term. Within a sentence or two you get what they mean.

pixelllate
03-14-2014, 09:14 AM
Just like how the word "diet" might make people feel a certain ways, the words "lifestyle change" (when used while actively in the weight-loss stage and not in reference to the maintenance stage) and "weight loss journey" makes it feel like I live in a tiny box with 5 ft tall ceilings lol. So different strokes I guess. Nice to know that we aren't alone though in that words evoke different feelings amongst everyone.

Wannabeskinny
03-14-2014, 09:42 AM
I never knew what "lifestyle change" meant until I passed the stage of true maintenance where a lot of my eating habits have literally become habits i.e. actions without much conscious thought.

... Hunger was the only thing that drove me to the kitchen and if nothing nice is there, I leave empty handed.

I want to be like this! :carrot:

jodyrew
06-03-2014, 05:07 AM
For me, the best that I have tried is Paleo. And I DID NOT worry about 'counting calories.' Been with it for the last several years now. Not only did it help me lose weight, but actually feel great! My love for it inspired me to write a book because it inspired me to share the greatness I have found in Paleo. Perhaps you can too. Just remember to eat the foods appropriate in Paleo! There are a lot of recipes available and you can eat deliciously without feeling the guilt! :)

Mrs Snark
06-03-2014, 08:16 AM
I try not to get bogged down in semantics or in judging other people's choice of words to express whatever it is they are doing.

Michou
06-03-2014, 08:48 AM
Words take different meaning according to the context they are used, just generic words until you stick them in a sentence.

My favorite answer in regard to what I eat is : No thank you. I do not have to justify what I choose to eat to no one but myself.

Pattience
06-03-2014, 09:03 AM
So, i see myself as "being on a diet" right now. Its a weightloss journey. lol. Yes my diet is about losing weight. And it is a journey though i don't cover too many kilometres since i'm not really doing much exercise.

I find the word journey useful. As i've done a lot of travelling in my time its a meaningful term. I've been on other sorts of journeys too. Of course it might not be so meaningful to others. They may even find it pretentious or pointless but that's how i feel terms other people use.

WOE most of the time i can't even remember what it means so that frustrates me a little.

Back to my diet. while technically incorrect, as kaplods has shown us, i'm only on this diet until i reach my goal weight. Then i am no longer on a diet. But what i eat will not change. The way i am eating now is for life and i like to think of it like that because it helps me feel more committed.

Other people may not find that a useful way of thinking about their food choices, but it is very significant to me since every time i have reverted to eating sweets in the past, i've regained the weight i lost, so this change adopted involves quitting sweets but its only a diet so long as i'm losing weight, at least in terms of the terminology i use.

I think this thread shows that we are much more particular and diverse in the ways we think about and conceptualise the way we talk about our weightloss efforts than the way we actually go about losing weight. Which is a good thing.

Some people are totally comfortable with old terms and don't much care for the new. Some prefer the new over the old. Some find the new pretentious. Some find the old constricting and negative. etc etc. With the diversity of our backgrounds, is it any wonder?

synger
06-03-2014, 09:38 AM
I use the word diet to mean "eating at a caloric deficit". I don't know how else to say it. Weight loss journey sounds silly and lifestyle change means a lot more than losing weight to me so it doesn't seem quite right.

I've never thought of it that way, but now that you describe it, that's how I use the term "diet", too. No matter what the plan is, the overall plan usually includes a calorie deficit. Even plans that don't emphasize calorie counting, like low-carb, often have a group that follows it and still needs to count calories in order to lose weight. *raises hand*

The other way I might use "diet" is "food choices for losing weight".

IanG
06-03-2014, 09:40 AM
To be honest, on the way down and especially at the beginnng it was a diet. I cut drastically and with full focus and energy and I am glad that I did because those pounds that shifted fast really motivated me. A year plus on, I am still trying to lose the last few pounds but my diet really isn't an exercise in restriction any more. Yes, I count calories but I eat much more balanced so that I eat quite a lot.

What I have learnt, is that this whole game is a law of averages. It's not so much what you do one day or another but how everything shapes up over weeks, months and years based on how your body works. So a bad meal here and there is not going to make much difference. Nor is a concerted effort to cut calories that only lasts a few weeks. Which is why I have strongly come to dislike branded diets because they don't teach you much about what to do when you've finished with them, lost the weight and need to maintain.

So diet to lose. Make a lifestyle change to maintain. And don't let any day freak you out mentally on what will need to be a long journey of getting the averages right.

Wannabeskinny
06-03-2014, 10:15 AM
What I have learnt, is that this whole game is a law of averages. It's not so much what you do one day or another but how everything shapes up over weeks, months and years based on how your body works.

... Make a lifestyle change to maintain. And don't let any day freak you out mentally on what will need to be a long journey of getting the averages right.

Well said.

mars735
06-03-2014, 10:17 AM
So diet to lose. Make a lifestyle change to maintain. And don't let any day freak you out mentally on what will need to be a long journey of getting the averages right.

This!

Re comments about cliches, omg I need to go back and do some editing :o I always refer to weight loss journey because it was just that for me. Weight maintenance, on the other hand, is more like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. They're distinct, imo, because weight loss is more goal-oriented. Even if you adopt the same WOE for both, there is a mental endpoint to weight loss while maintenance is "forever", until death anyway.

moonkissed
06-03-2014, 11:48 AM
I like to think of it as a healthy lifestyle change. Mostly because I think for me it is so much more then just food. Its probably 80% mental! I am changing far more then just my diet.

I LOVE calorie counting. I lost most of my weight & got to my lowest weight counting calories. I think it taught me alot more about nutrition, what is in food, and to pay attention. I also think it is just so easy to guess wrong about the food you are eating.

But I just recently started over after a big fall out. I decided I just can not count calories right now. I have anxiety disorder and it really causes me to dwell on every small aspect far too much. I get overwhelmed, feel like I am doing it all wrong-not eating enough/eating too much/not eating the right things and it turns into a nasty cycle. It was fine when I was in a good positive place but I am just not there right now. So attempting to count calories was kindof just too much for me to start with.

Instead I am just focusing on portion control, eating far less processed junk, and eating healthy food. Adding fruits and veggies galore.

Once I have balanced out being able to make good choices and eat well. I will add back in calorie counting to clean it up more.

:carrot:

kelijpa
06-03-2014, 12:06 PM
Kaplods thanks for the chuckle!
Besides which, how often do you ever hear anyone's "forever plans." Do you ever hear anyone say, "I showered, pooped, and brushed my teeth this morning, as I plan on doing every morning until I drop dead"?

Munchy this is me, except it's about 2 or 3 yrs on my current constantly evolving plan
Agreed! My diet is one that I've followed for six years and plan to for the rest of my life (with minor tweaks as I go). It encompasses many facets of many different "diets" but it's just the way I eat.

Ian love this
So diet to lose. Make a lifestyle change to maintain. And don't let any day freak you out mentally on what will need to be a long journey of getting the averages right.

This has been a great read, I can't find the other thing I wanted to quote, about how sometimes it's easier depending on who you're talking to, to say I'm on a diet...I really don't know what terms I use, but as some have said, whatever works for you, keep doing that, if it stresses you out or feels like you're in a straight jacket, quit doing that, but don't quit what works, even if you're only doing a small part of some "diet" it'll help.

Best to all :sunny:

atmos
06-03-2014, 12:47 PM
I find the word journey useful. As i've done a lot of travelling in my time its a meaningful term. I've been on other sorts of journeys too. Of course it might not be so meaningful to others. They may even find it pretentious or pointless but that's how i feel terms other people use.


I like that word, too. I use it a lot for my religious practice (well, path, but with a quite similar meaning). I don't really hold a negative connotation to the word "diet" when other people use it. I try hard not to judge the way others eat and think that one's weight loss journey is really a matter of different strokes for different folks. But for me personally, dieting is not a useful thought process.

For me, I am counting calories because if I don't, I won't lose weight. It helps to have a calorie goal to prevent a potential binge in the evenings. It also is getting me used to eyeballing portion sizes such that when I'm at the point of trying to maintain a loss (I've been able to maintain my original 20 pound loss from 160, but keep bouncing between 130 and 140 for years now) I won't have to continue to track calories. That's my hope, anyway.

I don't really think of myself as on a diet, rather I'm trying to accomplish a variety of goals that are not pure weight loss. I want to reduce my body fat percentage, improve the quality of my food intake, and quit using binge eating as a way to deal with my negative emotions. I also want to improve my physical fitness and my dance abilities via a variety of exercises. And hike better.

If someone asked, I'd say yes I am trying to lose a bit of weight. But I don't really think of it as dieting, in the traditional sense of the term due to a fixed start and stop point as well as a goal of weight loss only. Similar to Pattience, it's more of a path for me. It will continue to evolve, and there is really no end point in sight until, well, I die.

As with any path, while there is enjoyment in the accomplishments there is also enjoyment in the journey. When I go for a hike, I feel very accomplished at certain milestones (made it up that steep incline, made it above treeline, reached the summit). But I also enjoy being outside, breathing the fresh air, stopping to examine an interesting bug, or to check out a particularly nice overlook.

One of my favorite phrases is, "Anail a Ghaidheil, air a mhullach!" This translates basically to, "The Gael's breathing [resting] place, on the summit!" I cannot rest until I reach the summit of my path. And this particular path, like so many others in life, has no ending. So, with my quest to increase the quality of my diet and exercise consistently, in turn improving the quality of my life, that is for life and there really is no stopping point, no rest.

I'm okay with that.

Paulitens
06-03-2014, 01:16 PM
I call it "diet" because it's shorter, but philosophically speaking (as a life philosophy) I take it as a lifestyle. It started out as a diet, and I had a goal weight in mind (I still do) but as time progressed I started incorporating other healthy foods that were not "allowed" in my diet because I realized that once I reached my weight goal, I was going to have to continue eating healthy or I'd become one of those "why diets fail" statistics. I didn't want to become a statistic. I wanted a change in my life, I wanted something permanent. And so I shifted from dieting to just having an overall healthy diet, and exercising a few times a week (I'm not much of a fan of working out unfortunately). I hate calling it a "diet." That's not what I'm doing. I'm just having a healthy lifestyle, but I guess that's too long for me. :P

diamondgeog
06-03-2014, 01:23 PM
3FC helped me a lot with the phrase Way of Eating. I first saw it as WOE. It really helps me to have the word diet out of it completely.

I just saw this interesting recent article and it is a short read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/abby-langer/calorie-tracking_b_5428908.html

Jonathon Bailor has come out with the Calorie Myth which I find interesting also.

Also typically even using scales and trying to be super particular in counting calories you are going to be wrong 10 to 15% on calories. Then unknown sauces eating out, or even sauces at home, etc. So 10-15% off would be for world-class estimators and world-class packaging and asking about every ingredient in everything when going out.

atmos
06-03-2014, 03:17 PM
3FC helped me a lot with the phrase Way of Eating. I first saw it as WOE. It really helps me to have the word diet out of it completely.

I just saw this interesting recent article and it is a short read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/abby-langer/calorie-tracking_b_5428908.html

Jonathon Bailor has come out with the Calorie Myth which I find interesting also.

Also typically even using scales and trying to be super particular in counting calories you are going to be wrong 10 to 15% on calories. Then unknown sauces eating out, or even sauces at home, etc. So 10-15% off would be for world-class estimators and world-class packaging and asking about every ingredient in everything when going out.

It is definitely important to keep in mind all the potential and/or likely sources of error when trying to estimate one's calorie intake on a daily basis. But the key word there is "estimate". A calorie counter must understand that it is all, in the end, an estimation and one of many tools for weight reduction and control.

I understand that for many people calorie counting is not a good option. I don't think these people should think calorie counting is the ONLY WAY. We must all do what works best for us, and that involves some trial and error. I find calorie counting the best approach to weight loss/weight control for me personally.

To address each piece of the article from my point of view:

1) I track mostly calories, but I'm also considering the macro- and micronutrient contents of the foods I eat. It can help me decide if a glass of milk or a banana is better to include in my meal depending on my needs for the day. I'm not going to delude myself to think that a day of eating 1500 calories of potato chips and ice cream was as healthy as a good mix of meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains (yes, I eat grains and function well on them) like I would typically aim to do. There is a difference between trying to lose and trying to eat a healthy diet. My goal is to marry the two.

It's fine by me that I am just estimating calories. I do like to weigh my foods to help visually judge portion sizes for when I cannot weigh them, like at a restaurant. I don't go out to eat much, but when I do I very rarely eat at chain restaurants. That means I must try to visually judge from my meal what the approximate calories were. If I estimate a little under/over I don't mind. I also don't bother with the estimation until after I enjoy my meal, so I have no anxiety over going to a restaurant and enjoying my meal with friends.

At the moment I'm very much enjoying a chocolate cookie from the cafeteria. I'll worry about calories later. Right now all I can think is how delicious it is.

2) I don't feel compelled to eat more in a day when I'm not hungry unless I'm severely low on calories towards the end of the day (like under 1000). Likewise, if I feel hungry and have eaten a sufficiently large number of calories, I will still have a snack. I have a large window of about 400 calories width that I aim for. I think this also helps addresses accuracy issues. I think having a large window could help with this effect, but if you are the type of person who must absolutely hit exactly 1500 calories every single day, then perhaps you should seek another method.

I do have issues with binge eating, where I eat when I'm not hungry. This has nothing to do with my calorie counting, though.

3) I've found the "net calories" method to be helpful in driving home the fact that one cannot out-exercise a poor diet. I go for a 30 min run, feel like I should be able to eat a ton, only to see I had burned about 200 calories only. That's a few crackers and a piece of cheese. The only time I've been able to burn a significant amount of calories is if I do a big hike, something on the order of 10 miles with a few thousand feet of elevation gain. In which case, I really should eat more that day and I do.

Because of my difficulty tracking the amount of activity I did to estimate calories burned, I decided to switch up my method to taking a deficit from my total daily activity and existence. I estimated this based on a combination of several online calculators as well as my average calorie intake over a long period of weight maintenance. This approach has been working very slowly, but very well overall. I no longer need to worry about changing the amount I eat based on exercise, unless of course I have something like a 1000 calorie burn on a long hike.

4) I ignore such predictions. If one finds it triggering, I would suggest they use an app without this function or change their methods.

5) I definitely understand where this point is coming from and agree this can be triggering for some individuals. This is one of the many reasons why a person may not find calorie counting a suitable practice for them. For myself, I have no obsessive thoughts associated with the practice.

I'm a little disappointed that my chocolate cookie is now gone.

Pattience
06-03-2014, 05:31 PM
I never answered the calorie counting part of the question. So now i am.

I find calorie counting useful but time consuming and tedious. So i've done it. But i haven't done it for well over a month now and the days on this diet since the beginning of the year that i've done it have been less than 20.

Instead i keep a food diary and pay attention to the scale. This combination lets me know i'm on the right track. Of course in doing this, i understand the scale and don't freak out by its unpredictable fluctuations.

More recently i've learnt another method that will reliably replace calorie counting. And that's monitoring hunger and satiety before and after a meal or any food intake. I'm still not doing this strictly according to the instructions but i believe it is a reliable method. I have noticed how my awareness of hunger and satiety has improved and how i'm ready to quit eating before fullness but when satisfied. Its a very easy system.

I think for the systems i've used to work successfully, one must be eating healthy food not processed foods not because you can't notice satiety etc, but because if you eat primarily processed foods, you hunger signals may not reflect what your body actually needs so well. And even if i was keeping a food log, i think i would have been too hungry to stick to the plan. So i need to eat whole foods in order for my food log, hunger monitoring and weightloss to work.

novangel
06-03-2014, 06:52 PM
I don't call it anything and I don't talk about it. I prefer to just think of myself as a gym rat. It's the best stereotype to be IMO ;) but I definitely did make a lifestyle change...one that is permanent.

memememe76
06-03-2014, 07:13 PM
I am not a big fan of terms like "lifestyle change" or phrases like "This is permanent!" It's a bit too much for me. I mean, if you maintained for 10 years but got sidetracked because of some major life change, did your diet or exercise regime fail you?

I like the idea of just not talking about it. Or just talk about the positives, ie. "I love to run--my route this morning was so beautiful!" or "I ate this great sandwich with whole wheat bread!".

In terms of self-talk and self-motivation, the terms don't much matter to me. I just do it.

novangel
06-03-2014, 08:52 PM
I am not a big fan of terms like "lifestyle change" or phrases like "This is permanent!" It's a bit too much for me. I mean, if you maintained for 10 years but got sidetracked because of some major life change, did your diet or exercise regime fail you?

I like the idea of just not talking about it. Or just talk about the positives, ie. "I love to run--my route this morning was so beautiful!" or "I ate this great sandwich with whole wheat bread!".

In terms of self-talk and self-motivation, the terms don't much matter to me. I just do it.

Permanent in the sense that I'm going to run for as long as my legs allow me...but otherwise yeah I don't talk about it.

Streudel
06-03-2014, 09:42 PM
If someone asks me if I'm on a diet, I would probably say either " No, I'm just paying more attention to what I eat. " Or I may say " No, I'm not paying the slightest bit of attention to what I eat and I wish you wouldn't either. " :lol:

When I think about the way I eat, I'll think to myself " I'd like to make this change to my diet," or " I could use a little more of this in my diet. "

I never follow someone else's diet, so I guess, like some others, I don't think of the word " diet " as anything other than another way to say " how I eat ".

Gingerjv
06-04-2014, 11:24 AM
Diet is too strict word for me. I am new here and decided to change my life. But i think first you need to start with at least healthy food and lifestyle. When you get results i am sure you will already have some understanding of what restrictions you need to have in your life. Motivation is a great power. Just START to do at least something. after getting results no one will be able to stop you from getting body of your dreams;-)