Weight Loss Support - Finally!




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jhiraqua
10-15-2005, 12:08 PM
Well, it's the 3rd day of my low carb diet and I actually woke up feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Instead of dreading a day filled with thoughts of food that I can't have,I find myself planning todays menu and actually feeling satisfied with the small bowl of oatmeal that I consumed. My sis who's a year older than and is currently living with me has been at this diet and exercise thing for about 3 weeks and I can already see the pounds magically melting away. She has started the low carb diet with me today so maybe that will help me stay motivated. If anyone has or is doing the low carb diet I'd really appreciate any feedback,advice,and tips. Oh, and I've been walking about 9-10 miles a week coupled with some weight lifting, squats,and sit ups(is that enough?) Anyway,I look forward to hearing from you!


Tealeaf
10-15-2005, 04:46 PM
I'm not doing low carb, but I am glad that it is working for you and your sister.

The best general advice I can think of to give is to make changes in your lifestyle that you can do for the long run if you want to keep the weight off in the long run. I've tried dieting more times than I can count, and only when I took little livable "baby steps" changes that I could actually live with comfortably did I have the success that I am currently enjoying.

Second, losing weight takes time. Don't be too focused on what the scale tells you. Women in particular are prone to having weight fluctuations due to our monthly cycles. You can do everything right, not cheat on your diet, exercise the way you should, and still show a gain for the week. Don't sweat it, it's the long run that counts.

As far as your exercise goes, every little bit helps. It sounds to me as if you are certainly doing a reasonable amount. I believe that even doing 15 minutes a day can help if you haven't been doing any before (I wasn't). I think that the exercise routine that is now habit for me is the #1 factor in changing how good I feel about myself physically. I still have alot of weight to lose, but I feel better than I have in years. And the weird (to me) thing is, it *really* does become a habit after a while. I never, ever thought it would for me, but now I feel just... odd if I don't do my daily routines. I hope that you get to that point as well, if you are not already.

This is a great community for sharing support, tips, and information. Glad you found us!

jhiraqua
10-15-2005, 05:23 PM
For the support! I've not been as dedicated as my sis to the exercise thing which we both started about 3 weeks ago and I can really see the difference. Everyone is commenting on her apparent weight loss already! Me on the other hand have been at it on and off. But now that I'm on a roll I know that I will reach my goal weight. Well,I'm off to do my daily walk.


Ilene
10-16-2005, 12:16 AM
:welcome3: to 3FC :wave:

I don't consider myself a low-carber either but I am very careful of the carbs I do eat. I try to eat only complex carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, white potatoes sometimes...I try to eat as whole foods as possible... LOTS of veggies and salads and lean meats, fish and poultry...

Like Tealeaf said it has to be a LIFESTYLE you can live with because once you reach your goal you CANNOT go back to your old eating habits because you will gain all the weight back...

You're exercising seems to be ok for now but you will have to change things up and intensify your walks as you get fitter...

jhiraqua
10-16-2005, 10:47 AM
I really need all the advice I can get and I'm sorta coming to the realization that I won't be able to live a carb free life! I cheated(a little last night, had a cheeseburger and cake with tea) but before bed I worked out. I felt so guilty about it and started thinking about the consequences if I continue to cheat. So this morning I decieded to just watch my portions,my carbs and up my exercise routine. I'm so proud of myself! :D I got up a 7:30 am and went for a morning jog and walk! I feel great! Then I came home,ate a small bowl of oatmeal with Splenda and planned today's menu,which will be low carb but not unrealistically low. So,until later! Gotta get ready for church!

Ilene
10-16-2005, 01:25 PM
Lisa -- don't make that bowl of oatmeal too small, eat atleast a cup cooked... Add an eggwhite omellette for protein to keep you full longer... I eat a protein and a carb portion at every meal, I eat 5 meals/day...

Tealeaf
10-16-2005, 07:12 PM
I hope this doesn't sound as if I am dissing the low carb diet choice, because I really, really don't mean it that way.

I have heard plenty of low carbers (I'm not saying you), especially when it was gaining in popularity a few years ago, who made it sound as if going low carb were some sort of magical process that could cause weight loss regardless of how many calories they took in. They truly believed that if they could lose weight by eating buttered steak for breakfast, a couple of pounds of salami for lunch, and large chunks of cheese and bacon eaten as potato chips for dinner and lose weight, as long as they elimated those dread carbs. Most have by now backed off from those statements, buy I would wager there are still a few who believe that way. And if they don't lose weight doing this (and they don't), then it is because they cheated along the way and took in some carbs, not because low carb isn't in itself a magic process that circumvents the whole calories in vrs calores burned thing.

The thing about losing weight is, it really is just about calories in < calories burned = weight loss. Really. Nothing more. This doesn't change if you elimate carbs or fat or white refined foods or animal food sources or soda pop or fast foods from your diet. Really. It doesn't change if you don't eat carbs and protein or fat in the same meal. Really. It doesn't change if you follow the Med diet, Low GI diet, or the Cabbage Soup diet. Really. Some of the above might help you to get to the critical calories in < calories burned place, some more effectively than others, but they are a tool for doing so, a vehical for driving the process, not the process itself.

Going low carb can be a valid, helpful choice for losing weight. For some people carbs are trigger foods. A cup of cooked pasta isn't enough, if they sit down to a plate of it, they will eat four or five times the amount they should. One potato leads to six. And don't even get started on what some people can and do do to chocolate products (guilty!). For these people, dieting just is easier if they avoid the trigger foods altogether, and stick to a low carb diet in order to cut calories.

Others simply find they they don't feel as hungry eating reduced calories if those calories come from low carb sources. Dieting is just simply easier for them if they go low carb.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you might do well to take a long, hard look at the choices you are making to do so. Do you really want to be low carb for the rest of your life? Why are you going low carb right now? It is truly a logical choice given your eating patterns? I think these are questions that everyone should as themselves about whatever diet changes they are considering making.

Good luck with making your choices, whatever they turn out to be. This is a great place to ask questions, lots of very knowlegable people who have done their homework about. I truly believe that making informed choices about how you are going to lose weight is key in how well you do at it and especially in maintence.

jhiraqua
10-16-2005, 08:35 PM
I've heard those things here lately and I have been reevaluating my weight loss plan. I know that there is know way I'm going to totally live a carbfree lifestyle so instead I'm just going to watch portions and eat less carbs. I actually ate about a cup of oatmeal this morning, had skinless chicken and cabbage for lunch,and I haven't had dinner yet. I went for my morning walk but ended up babysitting and couldn't do my evening walk. Oh and I had a small portion of cake(a tiny piece),I feel a little guilty but it's better than my usual 2 pieces. Well,I really appreciate the input and advice and look forward to hearing from you all again!

penpal
10-16-2005, 08:52 PM
Hi Tealeaf,

I'm with you on this. I wish they would re-name the low carb diet "the no white carbs" diet or something!

I did the old Atkins diet of mostly meat & fat and sure I lost weight but wasn't able to stop my carb cravings and eventually reached for carbs like white rice, pasta, sugar - or the "bad white carbs" and gained back more than I lost.

I'm now back to good old "calorie counting" and I'm making sure that EVERYTHING I put in my mouth has SOME nutritional value - i.e. instead of cheescake - cottage cheese with delicious berries and a little sugar (can't stand any of the sugar substitutes). Also, I'll now have 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, where before I would just fill up a great big bowl full (probably a cup and a half).

I'm also pretty much doing the Zone diet of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat at EVERY meal and snack. This means I have this proportion for breakfast, lunch and dinner (or as close as possible). If I stick to this ratio I don't get hungry between meals.

To keep track of this I use Nutridiary online. I know a lot of people have had success with this and also Fitday. It doesn't really matter what kind of system you use to count your calories - even a pencil and paper will do - but count them you MUST!!! Portion sizes are way out of control in our society and this, I believe, is the root problem causing such an obesity epidemic. I figured I've been eating for at least two people all these years, so it's no wonder I was as big as two people!

I bought a cute little digital scale and I've put my measuring spoons and cups out so I can see them - AND USE THEM! It seems a bit obsessive at first, but for me it's the only way I can keep my portions under control. This way I can eat just about any kind of food - so long as my daily total doesn't go over 1500 - 1600 calories. I'm hoping that I'll eventually be able to judge my portions accurately without measuring.

The good part is that I no longer have "guilt ridden eating" as I know how many calories are in my "account" at any given time of the day and can plan my meals accordingly. :df:

penpal
10-16-2005, 08:56 PM
Hi Lisa,

I meant to wish you luck on your weight loss efforts. I started out at about your weight so I know how hard it is. Sorry about the long ramble above, but I hope some of it is helpful.

Whichever plan you settle on, I hope it works out for you! :df:

jhiraqua
10-16-2005, 08:57 PM
Welcome! I really appreciate you posting because it makes me more grounded in my decision to not overdo the carb thing. I know that I will end up back where I started because once I took a step back I realized that I've already been here with the low carb thing. I lost 30 lbs before doing it but ended up binging when the cravings became to strong so why keep up the vicious cycle. You guys are really helping me along in this journey and you're right the weight didn't just suddenly appear overnight so I need to be more realistic in my weight loss. Thanks,again!

Ilene
10-16-2005, 09:34 PM
Lisa, as you'Ve discovered this is the best site on the net for motivation... Keep hangin' with us 3FC gals and you can't go wrong... ;)

Heather
10-16-2005, 09:40 PM
Lisa -- I'm not going to weigh in (haha) on the whole low carb thing, as I think you've received some great advice already from Annie and Penny. It sounds like you're doing a lot of reading on this site and learning a lot (my, don't we all!). I just wanted to reiterate what you've probably read already: this is a long journey and one that involves all learning along the way. That said, don't feel guilty about the cake. Revel in the fact that you didn't have 2 pieces, and for next time try to figure out how much cake you WANT to eat beforehand and see if you can stick to that. It's baby steps sometimes.

Good luck and welcome to 3fc!

jhiraqua
10-16-2005, 09:58 PM
I just wanted to say that you guys are great and that I am actually looking forward to the long journey ahead!With people like you in my corner this will be fun as well as informative. How many calories should I eat daily and what types of meals should I plan? Any advice is welcome!

penpal
10-17-2005, 09:24 PM
Hi Lisa,

Here's what I'm doing:

1500 - 1600 calories a day (I tend to get too hungry and make bad food choices on less calories). My average weight loss is 1.3 lbs. per week - slow but sure. :snail:

I try to keep my foods balanced with 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat (basically the Zone diet). I use only healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts & oily fish (like salmon). No butter or cheese (except nonfat cottage cheese). If you eat too much fat as a portion of your calories, you have less calories left for yummy things like fruit :cb: and veggies.

I don't eat any red meat, but I do eat lots of fish and sometimes light meat chicken :chicken: with no skin. I've never eaten much fast food :mcd: , so I'm lucky that I don't have a craving for that.

I don't eat any "diet" or other chemical filled snack products - fruit and cottage cheese are my treats! I'd rather have the occasional piece of REAL chocolate or a cookie as long as I keep track of the calorie in my log. I can't stand Splenda or other sweeteners, so I use a little real sugar (only 16 calories a teaspoon) when needed.

I like to eat at least a couple of pieces of fruit a day and a salad & some veggies. I eat 1 slice of sprouted multi-grain bread per day and avoid "white" carbs with little nutritional value - i.e. white rice, white bread, pasta, etc. I "save" my carbs for fruit and veggies (not too many root veggies as they are very high in carbs).

I find it very helpful to use a free online food log called Nutridiary. Fitday is another similar program that is quite popular. This helps me to make sure I'm eating the right quantities and types of foods as it gives me a breakdown of the food values in what I've eaten.

I use measuring spoons & scales to make sure I'm not underestimating my calorie intake. You can save your favorite foods and meals on Nutridiary so it gets easier once you have entered most things. It takes a bit of getting used to but it's worth it.

I take a high dose of good quality fish oil a day. This really helps my arthritis and is good for overweight people as it reduces the amount of inflammation in our bodies caused by the excess fat we carry - which can lead to many health problems. I highly recommend Dr. Barry Sear's new book "The Anti-Inflammation Zone". He is the author of the Zone Diet.

Whew! That's about it - plus I work out 3x a week at Curves (which I love).

Feel free to ask any questions. Good luck! :goodluck:

judydc
10-17-2005, 11:38 PM
Hi, Lisa--

I'm appreciating all the good advice you've received already. One of my favorite things about this thread is how open yet non-pushy people are with suggestions based on their own experience.

After so many years of going up and down on low-fat diets, I figured out that I could eat cereal, pasta, bread (and sweets, of course) from now until without a bell going off to tell me that I'd had enough. So a nutritionist started me off on a "conscious carbs" plan last winter and it was a good fit for me. It's sorta like South Beach after the induction phase--I don't want to live if I can't eat any fruit! I have half an envelope of instant oatmeal in my smoothies, and will have a bit of rice or whole wheat bread now and again, but no more cereal. And I avoid sweets and most baked goods altogether, especially before lunch, or my whole day slides downhill. I'm big on fruit, veggies, lean protein and 'good' fats. I've had a few lengthy plateaus this year, which were very discouraging. But being on this site (and especially the Daily Check-in thread, under Support) helped me hang in there. Usually I'd stalled out because I'd gotten sloppy--not keeping my food log, not working out enough, or straying too far away from my food program for too many days in a row.

Everyone's body, habits, challenges and day-to-day lives are different. I think that each of us is making our own road by walking it. Good luck to you! Send me a private message or stop by the Daily Check-in if you ever need a boost.

judy

Heather
10-18-2005, 01:24 AM
Lisa -- I agree with Judy that everybody is different, and what works for one may not work for another. I think from what others write that I'm not alone in continuing to shift my food habits. When I first started out I just cut portion sizes of what I was eating. That helped ease me into these lifestyle changes.

Then I started logging all my food on nutridiary and realized just how much I was still eating... I started the move toward more fruits and veggies then... now I've started to add more whole wheat pastas, brown rice, etc. When I first started reading about what others were doing I thought "there's no way I could eat THAT! I don't like THAT." Well, then come to find out that my tastes are shifting AND I do like things I never thought I'd like before...On the other hand, while I was too nervous to try eating out much at first, now I do test the waters at restaurants more frequently, but now I need to make sure it's not TOO frequently... so the balance point tips again...

I guess what I'm saying is that this is a journey and a progression. Trying to figure out what will work "for life" for me is going to take me a long time, but that's okay by me.