Weight Loss Support - Don't eat that poorly, but still can't lose weight?




SmartButt
12-13-2006, 11:13 PM
Sorry - this is a LONG post!

Does anyone else feel like they aren't eating THAT bad, but still can't lose (or maintain) their weight?

Maybe it's just me fooling myself, but I thought I'd start this thread to see if there's anyone else like me out there.

Here's my typical routine - and I am not saying this is healthy, just when I read what others eat it doesn't seem so horrible:

Breakfast: typically either a bowl of honey-nut cheerios w/2% milk, a mini-bagel (130 cals) with 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese, or if I'm in a weird mood sometimes I'll have a weight watchers frozen meal around 300-400 calories.

Snack: I don't snack, its hard for me. When I force myself to snack, I eat maybe 1/2 of an apple and a handful of honey-roasted peanuts. The reason I choose honey-roasted instead of regular is because I feel like it helps me to not go get peanut M&Ms from our company's vending machine - which I used to love to do!

Lunch: Here's where I can go bad. If I'm being good, I'll bring a sandwich of some sort from home, and have a mini-can of diet pepsi and maybe a pickle. It fills me up. Sometimes I'll bring a couple cookies or a fat-free brownie that I made at home. If I'm being bad, I'll usually turn to the ol' standby of a quarter pounder w/med. fries & med. diet coke. I never "large" size.

Dinner: My fiance and I get lazy, but some of the time we do cook well. When things get stressful, we'll go get deli sandwiches. When things get REALLY stressful, we wind up with cheeseburgers or pizza. Again, I don't supersize anything, and with pizza I probably have 4 slices. And always with water or diet soda. However my one admission is this: I definitely keep eating even after I know I'm full. I *love* the taste of food and I love the act of eating.

Dessert: very rarely. Sometimes when I'm PMSing I'll mix up about 1/2 cup of melted chocolate with peanut butter, but that's maybe 3 times a month if that.

Exercise: I hit the gym 1-2 times a week (cardio and weights), and when weather permits, I also do intervals of walking and jogging on Sundays. Unfortunately I have a very sedentary desk job so during the day I don't do much but sit.

Weight: I was thin my entire life. When I hit 19/20, my metabolism started slowing down but my fast-food cravings did not. I graduated high school at 125 lbs and a size 6. By 23 I was a size 8. By 25 a size 10. I'm now a size 16 and it makes me cry every time I have to look at that stupid number. I was a size 14 last year, and I've been trying to LOSE weight, yet somehow gained!

Diets: The only diets I've truly tried are Fat Smash, South Beach and just counting calories & exercising. Fat Smash sucked for me - I can't eat brown rice and beans 24/7. I hate eating the same thing two days in a row, I'm weird like that. If I don't have variety in my diet and try to force myself to eat the same things, I wind up freaking out and going to McDonalds. South Beach had a good variety for me, and the first time I tried it I lost 12 lbs in 3 weeks - without exercise. It wasn't just water weight, I slid off the diet, ate my normal level of food, and it still took a year to gain it back. I tried to go back to South Beach, but that whole food repetition freak-out kicked back in.. South Beach made me hate salads and scrambled eggs. I have to force myself to eat either, now. When I did the counting calories, I ate between 1200-1500 calories a day, and worked out 2-3x a week for at least 30 mins. I barely saw any weight loss.

The result: In the past year I put on 15 lbs, 5 of which just happened in the last 2 months. I'm quite distraught and I don't know what the heck I'm doing wrong. I feel like going and getting my jaw wired shut. I'm at the highest weight I've ever been in my life and ready to just lose it, mentally. I've never had poor self esteem before but I feel really crappy about myself lately.

So... any kindred spirits out there??


FreeSpirit
12-13-2006, 11:21 PM
The hard part about doing what you're doing, is that, there are ALOT of hidden calories in certain foods.

It would be easier for me to just do what you're doing, and I would love to do that, but I know that it won't get me anywhere because I need to know how many calories I'm eating, or else I'll eat way too many.

Try going to www.fitday.com and seeing how many calories you REALLY eat. You may be suprised...

SmartButt
12-13-2006, 11:31 PM
Well, it is true I am relatively unsure of the calories I currently consume, but trust me, I am quite familiar with counting calories. I did it for about 3 months, counting everything that touched my lips. As I said, even when I did that and was eating more healthy and at home more so I wouldn't go over my "goal calories" for that day (1200-1500), I wasn't losing weight. That's why I'm curious if anyone else has ever had this problem.

I'm one of those people that even if I have a stomach flu and don't eat for 3 days, my body doesn't let go of a single pound.


SlimLindy
12-13-2006, 11:37 PM
Hi! I can definitely identify with your frustration and pain. It is hard to feel like you are trying, but not achieving the results. I'm glad you wrote a long post, because the more information you give, the easier it is for people here to identify what might be helping/hurting.

What sticks out to me is this: Although there are many variables, the bottom line of weight loss is consuming fewer calories than your body is expending. It is great that you are exercising, because that increases the calories you burn every day. The thing is, you are still consuming more calories than you are burning if you are gaining weight. This is not hard to do. I am an AVID exerciser (I do a combo of running, lifting, elliptical, and step aerobics for 2 to 4 hours per day) and even with all that exercise I binged on so much food that I gained 20 pounds in 2 months. So it is definitely quite possible, even with exercise, to consume more than you burn.

My suggestion is to look more closely at how much you are eating. Here is a rough guess of the caloric intake on your sample day:

breakfast (any of those you stated): 200-400 calories
snack: if you have honey roasted peanuts, it could be 200-400 calories (if it is a pretty small handful)
lunch: don't know what's on your homemade sandwich, but McDs lunch comes to 980 calories
dinner: four pieces of pizza, depending on size and type, could be 1000-1600 calories.

A day like that comes to 2400-3400 calories. And that's not including whatever else you might eat til you're 'full' in the evening, or any other snacks, etc. Even at a size 16, even with exercise, you probably will not ever lose weight at this level of caloric intake. Losing weight is not going to happen 1) if you are sporadic or try it in 'fits and spurts' or 2) if you are just loosely 'wanting' to lose weight but not applying the basic principles.

From reading your post, it sounds like you have everything in place in your life to just go for it and do this! You have a willingness to change, a desire to make choices that will help you in that, and you are already exercising (a big head start!). Now it just comes down to being really honest with yourself about what you are doing. I really suggest starting with a food journal to see exactly what you really are eating. Then see what you would be willing to change to achieve your goals. It CAN be done! For me, I have found that I have no choice... I will either eat healthfully in moderate portions and exercise, or I WILL GAIN WEIGHT. Making all the right choices just seems easier than the anguish of continuing to gain.

What I do is count my calories and try to get between 1400 and 1600 daily. I exercise a lot, and I found that going lower than this resulting in bingeing because it was too restrictive. I try to get all my calories (or as many as I can) from whole foods. LOTS of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains. The more you focus on healthy foods, the easier it is because you have more energy and your body quits telling you it wants the junk. Plus, you can eat a LOT more if you stick with the healthier stuff because it is less calorie-dense.

Sorry for my long and rambling response. I know you were looking for encouragement, and I feel like the most encouragement I can give you is tell you, "You can do it" and to give you the tools to get there.

Best wishes! I'm in this with you!

Lindy

srmb60
12-14-2006, 12:08 AM
There's a thread kicking around here somewhere that's about metabolic testing. There is no way on earth that everybody uses the same amount of calories by doing the same thing as the next guy. We are absolutely individual machines ... marvelous machines.
I'll see if I can find that thread and make a link.
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99569&highlight=metabolic

My second point is about fitday. I want you to try again. Totally disregard anything else but the foods. Measure carefully, enter honestly and check your reports. I've learned so much about foods and their nutritional values through fitday! I have a lot of faith in it.

My third thought is about food quality. Check out the Whole Foods threads and the food lists on the Body for Life site. Whole natural foods ... there's tons of them. You need never be bored.

And come back to this thread. Read, savour, mull over your thoughts. We'd like to hear what you're thinkin'.

futuresurferchick
12-14-2006, 12:14 AM
Maybe you could try making some small changes. For example, getting regular instead of honey roasted peanuts. Having 1 or 2 slices of pizza instead of 4. Eating a healthier cereal like Fibre 1 (it doesn't sound very appetizing but I think it tastes great). Instead of ordering a cheeseburger, you could maybe try a grilled chicken sandwich (without mayo) and skip the fries or get a small. When you get deli sandwiches, you could get a lower-fat meat like turkey or ham (and again skip the mayo and other high-fat sauces). These are just some examples.. it's the small changes that really do add up. Maybe you're overwhelming yourself by trying to go on some extreme diet when it's really the small lifestyle changes that will work in the long run. And I agree with lovelypurple that you should think about writing down what you eat and keeping track because it really does give you a clearer picture. In the end it's calories in vs. calories out. :)

SmartButt
12-14-2006, 12:24 AM
First, I want to thank you guys for reading all that & writing. It feels very good to have your support. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I guess sometimes I just feel gipped because I know people who don't have to hardly do anything to lose weight. Or the women around my weight tell me how they binge on twinkies and drink regular soda and eat fast food 3 times a day, and that's why they are where they are. I feel like screaming, what did I do to deserve a crappy metabolism? But, I guess the first step is accepting that this is how it's going to be now.

When I counted calories for a few months, I was keeping a food journal and even bought a heart monitor Polar watch thing to keep track of calories burned during my exercise routines. I wasn't totally on-point every day, but I felt like I was doing so much better than I had been (or am now.) And yet, I still wasn't seeing a change on the scale. Maybe 1 pound, maybe 2. I get so impatient and just feel like, why the heck is everyone around me losing weight and seem to be barely trying?

I will take your suggestions into consideration and attempt to implement. I will definitely keep you posted. I'm going to need the support! :)

srmb60
12-14-2006, 12:32 AM
Get talking to us around here ... ain't nobody gonna tell ya it was easy and that they hardly change a thing. It's work honey but well worth the result. The thing is, you have to hang in until the funner parts. They'll come, honest.

JayEll
12-14-2006, 07:20 AM
Hey, SmartButt, I see lots of good ideas for you to try. Sorry about the metabolism problem--I can certainly relate. I exercise 6 days out of 7, and sometimes all 7. My "average" daily calories eaten for the past 3 weeks has been 1354, my "average" daily calories burned has been 2045, and I've lost 2 pounds. Not very swift, is it. I feel really stuck. But that "average" daily calories amount contains two potluck parties where for the day I went over 2000. I know from experience that it will take a week for my body to recover from just one day like that, so I'm not planning on suddenly weighing less tomorrow. ;) That's just how my bod works!

Stay away from the pizza and quarter pounders and fries. They are really dangerous foods for me!

Good luck!
Jay
198/184/155

northernbelle
12-14-2006, 08:13 AM
For myself, nothing good happens unless I really, really stick to my meal plan. Even with 5 days of exercising, I need to be strict. I try to divide my caloric intake into segments- Breakfast, snack/lunch, dinner and evening. If I go over during the day, then the evening gets cut back. For example, last night, I only had roughly 200 calories left because dinner was 500 instead of 400 calories, so evening snack was cantaloupe and cottage cheese.

If I stay strict for 6 days, then I can loosen up a bit on the 7th. Most often that means making a dessert with dinner because my mother comes to eat. I haven't been inside a McD for over 6 years. I buy the local pizza Wednesday special once every two months. By watching all the time, I can go out to eat with the extended family without too many worries (Christmas is coming up).

Even after all that, I am just maintaining, although I think I may be down as far as my body will let me go. The whole idea is to be very, very good 80-90% of the time, and just a little bit bad 10-20% of the time. It's too easy to let those 'stressful' times when you don't feel like preparing food creep up on you.

midwife
12-14-2006, 09:17 AM
You'e gotten a lot of good advice. There can be such a variation in calories in the foods you have posted. I would absolutely recommend staying away from McD's (says the one who had a green chile cheeseburger and fries, oh and the rest of my kid's cheeseburger last night...they weren't from McD's, but from a local equivalent)...sigh
It is true life is not fair, but you are the one who is learning how important it is to pay attention to what you put in your mouths. Persons who eat twinkies, fast food, and soda...that's garbage, ya'll, and I guarantee that WILL catch up with them.

Why do we pollute our bodies with junk? I know it "tastes good" or it "is convenient" or we "deserve" a treat...healthy stuff tastes good, too, can be convenient, and, by golly, I deserve good health and longevity and a cute butt. : )

Deserving and doing are two different things though.

What is fabulous about 3FC is that we get a peek into the lives of people who are successful at weight loss. Consistent attention to the KIND and AMOUNT of food that pass their lips. Consistent effort with cardio and weights. Daily choices, each and every one of them....I betcha no one who is maintaining eats McDs more than once a week, if at all.

I think it comes down to how much do you want it??

No, it is not fair, BUT, do you want your body to live on junk? Or on healthy, yummy building blocks of protein, muscle, fuel to function, fiber to clean your your "ahem"?

I know what I want! The doing is not always easy...but!
(I just motivated myself!! Hahaahaaa!!!)

Good luck!

Mami
12-14-2006, 09:40 AM
It used to be very easy for me to lose weight, but since I put on all this weight in the last year (had a baby), its very slow going trying to get it off. I realized since joining this site a few months ago that I was really giving it a half-baked effort and that's why I was only losing less than 1 pound a month. I was working out maybe 1-3 times per week rather than my current 4 times religiously. I was eating huge portions of meat and thinking that was a low calorie meal because it was lo carb and not a "whole food".

I also thought I was eating relatively healthy, but since counting my calories on fitday.com, I realize I was eating way too much (huge portions with foods that are much higher in calories than I was willing to admit). Maybe try replacing each thing you normally eat with a lower calorie option. Your 3 per month chocolate concoction sounds pretty high in calories and low nutrition value and could be adding perhaps 1 pound to your weight after 2 or 3 months of this (over 1 year that could potentially be 4 pounds); just cutting this out could make a difference. Try the crisp n crunch peanut protein bar (I found it on the internet); its chocolate covered and to me tastes like a cross between a rice krispy treat and a snickers, but its 160 calories and has 15 grams of protein to fill you up and hopefully rev up your metabolism. When I go to McD, which is rare cuz generally I don't like the food, I get a regular sized hamburger with no cheese (cuts like 90 calories I think) and probably 1/2 the calories of the quarter pounder; at Wendy's (where DH likes to go), I realized after consulting the online nutritional info that there are less calories in 2 junior hamburgers (with no cheese or mayo) than a burger with fries.

The bottom line is that I realized if I am EVER going to get rid of this weight, I will need to be very strict with my eating and my working out. Since joining the site I've lost about 10 pounds of body fat (going by jeans size and that I can see muscles again like when I used to lift weights) and that is a good motivator because it has made such a difference to my appearance and probably my health. I have found this site VERY motivational, inspirational and informative so hopefully you will find the same.

srmb60
12-14-2006, 09:54 AM
I'd like you to post some stats too. The problem of being stuck can have different solutions depending on where you are in the weigh loss battle

Heather
12-14-2006, 09:54 AM
I'm not convinced you have a metabolism problem. You said that you can have the stomach flu for 3 days and not lose weight... well, 3 days isn't really much time...

And you said you could do all the right things and lose maybe 1 or 2 pounds... over what period of time??? If that's over 2-4 weeks, that could be exactly right!!

It's hard to tell from your posts just how long you're able to stick with healthy eating. Are you sure you aren't expecting miracles?

nelie
12-14-2006, 09:59 AM
I want to try to give my thoughts on your eating. Although I don't think it is horrendous, I think you are eating a lot of calories that you may not realize.


Breakfast: typically either a bowl of honey-nut cheerios w/2% milk, a mini-bagel (130 cals) with 2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese, or if I'm in a weird mood sometimes I'll have a weight watchers frozen meal around 300-400 calories.


Honey nut cheerios certainly isn't the best but do you measure how much you put in your bowl? How about your milk? Your breakfast doesn't seem to be too bad but it probably ranges from 200 to 400 calories.


Lunch: Here's where I can go bad. If I'm being good, I'll bring a sandwich of some sort from home, and have a mini-can of diet pepsi and maybe a pickle. It fills me up. Sometimes I'll bring a couple cookies or a fat-free brownie that I made at home. If I'm being bad, I'll usually turn to the ol' standby of a quarter pounder w/med. fries & med. diet coke. I never "large" size.


Even if you don't large size, I think your lunch can use a lot of improvement. Eating fast food is definitely something that can cause weight gain. If you must, I'd try to limit that to a couple times per month at most. What do you put on your sandwich you bring from home? Cookies and brownie (fat free or not) isn't the best.


Dinner: My fiance and I get lazy, but some of the time we do cook well. When things get stressful, we'll go get deli sandwiches. When things get REALLY stressful, we wind up with cheeseburgers or pizza. Again, I don't supersize anything, and with pizza I probably have 4 slices. And always with water or diet soda. However my one admission is this: I definitely keep eating even after I know I'm full. I *love* the taste of food and I love the act of eating.


Again, fast food isn't the best to rely on. Even deli sandwiches can contain a lot of calories. Also, 4 pieces of pizza seems like a lot to me. I have pizza once in a while but I eat 2 pieces max and it is usually an all veggie pizza with a nonfat crust and sauce.


Exercise: I hit the gym 1-2 times a week (cardio and weights), and when weather permits, I also do intervals of walking and jogging on Sundays. Unfortunately I have a very sedentary desk job so during the day I don't do much but sit.


This is something that you could definitely work on to increase. During the day, can you get up and walk around? I have a desk job but I try to get up and walk around when I can.

About your food in general: Where are your veggies? Where are your whole grains? Where are your fruits? I know you pointed out the worst of your eating but I think you are relying on a lot of empty calories to keep your body going. Honestly, looking at your eating, I'd say it is definitely a weight gaining diet. Each of our metabolisms are different and as we get older our metabolism slows down. I think you were blessed with a high metabolism when you were younger and your poor eating habits are catching up to you. Even if you just cut out the fast food entirely (or 1-2x month), I think you'd notice some improvement.

SmartButt
12-14-2006, 09:59 AM
I had a long talk with my fiance last night and we've both sworn that we will *at least* cut out fast food from our dinners together. Both of us are total junk-food addicts and if one of us even slightly acts like we don't feel like eating healthy, the other one will just push it over the edge by suggesting fast food instead. We've agreed this is only serving to make us fat, and probably shorten our life spans. I wish I would have fallen in love with a personal trainer, hehehehe.

I suppose that making a true, whole-hearted effort is what I need to do... for some reason I just can't find that mindset within me. I seem to get stuck at that "its not fair" mentality every time.

This morning I was thinking to myself about how good I feel during the day, but by the time I get home from work in the evening, I'm pooped, don't feel like going to the gym, and just want to curl up on the couch and relax. I was thinking, I should write myself a letter that goes something like this:

Dear Evening Me,
This is you, begging you to remember how upset you are about your weight and health. This is you, begging you to remember how much you WANT to work out, how much you NEED to work out, and how you promised yourself this morning you'd do it when you got home. Do NOT listen to your current self telling you it's ok to sit on that couch! Get up, put your tennis shoes on, and go to the gym!

Love always,
Morning Me

I feel totally self-absorbed and like I need 24/7 motivational support or something stupid. I am very good at manipulating myself and "bargaining" with myself and conveniently forgetting what my resolves are.

I think I'm going to try to post more often here about myself, perhaps I will feel more accountable then.

Mami
12-14-2006, 10:11 AM
Is it possible to either exercise at lunch time (though you may have no where to walk outside and it may take too much time to get to the gym and back to the office)? If not, you might try eating a healthy snack around 4:30pm or so and then going STRAIGHT TO THE GYM without going home first. Once home in your cozy surroundings, who in their right mind would feel like changing, going back out in the winter night, and torturing oneself on some boring machines. Perhaps try doing this 2 times per week and then go with your fiancee to exercise together on the weekends.

SmartButt
12-14-2006, 10:19 AM
Mami - That's a great idea, and he and I have discussed doing just that. Not sure why we haven't implemented it. We live together, so he'd be pretty upset if I went to the gym without him. But he gets off of work around the time that I do, so I could just pick him up (he takes the bus to/from work) and then drive us straight to the gym.

I'll just have to sit down and think of some good afternoon snacks to pack with me in the morning. I get tired of apples and bananas... and I have to avoid hitting up the Evil Vending Machine that's 30 feet from my desk.

srmb60
12-14-2006, 10:34 AM
Another tip is to have supper almost ready before you go to work. Get those chicken breasts out of the freezer, grab a bagged salad.
You don't need to hurry home from work because supper will only take a few minutes.

Heather
12-14-2006, 12:12 PM
I don't LIKE going to the gym, but doing it really helps. I find if I make a commitment to myself, it's easier. I just tell myself I have to go.

I also found I couldn't go to the gym AND cook dinner the same night. Sundays I cook up some kind of food with multiple servings (e.g, red beans and rice, chili, etc). Then after the gym all I have to do is heat and eat!

As for PM snacks: a small handful of nuts, bring peanut butter for the apple/banana, cottage cheese, a small slice of cheese and maybe a couple of crackers, a healthy granola bar, veggies and hummus.... that's a start on ideas, anyway.

NESunshine
12-14-2006, 02:13 PM
I also found I couldn't go to the gym AND cook dinner the same night. Sundays I cook up some kind of food with multiple servings (e.g, red beans and rice, chili, etc). Then after the gym all I have to do is heat and eat!
This is brilliant, I do this too! I've found having a Sunday ritual is really helping me...I go the the gym in the morning then switch my playlist over on my Ipod to something relaxing and hit the grocery store and buy lots of veggies and fruits and lean means (I keep my pantry stocked with whole grain staples so I don't have to buy all the time) then when I get home I measure and break everything into portions and cook some meals for the week to take to work and heat for dinner. This is allowing me to get to the gym in the evenings a couple of days a week...which I'll only do if I drive straight there and I put my gym bag in the car in the mornings and make no excuses for not going. This is also saving me a TON of money.

I've gained 30 pounds in the past year since I started working a desk job...and most of what I have to thank for that was takeout and fast food. Breakfast most days would be a big fat egg and cheese English muffin sandwich from the cafe and a full fat latte...or dunkin donuts bagel and cream cheese and a large coffee with cream and sugar....We would eat out for lunch every single day....chili cheese dip, burritos, burgers, pizza....there were no veggies or fruits in my diet. Then when we would have evening events it would be first stop bar for drinks and noshes before the shows, then out again after at a fully catered party! I was probably eating close to 4000 calories a day on some days, about 3000 on others. My first step was cutting ALL of this out. I no longer eat any office takeout, I deal with the torture of the good smelling Chinese food that my boss is still plowing back, or the Macdonald's food at the train station when I'm on my evening commute. I'm working on self control at the parties and am only going to the ones that I'm required to make an appearance at.

Just now by not only watching my calories but also paying very close attention to where they are coming from I am already feeling better. I'm sleeping better, have more energy, make sure I get all my water and nutrients and it makes a HUGE difference. And as an extra bonus I'm losing weight and a nice steady pace, about 2-3 pounds a week, but more importantly my body is feeling cleaner overall.

I also agree with small changes like switching to regular or better yet multigrain cheerios....watching the serving sizes.....switching to 1% or skim milk etc.

kateful
12-14-2006, 03:49 PM
I agree that I don't think you have a metabolism problem. If you are losing 1 or 2 pounds a week, your body is doing what it's supposed to be doing. If you want really fast weight loss, amputation is about the only thing I can think of that really works for that. But I wouldn't recommend it.

denice81
12-14-2006, 08:48 PM
something that helps me feel "motivated" is learning more about nutrition. Sometimes its hard to just eat healthy food unless you know what the junk does to your body, and conversly what the healthier options do for you. A great book i'm reading is Superfoods RX..cant remember the auther, but he talks alot about nutrition (and theres alot of healthy foods that taste great, you just need to know what they are!)

SmartButt
12-14-2006, 09:18 PM
I agree that I don't think you have a metabolism problem. If you are losing 1 or 2 pounds a week, your body is doing what it's supposed to be doing. If you want really fast weight loss, amputation is about the only thing I can think of that really works for that. But I wouldn't recommend it.

I'm not sure if this was directed at me, but I've never lost 1-2 pounds a week. I lost 1-2 pounds in the entire 2-3 months that I was counting calories and exercising. When I would eat like a pig and never exercise, I'd maintain. It was like my body was begging me to just stay at this weight.

Unfortunately now, I'm eating poorly, but still exercising a bit, and I'm gaining weight like crazy. If I hadn't just started TOM, I'd think I was pregnant or something. I guess it's just me getting old.

Calejo
12-15-2006, 01:18 AM
I'd suggest making some meals ahead of time during a time that you two may have with more energy (say in the morning, or on the weekend?) also, I'm not sure how your pizzas are cut, but here, 4 slices is half a pizza! Which is quite a bit, honestly. Try drinking a lot of ice-cold water and impliment healthy snacks throughout the day (like Yofurt, or the 100 calorie snacks they sell, a glass of milk, etc.). The ice-water will spike your metabolism as well, causing your body to work harder to warm it up. Be vigilant in your workouts, and in your eating/tracking what you eat. Just keep going and don't give up. Don't get discouraged by comparing yourself with others... those girls may be your weight, but it's not because they're on their way to a healthier, sexier body, they're on an unhealthy road, hon, just passing you by on the way. I have a problem trying not to compare myself with girls who are my weight or lighter and wondering if I'm ever going to get there. I've come a long way, but I want it to happen sooner than later. lol I also like the convenience of fast food and I can't stand restrictive or "stifling" diets, I will binge so fast it's not funny. So I just decided to re-educate myself about healthy foods (what actually is and isn't) and relearned how to shop and what to cook. I'm still learning and I won't freak out about it, but I have to eat well and take care of my family and myself. We're worth it. If you really want this, you'll make it work for you. You can do it and we're here to help!

One a side-note: during the months you were tracking food and excercising, was your body (overall look) improving? You may have been gaining muscle and losing fat, but not showing it on the scales...

Kokomo
12-15-2006, 04:49 AM
I so agree with Nelie, where are your veggies, fruit and whole grains?

I lose very slowly but I didn't start to lose until I switched to whole grains, they keep me fuller longer so I eat less carbs.

I ate more fruit. I upped my veggies to 5 a day.

If your going to have pizza make a homemade healthier one and only 1-2 pieces. Have a salad first.

Good luck, you can do this. It takes lots of time and patience. It also takes experimenting to find what works best for you to lose weight. I can eat good 6 days a week and if I eat off track for a day, I have blown my weight loss for the week.

JayEll
12-15-2006, 06:59 AM
Hey again, SmartButt,

It's true that metabolism can slow down as we get older, but I bet you are not all that old!

Some years ago there was the "set point" theory, which said that our bodies have certain weight points where it's hard to go down once we get there. I don't know whether this was ever proven.

Whether your metabolism has slowed down or not, the question is, how are you going to deal with it? I think your plan is good--more exercise, better snacks--and I LOVED your letter to yourself.

Someone here on 3fatchicks has a great saying at the end of her messages: "Failure is giving up what you want most for what you want now."
:o

Good luck! And by the way, I did have that sudden weight loss--I got back on my plan, and dropped from 184 to 181 in a day. (But that's no doubt mostly water weight.)

Keep going. You can do this.

Jay

Beach Patrol
12-15-2006, 10:33 AM
Hey SmartButt -
you've gotten some great advice here. The only thing I can think to add is to say that unless I write it all down & per-fect my portion size control, I will gain weight. I have found that I ALWAYS eat more than I think I do.

FitDay is the bomb - the most helpful computer tool for a dieter, IMHO. For about a week, I wrote down every morsel that went into my mouth. THEN I entered each day on FitDay. I was SHOCKED to see that I wasn't eating the 1200 or so calories I THOUGHT I was eating.... nope.... it was more in the 1800 range! No wonder I wasn't losing any weight, & I was an exercising freak.

So maybe that's the culprit. Perhaps you are eating more than you think you are eating. Take a closer look; I bet you'll be able to start losing more & lose it faster once you get your calories under control.

:dance:

MariaOfColumbia
12-15-2006, 11:47 AM
If you think your metabolism is too slow, read up on "insulin resistance". Excess insulin in the blood stream makes it very difficult to access fat. If you've been bashing your system with easy carbs for a long time, you may have well built up a resistance to the amount of insulin your body has to produce to deal with the rise in blood sugar.

And it's only a hop, skip and a jump into full blown diabetes from there, but some of the disasterous health consequences of diabetes can start years before the blood sugar starts showing up as abnormal. Don't let it happen!

ennay
12-15-2006, 02:17 PM
If you think your metabolism is too slow, read up on "insulin resistance". Excess insulin in the blood stream makes it very difficult to access fat. If you've been bashing your system with easy carbs for a long time, you may have well built up a resistance to the amount of insulin your body has to produce to deal with the rise in blood sugar.

And it's only a hop, skip and a jump into full blown diabetes from there, but some of the disasterous health consequences of diabetes can start years before the blood sugar starts showing up as abnormal. Don't let it happen!

you know...know that you mention it, I have been eating more bloodsugar friendky for the past couple years and this is the best I have ever done with weight loss. I think I WAS I.R. before and now I am not.

SmartButt
12-15-2006, 10:45 PM
I wouldn't doubt the insulin resistance part, even though that's scary. Diabetes runs in my family. My mom finally lost enough weight and went from being RIGHT on the borderline of diabetic, to normal numbers.

The stats on me? I'm 35, 5'6" and as of this morning, a whopping 190 lbs. I have NEVER weighed this much and I can't believe how fast these last 5-10 lbs flew on. It's bizarre.

But back to the insulin resistance. I definitely am a carb-aholic. It is very hard for me to follow a low-carb diet, but I did see results when I followed one. I've tried to do the whole-grains and fruits/veggies and energy wise I felt so much better. But - and without wanting to sound like I'm whining - it's hard to schedule healthy meals. As stupid as it is, its so EASY to order pizza or take-out. I'm taking the lazy person's way out and I need to stop.

I wish I just knew why mentally it's so hard for me. I wish someone could brainwash me into actually doing what I say I'm going to do. ****, even today - after writing all of that to you guys? I went to McDonalds for lunch, telling myself "I'll start Monday." How many times have I said that to myself?

Maybe I can hire all of you to come to my house and slap me around every time I think of eating junk. Hehehe.

LisaMarie71
12-15-2006, 11:10 PM
I know how hard it is to change eating habits, believe me, and I have a long way to go before I'm eating a truly healthy diet. I think the best thing for some of us is to just try to get a handle on the numbers before trying to go hardcore with the clean whole foods. I still eat processed stuff, I drink Diet Mountain Dew, I eat sugar and flour and all that stuff I shouldn't, but I've lost 57 pounds since July 18. Am I as healthy as I could be? Probably not. Would I have stuck to a completely clean diet for this long? Absolutely not. And I can last on a low carb diet for about one day at the most.

My advice to you is to take baby steps and worry about your overall caloric intake first without freaking out about whether you're eating enough whole grains, etc. Of course it's better to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and counting calories tends to force you to do that anyway because you want to get the most food for your calorie budget. I just don't think people should stress so much about the whole processed food thing, at least not in the beginning. I've removed 57 pounds of fat from my body, so of COURSE I'm healthier than I was. And I wouldn't have done it if I'd had to stick to a whole foods diet. I'm all for making gradual changes and getting this weight off without being so strict that I end up resenting the changes I'm making and doing the inevitable backslide into binging. When I hit a plateau, I'll focus more on replacing processed stuff with whole foods, and I'll continue to gradually move to that stuff anyway, always aware that I'm never going to deprive myself of ANYthing.

Does that sound like something that could work for you too? Figure out a calorie range that gets the weight off, and stick to it, spending your calorie budget on whatever works for you. Don't feel guilty if you're spending it on a greasy piece of pizza. Just maybe don't eat 4 pieces! Portion control, portion control... I'm convinced that you just have to count calories (or, for me, WW points) and exercise. Sometimes it annoys me, but I've accepted that this is how my body will change, and it's working.

Please keep us updated and continue to come here for support! If you want support from a fellow carboholic, I'm here for you!! We'll count the calories in our carbs together, and we'll still lose weight -- trust me!

SmartButt
12-16-2006, 11:00 AM
LisaMarie, do you mind if I ask how many calories you limit yourself to? It seemed like when I dropped down to 1200 my body went into starvation mode or something. (Even though I've seen cynics on this board say that people who claim starvation-mode are lying.) I'm curious as to what # others have stuck with that's helped take off the pounds.

I'm interested in hearing more about the weight you've lost since the summer. That's incredible! Congratulations! That inspires me a lot to see that you don't have to give up *everything* good to lose. I guess moderation is the key, as the saying goes.

Eiluj
12-16-2006, 11:54 AM
LisaMarie, do you mind if I ask how many calories you limit yourself to? It seemed like when I dropped down to 1200 my body went into starvation mode or something. (Even though I've seen cynics on this board say that people who claim starvation-mode are lying.) I'm curious as to what # others have stuck with that's helped take off the pounds.

SmartButt (your username makes me laugh), I'm obviously heavier than you are, but we're the same age and height so my numbers might be of some use to you.

I started counting calories on October 11. Since then, my average daily calories in is 1883. I was using a recumbent bike, but I've switched to a treadmill. I try to avoid most starchy foods simply because they seem to make me hungrier than I was before I ate them. So my carbohydrates are mostly from veggies, beans, and I've just introduced a new high fiber flatbread into my diet.

If I have an extreme craving, I see if it sticks around for a couple of days. If it does, I have whatever it was I was craving. I'm not punishing myself, so I have to make sure that I don't convince myself that I'm being punished.

I try to get 1000 mg of calcium a day, 100 oz of water, eat breakfast, and exercise.

I've lost 11.5 pounds in that time. Not a huge loss, obviously, but it hasn't required much will power or sacrifice. I'm not hungry most of the time (there are times when I don't plan my eating quite right).

I hope this helps.

Julie

LisaMarie71
12-16-2006, 12:15 PM
Smartbutt, I can't remember how much you said you weigh, so your calorie level might be different from mine, but 1200 is rather low. I've lost weight at that level in the past, but I could never keep it up because I felt like I wasn't getting enough to eat.

I use the Weight Watchers plan, but I do it from home without going to the meetings -- the points are based on calories, fat, and fiber, so my calories vary a bit depending on what I'm spending my points on. I would estimate that I'm taking in between 1400 and 1800 calories every day. When I work out (which is almost every day), I earn activity points so I can eat a few more calories, so I'd say I'm on the higher end of that scale on most days. It makes sense -- the days you're more active, you should eat more, and if you sit around doing nothing you should eat less! I try not to go over 1800, though I have a "cheat meal" on occasion and it doesn't show up on the scale. I've lost a consistent 1-2 pounds a week since July (I had one week with no loss and a few weeks with 3 pound losses). I expect to hit a plateau at some point and then I'll change things up a bit.

You're absolutely right, though -- moderation IS the key, and I think we have to find something we can stick with for the rest of our lives. I can't cut potatoes and bread and flour and sugar out of my life forever -- it's just not realistic, and quite frankly, I like to enjoy all kinds of food. I know whole foods are healthy and I actually love fruits and vegetables, but I don't want to limit myself and I honestly don't think you have to in terms of WHAT you eat, just in terms of how MUCH you eat. Obviously, your health will be better if you limit certain kinds of food, but you have to do something that works for your life. Many people on the board will disagree with me, of course, but we each have to find what works for us. I just don't want to do something that won't last and then have you guys see me on here a few years later because I couldn't stick to it and I have to start all over again. I've done that sort of thing too many times.

I tend to ramble... Smartbutt, send me a PM if you want to talk more!!

Eiluj
12-16-2006, 12:25 PM
You're absolutely right, though -- moderation IS the key, and I think we have to find something we can stick with for the rest of our lives. I can't cut potatoes and bread and flour and sugar out of my life forever -- it's just not realistic, and quite frankly, I like to enjoy all kinds of food. I know whole foods are healthy and I actually love fruits and vegetables, but I don't want to limit myself and I honestly don't think you have to in terms of WHAT you eat, just in terms of how MUCH you eat.

I think this is so true. I can cut out, say, potatoes for the most part because I don't miss them when they're gone. But I would never say, "Self, you can never have another french fry for the rest of your life!" At some point, I might never have another french fry, but that would be because I just don't want one, not because I have forbidden myself to have one.

Julie

SmartButt
12-16-2006, 12:45 PM
Yeah, that is my problem. I try to tell myself "no more _____". But then I get mad that I can't have it, and eat it anyway. Doh.

I'm glad to hear 1400-1800 is an ok average for weight loss with exercise. And Julie, you're not THAT much more than me. In a short while you may just pass me up!

I would be very happy with any weight loss, even 1-2 lbs a week. I know I said I'm impatient, which I am, but I can deal with anything as long as it's DOWN from what I am now.

I think with using a lot of the tips I've received here, I'm going to gear up and start anew. I'm going to San Francisco this weekend to visit my sister, and we'll be hitting the town, so I won't be able to be REAL strict, but I'll limit myself and not get too crazy.

On Sunday I'm going to prepare myself for the week by buying the right foods for my lunches & dinners, and by packing my gym bag (and making my fiance pack his) and keeping them in the trunk of my car for after work.

I think I can handle at least that much. And, since so many of you have recommended FitDay, I think I'm going to check that out as well.

Do any of you post regularly in other support forums? I'd hate to just keep this one thread going since I don't like the title of it anymore. :)

Eiluj
12-16-2006, 01:21 PM
Yeah, that is my problem. I try to tell myself "no more _____". But then I get mad that I can't have it, and eat it anyway. Doh.

I'm glad to hear 1400-1800 is an ok average for weight loss with exercise. And Julie, you're not THAT much more than me. In a short while you may just pass me up!

Oh, I definitely hear you about getting mad about not having a food.

I hope I don't pass you up. I hope that by the time I reach your weight, you are at least that far ahead of me still! :hug:

Julie

LisaMarie71
12-16-2006, 01:39 PM
I would be very happy with any weight loss, even 1-2 lbs a week. I know I said I'm impatient, which I am, but I can deal with anything as long as it's DOWN from what I am now.


The "even" in your sentence scares me a little. I think one of the first things we have to do is accept that 1-2 lbs a week is the safest rate of weight loss. You hear that all the time. When I accepted that, it made things a lot easier for me.

I think it's wonderful that you're planning to start anew. Just think -- the next year is going to pass whether you do something about getting healthier or you don't. Imagine how great we're going to feel next year if we made the right choices each day! When you slip and eat too many calories one day, just get right back on track the following day and more than likely your body will forgive you and it won't even affect your progress.

ennay
12-16-2006, 08:26 PM
calories/weightloss insulin resistance (one hand typing here)

after dd was born I was most likely insulin res. I went on 1800-2000 cal/day (recommended for nursing ) and lost ~.25-.4 lbs/week. It was really hard too, I felt deprived

between kids I started focusing on fixing my diet and ir

now after ds I am eating 2000-2100 cals and losing ~1.5-2/wk ( I am more active, but everything about 2100 cals is easier)

I did strict south beach for awhile (between kids) and I think that really helped to change what I thought of as a good meal and repair my IR, now I am 85% sbd but NO food is banned

also, dont go LOW carb, it can make IR worse, ~50/25/25% (+/- 5%) is the best for blood sugar control without setting up backlash

Siena1383
12-17-2006, 09:33 AM
I agree that you're not eating that badly, when you don't eat the fast food.
But how often do you end up getting McDonald's or pizza? I'm a little more liberal than one of the other people who responded -- I'd say once a week should be fine. But two, three or more times is going to add up.

The other thing that really stands out for me is how high-carb your meals are. You have more than one serving of grains (cereal, bread) at every meal. Consider replacing some of those grains with the vegetables and fruits that Nelie mentioned or with proteins (a la South Beach) for a while. I realize the vegs and fruits are still carbs, but there's a difference nutritionally. And they're lower in calories.

If you just do this for one meal a day -- and keep the fast food to once a week -- you should notice a change. It wouldn't hurt to spend some of your lunchtime taking a short walk, either. It'll burn at least a few calories, and it'll help your metabolism.

One last thing: you don't get the large sizes at McD's, but you eat four slices of pizza. To me, four slices is a lot. Could you cut that back to two slices and add something else to your pizza meals? A salad would of course be good, and it's hard to get other low-cal, low-fat sides from a pizza place, but maybe a fruit smoothie or a cooked vegetable side would do. In a pinch, even just loading on the toppings so you're eating more veggies or hamburger on the pizza could help.

Tiffie
12-17-2006, 10:58 AM
Smartbutt: First, I want to congratulate you on having the courage to face your problems head-on. Instead of insisting that your diet is a healthy one, you're willing to agree that there needs to be change.

I have never been healthy. Ever. Even at 120 lbs, I was bulemic and unhappy. I was on a medication which made me gain a lot of weight, but that wasn't the main problem. I used to eat a lot like you do, and I couldn't understand why I kept going up, up, up.

My last doctor's visit, I was 223 lbs. That scared the bejesus out of me. I've never been this heavy, how can I be this heavy? I've been walking every day. This isn't fair! Right?

Well, I pulled out my Power90 exercise DVDs, threw out my white bread and white rice and potato chips. I stopped drinking soda (which has a LOT of calories, believe it or not). And in two weeks, I have lost 1 lb and 1 inch around my waist and 1 inch around my hips. And I feel better. I'm eating lots of fruits and veggies now. Salads, eggs, chicken. Huge variety. It doesn't FEEL like I'm limiting myself (well, except when I walk past McD's, but I try not to!).

I want you to sit back right now, and think:

Do I WANT to be big for the rest of my life?

Think of what that entails: heart disease, diabetes, joint pain, cottage-cheese thighs, trouble breathing while asleep, early death. Is this what you want? Really? Is that burger and fries really WORTH all that?

Keep that answer in your heart and pull it out whenever you feel tempted. I know I do.

SmartButt
12-17-2006, 05:05 PM
You guys are awesome! This thread has given me a lot of new hope and inspiration. You are right that 4 slices is a ton of pizza. I wasn't necessarily saying that was a smart thing to eat or "not much". I probably eat pizza once every two weeks, so please don't think I was eating that every day. But even then, I don't need to eat that much. I am going to concentrate a lot on my portion control.

I came back from S.F. today. Last night I had 2 cocktails and a bit more indian food than I'd planned, but I did ok for breakfast and lunch. My usual thing is to get fast food in a drive-thru on my drive to S.F.., and I skipped that this time. I had an orange before I left so that I wouldn't be hungry.

For breakfast I asked my sister if we could go somewhere that I could get something relatively healthy, instead of a burger & fries. (Yes, I'd eat that for breakfast at a diner.) I got a "greek" omlette made with 3 eggs, feta cheese, black olives, spinach and pine nuts. I ate about 3/4 of it. It came with white toast and country potatoes. I ate a bit of the potatoes but didn't touch the toast. I had a glass of OJ with it, and although that's high in sugar, I was feeling the need for vitamin C and fresh fruit. I figure it's gotta be better than the starbucks white chocolate mocha I was craving.

Thanks again everyone. I love hearing all the suggestions! I'm open to anything at this point.

Heather
12-17-2006, 07:03 PM
For breakfast I asked my sister if we could go somewhere that I could get something relatively healthy, instead of a burger & fries. (Yes, I'd eat that for breakfast at a diner.) I got a "greek" omlette made with 3 eggs, feta cheese, black olives, spinach and pine nuts. I ate about 3/4 of it. It came with white toast and country potatoes. I ate a bit of the potatoes but didn't touch the toast. I had a glass of OJ with it, and although that's high in sugar, I was feeling the need for vitamin C and fresh fruit.

If you're starting to think about counting calories, I'm curious how many calories you think that meal had. I try to guesstimate my calories when eating out and I'm often surprised by how many there are in meals out!

For example, a 3-egg omelette as you describe is probably 500-700 calories if you ate all of it. You said you ate 3/4 of it, so let's call that 375-525 calories

I don't know how the country potatoes are prepared, but at Denny's an order of country fried potatoes is nearly 400 calories. If you ate 1/4 of it, that's another 100.

And the OJ. You didn't say how big the glass was, but 8 oz of OJ is 110 calories. Let's assume that size.

Do you drink coffee? If so, do you put anything in it?

So, I'd guess that breakfast was at least 585-735 calories.

Please don't think I'm being critical -- I eat breakfasts out that are that big sometimes -- I'm just looking to see if you have a good sense of what you're eating when you're out.

I also think the omelette breakfast is a better choice than burger and fries, even if it's the same calories, as there's more nutrition there.

Eiluj
12-17-2006, 07:11 PM
If you're starting to think about counting calories, I'm curious how many calories you think that meal had. I try to guesstimate my calories when eating out and I'm often surprised by how many there are in meals out!

Yep. If I made a Greek omelette, it would be pretty healthy. But most restaurants really pile on the cheese, and the calories build and build. Though they might not be quite as bad with feta, since it's a pretty strong flavor. When things have Colby, or Cheddar, or mozzarella, though, the cheese gets out of hand!

Julie

Heather
12-17-2006, 07:15 PM
Though they might not be quite as bad with feta

That's true, I hadn't thought of that...

And you're right, when I do it at home, I can do it much healthier!

When eating out, I've started to order omelettes with egg whites only and find I really like them!

SmartButt
12-17-2006, 09:36 PM
I figured my breakfast was large, but it was also counting as my lunch so I'm ok with a 700-800 calorie range. That isn't something I'd do all the time; but I wasn't at home so I had to make do the best I could.

Luckily it did not have any cheese except feta, and there wasn't much feta in it. I'd guess 4 tablespoons?

I hadn't thought of asking if they'd make it with egg whites. I'm pretty shy about special-ordering things at restaurants, unless its just asking for something on the side. Next time I find myself eating breakfast out, I'll have to see if they'll do the egg-white thing for me. I know that's a lot less cholesterol.

I set a goal of myself for this week to lose one pound. I won't kill myself if I don't do it, but I need to just have small, short-term goals I think.

Eiluj
12-17-2006, 09:46 PM
I hadn't thought of asking if they'd make it with egg whites. I'm pretty shy about special-ordering things at restaurants, unless its just asking for something on the side. Next time I find myself eating breakfast out, I'll have to see if they'll do the egg-white thing for me. I know that's a lot less cholesterol.

It's the calories and fat that it really can help. Keep an eye out for "Egg Beater" substitutions. Lots of restaurants will mention them on the menu, though they do add an extra cost.

Personally, I tend to go for the whole eggs, but I wouldn't go for the potatoes or toast at all.

Julie

SmartButt
12-17-2006, 09:52 PM
Ok, I've totalled my calories for today using FitDay (which is fun!) and I've come up with 1450, and I counted everything I put in my mouth today. I had to drive my fiance to the store so he could run in and get half and half for his coffee, and he asked if I wanted anything when he ran in. I said "Nothing I can have." hehehe. I was craving something sugary, but I'm just sitting at home with some water right now and feeling fine.

As for exercise, we were running all over my town AND S.F. today shopping, so that has to count for something. Walking in S.F. is not so easy.

Thanks for the FitDay suggestion, it's a lot more fun than just writing my stuff down in a food journal.