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What Meal Plan?

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Old 12-31-2008, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default What Meal Plan?

As a compulsive over-eater and diet addict, how does a person lose weight without practicing her addiction?

I know it's my dieting (started as a skinny adolescent) that began this 30-year cycle of starve/binge/starve/binge. Without clinging to an obsessive diet plan, how do I lose weight and get healthy for good?

I'd thought I'd combine South Beach/Mediterranean/exchange/calorie counting - the best/healthiest of all the diets I've tried. But that's obsessive, isn't it? Or does it just seem that way at the beginning, until it becomes a lifestyle I don't have to think about constantly? Is there a way to do this like a "normal" person?

What are you all doing to make this work? I really appreciate your feedback and advice!
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:11 PM   #2
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Calorie counting made that cycle worse for me. I personally would just go with intuitive eating.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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I am just getting started with my current "weight loss agenda", yes I've done this before. I think that for me I know what I need to eat, more fruits and veggies, less chips and desserts and also watch my portion sizes because I can eat ALOT of healthy food, thereby gain weight even on the good stuff. However here in the beginning I do need to be obsessive about the meal plan because right now I am most vulnerable to cheating and therefore failure. So right now I am charting everything I eat and everything I do for excercise. It gives me something to shoot for every day and it's all in writing.

Hope this is helpful
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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I'm doing nothing formal yet.
Avoiding bingeing, and eating at least 4 times a day, trying for smaller portions. I've lost about 10 pounds in 2 months doing this.
Did keep track of what i ate for a couple of weeks, didn't keep it up, but that helped me with the portion sizes.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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Wow, interesting. Three very different - but successful - approaches. That gives me hope that there's no "right" way to do this. But wouldn't it be nice to just have a rule book?

Spoz, I love the idea of intuitive eating, but I don't trust myself right now. I've tried something similar, and was so afraid of gaining weight that I barely ate anything. Hopefully I'll get to that point, though.

MJS & fatmad, it sounds like your plans are both healthy and make sense. Maybe there's a way out of this after all. Yay!
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:06 AM   #6
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Pinkie
I know what you are feeling...I have thought about Nutrisystem since I won't have to think about food at all.

I can just eat the foods that are provided without obsessing. Once I lose the weight then I might trust myself to eat without food taking over my whole life.

I am not sure if this is a good idea or not...any opinions from the group?


Oh well I suppose life is a constant struggle between the forces of good and evil
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:28 AM   #7
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I use a combination of MJS and Fatmad's approaches, and try to limit "sugar" by choosing low GI/whole foods as much as possible.

Having more frequent,smaller meals certainly helps- the one thing I am learning is not to be afraid to eat in case I cant stop - it was starving myself for 8 plus hours which caused frequent binges.

I never purge, I was just stuck in a loop bingeing, eating as little as possible for the next 48hrs, then bingeing again.

Smaller, more frequent calorie counted meals are helping gain control, combined with keeping generally active and weight training twice a week.

Last edited by 4Dreams : 01-03-2009 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:29 AM   #8
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Pinkie,

I think I've tried variations of every diet out there, and I'm a big believer that nothing works for everybody! Some of it's easy - staying out of the processed stuff and eating things not created in a laboratory, but figuring out what ratios of proteins/carbs/fats work best can be a long, ongoing process.

Personally, low-fat is a nightmare for me - if I get below 25%, my hair starts to fall out, my fingernails break, and my skin flakes. I found that keeping a food journal keeps me pretty honest - something about documenting that I knowingly ate too much or ate something so obviously at odds with my goal just helps.

UltraMetabolism by Mark Hyman is the greatest success I've had on a planned diet ... it starts out with a 3-week anti-allergen diet that lets you see if you have a food allergy that you don't know about. Much to my surprise, I found out that I do have a low-level sensitivity to gluten - nothing that would make me feel lousy, but it does ramp up inflammation and thus water weight for me. It's also the best book I've found for explaining how food works inside your body - very readable with good science but not over the top.

Best of luck! We're all here with you!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #9
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There is a member over in the Dr. Beck support section of this forum. He started his new lifestyle eating at the maintenance level and using the Dr. Beck teachings. (cognitive therapy....has been working great for me)

You made me think of him when you metioned the compulsive overeating and diet addiction.

Keeps you off a diet, puts on a maintenance level of eating...which you want to do for the rest of your life anyway right?!! Dr. Beck also teaches you how to deal with your daily issues.

my 2cents
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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I think the quick answer is that it's different for everyone. This is one of our biggest challenges, to discover what will work for us.
In my own experience, the whole IE thing, whilst being a great concept for many, does not work for me. I binge when I restrict, but I also binge when I don't restrict. Having no restriction just enabled me - show me a certain type of carb and I will binge on it, even if I've given myself permission to eat it.
It's taken me three years to realise this - IE is wonderful for so many people, but it's not for me.

Where I am right now is that I'm leaning toward the view of many who are in OA - that is that some foods are addictive for me and the only way to not binge on them is to not eat them. I'm working OA right now (online only) and finding abstinence difficult if I allow my binge foods onto my plan. When I do not allow the binge foods onto my plan, abstinence comes so much easier.

I'm reading the Beck Diet Solution book too, and finding some of her interventions useful. Along with the South Beach Diet, and OA, I'm hoping this is the right combo for me.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:35 AM   #11
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FlappyChappy, I agree that NutriSystem sounds mighty tempting (so I don't have to think about what to eat). But what do we do when we reach goal? We still won't know how to eat, and the weight will come back! Grrrr.

You all give such good input. And although meal plans seem to vary, I see one common thread: It does take some dedication to find the right approach for each person. So if I do that (extend lots of effort at the beginning), I can then commit to that plan and eventually it should get easier.

The Beck approach sounds intriguing. And South Beach has always made sense to me, too. Thanks, friends!
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:45 AM   #12
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Hi, guys. I'm new, but I thought I'd add to the discussion.

I have such a HUGE problem with over eating, especially when I get emotional or anxious. I just start binging, and I don't mean to...

I went on Jenny Craig for about 1 year, because I figured I wouldn't have to THINK about food... it was all laid out for me. I lost 45lbs and it was really great... but even then, I found that once a week I would snap. I couldn't just have a treat. I'd just eat way too much. However, for the most part, I enjoyed the convenience of the diet, and it was great having someone to report to. I found that thinking about that weight in day helped me control myself a little.

I had to stop going to Jenny because I just couldn't afford it (with graduate school and so many other things going on), and sadly... I gained it all back in a good 6-9 months. Things got tough, and I just started eating and eating and eating.

Never tried NutriSystem, but I figured the premise is the same? I loved Jenny Craig, I just wish I could afford to go back. Like Pinkie said, without it, I still didn't know how to eat and the weight DID come back.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:50 PM   #13
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I write down everything I eat- helps keep me realizing how much I am or am not eating.

I bought a little journal at the store for less than $2.

I read chicken soup for the dieter's soul and there was a story where the woman's trainer told her "you nibble you scribble" so I decided to try it- so far 7 lbs but Christmas I sort of fell off the bandwagon (darn those brownies) and since have been back on track

The first few days I just ate normally and wrote everything in and saw that I was eating like 2200-2300 calories- NO WONDER I wasn't losing!

I also work out 3x a week right now and right that in my book as well
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