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General Diet Plans and Questions General diet questions, support for various diet plans other than those listed below.

So please tell me, how do you do it?

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Old 01-15-2014, 12:42 AM   #1
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Default So please tell me, how do you do it?

I'm sad to say here I am back again, and unfortunately even heavier When I first joined this site, probably close to 2 years ago (I made a new name starting fresh right?!) I weighed in at about 275. Now I'm at 310, how did I get to 310 you ask? Good question, because I changed nothing in my life style (good or bad!). One thing I did do was start a job, and that is how I got to 290 pounds. Not sure why or how as I changed nothing but starting that job, I thought it would help me lose weight by getting out of the house and off my butt but instead I gained weight. Then what happened? I went on Zoloft for my extreme anxiety. That helped top me off at 310 pounds so I stopped taking the medicine (and I'm just trying to deal with the anxiety) but I didn't loose the weight. So please people tell me how you do it? I think about loosing weight everyday of my life and have for years but I still haven't done it. I'm not trying to make excuses, but I don't know how! How do you lose weight? Count calories you say? How do you do that? How do you account for every ingredient in a dish, every calorie? How do you know your portion is right on track with the calorie count? I legitimately don't understand it? Some things I have done (I haven't lost any weight from this but I'm still keeping up with them). Cut out soda. I still drink it sometimes but its more like 1 or 2 times a week compared to 1 or 2 times a day. Cut out fast food, again maybe once a week (bad habit) but a lot less then I usually do! I don't know how to cook healthy, I don't know how to eat healthy. In general I cook meals that can last awhile which usually includes pasta. Money is on the tight side, so cooking a big pot of chili, spaghetti, beef and noodles, etc is usually the way I go to help it stretch. Portion control is a problem, I'm trying to work on that but when I really go gung ho with it I usually end up hungry all day and keep snacking, going back for a little more etc. I love fruits and veggies! It's not that I have a problem with "healthy" foods because I don't. I enjoy eating fruits, vegetables, salads, turkey burger etc. I don't eat them enough I know that. I suck at calorie counting, and my portions are to much. I don't have any "healthy" recipes. I can't take this anymore. I'm 24 and i will be 25 this March. My kids will be 6 and 4 this year and I just cry knowing that they are growing up and I will never be able to run and play with them while they are little. We went to King's Island last year and they needed a chaperone on almost every ride, I couldn't ride them. I couldn't fit. I just feel this impending doom that I'm dieing and I can't and won't leave my babies behind. I'm sad, depressed, desperate but I don't know what to do. I'm tired of thinking about it *daily* I'm ready to just do it. Please someone tell me how do you it? How do you lose weight, how do you get your portions under control, count calories, whats your healthy recipes? My goal this year is to definitely fit on the rides at king's island this summer! I need help
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:56 AM   #2
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Hey Freeme,
My heart goes out to you. This is a long, painful, difficult journey; but we can all help support one another on the way.

A few tips right off the bat; try drinking a large glass of water 10minutes before you sit down to eat, make it a priority to take a 10minute walk with your kids every day, and make eating meals as a family (ie. no tv or books, if that's an issue) a daily ritual. You can try using slightly smaller plates/bowls, or use your hands as portion guidelines (palm for every protein serving, 2 fists of veg at every meal, half a palm of starchy bits, 1 thumb for treats, etc.). Herbal tea is a lifesaver for me, to help stave off snacking.

There are plenty of other small tips, in terms of recipes and habits that you will learn over time (once the forum rules let you, feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to send you cheap recipe ideas!). But know that we are all supporting you, and loving you. There might be a free weight-loss service or support facility near you, or with your health-care provider; I would definitely recommend reaching out to your family doctor (if you have one) to see what's available to you.

Give yourself the time to change in a healthy way, don't ever feel shame or blame yourself (we ALL have moments where we don't know what to do), and most of all BREATHE! You will struggle, worry, and be upset (we all do!); but you CAN make small changes everyday to bring you back to a place where you're happy with your body. You can do it.

Stay strong!

Last edited by Defining : 01-15-2014 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:53 AM   #3
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I think the first thing is staying positive. Progress is the ONLY way to achieve your goal, so appreciate every pound lost and look forward to changing your body.

Second, try not to obsess about food. Even successful dieters often obsess about food and it isn't healthy, and it makes dieting a lot harder than it has to be.

Whatever budget you have to work with, try to make changes. Smaller portions are a winner all around because you save money along with losing weight. As for snacking, I keep a big bag of apples. A big bag is only $5 and will last a couple of weeks. I find rice is better than pasta for keeping me full. Rice and beans is my go-to cheap meal, along with apples and bananas and frozen vegetables or big bags of kale or turnip greens (for winter / early spring) that you can steam with salt and vinegar (or other seasonings), bake on a low temperature until crisp, or make a salad with a vinegar or lemon juice based dressing. I also like a bit of salt and pepper on salad, and herbs such as oregano, parsley or basil.

Don't use food as a source of enjoyment or to ease loneliness. Learn to recognize when your body is "tricking" you--making you have cravings when you aren't hungry. Sometimes, it's best to just overcome this by will alone or, if you must, have a healthy and small portion. Whatever anxiety or problems you have, realize that food won't help you overcome those emotions. Focus on work and your social life, stay busy, pick up a new hobby or even watch a new TV show or DVD to keep your mind occupied.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:27 AM   #4
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Hi Freeme-
First off welcome back.
I think if you want to lose the weight and make a plan that is realistic for you to adhere to commit and work the program you will be successful.

Beating yourself up for what happen in the past only impacts negatively.

Focus on the present ,don't hang on to the past , and stop worrying about the future.

Sometimes when working the plan .... It is hour by hour , then day by day.
i have done Ideal Protein diet and reached my goal weight.
Presently am Rebooting cuz I failed to how myself to accountable.



Good luck with the journey,
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Thank you for the words of encouragement! The part about not using food for enjoyment, your right I do do that. I don't think I'm an emotional eater, but I could be wrong. I'm definitely a bored eater! As far as using food for pleasure I do that for sure, I guess I need to learn how to use food for fuel not pleasure. I had a banana with a little bit of peanut butter for breakfast and I'm drinking a big glass of ice water. I'm still hungry but trying to push through it until lunch! This will be a journey for sure, but must be done. Thank you for your help hopefully I can find some healthy recipes!
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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Looks like you are on the right path -- you can do this!!

In the past I have found that the keys to my weight loss success are getting a support network (looks like you've done that by joining the site), writing down how much and what I will eat per meal the next day and commiting to it, reaching out to others and finding a group that I can be a part of to work on my emotional eating (bored, happy, sad, stressed, etc.) via phone or in person. If I don't do these things then I feel as though I am white-knuckling which doesn't last for me. When I stray from any of this I regain my weight; in fact, I just came back after straying for 2 years and gaining about 50 lbs back.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:04 PM   #7
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Portion control is an issue for me, too (and so is snacking while making dinner).

What helped me with portion control as far as pasta goes was to measure out one cup with a measuring cup. I was eyeballing way more than 1 cup. I also measure soup, chili, etc.

Also I try to bulk up stuff like spaghetti dinners by throwing extra veggies into the sauce (do this a lot with spinach) or by having big salads or something like broccoli on the side. And I eat the salad first, then the pasta which helps me feel fuller.

I also know that I cannot buy certain foods at all. Peanut butter is a bad one for me - I will eat spoonfuls of it randomly, even when I'm not hungry. I think we actually do have some in the house, but I think it is up on a high shelf I cannot get to without the step stool, so I haven't been tempted to raid it.

I've started upping the protein and lowering the carbs that I am eating and that seems to keep me feeling fuller longer. For breakfast I had cottage cheese and fruit, and for lunch I had hard boiled eggs and V8, and both meels keep me full for at least 4 hours each. Better than the buttered bagel I was having for breakfast every day for the past year or so.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:19 PM   #8
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You made a great first step coming back to the forum. There are so many ways to learn about healthy eating and cooking. This forum is a big one, but there are countless websites, magazines, books, podcasts, audiobooks, television programs, and DVDs to get you started. Many communities offer healthy cooking classes that are free or very low cost. Remember that this is a lifelong change that you are making- you're young and you have all the time in the world to get better.

Don't stress out about your weight and try to change everything at once. Make little tweaks to your diet. It seems like you have identified portion control as a problem for you. Me too. Trying eating just a little bit less at each meal. Put half the amount you would usually eat on a plate and tell yourself you can have more if you're hungry. Eat slowly and chew each bite well. You may want to start out with a soup, salad, or at least a big glass of water. This will make you feel fuller. I find that putting my food on a smaller plate helps too. Stores these days sell dinner plates the size of serving platters! Also remember you can add vegetables to any dish for bulk- these will make you feel fuller faster and can easily be added to chili, pasta, and the other dishes that you wrote down.

These are just a few helpful ways to get started- try one or two new ones each week and don't give up.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
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You have received some excellent advice above so I hope you are able to embrace it and run with it.

I'm here just to say I know how it feels to be in your situation and I thought I was destined to live in the 300s forever. I never thought I'd get back into the 290s nevermind the 190s. It's all about one good choice and one pound at a time.

Please keep posting here and using us for encouragement, venting, guidance.

If I can lose the weight, anyone can.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:43 PM   #10
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Some things that have helped me:

Like you, I have no idea how to count calories, or how to eyeball my portions. When I first began my weight loss journey, my doc simplified it for me like this: "Eat what you normally do, but eat half of what you normally would." Since I truly was over-eating, this very simple approach worked well for me and I did lose about 20 lbs that way.

Another suggestion: Unless you have iron willpower, change habits slowly. Remove one bad habit at a time. Add one good habit at a time, and incrementally. So, for example, you quit soda. Great! That's one bad habit. Now let's say your goal for a good habit is to exercise 1 hour a day- I'd start with 15 or 20 minutes. Do that for a month. Work your way up. I have read it takes about 3 months of consistency to make something a habit. Once you've nailed one, you can add another good habit, or remove another bad habit.

Healthy foods: definitions will differ. Personally, I avoid processed foods and cook most of my meals from scratch. And since I eat sort of paleo-ish, I also avoid most grains. I lose weight a lot easier if I'm not eating grains. But I'm not saying that grains can't be part of a healthy diet. To me, bread and pasta are my kryptonite, so for me personally it's just better to avoid grains altogether. Your experience may be different. You don't want to get so restrictive that your brain just rebels. Also, some processed foods, like Lean Cuisine or protein shakes, can make calorie counting and portion control easier because someone else did it for you. But it is more expensive, typically, to buy pre-packaged food rather than making your own.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
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It's vague but "eat less, move more" really does work. The hard part (at least for me in the beginning) was figuring out how to apply that. Basically, any consistent change in either area will result in weight loss. It's about eating less and moving more than you currently do now. "Now" is the baseline and changes to it will get results.

I was pretty sedentary when I started losing weight a few years ago. So I put exercise into my daily routine, walking to and from work. That totaled 3 miles and 45 minutes. It was a pretty convenient way to "force" myself to exercise. Over time, I fell in love with the way being active made me feel and started pushing myself further and craving even more intense exercise. But those initial 1.5 mile walks twice a day were enough to help me drop serious pounds because it was more than I had been doing and I did it consistently.

I also started eating less. That was a process and I used various techniques at different times. A huge help for me is I cut back on sugar. I didn't do that to deliberately lose weight. I did it because I was starting to feel sick after eating lots of sugar--dizzy, cold sweat, just really cr@ppy. So I cut back on sugar to avoid those really unpleasant symptoms, and when I did I eat sugar, I always paired it with protein and/or good fat. For example, if I ate a cookie, I always had a glass of milk with it. I lucked out and not only eliminated those horrible symptoms but I got a wonderful side effect--a way less demanding appetite. I imagined my new hunger was probably what a "normal" appetite was supposed to feel like.

With a much more manageable appetite, I was able to try methods for eating less. I did different things at different points in my process. I ate frozen meals to get used to smaller portions. I got smaller plates. I imagined how much I'd normally serve myself and then took about 25% less. I started paying attention to which foods helped me feel full and ate them much more often (yay good fats, protein, and fiber!). That last one--paying attention to how foods affected my appetite--helped me a lot. I cut back on the foods that revved up my appetite. I made it a rule to eat at least 5 servings of veg and fruit every day. I found some healthy, low calorie foods that I looked forward to snacking on, like homemade kale chips and other roasted veg. I sometimes let myself go to bed slightly hungry. I drank enough tea to fill Boston Harbor. I kept bags of frozen veggies I love on hand so that when feeling lazy with a wicked case of the munchies, I could eat one of those, add a drop of olive oil or butter and maybe some parmesan or some hot sauce, and not do much caloric damage. I still often ate for pleasure, stress-relief, and fun, but I treated my diet like balancing a checkbook--I had to budget.

I know it can seem daunting at first. You can do this!

Last edited by crispin : 01-15-2014 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:00 PM   #12
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I wanted to change for my 3 year old and for me of course.

I had to cut out pasta, bread, fast food, potatoes, and junk food for 3 weeks. Because I do NOT have an iron will. Not everyone is carb sensitive but many are. If you have weight in the mid section that is your body storing excess glucose because it is toxic in the bloodstream. If it can't use it it needs to get it out. Hence it stores it.

Many people on the SAD diet have impaired their carb metabolism. They are hungry all the time. Small changes are generally the way to go. I personally tried that for years. But I HAD to give myself a carb detox. It worked, it was hard for a few days. But best thing I EVER did. Appetite is under control and everything took off from there.

Good luck. I personally could not have succeeded with pasta or fast food as part of my diet. It would prime me to be always hungry.

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Old 01-17-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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one thing I have learned over the years is admitting there is a problem is the first step. Now that you understand what your weaknesses are you can start fixing the problem. I am of the opinion that we have all been programed to love our bodies no matter what size we are but there in lies the problem. Love your self yes but hate the body that is going to kill you so that you can be willing to change it if you love something why would you want to change it. Being over weight as you probably know causes so many health issues. Counting calories has never been a fav of mine because I feel very restricted. After countless hours reading every piece of info about how low carb lifestyle works, talking to my doctor, and what I have learned in nursing school I decided this was the best way for me. I feel good, I feel full, its easier for me to do, and for a while it works with out exercise. Of course everyone needs to move more that is just a fact, and I don't believe you should just jump right in to anything unless you are fully committed and understand it. However, I am sure the one thing we all can agree on is not only is it hard to move and run and so on when you are heavy and is something you just don't want to do because you know its going to make you feel bad. But once some of the weight starts to come of and your body is getting healthy fuel you will move more with out even realizing it.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:56 PM   #14
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You can do it!

A few things to help:

1) portions. Just measure them. Find a calorie tracking site or get a book, and those will say how much things should be. Invest in a cheap kitchen scale, and weigh things before you eat them. If you're cooking, say, a lasagna, add up the total of everything you put in, then divide by the number of servings. So when I make one, I right away cut it in 6 servings. I can eat a serving or even 1.5 or 2, but it's already in measurable increments.

2) write down what you eat. Don't even worry about changing it at first, so if you find that a portion is tiny, have two! But write that down.

3) once you know how you eat, cut back a bit. It doesn't have to be a lot. If you've been having two servings of things, wait 20 minutes before you have seconds, then try having just half a serving.

4) healthy food. Everything can be part of a balanced diet, but you'll feel better if you eat a lot of fiber and protein. It doesn't have to be expensive or hard to cook. There are tons of frozen veggie packets already pretty much prepared in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. A lot of them you just have to microwave the bag for a few minutes. Or you can buy huge family size bags and stir-fry them in about 6 minutes. These are great when you're busy. For main courses, experiment! You mentioned chili. That's a pretty healthy, filling food. Use beans and sweet potatoes instead of or in addition to meat. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Try lentils--probably the best nutritional bang for your buck, and you do t have to soak them. Look around online for low calorie freezer meals. Cook a ton one day and feed your family all week! Salads are also easy and filling. Use dressing sparingly, but go nuts with the greens! Just keep trying stuff like that until you find out what you like.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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For counting calories and good recipes I like sparkpeople(.com)... it's what I've been using for awhile now.

Last edited by ringmaster : 01-26-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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