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How to choose a plan?

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Old 10-17-2007, 01:24 AM   #1
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Question How to choose a plan?

How did you all figure out what plan worked for you? I know trial and error but I just don't know what to do? I have counted calories in the past and I think that worked pretty ok for me as long as I remembered to write it down and measure out portions and keep track, so I think that would probably be the best route for me since I can't financially afford any structured plans like ww or jenny I guess the flexibility of just counting allows me to make my own food choices but how do I figure out where to start at and how much I should cut back and stuff. I have used fitday but logging everything in to the computer is a bit much for me. I just need some direction I guess? Thanks
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:29 AM   #2
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Hi Hillarie -

There are so many different options! Lots of folks on here are calorie counters, and the way we measure/keep track is different. There are people who keep track in a notebook, or in a spreadsheet, or on Fitday. It doesn't matter where you track, in my opinion, so long as you DO track!

So - where to start. The best way I know is to start by logging what you're eating now on a typical day. Once you have that number, you can work on reducing it. For example, if you typically eat 2100 calories a day, try cutting by 300-400 calories a day (1700-1800 calorie daily goal in the example) and burning another 100-200 calories a day with exercise. Thats a good start! Give that a try for three weeks or maybe even a month. If you're losing at a steady 1-2 lbs per week at that time, you've found the right level for now. If your weight loss is going too slowly, try lowering calories by one or two hundred, increasing exercise intensity, or both and stay at that level for 3-4 weeks to see if it works. If your losses are faster than 3 lbs per week, you might want to consider raising your calories by 100 or 200 and see if you get to a loss rate of about 1 or 2 lbs a week. I know that none of us really consider "losing too fast" to be a big problem, but I personally prefer to eat as much as I can and still have consistent losses. Repeat as often as it takes to find the right level for you to lose at a reasonable rate...our bodies are all different, and all the calorie calculators out there seem to WAY overestimate what we actually need.
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Old 10-17-2007, 07:35 AM   #3
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I think the secret to choosing a successful eating plan is....asking yourself "can I do this for the rest of my life?"
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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So, how I chose sounds really silly. My mom, in one of her efforts to get me to lose weight, gave me WW materials. Other than that, I had the alli starter pack materials. The morning I said, "dude, gotta start getting serious." I looked through both food journals. Whichever journal I liked best, I'd go with that plan. I liked the WW journal better and chose WW. Although sometimes I wish I chose low cal because then, it'd be a billion times easier sometimes. I knew both would work for me because I know I would NOT ever do a low carb. I think part of it's a plan you like and a big part of it is motivation and being ready.

My way of choosing a plan may sound immature, but I've been ruminating on this weight loss for months and in the back of my head, years. Something clicked in the weeks before that made me push so hard. I matured or something or maybe I owned up to the fat.

Good luck! But either way, I find a food journal logged anyway you want is INVALUABLE!
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:13 AM   #5
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If logging in calories on the computer is a bit much for you, then do what I do, and use a small sized notebook. I buy the small spiral kind that will fit in my purse for about $1-$2. They last for about 2 months each, and I can take it with me anywhere.

I often recommend that if you are interested in a plan that comes from a book, such as Atkins, South Beach, Body For Life, etc. that you check them out from the library, especially if you want to review 3-4 plans before deciding. It is much cheaper to get a library card, then it is to buy 3-4 hardback books from the store.
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