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What Works?

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Old 06-19-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
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So what works? There is all these different diet plans out there and different things that everybody does.. but what actually does the trick?

Anyone who has followed a specific plan and has had results with it? I could use some hints!
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #2
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Hi there! Yours is a great question, with a really simple answer! What works is what works for YOU!
What I mean by this is that you are RIGHT -- there are hundreds, if not thousands of diet plans out there. All of them have the same basic premise -- if you cut calories, you will lose weight. Some cut calories by eliminating foods or food groups. Others by counting calories to make sure you aren't eating too much. Others provide you with the food, thereby ensuring that calories are cut.
SO, what works is the plan that fits into your lifestyle so that you will stick with it. I personally do Weight Watchers because all foods are allowed, but you have to account for your intake so that you expend more calories than you take in. Others prefer to Calorie Count, which is pretty much the same. Only I am math challenged! So it is easier for me to count WW points (22 per day for me!) than it is to count calories (1200 -1500)!!! Others like food delivery type programs, such as Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. Still others like Atkins and have great success with it (I couldn't do that one for very long -- gotta have my pasta!!! )
What does the trick is your own personal dedication and motivation and DECISION to change your life. HOW you get there is really your own path that you have to find.
If you check the boards, there are success stories in pretty much all diet program threads. So it really comes down to deciding HOW you want to live the rest of your life and then making the CONSCIOUS DECISION to do so.

Maybe not the clear answer you were hoping for (i.e. I use plan X), but I think it is pretty accurate with respect to the reality of lifestyle change...

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Old 06-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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There are a lot of people on 3FC (like me) who calorie count. I really think it's the best option- the only "diet" thats worked for me.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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Kira is right - each of us needs to ultimately find the plan that works for them.

For me, calorie counting was the only answer. I knew it had to be a lifestyle change if I was to maintain the loss. Thus, anything that deprived me of foods I loved, wasn't going to work long-term. All things in moderation does work for me.

That being said, I log my food in Fitday, and strive for a healthy 40/30/30 (carb, fat, protein) mix.

I eat 6 small meals each day, striving for that balance every time I eat.

I try to eat as many whole foods as I can, and stay away from highly processed, chemical-laden foods.

Ironically, as I traveled this journey, I began to crave whole foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains INSTEAD of the sugar-laden carbs I used to eat.

I exercise moderately 5-7 days per week for 30-60 minutes per day (walking, pilates, balance ball, weights, stretchy band, yoga, Wii fitness DVDs, Dance, Tae Bo, etc.)
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
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I also log my food on fitday, I find it incredibly resourceful when it gives you the breakdown of carbs/fats/protein. I've discovered, by using fitday, that my carbs are way too high, and fat and protein too low. This made me decide to take in more protein, and I've been thinking that too many carbs might be the reason I'm having such a hard time losing weight. If I was just counting calories or WW points, I would have never discovered this.

I'm also thinking, if my C/F/P is out of wack, then my family's must also be, because we all eat most of the same foods. So I'm going to see how I can add more protein to their diet as well.
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:16 PM   #6
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I need more structure than simply counting calories. I'm using Bob Greene's Best Foods diet as a jumping off point. I eat 1600 calories a day. Bob has it broken down into servings of fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein, fat, and grains. The plan is evenly split between carbs and proteins and has has about 14% fat.
It's working for me so far, but it it hadn't been, I would tweak it.

I keep myself accountable by keeping a chart. On it I write what I eat everyday and then, I tick off the "boxes." For example, Dairy is two servings. Once I have my serving of yogurt, I tick off the box.

The plan is also compatible with diabetic exchanges values.

It's an approach which also encourages a whole foods or clean eating approach--for example, how on earth would I fit in fat-free jello? So, it may not be for everyone. (Though you could add in a category of about 200 calories of foods like that. I plan to do that when I get to maintenance.)

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Let me just say that nothing, absolutely NOTHING will work until you are ready and willing to work. The best program, whatever that may be for each individual, won't work unless we MAKE it work - and CONTINUE to make it work. Once we stop making it work - it won't. Losing weight and keeping it off is an ongoing process that takes diligence, commitment, determination, planning and willingness. You see, there are no tricks. The big secret is that there is no secret.

Here is a very long winded oft copied and pasted post of mine that is the gist of what works *for me*:

I knew the only way this weight loss thing would *work*, permanently that is, would be if I could find something that I could stick with LONGTERM, forever in fact, because not only do I want to lose the weight, but I want to keep it off - forever. It simply won't *work* if you dont' stick with it. Consistency, consistency, consistency. STICKING with it is of course the key. Lifestyle change. Creating a new normal. No going back to the old ways. Permanent, sustainable lifetime changes.

So of course finding something that I could stick with and was willing to stick with was essential.

Things I needed/still need to be on my plan:

- I could never, ever be hungry. Just not for me. I despise that feeling and need to AVOID it all costs. It would only set me up for failure.
- I need LOTS of food, volume that is.
- I love food, always will and need to get enjoyment from it. So eating delicious, very tasty, satisfying foods was a MUST.
- I am terrible with portion control. I have no boundaries. My intuitive eating button is totally broken or just missing completely. So I need to fake it. I need something that forces me to set limits.
- I want not only to be thin at this point, I want to be healthy. Strong bones & muscles, good vision, healthy hair and nails, low cholesterol, normal sugar levels, high vitamin count, lower my risk of cancers.

So therefore, let's see if I can do this with one breath - I eat frequently, every 2 hours or so, choosing low calorie/high volume items (veggies), lots of protein and fiber (to keep me full longer), I count calories (forced portion control/accountability), I eat foods with high nutritional values, I've found foods that I LOVE, not *diet* foods per se, food that any one and every one can eat.

I also set myself up for success. By ridding my home of the junk (very crucial in the beginning, and still is). I got rid of the sugar, the rice, pasta, bread, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc... Sure I love the stuff, but I have no control with it. I figured I can not have it both ways. I simply can not have those foods in my life (very strict with it especially in the beginning, cold turkey in fact) and be that healthy, fit person I so longed to be. I have no control over them and realized I was just better off without them. I hoped eventually down the road I could add in an occasional splurge here and there under controlled and specific circumstances.

I keep my home fully stocked with tons and tons of veggies. I discovered fabulous ways to prepare them and now enjoy them more then the other garbage I was eating prior. Amazing how ones tastes change when you stop feeding it junk. Fruits and low fat proteins are my other main foods. I cook fabulous meals that my whole family enjoys. So finding yummy recipes that you like is essential. No reason to go off plan, when on plan is so good.

I also prepare ahead, as it is the ONLY way to succeed, IMO. Eating healthy does not happen by chance in our society. Therefore it MUST, MUST be planned out in advance. I know what I'm having for my meals and snacks days in advance. I pack food with me, taking it with me wherever I go, leaving nothing to chance. It's just THAT important.

I drink lots of water. It's something to do with my mouth, a delaying tactic and it keeps my tummy full.

And of course, there is the calorie counting. Would be no where without it. No where.. Since I don't know how to set limits for myself, counting calories is my answer. Counting and tracking my calories keeps me honest and keeps my food in check. Period.

Exercise has now become part of my life and is a big part of "my plan". I started out slowly and built up. Cardio & strength training. I make sure there is some kind of daily movement going on, 7 days a week.

Probably the biggest part of my plan though, was making a commitment. Deciding once and for all that I was going to "do this". I told myself enough is enough. I realized, once and for all that I didn't have to be fat if I didn't want to be. That it was something that I did indeed have total and complete control over. No reason on earth for me to waste another second of my life being miserable, worrying about my health and not living up to my full potential. Not being the very best ME that I could be. So I made a commitment to good eating and good health.

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Old 06-20-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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calorie counting and exercising 1 hour a day, 6 days a week!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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Like a lot of people have said, you have to be ready to give it your all! All things are based on what works for you. For me, WW is perfect. For others it may be Fat Smash, calorie counting, Atkins or otherwise.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:27 AM   #10
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Calorie counting and journalling are what works best for me.
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