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Old 02-16-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Default Annoyed with my diet

Disclaimer: senseless rant approaching.

After being "off" for over six months (which was totally my own fault) I knew I needed to change my life permanently. Since Christmas, I cut out soda, stopped eating candy bars and chips (though I'll occasionally eat a square of 80% dark chocolate for dessert), avoided fried foods like the plague, and started eating a diet of organic fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meat, and some nuts and seeds.

I used to come home after work and stuff myself with bread and cheddar while I cooked a box of macaroni and cheese. Afterward I would spend all evening snacking every half hour on anything I could find... chips, cheese, rolls, leftovers, crackers, more cheese... Now I eat my dinner (last night was baked salmon, raw beet with lemon juice and a small sweet potato) and sometimes have a piece of fruit a couple hours later. I drink water and unsweetened green tea, and a little skim milk here and there.

I have to say I feel awesome, and in the first few weeks I lost a few pounds. But in the last three or four weeks the scale hasn't budged, and it just annoys me. How can I plateau so fast?!

I know there are lots of factors to consider... there's water intake and retention, acquisition of muscle mass (though I haven't started strength training yet) and other things. But not seeing any tangible progress is really discouraging. I mean, beforehand I could eat two Snickers bars a day and load up on bread and cheese at this weight. I was like a human Pac-Man inhaling everything in sight. But now, even though my diet is way different and I'm getting more exercise, I feel like nothing is happening.

I know that eating healthy is important, even if the scale doesn't comply. I feel good, and that's important. All of my efforts are helping to improve my health and quality of life. I'm just... annoyed. Sorry for the rant but I had to get that out.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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I lost with no problem from 280 down to 240. I was eating healthier and walking. When I hiot 242 it was like a brick wall for a month. I finally realized I was still eating too much and I started calorie counting. I lost 9 pounds that month cal counting.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:16 PM   #3
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I'm gonna second Jasmine's post. Start counting calories. Even if to start with all you do is log what you are eating without changing anything else. Maybe you are going too low on your calories...maybe too high. There's no way to know unless you count them up.

Well - if you do change something else, add exercise. Even just walking. You need to get your metabolism moving.

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Old 02-16-2008, 12:26 PM   #4
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Yup, I totally agree. Start counting calories. You can certainly eat too many 'healthy' foods.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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I guess I kind of assumed that my calories were okay. I only eat when I'm actually hungry, and I stop before I get really full. I make sure not to snack mindlessly the way I did before. Maybe I'll try Fitday...
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:39 PM   #6
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I know the plateau frustration well. Repeatedly, I would count calories (1200-1500), exercise, drink water, space my eating over the day to keep my metabolism running, etc. I would start off great, then within a few weeks to a month, everything would slow way down. Eventually, I would get frustrated and give up.

One week ago, I ran across a book by accident that went completely against everything I thought I knew to be true. After using the Amazon search function to read portions of the book, I decided to try what the author was suggesting. There are 5 "rules" and one of them is to eat three meals per day with no snacks. I kept my calories the same and just changed the times I was eating. Ever since, the scale has been moving. I've only been doing this for a week so it hasn't stood the test of time. But I'm really excited because all of the sudden, pounds are dropping again. It was a little bit of an adjustment for me not to have snacks at night. All I have to do though is remember what he says about evening being the time your body burns fat and that keeps me going. The Amazon link for the book I read is:

http://www.amazon.com/Leptin-Diet-Ho.../dp/1933927283

I don't know if this will work for everyone, but it's sure working for me. Just as a side note, I'm following a whole foods diet and keeping my calories in the 1200 to 1500 range.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:43 PM   #7
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Hi Drina,

Hey, I totally relate about hitting a plateau, my first was my third week of dieting and lasted two weeks before I lost 1lb! But hey, a loss is a loss is a loss and I was happy to see it!

I agree with the other ladies responses - calorie counting --

There are many diet software programs that you can use. Many of them will give you a free 10-day trial period so you can use it and see if you like it. The features I find most useful are the daily food logs (where you input your breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack - and it gives you the day's total calorie count), and the exercise log -- which gives you the calories burned during exercise.

Keeping a food log in one of these diet software will help reveal any areas (protein, fat, carbs), where you may be overdoing -- then you can adjust accordingly!

But no matter what, don't give up, don't give in... it's only a small bump on your road to your ultimate goal - go ahead, go through the discouraged feeling, and then get up, wipe yourself off -- and go for it again guns blazing! You are doing this!

To US and our SUCCESS in the QUEST!

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Old 02-16-2008, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drina View Post
I guess I kind of assumed that my calories were okay. I only eat when I'm actually hungry, and I stop before I get really full. I make sure not to snack mindlessly the way I did before. Maybe I'll try Fitday...
Unfortunately for many of us this is maintenance eating at best and slow weight gain at worst.

I've found ways of eating that let me feel more satisfied for less calories, but the bottom line comes down to ...to lose, and even to maintain(hence my current ticker) I have to eat less than I would like of even the healthiest of foods.
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #9
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Another issue to consider is what you drink -- are there hidden calories in your drinks? Regular soda? Mochachinos???

Finally, what are you doing for exercise? That's a great way to burn calories AND get fit!
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DayByDay View Post
I know the plateau frustration well. Repeatedly, I would count calories (1200-1500), exercise, drink water, space my eating over the day to keep my metabolism running, etc. I would start off great, then within a few weeks to a month, everything would slow way down. Eventually, I would get frustrated and give up.

One week ago, I ran across a book by accident that went completely against everything I thought I knew to be true. After using the Amazon search function to read portions of the book, I decided to try what the author was suggesting. There are 5 "rules" and one of them is to eat three meals per day with no snacks. I kept my calories the same and just changed the times I was eating. Ever since, the scale has been moving. I've only been doing this for a week so it hasn't stood the test of time. But I'm really excited because all of the sudden, pounds are dropping again. It was a little bit of an adjustment for me not to have snacks at night. All I have to do though is remember what he says about evening being the time your body burns fat and that keeps me going. The Amazon link for the book I read is:

http://www.amazon.com/Leptin-Diet-Ho.../dp/1933927283

I don't know if this will work for everyone, but it's sure working for me. Just as a side note, I'm following a whole foods diet and keeping my calories in the 1200 to 1500 range.
HA! I just did the exact opposite! I *was* eating three meals a day with no snacks and went to eating four meals a day with two snacks, in the same calorie range. It completely restarted my loss!

Maybe the issue is changing up your routine? There's probably not one perfect plan that works for everyone.

Kara
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:44 PM   #11
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I've been on a very slow weight loss pattern - and I exercise, on average, 60 minutes a day, 6 days a week AND track every mouthful with fitday. I can understand your frustration. For me, there is such confusion also because of the vast about of differing opinions (is 1600 calories too much for a 250 pound woman? too little? is 140 carbs a day too much? too little? is my body in starvation mode or am I over feeding it?).

All I can do is encourage you to keep experimenting and find what works best for you. It's scary - because I think most want to lose as fast as possible and, in my case, the longer it takes, the harder it is to sustain my motivation to keep moving forward. Having said that, I'm slowly moving to a mindset that this is a lifetime change and I just need to be a bit more gentle with myself and find what works for me.

Rant away. I've posted several times with similar thoughts to what you just posted and everyone is so very encouraging and understanding. Hang in there - be strong - change things up if you need to - but know that you are doing the right thing, even if it seems to be taking a long time.

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:10 PM   #12
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I used fitday for the first time to track my food intake today and found I ate about 1700 calories, which was more than I thought. I tend to use a lot of olive oil to cook stuff, so I'm going to lay off of that and see if it helps any.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:23 PM   #13
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Good catch! But don't give up on all of it -- that's a good fat for your body to have!

I cut back a lot on the olive oil I use whenever I sweat some onions and then add some veg (like carrots and peppers). I do this for soups, chili... all sorts of dishes.

From America's Test Kitchen.. I use about 2 tsp of oil, and cook the onions first for 1-2 min to soften on med-low temp. Then I add carrots and peppers and leave on med/low. Cover and let cook for 8-10 min. The low cooking temp allows you to use less oil...
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:39 PM   #14
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I got up to 212 lbs eating mostly healthy foods, just too much of them. Olive oil was the biggest culprit. I used to just pour from the bottle. I'd go through a good size bottle every couple weeks. Now I measure my fats and I imagine I always will. It takes DH and I months to go through the same size bottle of olive oil now and I make my own salad dressings too!
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:50 AM   #15
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First of all, Kudos on the incredible improvements in your eating habits! Proper nutrition means more than weight loss, it means better health, better skin, more energy, and for most people better moods as well (at least once you get over the first few days when the cravings are strongest )

Personally, I hate counting calories. But I know that even healthy foods can be overeaten. The two things I think should be eaten in moderation are: starches and fats. If you eat 3 meals plus 2 snacks (and you should, to keep your metab going) but you focus on lean protein and low-GI veggies for the bulk of your food while including 1 portion (1/2 cup) of starchy veggies or unrefined grains and 1-2 Tbsp of good oil (flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, extra-virgin olive oil) you'll see results.

You can up your starches a bit if you exercise a lot (40+min of cardio daily plus some 2-3 strength training sessions a week), but other than that you should be ok.

Also make sure you are drinking lots of water and taking fish oil, as both dehydration and lack of EFAs will make you hungrier. When I skip my fish oil for more than a day I start craving fatty foods
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