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Old 12-08-2008, 02:10 PM   #1
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Smile Plan of Attack!!

Hey everyone,

I'm not sure if this is the place for this or not, but I'm wondering what kinds of plans people are using to lose and what you think of them. Pros/Cons, that kind of thing. And, how much you've lost, of course!

I'm trying to devise my strategy right now (I'm a very "put it in writing" kind of person), and I'm not sure what I want to do to start. A couple of things: I'm more interested in learning to eat healthy than I am in doing something like South Beach or Atkins, and the simpler, the better!

Can't wait to hear what kind of plans people are on (even if it's a self-made one)!
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
3 + years maintaining
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Hey Nixie. I love the title of your thread!! I too was very methodical about choosing my plan. I've put this up many times, I just copied and pasted it, once again:

Hmmm. Well let's see. 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. Consistiency, consistiency, consistiency. 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 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 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. Fitday.com can get you started on that. 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.

And that, in a nutshell (albiet, a VERY large one) is *my plan*.

With some *shopping around*, experimenting, tweaking and adjusting you too can and will find what "works for you".

Last edited by rockinrobin; 12-08-2008 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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Height: 5' 5.5"


Hi Nixie.

I am on South Beach. It isn't really very much like Atkins and is a very healthy way of eating. I recommend poking around the different diet boards and see what they are about. There are several options or you can always pick what you like from the different ones. There are Beachers that also use Beck and WW. SB could also easily be incorporated into a whole foods plan.

Starting Weight 7.22.2008 = 210 1st Mini Goal Met 10.5.2008 = 185 2nd Mini Goal = 170 Met January 9, 2009 3rd Mini Goal = 155 Met March 27, 2009
Progress pics

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. -1 Corinthians 9:24

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Old 12-08-2008, 02:56 PM   #4
aka Sarah
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My major strategy is that I don't eat sugar or refined grains. Because:

-- If I eliminate those things from my diet, then the rest of my diet falls in line and becomes very healthy. This is an enabling positive behavior for me.

-- I have insulin resistance and pre-diabetes and sugar is very very very bad for me; if I don't eliminate it from my diet it will eventually kill me. Not to mention, keeping it in my diet makes weight loss exceedingly difficult.

Beyond that, I am on a plan that uses elements of South Beach (which is a VERY healthy, whole-foods-oriented plan), and also of Superfoods Rx. A typical day of food right now for me looks like this:

-- Breakfast: Green smoothie made from spinach, blueberries, soy protein powder, ground ginger, ground flaxseed.

-- Second breakfast: Green tea, 1/4 cup steel-cut oats, nonfat milk, cinnamon.

-- Lunch: Chicken & veg stir fry from the night before, baby spinach, baby carrots, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 grapefruit, water.

-- Snack: Plain nonfat yogurt, vegetable juice w/cayenne, green tea.

-- Dinner: Large green salad (and I mean large, it covers a whole dinner plate) with sauteed ground turkey / mushrooms, onions, and salsa, water.

I take a fish oil supplement, that's the only kind of supplementation I feel I need or want to take.

The last 2 months I have been working on getting more exercise; now I'm hill-walking 5x per week for 30 mins and doing strength-training 3x per week for about 20 mins.

I also work to make sure that I am getting 7 to 8 hours of good sleep every night.

That's pretty much my whole plan. I don't count calories because it makes me insane, though I have approximate ideas of how many calories are in what. I do weigh myself every day, but just in order to observe it and understand it; I only record my weight once per week.

I've lost 50 pounds so far, in 7 months. My husband has lost about the same amount of weight in about the same time, because he pretty much eats the way that I do, with the primary point being the elimination of sugar and refined grains.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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I am a calorie counter. As you can see from my profile, I have lost 49 pounds over the last 5-6 months, and I am currently in maintenance. I love the flexibility of calorie counting because nothing is off limits -- but the daily limit keeps you accountable. It is easy to start. Just go out onto the web, find a good calorie calculator and determine how many calories someone your age/weight/height needs to maintain and then create a reasonable deficit of between 500-1000 calories a day to lose 1-2 pounds a week (Just not dropping below around 1200 a day which is a good baseline of how many calories all our bodies need for base metabolic function and nutritional needs).

I think calorie counting is a great way to prepare for the maintenance stage because you spend the months of weight loss learning how many calories your body needs, depending on exercise level, and learning to eat "regular" healthy food while you are doing it -- so that you do not really change your eating habits at the end...just add a few more calories to stop losing.

I eat 5 small meals a day -- to keep my blood sugar even and keep from getting hungry. I make sure I get protein with EVERY meal/snack for the same two reasons -- plus it helps my body maintain its lean muscle mass. I limit my sugar and non-whole grain carbs, but I NEVER say I CAN'T have something on a special occasion...like my birthday, Thanksgiving, etc. I eat cake, chocolate, etc. in moderate amounts every once in a while...even while I was "dieting" or, more accurately, making my lifestyle change. I eat LOTS of veggies and fruit and high fiber foods as well as making sure I get enough healthy fats like olive oil in my salad dressing, avocados, nuts and fish about once a week -- basically a "whole foods" approach to eating.

I write down all the food that goes in my mouth in a little spiral notebook I carry, and I keep a running tally of my calories for the day. I plan my meals in advance whenever I can so that I don't "run out" of calories too early in the day. I "bank" calories for special occasions, and I do have an "off plan" meal once or twice a month -- everyone deserves french fries once in a while-- although, truth be told, I prefer a baked potato.

I also cycled my calories during weight loss, which means I had high calorie days and low calorie days that averaged over a week to my "target" level -- this gives you high days to look forward to and "tricks" your metabolism into not improving its efficiency if it is getting a consistant low level of calories (which can make weight loss more difficult).

I also got, and continue to get, 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio and 15-30 minutes of Steady State (SS) cardio 6 days a week (I have a stationary bike), and I do resistance training 3 days a week, at home, with a mix of "body weight" exercises like crunches, push-ups, leg lifts, squats, etc. as well as using resistance bands with handles and door attachments for biceps, triceps, chest press, back, rowing, shoulders, etc.

That is all I can think of...good luck!!!
Why yes those are Size 4 jeans hugging my posterior today. Thanks for noticing!

Last edited by Schumeany; 12-09-2008 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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I'm a calorie counter also and for me it's not really a diet and more of a tool to help myself live a healthier life.

Schumeany has summed it up quite nicely so I won't try to rehash it all again. I'm very happy with calorie counting and have had great success.
Tea at Dusk - A food blog
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #7
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Nixie, I am also a calorie counter. I weigh daily to closely monitor my progress. I focus on whole foods and use anything artificial sparingly. You can do this. Like you, I am not really interested in any programs. I find I am more successful by arming myself with knowledge and using resources that are readily accessible to me.

My stats are to the left. I began in June.

"Be who you are, say what you feel. Those who matter, don't mind. Those who mind, don't matter." --Dr. Seuss

Last edited by Thighs Be Gone; 12-08-2008 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
Moderating Mama
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Sign my name to Schumeany's post. Eating frequently, allowing treats sometimes (even while losing), and counting calories with a whole foods approach.
Goal Met - 10/28/07 - My Progress Picture Collage - My Goal Story - Where Have I Been?

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!

Maintained Oct 2007-Sept 2011, then got pregnant. Our baby boy was born in May, 2012...now to lose the baby weight!!
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
2 wheels is plenty :D
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Me 3! Calorie counter here - add to that addicted to working out.
Before & Current Pics
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:11 AM   #10
NEVER EVER going back
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Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
Sign my name to Schumeany's post. Eating frequently, allowing treats sometimes (even while losing), and counting calories with a whole foods approach.
Sign my name as well. A huge focus on whole foods.

I've lost 45.5 lbs in just over two months on 1800 calories a day.
On my own personal journey I started on September 27, 2008
Starting weight 377, Weight in spring of 2010 198, Weight in August 2011? In the 240's.
Still plugging along on this weight loss highway!
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
Sign my name to Schumeany's post. Eating frequently, allowing treats sometimes (even while losing), and counting calories with a whole foods approach.
Me six? Seven? Forty-nine? Calorie counting with an emphasis on whole foods (fruits, veggies, fish, nuts, whole grains, beans, etc.) with occasional treats is popular around here simply because it works. I'm now down over 100 pounds am not on a "diet."
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