Calorie counting. That has always worked best for me, I just don't do well with extremes. So I eat of protein, carbs and fats, and watch my calorie counts. I also make sure I get enough protein and then let the chips fall. Some days I might eat low carb-ish, other days I might eat lower fat, but mostly it is very moderate.
I have noticed that if I try to go too low with carbs, I have NO energy. I also start to crave fats and then eat too many of them. So a balanced diet is best for me. That said, I mostly eat whole and unprocessed foods. Added sugar is very limited, max is a couple tablespoons a day, usually weighed by the gram.
Once or twice a week, I eat out and I get what I want, carbs or no, sugar or no. If I keep a deficit the rest of the time and exercise, I'm usually good. And I don't go nuts dwelling on "treats", since I get to have them.
Last edited by graycyn : 01-07-2011 at 09:26 PM.
Reason: added a bit to a sentence
Calorie counting. I do not limit my carbs because low-carb and jogging are not friends! I really believe whether or not you can limit your carbs depends on your activity level. If you are walking 30 minutes a day, or doing a 30 minute workout video, I think low carb is workable, even easy. But, I have been jogging for awhile and recently upped my jogging to 55 minutes, 5 x's week, and I specifically need carbs to keep my going.
And when friends try to get you to eat chocolate or cookies, crinkle your nose and tell them you don't like the taste so much anymore. I do this a lot, it really works. If someone offers me chips, I tell them the salt makes my lips hurt/crack (which is a common phenomenon). Or, if it is a sugary carb like ice cream, I tell them that it makes me feel fatigued.
No one wants to pressure you to eat food that you don't like or that makes you feel not good. That takes all the joy of eating away.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf
I've made several confirmations and discoveries over the last three weeks. One of them is that I can keep chocolate around if it's individually wrapped in small portions. I don't do very well with snack-type foods not in individual portions, though. I guess I could portion them myself but I'm not sure that would help.
It could be that you need to eliminate all trigger foods. I find that I do better if I allow myself 50 to 100 calories of chocolate or similar foods occasionally--it's enough to scratch my psychological itch, but not enough to start the cycle of physical cravings.
I think it's important for each individual to determine whether they need to eliminate the trigger food completely or can indulge a little bit. So why not be cautious and eliminate it, just in case? Well, just speaking for myself, it's easier for me to avoid a full-on binge if I scratch the itch rather than ignoring it.
When I re-started in May 2010, I began by a low-carb WoE (the British Neris and India's IdiotProof Diet, not to be confused with another Idiot Proof one which sounds dangerous). I really needed the transition it gave me - I was still eating quite a lot of food, it was definitely food I liked but the low-carbness of it helped me to lose weight quite quickly at first.
Eventually it began to stop, then roll back, although I was 100% compliant. My doc told me my bloods were all over the shop with it, and recommended low GI.
For a few months I basically calorie counted at 1400, with an eye to low GI.
As October loomed, when I begin to go down hill in a Big, "I am being sucked down the plughole of black despair" way with Seasonal Depression, I decided to go for a carb richer WoE. I'd read that the human body is programmed to want more carbs in the winter months, so thought "Why fight it?" For the first month I dropped to 1200 calories, to accommodate any water bounces from the added carbs.
Two amazing results:
not only did I not get any water bounces, my ankles resumed their natural, non oedema boniness for the first time in decades!
but the added carbs plus the discipline of a daily walk, sometimes no more than 30 minutes, in the open air has meant that I've only experienced a couple of tiny patches of depression trying to leak in, instead of my pattern for years of spending weeks upon weeks teetering on the edge of non-existence.
Calorie counting - which gives the mental opportunity to eat any mortal, bad-for-me thing I choose, although I generally choose not to.
Carb richer - about 40% carbs in the summer, up to 50% in the winter.
The winter extra carbs have Always been the sensible kind - oats, wholemal bread, bananas, potatoes - and never bars of chocolate or deep fried cakes.
I plan to keep up my winter carbs until the Equinox on March 20th, and then drop them some, right through to the Autumn Equinox on Septemer 23rd.