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How do I choose a diet?

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default How do I choose a diet?

I am just starting out. I don't have anything hardcore planned. Just walking a little more and eating less for now and for the most part staying away from junkie foods. I am motivated but trying to get extra motivated. What would really motivate me is to actually see results. The more I see, the more I will stay true to the plan.

There are so many diets out there. How do I know which one is right for me? Any suggestions?

Quick background...34 yr old mom of 4 looking to lose 100 lbs in total. Would like to lose it all within a year. I'm not in a financially stable place to join a gym or buy "special food" for myself. I am a horrible cook. My kids would rather eat ramon noodles. Yuck! And I work weekdays full time.

Any suggestions on a simple low cost plan that can help me obtain my goal. Or would that be more or less a pipe dream??
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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Oh my! You could be my twin! I'm 31, mom of 4, 5'3, started at 240 and goal is 140. I'm a stay at home mom though. Our finances are also tight and my kids love ramen but I can't stand them either.

I had a hard time deciding what to do too. I researched for days and came across primal blueprint. I cut out soda, sugary drinks and sweets before I found primal and lost 10 lbs just by cutting all that out and watching portions. 2 weeks later found primal and I have lost another 10 lbs since the 2 weeks I've been on it. I don't stick to it 100% because I can't afford grass fed beef and all organic everything. But, I follow the basic guidelines and it has been affordable and I've seen results. It's not hard to adapt to cooking for myself and my family since they still eat grains. I've actually felt amazing and I think cutting out sugar first helped a lot. I'm very satisfied so far. This is just my experience with what I'm doing. No special meals to buy, powders, or shakes. Easy to live with.

I started exercising last week. I can't afford gym or equipment either, so I am doing a bodyweight routine on M, W, & F and going for 20-30 min walks with the kids, dancing around the house, yoga (never thought I would but I LOVE it and you can find free videos online). Pretty simple and I'm just sticking to this for now as long as it works.

Good luck!!
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Emid78--You definitely don't need to spend a lot of money to lose weight! I've just used calorie counting, which has been completely free. I use a free app on my phone called MyFitnessPal that has helped to structure everything for me. You tell it your current weight, activity level, goal weight and how fast you want to lose the weight. It then tells you how many calories to eat everyday. I've lost all of my weight eating regular food from the grocery store, which will also be a definite plus when I transition to maintenance. I exercise at home too--no need for a gym membership. The final cornerstone to my plan has been the information and support at 3FC, which is also free! To be fair though, I have had to spend some money--on new clothes!
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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I decided on a diet plan that makes sense for me, one that feels practical and something I can stick to longterm. I can't do diets where you have to cut out entire food groups or eat the "special" food you mentioned, so I chose Weight Watchers online. With WW, I don't have to feel deprived of anything, and I can stay on plan rather easily. I'm sure there's one out there that will make sense for you, motivate you, and keep you satisfied.

If nothing else, simply write down what you eat all day. That way you'll be more aware of what & how much you're eating.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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Just start with good old fashioned calorie counting. Use an online calculator to figure out a ballpark estimate, buy a (cheap) food scale, measuring cups, and away you go.

Now granted, calorie counting alone doesn't always do it for the entirety of your weight loss - I found after about forty pounds lost a lower carb plan was better for losing and enjoying, coupled with my normal food log. But it is the best starting place and essentially free.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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I'm 35, mom of two, and started at 229 aiming to get to 135. Since 1 January I have lost just about 26 pounds.

I do not buy any "special diet" foods nor do I have a gym membership. I walk (and now added in a few minutes running during my walk) for 30 minutes a day. I log all my food/water intake and exercise into a free app on my phone. I use My Fitness Pal, which can also be accessed via computer.

I started using 5 pound dumbbells a few weeks ago and am about to go up to 8 pounds.

Indoors I use Biggest Loser workout dvds. I have also put in a movie and walked the duration of the movie in my living room. (Mostly in place but also back and forth across the room.)

You can find great cook books with low cal recipes. I personally love my Weight Watchers books and my Biggest Loser one. I'm not the best cook, but we are getting by! (My fave lunch is a baked sweet potato topped with 1/2 non fat greek yogurt and two tablespoons of salsa.)

You can do this, you just have to stick with it! Swap your calorie drinks for water. If you drink coffee with a lot of cream and sugar, wean yourself down. I went from having about 4 servings of creamer and 6 servings of sugar in my coffee to just having two measured servings of creamer.

I just want to also say welcome to 3FC! This place is awesome and has been instrumental in my weight loss. You will succeed!!
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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Almost all plans have some things in common. You can start with those:

Cut out sweets and treats, chips and sodas and such.
Be more mindful of the size of your portions.
Eat lots of veggies (they are healthy AND they fill you up!)

Just those few steps can make a huge difference while you decide what your next steps will be.

You can count calories. You can eat "whole foods". You can go "Primal" or "Paleo". You can cut back on one macronutrient, like fat or carbs.

You can combine them. I'm a calorie counting low-carber.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:36 AM   #8
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I use myfitnesspal on my phone to keep track of calories. Losing weight is about burning more calories than you consume. I don't tell myself I can't have something, I just eat smaller portions and try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meals. I've been losing about a pound a week.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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I second either calorie counting or primal blueprint!

Neither requires much in the way of "special food". Calorie counting would be the easiest, if it works for you. It just never really worked for me. Turns out , I have insulin resistance and have trouble with carbs and weight loss. My variation of the primal blueprint is what has allowed me to lose weight. And you dont need the book, the info is all on Mark Sisson's website. Mostly I eat high quality proteins, fats, and fruits/veggies. I also eat Full Fat Greek Yogurt, cheese etc. Its been working.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Just wanted to say that losing 100 in a year is totally doable, but not on a little more of this, little less of that kind of plan. It takes a consistent effort to stick to your plan, whichever you choose. I did calorie counting and really didn't add in the exercise until I was nearly at goal. I do exercise quite a bit now to help maintain, but you won't create a large caloric deficit through exercise unless you're killing yourself at it.

Nobody has to be a horrible cook. There are plenty of Cooking Light recipes out there which are not complicated and you should remember that you're currently forming the habits of those four kids. They don't need to live on empty carbs and sodium any more than you do. I'm a lazy cook, but even I can struggle through some easy 4-5 ingredient recipes. You just have to commit to doing it and to listening to the kids whine for a couple of days while they adjust to actual food.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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My suggestion would be to start journaling, and writing down EVERYTHING you intake, that way you know how much you are actually eating. That has worked for me. Find a workout video you like and go for it!!!
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #12
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I will echo the suggestion of calorie counting. You will find what works for you in more detail as you go. Calorie counting is free and you don't have to really change anything you eat, at least to start! It's very realistic to not spend anything extra!!! You don't have to eat in a way that keeps you at your current weight, or makes you gain, that's totally in your hands and has nothin' to do with budget!

Mom of 2 here, 30 years old, 5'6", I've lost just shy of 100 pounds since my high weight late December '11. I didn't start seriously losing until March '12, which makes this month my year anniversary. Since my serious start I've lost a smidge over 80 pounds.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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I just wanted to say start slow. I like calorie counting, but staying away from candy was my first goal. I don't mind if it takes a while to lose the weight, personally.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:36 PM   #14
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I agree with MSDEEDEE23 about keeping track of everything that passes your lips. I use FitDay. I don't know that it is the best, but I am used to it. There are others. Or you can just write down your food and look everything up. It takes some getting used to, but once you start doing it, it's really not an awful burden. I find that I eat a lot of the same things over time, and pretty soon I know what the calorie counts are for most of my regular food.

Also, you can get all kinds of books about diet and dieting from the library for free. I happen to like the Volumetrics books by Barbara Rolls. It is a sensible diet and helps keep hunger at bay.

Most importantly, choose an eating style that you can live with. Just saying, if you love meat, don't try to become a vegetarian - right at first anyway.

Hang out with us here on 3FC! You can do it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin41 View Post
Nobody has to be a horrible cook. There are plenty of Cooking Light recipes out there which are not complicated and you should remember that you're currently forming the habits of those four kids. They don't need to live on empty carbs and sodium any more than you do. I'm a lazy cook, but even I can struggle through some easy 4-5 ingredient recipes. You just have to commit to doing it and to listening to the kids whine for a couple of days while they adjust to actual food.

^^^^YES!!!! I hate to cook. Its not something I have ever enjoyed. I am 26, mom of two, work full time outside the home 7am-6pm, the oldest has extracurriculars that keep us out late 4 nights a week, but I cook dinner every night and its always edible and usually good. I don't like cooking, I grumble silently in my own mind while I do it, but I do it because I want to set a good example for my kids and I want to be certain that they are getting the nutrition they need to grow and, for the oldest, to do well in school.

I use my crock pot a lot - there are so many awesome Crock Pot cook books out there, I'm sure your library has a few. I throw the ingredient together in the morning and when we all get home at night dinner is ready. You can do a lot more with a crock pot than just pot roast. We do a lot of soups, barbeque, any kind of meat with mushroom gravy and broccoli, big batches of beans... the possibilities are endless. Big Oven (an App, but there is a website, too) is my friend. I get a lot of ideas on there.

As for what diet, I find calorie counting to be what fits in best with my current lifestyle. I have had great success with low carb in the past, but life wasn't quite so busy at the time and I like the flexibility of calorie counting. I use My Fitness Pal to log, and I keep an eye on my carbs and try to stay around 100, but not more than 130. I want my fat/carb/protein balance to be pretty equal - MFP has a pie chart for that.

I have never exercised before in my life, but when I decided a few months ago to get serious about getting healthy I spent weeks reading reviews of exercise DVDs on Amazon. I don't have the time or the funds for a gym, and I simply do not run. I needed something I could do in my house when the kids are asleep. I chose Slim in 6, and I really like it. I picked it up for around $20 on eBay. It has its drawbacks (bad music) but I wanted something super low impact to get me started since I have never exercised. Its doing the job. Jillian Micheal's 30 Day Shred is free on YouTube and its very, very popular around here. I have done level 1 a couple of times, because its only 20 minutes and sometimes I don't have the full 45 to devote to Slim in 6, and I always feel it the next day! There are LOTS of free workouts on YouTube, all types - yoga, Pilates, circuit training, etc.

You can do this! Stick around here, read threads that jump out at you and you will figure out as you go what changes will best fit into your current lifestyle and budget constraints.
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