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Old 01-07-2006, 05:20 PM   #1
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I was wondering whether it is a better idea to "jump-start" the program with a rigorous diet and exersize, and then taper off (like the induction period on south beach, etc etc) or to make changes gradually?

The jump-start idea appeals to me because I tend to give up if things don't happen quickly (I have given up quite a few times a week now )

any sort of jarring experience "turning point" might help motivate me, too.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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I think that the best way to start is one that works and actually gets you started. It's the long haul that matters anyway.


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Old 01-07-2006, 05:48 PM   #3
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I think the hazard with jump starting is that you may become use to the quick weight loss. "Addicted' so to speak. When you then taper off, your loss will slow. Can you handle that?

I did jump start. I was very encouraged to keep going but I've had to learn some hard truths about maintaining.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:51 PM   #4
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I did it in two stages. I worked on my eating first for a month, then started my exercise plan. I couldn't have coped with it all at once. I couldn't do a phase 1 phase 2 approach like South Beach, I don't do deprivation LOL.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:55 PM   #5
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I think you've fallen into a big trap a lot of dieters fall into -- depending on the "high" from doing something really strict and seeing a quick loss. There is no way to sustain weight loss, much less weight maintenance, if your only reason for doing so is to see the scale drop quickly. The reason you get bored and stray off of programs when you don't see quick results is that you haven't thought about what really needs to happen.

What really needs to happen is that you not only eat and move in a way that helps you lose weight, but that makes you healthier and helps you sustain a healthy weight for the rest of your life. For people who are successful over the long haul, their life after weight loss really looks no different than their life during weight loss. They may have built that lifestyle in stages, but by the time they got to goal they were living the way they planned to live forever.

So, you can start gradually if that's more palatable, or you can draw a line in the sand and start your new lifestyle all at once, at least in respect to food. The point is, stop talking about diet as if it's something you'll do temporarily, as if one day you can go back to eating the way you eat now. Sure, it's sometimes tough to keep going when you're used to having those big scale drops give you those thrills, but this isn't about thrills and entertainment and emotion. It's about the challenging -- yet satisfying -- work of getting your act together and living in a healthy way, day in and day out.

Check out the maintainers' forum, especially the stickies. You might also want to pick up a copy of the book Thin for Life, there's a wealth of information in it about what it takes to get through to goal and stay there.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:06 PM   #6
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I've tried losing weight both ways - with a very low cal high exercise start and the more gradual way. For me, the gradual way is working fine. First, I decided it was a "lifestyle" change, not a "diet", because for me the word "diet" meant deprivation. This is the way I'm going to eat the rest of my life.

I work out 3x a week at Curves. In the past I had joined a regular gym but felt very out of place and overwhelmed. I soon dropped my membership. I've been working out at Curves for just over 2 years, with only one week off when I had the 'flu.

Through trial and error, I found that 1500 - 1600 calories a day allows me to lose just under a pound per week and that's exactly what's been happening. The couple of hundred extra calories per day make it possible for me to stick to my new way of eating. Everyone is different, but this is what works for me
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietcokeaddict
I was wondering whether it is a better idea to "jump-start" the program with a rigorous diet and exersize, and then taper off (like the induction period on south beach, etc etc) or to make changes gradually?
Gradual changes are best. Because when you make gradual changes, you in turn teach yourself better habits.

And nothing is going to happen overnight. You've got to have patience. It takes just as long (or longer) to lose the weight as it does to put it on.

You didn't gain the weight in a week's time and you're not going to lose it in a week's time, either.

Forget diets. Dieting is how I ended up fat. When I made the decision to change my lifestyle and change the way I eat forever, that's when the weight started coming off.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:25 PM   #8
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I guess my problem with committing is I always have the internal argument about "I don't really want to be thin, i would rather have four pieces of cinnamon toast!" but your comments have really helped me see that it's not even really about being thin... it's about having a good healthy lifestyle that lasts your entire life and keeps you sane! (unlike dieting, which makes me INsane.. haha)
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:43 PM   #9
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Well, like the old saying goes, nothing tastes as good as thin feels. And they're right.

If I want to pig out on a bunch of crap, I just remember what it was like to be heavy. And how much I hated myself. And how ashamed I was of even being seen in public.

No food is worth that to me. Not a one.

It feels so good to get into my closet, slip into a pair of jeans and put on a shirt because *I* want to wear it (not because it's the only thing I CAN wear cuz nothing else will fit) and bounce out the door with my newfound confidence.

There's not one food in this world that will ever take that away from me again.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:48 PM   #10
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Basically, I will never allow myself to become a slave to food again. *I* control it. I don't let it control ME.

If you can accomplish that, you can accomplish anything
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:32 PM   #11
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Just to note: Not everyone can handle gradual changes, so please avoid blanket statements about any one approach being "best." For people like myself who are compulsive overeaters, we have to deal with food in a different way than people who just overeat out of habit. So, I would urge anyone to think about what is best for THEM and their personality, and not what someone else thinks is the only way to go. If, in the end, you get to a healthy weight in a sane way, are eating a balanced diet, and are moving your body, it doesn't matter whether you started that new lifestyle in one fell swoop or got there in stages. Some of us have to fake it before we make it. I would venture to guess that my habits are just as ingrained and long-lasting as someone who reshaped their habits more gradually; the point is we end up in the same place, because the mental work is the same.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:36 AM   #12
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Yes, everyone is different. What works for some may not work for others. But she asked for our opinions on what would be a better way to go and we gave her OUR opinions. That doesn't mean gradual changes are going to best for her specifically, but it's what we feel works better for the long haul.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:37 PM   #13
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Also, it is important to keep in mind what's really the reason many commercial diets have an "induction" phase. Diets are businesses, and to be successful at selling books, products, web subscriptions etc., the diet needs to have it's followers lose lots of weight quickly...I mean that's what draws most people to diets in the first place - the promise of easy, quick weight loss. Then when you hear your cousin Al's wife's sister lost 10 pounds on South Beach in only a month, you'll give it a try. For a diet business to be successful it wants all the positive word of mouth it can get, knowing that people are too ashamed to admit they tried a diet but quit because they were unable to stick to it or it wasn't effective.

I understand that for some with serious eating issues, drastic change is needed. But for most of us, I think, it really comes down to deciding if you are in it for the long haul, as opposed to wanting to crash diet. For long term success you have to look at making changes that aren't too drastic in order to stick with them. Two years ago I couldn't keep a food journal for more than a week, exercised less than 2 times a week, and probably ate close to 3000 calories a day. I'm sure I tried numerous times to change all that - but it didn't happen overnight.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:45 PM   #14
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Personally I like gradual changes, although I appreciate it doesn't work for everyone. For me, before this I didn't overeat particularly badly or have any really bad binges or trigger foods, I just made consistently bad choices to get to 260lb. The way I've dealt with that is by giving myself other choices, which are more healthy, and trusting myself to choose them.

Before I would eat a pizza when I got in from work because it was easy. Not because I particularly craved it or anything like that, just because I was lazy and I didn't know whether I liked vegetables or other sorts of healthy food. So when I started doing this I tried to introduce myself to new, easy, healthy food that I could eat instead. I never told myself that I couldn't have that pizza, I just told myself that maybe this new recipe I'd seen would be healthy, and it looks nice so why not try it.

So for me, it's sustainable and it's more of a long term plan. But I started losing weight very slowly, and it only picked up pace once I'd got to the point where the healthy stuff outweighed the unhealthy stuff. And that sort of weight loss doesn't sell books!


Gradual definitely works with exercise. There is no way that you'll be able to go out tomorrow morning and run 13k (which is what I did this morning). But if you do a little today and a little tomorrow, next month you'll be fit enough to try doing a little more, and so on. You may never get to (or want to get to) running 13k (believe me, it takes a certain amount of insanity ), but if you try different sorts of exercise and find something you like doing, then you'll be more motivated to keep on doing it. But you have to accept that you won't be able to do it all at first, you have to build yourself up.
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hibiscus8
Also, it is important to keep in mind what's really the reason many commercial diets have an "induction" phase. Diets are businesses, and to be successful at selling books, products, web subscriptions etc., the diet needs to have it's followers lose lots of weight quickly...I mean that's what draws most people to diets in the first place - the promise of easy, quick weight loss. Then when you hear your cousin Al's wife's sister lost 10 pounds on South Beach in only a month, you'll give it a try. For a diet business to be successful it wants all the positive word of mouth it can get, knowing that people are too ashamed to admit they tried a diet but quit because they were unable to stick to it or it wasn't effective.
Absolutely -- that's how they get their hooks in you. How often does a weight loss program advertise "slow results?" Never. :P

Quote:
I understand that for some with serious eating issues, drastic change is needed. But for most of us, I think, it really comes down to deciding if you are in it for the long haul, as opposed to wanting to crash diet. For long term success you have to look at making changes that aren't too drastic in order to stick with them.
Here is where there's a lot of misunderstanding. Not every commercial program has an "induction" phase, and not everyone who takes a line-in-the-sand approach crash diets at the beginning. I ABSOLUTELY agree that the long-term view is important, and that's exactly what I've done. When I started my program I did so with the deep understanding that I was not dieting but making permanent changes in my lifestyle in order to maintain a healthy weight forever. But, making a lot of changes at once does not mean that they are unsustanable by definition. I have used Jenny Craig as my program, and it does NOT have a quick-start or induction phase; in fact, it's just the opposite. Following this program meant that I had a complete food plan to follow from day one. The difference between this and fad programs (and even some WW programs) is that you start at a calorie level appropriate for your weight, activity level, etc. from the beginning. True, a lot of people lose a lot of weight that first week due to water weight loss, but that's going to happen any time you restrict calories, no matter what the program. It is built to provide steady, reasonable weight loss while learning life-long habits.

So, again, please don't make assumptions about fully-designed programs. There IS a real -- and annoying -- prejudice on this board that the gradual approach is the only one anyone SHOULD do, that every single thing else is bound for failure. The advocates acknowledge that "not every approach works for everyone" and then they turn right around and say that their approach is the only one that can really be expected to be successful in the long run. Those us who follow commercial programs get a double-whammy, because there is this underlying implication that they are a waste of money in all cases and that a person SHOULD be able to lose weight on their own by making those holy "gradual changes."

This board, of all the places in the world, should be a place where any safe, sane, sensible program is supported and that a person's efforts to find what works for them should be celebrated, no matter what the cost. Instead, except for the boards for specific programs, if you're paying money for any kind of guidance you're seen as foolish. This is the same crap that we get from people who don't have to watch their weight: If you'd "just" watch what you eat, if you'd "just" get up from the couch, you would lose weight. Etc. It's the exact same lack of understanding and refusal to acknowledge that you can't understand the solution if you don't understand the problem. I'll tell you this: understanding my complusive overeating and using Jenny Craig have saved my life. I know that those who don't share my problem cannot understand why this solution was really the only solution for me. That's OK. I refuse to feel abashed or somehow inferior, however, because I have not followed the party line of gradual change here. I also expect that others on this journey -- on this board -- would truly support what I choose to do and not question it or provide a voice of doom. If gradual works for you, great -- say, "Gradual works for me, and here's why." Please avoid making sweeping generalizations about people and programs you don't know anything about, and for godssake stop saying that such-and-such is "best" or is the "only" way something's going to happen.

I do not regret one single solitary penny I have spent on my program, nor the sometimes wrenching effort I put into making this program work at a deep level so that I can sustain it for the rest of my life. I think I am better for it -- not only healthier but better -- and it has proven that I can do anything I really want to do, regardless of the difficulty.
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