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Old 02-25-2006, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default How do you decide on a diet

Hi all

I am new to this site. I have read a lot about the various diets that seem popular. My question is how do you decide what to do? There are so many diets out there with so many variations? I want this to work. I have been seriously over weight for the past 20 years and enough is enough. Any help would would be a thankful thing.
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Old 02-25-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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I think you have to decide what you can and cannot live without. For me, I cannot completely eliminate carbs, so I knew Atkins and South Beach wouldn't work for me. I'm not good with supplements and shakes/bars, so SlimFast didn't work for me either. After some searching I went to Weight Watchers. I chose their Core plan over the Points program, since Core is better suited to the way I cook and the way my husband and I like to eat.

Good luck with whatever you decide to try- this site is great for support for just about any diet plan out there!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:56 AM   #3
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Hello, Madre, and !

Tribefan hit the nail squarely on the head. It really is a matter of assessing your goals, personality, lifestyle and figuring out the things that you think will appeal to you for the long haul.

As a lifelong "dieter", I've tried plenty of things. Some didn't work for me at all. Others worked, but after I "quit", I gradually regained. I came across this site in January, as I was trying out a few new techniques (well, new to me, anyway) and making an honest assessment of how I wanted to live from here on. I think I've finally (finally!) worked out a plan that I can truly live with. And I have a place where I can float ideas, lend support, get support and just know I'm not in this alone. I honestly think this time, it's gonna work and it's gonna stick. Yahoo!

TribeFan picked WW Core. I'm calorie counting and monitoring my deficits. I'm sure you'll find a plan for you, too! Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:58 AM   #4
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Hola Madre-

It's really hard to say which plan is the best fit for you without knowing you. I would venture a guess your best bet is to research the various plans - and see which is the best fit for your personality and body. For example, if you do better with lots of support from a group you might like a plan like Weight Watchers where you are accountable in a weekly meeting. If you are more a detail oriented self starter (some would say lone wolf) like me, calorie counting might be a good fit for you. As for a fit for your body - for me - I wouldn't last long on low carbs - but other people do really well on it. It's all in what works for you.

A key for everyone across the board is to be consistent on your plan - and plan to stick with it for life. Exercise is key as well, find ways to move that are fun for you, and do something daily. Start slow at the beginning if you aren't already exercising - maybe just a 15 minute walk. You are embarking on a lifestyle change - embrace it and be prepared for a new healthier YOU!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:10 AM   #5
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Choose something that you can stick with - and not for the duration of your "diet" but for life so that you can maintain that loss. It isn't important how quickly you lose, what's important is that you can keep the weight off and I'd rather lose slowly and permanently than quickly and temporarily.

Don't be afraid to add your own variations as you get a bit more confident. You don't need to stick rigidly to a commercial diet plan to lose weight, there are lots of people here who have essentially made up their own plans. If going with something that's already out there makes you feel like you have more support and resources to draw on then that's fine, but don't be afraid to learn a bit about nutrition for yourself and incorporate that into your life.

Don't worry about what works for other people, it's important to find something that works for you.
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Old 02-26-2006, 02:59 AM   #6
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Most importantly - I think you have to find out what works for YOU. I could never follow someone else's plan, it had to be all me.

What worked for me:

When I first decided I wanted to change my eating habits to be stronger and healthier, I knew I needed something I could stick with forever. I couldn't radically change how I eat - there's no way to maintain that long term. I looked at my usual dinner menus. I ate a lot of stir fries, curry dishes, pasta and quesadillas/enchiladas.

I switched from white rice to brown rice, regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, white flour tortillas to whole wheat tortillas. I added more veggies to meals (broccoli in stir fry, wilted spinach in pasta sauce) and reduced the amount of cheese, oil and butter I cooked with. I also became more aware of a true serving size, actually eating a single serving of brown rice or whole wheat pasta (a little kitchen scale is one of the best purchases I ever made). For example, I used to eat a HUGE plate of pasta with a little sauce and a little salad. I now eat a small plate of pasta (carefully measured 2.0 oz serving) with a LOT of sauce and a BIG salad.

Other things I did:

As much fruit and vegetables as I want. No counting, no nothing. If I want an apple – I eat an apple. If I want a whole bag of sugar snap peas - I eat the bag. I aim for 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day. Leafy greens and brightly colored veggies are my priority. (dried fruits are the exception, they are so condensed it’s easy to eat too many and they pack a calorie punch, I’m much more aware of an actual serving size of dried fruit).

Some sort of protein at every meal, protein helps me feel FULL. There are lots of good ways to get protein - lean meats, tofu, dairy, beans, legumes, peanut butter. As a former vegetarian, I’ve added some turkey into my menu planning and I’m eating a ton more fish (salmon, tuna).

Avoid processed crap. All those chemicals just weighed me down and the unscrupulous corporate *******s like to sneak in trans fat and high fructose corn syrup. I haven’t had fast food since July 2004 and I hope to live without it forever. No fast food, very little processed sugar, no empty carbs - the goal is good food that is good for me. Since I started eating “clean” I have so much more energy – I used to be sleepy every afternoon at work, so tired I would doze off at the keyboard. That hasn’t happened in months.

I never said no to carbs, I never stopped eating them. I did switch from empty carbs to better carbs. I try to include whole wheat bread (note, not just wheat bread, WHOLE wheat bread), sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta or brown rice every day. My carb grams are normally 100 a day, way over what Atkins considers okay even in maintenance mode. Although all people are different, in my case, staying at 100+ grams of carbs didn't stop weight loss AT ALL and allowed me to keep eating the foods I love - key to sustainable weight loss. Since I was looking for something sustainable, I had to include lots of bread, pasta, rice, tortillas, pitas - since that's what I normally ate.

Don't be hungry. I figure, if I’m hungry, I’m doing it wrong. When I was losing weight, I counted calories now and never went below 1600. I ate little meals every 2 hours, before I got hungry. During maintenance, I slowly increased calories to 2000+ a day (didn't gain back ANY weight).

Fat is a good thing, it makes hair shiny and protects organs and brain. I wouldn’t run out and eat a tub of butter or anything, but I do eat healthy fats like olive oil, peanut butter, avocado, dairy (low fat yogurt, cheese), and nuts. I try to eat a handful of nuts every day (walnuts or almonds).

Drinking – no empty calories. I stick to water and tea, with the occasional non fat, sugar free coffee drink treat. Juice isn't bad for you, but I'd rather eat the fruit - get the healthy fiber and stay full longer. Now that I'm maintaining, I treat myself to the occasional glass of red wine. I love it and I missed it when I was losing weight.

Be prepared for what you will do when you LOSE weight and reach your goal. You gonna quit, go back to the old ways of eating that made you heavy in the first place? Have a plan for maintenance, know what you're going to do!
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:11 AM   #7
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You may also find that no one plan really works for you. You may find a need to kind of mix and match a couple of plans together. But mainly, it's like everyone has said, you want to find whatever works for you. Atkins and South Beach don't really work for me. It doesn't take long before I feel deprived. I bought Dr. Phil's book and he focuses on eating good carbs vs no carbs. I found that works for me because I don't feel deprived and never feel hungry. Just do your research, I'm sure you will find what works for you.

Best of luck!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 09:29 AM   #8
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Personally I am totally against diets, as what we need is a healthful eating plan we can live with. I did my own research as to what is healthful and what is not, etc. There is still a LOT of wonderful stuff you can eat and still lose weight and become healthy.

I have a "general rule" that I find pretty much works, at least for me. "If God made it, it is probably okay to eat; if mankind messed with it and invented or putzed around with it, be careful."

I also laugh as "experts" have spent years and zillions of dollars in research and what have they come up with.... "Your mother was right... eat your fruits and vegetables."

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Old 02-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #9
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I honestly never thought I'd find a diet I could live with until I went into Barnes and Noble and found the Bread for Life Diet book. It immediately caught my eye because I could never live without bread. After reading through it I discovered that this diet was the one that was best suited for me.

I recommend going into your local book store and looking at the diet books because there's a book out there for just about every diet plan ever. Find one that looks like something you can sustain for a long time, or even for the rest of your life. Good luck <3
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dance4joy
Personally I am totally against diets, as what we need is a healthful eating plan we can live with. I did my own research as to what is healthful and what is not, etc. There is still a LOT of wonderful stuff you can eat and still lose weight and become healthy.

I have a "general rule" that I find pretty much works, at least for me. "If God made it, it is probably okay to eat; if mankind messed with it and invented or putzed around with it, be careful."

I also laugh as "experts" have spent years and zillions of dollars in research and what have they come up with.... "Your mother was right... eat your fruits and vegetables."

Dance
AMEN!

Second part of that equation is portion control.
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:50 AM   #11
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Hello (mostly ladies) Ladies:

I too spent alot of time on very strict diets that just were set up for failure for me.

I chose WW as it was the most normal people friendly. Therefore; easier to stick with on a regular basis.

I come from a family of people who have all died at early ages of heart disease and diabetes. I truly do not want to follow in their foot steps. So I need to do a life plan diet.

In the past I didn't have a computer and it is nice to find a site with all of us in a similar boat.

Hope to read you all in the future.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:06 PM   #12
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I am totally touched that so many people have answered. Thank you. For me--I love to eat healthy, that is why it is hard to understand why I gained so much weight. Then about a year ago, I found out I have sleep apnea, the Dr thinks that I may have had it for as long as 20 years. The Dr thinks that is why I gained the weight. I only use whole grains, and I eat mostly vegetables. My weakness is chocolate. I don't binge. But I do eat when I am angry or upset. I don't think I could live with out the carbs--so I am pretty sure that Atkins and South Beach is not a good choice for me. I have been trying the counting calories for the past 3 weeks. That seems to work pretty good for me so far. I have also been looking over the food I eat--searching for hidden sugar and fat. And I gave up the chocolate. I have been reading the boards here, and this seems a good place to find people who are going through the same thing I am. Thank You again for your response.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafinlySmart
AMEN!

Second part of that equation is portion control.
I find that what really works ref. this is taking very small bites and actually chewing my food! Watch people in a restaurant sometime (subtly of course LOL) and you will notice that almost everyone takes HUGE bites of food and shovels it down. But you can actually get more enjoyment by a tiny bite and savoring it! When I remember to do this I find I am almost tired of eating by the time I finish my meal.

Welcome to the newbies! Glad to have you here.

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Old 02-26-2006, 04:16 PM   #14
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Oh no! She said the "d" word!

lol

I'm another that's totally against diets. Dieting is what made me fat.

The best thing to do is just eat healthy, watch your calories, try to squeeze in more activity and don't take in more than your body is burning for energy. When you take in more calories than your body burns, that's when you gain weight.

Many of us here use fitday (fitday.com) to record our food and keep track of calories. Counting my calories is the only thing that's ever worked for me. After years of yo-yo dieting, I finally figured out that I simply have to eat healthy foods and portion my amounts.

That's when the weight started coming off.
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