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Old 09-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #16  
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I was limiting my calories and that was it to begin with, until the calorie limit I set started to feel comfortable. Then I started thinking about other changes I wanted to make. I read about the importance of getting enough fiber for weight loss and realized I was not getting even the basic recommended amounts, so I've started working on that, and I'm also trying to avoid white sugar.

But, the calorie count is the only thing that's really sacred. Changing habits, for me, has got to be gradual, or I'll just fall off the wagon at some point.

Do what works for you!
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:37 PM   #17  
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Strict calorie counting only. If I wanna eat 1200 calories of Ho-Hos, I'm free to do so, so long as I don't have anything else that day. Or bacon. Or cheese. Or french fries. Or whatever.

I don't, though. When you've got your calorie count low, every bite counts, and some bites just aren't worth the subtraction. So, while I could fast during the morning, then have a McDonald's meal for dinner, I almost never do that. A lot of the healthy eating just sort of springs from me trying to get the most bang for my caloric buck.

The only really hard and fast rule that I have is that breakfast must be a banana and Greek yogurt. The rest of the day is negotiable, but breakfast is not. It starts me on the right track and, moreover, is a psychological commitment that, yes, I am on-freaking-plan today. Plus there's a lot of protein in the yogurt, so it satisfies me for a while.

One of my best friends is also on a plan, and she counts everything--protein, fat, carbs, calories. If it has a number, she's counting it. I can't do that. It's too much planning. I could probably manage it for a few months, but I sure as heck couldn't do it forever.

Also, I like the freedom of being able to sometimes eat like a total bachelor and/or college student. Like, today's lunch was a bag of buffalo jerky. You know, from bison! Does it have a bunch of salt? Yep. Does it have any redeeming nutritional qualities? Not really. Is it delicious? Yep!

I won't do it every day, but it's absolutely liberating to be able to have something you want and still be completely and totally on plan.

I do understand why some people cut out specific things, though. I'm just fortunate in that reasonable amounts of sugar/salt/carbs don't really affect my appetite much, so I personally don't have to worry about it. I know what I do won't work for everyone, and I know that what other people do might not work for me.

Last edited by Gabe; 09-21-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:03 PM   #18  
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jen jen - i count calories and have since day one. i've found that counting calories is self-limiting on those calorie dense foods. i eat what i want, but i just have to remember that if i nosh on that huge 450 calorie delicious sugar cookie fresh from the bakery... i basically have to skip an entire meal. personally i prefer to be full than to eat the cookie, so it helps me skip it and eat something sensible.

it helps me to know that if i'm craving something (pizza, beer, ice cream, hot dogs, greasy breakfast meat, etc) i can have it as long as i've got enough calories (pennies!) left in the piggy bank. once it's empty, it's empty. unless i exercise. exercise adds calories (pennies!) to the bank that i can use on something to snack on later. i use myfitnesspal to keep track of all that fun stuff.

Last edited by konfyoozed; 09-21-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #19  
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The best diet is the one that you can stick to for a lifetime and gets you to your goal weight in the process. If you don't feel that you can stick to a specific diet DON'T DO IT!

Personally, I'm one of those who has given up evil sugar and eat little to no white flour. It's what works for me because I had a sugar addiction and just can't control myself around sweets. However, if that's not your struggle and you can eat sweets in moderation then don't do it.

If your issue is portion control, then calorie counting is probably your best bet. It's worked wonders for DH. Like others said, it's normally self-limiting in that you stop eating higher-caloric foods that don't fill you up (or at least you cut back significantly!).

I will say that it IS important to get in a good amount of protein and veggies in your day no matter what diet you're on. However, if that's difficult at first add them in slowly once you incorporate new recipes into your repertoire.

One of the most important things that I've learned about myself is that drastic changes don't stick. I've slowly changed my diet over a long period of time. Even after over a year of being at this I'm still learning new things and constantly tweaking. It doesn't have to happen overnight!
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:57 PM   #20  
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I don't count calories....just try to use common sense approach because I've "failed" so many times before.

I saw a nutritionist.
I divide my plate in three sections -- 50% veggies/25% protien/25% starch.
Limit portion sizes - one plate as above if still hungry, eat more veggies.
Three meals a day, plus two snacks (fruits, s/f pudding, yogurt).
Drink lots of water. No soda (too much sodium).
Avoid fried food/fast food (but I do indulge 1-2x/month, but no more).
Don't beat myself up if I occasionally stray - I'm human!

Whatever you do, don't stress out -- remember, it's a way of life - not a "diet".
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:52 PM   #21  
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Yes, I started out simply eating pretty much the same foods, just in smaller amounts to get the calorie count I wanted. However over time I started making swaps or modifications to save calories and get more food volume. Frankly if I'd been told to eat what I do now to maintain the 100 lb. loss, I wouldn't have believed it possible and would have rebelled.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:09 AM   #22  
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Originally Posted by caryesings View Post
Frankly if I'd been told to eat what I do now to maintain the 100 lb. loss, I wouldn't have believed it possible and would have rebelled.
Here's an amen to that!

Over time you just make changes, throwing out what doesn't work, and going in new directions as it seems appropriate.

Just get started.

And don't quit.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:25 PM   #23  
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When I counted calories I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted so long as it fit within my calorie allotment. Having said that I was always trying to get the most "bang for my buck" so I stuck to healthier, lower calorie options that would fill me up without running me over my calories for the day.

I logged everything on fatsecret so I could see exactly what I was eating and the nutritional breakdown.

All of this got me in the habit of being mindful about my food choices, my consumption patterns and logging everything I ate. Eventually calorie counting turned out not to be the best option for my weight loss journey and I switched to low carb (which is working a right treat), but I still use those same lessons to live the low carb lifestyle.

So start with what feels right to you and adjust from there!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:54 AM   #24  
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I let a calorie counter on my phone figure it out for me. But I definitely know to stay away from plenty of salt/sugar/carbs so, at times when I'm grocery shopping I might pick a brand with higher calories but less sugar or carbs. It's sort of a trade off.
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