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Old 11-17-2004, 08:30 AM   #1  
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Default How did you lose it?

Weird...I went back to check my post this morning and there was nothing there. I tried to repost it under that thread but got an invalid error. In any case, here is my post:

I'm just curious how others here lost their weight. I've been following Weight Watchers since 4/03 and attribute that plus running to my success. Recently (since hitting my WW goal) I've been really studying my numbers and playing with different variables to get me to my ultimate goal including: carbs, protein, fiber, fat, increased cardio/decreased cardio, strength training etc.

The more I learn about nutrition and fitness the more I realize I don't know. I'm fascinated by all the different legitimate approaches and theories to weight loss that there are out there...I'm curious what it was that worked for others.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:39 AM   #2  
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Originally Posted by Deelighted4Ever
The more I learn about nutrition and fitness the more I realize I don't know. I'm fascinated by all the different legitimate approaches and theories to weight loss that there are out there...I'm curious what it was that worked for others.
I'm with you there! I love to hear about what other people do/did to lose the weight - it gives me new ideas. And an appreciation for all the different paths that we can take to goal.

I lost my weight with a three-part program of cardio, weightlifting and nutrition. For cardio, I did an hour on the elliptical every day. I lifted weights five days a week. As for food, I counted calories and grams of protein, fats, and carbs with Fitday. I started at 1600 calories and gradually dropped (as my weight dropped) to around 1200/day. My ratios were typically about 45% protein, 25% carbs and 30% fat, though they varied at times. Five to six small meals per day - 'clean" food (no sugar or white stuff; minimally processed).

I'm convinced that, in my case, all three elements were necessary for my success. Maintenance looks a whole lot like losing.

What about everyone else?
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:28 AM   #3  
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I attribute my success at loosing 15# this year to:

1. Counting calories on fitday, although I try to get the 50P, 30C, 20F ratio I rarely succeed, because I start getting craving for unprocessed carbs and I usually have 33, 33, 33 or thereabouts... go figure... But counting calories has been the most important and staying within 1300-1500 even if often I went up to 1800- 2000 a few times.

2. Running!! I'm the cardio now, whereas I wasn't before, at all!!

3. Weight training , but then again I've always done weights......

4. Weighing myself, yes the dreaded scale ladies! I weigh-in Friday and Monday, I don't fret about it but when I do see a climb of 1-2#, I'm very careful that day... Whereas before when I didn't weigh 1-2# didn't make a difference at all in my clothing, when I tried to go by the pant-o-meter...

In the last year I have gone from a 14 to a very loose 8....
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:55 AM   #4  
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1. Eating better. Making a conscious choice to do things like eat oatmeal, fruit and yogurt for breakfast and eat a salad with no or low fat dressing at least one meal per day. Now I feel like something's missing if I miss a day.

2. Keeping track on fitday. Watching my weight chart go downwards, even slowly, was a big motivation. Plus I know how much I'm eating calorie and nutrient wise. I eat about 15% protein, 25% fat and 60% carbs. Not every day, but averaged over a couple of weeks. I've found that if I don't eat a high enough % of fat, I get more cravings for junk food.

3. Running. Even more than walking every day (which I still do), running seems to have helped me to lose weight. Part exercise, part motivation to eat better the day before so I don't feel too sluggish to run the next day.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:08 AM   #5  
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If I say I ate less and exercised more, would you hate me?

I counted calories, limited to about 1500/day. Didn't specifically worry about grams of protein, carbs, or fat, but made sure I got at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables of varying colors (green, yellow, red, blue, white, orange), 2 dairy (mostly yogurt), and 2 other protein (beans, meat). Low fat took care of itself at that calorie level. I did make a point to eat a decent amount of fiber, although again through examining food lists and trying to choose whole grains, legumes, and vegetables rather than counting grams, and tried to keep saturated fat pretty low by reading nutrition labels for hidden problems (palm kernel oil esp). I learned which splurge foods I could have a little bit of (most chocolate) and which I couldn't (ice cream, chips) and added those, or not, accordingly. And I mixed it up--if I ate oatmeal for most of a month, I might start on cold cereal the next. I weighed and measured everything (still do) to avoid portion creep. Most important on the nutrition side, if I had a bad day, I picked up and started over. I probably hit my targets 6 days out of 7, with a really big screwup (more than a couple hundred calories) once a month or less.

I tried to eat only when I was hungry, pretty easy because I was hungry a lot, and not to eat when I was stressed, or bored, or mad. I kept telling myself I still be stressed, I'd just be fat and stressed and that was worse.

I exercised nearly every day, probably one day off every 2 weeks. Alternated cardio and strength training. Varied intesities, very hard one session, maybe easier the next. Intervals were key for breaking through plateaus. Started doing exercise videos, step aerobics, the FIRM, the big ball, Bosu and walking the dogs. Ended up hiking, running, cycling, swimming, lifting weights, just about everything but rock climbing, and someday I'll try that, fear of heights or not. I tried to get enough sleep, since I think adequate recovery is something a lot of people (including me) ignore, and sleep is very important for that.

I kept logs, charted my weight loss, read extensively on weight loss and maintenance, and watched motivational TV (like Discovery Health Body Challenge). I kept one pair of 'fat' pants for comparison purposes, but replaced all my clothes with the new sizes as soon as I possibly good.

Some of the standard weight loss advice did not work for me. I had to weight myself every 5 minutes at first to understand what caused the scales to move, because on short time scale fat loss is a secondary factor--fluid balance is much more important. And even longer term loss, say on a week timescale, has shorter term fluid fluctuations on top of that. Once I figured that out, I dropped down to about twice a day on the scale. Drinking a lot of water just keeps me in the bathroom all day--I basically drink when I'm thirsty. I did not buddy up, because in the past when my buddies quit, well so did I, and I didn't want my success to be tied to anyone else's. It was hard enough overcoming my own 'failures'.

Finally, the transition to maintenance. When I started doing very high volume training, like marathon-level training, I started to feel terrible on 1500 cal/day. Just sick almost. Started bingeing a lot--none of my standard tricks were working. So I increased the calorie level based on the amount and type of exercise I do each day (I built a spreadsheet that does this) and built in a 500 cal/day deficit. I almost never hit this target any more if I include the deficit. When I drop my training volume to an hour or less a day of intense exercise for about a week, then I have some power over the cravings--my tricks work again. Maybe I'm rationalizing, but I figure my body is under a lot of physical stress and really needs more carbs to sustain those levels of output, and is just basically taking over. But I've maintained my weight this year, as of this morning to within two pounds on (don't kill me) an average of 2700 cal/day. This varies considerably from day to day--a rest day will get me 1500 cal (including deficit), a long long bike ride gets me 4500 (actually hard to eat that much without donuts involved!). My weight varies as much as 4 pounds a day now, due to fluid balance.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:14 AM   #6  
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1500 calories. Ratio 40Pro 40Carb 20 fat. Weights 3x/week, Cardio (mostly stepping) 5-6 x/week. 6 small meals a day including a whey protein shake post weights. Flax oil at bedtime. Limited simple sugars, white flour, etc, but ate plenty of 'good carbs' like oatmeal and other whole grains.

One free day per week that I could cheat a bit and have what I wanted (not an all out binge, but around 2500 calories including sweets and such).

I still do all of the above, but my calories at maintenance so far are around 2000-2100 (not averaging in the high calorie day). Last week I actually lost weight, so if that continues I'll up my calories again.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:40 AM   #7  
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1200 calories and I walked almost 3 1/2 miles almost everyday.
Maintaining? I'm learning. But somewhere in the vicinity of 1900 or 2000 cals. 40/40/30. No processed.
I'd like to say I was either walking or doing cardio two days a week and lifting three days a week. But I'd be lying because I blew last week very badly. How about if I say I'm heading toward that?
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:46 AM   #8  
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I did WW, well I still do. I eat better though now then when I initially lost weight. Less processed, more fruit and whole grains (still probably keep my fat at less than 25% of my cals, protien at about 20% and carbs about 55%). I tried core, but switched back to points. Since July I've lost about 12+lbs (haven't properly weighed in a while). I am working 2 jobs (one office <full-time>, one retail<part-time>) which keeps me busy but due to my schedule sometimes my food choices aren't the best (like the hot dog I had for dinner, it was only one ). I am also running 5-6 hours a week too, which has been great for my heart, legs and I have even started getting my shoulder definition back (more due to fatloss I guess).... we won't talk about my WT... it hasn't been existing as of late. I'll try to cram some in now, January will be easier, but I know how fundamental it is to good health and to helping me shed those last few lbs.

Initially when I went from 243.4-140ish(I won't go that low again), I ate less (a low fat diet), exercised about 5+ hours a week or starting with just cardio and tehn adding weights.

Ilene: I am about the same size as you! I just want to get to a comfortable/loosish 6 shoudln't be too far now, I was almost up to a 12 before the summer.

Anne: Don't worry, when I first got to goal I could eat a lot too and still lose weight, I was just super active, working a retail job, going to school and working out tons (and walking everywhere), unfortunately I pushed it too much with the food.. Three years later, I am slowly losing and probbaly average about 1800 cals+ a day, but I have increased my activity level to a level close to how I used to be and have seen the results. I'll start half-marathon training this winter.

Yup, so all in all I ate less and exercised more .


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Old 11-17-2004, 02:19 PM   #9  
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I'm not at maintenance but I've lost about 155 and have only 10-20 to go before I'll consider myself at goal.

I'm the odd person out here ... I've done Jenny Craig. I started at 2000 calories, then dropped to 1700, then 1500, in pre-determined stages. When I started the nutrient mix was about 60%C, 20%P, 20%F, and now I tend to hover around 50-55%C. The JC food has a mixture of white starch and whole grain starch; when I make starch choices on my own I also choose a mixture (for example, I love whole grain bread & cereals, but prefer white pasta). A lot of the C content comes from fruit & dairy, so total starch intake is reasonable.

I'm a sporadic exerciser, I'll be consistent for a while then slack off for a while. I have been consistent about a weekly yoga class for the last year or so. When I AM in exercise mode, I do 20-40 minutes cardio and 20-30 minutes weight training 4 days per week or so.
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Old 11-17-2004, 03:14 PM   #10  
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This is what I did (more or less) to lose and what I still try to do to maintain. I don't know about you guys, but when I was losing, my plans and strategies were always changing. I think the key was that I always HAD plans and strategies.

1. Logging & tracking – I know what I ate last week as opposed to this week (using fitday) and I know what I weigh every day. I also track my exercise to make sure I’m getting the right balance of cardio and weight training.

2. Staying focused and interested – I check out books from the library, read any articles on weight management I can get my hands on and stay close to a support group (3FC now and a different weight loss community when I was losing). I constantly look for new things to try whether it's a new recipe or new exercise.

3. Having goals (big and little) – Every time I reach a goal, I set another one.

4. Planning – Above all. I plan my calories, protein, carbs, fat and fiber every morning. I have an exercise schedule each week. I devise strategies for every weekend’s unique set of challenges. Before I pick up the cheese puff bag (for my boys), I know if I’m going to have 0, 1 or 2 cheese puffs. I plan ahead for everything. If I don't strategize around the inevitable obstacles, I fall flat on my face.

Awesome thread!
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:27 PM   #11  
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Started off with slimming world then was calorie counting and healthy eating, now its exercise I actually have to eat a lot to maintain because i walk about 70 miles or so a month now cos I dont have a car with me at uni and live nearly 2 miles away from campus.
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Old 11-17-2004, 08:42 PM   #12  
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Well...I've been at this awhile as you can see by my siggie!

I've done a LOT of different things. Ultimately, what I did was educate myself, take the bits that were/are useful to me and leave the rest.

In the book The Fat of The Land: The Obesity Epidemic and How Overweight Americans can Help Themselves by Michael Fumento, a 1990 study which appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was cited - the conclusion reads as follows:

"Maintainers made decisions to lose weight and then devised personal weight-loss plans to fit their lives. These plans usually included regular exercise or activity and a new eating style of reduced fat, reduced sugar, more fruits and vegetables, and much less food than previously eaten. Maintainers reported being patient, setting small goals that they could meet, and sticking to their personally devised weight-loss plans. Some used ideas from earlier weight-loss experiences, some used diets from books, but all persisted until new eating patterns were established...However, they did not completely restrict favorite foods and made efforts to avoid feelings of deprivation while changing food patterns.

In contrast, few relapsers (36%) had exercised to help lose weight. They had lost weight by taking appetite suppressants, fasting, or going on restrictive diets that they could not sustain. They took diet formulas and went to weight-control groups and programs many times. While dieting they did not permit themselves any of the special foods they enjoyed."

Comparision of Weight-Loss Methods Used by Relapsers and Maintainers of Reduced Weight

Devised personal eating plan:
Relapsers - 39%; Maintainers - 73%

Relapsers - 36%; Maintainers - 76%

Attended Weight Watchers:
Relapsers - 43%; Maintainers - 10%

Attended other programs or groups:
Relapsers - 29%; Maintainers - 10%

Followed doctor's orders:
Relapsers - 34%; Maintainers - 20%

Took pills, shots:
Relapsers - 47%; Maintainers - 3%

Relapsers - 11%; Maintainers - 3%

Underwent hypnosis:
Relapsers - 9%; Maintainers - 0%

Followed book, magazine diet:
Relapsers - 25%; Maintainers - 10%

Total methods used:
Relapsers - 121; Maintainers - 28

--Susan Kayman, William Bruvold, and Judith S. Stern, "Maintenance and Relapse after Weight Loss in Women: Behavioral Aspects", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 52 (November 1990)
Here's what I do now at maintenance level:

Nutrition - I don't count calories per se - once in awhile just to keep 'tabs' on myself, I'll either log in FitDay or jot my meals/snax down in my little journal I keep in my nightstand. What I do is stick to my 'staples' for 90%-95% of my meals - staple foods that is - oatmeal, chicken breast, lean beef, seafood, veggies, fruits, etc. I don't like to feel 'stuffed' so I don't eat until I get to that point (as I used to do back in my obese days - who likes that post-Thanksgiving feast overstuffed feeling anyway?).

Exercise - over the past 15 years I've gone from being a person who loathes exercise (probably for the same reasons a lot of you didn't like it - PE class as a fat, uncoordinated kid was MISERABLE to say the least!) to a total exercise LOVER. I go to the gym EVERY DAY for the most part, unless something comes up (which rarely happens). It's the first thing I do in the morning - on weekdays you can find me at the gym by 4:15-4:30 am, weekends I usually get in there by around 6 or 7 am. I do weights and cardio in the morning - sometimes if I have extra time on Monday or Friday, I'll stick around for Spinning class as well. This summer I decided it was a good time to try something new so I added Pilates and Yoga - I go to mat Pilates 2-3 times a week and Yoga 1-2 times a week during the evenings. Last month, I started taking Pilates Equipment classes through Center of Balance and it's been a BLAST to say the least!

I also lease an Arabian gelding and ride 2-3 times a week, weather permitting.
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Old 11-17-2004, 09:50 PM   #13  
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I have lost almost 50 pounds thus far, with at least 30 more to go. I am not a 'maintainer' yet because I am not at goal, though I have kept about 35 pounds off for several years. These most recent 10+ pounds have been lost by cutting back on what I eat coupled with exercise. I follow no program, nor keep track of ratios of things eaten. I admire those of you who can do that. If it becomes necessary, I will keep track of calories and food eaten though for now I listen to my body signals and eat accordingly.

Most of my weight was lost very slowly adhering to a non-dieting philosophy. Years ago I was intending to go on a diet, but I decided first I needed to understand 'why I eat that way' before I lost the weight. I have gained 50 pounds in 6 months before, including exercise, so I was a real power eater. I have also lost weight before, only to gain it back again plus more. I didnt want that to happen again. So I started reading and changing my eating habits before starting another diet.

Although it may seem counter productive, from my reading, I legalized all foods of every imaginable kind, including chocolate and bbq. At the same time, I also learned to eat only when physically hungry, and learned to stop at satisfaction not fullness - no matter what was being consumed. This was more a program geared to normalizing my dysfunctional relationship with food rather than one aimed solely at weight loss, though wl can be dividend of this sort of eating style. The weight loss, though slow, was a secondary reward to me.

My eating was so very out of whack and I was so out of touch with my natural body signals, this was a necessary phase for me. It took afew years, and during that time my weigh drifted down about 10 pounds/year. I now no longer fear any food nor feel guilt about eating, actually enjoy food more now than ever before -even low cal things-, and there are no foods that are forbidden to me. And most important, I havent binged for more than a decade. Slowly but surely I learned what foods made me feel physically better and I nudged myself to them. Now my food choices are very healthy and I feel very very good both inside and out. I look at this whole process more as practicing maintanence rather than working on weight loss. I put the cart before the horse.

I do not consider myself 'cured' and I do not believe that will ever be possible for me. My relationship with food was too damaged. I will always have to be vigilent. But, I am ever so much better about food and eating on every level, and still making progress. I do consider that I am in a good stage of recovery, better than I ever dreamed could happen.

This sort of non-dieting program also invites one to look behind the erratic eating and deep into oneself and solve one's personal puzzles around both food and life. Family history, early disappointments, school cr*p, etc. This has been life-changing and brought unexpected rewards, self esteem being the biggest plum to fall out of the tree. If I never lose another pound, finding personal happiness has made this path entirely worthwhile. Of course, I want it all, and intend to get it.

With this learning phase behind me, currently I am working actively on finishing the weight loss part, and basically eating low cal and exercising. I am also currently reading as much as I can as well as posting here. And clothes shopping I am action oriented, and this helps me feel as if I am doing something more than waiting for the pounds to drop off -- dont I wish. (more than consistently eating less and exercising that is)


Last edited by jansan; 11-17-2004 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 11-17-2004, 10:02 PM   #14  
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Thanks for the responses...keep em coming. I'm learning a lot. I find it interesting that most of you have mentioned journaling your calories on fit day. I've recently started tracking all of the foods that I eat there and am relying less on counting points but instead trying to eat about 40% protein and 30-40% carbs. I seem to loose when I stay around 1200 calories, but I'm struggling with that number. lately it seems that I've been eating more like 1300-1400 which I allow myself to do as long as I don't go over 20 points. I know that the key for me is not to let myself get hungry or else I feel deprived. This is a way of life and I promised myself over a year and a half ago that I wouldn't make any life changes that I couldn't maintain....including going hungry .

Anne - OMG I do hate you J/k . I'm incredibly jealous that you can eat so much and maintain. I also run...right now I average about 20-25 miles running per week. I'm finding that not having enough carbs or calories really does hinder my long runs.
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Old 11-17-2004, 11:21 PM   #15  
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Dee, a six hour bike ride sure does use up those calories! My calorie and carb intake has been very high this year, especially during my half-ironman triathlon buildup last summer. I know there are people who can eat low cal/carb and run, but I'm just not one of them--it just makes me feel sick, flu-like almost. Right now I'm at about 60-70% carbs, but will probably drop it back to 50% after I finish my bike century Saturday and my marathon in early January. Protein does tend to be more filling for me when I'm on a lower calorie level, easier to live with. I'm going to give my body a bit of a break after the marathon, moving back to exercising for health, sanity, and fun rather than training for another race. I'm guessing my maintenance level will be more like 2000-2200/day then, and that'll support probably 15 miles/week of running, 2x week lifting, plus swimming, and weekend biking. I'll have to work with it to find out for sure--I'm still a bit heavier than I want to be, so I may have to carve out a couple hundred more to get where I'd eventually like to end up.
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