2006 Weight Loss Club - August

Welcome, Mouse_Maven!

Well, your SO doesn’t have to be on a diet for you to make healthy choices, and limit your portion sizes. Try to focus on fixing healthier foods (this gets trickier if your SO does a substantial amount of the cooking, and cooks high-carb, high-fat crap), and control your portion sizes. Tell your SO what you’re trying to do, and ask for his/her support.

Yes… A “diet” should only be part of your weight loss strategy, and not the primary one (other than generally not overeating, or eating predominantly sugary/fatty stuff). Focus instead more on exercising more, and eating smaller portions in more frequent meals, and take it from there.

Assuming you don’t spend all day with your SO, but do eat dinner together on a more or less daily basis (where your SO is not open to changing the menu), plan out whatever diet-plan oriented meals you want for the other 3 or 4 feedings you’ll be eating over a day, and just eat a smaller amount of whatever you like for dinner. Combined with increasing your activity level (even just taking a daily 30-45 minute walk at a moderate, but not leisurely pace), you will likely lose weight even if you eat pizza for dinner every night (provided it is 1-2 slices, and not 2-3 or 4+, and the pizza’s not loaded with toppings like pepperoni and extra cheese).

Oh, and other obvious tips: never drink sugared soda, don’t ever skip breakfast, and prefer whole grains to refined flour where possible.

Too many people try to lose weight by obsessing over food by eating only salads and veggies, or doing the Atkins thing, stick to this “diet” for a few weeks or maybe even months, then go nuts. It’s just not natural. Yes, obviously you should reduce intake of sweets and fatty foods like ice cream, pizza or chocolate, but you CAN eat these things, only in moderation. Far more effective than saying to yourself, “I must not eat <X>… Ever ever ever… Oh but I love it sooo much…”, is simply keeping your metabolism high by eating regularly (but not overeating), and exercising regularly. That alone will do a lot of good for most people in a surprisingly short period of time.

And once you start doing it, it becomes habitual, and thus more permanent than “going on a diet”, which is almost by definition a temporary change in eating habits that will end once you reach a goal. Once you start eating less food more frequently, you find yourself basically never really hungry. Do you like being hungry? Of course not. So you will like not being hungry. And conversely, the sensation of being stuffed or very full will seem distasteful.

I apologize for going on a bit on this topic, my wife says I sound like a Jehovah’s Witness these days when I get going, but I do speak from personal experience.

I used to regularly skip breakfast (except for many cups of cofee with milk and sugar), scarf down a huge lunch, then not eat for another 6-7 hours only to gorge on something like a 16+ oz. steak with some side vegetables and bread. Back in mid-May, I was at my all-time high of 242 lbs. and over 30% body fat, and decided to take action. I started doing nothing more than eating 4 times a day, by always having a bowl of Cheerios in 1% milk by 10am and splitting my normal lunch into two halves, eaten at 12:30 and 4pm (even though it was still something like a turkey club hero with bacon, swiss cheese and mayo), and being careful to only eat as much dinner as would make me “not hungry” and not “very full”. I also took 1-hour moderately brisk walks 5 days a week after dinner, and started using Splenda instead of sugar in my coffee.

Going into the last week of June (after about 5-1/2 weeks), I had lost 17 lbs. and two pants sizes. Yahoo!

Since then, I’ve read up more and have gotten more “intense” about my diet/exercise regimen, but the first and most effective steps (eat less and more often, and exercise more) is really pretty easy to do without changing your life all that much.

Well I joined a gym on June 26 and as of today I’m down 10 lbs. Slow but steady. :smiley:

Maybe in another couple of months I’ll have the guts to post what I weigh.

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Also, thanks for the advise norinew and robardin. :smiley:

My biggest weakness to sugary drinks. I don’t drink coffee, so Coca Cola is my source of caffine. :frowning: I’m trying to drink more tea and less pop. Right now I have limited myself to one 12 oz. can a day - that’s down from two 20 oz. bottles :eek:

Limiting portion size is a challange. What is shown as a good portion on nutrition sites and books doesn’t look like enough. I guess I’ll have to overcome years of eating habits. (Being tried and cranky due to fewer calories and less caffine has not been fun.)

Good luck to everyone!

Mouse Maven, for the first week or so it WILL be too little. Drink a lot of water. I’m serious - after about a week, perhaps a little less, I just didn’t feel hungry on that ‘little’ amount of food anymore.

It helps to really fill up on the vegetables and some fruit. And drink a lot of water. And, please try diet/no-calorie pop instead of regular! They’ll fill you up.

Actually, one can a day? I wouldn’t even worry about. It’s 120 calories or so. If you like it, keep it in your diet. If you cut it out completely and deny yourself, you’ll fail.

Excellent post, robardin.

254.7! 254.7! That’s a little over 20 pounds since mid-March. OK, that’s a little slower than the rest of you, but I understand too rapid weight loss can be unhealthy. I’m at a nice steady pace here.

Considering I pigged out on shrimp and biscuits on my 8 day vacation, I’m pretty happy.

This is true, and yet, you owe it to yourself to at least try switching to Diet Coke or Coke Zero (or Diet Pepsi, which I find I prefer to Diet Coke even though I prefer regular Coke to regular Pepsi). The diet soda I like best is Diet Dr. Pepper – it really doesn’t taste “diet-y” to me at all.

Sugary soda is bad on several levels; first, you process the HFCS in it incredibly fast (unlikely that you will burn it off, so it goes to the fat store), and second, it is not at all filling, so you will eat the same amount of food with it as you do as if you drank water or some other zero-cal drink.

So really, really try to switch to diet soda. It’s not as hard as you think.

And definitely drink a lot of water. As you have probably heard, most people don’t drink enough on a daily basis, and this is especially important when trying to lose weight as being dehydrated slows your metabolism. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re ALREADY dehydrated – the idea is to drink frequently enough that you never get to feeling thirsty.

The portions are not enough to be satisfying, if you are only eating 2 or 3 meals a day. But if you’re eating 5 or 6 times a day, and you’re a 120-150 lb. person, I bet it would seem like enough.

Also, eat slower. Especially with high-carb foods composed chiefly of pasta or bread, it is very easy to eat a lot very quickly, then have it all “hit you” after 20 minutes or so. Pace yourself to wait, say, 5 “Mississippi” seconds between swallowing and taking the next mouthful. Finding a lunch buddy and talking during lunch, or doing a crossword or Sudoku type puzzle (or reading/posting to the SDMB :)) helps slow you down enough that you realize you’re full sooner.

Hi! Can I join in, too?

I’m about 20 pounds away from where I should be. Since last August, I lost 25. Then I just stopped losing. In the past 2 months, I’ve gained 5 - 10 back, and I’m pretty down about it. I need to get back on track.

I’m going back to Weight Watchers today (they helped me with that first 25). I can use all the extra help I can get, though, so I thought I’d come here, too. Thanks!

Man, that’s exactly what I’m going through. Mind you, I sort of ignored the last couple of months, and gained back a few pounds. Our numbers are different, but our situations are the same. I lost 70, gained 50 (pregnancy), lost all of that and then a few more, and then it sort of stopped. So I stopped worrying about it for awhile. I’m thinking it might be more effective now that I haven’t been dieting for a couple of months.

Kudos to all here, were making the world thinner.

I posted at the very end of last month’s thread so I wanted to give more of an update. I sprained my ankle at soccer, and even before the pain set in my first thought was “well shit now I can’t run” This has been one sedentary week, perhaps the most sedentary since I began getting fit a year ago. I’ve just started biking as a replacement excercise, which is good but it is so less effective compared to running. I hope in a week or so I can start running again…I’m registered for a half marathon in sept and I need to stay in shape!

Only 5 pounds till I’m not overweight!

Three whole weeks without chocholate or cookies! The only thing that I still do that is a little bad is suck on hard candy during the day. But that is worlds better than having 8 or 10 little chocholate squares! I am pleased. I confess it isn’t self-control, I don’t even feel get the cravings anymore since I changed my diet. Also, with the exception of lunch, I no longer drink diet cola. I think I will strive to give it up at lunch too.

We will see if this leads to weight loss.

I will be a little bad tomorrow - I am going to a party and I am expected to bring the cheese cake.

Today’s Ziggy hit home. :slight_smile:

I’m down three pounds since Monday! Woohoo!

I know everybody preaches this gospel, but a couple of things:

  1. According to a nutritionist friend, the “it goes to fat” arguement is specious at best. Yes, it’s true that we process simple sugars quickly, but it doesn’t matter–it’s like putting money in a bank. If the amount you put in is greater than the amount you spend, you’ll gain. If the opposite is true, you’ll lose. Calories in, calories out. End of story. There are foods that keep you satisfied longer and so on, but on a broad level it really is that simple. If the simple sugar isn’t a large component of my food intake, then it just needs to be considered in the total number of calories I’m taking in during the day. It’s not by any means a perfect choice, but it’s certainly not going to do as much harm as my former eating habits.

  2. Diet soda is satan’s semen in a can. I have tried and tried and tried and tried to like it, but anything with aspartame gives me this nasty, slimy chemical coating in my mouth that I can’t seem to get used to or ignore. Coke Zero is the least nasty, being made with Splenda, but…

  3. for 120 calories I’m willing to adjust my food intake to compensate for the treat. After six months of aiming at 1500-1800 calories a day, I find myself having a hard time taking in enough calories to reach the goal. I’m just as comfy having half a veggie sandwich, a handful of something crunchy, and a real Coke Classic for lunch than eating another 120 calories worth of food.

So, I’m with Ginger on this one–if you can spare the calories or are willing to adjust for them, why not let yourself have the treat? I may give it up as I get closer to my goal weight and the calorie margin becomes slimmer (pun intended), but for now it’s certainly not getting in the way of weight loss for me. Also, like others have said, I feel like I should allow myself to eat like I want to eat for the rest of my life, rather than trying to adhere to a strict and spartan perfect diet that I’ll never maintain forever. Cutting out the Coke may help me lose weight faster for now, but I feel like the fact that I by no means feel deprived or constricted by my food choices is going to help me stick with this for the long run.

Quasi, hope your ankle is better soon, and you kick butt in the marathon! :wink:

Khadaji, hard candies can be a saving grace for a sweet tooth! Good for you for making a healthy switch!

Gingy, w00t!

For me, last time I saw my surgeon, he scolded me for weighing every day, and said if I absolutely must weigh at home, no more than once a week! So I weighed myself at home the next day (last Friday) to gauge the difference between his scale and mine (his weighs me five pounds lighter). Then didn’t allow myself to weigh again until this morning. Six more pounds since last week, for a total of 53! Woo-hoo! :cool:

True, and yet not true. Granted, IANAN, but this is what I have read and believe…

Ultimately, the law of calorie balance is what determines if you lose, gain or mantain weight: eat more than you expend = gain weight, eat less than you expend = lose weight. Eat more calories than you use and it goes to the fat store, or to use your analogy, like putting money in the bank (but one where you want your account balance to remain even or go down). But really it’s more like money in an investment account: different line items get taxed at different rates before it is made available to you.

On the “weight” side of the equation, not all weight gain is fat, and not all weight lost is fat. Weight training will help build muscle in a calorie surplus (though some fat will probably still be gained), and maintain muscle mass in a calorie surplus, so that you lose fat. (This last bit is important; your body will actually begin to prefer breaking down muscle to fat if your deficit is very great or overly prolonged.) Thus the frequent admonishment not to focus on the scale’s reading (which only tells you how much you weigh in toto), but always to monitor your body fat composition.

On the “food eaten” side of the equation, it is not true that “all calories are equal”. This is one reason Weight Watchers uses “points” and not “calories” – it’s not a simple 1:N scale ratio of calories to WW points, sugary and fatty foods are given higher point weights than protein-rich or fibrous vegetables are. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you eat 2000 calories in 10 Strawberry Frosted Pop Tarts and drink nothing but water over a day, that this will be the same as if you ate 2000 calories in grilled chicken salad, egg whites, fruit and whole grain bread (or some other “healthy” type food arrangement). OK, if you’ve been eating 15-20 such Pop Tarts a day until now, then yes, you will lose weight… But it still won’t be the best way to go about things, nor the best way to build habits towards long-term maintenance of a lower weight.

Broadly speaking, calories come from fat (9 calories per gram), protein or carbs (4 calories per gram) (leaving the whole topic of alcohol aside). It’s reasonably true that if you consume the right proportions of each in your diet you don’t have to worry too much where they come from (a commonly given guideline is to keep your percent of calories from fat at 25% or lower, with 30% an absolute ceiling), but most people in the US find that they’re actually taking in over 40% of their daily calories in fat.

Why is this bad? Not because “eating fat makes you fat” (it’s the calorie imbalance), but because of the Thermic Effect of food. The act of eating and digesting food has a caloric cost, i.e., your body needs to use energy in order to break it down to get the energy out of the food. Ever hear of the idea that eating raw celery resulted in “negative net calories”? How is that even possible? Because the energy your body uses to break down the fibrous material is close to or greater than the calories ultimately extracted from it. (Master Cecil has even written a column referring to this effect.)

Fat and refined sugars have the lowest thermic effect, carbs the next lowest, and protein the highest. Drink a 150 calorie can of soda versus (say) a similarly caloried portion of skinless grilled chicken breast, and you will have fewer calories to “put in the bank” from eating the chicken than from the soda.

In addition, calories consumed in drinks are the least “filling” and typically people eat the same amount of calories in solid food they would otherwise. So it’s generally best to keep liquid calories to a minimum, and sugary drink calories should be avoided even more so (at least OJ has Vitamin C and natural sugars, and “Lots O’ Pulp” OJ some fiber).

Now, having said (written) all that… Rule #1 is still to consume fewer total calories, and one can of Regular Coke a day is not going to matter in the big picture if you are otherwise a good dietary citizen. And if you truly hate all diet sodas, and truly love sugared sodas, and can avoid having 2 or 3 or more a day, then sure, go for it. But I think Mouse_Maven should at least give several different varieties a try to see if any are acceptable to her – as Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Pepsi are to me – just to see if that can be one simple thing to cross off the list.

Which, in the end, is exactly what I said. ;0)