So...I've decided its time to lose weight..

Incorrect. If you decrease your caloric intake enough, you will lose weight.

While exercise is good and all, it is not necessary to exercise in order to lose weight.

Like you, I made a recent decision to change my lifestyle to lose weight. Instead of a diet per se, I just changed the types of foods I was eating. I cut my portions to a fraction of what they were, added more fruits and vegetables and cut out candy, chocolate, cakes, and sweets. Also fried foods. I try to limit carbs and eat more protein as well but I didn’t cut carbs out entirely.

So far, so good. In the last six weeks or so I have lost about 20 pounds. I am hungry sometimes but I don’t feel deprived of anything and I have found that my stomach must have shrank because I get full a lot faster now than I used to.

It’s definitely not easy so I wish you the best of luck.

I’ve lost a lot of weight over the past year and half exercising intensively 3 times a week with a personal trainer and keeping my calories in check. I’m a calorie counter and based on decades of experience I’ve determined that my body/metabolism only needs about 10 calories per lb of body weight per day to maintain a given weight level so to lose a lb a week on average (which does not sound like a lot but is a challenge to keep up over time) I need to have an approximate 3500 per week deficit in my intake or more simply I need to eat 500 calories less per day than I burn to maintain my current weight level. It’s not a killer requirement, but your intake has to be somewhat planned and managed to achieve this.

I’d wager the calorie requirements of most overweight people, including yours, are fairly similar to this 10 calories per day specification.

In practical terms I can eat whatever I want but if I am limited to 2200 calories per day the only way you can get by without going nuts from hunger is to plan to have lots of filling and healthy food available. Salads, lean meats, green veggies, brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, etc. In other words a high protein, low fat diet. I eat whatever I want but as the intake goes up the remaining calories for the day go down. You learn pretty quickly to have healthy foods at the ready that will satisfy you, otherwise all that is left is starvation or bad decisions.

In all this the core structure of this weight loss is not the diet but the enforced exercise with the personal trainer PT. Without the thrice weekly workout my dieting efforts would have wandered off the tracks long ago.

IMO you HAVE to have both for a successful long term weight loss. You also have to get over (I did) the notion that you can and will do the exercise yourself without the appointment. You won’t, it’s a fool’s game to imagine otherwise. Those hard workout are the structural ladder everything else rests on. Without them dieting is just something you’ll soon get tired of or discontinue when you get upset at something or life throws you a curveball. The enforced exercise appointments keep you on track.

Physiologically you are correct, but on a practical everyday life level IMO it is an essential part of a being able to maintain a lower intake lifestyle. Obese people do not have the strong, built in appetite regulation mechanism that most non-obese do. Regular exercise goes a long way in synergistically modifying and enforcing dietary discipline. Behaviorally if you tend toward being obese and want to sustain and maintain weight loss IMO exercise is VERY critical.

The careful reader will not that I did not say you would not lose weight, and, therefore, am not incorrect.

I will not hijack this thread; the OP wants to know if anyone knows of an actual study that demonstrates ‘low-carb’ diets are counterproductive or dangerous.

I know of none; I am aware of studies that indicate (if not demonstrate) that other strategies are counterproductive; I don’t know of any strategy that is dangerous (other than anorexia or bulimia, but most would not consider either a weightless strategy.)

I was really fat in undergraduate college. I basically ate anything I wanted. When I graduated in 1992, I decided I didn’t want to be fat anymore, so I permanently modified my style of eating.

To give you an idea of what I eat, here’s a typical week for me:

Monday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, steamed broccoli + lean chicken for dinner. A few handfuls of nuts for a snack.

Tuesday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, steamed broccoli + lean chicken for dinner. A few handfuls of nuts for a snack.

Wednesday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, steamed broccoli + lean chicken for dinner. A few handfuls of nuts for a snack.

Thursday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, steamed broccoli + lean chicken for dinner. A few handfuls of nuts for a snack.

Friday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, steak + potato for dinner at a restaurant. A few handfuls of nuts for a snack. Beer.

Saturday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, steamed broccoli + lean chicken for lunch, broiled fish for dinner. Beer.

Sunday: high fiber cereal + skim milk for breakfast, yogurt + lean chicken for lunch, rice and lean beef for dinner.

I never eat fast food. I rarely eat fried foods. I rarely eat anything high in fat. I don’t eat anything that is greasy. I don’t eat anything that contains butter, lard, mayo, cheese, or oil. I don’t eat cheese, butter, cookies, bread, French fries, hamburgers, fudge, subs, pizza, cake, mayo, gravy, fried chicken, pancakes, hash browns, potato chips, sausage, ice cream, bacon, donuts, onion rings, mashed potatoes, milk shakes, soda, peanut butter, or whole milk.

My vice is beer on a Friday or Saturday evening. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t disagree with this. I was only commenting on the physics of it.

A couple things I have to come realize:

  1. Obesity is not a physical problem, it’s a mental problem.

  2. You cannot teach someone to lose weight, anymore than you can teach someone to stop smoking.

And for people who are fat for that reason, your advice may be on the money. There are, however, other reasons people can struggle with weight. The OP didn’t tell us why she thinks she’s gotten where she is. Probably she could get more on-target advice if she did.

I think it could be a good fit for you because as you said, you aren’t that into carbs anyway. It sounds like it will just be a bit of tweaking of what you normally eat.

I think this is excellent advice for the average person, but potentially catostrophic if you have a serious eating problem. I can’t speak for everyone else, but if you have a hard time controlling yourself when confronted with these kinds of choices, it’s much, much easier just to not eat that stuff at all than to seek moderation. Don’t have it in the house. Don’t go to parties where it will be. Don’t even tempt yourself.

I’m actually moving in the opposite direction of you, OP, in that I’m trying to make my peace with carbs in order to really sustain the kind of fitness level I want.

I started working with a trainer about 14 months ago, I have exercised daily with very few missed days since that time, doing crossfit style exercises. I’ve gone from being barely able to do 13 ground-release push ups to being able to whip out 100 classic push ups with relative ease (in sets of 10.) I lost about 20 pounds and have been working on maintaining it. The single most important thing has been the dramatic reduction in daily aches and pains I have experienced as a result of getting stronger. I used to be barely able to bend over, simple things like sweeping the floor were difficult for me because I couldn’t get to the dustpan. Going down stairs was painful for me. Now my chronic knee pain is virtually gone, I can easily squat to reach things on the floor, and my back pain is much more manageable.

Oh, and my cholesterol and resting heart rate are both down. Plus I’m not depressed nearly as often as I used to be, and when I am, I bounce back faster.

I would therefore disagree with the assertion that weight loss is the most important thing for health. I don’t think we have much evidence that it’s the weight loss vs. the healthy behaviors that lead to weight loss. I think the single best thing we can do for ourselves is to exercise. And the great joy of it is it doesn’t mean spending an hour on a treadmill. It means doing our best not to sit on our ass all day (get up, do things around the house) and then busting our ass for maybe 15 minutes a day to build strength and endurance. HIIT and strength training are probably the closest thing we have to a panacea.

That said, I recently decided to just completely cut out junk food for a year (day 53 here.) Not a lifestyle choice. Just an experiment. So far I’ve learned a lot about myself. It has been 90% easy and 10% incredibly difficult. It’s fascinating how many times I’ve tried to talk myself out of it at times, and at other times how relatively easy it was to just say no (rather than ''Should I or shouldn’t I?" and all the drama contained therein.) It’s also fascinating how I’ve found ways to violate the spirit of the law if not the letter. The first month, I actually gained weight. Don’t reccomend it for weight loss, do reccomend it for learning more about how you tick and just how bullshitty your typical excuses are. Man I had a lot of bullshit excuses. I just never realized how much bullshit they were until I removed all of them.

The diet will work, but I urge you to get with a Dr. and have regular blood work done. I was on a low to no carb diet and it nearly shut down my kidneys. I was seeing a Dr. with blood work done every 3 months and it was caught in time with no serious damage.

I recently rededicated myself to my health and am on a lower carb diet but still eating high fiber carbs and have lost 30 lbs in 3 months. I think I can keep it off and stay on this diet for years to come. Good luck.

I strongly recommend WeightWatchers. It has worked very nicely for me.

I’m down about 175 lbs since I joined this board. I started out simple with just working out every other day but still eating what I wanted. Doing that allowed me to drop 80 lbs. After that success I started getting serious and trying different diets and work out regimens. I was able to drop another 40. Finally I took a shot at calorie counting. It was amazing how little I really needed to eat. I meet my goals of 2% per week weight loss I started eating 1,300 calories per day. Even over the holidays I ended up dropping 60 lbs in 8 months. I also started getting serious about working out. I ran 3-4 days a week and near the end started playing rugby and doing crossfit. With all of that exercise I was able to go back to eating 3,000 calories a day and still lost another 40 lbs.

Then I blew out my knee, started dating my now wife, and moved to Denver. For the last 4 years I’ve cycled from about +20 to +40 over my best weight loss. Lately with grad school starting to wrap up, getting married and starting two companies I’ve been closer to +40-60, which is still down 150 lbs or more from my peak.

That being said I think focusing on losing weight will get you to drop weight. Whether you do it through diet or exercise just putting in time and effort makes a difference. I found when I’ve gone low calorie that it is the most effective and allows for the closest to a normal life (still drink and eat out or even have cake) but it also seems to propel me into low carb as well why would I eat a sandwich with two slices of bread when I could eat double the volume of meat and cheese for the same calories and be less hungry for longer. As long as you’re not pounding bacon drenched in butter I’m not sure there is a big difference between low carb, low cal or paleo.

LilyoftheField, I’ve recently come to the same decision as you, except I started about a month ago and I like bread a lot. I also have PCOS and mild depression, so when I have been successful in lowering my carb intake, I feel so much better mentally and physically.

I will say, as a woman, to pay attention to your menstrual cycle and your moods. I did very well for about two weeks, but made the mistake of letting my hormonal changes influence my meal choices for a week, and now I’m back where I started a few weeks ago. So just be aware of that, if you’re likely to experience large mood shifts around your cycle. Stock up on good snacks in advance! :slight_smile:

Also, be sure to buy/cook flavorful food. Arnold’s makes a tasty, thin, multi-grain sandwich bread. That with turkey, spicy cheese, and horseradish mustard, make a very tasty and satisfying sandwich. I like a handful of cashews with it, instead of chips.

OP, I know you said you aren’t going to get started yet, but you can do one thing that doesn’t involve throwing any food away. Just start weighing and writing down what you eat. You don’t need to change anything. Just record it.

And there’s nothing wrong with low-carb. It really suits some people’s eating needs and wants.

For me the problem with cutting carbs wasn’t about going without bread. It was the pasta and rice. I make up for it by really being stringent on the calories but if I was able to be satisfied on chicken and brocoli without the rice like Crafter Man, it’d make my eating habits much more relaxed.

Also, as long as the schedule allowed for it, I work out twice a day. Once at lunch very quickly just to work up a sweat (elliptical for 20 mins) and a more substantial out workout after work: usually pick-up basketball + lifting. Nothing melted off the pounds like running outdoors though. Getting in a couple miles outside capped off with pushups and situps at night really tuckers you out and you fall asleep like a log. I’m talking about late. Like, right before you get ready for bed, you go out for 40 mins and grind it out at 11:30pm late.

I’m not clear what you mean by this. Obesity is very much a physical (and mental) problem on many levels. The brain responses to food and when to stop eating are quite different in most obese vs non-obese individuals. If you are wired to want to overeat you have to have constant food intake awareness and tracking (in some fashion) to maintain normal weight levels. In healthy non-obese people their metabolisms and appetite regulation mechanisms adjust more or less automatically to maintain non-obese weight levels.

You can certainly “teach” people strategies for weight loss by informing on strategies and procedures that help people control their intake and modify their activity level if they want to lose weight and be more fit. Teaching someone how to modify habitual behavior is difficult but it’s not impossible.

Wow, Crafter Man. I’m glad it’s working for you, but that might be one of the most monotonous eating regimens I’ve ever seen. :eek: I like broccoli well enough, but I probably wouldn’t want to be in the same room as a single floret after a week of that!

And I’m sorry, but there aren’t nearly enough recipes for Ye Olde Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts to keep me eating it 2X per day 5 or 6 days a week…

This is actually a very good suggestion, and I’ve heard that one of the reasons it works is that nothing, NOTHING, is “forbidden.” Want to eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies! Go for it! But … you have to write it down. You have to be accountable to yourself, and you can’t snack mindlessly without paying any attention at all to what you shovel in.