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Shannon L.

Weight Loss Support Group!

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Whether you're thinking about losing weight, in process of losing weight, or are now maintaining a weight loss, here's where you can get helpful hints, low calorie snack ideas and dinner/lunch recipes, or simply vent if you're struggling for whatever reason.

 

I've lost 75lbs and have been in the maintaining phase of my weight loss for a little over a year now.  I feel really proud of my accomplishments every time I look at myself in the mirror, but I wish that I never had to do it, because it's not easy, and I don't ever want to have to do it again.  These days, I allow myself a little more leeway with food and have found that I tend to go up and down within a 5lb range.  I was a couple of pounds thinner in the beginning, but I'm finding that that weight was just a little too hard for me to maintain, so if this is where my body wants to be (meaning I don't have to practically starve myself and give up all of my favorite foods), then I'm perfectly fine with that.

 

Does anyone else want to join me in here?

 

 

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Shannon L., this is a great topic!  I will definitely join you, and I'll add a note in the Biggest Loser forum as well.  I know they had a "weight loss" topic in there at TWoP.

 

Seventy-five pounds!  That's an amazing accomplishment.

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Congratulations Shannon L. 75 lbs. is quite an accomplishment, you should be proud of yourself especially for keeping it off. I would like to know how you did it if you are comfortable sharing.

 

I always tell people that my life is very simple: I work and I eat; I have nothing else going on in my life. Having said that, my doctor seems to think I should be paying more attention to what I eat and how much I weigh so, I went back to the gym and started bringing lunch to work and it's made a great difference, down one pants size so far.

 

I hope to lose 20 Lbs. before the end of the year and 20 more next year, I want to do this slowly (more as a lifestyle change than just a diet) but surely.

 

I've been writing down all my weight, workouts and meals every day on my calendar, this gives me perspective that I didn't have before.

 

I have also made a commitment to discard a piece of garment each week and replace it with something from my bought-it-even-though-it-didn't-fit-hoping-someday-it-would repertoire, it's been fun so far!

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Wow, Shannon L., congratulations indeed.  Keeping it off for over a year is absolutely commendable (and difficult).  Kudos.  

 

I was able to drop about 23 pounds earlier this year, but then got stuck -- and I have a long way to go to get where I should be.  

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Mazel tov to you, ShannonL!  And to harrie and iPad!!  

 

I know there's nothing harder than losing a bunch of weight.  Way back around 1980, I managed to drop 40 pounds in about 8 months, then 20 more over the next year and a half.  I kept most of it off until a few years ago, when I put back on about half of it over 2 years.  But still...  

 

I can tell you that the older you are, the more difficult it is to lose, so stick with it if you're going good now!  My goals at this point are to not gain any more back.  A bonus would be to lose a couple pounds a year...which I did last year.  Holding steady so far this year.  We'll see.  

 

Nicely done, all!!

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Hi, I love this topic because I see people approaching their weight loss goals much as I have been in the last six or so months: as a lifestyle change and not a "diet." So far since February I have lost 38 pounds simply by cutting out all the "white" obvious carbs in my diet. Since many of my favorite foods include bread and pasta this has not been easy, but it has been attainable. I don't intend to say that I will never eat bread again, but I realize now that it can't be a daily occurrence for me anymore. Ever. Plus my blood work from the doctor is stellar, which is a huge change from last year.

Conversely, my good friend who started a weight loss plan a few months earlier than I did has a thirty day killer diet she follows in which she loses a TON of weight, but in the maintenance weeks after that she gains at least 50% of it back. Every single time. I find that approach too depressing and I'd rather lose at my own snail's pace as long as it is permanent which is my intention.

Edited by mansonlamps
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Thanks everyone and congratulations to you all for losing weight or making a commitment to starting the journey!  Like mansonlamps said, it was a lifestyle change.  I did it slowly--it took two and a half years--for two reasons:  1.  I wanted to be able to continue enjoying food when I was at a party or restaurant (without going nuts, of course) and 2. I wanted it to become a way of life. 

 

 

I would like to know how you did it if you are comfortable sharing.

While I have a few things that I do on a regular basis now-like measuring and weighing food and counting calories--the biggest contribution to my weight loss was simply eating less and exercising.  I dropped my calorie intake to about 1650 and started walking.  In the beginning, I cut out foods that were my biggest weaknesses until such a time when I was sure I had the self discipline eat only a portion, or half a portion, depending on how high the calorie count was.  When I started walking, about 20 minutes was all I could take.  Once that became easy, I extended it by a few blocks.  Now, I'm up to 2-3 miles a day.  I've also joined 24 Hour Fitness, so I do zumba fitness twice a week and body pump once a week, just to change things up a little (although, I do have dogs, so I still walk on those days--I'm just able to eat more ;)  Like I said, I went slowly so I could enjoy my food on certain occasions, so on days when I indulged in a big dessert or a restaurant sized dish of pasta, I reduced my calorie count a bit more that morning and the next day.  I also drink hot water with fresh lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of raw honey every night (as well as drink a lot of water) to help with water retention due to salt intake. 

 

 

started bringing lunch to work and it's made a great difference

 

My husband is now down about 30lbs and while he does a fair amount of walking for his job, it's bringing in his own lunch that has made the biggest difference. 

 

 

I don't intend to say that I will never eat bread again, but I realize now that it can't be a daily occurrence for me anymore

That was a killer for me, too.

 

 

I can tell you that the older you are, the more difficult it is to lose, so stick with it if you're going good now!

I'm 45 now, and when I was almost at the 70lb mark, my therapist insisted that I get a complete blood work up because she said it's nearly impossible for women over 40 to lose that kind of weight.  My tests came back perfect.

 

Hang in there, harrie!  Those plateaus are so frustrating.  I did read something that may or may not work:  An article on dieting said that if you reach a plateau, take a couple of nights to eat something rich and fattening like a bowl of pasta or a big, juicy hamburger.  Apparently your body will kick into gear again once you start back on the diet.  I wouldn't know if that worked for me or not because I refused to stop eating that stuff.  I just did it less frequently and my portions were smaller. 

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I also drink hot water with fresh lemon juice and a couple of teaspoons of raw honey every night (as well as drink a lot of water) to help with water retention due to salt.

Can you give some details on this? I haven't heard of this before, and I'd love to have some non-pharmaceutical help with water retention. All my numbers (blood pressure, etc.) are good, but I have trouble with swelling in my feet and ankles. I know if I bring it up to my doctor, she'll prescribe me something, but I hate taking meds. :-(

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Sure, photo fox!  It's simply heating up one cup of water, then squeezing the juice of one lemon wedge into it.  The honey isn't part of what helps, I just use it to make it sweet enough to drink.  I chose raw honey because a teaspoon or two of that a day is supposed to have health benefits (if you can find local raw honey, even better because that can help with allergies to local pollens).  The suggestion was to drink it when you find yourself up a couple of pounds and bloated.  I can predict when my scale is going to go up based on what I've eaten in the past couple of days:  restaurant or fast food, chips, anything I add soy sauce to (including the low sodium), etc.  Anything that tends to be salty, really.  But, I drink it every night.*

 

 I'm not sure if it will help the swelling in your feet, but I have had mornings where, after drinking it the night before, I urinated a lot more than usual the next morning and the number on the scale was down a bit more..  For example, last night I went to bed at 135.2 and woke up at 133.0 (which is normal for me) , but when the drink kicks in I'd have been in the 132.something range.  It doesn't work every single morning, but I keep at it because when it kicks in, it really kicks in.  I got the idea from a friend who got it from Jenny Craig. 

 

*The only thing you have to worry about is that there are some people who can't drink it every night because the lemon juice ends up bothering their stomach.  If that turns out to be the case, I'd just watch the scale in relation to what I've eaten over the past couple of days, like I said above.

Edited by Shannon L.
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I'd love to have some non-pharmaceutical help with water retention. All my numbers (blood pressure, etc.) are good, but I have trouble with swelling in my feet and ankles. I know if I bring it up to my doctor, she'll prescribe me something, but I hate taking meds. :-(

Drink plenty of water, and eat less sodium.

Please do not avoid discussing medical symptoms with your doctor just because you don't like what you're assuming the response will be.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/edema.html

To keep swelling down, your health care provider may recommend keeping your legs raised when sitting, wearing support stockings, limiting how much salt you eat, or taking a medicine called a diuretic - also called a water pill.

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For me, I found that switching from normal table salt to pink Himalayan salt helped with the bloating. But definitely have your sodium and potassium levels checked first--that can tell a lot.

 

I am down a little over 20 pounds now by cutting back on calories and working out a lot more now (swimming, I love it). I'm aiming to lose about 30 more to get back down to the weight I was before all of my thyroid problems started years ago (my thyroid had to be removed almost a year ago and I'm finally getting my metabolism back). But I still give myself one cheat day a week to eat whatever I want or I'd end up on the 6 o'clock news for having driven my car through a Taco Bell.

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I am down a little over 20 pounds now by cutting back on calories and working out a lot more now (swimming, I love it). I'm aiming to lose about 30 more to get back down to the weight I was before all of my thyroid problems started years ago (my thyroid had to be removed almost a year ago and I'm finally getting my metabolism back). But I still give myself one cheat day a week to eat whatever I want or I'd end up on the 6 o'clock news for having driven my car through a Taco Bell.

I have Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease), and I lost the weight by logging everything I eat & drink accurately & honestly in an app. (I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com but there are others available.)

Thyroid meds reduce the fatigue so I can be more active. But I still kept gaining until I started logging. You lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn, and it's human nature to underestimate your food & overestimate your burns. Logging keeps me accountable & makes me mindful.

I don't "cheat." I eat "good" 80% of the time, and fit yummy, portion-controlled treats into my calorie goal. But I totally agree that deprivation can lead to bingeing.

Edited by editorgrrl
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I gained 3 pounds on vacation, so I'm 8 over goal weight and 11 over goal weight + insurance pounds. Granted, that's not a lot, and I'm tall so it's not super-obvious, but I'm dealing with clothing fit issues at this point.  Blecch!

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I gained 3 pounds on vacation, so I'm 8 over goal weight and 11 over goal weight + insurance pounds. Granted, that's not a lot, and I'm tall so it's not super-obvious, but I'm dealing with clothing fit issues at this point.  Blecch!

Isn't it funny what three pound will do to the fit of clothing?  I bought clothes at my lowest weight--they were just a bit loose.  I gained three pounds, and they fit perfectly.  Three more and suddenly, I'm wearing the next size up. 

 

Speaking of an extra three pounds, I have no idea what I've changed about the way I eat (my exercise routine is the same as always), but I can not get those three pounds off.  It's like I gained them at the precise time my body became that age where it's damn near impossible to lose it.  So frustrating after having it be "3lbs?  I can loose that in about 10 days, give or take a couple.". 

 

 

I don't "cheat." I eat "good" 80% of the time, and fit yummy, portion-controlled treats into my calorie goal. But I totally agree that deprivation can lead to bingeing.

Exactly.  This is also why I took my time losing weight, because I wanted to continue having treats from time to time. 

Edited by Shannon L.
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I don't allow the word "cheat" into my weight loss regimen. Even though I've lost over 40 lbs, it's taken me over six months, and I'm just eating a different way than the clearly unhealthy way I was eating before. Nothing is off limits but many, many things I used to enjoy daily or weekly are now "rarely" and probably will always have to be. Weirdly most of the time I feel perfectly satisfied with my food choices and wonder what the hell I was thinking the way I used to eat!

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Even though I've lost over 40 lbs, it's taken me over six months, and I'm just eating a different way than the clearly unhealthy way I was eating before. Nothing is off limits but many, many things I used to enjoy daily or weekly are now "rarely" and probably will always have to be.

A healthy, sustainable weight loss is .5–2 lbs. per week. Real life =/= TV!

And as I said above, deprivation can lead to bingeing. So ur doing it right: making a lifestyle change rather than going on (and eventually off) a diet. Yay, you!

I still have all my favorite foods & drinks—just in smaller quantities and/or less often. I have a small piece of my favorite chocolate almost every day. Starbucks is now an occasional treat—and I enjoy the hell out of every sip. Food is not a moral issue. Food is neither "good" nor "bad." Fuel is fuel.

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I still have 99% of the foods I had before, but I have made some big changes that have helped a lot (and now I wonder what I was thinking when I ate them regularly!)--pretty much no more white bread, no soda, no fast food and I cut way back on white sugar. I don't even crave those foods anymore, but if I do, I let myself have them in small quantities (i.e., I'll have half a soda instead of the whole thing). It's definitely more of a lifestyle change than a diet now.

 

Another thing that's helped me a lot is working out regularly now doing something that doesn't feel like exercise to me, swimming. I got an iPool and it came with a heater so now I can swim year-round in my own garage. I don't have to deal with fighting for a lane and unruly kids at the YMCA, I have my own private lap pool, so I have no excuses. Best investment I ever made for myself.

 

And editorgrrl, I've had Hashi's for over 10 years now, so I know exactly what you've been through.

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Ok, now that extra three pounds has turned into 5.  For the last couple of days, my choice of food for dinner has been limited and salty, so I'm sure that accounts for some it.  I also wonder if I'm under estimating my calories and over estimating my portion sizes.  Time to pull out the calculator and food scale and make sure.  I know 5lbs is not much, but the fact that I haven't been able to get it off as easily as before is bugging me. 

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It's like I gained them at the precise time by body became that age where it's damn near impossible to lose it.  So frustrating

Over the last 5 years or so, my weight has crept up by around 12 -15 lbs. A few major life issues back-to-back, and blah blah blah -  I simply stopped my usual tight control of food intake.

 

I LOVE to eat - especially carbs (in massive amounts in one sitting), but I trained myself for most of my adult life to monitor intake  so that the pounds didn't get packed on. It became so second nature, that I never even felt deprived. Sugar was completely out of my system, so not having sweets was no big deal. And salty, greasy snacks were simply never on my grocery list. Sounds austere, but honestly, I got so used to not having those things around that I stopped craving them - for many, many years. As a result, I was able to maintain a pretty slim physique with minimal effort.

 

Then - the major life stuff happened and slowly, slowly, I simply let go of the reins. Suddenly, I "deserved" to go to South Street Grill and get a burger with extra large fries. Suddenly, I was allowing myslef 6 slices of takeout pizza for dinner because I was "too stressed to cook". Suddenly, tortilla chips and salsa found their way into my cupboard - "they're baked! and salsa is fat free!" ... and on it went.  I despised myself. I'm not one of those people (and they do exist) who looks good with even a little bit of added chub. Any extra fat looks hideous and slovenly on me.

 

When I was invited this year to a family event that was to take place this summer, I panicked. I'm SO FAT! Everyone's gonna whisper! ok, no problem, I'll just do what I've always done and start counting calories, and increase physical activity. After about 3 weeks of eating 1400 calories/day and doing aerobics for 1 hour 6 days/week, the scale barely moved. OMG!!! I finally reached that age!! Gaaah! How discouraging. Totally depressing.

 

But I knew that going back to eating without limit would not solve the problem, so I decided to carry on counting calories and excercising 6 days a week - but also to  ignore the scale completely. Long story short(er than I can make it), I only weighed myself weeks later -  after the summer family event -  and found, to my surprise,  that I was 10 lbs lighter than the point at which I stopped weighing myself.

 

My point for this long-winded post is:  even if you're at "that age", and losing weight just isn't as quick 'n easy as it used to be, it's absolutely not impossible. It's still all about calories in vs. calories out. Yeah, maybe it takes a little longer, but so what? Once you build the habit of eating reasonably and excercising regularly, it will happen. It can't not happen.

 

A few tips that worked for me:

1. know the calorie content for all the foods you eat

2. always measure things like rice, pasta, potatoes, oil, beans, corn etc.

3. Volumetrics - eat low density, high volume, high fiber foods like lettce, green beans, broccoli, etc. with your meals! They fill you up for few calories.

4. Get enough protein. This is very important for both satiety and muscle maintenance

5. Keep a journal/calendar of every meal and every exercise session. Be 100% honest in your calorie-in/calorie-out estimates

6. Get a heart rate monitor for more precise estimate of calorie burn from your workouts.

 

That's it. CanNOT believe how long this post is. I know how hard it is to stick to it with the hope that something will come of all the effort. IT WILL! Don't give up!

Edited by deedee2
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What a great thread!  Okay, here's my story.  I was a slightly chubby kid that turned fat at that magical age where I was in charge of my own food destiny (18-19).  I got scared when a blood test came back semi-high for sugar at 22 so I got serious about my weight, learned a whole bunch about nutrition, and lost it all and kept it off pretty much (few 10 pounder up and downs) until I hit 41.  My Mom was diagnosed with cancer and I found myself driving 1200 miles round trip every weekend for 4 months.  She passed and then my Dad was diagnosed.  Rinse.  Repeat.  I hadn't ate fast food for 20 years and then found myself eating it every weekend.  I wasn't exactly the most emotionally stable person in the world either - losing both my parents who outwardly were the epitome of health in a year and a half totally did a number on my sanity for awhile there.

 

In December my Dad will have been gone a year and last month I decided enough was enough and I needed to get off this crazy train and take care of myself.  I know what to do and how to do it.  I'm slowly getting back to where my eating habits used to be and will hopefully be rid of this extra weight by the spring.  I seem to be lucky and the 40 year old curse doesn't apply to me.  If I eat right and exercise I lose weight.

Edited by kj4ever
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Yup, calories in and calories out/burned works for me. I'm in my 30's and have a sluggish metabolism (that is slowly improving) due to thyroid disease, but the weight is coming off. I just have to be much stricter about it now than I was in my 20's. Damn, I miss my 20 year old metabolism!!

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I decided enough was enough and I needed to get off this crazy train and take care of myself.  I know what to do and how to do it.  I'm slowly getting back to where my eating habits used to be and will hopefully be rid of this extra weight by the spring.  I seem to be lucky and the 40 year old curse doesn't apply to me.  If I eat right and exercise I lose weight.

 

Yup, calories in and calories out/burned works for me. I'm in my 30's and have a sluggish metabolism (that is slowly improving) due to thyroid disease, but the weight is coming off. I just have to be much stricter about it now than I was in my 20's. Damn, I miss my 20 year old metabolism!!

 

I'm in my forties and have thyroid disease, and I lost weight. Slowly, but I lost! (I tell myself that losing so slowly will make me less likely to gain it all back. But I've kept logging via MyFitnessPal during maintenance as added insurance.)

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- losing both my parents who outwardly were the epitome of health in a year and a half totally did a number on my sanity for awhile there.

 

Yes, that's exactly what I went through - although it was 3.5 rather than 1.5 years. Still - both the epitome of health ... active, vibrant, and full of life.

 

Sorry for your loss. Glad you're taking control again! Keeping on top of things lets you avoid waking up one day and going, "OMG! Where did these 300 extra lbs suddenly come from??"

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deedee 2, I'm tempted to print your post and tape it to my refrigerator.  Very wise words.

 

I really want to keep track of my calorie intake but I run into problems because I cook virtually all of my own meals and very few of my beloved recipes came with calorie counts or even serving sizes.  Can anyone suggest how best to estimate how much I'm consuming without resorting to diet frozen dinners or wild guessing?

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Yes, that's exactly what I went through - although it was 3.5 rather than 1.5 years. Still - both the epitome of health ... active, vibrant, and full of life.

 

Sorry for your loss. Glad you're taking control again! Keeping on top of things lets you avoid waking up one day and going, "OMG! Where did these 300 extra lbs suddenly come from??"

I am so sorry for your loss too.  It is truly one of those things you never realize the weight of until it happens.

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I really want to keep track of my calorie intake but I run into problems because I cook virtually all of my own meals and very few of my beloved recipes came with calorie counts or even serving sizes.  Can anyone suggest how best to estimate how much I'm consuming without resorting to diet frozen dinners or wild guessing?

 

I log everything I eat & drink at myfitnesspal.com. It has a built-in recipe builder where you log each ingredient plus the total number of servings. Then when you log a serving it computes the calories & nutrients for you (fat, protein, carbs, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamins, etc.).

 

The app has a barcode scanner, which makes logging even easier.

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always measure things like rice, pasta, potatoes, oil, beans, corn etc.

 

For maximum accuracy, weigh everything you eat—even packaged foods. Measuring by volume (cups & spoons) is wildly inaccurate, so a digital kitchen scale is the best twelve bucks or so you'll ever spend if you really want to lose weight.

 

And when I say weigh everything, I mean every single thing: peanut butter, salad dressing, mayo, potato chips… All nutritional labels say something like "one cookie (85g) = 100 calories." But none of the cookies in the package actually weighs 85g. And trust me, 6 oz. of chicken is way less than you think it is!

 

Don't think you're doomed to weigh everything you eat for the rest of your life. After a harsh wakeup call (one serving of tortilla chips is that tiny?!), plus a stretch of weighing everything for a while, you'll be better able to eyeball your portions. But it's human nature to underestimate your food & overestimate your burns—so if your weight loss stalls, get the scale back out for a while. Think of it as a tuneup.

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Thanks, editorgrrl-- I just logged onto My Fitness Pal and the recipe I tried from Nigella Lawson last night was easy to link from the Food Network.  The only problem is that for some reason they think a 14.5 ounce can of light coconut milk from Trader Joe's has 3500 calories in it!  I almost had a stroke when my lunch entree exceeded my total calories for the day!  Another page showed that it's actually 250.

 

This might actually be fun.  Sorta.

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Thanks, editorgrrl-- I just logged onto My Fitness Pal and the recipe I tried from Nigella Lawson last night was easy to link from the Food Network.  The only problem is that for some reason they think a 14.5 ounce can of light coconut milk from Trader Joe's has 3500 calories in it!  I almost had a stroke when my lunch entree exceeded my total calories for the day!  Another page showed that it's actually 250.

 

This might actually be fun.  Sorta.

 

Anybody can add entries to the MFP database, so it's chockfull of junk data. The first time you log anything, verify the entry against the label. In the future, use the verified entry from your recent & frequent lists.

 

About 75% of what I eat is the same all the time, so logging was time-consuming at first but got much easier. And it is kind of fun. I get a lot of satisfaction by taking control of what I eat. Logging makes me mindful.

 

For stuff without labels (like produce or meat), always search first for a USDA entry.

Edited by editorgrrl

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Counting calories and a balanced diet is the only way to go for me.  I don't know how people manage to do things like Atkins or all that artifical low fat stuff.  Tastes like plastic to me!  I've really been working on my recipes and trying different things to keep me from getting bored.  so far it's working!

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I really want to keep track of my calorie intake but I run into problems because I cook virtually all of my own meals and very few of my beloved recipes came with calorie counts or even serving sizes.  Can anyone suggest how best to estimate how much I'm consuming without resorting to diet frozen dinners or wild guessing?

I cook virtually all my meals as well. You have to measure all ingredients so that you know the calorie content of each. For example, when I make a big pot of lentil soup, I'll measure 2 cups of dry lentils and record the calorie count for that, and then gather my vegetables, and add the calories for them. I never estimate how much of each ingredient I'm using -- it's so easy to splash some oil in a pot and think it's 1 teaspoon, when it's closer to 2 tablespoons! Then, I measure how much water goes into the pot. Now I know exactly how many calories are in the entire pot of soup. Next step is to divide that number by the number of cups in your pot, and you have the calorie count per cup.

 

It's a little tedious to have to go through all that, but it really does help not overestimate or underestimate how much you're eating.

 

ETA: Or follow Editorgrrl's suggestion of using myfitnesspal's ingredient log. Probably much easier and more accurate than my way!

Edited by deedee2
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After a harsh wakeup call (one serving of tortilla chips is that tiny?!)

My wake up call was when the new law came out that restaurants had to start listing the calorie count on their menus.  I used to eat a Starbucks Reduced Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake and a non-fat Vanilla Latte 3-4 times a week.  I know reduced fat can still be high in calories, but it can't be that bad, right?  Wrong!  The coffee cake was about 420 calories and the latte was about 150!!  I was eating the equivalent of a 4th meal 3-4 times a week--and my other meals and snacks weren't that good either. 

 

I think I need to start weighing again.  I've been eyeballing it for a while and I wonder if maybe my portions are getting a bit too big.  Another thing is that I really wish there was an accurate way of knowing how many calories you are burning.  I just go to a few different calorie burning calculators online (the ones that ask for your weight) and take the one with the amount of lowest burned calories, just to be safe.  And, I never trust the machines at the gym when all I've done is hit "Quick Start". 

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Another thing is that I really wish there was an accurate way of knowing how many calories you are burning.  I just go to a few different calorie burning calculators online (the ones that ask for your weight) and take the one with the amount of lowest burned calories, just to be safe.  And, I never trust the machines at the gym when all I've done is hit "Quick Start". 

 

All burns (and calorie counts) are just estimates, but I love, love, love my activity trackers. I have two, because I'm a data nerd—you only really need one. I have a Jawbone UP24 and a Fitbit Flex. They each sync with MyFitnessPal, so I can plot my calories in vs. calories out in three different apps. (Not to mention the new iPhone Health thingie. Yay, data!)

 

The two main differences are that UP requires a smartphone or tablet, while Fitbits can also sync (via a dongle) with a computer. And Fitbit makes non-wristband trackers that clip to your bra or slip in a pocket. (I just know I'd forget to take a clippy one off, then put it in the washer. I only ever take my bands off to charge—they even track your sleep.)

 

They both track any & all step-related activity, including walking, running, housework (I was shocked how many steps I get doing laundry), and dancing. Non-step activity (like swimming or biking) has to be logged in the UP or Fitbit app. Your tracker burn is your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). If you eat at a reasonable deficit from that number, you will lose weight.

 

Some people dismiss them as "glorified pedometers," but they helped me lose weight—and keep it off. My UP buzzes when I sit still for too long, and my Flex buzzes & lights up when I reach my goal. Yay, motivation!

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All burns (and calorie counts) are just estimates, but I love, love, love my activity trackers. I have two, because I'm a data nerd—you only really need one. I have a Jawbone UP24 and a Fitbit Flex. They each sync with MyFitnessPal, so I can plot my calories in vs. calories out in three different apps. (Not to mention the new iPhone Health thingie. Yay, data!)

 

The two main differences are that UP requires a smartphone or tablet, while Fitbits can also sync (via a dongle) with a computer. And Fitbit makes non-wristband trackers that clip to your bra or slip in a pocket. (I just know I'd forget to take a clippy one off, then put it in the washer. I only ever take my bands off to charge—they even track your sleep.)

 

They both track any & all step-related activity, including walking, running, housework (I was shocked how many steps I get doing laundry), and dancing. Non-step activity (like swimming or biking) has to be logged in the UP or Fitbit app. Your tracker burn is your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). If you eat at a reasonable deficit from that number, you will lose weight.

 

Some people dismiss them as "glorified pedometers," but they helped me lose weight—and keep it off. My UP buzzes when I sit still for too long, and my Flex buzzes & lights up when I reach my goal. Yay, motivation!

Thanks for the info on FitBit....I have been debating getting that.

 

I'm a math nerd to so I feel you!

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I need some advice.  I've been overweight my whole life and recently hit my highest ever point-215.  I think I have a ridiculously slow metabolism because it feels like even when I'm eating right and exercise I don't lose anything!  All my caloric estimates say I need over 3000 calories a day to maintain my weight and I defintely don't eat that much.  And while I'm not crazy active, I don't sit around all day and I do workout fairly regularly.  

Here's a great example of my struggle- last February my car broke down and I decided to wait and save before shopping for a new one.  I was actually excited because i thought biking everywhere would help me lose weight.  I biked 5 miles across town for work every day, and then back home of course, frequently carting groceries as well.  My eating habits didn't change but I lost nothing by the time this February came around and I bought a new car.  Within months, I'd gained ~20 pounds.  

My weight loss struggle has been never ending and I'd love to finally reach a point where I'm happy with my body.  Any advice??

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Have you checked with a doctor?  I'd do that first. 

 

In regards to food, are you reading labels and measuring your portions?  I was 206lbs at my heaviest and when I first started, I brought my caloric intake to around 1650.  I walked everyday, starting with 20-30 minutes because it's all I could manage and extended it over time and about 100 sit ups a day (spread out over time, not all at once. I'd do sets of 25).

 

I wish I could tell you more because for me, that's all it took.  Calorie count, portion control/measuring and exercising.  Good luck and keep checking in with us. 

I think we all understand how frustrating it can get.  And remember it should be a slow process--make it a lifestyle change.  The people that lose it too fast tend to put some back on. 

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I think I have a ridiculously slow metabolism because it feels like even when I'm eating right and exercise I don't lose anything! All my caloric estimates say I need over 3000 calories a day to maintain my weight and I defintely don't eat that much.

See a doctor to rule out any medical problems, but I have autoimmune thyroid disease (aka glandular problems), and the law of thermodynamics still applies to me: If I eat fewer calories than I burn, I lose weight.

It's human nature to underestimate your food & overestimate your burns. If you're not logging everything you eat and drink accurately & honestly, then you really have no idea how many calories you're eating.

I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com. Feel free to friend me—my username is the same both places. That goes for anyone who's trying to lose weight. Logging is simple, but it ain't easy. Logging works.

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Some people dismiss them as "glorified pedometers," but they helped me lose weight—and keep it off. My UP buzzes when I sit still for too long, and my Flex buzzes & lights up when I reach my goal. Yay, motivation!

 

I've got both an Up (regular version) and a pedometer.   I got the pedometer through my employer as part of a fitness program.  I get paid actual money for walking.  I've gotten $500 each year for 3 years, (yay motivation!).  It also definitely helped me lose weight.  I like the pedometer because I can just glance at it and see how many steps I've taken.  I like the Up because I can track how I much I move all day, and also track my sleep.  I also love the buzzer.  It reminds me to get up and move more frequently.  I'm a medical transcriptionist, so I have to spend pretty much all day at my desk typing.   I have the buzzer go off every 45 minutes, and I walk to the end of the hall and back, 100 steps each way, takes about 90 seconds.   It's just a quick little walk, but it gets my blood flowing and my joints moving.   

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sunshinelover, definitely check with a doctor first to make sure there's nothing going on (I would request two thyroid tests--TSH and Free T3). When my hypothyroidism was at its worst, it didn't matter how little I ate, nothing was coming off until I got my thyroid levels corrected.

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My thyroid meds (Synthroid & Cytomel) reduce my fatigue, so I can be more active. But I still kept gaining until I learned to log everything I eat & drink accurately & honestly.

I truly thought I was gaining for no reason. Boy, was logging a wakeup call! Learning proper portions was the key to my weight loss. 1 ounce of nuts or cheese is way smaller than you think—not to mention 6 oz. of chicken!

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I need some advice. I've been overweight my whole life and recently hit my highest ever point-215. I think I have a ridiculously slow metabolism because it feels like even when I'm eating right and exercise I don't lose anything! All my caloric estimates say I need over 3000 calories a day to maintain my weight and I defintely don't eat that much. And while I'm not crazy active, I don't sit around all day and I do workout fairly regularly.

Here's a great example of my struggle- last February my car broke down and I decided to wait and save before shopping for a new one. I was actually excited because i thought biking everywhere would help me lose weight. I biked 5 miles across town for work every day, and then back home of course, frequently carting groceries as well. My eating habits didn't change but I lost nothing by the time this February came around and I bought a new car. Within months, I'd gained ~20 pounds.

My weight loss struggle has been never ending and I'd love to finally reach a point where I'm happy with my body. Any advice??

Here's what worked for me. I gave up obvious carbs like sugar, white rice, bread, potatoes and pasta. That's pretty much it. I am Italian and French so this was no easy feat, but I've learned to enjoy most foods as a salad rather than on a bed of some sort of starch. I never weigh or measure anything and I have managed to lose 44 pounds so far with this method while not feeling too deprived or weighing or measuring my food. I still have some pounds to go, but I realize that this has to be my new way of eating if I'm going to keep the weight off.. To me that's simpler than weighing and measuring, but to each their own.

Up the exercising and the weight definitely comes off faster. Also eat any protein you want but understand that you will lose weight faster if you eat shrimp, fish, and white meat chicken, but you will still lose if you choose beef, pork, etc.

Also my blood work improved exponentially. Seriously, it's so much easier than I imagined!

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Edited by mansonlamps

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I think my biggest challenge is the keeping track of my food portions!  I always intend to but never follow through...I logged for today, and wow..it really is an eye opener.  I hope I can keep up with that, and continue my exercising of course too.  Thanks for all your support!

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I think my biggest challenge is the keeping track of my food portions!  I always intend to but never follow through...

If you can just make yourself do it for just 3 weeks or so, it will become a habit.  Keep the measuring cups/spoons/food scale in a place where it's easy to grab them (mine are in the counter above where I put my meals together, so I don't even need to turn to get them).

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Yes, if you log everything you eat & drink accurately & honestly for a few weeks ("don't break the chain"), it becomes a habit—like brushing your teeth.

To make it fun, play a game called http://www.healthmonth.com. There are rules for logging your food, eating more bright veggies, and lots of other stuff, from flossing to listing the things you're grateful for.

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Another thing is to watch the amount of salty foods you are eating.  I got bored with my usual meals/snacks, so I added a few new ones to my diet.  My calorie intake is still ok, but I have to admit that one of them is a salty food and wonder if that's why I'm having a hard time taking the few pounds off that I gained over the summer.

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I have had success with logging as well. I told my sister last week there are no more excuses. Back in the day before the Internet and places stating nutrition info I would say "I bet this nachos bel grande is 500 cals". Yeah, times two.

What I find is that I'm so much happier when I do well. Sounds so simple, then do well! But it's hard. Each morning I wake up after exercising and adhering to my 1200 I feel great. And then I have these insane thoughts of "you've done so well you should get something bad and not count it". The hell? What a mind.

Exercise is key for me. It helps curb the aforementioned thoughts. After a good workout I think "yes! I did it!" When I don't exercise I have the screw it mentality.

And like a person in recovery, I swear by the one day at a time. Today I will eat 1200 calories and exercise 30, 45, 60 mins etc. I may eat a whole cheesecake tomorrow, but all I have to do is adhere today. Rinse and repeat.

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Another thing is to watch the amount of salty foods you are eating.

 

This is true.  My husband has a problem with a slightly high blood pressure, so I've been trying to cut down on sodium.   It's surprising how many foods are high in sodium that don't even taste salty.   Most breads are high in sodium, so is canned soup (even "lower sodium" versions have 500 mg of sodium.   It's getting hard to find low sodium foods in the supermarket, because all the "specialty food" shelf space is given over to "gluten free"  products which are often high in sodium.

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My thyroid meds (Synthroid & Cytomel) reduce my fatigue, so I can be more active. But I still kept gaining until I learned to log everything I eat & drink accurately & honestly.

I truly thought I was gaining for no reason. Boy, was logging a wakeup call! Learning proper portions was the key to my weight loss. 1 ounce of nuts or cheese is way smaller than you think—not to mention 6 oz. of chicken!

I remember when I was getting gaining a bit of weight about 5 or 6 years ago and joined Weight Watchers.  I was going to have 3 oz of chicken and weighed it.  My boyfriend totally thought it couldn't be right and said "That's like a chicken nugget!" lol  I still think Weight Watchers can be a great program for people if they stay away from all the convenience type foods like the 100 calorie packs, fat free crap and eat real food.  It requires you to log your food if you do their points program.  I ended up switching to their Core program which was no counting but you pretty much could only eat "real" food.  I did excellent on it and still eat that way pretty much today.

Edited by kj4ever
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