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I've been trying to figure out how to write this without sound like a troll or condescending. I've struggled with weight most of my life save for a few brief period including my high school years. Even then I wasn't in "perfect" shape always having a bit of extra weight on me. Once I got to college with the freedom to eat as much as I wanted, no Mom around to cook mostly healthy meals and of course all that beer,  I started to put on some pounds. After a few years I was up to about 220 where I stayed until my late 20's when a long stint on unemployment hit and I packed on another 30. For the rest of my adult life I've fluctuated from 250 to over 300 pounds. I'm only 5'9" tall and even though I've got a stocky build that holds weight well, I shouldn't weigh more than 200 and probably not more than 180 if I was in really good shape.

Starting in summer 2007 life got bad. My hearing had crashed. I was out of a job and the economy was in the tank. Over the next few years I packed on a lot of weight and I think I peaked out around 330. I'm basing that on something Mike Tyson once said (and I paraphrase not remembering the exact quote), "When you are 330 pounds it's hard to wipe your own ass." Suffice it to say, I know that weight isn't healthy and it would have killed me very young. My father's final lesson to me was to not be a slave to the food demons. He keeled over dead of a massive heart attack at 67. He didn't drink or smoke but he was morbidly obese and never got any exercise. His father had had a massive heart attack at 67 also but had held on for another 4 years before dying. Genetically speaking, if I don't change my habits, I've got 20 years at most to live. That's 5 presidential elections. That's the blink of an eye.

So around December 2009 I made the decision once again to try to get my eating habits under control. Currently I weigh around 250 pounds. I don't know exactly how much because I don't own a scale and I refuse to buy one. I monitor my weight by how my clothes fit and by looking at myself in the mirror and checking for new dimples to appear. I also don't "diet". I refuse to sit around weighing, counting, obsessing. It's a recipe for poor health and roller coaster weight gain and loss which not only stresses the system but can lead to feelings of discontent and frustration.

For most people healthy weight loss comes down to two simple things:

1. Eat less calories than you expend.

2. Don't try to lose more than a pound a week on average over a period of time and half that is plenty.

Follow me below the cheese curl for how I'm accomplishing those goals and see if some of the ideas work for you...

I can hear some of you right now screaming at your monitor: What about fat/fiber/sugar/starch/etc. How can you lose weight if you don't monitor those things. Well I do try to keep my fat intake to a reasonable level, but I don't deny myself food. I eat steak once a week on average. I have pizza, pork and even ice cream though I limit myself on the last one to once a month on average. However, I strongly believe that while there are different health issues associated with some of these foods when it comes to strictly talking weight loss, you cannot deprive yourself of the foods you crave/love. Strict diets don't work. I regularly allow myself a lost weekend to indulge those cravings. Though like I said I try to limit myself to once a month.

I do eat a lot of leaner meats especially for lunch and I try to eat chicken 3 times a week for dinner. I follow the meatless Monday program though I do eat cheese and eggs, so I'm not fanatical about it. Again, these are things that work for me. The idea is to find what works for you. I have a rough idea of how many calories I consume a day but I don't write them down or weigh or measure anything. Currently I'm trying to stay in the 2300-2500 calorie a day range which should get me to 230 eventually then I'll cut the next level. When I started I was letting myself eat up to 3000 calories a day. Now if you've never struggled with weight you may look at that number and gape in horror unless you are a workout machine who has an incredible metabolism. For me that's actually not horrible. My body can regularly eat 4000+ calories a day when I'm letting my demon control me, and that's how I got to 330 pounds in the first place.

Some of the things I do to control my calories is to acknowledge the food I crave and remove it from the house. Simple things like cutting cheese out of lunch meals, not keeping chips or ice cream in the house, making sure there's always fruit on hand for when I need a snack or something sweet. In addition due to my ability and desire to eat a LOT of food I don't have a typical eating pattern. I only eat two meals a day. Most days at lunch I eat about a third of my daily calories and then I allow myself a big dinner. This is part of how I control my demon. I crave big meals and I don't have a cutoff switch like most people do. For example, when I go out to eat at a buffet with friends, I have to watch how much they eat to decide when to stop. I'm still one of the biggest eaters when that happens and I don't go to buffets often for that exact reason. In addition my family has always centered our celebrations around food. So, allowing myself a big dinner every night I don't have as many cravings. I can get by with an apple for dessert.

I have removed from the house all of the things that I love to snack on, crackers, chips, peanut butter, nuts and ice cream. Not having them around makes it easier to not snack. However, like I said, one weekend a month I let myself eat whatever I want. The trick to that is to eat it all and get it out of the house. I know I cannot control myself around those items so when I buy chips I eat them in a few days and be done with it. Ice cream the same thing. Once it's gone I can go back to eating in a manner that works well for me and will allow me to continue to lose weight.

Now obviously my system won't work for everyone, but the point is to find out what does work for you. When do you crave food? What food products are your triggers? What food products do you obsess over? What food products will you eat whenever you have them? Which food products call you from the pantry or the freezer begging you to come get them and eat some of them immediately? Get those foods out of your house. Eat your meals in a manner that works for you. Don't listen to the "experts" telling you not to eat after 9:00 PM or to eat 5 small meals a day. Your body will tell you what to eat and when to eat it, but again, you cannot let the demon take over.

There's a school of thought in dieting called "eating naturally" which states that if you are craving ice cream and you know you are going to give in, eat the ice cream for the main course. I'm not saying that's a good idea every night, but once in a while it's a lot better to eat a pint of ice cream for dinner than to eat a whole dinner and then add the pint of ice cream. I remember seeing some segment on a news program about a guy who went on a Hostess snack cake diet to see what it would do to his body. For a month he consumed all his calories by eating Hostess snack cakes. At the end of the month he had lost weight and his bio-markers had improved. That was because he didn't over eat, he just swapped out his balanced diet for one with the same calories made out of cake (since he lost weight I guess he actually consumed a few less calories and that's probably because he was eating based on the calories listed on the packs and thus being stricter about his calorie consumption).  So once again, it's all about the calories, at least from a weight loss perspective.

I'm not pretending my system works for everyone, but these basic rules should allow anyone to lose weight and keep it off:

1. Throw your scale away, don't rely on some number to tell you how you are doing. Don't obsess over every pound, have a long term goal and see it through and by long term, I mean think in terms of years not months. I also recommend getting used to looking at yourself in the mirror. Many overweight people hate looking at themselves naked. Get over it. You will see the weight melt off over time.

2. Get your trigger foods out of the house and when you do indulge in them, eat them all and be done with it.

3. Find a eating pattern that works for you and stick with it. I recommend not snacking. That's how the beast generally wins. If you have to snack try to snack on fruit.

4. Don't be strict about it. Indulge yourself occasionally but when you're done, go back to your system.

5. Reduce your calorie intake slowly over time. It's not hard to cut out 200 calories from your daily diet. If you do this several times over the course of several years you will slowly dependably lose weight and a lot of the stress from trying to dramatically cut back your calorie intake will be removed.

I'm not an expert. I'm not in great shape and probably never will be. I do know what works for me and I'm hoping my common sense ideas can help work for some of you, but in the end the only person who can decide what is the right eating system for you is you.

4:29 PM PT: WOW! Had to go to work earlier, so I kind of tossed this up and walked out the door. Didn't expect this much positive response. Thanks for keeping it civil and for all the great comments. It's nice to see a discussion where so many people are talking about things that work for them. That's been my number one point here, do what works for you, but figure out what that is and stick with it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (133+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    absdoggy, karmsy, Roadbed Guy, importer, Kaina PDX, Tracker, ZenTrainer, tampaedski, thankgodforairamerica, enufisenuf, smoothnmellow, 57andFemale, Carol in San Antonio, broths, Habitat Vic, luckylizard, NearlyNormal, wonkydonkey, shanikka, shari, greengemini, awakenow, gramofsam1, tytalus, Nance, HeyMikey, pioneer111, leeleedee, sound of progress, Erik W, congenitalefty, MartyM, Thinking Fella, kck, Noodles, msazdem, Kristina40, Mysoreback, arizonablue, rapala, JayBat, John DiFool, Loudoun County Dem, tigerdog, WheninRome, linkage, Radiowalla, JBL55, California06, No one gets out alive, Crider, MidwestTreeHugger, merrywidow, We Won, mali muso, mofembot, dejavu, tofumagoo, Lacy LaPlante, one of 8, Arahahex, graciella, bloomer 101, lovelyivy, brentut5, radarlady, Getreal1246, Susan Gardner, Paulie200, Mark Tapley, alicia, viral, jdmorg, poco, RLF, slowbutsure, mkoz, mattc129, NBBooks, Horsefeathers, Dark UltraValia, chicagobama, annrose, mkor7, marleycat, third Party please, whaddaya, TAH from SLC, PeterHug, Emerson, Miss Blue, pvasileff, anodnhajo, science nerd, PinHole, sobermom, mumtaznepal, Danno11, dangoch, frostieb, 3rdOption, Diana in NoVa, GeorgeXVIII, Lorikeet, dkmich, Mr Robert, NYmom, wader, Randtntx, poliwrangler, BachFan, Statusquomustgo, waterstreet2008, kbman, KellyB, Matilda, lcrp, fiercefilms, howd, Larin, el dorado gal, xylonjay, Paddy999, historys mysteries, Canadian Green Card Alien, Polly Syllabic, Garbear, evil claims rep, chimene, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, exNYinTX, pimutant, ladybug53

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:11:59 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like you should change your (12+ / 0-)

    screen name to something like "SlimJim" (just saying - you could re-use some/many of the same letters . . .).

  •  And history is consistent: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, waterstreet2008
    I've been trying to figure out how to write this without sound like a troll or condescending.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:22:54 AM PDT

  •  Good for you! (36+ / 0-)

    Congratulations!  It's a long hard slog.

    I've struggled with weight my whole life, until I figured out that weight loss is the easier part--keeping it off is the harder, and it doesn't happen until you change your whole lifestyle, your approach to eating and your attitude about food.   I used to find comfort in eating.  Now I see it as a survival strategy.  We eat because we have to stay healthy.

    After gaining so much, though, it must take tremendous resolve and strength even to think about the changes necessary to lose weight.  Congratulations again--from one loser to another.

    PS: Your diary offers great advice for long term losers.

    "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

    by DrLori on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:24:31 AM PDT

  •  Great attitude (20+ / 0-)

    Sounds like you have your head in the right place with the weigh loss that works for you. As someone who spent three years in almost daily contact with the trainers on the Biggest Loser, I would note a couple of things - 1) In order to lose large amounts of weight you need to understand WHY it is you over-eat. Those emotional/psychological aspects need to be addressed as with any addiction. 2) Exercise, no matter how moderate, should be part of the process. I certainly don't mean a gym membership. Walking, taking the stairs, doing step-ups while watching TV instead of sitting on the couch. Burn more calories than you take in.  3) a healthy breakfast - you burn calories and it reduces the urge for snacking throughout the day.

    Congrats on your success so far.

    •  Moderate exercise (9+ / 0-)

      such as walking briskly for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes each day is good for anyone who is able to do it, regardless of whether or not that person needs to lose weight.  It is great for not only the body, but also helps clear the head. It is even better if someone is trying to lose weight too.

      I think most of the diarist's tips are good, especially about not snacking and finding what works for you.  I am a firm believer that it is easier to lose and/or maintain a healthy weight if one eats real foods, not already prepared meals.  Then you can be sure you are getting the real thing and not extra sodium or other unhealthy additives.

      Congratulations to the diarist on finding a successful program for himself and may he continue to have success and enjoy good health.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:34:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if you find it difficult to walk or run (8+ / 0-)

        Get in the pool. When you are heavy it's hard to walk distance, hard on the knees, thighs, hips,'s just difficult and can be painful.
        In the water, on the other hand, you are essentially weightless and can crank out the yardage. As you get in better shape, you can pick up your pace. Swimming can burn a lot of calories.
        Concerned about how you look on the deck/locker room/pool in your suit? Who cares? I've been around swimming for most of my life and I will tell you that in any lap swim or Masters program, you will find far more supportive people than judgmental. None of us are perfect and we all celebrate how each of us is working to get into shape.
        US Masters swimming has a page that shows locations to work out here.

  •  Great job! (20+ / 0-)

    And kudos on your 5 tips.  I lost about 120 on a similar system.  Nothing complicated, just eat less than you expend.

    I later switched to a vegan diet, not to lose more weight but to improve my overall health and reduce my carbon footpring.  This change was by far the most difficult to stick with.    

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:32:54 AM PDT

    •  Different experience (7+ / 0-)

      I became a vegan for overall health reasons, including weight issues, but I haven't found it difficult to stick with

      At least some foods from animal sources are addictive, including dairy products. There is a substance in milk--cow and human--that causes babies to feel tranquil, happy, which encourages the baby to nurse long enough to get the nourishment he or she needs.

      It works the same way on humans after infancy. Cheese makes people feel good. They don't want to give that up.

      The problem is that dairy products are unhealthy for humans past infancy, and for more than just weight problems.

      Now that I am healthier on a vegan diet, I find it pretty easy to stick with.

      In the early days, I was encouraged by the lessons from The China Study by Prof. Colin Campbell. His research covers many aspects of health, but the chapter that stays with me the most is the one on the correlation between cancer and animal-source diets. Foods from animal sources don't cause cancer, but they fertilize it.

      •  sometimes i go vegan- (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral, mkor7, sobermom, Larin, True North

        i really do look and feel better when i stick with it. it's way easier now. when i was in my teens health food stores had hardly anything- now when i go to the grocery store i have to choose which brand of soymilk or vegan tofu dogs to buy. what a difference a few decades has made.

        they even have vegan mayonaise now! i ran out, so i put hellman's on my veggie bacon blt this morning.

        thanks for what you wrote- maybe i'll try to start another vegan attempt today.


        "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

        by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I made the trip to veganism by the long way around: omnivore, demitarian, pescetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, and then vegan. I wish I'd taken some short cuts, but I'm glad I finally got here.

          Becoming vegan is the best health decision I've ever made.

          You are so right that there are many more resources that are readily available now. It is a lot easier than it used to be.

          I recently watched a documentary that combines a lot of humor with information: Vegucated, by Marisa Miller Wolfson. (I found it on Netflix, Canadian version--I don't know if American Netflix has it.) She's a mid-westerner who moved to New York. She was an omnivore who became a vegan.

          Marisa recruited three volunteers, all omnivores, who agreed to switch to a vegan diet, cold turkey. She follows them through all the consequences: what the heck do vegans eat? what do you do about families and holidays and expectations? what do you get out of it? any health changes? and so on. Clearly, they were all interested in trying it, willing to give it their best shot, but they're dubious about whether it will work for them.

          I really enjoyed the documentary, partly because Marisa and the volunteers bring a lot of humor and charm to the experiment, and partly because the volunteers are genuinely interested in going vegan, but far from sure that they'll adopt it long-term.

          Some books really influenced my decision to make that last move to veganism. Two, in particular, were Colin Campbell's The China Study and Howard Lyman's Mad Cowboy. Lyman was a fifth generation Montana cattle rancher (and dairy owner, and feedlot owner) who ended up as the president of the International Vegetarian Union.

          In fact, I decided to drop the dairy and eggs and become a full-fledged vegan as a result of listening to a CBC radio interview with Howard Lyman one Sunday morning.

          •  i'll have to read those books- (0+ / 0-)

            for me what makes it hard is i love dairy. i can buy kosher ice "cream" or eat sorbet, but i miss cheese and butter and sour cream.

            i've tried baking w/ out butter, or using substitutes, but i miss the real thing. i can only last so long.

            i first went vegan about 25 years ago- i go back and forth.

            "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

            by thankgodforairamerica on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 06:40:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  There is a synthetic pheremone for that. One for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North

        dogs, one for cats, one for horses and one for humans.

        I don't know where you can buy the human one but I know some pediatricians use them in their exam room in plug in form.

        For dogs they are called Comfort Zone DAP for cats Fel-A-Way.

        I have/had a kind of cancer that is estrogen positive so there is some controversy over wheteher I should keep eating soy the way I have daily for the last 20 years.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:24:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, who knew? (0+ / 0-)

          I had no idea that somebody came up with a synthetic pheremone.

          I've spoken to so many friends and acquaintances who tell me they can't possibly contemplate life without cheese--and it is almost always cheese they identify as the dairy product without which life would become unbearable.

          I understood that feeling better when I learned about the substance in milk that makes babies feel good. It's not that easy being a baby, a tad clueless in the early days, who has to expend a lot of effort to nurse. Mother Nature clearly doesn't want them to slack off.

          As to soy: I haven't had your experience, but I'm certainly familiar with the argument.

          One book I read suggested avoiding products with the isoflavones and sticking to soy products, like tofu, that are less processed and don't feature isoflavones.

          Research still seems to be underway on that whole question.

      •  Cheese is unhealthy? Doesn't seem the case (0+ / 0-)

        for me, admittedly.

        I have a lowered-carb way-of-eating.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:07:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on what your definition of healthy is (0+ / 0-)

          Typical cheeses are 70% fat, and most of that is saturated fat. Indeed, cheese is the biggest source of saturated fat in the American diet.

          High in cholesterol. Fiber? Nope.

          Lots of people love the taste of cheese, I'll grant you that.

          Those who like the taste of cheese and who aren't worried about high levels of saturated fat or cholesterol won't see these as negatives.

          •  Perspectives can differ and both be fine (0+ / 0-)

            My HDL level is great, same for my triglycerides.  LDLs are moderate - since moving to a higher-fat/higher-protein/lower-carb way-of-eating 10 years ago, my LDL went from borderline to a far better level.  Cholesterol is not a problem with this type of diet balance.

            My carb intake is almost exclusively green or mustard-family vegetables, lower-sugar fruits, nuts and occasional grains.

            Cheese fits neatly into my diet and helps me feel satisfied before feeling full, quickly.  I certainly enjoy the variety available to sample during small snacks in my workday.

            Coincidentally, when I was very close to a vegan way of eating by both doctor's+nutritionist's advice years ago, I eventually gained 20 pounds, my irritable bowel syndrome went into full gear and cholesterol levels were a mess.

            I was fortunate to find a better path for my body after research and some trial+error, etc. but that doesn't mean I expect the same impacts or results for everyone.  Different nutritional styles for what works per person, I feel.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:54:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Meh. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Opinions on dairy or any other food group can differ, but when it comes to losing weight or going from a very unhealthy way of eating to a one that you can live sustainably on for the rest of a normal lifespan, discussions of the benefits of veganism are sort of beside the point.

        It's not necessary to make such drastic changes (as veganism would be for most people) to lose weight, nor to return to a normal level of health and fitness.  For many people, large changes could even be deleterious to their more pressing goals, since they could be harder to sustain for the long term and encourage dropping the whole thing as impossible.

  •  Good for you. (14+ / 0-)

    80 lbs in three years is nothing to sneer at, since you achieved that weight loss, apparently, not through crash dieting, but through realistic behavior modification.

    I qualify as life-long slim, at one time able to inhale anything without affecting my clothing size, though my (late 40s) metabolism has clearly slowed. Eating prudently for my frame is taking a bit more effort than it used to.

    I agree with you that never allowing yourself "treats" is no way to go. It's punitive. Long ago,  I told myself that if I need to go out and get a brownie at 9 pm, it is perfectly OK. As a result, it's not an area of anxiety for me. I eat few brownies, and I don't feel guilty about the ones I do indulge in. I also think there's something to the advice, if you DO want to splurge, of going for the very best quality you can afford--be it wine, steak, chocolate, or whatever.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:32:56 AM PDT

    •  80 lbs... EIGHTY Pounds! (9+ / 0-)

      Holy crap!  80lbs is a LOT of weight and taking 3 years+ to bleed it off is a totally reasonable goal and deserves massive congratulations.

      Go to the gym and pick up an 80lb dumbbell.  Go to Home Depot and pick up an 80lb bag of concrete and imagine strapping a backpack on with that bag of concrete in it and wearing it 24/7/365.   I see why gaining weigh promotes gaining more weight because I would definitely avoid anything involving physically moving that mass around.

      What is total delusional lunacy is the assumption that it can be undone in 3 months with the expectation of the loss being maintainable.  The Biggest Loser probably does more damage than good in promoting the mainstream mindset that this type of thing can be undone quickly... meh, nothing to worry about, I saw 'a guy' on TV lose it.

      I've gone from 255 down to 235 over the course of a couple years with:
         The exercise I need
         The assumption that I've gained lean muscle mass at the same time
         A bit of food knowledge
         Some behavior modification
         The acknowledgment that it took 3 decades to gain the weight

      I'm quite happily looking forward to more, 215 would be nice.  But where do those recommendations come from?  Is 190 as suggested reasonable if I want to keep my hard fought muscle gains?

    •  Yesssss (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larin, karmsy

      on that last point.  If I'm going to have a dessert these days it's going to be worth it!

  •  I do a lot of that but I find that I know where (10+ / 0-)

    the stores are that sell the crap I like and I veer in without being able to stop.

    I'm working with my therapist on this. She is a cognitive therapist, so has me wirte down all the reasons I want to eat healthy.
    ~to wear the cool clothes I like
    ~to be able to cross my legs
    ~to prevent a recurrance from cancer

    Someone gave me a bag of caramels and I was going to bake something with them for Gilda's club and get them out of my house. But I started eating them instead.
    As I ate each one I would argue with it:
    Me: I want to eat healthy...
    Caramel : Fuck off
    Me:I want to eat healthy...
    Caramel: Shut up
    Me: I want to eat healthy...
    Caramel: What does that have to do with eating caramels.

    So I went back to my therapist to tell her this wasn't working. She told me to leave the room, and take a few deep breaths and repeat the reasons I want to eat healthy.

    Once home again, I realized how nuts this was. Did she think caramels weren't mobile? That I had such a big bag I couldn't carry it to the next room with me? Jeez.

    I don't really want to eat healthy, I just want to lose weight. I like your wide variety of suggestions.

    And congratulations!

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:42:27 AM PDT

    •  When your caramel tells you (29+ / 0-)

      to fuck off or to shut up, open a window and throw that one across the street. Pick another one from the bag. If that one also tells you to fuck off, throw it across the street, too. Keep going until you find a nice caramel that will ask to be eaten politely and let you make the decision.

      If you don't want to eat healthy, then telling yourself you want to is what's not working. Use the other reasons, instead.

      You: I want to be able to cross my legs
      Caramel: Fuck off
      You: Really, I want to be able to wear cool clothes
      Caramel: Shut up
      You: You shut up! Do you want my cancer to recur?
      Caramel: Well... I... What does that have to do with me?
      You: You know damn well what it has to do with you.

      You see, you don't really want to eat healthy, but you do want those other things. The reason your caramels win the arguement now is that you are lying to them. Carmels can always tell. Tell them the truth, you will win.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:09:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the thing is- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, Orinoco

      caramels are the perfect combination of sugar, fat and salt. of course you can't not eat them when they're right there.

      "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

      by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:09:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  couple thoughts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not really suggestions, just thoughts.

      One -- it's possible to set yourself up for success at times like driving past those stores by having a more proper snack with you at the time.  This is what I do now whenever I think I might be out at a time when I am hungry, which is when all the extraneous food-related thoughts come creeping in.

      Two -- number one won't do jack shit if you don't really want to avoid the food temptation as a goal in itself.  So maybe figure out what healthy (or healthier) ways of living you actually do want to work into your life, for their own sake.  For example: say hypothetically you really don't enjoy drinking soda all that much (too gassy), but you do it out of habit, because it's what you're used to.  You could decide to cut that out of your life as a habit, which would help you toward your lifestyle goals but also be an appealing end in itself.  And it's possible that once you'd done that you'd find something else small that you want to change, but even if you don't, at least the soda's gone.  That sort of thing.

      I can't shut up about this, haha.  Sorry!

  •  i think you're onto something with this: (13+ / 0-)
    There's a school of thought in dieting called "eating naturally" which states that if you are craving ice cream and you know you are going to give in, eat the ice cream for the main course. I'm not saying that's a good idea every night, but once in a while it's a lot better to eat a pint of ice cream for dinner than to eat a whole dinner and then add the pint of ice cream.
    my friends almost w/out exception think i'm weird for not making my daughters finish whatever meal we're eating in order to have dessert. my theory about making kids clean their plate before dessert is that it makes you eat past the point of fullness twice- first the meal, then the dessert. i don't think my daughters have ever had that sensation.

    i really do let my girls eat what they want, when they want. if it's dinnertime and they don't want what i made, i don't make them eat w/ me. later i'll see them sitting in the living room eating tomatoes like apples while they watch full house. i keep a lot of fruit and berries in the fridge and on the kitchen counter- my only rule is they have to wash it before they can eat it.

    my 9 yo daughter requested i buy almonds- she's working her way through the 3lb bag i bought at costco.

    we were at a birthday party yesterday, and my kids were the only slender girls at the party. one of them handed me back her slice of birthday cake because she didn't want it. both of them picked through their party favor bags and removed the candy they didn't like and gave it to me.

    my kids are nothing like me when it comes to food- i'll eat anything sweet if it's in my reach, whether i like it or not. so i ate my daughter's slice and mine.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:05:06 AM PDT

  •  Congrats! My dad and my brother. (11+ / 0-)

    My overweight grandfather died of a heart attack at 56; my dad was 12. My father's only brother, overweight, died of a heart attack at 59; at the time I was 8 and my brother was 3, and my dad was seriously overweight.

    Dad could see the handwriting on the wall, lost 60 pounds, and was never overweight again.

    My brother was overweight in high school, lost the extra at age 18 with exercise and sensible diet, is now 47 and has never been overweight since.

    It can be done! And it looks like you're doing it! Outstanding!

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:23:30 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, SuWho, Larin

    That's awesome! You actually have a very good understanding of dieting and weight loss. At the end of the day, it does come down to calories consumed versus calories burned and now and then, it's not so bad to just eat dessert for dinner. :)

    Keep doing what you're doing. You should be really proud of yourself.

  •  This is helpful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, srkp23, MeToo

    It was posted by someone else on this site, but it works:

    After a month or so of avoiding sugar, the cravings go away.  For real.  In fact, you start craving vegetables.  I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't experience it.

    •  thanks! just watched it! motivating! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:56:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. The food pyramid is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch

      They could make it much better by loping off the whole bottom of it- we don't need grains unless we want to fatten up.

      Some of the links I posted earlier are at the end of the Slim Simple video. I hope Jonathan Bailor's effort gets into the brains of our teenagers. Best to avoid the bad food propaganda out there...

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:10:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It took me three days. (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously.  I don't believe that it's necessary to cut out sugary things entirely to achieve enduring weight loss (much less "hidden" sugar, like in milk and whole fruit), but as it happened I pretty much did (down to like 1% of what I had been eating on the overt-sugar scale), and the real physical desire to eat things like muffins and ice cream and cookies went away in three DAYS.  And it's never come back, even when I do things like have a slice of birthday cake at a party as a once-in-a-month sort of thing.  I still get that wistful "oh wouldn't a cookie be nice" thing every so often, especially when I'm hungry, but that's easy for me to deal with.  

      Three days!

      •  Did you also... (0+ / 0-)

        ...become more sensitive to sweetness?  I was on Atkins for a number of years, which means pretty much no sugar at all.  Not only did I not crave sweet stuff, but my taste buds seemed to become more sensitive to it.  I remember tasting ketchup and doing a double-take -- I couldn't believe how cloyingly sweet it was.  I was checking the label to make sure I hadn't mistakenly picked up tomato syrup.  

        It is shocking how much sugar is added to the food we buy just because people seem to demand that everything be sweetened. And I think that's only because they've gotten used to it.

        •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bill W, Caipirinha

          Though I already was, in a way -- the sweets I overindulged on weren't the most sweet options out there, but rather a couple of steps down.  It was the combination of sweet and fat that got to me most.

          But yeah, the birthday cake my mother made for me a couple of weeks ago tasted very, very, very sweet.  And stuff like the fruit at the bottom of the yogurt I like, which I have been leaving in the cup out of habit anyway, doesn't taste as appetizing to me as it used to.

          I've seen any number of comments from people coming to the US the first time and talking about how sweet everything is, and they're not talking cupcakes.  They're talking things like ordinary bread, or the sweetness of the condiments on a hamburger.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      In fact after my indulgence weekends, I crave chocolate for the next few days. When the cloud lifts, I am fine again and able to go back to my system.

      Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

      by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:00:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've had some success with one day fasts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't report long term success, because I got the idea from this article in the NYTimes.  The idea is that you eat nothing (or almost nothing) for a couple of days a week, and eat normally the other 5 days.

    I have found that it is easier for me to deal with the hunger pangs, knowing that it is just for a day, than to moderate my intake as much as I need to day in and day out.  I would guess this won't work at all if you pig out on your "days off," and also it could backfire terribly if you go without eating all day and then have a massive high calorie meal in the evening.  (Calories taken within 2 hours of sleeping are more likely to be stored as fat.)

    Universal Health Care - it's coming, but not soon enough!

    by DrFood on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:38:42 AM PDT

  •  Congrats dude! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, paulacvdw, Larin, jusjtim35

    I know the feeling, I have been up and down with my weight. Currently on the downward path. No, I don't do everything exactly the same as you do but who cares, it's working. I'm also not 'dieting,' though. A diet presumes an end to the diet. I see it more as a permanent change for the sake of health, and the weight will do what it will.

    We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

    by tytalus on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:39:23 AM PDT

  •  Nice diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, TrueBlueMajority, Larin, howd, jusjtim35

    Congrats on your progress.

    It is hard to write these without being condescending or trollish, good job on that.

    I have lost more than 50lbs about a dozen times, have lost 80 lbs or more probably 3-4 of those times.  In one case, I lost 100 lbs and kept it off for about 4 years, by year 5 it was all back.  Similar methods... for me they work for so long, and then they don't.  Usually it starts with some bad life event, overwhelming stress, and I just can't find the strength to deprive myself anymore.  Then it snowballs and becomes progressively harder.  Not trying to be negative, that's just my experience.   I always worry when I hear someone tell how they found the perfect system, that it won't last for them either.  For me, it is definitely a lifelong struggle, neither simple or easy.

    Your system sounds much more realistic than many, accepting that perfection isn't possible.   I wish you continued success.

    You don't mention exercise at all, do you do any?  I add quite a bit of exercise when I am trying to lose weight.    When I am doing "good" I do about 20 hrs a week, when I am doing "bad" I still do at least 5.   I feel like more exercise makes me feel good.  Eating healthy/less does not make me feel good--it makes me feel hungry and deprived.  So adding exercise is the easier side of the equation, but really I have to keep a good diet too or I will never lose.

    •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)
      Usually it starts with some bad life event, overwhelming stress, and I just can't find the strength to deprive myself anymore.  Then it snowballs and becomes progressively harder.  Not trying to be negative, that's just my experience.   I always worry when I hear someone tell how they found the perfect system, that it won't last for them either.  For me, it is definitely a lifelong struggle, neither simple or easy.
      I can trace the times I've gained a lot of weight in a relatively short period of time to moments, but when I'm inside the bubble and the demon has me in it's grips I cannot see clearly.

      Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

      by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:03:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish you continued luck and comfort. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for sharing.

  •  Good to hear, you're not alone (8+ / 0-)

    Glad to know that others have faced the same situation and have found what works for them. 18 months ago I weighed in at 350 pounds (I'm 5'7") and size 52 plus waist wearing 3X and 4X shirts.

    Now I wear 42"-44" jeans and only 2XL shirts and weigh just south of 240lbs. Like you I still need to lose more and am working to get under 200lbs.

    Stupid Is As Republican Does

    by VinBacchus on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:58:13 AM PDT

  •  With the understanding that everyone processes (7+ / 0-)

    information differently, I lose weight completely different than you.

    Being a "business professional", I long ago learned the basics of "what get's measured, get's done."  Secondly, what you want to do is achieve lag measures but act on the lead measures.

    Applying those simple business (and life) lessons, the path becomes fairly clear.  When I need to lose weight, I:

    1.  Weigh myself at least every Monday.
    2.  I set a sensible weight loss goal each week.  Usually only 1 pound.
    3.  Since I want to act on the lead measures, I want to keep track of the two most important lead measures; how much I eat and how much I workout.
    4.  Since I don't want to count calories I use proxies and in my case I keep track of how many beers and cokes I drink, and how many times I eat fast food.  I also keep track of how many times I go and exercise, which, in my case, means going to the gym.
    5.  I track this information in a spreadsheet that is really easy to do since I'm only collecting a few data points each day.

    It's really easy to do and the bottom line is that if I just slightly cut down on beer, coke and fast food and exercise a few days a week, the weight comes off.  When I don't track this stuff, I tend to drink too much and not exercise enough without really being too conscious of it.

    For the overwhelming majority of people, this is something that works wonders but, as I said, people process information differently and I can see how this is more appealing to data driven people.  But acting on lead measures and measuring what you want to have done is a well proven "trick" to being productive and efficient.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:58:55 AM PDT

  •  Congrats! I listen to Fat 2 Fit Radio podcast... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    one of 8, Larin

    ...What you do sounds much like want they encourage. Co-host Russ Turley was about 300 lbs and has lost about 100 lbs and more importantly, of course, is keeping it off. As you say a key is to only lose about a pound a week, avoiding all rapid weight loss which destroys muscle mass.

    Unfortunately the other co-host has medical issues right now and can't platticipate but they just started up with another co-host. They basically scoured the scientific and medical data on eating and nutrition and, like you, do not diet but say to eat like the thin person you want to be. I'd heard about Fat 2 Fit on a podcast that critiques, in part, current  scientific and medical research. If you haven't heard their podcast, they'd probably love to hear from you. You sound like their kind of success story and in fact your plan should work for everyone.

  •  Congratulations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All the best in your fitness journey.

    My first book "I Married My Cousin!" has Daily Kos masthead on the cover and a narrative dedicated to Markos Moulitsas and Kossacks.

    by Mysoreback on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:01:00 AM PDT

  •  This is easier: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randtntx (watch this movie on Netflix streaming... it's the older version. on the site he posted the extra five minutes regarding eliminating wheat) (wheat is not. But, it is scary.)  ( fat is good, slow is good, we aren't designed to process carbs like crazy) ( a fun wiki that is just smart)

    Carbs cause the inflammation that leads to heart disease, arthritis, and all the rest. I'm beginning to think that auto-immune diseases are 99% of the time modern food diseases. Hybrids are best for cars, not grains.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:11:03 AM PDT

    •  Carbohydrates are necessary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MeToo, TrueBlueMajority, mkor7

      Necessary, but we must eat good carbs, complex carbohydrates with a low glycemic load.

    •  Meh again. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is about weight loss, not about whatever the current trend of thinking is in terms of optimal health.  For weight loss, all most people need to do is eat less -- and they'll have the most success at keeping up that "less" if they don't try to go to any extreme measures they're not comfortable with for life, right off the bat.

      •  Yep... (0+ / 0-)

        I eat wheat. I eat fat. I eat sugar. I eat salt. I eat beef. I eat pork. I love food. I eat it all. I just make sure my caloric intake is roughly right for a given week/day, but again, I'm not fanatical about it.

        Everything in moderation...

        What seems "easy" isn't always so and any "fad diet" program will come back and bite you the minute you stop following it.

        Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

        by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:08:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "the minute you stop following it" (0+ / 0-)

          Of course, that's true of any kind of plan, "fad diet" or otherwise.  
          For me, the moderation is the toughest part.  That's what I liked about being on Atkins some years ago.  I didn't have to limit myself to a half a potato or one slice of bread.  I didn't have any potato or bread, period.  In a way, that's easier for me.

  •  Bravo to you! (0+ / 0-)

    Please keep sharing your fitness journey.  It is instructive and inspiring to others.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Keeping weight off (5+ / 0-)

    There are may ways to lose weight successfully but keeping it off is the challenge. I've come to the same conclusions as the OP. I monitor my weight by my clothes. I can wear jeans I wore 20 years ago. Every now and then I get on a scale out of curiousity. Snacks are treacherous and I, too, have learned to eat fruit instead of cheese and crackers.  No cottage cheese for me anymore. It makes me feel bloated.  I also seriously limited carbs ... pasta, potatoes, rice are no nos. I will eat some of the potato skin if my husband shares. He likes chips, breads and cookies. They have limited appeal and I'd be happy if they were not in the house.  When I occasionally go out for lunch, I order what I enjoy.  At home  I use a salad plate for my lunch or dinner to make my small portions look bigger.

  •  Ironic to read all this. (0+ / 0-)

    And none of you need a scold, so I won't offer one.

    Suffice to say major, unintended weight loss happens, too, and for reasons most of you can guess.  I don't mean illness.

    (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 12.6 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:23:44 AM PDT

  •  more then anything people need a system and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, SeekCa

    need to find what works for them

    congulations and i wish you further success

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:24:08 AM PDT

  •  My system is similar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    one of 8, FiredUpInCA, missLotus

    I don't really count calories, but I read the labels when I shop, and I avoid foods too high in fat calories or loaded with salt or high fructose corn syrup.  I seem to have willpower when I shop but not once the food is in the house, so I make sure my kitchen is stocked mostly with healthy foods... fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.  That, and some moderate exercise has done wonders for my weight and health.

    Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

    by protothad on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:26:18 AM PDT

    •  What is really nice (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, protothad, srkp23, missLotus

      is that even a little bit of exercise will do wonders for my spirits.  If I walk 20 minutes at lunch, I have noticed that I have more energy later in the afternoon/evening, that I sleep better, and generally am in a better mood.  For such a minimal investment, I get great returns.

      The only wonder is why I don't do it every day.  

      •  you can break it up and still get benefits (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protothad, Larin, missLotus

        my nutritionist says to count any walking that is more than 3 minutes at a time, and try to add up the pieces to get 30 minutes a day.

        doing that has encouraged me to walk more.  to get off the bus one stop early.  to get on the bus one stop farther away.  lots of little bits of walking to get up to my 30 minutes.  i don't manage to do it every day, but just attempting it is giving me more exercise than I was getting.

        when I started this, even a three minute walk was a challenge.  Now I can do 7 minutes without any effort, and can walk 15 minutes easily with just a short rest after 7.  I am stretching the distance I can walk comfortably.  I used to take three buses to work and the last bus only took me two stops.  Now if I see the last bus isn't coming for 10 minutes I think "I can walk it in that amount of time" and I head off down the street.

        my weight loss has been VERY slow and people around me are giving me a hard time that it isn't going faster.  But I feel so much better and have so much more energy.  Just being able to walk short distances without feeling like an invalid has done wonders for me psychologically.  I am not where I want to be but I am going in the right direction

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great tip (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larin, TrueBlueMajority

          When I started back with walking, I too would get very breathless and uncomfortable even after a few minutes of walking.  But our bodies are really quite amazing -- because after just a week, I noticed a difference.  Could walk for five minutes comfortably, then 6, then 7.  

          What I do when I feel like skipping my walk is tell myself that I can just walk for 3 minutes one way, then turn around.  That would at least be a six minute walk.  Sometimes that's all I do.  But mostly after 3 minutes, I can talk myself into 4, then 5, and now 10.  I'm still huffing and puffing after a 20-minute walk, but it takes less time for my heart rate to get back to normal than when I first started.  Plus, I just walked 20 minutes :)

          Next, I want to work on going up and especially down stairs without having something to hold onto.  Baseball season is here, and my son and I love to go to the games when we can.  But I dread dealing with going down stairs when there is no railing.  Am determined to get my leg muscles into better shape.

          •  i have a strong leg and a weak leg (0+ / 0-)

            years of going up and down stairs one step at a time (stepping up or down one step, then bringing the other foot to join it on the same step) has made my left leg MUCH stronger than the right.  So I consciously use the weak leg for climbing sometimes, and try to walk up stairs normally a couple of times a week.  the weak leg (more aptly the weak thigh) is getting stronger, but slowly.  I'd give anything for a means of exercise that would focus more on those big thigh muscles, like a recumbent bike or something, but it is still my calves that do most of the work when I am walking.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:25:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do your thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Don't let the trolls get you down. When I moved from NC to CA, I had lost about 20 pounds 6 months later I was down another 20 and we walked to a restaurant for dinner. It was about 1.5 miles each way. On my way home I commented that when I first moved to CA I couldn't have done it. What works for you works for you. Lose weight for you not to please your trolling friends. Tell them bluntly if they don't like your weight loss, feel free to STFU.

          Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

          by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:11:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  At NN12 I was able to make the walk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            from the WaterFire to the place where the tenth anniversary party was.  It was only about a mile, and it was hard, and I had to stop and rest three times, but I made it, and it added to the thrill of the evening!

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:05:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  "Why we get fat... (5+ / 0-)

    And what to do about it" by Gary Taubes was the start of my own weight loss, though admittedly, at 20 pounds or so, I'm not in your league.
    -No calorie counting - eat when hungry
    -Not a "diet", rather a way of eating
    -Extensive, sound, scientific basis
    No connection, just highly satisfied with my outcomes, so far (182 lbs >> 160 lbs current (@ 5'9"), off my blood pressure meds-YAY!).

  •  Read this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Realizing that there is no magic bullet for weight loss, nor one single villain on the grocery shelves, read Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food."  (And, what is food?)

  •  First of all Congratulations... (7+ / 0-)

    Losing weight, by any method, is not easy....

    Almost ten years ago I had gastric bypass surgery.... I was 310 and 5'3" tall.  I could not comfortably reach my own ass.  Serendipitously, I briefly had insurance that covered the procedure and lived close to a doctor who it turns out, was the gold standard in performing the procedure laparscopically and in my case my very conservative PCP recommended it for me.

    I don't recommend it for everyone without reservations but I did lose 160 lbs, over half my beginning weight.  It wasn't easy, it was a long process that consumed me.  I still eat small portions, concentrate on protein, keep unhealthy snacks out of the house.  If I want something verbotten, I eat one or two bites.  I'm totally hybridized, my body no longer resembles a regular body internally and I have had a few complications... sugar or fats can make me "dump" or just kind of not feel so good, want to lie down and sleep it off, and not taking my vitamins for awhile left me dangerously anemic and low in D and B12, but my life is so much better now.  I have gained back about 30 lbs but I'm chunky now, not super morbidly obese.

    The best long lasting technique that worked and still worked is limiting portions.  I use very small dishes and toddler sized utensils.  I have collected a variety of tiny plates and bowls.  To keep them, I bought a little oak and glass CD cabinet that matches my kitchen and I keep my tiny dishes in a tiny cabinet.  I use dessert bowls for soups and chili.  A large meal, such as a holiday meal, is eaten on a six inch plate, taking a few bites of everything but no huge portions.  

    Good luck to you and keep up the good work.  And get rid of those big dinner plates :-)

    •  you are so courageous to write this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      one of 8, Larin

      so I will stand with you in some of what you have said, especially the brave statement that you could not comfortably reach your own ass.  I could not comfortably reach my own ass either, and now I can.  Every time I shower I give thanks for that.  It seems like a small thing, but we who have been there know there are no small victories.

      i also use smaller plates and tiny forks and spoons!

      i got scared at the last minute and did not have the bypass surgery, but the other techniques are working for me.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I lost weight when I went gluten free - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, MeToo, Randtntx

    that's partly because I'm also sensitive to other grains so I couldn't just replace one grain with another.  Basically I decreased my grain intake by about 85% (which caused me to decrease my fat intake about the same as I ate most of my fat with grain).  That and the fact that I really don't care for sweets - my crave/trigger food was bread, especially homemade fresh bread.  Unfortunately I do have to keep track of my calories - it's surprising how difficult it is for me to get enough calories when I eat mostly lean meats, steamed veggies, and fresh fruit - and I keep a few things like ice cream in the house for when I run short.

    Everybody is different and my system would never work for you and yours sure as heck wouldn't work for me (hypoglycemic - I have to eat those 5 to 6 small meals a day) - the real secret is as you said, find a system that works for you and stick with it.  Congratulations.

  •  Great advice (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, BachFan, Larin, howd

    I lost 67lbs last year doing the vary same thing you did (eating sensible, making slow changes over time). Although I will say I was diagnosed as diabetic so I had to drop the weight fast( atleast 30 lbs by end of last years - I went from 360 to 310 in 5 month). But your principle holds true - cut calories, have some splurge days, and exercise. Those three will allow to lose weight and keep off.

    And you are so right about keep the triggers out of the house. Number one cause of gaining the weight back is snack. My basic day is shake for breakfast (spinach, fruit, stevia, protein powder, and a teaspoon of olive oil - sometimes I'll add some bran nugget to the shake just to get a little more fiber). I make lunch my biggest meal since that when your metabolism is running on all cylinders, so usually I eat a salad with grill chicken, steak, turkey, or shrimp. And for dinner I usually eat soup and crackers. There has been alot of studies released that say if you increase your protein that also help you maintain your weight (whether animal or plant, more protein is the key)

    The only absolute I have is ABSOLUTELY NO SOFT DRINKS. I haven't had a soda in a year. And I do think that's why I have been able to keep the weight off for a year (and counting).

    I need not thank the rich for the crumbs they have tossed me, rather, I curse them for the bread stolen from our tables. -- MinistryOfTruth

    by sephius1 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:56:44 AM PDT

    •  I recently cut out soda (0+ / 0-)

      I was a diet soda drinker, but over the last several months I have cut it out. I just switched to Pellagrino Italian style sodas but found them too cloying and over flavoered/sweetened so I am now trying their plain and just adding a wedge of fruit/lemon/orange. Not sure I'll stay with it, but I can't see myself going back to being a regular soda drinker though I still have diet soda with lunch when I eat out.

      Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

      by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Glad to hear of your success (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, BachFan, jusjtim35

    I know first hand how difficult it can be to lose weight, as I have been fighting this for years.  I definitely agree that each person has to figure out a way that works for them in the long term.  An eating pattern that you can live with and be satisfied.

    For me, I've incorporated a variety of small changes to my eating habits over time, starting with cutting way back on fast food.  It's totally gross anyway, weight issues aside.  (I still grab an In-and-Out burger from time to time.)  

    Other changes that have helped include having dinner early.  The earlier the better -- I've even had dinner at 4:00.  

    Going to bed earlier - helps avoid late night snacking.

    If I do snack after dinner - I have unsweetened applesauce in the fridge, or a piece of string cheese.  I'll eat left over cold chicken.  I'll make a fresh cup of coffee and have two pieces of Hershey's chocolate.  Mainly, I try to avoid chips, crackers, breads, pastries, etc.  

    The most recent change is that I try to walk 20-30 minutes, 3 times per week.  The weather is getting nicer and so there's no reason I can't take a short walk at lunch.  I really have to push myself sometimes - which is sad, because I used to love walking.  I think as I get in better shape, I'll come to love it once again.

    Keep up the good work!

  •  Really good diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuWho, TrueBlueMajority, Larin

    I'm in the middle of this myself. It is great to hear tips from someone who has actually been there and knows what they're talking about and what people go through when they have a lot of weight to lose. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

    by LaraJones on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00:18 AM PDT

  •  I have several limiting factors on my weight loss. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, Larin

    I am hypothyroid. While I am taking supplemental hormone, I still just tend to "run slow" in general.

    I am crippled. Adding in long walks (which are free, and therefore affordable) for exercise is pretty much right out; I have to use my standing budget to try to do housework, with frequent non-weight-bearing breaks.

    And I have IBS which objects to a wide swath of vegetables.

    I also have a history of disordered eating, which complicates the process of dieting mentally.

    But I have dropped forty pounds, gained it back due to some depression and consequent eating whatever, and have dropped fifteen so far. I want to get down to around 180, which is suitable for a large Scandinavian frame such as mine, and that would be 80 more pounds as of today.

    I am doing it all with diet. I can't do tricks like eating a salad every day, or the IBS kicks in (salad is once a week for me), but one thing that helped is buying smaller dishes for my food. It helps me to snack (about 100 cal) between meals but on a schedule, because that keeps me from being RAVENOUS when I sit down to eat the meal itself. I substitute lower-calorie-density foods in places where I can. For example, I've learned to eat baked chips with sandwiches that "require" them, and to like my toast with just some nice homemade jam. It doesn't actually require the butter. But if my taste buds had said it did, that would have been that; if I feel "deprived", I go bad places in my head.

    Portion control is the really difficult thing. I have portioning scoops and a scale for meat, just to keep myself on track. By now I have intellectual faith that really, that will satisfy me, and I don't need three times that. It's important to me to have fat and flavor with my meals, because it keeps me feeling like I'm not deprived. Similarly, at this point it seems to be important that I eat ice cream. They make 100 calorie ice cream cups, so it works in quite nicely as the 9 pm evening snack before the late evening supper. (We are on second shift.) I don't dare just get in a gallon of ice cream, because I can't portion it out to myself in a rational manner, and I eat too much.

    I also reduce my soda consumption to two a day; when I get up, and when I get up from the nap. (I do not drink coffee.) Otherwise, I have a water glass, and off and on I flavor it with one of the water enhancers. That makes drinking water instead much simpler. (I also have to walk farther to get the sodas than I do the water.)

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:17:43 AM PDT

  •  Nice going! (0+ / 0-)

    It's mostly great to know that you could decide to do it, come up with a strategy, and succeed ... am I right?

    I think your approach is practical.  Just try to eat well and get active and stick to it.  The diets don't work.  Steady attention to common sense does.

    I do find that some data is a good feedback loop for me.  I check my weight every day, and got great feedback from a FitBit I used for a year that I was getting some base level of activity in every day.  (I then lost the FitBit, and at $100 each I'm not getting another, but after a year the habits are pretty much in place).

    Keep it up.  Healthy is where its at.

  •  The person lost weight on a diet of Hostess snack (0+ / 0-)

    is because they taste terrible!

  •  Congratulations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, Randtntx, srkp23, Larin

    I'm on a diet myself right now. I can call it the California Pissed Off Liberal Diet. It's because of our Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of GMO food. It was defeated with millions of dollars of false propaganda by some of our largest food conglomerates: Kraft, Kellogg's, General Mills, Hershey, Mars, Monsanto, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Smuckers, etc.

    That means I'm on an almost a total boycott of packaged food. I've lost some weight even though I didn't intend, though I can use less gut on my belly. Without that packaged crap, I'm eating quite a bit fewer calories in all. Instead of a candy bar, it's fancy dried fruit, or an orange, or an apple. Real food has lots of fiber which makes me feel full. It's homemade whole wheat sourdough bread instead of packaged bread from the grocery store.

    We're vegetarians, so there's really nothing for us at the fast food joints. Haven't been to those in years.

    If you read the recent article in the NYTimes, "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food", you'll understand that packaged food is engineered to make you eat more — to actually increase your natural appetite. There's really nothing wrong with us. it's industrial food that makes America fat.

    Thanks for the diary.

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:37:33 AM PDT

  •  Never fear about your lost weight -- I found it! (0+ / 0-)

    You're looking at my gut, aren't  you???    I'm working on it!!!

  •  Keep up the good work! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    srkp23, Larin

    You deserve a round of applause for losing that much weight. Wow. I know how hard it is. I've lost about 40 pounds and am within about 5 pounds of my goal weight.

    Your formula works. I have found some things that work for me (everyone is a little different) and I will share them here, repeating a couple of yours especially the PRIME DIRECTIVE:

    1) Expend more calories than you take in.

    2) EXERCISE! That helps with the prime directive! Until I started exercising DILIGENTLY, I was not losing. I exercise to maintain my mobility and to look better. It has helped on both scores.

    3) NO ALCOHOL. Avoid alcohol while you are breaks down your resistance, and also helps your pocketbook.

    4) TRACK IT. Be a little obsessive about it. I know this goes contrary to one school of thought, but it has worked for me. Make your health your priority until you get things back in balance.  I use an app called "Loseit!" where I track all my food and all my exercise. You can scan barcodes and create your own food list, and exercise such as "Walking". At the end of the day you can see whether you have complied with the prime directive. It keeps you on track. You will have slips. Plenty of them. But this keeps you focused on the prime directive. Be a little nutty about your weight loss. This will annoy your friends who want to celebrate EVERYTHING with food and will try, consciously or unconsciously, to pull you off track. But when they give you that look, just look STRAIGHT DOWN AT THEIR GUT and raise your eyebrow.

    5) EVERYTHING OKAY? Get your emotional life in balance. Get help if you possibly can. I did. It has made a difference. Watch those triggers.

    6) MOVE THE CHEESE. I love cheese. Lived in France for awhile. God I love that stuff. THERE IS NONE IN MY HOUSE AND NEVER WILL BE UNTIL I REACH MY GOAL WEIGHT AND MAYBE NOT EVEN THEN. I just can't resist some things. If you can't stay away, keep those things away from you (harder with a family).  There are other things in life beyond great cheese which brings me to 7)

    7) AVOID CENTRALIZING FOOD. Make your life about other things (check emotional balance and what is throwing you off kilter). When you do that, food just becomes fuel and not pleasure central. I have a friend who manages to work meals into every single social activity. While that is fairly natural, I have noticed that my overweight friends do this more effectively than most ("Hey, I have an idea -- let's get together around FOOD! I will bring some 'low calorie' stuff that will throw you off the prime directive so fast your head will spin!").  So, when we get together at a fine restaurant, I may whip out a protein bar rather than indulging. Does that seem obsessive? It did to her. And she would be right. I chose to make our getting together and not the food the object.

    Thanks for the diary. The other thing people who have a goal need help with is support. You've provided a lot of great insight and support to the rest of us! Thank you

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:47:50 AM PDT

    •  No alcohol? How about weed as (0+ / 0-)

      a no calorie diet aid?!  

      comment pending... ;-)

      by paulacvdw on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I quit drinking several years ago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Kind of by accident and decided to stay with it. It does help weight loss to stop drinking if you do. Alcohol is a triple-edged sword.

      It's high in calories

      It slows metabolism

      It gives you the munchies.

      None of those things go well with an effort to lose weight.

      I still have a glass of wine of a fancy beer if I'm out with friends for dinner but I don't drink for effect anymore ever.

      Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

      by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:21:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and kudos too on a nice diary. This sounds like a realistic yet effective plan.

    Dieting advice often comes with an overtone of ascetic self-denial that doesn't square with how we actually relate to food, so it's good to see that you've found a way of working with your own proclivities, rather than against them.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:00:33 PM PDT

  •  I'm on a Paleo diet (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrFood, Randtntx, Larin, jusjtim35

    no grains, no flour, low sugar.  It's very easy, quite healthy and I don't feel deprived.

    Because I have a history of high cholesterol, I don't go overboard with meat - I do lean cuts, a lot of turkey, and fish.   When I have eggs it's one egg yoke and 4 egg whites.

    breakfast:  4oz of lean meat, chicken eggs, or fish; 4oz of fresh fruit, and a small salad w/balsamic vinegar and olive oil

    lunch: 4oz lean meat, chicken or fish, 16 oz of vegetables (!) (some steamed and some as a salad)

    dinner: 4oz lean meat, chicken or fish, 16 oz of vegetables (!) (some steamed and some as a salad)

    snack: 4 oz fruit and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

    Not only have I lost weight quickly (18 pounds in 2 months), I have double the energy I used to have and I feel much more alert mentally.  When I told my doctor, how I was eating, the first thing he asked "Do you notice anything different about your mental concentration? He wasn't surprised when I said I felt much sharper.  

    When I reach my goal (14-19 lbs to go), I'll increase the protein to maybe 5 or 6oz per meal.  I can hardly eat any more vegetables!

    Believe me when I say I feel much better with grains out of my diet.  And because I'm eating 32 oz. of vegetables a day, I'm not feeling hungry all the time.  Someone heavier than I could probably increase the meat portions to 6-8oz and still lose weight fairly quickly, while not feeling deprived.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. -- Susan B. Anthony

    by bluestatesam on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:20:28 PM PDT

  •  Glad this is a subject (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Diana in NoVa, jusjtim35

    But first, congratulations to you both for your efforts and their success.  I so agree one needs to find the right way that works and so much general advice doesn't work for every one.  I also agree that doing this in stages, with adapted strategies is a good idea.

    My highest weight was 250, and at 5'4" I was really fat.  I lost 90 pounds with a medically supervised program and I kept it off for about 8 years, until my daughter got diagnosed with cancer.  I still kept it up for a while, but then my exercise, which was a huge part of the equation, dropped off and I put back on about 60 of it.

    So the last three years have been successive pushes to lose 10% of my body weight at a time.  That framework is what works for me, seems doable.  Then regroup for the next 10%.  

    The first time I was training for the 3 Day Breast Cancer walk and so the high exercise obviously helped.  In addition, I cut salt to just the recommended amount and added sugars to 100 calories a day (there are treats that meet this standard). I read labels.  So that cut out about most processed foods.  I did track what I ate and roughly knew how many calories I was doing a day.  I had had a higher than comfortable blood sugar reading and also blood pressure, so those were motivations.  I lost 40 lbs this way.

    Next, my medical readings improved and that was great.  But I lost that as motivation.  I kept up a lesser pace of exercise, so my weight held steady.  (I received advice years ago that knowing what you need to maintain your weight is more important than knowing at what level of eating and not exercising you gain it, so that was all good.)

    Then this winter, I regained about 12 pounds and my old ways of getting back into the losing mindset weren't working so well.

    I needed a new motivation.  I am science-oriented and very influenced by knowledge.  I had been reading about inflammation and brain health in the aging and since I am 68 and my mother had Alzheimer's, this reaches me.  A friend's daughter told me about a biochemist, a local woman, who is teaching a new/old diet, not oriented directly at weight loss, but at quieting inflammatory processes in our bodies, and since this gibed with what I had been learning elsewhere, I checked it out.  I am very sceptical about named diets, but this one fit with just about everything I knew so far and did not seem doctrinaire, just well founded scientifically. And spreading by word of mouth since the teacher is a local woman.

    It is called the TQI (To Quiet Inflammation) way of eating and I started eating this way two weeks ago.

    It is the easiest actual food program for me that I have found. There is no portion size control, but there is proportionate eating, in the ratios of fruits and vegetables to protein and grains.  For me that is easier than measuring and counting calories.  If you eat this way you will lose weight. Right now there is no processed food at all, because it is a phase of also trying to find out about foods that give symptoms, but I just typed out a list of food additives that are okay, so presumably later that shifts a little.

    There are lots of delicious things left to eat even though I am a very picky eater who doesn't like to cook very much.

    There are three meals a day and two snacks, with a rule of nothing in between, which isn't about losing weight, but about giving your digestive tract and insulin system what they need to work well.  These can be any size and distributed in any way you want, just no eating 3 hours before going to sleep, same reasons.  I do very well when I know the reasons, since I actually do want to be kind to my organs that have worked so hard for me over a lifetime where I haven't been very nice to them.

    This approach does take more food preparation than I was doing, which wasn't much at all. No diet sodas, which have now been shown to work in the body as if they had sugar, hey it's a trick....But something that feels like a dessert every day, even in this first more restricted phase.

    After you get in the habit of eating this way, she recommends, like the diarist, that once or even twice a month you eat whatever you want.  Then return.

    I'm not saying this works for everyone, nothing does, but in case it is interesting to you, the way to look it up is TQI or Kathy Abascal.  You can learn about this just from reading her book, but she does teach a class for those who want the support and it does have an online option.

    I have lost 9 pounds so far, and that is without counting calories or feeling hungry.  And feeling like I can keep this up longer term.  Who knows, but it's a good way to feel right now.

  •  It is wonderful that you've lost 80 pounds, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    justjim.  The thing I like about your diary is not only the good news about your weight loss, but the fact that you say this works for you.

    I've recently reached the conclusion that no one size fits all.  Some diets or eating regimes work for some people, and other people have to find a different way.

    Right now I'm on The Fast Diet, where you eat normally five days a week (although in my case, "normal" doesn't include chips, soda of any kind, or ice cream), and stick to 500 calories a day for two days a week.  I'm hoping this will help me lose the six pounds I need to lose by the last week in April.  I really want to look nice for my son's wedding.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:54:18 PM PDT

  •  Eat less calories than you expend. (0+ / 0-)

    That's really hard when 1200 calories a day puts weight on.

    Good for you.   Big pat on the back.      

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:54:36 PM PDT

  •  Hey, good job! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been on the road to better health myself since mid-December and as a happy side effect have lost about 23 pounds thus far, bringing me to just barely a nudge overweight on the BMI scale.  I'm still losing and at the moment have no idea where it'll all wind up, but I am very happy with how I'm living now.

    I do a lot of things differently from you, but there are some consistencies and I think they're the most important ones.  And the number one thing there is:


    Whether you take it in small steps or all at once, you have to be willing to change your life permanently -- each little change you make has to be for good.  So only commit to what you know you are going to stick with.  If you are overweight and feeling unhealthy, doing anything is better than doing nothing.

    The other thing I really agree with you on is that flexibility is very important.  If the plan is so rigid that any deviation causes you to feel like you have failed and choose between giving up or starting all over from zero, it's a bad plan.  When you look at it as a permanent lifestyle change it's so much easier.  If someone has a given lifestyle six days of the week or 28 days of the month and not the rest of the time, do you still say that her lifestyle is the way she spends the majority of time?  Yes, right?  Well same thing here.  Nothing's a failure, at worst it's a delay.  You don't start over, you just figure out what the problem was (if there even was one) and keep going.

    And one thing you didn't say outright but was implied: when it comes to weight loss it's all about the food.  Exercise is so enormously important for health, but in terms of losing weight it's almost a wash.  It took me a very long time to come to terms with that, but I'm glad I did.

    A few things I don't agree with you on -- snacks are great for me, for instance (I eat 4-6 times a day depending on circumstances .. what I don't do is ever sit down with a bulk container of ANYTHING), but the overall message of avoiding your triggers and making it easier on yourself to live the way you want to live is spot on.  And I'm a fan of the scale, just not the "once a week" thing that most weight loss experts recommend.  My weight goes up and down far too frequently and far too much to weigh myself on that kind of time scale.  I'm actually averaging over 1.5 pounds lost per week doing what I'm doing, but in any given week I could have seen no movement or even a four pound gain if I'd weighed myself at the right (wrong) time, and who needs that kind of stress?  It's just water weight changes, nothing's changed about my lifestyle.  So I weigh myself every day.  I think you have to understand it to put it into proper perspective.  But it's another thing that people are going to have to find out what is comfortable for them.

    It's worth it to get healthy, whatever that means for you.

    •  What works for you works for you (0+ / 0-)

      If 5 small meals a day works for you, go for it. It doesn't work for me because I don't understand the whole concept of "small amounts of food". That's what you feed a cat...

      Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

      by jusjtim35 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:24:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations, but speaking about weighing in, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhecht, Larin, jusjtim35

    I have the opposite thing. Although I don't obsess, I can put on pounds quickly, and without checking a scale, it can really get out of hand. That's what I think happened the second time I had chemo and my son was bringing home leftover soup from the ladies at his place of work. I was very thankful and ate it up, and later discovered I had gained ten pounds which I blamed on the chemo and water retention. However, diuretics didn't help, and I finally decided it must have been overeating. I eventually got rid of the extra ten pounds and then ten more, but I figured it was because I stopped weighing myself for a couple weeks while I was doing chemo. As you say, different people need different plans. For me, keeping track makes me relax, not worry extra.

  •  Two pounds a month !! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    That's the one-half pound a week.

    That is what people can do. Slow and steady. Trying to diet quickly is a 98% recipe for failure.

  •  Have you read Intuitive Eating? It is a book that (0+ / 0-)

    suggests that our body intuitively knows how much of what foods it needs.

    I have nothing to do with them, but my best friend who is a dietitian is pretty impressed with the theory.

    We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

    by Susan Grigsby on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:44:47 PM PDT

  •  These rules are great. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have lost 20 pounds in ten months by following those two simple rules, but I have help.  I use a pedometer which counts my steps  and I do count my calories using myfitnesspal which synchs with the pedometer. The more I move, the more calories I can have.  I was well on my way to getting to my goal when I lost my pedometer last October.  I didn't get another until January and gained back 9 pounds during that time, which I have now lost again.  I do not deny myself any foods I like.  I just keep it strictly calories in and calories out.  My goal is also 1 pound a week.  I find that I have just given up foods that are too calorie laden (Caramel Moolattes come to mind), but I have a meal a week where I just eat what I want. I have come to the honest conclusion that I will always have to watch my food intake and my exercise.  

    "This isn't for the ones who would gladly swallow everything their leaders would have them know". Mary Chapin Carpenter

    by malenda on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:07:20 PM PDT

  •  your post is brave and considering some (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the discussions on this site, responses have been informative and civil.  

    I lost quite a bit of weight last year, 40 pounds and did so under a doctor's supervision and with a coach.  I went weekly and had vitamins, minerals and could purchase some prepackaged meals to go with the ones I prepared myself.

    I now see a therapist to get my head straight about what I have accomplished and to help me maintain a healthy reasonable weight.  There are issues I still need to explore and resolve.  It will be a journey.

    Thanks for sharing your journey, I wish you and all the others out there success on setting and getting to their healthy

    I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgment of Christians,” Wendell Berry.

    by Larin on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:24:49 PM PDT

  •  Popcorn! (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously. I'm a chipaholic, if there's a bag of them in the house it'll last for three days tops.  So I rarely buy chips, having popcorn instead.  And not microwave corn, the real thing popped on the stove.  Not only is it very low in calories, it takes a few minutes to make it, so sometimes I just skip it.

    Haven't lost any weight, but I've maintained the same weight for over 20 years.  I do use a scale, if I get above my target I cut out beer until I'm back.

    I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

    by Russycle on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:32:03 PM PDT

  •  Congrats. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randtntx, jusjtim35

    I lost 56 pounds over a 7 month period starting in the fall of 2011.
    It started as a low carb diet. Then I discovered how many useless  carbs there are in what I call fake food. All the processed food in packages etc.
    It then evolved into just eating as much fresh unprocessed food as possible.

    The mental/will power side of things was critical for me.
    Knowing the foods that are healthy and filling was key.
    Also I like that you mentioned only eating twice daily. I did the same.

    I do moderate exercise regularly but I wanted the weight loss to be more about diet than burring a crap load of calories through strenuous frequent workouts.



    "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here." Marianne Williamson

    by Canadian Green Card Alien on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:48:40 PM PDT

  •  I recommend Esselstyne's book (0+ / 0-)

    "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease"

    I also recommend John McDougall's, "The Starch Solution"

    They both have similar recommendations, nearly identical actually and yes it is vegan and high in carbs.

    There are many diets that are improvements over the standard american diet but that is a pretty low threshold for success.  Esselstyne has worked with patients that have severe heart issues so his advice is for what he believes is a truly optimal diet not just for heart disease but for a wide range of reasons.

    It took me a couple years to get there but at this point i do not eat any processed foods (including those specialty vegan processed foods), no added oils (like for cooking or for any other reason) and i drink only water.  Carbs are the foundation of my diet but they are all whole grain carbs (rarely any wheat or bread) with the exception of 2-3 servings of fruit per day.  In addition I try to eat leafy greens (lot of kale) with every meal.

    Id be lying if i said i never drink any alcohol or never have any oil, i do but only in situations where its very hard to avoid like a vegan/vegetarian meal at a restaurant, im not going to quibble over the oil in that case.  If i was older and had heart issues i don't think i would do that.

    Also no supplements except for ground flax on my oatmeal in the morning and b-12 tabs.  

    I did not have a lot of weight to lose but i dropped from 175 to 163 (male 6'0) and have stabilized there.  There is no calorie restriction but most people will end up eating fewer calories because the food is less calorie dense.  I probably eat more food by volume then i used to though.

    Haven't had too many problems with feeling satisfied but its going to be much harder if those tempting foods are in your house.  I actually eat almost the exact same stuff everyday but surprisngly i do not tire of it.

  •  Thanks for this. Just started losing, myself. (0+ / 0-)

    After finally finding myself in a stable enough position to take on what I've known for years:

    Keeping food to a reasonable limit and going to a gym once a day for six months, can change your life.

    Doesn't even have to be 7 days a week, or even 6, it can be 5. Doesn't have to be 1 hour, it can be 1/2 an hour.

    Persistence over time and acknowledgement of what works and doesn't work in reality, is what I've always seen win.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton |

    by jbeach on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 10:24:07 AM PDT

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