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FTSOLK Posts: 1,248
12/1/13 8:10 P

I kinda see what you are saying, Renata. I think that may be part of what my problem is. I think the other thing is that I've been finding myself slipping a bit. I've allowed myself to have refined/cane sugar in moderation, but I've been finding myself allowing more and more things that I'd normally leave out of my diet. Talenti ice cream, for example.

I have considered a carb cycling plan to help me reign things in, so I don't go too overboard. On High carb days, I'm going to do what I do for now (eating real food, and allowing myself treats when I eat out), and on low carb days, I'm going to stick to veggies, protein, nuts/seeds, and a serving of fruit (berries, grapefruit, etc- not grapes, bananas, or pineapple).

I just worry that I'm going to go overboard if I allow myself to eat without any restriction on calories. I was looking at a 1,290 to 1,640 calorie range as a baseline (to lose 1 pound per week since I'm sedentary), but I'll also track my exercise with a heart rate monitor. I figure my range will be more like 1,500-1,800 calories a day on most days.

Still, I've tracked some things on Sparkpeople that would be fairly "normal" meals for me today, and even though I've been losing weight, the calories are higher than I probably should eat. At the same time, keeping to a lower calorie diet while eating full-fat dairy (including drinking whole milk) whole eggs, and such is a challenge. The calories add up fast, but I have a hard time giving myself a limit. I still find myself wanting the same volume of food regardless- and eating more veggies doesn't always work.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (3,923)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,231
12/1/13 12:21 P

"However, I have been concerned that clean(er) eating won't negate the fact that I'm STILL not counting calories."

It is working, though, right? For the record, what you are now doing (cutting out the vast majority of junk food, eating more good foods in their place, and I assume being at least mindful of portion sizes) -- is pretty much what I did to lose my excess weight (and keep it there for six months so far). It does and can work. You should have no reason to doubt that it would suddenly stop working, provided you yourself do not change what you are doing.

What I think you might be more accurately afraid of is whether or not you can stick to such an ill-defined set of goals for the long run without backsliding. Believe me, I totally get this fear. In this one way, I think that calorie counting is easier. When strictly counting calories, you might have to wonder from time to time whether what you are doing is working, but you never have to question *what you are really doing*. When you are not counting calories, that can come up a lot. It does take some discipline to keep yourself honest, to be as certain as you can be that what you are doing today (when you're wondering) hasn't actually changed from what you were doing a month ago (when you know you were losing well). But it can be done. And I think there is also a great benefit, in that it keeps your mental effort focused exactly where it should be -- on what you are eating, and how much, and how to manage lifestyle challenges like family get-togethers and eating out with appropriate moderation and useful choices (avoiding both excess and panic). It doesn't put anything else between you and those things. For me, I am certain that counting would only have gotten in my way -- given me something else to fail at, essentially, that wouldn't even have anything directly to do with eating properly for weight loss!

As for changing things up due to your fears? Adding some additional "rules" where you might feel you currently have too few? I'm a bit torn. Clearly what you've been doing has been helpful. And if you (like me) rebel against counting, you may also wind up rebelling against this plan. That could hurt you in the long run, especially mentally. On the other hand, I don't think it would hurt your weight loss efforts or your health any (IF you continue to do everything right that you've been doing right up to this point), and you seem attracted to it, so why not? I guess I'd just suggest that if you do do it, keep it firmly in mind that not liking it, or getting tired of it, or not having success with it, bears no relation to your ability to lose weight by the means you're using now. You can always go right back to what you have been doing.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/1/13 2:04 A

The idea that these simple changes had such a huge effect should give you hope.

If just cleaning up these foods has helped with weight loss, then maybe you do not need to go very low in carbs to see results. In fact, some of the benefit of low carb, is that the foods we eat hasn't been tampered with by food manufacturers. A lot of the problem with low fat/ processed foods, is that they add sugar and salt for flavor, as well as chemicals. These cause cravings. Then you eat more bad food, and weight gain happens.

You can do a lot of cutting these problem foods out, while still eating quite a few carbs, and get most of the benefit of cleaner foods, just by avoiding the bad ones. Low carb tends to sweep the board clean, and in doing so gets rid of the problem carbs. It also gets rid of some good carbs. It is using a meat cleaver to fix your diet, and you may want a scalpel.

Carb Cycling is used to great effect on Extreme Weight Loss. I have no idea how it works, but you can probably Google it, find a book, or see a dietitian for help. See if it sounds like something you would like, and if it is, and you understand how to do it right, then try it. That is the only way you will know if it works for you.

Hopefully you figure out the 80 % of good carbs that are of no issue to you, and by simply cutting out the other " bad " 20 %, you can eat a nice moderate amount of carbs, and achieve all your goals.

Let us know how it goes.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,248
12/1/13 1:30 A

I was never really planning on sticking to this exact plan forever. All I did was cut out a lot of chemicals/highly processed foods 80-90% of the time. However, I have been concerned that clean(er) eating won't negate the fact that I'm STILL not counting calories.

Of course, I can't forget that I don't LIKE counting calories, so part of me is tempted to stick with what I'm doing. I just don't know if it's going to backfire on me or not.

I think the reason I've been looking at occasional paleo and/or low carb days is that I'm resistant to the idea of counting calories. I may be a necessary evil, but I know people who lost weight by changing what they ate, but not counting a single calorie or anything of the sort.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (7,358)
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
Posts: 2,190
12/1/13 12:32 A

I would stick with the plan that has allowed you to lose 9lbs in 3 weeks.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,248
11/30/13 11:25 P

I was at the bookstore today, and I saw a book about this 2 day diet plan. From the looks of it, you eat low carb (50 grams or less) two days a week (not sure if consecutive or if that matters). The rest of the week, you eat eat lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, fruit, and vegetables with treats in moderation while trying to stay in a certain calorie range (possibly- I only glanced at the book)

I'm wondering if there's anything to this. I've been intrigued by low-carb plans as I've been hearing different resources relating to insulin resistance and weight loss. However, I love fruit, sweet potatoes, and whole grains (including bread). A low-carb diet isn't realistic for me to do 7 days per week.

I'm not necessarily sure that I can handle a 50 carb max even if it's only 2 days per week, but is there anything to trying to stay under 100 carbs even if it's not every day?

I'm not saying I want to avoid grains and all higher carb foods, but I also know there may be some benefit to lower carb eating based on different information I've seen online and/or from people I know who have done various low carb diets.

I think my biggest worry is that I would probably compensate on lower carb days be eating more fat, so low carb won't always mean lower calorie. In fact, I might find it easier to eat near the higher end of my ranges on those days. I'm not sure I can balance watching calories AND carbs on those days, but I would be fine only focusing on carbs a couple days a week without worrying about calories.

Now, to clarify, on "regular" days, I'd focus on staying in my Sparkpeople ranges while eating a more "real food" diet for the most part.

I lost about 8-9 pounds in 3 weeks eating a real-food diet (with splurges while eating out) and not counting calories, but I've also been considering that I should watch my calories more closely more often.

So, any input? I know this thread may seem a little confusing. I had a hard time trying to translate the mess of thoughts in my head into basic English

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