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6/11/13 7:59 P

It sounds to me that you might like to "try on" a healthier lifestyle and see how you feel with it? Nothing wrong with trying it on, experimenting. So what 2 things would you like to try first? It is your choice!!
Want to try and get at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily?
What to cut back to 1 regular pop a week?
Want to aim for a 20 minute walk, 5 days a week?

It is your experiment, your choice, you are the driver, you get to decide.

Dietitian Becky

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
Fitness Minutes: (39,981)
Posts: 2,322
6/11/13 6:08 P

You are going to find a lot of conflicting advice on forums especially, not just in articles, because everyone's body is different and we all respond in different ways to different approaches. Where one person thrives eating a 400 calorie breakfast every day, someone else might be just fine with a morning cup of coffee. There are lots of scientific studies that even contradict each other. I've been here on Spark for 3 or 4 (?) years and my experimentation has run the gamut from low carb to low calorie to eat breakfast/not eat breakfast, eating at different times of day, different foods with same calorie count, more fruit, less fruit, calorie cycling, etc. You name it, I've probably tried it for awhile. Honestly I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it. My opinions about what works and doesn't have shifted dramatically over the years. Some people find that magic formula right away and some people take longer. The bottom line is we are "all an experiment of one"!!! Take everything you read with a grain of salt, give it a shot and see if it works for you. Unless it's diet pills or ultra low calorie diets (don't do those, they will KILL your metabolism). Stay within spark guidelines and you will find there is a lot of variation you can have in the program. Good luck.

Edited by: -CORAL- at: 6/11/2013 (18:10)
SLASALLE SparkPoints: (264,959)
Fitness Minutes: (100,621)
Posts: 11,569
6/11/13 5:33 P

There's always more than one story/belief on most topics, including weight loss, for sure.

The example I think of is eating breakfast before a morning workout. You will get conflicting advice on this topic (and many others). The real point is that there are different ways to do things and they have to be tailored to your own needs and body. Some people get physically ill if they DO eat before working out, while others get ill if they do NOT.

I hope this helps illustrate where conflicting advice often comes from.

There's also the old democratic v. republican-type issue. That's merely an analogy because I'm not referring to politics here. It's just that some people have strong beliefs in one direction, and that direction is certainly the polar opposite of others.

I've learned that there is LOTS of GREAT advice on SparkPeople and I've been here since 2005. But I've also learned that you have to take what you like and leave the rest. There should be nobody on here saying you HAVE to do something this way, other than possibly staying within your calorie range if you want to lose weight. Exercising, how and when you eat, what you eat ... it's all over the board because there are tons of members.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you. I highly recommend SparkPeople if you want to improve your lifestyle and/or your body.

QUEENDARKLADY SparkPoints: (30,730)
Fitness Minutes: (22,568)
Posts: 107
6/11/13 4:54 P

Hmm.. How to put this...

I have, for the past decade or so, been concerned with my weight. "Concerned" might be too strong a word, though.. I know I am overweight. I know that the joint problems I have (bad knees and hips, mostly) would be greatly diminished by losing weight. I know I have cellulite, rolls, and stretch marks developing in places that they have not been before. I have a large amount of super cute clothes that I can no longer fit into. All of these things add up to a desire to lose weight. Again, "desire" might be too strong a word. Maybe "interest"?

Overall (aside from the joint pain/discomfort) none of these things greatly effect my day-to-day life. They don't REALLY concern me. I look at myself in the mirror and I pinch my pudge and I poke my stretch marks and I go "Blech, I'm fat," and then go on about my day. When dressing to go out, I bypass all of the clothes that I know doesn't fit and I pick up a more recent purchase that does. My husband still loves me and finds me attractive, I still go swimming, I have yet to break any furniture just from sitting on it, and I have no problems performing belly dance in public with an exposed midriff.

But there is a part of me that, when I look in the mirror, says, "This is a problem. You should fix it."

I was using Daily Plate for a while until my sister told me about SparkPeople. I find it to be a more worthwhile tool, especially for someone who can't afford a subscription to get access to basic functions.

So to sum it up, the reason I'm here on SparkPeople is to try, I guess? Not to try SparkPeople, but to try to get this weight-loss thing down, to try to find the motivation to actually do it, to try to figure out where I'm going wrong.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
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Posts: 2,738
6/11/13 4:14 P

Here's my two-cents:

RE: "Eating when hungry vs. when you're supposed to" Our bodies need regular fuel to perform at their best, balance blood sugar, etc. In a natural state, our bodies are designed to tell us when we are hungry, when we are full, and when we are lacking some essential nutrient. If we are attuned to our bodies, we can feel our blood sugar drop, our energy level increase/decrease, even gauge our health by the strength of our nails and elasticity of our skin. I think that sometimes people with a long history of dieting/restricting/depriving themselves have an distorted perception of "hunger" because they've forced themselves to go hungry for so long in the name of "dieting". I also believe that we rely on OTC and prescription medications, appetite supressants and caffiene to treat/mask these symptoms, so it's hard to pin-point what our bodies are trying to tell us.

RE: Body Image. I don't think you have to have an unhealthy/negative body image in order to want to lose weight and/or become more healthy. You will find plenty of Sparkers who respect their body how it is now, but would still like to improve it. Some people are motivated only once they hit rock bottom, but that's not always the case. Nor is it imperative to obsess about you weight loss/health goals in order to achieve them, although it's often a part of the process.

In the end, every person needs to find what is right for them. There is no one-size-fits-all goal weight/eating plan/exercise/motivation, and when you consider all possibilities for each variable in the equation, there really are infinite ways to improve your health every day!

6/11/13 3:21 P

I am in no way being disrespectful of your post. I feel you bring up several important points. However, I refer to this quote from you:

I'm okay with my body however it ends up being. And being okay with my body (or at best indifferent with it) has caused me to simply not feel the need to put forth the energy to change it.

So I must ask you....what made you find Sparkpeople, sign up, log in, check us out? We are a weight loss and healthy living site. Usually members do a search for weight loss and find us. Deep down are you looking for assistance with weight loss and improving the health for your future?

I can tell when a doctor has referred a patient to me who is "not ready for diet and lifestyle change" and feels forced to come to the appointment. Your post, however, sounds different?

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
6/11/13 3:09 P

I can only answer with my own personal experiences...but I obviously had good results doing what I will discuss below.

I'm not a breakfast person. Never have, probably never will be. The last thing I want to do when I wake up is eat. If I do eat a big breakfast, I feel queasy. So, I keep my "breakfasts" small. More like a snack... 250 calories or less. When I was in full on weight loss mode my breakfast (at 9am after I got to work) was a 120 calorie granola bar. I'd have another 100 calorie or less snack around 11am. Nowadays I have a "breakfast" I like, which is fruit, yogurt, and granola, but it's still under 250 calories. I eat it when I get to work. I don't feel hungry again til noon, but usually stretch out lunch til about 1pm. I'll have my granola bar around 230 or so, mainly because that's when I'm craving a sweet treat, not because I'm actually hungry. I also keep carrots and hummus at work to eat if I'm feeling hungry around 4 or 5 (I work til 6 sometimes). I don't eat dinner til 8 or later. My lunches and dinners are large... 500+ calories most of the time. I love food and to cook, so I'd rather have great lunches and dinners than just eat 300 calorie meals all the time. Plus, my other half does not need to restrict calories so instead of making 2 dinners, I just bank calories to use at dinner. This has worked very well for me. So, my point is, eat a schedule that works for you and your own body signals, not what a website or book tells you to do.

As for eating while distracted, I eat very fast when I'm at the computer or watching TV (usually doing both at the same time haha) because I want to get back to the task at hand. Also even if I sit at a table alone and eat, I eat fast. But I'm slowww if I'm with other people, probably because I'm talking a lot. I do tend to overeat at those times too because I'm less mindful of what I put on my plate, or if I'm at a restaurant, I mindlessly eat because I'm paying attention to the people I'm with, not my food... which is why "they" say to not eat while you're distracted. So, while the examples they give talk about TV or whatever, eating with other people can be a distraction too.

I've never had body image issues. I, like you, maybe wasn't happy with things but didn't obsess over it or let it affect my self worth. I've actually found I became MORE picky about my body after losing weight. I did see some pictures that were taken of me at my biggest that were less than flattering, I never saw that person in the pictures when I looked in the mirror though... but I was a bit horrified that that is how I actually looked. It was not horrific enough to get me to start making changes though. Because I had a good self image all along, I never really felt the need to change, I sort of just felt like, "well, it is what it is". But, then things changed when I met my SO. Prior to him I always dated bigger tall guys... ex football player types, so I didn't feel like I looked odd next to them. But, he's on the shorter side, and naturally thin. I didn't want people to look at us and think "that guy has a fat girlfriend". He never commented on my size except to give compliments, and even said he likes "meatier girls", so it wasn't about that at all... it was all me being worried about what other people would think. So, at that point I decided to make some changes and here I am now.... and trust me, I am so much happier now. It never occurred to me that I could feel even better about myself, but I do.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 6/11/2013 (15:13)
OLGA18 SparkPoints: (21,792)
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Posts: 1,196
6/11/13 3:07 P

I think that maybe what they mean by a "healthy body image" is about having a "realistic" body image, which is healthy, as opposed to feeling like you should look like the photo shopped, airbrushed pseudo-women you see on magazine covers.
I have never been a snacker and I have always had to force myself to eat breakfast and, for me, I know it is important because if I don't eat breakfast I am not typically hungry at lunch either.
Consequently I end up so hungry in late afternoon that I eat while I am getting dinner ready...then by the time dinner is ready I am not hungry but I eat anyway.
The body is meant to be fueled on a regular basis.
The morning is the best time to start that process.
It affects so many of your body functions, like your blood sugar level which is relevant even if you have no blood sugar issues.
I don't think they are saying that you HAVE to snack. I think that they bring it up because it is helpful and works for many people. It might not fit in to your eating plan and that's OK.
But you do have to fuel your body on a regular basis.
I can only share my experience with you which has been that, once I start eating breakfast every day I start feeling hungry at the normal times....not ravenous, but naturally hungry.
It's not one size fits all, but there are guidelines that make sense if you think about them.
Take your time and find your rhythm!

KASIMA52 SparkPoints: (463)
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6/11/13 2:47 P

The newest findings say it doesn't matter when you eat, it's the amount of calories you take in vs the amount you expend. I still don't like eating at night, because none of it gets worked off, so I try not to eat after 7 pm, but other than that, I eat my calories for the day whenever.

I think a lot of people have been taught old-school stuff, and just stick to it because people hate to change, or it works for them, or whatever.

QUEENDARKLADY SparkPoints: (30,730)
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Posts: 107
6/11/13 2:41 P

So, I've read quite a few articles here on SparkPeople about what to eat and when. I feel as though there is a lot that I have found useful, but a great deal of it is kind of conflicting for me, so I figured I'd ask and see what answers I could find.

Eating when hungry vs. when you're supposed to - Lots of things that I have read state that you should only eat when you're hungry, and only to the point of being satisfied. However, I've also read that you should snack throughout the day, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, etc. I find that in the mornings I've generally not hungry. I'm also not the sort of person to snack a lot during the day. I keep healthy snacks on hand, and I have healthy options for breakfast and lunch, but I just don't usually feel hungry enough at work to eat them. Should I be making sure I eat breakfast and snacks anyway, or should I listen to what my body is telling me and not eat the calories that it isn't asking for?

Eating while distracted - Everything I've read on SparkPeople says that if you want to make sure you eat a proper portion, sit down, turn off the TV and the computer and focus on nothing but eating. I seem to have a problem with this, as in most cases where I am focusing on nothing but eating I tend to over-eat (family dinners, restaurant dinners, dinners at the table with my husband, actual lunch breaks at work, etc.). However, when I eat while doing something else (working through lunch, watching a movie while eating, reading a book, etc.) I tend to eat slower and frequently don't go for seconds. Clearly, this is contradictory to what I've read, which creates problems for actually making things like the SparkPeople quizzes and articles really useful for me. It is also kind of detrimental to my motivation to essentially be told that what I'm doing is wrong.

Body Image - I recently took a SparkPeople quiz about body image. It said I had a healthy body image. I don't feel that that is necessarily the case, though. I'm not terribly happy with the way my body looks, but I just don't obsess over it. I feel as though this could be a problem. Most of the success stories I read are about people who have had major issues with their weight or their health related to their weight. They have a moment when they see the light and realize that they need to make a change. Then they focus all (or a great deal of) their energy on losing weight and becoming healthy. I'm not so unhealthy that I've reached that point. I'm okay with my body however it ends up being. And being okay with my body (or at best indifferent with it) has caused me to simply not feel the need to put forth the energy to change it. I think overall having a "healthy" body image without having a healthy body can be detrimental to achieving said healthy body. Has anyone else experienced this?

I'm looking for resolutions to these issues and perhaps to see if anyone else has had the same issues. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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