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SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
10/15/13 12:33 P

Since I have a lot of weight to lose, I started with baby steps.

Forget the FADS, and the Enticeing Ads they Never Work

Eleminated No Food I enjoyed eating-I saved it as a " sometimes meal" or a very small portion.

Stayed OFF the Scale the first Month-went by how my body was feeling.

1. Began a Written Journal - breakfast,lunch dinner, snacks and a etc to include the little things I mindlessly ate throught the day. Read journal every day-helps to realize how much food I really ate and Not what I thought I ate. Adjusted to include amount of exercise and mood after the first month

2. Gradually reduced portion sizes. for me- the all or nothing approach never worked (I felt starved) since I was used to eating a lot of food

3. Reworked some favorite recipes to make them less calorie/fat dense

4. Limited my snacks to 1 in the afternoon and 1 in the evening keeping calories under 150 calories per snack.

5. Trying new foods- I refused to eat new food I didn't like, and never Forced myself to eat something I didn't like because it was claimed healthy or make me lose weight-I Did find several I do enjoy.

6. Doing some type of exercise-anything to keep moving.

7. When cravings hit, take a drink of a calorie free beverage and find a Diversion-I play Facebook games, take a walk or read.

8. Take small bites, enjoy and savor food, taking a drink of calorie free beverage after every other bite.......... Holiday, Birthdays, etc- its more about family and friends than about food! Everything in Moderation is Good, even a small treat!

9. Its OK Not to eat everything on your plate! Even if you have raised with the "clean plate award".

10. As your body adjusts to less food, you will find you will feel full faster and begin normally eating less.

What a Great Surprise a Month later when I stepped back on the scale! Still Losing!

Edited by: SIMPLYME80 at: 10/15/2013 (12:55)
10/13/13 5:23 P

I started by not calling it a diet. For me, just saying "I'm on a diet" makes me want to eat anything and everything I can get my hands on. Instead, I just looked for lower calorie options to keep eating the foods I enjoy. I replaced soda with flavored, carbonated water. I use ground turkey in place of ground beef, spaghetti squash instead of pasta, things like that. Sparkrecipes is a really good place to look up alternative recipes for whatever you might want to eat. Also, I try to have a salad or large portion of vegetables with every meal. Any time I can get more full on less calories is a definite win for me!

10/13/13 9:22 A

I started by choosing a well rounded routine that I could stay with my entire life. If it isn't something you could do every day for the rest of your life, it won't work. I did temporary diets-within-my diet, like fasting sugar- for a temporary time, but the basis is something I could do forever.

So, my goals were to eat ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I barely ate any vegetables before that, so it was important for me to add vegetables to my diet.

I also hate the taste of "deity" foods, like artificial sweeteners, reduced fat items, fat free cheese, etc. So I chose not to keep any of those in my diet. I also wanted something flexible because I am out and about a lot.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
10/13/13 12:52 A

You don't necessarily have to do a lot of complex cooking to eat well and lose weight. There are lots of real, whole foods that are simple to prepare. If you can assemble a few ingredients and warm things up, you can eat well.

For instance, you can cook old-fashioned oatmeal in the microwave in a couple of minutes. Fresh yogurt with a bit of fruit is great for you. A lot of my meals are a salad with a couple of different kinds of greens, some nuts or seeds and maybe one other raw vegetable with a piece of salmon or something similar to top it off. Another go-to is salad (I often make them ahead and store them in Mason jars for longevity and portability...if you can chop, you can make salad) plus a baked sweet potato and a turkey burger.

Other than maybe following Michael Pollan's food rules (Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants...) I don't really have a particular diet. Logging everything is key though--if you log what you eat and run the daily reports, you can learn over time what really does and does not work for your body.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
10/12/13 9:09 A

If anyone tried to put me on a diet, no matter how well researched or supposedly easy to follow, I'd have fallen flat on my face. Diet plus me equals bad, bad bad.

All I did was eliminate most of the junk food I'd been eating (rare, or very small amounts, is still ok by me, but not as part of my normal lifestyle), and cut portion sizes down across the board except for a few unquestionably healthy items I've tried to eat more of (with varying amounts of success). I didn't even track calories. I wouldn't expect this to work for everyone exactly, but I do think some of it is important.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
Fitness Minutes: (7,415)
Posts: 1,299
10/12/13 5:41 A

ZDFOOD: I did a lot of net-research and also read some literature I got both from my health-wellness doctor and from a nutritionist. But primarily I researched carefully what I should be eating to have a well-balance diet. This is what I concluded would compose most of what I eat and would be a healthy diet:
(1) fruits
(2) vegetables
(3) lean meats and fish/seafood
(4) whole grains, particularly whole wheat
(5) legumes (beans, peas, peanuts)
(6) nuts and seeds
(7) extra virgin olive oil
(8) low-fat dairy
(9) natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup
(10) drink plenty of water

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,765
10/12/13 5:27 A

I chose my plan largely bc everyone I observed that followed it correctly saw great results.
I continued following it due to the long list of benefits I experienced while following it.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 10/12/2013 (05:37)
KRAFTYKRAFT SparkPoints: (97,533)
Fitness Minutes: (48,190)
Posts: 3,128
10/11/13 2:19 P

I am a vegetarian because I realized when I was in college that I couldn't stand the taste of meat. I went through a couple of periods of junk food vegetarianism (hey French Fries and Bagels with cream cheese don't have meat in them), but realized that I felt like crap all the time. After extensive research, I have come to realize the importance of fruits and vegetables in my life and I get quite cranky if I don't have my daily salad. Now I stray now and then (ok almost every weekend :) :) but my diet is a lot cleaner than it used to be.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
10/11/13 1:19 P

I was referred to an endocrinologist after responding "yes" to a query from my PCP as to whether I was interested in trying to lose any weight.

I didn't "choose" the diet (lifestyle). It was prescribed to me by the specialist to 1) lose weight, and 2) combat metabolic imbalances common to many of us.

The plan set off some warning alarms for me, so I went searching for truth instead of the common mythinformation we're fed about restricted-carb "diets." What I found encouraged me, made me a believer, and also led me in the general direction of Primal eating - which just means cut the processed junk and eat real food.

That combination has been very effective for me, both in terms of health AND weight loss (which is basically just a symptom of health, after all). Everybody's different. My results and my doctor's direction makes me confident in the path I'm now treading. I don't expect to ever deviate from it.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
10/9/13 11:21 P

I started by eating a healthy breakfast. Then I replaced my sugary snacks with healthy ones. Then I looked at my meals and made them more healthy. Now I eat health 90% of the time, and I feel great. The trick is to start slow, and not to be sucked in to a fad diet. Track your food, attack one area of your diet at a time, and you will get there!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
10/9/13 10:32 P

I never had any interest in "going on a diet." When I decided it was time to lose weight, I greatly reduced the amount of crappy food I was eating and replaced it with healthy food. I stuck to the calorie and macronutrient ranges provided by SP and tracked every single morsel of food that I put in my mouth. I chose that method because I had no interest in cutting entire categories of food out of my diet and knew that if I tried to never have pasta again, or chocolate chip cookies or whatever it might be, I would never be able to maintain that for the rest of my life. I lost 70+ lbs. and have been in maintenance for a few months now, so I must have been doing something right.

10/9/13 7:59 P

You may want to use our Sparkpeople meal plans. These plans also include the simple recipes when needed. You will also get a grocery list for the week. To see the meal plans:
Select: Show Meal Plans

Hope this helps
your SP Registered Dietitian

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
10/9/13 5:45 P

I don't do diets because more often than not they are restrictive, rigid and structured, which isn't for me. I want to eat in a way I can manage and more importantly, enjoy, for the rest of my life. That doesn't mean I don't take some of the good advice from various popular diets out there; clean eating, I tend have a low-moderate carb intake, lower grain intake in place of more veg/fruit, etc. I would just find adhering to one specific diet far too restrictive. I know some people like or need the structure but that's just not me. I don't want to feel any nagging guilt for deviating from my *diet*.

I have yet to find a specific diet that suits my variable palette. I enjoy a lot of healthy fats (especially nuts/nut butters and salmon) in my diet and cheese so low fat diets are not for me. Low carb diets would have me stressing over the amount/type of fruit I can enjoy in my diet or the occasional homemade baked good, a slice of bread, corn, potatoes, (legumes, grains and dairy in paleo), a sweet treat, granola on my yogurt, etc.

Basically, my diet is lots of veg and fruit, legumes, healthy fats, lean proteins, low fat dairy but I still include exceptions once in awhile and enjoy treats in moderation (loosely follow the 80-90%/20-10%). I watch my added sugar, limit refined grains and overly processed foods, love to cook from scratch and experiment with different recipes.

This is a great website that analyzes many of the popular diets out there with non-bias and balanced information; overview of diet and reviews from experts.>

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 10/9/2013 (18:07)
ZERO_WILL_POWER SparkPoints: (4,028)
Fitness Minutes: (4,934)
Posts: 57
10/9/13 5:44 P

Lots and lots of research online - so it took some time. The foundation of what I decided on is

1. Eat ~6 smaller meals per day
2. Count calories, protein, carbs, and fats based around your specific goals (check multiple sources on what your caloric intake should be and pay attention to your own weight patterns. I find many online estimators including Spark's to be inaccurate for my needs)
3. Focus on balanced nutrients (i.e. different vitamins from different colors of veggies, etc. this comes more with time and fine tuning)
4. Have a cheat day every week!

It's a lot of time and work to plan meals so I mostly eat the same foods every day with small alterations.

MSLAURAVOS SparkPoints: (129)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 7
10/9/13 5:20 P

I went to a dietitian and although she gave me a diet plan on paper, I still track everything I eat.
My suggestion: Don't cut out the things you really like, just try to eat less of it. For example I love pizza and I used to eat it every week, but now I only have it once a month. It's ok to sin once in awhile!

Sorry for my English, but it's not my mother tongue

LADYK16 SparkPoints: (4,182)
Fitness Minutes: (6,124)
Posts: 37
10/9/13 5:09 P

I wouldn't suggest any "fad diets". These are not long term solutions. I have tried many, and had some success with them, but it doesn't last long, and they get tiring. I suggest starting off small. For me, my first step was to cut back on soda. I haven't yet cut it out completely, but I have gone from having 1-2 pepsis a day, to 1 every 2-3 days. The most important thing is that you TRACK YOUR FOOD. Even if you make mistakes, still track it. Seeing it written down makes a HUGE difference and helps you correct your mistakes. Start small with your workouts too. Challenge yourself to do a little more every time. I make a game out of it with myself at the gym. For example, if you walked 30 minutes on the treadmill last time, try 33 today, then 35 next time. Good luck!

ZDFOOD SparkPoints: (6)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 2
10/9/13 5:05 P

I'm looking for some inspiration on what to eat. I know there are all these different diets out there, but some of them are pretty hard and I'm not much of a cook.

How and why did you choose the diet that you're on?

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