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COOL_STUFF SparkPoints: (3,726)
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8/27/13 5:48 A

I use to think I had failed the diet, but since I have learnt more about health and fitness, I know now that Diets Don't Work.

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ITSABSURD SparkPoints: (18,393)
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8/26/13 10:20 P

I just don't think that diet works. You need to make a lifestyle change.

KITTYCAT64 Posts: 599
8/26/13 12:37 P

I am a shame to say that I have done many diets. Stillman, Atkins, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Overeaters, Jenny Craig, low-fat, Fit for Life, and so many more. Here I am. So that tells me that none of the above worked for me. The difference with Spark is the plan is healthy and sensible. This for me, is doable for the rest of my life.

CSROBERTSON621 SparkPoints: (95,777)
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8/24/13 2:29 P

I think it's a very individual thing. I actually did not do a Spark-type diet plan to lose most of my weight -- I went on a doctor-supervised very low calorie plan for 16 weeks (based essentially on protein shakes, with some modifications), and gradually transitioned back to a low-calorie "real food" plan for the last 30 or so pounds. And I think that this plan was actually the silver bullet that helped me get control of my weight problem and actually be able to maintain my loss over a long period of time. (That's something I never managed before, despite having lost large amounts of weight in the past.)

The diet I was on would not be recommended for someone who only has a few pounds to lose -- but I was over 260 pounds when I started, and pre-diabetic, so something drastic was warranted (I was also considering weight loss surgery). I'm no longer pre-diabetic (the very low calorie plan fixed that), and I took advantage of the "break" from food to totally re-set my eating habits. What I learned is that I don't do well at all with processed foods, in particular white flour-based stuff (bread, pasta, pizza, cakes and other baked goods) -- rather than satiate hunger, these things actually increase it for me! So all of that is out, and whole foods are in -- and that part is actually easy for me most of the time. (The most trouble I have is when I have an occasional cheat -- because that always makes me want more of the bad stuff.)

The more difficult part is continuing to watch what I eat (even whole foods have calories!) on a regular basis, but I really have to in order to maintain my weight. I really wish I could say that it always feels like a "lifestyle" -- but sometimes it is frustrating that I essentially have to stay on a diet the rest of my life, unless I want to regain. Most days I don't mind so much, but there are days when I wish I could just have what I want and not worry about it! (As someone in my maintenance group put it -- "Some days I wish I could just have a d--- sandwich!") But unfortunately, I know all too well where that leads. This was the SECOND time I've had to lose 100+ pounds. I'm not planning on having to make a third trip. And the fact is, as hard as it can be to have to always worry about my diet, it's a lot harder to be 100+ pounds overweight.

Starting Weight: 260 lbs. (November 2010)
Quasi-Maintenance: 165 lbs. (June 2011)
Goal Weight: 150 lbs. (reached December 8, 2011)

Size 22W to Size 4

Currently maintaining within 5 lbs. (+ or -) of goal. I weigh daily, but also use a tape measure and the fit of my clothes to guage how well I'm doing.
PURPLELEI Posts: 16
8/22/13 3:27 P

In my mind, there's a difference between diet & dieting. Diet is neutral. Dieting is a verb. "Dieting" has been a way of life off & on for me. Nutrition was "relative". I'm working on ending that with a modified maintenance DIET. I am currently dieting to reduce my bulk faster to feel good about myself, stay motivated & to help my health. But I have a solid plan for a healthier diet (much healthier than what got me fat) when I'm done. I've never had a true maintenance plan before because I was always confused with all the so called "professional nutrition advice" out there. What works for some, doesn't work for others. I didn't know that refined carbs (i.e pasta) made my blood sugar spike with led to behavioral issues & cravings. I discovered that being on my very restrictive low carb diet. At least now I know that if I have a cookie or pasta that I will feel hungry soon after & can plan for that. There's something about actually experiencing a LACK of cravings that puts you in that "ah ha!" moment. Also, with restrictive dieting, I have discovered food sensitivities (i.e milk, etc). Stuff that I would have just glossed over before.

So, IMHO, dieting is very useful, but only if you have worked out a healthy solid plan for maintenance....& maybe some accountability. Changing your behaviors for the rest of your life will not be easy no matter if you do it with or without dieting.

Edited by: PURPLELEI at: 8/22/2013 (15:36)
"In order to change we must be sick & tired of being sick & tired." Unknown
KITTYCAT64 Posts: 599
8/21/13 7:13 P

I totally agree about listening to your body. I have felt for quite awhile that I need to eat vegetarian, but I get the same thing. I feel like Ralphy.n The Christmas Story when his mother said," No, Ralphy. You'll shoot your eye out." I just bought the commitment groceries. Wish all of you good sparking.

emoticon emoticon

LADIHAWKE73 Posts: 91
8/21/13 3:46 P

i think I've always been "on a diet" as its called, like many have said, a diet is what you eat, whether healthy or not. I've tried concously in the past year to change my diet by going vegetarian.

its working and i feel better for it, no meat or milk here, i do eat yogurt, and buy vegan cheese. for me its great but i know there are a lot of people out there who cant or wont change their habits and its not easy. and that's fine.

lol i was in the big 5 store a couple days ago with my husband and a friend, getting new shoes to walk in and exercise, and this lady sits next to me and we start talking, and she asked why my ankles are so swollen. they have been for some time, but i cant take water pills and was going to target after i got my shoes, cause i needed to get my b vitamins, which i did, anyway back to the lady.

i told her i was a vegetarian, why is it that EVERY time i mention I'm a vegetarian i get "you need your protein" DUH i know that thank you, its quite frustrating, no lady i dont know what I'm doing and i eat grass and apples all day. sigh, of course i looked up other ways to get my protein, so I'm not relying on meat that is bad for you, for it.

sorry for the long rant :) a diet is what you eat, regardless of what you eat. whether vegan, vegetarian or not. and exercise to help maintain or lose weight.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
an excerpt from psalm 3

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage
/?search=Psalm%203&version=NIV
XFLIPS2013 Posts: 236
8/20/13 3:44 P

Interesting. Doesn't it kind of boil down to what will work for me and how not to overeat or in ways that hurt us.

I kind of liken it to driving on different roads & pit stops. DH always toodles the backways & byways with a pitstop in a tent and I want to go mach 3 on the Audubon, lol, with a pitstop in a spa!

FIFIFRIZZLE Posts: 1,404
8/20/13 11:38 A

Thank you Christasp for your very thoughtful question starting this thread, and comment. Just now. I agree, eating is so very complex, and unpicking and rearranging what and how we eat is an intricate business.
I had an experience as a young woman of being conscious of a strong drive to eat silver beet, which I had never eaten before. I think I must have needed the nutrients in that food. Anyway, I connected that with the way a horse or sheep browses and chooses which grasses and herbs it will eat. Given a choice, they don't eat just anything, they select among a variety of foods. Anyway, I am now experimenting with getting myself to that intuitive state where my body is in charge of my eating, rather than habit, upbringing or beliefs about food or nutrition. Or any of a zillion other factors. What approach are you taking?

If you always do what you always did...you always get what you always got.
FLAMINGKITTEN SparkPoints: (1,001)
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8/20/13 10:00 A

Diet: food or feed habitually eaten or provided. Diet is what you eat. Whether it is all gummy bears or nutritionally balanced the sum of your food intake is a diet. Finding a nutritionally balanced variety of foods that keeps you healthy, matches your energy expenditure, and that you find enjoyable enough to continue eating regularly will be YOUR ideal diet. Food tracking, portion size, and having a basic idea of nutrition will help you figure out what that is. Also, it might change. For an example, when I was in college I was very thin during marching band season because of my increased activity and then during finals or when I didn't have regular exercise I would gain weight. I would either eat the same as when I was exercising when I wasn't or choose worse things to eat. It didn't help that my birthday is in December right when big projects were needing finishing. Chocolate cake and coffee isn't the best thing to eat for a diet even though I did pull quite a few all nighters that way.

AMANDANCES Posts: 2,006
8/20/13 9:10 A

If you look at it as a numbers game, then weight loss or gain is all about calories consumed versus calories expended. Cut calories in your diet and you lose weight. (Sort of.) Add calories and you gain weight. Eat (and burn) the right amount and you maintain the weight you're at.

My BMR is something like 1800, which means I need about 1800 calories a day to maintain my weight. I have been eating slightly less than that, or burning more than what the formula accounts for, thus creating a calorie deficit, which over time results in weight loss. If I bump my calories back up to 1800, I'll maintain my current weight. If I indulge and add 100 calories a day, I'll gradually gain weight.

The reason "diets don't work" -- and yeah, I hate that phrase -- is because once people lose the weight they want, they go back to eating like they had been, rather than eating in their maintenance range of calories. Or they stop exercising, or they do something to disrupt that calorie differential. Also, as we age and/or our activity level declines, our calorie needs decline, so if we eat the way we did when we were 20, we gain weight.



On our way to Mordor.

Blogging our walking fitness journey here:
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OUTDOORGAL1 SparkPoints: (12,256)
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8/20/13 7:36 A

If by diet, you mean temporary bizarre eating restrictions, then of course they don't work, but the term "diet" really means what you eat. So if you make a permanent lifestyle change to your diet then it works. For me, cutting out as much sugar as possible (with the occasional treat) has been the key.

CHRISTASP Posts: 1,620
8/19/13 2:13 P

Thank you to everyone who replied.

I asked the question because I see so many people say that they lost weight, gained it back, and that they 'know what to do' and just seem to hate themselves because they do not 'just do it'.
My personal idea is that eating is a VERY complex thing. A lot of factors are involved. It's not just about what foods to eat and when. There's also why, emotional, psychological, cultural factors. Some 'diets' out there are just impossible to stick to. And I tend to believe that if we hate / dislike ourselves, it only becomes harder to make healthy changes to our lifestyle.

Russell, I used the word diet meaning a certain set of rules telling a person what to eat, when, in what amounts etcetera. English is not my mother tongue; in my own language, there's a clear distinction between 'diet' as in 'set of rules' and 'diet' as in 'everything a person eats'.

Edited by: CHRISTASP at: 8/19/2013 (14:14)
Christina



BRIANLIEBERTH Posts: 641
8/19/13 12:47 P

There have been many good and useful posts here but here are my thoughts on diets. A diet is nothing more than a framework for eating. I think when people get straight jacketed into only this food, but never that food is where the monotony comes in. For someone who never considered nutrition before a diet such as the guidance from sparkpeople, weight watchers or Atkins or any of the others can be a great starting point. From there that person needs to learn about nutrition on their own and either stick to the eating framework or tweak it in ways that fit their lifestyle.

That being said eating the same thing day in and day out because the diet says so can be a recipe for disaster (or may not be depending on the person). I guess what I would summarize is that everyone has to know about nutrition and apply it to their lifestyle for the greatest success.

As for types of diets what the successful ones have in common that is successful I believe is that they all encourage restriction of sugar (not necessary elimination but restriction) and restriction of processed carbs (think white flour, rice etc) again not necessarily elimination bit restriction. The rest of it is just different combinations of real food

Science is never settled. Refusing to adjust to new findings is not science at all, but dogma.
NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (80,298)
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8/19/13 12:36 P

several years ago I took off 18 kilos and then put on 8. OK, that was worth the 60 Pounds I paid for 3 months. I was still overweight, but not unhealthily so. With SP I've shed 10 or 11 kilo, 7 this year, and put on one since March. I'm now at a good weight. I'd like to get rid of that extra kilo and a bit more of my spare tyre. I'm now a kilo below my original goal. Some of the extra weight might be muscle (sez she, hopefully...). I particularly value SP's emphasis on maintaining, which I had not previously realised was a challenge, SC, particularly Mail a coach. I've never yet had a reply that wasn't helpful, sometimes enlightening me to think about things that had not occurred to me, and the fact that virtually all the website is free, plus the various teams, challenges (it was January jumpstart that got me exercising and shedding weight systematically), and message boards, plus trackers. I don't diet, I eat scientifically. I don't recognise bad foods, though I sometimes enjoy indulging in calorific foods. Some things like mayonnaise I don't keep in the house, tho I will choose to indulge in it sometimes when I'm eating out. I don't fry chips, but may eat them out. Today I really filled up on oven potato and carrot chips, 222 cals, with Thai chicken and Thai cucumber salad, total 412 cals, 16 g protein. I'm low on grains today, so may have bread and something for a snack and couscous and something for supper.

Edited by: NICKYCRANE at: 8/19/2013 (12:40)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/18/13 11:47 A

Since everyone is on a diet, the issue is whether you stick to it or not. If you decide to get off your balanced diet, and go to Taco Bell, how is that the fault of the diet?

However you eat, you are on a diet. They haven't worked because your diet is horrific. You need a change in diet. Once you figure out how to eat properly, just repeat day after day for the rest of your life.. you will still be on a diet.

The only way your diet fails you is if it just doesn't work for you. If it leaves you hungry, or not feeling well, it is still he same diet, and may work for others. You have to find what diet works for you. Most often though, we cheat on our diet, since most of us don't actually stop and put in the effort to learn what diet works for us. We run around trying out other people's diets, and failing at them.

If we stopped and put in a minimal amount of effort to analyze what is best for us, maybe with help from a dietitian, we would have a diet that we could stick to for the next 50 years, and stop misusing the word diet. Probably one of the most important aspects of our lives, and we treat it as an afterthought.



"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford
MSAUSSIETHUNDER Posts: 6
8/18/13 6:55 A

This was such an informed excellent post..Thank You.

CICELY360 Posts: 3,378
8/17/13 7:52 P

I don't do diets because they don't work. I always tell people I'm making lifestyle changes.

FIFIFRIZZLE Posts: 1,404
8/17/13 2:46 P

No more, I promise, but, Just looking back on the original question 'lost weight on diet and gained it back' ,, is your conclusion that you have failed, or the diet?
My conclusion is the diet has enabled me to lose weight but I haven't made permanent changes that support me in maintaining my new weight. I did release the weight. I didn't gain it back. I put on new weight because I returned to patterns of eating that gained weight in the first place. I messed my metabolism about, and while it was still seeking to reach homeostasis at the earlier set point, before it stabilized at the lower weight, allowed myself to put on fat again.

If you always do what you always did...you always get what you always got.
JANLUCY Posts: 1,523
8/17/13 11:40 A

Dieting is so dangerous and it doesn't work. LIfestyle change is what works, and picking yourself up after messing up, brushing off that self-doubt and continuing on with healthy eating and exercise.


'The only time you should look down on someone, is when you are reaching to help them up.'

Do you like to read short stories? Inspirational stories? Visit my website:
www.rainbowgatefarm.com
where you will find links to my blogs, Days In The Life Of A Dairy Goat Farmer, and For The Love Of A Lion.
GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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8/17/13 6:03 A

Diets are a temporary fix. Most diets you can not stay on for a lifetime. Permanent fix is changing your lifestyle to something that is comfortable to you. Exercising one hour a day is comfortable for me and also makes me feel good. Exercising three hours a day would make me 10 pounds thinner which I want to be but would not be comfortable and I could not keep that up as a lifestyle.

I also believe we all have a set point in our weight. Some set points are higher than others. Meaning not everyone was designed by nature to be thin. Some people may always be a few pounds over the BMI range as that is their natural set point. A few pounds over if you are healthy is really fine and restricting your food intake may not always be the healthy way to go.

FIFIFRIZZLE Posts: 1,404
8/17/13 4:51 A

What a great topic. I am on a diet where I restrict my eating for a few weeks, consolidate for a few weeks, then eat to my newly established patterns, then go through the cycle again. I LOVE this diet and I've lost 80lbs this year.
Will I keep it off? Well, my eating patterns have changed dramatically. And I am thinking of maintenance all the time. It's why I chose this diet. I tried all the diets at some stage, and it's how I got so many extra kilos.
My advice to anyone of a normal weight with a few pounds to lose, would be to say, don't diet. Diets don't work, they make you fat. In the end you will rebound and get into a cycle whereby you put on weight. You need to change the way you eat. Lose weight gradually by cutting out unhelpful foods, go for the best quality nutrition choices you can select, move more.
But it was too late for me, I dieted myself fat.
Since then I've done a lot of reading about diets. I'm with Gary Taubes who wrote the Diet Delusion, reviewing all the research about diets. And the diet I am on puts his principles into action.
When I am finished I will have had heaps of practice at maintaining my newly established weight set point. I will be eating differently than I did before, essential because how I used to eat is how I put on weight in the first place. What am I saying, I am eating that new way now!

I seem to have lost my cravings for foods I used to find very appealing. I will be very careful about how or whether I reintroduce 'problematic' foods, because they don't seem to agree with me. I will watch out for foods that trigger cravings or make me put on weight. I am now eating for nutrition, fueling my body with foods that it likes, not that my mouth or my head like.

I now have a method to straighten up and fly right if I go awry. And -i know ths sounds outrageous- it is a quick weight loss method so I won't have to suffer for months to get back on track, if small adjustments don't do the trick. The scale has become my friend. Through this diet I am totally rejigging my eating habits, and resetting my weight set point back where it used to be, in a way I think is sustainable.
Time will tell whether it works or not. So far, so good.

Edited by: FIFIFRIZZLE at: 8/17/2013 (14:52)
If you always do what you always did...you always get what you always got.
OAKASHANDTHORN Posts: 331
8/16/13 11:06 P

Read the SP article, referenced below, which describes why "diets" don't work.

Forget about "diets" and begin making healthy lifestyle changes! That is a permanent solution.

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling" - Margaret Lee Runbeck

Yesterday is the Past,
Tomorrow is the Future,
But to Today is a GIFT--
That is why it is called the PRESENT!
LOUIE-LILY Posts: 2,497
8/16/13 12:43 P

The "Diet" works, while you're on it. Problem is, no one can stay on it, whatever it is. So I don't say I'm on a diet, I'm changing my lifestyle. That means it's for life. You're not going on it so you can't go "off" it. You may switch it up sometimes, but you're just eating healthier.


Blessings,
Nancy

Galatians 5:16: �I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.�
BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
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Posts: 337
8/16/13 12:10 P

Simple, eat healthy, drink lots of h2o, exercise a lot ,so you burn more calories than you consume.. NO diet.. Change your life. I make my own meals, NO fast food. Nothing goes into my body that I cannot pronounce...Simple, that's what I made my choice to make my life Simple by following these rules..:]

ELEPHANTSOUL Posts: 178
8/16/13 1:48 A

Diets have failure built right into them, because Americans consider diets temporary changes in eating behaviors. Temporary changes produce temporary results!

I.M.MAGIC Posts: 12,847
8/15/13 10:47 A

I agree with a lot of this!
I liked it when Richard Simmons said that a "diet" is "die" with a T... LOL

It IS about the food, but not the way most dieters look at it. It's about the life style, about listening to your body-- and food is the fuel and repair materials you need for it to work as it should, to help you reach your other goals, to reach your potential... In short, it's about ALL the choices we make.

... I was talking to someone just last night about the same thing, how in all our lives, it all boils down to the choices we make, including the things we do on "autopilot", in each waking moment. Interesting conversation... our habits determine who we become. Scary thought, but exhilarating to me, too, because that means I have ultimate control...

I try to plan for the future, to have goals, and strive to reach them. But...

I also try to live where and when I'm at, to use the resources that are in front of me, to listen to my body's needs--and to take time to pay attention to the sweetness in life. Who needs sugar, when we have such a beautiful world to explore?

It does take practice and perseverance--which means getting through this one step I'm at, then taking a deep breath and looking around and enjoying, and then taking the next-- and, following Captain Taggart's advice from "Galaxy Quest" (the movie)...
"Never give up! Never surrender!" LOL

I had a good thing going, then I was diagnosed with cancer. I've been in remission now for three years, but it meant starting over here, one step at a time... and even though it's slow, I've lost 18 pounds so far. Getting there, for today--and making today count! LOL

emoticon




"The real secret of success is enthusiasm..." thanks, Walter P. Chrysler. I believe it. That's what I want in my life--to give my imagination a chance, to live with energy and enthusiasm!

Ralph Waldo Emerson said 'Life belongs to the energetic.' But you don't have to be frenetic and hyper--some energy is quiet and steady, like a heartbeat... and that works too! LOL

Life comes in specific increments, which we receive as a gift of one moment at a time. That's why it's called
ODDMENTTWEAK Posts: 2,338
8/14/13 8:42 P

S*P has worked great for me in the past without actually 'dieting'. I can eat whatever, as long as I track it. It's the tracking and the accountability that I struggle with, not the foods.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
- Helen Keller
CHIBI_TOTORO SparkPoints: (147)
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8/14/13 2:57 P

Great topic! I just got done talking about this with my doctor, who's watched me go down 10, up 15, down 5 up 7, to the point where i've "dieted" my way to 200lbs!

we decided to work on learning to eat right. portions portions portions. and learning to grab for vegies and fruits, instead of my cookies and cakes.

I'm REALLY big, but still, without one calorie counted (and i used to be a calorie fiend on "diet tiem", with my scale and all) i have gone down 7 lbs. Just by learing that a "serving" is not the whole bag of chips. ;-)

Just trying to learn to eat right, before i worry too much about cals.
CHRISTASP Posts: 1,620
8/14/13 2:55 P

Thanks, to all that shared their insights.



Christina



ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (1,277)
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Posts: 48
8/14/13 2:24 P

I struggled with weight through disordered eating in my childhood to early 20's, a broken thyroid in my 30's, and now 2 babies/little kids in my early 40's.

It's not about the food, and any "diet" that is about "magic" foods or "sinful" foods will fail because it is a lie. It's about teaching yourself to care for your body with reasonalble amounts of good nutrition, and reasonable amounts of good exercise, so you can enjoy a healthy life for years and years. You have to learn to apply physical solutions to physical problems, and emotional solutions to emotional problems. You can't make the food behave, you have to learn to make yourself behave.

That's why I started using SP, and I really like it. I have eaten healthy for years but the trackers here have really allowed me to specifically see what nutrients I am high or low on, so I can adjust. I don't use the meal plan, but I use the ranges to adjust my meals for the rest of the day or the next day. Gee, I'm low in iron - I shoudl add some raisins to my snack tomorrow. Had a high-fat lunch, I'll focus on veggies at dinner.

This type of compensating is actually what "naturally" thin people do without thinking about it. But when your subconscious calorie thermostat is screwed up for one reason or another, you have to use conscious awareness to do the same adjustments.

NSMARTT Posts: 4
8/14/13 2:18 P

I have only been doing SP for 6 weeks, but I agree with all the advice that its not you that failed but that fad diets, or thinking of how you need to eat to lose weight as going on a diet, does not work. Saying you are on a diet tells your brain that at some point you will be off the diet, which is when the weight will come back. Thankfully my husband and I are in this together and we have decided to say we are making healthy food choices. This is not just the way we are going to eat until we lose, this is our new way of eating. Making the healthy choices become our new normal is our goal.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
8/14/13 1:37 P

Diets do work if you work them, and that's the catch. If you want to only eat bananas for the rest of your life, you won't get the kind of nutrition you'll need. A diet that requires you to work out 2 hours a day is not something I can maintain.

That being said, a lot of diets do teach you discipline, how to cook and what to avoid. It's been my experience that you have to pick one philosophy and stick with it. You can cut back on calories, fat and empty carbs in one philosophy, but don't freak out when the next medical study says to add caffiene or blueberry fibers.

We all need discipline when it comes to what we put in our mouths. So if you want to give up ice cream for the next year, my guess is that in 3 months you won't miss it.


SUSANK16 Posts: 495
8/14/13 6:01 A

I would assume that my lifestyle eating habits had changed. Sometimes I weigh more and sometimes I weigh less. It only fails when I give up. I think you have to accept that eating is going to occur for the rest of your life so your weight only reflects your eating habits. If you decide that you want to give up on the idea of losing weight then you have given it up.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/14/13 2:16 A

My diet is working. I eat 2000 calories+ a day, and lose at least a lb a week, 140 so far. I am not looking to cut calories. I am trying to eat as many calories, and carbs as possible without causing cravings, or feeling stuffed. Right now it is around 2100 a day.

The idea that Americans are focused on sex appeal, when 60 % are overweight is hilarious. Most of us just want to fit into a medium shirt, and avoid diabetes at 30 years of age. This idea that we are somehow at fault is why people look down on overweight people, even though we are the majority. Overweight people think obese people are lazy, and skinny people think overweight people are the same.

Instead of blaming the people, let's look at the food. Food manufacturer's don't just count on us to fail, they put stuff in our food to make sure we fail. The person who overeats when they are not feeling cravings is rare. We never just sit there, feeling full, and say " I'm going for a 3rd helping! ". Certain foods cause these cravings, and these cravings cause us to overeat. If you stop and examine what foods cause this, it is always carbs. Since they are cheap, and supposed to be a majority of the American diet, it is the focus of the food industry to make carb selections into unrecognizable abominations. Salty processed carb make you thirsty, so you drink a fruit juice which they added sugar to. This spikes your blood sugar, and Insulin is released in large quantities, which stores the glucose, dropping your blood sugar. At this point, you now feel hungry again. This is the systematic poisoning of us through diet, for pure profit. The results are obesity, diabetes, gout, cancer, and heart disease more often, and earlier than ever before.

It is why low carb really works so well. The fat and protein foods haven't been corrupted as much, and don't cause these cravings. So without hunger, you don't overeat. Eat 1 serving of these foods though, and your cravings go through the roof. Like nicotine being added to cigarettes to make them addictive, the food industry has added addictive substances to carbohydrates, our biggest macronutrient allotment.

It is a brilliant plan, if a little bit evil. The government isn't forcing them to stop, and processed carbs are cheap, so they are raking in profits. They buy all the politicians and scientists off with their billions of dollars, and you have no studies to contradict them, and no one to pass laws to stop them. Meanwhile the fact that 60% of you can't stick to the recommended diet, is put down to you being lazy, and unable to control yourself. Never mind that we did it for centuries before starting to eat these foods. YOU are a worthless, lazy, pitiful, weak individual.. because it couldn't be the fault of the food! That stuff is the best diet ever.. and we have studies to say it is so.. paid for by the food producers making billions off you eating this way.

If you reject these frankenfoods, and get rid of hunger, any diet that does not include these foods will work, as they did before. It is why I see so much success with low carb, and vegans/vegetarians see success too. We don't eat these foods, and don't feel " hungry " like 60% + of you do. That allows us to lose weight on our diet.

It is also amusing to know that a store has all the good food around the perimeter. They don't mix the bad food in with the good. Vegetables, fruits, meats, and dairy. Yogurt is a toss-up now that they have started adding fructose to the yogurt, but you can buy plain yogurt, and add your own fresh fruit afterwards to avoid that.

Most people just want to be healthy, and look normal. They work harder than is necessary to see results, and wonder why they don't. The sabotage of food manufacturer's is the problem, not the people. I think most overweight people are focused on health almost every second of their waking lives, and the idea that they aren't is offensive. They struggle daily to be normal, not for sex appeal. They exert willpower far beyond what should be required without knowing that their willpower is no match for the chemist creating their food. Reading through the posts on here, you realize that they are spending a majority of their lives in a quest to be healthy.

The answer to their questions, are the same as the answers to the one.. How did we change our diet, that caused our recent obesity epidemic to happen? If you revert back to a diet we ate before this started, you stop getting cravings, and lose weight rapidly. Of course, that would be unhealthy for you, because we have studies that say so..lol. None of the diseases in the quantity we have today, but very unhealthy!


"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford
AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
8/14/13 1:22 A

Diets don't work because all they do is cut calories to achieve weight loss.

As soon as the weight loss is achieved, old habits kick in and weight gain occurs, and so the cycle begins.

Personally, I think the problem is our fixation on WEIGHT and SIZE, rather than HEALTH.

If we stopped being obsessed with image, stopped caring so much about our sex appeal and started caring more about health - it would change everything...

Obesity would not become "normal"; Celebrities giving advice on health would be ignored; Fast food outlets would disappear; People who never exercise would be considered "abnormal"....

I can but dream....

ALISONCHRISTIAN SparkPoints: (12,844)
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8/13/13 11:46 P

I hesitate to make any blanket statements about diets and dieting because everyone is different and what works for one person might not work at all for another. But I can speak from personal experience and make one generalization. My experience is similar to others who have posted that you can lose weight by following just about any restrictive eating plan. The problem is maintaining. For me that has meant resisting the urge to eliminate entire food groups and other extreme diets that might result in quicker weight loss and sticking with a plan that includes everything that is out there....in moderation. I tend to naturally gravitate towards carbs so I make an effort to eat protein at every meal and snack. I know that some foods will trigger a desire to overeat and so I avoid bringing them into the house. I guess the bottom line is that you have to know yourself (your weaknesses AND strengths) and play to those.

Now for the generalization....as I said, the problem isn't weight loss (anyone can do it and the diet industry knows it)...the problem is weight maintenance. If we spent a fraction of the resources at our disposal on support for maintaining weight loss as we do on dieting....I really think the success rate would increase dramatically. The diet industry thrives on (indeed, counts on) failure. We need to figure out how to get off this hamster wheel.

Generalization #2 (yes, I know I said that I would only make one ;))....long term weight management is IMPOSSIBLE without exercise, especially as you age. Again...we need to make it cheap, easy and user friendly as a society for people to get out a DO something if we are serious about the obesity epidemic in this country (and many others too).

Just my 2 cents. emoticon

"Nothing happens without a dream."
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
8/13/13 8:18 P

As has already been stated, a diet is simply what you eat. You intend to mean a *reducing* diet; one you adopt in order to lose weight.

Diets of this sort simply don't work. Or, if they work (usually for lesser amounts of weight and carried out on a temporary basis - usually short) they cause you to regain your loss when you go off that dietary plan and back to your previous eating habits. That's why the only thing that truly works is to change your lifestyle, including your diet.

You aren't to blame in this: our "expert" advice for CICO and exercise have been shown not to be efficacious. If they were, the entire American population would be lean and tone. Look at how we're trying to follow the guidelines set by big medical and specialty groups, trainers, you-name-it. People are *trying* to follow that advice. In fact, many *are* following that advice. Is it working? Well, maybe for 10-20 pounds, or for a few months. Long-term and big weight loss? I just don't see it. We're getting more obese, and at a younger age, despite stringent attempts to follow our "healthy" advice. Our diseases of modern civilization are escalating right alongside the obesity epidemic.

The only good advice is to change your lifestyle. Find something you can live with, and then stick with it. Don't think you can do it until you reach some ephemeral goal. This is for life. Forever. I would say that whatever choice you make, don't base it on the advice and nutritional guidelines we've been following for the last 50+ years. That's been shown (and is still showing) that it doesn't work. That's not because we're gluttons, or because we lack willpower, or because we're simply not trying hard enough. It's because it DOESN'T WORK.

Find one that works for you. What works for me comes with dire warnings and threats of how dangerous it is... but it's improved my health and allowed me to lose a lot of weight (and I'm not done yet)... and it's something I can stick with. Not to say I don't still have temptations and have to tread carefully - but that's true with any weight-reduction plan, and any dietary change. I can live with it. My life is improved by living with my choice.

Do your research. Consult with your healthcare team. Find something which addresses not only weight but health. You'll find your way. Just don't look for a "quick fix"... because it's simply not out there.

...the problem with people these days is
they've forgotten we're really just animals ...
(attributation forgotten)

We did not create the web of life; we are but a strand in it.
~attributed to Chief Seattle

We don't have souls. We ARE souls. We have bodies.
~C.S. Lewis
FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
8/13/13 4:35 P

Diets do work if you work them, and that's the catch. If you want to only eat bananas for the rest of your life, you won't get the kind of nutrition you'll need. A diet that requires you to work out 2 hours a day is not something I can maintain.

That being said, a lot of diets do teach you discipline, how to cook and what to avoid. It's been my experience that you have to pick one philosophy and stick with it. You can cut back on calories, fat and empty carbs in one philosophy, but don't freak out when the next medical study says to add caffiene or blueberry fibers.

We all need discipline when it comes to what we put in our mouths. So if you want to give up ice cream for the next year, my guess is that in 3 months you won't miss it.


HEALTHY-SPARK SparkPoints: (42,287)
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8/13/13 11:20 A

Dieting definitely works to lose weight. The difference is that losing weight, and maintaining weight loss are two different things.

So if you are successful in losing weight, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will maintain that weight loss -- especially if the "diet" you were using was unusually restrictive or difficult to maintain for the long run.

The best solution is to find a "diet" that can become a permanent lifestyle change.

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass -- it's about learning to dance in the rain."

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RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/13/13 11:09 A

The only people not on a diet are people who are starving themselves.

The problem is when people use a restrictive diet, and then switch diets back to the diet they gained weight on in the first place. When choosing a diet, you just need two things.. 1) that it will cause weight loss/provides nutrition...2 ) that you can consume it till the day you die.

If you have that, you can increase calories as you approach goal weight, and stay on the same diet.

I have been on a low carb DIET for 4 years , and lost 140 lbs, with 50 to go. At that point, I will just eat more carbohydrates, and calories. A diet can be a permanent way of eating, and slogans like " diets don't work " just reinforces the ignorance of people who struggle to use words correctly.

"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "

- Albert Einstein

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

- Henry Ford
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (58,471)
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Posts: 9,691
8/13/13 10:20 A

SP has a really good article on why diets don't work.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_ar
ticles.asp?id=620


If diets really worked, the weight loss industry wouldn't be as huge as it is, nor as bloated with magic sprinkles, high-dollar shakes, power pills, fitness gadgets and fly-by-night diet book authors.

Short term fixes don't solve the problem. What works is lifestyle changes that you stick to for life. Otherwise, you get off the diet, and you go back to what got you fat in the first place, because you never learned to deal with the cause of the problem, and didn't develop the habits.

It's easy to say "I can't have cake because I'm on a diet." What happens when the diet's over, and you eat that cake, and you end up on a downward binge spiral? The story gets told every day here, and it never changes. Not until the lifestyle does.


Heather
Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.

I'm not pregnant, just fat: My blog.

fatnotpregnant.blogspot.com/
LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (28,770)
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Posts: 843
8/13/13 10:06 A

I think "diets" tend not to work long-term, because they tend to be too restricting, however, I have had really good luck implementing some diets on a short-term basis, less because of what I could eat, and more because they focused me to be much more aware of what I was eating in general.

I did a low-carb diet that allowed one cheat day. I lost weight on it, and even though I no longer follow it, I do incorporate a lot of the ideas that I learned there. I eat protein at breakfast now, which I used to no do, for instance, and I incorporate the idea of a weekly "binge" or "cheat" day. I don't always use it, but it helps me to refuse a slice of birthday cake, or turn down dessert at a restaurant when I can tell myself that I can have all the cake I want on Saturday. When Saturday comes, I often don't splurge at all.

I also spend a month following a vegan diet on a bet. I no longer follow it, but the month I spent on it taught me a lot about how to cook healthier foods. I eat a lot more beans in my diet now, and don't immediately start meal planning by thinking about meat.



If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann
AUTHENTICALLYME Posts: 2,311
8/13/13 8:10 A

That there's a difference between hunger (biological) and appetite (behavioral). I have a hard time distinguishing between the two. I try my very best to listen to my body to pick up the cues and it is very difficult. That is why I rely on a nutrition tracker that keeps track of the amount I have eaten. Simply put - it is a visual cue I can read so I realize that I have had enough. lt is also why I use a digital kitchen scale and measuring spoons to portion out amounts - and pay attention to the sizes of fruits and vegetables. An apple is an apple - however there is a caloric difference between 4 apples in a pound - 3 apples in a pound, 2 apples in a pound, or a super large apple.

What I do may sound restrictive to others, but hearing what they do on a diet sounds restricting and temporary to me because it's important for me to be able to live my life without the continual focus of "Can I consume this or not?"

What I say now is, "You can this much of that because that is a serving size," and doing that does make me feel restricted at all.

There are so many foods I cannot consume because I am allergic to them - why would I want to further restrict myself and be unhappy?

emoticon

PS - Glad to see that you're back on SP!



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"You can't always see where you are going, but a SparkFriend walking the journey with you may see what you can't."
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,009
8/13/13 8:06 A

Learn about nutrition and think lifestyle change...not diet. It's not all about calories, but carbs, sugar, sodium, healthy fats, exercise, etc.

I used to yo-yo and didn't understand why...I was finally diagnosed with pre diabetes through an A1C test and once I balanced my blood sugar I lost weight...98lbs worth. I still log everything daily in a composition book and 3 years later I haven't gained anything back.

There are many diets around but I agree with NIRERIN...you need to find middle ground, find foods that work for you and stick with them for the rest of your life.

NIRERIN Posts: 12,508
8/13/13 7:30 A

diet is just a way to say what one eats. so anything that passes your lips automatically gets included in your diet. if you find yourself yo-yoing between some fad diet and how you usually eat [which would be your usual diet], you need to find a middle ground where you can maintain your weight. fad diets tend not work, in part due to how restrictive they tend to be as well as how far away they are on the spectrum from what you usually eat.

-google first. ask questions later.

PATTISWIMMER Posts: 4,763
8/13/13 7:15 A

the only thing I tired as an adult is SP.. as a teenager I tried dieting

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
8/13/13 6:35 A

Dieting doesn't work.

Having a food plan that can last your lifetime does.

Drastic changes, that are considered temporary, do not teach you anything about daily living.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (159,315)
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Posts: 22,647
8/13/13 5:48 A

.... that dieting doesn't work. To me it is like whacking yourself with a hammer, then doing it again to see if it would hurt again... and then doing it again - just doesn't make sense why you would keep doing it.

Kris

Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 8/13/2013 (05:48)
Co-Moderator Dealing with Depression
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CHRISTASP Posts: 1,620
8/13/13 4:07 A

So... if you've lost a lot of weight using a diet, and gained it back again. And then lost it again, and gained it back.

What's your conclusion?

That YOU failed or that the diet, or dieting in general, does not work?

Christina



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