I agree with most of the replies. There is some individuality with what works for each of us, but basically most nutritionist agree. I like to go to the Mayo clinic site for nutrition advice. The Spark Diet is very similar. I eat a little less carbs and a lot more leafy green vegetables (they help fill me up). But I do think everyone is a little different within sensible guidelines
goal is to be able to walk again Linda high desert, California
The truth is, all diets "work"....while you're following them. They stop working when you go back to eating what's not on the plan. The key is to make a lifestyle change. Whatever you're doing to lose the weight is something you've got to be committed to doing the rest of your life.
That means in theory the Adkins Diet works. I imagine 99% of the people who use Sparkpeople think all sorts of horrible things about that diet. But if you stick with it for the rest of your life, it will work. The same can be said for Sparkpeople. Most of the successful Sparkpeople who have lost weight have kept if off so long as they continue to follow the plan...which is basically counting calories and watching your macronutrients. Weight Watchers works...if you stick to the plan, even in maintenance. They all work and there's some research and opinion to support every one of them.
So I think my point is that it's the commitment to the plan that's the key and not necessarily which particular plan it is. We all have out own methods of losing weight. But we have to stay committed to that plan and not carried away by every crazy fad or scientific researched meal plan that there is.
You do have a family doctor, right? He knows you and your medical history pretty well, I assume. What does he say? What diet can you continue to eat for the rest of your life? What diet fits your personal tastes and at the same time gives you good food choices to eat fewer calories than your body needs to maintain. Add all those together = a good diet for you (YOU!)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
11/6/13 11:54 A
I gotta be honest; I have a very low opinion of all of that type of research, and I do my best to ignore it all. I am a scientist and a cynic both, and I am very much in line with the sort of critiques of science that argue that the majority of what is published is wrong. And when you get to population studies like almost all nutrition studies are, the odds that any given study is right get worse. When you get to new results that haven't been looked into much yet, the odds get worse again. Add in the fact that most of what we the public get has been filtered through several layers of advocacy researchers, agricultural propaganda, clueless 'science journalists', flimflam artists, true believers with ideological blinders on, and people just plain trying to sell us stuff -- and forget it, you may as well go out in your backyard with a divining rod as waste any energy on any of it.
And I honestly think that when it comes to losing weight especially -- but to lesser extent also when it comes to trying to "eat healthy" overall -- this kind of science is not helping us. Because half of us try to be perfect according to one measure or another, then fail and give up; and another big batch of us get flustered at all the contradictions and give up as well. And the simple fact is that ALL of us could get 90% of the way there by just not eating (much of) the obvious junk, and eating a lot more of the obvious good stuff. And when it comes to trying to lose weight, simply pairing those steps with reducing portion. And that's it, that's all the complicated it needs to be. If your diet is already halfway reasonable otherwise, then keep it that way, why not? You can always change things up later if you really want to, or if you find out that you are someone who needs to. But if the conflicting advice is getting in the way, as it seems to for so very, very many of us, then chuck it. Just chuck it and keep things simple. Losing weight is hard enough without making it more complicated than it needs to be. When it goes right, it's because you've gotten that lifestyle to perpetuate itself on an automatic, habitual basis without investing a whole lot of thought or energy into it. If the nutritional advice is getting in the way of reaching that point, it's not helping.
There is an incredible amount of room for individual preferences within the Spark People recommendations. Our Spark People Registered Dietitian, Becky Hand, and JENNILACEY have brought up something very important:
What foods do you want to eat and enjoy eating?
This is SO important because I don't know how anyone could ever stick to a way of eating that's filled with foods they don't like or which eliminates foods or food groups that they enjoy.
There are a lot of different (generally recognized as healthy) foods and food combinations that you can choose which will help you to end up within those Spark People recommended ranges for calories, carbs, protein, fat and fiber and give your body the vitamins and minerals that it needs.
A great place to start is by "healthifying" the things that you currently eat (like JENNILACEY mentioned) so that you are still eating what you enjoy but you are eating healthier versions. This is also where I started. Give your current recipes a makeover to get rid of their extra calories, extra fat, salt, etc. Grill, bake or broil rather than frying (e.g. oven fries instead of fried fries). Eat in vs eating out (you can, for example, absolutely make yourself a healthy hamburger at home using a reasonable portion of 93% lean ground beef, a whole wheat bun and by watching the toppings and sides). Switch to whole grain/whole wheat products. Incorporate healthy fats into your diet and reduce saturated fats--e.g. choose lean cuts of meat, add some avocado to your sandwich, add a little olive oil to your salad, add some peanut butter to your apple, etc. Work on your portion sizes--you may need to eat less of some things and more of other things. Eat a variety of colorful fruits. Eat more veggies. If you eat fast food, eat a LOT, LOT less of it (hopefully, learn to cook healthier versions at home). Candy and sugar sweetened drinks--everyone agrees that we should have a LOT, LOT less of this stuff. Explore healthy foods you haven't eaten before or ones you haven't eaten in a while.
Seriously, life is short. Don't make yourself miserable trying to cut out foods that you enjoy or forcing yourself to eat foods that you hate just because some Dr., author or TV personality is trying to sell you on their way of eating (and, yes, I used the word sell because they are all selling something, even if it's just themselves, aren't they?) You can have a perfectly healthy diet and eat foods you want, enjoy and which leave you feeling satisfied.
Let's rejoice that there is "not" just one, perfect way to eat. There are so many eating plans that can promote health and prevent disease. I think it is most important to look at a person's individual food preferences, cultural and religious preferences, food budget, food availability...taking in all these factor and then designing an eating plan to meet nutritional needs.
What foods do you want to include in your diet that provide your protein: meat, beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, wild game, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds?????
What foods to you want to enjoy that provide some carbohydrates: milk, yogurt, fruit, grains???
Are there certain foods that you dislike, or do not wish to use?
Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
Fitness Minutes: (61,915)
11/5/13 7:22 P
I also agree with Love4Kitties. I stick with the Spark plan because they use the most current and widely accepted research on healthy eating/diet. They also provide a fair/unbiased review of various diets and health trends/fads.
I'm not one to wager with the latest fad diet or any diet that is too restrictive because it wouldn't be likely I'd stick to it for long. I just took my personal dietary preferences and tweaked them to be healthy. I cook most of my meals from scratch, I modify recipes to be healthier, I add plenty of food I know I should be eating (like veg, healthy fats, protein etc.), I watch my added sugars and sodium, avoid highly processed/refined foods and those with a laundry list of ingredients I don't understand, eat balanced and enjoy treats in moderation.
As the mantra here at Sparkpeople goes, small steps snowball in lifestyle changes. Take a look at your current diet and see where you can make a few small improvements. Work on those for now and once you conquer them, make a few more small tweaks. You'll be much more successful at avoiding the yo-yo.
"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.
77 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (20,330)
210 11/5/13 7:04 P
There are a lot of people (including doctors) who will say and suggest things for you. In the end though, it's up to you to decide what you want. I went through the same boat as you when I was trying to balance out carbs into my diet. For the longest time I thought that I had to hardly have any carbs in order to lose weight. On top of that I was working out and trying to figure out why I was feeling so tired. I didn't take into consideration that there are good and bad carbs, and a lot of the good carbs aren't bad for you in semi-high amounts as long as you continued your workout pattern. For example, people say to stay away from carbs when trying to lose weight, but they never specify what kinds of carbs.
Good carbs: Oatmeal, whole wheat, legumes, broccoli, carrots, corn, veggies... Bad carbs: White flour: white tortillas, white bread... (mainly because white has a lot of sugar) And then you have to consider the times that you eat them. If you eat white carbs earlier in the day then you can burn them off throughout the day. Good carbs can be eaten at night despite what people say if you plan on working out the next morning.
Anyways. Sorry for my little tangent, but what I'm saying is that I suggest that you stick with one person's opinion and then the rest you'll find out as your body changes. Your body will appreciate and reject foods as you learn what it likes. It's not just a physical change but a new lifestyle change.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
current weight: 9.0 over
Fitness Minutes: (3,624)
11/5/13 5:34 P
I also agree with luv4kitties about using spark recommendations but I also believe that, as individuals, there is not a "one size fits all" plan that works for everyone. I follow basic spark plan but I tweak it a bit towards higher protein because that is what works for me. Spark's plan is very sensible and it is pretty much tried and true.
Love4Kitties has great advice for you. I understand and sympathize with your frustration. I feel it, too. I think that a lot of times people have underlying motives in pushing various diets - namely, selling their books and materials. Unfortunately, we are uninformed enough to believe too much of what we read when it is written with just enough truth mixed in to make it sound like fact. I try to remember to be a "skeptic" when I read the latest nutrition "studies" that someone has built a diet around. I also think there is a lot we don't yet understand about how nutrition affects us, and it leaves room for pseudoscience to fill the gaps. For myself, I try to listen to the cues my own body gives me - what meals, snacks, etc. satisfy me, give me energy, help me lose or maintain weight, etc. A diet that supplies a well-rounded group of macro- and micro-nutrients with a little common sense about portion sizes and moderation works best for me. The middle road is often the best path! Good luck!
You, like every other American is facing an overwhelming amount of information which all SEEMS reasonable and if you are like the vast majority of other people in our country, you have not had any (or any adequate) training which will allow you to distinguish fake science (pseudoscience) from the real stuff. The vast majority of popular books and documentaries have a lot of misinformation in them. Sure, there are grains of truth to be found in everything, but, then they sprinkle in the the conspiracy theories, the pseudoscience, the inaccuracies, the incomplete information, the unsupported conclusions, the misrepresentations, the references to things that sound good (but which don't actually support what they are saying), the references to flawed studies, etc. all to sell you on their way of thinking. In the end, they all present arguments which seem, to the normal person, to be reasonable and scientifically sound. But, they aren't (including the vast majority of the books and documentaries written or made by doctors).
I would personally recommend that you start with the recommendations given by Spark People (after you enter your statistics, goals, etc. Spark People will generate recommendations for you). These recommendations are based upon the latest scientific research and are what the majority of registered dietitians would recommend for most people (without special health concerns that would require a different diet). My registered dietitian wholeheartedly agreed with the Spark People recommendations and I successfully lost almost 100 lbs following these recommendations. Once you have been using the Spark People recommendations for a good amount of time, if you find that certain things aren't working for you, this is a good time to do a little adjusting until you are happy and things are working well.
Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 11/5/2013 (16:25)
Total SparkPoints: 14,228
SparkPoints Level 11
Fitness Minutes: (8,760)
11/5/13 3:44 P
I don't believe any of it individually, but I believe all of it together. We are Omnivores and are meant to eat both plants and animals. We need a balanced diet. Too much or not enough of one (plant or animal) is bad for our bodies
Edited by: LSANGANGE at: 11/5/2013 (15:45)
Sizzling Summer Slimdown 2014 BLC Go Titans! IW-6/13: 6/20: 6/27: 7/4: 7/11: 7/18: 7/25: 8/1: 8/8: 8/15: FW-8/22: Total lost=
I am frustrated. Like most of you I have struggled with my weight and have been on many diets. I don['t just jump in blindly when I choose and eating plan....I research and research and research. Here is my problem: You can find supporting evidence for any diet....so who do we believe? I want to not just lose weight, I want to eat the healthiest diet to live a long and healthy life. About nine months ago I watched the movie Forks over Knives and thought , Wow, this is it. Finally. I then proceeded to watch Hungry for Change and many other documentaries. I read the books: China Study, Engine 2, Eat to Live, Starch Solution.....all of which suggest that a plant based diet is the way to go. So I dove in full force and have been eating that way since. A few weeks ago a friend brought to my attention a documentary called, The True Human Diet. In short, this says the complete opposite ....it says meat and veggies...basically Paleo is best. Also, my husband continually asks me how I can blindly follow these doctors who promote plant based when so many other doctors say other things. So, who is right? How do we know what is the healthiest diet for us to follow.
If i follow the advice of some doctors eating meat is a healthy thing. However, the advice of other doctors tell me i am killing myself. Same with Carbs....one doc says good, one says bad.
"What my mind can envision, my body can master!"
Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~Josh Billings
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