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HIKING247 Posts: 21
8/29/14 7:40 A

I feel for you girl! I too am struggling with some regain - it seems all people want to do is go out to eat!

Some advice I have: look for alternatives. If you really love candy bars, try Quest bars. They have 20g of protein and can really quell your sweet tooth. Right now, baby tomatoes are in season and are so sweet they are like candy. Noosa yogurt is super rich and a great substitute at night for ice cream (just watch out as it is high cal). Clif makes super great kid sized bars that make a good snack for ~ 130-150 calories - their iced oatmeal cookie is great.

Just remember to take baby steps! Don't be too hard on yourself!

MOODYKEYS SparkPoints: (26,689)
Fitness Minutes: (11,005)
Posts: 839
8/25/14 7:20 P

only suggestion I have is to eat only fresh fruits and vegetables, use only lean types of meat and do hard cheese and protein or fruit for snacks. as far as snacks at birthday parties, use betty crocker no sugar cake mix. I make cup cakes and eat only one even though they are no sugar mixes. I also use atkins snacks or bars to replace candy bars because they only have 1 or 2 grams of sugar. dark choc. almonds are my sweet treat. 1 oz of dk. choc. is good for you. you can find things to replace bad snacks that will satisfy you. keep an eye on the sugar content , keep it low and you will succeed. good luck. you will do it again but this time don't diet, live healthy.

OAMEMBERTRIES SparkPoints: (2,711)
Fitness Minutes: (1,869)
Posts: 45
8/24/14 3:15 A

I actually enjoy exercise . . . Down here in Florida we can swim, bike and play pickleball almost year round. It's my eating that is out of control. That's REALLY hard for me to stop when I am not feeling well - physically or mentally.

Getting physically healthy enough to get back to my regular activities is my issue now. I have been looking up low impact aerobics, yoga, chair exercise activities - anything that will help me heal and not injure me further (which for me means limited weight-bearing activities).

I am lucky I live in The Villages, FL. Activities galore! I just need to pick them out, coordinate my participation, and get going!

ADRIENALINE Posts: 19,926
8/19/14 2:30 P

Exercise isn't required in maintenance but it sure helps a lot. Reenka is so right exercise in the pool is maximized. If you try to lose weight by working on eating alone you run the risk of losing lean muscle along with the fat. Also it is very difficult to deny yourself so many things forever. If you exercise, you can eat some of the things that make you happy and lose weight too.

I get into funks periodically where I can't deny myself desserts and chocolate stuff to save my life so trying to be psychologically healthy for me is just as necessary as watching what I eat and getting out and moving. Weight loss is so incredibly complicated, it is really hard to keep up all of the things you need to do all of the time.

The best thing I can do for myself is to take one day at a time and try to do the best I can each day. Accentuate the positive and forget all of the negative that happens everyday.

Edited by: ADRIENALINE at: 8/19/2014 (14:32)
REENKA Posts: 34
8/19/14 11:31 A

I think it is hard to maintain without exercise. I lost 80 pounds several years ago and managed to maintain for four years with exercise. When I quit exercising I gained the weight back plus more. Our body chemistry, set point, leptin levels etc. all seem to help drive us to gain back the weight and exercise is our friend in countering that. Right now I have a foot injury and can't walk but am trying to do some water exercise. If there is anyway you can do exercise in a pool that is the best way and a gentle way for an injured body to move. Best of luck to you.

OAMEMBERTRIES SparkPoints: (2,711)
Fitness Minutes: (1,869)
Posts: 45
8/18/14 4:24 P

Awesome loss and inspiring post. Reading about your experience helped me on my way. I recently got sick and fell off the wagon, feeling entitled to please myself after being in the hospital. I gained back 20 lbs. in less than 2 months.

None of this is easy but you have inspired me to eat some spinach right now!

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,511
8/14/14 10:26 A

learn to love veggies and aim for 7 or more servings a day. When you are sedentary 2000 calories is making veggies your main dishes you bring those calories way down, you get plenty of good nutrition, and lots of fiber...all adding up to a better lifestyle. And think of fruits as treats...they are sweet and you can train your taste buds to appreciate that level of sweetness over the sickly sweetness of sugars and artificial chemicals. For you it's mind over matter.

I would not be surprised if adopting this concept also helped with your health problem. Most of the current news on sugar recognize that high levels become toxins in our system...leading to diabetes and insulin resistance, aging us internally faster, and creating a host of metabolic disorders. if you want less pain...start by naturally repairing your body with a healthy diet.

PAM_COOPER mentioned "eat veggies and fruits you want (well, almost) just prepare them without sugar, butter, cream, etc".... I make fabulous veggie dishes using a little chicken broth, with a little olive oil, herbs, spices, lemon, vinegars. Be creative and have fun

Edited by: SHERYLDS at: 8/14/2014 (10:32)
PAM_COOPER Posts: 389
8/13/14 4:14 P

I lost weight independent of exercise, but now that I'm thinner I have been much more active on a daily basis than before losing weight.

I am 58, 5'6" and lost 155 lbs a few years ago. I discovered that prior weight loss attempts (I have been a lifelong fat/thin/fat person) I had never planned for maintenance either. This last go around I planned for maintenance, which I realized, quickly meant to stay on the course I used to lose the weight in the first place!!!!

After reaching goal, I continued to lose until I got underweight (for me) so I made 'allowances' (too many) in order to regain 10 lbs. . . . but the 10 lbs. soon became 20 (this is just since Christmas). Now, I am trying to re-lose that last 10 . . . whew! This is not easy for some of us to stay on an even keel.

All that to say this: Bottom line is to eat 'simple' unprocessed foods as much as possible. Stay away from most fats, sugars, and flour. (These can be good for you, but I had to cut out about 90% of what I used to consume,) Eat all the veggies and fruits you want (well, almost) just prepare them without sugar, butter, cream, etc. Protein helps you feel satisfied--I almost exclusively eat chicken, turkey, some pork cuts, tuna, other (unbreaded) fish fillets, eggs, avocados, and beans for my protein. Plain meats and veggies can be prepared in so many healthy ways once you start looking for ideas. Even fat and sugar laden recipe favorites can be altered to be more healthy and it also allows you to control the calories and even allow you to eat more and feel better satisfied. I still have 'allowances' but not as many as I thought I could have and get by with it.

BTW, I am currently eating about 1,200 to 1,400 (to lose) calories per day with a mostly sedentary (some daily light walking, housekeeping, and yard work) lifestyle and staying close to 145 lbs. I want to get back down to 135 lbs. Also, when you log your calories on line you can see a breakdown as to the amount of carbs and fats . . . you have eaten. If you seem to be getting too much of one or the other just adjust your intake a bit for the next few days.

It's too many of those 2-3,000+ calorie 'allowances' --birthdays (cake + ice cream), reunions (fried chicken, mac & cheese), family movies (pizza and bread sticks) that has got me in trouble. I can be 'on task' for 4 or 5 days and blow it in one day with a binge of bad choices. I can seldom say 'when' to these trigger foods after I have given myself a green light to eat them--I am still slowly learning moderation even with these allowances but have to fight the demons within (so to speak). BUT, this IS part of maintenance -- learning to keep it between the goal posts.

P.S. I also recently quit smoking which may have helped contribute to the extra weight gain.

Edited by: PAM_COOPER at: 8/13/2014 (16:25)
ROMEOTHECAT SparkPoints: (1,310)
Fitness Minutes: (827)
Posts: 47
8/13/14 12:59 P

Figure out what works best for you and incorporate healthy stuff you like. It's that simple, but it's not that easy. I eat a lot of grilled chicken, I set aside fruits, veggies yogurt, and a half-cup of Chex Mix for work every day, and I've cut out soda in favor of water and unsweetened tea.

If you find yourself making yourself eat foods you don't like, you're doing it wrong. If you find yourself saying no - always - to foods that are probably OK, you're doing it wrong. If you find yourself refusing invitations to go out to eat because your lid on your food is too tight, you're doing it wrong. That doesn't mean blowing the doors off your lifestyle when you go out, but you can always make better choices and eat less.

But that's no excuse to put yourself in food prison. Losing weight, adopting a new lifestyle, etc. is not a punishment. Don't make it one.

8/13/14 11:40 A

Lots of veggies, lean meats, and way more water.

Take it slow and steady.

Good Luck!

GLORY- SparkPoints: (137,397)
Fitness Minutes: (57,135)
Posts: 3,786
8/12/14 10:42 P

Gradual changes seem easier to stick to. Set reachable goals so you wont get discourages. Then re-set them. Fix some of your favorite foods in a more healthy way. Try some new recipes. Substitute some unhealthy snacks with fruit desserts or even better, just fruit. Exercise most days, even if its 10 minutes. Choose things you like to do and change it up often so you keep your body from hitting a weight loss plateau. Keep tracking food and exercise even when you reach your ultimate goal or you can slip back. Since you did it before, you know you can do it again!

BHENDRICK2 Posts: 1,212
8/10/14 12:18 P

emoticon we have all been there good luck

REDDOTFLYER Posts: 2,576
8/10/14 10:37 A

Anti inflammatory foods have really helped me. When I feel better I can make better food choices. Changing food habits is a long process for me.

HADLEY123 SparkPoints: (22,513)
Fitness Minutes: (3,954)
Posts: 91
8/8/14 1:16 A

I use my slow cooker a lot - just set it and forget it. Before you know it, dinner's done. I make soup or beans almost every week in there. Also, if you plan 2 healthy home cooked meals, make them really large. The extra work/clean up is minimal and there are leftovers for future lunches and dinners. Freeze them in portion sizes. I'm at the point now where all my food is home made and like other posters here, I plan my dinners out for the week and buy all the groceries at once. That "what's for dinner" stress is so difficult on me.

And a word on night time snacking which is my guilty pleasure...
I have a few stand by snacks that are light on the tracker. I learned about the frozen banana ice cream trick and the single serve microwave brownie here on SP. I also like to have a bowl of cold cereal with fruit or plain Greek yogurt with honey and fruit for my late night snack. My point is that there are options that will fit in with your goals and still satisfy you. You just have to discover what they are.

INCH_BY_INCH SparkPoints: (265,399)
Fitness Minutes: (163,543)
Posts: 7,989
8/7/14 6:07 P

Keep adding to the list of changes. Even if you "white-knuckle" it from time to time satisfy those 'junk food cravings' look at it in moderation. We didn't get ourselves in food trouble overnight, so it will take time to correct it and build a better food life style change. Having sparks people friends makes the changes better. emoticon

A_NEW_TRACY SparkPoints: (379)
Fitness Minutes: (203)
Posts: 22
8/7/14 4:11 P

Since you are monitoring your caloric intake and fats, I would suggest looking at how much protein you consume. I was instructed by my surgeon to make sure I take in 70-100g of protein daily. If you do not eat enough protein your body will think it's staving and it will want to hold on to anything you put in it. Finding the right balance may help.

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (201,584)
Fitness Minutes: (261,330)
Posts: 2,243
8/7/14 2:32 P

You can only do what you can do...for some people, they have no problem giving up junk foods--and for others of us, we'll always crave Doritos & Snickers bars & have to "white knuckle it" every evening while trying not to nosh.

I've had pain issues, I've had surgeries, I've had hospital stays...they all led to weight gain! Do some research--read about the changes to your hypothalamus with pain & surgery. It helped me get a handle on my post-back-surgery weight gain.

Then you just do what you can do every day. Find SOME way to exercise--even if it's just a Sit & Be Fit routine. Find ways to eat less & make your meals healthier--even if that just means adding a salad with fat-free dressing.

And never beat yourself up when it's not working--just keep living your life, keep trying your best, keep praying or meditating, and keep remembering what makes you a good person inside--and screw the mirror/scale outside! :)

WE CAN DO THIS--hard as it may be...

EREBECCA1 Posts: 95
8/5/14 11:37 A

If the hospital allows, take snacks like fruit and vegetable sticks in. :)

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
8/4/14 4:01 A

Hi Mel - my recommendation to you is to start very very small. Just begin by staying within your calorie range. I understand your "diet" feeling and if you allow yourself to eat what you want but stay within your range that is fine. Then you can add things to it and you can live with. This is not a diet - it is a lifestyle change -- or changes you can live with for a lifetime.
I started by not tracking calories but by eliminating soda and the vending machine. I later started tracking and now I am just tracking certain things such as my exercise and junk food. Small changes can take you a long way because after time they all add up. Make this a life time commitment not anything so difficult that you cannot complete it.

FIFIFRIZZLE Posts: 2,148
8/3/14 5:13 P

Hey there, lots of good advice here.
I understand what you are saying about the pain. And I wonder, if you are on pain meds and in pain anyway, does exercise do lasting damage, or is it something that you don,t have to avoid? Because if you can, moving will bring benefits that are maybe worth the pain. SP has chair exercise videos, can you do them for a start?
As for the sugar, yup, that is a toughie. Low carb eating is really worth exploring, and once you lick your sugar habit, you will be surprised at the difference.
It's likely that you would benefit from any kind of anti inflammatory diet. And if you want to drop a lot of weight quickly, and kick start a lifestyle change, I have had a lot of success with the Cura Romana.
Hope some of this helps

Edited by: FIFIFRIZZLE at: 8/3/2014 (17:15)
8/3/14 4:48 P

I started exactly where you are. I spent 3 weeks on fast break tracking and learning about the cost of the nutrition choices I was making. At the end of the day, I would look back and see if there were some obvious substitutions that would help get me into my calorie range and meet my nutritional goals. Substitutions like mustard for mayo and 1/2 cup rice instead of 1 cup of rice really made the difference. It was less a diet and more about making choices I could live with without a struggle. Slowly I got used to eating smaller quantities. Then I got used to healthier food choices. I found that whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal really do work better at keeping me satisfied. I learned to cook healthy meals that I really like from SP recipes. It's been 8 months and I really like what I eat and how I feel.
My goal was to design and refine a quiet, accepting journey that feels so comfortable that I'd miss it if it were gone. That is happily ever after.
You are off to a good start. Try to make one new change a week until you find exactly what works for you.

CRAMPERELLA Posts: 1,545
8/3/14 3:52 P

Given your limitations and your starting point, I think your goals are perfectly reasonable. Keep your goals really small and don't make them all about food. Getting well is about being good to your mind, body and spirit. My goals right now are to log in and track my food everyday, not concentrating on limiting but being mindful with what I eat. Don't listen to the endless chatter about weight loss. You already know what you need to get healthy. Listen to your body.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
8/3/14 11:10 A

Congrats on your past success! You know you can do it. You've also identified that a "diet" isn't something you just do for a while. It's a lifestyle change. You have to change your relationship with food.

I'm also unable to exercise. I'm confined to my powerchair pretty much all the time, although I *can* get around for very short distances with a walker. Nevertheless, I've lost over 100 pounds purely with dietary changes. No exercise at all - so it's possible. Don't despair!

Our diet is a prescribed one by our endocrinologist. It's a low carb / Primal plan, and it's been working very well for us. I'm on it for weight reduction and some AI-related metabolic issues... my husband is T2D, which is why he's on the same plan. It's been beneficial to each of us for all reasons.

I encourage you to research the low carb lifestyle. There's a forum here for Atkins, which is the easiest one to start with. The Atkins book (the older one, the one Dr Atkins authored) gives good foundational scientific information on the how and why of the plan. It's at least worth checking out, so long as you're searching for possibilities.

PLIBBY9 SparkPoints: (19,488)
Fitness Minutes: (7,306)
Posts: 220
8/2/14 9:24 A

I have also been on the weight loss-gain roller coaster most of my life, but 2 months ago I made major eating lifestyle changes. I have been steadily losing 2-3 pounds per week (with little to no exercise because I have whiplash). I feel fantastic.... Not deprived at all. Here is my story of my food lifestyle change. I hope it helps.

Edited by: PLIBBY9 at: 8/2/2014 (09:27)
BENE38464 SparkPoints: (11,303)
Fitness Minutes: (9,092)
Posts: 2,547
8/1/14 2:06 P

Instead of making any specific suggestions, I am going to refer you to a book which helped me very much. It is by Better Homes & Gardesn and is called "Eat and Stay Slim."They are available on Amazon and you can get them used for a little of nothing, but try to get the newest edition! It is the most uncomplicated idea for losing or maintaining weight! I got my first book in the 1960's. I think byou will find it helpful!!!

MELBELLE1024 SparkPoints: (4,558)
Fitness Minutes: (630)
Posts: 13
8/1/14 8:16 A

Thank you so much for the tips! I really appreciate it :) It's funny that you mentioned sugar because I am a sugar addict! But I noticed that fruit can be just as satisfying as the fruit flavored candy that I love so much :) Thanks again!

8/1/14 7:46 A

I also recommend eating mostly foods with little to no processing. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Vegetables and fruits, meats and healthy fats are so healthy for you. Eat lots of those. Sugars and white starchy grains are best avoided for optimal health and weight loss/maintenance.

Having lost so much weight before you were obviously doing something right. Reflect on what you did before to lose the weight and try to figure out why that "diet" ended up being unsustainable for you. Is there a way you can work some of the elements of that "diet" back into a permanent heathy lifestyle?

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 8/1/2014 (10:56)
TARAAMDMIKE SparkPoints: (26)
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Posts: 1
8/1/14 2:54 A

Hi my names Tara I am new too this site , I am 32 and I have been struggling with my weight , I am very determined too lose weight , I just am so lost as too what too eat how much too eat what is bad for me what is good for me please can someone help me and guide me in the right direction , let me no what foods too buy easy meals too have thank u so much

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,338)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,812
7/31/14 8:03 P

Kudos to you for working through such difficult circumstances.
I recommend sticking to unprocessed foods only and staying inside your calorie range to start with.

ANLAOCH SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,271)
Posts: 34
7/31/14 7:47 P

Pre-planning meals is critical for me. From there I make my shopping list. The biggest change I have noticed with my changing food lifestyle is that I do almost all of my grocery shopping around the walls of the store instead of the aisles where the processed food is kept. Yes, buying fresh produce is a little more costly, but for my health and the health of my kids I have accepted that the costs of the fruits and veggies far outweighs that cost of doctor visits. Good luck and hang in there!!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,327
7/31/14 6:28 P

the primary definition of diet is actually what one eats. so anything that you eat automatically becomes part of your diet.
if you want to lose weight and keep it off then you're probably going to have to keep at least 2/3 of the changes that you made while losing. which isn't to say that you can't go out for a burger and fries or that you have to keep up the level of exercise you were doing while you were losing or you still can't go out for drinks or that you can never have your favorite dessert again or whatever it was that you changed. you just can't go back to just that all the time. you can likely rotate in most of those things in, but your maintenance diet should look more like your losing diet than your before diet.
if you like rules like 1 g sat fat per 100 cals, perhaps try to make sure you're getting at least a gram [if not two] of fiber per 100 cals. or try to make sure that you eat the rainbow every day so that you're getting the widest range of nutrients you can.

MARYJOANNA Posts: 7,060
7/31/14 3:19 P

Eating healthy is a life change which is ongoing The idea is to have a treat once in awhile-not each day. Stay away from fried foods, eat lots of veges and fruit, and limit carbs..

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
7/31/14 1:44 P

With all the health issues you mentioned, it sounds like you should discuss your eating plan with the doctors first. Secondly, you would see a lot of benefits to pre-planning your meals at least a day in advance so you know what you plan to eat and can make adjustments to meet your nutritional goals. Lastly,you can try a Spark eating plan to get started.

MELBELLE1024 SparkPoints: (4,558)
Fitness Minutes: (630)
Posts: 13
7/31/14 10:30 A

Hello all!

My name is Mel and I'm not exactly new to SparkPeople. About two years ago I was using this site and I had lost 54 pounds! But since it was a "diet" I figured I had accomplished my goals and now I could go back to old habits. Well, it's two years later and I've gained almost all of that weight back! So I've decided that I am no longer calling this a diet because that sounds like a finite amount of time that I have to eat this way. The truth is that this is a lifestyle change.

The other side to this is that changing what I eat is more or less the only thing I can do to affect my weight. I know that a lot of people can exercise to try and help their weight loss but I don't have that option. I have problems with my central nervous system which causes me a lot of pain. I typically have about 32 procedures a year, but this is an off year since we're doing so much testing right now. I have immense amount of pain from my lumbar region (lower back) down. I'm not talking pain that can be fixed with aleeve. I'm talking about 16 pills a day, a procedure every other week, using a wheelchair and trying to stay out of the ER kind of pain. So exercise is pretty much out for me.

When I started SparkPeople again, I realized after tracking for a few days that I was eating about 3,000 calories a day!!! My current goal is eat less than 2,000 calories a day for a week and I'm now on day 4!!! I'm also trying to consume 8 glasses of beverages and eat at least one fresh fruit a day. I would also love to do two home cooked meals a week as well!

Right now the biggest rule I try to follow when choosing what foods to eat is this: You should only have 1 gm of saturated fat per 100 Calories.

Does anyone have any other suggestions???

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