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ACHANSO Posts: 1,074
3/17/14 9:52 A

Yes, I'd also recommend stepping down slowly: cut down some calories every day- and make sure you're eating plenty of vegetables and fruits- they fill you up! Also fiber.

SUNSET09 SparkPoints: (563,112)
Fitness Minutes: (171,761)
Posts: 137,841
3/17/14 5:47 A

I would suggest you take it slow, one day at a time. For some, it's easy as I stopped eating beef and pork. One day, just decided no more however, everything in moderation and in it's own time. You know what works best for you so to thine own self be true!

Edited by: SUNSET09 at: 3/17/2014 (05:58)
LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
3/17/14 5:27 A

Don't buy giant boxes of cereal. Seriously. If you have huge portions of food available in your house, you are going to eat them. Plan your meals out ahead of time, and track them, and then eat what is on the tracker. If you are getting enough fiber, protein, etc, you are going to have less cravings than if you eat meals like biryani and cereal, which while yummy are basically all carbs, you are going to set your self up for a constant cycle of binging and craving and guilt. If you love your mom's Indian food, see if you can get her to make palak paneer or daal, which are higher in nutrients and fiber than a big bowl of rice.

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
3/16/14 12:30 P

You're not "quitting" anything. This isn't like smoking or drinking alcohol, where the goal is never to do this thing again. You will always have to eat. You're not going to quit that; you're going to learn to do it better. You can't "improve cold turkey," so that's no longer a question.

Improvement and learning happen incrementally, and there are lots of different approaches. For most people, the key isn't so much to focus on what you "can't" or "shouldn't" eat, but rather to make an effort to eat everything that you need to eat. If you're getting your 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day, you're not really going to want 5 bowls of Honey Bunches on top of it.

Another thing that helps almost everyone is to track your food BEFORE you eat instead of after. In other words, plan your day's intake and nutrition. If you sit down in the evening and work out a healthy meal plan for the next day that meets all of your nutritional goals, you don't have to make decisions when you're hungry. It's a lot easier to say "no" to ice cream if you already know you can have yogurt, be satisfied, and meet your protein goal without xceeding your fat goal. (And for me, at least, I sometimes stick to the plan just so I won't have to go to the work of signing on to my tracker and changing what I planned!)

The one thing I would suggest that you quit cold turkey is buying huge amounts of foods that you know will tempt you. Don't buy sweetened cereal at Costco. If you want to have that cereal available as a treat, buy a normal sized box, or single-serving boxes if you can find them. And before you say, "but it's more expensive!"... that argument only applies to foods that you *want* to eat in large amounts. Price is not the same as cost. If the price of a single-serve box is a dollar and you eat one serving, while the large box is 25 cents a serving but you eat 4 servings, the COST is the same. In fact, since eating 4 servings of sugary cereal will delay your goals and cause you to spend more on other weight loss products and possibly incur more health care expenses in the future, the cost of the single serving is actually a little less.

Edited by: ANARIE at: 3/16/2014 (12:37)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
3/16/14 11:21 A

I would not worry about exercise, especially as a means of weight loss. Do whatever exercise you are comfortable, and focus on diet. I lost a lot of weight while doing no exercise whatsoever, until I lost enough to do so without any pain.

Your problem is hunger, and I know about that all too well. I would eat a " healthy " breakfast, and be hungry 2-3 hours later, and then I would eat lunch and dinner, but then at 11 p.m., would go get fast food, chocolate and pop, even though I wasn't really hungry. It was just cravings.

This isn't about willpower. If you have cravings, you will eat. What you need to do is avoid cravings, and what causes cravings, is the food you eat, namely certain carbs. I started low carb 5 years ago, and unless I eat a food that is off plan, I never have any cravings. So, I just schedule my 3 meals, and a snack, and eat when it is time to eat. I don't eat any extra, or think about food, unless it is time for a meal, or I am discussing it on SP.

These cravings are your problem, and as a society, we have decided that having cravings is a normal part of life, so we tell people to use their willpower, when it is just a physiological reaction in your body, and if you alter what you eat, you won't have cravings again, unless you eat the foods that cause them.

Everyone here has decided to quit overeating " cold turkey ", most of us 100 times, and failed 100 times. What you should be quitting cold turkey, is the carbs that cause you cravings. The idea that you should avoid having the cravings, instead of ignoring them makes more sense, but most people think it is part of life, so they just suffer, and blame themselves for failing to not overeat, when they have incredible cravings.

Sure, some people are superheroes, and despite being constantly " hungry ", they lose weight, and stick to a plan, but you shouldn't believe that life was meant to be so hard. You are supposed to be a healthy weight, and it isn't very hard.

Your options are continuing to have cravings, and seeing whether your willpower is stronger than these cravings, OR, choosing lower carb, and removing the cause of these cravings, and being able to easily eat the proper amount, without any cravings. Funny thing is, most people choose to fight nature, and live with the cravings.

Good luck with whatever you do. Hope you make it work somehow.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/16/14 11:13 A

As far as tracking food that you can't find here or on a label....I use google. Type in "Nutrition apple" or nutrition "Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia" - and you will find it.

Youtube has a ton (at ton) of free workout vidoes including yoga (all forms, all levels) and pilates...check them out - there are a ton of others there like kick boxing, jane fonda, strength training, etc. (just trying to think of things to do in a tight space).

Don't stress about the occasional day that you go over by 100 calories or so. No one here is perfect, no matter what they type. Sh*t happens. It's life - no one is perfect ;)

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/16/14 9:48 A

Walking is fine for exercise. That's all I did myself, for quite a while. I did do a lot of it, mind you, trying for 90 minutes a day in two sessions, most days, but the only consequence of doing half of that would have been to lose maybe 1 pound a week instead of 1.5, so I can't see that as too big a deal. And that's even assuming I wouldn't have eaten less with less exercise, too. (I don't track, but don't think I ever dropped below about 1500 calories a day while exercising that much, and probably usually slightly more.)

Anyway, about cold turkey or gradual changes ... SP is all about small steps, but for me that would never been been an option. I'd done small steps before. It never seemed to change very much and/or after a while I would revert to old habits anyway. I had a very strong vision in my mind of how I wanted to eat and how I wanted to live, so I just went for it, stuck out the uncomfortable bits, and well here I am. It worked. You know yourself best, so you're probably best able to guess what might work best for you. But as others have suggested, the only really important thing is never to give up: if your first attempt leads to rapid backsliding, then try again or try something else. Then plan that ultimately succeeds will probably be the one that is most truly comfortable for you and what you want out of life, but there are different ways of figuring out what that is and getting there.

Regarding your specific issues as you have named them -- it sounds like you're eating a lot like I was, "before". I too would have huge bowls of cereal and far too many muffins or cupcakes (like your ice cream). I determined that I wanted to eliminate the muffins entirely since objectively I could find nothing useful about them -- I did leave room for well chosen sweets at rare social occasions, stuff like that -- and that I would have no more than a proper serving of good cereal for breakfast, once a day. (The scoop I wound up using was between 1/2 and 2/3 cup, so actually a smidge less than a full serving for most cereals. This was actually even fewer calories than I guessed it was, so I wound up having a good snack mid-morning.) And that, and a reduction in portion size across the board to get into the needed calorie range, was pretty much all I changed.

It worked for me. It may or may not work for you, but something will.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
3/16/14 9:30 A

try quitting cold turkey. if you fall off, particularly if you fall off in a spectacular fashion or after a short period of time, you can know that you're with the 95+% of the population that can't really do cold turkey, which means you need to ease down to where you need to be. again, that doesn't mean that you did anything wrong, just that you learned that you're with the rest of us when it comes to going cold turkey on food.
beyond that i can see a few places where you can make some changes that will help eating be a little easier.
-going out for a late walk without eating breakfast is a bad idea. your body is likely used to getting food at certain times unless you have a really off schedule. so what that means is that when your body usually has 200 cals of breakfast in it, it had nothing. which is fine, your body can fast a little longer and be okay. but then you went for a walk, which spent, say 300 cals. so you still haven't eating anything [no intake] and you spent 300 cals so you're about 500 cals behind where you usually are and should be. which means your body is hungry. and if your body is anything like my body when it gets really far behind it starts to behave a bit like cookie monster around cookies. it takes 20 minutes for the full signal to go from your stomach to your brain. so when you undereat, particularly when you undereat and then add in exercise, you shovel food in because you're really hungry, you do it more quickly than you would have otherwise [had you had breakfast before you went out, a snack before you went out, or brought a snack with you when you were out walking] and you likely eat well beyond the point of full because you're still shoveling stuff in. having something to eat beforehand would not put you so far behind which would in turn make you not quite so hungry and inclined to shovel food in. yogurt and granola, banana and peanut butter, apple and cheese, cheese and bagel, veggie sticks and hummus, whatever digests easily as you walk. i know when i run, a bagel and cheese is great before and watermelon is the only fruit i have had any luck with eating before running. the less intense your exercise, the more options should be available for you to digest and exercise.
-i tend to have vegetarian indian food, which has a decent amount of vegetable in it. if i recall correctly the meat versions tend to have a lot less veg in them. so your biryani might be 60% rice, 30% chicken and 10 % veg. so having a cup or two of steamed broccoli with your biryani would add a decent amount of extra bulk to the meal for not a lot of calories. the second part is total calories for the meal. i figure about 100 cals per hour is a decent rate. so if your meal was under 300 cals, it's not likely large enough or hearty enough to keep you more than 3 hours. if your meal was 900 cals and it didn't keep you three hours then you need to do some tweaking to make it either lower cal so you can have a snack at the 3 hour mark or heartier enough to keep you longer.
-i had a big aha moment with what i was choosing to eat. i was hungry when i got home and so i had a serving of pringles. still hungry i had another serving so i was at almost 400 cals and still hungry. so i decided that instead of having a third serving of pringles and still being as hungry as i was after the first two, i'd have a serving of shrimp stir fry for about 100 cals. the 100 cals of shrimp stir fry filled me up [a lot of peppers and broccoli and water chesnuts]. so the next day, when i was hungry again i tried just having the 100 cals of shrimp stir fry and i was full. when you eat junky stuff that doesn't fill you up like chips or cereal it's easy to eat a lot of it because there isn't anything in it that makes you feel full. one of the best things i trained myself to do was to go for foods that fill me up [meals, mini meals] instead of junk that leaves me hungry. if you're eating 600 cals of honey bunches of oats at a go, i'd say they aren't working for you and you should skip them in favor of actual food that will make you feel full.
-"I thought: I've already messed up for the day, so whatever." the best piece of advice i have ever heard on these board relates to this. if you used this logic in the rest of your life, if you got a flat tire then the next logical thing to do would be to take a knife to your other three [good] tires. when you use this kind of logic you take a 600 cal off that you can work around and turn it into something impossible to redeem. if you were to just have that 600 cal overage, you could eat 100 cals less a day for the next six days [1200-1450] and still be in range for the week. when you give up is when you start building that little molehill into a mountain you can't climb.
-don't assume you're eating more, measure. you can manually enter ben and jerry's into the tracker [manually enter a food is right by the search box and button in red] or any other food you have in front of you for that matter. overestimating is just as bad as underestimating and it might actually be worse for you since you're someone who sees a little over and then tries to do the most damage possible. so by overestimating you're pushing yourself to the point where you give up all the quicker. instead, try to be as accurate as you can be.
-if you really want to eat more food, eat veggies. there are people who get the pound bags of frozen broccoli and eat them as an appetizer to their meal when they want bulk. a pound of frozen broccoli is only about 250 cals. most veggies run somewhere around 50 cals a cup of less, so they are great choices for when you want to eat a lot.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,309
3/16/14 7:39 A

In order to share your Food and Fitness Trackers, you need to set up a Spark Page. Sharing your Trackers is an option you can select, on your Page. You can turn it on for a while, and then go back in and edit your Page to turn it off later, if you want. It's really helpful for other people to be able to see your food choices, when you want some nutrition suggestions.

I know that (for a lot of us) when we finally make the decision to change our lifestyles, we want to lose the weight ASAP and will choose a goal date that allows for a 2 lb/week loss. But sometimes, it can be way too hard to go from eating a lot, to 1200-1550 calories a day. It may be a good idea instead, to just track what you "usually" eat for a few days, and then cut that back by a couple hundred calories every few days. Sort of ease yourself into it. In the long run, it isn't going to make a really big difference in your loss.

As for proper form doing different exercises-- there are a lot of videos here on Spark (free!) and on youtube as well (free!) that will show you proper form. A lot of the Spark videos are about 10 minutes long, so it's pretty easy to squeeze in a little Fitness here and there. And youtube has all different lengths of videos. Just depends on how much time you've got.

3/15/14 10:54 P

I get my best success when I'm eating 5 smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 main meals. You could try something like that so that 3 hours later when you're hungry you have a mini meal planned to eat. But 5 mini meals works best if you're tracking because it's very easy for 5 mini meals to become 5 normal meals, which defeats the purpose.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/15/14 10:50 P

One value of tracking food is that it makes it easier for you to make substitutions.

You can look at something that has a lot of calories (say, 550 calories) and then try to construct an option that has fewer calories - not necessarily even in the same food group. There was a Picture Perfect diet that showed how you could eat X for some amount of calories. Then it would show you an alternative for the same amount of calories - and it was much more food (good tasting, too!)

'So my question is, do I try to ease myself off of overeating, or should I really try and quit cold turkey and just automatically stop eating as much as I used to?' If it's easy to do, that's great. Some people do things 'cold turkey' and it works for them. It's not that easy for a lot of people.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 3/15/2014 (22:53)
NMNEWWMN Posts: 120
3/15/14 10:36 P

Hungry Jess, I can empathize with the cereal and ice cream. I have NEVER tracked food before and it's a real eye opener. Don't beat yourself up, though, you haven't blown it that bad. As dietician Becky says, you can take small steps and incorporate fruit in, and whatever small step that you can. I have also been doing 4 minute tabata exercises and it is really getting me energized. FOUR minutes, check it out on the internet. Let me know what you think.

HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 36
3/15/14 10:15 P

Thanks for your tips EELPIE.

Yeah, it turns out I have no willpower. Since I was already feeling defeated after the Honey Bunches of Oats, I decided to have ice cream. I mixed pistachio and almond flavored ice cream (which has too bright of a green color; thus, I think a lot of food coloring was used, besides, it's ice cream) and Ben and Jerry's new Hazed and Confused. I thought: I've already messed up for the day, so whatever.

And while tracking my food, which I can't figure out how to show to other people, I realized that a whole serving of Honey Bunches of Oats, 3.5 cups, is over 600 calories. 600 calories! There was only one option on the tracker for chicken biriyani, so I chose that, but I don't know how accurately it reflects the biriyani I ate. And there's no option for the Ben and Jerry's ice cream, so I didn't even add that onto the tracker.

I'm so used to eating more than the recommended serving that I always assume that I have exceeded the serving, so I always guess higher.

So now, at 7pm, I've exceeded my maximum recommended calorie intake- the range I've been given is 1200-1550. I've eaten 1657. So that's 107 calories over my maximum allowance. And I'm not hungry now, but I know I'm going to be hungry when my family and I sit down for dinner after my mom comes back from work.

How can I make my tracker public so DIETITIANBECKY can see it? And DIETITIANBECKY, I'm glad I don't have to walk 5 miles a day, but how many 5-10 minute bouts a day do I need? The only exercise that I can really do at the moment is walking. I don't have the space or the knowledge, for that matter, to do more than that. I wanted to do yoga. I have two yoga books, but my room is kind of cramped. And plus, I don't have the knowledge of proper form. I can't run because I feel self-conscious about my heavy body pounding the pavement, plus I broke foot last spring, and though I feel fine and can walk two miles, probably more if I had the stamina, I don't think it's ready for running. The doctor says it takes up to a year to fully heal, and it only started healing three months after I had already broken it. So basically, I still have a few months before I hit the one year mark. Thus, all I can do now is walk. And two miles takes me about 45 minutes to an hour.

I want to get down to 140 by my birthday, which is Aug 25. According to the sparkpeople tracker, I can do it.

Edited by: HUNGRYJESS at: 3/15/2014 (22:20)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/15/14 8:08 P

I eased down - every 2 days I went down 200 calories.

During that time, I started upping my intake of veggies.

It will help you to stay full to increase protein, fiber, and good fats - and drink a lot of water.

Try eating 2 hardboiled eggs as a snack, protein bar, or an apple with peanut butter or cheese - the protein will help fill you up.

If you are used to eating breakfast, try not to skip it, that sets you up for over eating later in the day (due to hunger).

I'm not a big fan of processed cereals to begin with - although I will admit that HBOO was my all time favourite one!!!

I find it easier to deal with temptation to not have the "tempting" food in the house to begin with.

3/15/14 8:01 P

1. You do not have to walk at least 5 miles for it to have a positive benefit to your body. Any amount of activity is beneficial in burning calories---even if done in 5-10 minute bouts throughout the day.

2. I would really like to see your nutrition tracker to give more helpful tips. Let me know if you need the steps to make it public. Do check on these things...
Are you getting at least 60 grams of protein daily and are you having protein at every meal?
Are you getting at least 20 grams of fiber daily?

Another idea to help with cravings is to have at least 1 serving of either a fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack. So if you have the Honey Oat cereal, then you must have a fruit or vegetable along with it. (slice bananas on top)

Your SP Registered Dietitian

HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 36
3/15/14 7:12 P

Hi Everyone,

I'm Jess. I haven't been here in a while. I got super busy my last semester of college, writing my thesis. Also, I started losing weight! I was able to cut down on my appetite. Then, at the end of my semester, when I was finishing my thesis, I started eating chocolate like crazy. When I lived on campus, there was a convenient store across from my apartment and I bought a lot of chocolate...and ate it. And then, I would give in to my late night cravings. "Give in" is not the right definition. I had no struggle with deciding to eat a plate of my leftover Chinese food at 11 o'clock at night. So, now it's like I've retrained my body to overeat again. I'm trying to return to the old me who didn't eat as much, but it's hard. I thought it would be easier now that I'm at home and there's no convenient store to tempt me. But I still manage to find something to eat. Like a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats in the afternoon even though, on most days, I also had a big bowl for breakfast. Overall, I've luckily still been able to stay under 200 pounds. I'm 178.2 pounds according to my doctor's scale and I used to be around 215/220. But it's taken me six and a half months to lose that weight.

Given that I've been dealing with a lot of health problems lately, which I never had before, I want to go back to eating less and I want to start exercising. I walked two miles for the second day in a row today, but I know you're supposed to walk at least five miles a day to actually have an effect on your body. I used to be able to walk five miles, but I haven't done that in over a year, so I don't have the stamina.

But since I'm walking only two miles, it takes me less than an hour to do, so that's not so bad. The controlling my appetite is SUPER hard. Take today, for instance. I went out for a late walk, so I didn't eat breakfast and I didn't get home until around 12pm. Then, I had some of my mom's chicken biriyani. It's an Indian chicken and rice dish. I had a plate of it, but three hours later I was hungry again. And I knew I shouldn't eat. And, besides that, I had nothing to eat. Other than the dangerous Honey Bunches of Oats, which, by the way, I get the big box from Costco with two bags in it and I usually go through the whole box within a week. I kept trying to ignore my cravings, saying I shouldn't eat my afternoon "snack" of a big bowl of cereal. But, I couldn't stop thinking about the taste of the Honey Bunches of Oats. So then I decided to just eat the bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. I know, bad move.

I want to start eating less, but I don't think I can automatically just cut my food intake in half.

So my question is, do I try to ease myself off of overeating, or should I really try and quit cold turkey and just automatically stop eating as much as I used to?



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