I believe that dieting makes you fat. However, how do I lose weight?!

(44 Posts)
KKKKaty Wed 14-Aug-13 09:40:48

Having seen many documentaries and read many articles over the last year or two, I am pretty convinced that it is true that dieting makes you fat. I used to have a "settling" weight of around 9st 4 or so, but three times through weightwatchers (and a couple of babies), I now settle at 10st 10 or so, a horrible, podgy, muffin-top sort of weight for me.

So, on the basis that dieting does make you fat - as soon as you stop dieting all the weight plus more goes back on - how do I get thinner and stay thinner?

runningonwillpower Wed 14-Aug-13 09:43:07

The only way is to change your eating habits for life. And exercise.

Good luck!

CaptainSweatPants Wed 14-Aug-13 09:45:48

How fall are you?

I would find out how many calories you can eat a day & then just check how many you are actually eating

Just by being aware of what is in food helps me

So my 4 custard creams with my morning cuppa were why I was putting a stone on in 6 months <sob>

CaptainSweatPants Wed 14-Aug-13 09:46:36



dyslexicdespot Wed 14-Aug-13 09:47:44

Exercise and eating well.

Good luck!

NHS couch to 5k

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Wed 14-Aug-13 09:51:21

Hypnosis! smile

I've lost 20+lbs in 7 weeks using a hypnosis app. It's made me feel more aware of when I'm hungry, what I'm hungry for, and why. It actively promotes itself as not being a diet - no restrictions.

I instinctively lean towards low-carb anyway, as white bread warburtons toastie you bastard has always been my downfall. I do believe refined carbs are damaging a lot of peoples eating habits.

Also you need to drink more, water, water, water.

You could look into getting a fitbit or jawbone up, to see how active you really are, and set yourself targets.

I wasn't fat, a little podgy maybe - I'm just more aware of my habits now, and accountable! grin

Yika Wed 14-Aug-13 09:54:49

Don't cut out any food entirely and dont strictly calorie count, but do cut right back on obvious offenders such as chocolate, biscuits, cake, soft drinks (only have them as occasional treats) and reduce your portion size. Just leave something on your plate at every meal. Also, eat three meals a day at regular hours and never snack. I've also found that if I eat really tasty, good quality, home cooked food it's more satisfying and I eat less overall - but that's not at all scientific!

Lastly, exercise makes a difference - but do something that is sustainable. I used to walk a lot - since getting a car and starting to drive to work my weight has settled at about half a stone more than what it used to be.

But don't think about it too much and definitely don't obsess or get into the details.

prettymum Wed 14-Aug-13 10:01:30

I lost few extra lbs using myfitnesspal which made me realise how much extra calories I was eating. Now I exercise 5 times a week and eat all meals with less snacking. I still eat a lot of rubbish but I try balancing it out with exercise.

Hawkmoth Wed 14-Aug-13 10:03:45

Thinking slimmer.com worked spectacularly for me.

Hoping it works a second time after having a baby and various things leaving me miserable and immobile for a few months.

RubyrooUK Wed 14-Aug-13 10:04:19

I agree dieting doesn't work.

Virtually the only time I have felt out of control of my weight in my adult life was when I adopted a "diet" ahead of my wedding and overrode my own instincts on how to eat. I put on weight. I gave up and ate normally again.

The way for me to stay slim is to:

- control portion size
- not eat too many processed carbs
- eat lots of fruit and veg
- never deny myself anything absolutely because then I want it more than is normal!
- be active (I would normally walk about 3-5 miles a day and have a Nike Fuelband which monitors my activity)

Here is what I ate yesterday.

Breakfast: medium bowl of porridge mixed with homemade granola

Morning snack: nuts; skinny cappuccino

Lunch: bowl of soup and one piece of bread and butter; apple; water to drink

Afternoon snacks: banana; some raisins and nuts

Dinner: chicken stir fry with lemon and chilli (chicken, onions, peppers, leeks etc); water to drink

Post dinner snack: Apple, quite a bit of chocolate

I am feeding a 5mo old DS2 at the moment so slightly above my usual weight at 8 stone 6lb but should return to my usual 8 stone in a few months by eating normally.

I rarely feel hungry when I eat like this and I might eat pizza, pasta or whatever I fancy. The big thing for me is not doing it all at the same time so not having pizza and chocolate and ice cream all at once, every single day. Anything in moderation is fine and makes no impact on my weight.

Diets are by their nature finite. The only way to lose weight permanently is to eat in moderation and exercise enough, allowing this to become second nature rather than a time-limited diet.

Sorry. That is really dull. I even bored myself. grin

CaptainSweatPants Wed 14-Aug-13 10:07:31

Oh yes if you drink go tee total for a month

That always makes me lose half a stone easily

Low carb.

FunnyLittleFrog Wed 14-Aug-13 10:19:28

Avoid wheat based products as much as possible - so cereal, bread, pasta, cake, biscuits. I have done this for the last couple of years and have stayed a healthy weight without feeling at all like I am 'on a diet' and I know I can sustain this for life.

'Wheat Belly' by William Davis is a great read.

KKKKaty Wed 14-Aug-13 11:08:32

Thanks for your replies everyone. I know you all talk sense. I'm just feeling a bit negative about it at the moment, because all routes to weight loss I can think of involve will power, which I will sustain for some time, lose some weight, and then I will think "oh fuck this for a game of soldiers" and go straight back to where I started. I tried low carbing but couldn't live without wine and fruit and a bit of chocolate. I also found it difficult to think of family meals and also have a DH who would probably leave me if I stopped feeding him the occasional pizza and potatoes. So that's out.

I did get hold of a copy of Paul McKenna but as I have two pre-school children I found it difficult to find the half an hour a day needed to listen to the CD. I managed it a few times but I have no idea what it say as I almost immediately fall asleep for the duration. It didn't make me feel any different.

I really must try to exercise, but again have the problem of time. I've never been a sporty person at all and haven't yet found a form of exercise I actually enjoy enough to keep it up.

I don't have an unhealthy diet - I cook from scratch, don't drink soft drinks, don't eat biscuits. My downfall is probably wine and the inevitable crisp-eating it causes, ice cream and probably too-big portions.

OK, so here's the plan.

1. Smaller portions
2. Less bread
3. Cut back on the wine

I will also check out thinking slimmer.com, thank you.

KKKKaty Wed 14-Aug-13 11:10:00

And also I will have a really good think about exercise.

CaptainSweatPants Wed 14-Aug-13 11:11:33

have you heard of the 5:2 diet? lots of sucess on this site with this

it's 2 days 500 calories and the rest of the week you can eat normally as long as you don't go ott

KKKKaty Wed 14-Aug-13 11:16:09

Yes, I tried the 5:2, did it for three weeks and lost not a single pound.

HeathRobinson Wed 14-Aug-13 11:21:57

Ruby - grin at even boring yourself!

I'm interested in the Nike Fuelband you mention - can you just have it linked to your phone just for you to see the results? Rather than upload it so everyone can see? <newbie to smartphones>

Katy - if I even think I'm on a diet, I want to eat everything in sight. I've spent some time on the 5:2, got bored and now I'm eating in moderation. A miracle for me - I think the 5:2 was instrumental in shrinking my stomach capacity, so now I actually want less.

I'm also more conscious of eating when I'm hungry and not when I'm not. And that if I am hungry, I can live with it, rather than having to eat something.

Yika Wed 14-Aug-13 12:36:53

Oddly I find a bit of wine helps me as it makes a meal feel more of an occasion and hence more satisfying.

Also, if I feel like wine and cheese then I just have that - and then something better balanced for another meal, to compensate.

With regard to willpower, there is no way round it IME, even if all youre trying to do is eat in moderation. But don't regard lapses as failures, they are entirely normal. If you splurge one day, all is not lost, just try to eat a bit less the next (or the one after), don't totally give up in despair (or self-disgust).

RubyrooUK Wed 14-Aug-13 13:54:48

I eat a bit of chocolate every day. But the key thing is that I think "oh I want some chocolate after dinner, so I probably won't have that second portion of pasta" and keep everything in moderation. That has now become second nature so it doesn't feel like deprivation or willpower - it just feels like eating so I can always wear my trousers in comfort.

Actually, I think the key to thinking something is just your life and NOT a diet is to think "well, I can eat that pizza but actually I fancy a glass of wine or two more, so I might leave it today". For me, not forbidding anything means I don't obsess about it.

Heath - yes, if you have an iPhone, you can just track your personal activity with the Fuelband. I choose to share nothing with my online friends because:

- they would think I was a loon
- none of them care about my activity levels
- I don't want anyone to know that some days I have the average activity level of a dead ant


Torrorosso Wed 14-Aug-13 17:36:49

Have you tried The Harcombe Diet? She works on the principle that overweight is caused by food addiction/cravings and that calorie counting doesn't work long-term, plus processed food, including sugar, is the work of the devil.

The first 5 days are hardcore and preparation is the key for those, but it's possible to get dramatic results which don't rely on calorie counting or loads of exercise which you may not have time for.

Google Harcombe and 'allaboutyou.com' for a simple version of the first 5 days and have a look at her website.

BsshBossh Wed 14-Aug-13 19:59:25

The only way to keep weight off is to be vigilant about your weight for the rest of your life. It takes discipline and willpower. Forever.

snowlie Thu 15-Aug-13 08:24:13

Giving up wheat products is a great idea - they are just to accessible for in between meals and too easy to consume them in massive quantities when you do have them because wheat is not hugely filling and will leave you hungry a couple of hours later. Increase your veg and protein instead.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Thu 15-Aug-13 08:33:30

Take a look at all the meals you regularly cook at home and if any are very high in calories then find a substitute for them .
Dumping a couple of my worst offenders from our repertoire and replacing with a more moderate meal was an easy way to clean up my eating habits and shift some weight.

HerBigChance Thu 15-Aug-13 10:31:08

I tried low carbing but couldn't live without wine and fruit and a bit of chocolate.

I have lost over two stone in the last year with low carbing. For me, I aim to do it four or five days a week, with a couple of 'fat' days in between. It doesn't feel like complete denial and I have potatoes and wine etc on fat days (keeps the metabolism boosted, otherwise your body will think you're starving it).

My approach means my weight loss hasn't been fast, but it's been continual, effective and noticeable. It's not a diet, as such, it's a Way of Eating, and of changing some bad habits forever. My energy levels have shot up and I sleep much better. Lots and lots of water is also key.

RobotHamster Thu 15-Aug-13 10:35:16

I just ate good food. Nothing out of a jar or packet, so no hidden sugar. Eat 3 normal meals a day, the odd bit of fruit, have some chocolate if you want, but ease off on alcohol, sugar and go easy on the cheese.

Lost almost 2 stone in 6 months.

I use myfitnesspal to keep an eye on calories in vs calories out. Basically eating slightly less and moving slightly more seems to work for me. Lean protein keeps me fuller for longer than simple carbs, so I tend to eat more protein. I eat lots of fruit and veg and drink plenty of water. All very boring. I also think of it as a lifestyle change rather than a diet as it is something I will keep up for life, just eating at maintenance rather than at a defecit now I have hit my goal weight.

I have lost over 5 stone BTW.

Octopus37 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:02:26

I'm another one who believes that moderation is the key. Also (although I don't go as far as low carbing), have found that eating more protein helps with appetite control, e.g. a yoghurt with breakfast, cheese with lunch, some fish or meat as part of dinner. Have also found that ready meals helps, makes it easier to control portion size and calorie content without feeling deprived. Other tip I would add is to keep a food diary, I lost 9 pounds, but have put on 3 pounds on holiday, so need to get back onto all of this.

The only thing that works for me is the 5:2.

I'm about 4 stone overweight and I got that way by eating one extra biscuit a day for 20 years. That tendency to very slightly overeat interspersed with horrible deprivation occasional bouts of dieting made me miserable.

Far better for me to accept that I very slightly overeat and deliberately undereat for 2 days a week rather than 'diet'.

I've felt completely pliberated since starting it and have lost 2 in 6 months.

KKKKaty Thu 15-Aug-13 16:11:23

Herbigchance - But isn't low carbing very all-or-nothing? From reading the bootcamp threads I was under the impression that it only works as long as you have no carbs AT ALL - if you have a day off you undo all the work. Is this not the case?

Thanks for all your replies everyone. I'm on holiday next week so the following Monday seems to be the day to turn the leaf over. Exercise, smaller portions, cut back on the carbs and sugar. I'm going to try not to go all-out nuts about it and make myself feel deprived as that'll be my downfall.

HerBigChance Thu 15-Aug-13 16:23:44

KKKKaty - I gather it is all-or-nothing at the bootcamp stage, but that you can introduce moderate amounts of carbs after that. Anyway, it's working for me in terms of losing weight.

I'm not sure it's possible to have no carbs at all because even fruit and veg have them.

And yes, it's important there's no deprivation when starting to eat differently.

Salbertina Thu 15-Aug-13 16:58:44

80-20, 80-20, 80-20.. Did i say 80-20?!!
There's more than one way to low carb, boot camp is one. I prefer the flexibility a la Briffa of lowcarbing 80% of the time and eating freely the rest. Note this is low not no carbing. Briffa's book Escape the Diet Trap is excellent, v much showing how yhis is a way of eating NOT a diet. Which is exactly why it works, unlike a diet.

cathyandclaire Fri 16-Aug-13 09:37:40

I lost a stone low-carbing a year ago(Bootcamp) but I was only strict for a couple of weeks, after that ( and probably on a couple of days during that tbh blush ) I had some 85% dark chocolate, wine and berries on every many days. I still eat low carb-ish and have maintained and it doesn't seem like a deprivation.

DontmindifIdo Fri 16-Aug-13 10:25:00

i would say that small changes that take a small amount of will power over a long period are far better than big changes that take a lot of will power over a short period - so ignore all advice that involves cutting out large amounts or making significant changes to your diet, you wo'nt be able to stick to them and any weight loss will therefore be temporary.

I'd suggest you do cutting back a bit on carbs, if you know wine is your downfall, go dry for a month (yes, yes, that goes back on what I said above, but that's not a food you crave and it's easier for most people to go dry than to go chocolate and bread free).

As you've done weight watchers in the past, you probably know what's good and bad for you, so limit your 'bad' foods.

I'm currently trying to shift 4kgs post baby weight. I'm determined to do it slowly to keep it off, so my plan (such as it is) is to keep the fruit bowl full of a variety of fruits I can help myself too when I'm feeling peckish between meals (telling me not to snack doesn't work - that's how I eat, and that is always my downfall, swapping snacking on crap to snacking on fruit/dried fruit and nuts is a good start - berries and grapes are good as you can just grab a couple).

I also know telling myself I can't have chocolate is doomed to failure, so rather than the mars bars that DH loves, there's milky ways in the kitchen (about a 200 cal difference!).

I found a breakfast of something like porridge or eggs and wholemeal toast is a good way to start the day, I don't snack in the mornings then. Worth the extra calories then to fill you up and break the habits.

I've trained myself off sugar in my coffee, that was v hard but it an easy change to make. I'm also serving at least 2 types of veg with every meal, I find I do end up eating twice the veg if there's a selection, which means I'm too full to pick at puddings.

Otherwise, try to build extra exercise in the day, I'm walking as much as I can (and yay, i'm managing to go longer in between filling up the car).

DontmindifIdo Fri 16-Aug-13 10:29:42

oh and a good friend of mine swears by wearing spanxs daily, her logic is a) you look better for every day and b) they are so tight, you feel full quicker, and just don't eat as much - it effectively forces portion control on you! Not sure if it works, but might give it a go when it's not too hot (can imagine it's quite sweaty wearing tight fitting spanx over your tum in the summer, might be nice and toasty once the weather gets a bit more Autumnal).

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 16-Aug-13 10:43:24

Myfitnesspal worked for me when I had about 3-4kg to lost after an MC in April. I'm now back to my old size. It's not a fast lost but I wasn't dieting. It's really a simple case of eat less calories than you use. I joined a gym, went to exercise classes 3-4 times a week, and stop eating junk. Otherwise it's just normal 3 meals plus morning and afternoon snacks.

And it's not true you have to continue the same diet after you get to your target weight. I mean if you think logically. If you want to maintain the weight, you eat around the same calories you use, not less.

Now I'm back to my normal weight, I have started those goodies people bring into work. And also baking a bit of cakes and biscuits.

However, I have to admit I have very good will power and also am very active. Normally, I'm not into weighing myself, but judge with my skinny jeans. If they feel tight, I know I have to stop eating the cakes. I know you say you struggle after weight watchers. The key to long term success afterwards is not actually letting yourself gain the weight back again. You can indulge in a bit of snack, but you'll have to stop once you see yourself not fitting into those skinnies. Basically it's a lot easier to maintain than lose.

I don't know how others survive on so little food. I found I do love my food and carbs. (I'm doing 1500-1600 calories on my 'diet'). I really think you do need to exercise if you want to stay slim and eat normally.

Good luck.

Parmarella Sat 17-Aug-13 09:02:11

I think the key is eating well and eating nice, satisfying food.

It is about finding the right balance, but it is hard that your body changes with age (i need tobe more careful now than at 20).

Still, have been a healthy weight all my life yet eat what I like apart from biscuits, cakesand puddings.

I eat carbs happily in the shape of potato rice or pasta, bread too, but careful with sugar. I am now out of the hanit of esting biscuits or puds but can never resist crisps.

Finding exercise you love is key, Personally I would hate to be thin and weak. I play a lot of tennis now, which I love! And it is excercise, yes, but mainly fun.

I would like to lose a bit of flab, but also think my current balance is not bad , bmi of 23 but I would like to be fitter and stronger, rather than skinny.

IMO lady tennis player physiues are more beautiful than models'

Financeprincess Sat 17-Aug-13 10:08:14

Agree that, yes, sadly the only way is to make lasting changes to what you eat and the amount of exercise you do. It takes a while to put on weight if you're overeating a bit very day, so it also takes a while to come off.

The problem, I think, is that too many of us are either 'on a diet' (very restricted, aimed at rapid weight loss, maybe eating stupid slim fast stuff or meal replacements) or 'off the wagon' (crazily eating party food in defiance of the self-imposed restrictions).

It amuses me when weight gain is passed off as a result of wheat intolerance, food addiction, incorrect food combination etc. We all know what the real causes are......eating too much nice stuff and sitting on our bottoms too often.

Mintyy Sat 17-Aug-13 10:15:26

Exactly my dilemma, op. I want to lose weight (am quite seriously overweight) but am scared rigid of going on an actual diet. Been there, done that, gained weight.

I tried the 5:2 woe for 9 months but lost nothing at all.

Am probably going to try hypnosis next and am also thinking of starting up a support group locally to me, as I do think group support works well for issues such as this. Some of the weightloss groups on here have had amazing results (including the 5:2 crowd) and I think StealthPolarBear has a long running group (the one with motivation in the thread titles?) who encourage each other and lend an understanding ear.

I would like a real life version of this and am tentatively thinking of trying to set one up where I live.

mrsfiddymont Sat 17-Aug-13 10:32:00

mintyy I think you may be localish to me, I'd be interested in a group.

dyslexicdespot Sat 17-Aug-13 11:26:41

I just wanted to once again encourage people to try the NHS couch to 5K program. As Financeprincess pointed out, the only way to permanently maintain a healthy weight is to eat well and exercise.

Restrictive eating will never work as a life long method to maintain weight because no one is able (with good reason) to starve themselves indefinitely.

The couch to 5 program is made for people who are complete couch potatoes. You will need to dedicate 30 min every other day to the programme. You will need running shoes and a sports bra, that's it!

Good luck!

LifeofPo Sat 17-Aug-13 11:47:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charitygirl Sat 17-Aug-13 11:53:37

Exactly - exercise is GREAT for health, fitness, and body shape, but it can only play a tiny role in weight loss.

Parmarella Mon 19-Aug-13 19:31:19

Exercisemay does not burn that many calories in ones session.


It creates endorphins, making you feel good ( so less likely to eat for emotional needs.

It slso raises upur resting metabolic rate, regular exercise means you burn calories faster even when resting

It increases your muscle mass versus fat mass, it tones you

You sleep better, so again less likely to eat dugar to compensate for tiredness

Excercise makes your bones stronger, you will remain stronger ( bone and muscle) in old age.

Whilst you are exercising.., you are not eating ;)

Thinking that going for a swim is just about burning200 calries is spectacularly missing the point about the benefits of exercise, imo

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