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AIBU to ask any psychologists / counsellors / therapists to share weight loss tips that really work?

(91 Posts)
ClockwiseCat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:36:56

It's January again and yet again I have 2 stone to lose. I start a diet, do well for a bit and then give it up.

I know I'm an emotional eater and I am a bit all or nothing about dieting. I also know that lots of people quit diets because of feeling deprived and most people gain the weight back anyway.

BUT there are those rare people who lose weight AND keep it off. So what are they doing differently? Any tips would be great especially around the whole psychology of weight loss. I'm less interested in hearing 'Do 5:2 / low carb / cabbage diet' and more interested in hearing how to go about making permanent changes.

Starlightbright1 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:40:47

I have no answers but I am in the same position

ClockwiseCat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:49:01

Rubbish isn't it Starlight hmm I get annoyed at myself every year.

Goodmum1234 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:50:37

Me too but I have 7 stones to lose ��

WorraLiberty Mon 05-Jan-15 22:52:03

I imagine they keep it off because they either stick to the diet forever, or they actually manage to change their lifestyle so that they end up eating less and moving more.

I know people hate hearing 'eat less, move more' but if you want to make a permanent change, that's what you'll have to end up doing eventually.

WorraLiberty Mon 05-Jan-15 22:52:43

Sorry, I'm none of the things in the thread title btw...just my take on your OP blush

ArgyMargy Mon 05-Jan-15 22:52:57

I'm nothing like a professional but if you're emotionally attached to eating I would strongly recommend Paul McKenna.

PacificDogwood Mon 05-Jan-15 22:54:12

Oh my, I'd love to know too!

I suspect there is no magic bullet, just sensible changes that equate to 'eat better, move more' that you do long enough so it becomes a new habit?

My annoyingly slim brother just never really thinks about eating: he eats for fuel, not fun. Whereas left unchecked, I could eat all day blush

ClockwiseCat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:55:49

Yes but how do they stick to it Worra? That's what I'm interested in. It sounds so simple but obviously if it was that easy no one would be overweight without a medical reason.
I'm tempted to say that people who change bad lifestyle habits must have better willpower than me but I know I have huge willpower in other areas. Somehow I can't make it extend to weightloss.

So I am wondering if there are particular habits or strategies that work.

Cathycat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:58:41

Weight Watchers or a similar weekly meeting. Focuses the mind. And the realisation that you have to be kind to yourself. I also have a steady routine with food including treats and I know that if I sway from this I put on weight. I'm not a psychologist or anything though. But I'm not overweight.

ClockwiseCat Mon 05-Jan-15 22:58:57

Argy I got the book but gave up listening to the CD. It's like there is a bit of me that's just resistant to losing weight and I want to figure out how to get past that bit of me. I can see how I use food as a comfort and stress reliever but there must be strategies for getting past that.

SaucyJack Mon 05-Jan-15 23:00:01

I lost a lot of weight after having DD2 and kept it off until having DD3 last year (need to get back on the diet wagon)

For me my motivation to maintain a lower weight was pure vanity. I liked being a size 8 basically, and would rather look like that than over eat every day.

ClockwiseCat Mon 05-Jan-15 23:01:26

I've done the weekly meetings and they are great for a while - until I give them up angry

Parsley1234 Mon 05-Jan-15 23:08:43

I think it could be (after losing 35lbs and keeping it off for nearly four years and then having a relapse last five months but only gaining 5lbs am back on it now) finding what works for you and every one is different o for me it was/is doing lighter life taking food out of the equation because I had to look at the psychological addiction I had/have, weighing weekly, accepting I couldn't eat as much as I wanted to when I wanted to, accepting I had to exercise 5 x a week, mindful eating. I think this was what worked for me

Quiero Mon 05-Jan-15 23:12:17

This will sound odd but I think dieting is the biggest enemy to people who have psychological issues with food.

The "all or nothing" approach you mention is a key factor for all of us who manage to regularly successfully lose weight but always put it back on.

I think you have to remove the "nothing" element to stop you reverting to the "all". Obviously the difficulty is doing this whilst getting to a healthy weight.

I wondered (haven't tried though) whether trying to maintain your weight for a certain length of time might be a starting point and then slowly reducing intake. So the binge/purge element is taken away??

WorraLiberty Mon 05-Jan-15 23:31:06

Yes, willpower certainly comes into it.

But I think slowly reducing your portion sizes should help.

If you make a fist with your hand, that's roughly the size of your stomach. Yet the more food we pack into it, the more food we need to get that full up feeling.

If you could buy smaller plates and get into the habit of drinking a pint of water before eating/snacking that might help to kick start eating smaller portions, and snacking less.

I don't know what your eating/drinking habits are but if you're the type to stop for a coffee when you're shopping (which is often like a bowl of cream with a handle), try not to do that. If you're the type to equate shopping with a trip to a fast food outlet, try having lunch before you go.

Small steps that can lead to a lifestyle change...but yes willpower will be required. However, essentially you're not denying yourself anything...you're just having less of it and less frequently.

FruitBasedDrinkForALady Mon 05-Jan-15 23:38:51

4 stone off and like others have said, it's about making a full lifestyle change, not just "a diet". The other really important thing for me is starting again after a bad day, not throwing everything away because I fell off the wagon for a couple of days weeks.

Oh and finally, remembering that being hungry for a couple of hours until dinner is ready, really, truly, literally, won't kill me.

sydlexic Mon 05-Jan-15 23:47:14

Ask yourself, what do you get out of being over weight?

whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 05-Jan-15 23:50:26

No magic formula and the evidence on diets is very contradictory. In fact, the evidence is that on average, people who go on a diet end up putting on weight overall.

Motivation and support are 2 major factors plus making lifestyle changes that you can stick to, rather than drastic changes that are impossible to maintain long term.
I think the evidence suggests groups like weight watchers and slimmer's world work because of the support and the motivation from the weekly weigh ins.
It is just hard because it isn't an all or nothing issue and it is so often tied up with our emotions. Do you reward yourself with food for example - just think how many of our major celebrations involve food and lots of it.

SmillasSenseOfSnow Tue 06-Jan-15 00:12:22

It sounds so simple but obviously if it was that easy no one would be overweight without a medical reason.

Not true at all - the foods that are around and that we tend to eat these days are incredibly calorific. Just getting a good idea of what your daily calorie requirement is and how many calories are in everything you put in your mouth over a few weeks will help you adjust.

If you're finding it impossible to keep within your daily calories, you're choosing too many energy-dense foods. A lot of them are hidden, too - fried foods are obviously covered in oil which is very heavy on the cals, creamy sauces are full of them too. You need to find favourite everyday dishes that are less calorific than your current ones, perhaps. You will not miss the calorific things you used to eat - they will be occasional treats and you will understand that they are far too calorie-dense to eat regularly. You just need a bit of time away from them, and to shed a few pounds to appreciate the difference, to discover that.

I've put on something like 12 kilos over the last couple of years due to much reduced exercise and just not thinking about calorie content too much - or portion size. The last couple of years just so happens to also be the time I've been living with my partner.

I cook, I try to make sure there's enough food so he doesn't complain that he's hungry despite eating his entire portion (I need to really crack down on that, he's overweight too and seems to have no interest in understanding that he doesn't need more food, he's just used to eating loads), this results in me cooking almost double what we perhaps should be eating sometimes, and he goes back for more without fail, despite it sometimes being my intention to freeze the extra portions. It encourages me to eat more too. This has now stopped, because I refuse to engage in competitive overeating!

Basic tips that don't relate directly to calorie counting:

Drink water or clear teas at every possible opportunity rather than juice/pop/coffee or tea with milk and sugar. You don't need the extra calories that just go down without you noticing. Appreciate the non-water drinks you have rather than going to them by default.

Up your vegetables and leafy veg, and reduce potatoes/rice/bread/pasta a notch. The former will help fill you up more than the latter with fewer calories.

Just be aware that if you eat starchy or sugary foods, you will likely feel hungry much more quickly than you would have had you eaten something else. You don't need more food. This is why you need to spend some time understanding how many calories you're taking in - or rather, just understanding what it is you're taking in overall, and how each thing affects your hunger. Once you understand that being hungry doesn't necessarily connect that well to whether you actually need more food, it gets easier to start choosing things that won't leave you feeling hungry more often.

I'm not one of the people you name but I felt the need to splurge this essay-length post in response to your comment, sorry. blush

ArgyMargy Tue 06-Jan-15 07:44:22

I agree diets are the work of the devil, as they ensure a constant focus on food and its intake. The Paul McK thing (or mindful eating, if you will) suggests ways to normalise eating so that you don't have to think about it. Eg only eating when hungry, eating normal portions, getting pleasure from things other than eating.

frumpet Tue 06-Jan-15 08:35:55

Get the myfitnesspal app , then put on everything you eat and drink , don't think about reducing at first , just look at your intake and where your calories are coming from and be honest , don't round down , round up smile

Watch slim friends and family , one of the things i noticed was that slim people tend to stop eating when they have had enough , I am a plate cleaner . Also the slim people i know may have a bit of a binge on food on one day , but would not eat nearly as much the next , so they regulate their intake over a period of time . I don't know if this is concious or whether they genuinely don't feel as hungry the next day .

Have only really posted to see if anyone comes along with a 'magic' solution grin

shakemysilliesout Tue 06-Jan-15 08:53:25

I think it was Jillian michaels who said u had to choose your hard. Being fat is hard, losing weight is also hard. So choose your hard.

writtenguarantee Tue 06-Jan-15 08:57:02

I imagine the reason that diets fail is they make people miserable and while people can be miserable for a short amount of time, they can't be miserable for the rest of their lives.

I think "lifestyle change" is the key. What that means, I think, as that you are willing to make a permanent change to your life, and that's only possible if it doesn't make you miserable.

One thing you can add is exercise you enjoy. that can be anything, but it really must be something you like. that's worked for me.

cutting down on snacks, as they tend to be calorific, is also key. I think paradoxically the solution to this is eating a satisfying meal.

EssexMummy123 Tue 06-Jan-15 08:58:46

There has been a study on this - American I think, to see what people who can maintain weight loss long term have in common, one of the things they found was daily weighing. WW and SW have very low long term success rates, 5% maybe?

What worked for me was Gillian Riley's CBT book/weekend course overcoming overeating.

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