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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?

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

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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'

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 15-Aug-13 15:12:16

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.

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.

JemimaMuddledUp Thu 15-Aug-13 10:41:27

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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


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