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Has anyone lost weight (but more importantly kept it off !) by simply stopping all the diets !?

(58 Posts)
ilikebigbutts Fri 18-Apr-14 08:57:42

I've just finished reading "Beyond Chocolate" - seen it mentioned a couple of times over the years on MN - and it's really struck a chord with me. In places it is a bit fluffy and not really "me" but so much of what they said had me screaming "yes, yes, that's me".

I'm simply f*cking fed up of counting calories, cutting out carbs/sugar/fat (delete as appropriate), fasting, having green days or red no longer computes for my wee brain. I want off the diet roundabout....

So my question is this, has anyone maintained a weight loss by giving up all the diets/healthy eating programmes, call them what you will, and simply eating what they actually wanted when they were actually hungry ?

I've been trying it for the last week and it's been a revelation for me. They only thing I'm actively avoiding is the urge to jump on the scales every morning. I'm starting to feel better so don't want to make it all about the weight. Any thoughts ?

TooBusyByHalf Fri 18-Apr-14 12:58:18

Sounds like the Paul McKenna 'method'. Am thinking of trying that myself but haven't yet... There are a couple of threads about it on here though. Good luck!

Neeko Fri 18-Apr-14 13:04:38

I too would like off the diet roundabout. I have been concentrating on drastically increasing my fruit and veg consumption in the past few weeks with emphasis on f&v instead of other foods (rather than in addition to as I have done in the past blush). Do feel healthier but I'm on holiday from work atm which is probably contributing to that.
I'd just like to get to a place where I can enjoy food without having to think about it all the time if that makes sense?

wheretotheEasterBunnygonow Fri 18-Apr-14 13:04:40

I have ditched the diets and started exercising. This has worked for me as I think that I don't want to 'undo' all the work I have done.
My diet isn't perfect but I have lost nearly a stone so far and I don't feel restricted or obsessed so fingers crossed I will keep this off smile

TalkinPeace Fri 18-Apr-14 13:10:28

a "diet" is merely "what you eat"
if your "diet" contains more energy than you expend, you will get fatter
if your "diet" contains less energy than you expend, you will get thinner

you can increase the energy you expend, but bear in mind that

1 mile swim, 1 hour yoga and 1 hour body pump
burns the same amount of calories as
one cost capuccino and a small muffin

eat less : move more
it really is that simple sadly

TravellingToad Fri 18-Apr-14 13:26:50

If I got off the diet mentality I'd stuff my face until I keeled over


specialsubject Fri 18-Apr-14 21:09:25

never dieted in my life, never been fat. I doubt I'm unique!

TalkinPeace Fri 18-Apr-14 21:38:57

I was never " fat " but I was too heavy for the health of my knee joints
so I dealt with it

if you are happy that being fat is OK, when you are 60 and I'm 80 I'll race you down the flumes

ilikebigbutts Fri 18-Apr-14 23:55:28

talkinpeace - I get what you are saying about the definition of diet, that is the true definition of the word but I was talking about it as it is generally understood nowadays, ie as a specific way of eating in order to lose weight.

TravellingToad - you would probably surprise yourself actually. I'm not saying that you wouldn't overeat for some days or even weeks but I doubt you would continue to eat like that forever.

Today has been a good day. I have no idea what I have eaten in terms of calories but I have only eaten when I was hungry and I've enjoyed every mouthful. I don't feel bloated or "full" just satisfied. Aiming for the same tomorrow with a bit more movement thrown in too !

Will look into Paul McKenna, have never particularly liked him when I've seen him on TV but the book might be worth a shot if it covers what I'm thinking at the moment.

LyndaCartersBigPants Sat 19-Apr-14 00:11:54

I like the sounds of that. I eat pretty much whatever I want whenever I want to and I weigh the same now as I did 2 years ago. I did lose some weight while splitting with XH due to the stress I felt too sick to eat much, but having gradually put on some of what I lost I have plateaued eating whatever I like.

Tried low carbing for a couple of weeks. The minute I stop I gorge myself on bread and cakes and put it all back on in days. It's just not sustainable for me to restrict myself so intensely as I just rebel.

I'm going to try just being more mindful of what and how I am eating, have smaller portions, stop snacking without thinking and see if I can lose some of this without feeling too hard done by!

fascicle Sat 19-Apr-14 11:32:30

has anyone maintained a weight loss by giving up all the diets/healthy eating programmes, call them what you will, and simply eating what they actually wanted when they were actually hungry?

Yes. Choosing official diets is essentially subscribing to other people's rules, which for most people will at some point prove difficult to stick to and invite rebellion. Doing your own thing will be tailor made for you, and any rules do not have to be so prescriptive. Having done similar myself, I would say don't expect to lose weight at the rate of conventional diets. The weight loss may well be slower/take longer, but hopefully, you will be creating good habits that are more sustainable in the longterm.

I think ditching an 'all or nothing' approach (e.g. periods of strict dieting interspersed with periods of overeating), is the key to a healthier relationship with food, along with a reasonably healthy diet, without the permanent denial of treats. Eating too much at any particular point is not the end of the world - just a case of forgetting it and moving on. I think so many people have a terrible sense of guilt about food, which becomes self-destructive.

Like EasterBunny, I think exercise (any movement in fact) is important. It's much more than burning calories (and temporarily increasing metabolism). It puts your mind in a good place and gives an appreciation for what your body can do. I also think that aspiring to be fit and healthy might be a more sustainable goal than simply aiming to lose weight/become slimmer.

Nellymay Sat 19-Apr-14 11:34:40

It's worth having at look at Gillian Riley's books: eating less, say goodbye to overeating and ditching the diets. She has a website too - google eating less. I try to follow her approach and I find it makes a lot of sense.

Millyblods Sun 20-Apr-14 01:53:36

I do not diet or fast. Both seem to end up with bingeing ( of course there are the few exceptions). I have looked at lots of "diet" and "fast" threads and so many people do end up bingeing feeling that they have failed because they have not stuck to the diet or they have been so hungry on a fast day that they couldn't go on. Diets and fasting cause disordered eating in most people. I think you do get to the point at some point in your life where you say "no more".

I now eat whatever I want when I am truly hungry for it and stop as soon as I am satisfied and eat very mindfully. You do lose weight this way as long as you eat this way every day. Its the way people normally eat when they have no diet, body or food issues to begin with.

Diets and fad ways of eating have a lot to answer for.

ilikebigbutts Sun 20-Apr-14 08:27:55

So do you think the Paul McKenna books are still offering a "diet" solution to any weight problems or issues ? (question obviously to those of you who have read any of his books).

It's hard breaking out of the diet mentality isn't it. I'm trying my hardest not to have any emotion when I eat any kind of food (not being all virtuous and smug after a salad or guilty after a bit of Easter egg) but I need to constantly remind myself that it's only food. And that any of it eaten in excess will contribute to gaining weight.

LyndaCartersBigPants Sun 20-Apr-14 09:27:18

That's one thing I have gained from trying low carb though. The notion of 'good' and 'bad' food is turned on it's head when you are encouraged to eat butter and cream, but not allowed fruit.

When you see yourself losing weight eating the things which you have been encouraged to feel guilty about, it makes you realise how food is so much more than just food groups and calories, the way food interacts with your body on any given day depends on which other things you eat, what you do etc.

I've of the biggest 'treats' I've had was sneaking a tiny glass of orange juice on a low carb diet. It made me realise that anything can be a treat if you don't have it very often and that savouring a really good freshly squeezed orange juice is something I don't usually do.

As much as I agree that all these different diets don't actually result in long term weight loss, mixing up the way you eat and getting out of bad habits is a good thing. Having stopped the nightly chocolate fix while low carbing, I haven't gone back to it since stopping. Similarly when trying Slimfast, losing that feeling of wanting to be stuffed to feel satisfied is a useful exercise.

However, with all that I've tried and hopefully learned, I'm going to try and do this. Stop when 'full' (not stuffed, but satisfied) don't snack for the sake of it (even on Easter eggs!) and savour every mouthful.

Something I've found useful as well, is to really taste my food. If I start eating a cake or biscuit etc and it isn't the most delicious thing I can imagine eating, I will stop eating and/or spit it out rather than carry on eating something that I'm not really enjoying as I would have done previously.

Millyblods Sun 20-Apr-14 15:06:17

Sounds good LindaCarter. Mindful eating at its best. I think low carb screws with your mind though. It still enforces the diet mentality as certain foods are banned and nit many people can eat that way long term.
Bigbutts Paul McKenna system is similar to many other books that help you to get back in touch with eating as being " normal". Not something that is so overcomplicated .

Millyblods Sun 20-Apr-14 15:08:22

Food is food. Let yourself eat whatever you want and once you get over the thrill of eating formerly forbidden foods, you will start to naturally choose foods that contain more nutrients.

Nellymay Sun 20-Apr-14 22:43:06

Reading all your comments is making me think about what's a good non diet way to get off the diet/weight loss merry go round is it Mindful eating, Paul McKenna's approach, Gillian Riley ditching the diets. I've done loads of diets and weight loss approaches and I'm now after all this time and effort, no slimmer than when I started, I'm actually heavier and more confused about food diets and hunger/ satiation than ever. I've read loads of book and articles about food and diets and now I'm in position of not knowing what to do anymore .....

Any ideas anyone?.......

KeepCalmAndLOLKittens Mon 21-Apr-14 08:27:00

if you are happy that being fat is OK, when you are 60 and I'm 80 I'll race you down the flumes

TalkinPeace, the OP didn't say that she is or wanted to stay fat. She is asking whether simply getting out of the dieting mindset and trusting her instinct to guide her appetite.

I get that you have been very successful on 5:2. I have tried it myself on numerous occasions and simply can't mange it at the moment. But with the best will in the world you often sound like you are lecturing posters.

Standinginline Mon 21-Apr-14 08:33:55

I was never obese but the weight I had didn't suit my frame and spent years dieting. I weighed 11 and a half stone and would have the same cycle of starting the day with good intentions then buggering it up big style by eating and eating in the evening. When I met my boyfriend and I realized he loved my body the way it was I realized that actually I'd be more happy carrying a few pounds and being able to eat whatever I wanted than constantly watching what I ate every 5 mins (I could eat and eat and eat and never go over 11 and a half). Tho and behold between the October and February I went down to 9 stone (my original weight ) and can honestly say no trying was involved ,I stopped craving all these foods when the weren't forbidden !! Funny how your mind works.

Millyblods Mon 21-Apr-14 10:40:23

Standing that is such a inspiring story. And true. When you stop disliking yourself then amazing things can happen.

Millyblods Mon 21-Apr-14 10:49:34

Talkingpeace it is not that simple at all. People eat for many reasons and not usually for hunger. This calories and exercise talk sounds like you are obsessed with your weight and are constantly on guard. Dieting in all its forms including fasting is just disordered eating. Trying to eat less and controlling your appetite by external means rather than just eating when your hungry and stopping when your satisfied. It doesn't have to be any harder than that. Food has become so emotive when it shouldn't be. Its just nourishment. Its the emotional reasons that we overeat and binge that need addressing. The reasons we reach for food when we are not truly hungry.

cheekygeeky Mon 21-Apr-14 10:55:30

I agree Milly.

NellysKnickers Mon 21-Apr-14 10:55:41

I have gone from size 18 to 14 since November simply by listening to my body and eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. I still have treats. Im hoping it lasts this time as this is more common sense than a diet.

Millyblods Mon 21-Apr-14 11:13:52

Your doing well Nelly. Listening to your body should be completely natural shouldn't it? I think "diets" have screwed up this simple process.

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