Basic info and techniques for weight loss pls from those who have succeeded!

(39 Posts)
Sanscollier Sat 08-Jul-17 11:09:47

Hello. I currently look like a hippopotamus, feel sluggish and unhealthy and look awful. I have about 3 stone to lose. I want to turn things around realistically and permanently.

A lifestyle change is way overdue but before I begin, I thought I would seek advice from the collective wisdom of Mumsnetters who have successfully lost weight, and kept it off, as to what worked and what didn't. (Or perhaps someone could point me in the direction of where I can find this info.)

For example, what is a realistic time frame for losing 3 stone? My dh and I (God willing) will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in two years. Would that be a healthy and realistic target?

Should you set a target for the first stone (for example) and then go on to the next? Or set a target/time frame for the entire weight loss?

A while ago I tried to stick to 1200 calories a day on MFP but found it a struggle. What daily calorie allowance do you suggest for someone who is 5 ft 8 and a bit, and who weighs 13.5 stone but is slimmish in (original) build?

How much should one aim to lose per week (again realistically and sustainably) pls?

Is it better to fast or is it better to have 3 smaller meals a day with healthy snacks in between? (I do find I get very shaky if I fast for a long time or does that feeling go away eventually?)

Did you find it easier to stick to a particular diet plan and eat the same things or did you just eat everything (within reason) in smaller portions?

Finally, I live in a very "foodie" country/environment and my dh, who is food and cooking obsessed. My dd has always been on the lowest weight percentile and I need to continually feed/build her up. In these circumstances, how do you manage to focus on your own diet in the context of the family?

Any particular techniques or tips that worked for you?

Thank you for your help!

OP’s posts: |
humanfemale Sat 08-Jul-17 13:46:13

The main things for me were giving up / majorly restricting sugar, sweet food and alcohol.

Every other good food and exercise choice I've made subsequently has stemmed from gradually feeling better, valuing my body more and not wanting to undo all my good work, if that makes sense?

Starting to exercise regularly was also a massive change that led to better diet over time. Very very gradually! But I think tiny changes over long periods of time work best for longterm.

Sanscollier Sat 08-Jul-17 14:33:03

Thank you Humanfemale. Congratulations on your weight loss. I can see from your example that it could be motivating to approach things from a perspective of "I am nourishing myself with healthy good food and depriving myself of rubbish/empty calories"!

OP’s posts: |
OwlinaTree Sun 09-Jul-17 22:37:44

I do Slimming world, I've lost just over 3 stone in about 10 months.

It fits in well with family meals as it's basically cook proper food from scratch, low fat, low sugar. You could have a smaller portion of what the family eat if it's high cal and full up your plate with salad or veg?

auserinamillion Sun 09-Jul-17 22:46:59

Personally it's a mix of low carbing although this is a short term fix. Weight piles back on when I eat normally.

I keep slim from 16:8 do it Monday - Friday. No rules sat/sun

I'm size 8/10. After 3/4pm I eat carbs, choc, wine.

Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 08:34:56

Gosh Owlina 3 stones in 9 months! That's amazing! Congratulations!

I tried Slimming World for a bit, but unfortunately I just couldn't get to grips with it for some reason. Although I thought the main principles were sound.

Thanks Auserinamillion I know I mahoosively need to cut down on carbs. I live in a country where the bread and pastries are sublime - which doesn't help - must get a grip on this!

OP’s posts: |
YesEinsteinsMumDid Mon 10-Jul-17 10:36:44

1. Add a salad side to carby meals so you can have a taste but not fill up so to speak
2. 1-2lbs/wk is the general healthy amount of weight loss although we all know that plateus and jumps happen it generally averages out eventually
3. plan the meals
4. avoid processed where possible
5. avoid replacing sugar with sweetners
6. set small achieveable goals to your longterm goal if you are hitting small goals you are less likely to give up
7. Hydrate
8. Did you get the health issues sorted because you know they can impede any attempt to lose weight and may required you to do so only with medical guidance <stern look>
9. Check the size of your plates
10. don't eat til full it takes time for the brain to register you are full and by that point you will be over full
11. smaller meals work best for some, others prefer 3 meals and yet others suit the fast method and less. Its personal you will have to figure it out for you. Sorry

Sorry SC but my lists here would be as long and scary as my other lists blush


Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 12:02:44

Wow! That is fantastic advice - thank you *Einstein - and not scary at all grin!

I think I am a reasonably intelligent person but I've read too many weight loss books - read too many weight loss threads on Mumsnet - watched too many weight loss tv shows. I am now utterly confused about what is the right way to go about it!

I definitely agree with you about planning! And the side salad idea is genius because it means I can accommodate everyone else's eating habits at the same time as my own.

I'm already avoiding processed and sweeteners but I do take one sugar in (black) tea so need to cut down on that by 75%!

Your point no. 10 is also really good I think! Will definitely do that as I usually end up groaningly full after a meal and there is absolutely no need for it - and I don't actually like feeling like that.

And don't worry, although health issues ongoing/not totally resolved (but have made a bit of progress) doctors not only on board with my losing weight, they are all without exception positively willing me to succeed this time!

I think I am going to go with small meals throughout the day as I am always really, really hungry! I don't know why because my life is not extremely active (although I am in the process of changing this). For example, I ate a banana and a small piece of wholemeal (really good quality) bread for breakfast at 7am and I am now wilting with hunger, to the extent I am shaking.

The only thing I am being scared about is the 1-2 lbs per week. That is nearly a kilo isn't it? [Gulp]

Thanks so much again for all the advice! Much appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 12:03:08

Oh yes, another question, should I expect to feel hungry?

OP’s posts: |
Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 12:03:37

I mean proper, full-on hunger, not just a little pang! smile

OP’s posts: |
Ollivander84 Mon 10-Jul-17 12:06:54

I've lost 16lbs so far and hoping to keep going. For me, I like keeping it simple boring and tend to eat similar stuff each day

Breakfast - I have a protein shake blended with half a frozen banana as I'm always in a rush

Lunch - a tortilla wrap filled with meat + salad + pickles or filled with smoked salmon and scrambled egg if I'm at home. Sometimes I put ham in and have a bit of crumbled cheese as it goes further if crumbled!

Tea - meat/fish + veg. Chicken breast with lemon/herbs and roasted kale plus a bag of steamed frozen veg is pretty standard for me

Pudding - if I'm still hungry I have some berries and total 0% yoghurt

Drink - green tea, normal tea, water, and the odd zero sugar fizzy can

YesEinsteinsMumDid Mon 10-Jul-17 12:18:14

well historically it is normal to feel proper hungry, but I would argue our concept of feeling hungry has been twisted by the food industry pushing a snack culture on us the last few decades.
So i think the question that needs to be asked is am i actually proper hungry or is my brain saying so out of habit.
My brain is currently shouting at me that i am starving because it has just looked at the time, but i had a late breakfast (10am ish) and will do no harm if I leave it another 2 hours before lunch. Although i will probably eat around 1pm.

I know a couple of weeks ago we ended up not eating tea until 8pm + but as we had previously eaten tea around 5:30pm on the dot it took a little adjustment but was fine. Habit will affect how hungry you feel sometimes.

PaintingOwls Mon 10-Jul-17 12:21:36

The simplest thing is to get MyFitnessPal and put in your height, weight, and rate of loss and stick within the calories it tells you to eat.

I set mine to losing 0.25kg per week and my calories were 1510 per day.

That's it.

No need to overcomplicate it.

phoenixtherabbit Mon 10-Jul-17 12:30:58

I calorie counted. Didn't deprive myself of anything but obviously you get more healthy food for your calories than you do crap.

Helped me a lot with portion sizes as I had to weigh things out. Lost a stone and a half. Took me about 3/4 months. Am back on it now as have decided I want to lose a further half a stone.

My fitness pal is good as it will tell you how many calories you need to eat in order to lose the weight.

I never felt hungry.

PaintingOwls Mon 10-Jul-17 12:33:54

Oh and a hot tip is to eat breakfast later - say 9am - and dinner earlier than you usually would. Helps with the hunger. I'd be starving if I ate breakfast at 7am too!

MrsWooster Mon 10-Jul-17 13:08:11

I have a weight loss / blood sugar blog-type-thread in mn diabetes... it is the 8 week Newcastle Diet to reverse diabetes. I've lost 12 kilos I the 8 weeks and can honestly say it b.s. been a LOT easier than I thought. I have failed diets for 40 years and I think this has worked, so far, because it is like a medical treatment regime: I have effectively removed myself from the family eating, rather than trying to eat a bit of what is normal. Food is like medicine, for the duration of the diet - i dont take double my anxiety meds and i dont take double the shakes! As the threadblog shows, I have lapses but it has been very effective. Getting back onto a good version of normal eating lies in the future and that will be a whole new challenge, but I am doing this one step at a time and changing my eating habits will be easier from the perspective of eating to maintain my health and figure rather than changing to try and ACHIEVE these things... good luck - it is worth it as seeing the person I want to be in the mirror is extraordinary. Also see the recent thread on one sentence reasons for losing weight.

QuimReaper Mon 10-Jul-17 13:16:31

I agree with a PP that the most important thing is to find something which suits you and you can see yourself doing forever and ever. In my case that's the 5:2 diet with two other days where I'm as "good" as possible; this enables me to have no rules Fri-Sun, which is essential for me to find it sustainable. Others find that they need to be absolutely structured 7 days a week because they can't bounce back from indulgent days.

I would suggest you "try on" a few ways of eating to find something that suits. As much as anything you may find that you take something away from a way of eating even if ultimately you decide it's not for you. For instance, I decided I like pasta too much to pursue low-carb, but doing it for a few weeks forced me to find lots of recipes which didn't centre on carbs, and now a few years on I still don't eat carbs during the week and always have protein for breakfast (whereas before it was toast every time). Similarly, a friend of mine tried out 5:2ing and eventually found that she couldn't tolerate it, but found it a real education about getting the most out of a small number of calories (for instance to avoid carbs as they leave you hungry again an hour later, as opposed to protein which doesn't), and although she can't do 500 calories finds she can comfortably come in under 1000 some days by eating the right things in the right amounts, which she never managed before. I also took the tried-and-tested MN advice and started eating off a smaller plate, and now serve myself smaller portions even when I'm having a Friday night pasta blowout. I'm allowed seconds but find I don't actually need as much food as I think I do, but before I'd pile up a huge bowl and then eat it because it was there.

Which is all a very long-winded way of saying, horses for courses grin

cottagecheesequeen Mon 10-Jul-17 13:25:39

2 years is more than enough time. I've lost 6 stone in just under a year but then stopped. I've kept weight off but now I want to finish and get to goal.

I set myself lots of targets. 3lbs, next stone, half stone, fit into dress, 5 lbs etc etc. so one week I might lose only 2lb but its achieved a round figure of 10lbs if you see what I mean. This process for me is highly motivating.

If you really like pizza for example then decide you will have one slice with a massive salad or go without lunch and have 2 slices. Reward yourself for being in control with a café coffee, new magazine etc.

Plan your choc bars in advance so you know that in 6 days you're having your favourite bar. reward yourself again if you decide to not eat the bar.

Initially its time consuming and you might spend A LOT or time thinking about food, planning meals etc.

Yes you will be hungry and you won't need a clock to tell you mealtimes. I remind myself that 30 minutes of feeling hungry burns more calories.

Some people skip breakfast to add to their dinner plate but when you're strictly limiting calories you might not be able to.

Buy a smaller dinner plate, use spray oil, chuck out every treat and buy it daily.

Lastly I weigh every day. today the scale stayed the same but for the week I've lost 4.6 lbs so I'm not worried. if the scale showed a gain I would swtich to 1000 calories for the day and up my walking to 15,000 steps.

Hope this helps x

Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 13:28:10

Thank you for all the replies!

MrsWooster That all sounds terrific! Congratulations on your 12 kilos weight loss! It is interesting that you have removed yourself completely from the family eating. I am a bit wary of doing this as I have a very thin (impressionable) perfectionist teenage daughter and I don't want her picking up too much on what I am doing. Something definitely needs to change though.

I think one of the reasons I feel shaky is that I eat too many carbs (ie fast release sugar crash) so I will definitely take a look at that thread and at the Newcastle diet. Thank you for the tips!

Thank you everyone for the calorie counting advice too. I have done MyFitnessPal on and off for a number of years - but have never stuck to it - find it quite a hassle. But I know it is a very helpful app. My daily calorie level was set at 1200 which I found quite difficult to maintain. (I know it set that on the basis of the info I logged in though!) Need to adjust it to a more realistic level I think. I did find it a helpful reminder as to how the calorie content of small snacks add up though!

Olliv Congratulations on your 16 lbs weight loss! And your diet looks really good - I don't think I would feel remotely deprived eating that. I guess it is about eating wisely and making all the calories count.

Also noted that keeping it simple and eating roughly the same sort of things every day really helps!

Einstein agree all sorts of influences - other than actual bodily need - affect hunger. I know boredom is a large factor in mine!

Thanks again everyone. I am much clearer now about how to proceed. I kind of knew this stuff but had become discombobulated by all the conflicting advice out there.

OP’s posts: |
Sanscollier Mon 10-Jul-17 13:39:13


Gosh, thank you hugely QuimReaper and Cottagecheesequeen -
both fabulous posts which have both given me lots and lots of food for thought. That's just the sort of advice I was looking for.

Quim I will indeed try out a few different methods. I think I have a rough idea of what will suit but, as you say, every method is going to deliver an unexpected bonus or lesson here and there!

Wow ¨Cottage six stone! That's incredible! star I very much appreciate the practical tips! I like how you introduced treats in a very controlled manner and the idea of planning the chocolate bar in advance (that would never ever occur to me!). Also the idea of the staggered targets!

[SC rushes - highly enthused - to look for a small plate ... .]

OP’s posts: |
QuimReaper Mon 10-Jul-17 16:54:06

I also definitely think mini targets are the way to go: I was working towards an interim goal and an ultimate goal which were pretty close together, but week to week I just wanted to see a new KG number, and took it as a real success when I managed it.

revolution909 Mon 10-Jul-17 20:26:47

4st in 9 months. I more or less count my calories (but it's a guesstimate more than anything else!). My allowance Mon-Fri in theory doesn't exceed 1500 calories. Saturday is free (I drink at least 4-5 pints of cider twice a month) and Sunday I try to stick to 2000 cals. I also train 12 hours a week. I'm 5'3 , size 6/8 BMI 22/23

OwlinaTree Mon 10-Jul-17 22:45:38

Wow, a banana and small piece of bread wouldn't keep me going all morning! Try adding eggs or porridge is very filling.

cottagecheesequeen Tue 11-Jul-17 09:31:21

How's it going Sans? did you set your targets and write a meal plan? If your husband does most of the cooking would he be interested in the Hairy Bikers dieters book? lots of 'manly' food like curry and pot roasts etc.

I have young DC but they're young enough that if they see me eating a plate full of lettuce they think its a big meal compared to their pasta bake iyswim

JustWonderingZ Tue 11-Jul-17 10:09:30

OP you mentioned that you feel very hungry a lot of the time and that your life is not very active. There's a link here. I noticed when I was not exercising I was keener on food, especially sugary and high fat variety. Physical activity stimulated the production of endorphins in our brain which make us feel good, so we are a lot less bothered about food. Since starting to exercise, I have noticed how less hungry I feel. I do not go hunting for a piece of cake because I feel happy and content. This is purely physiological.

Like yourself, I cannot tolerate hunger to the point I am unable and to concentrate and get on with my day. In my view, somehow the focus needs to be shifted from food to a non-food activity to make you feel good. Exercise is excellent for that. Plus the added benefits of being fitter and having a nicer body shape.

Obviously, try and steer clear from junk, but that applies to healthy weight people just as much if they wish to stay that way smile

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