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I can't seem to get started on a diet

(23 Posts)
oatcakesandcheeseplease Wed 02-Aug-17 09:54:49

What can I do to get myself started on weight loss?
In two years I have put on two stone. In that two years I've quite a lot of things causing me stress - we moved house and location, my elderly mums dementia got worse and she went a nursing home, and there ongoing stress and worry with this.

I really hate that I'm two stone overweight
I'm fat,matronly, my clothes don't fit and feel unhealthy BUT I can't seem to start a diet or keep to anything for more than a few days I tell myself that this or that diet plan is going to be the one, but I don't stick to it and end up feeling a failure - someone who can't stick at anything I try to eat a healthy diet - at least if I can't diet and lose weight I can be healthy and fat.

Any thoughts, advice etc would welcome

OP’s posts: |
BlackAmericanoNoSugar Wed 02-Aug-17 10:30:03

I find that I resent the headspace that a diet program takes up. There is generally a combination of learning new food rules (often a whole book full), weighing food, calculating carbs or calories, making separate meals from the rest of the family, having to restock with different foods, learning new recipes. It makes me obsessive, then I get cross and then I give up.

However I really do need to do something because I have T2 diabetes and this year my glucose control has gone to shit. So what I'm doing is a non-diet. I don't eat between meals AT ALL, no obsessing about whether I have enough points for a snack. If I'm having a busy day I have 3 meals otherwise I have 2 meals. I eat the same meal as the rest of the family but a small serving of carbs and extra salad or greens. If we go out for a meal I order what I fancy rather than worrying about what's 'good' but don't eat much of the carb element. No sugar unless it's a family birthday, then I'll have a small piece of cake. I don't consider that I've 'spoiled' my diet if I have a bigger eating day, I just think of it as a blip in a good average.

The only thing that I have added to my normal food is I add inulin (soluble fibre) to my hot drinks. It helps to slow down digestion a little so that I don't get spikes in my blood glucose. A spike would cause a surge in insulin, which would send my blood glucose too low and make me crave sweet food. But just eating low carb, and always having protein with it, does a lot to stabilise my glucose levels by itself so the inulin might not even be necessary (it does keep me regular though 😉)

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Wed 02-Aug-17 11:48:16

I forgot to say I'm five weeks in and I've lost 7.8kg. Which is good considering my focus is on glucose control rather than losing weight. Also NOBODY knows I'm dieting, even my family haven't noticed because I'm still eating dinner with them. Although I did tell my H that I'm lowering my carbs so that he can add extra vegetables when he's making dinner.

The good thing about nobody knowing that I'm on a diet is that there's no diet talk so I don't think about it much, just get on with life.

FlightyMare Wed 02-Aug-17 12:23:14

What a brilliant approach, and well done on your weight loss too. This is definitely the way I want to go - I really want to focus on being healthier and stop obsessing over following a diet or losing weight. I've lost a few lbs over the past 2 weeks, as I've made a concerted effort and I wanted to lose a bit before my holiday next week, but it's reminded me how depressing I find being 'on a diet'! Like you say - it takes up an awful lot of headspace!

I'm really enjoying exercising, so am going to carry on with this after my holiday, but I'm going to shift the food focus onto making small changes to add healthier foods into my diet, rather than trying to cut things out too much.

Great advice here oatcakes, I think BlackAmerican's approach might be beneficial to you too, as you say you're also fed up of starting 'diets' then not being able to stick to them (by the way, it's the diets failing you, not you failing at the diets!!)

SeamusMacDubh Wed 02-Aug-17 13:44:51

I'm really struggling to stick to "being good" as well. I can manage to have a healthy breakfast but as lunch time arrives I end up stuffing my face over the space of 2 hours and then when the DC go to bed I'm hunting out chocolate, cake, biscuits, ice cream, marshmallows etc. It's gotten really bad. I am overweight and want to get down to 10.5 stone, at the moment my weight fluctuates between 11.5 and 12 but I think I'm about 12 stone 4lbs at the moment sad all my clothes are feeling tight, I know I'm not eating healthily and that bothers me too.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Wed 02-Aug-17 14:13:37

What's your healthy breakfast Seamus? Could you have something with protein for breakfast which should hold you better until lunchtime. And then make sure that you have plenty of protein and veg before you have any carbs at lunchtime.

I've definitely found that I'm hungry between meals eating low carb, but that's tolerable because I don't get the cravings that I used to get. There's a difference between feeling hungry and compulsively prowling the cupboards like a ravenous wolf. The ravenous wolf feeling is almost impossible to ignore. The first five days without any sugar was really rough but then I felt much better and didn't need it anymore. It was also easier to just stop the sugar/high GI carbs than to try to limit it to small amounts.

oatcakesandcheeseplease Wed 02-Aug-17 18:41:11

Hi BlackAmerican Flightymare and Seamus and thanks for your replies I've been out all day so didn't get chance to reply til now - I had to be at a care review meeting for my mum then I decided I'd go to a shopping mall nearby and have some "me" time.
BlackAmerican thank you I going to make a list of your suggestions and try to follow them. I hate diets and I can't stand all the faffing about that goes with them or the talking about being on diets or not losing weight and from all my reading about diets they don't work anyway. But it doesn't stop me trying - and failing to lose weight. The only time I've lost weight is when I did weight watchers and ended up being too obsessed by it and going too far and then I put it all back on again. I wish I could lose weight by osmosis

My DH has been doing 5:2 for about 3 years and he just maintains his weight now - it seems to suit him, but I've tried it and I end up thinking about all the food I'm going to eat on my none fast days, so it's counterproductive for me. I told myself I'd start 5:2 today and yesterday I realised I was getting into a rebellious mode - eating this sweet sickly cake when we went for a coffee while out - I wouldn't normally bother with a cake like this but I guess it was because I knew I was going to start the 5:2 the next day.

Like you say Flighty it's the diet that are the problem.

Keep the advice

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oatcakesandcheeseplease Thu 03-Aug-17 13:08:59

Anyone else?

OP’s posts: |
JordanMichals Thu 03-Aug-17 13:35:17

Hi OP,

I've been on a diet for 74 days now and I'm loving it. Like you, I've never been able to stick at one for very long at all. My record before this diet was 22 days.

For me, there are a few things that have made this diet different:
(i) Frame of mind. This time I was absolutely ready to lose weight. Previously I'd thought "well I could do with shedding few pounds but it's not that bad" or "meh, life's too short". This time I was 100% ready and determined to do it because I was just fed up of looking and feeling like shit.

(ii) Clear time. I started just over 70 days ago when I had a very clear stretch of time to do the diet with no interruptions or distractions. There were no big birthdays, Easter, Christmases or holidays coming up so it was an ideal time.

(iii) Cutting reliance on food and drink. Me and DH used to have a curry every Saturday night with a bottle of wine each and a few shots. That was what weekends were all about for us. It was hard at first but we just brutally out a stop to that and haven't had a drop of drink for 74 days. It was hard the first couple of weekends as our whole routine had to be changed but we just replaced the take away curry with low-calorie buffets or homemade vegetable curry and replaced the wine with non-alcoholic cocktails- loads on Pinterest. So it still feels like we're having a Saturday night but we're not having the calories and we don't wake up with a stonking hangover. My Sundays are amazing now because I'm not spending all day with a thick head.

(iv) Only calorie counting. I don't take account of things like saturated fats etc., I only go on caloires. I know lots of people will say this is stupid but from a purely weight loss perspective, this works fine.My rule is that across a week I have to be 3,500 calories below my RDA so I'm not necessarily calorie counting everyday but adding it up across a week. This gives more flexibility for having a little something extra on the weekend as you can mkae it up in the week.

(v) No foods are banned. Related to that, because I'm only calorie counting, I can eat anything I like as long as I'm not over my calorie allowance for the week. For my lunch today, I've had tea and biscuits grin but it's only come to 400 calories so that's fine. This means that when I need chocolate or I'm craving some crisps, I'm perfectly allowed to have them as long as I add the calories to my count.

(vi) Exercise every day. I've made myself exercise every day. Some times this isn't possible but the rule is no two consecutive days without some form of exercise. I try and swim three times a week with arm weights on and then I also do free weights at home every day when possible. I've really noticed how much healthier I feel for this and I can see some definition coming in my arms! I also think (no evidence though!) that exercise speeds up your metabolism.

(vii) No weighing yourself. I weighted myself at the very start of the diet just to see where I was. I won't weigh myself until the end of 100 days. I'm goin by what I look like and how I feel rather than some arbitrary measure of weight. Women's weight can fluctuate massively so I don't think it's a very good indication anyway and I find it very demotivating.

(viii) Set days rather than weight. Related to that point, I have set myself a diet of 100 days rather than a predefined weight I want to get to. I find this much easier to manage as I'm not thinking things like "I should be 2lbs lighter by now" or "more should have come off by now". I'm just going with this for 100 days

JordanMichals Thu 03-Aug-17 13:36:56

2 stone isn't that much to lose, you'll be great once you figure out what works for you!

JordanMichals Thu 03-Aug-17 13:39:20

I want to lose about a stone and a half BTW

oatcakesandcheeseplease Thu 03-Aug-17 15:56:33

Wow you're doing well, Jordan thanks for all that info - you sound really committed too

I get so confused - do I go for healthy eating, low carb, the Mediterranean diet, calorie counting, 5:2 the options are endless - I guess ultimately it's eating less - but I hate all this cutting out - I like a glass of wine 🍷 or 2/3, I like crisps at weekends and I want to eat cake and not feel guilty - life's too short to feel guilty like a naughty school girl. With all this around no wonder we don't know what to do to lose weight or to do it let alone finding the motivation to do it. No wonder we end up with a disfunctional attitude to food and eating.
I've spent so many years worrying about weight eating losing it that I've wasted years of my life - faffing about
How often do we tell ourselves that there's an emotional reason for our weight gain or that it's not convenient at the time to do anything to lose weight and then one day, like me something happens that shocks you into doing it - I saw a photo of myself dressed up with a group of friends and I looked 8 months pregnant and the only fat one among this group of lovely looking ladies - before that I was telling myself I'm tall so I can get away with it - until I saw that photo!!!!

OP’s posts: |
oatcakesandcheeseplease Thu 03-Aug-17 16:06:11

Oh I forgot to say I've started not drinking mon tues or Wednesday and cutting chocolate out on those days too. I ask myself f I really want or need a cake if I'm tempted to have one or would I rather have a nice tasty meal instead

OP’s posts: |
JordanMichals Thu 03-Aug-17 17:30:52

do I go for healthy eating, low carb, the Mediterranean diet, calorie counting, 5:2 the options are endless - I guess ultimately it's eating less - but I hate all this cutting out - I like a glass of wine 🍷 or 2/3, I like crisps at weekends and I want to eat cake and not feel guilty - life's too short to feel guilty like a naughty school girl

That's why I didn't go for any particular diet. I ultimately think they're all just conceived to make their creators money anyway. I just went for a very simple formula- fewer calories in that out, exercise every day.

I can feel I've lost a lot of weight. I feel great and I look better.

I enjoy just calorie counting as it means I have complete control and I can have whatever foods I like. Today I don't want to go over about 1,200 calories but within that anything goes. So I'll have cornflakes for breakfast (120 cal), crisps at 10am (65 cal), biscuits for lunch (400cal), homemade pasta for tea (500cal) and a bar of chocolate for pudding (150cal).

Having said that, cutting out drinking has massively reduced my calorie intake both from the alcohol itself but also because I don't get munchies after a couple of glasses of wine. I missed alcohol at the start but now the thought of drinking, especially in the week, gives me a headache. I'm looking forward to a nice leisurely lunch with a glass of wine at some point in October/November but I'm not craving it and I'm looking forward to wine as part of a meal and experience rather than just wine for wine's sake IYSWIM.

oatcakesandcheeseplease Thu 03-Aug-17 19:13:47

That's great, Jordan I've taken notes and I'm going to have a good think and plan something for myself
Yes, it's true about the diet industry making loads of money out of people's misfortune to be be overweight. If you google the best diets: it comes up with a list of commercial diets - not how to eat less.

What do you use to count calories? My fitness pal or a book?

OP’s posts: |
SeamusMacDubh Thu 03-Aug-17 22:37:01

BlackAmericano, my healthy breakfast is porridge with blueberries, no added sugar or sweetener, only sometimes some honey as well. I measure it out, one cup of oats to two cups semi skimmed milk. One cup is 40g.

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Thu 03-Aug-17 23:37:13

Seamus For some people porridge is slow release, but for some it can have a more rapid blood sugar rise while would lead to a dip after about 3 hours. I've been testing the blood glucose rise caused by different foods a couple of hours after eating, and porridge was more of a rise than I was expecting. Changing to making it with water helped, but I don't have it as often as I used to.

It's tough to have a cooked breakfast when you're trying to get out to work but maybe having a bit of protein along with the porridge might keep you more level and less likely to go nuts at lunchtime. You could try mixing protein powder into the porridge (I think they all taste revolting, but I can't have whey or soy protein because of allergies, so perhaps whey protein might taste ok since you're having milk anyway). Or a boiled egg doesn't take much longer than porridge to make, a couple of boiled eggs with one slice of granary toast would be very low gi. Life's too short to eat things that you don't like, but perhaps try different things for breakfast that you like to eat and then listen to how your body feels throughout the morning to see what works for you.

Then, when you've cracked the morning, maybe see what you can do differently at lunchtime. Perhaps munching through a green salad before you have your sandwich might slow you down enough to stop a carb rampage.

SeamusMacDubh Fri 04-Aug-17 00:13:36

Thanks for replying BlackAmericano, I quite like porridge but I like eggs too smile I could try more protein, I do go for carbs over anything else when I'm hungry/grazing

JordanMichals Fri 04-Aug-17 08:32:41

I just use my diary no funky fitness trackers or anything. I just jot down the calories in everything I've eaten and tot it up at the end of the day. By the weekend I know how many calories in the week I've got left to play with.

This means I don't track calories burned during exercise though. You can roughly estimate it but I don't bother, I just think of those as bonus calories off grin

JordanMichals Fri 04-Aug-17 08:35:57

I also make sure I weight all my food to the gram and work out exact calories.

And when I say all my food, I mean all my food so I'll check calories in things you absent-mindedly add to food without thinking like oil, stock, garnish etc. That way, no extra calories sneak in with me seeing

oatcakesandcheeseplease Fri 04-Aug-17 18:05:35

Thanks, Jordan I'm not keen on my fitness pal or any other apps. I don't like them bleeping me etc to tell me to input data I'd rather just work it out myself from paper or electronic calorie lists

OP’s posts: |
fishonabicycle Mon 07-Aug-17 17:53:58

Mfp is great. It's doesn't beep or anything! Just makes it quicker and easier to count calories.

MirabelleTree Tue 08-Aug-17 07:48:23

I use Nutracheck as find it a bit easier than MFP to use but it does cost £30 a year. I've done so many diets in the past I've lost count. This time I'm just calorie counting which takes all of about 5 mins a day which I figure is small price to pay for weight loss. Nothing is banned and generally I try to stick to about 80% healthy eating but have flexibility depending what is going on so can cope with birthdays etc.

Last week I was away so ate at maintenance and it looks like I lost quarter if a pound so very pleased with that. I have a Fitbit so have a pretty good idea of what energy I'm expending and aim for either 7k or 3.k deficit over a week depending on what I want to lose. I need this to be sustainable long term so for me not feeling deprived and feeling in control of my eating are the key things as I've lost weight before but put it back in so I know it's maintenance that is the really hard bit and I'm preparing for that best I can as I go along.

So far so good, I'm 5 stone down since last November. It's finding something that fits in with the way your mind works and then getting on with it, don't over think it or procrastinate, you can always change things as you go along .

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