What is the answer?

(17 Posts)
ginandchocs Thu 07-May-20 19:28:46

I'm overweight. I pretty much always have been. I'm currently just over 12 stone, and at 5ft3.5 it is far too much. Every day seems like a constant battle. My meals are generally pretty healthy and portion sizes are good but it's the snacking. I just can't stop.

Has anyone been in this situation and managed to sort themselves out? I know the basics. I know that to lose weight I need to burn off more than I eat. I know that's not rocket science, but I just constantly feel in self sabotage mode.

I have tried every diet known to man. Slimming World, Weight Watchers, 5:2, Joe Wicks, Team RH.....You name it I've tried it.

What's the answer? I understand the calories, but this is all in my head. Who has been here and now manages to keep their weight healthy and balanced? How do you do it? I don't want to restrict (as in cut food groups, drastically cut calories). I want to live in a normal, healthy and balanced way. How do I do it?

Thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
Unravellingslowly Thu 07-May-20 20:30:33

I don't want to restrict (as in cut food groups, drastically cut calories). I want to live in a normal, healthy and balanced way. How do I do it?

Sorry to say weight loss is calories in Vs calories out. Maintaining weight, after losing it, is monitoring calories in.

I don’t restrict any food- I still have wine, chocolate, crisps BUT have lost 2 stone by finally realising, by weighing and logging every mouthful I consume in MyFitnessPal, how many calories are actually in things. It has been a big eye opener. Weighing portion sizes has definitely been a huge help. 100g of oven chips seems tiny but calories add up!

2000 calories per day is for a YOUNG ACTIVE woman, My TDEE as an older, sloth like woman means if I eat over 1600 calories per day I gain weight. If I eat 1400-1500 calories per day I lose weight (the lower it is the faster I lose obvs). I can have that piece of cake and log it but if it’s 340 calories for that cake and I could have a well portioned roast dinner for less calories then I am able to make better choices.

A small banana can be 98 calories. Asda chocolate digestive biscuit is 88 calories. I can feel satisfied after a banana, I could eat half a packet of chocolate digestive biscuits. 6 biscuits is 528 calories. That’s more than a third of my Total calorie daily expenditure (TDEE ) and I would still be hungry and unsatisfied a short time later so still want to eat something else, adding to my calories.

It’s all about choices. Shop bought sandwich for 450 calories or home made one for 250 + a packet of crisps for 125 calories? You don’t have to feel you are depriving yourself, you just need to make better choices and eat more food, for less calories, that fills you so you don’t snack on high calorie foods. Good luck.

stopandListen Thu 07-May-20 20:47:28

Exactly as poster above says, really is that simple. Also consistency is key, most of us myself included get fed up after a few weeks and revert back to bad habits.

Also gets much harder as you age, in my 30's I could drop a stone in a few weeks, now I'm lucky if I lose 5lb in a month.

footprintsintheslow Thu 07-May-20 20:51:57

Can you try to snack on fruit and nuts and seeds and drink lots of water to fill up Monday to Friday. Eat three normal meals and then let your hair down a little on the weekends.

overnightangel Thu 07-May-20 20:55:43

I drink a pint of slightly warm water water before I make each meal, often you’re not as hungry as you think and it’s easy to just eat what you make. Planning and potion sizes are as important as what you actually eat

ginandchocs Thu 07-May-20 21:13:06

Thank you for your responses. I understand that it's as simple as calories in/calories out, I'm just wondering how people have managed to overcome issues such as snacking, and eating high sugar foods when you're not hungry.they're my biggest issues.

I have the myfitnesspal app and try to use it. My meals are probably pretty spot on. I mainly cook from scratch. I use plenty of veg/salad. We don't each many processed foods at mealtime (we're far from perfect and do have them from time to time, but 9 times out of 10 our meals are great and probably 400-500 calories - possibly a little less for breakfast, made up for during evening meal).

I probably eat as many calories after 7pm as I do all day. How do I get over this hurdle that is all in my head?

I know only I can do it. I know the answer is not to eat it or opt for something healthier, and I really wish it was that simple. I don't know if I'm coming across correctly. I want to stop the cravings/habits that have been there for many, many years. I wish it was as simple as it seems on paper.

OP’s posts: |
CloudyVanilla Thu 07-May-20 21:25:49

Mine advice is controversial but I have had to cut sugar and refined carbs from my diet in order to lose weight.

It's not because they have some kind of special bad calories in them that make them more fattening than other foods of the same caloric value, it's because it is very very easy and very very tempting to eat too much of them. When I'm trying to maintain a calorie deficit it just does not work for me.

So yes, calories in calories out is the simple bit, but finding a way to maintain a caloric deficit for an extended period of time without consistently feeling the need to binge or give up can be very difficult for some people.

Junk foods can change your perception of taste and your hormonal response to hunger cues, so although some people can include them in a weight loss diet, if you struggle with emotional eating then you might want to try at least temporarily cutting out those trigger foods may be helpful

If you don't have any of those issues then simply tracking EVERYTHING you eat accurately and honestly should do the trick. There are loads of apps; I prefer Loseit because it has cute little food pictures fr everything you add.

You may also want to increase your protein content for increased satiety. Basically the hardest part is finding foods and eating patterns that you can stick to. Good luck smile


Bessica1970 Thu 07-May-20 21:26:22

I’m doing Noom, it’s similar to MFP but there’s daily support and because I’m paying for it I try harder. I have a rule not to eat after dinner, so when I start craving snacks it’s really simple - I can’t have one because it’s s after dinner!

CloudyVanilla Thu 07-May-20 21:29:10

Oh and I also use intermittent fasting and skip dinner, I stop eating at 3 - 4pm. I deal with any hunger or cravings by just, well, dealing with them. Like with the junk food, a hard no is easier for me to deal with psychologically. If I had an unlimited eating window I would give in to snacking no doubt.

Horehound Thu 07-May-20 21:29:11

Well first of all you should do some kind of exercise in the evening because if you do that then you aren't snacking and you have the benefit of shedding calories too.

What is it you are snacking on?

AnotherMurkyDay Thu 07-May-20 21:29:35

One of the biggest things is your portion sizes. By that I don't mean not eating Norma food, it's perfectly acceptable to eat a roast dinner, but it's all the little extras we do that make it so much higher in calories. We are overly liberal with the cooking oil and the gravy. We add some Yorkshire puddings (or extra ones), stuffing, pigs in blankets even when it s not Christmas. We add sauces/condiments. Instead of steamed veg, we have buttered cabbage and/or cauliflower cheese. We serve too much and over eat. Often we go back for seconds. Then we feel too full to exercise. We do manage to make room for crumble and custard, though, or crackers and cheese. We use the big tumblers or wine glasses and are liberal with the soft drinks and wine. We finish the bottles because the fridge is over full. We over shop in order to over cook and over eat. But we do all of these things subconsciously, we don't think "how many tiny ways are there for me to make sure I gain weight today?" No. We don't think about it until our clothes are too tight or we get on the scales and cringe. It's all those tiny little habits and tendencies we have that lead us to gain weight (or regain weight). And when we try to lose it we try to go too far the other way, under eat, feeling deprived, and compensate with MORE than before. Crash dieting is a bitch.

The people who lose weight and keep it off are in too camps, there are the "type A dieters" who have a personality type that makes them organised, struggle to break rules, and quite rigid in their thinking. If we are not like that we envy their self discipline, but actually these are the people most at risk of OCD and eating disorders.

Then there's the people who make lasting healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle. It's not glamorous, it's slow and tedious and lots of "three steps forwards and two steps back"

When we want to get up earlier in the morning, dramatically altering our sleep time feels painful. But when we get up 5 mins earlier each day we hardly notice each day, and yet fairly soon we are in the new habit and get up at that time naturally. That's what you want with weight loss, you want it to eventually be comfortable and habitual to eat less food and healthier food, because if it's painful most of us fail.

stopandListen Thu 07-May-20 21:33:17

@ginandchocs I will never be one of those I'm satisfied after my evening meal types, I NEED snacks in the evening once kids are in bed, watching tv etc.

I've been doing the following.

Brisk 30 mins walk after my dinner, I usually eat around 6ish as my kids are young and I'm always starving

Allow 200-300 evening snacking calories

Do not have tempting snacks in the house

Plan my snacks, tonight I got salt & vinegar snack a jacks, olives, baby bel light x2 and a large vodka & coke

Brush teeth and go to bed earlier

Im also using MFP, lost 6lb in 2 weeks which is slow but I'm 42 and greedy smile
Good luck!

ginandchocs Thu 07-May-20 21:42:52

@stopandListen we eat around the same time because of the children so that probably is a reason for snacking so much. I think I'm going to follow your lead and save a 200-300 calories for the evening and try to plan it so that it's not just all junk. Thank you.

Someone asked what I snack on (sorry, can't remember who). Literally anything and everything. I'm one of those people that if you asked me whether I had a sweet or savoury tooth I'd answer both.

I'm going to set myfitnesspal so that I have a deficit, but not a massive one. I'd rather lose weight slowly and then keep it off (I've been trying for 20 years, what's a little longer!) longterm rather than go for a bigger deficit and 'rebel'. I know I'm the problem. I know only I can fix it.

Thank you to for taking the time to read and respond.

OP’s posts: |
Unravellingslowly Thu 07-May-20 21:45:30

overcome issues such as snacking, and eating high sugar foods when you're not hungry

Do you know what? Sometimes I don’t. I have been known to stuff 2 wagon wheels, an orange club and 2 packets of crisps in my face.
So, feeling disgusted with myself, and way over calorie total, I won’t have dinner but may, if starving later, have a piece of wholemeal toast with a very thin scraping of light spread and a cup of tea and go to bed with a grumbling stomach knowing that,for all the calories I stuffed in, without enjoyment, I could have had a full meal and sensible twirl single and felt far more satisfied. But, even 18 months on, I still occasionally make this mistake.
However, I like wine. It’s calorific. If my choice is a glass of wine or a wagon wheel-I mostly choose wine.

If I’ve had too much wine, the next couple of days I have less food. To make up for the too much wine. It’s swings and roundabouts. If you have too much one day have less the next day or two to make up for it.

ginandchocs Thu 07-May-20 21:46:21


I've just re-read your post and you're right. Thank you. I need to find a way to make long term, healthy changes that are sustainable. Finishing off that bottle of wine in the fridge because it is open is very true!

OP’s posts: |
footprintsintheslow Fri 08-May-20 21:09:48

How about an evening hobby involving your hands so you can't eat. Maybe crochet? Or I hula hoop in front of the tv. Impossible to eat then. And when I'm really desperate for a snack I just go to bed lol.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 09-May-20 08:45:03

Read Jason Fung or look up some of his seminars on YouTube. It really is not as simple as 'calories in/calories out'
If you want to lose weight you have to control your insulin release (irrespective of if you are diabetic, insulin is your fat storage hormone and if there's insulin in your blood you are storing fat not burning it, regardless of how many calories you eat) , and there are many ways to do this but the easiest two are to stop eating sugary/refined carbs foods and to reduce the number of times you eat (eg. By stopping snacking). Cutting out certain foods (eg grains and cereals, foods modified and grown specifically to fatten cattle?!) can also help.

This "approach" tends to be unpopular because we like starchy sugary foods, and envisage a life without them as wholly miserable but it really doesn't have to be. It's also unpopular because the food industry needs us to snack, constantly, grazing like little sheep on expensive cheap sugary, addictive "snacks" and they market them to us constantly.

Fung's book The obesity code will blow apart everything you think you know and everything you've been told all your life about food and calories. It's scientific but it's a pleasant read and it's not a 'diet book' eg it doesn't have menus or plans except very simple guides.

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