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AIBU?

To think it is impossible to lose weight unless you have 1) time & 2) headspace?

135 replies

TuesdayBliss · 19/09/2022 18:09

By which I mean:

  • You are getting enough sleep
  • You are not anxious about anything happening in your life
  • You are not stressed
  • You are not overwhelmed with work
  • You are not worried
  • You have free time to plan, exercise, cook and so on


If any of the above factors are an issue in your life, then I think it’s simply not possible to have the energy, time, and positive attitude that make up the necessary commitment to losing weight. AIBU?
OP posts:
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AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 08:44

YABU.

To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. So if you want to keep it very simple, you just need to eat less of the usual things you eat. You don't need to plan, you don't need to do additional cooking, and certainly don't need to exercise. You can lose weight without doing any exercise at all very easily.

Also, regarding your points about not being stressed or tired, lots of people stop eating when they're stressed or tired rather than overeat to cope.

Weight loss is simple but it isn't easy, it takes discipline, and whether someone has the necessary discipline depends on a lot of factors but it's certainly not true that it's 'impossible' without the perfect set of circumstances. When you want it badly enough you will make it happen and if you're just not there yet then that's fine.

Of course there are many people in situations where the few pleasures they have in life are food and therefore they overeat because they get very little pleasure elsewhere. But that doesn't mean it's impossible for them to lose weight. Everyone who loses weight makes the same decision at the offset: what's more important to me? Being a lighter weight, or continuing to eat as I please?

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BlooberryBiskits · 20/09/2022 09:03

TuesdayBliss · 19/09/2022 19:15

I’m looking for reasons and links actually. I’m interested in cause and effect. And the thread has already made me consider different stress responses.

Hello @TuesdayBliss : I don’t think you are wrong actually, what you describe are ideal circumstances, it is MUCH harder (perhaps not impossible) to lose weight when tired/stressed/anxious etc - losing weight is habit change, & the weight loss some people have because they can’t eat when stressed is terrible for your body (I’ve experienced that too)

I would actually suggest focusing on just a few small changes to help you feel better/healthier/more energetic- these would reduce the need to comfort yourself with high calorie foods (which often mess with blood sugar and create a vicious cycle)

There is a LOT of evidence that elevated cortisol (stress hormone) contributes to weight gain especially tummy fat

For me some helpful changes are:

  • enough sleep a night (actually track how many hours you sleep to work out what you need/a cheap fit bit will also do this). When you wake up feeling refreshed: that’s the right amount. Try to keep a consistent sleep/wake time daily
  • drink more water (eg 1-2l a day). Start with a glass when you wake up, a glass an hour later- makes a difference
  • more vegetables especially & fruit and unprocessed foods in general- some things take time but eg an omelette with veg & new potatoes is quick as are lots of other meals
  • Try to walk for at least 20 mins a day - preferably a set time (to work, the school run, the shops)
  • take 5 mins of peace for yourself first thing in the morning (preferably before others get up) - have a cup of tea or whatever in peace & start your day in an uncrazy way , preferably do the same at night (or something for you - have a shower or bath or watch a short tv show - anything to relax)


Do this for a week or 2 with a focus on feeling better/less stressed (the sleep, water, vitamins from better food & a bit of relaxation all helps) and then you may find it easier to plan healthy meals & to set limits on unhealthy ‘empty calorie’ foods (especially sugar/white flour which messes with blood sugar, also fried foods as just so calorific)

By focusing on what would make you FEEL better you would start to shift the cycle and focus more on your health

I would also think about if there are things you can change to adjust your stress: I changed jobs earlier this year as my previous job was too much and making it tough for me to manage my health and weight : appreciate it’s quite a big change but ultimately if you are not healthy life is so much harder so why not try for a better balance
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misskatamari · 20/09/2022 09:38

Do you follow rebelfit at all? I think you'd find their approach really interesting, as they basically believe this exact thing. They share loads of great content on Facebook.

I would say I agree with you.

I imagine it is possible to lose weight in spite of the factors you mention. However I think that to lose weight AND MAINTAIN IT, is nigh on impossible if you are facing the things you state. And really, that's the key isn't it. Losing weight isn't a win if you then revert to old eating habits, up the shame, and regain lose weight and add some more along for the ride. Diet culture has so much to answer for. I think we would all be a lot healthier if we sorted out the things in your list, and weight wouldn't be much of an issue (especially if we weren't constantly bombarded with the bullshit notion that we're only worthy and beautiful if we're thin enough).

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TuesdayBliss · 20/09/2022 10:53

RudsyFarmer · 19/09/2022 20:29

Well that’s obviously not true is it 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️. You might not have been able to stick to it but as a mechanism for weight loss not eating works incredibly well.

Well, yeah, it is true…

I tried the time limited version (only eat within an eight hour window), and it didn’t work presumably because I ate too much within that window.

I also tried the alternate days one, where you fast for X days and quite severely limit your calorie intake, then eat normally on the other days. Again, it didn’t work, again presumably because I ate too much on the ‘normal’ days.

Why would I lie? It didn’t work for me.

OP posts:
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TuesdayBliss · 20/09/2022 10:54

There is an interesting theme coming through about being able to lose weight during lockdown. Presumably as well as time and space, there was also the lack of socialising and meals/drinks out at the weekend. Food for thought, no pun intended!

OP posts:
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SuperCamp · 20/09/2022 11:50

TuesdayBliss · 20/09/2022 10:54

There is an interesting theme coming through about being able to lose weight during lockdown. Presumably as well as time and space, there was also the lack of socialising and meals/drinks out at the weekend. Food for thought, no pun intended!

There was also no barrier between me and my fridge and bread bin. Unlike at work. The temptation to get through lockdown on toast, alcohol and home made baked goods (the sourdough craze, anyone?) was high. Which is why I decided to take a pro-active stand to eat healthily.

LOADS of people put on weight during lockdown, despite the lack of socialising.

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MarshaBradyo · 20/09/2022 11:52

Yes I’ve seen many more posts and heard discussion irl about lockdown weight than the opposite

It was a terrible motivator for health improvement for many

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Agrudge · 20/09/2022 11:56

How much time do you need to eat less?

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AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 11:59

TuesdayBliss · 20/09/2022 10:54

There is an interesting theme coming through about being able to lose weight during lockdown. Presumably as well as time and space, there was also the lack of socialising and meals/drinks out at the weekend. Food for thought, no pun intended!

I lost 30lb during lockdown as I wasn't having meals out with friends, hanging out in the coffee shop, had more free time to exercise. I'm surprised to hear so many gained during the lockdown, unless it was just like mindless weight creep from a change in habits.

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YourLipsMyLipsApocalypse · 20/09/2022 12:00

I've slowly lost about 30 pounds over the last year, and here's what I do:

  • On a sunday make a huge pot of soup
  • Eat it every day for at least one meal.


It's very filling, healthy, and easy to do. It's working - slowly, but working.
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AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 12:01

MarshaBradyo · 20/09/2022 11:52

Yes I’ve seen many more posts and heard discussion irl about lockdown weight than the opposite

It was a terrible motivator for health improvement for many

A few people I know gained big-time during the lockdown, I barely recognised them when I saw them again at the other side. Took a few minutes to adjust to seeing them look so different. But yeah, otherwise most people I know maintained or lost. Especially as the news was full of how being obese was such a risk factor, a lot of people had a damn good reason to lose weight NOW instead of at some stage in the future. It made the risks of being obese a lot more real and immediate.

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RIPWalter · 20/09/2022 12:29

AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 12:01

A few people I know gained big-time during the lockdown, I barely recognised them when I saw them again at the other side. Took a few minutes to adjust to seeing them look so different. But yeah, otherwise most people I know maintained or lost. Especially as the news was full of how being obese was such a risk factor, a lot of people had a damn good reason to lose weight NOW instead of at some stage in the future. It made the risks of being obese a lot more real and immediate.

Most people I know gained, or a few maintained during lockdown, but most people I know either had toddler children during lockdown (DD had just turned 2 in March 2020), or work in frontline (Ambulance/ ED) NHS, so didn't get the luxury of furlough.

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AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 12:51

RIPWalter · 20/09/2022 12:29

Most people I know gained, or a few maintained during lockdown, but most people I know either had toddler children during lockdown (DD had just turned 2 in March 2020), or work in frontline (Ambulance/ ED) NHS, so didn't get the luxury of furlough.

Same, all of my local friends have toddlers/babies and 80% work in the NHS/frontline so were either working throughout or on mat leave for some of it with partners who were working too. I wouldn't have got furlough anyway had I not been on mat leave for a chunk of it, I'd have hated to have been off work.

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EilonwyWithRedGoldHair · 20/09/2022 15:01

Agrudge · 20/09/2022 11:56

How much time do you need to eat less?

Being constantly stressed and knackered makes you hungry, and tends, in my experience at least, to make you want less healthy foods - cheesy pasta say, rather than a salad. Comfort foods.

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Hbv9988 · 20/09/2022 17:26

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ForfuckssakeEXHstopbeingatwat · 20/09/2022 18:26

People keep talking about making it a priority and finding time but that really doesn't help if you're a single working parent with absolutely everything else to do as well that needs to be a priority. To the pp that said "how much time does it take to eat less" you clearly haven't the faintest idea. In the process of getting us all out of the house I may well end up not eating, because I'm not hungry first thing and once I am it's time to leave, so then mid morning you grab what you can and depending on work, that might be be fruit or yoghurt or it might be something I can very quickly shovel down while walking, like a biscuit. That's just one example but it's not just a case of eating less.

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coodawoodashooda · 20/09/2022 18:27

TuesdayBliss · 19/09/2022 18:09

By which I mean:

  • You are getting enough sleep
  • You are not anxious about anything happening in your life
  • You are not stressed
  • You are not overwhelmed with work
  • You are not worried
  • You have free time to plan, exercise, cook and so on


If any of the above factors are an issue in your life, then I think it’s simply not possible to have the energy, time, and positive attitude that make up the necessary commitment to losing weight. AIBU?

I agree. 100%

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WoodlandWalks123 · 20/09/2022 18:58

@BlooberryBiskits brilliant advice re getting in the right mindset - thank you!

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BlooberryBiskits · 20/09/2022 19:26

WoodlandWalks123 · 20/09/2022 18:58

@BlooberryBiskits brilliant advice re getting in the right mindset - thank you!

Thanks @WoodlandWalks123

i actually paid a £££ mindset coach/trainer to help me lose weight at the start of the year as I was too overwhelmed with work (and feeling sluggish with the extra weight).

These changes she suggested eased me into losing weight: I’m now 2 stone down and would like to lose 1 more

Instead of trying to lose weight fast, I now focus on eating healthily/stress relief/moving (a 30/50 min workout &/or an hours walk every day).

Once those things become routine (esp I would say eating more unprocessed food, cutting way down on sugar & being more active ) I’ve found I feel ‘bleurgh’ if I skip too many days /eat junk for days on the trot

I think people who have never been overweight also underestimate how difficult it is to exercise when you have extra weight to carry : today I did a workout with 2 x 5kg dumbells and was tired: in Jan I was carrying that and more around all day every day

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AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid · 20/09/2022 20:02

ForfuckssakeEXHstopbeingatwat · 20/09/2022 18:26

People keep talking about making it a priority and finding time but that really doesn't help if you're a single working parent with absolutely everything else to do as well that needs to be a priority. To the pp that said "how much time does it take to eat less" you clearly haven't the faintest idea. In the process of getting us all out of the house I may well end up not eating, because I'm not hungry first thing and once I am it's time to leave, so then mid morning you grab what you can and depending on work, that might be be fruit or yoghurt or it might be something I can very quickly shovel down while walking, like a biscuit. That's just one example but it's not just a case of eating less.

If you’re having a biscuit for breakfast that’s fine lol. Most biscuits are less then 100 calories. If you’re eating fruit and yoghurt for breakfast then that’s unlikely to be the main thing pushing you into a calorie surplus.

whatever you normally eat, just eat less of it. It really, really is that simple. Too busy to make lunch? Get a meal deal and have half the sandwich. Or pick something lighter. Making dinner as usual? Cool, have less. Getting takeout? Eat what fits on a side plate and drink water beforehand. Losing weight honestly isn’t rocket science and if someone is literally too busy to eat and they’re not fibbing they’ll be losing weight anyway.

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Hbv9988 · 20/09/2022 20:10

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MaybeIWillFuckOffThen · 20/09/2022 20:50

@AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid

Just eating less of whatever you are already eating is not healthy or sustainable if you don't already have a healthy nutritious diet. Yes ok you'll lose weight if that was literally what you did; but for myriad physical and psychological reasons that simply isn't going to be sustainable for most people, and if it were as simple as you make it sound we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic. The "just eat less and move more" mantra is so so boring and simplistic and so lacking in understanding of the many factors that drive overeating, poor nutrition and obesity. If human beings were programmable machines it would be super useful advice. But if they were, no-one would need the advice.

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Bubblebubblebah · 20/09/2022 21:11

MaybeIWillFuckOffThen · 20/09/2022 20:50

@AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid

Just eating less of whatever you are already eating is not healthy or sustainable if you don't already have a healthy nutritious diet. Yes ok you'll lose weight if that was literally what you did; but for myriad physical and psychological reasons that simply isn't going to be sustainable for most people, and if it were as simple as you make it sound we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic. The "just eat less and move more" mantra is so so boring and simplistic and so lacking in understanding of the many factors that drive overeating, poor nutrition and obesity. If human beings were programmable machines it would be super useful advice. But if they were, no-one would need the advice.

People keep talking about sustainable. You need to eat less to lose weight then you up your intake when you don't need deficit anymore. It is that simple to start with. So of course being in x thousand calories deficit is not something you will be able to or have to sustain forever.

And do not confuse simple and easy though. Different things. It is that simple, it may not be easy, it is not impossible though.

It may be boring mantra but at the end of the day, no one lost weight while eating more their body needed🤷🏻 While it is absolutely agreeable that people need to look at nutrition, that can come bit later when they are more motivated. Most claims here are "I don't have time to think about what I am going to eat" hence the answers of, just eat less of what you are eating.

Honestly, I am so glad I kept off all diet threads here when I was starting because they are so demotivating.
"You must to look at nutrition" "you can't eat x" "you can't eat before time/after time" "you can eat pizza and lose weight 😳". People need to stop. No time, fine, just eat less of what you are eating now. Then when you have time, start looking at nutrition, then exercise. Just start with something, there is no need to wait until the perfect moment when you got you BSC in nutrition and children graduated and left 🤷🏻 People just need to start with something. The rest will follow. Just get yourselves some multivitamins for time being and possible energy boost.

You could lose weight eating just maccies. Would you be healthy? No. But you would lose wieght if you calorie controlled it🤷🏻 Yes

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BlooberryBiskits · 20/09/2022 21:11

MaybeIWillFuckOffThen · 20/09/2022 20:50

@AlwaysTheBrideNeverTheBridesmaid

Just eating less of whatever you are already eating is not healthy or sustainable if you don't already have a healthy nutritious diet. Yes ok you'll lose weight if that was literally what you did; but for myriad physical and psychological reasons that simply isn't going to be sustainable for most people, and if it were as simple as you make it sound we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic. The "just eat less and move more" mantra is so so boring and simplistic and so lacking in understanding of the many factors that drive overeating, poor nutrition and obesity. If human beings were programmable machines it would be super useful advice. But if they were, no-one would need the advice.

^ I really agree with this. To loose weight and be healthy (because some slim people are horribly unhealthy and it does catch up with you), people need to eat mostly healthy, natural & not overly processed odd

There is lots of academic research (eg Barbara Rolls Volumetrics, The End of Overating etc) that people are used to eating a certain volume/weight of food every day and ‘expect’ that /feel unsatisfied if they don’t

So eating a large quantity of food but reducing the calorie level (by bulking up with veg , more fibre on beans/whole grains, & water containing food like soups, stews, fruit etc) gives you that satisfaction/volume with more nutrition & fewer calories

A huge number of diets fundamentally switch you to eating more veg/unprocessed foods as a means of reducing the calorie level in a sustainable way

Understanding how different foods affect your blood sugar levels & so hunger/cravings is also important for managing your weight. In my case the more bread/baked good I eat the more I want so I aim to have those a couple of times a week vs daily, & know I’m overdoing it when I crave those so have a few days without

I’m not willing to give up my favourite foods (bread/baked goods in my case) entirely but being aware of how they affect me/can start a spiral of overeating has helped me set some limits

I think you can lose weight and eat ‘anything you like’ as long as that is only say once or twice a week for calorie dense and less nutritious foods (fried foods, cakes etc) & if you are overweight it’s more likely than not you have a strong appetite/hunger and don’t eat tiny servings so would not be happy to do so long term/might be setting yourself up for a binge/starve cycle if you try

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MaybeIWillFuckOffThen · 20/09/2022 22:42

@Bubblebubblebah

What is the point of losing weight if it doesn't make you more healthy??

Seriously starving yourself is very simple. But it will fuck up your metabolism, energy levels etc. This is the basis of the yoyo dieting that afflicts so many.

Not to mention people with problematic eating can't just "eat less" because it's simple. I have a morbid fear of being hungry, totally out of proportion to the danger (prob due to weird childhood stuff). So eating less of food that actually makes me feel hungrier (refined carbs etc) will just mean I end up binging at some point, sure as night follows day. Whether you judge me for not having "willpower" will make not a jot of difference to this fact. So if I'm going to eat healthily I need to eat a LOT of nutrient dense, low calorie foods, like bean salad, chicken breast, tons of veg, nuts and seeds etc - so I feel full and don't give in to the urge to binge, without having too many calories. All that takes prep and thought, far more so than popping to the shop and grabbing a meal deal. And ROFL at the idea I would buy one of them then leave half the sandwich 😂 - spoken by someone who clearly doesn't have a problem saying no to food!!

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