Diet plans? need help.
When I started dieting and exercising I weighed about 315 pounds. I did very well and got down to about 174. Lately I haven't been following a diet and start going back to my old ways and I've gained some weight back. I'm about 195 now. I need help with setting up a diet or a sample diet plan. All this diet stuff is frustrating and I can't put a diet together. I need help! Please. I'm desperate.
I hesitated replying as I don't really consider myself to be 'dieting'. I prefer to look at the process as changing habits and lifestyle (including diet and exercise) that I can sustain for the rest of my life. As you have discovered, if you return to your old habits the pounds will also return.
So here is the approach that is working for me:
- Don't drink your calories. The calories you get from juice, soda and alcohol are mostly sugar, water is now my beverage of choice.
- Have a calorie goal for everyday. Whether you choose to zig-zag your calories, have cheat days or a consistent goal everyday know what that number is and plan your diet around it.
- Keep protein at 30% of calories. This number could be higher or lower for you, but without adequate protein your body will catabolize muscle while you are dieting. Even when you still have fat stores.
- Healthy dietary fat is not the enemy. Fat has been shown to have a satiating effect on hunger. Make sure your fat is from foods like dairy, meat, nuts, olive oil and avocados.
- Restrict simple carbohydrates like processed food, white bread, pasta and sugar. Substitute Whole grain products and fruits.
- Eat more vegetables and fruit. Use vegetables and salads as your filler foods instead of bread and potatoes.
- Have a plan to defeat your cravings. There is a whole thread about suggestions that others use to get past their cravings.
- Set attainable goals to keep yourself accountable.
This doesn't need to all happen overnight. Make changes when you are comfortable doing so. I had to wean myself off the 3 or 4 Cokes I drank everyday. I currently have no foods on my 'you can't eat that' list. However I now understand the nutrional baggage foods carry and I limit my intake of those high calorie low nutritional value foods.
I read a book called Jared the Subway Guy Winning Through Losing. The whole book is about finding a diet for you and making a "Jared Diet" or a "Nicole Diet". It's about lifestyle change and putting together what worked in the past and elimating your pitfalls. His book is the reason I'm finally doing something about my weight. I've started a diet that I know will work for me by having made a list of all the things that helped or hurt my healthy lifestyle in the past. (i.e. drinking two cups of water before eating a meal, chewing sugarfree gum when I watch TV instead of snacking, knitting when I'm bored instead of heading to the kitchen, doing group Zumba classes instead of walking the treadmill etc.) I posted that list on my fridge and now I'm doing the "Niki Diet".
I use the following simple approach to this whole business:
1 hour of cardio pretty much everyday
2 servings of low cal, low fat, whole grains per day
3 servings of fruit every day
4-7 servings of low-fat, low cal protein
8 cups of water (+ 8oz more for every 10 pounds you want to lose) every day
9-10 servings of vegetables every day
The trick is to know just how little a "serving" really is.
Eat meat, vegetables, some fruit nuts and seeds. Eat good quality fats from sources like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and nuts.
Steer clear of grains of any kind, including whole grains--they turn into sugar just like any other form of grain/flour/processed food and increase your blood sugar levels, therefore raise your insulin levels and when you have an abundance (which is VERY easy to have when you are eating anything processed or low fat), get stored as fat.
It really is that simple. You don't need to exercise like a fiend, or at all for that matter. Your body composition is 80% diet related. You don't need to restrict calories or portion sizes because if you are eating no processed foods it will be difficult to eat too much. If you are eating enough fats you won't be hungry either and will find that you can go hours without eating with no il-effects because you aren't having the big spike in your blood sugar/insulin levels. Food becomes fuel and not an obsession.
Don't take my word for it, there are countless websites and books that will back up my claims with their science. Dr. Eades, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, the people at Whole 9, The Heart Scan blog--do your own research and then decide.
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