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photojennik1 12-02-2010 05:11 PM

My best diet is no diet - seriously
We shouldn't be 'dieting' we should be changing our lifestyle. Putting a label like 'diet' just throws up too many barriers, negativity, and deprivation on what we can and can't eat, not to mention giving our changed eating habits an end date. If it's good for us then why should it end? Diets are temporary fixes and usually the moment you stop dieting you gain it back all or in part. I've found the moment I stopped calling it a diet it worked. I didn't cut much out, just cut back. I cut back on portions, frequency (no more constant picking at food), and how late I'd eat. I eat at a near-scheduled time, 5 times a day, and can still manage to eat the same food I've always loved. Lunches during the week are usually Weight Watchers Smart-Ones but they have so many to choose from and taste great that I never feel let down.

Thanks to (recommended by my then mother-in-law to-be last year) I have never had such a wonderful success rate and been able to not only take off the weight but keep it off as well. Even on weekends! It's beena little over a year now and I find that even when I don't record my meals I'm still on track from the long-time experience of doing so. I had one month (my wedding/honeymoon month) where a few pounds snuck back on. These are the pounds that get me to the number that usually cause me to give up. Not this time! I just simply got back on track and they quickly fell off back to my wedding weight in no time.

I've even turned on some friends to and one reported losing 20 pounds already!

Don't give up. I've bounced between the same 25 pounds for years but this time I beat it. The minute I saw the weight number that usually scares me into throwing in the towel, I decided not this time and beat it. I still eat take-out and dine in restaurants, and enjoy parties, but all in moderation. I'm fortunate to be in good over-all health so I have no nutritional restrictions or cautions, but still am careful about choosing how often to eat these foods. Usually choose one only one splurge of the above once a week, but don't panic if it's two or three times due to the holidays. I just eat smarter.

I've made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving with great success.... with NO DIET in my vocabulary or my life.

Thank you fitday!

nottango 12-02-2010 05:45 PM

You're absolutely right! I've been successful with Fitday and enjoyed all my favorites. :)

canary52 12-02-2010 07:17 PM

I agree. The only way I've ever lost weight is simply by eating less of whatever I eat. I have tried every diet known to womankind (Weight Watchers, South Beast, cabbage soup, low carb, you name it.) This is the only thing that works. Also for me not eating past a certain point at night helps.

noelminneci 12-03-2010 12:27 AM

I agree with you! Diets are temporary fixes with temporary solutions. I've been diet-free over 20 years, it's great to be naturally thin and eat real food, when hungry, until satisfied. Diets are craziness!

[email protected] 12-03-2010 12:16 PM

Thanks for your insite. I am older (65) and let my weight go out of control since retirement ( 12 years ago) While working, I had the luxury of a fitness center that I attended daily.With that level of activity, I had no need to watch my food intake so I ate whatever and whenever. While I've tried to adhere to an exceccise regimen again, I've never reached the level o physical activity I had prior to retiring.

Two years ago while playing softball ( something I really enjoy) I suffered many injuries and my level of play was horrible ( aging of course had some bearing on how well you can play ). None the less, I attributed the majority of my problems to excessive weight . I had put on ( about 20 LBS over whayt I weighed at retirement ). I had participated in a couple diet fads ( Low carb etc..) but nothing was sustained. Last year I began tracking calories ( on this site) and the lights wnet on as to how much I was taking in and burning off.

Long story short, I have become aware of my caloric needs and tracked with dilligence, what I eat daily . This site is wonderful means of awarness . I have lost about 25 lBS. My last season of softball was fantastic with many of the younger players ( 30's and 40's) giving me verbal recognition for my level of play . And, I feel a whole lot better !.

Thanks to the liked of "Fit Day" for a great tool !

Rich ...

canary52 12-03-2010 02:35 PM

It is so hard to keep your weight under control as you get older and especially if you have any kind of health issue. I love to exercise but it is physically impossible for me to sustain the levels I would like. Still I am determined to move, as best I can. Rap2 I applaud your awareness and the fact that you turned things around and have accomplished so much.
I also like the common sense approach to eating people on this site are discussing; it seems so much healthier than the years of dieting I've endured (since I was 12, a long time!) My goal is to be like Noelminnici, naturally slim, not obsessed. My friends who are thin generally are not on diets and don't avoid particualr foods; they eat smaller amounts and try to stay active. Despite what we all think, there is no magic bullet, just calories in, calories out. In fact, a couple of years ago, a doctor said exactly this to me.
Fitday is a good tool becasue it does keep you aware and mindfulness is a beautiful (and necessary) thing. But I look forward to the day I can eat sensibly without tracking.

midwestj 12-03-2010 05:57 PM

I think you can call it whatever you want. I don't think calling it a diet is what makes people fail, its their commitment.

You have to want it bad. Its been said before that diets work. I personally don't call it a diet because it makes me sound like some 16 year old girl who thinks shes fat.

I'm sure people have tried and failed before, but was it really because of the diet or was it because they didn't let the diet run its course and let them achieve their goals.

The general idea of a diet is eating light and eating less, calling it something else is just putting lipstick on a pig so to speak.

If it helps you not to call it a diet than thats good.

For me I'm not going to let any diet mishaps or anything of the such slow me down from my goals, and I believe thats how you truly lose weight, by goal setting and working your ass off, not by avoiding calling your eating plan a diet.

That part of it is only on the surface, if you want to be successful in weight loss you need to find deeper reasons to why you want to be in shape and healthy.

People who go on "diets" just don't really want it that bad, and thats why they fail, not because of diets.


canary52 12-03-2010 06:48 PM

I guess we just have different experiences. I wanted it bad but the plans I set up were not realistic for me to stay on. Low carb was not something I could stay on, neither were any of the others (cabbage soup diet? really.) For me, calorie restriction and exercise is what works. Yes it takes will and willpower but not everyone who fails on a diet lacks will or willpower. It may just be that what they chose was not the way that worked for them. Most often, this happens because it's too restrictive. People have problems with the word diet because it implies restriction. And most people do not respond well to feeling they have their freedom or choices taken away; that's often why they "rebel" and "cheat" and get discouraged. But you're right, temporary setbacks can and should be overcome.

And speaking as a person who was a 16 year old who thought she was fat and has a 16 year old, I know that you were not implying that their concerns over body image, health and how they feel about themselves are any less important than yours or anyone else's.

Congratulations on your weight loss and your accomplishments. Obviously whatever you did, whatever you called it, worked for you. You stuck with it and made it happen. Good for you!

midwestj 12-03-2010 07:40 PM

Thanks for your kind words

I think calorie restriction is a diet, its a low cal diet. Thats basically what I did, reduced calories and whole foods. Its not like a will restrict calories forever, so it is something temporary.

Diets get a bad rap because of the fad diets out there. And most of those dieters who opt for the fad diets just want quick fixes not an overhaul of their lifestyle, and that is why I think they ultimately do not succeed.

I do agree that those fad diets are a waste of time, but I don't think we should let words have so much power over our thinking.

01gt4.6 12-03-2010 08:01 PM


I agree and was trying to think of a tactful way to say it, but couldn't. Yes, it's a lifestyle change but the word "diet" isn't what derails people.

Lizzycritter 12-03-2010 11:39 PM

There's two different ways to define "diet". It can mean a temporary overly regimented and restricted way of eating until x amount of pounds are lost, at which time the "diet" is over and you go back to eating mindlessly; or it can mean the food you eat day in and day out as part of a permanent routine. If the word "diet" is attached to the first meaning, then it's healthier to give your "lifestyle" a new label as a way of preventing old habits from creeping in.

Words have a lot of power, but only as much power as we let the words have. I'm a bit of a linguistics freak, so I apologize if I sound too nerdy : )

canary52 12-04-2010 09:10 PM

I agree with Lizzy on all counts. Words have tremendous power. If they didn't, nothing anyone said on these posts would matter or get any response. (I'm a word nerd myself.)

What I was also trying to say is that we tend to extrapolate from our own experience. People who feel they lacked discipline in their own habits (not that I am suggesting you are part of this group; you all seem very disciplined) may feel that others lack willpower to stay on healthy eating programs.

But I think if you reread the posts on this thread, you will find that the people who posted try to keep fit and healthy (playing softball, eating mindfully and so on.) They might just be tired of the tyranny of certain kinds of eating programs (trying to avoid the "d" word here.) And speaking as one who has been on some kind of "eating program" or other (including a low carb bodybuilder diet) FOR 38 YEARS (since I was 12), I can relate.

The anti dieting guru Geneen Roth once said that for every diet there is an equal and opposite binge. This is diet in Lizzy's first definition, that temporary program that is going to make you lose that weight, make you a bright shiny new person and fix your life. Some of us prefer (or, in my case, would like) to live within Lizzy's second defintion, something that becomes an integral part of your life.

You know, I hear there are actually some people who do not obssess over every morsel that goes into their mouths. They eat when they are hungry, stop when they are full and go on with their lives. That's the kind of person I am not but would love to be. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

mecompco 12-06-2010 12:12 PM

Originally Posted by canary52 (Post 27440)
You know, I hear there are actually some people who do not obssess over every morsel that goes into their mouths. They eat when they are hungry, stop when they are full and go on with their lives. That's the kind of person I am not but would love to be. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.

Sure do wish I could be one of "those" people too--but if I've not accomplished it in 46 years, I don't think it's in the cards for me. At this point I'm pretty much resigned (not that it's really THAT big of a deal) to having to track my food intake forever (having proven more than once that I can't be trusted not to fall back into old habits if I don't).

I DO, though, agree that (for me at least) following a "Diet" is not the answer. Rather, establishing some good nutritional guidelines, including a calorie level and carb/protien/fat mix and sticking with it works well and makes more sense. Of course, YMMV.


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