FitDay's Best of Series: Tips for Weight Loss

Old 08-10-2010, 03:47 PM
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Default Pace yourself while eating

It's been shown that eating slowly tames appetite.

That is, eat a bite, then stop. Wait, even if it's 30 seconds (which may seem like a long, long time) and then take the next bite. Continue to do that until you have eaten the serving.

The idea is that it takes awhile for the feeling of satiety to register, even at the level of 'a bite,' let alone 'a portion.'

I really, really believe this works. Can I do it? No. Not unless I am eating alone or eating in a group where everyone is talking, including me.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-20-2012 at 06:45 PM. Reason: changed title
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:39 PM
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Default Some words about binging & good eating practices

I've taken a long hard look at my 'binging' after reading some nutrition/weight loss books. One in particular I just finished talks about the eating habits of those 'naturally skinny' people. The biggest things I'm starting to see in regards to my eating in comparison to what the book says include:

-If you deny yourself certain foods, you just want them more...hence when I do binge eat, I tend to load up on all those bad foods all at once because I haven't had any of them in so long. If I were to have controlled portions of chips with my salsa (instead of the celery sticks I usually eat with it) or a scoop of ice cream now and then, I wouldn't feel so deprived and binge on it later.

-Eating habits: the book recommends eating without distractions (meaning no TV, don't read a book, certainly don't eat on the run, etc.) so that you can really focus on the food and how it tastes. If you eat while distracted, only half the amount of food eaten actually registers, so you don't feel like you ate enough, hence you want more.

The book also recommends putting your fork down between bites, that even the distraction of getting your next bite ready will take away from the experience of the bite in your mouth. I have actually started putting my fork down and really paying attention to the different flavors and textures (I've been having stir fry for dinner this week, so there are tons of different textures and flavors to really enjoy). It helps a lot to really concentrate on the food, and putting my fork down between bites definitely slows me down. I have yet to be able to eat without the TV, just because I live alone and with dinner taking me longer to eat (due to taking my time on it), it's hard to sit for a half hour in complete silence just thinking about the food in my mouth! But I have to say, these techniques are working to help curb those cravings to just eat and eat and eat.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-10-2012 at 05:47 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:11 PM
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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Default What has worked for me

When I originally started putting this post together it was for the thread 'Support group for just men > Post your best Diet Tips' but I got a little carried away and added fitness tips as well. So I just decided to post this here. Now I am not a fitness or diet expert but these are the things I do or I think about as I make my journey around the sun. I hope this helps some my fellow fitdayers and when following any of my advice just keep in mind your mileage may vary (YMMV).
  1. Measure everything you eat.
  2. Log everything you eat.
  3. Try to get all your nutrients from foods.
  4. If you can't manage 3, don't be afraid to take a vitamin supplement.
  5. When dieting you should try your hardest to preserve muscle mass.
  6. If you are concerned about 5, you MUST add resistance training.
  7. If you do 6 and you are a women then don't be afraid of bulking up, the odds are you don't fall into the percentage of women who really bulk. Any added muscle will help in your goal to lose fat.
  8. If you are a beginner to 6 use compound exercises, squats, deadlifts, rows, push-ups, pull/chin ups, etc.
  9. If you do 6 then you should shoot for approximately 1g of protein per 1 lb of lean muscle mass. I tend to do about .8g when I'm cutting i.e. losing fat.
  10. If you do 6 and can't get all your protein from 3, don't be afraid to take a protein supplement.
  11. You don't have to do an hour or an hour and a half of 'regular' cardio -- treadmill, elliptical, etc. -- to get good results, look up HIIT.
  12. Statistically you should fall into the ranges for the BMI but the BMI is not accurate for all people therefore...
  13. Keep body measurements and try to determine your body fat % in order to keep track of your fat loss.
  14. So with 13 in mind the scale is not an accurate measurement of fat loss either but it can give you a reference number. Yeah, yeah, I know some people will tell you to throw it out but I still like to weigh myself...
  15. Approximately 80% of your fitness needs can be achieved through diet.
  16. Keep in mind the quality of the foods you eat.
  17. And if you are really serious keep in mind nutrient timing.
  18. To err is human. So, if you fall off the wagon by eating a forbidden food, eating too much, or missing a work out -- <big friendly letters>DON'T PANIC</big friendly letters>. It's not the end of the world. Just pick yourself back up, brush yourself off, and try, try again.

If I think of anything else I'll edit this post.

Last edited by VitoVino; 01-19-2012 at 02:05 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:52 PM
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Default Eating "Clean"

Moderator's Note: OK, so this isn't a tip from a FitDay member. But it was posted by a FitDay member and is excellent advice. If anyone objects, I'll consider removing this post, but then again I probably won't.

Clean Eating - By the Rock

Caloric Requirements
Before we talk about “clean eating”, let’s discuss caloric requirement.
One way to calculate your caloric requirement is with the Harris-Benedict Formula:
I use the following formula(for males):

66 + (6.3 x body weight in lbs.) + (12.9 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)

This gives you your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Now that you know your BMR, multiply your BMR by your activity multiplier from below:

Activity Multiplier
Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extr. active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job

Your BMR X Activity Level = Calories Needed for maintenance : what you need to sustain your body at status quo. If you want to lose weight, subtract 500 calories a day to lose 1 pound per week. Subtract 1000 to lose 2 pounds per week. It is not recommended to go below a 1000 calorie deficit. It is also not recommended to go below 2000 calories a day if you are trying to maintain / build muscle mass. I recommend you start out a fat loss program at a 500 calorie deficit, try that for a couple of weeks, then, if you aren’t getting the results you want, cut 250 off, try that for a couple of weeks, and repeat until you find the level that works for your body. After a few months, change it; your body will become accustomed to a caloric level and needs it to be altered once in a while.

To set up your macronutrient ratios:
Protein is 4 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram.
Fat is 9 calories per gram.
Alcohol is 7 calories per gram.

First, set your protein requirement. A good protein requirement for most people is 0.9 grams per pound of body weight. After getting your protein intake in grams by this formula, multiply it by 4 to get your daily protein requirement in calories.

Subtract that number from the daily calorie target you’ve calculated.
The remaining number divide by two to get your carb calories and fat calories. Divide that by 4 and 9 respectively to get grams per day.

You can play with the ratios if you want. Many people losing weight go for 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. Some go for 33 / 33 / 33. You can experiment to find what works for you.

Eating clean

“Eating clean” means, basically, eating the **right kinds** of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are an important energy source for your body and your brain. Some are better than others. The Glycemic Index describes how quickly your body metabolizes foods into sugars. High G.I. foods turn into sugars quickly, causing an insulin spike. Low GI foods metabolize slowly. Try to keep your carbs lower than 75 GI. You can find the GI ratings here: Diabetes - Diabetes Management - Signs of Diabetes - Symptoms of Diabetes, or The Glycemic Index, or various other sources.

Examples of Low GI Carbs:
-Vegetables, Mixed Beans, Oatmeal, Bran, Whole Grain Breads, Whole Grains, Barley, Brown Rice, Low GI Fruits
-Lowfat Milk, Lowfat Yogurt (note: while these dairy products have a low GI, they have a high Insulin Index (the reaction your body produces to the metabolizing of these products), so use in moderation).
-White Rice (note: while having a higher GI, these have a low Insulin Index, so again, use in moderation)

High GI Carbs to Avoid:
-White Bread (includes “wheat bread” – must say “whole wheat” or “whole grain”) this means bagels, tortillas, pitas, and all other forms of bread.
-Potatoes (the worst – very high GI) (sweet potatoes are OK)
-High GI fruits (watermelon, dates, raisins, ) and fruit juice – eat raw fruits instead (one glass of orange juice has over three oranges in it, without the benefits of the fiber in the raw orange.
-Sugar and processed food with sugar or its many forms (high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, molasses, etc)
Pastas (use in moderation, and never with saturated fats, e.g. fettucine alfredo)

Most breakfast cereals (stick to whole grain / bran cereals if you must eat cereals)

Note: There is a whole other subject, called “glycemic loads”, describing the value of the entire item you are eating, that can be taken into consideration, but it is simply too extensive and undeveloped to go into at this time. Look into it yourself at David Mendosa: A Writer About Diabetes (now Diabetes - Diabetes Management - Signs of Diabetes - Symptoms of Diabetes) if you’re interested.

Proteins: Eat lean proteins, low in saturated fats.
Examples of Good Protein Sources:
-Lean Beef (90% lean ground beef, lean steak)
-Chicken (particularly white meat)
-Turkey (particularly white meat)
-Lean pork (tenderloin, lean ham)
-Lowfat dairy products, in moderation
-Cottage cheese (highly recommended form of casein protein)
-Whey protein
-Fish, particularly tuna, salmon, and cod
-Eggs, particularly egg whites (yolks in moderation)
-Soy and soy products, while very good sources of protein, have also been shown in some studies to have potential for causing high estrogen levels and sexual dysfunction. I suggest using these in moderation until testing is completed and a conclusion has been reached. Caveat Emptor.

Proteins to avoid:
-Fatty meats (non-extra lean ground beef, fatty pork (bacon, ribs, etc)
-Fatty dairy (whole milk, most cheese, ice cream)

Fats: Fats, which have been vilified, are an essential ingredient in our diet. Poly and monounsaturated fats must be included in your daily plan. A small amount of saturated fats are also needed. Minimize saturated fats, maximize monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Try to get good Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3 and Omega 6’s. No more than 1/3 of your fat calories should be saturated fats (if you are on a 40/30/30 plan, 10% of your calories may come from sat fats).

Examples of good fats
-Fish and fish oils – polyunsaturated, best source of Omega 3’s – cold water fish – tuna, salmon, cod
-Flaxseed oil – some Omega 3, good Omega 6
-Olive Oil - monounsaturated fat
-Avocados – monounsaturated fat
-Nuts – mono, poly, and omega 6s – best are walnuts and almonds

Bad fats
-Saturated fats – from animal products (fatty beef, pork, milk, etc)
-Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats (trans fatty acids) – Wicked Bad Stuff. (margarine and Crisco are trans fatty acids)

Most vegetable oil and corn oil – use Canola oil if you must use oil, and use in moderation – try not to cook in oil if you can avoid it. If you cook with oil, use an oil with the appropriate smoke point.

Water is a compound we can’t do without for more than only a few days. The human body is about 60 to 75 percent water, and the brain is said to be about 85 percent water. Even bones are about 20 percent water. The body needs water. Nothing substitutes for water; coffee, tea, alcohol, are not the same as water. Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day. Note: The more caffeine you drink, the more water you must drink. Caffeine is a diuretic and flushes water out of your system.

Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals play a vital role in maintaining the proper biological functioning of everything from muscles to memory. Nutritionists will tell you that they are unnecessary if we consume a properly balanced diet, but few of us consume a “properly balanced diet”. It is highly recommended to consume a good quality multivitamin/mineral supplement daily. It is very difficult to obtain protective levels of some nutrients solely from diet.

Special notes:
1) Avoid mixing high GI carbs with fats
2) Avoid all processed / prepackaged foods
3) Read labels! Be on the lookout for bad stuff!
4) Eat your veggies!
5) Do not eat too little. Your metabolism will slow to a crawl and you will stop burning fat.
6) Do not eat too much. You will store excess as fat.
7) Alcohol, if required, must be kept to a minimum. When you drink alcohol, your body uses the alcohol as an energy source instead of burning your fat stores.

“Clean Eating”:
1) Keep your caloric intake around your computed requirement – not too low, not too high
2) Keep your macronutrient ratios per your computed requirement, say within 10% - track them on FitDay - Free Weight Loss and Diet Journal if possible
3) Eat low GI carbs, lean proteins, mono & polyunsaturated fats
4) Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies!

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-18-2012 at 10:06 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:31 PM
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Default Measure all your foods exactly

Originally Posted by heytred View Post
Measure all of your food exactly. A caloric deficit, adequate protein, and moderate exercise are always (barring a physical condition) always, always lead to weight loss.
LOL....this is probably the problem. I don't measure hardly anything. I have been told that I am suppose to weigh even a banana and things like that, but usually I just enter it into FitDay as 1 medium banana, and so forth.

I do have a food scale, I guess it's just time to really jump on the wagon and be 100%. I don't think I'm actually off by much, but I guess an oz here and another oz there makes a huge difference. I'm gonna start measuring EVERYTHING as of tomorrow (well Sunday...I work tomorrow) and I'll see if that makes a difference, if not then I will try decreasing calories.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-07-2012 at 10:22 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default Beware of food from a box

Originally Posted by Deanna0404 View Post
I really get tired of just vegetables and fruits and was wondering how everyone felt about the Lean Cuisines, Weight Watchers, etc.? Sometimes I want more flavor. Should I not be eating these, even if I am staying within my calorie range? And if I shouldn't eat those, any suggestions on some other foods?

Thank you! I just started two days ago at 224 pounds. I am 5'7" and looking to be around 160 pounds.

Frozen Diet meals are loaded with so much sodium. The only convenience is the portion size which will tend to make you more hungry. The sodium will also cause you to retain water and you will not show a weight loss and in most cases - you gain. Then, you start to blame yourself and at this point most people give up and quit. It just isn't worth it.

How about making your own "frozen meals". I grill a bunch of chicken, turkey or salmon on the weekend, steam brocholi or stir-fry some veggies and pre-pack my own meals. That way I won't get bored and I control the salt. You do save $$$ in the long run. I keep a lot of salad and cut-up veggies on hand.

It's an investment of about 3 hours on saturday night to have food available during the week. Sometimes, I have so much food cooked, there is no excuse for not having anything to eat or no time to cook. I simply re-heat something I've already prepared. I can go almost 2 weeks without having to cook again.

Give it a try. I'd really stay away from frozen "diet" meals (Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, etc.) and make your own.

Last edited by VitoVino; 01-30-2012 at 08:04 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:25 PM
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Default Don't approach it as "all or nothing"

Originally Posted by linusfuller View Post
I'm always trying new things so try to lost this weight, but usually I will succeed for 2 to 5 days, then completely either screw it up or fail. Example, "feeling really satisfied after eating a turkey sandwich so almost all I will eat for a few days are turkey sandwiches, then gradually increase the amount trying to get the same satiation, then gain weight." Things like that but in different forms. My weight is a scary roller coaster as is my appetite and I'm having a hard time. Someone have advice?

Congrats on trying and posting here when you get stuck, linus. You're doing the right things!

Maybe try looking at eating in a different light. Instead of thinking about going on (and inevitably off) a diet, think about making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. That means you do the best you can all of the time, but it also means that if you have a piece of cake at a party, it's okay. You enjoy it, then continue with your healthy lifestyle the very next minute. Maybe you exercise a little more that day to make up for it.

I think the key is not depriving yourself and not using "all or nothing" thinking
. Think about this: if you got a flat tire in your car, you wouldn't fix it by slashing the other three, would you? So should be the case with your healthy lifestyle. If you mess up and have too many calories or fat one day, you wouldn't fix it by eating terrible foods the next day, right? Get back to your healthy eating right away and keep on keepin on!

Maybe you need a little variety with what you're eating? Instead of turkey sandwiches over and over, try low fat cottage cheese with vegetables one day. Try a healthy nut butter sandwich with reduced sugar jelly. Try a salad with all the fresh produce you can find!

As for your appetite being a roller coaster, make sure you're getting enough fiber, protein, and healthy fats. If you're eating lots of simple carbs, that can make you more hungry. Also, try eating small meals or a snack every 3-4 hours so that you don't get too hungry and overeat.

Best of luck! You can do it!!!

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-01-2012 at 11:08 PM. Reason: added quote and title, corrected spelling in quote
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:43 AM
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Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 965
Default It's not rocket science

I use the approach that this is the way I will eat for the rest of my life. Not a diet but a lifestyle. Nothing is off limits, but I now understand the baggage my food choices bring. I started off slowly, one of the first things I eliminated was the multiple Cokes I drank daily. I now try to not drink any of my calories except a glass of milk on occasion. Water is now my beverage of choice.

I severly restrict simple carbohydrates like processed foods, white bread and sugar. I track my food here on Fitday and try to get 30% of my calories from protein. I don't worry at all about fat as I know the mostly whole foods I am eating contains healthy fat. I eat more vegetables and fruit than I used to. I began exercising for 20 minutes 3 times a week using High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which consists of running for 20 seconds and walking for 40 seconds. (When I started I would jog then walk, slowly increasing my speed and over time decreasing the walking interval.)

Lest you think I have it all figured out my schedule has been hectic and I have not been exercising as I would like. (I have been remodeling a duplex with my son evenings and weekends.) The result is that I have been on a plataeu since hitting the 45 pounds lost mark. I don't let weight on the scale dictate my mood. Instead I use it as motivation.

No rocket science, everything in moderation, healthy diet and exercise.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-04-2012 at 03:22 PM. Reason: added title
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:14 PM
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Default General advice for the frequently requested "tips"

Originally Posted by llkoolk View Post
Just getting started ....any tips or advice would be helpful

Check out historical posts in the forums. There is a lot of great information. Understand that you need to find what works best for you. Here are a few things that I personally find helpful both for attitude and nutrition.

* This is not a race. You didn't get fat overnight, you won't get fit overnight either.

* Exercise is important. If you have been a couch potato start some type of exercise program. Even walking is better than sitting!. (I am also a proponent of weight/resistance training, and that means women too.) Don't try to go from a couch potato to exercising like Mr. Olympia overnight. This too is a gradual process. Search for the 'Couch to 5K' if you would like a program to start running, check out for other exercise information.

* While exercise is important, diet is 80% of the equation. You can't out train a bad diet.

* Try to get 30% of your calories from protein. Protein is the only nutrient that can build and repair muscle. When maintaining a calorie deficit the body will catabolize muscle. Adequate protein intake and exercise will help minimize muscle loss. Muscle is the furnace of your metabolism. If you lose muscle the number of calories your body burns will be reduced and you will have to eat fewer and fewer calories to continue losing weight.

* Approach the journey to getting fit as a lifestyle change and not just a short term diet. Educate yourself so you understand the nutritional baggage each food carries. I personally don't have anything I can't eat. But I severely restrict my simple carbohydrates like processed foods, white bread, and sugar because I now understand the calories and how the body metabolizes them.

* Try to not drink your calories. Soda, Gatorade, beer and alcoholic beverages carry a huge amount of calories that most of us never realized we were consuming. Water is now my beverage of choice along with some coffee.

* Don't eliminate all the fat from your diet. Don't buy into the 'Fat Free is Healthier' rhetoric. Many of the processed 'Fat Free' foods are just simple carbs with lots of sodium to make them taste good. Fat is essential for body functions like nutrient transfer and neural function. With out fat you will get sick. I don't limit my fat intake at all. Since the fat I eat is from whole foods like olive oil, meat and nuts that I consume I know it is good for me. I just need to understand that fat carries 9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram for Protein and Carbs. Fat has also been shown in studies to have a satiating effect on appetite. Another reason why I believe many fail when they attempt a fat free diet.

Hope these help. They work for me. Welcome and good luck in your journeys.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-20-2012 at 05:11 PM. Reason: added title, quote
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:01 PM
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Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 232
Default Alcohol is your worst enemy

Alcohol is a fat loss and muscle builders worst enemy.

First alcohol must be burned off before all food calories. So when you are going out to eat on Saturday night having your 3000 calories and downing a six this is truly the cause of your slowed progress. All the food calories you just ate are stored so that all the alcohol can be processed out of your system.

Second Alcohol is calorie dense and contains no nutritional value. 7 cals/gram but no actual food value or vitamin/mineral content.

Alcohol lowers protein synthesis.

Alcohol lowers testosterone while increasing estrogen. (YIKES!)

There are many other effects not to mention the loss of motivation the day following a binge.

I am not going to be the one to tell you to stop drinking all together, but I think you should keep it to 2-3 beers once a week at the most.

Last edited by VitoVino; 02-03-2012 at 02:03 PM. Reason: condensed, added title
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