Betraying the fat club!

21 to 40 of 41 messages
06/09/2013 at 16:13

Colin, do you know exactly how much you eat every day without exception?  Calorie counting is fine for a while but its not a way of life that can be maintained forever unless you are particularly anal.

Besides, your assumption that 2000 calories is the correct amount to eat may be wrong.  My daily allowanc is nearer 1800 calories if I don't exercise and can be as high as 3500 on days when I do a lot of exercise.

06/09/2013 at 16:16

I had 3 meals & 2 snacks - I'm under a sports nutritionist who has put me on the right track. I'm disciplined and following the plan - I've lost 13kgs in total. A lot of it though was trying to understand WHY I ate more than I needed to. I'm a healthy weight now with a decent fat% and visceral fat rate but I can empathise with those who have overeating problems. 

06/09/2013 at 16:24

I do now, yes.

My breakfast this morning was 400 calories. Lunch was about 900. That gives me about 1200 to play with for tonight, minus a few cups of coffee with milk in.

Plus I ran for an hour at lunchtime, so I can add a bit more if I want to have more, though I probably won't.

I wasn't "assuming" 2000/2500 calories is the correct amount. It's the standard ballpark figure that gets batted about. A sedentary person will need to scale it down somewhat. Someone wanting to lose weight will need to scale it down too. A very active person can scale it up a little. I was providing a comment, not a dissertation.

Calorie counting IS a way of life that can be maintained for ever. Not only can it, be, it OUGHT to be . It isn't "anal", it's essential to do the math in these calorie-rich cheap-food times. If a person doesn't bother to count the calories they are eating, they will tend to overeat: it's what we are designed to do. They won't have a clue how many calories they are eating, because they can't be bothered to record the data.

Part of the problem is, fat people don't want to count calories and stay within their daily allowance (e.g. 2000/2500). They want to overeat instead. So they make excuses to mainly ignore the nutrition information on the packets - including the fat, calorie, sugar and salt content. It simply doesn't get read.

Anyone who wants to control their weight needs to count calories. There is no other effective way. You are allowed a set amount per day, and you stay within your limit - simple.

06/09/2013 at 16:34

I agree with Colin, calorie counting is the only way to do it - but it's not sustainable.

In my opinion you need to do it long enough to teach right from wrong and re-program your brain a bit to get used to it.

Once you really know what is good and what's bad, and you start consciously eating, it should just become second nature.

But that is definitely easier said than done!

06/09/2013 at 16:34

I got fat by under eating most of the time.  It was only when I counted calories that I realised I was trying to eat about 1000 cals a day which explained why I was struggling to run half marathons.

About once a week I ate out and ate significantly over my calorie allowance.  My poor body grasped every calorie that it could and stored it for the lean times.  The result was that I screwed up my metabolism and struggled with the exercise.  The joke was that I wasn't even trying to diet at the time but thought I was eating a balanced healthy diet.

When I started counting calories, and more importantly looked at the nutritional content of my food, I discovered that I ate very little protein or carbs.  I introduced more of both, ate more on most days and ate out less often and the weight started dropping off without me even trying.

06/09/2013 at 16:40

Matty - fully agree with you about re-programming your brain. I now consider healthy options such as broccoli rather than chips because "that's what I always had in the past". I've actually started to enjoy preparing meals instead of thinking of it as a chore, but that's because I now understand a little bit more about the nutritional value of food.

06/09/2013 at 16:41

Matty has hit the nail on the head.  Learning what is the right amount until it becomes instinctive is the way forward, so you only need to read the labels on new foods - better still ditch the packaged food and stick to raw ingredients and cut out a lot of the chemicals too.

06/09/2013 at 16:43
Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

Anyone who wants to control their weight needs to count calories. There is no other effective way. You are allowed a set amount per day, and you stay within your limit - simple.

I disagree.  Over a fair amount of time, I've got down from 16st 10 to 11st 0 (something like that; I haven't weighed myself for months, but the belly flab is definitely at an all-time low, and the 30" jeans are loose...) but I couldn't tell you how many calories I've eaten today. I could have a guess, because I've clued myself up on nutrition generally, but I'm not gonna start weighing out my bowls of cereal... or come to that, ask the waiter how many calories are likely to be in my chicken tikka masala this evening ( etc etc...).  And how do you start accurately assessing how many calories you burn on a daily basis?

Much easier to follow some basic common sense principles about sustainable diet and exercise habits and do what you can to do the right thing.  Not necessarily "simple" at all, especially when there are no doubt complex issues involved, will power being one of them.  Once you get into new habits, if they stick, less will power is involved in keeping them going.  I've tried to get that ball rolling many times in the past.  Thankfully, it's finally stuck. 

As for Dawn French... hmmm... irresistible lucrative new contract from Terry's Chocolate orange maybe?

06/09/2013 at 17:03
PhilPub wrote (see)

I'm not gonna start weighing out my bowls of cereal... or come to that, ask the waiter how many calories are likely to be in my chicken tikka masala this evening

But you don't need to know to the gram how much your cereal weighs. After a while you know how much the "Right amount" is when you pour it in the bowl.

It takes all of about 30 seconds to google an estimated amount of calories in any meal you like. Not to mention theres dozens of apps that can tell you.

But the point is it doesn't matter if you go over calorie on any given day by having a tikka masala, as long as you recognise you've done it and accept it. In life people go out to restaurants to it but for most its an exception to the "norm".

A common response from a dieter who has eaten out one evening may be "Oh I've already been naughty once this week, so my weigh in is a write off, might as well be bad for the whole week". I know, I've done it! The conscious dieter doesn't worry about it because they know that it happens.

06/09/2013 at 17:28

Colin. It's far more complex than that. And you know it. 

There's only 300cals odd in a Mars bar. The problem is it's all sugar. Not only that, if you are inactive your glycogen stores will be full. You have no temporary reservoir to store that sugar. So it's stored as fat which is not your body's preferred source of energy. So then you feel tired and hungry and eat more.

Not only that the less you eat the less your body will let you do. 

Exercise will deplete your glycogen store and provide a tank to draw from. 

I can run 20miles in the morning on empty, eat two scrambled eggs on toast and that's me done until my evening meal. You do the maths!

We're all different and need to learn and train our bodies individually. cals in = cals out    isn't true. 

06/09/2013 at 17:39

I used to run 13 miles on 1 shredded wheat with fresh raspberries, then nothing until mid afternoon when I would have a cereal bar, then an evening meal consisting mainly of veg.

I can still go 24 hours without eating a thing if my mind is on other things.

06/09/2013 at 19:37
kittenkat wrote (see)

mattywarr, thanks for your honesty in your first post here.

I've never had a problem with food and weight, but I've had problems with other 'addictions' and I think the subtext is the same. There are hellish places to be in with all this stuff, but people who aren't in it, or have never been in it, don't get it.

I'm not saying that they should, or making excuses for anything. But fuck me, how do some people get through life without some sort of self destruct button on any level?

Yes. So true.

I sometimes wonder if those who apparently don't get it, and go on about how "simple" everything in life is, really don't have any problems, or whether they are just in deeper denial

06/09/2013 at 20:44

Nobody's perfect MikeFrog - most people have demons of one sort or another. 

06/09/2013 at 21:19

Sorry but how can you get fat by undereating?

06/09/2013 at 21:54

How come I've the willpower to commit to and follow training plans......., be it for 10k, half or marathon, but REALLY REALLY STRUGGLE to find the willpower to commit to daily sensible eating, even though I know it would help me run better?  Don't seem to be able to manage a whole day at the moment, let alone a week.

imo running willpower seems easier to come by than eating willpower.

06/09/2013 at 22:26

Undereating forces your body to become very efficient with energy.  Then when you do over eat (and we all do sometimes) your body stores it all to help you get through the lean times.

Obviously this doesn't work when you seriously under eat and start to starve, but it is one of the reasons why people who diet a lot can't seem to lose weight.

I was quite sickly looking back then.  I had no energy, slept a lot, had poor condition skin and hair, frequently went dizzy and faint, and was constantly shivering and couldn't sleep at night in a hot room because I was too cold.  I got a lot of colds and bugs which never seemed to go away.

I could show you extracts from my food diary if you don't believe me.

07/09/2013 at 08:15

It wasn't that I didn't believe you SC.  I see what you mean now, the undereating makes your body hold onto fat and then the overeating makes you put weight on.  

It didn't make sense that by just undereating you'd gain weight.


07/09/2013 at 08:53

Sorry, I tend to get a lot of cynics who can't believe that you can get fat when eating predominently salads and veg.  Its made me a bit defensive.

Six days a week I typically ate:

1 x Shredded wheat with 100ml skimmed milk and fresh fruit
Home made soup (around 100 cals), maybe with some oat cakes if I was exercising that evening
Small portion of rice or pasta with half a chicken breast and a huge plate full of veg if I had time to cook.  Otherwise it was more soup or maybe a couple of crumpets.
If I needed a snack it would be one of the small Nak'd bars or a couple of carrots

Then on the 7th day I would go out and eat two courses from Wetherspoons, Italian or Indian with plenty of wine or cider - probably over 2000 cals in one sitting!

I thought I was eating healthily as there was virtually no processed foods in my diet, not much fat and I was getting way over my 5 a day.  I was doing all the things the health professionals tell you to do.  Except on that one day when I felt that it was ok to have a treat as everything is ok in moderation, right?

07/09/2013 at 14:09

....and then you went out and swum the English Channel!!

07/09/2013 at 14:35

That was several years later Martenkay.  I learnt how to eat properly (treating food as a fuel - not too much as you don't want to stiffle the fire, and not too little as you don't want it to go out) and got down to being slim without even trying.  Then I intentionally put some of the weight back on to provide me with insulation for the Channel.

I'm struggling again now as I need to bring my eating back in line with the reduced amount of exercise that I'm doing.

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