or don't?

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08/09/2002 at 22:28

I'm an educated woman but the whole "diet" thing is confusing me. I have a Master of Science and yet I can't work out who is telling the truth and who isn't. everyone seems to believe what they're saying. When I was younger I thought I was fat (what I'd give to be that "fat" again!!!) and tried every diet in the book (without success). swore never to do one again but about 9 years later was forced into reading "Protein Power." it made sense and I tried it. It worked and I was thrilled. Lost 15kgs and felt great. Since then a lot has happened and I have gained 30kgs in the space of 4-5 months from some medication I was on (and went straight off it when I realised what was happening I might add!).

Now, I think I'm eating healthily, but who knows. never believed in counting calories or any of that business but eat a lot of fruit and salad. hardly have chips/chocolate/fried food/etc, exercise at least 3 times a week VERY vigorously and am not shifting ANY weight what-so-ever. this has been going on for over 3 months now. so decided it was time to take a closer look at the old eating habits and think about going back on the high protein/low carb diet again. however, upon investigation through the net I am reading lots of negative things about that diet and lots of positive too. and that goes for most of the diets out there.

who should you believe? when you're at the end of your tether (and believe me I'm there alright) and according to all the "scales" out there are obese, what the heck do you do? who do you believe? starving doesn't work. that just makes it worse. argh!

I know no one has the magic answer, but was wonder if anyone else felt the same. Guess I just wanted to have a moan. all my friends are thin and don't understand. Telling me it's cause of the medicine does not make me feel any better about myself. I know they're trying, but....well, you'll understand if you've been where I am now.


sorry for the marathon of "those" nights.

08/09/2002 at 23:09
Simple law of science; if energy input is greater than energy output; result --gain weight.If input=output; weight stays same!
Either increase exercise, or cut calorific intake.I've done both in last 6 months and have lost 2 stone.Now running 5-6 times/week and eating what I want.My weight staying same now,but would like to lose another stone.To do so, I'll have to cut out some more food.Exercising for 1 hour might only burn 500-600cals.
09/09/2002 at 06:17
I posted this link in another thread, but here it is again. It's an insight into the basics and you can adjust them to your workout and lifestyle:

Fad diets don't work in the long run. You need to find something that works as a lifestyle rather than labelled a 'diet'.

My mate is doing the Atkins diet. What's the point? Once she's lost weight and goes back to eating as before she'll just pile it all back on. It's all about educating yourself about nutrition.

Atkins' is a very very low carb diet, eating mainly protein and fat. So, what does she crave? You guessed it - carbs - chips, crisps, sweet stuff...

Weight maintenance =
healthy food choices + exercise

(Workout at least 3 times a week for maintenance (cardio), but to lose weight I believe you have to work at it everyday until the fat's gone).

I didn't shift those last lbs until I ran every day and concentrated on my diet by keeping my carbs and fat intake low and my protein intake high.

Once the weight is gone normal ratios apply.

09/09/2002 at 07:06
I am a Slimming World convert having loss 2 stone eating plate fulls of pasta one day and plate full of chicken the next!
If I run I eat more ? for energy I suppose...
Suits some but not others.
But your thread struck a cord...
09/09/2002 at 08:53
I recommend the Dorling Kindersley "K.I.S.S. guide to weight loss".
It says much the same as Beth and it is in an easy to read format and has loads of links to web sites etc. I was doing slimmers world last year lost two stone and put it back on, this book teaches you new lifestyle habits that are completely workable. My friend and myself have lost three stone through exercise & sensible eating in the last four months. Good Luck
09/09/2002 at 09:58
I came across an excellent website a few months ago:(
It's got lots of details about why various diets don't work, and has lots of graphs which appeal to the mathematician in me. Best of all, it's quite a feel good read, which took me several days, and as such kept me away from the fridge for a fair while.
09/09/2002 at 10:18
A heart rate monitor might be a good idea for you to establish how well you are training. This will allow you to establish whether you are training in the cardiovascular zone that is optimum for burning calories. Before I bought one I used to think I was training within my optimum range 85% of my maximum heart rate but I was only training at 60%.

Polar watches start about £30 but most decent gyms have equipment with built in heart rate monitors and you just need to hire the belt from them. It might be an idea for get a fitness test at the gym followed by another three months later, if your fitness hasn't improved your not training properly. I see plenty of people at the gym and in fitness classes who just don't push themselves, with a cardio monitor a quick glance at your wrist lets you know your not training properly.

Combining a good fitness program with any sensible balanced diet will enable you to see improvements.
09/09/2002 at 10:24
The problem with "dieting", or even trying to eat healthily, is that we're living in the middle of a big conspiracy to get us to do the opposite. High-fat, high-calorie, highly-packaged, low-nutrient foods are extensively marketed, and the food manufacturers have such a stranglehold on the government that you will not read any official healthy eating advice that gives a clear, unequivocal "we're all eating too much, so just eat less, period" or "only eat stuff that doesn't come wrapped in plastic AND cardboard", or challenges us to ask WHY those biscuits have a shelf life of 2 years when fresh food goes off in less than a week.

Just to complicate matters, although we're eating a bit more than in the 1950s (and don't ever let anyone tell you different), we're also exercising a LOT less in our everyday activities (think of how our grannies did their washing and shopping) and recreationally, unless we make a definite effort to get moving.

Like Nick, I think the K.I.S.S. Guide to Weight Loss is immensely sensible. Diets packaged in glossy books are a marketing ploy to sell us something we didn't know we needed, not a means to good health.

And running, since that's why we're here...well, not everyone who runs will turn into a stringbean, but it's a very good way to get the "best" shape that your genes will permit you to have, and it's doing you good even if you don't lose an ounce. It also makes you more aware of your body, and less likely to want to deprive it of essential nutrients by living on rubbish.

It all boils down to a low-fat, nutrient-dense (fruit and veg, lean meat, bread and grains, bit of low-fat dairy or equivalent) diet and a conscious effort to exercise. It's our choice.
09/09/2002 at 15:52
Yea V-Rap, I'm with you all the way, very sensible eating advice. Diets don't work in the long run, the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to make a conscious decision to change lifestyle, exercise regularly, and eat 'properly', with an occasional treat. No rule says you can't have the odd piece of choc or pint of beer, just don't binge! Over the years though my metabolism has got used to huge chunks of heavy training so when injured, on holiday, or taking a break, the calories have to be cut back or my weight very swiftly starts to climb. Larmyia - I've found the more I exercise, the less I want to eat!
Good luck
The Evil Pixie    pirate
09/09/2002 at 17:21
My main problem is not what I eat is how much I eat. I eat when bored or stressed, and I just take too long to register that I'm full. So by the time I do realise I've eaten enough I'm stuffed!
10/09/2002 at 16:30
I agree with most of what's been posted. and believe me I've tried. I know it doesn't happen overnight. but no results what-so-ever over 3 or 4 months is disheartening, no matter what anyone says.

as for running...I love it. but right now it doesn't love me. I have had an ongoing knee problem (not the usual thing) that I'm desperatly trying to find out what is wrong, and what I can do about it. every doc I see contradicts the last one I saw, and you know waiting lists.....6 months later.....on top of that, lately I've been having massive problems with a muscle on the inside of my calf. just started about a month ago, but forced me to stop running for over 3weeks, and the problem doesn't seem to be solved by rest as I'm already feeling it again after a light run. I use the X trainer when not running, but never as fulfilling.

I think my trouble is that it's not a simple matter of weight loss. of course i know you have to burn more than you eat to lose weight, but since the weight came from medication, my soloution isn't that straight forward.


shall check out the sites mentioned. however I do think it's an entire life style change and not some quick solution. and I don't think I eat badly anyhoo.

we'll see.

thanks all. and best of luck.
10/09/2002 at 16:51
I recommend entering a marathon. I have lost 6-7Kgs in about 15 weeks whilst training. Not that I really worry about weight, more worried about body fat percentage. I have made the following changes to my diet in addition to training. The first six weeks I spent weight training and running. For the last six weeks I just concentrated on running.

1) No peanut butter
2) No pasta (Rice is ok)
3) No red meat (Take iron supplements instead, dont trust the old mad cow business etc)
4)Eat more fruit and vege.
5) No butter on toast or sandwhiches (mayonaise is fine)
6)Eat more chicken
7) Drink more water. If I drink fizzy drinks its diet coke, although these are really bad for you anyway. But sometimes one can't help oneself.
8) No alcohol in last six weeks in countdown till marathon.

Works for me.
The Evil Pixie    pirate
10/09/2002 at 16:54
No pasta? That's an odd one as I thought pasta was good for energy as for the alcohol ... how did you manage that!
10/09/2002 at 17:22
it's my dream to run a marathon. but right now am lucky to get 5k in (knee probs etc). for me, I only really drink water (hate fizzy drinks thank god), and eat salad every day with either fish or chicken. I do have to admit to have a baked potato on occassion (and the odd drink...well my drink wasn't odd...).

but well done jimmers. wish you all the best for the marathon.
11/09/2002 at 08:25
Get yourself fired from your job and take your employer to court. My wife lost 1.5 stone that way!! (and came out several thousand quid better off)

OK so thats a bit drastic - but there is a message in there. For six months she concentrated completely on that and nothing else (with my complete support I might add). In all that time she hardly evet just sat in front of the TV all evening. Just the news at 10. So she didn't nibble choccy bics or the like.

To be honest we now hardly have the thing on - and we've discovered that thats where we ate most of our junk food. So now if we have a free evening we find something else to concentrate on :-))) and we don't get bored and eat junk !!

Wanna lose weight ?? - bin the box !!
11/09/2002 at 10:25
I divide people into two groups when it comes to reactions to stress (and nothing is more stressful than pursuing litigation) - those who make adrenaline and lose weight, and those who make cortisol and put weight on. Scientifically a little dubious, but plausible.

Marathon training certainly made the weight fall off me at a terrifying rate, and without Jimmers's diet (which is a lovely combination of the sensible and the wacky, but hey, if it works for you then why not?) or any other. I ate everything that wasn't nailed down. And people still asked what I was taking myself and maliciously refusing to prescribe for them...
11/09/2002 at 11:03
Thats very interesting about the stress V-rap, a good theory my wife & I are opposites, I don't eat when stressed , she comforts in food I shall tell her about this as she is having trouble with dieting at the moment, by the way what is Jimmers Diet?
11/09/2002 at 11:04
Sorry I didn't read the rest of the forum apologies for being a twerp.
11/09/2002 at 11:47
Second post down on this page, Nick.
11/09/2002 at 11:53
Yeah I have the same problem Evil Pixie! I tend to eat what I want and try to eat healthy. I am size 10/12 but weigh a ton - I am a stone overweight according to some charts yet at 5 foot 4 don't look fat. I tend not to weigh myself anymore and do the clothes test - if my clothes feel OK then I feel OK. I run regularly and have just started swimming to compliment my running. I eat healthily but do have the odd takeaway and love chocolate. I also have an underactive thyroid so maybe my weight is due to that - but I don't worry about it anymore. Diets can work but I think it is best to be sensible - you can eat wehat you want just not to excess all the time and as a fit person muscles need food.
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