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Calorie Counting vs WW vs IF

3 years ago

Without any additional effort, I lost almost 20 lb since working at home. I can't really explain it other than I am drinking more water and I am not grabbing on the go. I actually think i am eating more than i did pre-quarantine.

Anyhow.. since weight loss has been a life-long struggle -- a battle I have been losing for the last 6 yr-- I decided to double down my efforts and maintain the weight loss trend. I recently opted in for WW.. but before I am too committed down that path, I want to revisit some other approaches/programs for weight loss.

I'll share a bit of my experience.. but I'd love to hear your experiences-- particularly with WW as i need to decide if i will continue with it (or try to pair it with IF).

Weight Watchers WW: i signed up for the blue plan.. but find I am consistently well under my points and that even a small splurge (rice pudding with berries) easily fits within my points. If anything, I think I am eating more than i was previously-- because I'll see, hey, I have 10 pts remaining. I do stick to pretty much the healthy, unprocessed foods.. but still I am eating more even though below my points. On the plus side, since starting WW, i am ensuring i am well stocked with fruits and vegetables. (I should do this anyhow-- but WW keeps me more aware of keeping them on the shelves). I have lost 3lb since starting almost 2 weeks ago.

Intermittent Fasting: I have had some good experience with intermittent fasting in the past. I have had moderate losses with IF-- but more so, I felt much more energetic and "UP" with the fasting pattern. Since I am not hitting my WW points anyhow, I am considering returning to IF in combo with WW. Does anyone do that?? It seems a lot of people on social media are really focused on WW breakfasts.

Calorie Counting: Unlike those who strongly claim that it's all about calories, I have never had as good an experience with calorie counting alone. (And yes, i count accurately and religiously). I have a tendency to obsess and then greatly reduce calories-- which SHOULD give me great losses but doesn't. I will see short-term successes in the 800 calorie range but they quickly plateau. I did much better with Calorie counting when i combined it with IF but it still hit a plateau after losing 15-20 lb (I have significantly more to lose).

Comments (54)

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Lukki.. yes, we are in the same club. Even when i was very active (I am not now) and participating in a wide range of sports, I struggled with my weight.

    It's been a long time since I have looked at the diabetic diet but I believe my normal diet has evolved to be very similar. I only eat complex carbs, stick to low glycemic index fruits and (usually) eat lean meats. Occasionally, i will have a ribeye steak vs fish or chicken ... or lean on the complex carbs a little more than i need to.. but otherwise I think i am pretty close.

    Luckily, I don't have much of a sweet tooth-- and i don't drink sugary drinks so that helps a lot too!

    Thanks for the suggestion! I will revisit the diabetic diet to see if i can identify any other improvements.

  • 3 years ago

    One thing I forgot to point out, DH and I eat small meals for lunch and dinner. I often make a meal for lunch and we don’t usually eat dinner until fairly late, 6:30-7, so will eat a very light meal or snack then. Usually a salad, sometimes a sandwich for DH. No snacks after that.

    I agree, if you have already lost weight, you should be able to keep doing what you’re doing with continued success. If you reach some plateau, time to switch things up.

    Funkyart thanked OutsidePlaying
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  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Congrats on those twenty pounds! About twenty years ago I lost thirty pounds in two months through a 1400 calorie diet and a lot of exercise (and gained back forty when I stopped). 1400 calories was very difficult so 800 calories is way too low. I was obsessing over every pound and that's not healthy. I was denying myself too much and it wasn't sustainable.

    It's hard for me to increase activity because of foot pain but I've lost fifteen pounds this year simply from eating less. I stopped snacking as a daily habit, but when I do need a snack, I eat a few nuts or a piece of fruit. I stopped eating yogurt all together. I think we eat too much yogurt in America and it's making us fat. I can usually ignore the occasional mid-morning hunger pangs as I eat lunch at 11:30 so my snacks are usually in the afternoon.

    I also eat a somewhat limited diet, at least for breakfast--two Shredded Wheat biscuits with 1% milk and a teaspoon of sugar. A routine helps me control my food intake better. For lunch and dinner, I eat what I normally eat but I eat a little less. I have to feed two of us and it's too much work to change the way I cook. I do pay attention to fat, salt, and sugar but I don't obsess over it. I also eat a dessert every day because I have a sweet tooth. I only occasionally eat a flour-based dessert though. It's usually sorbet, ice cream, or a homemade fruit dessert with whatever fruit's in season.

    When I'm tempted to overeat, I tell myself that there's another meal coming soon. I'm not going to go to the electric chair today so I don't have to eat like it's my last meal. It's okay to not feel full after a meal.

    My only goal now is to get my weight down to the next whole number on the digital scale. That's doable.

    Funkyart thanked Eileen
  • 3 years ago

    If you’re eating is already healthy and centered around the diabetic’s diet normally, you might just need the same diet I need. It’s the “get up and move diet” which is hard to do during the shut down especially if you hate the heat (like me). My DD has lost so much weight by just taking walks in the early mornings and doing fitness tapes.

    I don’t want to sound like an alarmist either but 20lbs is a lot of weight to loose without much effort and in some cases can be a red flag. I would suggest that you see your doctor about it too, just to be sure there aren’t any underlying causes taking place.

    Funkyart thanked Lukki Irish
  • 3 years ago

    I'm a firm believer in "burning the fat and feeding the muscle" and respecting one's metabolism. Every body needs a minimum number of calories at rest to function. Going below that number is a recipe for metabolic dysfunction. (Your mention of 800 calorie range worried me. Is that a daily amount? If so, that is much too low to be healthy for an adult woman. Here are some formulas to calculate one's Resting Metabolic Rate.) Calorie intake must take into account one's activity level, not only one's goal weight. That said, not every calorie is equal so it's important to respect macronutrient ratios that make sense for our body. Carbohydrates, fat and protein affect the body differently. I learnt about this years ago from a fitness coach who would tell me that a meal wasn't complete without protein. He also told me to aim for a fat loss of no more than 1 to 2 lbs a week. The primary focus was on building muscle because muscle burns fat at rest, keeps bones strong, gives the body shape, etc.

    Friends and family have done both WW and IF to varying degrees of success. I have no clue how either address macronutrient ratios but when I discussed metabolism with one relative who'd been doing WW on and off for years, it was news to them. This was a while ago though so perhaps the program has incorporated more metabolism and macronutrient information since then.

    I'm not an expert but what I learnt about nutrition and the body during those fitness days has stayed with me because it always made sense for me. Yes, there was a period in those early days where food intake became an obsession but after a while, life intervened and my hyper focus waned. However, the importance of respecting the basics of feeding my body to perform and being mindful on how my body responds has always stayed with me. Every body is different. This is key to remember. We can only learn so much from others about food. We need to know how nutrients affect our own body. Social media can be great for meal ideas but what others are having for breakfast won't tell us how that breakfast will affect us.

    A food log or diary is a great way to figure out how food works for us. You mentioned that you feel more energetic with the fasting pattern. That's fantastic information. Is the fasting pattern sustainable for you? Sustainability is often key to long term success.

    The other thing to keep in mind with the body's metabolism is that food is not the only element that affects it. This is really easy to forget but hormones, sleep, medication and activity are some of the other elements that affect our metabolism. The body is much too complex for weight to be only about calories in and calories out.

    Apologies if I shared anything obvious. Weight loss plans make me wary because they feel a bit too "one size fits all" to be successful long term for everyone. I can't help but share the importance of learning about one's metabolism and adapting these plans to suit our genetics.

    I wish you all the best as you continue on your journey to better health.

    Funkyart thanked tartanmeup
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I lost about 15 pounds over the last spring by really increasing my water intake (3 liters/day, about), avoiding or really minimizing breads, pasta, crackers, cold cereals (I will still eat oatmeal about once a week - and I was never a rice eater either, still am not), and consciously having more protein and vegetables for breakfast - oh, I am not a really hungry in the AM person, and found that when I followed my hunger pangs, I wasn't eating until 12-1 pm. So I guess that is kind of intermittent fasting but it wasn't intentional.

    ETA: I was not trying to be low carb, just avoiding wheat more (for a digestion issue) and focusing more on gluten free and fruits/vegetables for my carbs.. I still had my pizza regularly! And my savory, vegetable-filled biscuits about weekly.

    This while being much more sedentary that has always been my norm - not cycling, not walking or running, even doing much less in the garden - due to hip tendonitis.

    However, I don't usually drink (diet) soda but I seem to have noticed that in periods that I do, as I did in these very hot weeks we have had this summer, my weight seems to creep up and I am hungrier. Also, after having a lot of cake for my birthday, I was craving bread, really indulged for about a week, and gained a couple of pounds back quickly - all on my midsection.

    Funkyart thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • 3 years ago

    Wonderful!! I swear by this diet and it's not really a diet. Within 3 months I lost 40 pounds.

    About ten years ago I went to the doctor because I was feeling sluggish and had full blood work done. The next day his nurse called to tell me I had Type 2 diabetes. I was a few pounds over weight...okay, about 35 pounds over weight. :) I'm very familiar with T2 because the same thing happened to DH who had the body of an athlete. Still does. It was shocking when he came down with it, but his is hereditary. Mine was because of cookies.

    I knew what to eat and what not to eat. No elaborate hard to cook meals with goofy ingredients. Meats, veggies (no potatoes or corn), and when I was craving sweets I'd eat a sweet right after a meal with protein.

    I lost 40 pounds in 3 months and I was a lazy cook. I ate quite a bit too, but not the same amount of carbs as before. It was easy losing the weight.

    I've kept the weight down and my numbers have been normal for quite sometime now.

    Funkyart thanked Oakley
  • 3 years ago

    I appreciate your post Tartanmeup-- because metabolism is a major issue for me. It always has been but more so now because I cannot be as active as I was when younger. I will check out your metabolism rate link later this evening-- and dig in a bit more otherwise. I have often said it isn't as simple as calories in/calories out-- at least for me it is not. I think it is worth looking into the overall balance of what I am eating. And really, if it was obvious, I wouldn't be overweight despite YEARS of working to not be!!

    FWIW the best health i was in other than teens/early 20s was in my 40s--- i was still overweight but much less so and i was running almost daily. Activity has always been key to my weight loss-- it's just very hard with my current work schedule and the bad/lazy patterns I have developed. I am sitting at the computer working for 14 hr a day lately. I need to make a point to get up and moving-- and even fire up the treadmill! I know from experience that even 30 min makes a difference.

    I don't think 20lb over 5 months is too much to be concerned about-- but i am due for a dr appt. I have been putting it (and a dentist appt) off due to covid. I will say, i do not feel sick or bad or dragging butt at all. I do appreciate your concern.

  • 3 years ago

    That's wonderful! I know that good feeling! One thing about the treadmill, caloric burn will significantly go up as you increase the incline so I would put effort into that.

    Funkyart thanked Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Funky, I always love how accepting you are of peoples comments or thoughts. I need to get up and move so bad, I was talking to myself as much as I was talking to you and your thread has spunked a little inspiration for me. I have a stationery bike waiting to get fired up....and a staircase that loves to be used.

    Like I said, I hate to be an alarmist, but just to be on the safe side, I’m glad you’re open to asking about it.

    Funkyart thanked Lukki Irish
  • 3 years ago

    I have been doing a 9 to 7pm eating window, plus walking at least 30 minutes everyday and having two servings of all bran a day and a cup of brocoli ( i need to maintain consistant vit. K levels for i am on warfarin) and though the weight has not decreased significantly I have lost inches around my stomach as I am entering menopause ( thought I was there for last period was 9 months ago and than boom it hit again so the count starts over:()

    I started this routine after my strokes and also started a very strict sleep routine and daily meditation and more than weight improvement is that my ANA, antiphospholipid antibodies and ds dna tests went from very high to non detectable six months after I started and a year later I tested negative again last week.

    I will continue this regime for the rest of my life. My anxiety is also well managed for the first time in my life.

    Funkyart thanked roarah
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Timely thread for me. I’ve just completed six weeks of counting calories, upping exercise (from not doing much) and have lost nothing! I am so discouraged.

    I did the online calculators to determine how many calories to eat for a 1-2 lb weekly weight loss. I stayed within those parameters except for a few times here and there, and even then it wasn’t crazy over the limit.

    I will admit, I have a sweet tooth and did save calories to indulge. My goal was to eat what I wanted (more sustainable over time) but to be accountable by measuring portions, etc. similar to WW.

    I’ve always had a weight problem and you name the diet, I’ve done it. I’m so frustrated and am perplexed about where to go from here.

    Funkyart thanked Joaniepoanie
  • 3 years ago

    Joanie.. i could have written your post a thousand times over the last few years. I need to step away until late evening but i just wanted to say that WE CAN DO THIS. Not everyone's challenges are the same but it seems like yours and mine may be similar based on my past experiences (the target calories for weight loss especially).

  • 3 years ago

    I think we eat too much yogurt in America and it's making us fat.

    The vast majority of yogurt sold belongs in the dessert aisle.

  • 3 years ago

    I've dropped 41 pounds (and 4 dress sizes) since the beginning of January. I started working out religiously again, but really think that the larger part of it had to with cutting out the crap in my diet. I eat as little processed food as possible, and aim instead for a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, with a minimal amount of lean protein. I love salads piled high with fresh goodness, and instead of reaching for processed carbs when I feel a "comfort" craving coming on, I will instead make a smoothie or eat a big bowl of sweet cherries. I don't calorie count and I never go hungry. For me, it's been all about making smarter choices and remembering why those choices matter to me in the first place.

    Congratulations on your success thus far, and I wish you well as you continue the journey to find what works best for you.

  • 3 years ago

    Funky, 20 lbs. is quite an accomplishment! I would say your lifestyle has changed a good bit by working from home.

    It has to be a way of life, not a diet. I have slipped up on my healthy eating before the pandemic. Too many "treats", etc. and definitely not enough exercise. Like you, by being at home more, I am actually doing better.

    I think what you are doing sounds good. I have to remember that "the white stuff" primarily sugar, is just not good for us. Not to say you can't have a treat now and then. You are so lucky to not have a sweet tooth! Oh how I love sweets!! It's a struggle for me to stick with the healthy carbs. I also think eating more plant based is much healthier for all of us. So I try to eat lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, etc. I'm including nuts for a little pick-me-up between meals and also they are an added dose of protein. My hubby and I both love meat, but try to stick with healthy selections and no processed meats. We do mix in some meatless meals. Rarely do either of us drink soft drinks. We are tea drinkers and I do a half and half mix of regular decaf tea and green tea (just because I've read the benefits of green tea). I could eat bread with every single meal and daily dessert(s) too, but do not. Eating healthy is much easier for me this time of year because of all the fresh produce. Thankfully we have a produce market that travels weekly to FL and other areas during the winter months for produce. Another plus is I love to cook and I usually plan out my meals for the week. That helps me stay on track.

    Right now I am struggling with my morning cup of cappuccino. I truly love it and am having trouble giving it up. But I know it has too much sugar. I'm trying to come up with something that tastes similar. It's so hard, it truly is something I look forward to!! I've ordered a sugar free syrup to see if I can somewhat duplicate it. :(

    Also, I do not like to exercise. I like to walk around places, I like to hike, etc. so I try to work in the things I like. i'm trying to add in some exercises with stretch bands and some squats. I also got a hoop (!!) and will be adding that in.

    I know I'm a bit all over the place in my thoughts, but I hope you can understand what I'm saying and that maybe a little of it will help you. Losing weight, and keeping it off, isn't easy. Staying healthy isn't always easy either!! Keep it up - you are doing great!

    Funkyart thanked Tina Marie
  • 3 years ago

    Joanie, you might look at your macros. I know some gals who were struggling on WW to lose weight and then they started cutting carbs while still maintaining their points and they managed to lose weight.

    Re calorie counting...each lb equals 3500 calories. So if you want to lose 10 lbs in a year, you need to eat 100 calories fewer per day. 20 lbs is 200 calories per day. So that may help you adjust if you want to stick to calorie counting. It also explains how something as simple as a daily Caffe Mocha from starbucks can cause you to gain 35 lbs in a's 360 calories.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Joanie, if you are building muscle with exercise your weight might even go up. I rely less on my scale and more on my belt to determine if my changes are working. Do not give up.

    I will admit my BMI has never been above 24 so weight was never to high but I was not toned and carried extra weight in the middle. So my weight did not decrease but a healthy redistribution has occurred.

  • 3 years ago

    How about Noom? Has anyone tried that program? If I lost 20 pounds I’d be jumping for joy.

  • 3 years ago

    Totally forgot to mention an important factor affecting metabolism: stress! Stress affects cortisol levels which affect fat retention. Perhaps WFH has reduced your stress, Funky, which would explain a seemingly effortless weight loss. (Keeping in mind that the scale doesn't tell us the whole picture when it comes to body composition.) Speaking of hormones, don't forget to ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels. Don't know if this is routinely done but it should be.

    All that said, I will reiterate that weight loss is best approached holistically. It's not just "one thing". Our metabolism is affected by a slew of things, some of which we control. It sounds as if you concentrate on eating healthy foods, Funky, so kudos for that. That's the basis for good health. The trick is eating enough for your goals. As for exercise, don't think it has to be huge amounts to be beneficial. Every little bit helps. One idea: set your timer for every hour and do a a minute or two of exercises. For example, first hour, do X number of squats. Second hour, push-ups. Third hour, lunges. Fourth hour: stretch. Etc. Bodyweight exercises count. Another idea: commit to 10 minutes of exercise before work. Sneak in activity wherever and whenever it makes sense for you. Give yourself weekly goals. Concentrate on progress, not perfection. When it comes to exercise, it really doesn't have to be all or nothing.

  • 3 years ago

    mtnrd, I understand what you're saying about saccharine WW took me 4 tries to find one I liked and she's terrific. I've come across another few who are also very good. But I find I get more out of what I learn from others as well as finding their successes inspirational and their struggles relatable.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Just read your post, Tina Marie. Cappuccino does not have any sugar in it so my suggestion to you is to retrain your palate. :) I used to put 6 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee. Took me a couple weeks but I got it down to 1 or 2 tsps per cup. Now, I can't imagine drinking a cup of coffee with 6 teaspoons of sugar in it. Cappuccino is frothed steamed milk and espresso. No sugar. Yes, there's sugar in milk but not that much. What kind of syrup could possibly give you a cappuccino? ;-)

    ETA: For anyone feeling as though they've done everything right but aren't getting the results they expect, I strongly recommend two things: 1) keep an accurate log or diary of food intake and activity for a couple of weeks to get an accurate picture of your lifestyle and 2) seek personalized advice from a nutritionist or fitness coach. (It doesn't need to cost a fortune. A lifestyle review over a couple of sessions might be all the boost that's needed.) It is amazing what we can overlook here and there. It's a bit like a budget. You keep track of every expense for a few weeks and realize just how much the little things add up. A health professional can pinpoint these oversights and suggest tweaks that really pack a punch and get us to our goals. Even though I knew a lot about fitness and nutrition all those years ago, I wouldn't have reached my goals without the personalized advice from a coach.

    Funkyart thanked tartanmeup
  • 3 years ago

    I have done WW about 147 times and have been trying to lose the same 10 lbs for at least 10 years. (I should lose 20 but I’d be ok with 10.) I laugh when I realize I thought I was “fat” in high school at 118 lbs. Umm, no one would recognize me if I weighed 118 now.

    Needless to say, I don’t have the secret to weight loss. DH, who isn’t heavy but was growing a Dad Gut, started IF maybe a year ago and I think he lost about 15-20 lbs? He had a physical recently and his BMI was “perfect.” It was pretty painless for him. He doesn’t eat after dinner and does not eat until 11 in the morning. I’ve tried it a few times but I have a hard time going on my long morning walk without eating a little something — he does not have a morning exercise routine so not an issue for him. I don’t know if it messes up the whole IF system if I eat half a banana at 8 am?

    For me, when I follow a program like WW, I become almost obsessed with food — thinking about what I can have, how many points, planning the whole day around points — and it ends up backfiring for me. OTOH, when I try to go it alone and just eat sensibly, I end up gradually gaining. I’ve been determined not to “diet” during covid but the scale is creeping up so I‘ve got to do something.

    Funkyart thanked Sueb20
  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I’m a WW Lifetime Member and I really haven’t actually followed their plan, which keeps changing for years.

    Like Annie, I learn info from the other members. By checking in once a month, it has kept me accountable for the past 20 years. I hope live meetings start soon.

    For me, it is all about the food and water. I am not a drinker and have to force myself to drink. I am mindful of portions and when dining out I always looked at the menu online to strategize .

    I exercise to feel better, look better and be able to engage in daily activity because I am fit. It has never helped me lose weight.

    I get on the scale every single day. I have to. It’s easier to adjust 2 pounds than 5.

    Although I am okay with my current weight, I can’t say I am happy with it.

    All my weight rests around my middle and only weight loss will improve this situation.

    Congratulations Funky.

    Joannie, if what you are doing isn’t working, try mixing things up. Have your heavier meal for lunch and go light for dinner. As far as sweets, unless you are eating those pre measured packets, it is hard to honestly gage that piece of chocolate cake.

    Even before IF became a thing, I always noticed that stopping at 7:00PM helped me in weight loss. It is hard for you body to burn off calories later at night when you are just sitting around.

    Funkyart thanked eld6161
  • 3 years ago

    Sueb...I can relate...I never appreciated how slim I was when I was younger and never felt anything but too fat. Now I realize how silly it was not to appreciate what I have. At this stage of life, while I always work to keep myself at a decent weight, I'm just delighted to have a body that is healthy, works reasonably well and keeps me doing what I want to do.

  • 3 years ago

    Funkyart, congratulations on the weight loss! And my guess is that less "grabbing on the go" means less processed and convenience food, so that may explain some of the loss, too.

    I've shared before that I practice intermittent fasting. If you're already OK with skipping breakfast, it's easy to do IF. I don't track calories but I did use MyFitnessPal a few years ago to retrain myself about portions, etc. I find it's so tedious and time-consuming that I no longer do any tracking of any kind except watching the clock for IF.

    I also exercise on an empty stomach for most of my workouts. It took a while for my body to adjust to this. But it is, I believe, an important but overlooked component of weight loss.

    Sueb, yes, if you eat half a banana, that's breaking the fast. Perhaps skip it for a week or two to see if your body adapts.

    Funkyart thanked Feathers11
  • 3 years ago

    Sorry, I would like to reply to all but I have read all and DO appreciate every word! I have pulled out just a few to comment on ... but please know I value all the suggestions, support and things to consider! I hope others are finding this helpful too!

    Tartenmeup wrote: Perhaps WFH has reduced your stress, Funky, which would explain a seemingly effortless weight loss.

    Hahaha,, no, it is definitely not lowered stress. I have much more stress now than pre-covid (unrelated).

    Tartenmeup also wrote: Speaking of hormones, don't forget to ask your doctor to check your thyroid levels. Don't know if this is routinely done but it should be.

    I do have thyroid issues-- diagnosed in my late teens but not treated until a few years ago. (My levels were borderline when i was young and the drs didn't want to start me on synthroid so young. I think they look at it differently now for what that's worth).

    TinaM wrote: Right now I am struggling with my morning cup of cappuccino. I truly love it and am having trouble giving it up.

    Same-- but different. I do not like sweet coffee-- but i do like my coffee creamy! I've tried swapping out the half and half with fat free and low fat. They just take the joy out of coffee for me. This may not be a great suggestion, but have you tried cinnamon as a way to replace the sugar? Or reduce the sugar?

    Sue wrote: For me, when I follow a program like WW, I become almost obsessed with food.

    ME TOO! And Sue, I think that's what sparked this post. I was feeling like i was spending too much time tracking, planning and thinking about food. I DO want to keep up my losses but i don't want to be THINKING about it all the time. I wasn't when i lost 20.. and i don't want to be for the next 20. Aware of my choices? Sure-- but I don't want to be thinking about them all of the time.

    Feathers wrote: I've shared before that I practice intermittent fasting. If you're already OK with skipping breakfast, it's easy to do IF.

    IF does fit my lifestyle pretty well.. except that I can't drink my coffee black. I unplug and go to the bedroom by 9:30pm pretty religiously ... but i am up at 5am and just cannot wait until 11am for coffee!

    There are a lot of things that should make weight loss easy for me-- I LIKE healthy foods. I tend not to get crazy hungry or "hangry" .. even if i haven't eaten for a long time. I can easily go until evening without eating anything. I don't really have a sweet tooth-- I can enjoy a treat but i don't need or crave them. I don't even like chocolate or cheesecake or all the things other people crave. Weight loss should be easier for me than it is.. and it has never been.

  • 3 years ago

    Funky, do you think your weight loss has been due to cooking at home vs dining out? Restaurant food tastes better mainly due to the butter/fat added, as well as salt. Keep searching for recipes to create your morning cup of coffee. WW (my bestie loves them) offers lots of recipes and websites for imposter recipes.

  • 3 years ago

    Since puberty the battle has been on. Over the 50ish years I would say I have lost more battles than won. When I met my MIL she was 60 and talking about her latest struck me Ya mean at 60 I will still be fighting this!?!? It was very defeating for me. I had recently finished losing 40 lbs and wanting to believe they would never be coming back. So here I am over 60, thyroid shot, prone to activities that are not ACTIVE which all adds up to the same 40 lbs over weight I have been most of my life. I too am VERY healthy, and grateful for it. Which program works best is the question. I think ANY program ALL programs work equally. The difference is which one can be COMMITTED TO. It's the commitment and motivation of the person that makes or breaks ALL programs in my experience. WATER, ACTIVITY added to any program that teaches healthy eating habits will result in weight loss for the average person without other metabolism or dietary issues, in my experience of 50+ years and countless programs.

  • 3 years ago

    Funky congrats! Also, nice work everyone else. Seems like so many people have lost weight during covid. However, personally I have gained weight. I think some of it has to do with the fact I am entering menopause. Have not had my mothly visitor in five months.

    I have always had the best luck with cutting back on carbs (way back) and giving myself at least a four hour window of now eating before bed. I remember doing the South Beach diet... or at least partially following it and it has always helped me shed pounds quickly.

    Now, I am eating a lot of fruits and veggies (smoothies etc). I think the weight is starting to fall off a bit. Plus, at work I take four or five breaks and walk around my building and take the stars up to my office and back down at least five times at least a day. Now I reallly need to include true exercise. It is so hot out that I think I will have to do all of my stuff indoors.... minus my walk during work hours.

    I have for the most part of my life been pretty thin. I am short and petite and so when I gain any weight I feel it and it shows!

    Keep up the good work everyone!!! I am impressed.

  • 3 years ago

    Not diet-related but I find that interval exercise (HIIT) also helps me. I don't belong to a gym but do HIIT exercises at home a few times a week.

  • 3 years ago

    What exactly does the IF do? I do not like to eat breakfast when I first get up. I prefer a later breakfast and I rarely eat after dinner (although we do eat dinner later in the summer). It's rare I would eat breakfast before 10:00 so I could probably do IF. What are the benefits?

    Funky, I'm not sure cinnamon would give the taste that I love from my current cup of cappu. I'm going to experiment with the sugarless butter toffee syrup, a bit of a hot chocolate mix (sugar free) and instant coffee. Maybe I can come up with a similar taste? The mix I use is very creamy so I'm thinking I might add some powdered milk too. It's worth a try! If I can't duplicate, I think I am going to have to go to coffee and a flavored creamer (many flavors come sugar free). I'm not a coffee lover in general, but I do love the flavored coffees/creamers. I think it's the milky, creamy, sweet taste that I love.

  • 3 years ago

    Congratulations!!! I think 20 lbs is awesome! I recommend Code Red Lifestyle.....the REAL human diet. How we were created to eat. No exercise. You won’t need it, until you get to goal and want to get More fit. Exercising during weight loss is counterproductive, and makes the process WAY more difficult. Check it out. I have lost 60 lbs, my DH 115!! I have been at goal for 6 months, and having NO trouble maintaining my loss.

    In contrast to WW, which I have done twice, and lost 43 lbs the first time, where my goal weight was like a soon as I hit bottom I bounced back up, and then some!!!

  • 3 years ago

    IF works where you eat your calories within a calorie window for most people, either 16 hours fast and 8 for eating so 16:8 or some people do a 2-day fast where they eat no or minimal calories. I find the 16:8 more palatable, so I am back to that. Also, as you get older, you need far fewer calories, unfortunately.

    HOWEVER, I know my main issue is not what I eat but like the Naturally Slim program says, when and how you eat. So, if you are stress eating, etc., that is more of an issue, or if you are not listening to your satiety signals and overeating, that is probably more of an issue.

    I also saw a webinar by a physician, Robert Kushner, and I bought his book, Six Factors to Fit, where you do a lifestyle quiz and then tackle the behavioral components that you score the highest. Interesting, in the webinar, he said if you are a self-critic, you will never lose the weight. Hmm, could be a problem here. Also on the webinar he says he has clients that say post-menopause that it feels like a demon has possessed their body, LOL. The 6 factors are : self critic, reluctant exercise, fast pacer (lifestyle not eating time but probably related LOL), convenient diner, easily enticed eater, and all or nothing doer. So, I score high on self critic, moderately high on easily enticed eater and fast pacer. I really wish I could work with a CBT therapist to help me work through some of these issues. I’m just not sure where to begin. I also need to see my doctor for a thyroid recheck. It’s been stable, but you never know. It‘s so frustrating.

    Also on this Obesity Action Coalition conference, Kevin Hall from the NIH talked about the heroic efforts it takes to lose and maintain weight. The body does resist weight loss and maintenance, and it’s not just the 3,500 calories in/out that works. There are many hormonal and metabolic factors at play.

    Exercise is super important, and there are many benefits to exercise and physical activity independently even in the absence of weight loss. So, you need to get some minimum activity for health, regardless of your weight. Any exercise is better than none, but at least an hour a day is better if you can do that If you are interested particularly in weight maintenance.

    I do Zumba by Zoom and it gets me outside an hour per day usually (except for today it was pouring so I was in my kitchen), and I have a TRX home system for resistance training that I also use outside on the deck where I can anchor it through the French doors. I also do some yoga. I use the treadmill desk pretty much everyday, too.

  • 3 years ago

    That's a great explanation, Lyfia. Thanks for sharing it.

  • 3 years ago

    This thread has spurred to to start Intermittent Fasting today. Since March I've gained about 5 pounds. Not a lot, I know, but I need to halt the creeping weight gain now!

    I'm going to limit my eating to noon to 8pm, which is pretty easy for me, since I'm not a big breakfast eater, and I'm not a regular coffee drinker. I know that black coffee is allowed, but when I do drink coffee I like a little cream in it.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    TM, have you tried oat milk creamers? I find them to be rich and satisfying.

    As far as how IF works, Google explains better than I: "During intermittent fasting, the periods when you are not eating give the body time to lower insulin levels, which reverses the fat-storing process. “When insulin levels drop, the process goes in reverse and you lose fat.” Two other hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are also at work."

    I discovered IF by accident at a time when I was finding that, though I've always enjoyed breakfast, I was left feeling full and bloated regardless of what or the amount I ate and wishing I could omit breakfast without harming my health. It was then that a video on IF showed up in my youtube sidebar, long before it was as popular as it is now. I almost passed it by but was too curious about my mind... crazy, new, probably harmful weight loss fad. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it was o.k. to omit breakfast and that there were actual health benefits associated with it. I don't weigh myself so have no idea what the loss was but people were asking and at my next physical my doctor commented on a weight loss. I learned then that my trim, fit doctor and his equally trim and fit wife are longtime enthusiastic fans of IF and he reiterated the health benefits associated with it. Ironically, I didn't start IF for weight loss but it was definitely an unexpected benefit.

    I try to be mindful about what I'm putting in my body. For example, before indulging in something less healthy (I have a sweet tooth), I try and pause for a moment and visualize how it will actually taste; will it be as tasty as I imagine or will one, two or even no bites suffice? I also mentally review how the less than healthy ingredients will benefit my body. I may still indulge but not to the degree that I would had I not taken a moment to consider what I'm doing to my body.

  • 3 years ago

    Have lost weight on WW twice and both times kept it off for a number of years. When I have gained weight back it has been late fall vacations followed the holidays that have done me in.

    Gained a bit last holiday season followed by the quarantine, and I am having an incredibly difficult time with WW this go around. It is not the program, it is me. Even with all the fruits and veggies my sweet tooth had been getting the best of me.

    That said when I stick to WW it has been the best program for me. It is very flexible. It is fairly easy to eat out, or as of late bring in, on the program. And you can always eat free points.

  • 3 years ago

    Forgot to mention I am not a meeting attendee when I am in WW, just the app with no emails or messaging. Although this works for others, not my cup of tea.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I've had to learn the hard way that, at least for me, if I'm not going to ww meetings (they call them "workshops" now), I'm not doing the program.

  • 3 years ago

    Question—-Whether you’re tracking calories or WW points within a 24 hour period, does it matter when you eat those calories?

    I can see why normally you might take in fewer calories with IF when you cut off eating by 7pm, but if you’re eating a set amount of calories per day, why would it matter if you stop eating at 7 or 11?

  • 3 years ago

    Because it gives your body more time to break down the food. You might be busy walking around the house, doing varieties activities.

    At 11:00 most likely you are heading to bed.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Joanie, I've seen conflicting data on it. My nutrition action letter says it doesn't matter when you consume calories. Studies they cited showed it made no significant difference in weight.

    In the past I've seen a study that suggested that the calories you consume in the a.m. are more likely to be burned off rather than stored...something to do with the circadian rhythm. The old advice was always to breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.

    A recent WW weekly had an article on why it's important to eat breakfast. Now IIRC they used correlation more than causation noting that people who ate breakfast weigh less than those who don't. Whether that's an activity thing (up early enough to need breakfast?), a health/nutrition awareness thing, or some other factor, don't know.

    OTOH, Schwarzbein and other endos involved with diabetes have argued that smaller more frequent meals are actually better for you as it tends to keep your blood sugar levels more consistent throughout the day rather than the sugar highs and lows, preventing you from getting too hungry and then overeating.

    Anecdotally, my GF has been trying the IF to eat between 11 and 7 and she says she gets so hungry that when she does start eating, she tends to overdo it.

    I think a lot depends on individual metabolism and eating personalities.

  • 3 years ago

    "During intermittent fasting, the periods when you are not eating give the body time to lower insulin levels, which reverses the fat-storing process. “When insulin levels drop, the process goes in reverse and you lose fat.” Two other hormones, ghrelin and leptin, are also at work."

    What say you, that is very interesting. Insulin plays such a part in our weight. I will have to read up on that. I know many studies have been done on this, I just need to research. Like I mentioned, I do not like breakfast early and really, eating late in the AM, I usually just snack (fruit, yogurt, salad, nuts and a bit of cheese, etc. for lunch later in the afternoon. I don't think I can hold out till noon to eat, so the 11 - 8 time frame wouldn't be best for me (prefer not to eat that late on a regular basis in the evenings anyway), but 11 - 7 is right up my alley! Thanks for the explanation. And no, I have not tried the oat milk creamers, something else to look into.

  • 3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I prefer to be finished eating for the day earlier than 7pm. I sleep better if I have not eaten for a few hours before sleep. I do not eat before 10 am but I do have coffee with a splash of cream before work. My weight loss has slowed down now after more than a year of this schedule. However, i do not have diet restrictions other than keeping the same amount of vitamin k per day. I miss kale :(.

    I try and stay mindful to eat well but do have cream, breads and a cookie regularily and even through the holidays and low estrogen due to perimenopause I have maintained my weight and am still losing inches. I think I like IF because my body has a schedule, I am never longing to eat and I no longer snack at night and I do not miss it. I think I might mix weight watcher's into the mix too.

  • 3 years ago

    So sorry to be delayed returning to the post-- life intervenes. The only reason i can be here now is that an upgrade took down VPN, Skype, Sharepoint, Teams and a bunch of other systems. :)

    There are so many things that influence weight-- maintenance and loss-- that i just don't think there is ONE way that works for all. I am also peri- tending to full on-- menopausal and have always had an underactive and now completely shot thryoid --none of this helps but I can't let it discourage me either. It's not anything new for me though-- I have always eaten less than those around me and struggled with my weight much more.

    I DO have terrible eating patterns-- not usually unhealthy foods but bad patterns. I think i mentioned before that I don't tend to get crazy hungry so i can go long periods without eating. Yesterday was especially hectic and I ended up having only coffee in the morning and 2 bites of chicken (baked only with salsa verde) in the late evening. I am vowing to do better today... but it is shaping up to be another hectic day.

    IF really seems to be tailored to me-- to my lifestyle and my health challenges. I think the fact that I felt energized when I did it a year ago is a sign that it is beneficial for me. I just need to figure out my coffee situation.

    Thanks for all your insights and experiences! Seems Likes and Thank yous aren't working for me right now. Sending them out with wishes for success for each of you!

  • 3 years ago

    I was lucky with my metabolism until my mid 30's, then started picking up some extra pounds. By the time I'd gained 15 pounds, I realized I needed to to something, to not see my weight continue to rise. Around that time Dolly Parton, who'd become noticeably slimmer, was responding to interviewers, about how she'd lost the weight. She said that she still ate everything she always did, but in smaller portions, and that alone enabled her to lose the extra 25 pounds and keep it off.

    So anything I ate, I just downsized my portion from what I would have normally eaten. Within 2 months I'd dropped the 15 spare pounds, and did not want to lose any more, so I simply increased portion size slightly, to maintain my goal weight, but not lose any more. That has worked for me for the last 30 years, as I've only fluctuated a few pounds. I've never exercised formally, but having been an active SAHM, then working at a pre-school Daycare, and now watching my pre-school grandchildren every other day, no doubt is equivalent to formal exercise, lol.

    Obviously it wouldn't be good if one has a tendency toward unhealthy food, and just cuts down portion sizes. Sure, they might lose a bit of weight, but would still be eating unhealthy. I'd always eaten a pretty good balance, so just downsizing portions was my key to keeping belly fat at bay. If you tend to eat healthy, and do get some kind of exercise (formal or just constantly up and about) but still need to drop some spare weight, perhaps more consideration to portion size, will do the job!

  • 3 years ago

    I have definitely found that, for myself, what I eat is just as important as how much I eat. So, I have gotten much more alert about avoiding simple sugars entirely, minimizing artificial sweeteners and white flour (and white potatoes) of any kind but especially wheat (perhaps I am a bit gluten intolerant, because issues with constipation are definitely related to my gluten intake), and making sure that I get several servings of vegetables daily.

    It does appear that the premise of the South Beach Diet is true for me, since my birthday cake sent me into a massive bread craving and weight gain. - something I have noticed before. I am still in withdrawal from that!

  • 3 years ago

    Joaniepoanie I would say for me the answer to if it matters when I eat the calories FOR SURE. I tend to eat protein with dinner, carbs for breakfast--when not "dieting". I was much for successful when I reversed that; had last night's dinner for breakfast and ate a bowl of cereal for supper...I have always adhered to no eating after dinner so a fast of 12-13 hours is part of my just normal routine. I would not say that has made an iota of difference for me.

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