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Dieting Dilemmas

I need to lose some weight. No crisis situation facing me but the buck has to stop somewhere and my doc recommends a 40 pound weight loss.

I am facing some challenges that I'm having a hard time getting answers for:

- I stay hungry all of the time. I was that way even as a skinny kid, when I could eat whatever I wanted and could literally vacuum a table clean. Now, I can get up from a Chinese buffet at noon and hit another buffet at dinnertime, and this is when I am NOT dieting. When I diet, the hunger gets worse, almost unbearable. A dietician at work (I work at Johns Hopkins Hospital) says I'm not getting enough fiber in my diet. Eating fruit and veggies - three apples a day at least - isn't helping. What can I do to put more fiber in my diet or increase the feeling of satiation?

- I do not eat sweets. Bread is what does me in so far as dieting is concerned. Even switching to all-grain bread with lots of fiber, I find bread almost impossible to stay away from. How can I satisfy my need to get high on bread?

- Many references and friends advise drinking lots of water. I am one of those people who detests the "taste" of water. For most of my life, I have gotten most of my liquid intake from diet decaffeinated sodas - at least one 2 liter bottle per day (unsweetened, decaf iced tea during the summer) but I worry about sodium intake and the ingestion of artifical sweeteners in diste soda. What are some things to add to water to make it more palatable?

- I have had the most success with the Eades "Protein Power" diet but it is hard for me to stick with suggested portion sizes. It was practically impossible for me to stay away from bread, potatoes, pasta, beans long term.

I am trying to work on exercising more - it has always been like hard labor. No "runners high" here. Also, I am getting a fitness consultation from a wellness program here at work, but I would appreciate any feedback you guys might have.

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  1. Honestly, the hunger part gets better. If you are eating a healthy diet, healthy portions, exercising regularly. Your body will get used to eating less calories over time. I do find that eating small amounts every 2-3 hours, combining protein and carbs, helps. Try not to eat only 3 big meals. Water helps. See below.
    Combine a small portion of whole grain bread with a small amount of protein. You will feel more satiated.
    Water will help with the hunger as well. Often times thirst is mistaken as water. Have you tried putting lemon, lime, cucumber slices in your water? Practice makes perfect (in many areas), but I find that with water, the more you drink, the more you crave. So practice. It will make a huge difference if you drink at least 1 litre of water a day. I drink 1-2 litres usually.
    I am not familiar with Eades "Protein Powder", but generally anything like that will not work in the long run for the reason you state - sticking with it.
    My advice re the exercise, is commit to 10 min each day. The 10 min will not be 10 min, because as soon as you start doing something, it will last longer than you think. Even if you start with 20 min a day and add slowly, it is better than nothing.
    Try to find something you enjoy doing - swimming, biking, gardening. All the little tricks they talk about make a difference - take the stairs, instead of the escalator, park further away and walk, etc. I happen to have fallen in love with running, but it that's not for you, find something that does it for you. Mixing it up is good too. Seeing the results is good incentive to keep it up.
    I think I mentioned practice makes perfect already. I really find, in my case, it's true. Try, try again and eventually the habits stick.
    Oh, and try things in small increments. Trying to do too much, too soon, is a recipe for disaster, because it's not realistic. Make small changes. They add up over time.

    1. I can't speak to all points, but at least can for a few:

      Hungry all the time: First, make sure that you are more physically active. If you're not moving around some during the day, you will tend to get hungry about every two hours. It doesn't have to be strenuous exercise, but when you start feeling that "I'm starting to get hungry" edge (not the full blown I'm starving pains), get up and move. Go walk around the block, walk around the building, step outside, stand up and do some stretches. Anything to kind of jump-start your body. I find that this can distract me from hunger for an extra half hour. Hey - every minute counts.

      Snack a good bit. Grab a box of those pre-packaged 90 calorie cracker or cookie packs and have one of those with a piece of fruit, every two hours, if you have to. You'd only get a couple hundred calories, but I find that a variety of food together (peanut butter crackers and an apple) do me a lot better than just an apple. I'm one of those that fruit just never fills up. So snack often, but keep it smaller, controlled portions and make sure there's a satisfying variety of crunch with soft, salt with sweet, etc.

      I don't like water either, unless I'm working out. So I drink seltzer water. I like the fizz, it gets me my water, and I can add mint, lime, lemon, strawberries - whatever to it and I actually enjoy it. Just check it and make sure you're getting seltzer with no sodium.

      Portion size - if you really have issues with it, you might try doing some frozen dinners off and on for your evening meal. They're very low calories, very small portion sizes, and they can help kind of kick-start you into learning what portion sizes are appropriate.

      Exercise - find something you don't mind doing, and if you can, get an iPod or some kind of portable music to take along with you and play things that make you want to move your body. It's amazing how much better my workouts are when I have good tunes. You don't have to jog. Walk briskly instead. Take some private lessons for something you have always wanted to try - for example, I always wanted to learn how to kickbox, so I took private lessons and have added it to my workout and it rocks!

      Good luck! I'm sure others will have some other really good advice for you.

      1. I take juice that I really like and dilute it with plain sparkling water. Just a little bit flavors the water into something less plain.
        I also get satisfaction from crunchy things that have fiber, carrots- celery, Brocc etc. I really like to dip - thats my downfall with the healthy stuff so I've switched to rice wine vinegar
        Really though we need a certain amount of carbo's its what we put on them thats bad.
        I find when I'm dieting if I compeletly deny myself I have about 0 success so I start my meal with a huge salad( dressing is the issue here, none or I make my own) -. Then I have a really small portion of something I really enjoy. Then I fill the void with blanched veggies. I always try to make sure I serve one thing that I can eat enough of to satiate my appetite without it being a caloric disaster. Like I'll have a 6 bite portion of pasta and a heaping pile of veggies almost dry - just a smidge of olive oil and garlic, S and P. I let myself eat a lot of the veggies but not the pasta ... I feel full and my mind got its pleasure too.

        1. As far as being hungry all the time, I found I had success munching not just on apples and fruit, but on veggies like celery and carrots. They don't have the sugar of an apple, and with celery, you can literally eat all you want since (supposedly) the calories in celery are burned from the action of eating it. It's not fun or tasty, but it works. You can also try fiber drinks, but I have no personal experience with those.

          If you dislike the taste of water, you can always add a bit of lemon or lime to it to create a different taste. Water does indeed help you feel full and may help you lose weight. The body tends to hoard water when it's not receiving enough, so something like soda, even if it's diet, may be keeping that water weight on as it dehydrates you.

          You don't need to stay away from ANY food, as long as you control those portions, which is always the hardest part, and certain toppings/sauces.

          Exercise is difficult at the beginning of the dieting process. The key is to not overextend yourself and possibly cause a lingering injury (I had shin splints) that would adversely affect your efforts. Take the long term approach and you'll be better for it. Look up a calorie calculator to see how much you need in a day, then find an activity calculator and see how many calories you're burning during a variety of activities. Calorie counting isn't fun, but it helped me drop over 60 lbs over the last year.

          1. I recommend the flavored seltzer waters as well - look for zero sodium, zero calories. You need to limit your sodas to 2 12 oz diet sodas a day. This is coming from a person who lost 120 pounds. You need to eat 5-6 times a day and get exercise. Best of luck to you.

            1. Try adding fiber (and staying full) with beans. Personally I love fat free canned refrieds, zipped up with a little green salsa and light sour cream. If you eat a whole can, trust me, you'll be full for a long time.

              On the water tip, sugar free kool-aid is my best friend.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Oh Robin

                Oh yes! That's one that I didn't remember to mention - with your goal of trying to fill up and get plenty of fiber - BEANS! They are tasty, good for you, and very filling. Try black beans simmered with onion and garlic served with just a little rice, red beans, white bean soup, Pinto beans simmered and served with some chiles - they really are very satisfying and filling.

                1. re: Andiereid

                  And Beano works wonders to keep the gas at bay.

              2. A lot of the previous posters covered everything I wanted to say, but -- I highly recommend sprouted breads - Ezekiel makes a good one, so does Trader Joes. It's a whole wheat bread but gives a great protein boost too.
                I lost 30 pounds last year eating Salad for lunch 5 days a week -- use tons of lettuce or baby spinach, tomatoes, cukes, or any low sugar veggies (avoid beets and corn). then throw in some lean protein - chicken, beans, or tuna. Make a low sugar, and fat dressing by mixing lemon juice w/ olive oil. You can also use white wine vinegar. By using low sugar ingredients you can have a huge huge salad with negligible fat and calories.

                As for the water thing - celestial seasonings has these great little packets of zingers that you can put into bottled water.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Marianna215

                  I did the salad a day thing as well, and what I found helped immensely was instead of dousing your salad in dressing of ANY kind, dip your fork in a bit before you take each bite. You'll use far less and still get the flavor you seek.

                  1. re: MeAndroo

                    Excellent salad dressing trick, that fork dip. I learned it at Weight Watchers. Never, ever order a salad dressed. Always request dressing on the side.

                    Lots of great suggestions already. My greatest realization, which has helped me avoid putting weight back on, was that going out for lunch several days a week brought in lots of calories. Bring your own food to work!. (Saves a lot of $$ as well).

                    I reward myself by going out to eat 1 lunch a week. Usually, I have 1/2 the food bagged up, and it becomes my lunch the next day. Never be embarrassed to ask for a doggie bag!! Stay away from buffets....it is too easy to try everything, and feel like you need to eat lots to get your $$ worth. In lieu of giving them up, take just a taste of each item.
                    Now I mix a shake of Slimfast Chocolate Royale flavored powder with a cup of skim milk, and bring that to work. I put it in the freezer of our little fridge, and it is slushy by lunch time. My daily chocolate fix. I also bring a baggie of 30 pistachios for my a.m. snack (don't laugh too hard...this is from the South Beach Diet Book. The only one I have ever bought. The first two weeks are a great "kick-start"). And a couple of pieces of seasonal fruit for the afternoon.
                    Sugar snap peas are more tasty than celery and carrots.
                    Breakfast is either a South Beach spinach omelet or a bowl of Kashi Go-Lean (lots of fiber and protein) with some T.J.'s dried wild blueberries and raw almonds on top, with skim milk.
                    I also switched from high calorie o.j. to V-8. The only time I drink o.j. is at dinner, with a ratio of about 8 oz. ice water & 2 oz. of o.j.

                    I sincerely disagree with malibumike re. portion control. Your nutritionist will help you learn what is a "portion" They might have some plastic food examples so you can see what portions of various food look like. Measure & weigh. You won't have to do it forever, as you will quickly learn. For example, the soup plate I use for cereal won't hold more than 1 cup.
                    Good luck,

                2. I am one that does not agree with portion control, this has everything to do with will power and some just dont have it. I had been very succesful in losing weight by eating very low fat or fat free as much as I want to feel full, remember there are only 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrates but 9 calories per gram of fat. As an example I made very low fat sandwiches made of turkey, fat free mayo, fat free cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and when burried altogether you dont notice the fat free stuff so much. Also try fat free cottage cheese and yogurt, spagetti with low fat sauce is also low calorie. It is a simple matter of calories in and calories out, 3500 calories is equal to a pound of fat. Excersize is good and you should do it but will not resuslt in much weight loss by itself. At an average of 100 calories burned per mile you would have to run 35 miles just to loose 1 pound. If you do the low fat/no fat say 4 days per week then you can reward yourself the other 2 or 3 days a week with your favorite foods.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: malibumike

                    Portion control is a step towards a lifestyle change, as opposed to a "diet," which is inherently temporary until it becomes a behavior. Long-term weight management is nearly impossible without understanding what a serving is and knowing how much you're eating each meal.

                    That said, if you can go the majority of your life with low fat/no fat days, you probably don't have much to worry about.

                  2. I pick a fruit or vegetable that I let myself eat as much as I want of (celery, apples, whatever you like that's as few calories a serving as possible) and really fill up on it all day long, all week long. Whenever I'm hungry outside of meals, I eat that particular food. Not bread!

                    And I agree with others that a slice of water or half a strawberry in a pitcher of water makes a huge difference.

                    1. My advice to the OP is to experiment with his diet and exercise regime and figure out what works for him and his body chemistry. People's body chemistries are not necessarily the same, and what may work for one person may or may not work for another.

                      For myself, for a long time I subscribed to the recommended low-fat diet, and I had a very hard time losing weight. I was only able to lose weight when I started adding fat back into my diet (the so-called "good fats" like peanuts, avocadoes, olive oil, etc.). Without the fat in my diet, I had a very hard time ever feeling satiated and would constantly feel hungry, but once I added it back in (and cut back on refined carbohydrates), it was much easier for me to feel satisfied, and I didn't need to keep seeking large portions of food.

                      1. I've recently started trying to lose weight. Here are a few things that are helping me:

                        1. Exercise. My schedule at this time is Monday and Wednesday: Tony Little's Hips, Butt, and Thighs video, Tuesday and Thursday: Tony Little's Abs Toning and Deduction video along with some upper body strength training using 5 lb weights, and Friday a re-cap of both videos. I live in northern Indiana so the weather hasn't been really conducive to outdoor activities. On the days I can, I also fit in a walk with the kids after school. As I strengthen my body and accustom it to working out, i will change the things I am doing. If I get bored, I change it up with something else.

                        2. I watch my fat grams and carbs. For breakfast, I eat oatmeal with fruit (canned pumpkin pie mix is good! lol), or today I had a banana sandwich on whole wheat with low fat mayo. Lunch is a salad with either a boiled egg, boiled shrimp, or tuna. Snacks are low fat yogurt and fruit. At dinner, I eat a small portion of meat, one serving of rice, potatoes, or pasta and either more salad or steamed veggies to fill me up.

                        3. I eat something when I get hungry. I make sure it's something low fat and I don't engorge myself but if I get too hungry, I know I'll overeat.

                        4. Still working on the water issue. The tap water here is just awful! I am going to check into renting a water cooler from Culligan. If that's too expensive, then I'll just buy several gallons when I'm at the grocery store.

                        I have only lost 4 lbs in three weeks but I know that I have built some muscle and can tell a difference in some of my clothes. For me this is a lifestyle change. I refuse any of the fad diets because I know they won't work long term. This way of eating may be a fad to some but to me, it's about making healthier food choices for life. More fruits and veggies, less meats, less butter, salad dressings, etc. are only going to be better for me in the long run. Cutting out all fat is a detriment so I'm just cutting back on my intake and the types of fat.

                        1. Re: Water. Like the folks above have said, sodium free seltzer water (or soda water) is much better for you than diet soda. And if you get sick of lemons and limes, try adding some slices of fresh ginger. It's spicy, clean-tasting, and very healthy.

                          And while you might lose weight drastically at first, it could easily be retained water weight. So don't freak out if a couple weeks into dieting and exercising your weight plateaus. That is normal as you lose water and gain muscle. In fact, stay away from the scale and keep an eye on the mirror. You'll see the long term difference before your scale will.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mojoeater

                            splash of pomegranete juice in you sparkling water.... helps offset the price of that too..

                          2. I managed to lose weight from about 215 to 155. I've since added roughly 20lbs, almost all muscle, over the past year and a half.

                            The main thing for me was to count calories. I tracked everything I ate online at fitday.com and aimed for 1800-2200 calories a day. This was before I really knew as much about fitness etc that I know today. I did however know to cut out junk food like soda, refined sugar, etc. I didn't know about white bread/pasta, eating 5-6 times a day, and how fat in your diet is not bad for you. Fat may have more calories than carbs on a gram per gram basis but you generally need much less to feel as full, and it doesn't spike your insulin the way carbs can.

                            Here is a source for a lot more info: http://forums.menshealth.com/eve/foru...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: luniz

                              I hate to admit it, but counting calories and tracking everything I eat (I use www.sparkpeople.com) is what's working for me, too. It's really helping me be more aware of portions by being hnsest with myself about what I am eating. At the beginning of the year, I got hooked on raw almonds, dates and apricots as a snack - I was munching on it all day long. Once I started tracking it, my daily does is 24 almonds, 5 dates and 10 apricots.

                              I dring herb tea (peppermint in particular) during the day. Helps with the hunger pangs, keeps my tummy settled.

                              Lastly, exercise. Weight training for toning and aim for 60-90 minutes of cardio a week. I started the "Couch to 5K" running regimen last October. I struggled (I have never been athletic, and running's been painful), but I've stuck with it and can now do a weekly 5K (running at least a solid 2 miles...). I have been tracking the exercise as well, and the strength and time improvements are very motivating.

                              Bottom line - persistence pays off. It's not easy, but consisency, persistence and dedication will create new habits o replace (or improve) the old. Good luck!

                            2. In addition to the great advice everyone's given so far:

                              always hungry: me too! Drinking hot tea sometimes helps; it can also subsitute for some of the water you're trying to get into your diet. Also, I find that making really healthy/low-calorie snacks readily available helps. Cut up fruits and veggies and leave them in the fridge so you can grab a couple of carrots or sticks of celery and try to curb your hunger that way.

                              breads/portion sizes--work slowly to decrease. The next time you have a piece of bread, cut 1/4 or even 1/8 off. Remove a little more the next time; repeat as necessary. This technique will work with many of your usual eats. It's very difficult to cut down drastically, and for many people, that difficulty leads to falling off the wagon.

                              As for exercise, you need to figure out what is going to motivate you. Instead of using the free, crappy gym in my apartment building, I pay for the really nice gym a few blocks away. Good equiment and lots of choices helps me, but what really makes me go there is the thought of wasting so much money on a gym membership that I'm not making good use of. Maybe variety is your thing--doing a different sort of exercise every day. Maybe group classes will work for you. As others have said, you don't need to run or jog--join a dance class, go to yoga, bicycle, swim, walk, rollerblade, play tennis, whatever. Keep trying activities until you find ones you like, or at least ones you dislike less.

                              also, don't discount the value of lifting weights. Weightlifting will help you slim down by making your body more efficient. Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, and adding muscle will make it easier for you to do cardio. Also, the changes you see and feel from weightlifting (after the initial weeks of excrutiating pain) can be a major motivator--seeing muscle peeking through the fat can help you drag your butt to the gym or refuse that chocolate chip cookie!

                              good luck!

                              1. For the hunger thing, check out a book called "Volumetrics" - it talks about making foods more nutritious and filling by adding more veggies and low-cal ingredients. Also, lean protein is your friend - I find I'm always less hungry on the days I have eggs (or eggwhites) for brekkie.

                                I'm a bread addict too, and I find I can't live without it a single day. So my advice is to allow yourself a couple slices of whole-grain bread every day, or a smaller portion of white bread less often. So you can have a sandwich at lunch OR toast for breakfast OR a roll with dinner. That way you won't break down from the deprivation and go on a bread binge.

                                Water tastes better when it has bubbles and lemon or lime. I sometimes resort to Crystal Light.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: piccola

                                  crystal light is my shameful secret. When I quit smoking I developed a terrible sweet tooth, wanting something sweet a few times a day. I often use crystal light to curb those cravings. it's not particularly good, but it works.

                                  1. re: nc213

                                    Hey, its a whole heck of a lot better than cigarettes! And better than many other options you might choose to curb a sweet tooth, too. Don't feel bad about it.

                                  2. re: piccola

                                    I have no shame when it comes to my Crystal Light love. It's the only reason I manage to drink "water" at all. I went through a four year phase in college where I literally only drank water. Then I went to grad school and crashed HARD back into diet sodas. I couldn't manage to claw my way back to the "just water" world, so I finally admitted defeat and compromised with Crystal Light. Haven't looked back since! I figure it's gotta be better than soda.

                                    And dude, some of the flavors are pretty good. I like the strawberry kiwi, and I'm currently digging the new green tea flavors.

                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                      I actually like the slightly sour ones like the raspberry ice flavour and the lemonade.

                                  3. Re: Water--a friend of mine swears by granulated lemon/lime juice to make water more palatable. It's sold under the brand name Pure Lemon (or Lime).

                                    1. ok...there are so many responses already...it's so nice to know that people care and want to help each other. I too need to lose as so many of us do.

                                      My advice to you on the water...whenever I go out, I ask for lime (usually get lemon because they don't have any). At home I also use a slice of cucumber, really is refreshing. Best wishes to you on your endeavor.

                                      1. I eat tons of fresh fruits and veggies; but even that gets old and you need a change once in awhile. One snack that works for me is air popped popcorn. It may take a few times to develop a true taste for it; but once you do, you can make make tons of it for a very filling low/no fat, low calorie snack.

                                        1. Relative to the water issue, maybe you could google carbonation and see if it's a good idea for you. I think there may be issues pertaining the health of bone and teeth.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: SweetPea

                                            I think you may be right about that; of course, compared to diet sodas, carbonated water would still be a step up regardless.

                                            1. re: SweetPea

                                              It's the phosphoric acid & caffeine that harms bones & teeth by reducing calcium levels in the body. You won't find either ingredient in sparkling waters. Some sparkling waters actually have relatively high levels of calcium, too.

                                              1. re: assorted

                                                Thanks. Is there a difference in sparkling water and carbonated water? I like the fizz of seltzer, but tend to shy away from it because of the calcium thing. Obvioulsy I didn't google carbonation.

                                            2. I work with a nutritionist who is fantastic. Her program does not count calories. It's all about balance and portion control. For example, I can have 8-9 oz of lean protein per day, 2 carbs (one slice of bread = 1 carb; 3 oz of white wine = 1 carb; 1 small baked potato = 1 carb, etc; three small fruits per day (not three of the same), and lots of different vegetables. But, it doesn't stop there. She taught me which fishes are higher in fat, how much of a fruit or vegetable I can have (some are high in sugar), and then there's combining -- never eat a protein or carb alone -- they are combined. There is a late afternoon snack allowed during the day so that you're not starving at dinner time. Once I adhere to the program and get in balance -- it can take two weeks -- I am not hungry. It's plenty of food. If you just eat a carb or a high sugar fruit or vegetable alone or in large portion, it turns to sugar and makes you more hungry. So, there is a system to learn. I've learned about how to order in a restaurant or at a party so that I can go and eat anywhere. And, perhaps most important, it's a way of life, not a diet. Finally, I have learned not to discuss it with anyone. Just do it. Otherwise, people comment on the pros and cons of what you're eating and they sometimes have their own agendas at heart.... Good luck!!!

                                              1. Exercise: I'm a walker and like to listen to recorded books (from the library).
                                                Water: There have been recent threads on zipping up water and also on herbal teas (that hot tea tip is a good one). Selzer for me.
                                                Food: I crave salt and spice so platefuls of spicy vegetable preps are helpful. To my surprise I eat a lot less bread and pasta than I used to and don't really miss it that much. Change is possible.
                                                Now I need to take my own advice.

                                                1. Thanks all. These suggestions are most helpful.

                                                  Exercise is the primary gear that I can't seem to get spinning. Years ago, when I did the Protein Power diet, I lost about 20 pounds and had tons of energy. I used the energy to fuel a lot of walking and biking, which helped power the energy>exercise cycle cycle even more but once I fell off the wagon with the diet, everything came to a a screeching halt.

                                                  I have already started cutting back on the bread intake by making half-sandwiches with all grain bread. I used to eat a lot of Wasa Crispbread back when I was low-carbing it under the Eades diet, but I'm having a hard time warming up to it now.

                                                  The hardest thing to deal with now is water. I am trying to find a non-artificially sweetened alternative and I appreciate the feedback on slices of lemon, lime, whatever. We have good bottled water at work and even that tastes bad to me. Being a Southern boy, maybe I can soon start making iced tea with decaf, no sugar or sweetener added.

                                                  I have an appointment with the fitness and health people here at work on Friday. Thanks all!

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                                    how about adding some EmergenC (I think that is how you spell it). It comes in many flavors and in individual packets. Lots of vit. C and other good vitas. You can purchase at a health food store or Trader Joes sells it as well.

                                                    1. re: justagthing

                                                      love emergen-c. Find it very helpful for energy and it provides water soluable vitamins.
                                                      Great pick me up!!! lasts and isn't an energy drink thing.- Up and Down
                                                      they make a lo-cal no sugar one too.

                                                      1. re: coastie

                                                        i'd watch it with the emergen-c. you don't need to be getting 5000% of the rda of various vitamins on a regular basis.

                                                        1. re: wleatherette

                                                          Actually brought them to Doc before I started on them. Not sure what you mean by 5000%?? Maybe refering to high amounts of vitamin c and, B6, B12 - I asked....was told that I would get rid of those as in they don't build up and become toxic with normal use. I find them a good alternative to energy drinks and such...I work 10 -12 hours on a too regular basis. I get a good lift in the afternoon without a crash.
                                                          Its helpful to take a vitamin supplement that works together as many vitamins are dependent on another vitamin or minerals presence to work. I think its always good to check with doc - everyone has different needs.

                                                    2. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                                      Hey, I am not in perfect fitness so take this for what it's worth.

                                                      I too hated water, in fact, drinking a full glass used to make me nauseated. Now, however, I am a water fiend.

                                                      The way I made the transition was to start with savoury waters -- a splash of red wine vinegar was the most effective. For some reason, it helped with the sloshies. I also do well with A LOT of lemon in water (drink it with a straw to save your teeth) no weeine squeeze for me, I like a whole lemon's worth per 16oz of H2O -- with a little sea salt. I went thru a lot of Luizianne too.

                                                      It took some perserverence, but drinking water was one of those things I finally just decided I had to fix.

                                                      1. re: orangewasabi

                                                        long ago i also hated to drink water and for me, it was bottled water or a squeeze of lemon or lime that helped, but yes....i couldn't handle it in my younger days.

                                                    3. If you have developed some insulin resistance then what is happening is that your cells are not admitting insulin, which must accompany sugar in order for it to enter the cells and be turned into energy. The more carbohydrate you have in your meal, the more you will get a peak of blood sugar because the sugar can't get into the cells and you will quickly feel hungry because your body isn't getting the results you are supposed to get from food (feeling satisfied is one of the results you aren't getting). You don't want that to happen, so avoid a) obvious sugar b) anything made with white flour c) white potato d) white rice because b, c, and d will turn into a in your body. You want to avoid that peak so eat things that will slow down the whole process: eat whole grains, green vegetables, protein, cooked dried beans---and watch your portion sizes. A moderate amount of fresh fruit is good because its fiber slows down the sugar metabolism, but fruit juice is like a pot of sugar and has no fiber. Exercise is VERY VERY important, just as important as diet---find something you enjoy, like swimming or bicycling. Personally I find that exercise kills my appetite, so that helps. How can you avoid eating your favorite foods and how can you stay with an exercise regimen? Let yourself be privately smug and snotty, reminding yourself that SOME people don't have the self-discipline you do. More hints: don't have forbidden stuff in the house---give all your goodies away to the neighbors. Don't build your social life around food---rather than meet to have dinner, meet to walk together. Join a health club. Buy a pedometer so you can see how far you are actually walking, and walk briskly so that you break a sweat. Measure your portions using an actual measuring cup until you come to learn that half a cup of pasta is not three cups of pasta. Buy yourself one hour with a registered dietition (not a "nutritionist" who may or may not be credentialed) to get some guidelines. Don't ever use the phrases "Just this once" or "I deserve...". If you are prediabetic (40 million Americans are) go to about.com > the diabetes board and lurk a while. This will give you a window into the lifestyle of diabetics: you don't want to go there and will be highly motivated to chuck out the bonbons and get back on the treadmill. PS You asked about calorie-free drinks---try some herbal teas until you find one you like---I drink Bigelow's decaffeinated Constant Comment.

                                                      1. This is an addendum to my previous post: read nutritional labels with great dedication. You will be shocked at the amount of sugar in ready-to-eat cereal. Fresh fruit is also loaded with sugar---I used to think that a huge fruit salad was a great summertime lunch but now I know I can't tolerate the 100 grams or so of sugar. The problem isn't just about calories---when your body gets sugar, it will first use what it needs for immediate energy, then it will store some in your liver for future energy needs, then it will turn the rest into triglycerides (a fat) and store it as belly fat.

                                                        1. First of all, I wish you the best of luck. I recenly Weight Watchers, and I am struggling with some of the same things.

                                                          I've been eating Kellogg's All Bran with 2% milk for breakfast. A 1/2 cup serving with 1/2 cup of milk is suprisingly filling. I've been eating that for breakfast everyday, and it keeps me full until lunch.

                                                          My big fear was being hungry all the time. After the first couple of days, it got easier. I'm still hungry, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

                                                          I find fat-free salad dressing repulsive, all chemicals and goop. But regular salad dressings are like a day's worth of fat. I'm currently using a lowered-fat balsamic dressing (Safeway's O Organic Balsamic), and liking it. It's a good compromise.

                                                          I plan my breakfast and lunch the day before, and get it packed up in the evening. I even measure my cereal and milk into little containers. It seems a little weird, but having portioned, healthy food all ready makes it a lot easier to eat well at work.

                                                          Good luck!

                                                          1. For portion control: Use smaller/salad plates. Seriously. The size of plates has gone up over the years. I was shcocked by a report from an antiques dealer who regularly has people mistake dinner plates for salad plates. We tend to want to clean our plate, and then think we've eaten enough, so reducing plate size will help. Also, preplate your food. Make your meal, plate it, put leftovers in the fridge, then eat.

                                                            Exercise: Try a lot of different things. Exercise should be fun! You can also make small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Take up gardening, so you can have fresh veggies. Get push lawn mover. Any little change can have an impact.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Terrieltr

                                                              As someone who does it, let me say taking the stairs is not fun. :)

                                                              1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                Terrielltr, thanks for the input! But I have to say, after mowing 1.2 acres with a push lawn mower last year because cash was tight, I'd rather get a herd of sheep before doing that again, even though the thing was self-propelled.

                                                                Wait a minute...sheep....lamb chops....no, I couldn't do it to the sweet litttle things.

                                                                I AM anxiously looking forward to a garden, though. For the first time in a couple of decades, we have a house which has no trees in the back yard. Lots of sun and good soil.. Tomatoes will be grown for sure.

                                                                And Meandroo, I'm with you. The fact that I work in a hospital is a plus, though, for I figure if I need CPR as a result of climbing stairs, I'm in good company : )

                                                              2. Soup. Lots and lots of soup.

                                                                1. Several things have worked for me:

                                                                  Lean Cuisines for lunch almost every day. At first it just seemed like a microdot of food, but I learned to spread it out on a plate and it looks like a lot. There's another thread somewhere about LCs, they are really pretty good. Some people add steamed veggys or a salad, I've found after the first week or two that the LC itself was plenty.

                                                                  Portion control. I figure if I really haven't taken enough, I can go back for a few bites. Most of the time I'm plenty full with what I have. In a restaurant I calculate right away which part of the dish I'm going to take home before I even take a bite.

                                                                  Eat slowly. I try to put my fork down between bites and either take a drink, fuss with my napkin, or something. I also try to take small bites and stretch the meal out. If I eat too fast I don't get the 'that's enough' feeling in time and that's when I overdo.

                                                                  Keep busy and away from the refrigerator. If I'm on the go all day, I actually never feel very hungry. Could just be me, but if I'm sitting around watching TV the hunger pangs are almost overwhelming. If that hits, I go for a Diet Pepsi. Or a drive.

                                                                  Don't sweat a screwup. We're all going to fall off the wagon now and then. Just go back to your usual routine right away.

                                                                  A quick walk at lunch. Just 10 minutes around the building to clear my head and get my heart moving, I figure it's better than 10 minutes surfing the 'Net. I also walk when I play golf and carry my bag, I hate exercising too.

                                                                  I lost 25 pounds in about 9 months just by doing this and I really haven't put any of it back. It's just how I eat now. I don't feel deprived at all.

                                                                  Good luck, there are so many good tips here I'm sure you'll succeed! We're rooting for you!

                                                                  1. My doctor told me last September that I needed to lose 40 lbs.as well. I followed his advice of starting the day with a bowl of plain oatmeal and getting in a 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week. I have not changed anything else and as of today I've lost 22 lbs. I just saw him last week and he's happy with my progress. I've found that the oatmeal really fills me up and provides that extra fiber. Sometimes I will even microwave a bowl of it around 3:30PM or so if I am craving food. It's a nice full feeling without feeling bloated and lethargic.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Chrispy75

                                                                      WOW! Thats quite an achievement. I like oatmeal too. Tomorrow I start doing this...

                                                                      1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                                                        If you find that increasing your fiber intake doesn't help with the persistent hunger, eat some protein. A hard boiled egg or a slice of roast beef wrapped around a cornichon is usually enought to keep hunger at bay. An apple with a spoonful of peanut butter is amazingly filling too. Good luck with your mission!

                                                                        1. re: hrhboo

                                                                          Been doing the hard boiled egg trick, but mainly because i LOVE hard boiled eggs...

                                                                          1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                                                            Great! Snacking on protein is so much more filling to me. I can happily devour a whole loaf of bread but there's only so many eggs a girl can eat! Doing this helped me lose over 80lbs and keep it off.

                                                                            1. re: hrhboo

                                                                              I could eat ten hard boiled eggs at a sitting. I just plain love 'em...