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Your Favorite Weight Loss Tricks and Recipes

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What helps you loose weight or maintain your weight? Here's a few of mine:

Roasted, mashed cauliflower:

Breakfast of 1 slice of wheat toast, ripe tomato, and turkey bacon

Popsicles

A big bowl of TJ frozen brussel sprouts with a little olive oil and grated parm

Having protein with each meal

Turkey peperoni slices

A TJ chicken burger on a sandwich thin for lunch

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  1. I've been following the Weight Watcher's Points Plus Program since 11/10, and have lost 25 pounds. Not a huge success, but slow and steady progress. There is a thread "Weight Watcher Foodies, what are you cooking?" on the Home Cooking Board. Some great websites I have found for healthy, weight watcher friendly recipes are: Gina's Skinny Kitchen, Slender Kitchen and Hungry Girl , and Three Fat Chicks on a Diet, along with the Weight Watcher's Site. thanks for sharing your suggestions as well!

    15 Replies
    1. re: sunflwrsdh

      25lbs??? That's a HUGE success!! Congratulations

      1. re: sunflwrsdh

        I'm a Lifer at WW for over 5 years now. Still attend meetings, altho' I don't really track anymore. I lost 75 lbs on my own years ago and then another 30 on WW. I second all your sites except Hungry Girl--while I do get the e-mails and have 2 of the cookbooks (didn't buy the newest one), there are few recipes there that use enough "real food" for me. I do love the thread on the Home Cooking board, altho' I seldom post there. Congrats on your weight loss!

        1. re: sunflwrsdh

          congrats on your weight loss. i'm a ww member, too. lost 47 lbs. the only site i don't use is hungry girl. i don't deprivem yself of anything. and i practice portion control. which i really think is what ww is all about.....

          oh, and exerisize. those bastards at ww want you to eat sensible portions of healthy food and exersize....

          1. re: sunflwrsdh

            Don't forget Emily Bites. Some of the best recipes I've tried.

            1. re: chicgail

              I just recently discovered Emily Bites, and I like her very much:)

            2. re: sunflwrsdh

              My everyday rules to maintain are to :

              Avoid processed foods (frozen, mixes, fast food, mass produced cookies, chips, margarin, etc)

              Keep pointless sugar to a minimum. I love a sweetened iced coffee, but don't take any sugar in my hot coffee or tea, no soda. When I want something sweet, I get something really wonderful and worth the splurge.

              Lots of whole wheat pasta, brown rice and wheat bread.

              Low fat protiens.

              Lots of fruit and veggies.

              Tons of water. 100% juice mixed with Perrier.

              As long as I'm eating well on a regular basis, when I want something fried, fattening, bad for me, whatever, it's not a big deal ~ but eating that way is not a way of life. It's all about balance and eating good food. Great cheese and cured meats aren't splurges, but I always have them with lots of fruit.

              When I need to drop a few pounds, I do yogurt, Grape Nuts and berries every morning, fruit, veggies, chicken and brown rice and nothing but water (other than my morning coffee with no sugar) and it always works.

              1. re: NOLAcarrot

                and after a while, your palate will adust -- we've been doing a lot of out-and-about lately, and I hit my saturation on Coca-Cola about 4 days ago...been drinking bottled water since.

                Hubby bought a bag of chips to munch on this afternoon (highway rest stop=cheap crappy chips), and I almost gagged on the chemically taste...amazing how much you taste when you stop eating processed foods.

                1. re: NOLAcarrot

                  The Q is how you define "lots" in this sentence: "Lots of whole wheat pasta, brown rice and wheat bread."

                  Reasonable portion sizes of pasta/rice are about 1/2-2/3 c., correct?

                  My problem is far less the whats and far more the how muches.

                  1. re: tatamagouche

                    I try to keep pasta/grains/bread/potatoes to one meal a day, if that-- I calculate my serving size based on the package, which for my brown rice pasta is (I think) 3/4 cup uncooked, and something like 200 calories. As long as I can count it and include it in my calorie budget for the day, and as long as it's not white or wheat pasta, I call it good. Generally don't eat pasta more than once a week though, because I LOVE IT and can easily go overboard if I'm not careful. I eat a 1/2 to 1 cup cooked serving size of quinoa most mornings for breakfast, and often that will be my grain for the day.

                    1. re: k_hack

                      I've never heard of brown rice pasta. How does it compare in taste to regular pasta and where do you get it.

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        I get mine at Trader Joes because it's cheapest there, but I've seen it at other grocery stores, too... I like the taste, the texture's a little softer and it doesn't have the same bite as a pasta with gluten in it. But wheat upsets my stomach, so this is the next best thing.

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          I bought some at the supermarket here in Rome because I had some gluten-free clients coming and wanted to check the options. My husband and I both thought it was pretty vile. Really, imagine brown rice masquerading as overcooked spaghetti. To answer your question, it bears no resemblance to the taste of durum-wheat pasta. The corn pasta was better in that it could be cooked al dente and didn't taste like brown rice. When the clients came, they said they had already made the same test and definitely preferred the corn pasta.

                        2. re: k_hack

                          No, I *get* it, I just can't *do* it. It's definitely a binge trigger for me.

                          1. re: tatamagouche

                            Haha, now I see what you're saying. Yep, me too, which is why I have to count that stuff.

                        3. re: tatamagouche

                          Weight Watchers (which I also am on and have lost 54 lbs in the last year and a half) defines a pasta serving as 1 cup. When I measured my previous 'normal serving' it was 2 1/4 cups! Portion control and not feeling deprived are key to me. Also, realizing that this is not the last serving of lasagne/cake/ice cream/chips or whatever that I will ever get the opportunity to have. :)

                    2. I do not know how the calories compare, but I used lima beans instead of potatoes for mock potato salad. Soaked and cooked dry large limas, which if canned would be butter beans, NOT the smaller green type. They have virtually the same taste and texture as potato, but the fiber and protein make them healthier.

                      Most importantly is to drink a glass of water if you have huunger pangs when you don't think you should be hungry. If you're dehydrated, your body sometimes reacts with hunger pangs.
                      If that's what's happening, the hunger will subside in 20 min or so.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious

                        The bean tip is great. Thanks.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Even if the calories are comparable (or more), lima beans have way more fiber and protein than potatoes, making them a great substitute for someone who wants to stay fuller longer! Sounds delicious, too.

                        2. GREEN TEA!
                          Full of antioxidants, this is the perfect beverage to maintain an ideal body weight and speed up your metabolism. I tend to drink 2 large thermos portions a day (one on my way into work, and one at lunch) and have managed to enjoy it now without any sugar (I initially needed some because I didn't like the taste right away).
                          I am looking into making an iced preparation of it (similar to iced tea) to enjoy in the summer....any suggestions/recipes?

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: pnutbutta

                            pnutbutta, are you aware of the increased bioavailability of the catechins in green tea when lemon juice is added? You may want to add some lemon to your green tea!
                            http://www.health-actually.com/nutrit...

                            1. re: pnutbutta

                              I've heard this about green tea, but I've never been fond of the taste. Is there a brand or a "trick" that you sugggest to make it more palatable? (I love black iced tea)

                              1. re: DaisyM

                                Very often, folks who profess to not like green tea are just not brewing it properly. The real trick to green tea is to use water just BELOW the boiling point, and don't steep the tea leaves (or tea bag, if that's your route) for more than three minutes.
                                If you follow those two guidelines, the resulting liquor is mellow and even has a subtle sweetness of its own.

                                i've been a green tea devotee for 41 years and would never, ever think of adding lemon (or anything else) to green tea. But, of course, do what you must to please your own tastes.
                                But really for me, adding _anything_ to green tea would be like 'gilding a lily'.
                                It is so beautiiful and mellow on its own...

                                1. re: The Professor

                                  Thank you! Is there a particular type of green tea that you use? Where do you buy it?

                                  1. re: DaisyM

                                    I've used various types of green tea both from China and Japan including Gunpowder, Sen-Cha, Chunmee, and others...these I purchase at one of the several Asian grocery stores in my area. Brands and varieties come and go, and even vary somewhat from store to store. If there are any such stores near you, that should be the first place to have a look, as the prices are generally a lot more reasonable than the prices in specialty shops.

                                    However, Lipton, Salada, and Tetley all sell green tea also (in tea bag form) and they are readily available in just about any supermarket. I've used these at times and they are perfectly fine teas, usually a blend of a few different varieties. My introduction to green tea 40 some years ago was, in fact, Lipton's green tea. I first tasted it in a cafe in Storm Lake, Iowa where I was at college. Been a green tea lover ever since!

                                    1. re: DaisyM

                                      You might like genmaicha. It's brown rice green tea and has a nutty and mild flavor. That's how my husband started drinking green tea, now he's a fiend. It's very easy to find at Asian markets. Just remember to steep it quickly (two minutes max for me) and at lower-than-boiling temp.

                                  2. re: DaisyM

                                    I can only stand green tea if it's jasmine tea.

                                    1. re: racer x

                                      Have you tried the whole range of green teas by Stash? IIRC, they have mint, pomegranate, lemon....they are pretty tasty hot or cold.

                                      1. re: reinadetostones

                                        yes, Stash also has Green & White Fusion tea...really lovely, just chiming in!

                                        1. re: Val

                                          i love the Green & Black Fusion and the Green Chai.

                                    2. re: DaisyM

                                      I love green tea, but my partner does not. The one green tea she actually does like is by Yogi, and it's called Blueberry Slim Life. It's a blueberry flavored green tea--it's very yummy, I must say, and it's supposed to help surpress your appetite (or something). This may be an option for you...

                                    3. re: pnutbutta

                                      I envy you. I love all types of tea and cannot drink it- the caffeine, even in green tea does not do my body good. Sigh.

                                      1. re: pnutbutta

                                        My grandfather makes iced tea in the summer with green tea (I like the jasmine stuff that comes in a yellow can), lemon juice, and lots of fresh mint leaves. A little honey is nice if you don't like it straight. Just brew and then chill in the fridge. Delicious.

                                      2. I eat low carb, and space the carbs I do eat out at 3 1/2 to 5 hour intervals. I lost some weight using the Metabolism Miracle diet. I follow step 2 every day. I was not able to lose as much weight as I wanted. Doing low carb seems to lose its effect after an extended period in my experience. I am now trying to eat lean, as well as low carb, and I use much less red meat than before, as well as fewer eggs.

                                        I have also lost weight doing WW. I have usually lost the same amount of weight as when I did low carb. But I find low carb eating easier to manage than the WW plan, which also costs a weekly fee.And I despise going to the meetings.

                                        I think if you are genetically predisposed to diabetes, or if you tend to indulge in too many carbs, the eating low carb would be a good experience for you. I was reminding myself just today, how freeing it was not to be "addicted" to carbs.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          sueatmo,
                                          what is the Metabolism Miracle diet and what is step 2?

                                        2. Fat free, plain yougur shakes with fruit and honey.
                                          Reduced fat or fat free everything when possible.
                                          Low sugar intake. No artificial sweetners.
                                          walking.
                                          Works for me.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: basketwoman

                                            I cut way back on carbs and sugar,increased my cardio workout,stopped with the late night snacks and lost 15lbs in 2 months.Wasn't easy,I love my carbs,but it worked for me..

                                            1. re: basketwoman

                                              Actually, full fat food makes you feel satiated/fuller longer. Just have to practice portion control...which can be hard for me sometimes, lol. Also, fat free things usually have more sugar to compensate for the fat being gone, makes food taste better. For instance, there is more sugar in fat free salad dressings than in a soda! Totally with you 100% on the low sugar (still working on this), no artificial sweetners-especially aspartame...hello poison!, and walking. Good points!

                                            2. Sadly the only thing that seems to work for me is being totally stressed out to the point of losing my appetite. Although when I track the calories on on-line websites that seems to help a bit. Wish it was easier.

                                              1. From SueAtmo: "I eat low carb, and space the carbs I do eat out at 3 1/2 to 5 hour intervals. I lost some weight using the Metabolism Miracle diet. I follow step 2 every day. I was not able to lose as much weight as I wanted. Doing low carb seems to lose its effect after an extended period in my experience."

                                                From Petek: "I cut way back on carbs and sugar,increased my cardio workout,stopped with the late night snacks and lost 15lbs in 2 months.Wasn't easy"

                                                I am not really recommending this to anyone, because I understand so many people will say that they simply don't want to, but:

                                                When I wanted to "cut" down, I followed a diet put forth by a trainer named Christian Thibadeau. Basically, cut out all carbs for 2 whole weeks. During this time, eat every three hours (which will be about 5-6 meals per day) with, obviously, plenty of fat and protein. After that 2 week period, you will add 1 very large carb meal per week. This is usually had as your last meal of whatever day you pick. For me, it was the Sunday of each week.

                                                With this diet, you limit the Insulin spike to once per week AFTER you had become "adapted". (i.e. you are now burning fat for fuel instead of sugar...similar to Atkins.)

                                                For me, each meal was best when it was about 375 kcals (i.e. calories).

                                                The body fat simply shed off. And I am not a naturally lean person. I was the fattest kid in my class of over 400 kids, and I was always fat throughout childhood.

                                                Anyway, those are my 2 cents.

                                                p.s. I should add that this diet is also a variation on the Anabolic Diets and Metabolic Diets of Mauro Dipasquale and the Natural Hormonal Enhancement diet from Rob Faigin.

                                                1. Recently I have been aggressively trying to cut down on sugar due to health (insulin-regulation) concerns. I have never liked bread (or sandwiches) so that probably helps. Protein is key. If you can get yourself to have protein, whenever you have a craving.

                                                  Also, I agree with the post regarding green tea with lemon. Even though I do not particularly care for it, if I am drinking green tea, I absolutely make myself put lemon in it.

                                                  1. Ground turkey breast, a whole pound of it has only 6 grams of fat and a whopping 125 grams of protein.

                                                    Make it into patties and cook in a non-stick pan.

                                                    Tastes pretty awful but it will make you thin and strong.

                                                    34 Replies
                                                    1. re: redfish62

                                                      "tastes pretty awful but it will make you thin and strong"

                                                      Have you ever tried seasoning the ground turkey breast to make it taste better?

                                                      1. re: petek

                                                        it's still dry and dull.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Cook it in bacon or duck fat,that's gotta help :D.Then go for a nice long walk...

                                                          1. re: petek

                                                            Duck fat FTW! (high in oleic acids and actually quite healthy!)

                                                            1. re: petek

                                                              Trouble is cooking it in a manner that makes it palatable defeats my purpose in eating it.

                                                              I usually eat the burgers with a bunch of spicy mustard, or a little bit of ketchup.

                                                              1. re: redfish62

                                                                What,if anything, do you add to your ground turkey before you cook it?

                                                                1. re: petek

                                                                  I just add some salt to the turkey breast patties cause I worry about not getting enough of it.

                                                                  What I want out of ground turkey breast is for it to be very lean and provide a lot of protein, if I want something that tastes good I buy a nice steak.

                                                                  You can't have everything ... often the foods that will keep you lean and strong do not offer much in the way of culinary gusto.

                                                                  1. re: redfish62

                                                                    Not everything that keeps you lean and strong has to taste like cardboard either.
                                                                    Add some flavour to that turkey breast will ya!! :-D

                                                                    1. re: petek

                                                                      adding some minced mushrooms to the ground turkey adds a lot of flavor *and* moisture (and very few calories)

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        +1
                                                                        Not sure how many calories this would add,but how about some pureed onion&garlic,hoisin sauce + 1 egg yolk to bind.

                                                                      2. re: petek

                                                                        I add 1-2 TB of flour to a lb of turkey breast, a lot of chopped onion, garlic and parsley, salt and pepper, and 1 Tb of olive oil. It's still lean but much more flavorful and juicy.

                                                                      3. re: redfish62

                                                                        So sad, redfish! :-) I am losing weight (on weight watchers) and have always followed a very healthy, mostly veg diet, and I CHOOSE to eat the following now:
                                                                        ground trukey
                                                                        grated granny smith apple (about 3/4 per pound of turkey)
                                                                        grated onion (probably about 3 T total)
                                                                        a few heaping dollops of dijon mustard.
                                                                        Make THAT into burgers and you'll be totally, completely shocked -- it adds NOTHING to the meat, calorically, and a TON of flavor and juiciness.
                                                                        Yum!

                                                                        1. re: ctscorp

                                                                          sounds good, damned tasty in fact. But still...I'm not convinced that ground turkey is necessarily a healthier alternative than lean ground beef or pork (unless the ground turkey you refer to is ground turkey _breast_ in which case it NEEDS all the other stuff to make it palatable).

                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                            Yep, breast. I can't even imagine it without all the accoutrements... styroburger!

                                                                          2. re: ctscorp

                                                                            Thanks. As a fellow WW, that sounds quite good to me.

                                                                        2. re: petek

                                                                          I vary the spices. I have a turkish blend I love (from Spice House) and I also do soy/ginger/garlic sometimes. To keep it moister, I often add one egg to a pound of ground turkey or soetime I'll chop up a tomato in my turkey burgers with some red onion.

                                                                          1. re: debbypo

                                                                            Also a good moistener is chopped zuchini. Daughter has a recipe for turkey meatloaf with it, and it was one of the best I've ever had. Think it might be WW.

                                                                        3. re: redfish62

                                                                          http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2011/...

                                                                          Try this recipe, it's flavorful and delicious. The feta's probably not great for you but the other added stuff is just veggies. I made it for a cookout and everyone loved them.

                                                                          1. re: mlipps

                                                                            Actually, feta has fewer calories per ounce than most cheeses. 75 calories, 6 grams of fat per ounce.

                                                                            1. re: LisaPA

                                                                              But very high salt content.

                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                for most of us,
                                                                                in order to comply for long periods of time,
                                                                                dieting is sort of like playing WHACK A MOLE.
                                                                                you give up fat and increase either salt, sugar, or acid to compensate for the reduced flavor,

                                                                                when i first started dieting, i tried buying extremely lean ground beef. not only did it cost more, it tasted and smelled like dog food.. Part of the flavor I associate with beef is really just the flavor of FAT

                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                  Salt is an essential nutrient, might as well get it in a wonderfully tasty cheese. :-)

                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                    Oh, I know! I'm just repeating my doctor. I eat salt, fat, drink beer, swear, fuck and dance. Life is too short for diets. I exercise my ass off.

                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                      Sounds like a plan!

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        'cause 'diet' is die with a t!

                                                                                        'stressed' is 'desserts' spelled backwards.

                                                                                        (man, I've got more homilies than I've got skinny pants)

                                                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                                                            I add a package of frozen chopped spinach that I have thawed and squeeze the water out of. Plus garlic for flavoring. I make meatloaf like that too.

                                                                            1. re: Disneyfreak

                                                                              For turkey meatloaf that is surpringly moist....throw any raw veggies you have (carrots, onions, and red pepper are my favorite) in the food processor. Mix them into ground turkey along with garlic, salt, pepper and a little barbeque sauce. Scoop out individual meatloafs and brush with barbeque sauce and bake. (credit to Rachel Ray...who annoys me...but this meatloaf is really good.

                                                                              1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                ground turkey is delicious substituted for ground beef in for tacos. I just add all the regular spices and can't taste a difference. It's actually has a sweeter flavor and tastes better without the excess oil

                                                                          3. re: petek

                                                                            I've made turkey burgers with green chili and guacamole. Pretty tasty, though turkey is harder to shape than beef.

                                                                          4. re: redfish62

                                                                            I used to buy ground turkey all the time...but it made me really bloated and miserable when I ate it. Even using it in hotdishes and whatnot. Not sure if that happens to everyone or just me?

                                                                            1. re: Cgrout

                                                                              I think regular ground turkey includes the skin, so maybe you have trouble with turkey skin?

                                                                              The ground turkey breast is pretty much pure protein, shouldn't cause any problems.

                                                                              1. re: redfish62

                                                                                Maybe that was it. I'll try the just regular breast then next time and see if that works better for me. Thank you!!!

                                                                                1. re: Cgrout

                                                                                  Are you eating regular ground turkey or organic? I've noticed since switching to consuming organic/local meats that I feel healthier and have more energy. Might help?

                                                                            2. re: redfish62

                                                                              Try ground chicken patties instead. Tastier and more tender than ground turkey!

                                                                            3. Folks, we're going to ask everyone to focus on the topic of what types of foods you like to eat to lose or maintain weight. We've removed some discussion focused on what techniques and diets to use to lose weight, as that's not the focus of our site.

                                                                              1. At Target their Archer Farms brand of instant oatmeal (instant...yuk I know) has some flavors like blueberry almond flaxseed, and mixed berry that have ten grams of fiber. I add a scoop of protien powder to it and have a good balanced start to the day. It works nice for me at work!

                                                                                1. I tend to get hungry for protein. If I don't get it I can eat piles of carbs and still be hungry. Low-fat cottage cheese has turned out to be the easiest source of protein to keep on hand. There's a whole long thread on things to do with it, a lot of the suggestions are diet friendly. It's not my favourite food, but a little tobasco and black pepper helps a lot. I also have it on my morning toast ( of whatever healthy multigrain bread product). A tiny drizze of honey helps.

                                                                                  I also personally found that cutting way back on coffee helps keep my appetite down. I know it's an appetite depressant / food substitute for a lot of slim people but it doesn't work that way for me.

                                                                                  These are more "lifestyle changes" that are helping with a slow and steady weight loss.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                                                    Yum! Love low-fat cottage cheese! Especially with fresh pineapple chunks or sliced strawberries. I've got a sweet tooth :)

                                                                                    1. re: greeneyedgirly

                                                                                      Definitely. One of my favorite lunch items is cottage cheese (Friendship brand 2%, large curd 'Pot Style') with sliced plums.

                                                                                  2. My friend taught me this trick. I don't like to waste food but.. if you get too big of a portion of something, or if you order something you don't want to eat a lot of, you sprinkle lots of salt on the remaining portion. So you are not tempted to eat the rest of it. Think french fries.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                      my sister was the first person i ever saw do that...of course back then people could still smoke in restaurants so she dumped the contents of an ashtray onto the plate.

                                                                                      these days a healthy dose of sugar on your entree or salt & pepper on your dessert can do the trick, though i prefer to just lay the *handles* of my utensils directly on/in the food - no one wants to be "that" person who then fishes them out and wipes them off to keep eating :)

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                        Oh that's a great trick, goodhealth! Because my way, you only cut out one dish, your way, you cut out the utensils. Smart ;-)

                                                                                        1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                          my clients love that one too...particularly those who tend to "pick" off other peoples plates ;)

                                                                                      2. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                        Interesting.
                                                                                        I'd like to try this, but I don't know if I will be able to overcome the sense of guilt.

                                                                                        1. re: racer x

                                                                                          You can also just ask for a to-go box as soon as you get served and immediately put half of it away. That way there's no wasted food and you get another meal out of it!

                                                                                      3. When trying to drop weight fast, I start, and stick to, eating enormous salads. They are aboslutley ginormous beasts that include every non-starchy veg I can lay my hands on + grilled chicken/venson/eye of round + cajun/french seasonings + mustard.

                                                                                        On the weekends, I get to eatong fish stews

                                                                                        At restaurants, I still eat what I want, but reduce the number of outings.

                                                                                        The fibre & protein fills me up to the point of not being able to even think about dessert, even the next meal gets missed if I go overboard.

                                                                                        But it works every time; I can reliably drop a pound per week.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                          That's also what I do! My old coworkers used to joke that I ate nothing but "a hunk of meat on a head of lettuce" for 2.5 years because that's all they saw.

                                                                                          1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                            I do the same thing for lunch. I fill 1/2 of a 4 cup container with baby spinach or mixed greens, then just start piling on vegetables, plus some beans or cheese, and little dressing.

                                                                                            I also mix vegetable into pasta and rice to extend it. My favorite version of this is to cut green beans into 1-inch piece, and toss them into the pasta water for the last minute or 2. It works really well with penne or other short cuts of pasta. I usually use a 1:1 ratio of pasta and beans.

                                                                                          2. My first WW leader told us to make a sandwich for lunch but only eat half. And then, if we were still hungry an hour later, eat the other half. She also emphasized eating salads and fruits to fill up with the half sandwich. And drink lots of water too to fill up. Ever since hearing this tip I have made half sandwiches and it is really enough when combined with a salad (except during tomato season when I can't resist making a whole lovely BLT:-)

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: EM23

                                                                                              when it's tomato season try making an israeli salad:

                                                                                              dice up some delicious, ripe tomatoes that have never been refrigerated
                                                                                              dice up some persian cucumbers
                                                                                              mix the two
                                                                                              add lemon or lime juice
                                                                                              add salt and pepper.

                                                                                              let sit at room temp for a few minutes before eating.

                                                                                              it's a simple recipe, very low calorie, very flavorful, and very filling.

                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                You may also enjoy adding red onion and/or fresh basil. It's not traditional, but I also like adding capers to the mix.

                                                                                                1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                  when i know that i won't be breathing on anyone, i've added green onions in the past. i'll substitute red onion next time, it sounds good.
                                                                                                  thx

                                                                                            2. Poverty!

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Axlsgoddess

                                                                                                And 32-hour days. Otherwise known as college, my thin years...

                                                                                                1. re: Axlsgoddess

                                                                                                  omg! Thats what works for me! lol!

                                                                                                  1. re: heatnjoy

                                                                                                    oh lordy -- flashbacks of full-time course loads, full-time job, and an active social life. I *lived* on Coke (with a capital C, thanks, even though this was the mid-80s), chocolate, and ramen noodles. (had cigarettes as my fourth food group for a while, but it didn't last long - couldn't afford that, either!)

                                                                                                2. The best dieting tip. Eat half!

                                                                                                  1. To lose a significant amount of weight quickly:

                                                                                                    NO REFINED SUGAR! There is pretty much nothing that has refined sugar in it that is good for you.

                                                                                                    NO ALCOHOL! You just don't need it. Really. I promise.

                                                                                                    YES FRUIT!

                                                                                                    YES VEGGIES!

                                                                                                    YES WATER! Do you know how much sodium a diet soda has in it?!?!

                                                                                                    Also I avoid fast food as much as possible. It really really makes a HUGE difference in how huge your butt is or isn't!

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: southernbelly

                                                                                                      According to the Nutrition Facts on the Polar Diet Orange Dry I'm drinking as we speak: zero.

                                                                                                      Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi each contain 1% of the recommended daily allowance.

                                                                                                      That doesn't sound like very much sodium to me.

                                                                                                      1. re: southernbelly

                                                                                                        and there are any number of thoracic and cardiac surgeons who will tell you to drink a glass of red wine every day.

                                                                                                        1. re: southernbelly

                                                                                                          Hey, what's wrong with having a huge butt? My husband sure likes it! ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: greeneyedgirly

                                                                                                            Like a recipe, 'proportion is king' jumps to mind

                                                                                                            1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                                              And just like recipes...different people like varying ingredients, including some liking more and some liking less ;)

                                                                                                          2. re: southernbelly

                                                                                                            Just a factual note... I agree with your suggestions and, I'm sure the chemicals in diet pop are horrendous but, it has either very little (50) or no sodium. Check the label. I'm on a reduced salt WW lifestyle and a couple of diet cokes a week (when I'm out... not at home) are a treat.

                                                                                                          3. The sodium is high, so you need to drink extra water (which is never a bad thing), but I douse plain steamed veggies with sriracha/sambal oelek/hot sauce of choice instead of the high fat butter/olive oil/cheese that I'd normally use.

                                                                                                            1. Lots of fish, and salads.

                                                                                                              Ceviche tacos.

                                                                                                              1. I've lost 15 pounds in the last 3 weeks and I've only really made two changes in my diet. The first is that I don't drink anything with calories. I drink nothing but water. No diet drinks either.

                                                                                                                The second is that I always eat something first thing in the morning. I'm very lazy when I wake up during the week and would always wait until lunch to eat something. Now I eat something very quick and easy during the work week for breakfast, like one of those oat based breakfast bars.

                                                                                                                I always ate reasonably healthy, but could never lose weight. Once I made those two changes I started losing weight very quickly.

                                                                                                                1. two recipes%3

                                                                                                                  1) tofu fajitas made with TJs high-protein orgainic super firm tofu, a couple of drops of monosaturated or unsaturated oil, caramelized onions and peppers, jalapeno salsa, and a ton of spices

                                                                                                                  2) a vegetable soup made with water (not broth), assorted vegetables (mostly green and cruciferous), spinach, crushed tomatos, ususally add some lemon juice and hot sauce. NO FATS. i eat this as an afternoon snack and it keeps me from being hungry at dinnertime.

                                                                                                                  i eat NO saturated animal fats (i.e no fowl nor meat) and very little sugar.

                                                                                                                  1. Cutting out sugar (carbs) but eating fat. Heavy cream, avocados, coconut oil, butter. Meat and non-starchy veggies, prepared a zillion different ways. Eating a la Sisson & Taubes, I guess. I have to say - I am losing inches and I have no more midafternoon sugar crash. And my food is fabulous. Even if it is freaking people out to see the chubby girl eating so much fat. Whatever. It seems to be working. We'll see what the endocrinologist says.

                                                                                                                    1. not eating :D

                                                                                                                      ok, i've lost 20 lbs since 2009 on WW and it's been slow due to hormonal issues. i quit WW and started myfitnesspal.com. i'm finally seeing some results and on to losing my last 10 lbs. i also plateaued for 5 months on WW and recently started to do a jiilian michaels video everyday called 30 day shred.

                                                                                                                      i also notice the days i have sushi ( nigiri only not funny rolls) for lunch and dinner my weight loss is much more. the nights I have salad for dinner i also notice my weight loss is more than if i have pasta. i also drink very little now. some red wine measured.

                                                                                                                      i also make a kale smoothie with kale, ice water, fuji apple (only fuji) frozen mango cubes. it goes a long way!

                                                                                                                      1. This is what works for me:

                                                                                                                        Drinking more water.

                                                                                                                        Avoiding pop and substituting with juice mixed with sparkling water or having iced teas with no sugar. Iced tea with no sugar can also be made into popsicles.

                                                                                                                        I have chocolates that are small and individually wrapped and I keep them in the fridge. When I feel a craving I will eat 1-2 of them right away and that takes away the craving right away--so I don't binge and the chocolate will last a VERY long time to the point that I'll give it away so that it doesn't get old.

                                                                                                                        I don't diet but if I'm not exercising as often as I usually do, I really think about how full I am when I'm going to eat and when I'm eating. I try to be 65%-70% full if I'm not exercising as much. But when I do exercise more, I should be about 80% full most of the time or I will get dizzy later.

                                                                                                                        If I'm not hungry but I want to eat, I will drink more liquids.

                                                                                                                        I've noticed I tend to eat more when I'm bored and near the kitchen so I go do an activity away from the kitchen like read a book or something.

                                                                                                                        When I go out, I have a friend who is willing to wander around the city and try different foods with me when I go out. You can still eat a variety, just split what you order with your friend. And I like walking to find the spots.

                                                                                                                        I eat my favourite snacks (mmm chips) but I just portion them out and put the bag away.

                                                                                                                        (I'm one of those "disgustingly tiny people" and have been pretty much all my life, never really thought of it as "tricks" I guess. My weight is fairly constant depending on muscle.)

                                                                                                                        1. To be honest, what helps me lose or maintain my weight is tracking my intake -- I use the LiveStrong app for iPhone. Heard good things about MyFitnessPal as well.

                                                                                                                          As for actual foods that help, well, I find that eating a big salad for either lunch or dinner is always a good way to go. I'll start with a big base of spring mix or other lettuce, then go to town with lots of raw and steamed veggies, some beans or canned seafood for protein, and a tablespoon or two of homemade dressing. A handful of raisins or sunflower seeds makes its way in their occasionally as well.

                                                                                                                          In general, the more fresh produce I fit into my diet, the less room there is for unhealthy stuff, and my body responds positively.

                                                                                                                          1. my best suggestions for others... and ones i use when i feel the tire growing...

                                                                                                                            1. substitute veggies for the noodles in pasta dishes - restaurants will almost always accommodate this request, if but for a surcharge

                                                                                                                            2. sushi dinners - focus on sashimi, and order rolls without rice (assuming you're somewhere that you feel like the chef won't ban you or make fun :) ), and maybe a few edamame and cold spinach

                                                                                                                            3. stews or soups or stovetop dishes that are veggie heavy (non-starchy), layered in flavor, and contain protein... i do a number of variations on different veggies combined with different fish or egg drop or chicken

                                                                                                                            4. i eat veggies first, i know protein provides satiety, but veggies are bulk, so if my tummy is fuller, i want less of the protein to satiate anyway... maybe that's just me

                                                                                                                            5. make veggie flatbreads - using no flour - just puree well-cooked veggies of choice with onions, garlic, broth, egg white, and spread *very* thinly on a baking sheet/parchment and bake til crisp

                                                                                                                            6. roasted seaweed as snacks... they sell it at TJ's now, and i love it

                                                                                                                            7. and trite for last, Move. i run daily, and surf a lot. that last one, forget the calories burned, it's a motivator knowing you're going to be in a skintight suit...

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                              Yes, Emme!!! Love your #6...roasted seaweed is SOOOOO nutritious...packs in so many nutrients that we ALL need! I just use a sheet of roasted nori for pm snack...and your #4 is great too...we really don't need SO much protein....vegs s/b #1. If your veggies have lots of fiber, then you will feel satiated. FATS...yes, we do need them but not saturated fats.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                Hopefully you'll eventually see this....

                                                                                                                                Could you please elaborate on #5? This results in a tortilla type thing or more like a cracker? Can it be used as a wrap? Do you have quantities/temperatures for that recipe?

                                                                                                                                1. re: CallAnyVegetable

                                                                                                                                  I think the word "crisp" indicates cracker. You can also make a bowl, chips or crackers by baking or frying grated or shredded cheese. You can place a large pancake one, while warm, over the bottom of a bowl to make a cheese bowl for salad or taco fillings.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: CallAnyVegetable

                                                                                                                                    Depends how long you cook it as to consistency... longer = more cracker.

                                                                                                                                    I take a couple of large heads of broccoli, steam or nuke em til soft. I nuke some diced onion and garlic as well til soft. I toss em in my food processor, along with an egg white or two, some veggie broth (add as you go to get the right consistency), salt and pepper. I puree and add enough liquid, so that it's somewhere around pudding. It'll move if tilted, but won't flow. I spread it on a parchment lined baking sheet (actually parchment on foil on baking sheet) and spread it out to cover the sheet. Should be about 1/4 - 1/3 in thick. I often start the oven at 300-325 to start to dry it out, then turn it up to 350 toward the end to brown the edges. It will have a toothsomeness to it, but I doubt it will not actually break if wrapped around contents. It serves as a perfect vehicle for "wrap fillings" though. Mine can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes to get it where I like it, depending upon what I use it for.

                                                                                                                                    Hope that helps!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                      Yes very helpful, thank you

                                                                                                                                      1. re: CallAnyVegetable

                                                                                                                                        no problem. forgot to mention that this can be done with other veggies or a combination thereof... i just do it with broccoli most often.

                                                                                                                                2. Cut out as much processed food as you can - it's not the processing per se - it's that it hides all the fat and sodium and whatever else that you might not add if you were making it yourself. (We all eat processed once in a while)

                                                                                                                                  Stop snacking! At one point I realised that according to whatever wonderdiet I was trying at the time, I was eating breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and an evening snack...In short, I was basically eating nonstop, all day long...A piece of fruit or a (as in ONE) handful of nuts is one thing if your stomach is growling, but really -- three meals a day.

                                                                                                                                  MOVE! I went from a largely sedentary lifestyle to a town where I walk everywhre....and lost a significant amount of weight, without "dieting" . Lots of other health benefits that I won't drag you through here...

                                                                                                                                  But for me, it wasn't so much the *things* I ate, as the *way* I was eating them and living my life.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                    Having a spouse that wants to loose weight,too. Big bowls of peaches, berries, and watermelon in the fridge for dessert and snacks. Grilled seafood or chicken with fresh herbs for dinner.

                                                                                                                                  2. As soon as I get home from the farmer's market/grocery store, I cut, prep and portion as much of my food as possible based on what I anticipate eating for the next few days. I usually take a huge salad to work for lunch, so on Sunday nights I'll put all my veggies in a big mixing bowl and portion it out for the week in reusable containers. Same goes for dinner leftovers--separate it out into "meal-sized" servings. It makes it so much easier to eat healthy portions when you can just grab it from the fridge and go. Also, I never EVER eat anything out of the container it comes in. Pour it out into a cup/bowl/plate and put the package away to avoid the temptation for going back for seconds...and thirds...and the rest of the package. :)

                                                                                                                                    My other big thing as been cutting out the mindless eating at work. Bring healthy snacks and avoid grazing when people bring in treats. I've also been known to go so far as leave my wallet locked in my car so I won't be tempted to make a visit to the vending machine/food court at work...

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mse924

                                                                                                                                      What are your work snacks?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                        Depends on my mood! I have a drawer at my desk where I keep tea bags and munchies that don't have to be in the fridge. It's usually stocked with:

                                                                                                                                        -sugar free pudding cups (I'll bring in chopped peaches or strawberries to mix in)

                                                                                                                                        -trail mix of some sort (usually the Archer Farms Tex Mex or Sweet Cajun kinds from Target-the chile in it helps to sate hunger pangs)

                                                                                                                                        -whole grain crackers (topped with apple slices and low-fat cheddar)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                          kale (or other veggie) chips are a great work snack... can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and portion out in snack bags to take daily (to avoid having 6 bags in the drawer and eating 6 in one day... not that this would be harmful, but...)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                            Ive never made kale chips, so I'm going to give them a try this week. Thanks for mentioning it.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                              super easy, super versatile. also really good for plane snacks... i devoured a huge bag on a flight to chicago.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                I just made them and they were good! Thank you!

                                                                                                                                      2. I cut out grains, all of them, potatoes, rice, all processed foods, SUGAR, all drinks except water, and no booze anymore. I eat lots of green, red, yellow & white veggies with butter if appropriate, Meats, beef, fish, chicken, pork, lamb, and I have lost 15 lbs in less than 2 mos. And I have loads of food to eat. I don't miss the junk food, grains or most of the starches, I love rice but haven't eaten it except in sushi. I refuse to give up my sushi, but who can afford to eat it out enough to mess ya up?

                                                                                                                                        I love eating like this, I feel better, and I'm losing weight painlessly, and consistantly Yay!!

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                                          have you ever tried to order rice-less rolls at your fave sushi places? i usually get mine with cucumber to replace the rice. works well for hand rolls too. my favorite place locally will also do crab (real), shrimp, scallop and tuna, no rice, wrapped in cucumber too... love that combo.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nanzi

                                                                                                                                            There is no denying that for me, cutting way back on potatoes, rice, and white flour has a huge impact on my weight. Can I just take a moment to say how much I wish for the days when I could eat whatever I wanted and not give a thought to my weight.

                                                                                                                                          2. great thread-just what i was looking for

                                                                                                                                            1)always eat breakfast-include protein from a low fat source i:e: <20% fat cheese

                                                                                                                                            2) oatmeal instant is a long lasting filling food-make with milk instead of H20
                                                                                                                                            Tim Horten's has a terrific oatmeal- available until 11 a.m. fresh fruit on it too!

                                                                                                                                            3) eat low fat protein every 2-3 hours find out how much protein you need in one day and divide it up into 6 meals/snacks

                                                                                                                                            4) skip entrees- eat a broth based soup and an app

                                                                                                                                            5) minimize or cut out all potatoes and pasta (bit of whole wheat pasta is OK) NO FRIES

                                                                                                                                            6) read and understand your food labels

                                                                                                                                            7)chocolate milk is a fast meal when "on the go" and you forget to bring a snack

                                                                                                                                            8)don't get hungry

                                                                                                                                            9)share a dessert

                                                                                                                                            10)Laughing Cow 8% cheese or a small can of tuna with WW crackers (ryvita) is great

                                                                                                                                            11)watch your fruit intake- increase veggies

                                                                                                                                            12)use olive oil

                                                                                                                                            if you slip and eat a high fat meal-just get back on track the next day-so much emotional angst when this happens.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: 001mum

                                                                                                                                              Your last point about emotional angst is probably bigger than we can realize but the key to staying balanced for me. I found that if I got off track one day and was anxious about it then I usually got more off track.

                                                                                                                                              What works well is to get what you 'really want' or 'plan an off track meal' for a holiday or with lots of people, so that you enjoy it--in terms of what you eat and the company you are with. Then you will not feel any angst (life is too short anyway).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                yup- we are so mean to ourselves when we slip
                                                                                                                                                enjoying good company and to "live in the moment' is a perfect idea.

                                                                                                                                            2. Years ago when I was trying to lose weight, I did WW, and picked up a few tips. The big one for me was to make snacks/treats that were not so good for you a bit hard to get to. I'd keep minis or small servings on another floor of the house in the pantry, take out just what I could "afford" or what would satisfy the craving, close up the bag, and take that single serving back to the floor where I hung out and just eat that. Yeah, it did help to have another person in the house to be accountable to.

                                                                                                                                              1. The more I ear, the more I run, bike chop wood, swim, ski, skate etc. got the idea? Calories in equal calories out. I will not drink a "lite" beer, ever. I'd rather exercise more. I'm 64 and coach high school soccer.

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                  Agreed on this. I've never passed up anything I'd like to eat, but I do work out like a dog. Mostly running. I don't love to run, but I do love to eat, so it's an easy choice for me.
                                                                                                                                                  That said, my brother (who claims to only run when chased) did very well with Weight Watcher's. He just liked the idea of being able to make his own choices. And If you're happy with what you're putting in your mouth, I think you'll be happier overall.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                    I've been working out and WWing since March. Finally fitting into my old clothes and feeling good, 18 lbs later.
                                                                                                                                                    Apparently I forget that I need to move my body and push myself four or five times a week, in order to maintain slim hips and a single chin.
                                                                                                                                                    I watch what I eat, but still eat delicious and exciting foods, and I have not given up wine, beer, or martinis. I just can't drink wine, beer, or martinis all day long.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                      Congrats on your weight loss :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks!
                                                                                                                                                        It's Friday night and I just poured myself a gin martini.
                                                                                                                                                        I will get up tomorrow for my 9am exercise class though. For me, this is the difference between this year and last year. :)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                    it's not just about exercise, especially as you age (when nutrition starts to be even more important as your metabolism slows down - exercise doesnt have quite the umph it once had - but a piece of boston creme pie has even more umph - go figure) I can attest to this - Earlier this year, I actually gained a few pounds - and I was running 50-70 mile weeks for a month or two. Problem was I couldnt find that right balance in my diet - I ran a lot, but my balance was messed up so I over ate. If you're trying to lose weight and was never an athlete, it has to start with good eating and good exercising.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: majordanby

                                                                                                                                                      All in all, my diet is quite healthy. Weekdays: fresh fruit and yogurt for brekkie, salad or left overs for lunch and supper, lots of fish, salads, veggies and very low on fast, refined carbs, except real beer and wine! gimme my chicarrone, enchiladas and fried clams on the weekend and some good exercise!

                                                                                                                                                  3. Cutting out empty carbs is probably the single best thing anyone can do for weight loss and general health.

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                      I too cut out empty and fast carbs, except for beer and wine.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                        also, for those carbs you do keep eating, it is best to eat the more complex whole-grain, high fiber, carbs.
                                                                                                                                                        (i.e. no white rice, no white pasta, breads that are whole grain AND contain little hidden sugar, skip the high-fructose ketchup, etc. if you are going to eat a potato, a sweet potato contains more fiber than does a white potato, but both are still relatively high carb and quantities need to be strictly limited.)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                          My 3 second chicken salad. Mix rice wine vinegar with a little light mayo, add sesame seeds, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add leftover roasted chicken and a bag of cole slaw. Mix well.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                                            Sounds good to me. I've done something similar with reduced sodium soy, ginger, garlic and a can of crunchy water chestnuts in addition to the rice wine/may/chicken.

                                                                                                                                                      2. eat only when ur hungry (and not when ur bored, tired or just because everyone els is eating cake).

                                                                                                                                                        Avoid carbs and eat natural food, such as meat, fish, dairy products and veggies. No chocolate diet bars.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I've been eating what I like. It keeps me happy. I cut portions at least by 1/2, and usually down to just 1/3 of what I ate in the past. Keep carbs down, but not cut it out. But I've also been exercising a lot.

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nooyawka

                                                                                                                                                            My grandmother who lived to 94 was a short quite heavy set little woman for a good part of her life and was born in Aleppo Syria. She cooked for our very large family until near the end. At one point later in her life, she lost a lot of weight on her own. Everyone asked what diet she was on. She said "all these people are on crazy diets". "Just eat half".

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                              May she rest in peace. Great story scuba!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nooyawka

                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! Thanks for sharing, scubadoo :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                And I bet she was an amazing cook.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks all and yes she was an amazing cook and a bit of a perfectionist as well in her cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                  That's so cool, I bet she was a great lady!
                                                                                                                                                                  My grandfather lost 40 lbs. at 80 years old and joked that he'd just wanted to see what he looked like without it before he died. That was 12 years ago, and he's still on his exercise bike :)

                                                                                                                                                              3. Lay off the nightly glass (or two) of vino-especially when on a bad day the "glass" is tumbler sized.This is used only for extreme circumstances though-such as a recent 30 year HS reunion.

                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sherriberry

                                                                                                                                                                  I've changed my cooking a little. I'm using more spray olive oil and low sodium chicken broth, instead of olive oil. Greatly reduced rice, pasta, bread and potatoes. And increased fruit and vegetables. Had a real craving for pizza last weekend and we got a Margarita. The thin crust and little cheese worked great. We both actually lost weight the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                                                    i assume you mean you had a Margherita pizza, not that you ordered a margarita to drink with your pizza ;)

                                                                                                                                                                    using a mister/sprayer for oil is a great way to cut back if you tend to be a bit too liberal with the pours when cooking, but don't be afraid of fat. in fact, since you're cutting way down on starches you'll likely have even more success dropping weight if you keep your fat intake moderate (as opposed to low).

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                      Ha! I'd love to have both today!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                        I guess I should report back that all those little changes have really helped. Husband has lost 11lbs and I've lost 8. Keep those tips coming!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. One of my big things is to try to have a couple servings of vegetables with each meal-- so like for breakfast, I'll put broccoli and sun dried tomatoes in with my quinoa/porridge, lunch will be a huge salad with chicken, dinner is some kind of beany dish with a couple veg sides. I avoid bread.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Calorie counting, tedious though it may be, is the only thing that has consistently worked for me in losing and maintaining.

                                                                                                                                                                      Due to a few medical conditions and enforced sedentary habits (damn you, arthritic knee!) I have a very, very narrow window of opportunity between feeling too hungry and gaining weight, and I have to eat a lowER carb diet than I would normally enjoy (note, lower, not low carb or no carb. I'd cry myself to an early grave if that was the case)

                                                                                                                                                                      Learning new ways to cook low cal, lower carb food is what has reawakened my hibernating foodie habits. I make a lot of my own marinades and sauces now (though not all) and my vegetable consumption rate is probably keeping my local veg box delivery scheme in business.

                                                                                                                                                                      I've discovered Japanese food and sushi, and I find that making up varied bento boxes gives me my fix of 'playing' in the kitchen while exerting strict portion control (those boxes are tiny).

                                                                                                                                                                      A high protein breakfast keeps me going longer than my old cereal and milk ever used to do and various marinades have saved my sanity when faced with Yet Another Piece of Baked Chicken. But I am getting rather tired of eggs in all their various permutations.

                                                                                                                                                                      But seriously, learning about food - how energy dense various kinds are, versus how long they satisfy my appetite - is the main trick that I've found works. And it keeps me experimenting in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                                                                                                                                        dunk, you mentioned getting tired of eggs for breakfast...and I agree with you that good protein at breakfast is a must....have you tried oats as in steel cut or rolled? Mixed with a handful of walnuts, you have excellent protein there....usually keeps me going til noontime. Also, can you handle the idea of fish for breakfast....as in kippers on whole grain toast? I do that once in a while for a savory breakfast that is eggless.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                          So sorry, I've been AFK for a week or so and just spotted this!

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm working on expanding my morning eating habits - I do like both oatmeal and fish, but for some reason I never think of them as breakfast food! I blame the fact that I'm just so very much not a morning person and end up instinctively going for the foods I grew up thinking as "Breakfast" - eggs or cereal with milk. Imagine a zombie shambling around the kitchen and then imagine it in slow motion - that's me :P However, there's nothing to stop me doing all the prep work the night before! I've also been considering Dhal or Kitchiree for breakfast - both can live in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                          Eggs - I eat too many of them, probably, because they're easy and quick. I actually would love to move more into using Tofu, but I struggle to know how to tackle it other than diced into miso soup...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                                                                                                                                            nothing wrong with eating eggs -- the cholesterol thing has been largely debunked in recent years, so unless you have some unusual type of cholesterol issue, you should have no problems.

                                                                                                                                                                            As always, doublecheck with a licensed medical professional because I'm not a doctor, etc.,e tc., disclaimer, disclaimer, yadda yadda yadda.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                              seems like DTB was bored with eggs...that's how I read her/his post...and they were looking for something different. I agree that eggs are pretty healthy but I only eat one large egg 2 or 3 times each week.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                Mostly just boredom, indeed :) As far as I know, no cholesterol issues to worry about, just feeling a bit humdrum. Due to not being very mobile right now plus a few other medical carryings on, I'm fairly strictly restricted, calorie wise.

                                                                                                                                                                                I've been struggling to get some variety - I'm very, very used to a traditional Northern English farming diet. Lots and lots of carbs, lots of butter, cheese, sugar. I just want to pour butter over everything and serve it in suet pastry :P

                                                                                                                                                                                Eggs are great, but you can have too much of a good thing sometimes. (And I am a her :) )

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                                                                                                                                          I've been eating very low carb for years. I only occasionally eat eggs or crustless quiche for breakfast when I eat it at all. I'll eat dinner leftovers (more variety) or smoked fish instead. I never believed I could stand to eat very low carb (there's no such thing as "no carb"), but that's exactly what I do and enjoy now, after over a decade of evolving die to control my diabetes and reverse its damage without meds. I don't miss starches and sugars when they're not part of a meal. Took time, tho'.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                            Carbs aren't bad. Even for diabetics. It's those simple processed carbs that we all want to avoid: white sugars; white flour stuff. Without carbs you get no fiber and miss a lot of nutrients because you can't eat veggies or whole grains.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, but carbs are bad for diabetics, unless they're leafy, colorful, high fiber and not starches or sugars. Without starches and sugars, I get WAY more fiber and nutrients for hundreds of calories less per meal. You don't seem to have any familiarity with low carbing; one substitutes veggies for carbs, low carbers eat way more veggies than probably any other dieters.

                                                                                                                                                                              Whole grains are no kinder to blood glucose levels and diabetic control than others, unless they're truly whole as in kernels that pass undigested.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                I guess I wasn't clear. But, yes to all. Sounds like you've got a good handle on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                I know some "low carb" devotees who limit their veggie intake to a handful of varieties that are essentially carb-free and contain a lot of water (lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli) because they have no natural sugars (and omit things like carrots, winter squash, parsnips, tomatoes, etc). Those folks miss a lot of the fiber, nutrients and flavor. And when I was talking about whole grains, I didn't mean whole wheat bread in which the wheat has been ground and baked; I was talking about wheat berries, barley, brown rice, and the like.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been participating on low carb discussion groups for over a decade, and have met maybe two or three folks out of probably thousands who are that restrictive. Hardly significant enough to generalize from. Certainly nothing to do with carbs and diabetic control.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I totally omit cooked carrots and parsnips from my diet along with winter squash other than pumpkin. Tomatoes, too, often have a blood glucose spiking effect out of all proportion to their carb content, those who test after meals find.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cooked barley, wheat of any kind and brown rice are completely off limits, if I want to keep my limbs, kidneys, nerve function and vision. They have no beneifts, only risks, in a diabetic diet, and supply scant nutrition or fiber per calorie. I guess if you didn't cook them, and avoided chewing them, they might be ok. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Instead, I eat a plate of food piled high and wide with veggies, plenty of wholesome fats and proteins and maintain the complete reversal, by diet alone, of kidney and nerve damage I'd aquired during the many years I was undiagnosed without meds. It's been over a decade now.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good for you. You know what works for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail

                                                                                                                                                                                      And any other diabetic who's similarly unable to properly metabolize carbs without harm and who uses a meter to measure individual food responses. Most can avoid the need for any meds and their side effects by eating to their meter.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's also good information for weight loss enhancement, since you get so much more nutrition and fiber and do away with the empty starch and sugar calories that tend to promote hunger and gain Both weight loss dieters and diabetics have to be concerned with maximization of nutrition while simultaneously restricting foods.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                                                                                                                                            Calorie counting definitely helps me, too. I've been using My Fitness Pal, on my smartphone, which has become one of my favourite apps.

                                                                                                                                                                            Also find I'm much better at sticking to my plan if I avoid chocolate completely. I'm an all or nothing Chowhound when it comes to chocolate and some triple fat cheeses, and moderation is almost impossible. If I have a little chocolate one day, I'll want an entire box the following day.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find I'm best off if I start the day with a one egg omelette or frittata, or my quick take on bircher muesli- 1/2 a cup of whatever healthy cereal/granola/muesli, mixed with 1/2 cup of lower fat yogurt, some seasonal fruit and cinnamon, brown sugar and/or honey, if needed.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                              I love MyFitnessPal, being able to scan in barcodes from the phone! I've been using it to track that I get enough protein during the day. It is geared toward weight loss, and I'm trying to maintain or gain a bit, but they say they'll be updating it soon to accomodate that.

                                                                                                                                                                          3. I came across this on another chowhound thread and say it to myself all the time: "If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry."

                                                                                                                                                                            I also go on walks in the evening after dinner. It's a great way for my SO and I to spend some time together and it totally kills my craving for sweets after dinner! I do my workouts in the morning so it's not a power walk. Just a nice stroll to get out of the house, but I have really noticed it helps keep the after dinner cravings down.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Foodapotamus

                                                                                                                                                                              "If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry."

                                                                                                                                                                              This phrase has really worked well for me! I'm not a huge apple fan, so doing this makes me think about why I want a snack. 9 times out of 10 I decide I'm really not hungry after all!

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for posting it here. It is amazing how helpful this has been for me!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                I learned the same "apple" quote in WW, years ago, and still keep a few apples around all the time, just in case! I also core those apples, nuke 'em till soft, fill the cored hole with a bit of greek yogurt, cinnamon or nutmeg, and yum, like apple pie!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I remembered another tip I've read frequently about late night snacking. Brush your teeth and you're less likely to eat something afterwards.

                                                                                                                                                                              These days, I have issues if I eat too much at one sitting, and it's dang hard to resist another slice of pizza. I keep a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse, and when I know I should stop eating, I clean my hands with it. My hands may be sanitized, but mentally, I don't want that residue on my food, so once I've done that, I'm done eating. Maybe it's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. If you enjoy watermelon- eat tons of it. Its light, delicious, cleansing and of course hydrating. Pretty filling too. I cut it like a bowl and eat it on the couch like a bowl of sorbet. Also, don't deprive yourself of the foods you love- we are mortals. It's all about portion control and patience if you eat wholesome foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                  I was just going to recommend watermelon as a dessert or snack, but I see that you beat me to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Only about 80 calories for 2 cups (about 300 grams), and it really wins as an efficient satiety-inducer.
                                                                                                                                                                                  With just a little, you feel quite full, so you're much less inclined to want to eat more.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                    and especially satisfying after a long outdoor workout in the middle of a muggy sofla summer

                                                                                                                                                                                2. I often recommend foods like chili, soup and pasta-like salads. Not because of any tasty or nutrition issue (although, since it's planned, they are tasty), but because large portions of them can easily be made and they'll last a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Buy ingredients. Weigh them. Determine total calories. Cook. Separate into 14 containers, a week's worth of lunches and dinners. Snack on items that you know contain x amount of calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Fat, carbohydrates and proteins are all tasty and don't make you gain weight. Excess calories make you gain weight. Planning ahead and having a very accurate calorie count is the key to losing weight (Journals are nice, but not very accurate and are after the fact). It also ensures that you'll eat things you like, which is the key to sticking with a particular diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                                                                    The thing about journaling is that if you know you have to write it down, you're going to think about whether to eat it and how much. As long as you journal honestly, that is :-) . I found it made a huge difference in how I thought about what I was eating.....no more mindless grazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ediblover

                                                                                                                                                                                      "It also ensures that you'll eat things you like, which is the key to sticking with a particular diet."

                                                                                                                                                                                      exactly, it should be a lifestyle- not something you do for a short period of time because you are not satisfied by what u are eating; success is being fit and healthy all the time, even after you've dropped those excess pounds

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. VERY LOW CAL chocolate-covered strawberries!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cut a strawberry in half
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Sprinkle some sugar or splenda on the inside/wet part
                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Sprinkle on some unsweetened cocoa powder.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: vegmonster

                                                                                                                                                                                        Nice idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DaisyM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just figured it out this morning. It is even better than Apple + splenda + cinnamon, but that is good too!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Combo of cardio and weight training for at least an hour, 5X's a week seems to have helped. Limiting bagels or muffins for breakfast to once or twice a week and oatmeal, fruit and almonds or fruit, non-fat yogurt mixed with low fat sour cream at least 4 days a week. Fish or shellfish at least twice a week. Beef, pork or lamb no more than once a week, most weeks. Only use wholewheat pasta and brown rice at home. Drink lots of water. Try to only drink wine 4 nights a week. Try to be mindful of what I'm eating when I eat out so I stop when I'm full. More home cooking, less takeout.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The most helpful thing has been that my husband goes to the gym with me and watches his weight too, so neither of us tempts the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: middleagedfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                          All of the above, and to add to that, meeting someone new that I may want to get naked with in a month or two is helping a great deal. Whatever works!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                            You go, Rajaba:) Sounds like the dating is going well.....:)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                                                                              You are so sweet. Only time will tell. Wish weight loss hung on my 39 year old frame the way it did on my 36 year old one. Damn.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I miss our WW thread, will have to post some new menu ideas there soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm someone who gains and loses quickly. I'm very prone to gaining weight, but luckily it doesn't require a lot of effort to shake it off. Calorie counting works very well for me- I like the website SparkPeople as I can look at my food and fitness from a daily, weekly or monthly perspective. I've been counting calories with the intent of losing weight since July 23rd, and since then I've lost 9% of my body weight by keeping my daily average around 1350. For health reasons I always like to keep track of my nutrients as well (especially protein, as I'm a vegetarian), but for weight loss I don't think it would matter HOW I got those 1350 calories.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I would guess that most CHders would not find this an acceptable option; but, I strictly follow a hypoallergenic diet (variants easily accessible online). I occasionally deviate if I'm eating out; but, never, even then, stray far from recommended food categories. For dieting, of course, exercising is a necessity. BTW I'll continue on the hypoallergenic regimen even after reaching my weight goal. Finally, I never add salt, rarely sugar, to anything I eat or cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cbjones1943

                                                                                                                                                                                              "Finally, I never add salt, rarely sugar, to anything I eat or cook."

                                                                                                                                                                                              So is it the overall blandness of the food you eat that makes you eat less? I could see that....

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was thinking the same thing. But to each her own, I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Does it count if you can't eat? I lost about 60 pounds in 4 months because I was unable to eat during period of chemo and then radiation. I would not suggest these treatments, but I lost easily 5 to 10 pounds in a short period by overall restricting my caloric intake, and then over a few days, cutting that intake to just a few 100 calories a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                              To me, the real key was the overall reduction in caloric intake. Anyone can crash and then binge, but if you have the longer term discipline to cut the overall intake, and I had help because my taste buds made almost every carb unpalatable, then you can keep the gains from the short term crash. It isn't the healthiest of ways to go in the long term, but it didn't come close to killing me, so it can't be that unhealthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ocshooter

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well something to keep in mind for the future......

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm a recent South Beach diet convert. I lost 30 pounds during grad school through calorie counting and exercise, and managed to keep it off for three years. Then life got a little crazy at work and with family, and I gained back most of those 30 pounds over the past 3 years. I tried to go back to the calorie counting routine that worked in the past, but had a really hard time sticking to it. I was hungry all the time. I'd read through the South Beach book a few times in the past, but was intimidated. Four weeks ago I finally gave it a try. It's really amazing. I've lost 7 pounds in four weeks, but more importantly, I feel better. I'm not hungry all the time, and I feel more energetic. I'm not constantly looking for a sugar fix. I've even been able to allow myself a treat on Saturday evenings, and still keep losing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                The best part is I didn't have to change my diet that much. I was already having whole grain toast with peanut butter and jelly for breakfast. Now I just skip the jelly. Lunch was already a salad w/ protein, I just don't have the bread/pretzels/crackers anymore and use real/sugar free dressing. Dinner is still a portion of meat with vegetables, just no rice or potatoes. I swapped my afternoon banana for celery sticks, and my mid-morning orange for snow peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I lost 35 pounds on the SBD 7 years ago. Have gained 20 back due to my laziness and not sticking with a healthier diet. What's stuck with me the most and is the easiest to incorporate into a daily meal plan is 1/2 cup of veggies for breakfast, 2 cups for lunch and 2 cups for dinner. I find that if I make an effort to include those amounts into my meals, I naturally eat better and less of the things I shouldn't be eating. I've also gone through my favorite cookbooks and flagged the recipes that are SBD safe - thankfully there are a lot out there and it's easy to make slight modifications to those that aren't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're right though - I never felt better when I was on that diet and I did keep off the majority of the weight for 4 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last year I lost about 30 lbs. without trying and not really depriving myself of anything. I even continued my snacking in the evenings. The two main changes I made were too all but give up Diet Coke and to eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, usually with some low-fat cottage cheese, for lunch. I used to go through a 2-litre of Diet Coke a day. I know, I know. Nothing would quench my thirst like a Diet Coke. Funny thing is now I have to remember to drink something during the day. I make a point of drinking a good 12-16 oz. of water several times a day. I believe the raw fruits and vegetables play the bigger part in my weight loss though. A typical lunch might consist of a half an avocado, carrot sticks, a couple slices of fresh pineapple and some cottage cheese. The trick for me is it has to be stuff that I really like and I have to change it up so I don't get bored with it. Oh, and I need some crunch. Jicama sticks are great too. I don't even do this every day, just most days. The diet gurus and nutritionists will come down on me for this, but if it's a good fat, I don't worry about how much I consume. If I get hungry in the middle of the afternoon, I drink a tall glass of water and sometimes a small handful of nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dinner has always been my main meal and I eat what I want. I am not saying it will work for everyone, but it worked for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MrsJonesey

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's what I'm doing as well and it keeps me very satisfied. I eat/drink fruits until lunch, then I switch to a big salad with a bit of protein (hardboiled egg, half-can of tuna, leftover chana masala, etc). Finally I eat whatever I want in reasonable portions with about half my plate as veggies. Snacks are only fruit or raw veggies. I drink mostly water, coffee, green tea and red wine on weekends. Sometimes I will get dessert if it's a special one that I can't resist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I don't have any tricks or gimmicks, just correct eating habits. We should all learn to eat to *maintain* a good body composition, not just lose weight temporarily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The most important thing in weight loss by far is to not drink calories (unless you're making smoothies from whole fruit), avoid highly refined carbohydrates, and eat whole foods. Don't focus on fat, that's not the culprit. In my opinion, and I don't mean to offend anyone with this statement, but portion control, counting calories or points and not eating after a certain time at night are mostly gimmicks used by people who aren't eating correctly. Always eat something for breakfast or your metabolism will suffer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No soda, no juice, no sweet tea, no coffee with tons of sugar and cream, no alcohol, no iced mochas, no vitamin water. When you get your calories from food, you feel full and satiated. When you get a lot of calories from drinks in the form of sugar, you get hungrier and eat more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fruit juice is not the healthful drink that people think it is. Sure it has vitamins and minerals but it also has a massive amount of sugar and lacks the fiber of whole fruit, fiber which greatly ameliorates the effects of a lot of sugar and decreases the insulin spike and slows digestion. Skip the fruit juice, and eat the fruit instead, and no ridiculous canned fruit in syrup, or dried fruit with sugar, it's sweet enough already. An example, an apple has a glycemic load of about 6, apple juice about 12.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    White bread, white rice, corn puffs, pretzels, etc. are all highly processed, have a high glycemic load, and are lacking in protein and fiber. They cause a large insulin spike followed by lethargy, fat storage, and hunger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eat a diet with lots of whole fruits and vegetables, quality protein sources, lots of herbs and spices, beans, legumes, nuts, rice, whole grain bread, oatmeal, yogurt, even potatoes. This should make up most of what you eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't follow these rules 100%, I'll have pizza, or some wine, or tortillas, or whatever, but no dessert, and if I'm eating the more processed foods I usually do it after a workout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: StringerBell

                                                                                                                                                                                                      With a handle like that, I figured you'd be touting heroin. Zero carbs, btw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      '-P

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Big salads before I eat the main part of my dinner. I like creamy dressings, so I concoct my own using fat free plain yogurt thinned with fat free milk and mixed with whatever spices appeal to me. The dressing is best if the spices are allowed to mingle with the mixture overnight in the fridge. Sometimes I get lazy and will blend part of a a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch mix or Italian dressing mix with the yogurt and milk and those are quite tasty (if a bit too salty) as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: laskiblue

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I often use buttermilk when making dressing... either with dill, mint, or an italian herb blend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The Best for me was this

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Broccoli Soupprinter friendly
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 medium onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 bunch broccoli (a couple of heads), coarsely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 quarts water
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Heat oil in a large pot and saute onion over medium to low heat until soft, about 15 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add broccoli and saute for 5-10 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add water and cook until broccoli is soft about 15 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Puree hot soup in tiny batches in a vitamix until smooth and creamy
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reheat soup and serve

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The best recipes i found here. http://ThePaleoDietRecipe.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Two tricks work for me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. logging calories every day as I eat. The app on my phone adds them up for me. The awareness of what I've done so far and how much room I've got left helps me make better food choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Eating a couple of raw apples per day fills me up and is reasonably healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it's all about altering habits. I suspect that's why gradual weight loss works better than crash dieting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do my best to avoid any food that comes packaged in cardboard or from a place with a drive-through window. When confronted with restaurant meals, it's wise to cut portions in half and eat just half the restaurant normal portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I lost 60 lbs by learning to love food and learning to cook food. That's what brought me to CH in the first place - my quest to lose weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sure, I still splurge, often, and I drink far, far too much, but I've maintained my weight. I still go out to eat often, and I still indulge in fatty sandwiches, pizza, steak and all of my favorite meals, but I do so knowing the cost when I go in. I drink beer and whisky early and often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My keys when losing:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - light bfast: Greek yogurt, smoothie or oatmeal and coffee or a cup of tea
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - lunch: light soup, slice of pizza or light sandwich
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - dinner: lay off carbs, eat proteins and veg, no heavy sauces
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - note: supplement with exercise: I exercised 3-4 days a week, including resistance exercises and approx. 8-12 miles running per week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - note 2: consume no beverage with discernible calories that does not have alcohol.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - note 3: take a day off per week to eat whatever you want. You have to reward yourself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - note 4: always leave food on your plate. Do not finish a complete meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I lost 60 lbs in far less than a year using the above method. I would often go to sleep slightly hungry, and the hunger pangs would hit me throughout the day, but discipline got me through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My tips for maintaining:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1: I eat no bfast, usually. This is advised against, generally, but I have to cut calories somehow, and I'm often not terribly hungry in the morning. So I have a coffee and some water, and I'm good to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2: eat slow: for example, I had a sandwich for lunch today that was probably less than 300 calories, and it took me nearly 3 hours to eat it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            3: cut carbs as much as possible. Load up on proteins. Be sensible...you know what is and isn't worth it in terms of calories and fat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            4: treat yourself from time-to-time. It makes sacrifices more worthwhile and treats more special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I barely exercise any more, and I drink like a fish, but these general tips have helped me first get down to my desired weight and then maintain that weight going on several years now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            One last tip for losing weight (and probably the most important) is:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Figure out how many calories your body needs in a day (men generally need 1900-2400 and women generally need 1600-2000) and how many calories you expend in a day (sedentary = 0, exercise varies by regimen, and manual labor as a daily job can vary widely). Deduct your calories used from calories required and consume 500 fewer calories than that on a daily basis, excepting your day off, and the weight melts off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please tell me this is a joke. It isn't healthy for anyone to save their calories for alcohol, no matter how much they enjoy it. Some caloric beverages (Low fat milk, 100% fruit juice) are so much more nutritious. Also, even being entirely sedentary burns calories. Your lungs, digestive tract, brain, and internal organs are all working. That takes energy. It concerns me that you don't exercise, because that is a wonderful way to boost metabolism, increase serotonin, and keep your body young. Eating as slow as you do is not normal, and could easily be diagnosed as an eating disorder behavior. You're doing yourself no favors by living this lifestyle. Please at least see your PCP to make sure you're okay, and if you feel like these habits are unstoppable, there is help. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.o...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pegathaismyname

                                                                                                                                                                                                                MonMauler if you want to go to to the doctor, I guess I could just go with you? What you stated is basically what has worked for me as well. We all do respond to things differently and to be fair, we all have different ideas of "health" that we're trying to achieve. I will never have a 6-pack and run marathons, I'm ok with that, and while it makes me less healthy than some, it doesn't mean I'm not healthy at all, and it certainly allows me a good balance of physical and mental health.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pegathaismyname

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I appreciate your concern, pegathaismyname, but as of the full check-up I had a little more than six months ago, I am in great health.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To address your points:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. If you want to lose weight and still drink alcohol, you have to remember that all alcoholic beverages contain calories, which are generally empty calories. Those calories need to be cut from some other area of your consumption.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yes, low-fat milk and 100% fruit juice are more nutritious than alcoholic beverages. It's not a question of nutrition, though. It is a question of value, benefit or utility - doesn't matter how you want to word it. I get a lot more from a glass of beer than I would a glass of OJ, believe me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. For that matter, I'd argue, as I did in my previous post, that replacing that milk or juice with coffee, tea or water is certainly better for weight loss and probably more beneficial for overall health, as well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. I understand that being sedentary burns calories. The generic caloric ranges I put down take that into account. Any of the various tools that can be used to determine your caloric needs will adjust for your daily activity level.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. I didn't say that I don't exercise. I said I barely exercise anymore, which is in direct relation to the statements about the workout regimen I followed when losing weight. I still run, only it's closer to 2-4 miles a week now, and I might get in one or two resistance sessions. In any event, I walk a mile, roundtrip, to work every day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6. I eat my lunch slow because I usually eat at my desk. So I take a bite, do some work, take another bite, similar to grazing. Generally, it usually doesn't take three hours. That was my example from yesterday - most often a sandwich, slice of pizza or bowl of soup, if eaten at my desk while I'm working, will take closer to an hour. I eat dinner much more quickly. In any event, most people eat too fast, not allowing their body to register when they're full and, as a result, over-eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure exactly how you could discern so much about my health and lifestyle from my previous post. The OP asked for weight loss tips, and I provided such. They did not ask for posters to describe their lifestyle over a given day/week/month/year. I don't exercise, have an eating disorder, and should see my PCP and possibly seek help!?!?! Seriously?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I mostly agreed with your tips and have often said that if I'm not drinking water, I'm drinking alcohol. Though I do have my one latte (though in weight loss mode, it's black coffee) in the morning. It's more of a statement that I'm not going to bother with soda or other sugar-laden beverages and that I DO enjoy drinking wine and cocktails. If you're watching calories, you must take that into consideration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe using an example of 3 hours to eat a sandwich was a little extreme but I think the advice to seek help was a reach. You are being honest and clearly are cognizant of nutrition and health.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I applaud you for being mostly kind and gracious to the "helpful" poster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: pegathaismyname

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100% fruit juice is pure sugar - there's nothing "nutritious" about it, and if you're trying to lose weight it's no better than alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for that statement, ghg! And I have taken an hour or so to eat a sandwich; I used to work on the road and bring a PB&J on whole wheat cut into quarters since I was too busy to stop for lunch usually; would take a bite when I felt a little hungry, but too busy to really chow down. Kept me going!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is sort of what I did to lose 50 in a year. Although I'm not a big alcohol drinker. But, I don't drink milk or juice, since I'd rather use those calories for actual food. I have one diet coke in the morning, and then after that it's only water, with the occasional diet cherry 7-up if I'm feeling like something sweet. I'll have a couple beers/cocktails/wine if we go out. I also do not exercise. Even after I hit my goal weight, I've lost 7 more pounds, eating 1700-1800 calories a day plus having at least one "splurge" day on the weekend where I don't track what I'm eating. My body's calorie usage varies depending on what site I use, one site tells me it's around 1900, another tells me it's more like 1700. I'm guessing the 1900 is more accurate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -I don't eat a breakfast really. I'm not hungry when I first wake up, and in fact the idea of eating food that early makes me queasy. On weekdays, I have a fiber protein bar at 9am when I get to work that consists of 170 calories. I then have an apple at 11 and a piece of cheese at 12. Lunch is between 1-2 and usually ranges from 400-700 calories (it's often a smaller portion of dinner from the night before), a snack (usually 3oz carrots and 1oz hummus) if I feel hungry around 4, and then dinner is late, after 8pm usually. The bulk of my calories happen at dinner. My SO is thin and never gains weight, so my dinners I make have to satisfy him, so that's why I do it this way. I'm not about to start making 2 dinners every night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -I don't cut out food groups... ie no low carb, no low fat. I have found that having at least 100 grams of protein a day, plus the recommended 25 grams of fiber a day helps me feel the most satisfied. I do eat "low-ish" carbs, usually under 200 a day. My fat usually comes in between 60-70 a day. I don't keep sweets around all too often though, as I have issues with eating too many.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I will say, I am pretty young (30), and have not had children, so weight loss probably came easier to me than a woman who is older and/or has had children. The main reason I got fat was because my portions were way out of control (eating enough raviolis in cream sauce for 3 people, or eating 2 cheeseburgers and fries in one sitting etc), and I relied too much on restaurant/fast food. I always liked to cook but throughout most of my 20s I worked at a very high pressure, high stress job that often kept me at work until 9pm or later. I still eat really delicious food, I just make it myself instead of buying it already made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And, just because someone's way of doing something is not exactly conventional or how "they" say you should do it, doesn't mean they have an eating disorder. The key to losing weight and KEEPING IT OFF, is finding a method that works for you and your lifestyle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Eat whatever I want, excluding sugar, HFCS, and bleached flour. No alcohol. Weight drops off so quickly, it's almost scary. It's been workiin' for me for over 30 years. No booze is painful though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'd rather drink than eat :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As Sir Henry Rawlinson once proclaimed...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "If I had all the money
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd spent on drink...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ...I'd spend it on drink!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My doctor is upset that I save calories for alcohol, what can I say?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't tell him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You're right, I really should change the subject!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bread and vegetable protein like peanut or almond butter for breakfast. Whole Milk in coffee, no sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Regular dessert/snack of whole fat plain yoghurt, nuts, and a little honey if you want it. Sometimes I will have it for breakast if I can have an early lunch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fruit all day, lots of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Warm decaf tea if you are hungry and it's not yet time to leave work :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Small dinners or lunch. Try to keep in mind which was which.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Stay active! Apparently our appetite is regulated differently when we are active.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, and always start with the veggies in a meal. That way you will eat more of them and the meat/carb is like a side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Bread and vegetable protein like peanut or almond butter for breakfast. Whole Milk in coffee, no sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Regular dessert/snack of whole fat plain yoghurt, nuts, and a little honey if you want it. Sometimes I will have it for breakast if I can have an early lunch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fruit all day, lots of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Warm decaf tea if you are hungry and it's not yet time to leave work :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Small dinners or lunch. Try to keep in mind which was which.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stay active! Apparently our appetite is regulated differently when we are active.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. A useful thread. Tricks: 1) Fix entire meal on a tray and eat only what's on the tray. 2) Don't buy stuff you shouldn't eat; if you don't bring it home, you can't eat it. 3) A trick to make salad seem more like a meal is to take one slice of whole-wheat bread, butter it with horseradish, lay it on a dinner plate, put ONE paper-thin slice of deli roast beef on it, then cover it with your bushel of salad stuff and add minimal low-cal dressing.Eat it with a knife and fork so that you get a little bite of the bread and meat with a load of greens.4) When you get the urge to bake, go and exercise instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Baking is a bad thing, unless you already know who you will pass it off to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  #4=YES. And the more you exercise, the more realize it is more difficult to do the workouts on the days you have sugar and/or processed foods. (Moreover, log your workouts--including weight-training--and make a goal. When you reach the goal, celebrate in some way... perhaps new running shorts instead of making cupcakes.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Egg white salad from Trader Joe's. Costco has delicious sorbets in fruit shells. Some flavors are only 60 calories. They are wonderful when you want something sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Skinnytaste.com has great recipes. Zuchinni "tots"- they taste exactly like potato pancakes(without the potatoes) and I normally hate zuchinni!! I was shocked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Find what works for you, then stick with it. Head to head studies show they all work but you have to stick with them

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I am almost at my goal weight. This is what I eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For breakfast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) 1/4 cup oatmeal with walnuts crushed on top and a small amount of maple syrup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Non-fat Greek Yogurt with a little granola/fruit in it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For lunch:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) One small piece of bread with hummus or lettuce and grilled chicken (no dressing) or lettuce and plain tuna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For dinner:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) Smoked salmon on gluten-free low fat rice crackers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Tuna with Tomato Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Cooked frozen shrimp sauteed or with cocktail sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      with

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) A huge bowl of veggies (broccoli/brussel sprouts/peas/carrots) covered in red wine or balsamic vinegar (no olive oil)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have 1 serving of dinner carbs a week, the breakfast of this plan has pretty much all the carbs you need for your day. Usually it's cous cous

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tips:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not eat after 7 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not eat snacks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do drink unsweetened green or black tea whenever I am hungry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I substitute Turkey Jerkey for any meal's protein. It is very low in fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not eat red meat, fried foods, or any hydrogenated oils

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If this is all you eat you will need to take daily vitamins

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      31 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good for you getting close to your goal! I do have one suggestion that might help - your diet is very low in fat, which can actually slow or stall weight loss particularly when your carbs are also low. You might try increasing your fat just a bit to see if it moves things along. Maybe just a drizzle of olive oil on those vegetables at dinner? It will also help you absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins you're not getting by eating them fat-free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just my 2¢...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Question, and I don't mean to criticize in any way, but what are you going to do once you hit your goal weight? This menu plan looks to be very little calories... I know I'd be starving all the time if that was all I ate. And honestly, this is why people think "dieting" sucks... they think this is the way you have to eat, so they do, but then when they start eating normal again they start gaining weight back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also I eat after 7pm all the time and had no issues losing weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Honestly, I can not disagree with either of you juliejulez and goodhealthgourmet. I had been eating badly for many years and this diet is recompense. I eat a desert of an apple or banana with a tbs of almond butter and I suppose I should mention I run 4 miles and do one 20 min ab workout and one 20 min arm/chest workout 6 days a week. If you really want to know, my goal is a six pack. I know how shallow and pathetic that it is but it is my goal and I am so close. I am a big time foodie and it is really hard to stick to this but you are both right, i should be eating more fat and dieting does suck. When beach season is over all I will do is eat oreos/smores pop tarts/pasta/ice cream/gummy bears, i am not even kidding

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You're running 4 miles 6x a week? On such a low-cal, low-fat diet, you're probably burning up more muscle than fat. And believe it or not, you might see better results eating that oatmeal in the evening instead of in the morning. Seriously, there's research to back that up :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, wanting to feel good about how you look is neither "shallow" nor "pathetic" - if anyone judges you for that, it's their problem. Just be sure you're using a reasonable & safe approach and not compromising your health.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why not just figure out a way to work in the stuff you like into a diet that will also include weight loss? That's what I did and lost over 50lbs. With the amount of exercise you do plus your current intake, like ghg said, you're probably just burning up muscle and not losing any fat. "Starvation mode" is a real thing... your body might just start holding onto all fat it can because you're not fueling it properly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it's because his focus is on getting ripped, not just weight loss. But you're all right; bodybuilders do that for competition then get less shredded once they hydrate and eat some carbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can't live that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wanted to wait a bit to see what everyone wrote but let's continue this pretty interesting convo now and I want to tell you all about my secret weapon. So, I have been doing this since February, and I slowly ramped down from eating 1/2 bag of goldfish and 1/2 bag of gummy bears each night AFTER a huge dinner to the diet you see above. I really do not feel unhealthy and I do feel like I can make it to the end of August doing this. I have gone from a 33" waist to a 29"/30".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    First, some interesting stuff: 1) When you eat almost nothing hunger keeps you up at night right? Well it actually really quickly goes away (like in 2-3 days) and you just feel tired all day and you sleep really, well after working out more than 45 min or so an afternoon. 2) Your body adjusts fast and soon you actually feel totally full at the end of these meals. By the way, feel free to look up the data on calorie restriction and life expectancy. Now, I will not do any kind of calorie restriction after this September but I would be lying to you all if I said I wasn't healthier now than I have ever been.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since I walk to work each way (2.2 mi put together), run about 4 miles a day and lift and abs now for at least 45 min I have adjusted the above meal to include both about 8 frozen shrimp with low-cal cocktail sauce AND either the tuna or salmon. (I have chicken for lunch so I rarely work it into dinner and I know about tilapia but I can't get it in a can or smoked) Also, take calcium pills or TUMS. I have no dairy in my diet and I needed to add that along with the vitamins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This brings me to my secret weapon: the shrimp. Look, they are expensive but this is my big import here. Shrimp are like a secret weapon of the human body. If you buy frozen cooked shrimp and fill up on them and then eat veggies and an apple with some almond butter at the end you are getting a pretty perfect meal in my opinion in terms of destroying stomach fat. Look up the calories, 10 good sized shrimp is only about 90 cal (or even less!). I am aware of the cholesterol in shrimp but, honestly, I need every bit in my diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So, yes you are all right. Yes, no one can do this forever. But I have been doing it for 4 months and I can now see the top of my last ab and a full 5 pack without flexing (for some reason the fat on my right side doesn't burn as fast as fat on my left). So I feel like I can do this till the end of beach season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh yeah one last inspiring thing: the first few months I binged HARD on Saturdays but then remained on diet the other 6. As you see progress and your body becomes adjusted to eating less the crazy thing is you don't even WANT to binge. You just like get sick because the other 6 days you are being so ascetic that your body just doesn't want it. It takes a while for binge desires to go away, a good 2 or 3 months in my experience, but it really does go away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So, this is basically one long way of saying: If you see results and feel healthy: stick with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "When you eat almost nothing hunger keeps you up at night right?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually, no. Ketosis that results has strong appetite reducing effect as well as a strong metabolism slowing effect. It, like very low calorie, drops your active T3 thyroid hormone like a rock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The problem you may find by not having a couple of re-feeding days a week (not binges, restarts of your metabolism to prevent a long term crash) is that your metabolic slowdown may become long lasting or permanent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That would make maintaining your results very difficult while still eating sufficiently and enjoyably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good luck. And maybe check out references to cyclical and targeted ketogenic dieting. Meant to shred you, but without the metabolic damage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Honestly, I have been researching a lot and you are semi right. First, I want to retract what I said about calorie restriction and life expectancy. That has recently been debunked. Secondly, @mcf you are right about much of what you said but I am sorry, eating oatmeal every morning, eating fruit and nut butter AND eating bread for lunch will just not put my body into ketosis. Heck, I only eat meat usually once a day since my lunch is often the hummus and 1 piece of bread. You are right about everything you said about what ketosis does but I think you need to reevaluate what diet actually leads to it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, by eating so much carbohydrate in the a.m., you're vastly increasing your fat storage over eating it, say, at 6 p.m. That's because of diurnal cortisol rhythm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Further, if you're losing fat, you're in ketosis. If your calories are severely restricted, you're in ketosis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A friend of mine had rapid weight loss and was eating only small amounts of sticky rice for weeks. She was in deep, measurable ketosis due to the huge caloric deficit. Both serum and urinary ketones were very high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          *Both* very low calorie and ketogenic diets drop T3 as a survival mechanism. If you don't train your body to ignore the dire warning with re-feeds, you're taking a very big risk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We'll just agree to disagree about who's "semi right" m'kay? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just don't get doing something like that to achieve temporary results....maybe if you're a professional body builder than I could see it, but just to get 6 pack abs for summer... makes no sense. Are you going to do it again for next summer too? The second you go back to eating normally, your 5 pack will disappear. Why not do it a healthy way? You can do that and STILL get a 6 pack, it will just take a bit longer. If you learn a healthy sustainable way to do it, chances are you can KEEP your 6 pack year round instead of going on crazy diets every spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It does sound like he went from one extreme ("1/2 bag of goldfish & 1/2 a bag of gummy bears after a HUGE dinner") to another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly? Just cut out your post-dinner snacking, practice portion control & exercise. Works like a charm without depriving yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom will go on these ridiculously low-cal diets occasionally (500-700 cals per day). Of course, she loses a boatload.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But then she gains it all back, because nobody can eat like that forever. She somehow still believes "it works".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            His goals aren't the same as your mom's. To get ripped abs, you have to cut carbs way down, fat if you want shredding, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For just a six pack, very low carb and some caloric deficit plus working out should suffice and in a sustainable way. It preserves lean body mass and builds it, while burning off the fat covering the 6 pack you're building. Without actually starving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oatmeal, bread and fruit are not making it any easier, hence the perceived need for severe caloric defiicit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't claim they had the same goals, just how unsustainable both ways of eating were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What I *did* say was that it sounded like he went from one extreme (snacking, unhealthy portion-sizes... not sure now if he mentioned working out or not, and too lazy to check) to another (starving, working out every day).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It seems like such an idiotic waste of time if the plan is to go back to "anything goes" once six-pack season is over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But whatever makes 'em happy, I guess. No water off my back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree about the drastic swing from one bad eating plan to another. Big extremes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah... I'm the type that once I decide to fix a problem, I want a permanent solution... not one I have to keep repeating over and over. But, that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For just a six pack, very low carb and some caloric deficit plus working out should suffice and in a sustainable way. It preserves lean body mass and builds it, while burning off the fat covering the 6 pack you're building. Without actually starving.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This. When my thyroid & hormones are behaving (and how nice it would be if that was the case all the time!), I can maintain a 4- or 6-pack year-round relatively easily without starving myself...and I'm female, and the odds are stacked against me genetically when it comes to body composition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not to get too OT here, but he would also benefit from changing his workouts. Swapping some of that steady-state cardio for HIIT and adding a few heavier weight training sessions would be more effective than his current regimen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, to HIIT and challenging the muscles differently and increasingly for that muscle growth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With regards to HIIT, the 20 min ab workout I do after my run is the P90X ab shredder. To be honest, HIIT is definitely a better all around workout but i have been basically been making an ab a month with steady-state cardio + p90x + brief but intense weight training. I was getting a little nervous reading everything you guys wrote so I spoke with a nutritionist today who said that I am in no way really fasting and that what I am eating isn't that unhealthy in terms of what I am eating, it is just low cal for working out. He said I am tired because I am eating so few calories and that I am likely completely safe but that if I have a refeed really just once or twice a month I absolutely won't have to worry about any thyroid stuff. I reviewed the T3 warning signs and the only one I exhibit is lethargy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I like p90x even tho it is obviously a gimmick and Tony Horton seems like a closet sociopath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By the way, I can see these 2 or so monthly refeed days as my "splurge" days. As in, if I take a trip to NYC or somethng I will know beforehand that will be a day I can eat whatever. Also, I feel like once I have the final abs in place I can kind of eat till I am full and just pull back whenever they start to disappear. I guess I should mention also I was a wrestler in high school so I guess got used to fasting and stuff like that then. I wasn't fat before this but yeah, I was not working out at all between 2010 and last feb and while I was not fat I had like a 33 inch waist and not a single ab anywhere in sight and a definite clear spare tire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know your nutritionist, but I know that the thyroid drops very quickly, sometimes within 24 hours of such stringent dieting. Definitely in the early days. Twice a month re-feeds are not likely ideal. It only takes 3 weeks for your body to make a mostly complete hormonal adjustment to what it perceives as permanent change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Starvation also raises cortisol. No one is telling you you cannot get results you want this way, only that it's extremely unwise and sub optimal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You can eat healthfully, rather than in a disordered fashion, build muscle and get cut abs without damaging your metabolism and nutrition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An re-feeds are not "eat whatever" days, that's sabotage and more like an eating disorder, not targeted ketogenics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If your nutritionist is the one advising oatmeal/carbs for breakfast, I'd shop around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            @mcf what do you recommend I eat for breakfast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bacon and eggs. Full fat yogurt with berries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Protein with some fat, no carbs in the a.m.. You don't want to increase your glucose level at the time of day your cortisol is at its peak, increasing your insulin demands even before you eat. You want to stay in the fat burning mode from the overnight fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You have a professional nutritionist advising you in this thread: goodhealthgourmet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure she'll be along with ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure, just go ahead & offer up my valuable counsel for free ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  @HungryNihilist, as mcf said, your breakfast should be mostly protein & fat. It's fine to toss a few raspberries or blackberries in cottage cheese or full-fat plain Greek yogurt, but you really want to skip the added sugars (like maple syrup or honey) and any starch. I don't generally condone the use of chemical sweeteners like sucralose & aspartame, but if you really prefer sweeter breakfast foods use a little sugar-free syrup or jam. You can also make a breakfast smoothie with protein powder, frozen berries, yogurt or unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and a Tbsp of nut butter, chia seeds or avocado to add fat & thicken it up...or try paleo-friendly pancakes made with almond/coconut flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Plenty of savory options:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - cottage cheese/yogurt with a dollop of nut butter stirred into it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - omelet or frittata with veg & cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - steak/bacon/sausage/lox & eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - shakshuka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - smoked salmon pinwheels with cream cheese, goat cheese or mashed avocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - smoked whitefish salad or baked salmon salad with cucumber & tomato slices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - grilled chicken or salmon with vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - turkey or ham & cheese roll-ups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - leftovers from low-carb dinners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - crustless quiche or breakfast casserole with meat/veg /cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, you started giving HN advice first, I just outed you. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Juliejulez said pretty much exactly what I was thinking as I read your post. If you can reach your goal but can't maintain it for more than a few days or a few weeks at most, will it even have been worth it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Probably better to find a way to liven up your selections with more of what you really enjoy, so that you don't end up feeling like it's a chore and lose all the gains you've made as soon as you can't stand to stick with the original regimen any longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Inevitably, we all reach a point in life where it's no longer possible to adhere to such intensive diet and exercise regimens (plus our metabolisms naturally slow down anyway). If the plan is going to be a longterm success, it will have to be something you can continue with over the long term.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i've lost 40+ on ww since 2010, and i've kept it off. the thing that i learned was that if i'm not willing to do it the rest of my life, i shouldn't be doing it for weight loss. for example, i'm not going to bring salad dressing to a restaurant for the rest of my life, so i'm not going to do it now. and i'm not going to refuse office birthday cake for the rest of my life, so i better figure out how to make it work now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have also been on a fitness journey since the middle of February (I gave up coca cola for Lent, and it snowballed).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The last time I weighed myself was 4/6, and at that point, I had lost 30 pounds. It's not about the number on the scale for me anymore, it's about doing the things I love to do. I can say I've lost 4 sizes, so that doesn't suck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories and exercise. I usually stay around 1200 calories a day- rarely as low as 900 or as high as 1500. With the exception of Coke, which is like crack(pardon the pun) to me, I have not eliminated anything from my diet. If I'm really craving something, I eat it, albeit a smaller portion, or I eat lightly the rest of the day to make up for it. 5 guys, pizza, whatever, its all ok with portion control. I have no urge to binge, because nothing is forbidden. If I'm not craving something specific, which is the majority of the time, I eat lean proteins, lots of veggies and fairly low carbs and fat(I use olive oil a lot). I make as many of my starch carbs as possible whole grains.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I drink 4 1/2 liter bottles of water a day, and tea sweetened with stevia otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I go to the gym every day- 10- 30 minutes of cardio 7 days a week, strength training 5 days a week, aerobics, pilates, kickbox or something classes 2-3 times a week- and I walk at least a mile a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have some kind of treat every day- depending on how many calories I have to "spend", it might be a couple of Andes mints, a mini candy bar, a good cookie, a fudgesicle, or an ice cream sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ymmv, this is what works for me that I feel I can maintain for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow nice! Keep it up! Man, with the amount of cardio/fitness/walking/weight training you do, you certainly could eat anything. Very inspiring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HungryNihilist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks. Good luck to you reaching your fitness goals :) . Everybody has to figure out works works for THEM, which might not always be the "correct" way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I like making wraps with lots of shrimp, spicy cocktail sauce and a mix of romaine and spinach. I usually use the Mission brand spinach flavored wraps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I think the best is the idea that 'the best diet is the diet you don't realise you are on'. I.e. the minute you drastically change your lifestyle and start cutting out the things you love, you will never forget that sense of deprivation you feel at mealtimes (and in between). I find a good tactic is to think about all the things you love and find ways to make them fit into your life in a more healthy way. If you have foods you adore that are healthy, eat them all the time and you'll feel like you're treating yourself (I eat so much beetroot it's embarrassing, because it's my fave vegetable). The foods you love that are unhealthy can be included in smaller amounts than you used to have, or changed to be more slimming. That way you never feel like you're missing out on the things that make you happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I've done Atkins and a number of other diet plans like low fat. What has worked for me is to eat half of what is on your plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I probably weighed 150+ about 3 years ago. I got extremely ill from Scleroderma. It is an autoimmune disease and it attacked my kidneys and put me into renal failure. It was touch and go. During the time in the hospital and even a bit after, I was not eating. Dieticians would threaten me with death. The hospital food was bland (flavorless) and to me inedible. During that month of July I lost 40 lbs and was an emaciated 115 lbs. When I was finally able to go home. I had very little appetite. Now after almost 3 years I am fit and go back and forth between 120-124 not bad for 5'2". My BMI is excellent. I was able to go off blood pressure meds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I lost the weight the hard way but I have gained very little back. I don't intend to weigh any more. I have been doing this by portion control. I eat anything I want, use heavy cream and butter. It is all in moderation. My mantra has been you don't have to eat it all. No tricks for me. I just watch the intake. If I gain a bit I cut back until I am where I want to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's wonderful outcomes and I hope you're feeling good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But the poster in question has a completely different goal; it's to have cut abs, period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Diff'rent strokes, right? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually Candy was responding to the OP, which is not the cutting abs person.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oops, sorry. That OP was a VERY long time ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But I should have noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. One of my favorite 'tricks' recently is to do the ab vacuum (suck in your core and hold) while cleaning my kitchen floor and counters. They tend to get really dirty from all of my cooking and baking so I really have to use force to scratch off some particles.. and I figure why not engage the core at the same time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a nifty idea. It won't help you lose weight, but should add some core strength, which is always good and important for good posture and a healthy back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Haha, no it definitely wouldn't work for that. That's what cardio and weights are for (cook/clean like a lady.. train like a boss).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Don't let yourself get too hungry. We overeat when we get to that point. Have a protein smoothie (powdered protein mix of any kind and unsweetened soy or almond milk) with a banana or not as a breakfast or snack or if you are in a rush and are hungry. It will curb your appetite, so that you can eat a proper meal later. Also ask yourself if you are hungry or actually just thirsty. A cup of tea or a glass of water might just do the trick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reduce leavened bread products and processed food. Try using low carb tortillas or whole wheat tortillas instead.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SomersetN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's a good brand of sprouted yellow corn tortillas out now from Food for Life...I have found them at Whole Foods in the freezer section...really delish!