Author Topic: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?  (Read 47187 times)

Dee_the_third

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How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« on: March 23, 2022, 10:57:42 AM »
I will preface this by saying: I know how to lose weight. I've done it before. The problem is, for a 5'4" frame, eating at a calorie deficit is just not that much food. The difference between a nice deficit and overeating is a few bites of cookie, an extra scoop of rice, cheese on your sandwich or cream in your coffee.

It can be done, but the way I do it (careful calorie logging) uses up all my willpower. By the end of the day I feel exhausted from making "good choices" all day and from not letting myself stuff some candy in my mouth to "reward" myself for doing a hard work task.

More problematically, this means that I have less willpower left for the other hard decisions in my life - focusing on work instead of wasting time on the internet (ha), getting on the exercise bike etc. etc.

So, people who have lost weight without losing their minds - how did you do it? Fasting? Training for a marathon?

maizefolk

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2022, 11:09:59 AM »
Routines help. The trick is to minimize the number of times per day you're making a decision about "should I eat this or not?"

When I'm working to run a significant a caloric deficit, I'll typically eat the same or nearly the same thing each day at about the same time(s). The first few days are hard, but then it starts to get a lot easier. I don't have a mental struggle about what to eat for breakfast (and the mental argument abut whether I can have a bigger breakfast if I promise myself I'll make it up by eating less later in the day) if I'm always having a serving of oatmeal for breakfast. And so on.

It's also worth paying attention to which foods are most filling per calorie. Foods with lots of fiber (like oatmeal) and vegetables are both good for this. You can lose as much weight running the same caloric deficit with your calories coming from snickers and pizza, but if your experience is anything like mine you end up a LOT hungrier between meals and so burn through more willpower to hit the same deficit.

Omy

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2022, 11:20:21 AM »
Posting to follow more than to contribute. I've lost 11 pounds in the past 8 weeks. I'm counting calories (staying between 1200 and 1300 per day), eating small portions 6 times a day, avoiding bad carbs, drinking 64oz of water a day, and walking at least 30 minutes a day.

My will power is ok so far. I've told myself I'm doing this through the end of April, so having that end date may be helping me in the will power department. I give myself "healthy" treats (a very small amount of dark chocolate or peanut butter). 

Life feels a bit boring without cookies and ice cream and restaurant splurges, but I'm looking at this as a reset and am doing my best to train myself out of some bad habits.

HPstache

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2022, 11:23:31 AM »
Have you tried intermittent fasting?  When I want to lose weight I do the 8/16 fast where I do not eat from 8:00PM to noon the next day (16 hrs) and I eat a nice sized lunch and dinner with two snacks.  I lose 1-2 lbs per week when I do this religiously.  It takes a bit to get used to, and thankfully I can drink black coffee between when I wake up and lunch time...

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2022, 11:31:25 AM »
I don't have a mental struggle about what to eat for breakfast (and the mental argument abut whether I can have a bigger breakfast if I promise myself I'll make it up by eating less later in the day) if I'm always having a serving of oatmeal for breakfast. And so on.

Ugh, I feel this. I thought variety kept me engaged but maybe it's just burning me out faster!

A set menu plan is a good idea. Do you have any good go-to & filling recipes? I've realized I'm a volume eater- mentally I want that 'satiated' feeling, which is troubling if I'm snacking on nuts.

NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2022, 11:32:39 AM »
Calorie counting.  For me, logging my calories does not use up my willpower, it (generally) gives me more.

The thing about exercise is that I made it a habit soooo long ago.  I exercise every day, no excuses needed because it's not even a question of IF I will exercise, just when and what activity.  When I had an elliptical machine, I would read books while on it, which certainly made the exercise less focused, but increased the motivation.

I have not tried fasting - I don't think it's for me.  I could probably retrain my body if I wanted to, but when I get "behind" on my calories for the day, it takes a while to recover and feel 100% again.

I have run a marathon - I didn't lose much/any weight during training, but I was at my thinnest the year after.  Not exactly sure I remember what I was doing differently, except that I was between relationships (which for me means less temptation to eat crap because my BF is eating crap) and I was also training for a difficult hike.


I got fat as a kid (which feels so unfair), and never had a period of time as an adult where I didn't have to think about my weight.  I only ever lose weight if I am counting calories.  And by counting, I don't mean depriving myself, just as accurately as possible accounting for what goes in and out.  I have just accepted that it will always be a part of my life.

Except I do take breaks and I really need to start calorie counting now, and I am resisting SO hard.  I want my "wishful thinking" weight loss plan to work, dammit.

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2022, 11:42:45 AM »
I think you've identified one problem, which is paying so much attention to what you are eating that it takes energy and attention from the rest of your life. I'm not sure whether this might also be a problem, but I suspect that aiming for "perfection" (size zero, or whatever) is often another problem that sets us up for failure - aiming for "healthy" is a better bet, noting that for middle aged women "healthy" corresponds to the "overweight" category of BMI better than it does to "normal" - although "obese" is still bad even for middle aged women.

The way I lost weight when I needed to -

1.  Start eating 5 helpings of vegetables a day.
2.  Stop eating potatoes, pasta and pizza and drinking alcohol (I'd add no fizzy drinks but I didn't drink those anyway).
3.  Eat according to plate size: one large plate, one small plate, one bowl a day, no snacks other than veggies, fruit and nuts.
4.  Jog for 20 minutes 3 times a week.

That's it.  No fancy menus, no counting calories, no constant thoughts about food and eating, just food as fuel and spend the mental and physical energy on the other things in your life.

Oh, and watch out for plate size.  Modern plates tend to be 10" in diameter, older ones from even just a couple of decades ago only 8 or 9 inches.  Obesegenic crockery, who would have thought it?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 11:51:56 AM by former player »

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2022, 11:44:16 AM »
Similar to @NotJen , working out consistently is a part of my daily routine. 60 minutes per day of a hard workout at a minimum, 90 minutes is typical, but I'm often over that. I arrange my schedule to ensure this happens, and fit this in between work, and having two kids in lots of activities. Often my workout is running during soccer game warmups, or at a practice drop off, or really early in the morning, or what have you. It's not an optional question in my mind, it just needs to happen. Over the last 2+ years, I think I've missed 3 days (two road trip days, and one day when I was sick, post vaccine).

For the eating side, I'm aware of my body & hunger. I have hormonal challenges at certain times, & try to work through them by allowing myself an extra piece of fruit, or some additional protein. I've had a slow metabolism since childhood (my sister & I would consistently eat the same thing, same portions & have similar activity level, & she was stick thin & I always bordered on "chubby".)

Here are some things I do:
-Record my calories, as consistently as possible
-Understand what I struggle with (traveling, breaks in my routine, etc) & come up with solutions or experiments for these days
-Brush my teeth after dinner (and, sometimes lunch, if I'm struggling with snacking)
-Remind myself that I don't need to eat the same amount as my teens. It's challenging to have two very active teen boys at my house, because they eat a lot of food, & love snacking. We often have food in our house that's hard for me to avoid, so it's a work in progress.
-Share with others. I have a 10 year email thread with my sister & BFF. Most days, we share our calories, our workouts, & any challenges/wins. It's helpful to drive the consistency, & feel like you're not in it alone
-I don't drink mid-week. Even one glass of wine reduces my self control for eating decisions, and then it's a slippery slop of extra calories consumed
-I weigh in about 1x/week
-I set modest goals for myself, on the weight loss side

NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2022, 11:46:14 AM »
Do you have any good go-to & filling recipes? I've realized I'm a volume eater- mentally I want that 'satiated' feeling, which is troubling if I'm snacking on nuts.

My go-to is salads.  I realized long ago that crunchy foods make me feel better.  I did it for work lunches, and continue it now.  I make up a big batch of green salads - in a combo of large and small containers - to eat with my leftovers.  Large salads are topped with leftover proteins, small salads are paired with soups and other meals.

Also, sometimes I just need some carbs.  Adding a small piece of bread to a meal will help it feel complete and curb the immediate urge to snack.

Pistachios used to be my go-to snacking nut at work - I think they are the lowest calorie nut, and dealing with the shells slowed down how long they took to eat which made it more satisfying.

SunnyDays

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2022, 11:49:53 AM »
I do the same thing as Maizefolk.  Repetitive meals for a few days at a time (or longer if you want), then switch to a different set of repetitive meals.  I live alone, so it works for me, because I just make enough at a time for a few meals anyway.

If you like to feel full, a low calorie appetizer before meals works - a salad, or raw veggies.  Avoid fruit for this purpose, it has lots of sugar.

A lower carb diet makes a big difference too, because that's where all the calories are.

Lastly, exercise, even just a little bit extra than usual.

NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2022, 11:53:49 AM »
-I don't drink mid-week. Even one glass of wine reduces my self control for eating decisions, and then it's a slippery slop of extra calories consumed

This is an interesting one.  I have cut back on drinking at home recently, but several years ago when I was consistently drinking a glass of wine or beer with dinner, it actually helped me to stop eating if I considered it my 'dessert' treat.  Which is odd, because I have never been one to eat dessert after a meal.

investnoob

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2022, 11:57:19 AM »
I am 55lbs down from my heaviest. I bounce around a lot. But right now I'm in a good spot.

I do it in a way that may be draconian or depressing to some...

I have no junk food at all in my apartment. You mentioned cookies in your post. Well, there are no cookies in my apartment.
I usually only have about 5 days of groceries in my fridge. I may have a few cans of something like peas/mushrooms and chicken noodle soup in the cupboard.
I don't count calories but I do restrict my portions. That took a while to figure out for me.
Breakfast used to be three or four slices of bacon, with 2 toast, and three eggs. Now its 2 eggs with 2 small turkey sausage links. That's how I control my food.

That's it.

It helps that I am a bachelor. There is no one else around who keeps food around that will tempt me.
It also helps that I am a 6foot1 man that is around 175lbs. You are right, there is a lot of wiggle room for me when compared to a small woman.

That doesn't mean I never eat junk food, its just that its not around me to tempt me. Maybe twice a month I indulge when hosting friends or out with friends.

edit: by only keeping a few days of food around, it actually limits the number of decisions I need to make at meal time or when eating. I find that is a big help, too.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 11:59:10 AM by investnoob »

Paper Chaser

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2022, 12:17:38 PM »
Strength training is the most efficient way to change your body. It's empowering for most people rather than exhausting all willpower, or forcing you to be super diligent about every single calorie you consume.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 12:19:11 PM by Paper Chaser »

Sailor Sam

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2022, 12:18:36 PM »
I'm a 5'3" woman, who runs towards pudgy. Lucky for me, I'm weighed in twice a year, and have to be under 160 to keep my job. These two points in conjunction has given me a layman's interest in researching metabolism, hormones, homeostasis, etc.

My personal approach to maintaining my weight is:

1. Don't bring home anything from the grocery store that has more than 1 ingredient. The only exception is bread (because bread is delicious, ain't fucking giving that up). This is the easiest way for me to follow a no-added-sugar diet that's high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and oils. I can't eat dairy, and I don't like touching raw meat which means that I lean very "plant based," or whatever.  Dunno if that's required, because it's just how I prefer it.

2. Lift up heavy things, put them down. I repeat this until I build more muscle. More muscle = more calories. Nom! Women tend to shy away from resistance training, and it's a goddamn shame, because...more calories!

3. I do around 90 minutes of cardio a week. Mostly jogging, because twice a year I have to prove I can run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes. If I didn't have that requirement, I wouldn't do any goddamn cardio, because I hates it.

4. I walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps everyday.

This lifestyle is what allows me, personally, to avoid having to gut weight loss and weight maintenance out using willpower. It also allows me to eat 1,800 and 2,000 calories per day, which I toughly enjoy.  It took me a lot of experimentation, research, and thought in order to figure my own body out, so I dunno how exactly it will translate, but I hope it helps!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 12:32:32 PM by Sailor Sam »

wenchsenior

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2022, 01:39:52 PM »
I will preface this by saying: I know how to lose weight. I've done it before. The problem is, for a 5'4" frame, eating at a calorie deficit is just not that much food. The difference between a nice deficit and overeating is a few bites of cookie, an extra scoop of rice, cheese on your sandwich or cream in your coffee.

It can be done, but the way I do it (careful calorie logging) uses up all my willpower. By the end of the day I feel exhausted from making "good choices" all day and from not letting myself stuff some candy in my mouth to "reward" myself for doing a hard work task.

More problematically, this means that I have less willpower left for the other hard decisions in my life - focusing on work instead of wasting time on the internet (ha), getting on the exercise bike etc. etc.

So, people who have lost weight without losing their minds - how did you do it? Fasting? Training for a marathon?

I'm 5'4" and have never been technically overweight, but have dropped 20 lbs a few times. I'm doing it right now, in fact (more on this below). I agree that calorie counting (though very useful esp if, like me, you never really paid attention to it before) is exhausting and often demoralizing (the first few days I tracked I was horrified to learn that I was eating almost TWICE 'slow and steady weight loss' rec'd number of calories (which is 1200) despite it feeling like I was making pretty good choices.

What has always worked for me in the past has been to simply eat mostly the way I usually do but cut amounts, and/or swap in lower calorie subs for some of my standard foods, and/or cut all snacks, and simultaneously add bit of exercise. It's slow, but b/c my weight gains normally happen pretty slowly so I don't usually aim for quick weight loss.

Having said that, on the occasions that I've dropped 20 lbs fast (over less than 2 months) it was by dramatically restricting sugar/grains/processed starches (though not otherwise trying to cut calories) and dramatically increasing HIIT type exercise.

Currently, weight loss is going slowly partly b/c I haven't committed to going at it hard (like in previous example) and partly (probably) b/c I'm in perimenopause and I suspect weight loss will be slightly more difficult going forward.  One of the new things I've adopted is simply pushing my first meal of the day to noon instead of 9 or 10 a.m., which means I usually only need one small snack around 4 pm to make it to dinner. And I'm adding strength training (which actually slows raw weight loss but it's worth it b/c it will raise my baseline TDEE a bit).

But I feel you, for sure. 1200 calories is very tough to hit for long periods if you have a lot of weight to lose.

Which brings me to my other strategy...I have set up my lifestyle and eating habits such that it is difficult for me to rapidly gain weight, and I keep an eye on my weight with regular weigh ins so if it starts creeping up, I jump on it before it gets over 20 lbs.  I 100% agree with you that if you have to monitor your food constantly it burns up willpower and motivation (this is true of pretty much all exercises of willpower over all areas of life).  The secret is to try to arrange the most possible things in your life such that you don't have to exert willpower over them (thus saving it for crucial stuff) and learn how to use your brain's natural inclination to automate (build habits) to work for you. Books like Atomic Habits are very helpful in this regard.

In re: food, I have really routinized my eating over the years. About 80% of my meals are set in rotation and require minimal thought or effort to plan, shop for, or cook (all three of those are activities I find tiresome, though I enjoy eating LOL).  I eat only 1-2 things (same things, same amounts) for breakfast and snacks, and only get creative with dinner maybe 3 times per week.  So most of the time I eat meals that are optimized for nutrition, have consistent numbers of calories, and that I already know I like.  That takes a lot of the 'willpower' out of food choices.

I realize this is more helpful advice for weight maintenance rather than weight loss, but the same principle applies.  Can you simply routinize your food intake for a few months at the lower calorie state so you don't have to  think about it so much (thought drains energy)?  For example, I took one of my two standard breakfasts and just cut about 100 calories from it by dropping and changing a few ingredients. I changed over to a couple standard snacks that have lower calories, etc. I cut out e.g., the nuts that used to go on my salad but I still eat the salad, and I cut out the cheese that used go on one of our standard meals, etc.  That's what I've been doing, and it's slow loss, but it is happening. If I have to put too much mental effort into anything like this, I just won't do it. So small but steady is crucial for me.

Incidentally, the same process works to boost my lazy ass up for exercise. My mental resistance to the idea of doing a 'workout' is huge, so I trick my brain by aiming to only do e.g., a 10 minute walk or 10 minutes (maybe 3 sets) of bodyweight work. I try to build pleasant rituals around the exercise as well to lessen my resistance. Then once I actually START, I usually find that it's easy to do more than I planned.

Might that approach work for you?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2022, 01:46:03 PM by wenchsenior »

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2022, 01:48:40 PM »
-I don't drink mid-week. Even one glass of wine reduces my self control for eating decisions, and then it's a slippery slop of extra calories consumed

This is an interesting one.  I have cut back on drinking at home recently, but several years ago when I was consistently drinking a glass of wine or beer with dinner, it actually helped me to stop eating if I considered it my 'dessert' treat.  Which is odd, because I have never been one to eat dessert after a meal.

I'd say midweek drinking ends up like you describe often, but there are days I'll just grab another glass of wine or hard seltzer. After 2, my eating willpower is completely eliminated, so in addition to the ~200 calories from alcohol, there is also likely some junk food or extra snacks.

I'm trying hard to brush my teeth after dinner, which eliminates drinking & snacking. Overall, lower calories generally.

wenchsenior

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2022, 01:52:02 PM »
I am 55lbs down from my heaviest. I bounce around a lot. But right now I'm in a good spot.

I do it in a way that may be draconian or depressing to some...

I have no junk food at all in my apartment. You mentioned cookies in your post. Well, there are no cookies in my apartment.
I usually only have about 5 days of groceries in my fridge. I may have a few cans of something like peas/mushrooms and chicken noodle soup in the cupboard.
I don't count calories but I do restrict my portions. That took a while to figure out for me.
Breakfast used to be three or four slices of bacon, with 2 toast, and three eggs. Now its 2 eggs with 2 small turkey sausage links. That's how I control my food.

That's it.

It helps that I am a bachelor. There is no one else around who keeps food around that will tempt me.
It also helps that I am a 6foot1 man that is around 175lbs. You are right, there is a lot of wiggle room for me when compared to a small woman.

That doesn't mean I never eat junk food, its just that its not around me to tempt me. Maybe twice a month I indulge when hosting friends or out with friends.

edit: by only keeping a few days of food around, it actually limits the number of decisions I need to make at meal time or when eating. I find that is a big help, too.

Yeah, I don't find that draconian at all. I do the same thing...I simply don't buy or generally expose myself to things that I have trouble controlling my intake of.  So ice cream is fine (I can spread a pint over a month) but fresh baked goods? No way are those in the house. In fact, I try not to go near the bakery section of the grocery store much either.  This makes everything easier b/c it also means that on the very rare occasions that I do buy baked goods or make them  myself, it feels like a REAL indulgence.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2022, 01:52:21 PM »
@Sailor Sam - the strength training is a good call out. I find myself having to actively work on strength, because cardio is a mood booster & energy increaser for me. Is that not the case for you? I know strength training is good for me, but it doesn't give me the same "feel good" vibes, so it's more of a box checklist of things I know I need to do.


Dreamer40

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2022, 02:35:05 PM »
@Sailor Sam - the strength training is a good call out. I find myself having to actively work on strength, because cardio is a mood booster & energy increaser for me. Is that not the case for you? I know strength training is good for me, but it doesn't give me the same "feel good" vibes, so it's more of a box checklist of things I know I need to do.

Strength training can be just as big of a mood booster as cardio, you just have to keep moving. And maybe blast some music. :)  For example, this free video: https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/sweaty-lower-body-strength-workout-with-lower-body-cardio-intervals
So much more effective and energizing than plodding along on a cardio machine.

chaskavitch

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2022, 02:37:18 PM »
@Sailor Sam - the strength training is a good call out. I find myself having to actively work on strength, because cardio is a mood booster & energy increaser for me. Is that not the case for you? I know strength training is good for me, but it doesn't give me the same "feel good" vibes, so it's more of a box checklist of things I know I need to do.

If strength training would give me the same health benefits as actual cardio, I would deadlift 8 days a week rather than run ever again, haha.  I know I'd like it more if I actually built up my endurance, but cardio is the worst. 

And thanks @meadow lark for your links.  I personally am having a hard time switching to that paradigm, but I'm working on just adding a lot more veggies and protein to my current diet, and paying attention to when I'm ACTUALLY hungry and full instead of just calorie counting.  I'm still counting, and sticking between 1800-2000 calories/day, but I'm trying to use it as more of an aid to help me pay attention to my body cues.  Otherwise I WILL eat the entire family size bag of almond M&Ms because I can, even if it makes me sick.

Sailor Sam

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2022, 02:51:37 PM »
@Sailor Sam - the strength training is a good call out. I find myself having to actively work on strength, because cardio is a mood booster & energy increaser for me. Is that not the case for you? I know strength training is good for me, but it doesn't give me the same "feel good" vibes, so it's more of a box checklist of things I know I need to do.

I got a runnerís high once, so I have experienced how nice it is. If I could actually feel that more often, Iíd be way more into cardio. But in generally, nope, cardio feels like a long, boring, horrific slog to me. Isnít it interesting how different bodies, and brains, can be?


Sailor Sam

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2022, 02:56:19 PM »
If strength training would give me the same health benefits as actual cardio, I would deadlift 8 days a week rather than run ever again, haha.  I know I'd like it more if I actually built up my endurance, but cardio is the worst.

Hard same. 

And thanks @meadow lark for your links.  I personally am having a hard time switching to that paradigm, but I'm working on just adding a lot more veggies and protein to my current diet, and paying attention to when I'm ACTUALLY hungry and full instead of just calorie counting.  I'm still counting, and sticking between 1800-2000 calories/day, but I'm trying to use it as more of an aid to help me pay attention to my body cues.  Otherwise I WILL eat the entire family size bag of almond M&Ms because I can, even if it makes me sick.

Also this: https://youtu.be/0Rb3MYGWK70 link on reverse dieting (nudge, @meadow lark)

A lot of us are probably walking around with metabolisms that we done fucked up through our enthusiasms, and the idea that our bodies are something we need to fight, instead of getting along with.

However, that link isnít within the spirit of what the OP is asking, and I donít want to do any protletizing. People can get het up about this stuff. Plus, the science is all still very young.

jamesbond007

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2022, 03:47:50 PM »
How do you know how many calories you need per day? I get that there is a standard 2000 calorie diet. But it is anything but standard. I was 186lbs pre-pandemic. I am highly active. I cycle about 3000ish miles each year, but I eat a lot too. I used to think I needed all the food because I cycled. Then just before the pandemic lockdown, on a whim, I had an RMR test done. It turns out my RMR is 1550 calories. Plus add in my daily exercise and other normal movement. I use a chest strap to measure my heart rate while working out to make the reading accurate and hence the calories burned (Still not accurate, but as close as it can get). Now add these calories to 1550 and add in a multiplier as suggested by the RMR test results. I am at 1750 calories before exercise.

Now you see where people go wrong. If you start consuming 2000 calories every day, if you were me, you would be overloading 250 calories every day. So, according to the book, you would be gaining 1lb every 2 weeks. No problem if you are exercising and burning those extra calories.

Another thing to note is, although people generalize calories in and calories out, it is not as simple. My experience has been that is not the number of calories but the kind of calories I put in my body. I have been raised as a vegetarian. So, I rely primarily on vegetables, legumes, etc. I cut out starchy vegetables and rice from my diet. I never ate breakfast, so I was already intermittent fasting. I just made sure I exercise in a fasted state and then ate some sugar/starch/carbs immediately after exercise when insulin sensitivity is the highest within 15 minutes. This satiated my urge to eat carbs.

I follow it up with salad. I eat a lot. The nutrients, olive oil, fiber keep me full well into the night. This cycle repeats every day. Since the start of the pandemic, I lost 26lbs by Feb 2021. I maintained that till today. People say you need to exercise to lose weight, but it is not true, in my experience. Exercise makes you fit. But to lose weight, you need to control your eating.

TL; DR:
1. Get an RMR test
2. Eat fewer carbs
3. Control your insulin production
4. If you are exercising, do it with a heart rate monitor, ideally a chest based one.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2022, 03:55:21 PM »
Thanks all. Some great advice here. I appreciate the sympathy and taking the time to respond.

I think my key takeaway here is that I should try routine eating more, i.e. eat the same food for certain meals. I actually usually skip breakfast - I find that if I don't 'wake up' my stomach it starts to feel peckish and empty around 10:30, but if I eat a solid breakfast I get RAVENOUS around the same time. So maybe the baby step here is to pack a protein and fiber-heavy lunch.

Chicken and a giant pile of veggies, maybe? If you follow my food-I-make journal you might see this make an appearance soon, ha.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2022, 04:06:02 PM »
If you're open to a meal planning program, Platejoy (www.platejoy.com allows users to set a specific number of calories as a daily goal. It can provide breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks and can be used for any type of diet. You can also choose something it calls "balanced plate" which will give you it's most nutritionally complete meals. Based on your description of getting ravenous, I wonder if you've cut back calories too much to be sustainable and/or aren't getting enough protein. I started using Platejoy recently for the opposite issue as you. I need to eat a lot more food for my level of activity than I was and so I'm using it to get a baseline number of calories each day plus adding in calories/protein for my workouts.

sourdough

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2022, 04:24:25 PM »
5'3" female here.

I have dropped 20 pounds so far with about that much more to lose.

For me, increasing fiber and protein has helped me from feeling hunger.  Extra water too.

To simplify the energy drain of deciding what to eat, breakfast and lunch are pretty much the same every day.  For dinner, I choose from several recipes that satiate in a different way (spicy, crunchy, comfort, etc).


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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2022, 05:01:36 PM »
Some of this you probably already know, forgive me if I'm being too basic.

As some people have mentioned or alluded to: what works for one may not work for another. Conduct an protracted experiment where you gather data on yourself to find out what works for you and what does not. You say your goal is weight loss, but may I be so bold as to suggest that you consider a lifestyle change instead/in addition? Weight loss can be short term and if you don't change some of the habits that got you where you are, you will just end up there again. Look for sustainable changes that you can embed into your life, and adopt them as your new SOP going forward.

Folks have mentioned fiber, protein and water. I'd like to emphasize that these three, along with fat, typically help you feel full for a longer time. So I built my diet around getting adequate amounts of these things.

The water in particular might be helpful to you, as it can provide a no-calorie feeling of satiety for a short time. I use the "drink a glass of water" strategy for situation such as when I get hungry, but it's less than an hour to meal time.  Or maybe pair your snack of nuts with some water (before or after)?

Drink a glass of water if you get randomly hungry. Sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger.

Don't cut drastically back early in the day if you have an event with eating at the end of the day. Takes willpower to cut back, then takes willpower to not overeat after being hungry all day. It may be counter intuitive, but try snacking before going to the event. If you are already somewhat satisfied, it's easier to show restraint in that situation. Go for a little extra movement/workout on that day, the day before and/or the day after instead.

If you want to eat more calorie-dense foods like nuts, try to "dilute" those calories somehow. Can your snack include some veggies, *then* the nuts? Veggies for the volume, then the nuts to leave that taste in your mouth.

Planning ahead can take a lot of the decision points & therefore willpower out of your day. I've decided to eat small portions 6 times a day, which has turned out to work well for me. I do the repeat-foods thing too. Basically, find a "template" for your eating habits and stick to it. But tweak it if it's not working until it supports your goals.

Plan. Then make a backup plan. What if you plan to walk, but the weather prevents it? Without a back up plan, you might need to expend willpower to find a substitute activity. But if you know your alternate plans? Much easier.

Try to find ways to remember your *why*, your reason for doing this, in the moment. A post-it near your monitor? A mantra you chant each time you step into the kitchen? Try to touch your toes before you dive into a calorie-dense treat? ;)

Someone mentioned Atomic Habits, which is a good resource. I like Tiny Habits. The author has a website and some free supports to help.

Maximize your menu, as best you can, so you like what you eat. Easier to eat things you like.

Credentials: lost 50# in 2018-2019 and maintained for 2+ years, with the help of a medical weight loss program. I weigh more than society would like to see, but my blood sugar is now in a healthy/not dangerous range.

use2betrix

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2022, 05:23:19 PM »
Let me preface this by saying Iíve been Ďcountingí calories, from a diet since, for probably a dozen plus years. Sometimes very very strictly, but eventually to the point of knowing what we can eat and how to make easy adjustment as needed.

Counting calories shouldnít be a lifelong thing. Once you do it long enough, all your Ďmealsí should be planned and you should have a really good idea how many calories things generally have in them and what you can and canít get by with. It also comes with making smart decisions. I.e. if I know iím gonna go Ďoverboardí one night at a party or dinner, I might cut my lunch light, in half, or maybe even not at all.

Generally, we switch off between a dozen or so nightly meals. My wife always adds the same amount of meat for each of us, along with carbs. She always doubles up dinner so we eat the same thing for lunch the next day.

Breakfast is pretty standard most days, and I drink a couple protein shakes/day.

It takes self control when you are constantly faced with temptations. We are smart in that we donít keep any ďcrapĒ inside the home. No frozen pizzaís, ice cream (except low cal halo top), or any other general crap foods. Nearly no snacks (except fruit or veggies) and all foods that take a little bit of preparation at a minimum.


Fitness has been a staple in my life for 20+ Years (Iím 34). Iím 5í9Ē and at one point I was up to 220 lbs and single digit body fat, but now that Iím a bit older Iíve tamed it way down and Iím around 165 now. I still work out 7x a week, 4 heavy lifting sessions and 3 days running. I can easily go months without missing a single day.

Itís never been Ďeasyí. My mom owned a bakery for 20+ years and I have a worse sweet tooth than anyone I know. That being said, Iíll still take some suffering through workouts and holding out on some food than feeling like a slob or going through the day knowing that I skipped a workout for no reason other than being lazyÖ.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2022, 06:27:12 PM »
Y'know, something else occurred to me as I was thinking about this problem. Losing weight as a person living alone is a lot easier than when you're cohabitating with 1+ other people.

Last time I lost significant weight, I would batch cook, add up the calories and divide by servings. Boom, pre-portioned known calorie entities, along with some snacks on the side that I knew would reliably get me over the mid-afternoon slump.

This time, it's a lot trickier. I made a lentil stew for dinner and had a bowl, and toddler had a few fistfuls, and husband had a few servings, and how many calories did I eat for dinner? There's a lot more estimating, and while I don't think it's super far off it just requires a lot more mental energy to figure out.

The alternative is that I basically cook twice - once for me and once for everyone else in the family. Aaaaargh. Unless anyone has better ideas.

Omy

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2022, 07:00:25 AM »
In my case, the math is keeping me engaged in the diet...but I see how it could be annoying over time. I'm also looking at staying in a 100 calorie range so I'm not worried about my numbers being perfect.

wenchsenior

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2022, 08:38:39 AM »
Y'know, something else occurred to me as I was thinking about this problem. Losing weight as a person living alone is a lot easier than when you're cohabitating with 1+ other people.

Last time I lost significant weight, I would batch cook, add up the calories and divide by servings. Boom, pre-portioned known calorie entities, along with some snacks on the side that I knew would reliably get me over the mid-afternoon slump.

This time, it's a lot trickier. I made a lentil stew for dinner and had a bowl, and toddler had a few fistfuls, and husband had a few servings, and how many calories did I eat for dinner? There's a lot more estimating, and while I don't think it's super far off it just requires a lot more mental energy to figure out.

The alternative is that I basically cook twice - once for me and once for everyone else in the family. Aaaaargh. Unless anyone has better ideas.

Yeah, that's tough. I can think of two options other than cooking separately for yourself. One is to batch cook from recipes where you've calculated total calories going in, and then portion out servings very carefully so you know pretty close to exact calories. If you make extra, then you can store complete servings as well, so there is food already in the fridge for later lunches or whatever, and you know how many calories those are.  Downside is that you have to be ultra accurate in the initial cooking stage with amounts and calories, and then there is still likely to be wiggle room when you portion out servings (esp of 'mixed' meals like stir fries, stews, etc. where the ingredients all get dumped together).

The other option is to sit down and meal plan ~7-10 meals where all the ingredients can be prepared, measured/weighed, and served separately (e.g., tacos, salads, meat/side veg/side carb, cold picnic plates, etc.  Then you measure out and figure calories for your own portion as you plate based on the amount you make.

It really is a pain in the ass. However, if you find e.g. 10 meals that you can make in repetition for a while, and you do the work up front, you never have to do those calculations in as great a detail again, esp if you are accurate about learning how much to serve yourself (be careful to double check yourself every few times if you are 'eyeballing it' b/c at our height, as you said, that extra couple hundred calories can make or break it.)

Something else I thought of to help you. Again, my philosophy is 'small steps/lazy approach', so I always look for low-hanging fruit, as it were.  For example, I find it much easier to focus on strict control of high-calorie fats and 'munchies' carbs than to weigh every gram of chicken breast.  So in my daily eating habits, it's common for me to eat a couple tablespoons of PB, a few handfuls of tortilla chips for a snack, a handful of dried fruit/nuts, mindlessly pour olive oil into my saute pan.  But when I'm trying to lose weight, just those 4 daily food choices alone can make a difference of hundreds of calories!  I mean, nuts are nutritionally dense but they are SO incredibly high calorie for their size that they are simply not worth it to me to eat AT ALL when I'm trying to lose weight. So...no nuts. Chips are nutritionally empty AND a 'serving' (while not insanely high calorie) is about half a handful. Why bother? Just eat a couple baby carrots instead.  Healthy spreads that I normally eat pretty regularly like PB, pesto, hummus? NO WAY...far too calorie dense per tablespoon when I'm trying to lose weight. Same with dried fruit, which I still eat a bit of (love dried cranberries on my salad) but I get super careful about serving size (hint: far less than my natural inclination).  Other examples would be cream in coffee (I never do it, simply not worth it caloriewise and I'm used to it black), mayonnaise or sour cream (don't bother, just sub in mustard, greek yogurt).  I bought a mister and some new nonstick pans so I can saute and roast with much less oil.  I still eat vinegar and oil salad dressing, but I'm super careful about the dressing. 

Go for the small things that have big payoff.


DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2022, 08:38:56 AM »
I've lost 23 lbs since the end of Nov.--172 to 149 in 4 months.  I've done it by writing down everything I eat in my Little Fat Book and keeping calories to 1200.

It has not been easy and a handful of cookies will definitely put you over.  I still eat chocolate everyday, write down the calories, and when I'm out of calories I stop eating--sometimes it's 4 pm.  If I'm still hungry I'll eat a whole bag of broccoli.

I eat 3 little pieces of white choc at 40 calories with my coffee.  If I get to like 500 to 600 hundred calories and it's getting late, I make sure to save he rest for dinner.  So far so good, but maintaining may be a different issue--4 months of counting calories is not the same as many years.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2022, 08:57:34 AM »
Y'know, something else occurred to me as I was thinking about this problem. Losing weight as a person living alone is a lot easier than when you're cohabitating with 1+ other people.

Last time I lost significant weight, I would batch cook, add up the calories and divide by servings. Boom, pre-portioned known calorie entities, along with some snacks on the side that I knew would reliably get me over the mid-afternoon slump.

This time, it's a lot trickier. I made a lentil stew for dinner and had a bowl, and toddler had a few fistfuls, and husband had a few servings, and how many calories did I eat for dinner? There's a lot more estimating, and while I don't think it's super far off it just requires a lot more mental energy to figure out.

The alternative is that I basically cook twice - once for me and once for everyone else in the family. Aaaaargh. Unless anyone has better ideas.

I swear I'm not a shill for Platejoy. But did want to also mention that it allows users to input everyone in their household and portion sizes and then will apportion out the meal to each household member. For example, maybe 1/3 to one person, 1/2 to another, and 2 kiddie portions. One functionality it has that I haven't tried out yet is that you can add non-Platejoy recipes to it as well and it will incorporate them into meal plans. I have some favorite recipes from a different meal planner that I'm going to upload to my recipe library in Platejoy so I don't lose them out of rotation.

use2betrix

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2022, 11:56:24 AM »
Y'know, something else occurred to me as I was thinking about this problem. Losing weight as a person living alone is a lot easier than when you're cohabitating with 1+ other people.

Last time I lost significant weight, I would batch cook, add up the calories and divide by servings. Boom, pre-portioned known calorie entities, along with some snacks on the side that I knew would reliably get me over the mid-afternoon slump.

This time, it's a lot trickier. I made a lentil stew for dinner and had a bowl, and toddler had a few fistfuls, and husband had a few servings, and how many calories did I eat for dinner? There's a lot more estimating, and while I don't think it's super far off it just requires a lot more mental energy to figure out.

The alternative is that I basically cook twice - once for me and once for everyone else in the family. Aaaaargh. Unless anyone has better ideas.

To lose a lb of fat, you have to have a 3500 calorie deficit. Or, over a week, 500 calorie deficit per day would equate to 1lb lost per week. The deficit doesnít just have to be from food, but also increasing exercise. I.e. going from where someone is currently and burning 300 calories in exercise additional per day, and cutting out 200 calories per day, they should. Lose approximately 1 lb per week.

In terms of batch cooking with the family, that 3500 lbs is a relatively big number. I mean, itís super easy to eat, but for someone planning, being off 50 calories here or there isnít going to make a massive deal breaker. If anything, when you have to cook a big meal and measure out your portion, error in the side of caution, but really, donít over stress it!

Also, are you 100% confident in your tracking? Thereís sooooo many Ďhiddení calories that people donít think of. Primarily in drinks.. non-diet sodaís, gatorade (not gatorade zero), cooking products (butter, oils, etc.). Also - so many foods have way more calories if you arenít carefully, primarily fats (9 calories per gram of fat vs 4 calories per gram for protein/carbs) - i.e. peanut butter, nuts, avocados, etc. Theyíre all very healthy, but also very calorie dense.

Kris

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2022, 01:11:52 PM »
I agree with what a lot of people are saying here -- calorie deficit, eating more lean proteins and cutting down on refined carbs, eating more "low calorie density" foods and limiting high calorie density foods -- but one thing I haven't seen mentioned (unless I missed it) is the effect that things like sodium, alcohol, and not drinking enough water have on willpower.

It is easy to "gain" 2-3 pounds "overnight" through water retention if your diet is not consistently healthy. And if you happen to step on the scale the morning after, the number you see will upset you, and might lead you to start going down the path of "why even try? I gain weight just looking at food. I'll never do it..." thus sapping your willpower for the next day, which means another day eating poorly. That creates a vicious cycle, unfortunately, and basically makes a lot of people just throw up their hands and give up.

I personally weigh myself every morning when I make a commitment to lose weight. That's not for everyone, but it works for me. And I mention it because it has allowed me to see the fluctuations of weight based on things like not how many calories I've eaten, but the qualities of the things I've eaten. It can take 2-3 days for my body to go back to "normal" if I've had a day of salty, carby food and alcohol. The solution to that is patience, not letting myself get upset, realizing what it is, going back to my better habits, and waiting for the results to show on the scale.

Weight loss, as you've said, is a mind game as much as it is a body game. I'd say it's almost more of a mind game. But the way to master that game is to give your body the kinds of foods it needs to work for you, instead of against you.

use2betrix

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2022, 01:39:33 PM »
@Kris has a lot of very good points, particularly in regards to salt intake and itís impact on your weight.

Personally, if iím trying Ďreallyí hard to lose weight, Iíll weigh myself on Mondayís (usually a little rough since I always work in a decent ďcheat mealĒ and good dessert over the weekend) and again on Thursdayís, as thatís after several days of good clean eating.

This year, I also started fasting on Mondayís from 5:30 a.m - 5 p.m. I do have a few plain veggies and a protein shake with water at around 5:30 a.m.. I donít do it for weight or health, more of just a mental exercise.

As mentioned above, drinking a lot of water is a GREAT way to curb appetite.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2022, 01:41:11 PM by use2betrix »

Sailor Sam

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2022, 02:19:23 PM »
I personally weigh myself every morning when I make a commitment to lose weight. That's not for everyone, but it works for me. And I mention it because it has allowed me to see the fluctuations of weight based on things like not how many calories I've eaten, but the qualities of the things I've eaten. It can take 2-3 days for my body to go back to "normal" if I've had a day of salty, carby food and alcohol. The solution to that is patience, not letting myself get upset, realizing what it is, going back to my better habits, and waiting for the results to show on the scale.

Weigh everyday, at least for 3-4 months, also allows to see what kind of fluctuation are caused by any sort of xy hormones you might have. Cause them bastards play merry fuckaround when it comes to the scale.

wenchsenior

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2022, 04:36:31 PM »
I personally weigh myself every morning when I make a commitment to lose weight. That's not for everyone, but it works for me. And I mention it because it has allowed me to see the fluctuations of weight based on things like not how many calories I've eaten, but the qualities of the things I've eaten. It can take 2-3 days for my body to go back to "normal" if I've had a day of salty, carby food and alcohol. The solution to that is patience, not letting myself get upset, realizing what it is, going back to my better habits, and waiting for the results to show on the scale.

Weigh everyday, at least for 3-4 months, also allows to see what kind of fluctuation are caused by any sort of xy hormones you might have. Cause them bastards play merry fuckaround when it comes to the scale.

Agree with both of these.  My weight is normally very consistent for days to weeks (down to the same 1/10th of a pound).  I was the same weight for ALL of the past month despite trying to lose weight, then near the end of the month suddenly dropped 4 lbs. Then I was sitting at that weight for several weeks but I'm near the end of my period today. Today I lost 1.5 lbs between weighing myself first thing this morning and just now.

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2022, 05:09:39 PM »
I tried calory counting and found it mentally exhausting.

Similarly to other people in the thread what we do is to filter what we buy. We donīt have snacks, anything with sugar on it or pre-cooked food at home.

Instead of ordering, we cook very simple stuff at home when we want some comfort food (spaghetti carbonara takes 12 minutes to prepare, way less than almost anything).

And finally we have relatively small dishes. We eat whatever is served in the plate, so is important not to serve a lot of food.

To help with logistics we batch cook and either freeze stuff or, if it cannot be frozen (such as stews with potato) we sterlize some jars, fill them with the extra food, extract the air and keep the prepared food in the fridge for a few days or weeks. In general we prepare 4 to 5 rations each time we cook. Cooking more rations takes more or less the same effort, but it saves a lot of time in planning and executing. When you have the fridge and freezer packed with healthy stuff prepared by yourself in advance is way easier not to fall into temptation.

For us it was a matter of making small but permanent changes. We stopped buying any sweets, then a few months later we did the same with snacks and so on. I personally find easier to not have any than to fight the temptation every afternoon. We just know those things are not available, so our snacking is some fruit or a small piece of bread and butter if we are extremely hungry.

Runrooster

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2022, 05:55:01 PM »
I lost a third of my bodyweight a few years ago (documented on a weight loss thread here), and I would agree with the basics:

1.  protein at every meal.  If you're hungry, you're probably not eating enough protein.
2. lot of fiber, in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes.
3.Regularity.  Get some variety, but I ate a steady diet of eggs for breakfast, beans for lunch, and chicken for dinner.
4. keep no junk food in the house - I cleared out alcohol, chips, and rarely ate out.  I'm stuck on this one now because my job stocks junk food and free meal(s) every week.
5. cardio cardio cardio. People swear by weights, I just don't buy it.  What I've read (bodyrecomposition blog) says that it is impossible to lose weight and put on muscle at the same time.  Gaining muscle requires calorie excess, weight loss a deficit.  Plus with all the waiting between sets, weight training is a poor caloric burn.
6. do whatever it takes to get through the first week, after which time the body kicks in to fat burning mode and hunger diminishes greatly.  This is also my problem, I just can't make it past the first 2 days without caving to the junk around me at work and at home.

Malossi792

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2022, 05:06:31 AM »
As others have noted, eliminate decision-making from the day-to-day process.
Examples for me include:
 - commuting by bicycle, rain or shine. One should start with shine only, once you're addicted the rain part comes by itself. HUGE mental benefits here, often overlooked, are *really* waking up by the time you arrive at work, not taking home (as much) work stress, etc.
 - intermittent fasting. You can dip your toe here starting 12/12 or 10/14, whichever works when you start. Then increase the fasting portion gradually till the tipping point, reduce a bit, done.
4/20 worked without any regard to what or how much I ate / drank in those 4 hours, for weight loss. 8/16 with some self control for weight loss or without for staying fit, really. YMMV
You could also combine a longer eating 'window' with calorie counting.
 - calorie counting if you're in a hurry, it's probably the only sure bet, really. Maths is maths however people try to get around it. Not the best for the really long term though, when you're trying to maintain weight it gets old real quick. In weight loss mode the mirror provides ample motivation to keep counting, not the case with maintenance.
 - take the stairs, always. If you can't go all the way on day 1, go halfway and only then find the elevator. Won't work the other way, once you're in that elevator there's no way you'll exit halfway though. If bike commuting is just not possible, get on the bus a stop later and get off a stop sooner. This way walking is hardwired into the day, no need to *decide* to go for a walk.
Etc, endless ways to move more than absolutely necessary.
Best of luck!

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2022, 07:04:21 AM »
I've been eating canned soup.  It may be too salty for some, but my diet needs extra salt.  You might try a low salt version.  I pour half a bag of frozen veg in a really big bowl, mostly broccoli and riced cauliflower, and pour the soup over it and pop in the microwave.  I eat a big trough of soup almost every day for dinner.  Great variety too since there are a ton of different kinds of soup.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2022, 10:35:45 AM »
In the spirit of "make the decision once", I portioned out some kidney bean curry and rice - plus a giant pile of veggies - into 3 servings. 550 calories each, plus or minus some stray cals from the veg. It was a huge pain. I had to transfer the cooked curry to another container to weigh it, and then individually tare my mismatched tupperware containers to get even servings.

But! I only had to do it once, and now I've got grab-and-go lunches for 3 days. Dinner will be chicken broth with lots of veggies and an egg.

I think over the weekend I'll bake some chicken thighs (my favorite method is just to prop them up on carrot chunks, so the carrots get cooked in the otherwise wasted chicken fat) for the next iteration of this.

Malossi792

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2022, 10:38:02 AM »
Ooh I forgot the best willpower-retaining tool:
Cheat day!
That is, the most wonderful day of the week, when you get to drink that beer, eat that cake, repeat, etc. Whatever floats your boat.
The day when you get to reward yourself for the hard work you do all the other days.
Should coincide with the toughest workout of the week though.
Also, it's possible to overdo it and make a slight-calorie-surplus week out of a slight-calorie-deficit one. You don't want to do that obviously, but I can't imagine a multi-month weight loss program without a cheat day every week or two.

NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2022, 10:47:25 AM »
In the spirit of "make the decision once", I portioned out some kidney bean curry and rice - plus a giant pile of veggies - into 3 servings. 550 calories each, plus or minus some stray cals from the veg. It was a huge pain. I had to transfer the cooked curry to another container to weigh it, and then individually tare my mismatched tupperware containers to get even servings.

When I portion out meals like that, I just eyeball it to try to get it even - counting scoops if the containers are different sizes.  As long as they are close enough, the calories will even out once you eat it all.

I do weigh cooked meat portions individually (when I intend them to be salad toppings in the future I usually portion out 3oz), but that's a lot easier to do - no extra scooping or multiple measurements required.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2022, 11:12:39 AM »
As long as they are close enough, the calories will even out once you eat it all.

Good tip, but the rest was earmarked for my hangry partner so I had to do the fussy thing.

gooki

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2022, 12:39:47 PM »
Quote
The day when you get to reward yourself for the hard work you do all the other days.
Should coincide with the toughest workout of the week though.

I find this works for me.

NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2022, 12:55:11 PM »
I've never been a cheat day person, because I've never been a diet person.  I use calorie counting to eat appropriate amounts of food for the weight I want to maintain.  I can eat cake any day I want, just not every day I want it.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #49 on: March 25, 2022, 01:47:09 PM »
The day when you get to reward yourself for the hard work you do all the other days.

I know this works wonderfully for some, but I find it kind of a slippery slope if you have any tendency at all towards disordered eating. I already wrestle with thinking about food as a reward, e.g. I've starved all day to "earn" this junk food. Plus on a moderate deficit, it's actually quite easy (for me) to eat back all of your calories on a cheat day. You figure a 500 calorie deficit per day, that's all wiped out by eating a steak and half a pan of brownies for lunch. Yes, I know that's a bit extreme, but I've been known to do it.