Author Topic: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?  (Read 36886 times)

mntnmn117

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #100 on: March 31, 2022, 04:47:26 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.

And why it works is because the days I do my toughest workout, I'm too zapped to eat all the things.

I read that the cheat day is helpful to keep the metabolism up. There's studies on starving people and the body will keep getting more efficient. This was out of "The 4 hour body".

I skip breakfast, don't do weekday alcohol, always pick the salad at work, avoid meh carbs, and exercise everyday. All types, Run, Bike, Walk, Core/Body/Weights and changing it up is good. I really like breakfast and alcohol. Keeping the weekends as a cheat day works for me far better than making some crazy declaration that I will never again eat an almond croissant or enjoy an old fashioned.

Sugaree

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #101 on: April 06, 2022, 02:47:35 PM »
I'm 5'1, so I understand the struggle of maintaining a deficit.  I find that I have to concentrate on one thing at a time.  Start easy.  For 90 days concentrate on drinking more water.  Once that becomes habit, start concentrating on logging calories.  I do find that if I have a set menu that I can save in MyFitnessPal then I don't get so overwhelmed with logging.  Right now, I have a rotation of 8 weeks worth of meals that I know fit into my calorie goals.  After that becomes a habit, add in exercise.  Find what works for you.  I happen to like the elliptical, so we bought one off FB marketplace and I have to walk by it every day when I get home from work.  I can't just not go to the gym or shut the door and not look at it. 

I've also put everything financial on autopilot.  As long as a paycheck is going in, nothing is going to run off the rails for at least 6 months.  That's one less thing I have to worry about.

partgypsy

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #102 on: April 08, 2022, 11:07:20 AM »
Posting to follow. I don't necessarily need to lose weight, but I have had some of the same issues with reducing the amount of sugar I eat.
Lot of good advice. It has been scientifically shown that people have a limited amount of "will power" that is, making decisions is cognitively taxing and it can be used up.

One thing that helps is to reduce the amount of "decisions" needed to make to fulfill your diet. I'm not doing Lent this year but that's why people for lent, just eat all the meat, dairy etc in the house before lent starts and simply don't replace it. For me since I'm trying to reduce the amount of sugar, not buying any store bought desserts, or cereals or drinks with added sugar. I love candy and baked goods. I can have chocolate and other items around the house without a problem.

How to reduce food decisionmaking. Do not buy, bring into the home foods that are problematic. 
Plan, make the meals ahead of time. Simplify! Myself I eat pretty simply when I don't have my daughter. Pot of bean soup, and things like salad, quesadillas, also pasta or tuna fish sandwiches to supplement.

For some people (not all) restricting the amount of time or opportunities you are eating. For some people that's breakfast. For others it's lunch. Still others it's not eating anything after dinnertime (in fact brushing your teeth and only drinking water after this point helps). You have to see when your "weak moment" is and restrict that.

I know my weak moments are: after lunch, afternoon. And after dinner if I am in front of tv.

Exercise. It is very easy to eat yourself into a calorie deficit and not easy to exercise your way out of it. That said, for me physical activity is fundamental to contributing to how I feel, my energy levels as well as overall willpower. And when I do intensive physical activity (which is rare) my sweet tooth is almost non existent (I crave protein instead). So for me there are plenty of reasons to exercise and no real reason not to.

Sugar cravings. I bought a bunch of dried fruit to replace store bought goodies, and it hasn't really helped (I eat the dried fruit but still want more sweets) : (  The only dried fruit that my brain seems to read as "dessert" is golden raisins. So next time, not going to do the dried fruit and instead just eat things like radishes, carrots, crunchy chickpeas which don't provoke the continue to sweet-snack response.

   
« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 11:30:29 AM by partgypsy »

shureShote

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #103 on: April 08, 2022, 11:48:18 AM »
I see all these posts about when you eat, and timing gymnastics, but ultimately it comes down to calories.  It is a pure burn calculation.  Burn more than you eat, you lose weight, pretty simple.

This is always met with resistance and fancy arguments. However, if you start with this basic energy balance I believe it can put you in a good mindset. Ditto for exercise.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2022, 11:52:47 AM »
Wow, I missed this thread while on vacay.

Weight loss is hard, and it's difficult to do too many things that require brain power at once.  This is totally true!

Also, bodies are different and they change over time.  So, what worked for me in my early 30's (lost 60 lbs), isn't the same as when I lost the 1st baby weight.  Both are different than when I lost the 2nd baby weight.

Right now I'm peri/menopausal.  I lost 3.5 lbs in 4 month at the end of last year, and gained 6 in January.  yay me.

So, figuring out "what works" is great, but recognize that you might not be set for life once you figure it out.  For me, I do some version of calorie counting.  It takes weeks or months to get used to it, and come to a steady state.  Then I'm good for a couple of years.

But then life happens.  I get injured, or have a baby, or get extremely stressed, or have other issues, and gain weight.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

What I'm doing right now is very similar to @Sailor Sam.  I listed to a podcast about women and peri-menopause.  They talked about a few things, like how IF is often counterproductive for women, and about how exercising fasted is not great for women either.  Also, heavy cardio and drastic diets (like 1200 cal a day) are very very stressful on the body, and your body is not happy.  Anyway, I have a hard time eating before exercise...and it may be harming my performance.  If I do some version of IF - waiting for breakfast until 9 am - then I get used to it and I feel fine.  So, I'm still messing around with that.

So, I'm aiming to lift heavy 3-4x a week.  Like, to failure.  I know this might seem like "duh", but previously my weightlifting would be to aim for failure on the 3rd set.  Now I'm aiming for failure in the first set at around 10 reps, and sooner for the later ones.

I also run 2x a week, but one of them is "HIIT-ish" because it's speed work and I love speed work.  The other is EASY, as in zone 2.  The rest of the time, I am aiming to get 8000-10,000 steps a day.  Regular movement and muscle.

This podcast recommends starting at 1800 cal per day, and moving on from there.  I'm 5'3" and 152 lbs (was 154 lb 2 weeks ago when I started this thing).  We'll see over the next 1-2 months if 1800 works.  You know what?  1800 cal is SO MUCH FUCKING BETTER THAN 1200.  And, it could take an entire year to lose 10 lbs at this, but shit, that's preferable to 1200 cal/day.  Podcast also recommends 50/25/25 macros, but I tend to come in between there and 40/30/30. 

I am hitting 3 servings of "carbs" a day (1/2 c, basically - oats, rice, pasta, whole grain GF bread, corn tortillas) & it works for me, along with 3-4 fruits and 3-5 cups of vegetables.  And protein.  I STRUGGLE to get 100-112g of protein a day, but certainly logging things in MFP is helping.

And the first 2-3 weeks of MFP really sucks, but now I've built recipes.  When I make a big batch, I portion half of it out for the freezer for lunches.  DH is snagging them from me too, then he bitches that he's hungry.  Dude, you are 6' tall and 185 lb.  So, duh.  Take two.

I find that if I fill out MFP in the evening the day before, or the morning of, then I don't have to think about it.  I just eat what I've planned.  So my willpower is only 20 minutes every day.  Also, I just don't dick around with special occasions.  Company dinner?  Half veg, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb, and eat a small dessert and some appetizers, and don't stress.  Potluck brunch?  Same.  It's one day a week.

Cassie

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2022, 02:29:21 PM »
I used calorie counting and exercising for 20 years to maintain my weight. Then I got married and started to eat more like him and gained 50lbs over a period of years. Then 2 years ago when Covid hit things werenít going so well for older fat people with chronic conditions. I could only control one of those items. I lost 50lbs by counting calories and eating 1600 calories a day. Over time you know how many calories are in many of the things you eat.

On another forum intuitive eating is big but everyone thatís using it has gotten fat. They use words such as my changing body and claim any attempt to control your body size is disordered eating.  I am much healthier not being fat. My back and knees donít hurt and I was able to get off one of my 2 HBP medications. I donít deprive myself of any food I like. I just have it in moderation. I also eliminated all drinks with calories so I drink water and 3 cups of coffee a day. You can really drink a lot of calories which I donít think people think about.

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2022, 02:58:53 PM »
[quote author=mm1970 link=topic=126852.msg3000895#msg3000895 date=1649440367

I find that if I fill out MFP in the evening the day before, or the morning of, then I don't have to think about it.  I just eat what I've planned.  So my willpower is only 20 minutes every day.  Also, I just don't dick around with special occasions.  Company dinner?  Half veg, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb, and eat a small dessert and some appetizers, and don't stress.  Potluck brunch?  Same.  It's one day a week.
[/quote]

This is a great approach @mm1970. I appreciate your input. I think I'm on a similar trajectory to you...I was a stable weight pretty much until my late 20s, had a kid, and now am watching it creep up/not fall off. Nowadays my limit is the mental energy. I just need some effective mental shortcuts, because all of my energy is occupied by just figuring out life.

Can you share your lifting regimen, and maybe the podcast as well? I finally bought some adjustable 50-lb dumbells. I want to feel full of energy again, with strong joints.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #107 on: April 08, 2022, 05:39:29 PM »

I find that if I fill out MFP in the evening the day before, or the morning of, then I don't have to think about it.  I just eat what I've planned.  So my willpower is only 20 minutes every day.  Also, I just don't dick around with special occasions.  Company dinner?  Half veg, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb, and eat a small dessert and some appetizers, and don't stress.  Potluck brunch?  Same.  It's one day a week.

This is a great approach @mm1970. I appreciate your input. I think I'm on a similar trajectory to you...I was a stable weight pretty much until my late 20s, had a kid, and now am watching it creep up/not fall off. Nowadays my limit is the mental energy. I just need some effective mental shortcuts, because all of my energy is occupied by just figuring out life.

Can you share your lifting regimen, and maybe the podcast as well? I finally bought some adjustable 50-lb dumbells. I want to feel full of energy again, with strong joints.

Sure, well I just (like literally today) re-started LIIFT4 on Beachbody on Demand. My husband and I have done this program many many times.  It's a pretty solid at home workout program.  We get bored, and so occasionally we do other programs (21 day fix, Hammer and Chisel, MBF, and just this week we finished MM100).  All from Beachbody because it's $100 a year for the streaming service.

Below is the podcast.  One of them showed up on my IG feed, so I clicked on it.  I really don't listen to podcasts often but the one I heard was specifically peri-menopause related.  It was enough for me to search out her website.  She's got a 7 day program for something like $30 that I paid for.  That program also has weight training programs in it - one for the gym and one for at home.  So, sometimes instead of whatever my husband and I are supposed to be doing on a particular day, I will sub one of her at home workouts.  (She's got upper body, lower body, and full body).  I can finish the at-home workout in 30 minutes, and the LIIFT4 workouts are closer to 40 minutes.  The intriguing thing about her at home workouts are that you do 50 reps of each exercise...but once you fail you have to add 5 pounds.  So, if I do chest press with 19 lb dumbbells, but can only do 20, then I rest a bit and have to use 24 lb on the next round.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/weight-loss-for-women-eat-more-train-less-get-results/id1488713797

Askel

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #108 on: April 09, 2022, 06:05:04 AM »
Nowadays my limit is the mental energy. I just need some effective mental shortcuts, because all of my energy is occupied by just figuring out life.

I've lost and gained and lost and gained throughout my life, so at this point can only be philosophical about it. But this is a red flag for me. If I'm at a point in my life where I'm stressed and feeling really spent, doesn't matter how many hacks I employ, exercise regimes I engage in, or how much white knuckle willpower I exert- I'm getting fat.   

3 months ago I walked out on my PhD program (that I was attempting while also working full time and doing a full remodel on a house). The weight has been falling off since with very little willpower exerted.  In fact, it's been more of a completely self indulgent 3 months of just blowing things off to go skiing/biking and taking the time to cook elaborate meals at home.   

Hope that helps. And if anything, I've found the second worst advice on weight less is from people who've never had to do it. The absolute worst is from people who have. :D 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #109 on: April 09, 2022, 02:12:50 PM »
To answer the OPís question: design your life so the least amount of willpower is needed. Try this for 90 days and see how much weight youíve lost:

Move
1. Walk an hour every morning after you walk up (listen to music, podcasts or talk to someone you like)
2. Find an activity you really like, whatever it is, and do as much as you can either by yourself or better, with others who enjoy it too
3. Have a short walk after 5pm

Nourish
1. Replace all drinks with water
2. Throw out all snacks in your cupboard and ban them from your house, but you can have outside your house
3. Ban all the white versions of food (potatoes, rice, bread, sugar, pasta) but you can have the alternative versions for what you like and can eat (yams, brown rice, honey, whole grain pasta)
4. Eat within an 6-8 hour window
5. Eat meals in a soup bowl or on a bread plate, never a dinner plate
6. Donít eat out more than 1x a week

Recover
1. Prioritize sleep and naps
2. Introduce meditation into your life and use it daily for at least 5 minutes (insight timer is one of many free apps for this)
3. Make a list of 5 other things you do that relaxes you and lets you recover from anything stressful and do at least one thing from the list each week

 Very little effort in that list. Try all of that for 90 days and see if you feel any different.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 02:53:00 PM by MrThatsDifferent »

PDXTabs

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #110 on: April 09, 2022, 02:19:37 PM »
For me:
No alcohol most days (I went three months once)
No sugar
Fasting (up to 60 hours so far)
Intermittent fasting
Routine
Exercise (including cardio while fasting sometimes)

With that combo I don't only lose weight but I feel better day to day which keeps my motivation up. Of course sometimes I fall off the wagon and have to get back into that routine. Humans are very habitual and I think I'm even more habitual than the average human.

EDITed to add: bodies seem to be very unique/personal. I have a work buddy that can guzzle sugar as long as he runs. That's not me. If you find something that works for your body it doesn't matter what anyone else does.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2022, 02:23:25 PM by PDXTabs »

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #111 on: April 11, 2022, 08:49:08 AM »
I see all these posts about when you eat, and timing gymnastics, but ultimately it comes down to calories.  It is a pure burn calculation.  Burn more than you eat, you lose weight, pretty simple.

This is always met with resistance and fancy arguments. However, if you start with this basic energy balance I believe it can put you in a good mindset. Ditto for exercise.

Even if this is not true for every single person on the planet, it's probably true for YOU, and YOU, and YOU. . .  Almost every single body works this way, so the mental gymnastics ppl use to avoid this basic fact is based on wishful thinking. We want it to be complicated, so we have a great reason we've been failing at it.  But it's not complicated.  That doesn't mean it's easy--it's definitely not easy.  If it were easy, we'd all be the perfect weight. So no, it's not easy, but yes it is simple and pretty straightforward.  There are tips and tricks to make it easier, but the basic math is the same.

Unfortunately, this is the same reason ppl can't embrace MMM--they keep saying how complicated it is bc it's hard and swear it doesn't work for everybody.  Well maybe it doesn't work for everybody but that's not a reason to assume it won't work for you!  But more energy into how to make it work than into finding excuses why it won't work.

StarBright

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #112 on: April 11, 2022, 09:12:27 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.

+1 ^ all this up here!

I have no better ideas. I know exactly what I need to eat to keep my body at the right weight (I also have problems if I go "too low" - which isn't too low for most, but my body rebels).

But I have a list of foods I need to avoid, my son has a different list of foods he needs to avoid, my son and husband are both underweight, while I fight being overweight, and my youngest daughter is just picky.

There are nights where I cook 3 different meals. And when I get tired, mine is the one I skip (and my poor daughter rarely gets what she wants just from my lack of energy).

For lunch I have started doing a meal replacement a couple of years ago because it works well for my food sensitivities and I don't have to think about it. My nutritionist keeps encouraging me to get rid of the replacement, but every time I try my weight starts creeping up or I start having health issues and my weight drops to my unhappy level.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2022, 07:39:49 AM by StarBright »

PDXTabs

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #113 on: April 11, 2022, 09:57:52 AM »
I see all these posts about when you eat, and timing gymnastics, but ultimately it comes down to calories.  It is a pure burn calculation.  Burn more than you eat, you lose weight, pretty simple.

But the thread is about willpower, I thought. Also, I fundamentally disagree with CICO because of the physiology around fat storage and insulin. But, to come back to your "pure burn calculation" your body doesn't burn fat when insulin is high.

achvfi

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #114 on: April 11, 2022, 12:03:08 PM »
I see all these posts about when you eat, and timing gymnastics, but ultimately it comes down to calories.  It is a pure burn calculation.  Burn more than you eat, you lose weight, pretty simple.

But the thread is about willpower, I thought. Also, I fundamentally disagree with CICO because of the physiology around fat storage and insulin. But, to come back to your "pure burn calculation" your body doesn't burn fat when insulin is high.

I agree, its not as simple as calories in and calories out.

If you keep feeding your body foods devoid of high quality nutrition (including most of the salads)
 your body wants you to eat more and more, what ever it is.  Our bodies are very smart, they are just adjusting to your inputs we give.

If you want to make weight loss easy and even better improve your health, focus on the foods that have high nutrition value including animal protein, fat. Focus on nutrition high in satiety value, you will feel hungry less and crave less automatically. Once you start this it is actually as simple as calories in and calories out. Entire nutrition equation becomes very simple.

Avoid processed sugar, vegetable/seed oils and in general highly processed foods. You will lose weight in no time.

GreenSheep

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #115 on: April 11, 2022, 03:45:35 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.

+1 ^ all this up here!

I have no better ideas. I know exactly what I need to eat to keep my body at the right weight (I also have problems if I go "too low" - which isn't too low for most, but my body rebels).

But I have a list of foods I need to avoid, my son has a different list of foods he needs to avoid, my son and husband are both underweight, while I fight being overweight, and my youngest daughter is just picky.

There are nights where I cook 3 different meals. And when I get tired, mine is the one I skip (and my poor daughter rarely gets what she wants just from my lack of energy).

For lunch I have started doing a meal replacement a couple of years ago because it works well for my food sensitivities and I don't have to think about it. My nutritionist keeps encouraging me to get rid of the replacement, but every time I try my weight starts creeping up or I start having health issues.

There's a nutrition professor in northern California named Timaree Hagenburger who has this idea she calls "The foodie bar way" and has written a book by that name. ( https://thenutritionprofessor.com/ ) I haven't read the book, but I've heard her on several podcasts, read tons of her articles, and subscribe to her email newsletter. The general idea is that instead of forcing everyone to eat one meal or forcing the cook to make several meals, you make lots of different parts that can be combined in lots of different ways so that each person can put together what works for them. Like a taco bar, homemade pizza with different toppings, a salad bar, Buddha bowls, etc. She helps with ideas for the individual parts for each meal, too, instead of just leaving you hanging with "taco bar."

Aside from helping with different taste preferences, this could also be handy for people with different nutrition needs -- your husband and son can load up on the more calorie-dense stuff, while you can eat the lighter stuff. And if you get your daughter involved in prepping (whatever is appropriate/safe for her age), you might find that she's less picky when she has some ownership of it.

shureShote

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #116 on: April 12, 2022, 07:26:03 AM »
I see all these posts about when you eat, and timing gymnastics, but ultimately it comes down to calories.  It is a pure burn calculation.  Burn more than you eat, you lose weight, pretty simple.

But the thread is about willpower, I thought. Also, I fundamentally disagree with CICO because of the physiology around fat storage and insulin. But, to come back to your "pure burn calculation" your body doesn't burn fat when insulin is high.

I agree, its not as simple as calories in and calories out.

If you keep feeding your body foods devoid of high quality nutrition (including most of the salads)
 your body wants you to eat more and more, what ever it is.  Our bodies are very smart, they are just adjusting to your inputs we give.

If you want to make weight loss easy and even better improve your health, focus on the foods that have high nutrition value including animal protein, fat. Focus on nutrition high in satiety value, you will feel hungry less and crave less automatically. Once you start this it is actually as simple as calories in and calories out. Entire nutrition equation becomes very simple.

Avoid processed sugar, vegetable/seed oils and in general highly processed foods. You will lose weight in no time.

I added bold to an important part of your post. This is where I often see the problem. Each individual needs to figure out what combination of food/discipline works (as you and others have stated). Either eat foods which allow you to keep the ďcalories inĒ part of the equation constant, or develop a high level of discipline to keep the ďcalorie inĒ part of the equation constant in the face of the primal urge to eat.

Same with adding to the ďcalories outĒ part of the equation. It can be tough to keep the same level of intake when you start adding calorie burn, especially if one is not mentally prepared for the situation.

I see a lot folks who donít fight through any amount of hunger. I see that an area that some of the fasting methods might help. Helps you start to understand that a little hunger isnít going to kill you. Drink some water, go for a walk, do some long division problems. The mental side importance cannot be overstated; however, the physical laws cannot be broken.

SuperNintendo Chalmers

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #117 on: April 12, 2022, 06:19:15 PM »
Lots of good suggestions in these pages.  And as is evident from the various replies, a lot seems to boil down to what works for each person.

Not to add to an already full discussion, but thought I would share three things only because for me they definitely fit this specific topic.  For context, I'm 49 and in pretty good shape (knock on wood) and haven't thought about weight or food in relation to weight for 20+ years.  Would never count calories or try to restrict eating purposefully to lose weight.  And I don't have a gifted metabolism or anything; in my early 20s I flirted with obesity.

So for what it's worth here are three things to consider:

1.  Habits.  Enough has been said about this already so won't add to it.  Suffice it to say that by the time habits get ingrained, it takes no willpower.  For example, the concept of working out being a chore or something I "have to do" just doesn't exist.  Working out is just something I do 4-6 days a week, like taking a shit.  But way more enjoyable.  Same applies to (mostly) healthy eating. 

2.  Sign up for a triathlon.*  I mean this literally.  Just pick one that works for you, say in August, and pay the fee.  Doesn't matter if you can't swim, don't own a bike, are a terrible runner, or don't think you have the time.  Borrow or buy a book for first-time triathletes.  "Triathlon Training in Four Hours a Week" by Eric Harr is a good one, I'm sure there are newer ones.  Then just take it easy and start slow, build up slightly to race day, and have fun at the race.  Doesn't matter if you come in dead last.  Chances are, at worst you will have tried something new and feel slightly invigorated, at best you will sign up for another (or a different athletic challenge), and the fun journey of training will be taking up your mental space instead of anything requiring straining or effort.  You are just training and having fun, and that's the focus, with weight loss, fitness, and better health just a byproduct.   

3.  Plant-based diet.  This tends to elicit strong reactions, so won't say much about it.  And I'm not suggesting it as the one and only diet or a cure-all, or that it has to be 100% plant-based.  I only mention it because honestly for me when I adopted a plant-based, mostly whole foods diet, I went from "in decent shape" to "in crazy better shape" without any mental effort at all.  If anything, the "struggle" is to eat enough not to lose weight unintentionally.  And if you would have said 20 years ago I would be eating a vegan diet I would have laughed nonstop.  Suffice it to say that not unlike FIRE, there's a lot ingrained in us that can lead to automatic rejections of something different.  For me at least, once you're on the other side it's like taking the red pill. 

Again, these are simply things that worked for me so thought I would mention them.  And of course they may not be for you for a host of reasons, including health, other commitments, finances, etc.  But perhaps something to think about in an "out of the box" sort of way... 

Good luck and good health!

*Doesn't have to specifically be triathlon of course, could be OCR or another event.  But I do think triathlons are kinda fun and addicting.  :)
 

Abe

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #118 on: April 12, 2022, 08:34:22 PM »
I agree with others that it isnít complicated, but just annoying and hard. We do it by making junk food a hassle to get. Doing so required going to the grocery store and changing our habit of just getting groceries. Other alternative is going to a restaurant which is a pain with small kids. So the end result is no junk food because Iím lazy.

  I was overweight as kids but managed to get in shape in college, then gained weight again in medical school. That took a few years to drop even though by I wasnít technically overweight by BMI (but was based on waist to hip ratio, which is probably more useful for long-term health prognostication).

My wife and I stopped buying anything advertised as a snack thatís not a dried fruit. Also we have to limit ice cream to one pint a week. Otherwise our strategy is mostly just not buying meat unless itís the weekend (and even then only salmon or other low-mercury fish). We eat a fair amount of beans and vegetables as a result. Iím not a big fan of bread, but do eat rice. Neither of us have become anemic or weak as a result (though my hemoglobin is on lower end of normal). It takes will power, but way less than digging oneself out a hole. My main vice now is eating cereal at night!

Interestingly, my wife exercises much more than I do, but both our weights remain relatively stable. I just eat less for whatever reason (counted it for a few weeks last year and it was about 1600 calories).
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 08:36:03 PM by Abe »

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #119 on: April 13, 2022, 07:32:54 AM »
Quote
I see a lot folks who donít fight through any amount of hunger. I see that an area that some of the fasting methods might help. Helps you start to understand that a little hunger isnít going to kill you. Drink some water, go for a walk, do some long division problems. The mental side importance cannot be overstated; however, the physical laws cannot be broken.

Agree--your body being hungry for more food bc the calories you're eating are crap does not negate the fact that if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight.  Being hungry makes it harder, but doesn't negate the math.  And the minor differences in what kind of calories you burn first and insulin levels and what time of day you eat--the effect of all these very specific minutia are miniscule in the face of losing 30 lbs.  Those are the kind of specifics that competitive athletes engage in.  What almost all regular overweight people need is to stay away from the donuts.  Not saying that's easy bc it isn't.  If it was easy we'd all be at our ideal weight.  Something that so many otherwise successful ppl fail at can't be called easy.

So how do we deal with being hungry and making better choices without using all of your mental energy?  I believe that was the original question.  I found myself slightly panicked when I got hungry, like I wasn't sure what to do and didn't have a plan.  So I'd tell myself, "It's OK.  You're just hungry. That's normal. You are OK.  This is not an emergency. You will be fine.  You aren't going to die. You'll be fine for a few hours."  Being hungry seems to stimulate a panic response and this helped me calm down.  So when I'd look around "starved" and say, "Oh no, what am I going to eat?!" the answer is, "Nothing!  You will be fine until dinner."  I feel like ppl try to do everything possible not to be hungry, but being hungry is normal.  Once you realize you can be hungry for a few hours without dying you can deal with it much better.  You have to talk yourself down off the ledge before you jump into a bowl of chocolate pudding.  And it will take up a lot of mental energy until you get used to it.

GreenSheep

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #120 on: April 13, 2022, 10:13:09 AM »
Quote
I see a lot folks who donít fight through any amount of hunger. I see that an area that some of the fasting methods might help. Helps you start to understand that a little hunger isnít going to kill you. Drink some water, go for a walk, do some long division problems. The mental side importance cannot be overstated; however, the physical laws cannot be broken.

Agree--your body being hungry for more food bc the calories you're eating are crap does not negate the fact that if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight.  Being hungry makes it harder, but doesn't negate the math.  And the minor differences in what kind of calories you burn first and insulin levels and what time of day you eat--the effect of all these very specific minutia are miniscule in the face of losing 30 lbs.  Those are the kind of specifics that competitive athletes engage in.  What almost all regular overweight people need is to stay away from the donuts.  Not saying that's easy bc it isn't.  If it was easy we'd all be at our ideal weight.  Something that so many otherwise successful ppl fail at can't be called easy.

So how do we deal with being hungry and making better choices without using all of your mental energy?  I believe that was the original question.  I found myself slightly panicked when I got hungry, like I wasn't sure what to do and didn't have a plan.  So I'd tell myself, "It's OK.  You're just hungry. That's normal. You are OK.  This is not an emergency. You will be fine.  You aren't going to die. You'll be fine for a few hours."  Being hungry seems to stimulate a panic response and this helped me calm down.  So when I'd look around "starved" and say, "Oh no, what am I going to eat?!" the answer is, "Nothing!  You will be fine until dinner."  I feel like ppl try to do everything possible not to be hungry, but being hungry is normal.  Once you realize you can be hungry for a few hours without dying you can deal with it much better.  You have to talk yourself down off the ledge before you jump into a bowl of chocolate pudding.  And it will take up a lot of mental energy until you get used to it.

When I was in college, I participated in some of those medical studies where they pay you to be a guinea pig, and they often wanted tests done while fasting in the morning. I usually wake up super hungry, but on the days when I knew I couldn't eat until I had driven to the testing center and back, the hunger didn't really bother me. So I agree, there is a lot to be said about mindset. And I didn't realize until I started working that there are people who truly don't realize that it's okay to be hungry. I don't know what they think will happen, exactly, but I've had to politely explain to people that really, no harm will come to them if they put off their snack/meal for a couple of hours!

That said, there are studies that show that people don't function as well mentally when hungry. One example that comes to mind is a parole board and how their decisions varied depending on how recently they had eaten. So I think the way to go is to eat high-volume, low-calorie foods that will fill you up without packing in the calories. Nothing wrong with some higher-calorie-density foods, but they should be used more sparingly in order to keep the overall average calorie density low.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #121 on: April 13, 2022, 10:56:07 AM »
Quote
I added bold to an important part of your post. This is where I often see the problem. Each individual needs to figure out what combination of food/discipline works (as you and others have stated). Either eat foods which allow you to keep the ďcalories inĒ part of the equation constant, or develop a high level of discipline to keep the ďcalorie inĒ part of the equation constant in the face of the primal urge to eat.

Same with adding to the ďcalories outĒ part of the equation. It can be tough to keep the same level of intake when you start adding calorie burn, especially if one is not mentally prepared for the situation.

I see a lot folks who donít fight through any amount of hunger. I see that an area that some of the fasting methods might help. Helps you start to understand that a little hunger isnít going to kill you. Drink some water, go for a walk, do some long division problems. The mental side importance cannot be overstated; however, the physical laws cannot be broken.
This is interesting.  I read a lot about health and fitness from all kinds of sources.  I was fascinated last year to read recommendations from various sources who use "carb cycling" because they suggested your "high carb/high calorie" days should be weight lifting days, and your "low carb/low calorie" days should be your cardio days.  It seemed backwards to me.  I was training for a half marathon at the time.

Fast forward to this week, and I started lifting HEAVY again.  Sheesh, on Monday I was STARVING.  I had planned out my 1800 calorie day, but by 8 pm I was still hungry and had a massive headache.  "WTF??" I said to myself, so I had a 200 cal snack.

But yesterday was a running day (speed work), and I wasn't as hungry, and skipped a few snacks, coming in around 1650.  Hey, maybe there's a reason for eating more calories on weightlifting days.

Abe

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #122 on: April 13, 2022, 07:58:00 PM »
I have a job where I canít stop to eat for most of the day. Initially you get really hungry, but over time the body adapts. Now I donít feel hunger at all, except if I forgot to eat in the morning. Like most habits, it takes time but is completely doable. I agree the fussing over type of food relative to oneís supposed insulin levels (assuming one is not a diabetic, their insulin levels can vary widely) and such is high-performance athlete level of detail, not us regular people. Most of these diet studies are poorly done, have small sample sizes and find very small effects. I as a physician would be reluctant to give professional advice based on them, beyond the basics of eat less junk and more vegetables. Weíre still very much in the discovery phase of understanding interactions between diet, exercise and regulation of energy homeostasis as it applies to the real world. These conflicting results end up distracting from the hard work of watching our diets and exercising to stay strong

LateStarter

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #123 on: April 14, 2022, 09:22:53 AM »
No particular weight problem here, but I do like to eat well and keep very healthy.

In terms of preserving my willpower . . .

1: I find abstinence WAAAAY easier than moderation, so I intermittently fast / OMAD - rarely eating before 6pm. A keto-ish diet is good for OMAD - it keeps hunger at bay. I've done this for a few years now and most days I don't even think about eating until the evening.
Willpower required = Low

2: I find it fairly easy to resist carbs/sweets/snacks in the supermarket, so generally don't buy them.
Willpower required = Low

Avoid:
Putting carbs/sweets/snacks in the cupboard. It helps to NEVER go shopping hungry - when a kind of madness takes over and I bring home junk!
Willpower required = too much = guaranteed failure.


I think the key is to identify your own personal strengths/weaknesses and to develop habits that automatically push you towards your strengths - with minimal need for further thought or effort.

achvfi

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #124 on: April 14, 2022, 01:55:41 PM »
No particular weight problem here, but I do like to eat well and keep very healthy.

In terms of preserving my willpower . . .

1: I find abstinence WAAAAY easier than moderation, so I intermittently fast / OMAD - rarely eating before 6pm. A keto-ish diet is good for OMAD - it keeps hunger at bay. I've done this for a few years now and most days I don't even think about eating until the evening.
Willpower required = Low

2: I find it fairly easy to resist carbs/sweets/snacks in the supermarket, so generally don't buy them.
Willpower required = Low

Avoid:
Putting carbs/sweets/snacks in the cupboard. It helps to NEVER go shopping hungry - when a kind of madness takes over and I bring home junk!
Willpower required = too much = guaranteed failure.


I think the key is to identify your own personal strengths/weaknesses and to develop habits that automatically push you towards your strengths - with minimal need for further thought or effort.
+1

wenchsenior

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #125 on: April 14, 2022, 03:19:30 PM »
No particular weight problem here, but I do like to eat well and keep very healthy.

In terms of preserving my willpower . . .

1: I find abstinence WAAAAY easier than moderation, so I intermittently fast / OMAD - rarely eating before 6pm. A keto-ish diet is good for OMAD - it keeps hunger at bay. I've done this for a few years now and most days I don't even think about eating until the evening.
Willpower required = Low

2: I find it fairly easy to resist carbs/sweets/snacks in the supermarket, so generally don't buy them.
Willpower required = Low

Avoid:
Putting carbs/sweets/snacks in the cupboard. It helps to NEVER go shopping hungry - when a kind of madness takes over and I bring home junk!
Willpower required = too much = guaranteed failure.


I think the key is to identify your own personal strengths/weaknesses and to develop habits that automatically push you towards your strengths - with minimal need for further thought or effort.
+1

Yup. When I give advice in this area, I always note that you need to figure out your own personal tripping points so you can hack them.  For example, I eat a lot of my meals by rote b/c 1) I'm not a foodie and don't miss the variety as much as some...I mix it up maybe two meals per week with something new, and that's fine; and 2) I hate thinking about food, planning for it, shopping for it, talking about it, and cooking it. I really only like eating it.  Also, I can resist dairy products easily, but not baked goods. So I keep ice cream around (which I love, but am not constantly tempted to eat) at all times, but not bagels, bread, cookies, danishes, donuts, etc.  I'm even tempted by flour products that I don't even like that much (e.g., English muffins). Something about the combo of flour and convenience. Ugh.  I occasionally make a trip out to eat them, or bake on a special occasion.

Figuring out this kind of stuff makes maintaining weight so much easier.

DeniseNJ

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #126 on: April 15, 2022, 07:47:44 AM »
I have to buy all the junk, sugar, white flour foods or my family will go nuts.  If I don't buy junk food, my husband will and hide them.  I toss the pop tarts whenever I find them.  My kids (19 and 22!) are picky eaters, super lazy, and have food allergies to nuts and peanuts.  I try to bake things myself so at least they are a little bit healthier.  My daughter won't eat ANY fruits or veg, literally, at all.  Raising my kids this way is one of my biggest regrets.  Seriously, they will not eat decent food.  We all eat different things at different times.  There are reasons for this but no real excuses.

I was up to 172 lbs on a smallish 5'4" frame--fat. Since the end of November, 20 weeks, I've lost 26 lbs!  I have 11 more to go to get to my goal of 135. I've done it by writing down every single thing I eat and the calories in my Little Fat Book and limiting to about 1200 calories a day.  Sometimes I eat crap and then I'm starving all day.  I try to eat well though so make my calories last.  I run out by about 4 pm.

I love fruits and veg.  I take a bunch of frozen veg, pour a can of soup over it and microwave it and have a huge bowl of soup for less than 400 calories.  Or I'll have a big, I mean big, salad with a whole bag of salad mix or spinach. I eat fresh fruit but most veg and other food is frozen, bagged or canned--it has to be easy or I can't do it.  I hardly eat bread or pasta--too many calories for how little food it is.  I'd rather eat a whole bag of broccoli for 60 calories. Or two eggs for 140 cal and a couple of pieces of bacon for less than 100 and that will keep me fuller longer.  And then when I run out of calories I just have to wait until morning.  Sometimes I have a really early bedtime. :)

kite

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #127 on: April 19, 2022, 10:16:03 AM »
Strength training did it for me.

CI/CO is true. But obsessively tracking calories wasn't useful for me.  It's possible to know with precision how many calories one took in.  In the real world, calculating calories out or calories burned is impossible.
Calories burned involves both those spent in exercise and the far larger amount burned in all the other hours of the day, ie... NEAT for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Boosting the rate at which one burns calories while sleeping means putting on extra pounds of muscle. Basically:  eating protein and doing strength training.
I'll count macros over calories any day because I know what happens when I'm protein deficient.   I also have a minimum target amount of green vegetables. If I start the day with vegetables, I get them all in.  The answer for me was to quit counting calories and simply eat right, as much as I want, once my minimums of vegetables & protein were met.  The result is that I'm not operating in a state of hunger.  Cravings shifted over time for me.

My humble opinion is that the order we talk about weight loss or weight management, ie.... "diet & exercise".... leaves exercise as an afterthought. The immediate focus on diet and restricting foods is both overwhelming and sometimes depressing.  But if you get the exercise portion right with a strategy for cardio, strength & flexibility, it becomes easier to fuel for that exercise without unhealthy cravings.  Excess body fat, if there is any, becomes easier to lose.
But the reverse, to emphasize calorie restriction first and then add exercise (a known appetite booster) later on just leaves the dieter even more hungry and feeling deprived.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #128 on: April 19, 2022, 11:57:54 AM »
I have to buy all the junk, sugar, white flour foods or my family will go nuts.  If I don't buy junk food, my husband will and hide them.  I toss the pop tarts whenever I find them.  My kids (19 and 22!) are picky eaters, super lazy, and have food allergies to nuts and peanuts.  I try to bake things myself so at least they are a little bit healthier.  My daughter won't eat ANY fruits or veg, literally, at all.  Raising my kids this way is one of my biggest regrets.  Seriously, they will not eat decent food.  We all eat different things at different times.  There are reasons for this but no real excuses.

I was up to 172 lbs on a smallish 5'4" frame--fat. Since the end of November, 20 weeks, I've lost 26 lbs!  I have 11 more to go to get to my goal of 135. I've done it by writing down every single thing I eat and the calories in my Little Fat Book and limiting to about 1200 calories a day.  Sometimes I eat crap and then I'm starving all day.  I try to eat well though so make my calories last.  I run out by about 4 pm.

I love fruits and veg.  I take a bunch of frozen veg, pour a can of soup over it and microwave it and have a huge bowl of soup for less than 400 calories.  Or I'll have a big, I mean big, salad with a whole bag of salad mix or spinach. I eat fresh fruit but most veg and other food is frozen, bagged or canned--it has to be easy or I can't do it.  I hardly eat bread or pasta--too many calories for how little food it is.  I'd rather eat a whole bag of broccoli for 60 calories. Or two eggs for 140 cal and a couple of pieces of bacon for less than 100 and that will keep me fuller longer.  And then when I run out of calories I just have to wait until morning.  Sometimes I have a really early bedtime. :)
Great job on the 26 lbs!

I feel for you on the junk...long ago and far away, when I lost weight my sister complained that she HAD to keep the junk in her house because it wasn't fair to her son (he was pre-teen).  I said "DUDE, he can walk over to grandma's house ANY DAY and get it -  you don't need it in the house!!"

My kids aren't that bad, but it's hit or miss.  The damn teenager is a bottomless pit, and he's got a new love for junk food.  My husband keeps buying chips every Monday, then all the kids want to eat is chips.  So he got mad and yelled and we talked about it and I said "you could just not buy any chips?"  "Well, it's not that bad."  You keep yelling....

Anyway, he bought chips again last week.  But not yesterday!  So it's a start.  I also put a list on the fridge of what the kids can eat between meals if hungry, and in what order (1 fruit, 2 veg, 3 protein, 4 anything else).  It's not a habit for them YET, but we are working on it.  The thing is, they will ALWAYS go to the easy snack food, obviously.  They do like fruits and veg in general but my BIGGEST struggle is the teenager's hollow leg.  He was always a healthy eater till COVID and now he wants so many calories...I'm tired of him asking for takeout...hop on your bicycle buddy (or walk, or whatever), and take your own damn money off to Dominos or the sandwich shop.

achvfi

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #129 on: April 21, 2022, 11:49:55 AM »
I have to buy all the junk, sugar, white flour foods or my family will go nuts. 
As a society at large we are stuck in the junk food trap, highly palatable junk foods that trick our brains and we cannot stop eating them. Add to that profit motive of the food companies to keep  ingredients cheap and their junk food available everywhere. Most kids born in last 2 decades have little exposure to real food.

For decades now our quality of life has been going down, larger percentages of populations are suffering from chronic diseases. Add to that the medical establishment that is stuck in the past and is actually a huge beneficiary of people developing chronic conditions and there is no incentive to change. I am afraid it will only get worse.

I am not very optimistic about our chances of getting out of this trap.

Runrooster

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #130 on: April 22, 2022, 08:36:06 AM »
Now that I'm done with tax season, I'm trying to return to healthy eating and weight loss.
I have two different health coaching systems given to me for free by my health insurance. 
The monthly coach asked me why I eat junk.  I said it's freely available at work, any minute I'm bored or stressed, it's there.  Also, most of it is stuff I don't buy (or hide from myself), which makes it more appealing.  Not even bored - I walk into the kitchen for some coffee and while the keurig brews, end up grabbing a couple of pretzels, a fig bar, granola bar.  It adds up.  Fresh bagels in the kitchen, which I don't need after having breakfast, but, love bagels, don't buy bagels...

My first question is: does anyone have ideas of what I can ask work to stock that will be healthy but appealing?  They did bring in some balanced breaks - nuts, dried fruit, cheese.  I already bring in fruits and cut-up veg.  And I have soup and dried cranberries/peanuts in case I'm actually hungry.  There's also room in the freezer for me to stock some frozen veg.

My second question is more vague: I am noticing an ongoing problem with eating healthy at home but eating "whatever is offered" elsewhere.  Case in point: I know I'll eat chips/salsa/queso at the end-of-season party we're having today.  I'm not paying, it's delicious - "deserve" is the wrong word, but I'm balancing it with healthy salad and no alcohol.  My sister is coming to town tomorrow and we're doing a birthday party with an expensive fancy cake - no way I'm not eating that, but I purposely got my Mom's favorite flavor so she'll eat more.  All this on days when I probably won't have time to exercise...  The "eat healthy at home, eat junk when paid for by others" mentality worked before I got jobs that bought a lot of meals. 

There's a scarcity mentality about it.  I know I can buy myself queso or a bagel when the diet's over.  I also know there will never be a time to buy myself queso.



NotJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #131 on: April 22, 2022, 10:25:59 AM »
Now that I'm done with tax season, I'm trying to return to healthy eating and weight loss.
I have two different health coaching systems given to me for free by my health insurance. 
The monthly coach asked me why I eat junk.  I said it's freely available at work, any minute I'm bored or stressed, it's there.  Also, most of it is stuff I don't buy (or hide from myself), which makes it more appealing.  Not even bored - I walk into the kitchen for some coffee and while the keurig brews, end up grabbing a couple of pretzels, a fig bar, granola bar.  It adds up.  Fresh bagels in the kitchen, which I don't need after having breakfast, but, love bagels, don't buy bagels...

My first question is: does anyone have ideas of what I can ask work to stock that will be healthy but appealing?  They did bring in some balanced breaks - nuts, dried fruit, cheese.  I already bring in fruits and cut-up veg.  And I have soup and dried cranberries/peanuts in case I'm actually hungry.  There's also room in the freezer for me to stock some frozen veg.

With the bagels, can you just skip breakfast at home once a week, and plan on having a free bagel at work?  Knowing you get a bagel in a few days could help curb that craving, and if you plan for it, you aren't doubling up on meals.

I've never had free treats always available at work, but I did have coworkers who frequently brought in crap.  One was a guy who brought in donuts once a week for a meeting, and no one in the meeting ever ate them, so they ended up in the break room.  I let myself eat one every other week, and only if there was a certain kind I liked (eg, if there were only chocolate glazed, I refrained because it's not my favorite).  Someone else brought in cakes their spouse was testing out, and I let myself eat a piece every other time.

I would ask work for fresh veggies and fruits as a snack, and then you can stop taking your own.  Otherwise, I wouldn't ask for anything, just make a rule about not eating certain snacks, or you only get certain snacks x times a week.

I don't know if you read labels, but for packaged junk, I know that reading the calorie info is a BIG deterrent when I'm browsing free snacks.

My second question is more vague: I am noticing an ongoing problem with eating healthy at home but eating "whatever is offered" elsewhere.  Case in point: I know I'll eat chips/salsa/queso at the end-of-season party we're having today.  I'm not paying, it's delicious - "deserve" is the wrong word, but I'm balancing it with healthy salad and no alcohol.  My sister is coming to town tomorrow and we're doing a birthday party with an expensive fancy cake - no way I'm not eating that, but I purposely got my Mom's favorite flavor so she'll eat more.  All this on days when I probably won't have time to exercise...  The "eat healthy at home, eat junk when paid for by others" mentality worked before I got jobs that bought a lot of meals. 

There's a scarcity mentality about it.  I know I can buy myself queso or a bagel when the diet's over.  I also know there will never be a time to buy myself queso.

I don't eat cake in my every-day life, so I absolutely eat cake with no guilt whenever there is a birthday.

Yeah, eating unhealthily because someone else is paying sounds like a bad idea.  Just reframe it as being happy about getting a meal you don't have to pay for, and leave the content of the meal out of it.

For scarcity mentality, decide what unhealthy foods are *worth it* to you.  Eat the *worth it* foods occasionally, in moderate amounts.  Don't let the situation affect you (except for birthday cake, lol) - you can eat unhealthy foods at home, you can eat healthy foods while out.

Over the years, I have noticed that eating unhealthily while dining out does not usually make me any happier than choosing a healthy option.  So I try to keep that in mind when I'm tempted.  I also have problems enjoying too much chips/salsa/queso when available - if I find myself unable to eat a small amount, I will ask (early) for a box so that I can take more of my actual meal home to enjoy as leftovers, keeping the per-meal calorie counts more reasonable.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #132 on: April 22, 2022, 11:42:15 AM »
Quote
My second question is more vague: I am noticing an ongoing problem with eating healthy at home but eating "whatever is offered" elsewhere.  Case in point: I know I'll eat chips/salsa/queso at the end-of-season party we're having today.  I'm not paying, it's delicious - "deserve" is the wrong word, but I'm balancing it with healthy salad and no alcohol.  My sister is coming to town tomorrow and we're doing a birthday party with an expensive fancy cake - no way I'm not eating that, but I purposely got my Mom's favorite flavor so she'll eat more.  All this on days when I probably won't have time to exercise...  The "eat healthy at home, eat junk when paid for by others" mentality worked before I got jobs that bought a lot of meals.

There's a scarcity mentality about it.  I know I can buy myself queso or a bagel when the diet's over.  I also know there will never be a time to buy myself queso.

Hmm...I know this is difficult.  I've never worked anywhere that I got free food really.  I do have some tips.
- When I first lost a lot of weight (in my 30s), I very carefully did weight watchers and for a few months, I did not eat out AT ALL.  Like, nope.  I wrote literally everything down. 
- Eventually, I was able to ease up to eat out occasionally, but I'd make a plan...similar to you, we'd go out for Mexican and I could have chips OR a beer, but not both.  I would count out my 14 chips and make them last.  I'd also order a taco and beans, which were reasonably healthy.
- Post 1st baby weight loss, I used a nutritionist who is a friend, and she had a list of "every day foods", "once in awhile foods", and "special occasion foods".  Now, a lot of people don't really like this system, but it was a good reminder to me that YES I can eat the cake (I don't really care for cake a lot, more of a brownie person).  But cake is a "special occasion" food. 
I can eat cake on my birthday.  And my husband's birthday.  And my kids' birthday.  But for awhile there, when the kids were little, you'd have 2 straight months of birthday parties.  Cake is not a "once a week" food.
- I agree with @NotJen on eating the free bagel once a week.  I think that you can eat whatever you want, if you work it into your day.
- The "scarcity" mentality is a thing...when I was first losing that weight, I had to remind myself that "I can eat it again tomorrow".  My DH and I would make pizza for dinner, or burritos, or whatever that we liked (homemade).  I would match my 6' husband bite for bite.  I had to remind myself to stop looking at each meal like it's my last meal! 
MM, you can eat the pizza tomorrow.  And the next day.  You don't need to eat half a pizza today.  Or 2 burritos.  Eat a slice of pizza (or 2 if they are small).  Save the rest for tomorrow.
- Mavis at 100dollarsamonth eats what I consider a LOT of sweets.  And she loses weight doing it.  I asked her how once (via a comment on her blog).  She eats sweets as a meal.  She almost never eats "dessert".  She can have a slice of blueberry pie, but it's breakfast.  Or dinner.  I tend to do that on holidays (what is Thanksgiving without cornbread stuffing for breakfast every day??)  Likewise, a big slice of cake might be her lunch.

As far as "healthy but appealing" at work, I guess that depends on what you like. I'm kind of stumped.

Runrooster

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #133 on: April 22, 2022, 11:58:30 AM »
With the bagels, can you just skip breakfast at home once a week, and plan on having a free bagel at work?  Knowing you get a bagel in a few days could help curb that craving, and if you plan for it, you aren't doubling up on meals.

I didn't know there would be bagels today, and actually was thinking about skipping breakfast to make calories for queso.  I am trying to track my calories on a daily basis, though maybe eating less the next day would be okay too.   I ended up packing up a bagel to eat for breakfast tomorrow instead of my usual omelet.

I've never had free treats always available at work, but I did have coworkers who frequently brought in crap.  One was a guy who brought in donuts once a week for a meeting, and no one in the meeting ever ate them, so they ended up in the break room.  I let myself eat one every other week, and only if there was a certain kind I liked (eg, if there were only chocolate glazed, I refrained because it's not my favorite).  Someone else brought in cakes their spouse was testing out, and I let myself eat a piece every other time.

Wow, I don't think I could turn down homemade cakes.  It helps if you know the schedule ahead of time, but a donut every week is still too much.  I actually was happy about leaving my prior job because they'd have free lunches 2-3 times a week (there's a thread here somewhere), mostly fast-casual.  Even when they had salad, it wasn't low-calorie.

I don't know if you read labels, but for packaged junk, I know that reading the calorie info is a BIG deterrent when I'm browsing free snacks.

Yeah, eating unhealthily because someone else is paying sounds like a bad idea.  Just reframe it as being happy about getting a meal you don't have to pay for, and leave the content of the meal out of it.

For scarcity mentality, decide what unhealthy foods are *worth it* to you.  Eat the *worth it* foods occasionally, in moderate amounts.  Don't let the situation affect you (except for birthday cake, lol) - you can eat unhealthy foods at home, you can eat healthy foods while out.

Over the years, I have noticed that eating unhealthily while dining out does not usually make me any happier than choosing a healthy option.  So I try to keep that in mind when I'm tempted.  I also have problems enjoying too much chips/salsa/queso when available - if I find myself unable to eat a small amount, I will ask (early) for a box so that I can take more of my actual meal home to enjoy as leftovers, keeping the per-meal calorie counts more reasonable.

I think that's a great point about reading the calories. Mostly I'm thinking to 1. get out of the kitchen while the keurig brews and 2. stalling tactics, like I can have that pretzel if I want it after I finish my fruit.

I was also thinking about healthy restaurant options - there usually aren't any.  Today I could get beef enchiladas, fish tacos, shrimp salad.  The calorie/protein counts are not vastly different, esp because I would eat the whole salad but only half the enchilada/taco portions.  If they have plain grilled fish, it's too expensive.

Hopefully I'm overthinking this, as the meals are coming to an end until next year.   The other plan I came up with is to buy myself plain grilled fish - I can't eat it at home because the smell bothers my Mom, but I can go to the grocery store at lunch and have them steam it.  Eventually it will stop feeling like a treat, but hopefully it will get me through some pounds.

MM1970, thanks for the comment about cake/sweets.  It's my birthday and a type of cake (Smith Island) I've wanted for literally years (we got a small one for my Mom 6-7 years ago) so i might be making lunch out of the leftovers for a week. 

jim555

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #134 on: April 22, 2022, 12:15:37 PM »
Calorie Restriction with or without Time-Restricted Eating in Weight Loss

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114833

"Conclusion:  Among patients with obesity, a regimen of time-restricted eating was not more beneficial with regard to reduction in body weight, body fat, or metabolic risk factors than daily calorie restriction. "

BeanCounter

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #135 on: April 22, 2022, 12:46:13 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

Kris

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #136 on: April 22, 2022, 02:28:36 PM »
Calorie Restriction with or without Time-Restricted Eating in Weight Loss

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2114833

"Conclusion:  Among patients with obesity, a regimen of time-restricted eating was not more beneficial with regard to reduction in body weight, body fat, or metabolic risk factors than daily calorie restriction. "

Well, that's kind of a silly study...?!

I mean, the whole point of time-restricted eating is that it will more or less by default restrict your calories. It's a lot harder to cram a huge amount of calories into a six-hour window.

If their study was both the control group and the time-restricted group eating the same number of calories, of course there was not a difference.


shureShote

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #137 on: April 22, 2022, 02:44:18 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

One thing that maybe was not emphasized enough times across this thread is the impact of strength training. Being active might not be doing as much as youíd think. Picking up heavy things (safely ) and putting them down repeatedly can be that missing factor some people.there are tons of ways of doing it.

Full disclosure: I donít practice this technique. I run. And I have been doing it for a long time and know how far and how fast I need to go each day to keep up with my so so diet. When I can do 20 mile weeks regularly, thatís when I feel like I am getting things burned down like I want. That gets harder and harder to reach as the birthdays pile up.

Good luck! Hopefully you can find the thing that does it for you.

mm1970

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #138 on: April 22, 2022, 02:48:33 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.
It hit me really hard this year (if I stretch, I'm 5'3").  I'm 51.  I am trying to come to the realization that it's going to be work for a long time.

I listened to a short podcast yesterday about how to go on vacation and not gain weight - the basic premise was that eating intuitively and "listening to your belly" is easy and works, and "hey join my paid group and I can show you how".

I think that it's not WRONG, per se.  Plenty of people can do that and maintain/ lose weight.  I can actually do that, and have in the past.  For me, however (a numbers person, whether it be eating or running or lifting), I seem to need to or prefer to take the time to count calories (or train at certain paces/ distances, or lift certain weights) for awhile before I learn the "feel" of it and can do it all intuitively.

(And of course, the dirty little secret is that for many/most people, it doesn't "stick".  Look, all it took to break my intuitive habits was: pregnancy, or work stress, or COVID, or injury, or menopause.  So, gotta start the process all over again.)

GreenSheep

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #139 on: April 22, 2022, 03:10:23 PM »
Food addiction is a real thing. "Bet you can't eat just one" is an advertising slogan for a reason. For a lot of people, completely stopping the unhealthy foods -- for life -- works, whereas having them once in a while fails repeatedly. I mean, look at your past efforts to do this in different ways and think, "How's that working out for you?" Based on the posts above, it's not. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I'm feeling a little bit Mustachian face-punchy,  just with food instead of money.

I totally overhauled the way I eat several years ago, and it's 100% true that your taste buds really do change. (If you don't believe me, think about the first time you had coffee or beer. You probably didn't like it, and you probably do now.) Now, pizza, donuts, etc. don't even register to me as food. They literally don't. They're the same as a pen or a toothbrush, which obviously I would never eat. And nutritionally speaking, they have about as much value as a pen or a toothbrush anyway, aside from having calories that can sustain life in a starvation situation.

People are always shocked when I say this about giving up [insert favorite food that you can't stop eating here], but there are tons of things I used to enjoy (all the usual Standard American/Western Diet stuff) that I truly don't want at all now -- ever, and there are tons of new, healthy things that I truly LOVE to eat and that make me excited to sit down for a meal. People might say that sounds sad, and who would want to live without donuts or whatever, but what's more sad? A period of discomfort (we're talking maybe a few weeks) while you change the foods you like, or living the rest of your life as a person who is unhealthy and/or heavier than you'd like to be and getting less healthy and/or heavier and less able to do the things you enjoy as time goes on?

BeanCounter

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #140 on: April 22, 2022, 03:13:18 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

One thing that maybe was not emphasized enough times across this thread is the impact of strength training. Being active might not be doing as much as youíd think. Picking up heavy things (safely ) and putting them down repeatedly can be that missing factor some people.there are tons of ways of doing it.

Full disclosure: I donít practice this technique. I run. And I have been doing it for a long time and know how far and how fast I need to go each day to keep up with my so so diet. When I can do 20 mile weeks regularly, thatís when I feel like I am getting things burned down like I want. That gets harder and harder to reach as the birthdays pile up.

Good luck! Hopefully you can find the thing that does it for you.

I was a runner (not super long distances though) for nearly 20 years and it did help keep the weight off. I've recently, reluctantly switched to walking because everything just started to hurt after runs. My doctor says I need to incorporate more weight lifting now. I am trying to do that but am unsure of how much to do? How many sessions per week and for how long? I've found some free weight videos online that I enjoy doing. But are they enough?

Dee_the_third

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #141 on: April 22, 2022, 03:54:47 PM »
Hey, this thread has a shocking amount of traction. I guess this is one of those topics where everyone has an opinion.

I've started packing two tuna pouches and a protein bar (+fruit, + black coffee) for work. I find it kind of depressing, but it gets the job done. The mental and calorie load of cooking and eating real food is for the weekends, I guess. I have a bean curry recipe queued up I'm excited about, mmm.

The question is whether this is 1) sustainable for the long term 2) "healthy" (however you define it) for the long term. I should probably swap it up so I don't give myself mercury poisoning.

Also on the docket to experiment with this weekend, marinated lentils. Finally got some French lentils, supposedly they don't fall apart when cooked like green lentils do.

OtherJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #142 on: April 24, 2022, 07:12:42 AM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

This. I'm 5'0", female, and will turn 44 next month. Thanks to hormone shifts, the saying that you can't outrun a bad diet is truer than ever at this stage of life.

I've had so much external job-related and other stress that I ended up joining Weight Watchers last August on one of their deals to give myself a ready-made framework (i.e., one less thing to set up on my end). I've lost 20 of the 25 lbs that I had gained since mid 2019. I don't think everyone needs to join such a program, but everyone can benefit from fundamentals like moving one's body; keeping an honest food log for accountability; focusing on less-processed foods; emphasizing protein, fiber, and fresh produce; measuring portions to get an idea of sufficient vs. too much/too little and learning to sense real hunger and fullness cues; and enjoying things like sweets and alcohol as occasional treats instead of dietary staples.

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #143 on: April 24, 2022, 08:46:10 AM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

This. I'm 5'0", female, and will turn 44 next month. Thanks to hormone shifts, the saying that you can't outrun a bad diet is truer than ever at this stage of life.



I'm curious if this will happen to me. I've been hearing variations of this since I was a teenager... wait until you gain the freshman 15, well just wait until you are in your 30s and your youthful metabolism slows down. Well, just wait until you hit your 40s, it gets so hard to lose weight, etc. But while I did gain some weight a few times over the years, it was always correlated with crap eating habits and I never found it difficult to lose it once I actually tried (sometimes I found it even more difficult to gain weight, esp in my early 40s). 

Now I'm 51, and I'm not sure if this is affecting me or not... on the one hand, I have been sort of half assedly trying to drop 10 lbs, and after 4 months I'm only 5 lbs down, so I suspect my perimenopausal hormones might be contributing a bit; but on the other hand it's also true that I really haven't been working very hard reduce calories (maybe only by 100 per day if that). And I've added a bit of strength training, which might be balancing the loss with muscle gain.

It's hard to tell if I'm going to struggle like so many people do, given that I never have before. Most of my family is overweight to obese, so I don't know if I actually escaped some genetic tendency to be overweight, or if (as I suspect) I've just managed my diet slightly more effectively over many decades. I do know that it doesn't take much more than a few bites of certain foods every day to add up.

Kris

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #144 on: April 24, 2022, 09:02:57 AM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

This. I'm 5'0", female, and will turn 44 next month. Thanks to hormone shifts, the saying that you can't outrun a bad diet is truer than ever at this stage of life.



I'm curious if this will happen to me. I've been hearing variations of this since I was a teenager... wait until you gain the freshman 15, well just wait until you are in your 30s and your youthful metabolism slows down. Well, just wait until you hit your 40s, it gets so hard to lose weight, etc. But while I did gain some weight a few times over the years, it was always correlated with crap eating habits and I never found it difficult to lose it once I actually tried (sometimes I found it even more difficult to gain weight, esp in my early 40s). 

Now I'm 51, and I'm not sure if this is affecting me or not... on the one hand, I have been sort of half assedly trying to drop 10 lbs, and after 4 months I'm only 5 lbs down, so I suspect my perimenopausal hormones might be contributing a bit; but on the other hand it's also true that I really haven't been working very hard reduce calories (maybe only by 100 per day if that). And I've added a bit of strength training, which might be balancing the loss with muscle gain.

It's hard to tell if I'm going to struggle like so many people do, given that I never have before. Most of my family is overweight to obese, so I don't know if I actually escaped some genetic tendency to be overweight, or if (as I suspect) I've just managed my diet slightly more effectively over many decades. I do know that it doesn't take much more than a few bites of certain foods every day to add up.

As someone who is a few years older than you, my sense is that oneís metabolism definitely does start to slow with menopause, and also, your body distributes weight a bit differently. It is a bit harder to lose weight, I have found. But, four years ago, I was telling myself resignedly that maybe it just wasnít going to be possible to drop the weight I wanted to and I should just get used to a ďfluffierĒ me.

Ultimately, looking back, I think in my case I was trying to grasp at excuses for not doing the work. I finally got to a point where I was very unhappy watching the weight creep on, and finally made the decision to lose it. And when I did, I didnít really find it all that much more difficult because of my age. Perhaps my number to be in calorie deficit is a bit less than in my 30s, but not that much.

I guess my reason for posting is that I think in my case I was at risk of letting that ďtruismĒ be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And Iím glad I didnít.

GreenSheep

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #145 on: April 24, 2022, 10:02:59 AM »
A quick look at the people in the Blue Zones suggests that weight gain is not inevitable with age. It appears to be more a matter of personal and community environment and behaviors than an inescapable or very difficult-to-combat result of age and genetics. ALL of us, with maybe a few exceptions, are genetically programmed to gain weight and keep it on, or our ancestors never would have survived all the food scarcity they faced, but now that we live in a calorie-rich, movement-poor, stressful, and sleepless environment, our energy-conserving bodies are not serving us as well as they did millennia ago... unless we happen to live in one of the Blue Zones or a place like it, or do what we can to make our life similar to that.

OtherJen

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #146 on: April 24, 2022, 10:51:36 AM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

This. I'm 5'0", female, and will turn 44 next month. Thanks to hormone shifts, the saying that you can't outrun a bad diet is truer than ever at this stage of life.



I'm curious if this will happen to me. I've been hearing variations of this since I was a teenager... wait until you gain the freshman 15, well just wait until you are in your 30s and your youthful metabolism slows down. Well, just wait until you hit your 40s, it gets so hard to lose weight, etc. But while I did gain some weight a few times over the years, it was always correlated with crap eating habits and I never found it difficult to lose it once I actually tried (sometimes I found it even more difficult to gain weight, esp in my early 40s).

Now I'm 51, and I'm not sure if this is affecting me or not... on the one hand, I have been sort of half assedly trying to drop 10 lbs, and after 4 months I'm only 5 lbs down, so I suspect my perimenopausal hormones might be contributing a bit; but on the other hand it's also true that I really haven't been working very hard reduce calories (maybe only by 100 per day if that). And I've added a bit of strength training, which might be balancing the loss with muscle gain.

It's hard to tell if I'm going to struggle like so many people do, given that I never have before. Most of my family is overweight to obese, so I don't know if I actually escaped some genetic tendency to be overweight, or if (as I suspect) I've just managed my diet slightly more effectively over many decades. I do know that it doesn't take much more than a few bites of certain foods every day to add up.

I don't think the bolded part or any part of your post contradicts "you can't outrun a bad diet."

I've never found it hard to maintain my weight when eating moderate portions of high-quality foods, limiting alcohol and sugar, and keeping my stress level down. Even now, the weight seems to be coming off slowly but steadily with a good-quality diet and mindfulness. But as you noted, it's harder to drop the weight through half-assed attempts as you get older. I have to pay attention to it and now, whereas when I was 24 I easily maintained my weight at 105 lbs without trying. That was 15 lbs lower than my current weight, and I'm not sure that I could safely get back there, nor do I really want to. I was almost too thin then, and now I suspect that I would look gaunt, especially with the loss of subcutaneous fat in my face.

shureShote

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #147 on: April 24, 2022, 07:35:15 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

One thing that maybe was not emphasized enough times across this thread is the impact of strength training. Being active might not be doing as much as youíd think. Picking up heavy things (safely ) and putting them down repeatedly can be that missing factor some people.there are tons of ways of doing it.

Full disclosure: I donít practice this technique. I run. And I have been doing it for a long time and know how far and how fast I need to go each day to keep up with my so so diet. When I can do 20 mile weeks regularly, thatís when I feel like I am getting things burned down like I want. That gets harder and harder to reach as the birthdays pile up.

Good luck! Hopefully you can find the thing that does it for you.

I was a runner (not super long distances though) for nearly 20 years and it did help keep the weight off. I've recently, reluctantly switched to walking because everything just started to hurt after runs. My doctor says I need to incorporate more weight lifting now. I am trying to do that but am unsure of how much to do? How many sessions per week and for how long? I've found some free weight videos online that I enjoy doing. But are they enough?

I donít have much real advice, but your legs are hugely important. Big muscles there, make them bigger! Lunges, body weight squats are some easy things to do. I used to do a lot of legwork while walking the dog years ago.

Hopefully someone with better experiences will chime in for you.

And I understand the pains of runningÖ

jeninco

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #148 on: April 24, 2022, 08:54:31 PM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

One thing that maybe was not emphasized enough times across this thread is the impact of strength training. Being active might not be doing as much as youíd think. Picking up heavy things (safely ) and putting them down repeatedly can be that missing factor some people.there are tons of ways of doing it.

Full disclosure: I donít practice this technique. I run. And I have been doing it for a long time and know how far and how fast I need to go each day to keep up with my so so diet. When I can do 20 mile weeks regularly, thatís when I feel like I am getting things burned down like I want. That gets harder and harder to reach as the birthdays pile up.

Good luck! Hopefully you can find the thing that does it for you.

I was a runner (not super long distances though) for nearly 20 years and it did help keep the weight off. I've recently, reluctantly switched to walking because everything just started to hurt after runs. My doctor says I need to incorporate more weight lifting now. I am trying to do that but am unsure of how much to do? How many sessions per week and for how long? I've found some free weight videos online that I enjoy doing. But are they enough?

I donít have much real advice, but your legs are hugely important. Big muscles there, make them bigger! Lunges, body weight squats are some easy things to do. I used to do a lot of legwork while walking the dog years ago.

Hopefully someone with better experiences will chime in for you.

And I understand the pains of runningÖ

It's definitely possible to get over 50 and not be fluffy, but it takes more discipline then it would've in your 20s. I:
Low-key IF (no eating between 7:30 or so and around 10-11 most mornings)
Walk/run/hike (we have hills to go up) 4-5 miles/day , or go for bike rides of at least an hour, or some combo
Lift weights or HIIT workouts 3-4 days/week. I work with a trainer who comes up with my training program, and I lift quite heavy (for me) at least a couple of times/month. Recovery takes longer!
Pretty healthy eating habits. I cook just about everything that goes into my mouth (tortilla chips with hummus are an exception, and I put the chips in a bowl so I can do portion control). Meals are very veg-forward, and several dinners per week are vegetarian or vegan.
at last 8 hours of sleep/night

On the other hand, my kids are older (youngest is a HS Senior) and I work part-time. I have no idea how all this would work with younger kids and a full-time job.

I really recommend weight lifting. If you want to learn fun new techniques, though, you have to find someone to teach you how to do them. I kind of got lucky when I started asking around, but see if you can find someone with experience coaching older women -- young guys have an annoying tendency to respond to "how do I adapt this" questions with stupid advice (or, worse, sales tactics). You want someone who can see the places where you need to develop flexibility and technique and help you with that.

BeanCounter

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Re: How do you lose weight without using up all your willpower?
« Reply #149 on: April 25, 2022, 06:32:11 AM »
PTF. There are some good tips here and I need some help and motivation.
I'm 5'3, 44 yo, female and the struggle is real. I try to stay active and eat "clean", but at the end of the day there is only so much you can do to fight middle age weight creep I think.

One thing that maybe was not emphasized enough times across this thread is the impact of strength training. Being active might not be doing as much as youíd think. Picking up heavy things (safely ) and putting them down repeatedly can be that missing factor some people.there are tons of ways of doing it.

Full disclosure: I donít practice this technique. I run. And I have been doing it for a long time and know how far and how fast I need to go each day to keep up with my so so diet. When I can do 20 mile weeks regularly, thatís when I feel like I am getting things burned down like I want. That gets harder and harder to reach as the birthdays pile up.

Good luck! Hopefully you can find the thing that does it for you.

I was a runner (not super long distances though) for nearly 20 years and it did help keep the weight off. I've recently, reluctantly switched to walking because everything just started to hurt after runs. My doctor says I need to incorporate more weight lifting now. I am trying to do that but am unsure of how much to do? How many sessions per week and for how long? I've found some free weight videos online that I enjoy doing. But are they enough?

I donít have much real advice, but your legs are hugely important. Big muscles there, make them bigger! Lunges, body weight squats are some easy things to do. I used to do a lot of legwork while walking the dog years ago.

Hopefully someone with better experiences will chime in for you.

And I understand the pains of runningÖ

It's definitely possible to get over 50 and not be fluffy, but it takes more discipline then it would've in your 20s. I:
Low-key IF (no eating between 7:30 or so and around 10-11 most mornings)
Walk/run/hike (we have hills to go up) 4-5 miles/day , or go for bike rides of at least an hour, or some combo
Lift weights or HIIT workouts 3-4 days/week. I work with a trainer who comes up with my training program, and I lift quite heavy (for me) at least a couple of times/month. Recovery takes longer!
Pretty healthy eating habits. I cook just about everything that goes into my mouth (tortilla chips with hummus are an exception, and I put the chips in a bowl so I can do portion control). Meals are very veg-forward, and several dinners per week are vegetarian or vegan.
at last 8 hours of sleep/night

On the other hand, my kids are older (youngest is a HS Senior) and I work part-time. I have no idea how all this would work with younger kids and a full-time job.

I really recommend weight lifting. If you want to learn fun new techniques, though, you have to find someone to teach you how to do them. I kind of got lucky when I started asking around, but see if you can find someone with experience coaching older women -- young guys have an annoying tendency to respond to "how do I adapt this" questions with stupid advice (or, worse, sales tactics). You want someone who can see the places where you need to develop flexibility and technique and help you with that.

I love this. Thank you for the advice. I will consider adding a trainer.
Yes to the 8 hours of sleep!! Sleep is a high priority for our entire house. I think all four of us routinely get 8.5-9.0 hrs. When people ask me why my kids never get sick, are so well behaved and are growing so big, my answer is always - SLEEP, LOTS OF SLEEP.
One of the beautiful thing about FIRE in your 40's is you can make time for yourself when you need it most. We still have kids at home, but while they are at school I can prioritize me.
I think I just need to develop an exercise routine that doesn't feel like it's killing me but is also enough. I seem to go from one extreme to another. Right now I'm walking every week day without fail for 30min to an hour. I need to try to add the weight lifting or HIIT 3 days and see where that gets me.
DH fixed the scale this weekend, much to my dismay. I've got 8lbs I'd like to take off. (that's the realistic goal) (But I did just get back from Disney)