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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:26 PM

I've put on 20 pounds in the 3.5 months since I quit smoking

And I needed to lose weight before that, so I seriously need to lose some weight now.

I started today. I'm not on any kind of diet or plan besides that of my own making. I figured I'd just cut calories and exercise. My main problem is that I don't seem to recognize when I'm full until I'm stuffed so I overeat.

Any suggestions? What's worked for you?

44 replies, 2407 views

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Reply I've put on 20 pounds in the 3.5 months since I quit smoking (Original post)
Tobin S. Oct 2012 OP
Flaxbee Oct 2012 #1
Tobin S. Oct 2012 #3
Scuba Oct 2012 #2
RebelOne Oct 2012 #4
crunch60 Oct 2012 #21
Honeycombe8 Oct 2012 #37
shadowrider Oct 2012 #5
Tobin S. Oct 2012 #8
harmonicon Oct 2012 #34
CaliforniaPeggy Oct 2012 #6
Tobin S. Oct 2012 #7
HopeHoops Oct 2012 #9
Alleycat Oct 2012 #10
elleng Oct 2012 #11
EastTennesseeDem Oct 2012 #12
bluedigger Oct 2012 #13
marzipanni Oct 2012 #14
Kaleva Oct 2012 #15
GoCubsGo Oct 2012 #16
rrneck Oct 2012 #17
hrmjustin Oct 2012 #35
Silver Swan Oct 2012 #18
crunch60 Oct 2012 #19
fizzgig Oct 2012 #20
crunch60 Oct 2012 #22
Tobin S. Oct 2012 #23
crunch60 Oct 2012 #24
caraher Oct 2012 #25
mnhtnbb Oct 2012 #26
GermanDem Oct 2012 #31
DFW Oct 2012 #27
RedCloud Oct 2012 #28
RedCloud Oct 2012 #29
JustABozoOnThisBus Oct 2012 #30
kwassa Oct 2012 #32
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #33
struggle4progress Oct 2012 #36
Honeycombe8 Oct 2012 #38
noamnety Oct 2012 #39
MrMickeysMom Oct 2012 #40
Tobin S. Oct 2012 #41
Monk06 Oct 2012 #42
Cronkite Oct 2012 #43
cherish44 Oct 2012 #44

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:38 PM

1. Hara hachi bu

http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/2007/06/one-secret-to-a.html

The Japanese have a great expression concerning healthy eating habits: Hara hachi bu. Hara hachi bu means “Eat until 80% full” (literally, stomach 80%). This is excellent advice and it’s pretty easy to follow this principle in Japan as proportions are generally much smaller than in places like the US. Using chopsticks also makes it easier to avoid shoveling food in and encourages a bit of a slower pace. This principle does not encourage wastefulness; it does not mean to leave 20% of your meal on the plate. In fact, it is bad form to leave food on your plate. In Japan, and in Asia in general, we usually order as a group and then take only what we need from the shared bounty in front of us. I have found — ironically perhaps — that if I stop eating before getting full I am more satisfied with the meal, I’m not sleepy after lunch or dinner, and I just generally feel much better.


http://www.askmen.com/sports/foodcourt_200/201_eating_well.html

Part of that success is a product of lifestyle. Japanese people tend to exercise more than we do, and part of it is due to diet. Not only do the Japanese eat healthier than North Americans do, their diet is made up of low-fat, high-carb and protein-rich foods that are loaded with all sorts of nutrients and antioxidants that our diets don’t come close to matching -- but they also eat less. The ancient Japanese proverb hara hachi bunme says it best: “Stop eating when you are 80% full.” So, while our society glorifies terms like “supersized” and “all you can eat,” in Japan, foods are eaten slowly and in smaller quantities. In order to eat like the Japanese, you'll have to understand that meals are appreciated as much for their excellent taste as they are for their beautiful presentation. Not surprisingly, the Japanese eat about three-quarters of the calories per day that Americans do.



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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:44 PM

3. Thanks

I think I need a gauge for my stomach.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:39 PM

2. When I want to take off a few pounds I always take the easy way.

Diet and exercise.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:52 PM

4. I just take another easy way.

I eat as little as possible for a couple of weeks. I have back problems so I cannot work out.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 03:44 AM

21. Rebel, at my fitness club, they have a class

 

called , Rusty Hinges, it's for people who have joint/back problems, arthritis etc. or Old People. lol It's done it the pool with small weights on your legs and wrists. The water is warm and soothing, no trauma to your body, but certainly helps to build core muscles which in turn supports and helps to alleviate back pain.

I love running in the water, first forward then backward several times from one end of the pool to the other. This alone burns lots of calories and is a very invigorating exercise. After that, a nice 10 min soak in a hot jacuzzi, and a jar of baby food fruit to replace sugar. I keep that in my gym bag.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:10 PM

37. Pilates machine is supposedly good for people w/back trouble. It started as a rehab machine...

actually.

You lie down on the board, which slides backward and forward, as you pull yourself with cables. I'm sure you've seen a pilates machine in magazines or TV?

That costs money, though.

You can also work out by sitting down, or standing and not moving much, while using exercise bands or light weights, to help build muscle. Muscle increases metabolism and uses more calories.

But I imagine you have to be VERY careful. I had some serious back paid for a while years ago, and that's when I got interested in the Total Gym, which is sort of like a pilates machine, when I saw that you could lie down and keep your back stable. But the Total Gym was too expensive, and I didn't have the room, anyway.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:54 PM

5. I lost 44 lbs

by eating fish 5-6 days a week and drinking 5 bottles of water daily. I had to pee all the time but that's what the water does, flushes the system. I had no salt (or very, very little. Sea salt is best). I also walked about 3 miles a day in my job so exercise wasn't a problem. Took me 6 months. I dropped from 208 to 164 and am now at 183 and holding.

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Response to shadowrider (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:14 PM

8. I can do the water, but not the fish

Unless it's tuna with a bunch of mayo in it or dipped in batter and fried. That probably defeats the purpose. I've never been a big fish fan.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:52 PM

34. You shouldn't eat that much fish anyway.

Seriously, you run the risk of getting mercury poisoning. People forget that fish - even "farm" fish - is basically wild and chock-full of all the shit that we dump into our waterways and oceans.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:04 PM

6. My dear Tobin!

Cutting calories and exercising have always worked for me, and they should for you. There are some very good ideas in this thread; I'd give them a shot.

One thing that might help is to eat more slowly. Drink lots of water too. Stay away from sodas; they're full of sugar and calories!

One other thing I always try to remember is that it went on slowly, and it should come off slowly too. A couple pounds a week is great.

Good luck!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:11 PM

7. Thanks Peggy

Yeah, I got the drinks sorted out: water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea. That's it. I used to drink a ton of diet soda, but I gave that up a few weeks back. I hear they can make you crave sweets.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:43 PM

9. You nailed it, friend. Eat a small portion and wait a while before having more. Works for me.

 

I went from 175 to 122 in a few short months. I just ate enough and while still hungry, after a half hour or so I wasn't anymore. The weight just fell off. I'm back up to my 130-135 range (healthy weight). The smoking thing is directly tied to the "need to do something with your mouth". I suggest you ask Jen for some suggestions on that one.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 07:00 PM

10. Lots of water and some exercise.

Basically expend more calories then you take in. I have always had a problem with correct potion size so I eat some Lean Cuisines or weight watchers about 3-4 nights a week. I also try to do lots of fruits and veggies during the other parts of the day. And I started walking again.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 07:43 PM

11. Eat slowly, and reduce bread consumption.

Both have worked for me.
No need to 'clean the plate.'


Best wishes! Been thinking of you!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:06 PM

12. You alluded to it

But seriously, I used to average two sodas/sweet teas a day (sometimes more, sometimes less), which are now entirely replaced by unsweet tea, black coffee, and water. That's about 300 calories per day you can forget about, and that itself equates to 12 pounds a year alone.

Other than that, cardio, as I've learned, gets INFINITELY easier after two or three weeks. I used to, when starting my exercise routine, say "I have to do this EVERY DAY?" But really, if you start doing cardio and feel that way, instead it's more like "I have to do this every day for two weeks?" Because after just a couple weeks, it's no longer a chore. It's just a normal habit, as routine as tying your shoes.

I was morbidly obese for several years. I'm still overweight, but I'm down to about a BMI of 27, and am now 20 or so pounds away from a healthy weight, simply because exercise has stopped being torture, and has become a normal, everyday, or almost everyday, routine.

I have had to battle cravings, obviously. That's natural. But when you have them, just think about the fact that the pleasure you get from food is fleeting.

That's it from me, really. I haven't really had a complicated regimen. Just fewer calories and more activity.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:26 PM

13. Get a dog that needs a lot of walking.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:48 PM

14. Don't wear overalls. If you can't feel your pants getting tighter

you'll keep on keepin' on puttin' on the weight.

I'm not kidding! I never weigh myself, because my scale isn't accurate. If my pants feel tight around the waist, butt, or thighs I know I should cut back on food a bit.

So, if you like to wear your overalls wear a belt while at home, or try on some less forgiving pants every few days, so you can feel the difference as you lose weight.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:54 PM

15. I've lost alot of weight not having a vehicle

It's close to a 3 mile round trip walk to the store and back and damn if I'm going to carry more groceries then just the bare essentials so snacks and other "junk" foods are out.

Because I don't have a vehicle, I can't make one big shopping trip and thus have to walk to the store 2-3 times a week which burns up calories that I normally wouldn't have. As I have to carry the groceries back, I don't buy snacks and junk foods and that has reduced my calorie intake considerably. With the weight loss and buildup in stamina, it's becoming easier and easier for me to walk.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:56 PM

16. I have the same problem.

They say it takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that it's full. Mine seems to take longer, and by that point, I wind up overeating. I have found that a big glass of water or some clear soup helps. Especially seltzer water. The gas from the carbonation seems to fill up my stomach, at least for a while.

I also try to get things that are pre-portioned. That way, I don't sit and binge on the whole container. I can stop at one Fiber One brownie, which is individually wrapped. But, if it was a part of a huge pan of brownies, I would eat half the pan in a sitting. I'm not sure why I don't just go grab another wrapped brownie, or whatever, but I usually don't.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:11 PM

17. Don't eat out.

And only keep healthy food in the house. (Says the guy who just ate a half a bag of potato chips cuz he's too lazy to make something good).

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Response to rrneck (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:54 PM

35. +1

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 11:18 PM

18. I never smoked, but my spouse did.

He quit smoking ten years ago, and gained thirty five pounds in the next two years. Because he was eating more, so did I, and I gained about fifteen pounds.

But after a while, he wasn't as hungry anymore. He lost thirty pounds and I lost the fifteen.

I think it's better to let nature take its course. Trying to lose weight by limiting your eating just makes you gain back more.

(I say this because I spent thirty years of my life trying repeatedly to lose weight, only to end up heavier after every attempt. The weight I am now is apparently the weight my body wants to be, so I've given up fighting. If I lose weight in the future, great, but if I don't that's fine too.)

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:31 AM

19. I'm in the same boat, quit smoking, gained 5 lbs. lot for me. So I keep granola, all kinds of nuts

 

seeds, popcorn,and fruit on hand to fill me up. Lots of small healthy snacks, eat often. Drink lots of water with lemon, sweetened with a little stevia, Soon you stomach will shrink and you will crave less food. I also exercise at least 5 times a week for about 45 minutes.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 02:46 AM

20. eat more slowly

years of conditioning, first from school then working at a newspaper, meant i bolted down a full meal in about 15 minutes. chew your food, put your fork down between bites. my husband often complains about his weight, so when he goes back for seconds, i suggest waiting 15 or 20 minutes, that gives your belly and brain time to synch up.

the other big thing is soda. i'm down 60 pounds from my biggest and i know cutting way back on my soda consumption has a lot to do with that.

way to go on the not smoking and good luck with the weight loss.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 04:07 AM

22. Please read Joe's guide to quiting smoking..helped me a lot

 

Explained craves, diet, healthy replacements , love this site. There is a chemical in cigarette smoke, that after taking a puff, it allows the body to release a burst of stored up sugar, so we get that "I'm ready to go again" feeling after a cig break. So Joe tells us to drink a small glass of orange juice when our body is really craving a little dose of sugar, not necessarily a cigarette.

It really helped me to understand my body chemistry, and what the hundreds of chemicals from smoking had programed my brain to tell me, when to smoke, etc. So knowing this, helped me to ward off certain cravings Good Luck..you can do it!


http://www.whyquit.com/joel/

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Response to crunch60 (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 05:29 AM

23. I'm a member of that site

I don't have any problem not smoking. I've always had a problem with my weight.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 05:45 AM

24. check out this lady, she is terriffic. Eating according to your energy type. Letha Hadady

 

Mind and taste work together in a delicate balance to bring satisfaction when eating foods we love. We crave them and often consume beyond what we need. The satisfaction gene may be lacking for some. For others foods represent comfort during times of stress or boredom, company during loneliness, or completion of desires whether or not they heal or harm us.


http://www.asianhealthsecrets.com/mind-and-food/

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:46 AM

25. I lost 40 pounds using myfitnesspal

It's basically calorie counting plus exercise facilitated by free web tools (and smartphone apps) to make it easier to keep track. I never changed what I eat, just the quantities. I also found it helped my motivation to exercise; I knew, for instance, that if I could work in 30-60 minutes I'd be able to have some ice cream for dessert.

Prior to that I'd already pretty much trained myself to drink water rather than anything with many calories. That leaves a lot more room for, say, ice cream

Another thing I found myself doing was craving variety. I'd eat just a little of this, just a little of that, and I felt like I was getting away with something...

A kitchen scale is really helpful. After about 6 weeks of logging everything, I developed a much better eye for assessing the likely number of calories of anything I was about to eat. I think most of our intuitions, aided and abetted by people trying to sell us more food than we need, are way out of whack. One "serving" is rarely what the typical American would take as one serving of anything!

Even the fact of logging everything both slows your eating (giving you more of a chance to feel "full" before eating too much) and interrupts the process of mindless eating that makes it all to easy to pack on the pounds. It's one thing to grab a bag of chips and go watch TV; it's another to go to the kitchen and get a plate, weigh out a serving of chips, and go watch TV. If you want more you really have to decide to get up and do all that again. I'll do that sometimes, but at least I'm doing it mindful of what I'm doing, rather than just shoving another handful of chips into my mouth!

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Response to caraher (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:59 AM

26. myfitnesspal is an excellent tool

Log EVERYTHING you eat.

Up your protein consumption--because that is what will keep you from being hungry.
Turkey breast and Greek yogurt are great high protein snacks.

Load up on fresh veggies. Keep things like carrots, celery sticks, and sweet pepper slices
handy for munching.

Stay away from white potatoes, white rice, pasta, bread.

Drink LOTS of water. You should have at least 64 oz/day.

Cut out caffeine as much as possible.

Eliminate--or certainly cut back on--wine/beer/booze.

Do aim for losing 1-2 lbs / week. You are much more likely to keep the weight
off if you lose it slowly.

Remember, you are NOT going on a diet--you are changing the way you approach
nourishing your body in order to reach and then maintain a healthy weight.

Good luck!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #26)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:55 PM

31. myfitnesspal is excellent!

Write everything down you eat, EVERYTHING! It's the only thing that works for me. Try to distribute your meals evenly over the day, so you are not starving when lunch or dinner come around. Eat a healthy breakfast! Even moderate exercise (brisk 30 min walk per day) will improve your health. Eat lots of lean protein, veggies, fruits, beans, lentils. Try to stay away from fatty sauces. I think moderate carb consumption is fine, but try to go for the whole grain variety!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:08 AM

27. I developed severe heart problems almost ten years ago

So, while I never smoked, I did have diet issues.

By the way, nicotine acts like an opiate on your senses of taste and smell. These are nerves that can regenerate their functions if the nicotine bombardment stops, so EVERYthing tastes "better" when you stop smoking, and eating gets to be fun again.

I loved cheese and ice cream, and when the cardiologist told me in 2004 that THAT portion of my life was over, it was like a tragedy, although it was pretty clear that it was better to make cheese and ice cream a spectator sport than to not have any more chapters of my life at all. As it is, I have two stents keeping two of my arteries open. I would very much like to keep it that way. I don't envision retiring for another 25 years or so. I'm only 60, after all. Places to go and things to see, and all that.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:56 AM

28. This place guarantees you can lose hundreds of pounds in the same day!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:59 AM

29. OK, I'll get serious with Anthropology for you.

Form follows function.
The human body is designed for walking a lot.

Wa-wa- wa

This means WAlk about 30 minutes in the morning.
Drink WAter as your primary fuel source.
WAlk another 30 minutes in the evening.

This can really take the weight off.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:54 PM

30. I still have most of my post-smoking weight gain, so no advice from me ...

... except to congratulate you on quitting!

I'm walking more, trying to eat healthier, no significant progress. But at least I'm not smoking.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:22 PM

32. I did the same thing, and gained the same weight.

Congratulate yourself for quitting smoking, it is far more dangerous than 20 pounds.

A few months later I did a diet, for about 6 months. I lost the 20 pounds and the additional weight that I wanted to lose.

That was in 1984. No smoking since, though some weight gain over the long haul.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:46 PM

33. You know how much your portions are now,

so cut them by a third or a half. Just eat what you put on your plate. Drink water. And if you feel that you need more or a snack, use fresh fruit or veggies. Do not deprive yourself of anything....just eat less of it. I remember the time I was on a restrictive diet, and I got a yen for pizza....but it wasn't on the diet. Then I started to obsess about it. Next thing I know, I break down, buy a pizza, and eat the whole thing. I should have had a piece of pizza when I first thought about it.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 09:56 PM

36. Eat slowly. Go the healthy snack route (eg: carrots/celery w/yogurt dip).

Don't shop when hungry. Avoid low nutrition crap food (eg: soda and chips)



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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:13 PM

38. I lost 20 lbs on Weight Watchers 3 yrs ago, & have kept it off.

It's painstakingly slow. Very discouraging. But gradually, I lost the 20 lbs I'd gained.

Good thing about WW is that you change your lifestyle somewhat. It takes a long time, but because of the time, you are gradually changing your lifestyle.

I also try to eat LIGHTLY at night. Some say it doesn't matter when you eat. All I know is that when I eat about the same amount of food or calories, if I don't eat most of them at night, I'll maintain my wt or lose a few lbs.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:38 PM

39. I have a couple recommendations

Carbs increase your appetite, proteins and fat satiate it. So it's not just a matter of reducing calories - the types of calories you consume will make a difference in your willpower.

300 calories of pasta isn't the same as 300 calories of beans, eggs, peanut butter or meats.

I have the same ability to eat til I am gorged, instead of just slightly full. If you know you eat too much at the end of a meal, instead of fighting that tendency, plan for a giant salad or helping of other veggies you like, more than you can eat, and have it ready for the end of your meal. If you pig out on steamed spinach, you might feel uncomfortably full and stuffed, but you won't gain weight from it.

If crunchy chip things are your weakness, get a dehydrator and make veggie chips. I have a bunch of dehydrated salt and chili rubbed green beans, and they are good enough that my high school students munched through a quart of them one day when I put them out for a snack, and asked me to bring more the next day. This is in an age where kids complain if school lunches have vegetables, so that says a lot. Chili roasted chick peas are another great snack, high fiber and high protein. Kale chips are also great.

Giant omelets are a great way to get filled with veggies and protein and feel like I ate a house. This isn't great food photography here, but this is a typical diet breakfast for me:

It's ridiculously enormous for someone my size (now that I've lost weight) but guilt free.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 10:45 PM

40. It's going to take persistence, but you can do it...

I find that "virtual tour" recumbent bike to burn a lot of calories while it doesn't kill your knees and back, etc.

Make healthy food and have most of your calories before later in day. That's how the Europeans seem to do it.

I'm happy you quit smoking!

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 05:21 AM

41. THANKS EVERYONE!

You all have given me some good suggestions and I appreciate it.

I know I probably shouldn't hop on the scales more than once a week, but I couldn't help myself this morning. I just wanted to know if I was making progress, even if it was just a little. I've lost 2 pounds. I know that is likely a good weekly total and I probably won't be able to keep up that pace, but it is motivating here in the early going.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 06:35 AM

42. Chicken breast with sweet potato steamed in broth. I ate that every day and lost 35 lbs in 3 months.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 07:27 AM

43. Walk at least an hour a day & reduce carbs.

 

If you read up on what carbs do after you eat them you may consider restricting them. Walking for an hour every day at a good 3.5 to 4mph clip will burn quite a few calories.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 07:32 AM

44. Try drinking a glass of water before every meal

Makes you feel full. Keep up with the exercise and try to add in some weight training if you can. I do it at home -just a few dumb bells and weight bench are all you need. A fancy machine is unnecessary. There's lots of great videos and books for working out with dumbbells at home. If you build muscle, your metabolism it gets better and you'll burn more calories all day, even when you're not exercising.

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