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Fellow dieters?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Swimsuit season has arrived and I'm sure most of us are struggling to lose a few pounds before we hit the beach and sport our summer clothes. But the truth is that foodies like me are preoccupied with eating the foods we love all year long to think about dieting. If we had a dollar for everytime the "butter vs. margarine" debate came up we'd be rich but here I am wishing I didn't defend butter so much.

I'm always amazed how celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay seem to stay so fit while cooking with butter every day. Any tips from skinny foodies out there on how you eat all the foods you love and still stay slim?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #2 of 37
Whilst I love food - I eat only tiny portions of anything I cook! I also love to make cakes and puddings, but seldom eat them.

Gordon Ramsay keeps trim because when he's in London, he runs home after service every night, so that he can take part in the London (and other) marathon.
post #3 of 37
[QUOTE=Koukouvagia;267268]If we had a dollar for everytime the "butter vs. margarine" debate came up we'd be rich but here I am wishing I didn't defend butter so much. QUOTE]

Margarine is not diet food [I'm not sure it's food at all]. And in the big picture, butter might be better for you than margarine. In any event, butter tastes better and it's "real". For reduced caloric intake, skip them both.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #4 of 37
I'm no expert on eating healthy but I have lost 35 lbs since January. I still eat the things I love but in moderation. If I know we're having a cookout or will be eating a heavier dinner, I eat light at breakfast and lunch.....staying around 300 calories for those meals. Whichever meal is heavier, I balance out with smaller meals. I try to stick between 1330-1660 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week. For a while I did lose faster than that, especially when I went from drinking coffee with cream and sugar, then sweet tea the rest of the day. Now, I drink black coffee in the morning, switch to water, glass of sweet tea at dinner, and back to water. I feel soooo much better! Of course, exercising helps and with all the mowing and stuff I do, some days I can afford to splurge on calories a bit more. I wanted a new healthier, lifestyle I could stick to and this is working out great for me (and the rest of my family). I use SparkPeople to track my calories and fitness. I was a lot better about doing it regularly when I first started but now, don't always track on a daily basis. I've learned enough to stick pretty closely without the tracker crutch.

We eat lots of salads and other vegetables. Protein servings are small....actually more the recommended sizes than we used to eat. I don't make a lot of extras either so no seconds unless it's veggies. I've been a bit surprised at some of the foods I've made like lasagna using ground turkey (the 93% lean, not the cheap chub which isn't much different from plain ole ground beef). It's not nearly as many calories as I would have thought. I also track my fat, protein, carbs, calcium, and sodium intake.
post #5 of 37
2000-2500 cals a day, sometimes even more.

run 40+ miles per week. (marathon/ultramarathon training)

weight is SIMPLE math....there are NO "tricks" its calorie intake and calorie burn.....figure out how many you burn a day, and eat less than that....you'll quickly learn that "empty" calorie foods aren't worth it.

caloriecount.about.com is helpful too, although there calculated BMR's etc. are usually off (on the high side)

every deficit of 3500 calories, is usually = 1lb.

So....if you burn typically 1800 calories a day, and intake 1500 a day......thats 2100 a week, so you'll loose like .75lbs a week.

p.s. Common myth due to stupid shows like biggest loser - you need to work out to the bring of dying to loose weight. WRONG...you're actually losing LESS weight. Get a heart rate monitor and stay in your aerobic zone (~75% max HR)...for some thats as simple as walking....for others its sprinting depending on your fitness level.
post #6 of 37
Dieting or not, exercise is important. Even though exercise does burn more calories than just sitting still, it also builds muscle, which is denser and weighs more per cubic inch than fat. So, if simply getting lower numbers on the scales is the goal, don't exercise. Understand, however, that you might get skinny, but you will still be flabby. On the other hand, if you want to be physically fit as well as lean, the only way to do that is to exercise along with eating healthy foods in healthy portions.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
post #7 of 37
Yep! The exercise is super important! I have a hard time walking out here in the country where there are no sidewalks. The slant of the roads makes my knee hurt badly.,,,afraid to even think of jogging/running. I have been biking instead. I also push mow my lawn once a week and do some mowing for others every other week or so. As long as it's not the same activity you already do everyday, it helps burn those calories.

I have gotten to the point of not wanting really sweet foods. Even my sweet tea isn't as sweet as it used to be. Drinking pop is something I only do a few times a month, if that, and really I don't want it anymore. My tastes have definitely changed over the past few months and healthier lighter foods are more satisfying than heavy calorie foods.
post #8 of 37
I walk a LOT. My home city is all hills. There are cobblestones. It can kill the unfit!
post #9 of 37
Och. Auld reekie.

post #10 of 37
When we have friends/rellies visiting, they often complain of pain in their calf muscles. I assure them this is nothing unusual, walking on those cobbles causes 'Edinburgh Leg'. I seriously think I should get my husband to offer an article on the topic to the BMJ!
post #11 of 37
When I was a kid and later in life after I initially hurt my back, weight has been or was a problem. As a kid it was because of diet and believe it or not......stress. Had a lot as a kid but from nothing I'm comfortable sharing. However, I was active in sports (mostly weights but I did wrestle and play football), rode dirt bikes and even rode 3 10 speed bikes into the ground. One was even a Viscount V3000GS!

As an adult, I got pretty healthy, and really slimmed down. Still lifted weights but not like I once did because of the restaurant industry and it's hours. Bought one more bike and rode that as often as I could but again, the hours made it impossible. Played some golf (walked and pulled my bag often) even took up snow skiing and made a couple trips out west (Utah and AZ) for late winter/early spring skiing. Stress always messed with things as did the crazy hours and skipping or crazy meal times. Then I hurt my back, yet I recovered well, took up golf again, tried to ski, even took up roller blading all to stay healthy. Meds can really screw with you on weight and I certainly took my share to stay active.

Finally, the back beat me and it's been an even more difficult struggle ever since. Meds and the basic results of not being able to move well or at all from time to time, makes weight management almost impossible. We have made drastic changes in food but as Ishbel said I love food. Chef = love of food...... go figure.

I mentioned in another post about Weight Watchers. Believe it or not this is probably the best way to go.

First off, lets get this out there for discussion or dispute. Here we believe (and are trying to teach the DD) "A Diet" is not what you go on to lose weight. Basically because it's all diet or better put.... all about diet. If you eat food..........you're already on a diet. The difference is whether you eat healthy and balanced or off balance.

Counting points is a pain in the arse but it does teach you about the choices in food we make. It's just like counting calories but there's a bit more to it. Calories, fat grams and fiber grams all figure into the equation. When you only have a certain intake a day...at the moment I get 1500 daily calories with an additional 700 weekly as a bonus........ you think twice about those tater chips, fries, a slice of deep dish pizza, a hand full of cheez-its, a couple triscuits........actually everything. Well everything except veggies.

You can eat things like celery, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans by the bowl full. But things like potatoes, carrots, peas, legumes, corn, mushrooms you can't. Meats/seafoods and especially cheeses, you really have to be careful with as well. We eat more chicken than anything else now. Skinless legs and thighs all grilled or baked. Marinated but very little to no oil, little to no sauce. Burgers but the beef is 90,93 or leaner, top sirloin for whole steak but we still on the occasion have ribs or pulled shoulder. Only 2-3 bones or a small sands worth of pulled.....3oz. wt. . Pastas, breads, grains like rice, are all controlled as well but then again.....all I just mentioned above should be. All things in moderation is what this is teaches you but then you're shown how to moderate things.

Even before WW we didn't go crazy too crazy....although we ate out a lot more than we do now, but when you add it up, things like a 1lb a egg sand, even with 2% cheese and low fat ham for breakfast, a sand for lunch with chips and low fat mayo and dinner would be a box of pasta split between the 3 of us, salad and a couple slices of bread or....... a run up to even a place like our neighborhood Mexican place or Quizno's.........not the best for a healthy, balanced diet. Just needed to cut back on a couple of the choices.

My personal opinion is that Fat free stuff is not the best for you. Skim milk is about the only fat free, processed product that doesn't have something added to replace the fat to keep the volume. Reduced fat is better and what we have changed to. We just use less of it and less frequently.

In all honesty, we are human here. Hence why we are monitoring things more closely than we were just a few months ago. But that's life. Maybe before we leave this earth, we'll figure it out and not have to worry anymore but......as long as we age, have physical issues and.........eat.....Eating a healthy, balanced diet, will always be a challenge. ;)
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Moderation is probably key and like RMP says, it's simple math in the end. What is difficult though is reprogramming your body against certain things like sugar and salt. Sugar is added to everything, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup and that stuff is not only addictive, it's poison - sounds dramatic but that's how I think of it.

I agree about the low-fat and zero-fat food labels, if you're gonna eat something eat the real thing in moderation.

Sugar is sneaky though and watch out for things labled low fat etc. Check your milk for example. Compare the carbohydrate (sugar) content between Whole milk and skim milk...... less fat = more sugar! Those tricky ba*****s!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #13 of 37
Wow... it's been a long time since we had a weight-related discussion here. I've been on one weight reduction regime or another for almost 50 years. To a great extent it is a "simple" equation that you have to burn up the calories you take in.

With respect, RPMcMurphy, it's "simple" for most people. But there are some of us with genetic considerations. For instance, if I eat 1,200 calories a day, and most of it is grains and other healty carbs, I won't lose weight. If I switch to a higher proportion of lean protein to make up that 1,200 calories, I do lose. A shorthand version of that way of eating is the South Beach Diet (skipping the first phase that's very low carb). My doctor's been on it for a couple of years.

One more variation: I am on lots of medication for a condition that's like lupus. The nastiest of them is prednisone, which I've been on for over 2 years. I'm eating now more as Ishbel describes (between 900 and 1100 calories per day) and, since I'm now to just a few milligrams, I am losing weight at last. (I gained.... well, a LOT over those 2 years.) Exercise will come when asthma is better controlled. (Before all this, I was well on the way to being fit and slimmer.)

So those who want to "kill the unfit" (sorry, Ishbel) may want to withhold that judgement.
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post #14 of 37
No.... Mezzalun, you misunderstood my comment - I don't want to kill the unfit. THE COBBLESTONES will do that to anyone not used to walking up our hills!

I have various medical conditions, including insulin-dependant diabetes and asthma (and a few more, but I'm not going to bore anyone with my medical history) - so I do know how bad prednisolone (as it is known in Europe) can be for dieters - I can only reiterate, the only way I can stay at a reasonable weight is to eat little portions and keep walking around those killer hills!
post #15 of 37
Being a long time back pain sufferer I have gained a lot of weight even though I do eat fairly healthy. Sugar is my downfall and I am cutting it from my diet. Just had a lumbar decompression surgery on Monday so I am eating leftovers from the freezer until my back gets better.
post #16 of 37
I can get pretty silly. Here's a cartoon I drew myself (*not OF myself :^)

post #17 of 37
Prednisone. For all the good it didn't do........and the 40 it added....never again. 2 years on an off the stuff but that was 7 years ago. Since then I took off 70 and put back on 40 (mostly because of the hydrocodone) but I'm down 25 since April so......the WW thing must be doing some good.:look:

In all honesty, we like the freedom it does give us. Like I mentioned before, we can eat anything we want but just have to count the points. We are not limited to any one food group nor do we have to eliminate entire groups. We don't have to eat 10lbs of banannas a day for a week and then drink a concoction to flush our system while standing on our heads whle wrapped in PVC wrap inside a sauna.........:rolleyes: It's all food we can buy anywhere and not spend a fortune doing it (that is other than the fleecing we take just visiting the grocery store;) )

I think koukou mentioned about sugars and food..... nice thing about the WW plan is it counts the sugars in the form of calories or points. We once lived off of milk. 3-4 glasses a day and even thoughwe stepped down from whole to skim.....there's no way we could get back into the 1%, 2% or even whole. It's like drinking cream to us. None the less , as we found out, even though we usd it as a meal supliment, it really did matter how much. Now, we need just the calcium for some of my spinal stuff and the DW is concerned with ostioperosis so we limit to 12 oz a day. Basically that's 5 points on the plan. Considering I can have 5 bags of Orville Redenbachers smater pop, 5 cups of fruit, a quart of pasta e fragioli (20 oz of tomatoes and juice, crushed red pepper, a cup of cannelini beans and 1/2 cup of pasta) or so many other things.......it seems a waste to use more than 5 points on milk. If a particular part of a meal has more than 12 grams of fat, that counts as a point.... for every 12 grams of fat. For example, even if we have something like a piece of cheese and it's 2 points per serving, if it has 12 grams of fat perserving, I have to add a point for the fat.

It's not a bad plan. I'll stand by it since it gave me the means to lose the first 70lbs, 5 years ago, all while not being able to be even remotely as active as I once was.:D
post #18 of 37
Sorry I didn't mean its simple for people, but I meant it's simple math. figure out how many calories a day you burn, and take in less. Genetics and all.

There are many variables that will determine how many you burn, for you it's medication. For some its weight, and muscle and how active they are. The more you weigh the more you burn, the more muscle, the more you burn, which is why males have higher BMR's than woman. And which is also why it's hard to loose that "last few lbs" because once you start loosing, usually your BMR drops. Obviously a somewhat balanced diet is important, 40/40/20, etc...

2 years ago, I lost 60lbs, without exercising (went from 205 to 145, leveled out at 155, where I'm at now), just simply tracking my calories and creating a deficit.

just to add to the exercise discussion, sure it does help, but it IS hard work, diet, is the easy part. let me break it down:

Last month I ran a total of 70 miles....which is about half as usual, due to an injury.
That running burned 7268 calories (data taken from my heart rate monitor, that takes into account HR, height, weigh) that's only ~2lbs burning....

SO, if i ate 1800 calories a day which is exactly how many I burn a day, and ran 70 miles, I'd have lost 2lbs last month. But....it's not that easy, the more you run, the more fuel you need, etc. etc.

I'm marathon training (NYC) now, and it does turn into a pain tracking every bite of food I eat, but...we'll yall see how I eat :D When it get's hard is fueling during running on long (15-25 mile) runs. things like GU's, gels, etc....make your head spin.
My good buddy has a company that just specializes in race fueling. pretty neat stuff.

If you want to see some interesting food consumption, google around Dean Karnazes....you think Phelps has an interesting diet, Dean has to eat WHOLE pizzas WHILE running...(rolled up burrito style!)

in any case and to get back on topic....
the first step to any diet (i hate the word diet) is to figure out your BMR.
post #19 of 37
I have to watch my weight too. I could probably gain weight in no time if I weren't keeping track, and I'm about 15 pounds over what I would consider ideal. Beer doesn't have any calories, does it?
post #20 of 37

well, I was just happy to read that red wine helps with my long run recovery!
post #21 of 37
I'm 6 feet and 180 lbs, would like to be closer to 170. Carbs are my downfall, and so I am very careful with pasta, bread, starchy vegetables and sadly, beer. I can drop 20lbs in a couple of months just by cutting out beer. Lean meats, lots of leafy vegetables, high fiber fruits in moderation and limiting beer is the key for me. Exercise isn't a factor because I'm outside wrestling with the livestock all day. I know low carb diets are controversial and don't work for everybody, but they sure work for me. As for butter, I still cook with it, but when you're not eating lots of bread and potatoes, your butter consumption naturally goes down.
post #22 of 37
just want to stress the importance of daily exercise

and daily stretching

plus moderation

brown rice and whole grains whenever possible

limit red meats

limit butter and fried foods

as many whole foods as possible

and i dontlimit good gourmet food of any style

i deep fry gulab jamuns, i make funnel cake, i deep fry and eat pork fat and cook pastry with suet and love brownies, baklava, and swiss gateauxs from betti bossi cookbooks

but i dont eat like that all the time

and i work out

every day

i stretch every day too and some of these stretches (yoga style) also burn calories because of the positioning and the movement involved

do something fun and i9nteresting

i recommend traditional martial arts taught in an authentic and good way (many schools are not good)

research kung fu, karate, capoeira, akido, kendo

its fascinating

the modern stuff, brazillian jiu jutsu and muai thai and real kickboxing is awesome too

yoga, tai chi

swimming, running, martial arts

u will be spartan!

push the limits

why not learn to do back flips?

if u are under 68 it is possible

above that, well there is hope!
post #23 of 37
I'm 5'8" and 42 lbs overweight. (apparently) i'm sure some of these weight charts are misleading. ( I have a slightly chubby pal who is dieting like mad cos the chart describes her as morbidly obese.)
Anyhoo, My weight goes down by at least 7lbs each and every time my husband goes back to his ship in Rio for 4 weeks.So does his. I just dropped him off at the airport this afternoon, and im determined to change my ways when he comes home. I guess i just love feeding him, and make more of an effort when he's here. Time to research some healthier recipes. ( orsimply stop buying the stuff thats making us fat) Diets are a big no-no forme. I'm tired of counting calories, points and feeling deprived, only to
put all the weight on. So we're just being careful instead
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #24 of 37
RPMcMurphy--I SOOOO admire you and your fiance training to run the NYC marathon. I am/was training to run my first marathon in PEI in October. Unfortunately...I have found that running and my body do not get along! I end up retaining so much fluid it's not even funny....even with following a very healthy, balanced diet as recommended by my doctor and a nutritionist and running 40-45 miles per week! Any tips for me?

Has anyone tried Udo's oil? My brother is a nutritionist...he recommended I try it for the inflammation...apparently it's also great for endurance athletes...aids in their recovery time. Unfortunately the side effects were too great for me to continue taking it....they sort of impeded in me getting my work done....enough said about that!

I used to be a regional manager, leader, and receptionist for Weight Watchers. Worked for them for three years before the industry started calling my name again. And of course as a pastry chef I put on some weight. I'm back on program now and doing my best to eat healthy and exercise. Exercise is the hard part for me...but I do think it is key.
post #25 of 37
I went for my half yearly medical check and <shudder> weigh in last week. Shock and horror - I've lost 2 stone and blood pressure is back to healthy range.

Wierd thing is, I haven't consciously tried. BUT, what I think has made the difference, is my better half developed type 2 diabetes (under control now), so we've all been eating to suit his needs. I have a deadly fear of the bathroom scales (yeah yeah I should weigh once a week...) so didn't realise the progress. Still got a ways to go, but heck, that was a nice surprise at the doctor's, for a change :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hmm, that equals about 103 calories burned per mile. Really??? That does not sound right to me, but I'm sure that my body would burn a lot more calories than yours putting forth that effort to run a mile.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #27 of 37
yep. 100cals per mile is about average. Unless you're maxing out your HR. When I say running, I mean i'm moving my legs enough that i'm in my aerobic zone, which is the best HR zone to be in for most training/cardio/weight loss.

you get to a point, where if your heart rate is too high, you're being counter productive if your goal is to burn fat.....your body goes into a different mode and instead of burning fat, it does lots of other things in stead, like making lactic acid, etc. and your body can't sustain being in certain zones too long. this is why shows like Biggest Loser tick me off.
post #28 of 37
Cereals are the most important part in an adult’s diet due to a substance known as starch, a complex carbohydrate with slow absorption that offers the organism the energy needed for best functioning. Cereals also contain fibers, proteins, minerals (calcium, iron, zinc), vitamins (B and E) and antioxidants.
A healthy diet contains bread, rice, pasta and cereals but in a moderate amount, because only the EXCESS of starch can be transformed into lipids.
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
What a day for this thread to pop back up! Since I first posted this I've lost 35lbs! :bounce: I've been counting calories, writing down everything I eat, and making MAJOR adjustments to portion size. Butter is not speaking to me right now due to severe neglect.

I've been exercising every day every day everyday. Walking, weight lifting, swimming, tennis, hiking, pilates, I do anything and everything. The only thing I haven't done is running.... until today :bounce:!!! I just started a Couch to 5K program today and before I started I thought that running would kill me. But I'm fine, not in any pain, and my energy is fine. I could very well be in pain tomorrow though, you never know.

Hope everyone else is doing well!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #30 of 37
so we -do- have this kind of topic here. I almost thought this kind of topic won't be made here even after the underworld becomes South Pole (Or north.)

But that's the price to ignorance and old-fashioned, wrong generalization! I'm delightfully surprised there's a lot of people with so much enthutiasm with good, delicious, healthy food and lifestyle :D

The curry recipe sounds good, maybe I'll try...but I'm the only one who like curry in my house D:
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