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losing weight, gaining weight, back to being healthy.

By September 1, 2011 - 5:26pm
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Hey Ladies,
Helllo... Well okay, i was doing this diet when i was 17 weighing in at a whooping 333 pounds it was like carrying around two supermodels on me. I never realize how i looked untill i lost weight and compared the pictures. i did a diet of 1200 calories and 24 grams of fat and exercise 3-5 days a week for 30 mintues. i could eat whatever i wanted as long as i counted it in my diet. and ate at whatever time i wanted. i did it myself, i went from 333 size 28 jeans 3x shirts to 8 months later a size 14-16 1x shirt and 210 pounds i found beautiful and confident for the first time in my life, Guys was noticing me and it was great time to lose weight being i was almost 18. but within a year or so i was gained pretty much all of it back, feeling not so hot or confident. soo im 20 now and back on my weight loss goal again and really understanding now what it means to be healthy and how much more of a self plan and staying strong and true to yourself. it has been 9 days and i have lost 10.5 pounds.. but i have a question, why is it so much harder this time, and why do i have such craving for junk food that only makes me tired lazy and bloated?

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what about grams of fat? i count them to. i been eating 24 grams a day. about i also want to know if diet soda is okay to. and i went to look into a healthy eating books today at the mall. i found alot of things i can make and really enjoy. im going to try to eat more carbs tonight just because i feel so exhusted about i walk to work work 8 hours then walk home and do daily chores and exercise. so i figured maybe i need more carbs for engery.

September 5, 2011 - 4:53pm

One more comment: make sure eating is fun, too! You can absolutely enjoy some of your favorite condiments, real cheese, savory meals.. all in moderation. Healthy eating is not all about eating "perfect", but about enjoying all the different types of flavors, scents and textures among various cuisines. You might even want to spend some time in a health bookstore, and find an eating philosophy that resonates with you, that includes healthy foods, moderate portions, but also eating good-tasting food that fills you up and helps you experience different foods from all over the world!

September 4, 2011 - 6:49pm

when i make my sandwich for lunch its on a whole wheat thin which is only 100 calories and 1 gram of fat. with 98% fat free ham or turcky and some mustard. but i been eating alot of chef salads without the cheese. and fat free dressings. and i also had a bowl of special k for a snack today. i consume about 900 calories a day. today i had a treat day. i picked a steak quecodilla but only had a half which was good and a side salad for lunch. it was really filling. and i love cheese and it really helped with eating the cheese that way. and had it in a potion controlled about. i drink plenty of water daily which also helps me stay full. and i have added alot more fruits to my diet more peaches and watermelon and kiwis. and this week i am going to try to get more meals that are cooked by me instead of lean cuisnes. because i do get hungry later and just drink alot of water cause of it. or ill have a nonfat yogurt. Thanks for the calorie counting website!

September 4, 2011 - 1:33pm
(reply to guitargirl8)

you are welcome! most women need to consume about 1800-2000 calories, so you may actually be hurting your long-term success for weight loss if you are only consuming 900 calories. This type of diet (cutting out too many calories by half!) can cause your body to actually hold onto your fat cells as reserve, because it can go into "starvation mode". You may lose weight at first, but after some time on this highly restrictive calorie diet, you might see a plateau and subsequent weight gain (as you had experienced previously). I can find some clinical research regarding the restrictive calorie diet, if your would like more information about how this would negatively effect your weight loss efforts.

In the meantime: be sure to eat at LEAST 1500 calories every day, and use the calorie calculator to see if you should be eating closer to the 1800-2000 calorie range. Your body will thank you for it! :)

Good luck!

September 4, 2011 - 6:45pm

No i have never looked into how many calories i actually need. this is what i eat on a daily. a banana in the morning, lunch time mostly a sandwich and fruit or some kinda soup of some sort. and for snacks maybe a special k thin crisps. or some more fruit. dinner a lean cusine or ham slices mashed pototas and a veggie. but i do alot of lean cusine meals for dinner. but here lately i been having salads for dinner. with spinch leaves. i do alot of walking on the treadmill, i used to go to the gym all the time for different workout. but i do alot of the biggest loser excerise videos and walk a mile video and after wards ill do situp,pushup, ad crunches, leg lifts, and butt presses

September 3, 2011 - 2:38pm
(reply to guitargirl8)

You may need a few more calories in the morning, as a banana would most likely not be enough fuel to keep your body going through lunch. The Mayo Clinic has an online Calorie Calculator you can use to determine what your body needs: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/calorie-calculator/NU00598.

Your lunch sounds great, especially with fruit, depending on what type of sandwich (sandwiches are not all made the same, as compared with a high-calorie roast beef, anything "melted" or fried versus or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with tomato, lettuce, avocado, for example).

Your snack sounds good, too, but you may be able to add another snack into your regime. A "snack" can also be a mini-meal (does not need to be only a few crisps), depending on if your body needs more fruits or vegetables, protein-and-carb combination (hard-boiled egg, whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or almond butter, whole wheat pita chips with hummus or cheese wedge, yogurt-and-fruit smoothie, etc).

Dinner-- are you able to make a healthier dinner? Lean cuisines and other frozen meals can leave you feeling very hungry after an hour. Spinach salad sounds yummy, and you can add some nuts (such as healthy almonds or walnuts) and fruit (such as strawberries or peaches) for a delicious salad that is even more filling!

Listen to your body: if you are still hungry after a few days of this type of meal plan, try to add more whole grains to your diet, some lean meats or beans, or other more filling foods to your breakfast and dinner.

Keep up the great exercise routine, and consider adding more substantial (yet healthy meals), as I am not sure that you are eating enough calories. You may find your body respond better (you will have more energy if your are adequately fueling your body). Try using an online calorie tracker so you can know how many calories you are consuming every day for 4-5 days, and take notice if you are still hungry. Hunger is the sign that you need more food...and an apple, carrot or other healthy snack can be a good option!

September 4, 2011 - 7:05am

Thank you so much for all the advice you have giving me. I am always scared to have a cheat day though because i feel it will be hard for me to get back on track with my calorie counting. i want this long term. i want to feel this good all the time. i just dont have the money to go to a doctor and seek help. so i was just trying to get some advice on what would be best. i might try a cheat day and see if it works for me. i feel more alive when i am exercising. Thanks for all your time writing me back. :)

September 2, 2011 - 3:19pm
(reply to guitargirl8)

Have you ever tried a "cheat day" while still tracking your calorie intake, and exercising? This is one of the reasons I like the Weight Watchers approach (not endorsing it, just using as example for cheat day): you have a certain amount of daily "points" (think: calories), as well as a certain number of extra "points" for the week. These "extra" points can be used for your "cheat day" or "extra snack".

Do you know how many calories your body needs on a daily basis? If you have never calculated this before, I can send you that information. (It changes based on weight and age). This is an important first step, so you know you are eating a healthy amount of calories.

Do you feel like you know what it means to eat "healthy" most days of the week, beyond calorie counting? How much food from each source (ie, fruits/vegetables, protein, etc) you should consume for a balanced meal?

Lastly, when you say you are afraid of a cheat day...how many calories are typically in your snacks?

That is great that you feel more alive when exercising! What type of exercises do like the most? Do you know how many calories you are burning during exercise?

I'm sure you know this, but weight loss is not all about calorie-counting (that would be boring!), but it is important to know what your body needs, what foods fill you up, what foods you enjoy... so that you don't think about food all day. It's all about balance and enjoying the rest of your life!

We are happy to talk with you about weight loss, and provide more information. If you would like to talk with other EmpowHER members who are going through weight loss programs (or, on their own), you can join the Young Women Losing Weight Group at: https://www.empowher.com/groups/Young-Women-Losing-Weight.

September 3, 2011 - 6:42am

Congratulations on your weight loss success...that is great! It is good news to, because you know you can lose weight, and now the trick is to learn how to maintain weight loss.

I would highly recommend meeting with a Registered Dietitian (R.D.), who can better answer your questions. The reason? You would be able to provide more in-depth information regarding your eating patterns, what you are eating, how many calories you are consuming from each type of food, what you are denying yourself, etc. You might be eating healthy and exercising...but there is also a balance of feeling good about each of these aspects of your life that they are sustainable and maintainable. "Anyone" can lose weight, but it is the slow, sustained weight loss that is the key (10 pounds in 9 days may not be on the right track for you; this type of fast weight loss is usually not maintainable). The key is to find what type of eating and exercise you can do for a LIFESTYLE..not just to lose weight.

As far as "why crave junk food?" Because it is manufactured to taste good (extra sweet, extra salty...whatever you want at the time), it is advertised to comfort us emotionally and physically, and it is typically super-convenient...usually easier, quicker, less mental and physical energy to get our hands on than what is necessary to make a healthy meal.

Your real question, though, is how to lessen the craving, right? The key to lessening the craving for junk food is going to be individual to each unique person, and talking through your struggles with an R.D. would help immensely. Everyone struggles with a certain craving, but some people have different plans ahead of time.
A few options:
- set aside one small (100 calorie) craving per day as a snack, choosing if it is sweet, salty, creamy, etc. Afterwards, some people brush their teeth, drink water, chew sugar-free gum, do something active, and know that you can have another small "craving" snack the next day.
- set aside one meal per week that you eat your favorite "junk food craving", and be sure to eat this in moderation (portion-control). You can incorporate this "treat" into your weekly regimen and not deprive yourself of your favorite thing. The most important aspect of sustainable weight loss is to make sure you are consuming less calories than you expend almost every day. Plan to have some extra salads, veggies and fruit, maybe an extra walk with friends, on the day you plan to indulge in your treat-for the week.
- find a healthy alternative, or make a big batch of it yourself ahead of time! There are recipes on the internet for literally every snack you can think of, and healthy versions you can make for yourself that lower the fat, calories, sugar, salt, and/or preservative content.
- Lastly, some people have also severely lessened the amount of salt or sugar in their diet (whichever you "crave"), and have added it back slowly once they felt the "craving" was gone. This would be best done with the advice of an R.D., but it can work it you feel you can not be satiated with a small amount of sweets or salty food...your tolerance may be at the point where you need more and more sweetness and/or salt added to food. This method can also backfire, as people who deprive themselves of their favorite foods can end up "binging" on large amounts of this very food they were avoiding.

Please know: there are no "bad" foods. Every food is OK in moderation, when consumed within healthy guidelines of calories in and calories out.

Again, those are just a few real-world examples. You can figure out what's best for you, as far as managing your cravings, and finding exercise that is best for your body (hint: mix-up the exercise every few months!).

Good luck! Let us know if you need to talk further, or if we can help you find some local resources. There are also successful weight loss groups, through Weight Watchers or your local hospital that can teach you about healthy eating (and not a specific "diet").

September 1, 2011 - 7:54pm
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