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Old 01-26-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
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Information overload!

Hi everyone,

After bouncing around like a superball reading about various diets/methods - counting calories, WW, LCHF, smaller portions, juicing, reading about paleo, 4 hour diet - my mind is spinning. I have no clue where to start apart from the fact that I need to eat better (although I don't eat horribly right now), and feel like I'm setting myself up for failure - AGAIN.

Can anyone give me some advice? Where to start, or how to determine what would work best for me? I feel like there are so many variables that I could spend my whole life trying to find the right answer. I know there isn't a "one size all" diet plan, nor is there a quick fix. But I just don't even know what to do. I feel like I have dieting ADD, always distracted by the next "thing" which might help!

Any words of advice, encouragement? I apologize if this has been rehashed over and over. I'm willing to provide more info, though, if need be.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:46 PM   #2
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I know the feeling. It's easy to make ourselves mental over the small details, but the thing all those plans have in common is elimination of wheat and sugar. If you can manage that and take your time learning the rest you'll be in good shape.

About 66% of the calories in the US are sugar, flour, and refined oils with zero nutritional value. Make a dent in that then decide the rest as you go.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:28 AM   #3
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I would second what picklepete says, elimination of wheat has been the key for me as well as cutting out sugar and limiting artificial sweeteners.
I do stay low carb and try to eat as 'clean' as possible limiting processed foods, it requires more planning but is definitely worth it. I am lucky that I have a butchers and fab grocers within walking distance in my village.
Unfortunately (actually fortunately! ) everyone is different and has to work out for themselves what works for them
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:46 AM   #4
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I believe any diet will allow someone to lose weight, but those which keep weight off are those that can be permanently adapted into one's life. Evaluate what you want to accomplish through controlling your diet and what you are willing to give up to accomplish it. I don't have an specific health issues or food sensitivities, which certainly gave me more freedom in my options. I selected Adkins because I would rather live without sugar and flour than butter and bacon. It sounds simplistic, but that was my reasoning. Good luck whatever you decide!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:18 AM   #5
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What plan has worked well for you in the past?
What is your preferred eating style when you're not dieting-- do you like meat? Do you eat 3 meals a day, or do you graze/eat frequent snacks?
How much time do you have to prep good foods? Is cost/budget a concern?
How much do you have to lose, and do you want to get to goal fast or slow?
Are you looking for a "fix" or are you looking for a new way of eating permanently for health and weight loss/control?
What might cause you to stumble in a food plan/diet? Hunger? Limited food choices? Getting frustrated with keeping track of calories/carbs/fats/ratios?

Maybe consider these questions and more. then you might be able to answer your own question, or report back here for some suggestions.

In any case, thinking about the process is a great start. Researching a plan is smart, so good for you for these first steps.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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I pulled wheat out of my diet at the end of December and feel like a new person! Without the wheat-induced cravings, my head is clear and I can make smarter choices about meals. Now down 14 pounds and I am still eating limited rice, potatoes and the occasional dark chocolate raspberry M&Ms.

Its tricky at first, because wheat is in soy sauce, canned soups, slim jims, atkins bars, bleu cheese - it is an insidious critter that they put in everything - and "gluten free" substitutes are VERY high in carbs (just like "fat free" frankenfoods are).

It isn't easy at first because of all of the label reading, but it is VERY easy overall. Its the "No Wheat Diet" and it works!

Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:08 AM   #7
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Have you read any books about low carb? A lot of the books will also discuss supplements that will help you stay on plan with as much energy as possible. I found the Protein Power books by the Eades' to be a good starting point without too much biochemical detail and simple explanations. Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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Thank you, everyone, for your responses. A part of my situation is a struggle in finding things that don't have sugar/sweeteners or wheat... I LOVE my bread, too, so it can be a challenge. Grrr. But, I am so frustrated that I am just about ready to try it.

Emel, I love your icon pic, lol. But in regards to your questions, here are a few answers:

I haven't really "dieted" successfully in the past. I lost about 30 lbs once eating only veggies for dinner and walking about 3 hours every night (it was a crazy time in my life.) There's no way that I could keep that up now, realistically.

I don't snack too much, and I do eat 3 meals a day. As I've just moved out on my own, cost is somewhat of a concern, but I'm an adamant believer that you get what you pay for. There's no way I would buy non-organic beef or chicken, for example. Being a single person I have plenty of time to prepare food, in comparison to a mother of 4 for example

One fear I have about LC is that I'll never be able to go out and eat something like spaghetti with friends. Or if a friend invites me over for something, I'm at the whim of whatever they're serving. I know that sounds weird, but I don't want to be so "picky".

So many things cause me to stumble: fear of failing again, feeling unfulfilled all the time, I HATE counting calories and percentages of carbs and that kind of thing. For that I simply don't have time.

But I do firmly believe that sugar is NOT good for you (except in fruit, and even then in small doses), and that I should be eating many more vegetarian meals.

JessieBear, those M&Ms are delish. LOL :P

Thanks, also for the book suggestions. Any more?
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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What exactly are your goals? If weight loss and health is a goal, then you should consider giving up grains, wheats, pasta, etc. I know it's hard. It was all I ever ate and I was very poor so it was too difficult to imagine not eating that stuff. I'm sure all of us have asked the same exact questions, how do you give up all the pasta and bread?! The first 3 days of giving it up are tough because your body needs to adapt to using fat instead of carbohydrate for energy, but after that it's a lot easier and you don't miss the bread and the pasta at all. The truth is, if you only "reduce" your carbohydrate intake, you never fully ketoadapt, which means that you do not turn into fat burning mode. Meanwhile, you're taking in fewer calories from the reduction in carbs, and you still get hungry due to insulin resistance and you do not reduce your blood sugar. Basically, you will benefit most if you resolve to drop down to a level of 30g carbohydrate per day or less ("induction level") and you are at less of a risk of having accidental binges because your blood sugar will be moderated by your liver. However, I strongly suggest you read Protein Power before you begin so that you understand what changes take place in your body during induction and it will help you stay on track. Other books include Atkins, and several by Phinney and Volek. You can also take a look at Peter Attia's blog.

Basically, doing it half way is not going to help much because it will not fix the key problems, ie, blood sugar and insulin resistance. It's kind of like quitting smoking--you can't quit if you still have a couple of cigarettes a day.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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Creseis, I need to lose about 50 lbs.

One reason I'm interested in and attracted to LC is because with plans like WW or other ones where you minimize your portion size, it's too easy for me to overeat. Don't get me wrong, I understand portion control is important - but I like that it sounds like most people on LC feel full faster and are less tempted to keep eating.

I've been reading more about ketosis on some websites including the Atkins one, and am thinking that I should try it for at least 15 days, if not 30, to see what happens. I just have to do this!

Is there a good shopping list on a website that I can find? Or recipes that are easy to cook everyday or prep in advance?

Last edited by dipsydoodle; 01-27-2013 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #11
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I would suggest that you start with Atkin's induction and go from there. I have read many books on nutrition and a low carb lifestyle and have enjoyed gleaning knowledge from more than one writer. Atkin's is the most simple to do in the beginning. Along with doing Atkin's, my other recommendations would be to cut out most, if not all, artificial sweetners, don't eat low carb processed foods, especially anything with wheat in it, and just keep it simple. Atkins doesn't have to include all of that junk to be filling and satisfying.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:33 AM   #12
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The main thing about LC and ketosis is that you have to get out of the mindset that you are eating too much, eating too many calories, eating too much fat. The only thing you need to be concerned with, especially at first, is limiting your carbohydrates.

If you get hungry, you must eat fat. There is a simple biochemical reason for this. The first 3 days you switch to very low carb, your muscle tissue and brain is still running on glucose. Your muscles are very greedy and they will take all of the glucose that is remaining in your body, leaving your brain hungry. This is why so many people complain of being really tired and feeling faint, even passing out, the first few days, and they think it must be unhealthy, so they start eating carbs. Plus, you can get intense carb cravings during this time. After the first 3 days, and day 3 is ALWAYS the worst for me--I just have to push through it, your liver shifts from a process called lipogenesis (producing lipids, or fats, from excess consumed carbohydrate to put it into storage) to gluconeogenesis (converting fat to glucose and ketones, which is exothermal and creates energy + heat + ketone, basically, fat burning. This fat burning process in your liver will not happen if you have over 30-50g carbohydrate (given the weight you need to lose, I recommend keeping carbs below 30g). Your liver cannot do both lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis at the same time and it will always choose lipogenesis if there is a surplus of glucose because you will die if you have too much glucose in your blood and this is how it gets rid of it. If you do not have enough glucose, your liver will choose gluconeogenesis. This can produce up to 300g carbohydrate and it will never produce more glucose than your tissue and brain cells will use right away, thus stabilizing your blood sugar. Although this is enough carbohydrate to run your body at rest, as soon as you do work or exercise, your body will want more. That's where ketones come into play. For the first 4-6 weeks, your tissues do not readily use ketones for energy, so you will feel like you are running out of gas and you may get cravings for carbs during this time. This is also why it is important to eat more fat during this time--it will keep your cravings at bay until you are ketoadapted.

Once you are ketoadapted and your muscles (and brain, which also can run on ketones very very well) are able to get energy from ketones, you will not be hungry as much. You can eat a lot less and probably will. You will find a lot of posts on this board about people who are eating 1200 calories a day and forcing themselves to eat because they are just not hungry anymore. This is great because they are using their body fat for fuel. It is very very difficult to use fat for fuel unless you are ketoadapted, which is one reason why it's so hard to lose fat (and why a lot of muscle is often lost) on a low calorie/high carb diet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipsydoodle View Post
Creseis, I need to lose about 50 lbs.

One reason I'm interested in and attracted to LC is because with plans like WW or other ones where you minimize your portion size, it's too easy for me to overeat. Don't get me wrong, I understand portion control is important - but I like that it sounds like most people on LC feel full faster and are less tempted to keep eating.

I've been reading more about ketosis on some websites including the Atkins one, and am thinking that I should try it for at least 15 days, if not 30, to see what happens. I just have to do this!

Is there a good shopping list on a website that I can find? Or recipes that are easy to cook everyday or prep in advance?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #13
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I think the first step is to do lots and lots of research. I've literally spent over 100 hours looking into different plans-watching documentaries, reading books, spending time online etc etc. As I was learning about all the different options I would ask two questions:

1. is this plan something I can do for life? I don't want a 'diet' that I end up abandoning down the road-I want a way of eating that I can be content with forever. Losing weight is the easy part-keeping it off and not having to worry about gaining again is the hard part. I refuse to get into the vicious cycle of hitting goal/gain again. Once I'm at goal weight, I'm not going backwards. Period.

2. is this woe healthy? Does it offer other benefits besides weight loss? Again, weight loss is a goal, but the big picture should be about good health

For me-I started with a general low carb/low sugar plan. While I think this answered my second question with a yes, it did not satisfy the first question for me. After just a couple weeks on lc I started to resent the restrictions. I realized that there was no way this would be feasible long term (again, for me personally). Fast forward almost 5 months and I've found a plan I can honestly say is the perfect fit for me (JUDDD/IF).

I'm a strong believer that there is no one-size-fits-all woe. We all have different lifestyles, tastes, health issues etc etc and really, unless you do some research (and trial and error), you're not going to find out what works best for you

This website is an awesome starting point, since there are so many plans represented. Take the time, really dive into each option, and see what will be your perfect fit

OP-just saw your other post-just be aware that doing lc does not mean you don't have to watch portion sizes. I lost 10lbs with lc eating, and then quickly gained 3 right back-I realized I was overeating lc food. The whole feeling full faster on lc foods did not apply to me at all.

Last edited by mom23kids; 01-28-2013 at 07:13 AM..
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dipsydoodle View Post
Creseis, I need to lose about 50 lbs.

One reason I'm interested in and attracted to LC is because with plans like WW or other ones where you minimize your portion size, it's too easy for me to overeat. Don't get me wrong, I understand portion control is important - but I like that it sounds like most people on LC feel full faster and are less tempted to keep eating.

I've been reading more about ketosis on some websites including the Atkins one, and am thinking that I should try it for at least 15 days, if not 30, to see what happens. I just have to do this!

Is there a good shopping list on a website that I can find? Or recipes that are easy to cook everyday or prep in advance?
This sounds like a good plan. It doesn't have to be complicated. Start by eating meat (with fat/skin if possible), non-starchy/non-sugary vegetables, and healthy fats (animal fats, olive oil, coconut oil). The Atkins website has the food lists for all the phases on it. The great thing about being in ketosis is that, so far for me anyways, portion control isn't that big of a deal becuase I hardly get hungry any more. When I do get hungry I eat something on plan until I am no longer hungry. I've been losing about 3 lbs. a week doing this, and I don't count anything right now. Maybe I will have to at some point, but as they say, do what works until it doesn't.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 01-28-2013 at 06:59 AM..
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