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Old 02-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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Ways to Prevent Cheating

Hi everyone,

Let me start off saying that I LOVE low carb. I honestly don't think I could ever go back to my old WOE. Carbs make me sick, literally!

Nevertheless, I always find myself sneaking food that's way off plan. Even today I'm feeling the consequences of my carb-filled weekend with a gain and an upset stomach.

When I'm faced with temptations, I get those little angel/devil voices in my head. (I usually listen to the angel and eat whatever I'm not supposed too. )

I've tried keeping a food log, having competitions with friends to see who could stay on plan the longest, non-food rewards..nothing does the trick.

Do any of you have tips that stop you from cheating? Any magic mantras that work? All advice is appreciated!!

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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I feel your pain! Avoiding temptation is tough, especially when there are high carb treats everywhere at home and at work (for me anyway). I find that I do better when I work out early in the day (for some reason I feel much more motivated after a workout). I also do better when I keep drinking water all day long. If I splurge and drink ice tea with Splenda or a diet coke, my cravings get really bad. I also keep sugar free Russell Stovers chocolates and Atkins chocolate treat bars, to be used in case of emergency. I don't eat them often due to the stomach distress they cause, but sometimes it is worth it and certainly better than a true cheat with high carb stuff! Stay strong and come to this forum often as it is very inspirational!
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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Sometimes I just have to white-knuckle through a temptation and other times it comes easy. I try to tell my brain that I can't have certain foods because I'm "allergic" to them. While not technically true, I do have horrible reactions to many carby things.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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This woe doesn't work that great if you keep cheating. So you need to decide what you want. For me, I got bad health reports and couldn't get health insurance. So I really had to lose weight. Maybe you need a bigger reason to lose weight.

I would recommend that you up your fat consumption. I know when I have plenty of fat, I really don't get tempted so easily. Read up on coconut oil and maybe try it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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You might have a sugar addiction (I do), so probably check out what solutions are are reccomended to addicts. I think you will also find that the longer you go without cheating the easier it gets to avoid cheating b/c the cravings/temptations subside.

I have found that comming up with a new LC recipe helps b/c you are trying something new and the novelty helps distract. Also get rid of any junkfood laying around. You can also find something else (non-food) related to focus on when you start getting into trouble.

Last edited by Taxbane; 02-18-2013 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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I am usually most likely to cheat when I am really hungry or with people eating carbs or drinking. So I try to stay full and always have snacks around.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Make sure you get enough sleep and try to do non-food related ways to handle stress (such as progressive relaxation, yoga breathing, whatever works for you) My odds of eating off plan skyrocket if I'm exhausted and stressed.

I find that not eating sweets (including artificial sweeteners) and not eating grains AT ALL helps--foods containing those things are now in an "I don't eat that" category in my head, so I find them easier to ignore than if I tried to eat them still in controlled amounts.

Also, I have tried to break the habit of eating at non-meal occasions--such as snacks offered during meetings or speakers at work or popcorn at movies. I'm not at that occasion to eat, so I just ignore the food that's offered at such occasions. If I don't go up to the snack buffet, I'm not tempted to put "just a little" of some off-plan food on my plate.

I don't put anything that is high in carbs in my grocery cart and I purged my kitchen of carby stuff. I'm just shopping for myself, so that simplifies things; maybe you have to accomodate others, but put their carby food in a separate cupboard or area of the refrigerator that you try to ignore.

Last edited by svenskamae; 02-18-2013 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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I've had a ton of trouble staying on plan in the past. I tend to crave sugar... which leads to me fighting temptation, losing, and binging. I always assumed I just lacked will power and hated that I couldn't seem to control myself no matter how hard I tried. Then I read The Diet Cure and started taking an amino acid supplement that helps boost my serotonin (5htp). It's only been a couple weeks but the cravings are GONE and for the first time it feels effortless to stay of even when surrounded by sugary treats.

I just mention this because some people who have no problem with sticking to lc will think or suggest that you should just want it more...however, success for people like me who struggle with a very real addiction to carbs often requires more than just the strong desire to lose weight because trust me, there's little I want more even when I'm cramming donuts in my face. For me, supplements have made a drastic difference along with eating real meals instead of snacking.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:32 AM   #9
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I used to have a serious problem with bingeing and mindless snacking on foods containing high carbs. I find now that whenever I get cravings it is because I am eating to many carbs. I'm pretty sensitive to carbs, so I am down below 25g. If I can keep my brain running on ketones, I don't get any cravings or hunger. Sometimes a good dose of a high fat snack or decaffinated coffee with heavy cream helps. I can't find coconut oil where I live, but I have heard that that helps too.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:55 PM   #10
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i noticed that too! my inlaws have been in town and they want to go to places i LOVE!!! i only slipped a few meals and my stomach has been killing me since.. i got so sick last night because i have been eating way too many carbs..
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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When temptations get bad, and I'm feeling deprived... I make LC cheesecake. http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lo...ion-label.html

It is physically impossible to feel "deprived" while eating cheesecake!

Seriously, that's my "go-to", whenever I feel like I want something. I haven't had a "good" one since we moved, but just bought a spring-form pan (used to make them in my glass pie-plate, or just the biggest glass casserole I could find) and some cream-cheese -- should be making one in the very near future!
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muncheechee View Post
I've had a ton of trouble staying on plan in the past. I tend to crave sugar... which leads to me fighting temptation, losing, and binging. I always assumed I just lacked will power and hated that I couldn't seem to control myself no matter how hard I tried. Then I read The Diet Cure and started taking an amino acid supplement that helps boost my serotonin (5htp). It's only been a couple weeks but the cravings are GONE and for the first time it feels effortless to stay of even when surrounded by sugary treats.

I just mention this because some people who have no problem with sticking to lc will think or suggest that you should just want it more...however, success for people like me who struggle with a very real addiction to carbs often requires more than just the strong desire to lose weight because trust me, there's little I want more even when I'm cramming donuts in my face. For me, supplements have made a drastic difference along with eating real meals instead of snacking.
Thanks for mentioning this. I am going to have to check out 5htp. I seem to get strong carb cravings after 2 weeks of Keto. Anything reccomended to be taken along with the 5htp?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:30 AM   #13
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I don't think anyone can be 100% on plan 100% of the time. We are ALL going to slip now and then. For me, this is a game of my mind set and constantly reminding myself that eating foods that are off my menu only hurt me. If I have a piece of pizza, I know I will not be able to say no to a second, third or fourth slice. It's like once I give myself permission, it's too late.

So I work really hard not to give myself permission in the first place. I'm not perfect but accepting that what tastes good (sugar, bread, chips, etc.) is making me sick helps me have the power to say no to myself.

For me there is no such thing as "controlled cheating". For me, cheating means I'm out of control and it's then hard for me to get right back on track.

I don't think there's any easy answer. Everyone needs to find their own reasons to stay on track and develop their own mind set to stick with it and not feel guilty when we do slip up.

I get it that carbs are addictive, I had a dream about pizza just the other night in which I was madly chomping down an entire pizza (I LOVE PIZZA! lol). I woke up craving pizza! But those are the times when I have to just take a deep breath and talk myself through the craving. What I can't do is reward the craving. That's how I got where I am....by just giving in.

So we all feel your pain with the efforts to stay on plan. Maybe try some little distractions like, take a couple deep breaths, close your eyes and count in your head until the strongest part of the craving passes. Walk into another room and start doing something else. Anything that changes your immediate thinking that you want those carbs. Sometimes it only takes a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes for the craving pass but the good news is that they do pass.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:43 AM   #14
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For me, the thing that works the best is to never eat off plan. I am far too carb sensitive and refuse to reawake the demons. I have been on plan for 3+ yrs. at this point and the thing that allows me to be successful is planning ahead and always being prepared.

If I am going to a situation that I don't know what he food choices will be, I eat in advance and then push the food around my plate. At this point, most invitees know that I don't eat carbs other than the very low ones.

The last time I stepped off plan, it took me years to get back on and that experience has not been forgotten. Know yourself and don't ever eat off plan foods on a whim.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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I also struggle with this. I try not to even go down the store aisle as those items leap into my basket. Too many people still don't 'get it'. I try not to stand or sit near those goodies at parties.
I need more choices but I find I must have LC food available to prevent missteps. I am in the process of a restart & I am having to clean out the kitchen.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:44 PM   #16
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I've asked the same question dozens of times. The only thing that has worked for me is blogging. Even though only very few people actually read it, the fact that I've committed to the blog keeps me on track. I haven't been this successful for this long in years and I credit my blog.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muncheechee View Post
I've had a ton of trouble staying on plan in the past. I tend to crave sugar... which leads to me fighting temptation, losing, and binging. I always assumed I just lacked will power and hated that I couldn't seem to control myself no matter how hard I tried. Then I read The Diet Cure and started taking an amino acid supplement that helps boost my serotonin (5htp). It's only been a couple weeks but the cravings are GONE and for the first time it feels effortless to stay of even when surrounded by sugary treats.

I just mention this because some people who have no problem with sticking to lc will think or suggest that you should just want it more...however, success for people like me who struggle with a very real addiction to carbs often requires more than just the strong desire to lose weight because trust me, there's little I want more even when I'm cramming donuts in my face. For me, supplements have made a drastic difference along with eating real meals instead of snacking.
The author of The Diet Cure, Dr. Julia Ross, did a podcast with Jimmy Moore that is chock full of great information on beating carb addiction. Google 'jimmy moore dr julia ross atlcx 19'.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:55 AM   #18
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I find planning ahead to be a big help. If you decide what your next meal/snack will be & when... then stick to it. Stock the house with what you need so you have a supply at hand in the pantry or freezer.

Eat on time, every 3-4 hours. Plan it out.

As I posted above, I try to completely avoid the temptations in the grocery... by staying out of those aisles!

I had a really good run back in 2000... but the attempts to restart in between... I fell down on the will power. Giving in to the temptations will set me back a week... if I can stick it out. I was very indulgant & that's how I got back here again.

WE've got to crank up the determination...
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:11 AM   #19
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The scale keeps me on track....I wake up, go pee, strip down to my undies and weigh...watching the scale keeps me on track for the most part. Oh...and chicken salad! Love chicken salad.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #20
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I make out my menus ahead of time (usually 2 days at a time), and figure all the calories and carbs that I am allowed, right down to even making a little "check off" list for splenda packets and a "with splenda packets" carb count and a "without splenda packets" carb count for that day. It may not be a way to totally prevent cheating (the chocolate monster usually attacks around TOM and I have been known to go thru an entire tub of Carb Smart ice cream or a whole box of Atkins bars when that happens I pay for those times with tummy troubles) but for some reason, it helps keep me on track knowing that if I add something else to my menu, I have to recalculate everything for the day.
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demonica View Post
I have to recalculate everything for the day.
Hi Demonica
I think for me it is necessary, I did not calculate when I bought a seasoning. There is a lot of carbs!!!!!!!!!

Schwartz Simply Shake Steak Seasoning 46g
Nutrition
Per 100g (as sold)
Energy 1445kJ/345kcal
Fat 8.8g
Saturates 1.0g
Carbohydrates 43.5g
Sugars 15.4g
Protein 12.3g
Salt 0.18g
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Old 03-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #22
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It's been mentioned several times by other posters that you need to know yourself and your personality. Are you an abstainer or a moderate? Some folks have to never touch it and learn to see it as poison. Others will eventually binge if you take it away.

VLC is very unforgiving when it comes to going off plan. So is low fat. I can do both and lose but I can't keep it up forever. You have to find what is going to be sustainable for you in order to be successful getting and keeping the weight off.

I don't grow horns if I eat sugar or wheat but it does seem to have an accumulative effect if I overdo. I don't eat much processed food and no sugar substitutes. I allow 2 treats a week. NOT treat meals. 1 treat. This means that when eating out I can have the wine, appetizer, entree or dessert that is off plan. NOT all of them. I carefully choose and make sure that it's worth it.

If you cannot stick to your plan, then it is not working. I love it when people (myself included) say " I know LC, WW, low cal, etc works, I've lost weight with it several times."

Getting serious about nutrition can help. Once you start having health issues and are forced to make some changes it gets easier to make choices for health and energy. IF you are smart. We live in a "take a pill and eat what you want" society. I see many smart folks on this site who have chosen to follow the road less traveled.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #23
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I'm with Clackley - I do not and will not cheat. 215 days today, cheat-free How do I do it? I learned the hard way - after losing 50 lbs about 6 or 7 years ago, and maintaining that for 3 years - I cheated, and I put the whole lot back on again plus another 10 lbs or so. For me, one cheat is like falling off a cliff - there's no turning back. I loathed myself for so long after the weight came back - I refused to leave the house because I was so ashamed of my regression, I didn't want anyone to see me. I am never going back there again. Cheating is not worth it for me, I'm taking this very seriously, for health reasons as well as weight loss.

Instead of cheating, I go for treating - I indulge myself in something luxurious but low carb - I've just eaten a ribeye steak with piles of green salad leaves and a load of mushrooms in a Parmesan and cream sauce, with garlic and parsley butter.

If I'm faced with temptation - I use a little mind trick - I just start thinking about something else - like photography, which is a hobby of mine. I consciously start thinking about what aperture/shutter speed I'd need for a certain pic - say a pic of the big fat chocolate cake in front of me Of course it doesn't have to be photography, it could be anything that interests you - gardening maybe - which seeds would you order for the coming season? Whatever floats your boat. It's a distraction from the temptation, and it works.

I'm a bit Yoda about what I eat - 'there is no 'try'' - I've committed myself to eating low carb, and I am not going to let myself down. 'Walk away from the cake' is another mantra Of course it helps that I love what I can eat on plan, and so I never actually feel deprived. The longer I stick to the 'rules' the easier it is - eating carbs makes you want carbs - so it's easier to just not do it, really.

Best of luck (and sorry if I rambled a bit!).
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #24
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Haven't read any replies. But for me the way to prevent cheating begins in your mind. You have to come to the place that it is not worth it. If you must have something then find another equally yummy lovely creation to eat that is legal

It will be 9 years in April that I have been faithfully doing low carb with NO cheats
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:13 PM   #25
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What has worked for me is....

1. The realization that cheating leads to disaster. Some people can, but I cannot, have a little cheat and then just be okay and get back on track. Cheating leads to major cravings and feelings that I should just give up. I'm better off staying 100% ON plan.

2. Planning meals and snacks in advance. If I don't have on-plan foods in the house, then it's going to be way too easy to justify eating something that's off-plan. Every weekend I plan the week's meals and do the shopping, and I try to keep several "grab and go" type LC snacks on hand as well, so that any time I'm hungry or just get hit by the munchies, I can take care of it without getting off track. And I try to make sure that I try at least one new recipe every week, so that I get to enjoy the wide variety of foods that are available with this lifestyle. That can really help me to get out of a rut and not feel deprived.

3. Tracking/recording. I make myself write down the carb count for every meal and snack that I eat. Just knowing that I'd have to write down "38 grams" if I ate that scoop of custard is often incentive enough not to eat it. In this same category could be: checking your blood glucose after the meal/snack, checking your ketone levels daily, weighing, whatever works for you.

4. Accountability. See in my profile where it says I've stayed on plan since March 2011? I do NOT want to have to change that! Also, if you have any "real life" friends, in addition to the ones here, who eat LC that can be a huge help. I recently had a friend ask me to coach her a bit on the LC lifestyle, and we both set up Google Drive spreadsheets where we could share with each other what we were eating every day. It was tremendously helpful for us both, to get ideas for LC meals and snacks but also to be accountable to each other for what we were eating.

5. Stay motivated. Listen to podcasts (Jimmy Moore), read blogs (Peter Attia, Mark Sisson, Dr. Eades), and read books (Phinney and Volek, Taubes, Atkins, Eades). The more knowledgeable you are about LC, the more reasons you find to stick with it.

6. This one came from someone on these boards, and I wish I could remember who so that I could give her credit. But she pointed out that once you eat that cheat food, all you will have is the memory of it. And you mostly likely have eaten that food before and already have a memory of it. So savor that memory, and skip the cravings, weight gain, upset tummy, and all the other negative consequences that would come from eating it again.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #26
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There is a lot of good advice on this thread, so I probably have little new to add. But, for me, I started cooking again. The recipe section in this forum is so full of recipes and ideas. There is nothing anywhere that beats the delicious low carb food. So, for the first time in 10 years, I can walk past all the temptations in my way. For instance, one of the ladies who works with me brought 4 dozen doughnuts this week. I retreated to my desk where I had stashed a low carb cinnamon cranberry muffin. There is no way that the doughnuts can be that good. We spend a lot more money on groceries, but eating out (always a challenge for me) is almost a thing of the past because we have good stuff available at home. Stroganoff tonight!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #27
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Start Date: Began losing 10/08. Working off last 20 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
For me, the thing that works the best is to never eat off plan. I am far too carb sensitive and refuse to reawake the demons. I have been on plan for 3+ yrs. at this point and the thing that allows me to be successful is planning ahead and always being prepared.

If I am going to a situation that I don't know what he food choices will be, I eat in advance and then push the food around my plate. At this point, most invitees know that I don't eat carbs other than the very low ones.

The last time I stepped off plan, it took me years to get back on and that experience has not been forgotten. Know yourself and don't ever eat off plan foods on a whim.
This is so wise, and my experience, too. There is no off plan option for me, it isn't even a choice anymore. Eating low carb is what I 'do' and that is the only food my body is allowed for nutrition. Once the option to cheat is off the table it is amazing how much more simple and less conflicted this entire thing becomes. Then maintenance because quite automatic, indeed.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #28
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8
Gallery: Grinsnits
Stats: 243/214/180
WOE: Atkins
Start Date: March 07; Restart January 2013
In broad strokes.. I didn't go into this assuming I'd never eat pizza or a piece of birthday cake again. However I did go into this knowing it was a lifestyle adjustment and a long term change. This required an "in it for the long haul" mentality. Which takes the pressure off. I also understand that losing weight isn't linear for me. I don't lose exactly 1.5 pounds every week. It can be more, less or none when I weigh in. Since a "stall" is technically no loss of inches or weight over the course of 6 weeks, I don't come down hard on myself if the inches or pounds don't come off as quickly as I want (I weigh in and measure every 3-4 weeks). If loss is slower than I might want I look back and see what I did differently and make adjustments.

Since this is a long haul plan I have all the time in the world to make adjustments and learn what works and what doesn't. I don't assume the whole plan failed if I didn't lose anything for a couple weeks. I'm not interested in losing weight quickly. I'm interested in learning the best methods for me to be fit and healthy and then making them habits. If I do that the weight loss will take care of itself AND over the course of that time I've been learning how to eat smarter and healthier.

From the first day you began pursuing a healthier lifestyle to the day you hit your goal, you've been developing those habits that will keep you healthy and thin forever. That's the most important thing for me. I don't want to be "good" and lose weight in 5 months and then gain it all back 6 months later. I want health to be my habit.

All if that to say, if this is really a WAY OF LIFE then there's no such thing as a cheat day (for me) because as I said before, there was no way I was going to never eat pizza or a piece of cake again. I'll probably be more prohibitive at the outset because I think self control and going without is a habit that needs to be developed. But as time goes by the habit of moderation is just as important. There really is a difference between eating a couple slices of pizza once or twice a month and eating an entire pizza every weekend. Between birthdays, holidays and various social get-togethers there are enough opportunities in a year that I'm going to enjoy pizza or cake. I refuse to let these become cheat days or "off the wagon" train wrecks. They are part of the plan just as much as the day before when it was all eggs, chicken and pork rinds. The plan is much, much bigger than one meal.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:59 PM   #29
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,129
Gallery: JMacB
Stats: 275/185/160
WOE: Modified Atkins/general low carb
Start Date: Feb 2012
This is going to sound strange, but bear with me.

I don't eat seafood, never have. Growing up going to the beach and New Orleans all my life, not eating seafood meant that there was always a bit of menu-study involved with every meal. But I always managed to find something to eat. Always.

Now, I don't eat carbs and sugar. I have to study the menus, but I can always find something to eat. I don't stress over it, just like I've never stressed over not eating seafood.

I bet there is something you just don't eat. You never think of it - you just don't eat it. That's the way low carb eating can become. When that happens, life becomes wonderful.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:16 AM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,539
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Stats: 204/159/145
WOE: Low carb
Start Date: 7/4/11
I am struggling with this now too.
All this advice is great-knowledge is power-but in the end, it is something you need to find within yourself, that inner drive. It sounds cliche but I believe true. You can read all the best ideas and have the support of many BUT that final decision is ALL you (us).

Good luck-hope we both find our way to success.
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