Calorie Counting - my last hope!

Discussion in 'Calorie Counting' started by cheery, 20 January 2013 Social URL.

  1. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    Hello all. I used to be a member here a few years ago but didn't post much and don't really know anyone!

    In the last six years, I've done the following diets:

    - 2007 Atkins

    Stuck it for a couple of weeks, lost a few pounds, went straight back on when I ate carbs again.

    - 2009 Lipotrim

    Lost 10 lbs in a week, then gave up as I just couldn't hack it. Went straight onto...

    - 2009 Slimming World

    Lost three stone in four months, stuck to the plan (almost) religiously, stopped going when I hit target. Felt amazing! Promptly put two of the three stone back on over the next year.

    - 2010-2011 Cambridge

    Lost one and a half stone. Put it back on over a year. Started again. Lost two stone. Put it back on over six months.

    - early 2012 Weight Watchers

    Lost a stone. Put it back on.

    - late 2012 Exante

    Lost two stone. Put it back on over six months.

    Six years later, at the beginning of this year, I weighed almost exactly the same as when I started dieting! Although some of the diets I did were sustainable (WW, SW), I never stuck to them once I'd lost the weight. I'm thankful that I managed to nip it in the bud at the various points over the years that I did, and so I've never gone over more than four stone higher than I need to be. Although four stone is way too much, I see people on this site who yo-yo with 6, 8 even 10 stone and I can't imagine how difficult that would be.

    When I think of all the trauma, money, hunger and drama I've endured over the last six years, I've come to the point where I really think I need to be sensibly making small changes and sticking to them. The timeless advice (calories in vs calories out, make small, long term, sustainable changes, don't go crazy when you've lost the weight) is something I've heard over and over again, but perhaps never really taken heed of. As a result, I've signed up to MFP and am calorie counting. I think I'm in it for the long haul! I lost 10lbs in a week and a half, though I know most of that will be water.

    So, after all of those experiences, I'm sticking to the following three simple rules. They are:

    - 11,000 calories per week, never less than 1200 calories a day, never more than 2000 a day.

    I find it easier to have a weekly calorie target than a daily one, to allow for some give and take. This target is based on 1500 calories a day with a 500 calorie treat if I need a night out or a meal. When I lose two stone, I shall drop it to 1400 per day, worked out weekly. When I've lost all I need to, I'll hopefully maintain by adding 200 per day until my weight stabilises.

    - 3 of my 5 a day, every day

    Although I sometimes hit 5, I find it unrealistic. 3 is manageable, though not always easy, and sustainable.

    - Walk for 15 minutes a day

    I know, I know, I need to join a gym and do proper cardio and build up some muscle, but this isn't realistically going to happen or be sustained, whereas I'm sure I can walk on my lunch hour for a little while!

    I know that following these rules will mean that I'll lose the four stone over six months or so rather than the four months it'd take me on WW/SW or two months on a VLCD, but I think it's achievable and I'm determined to stick to it this time (oh, if I had a pound for every time I'd said that before!).

    So, I'm interested to hear if you've had similar experiences - done all the diets under the sun and settled on calorie counting? Managed to maintain on calorie counting after doing a different diet? Any inspiration gratefully received!
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  3. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    Well done for getting back on it!

    I'm cal counting too-1400 a day, trying out the 'eating 20% less than TDEE' which was mentioned on a thread a while back (while I was doing JUDDD).
    I have less to lose, but have struggled up/down and every diet under the sun for years too.

    Good Luck

    G x

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  4. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    Ah yeah, I read the TDEE links from here, looks interesting but for me I think would only result in a 1lb loss a week and I'm hoping for 2lb! I'm male so my TDEE is quite high, something like 2300 meaning I could have about 1900 and still lose.

    So I think realistically 1500 gives me a deficit to equate to around a 2lb per week loss.

    Good luck with your 1400! How did you find JUDD? I looked at it and it looked very tempting but I'm not sure I wouldn't just keep doing 'up' days!
  5. TracyGWill

    TracyGWill Gold Member

    Welcome and good luck! Just be aware that as you're a man, 1500 should be the lowest you eat, rather than the 1200 which is for a woman, so if I were you I'd start on a higher average, say 1800, to give yourself room for reduction. :) xx
  6. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    Thanks Tracey, that's really helpful.

    I've been doing 1500 per day, but most days having about 1300 to allow for a night out at the weekend. Which is probably not very healthy!

    This week, I'll have had almost 11,000 which averages out at about 1570 per day so perhaps I need to up it a bit.... Especially as you say because I might need to reduce it when losses slow down and I don't really want to go much lower.

    You've done amazingly! Almost 8 stone! Bet you can't wait to get the last bit off...
  7. TracyGWill

    TracyGWill Gold Member

    Thanks! I am really keen to get down to a healthy BMI now, I must admit, even though I know it's not the be all and end all to do so. I set out to lose 10 stone in 2 years, so hoping I'll achieve that.

    There's a thread on here all about setting your recommended calories that might be of interest to you, as well as the stickie you may have seen. I know from something you said on another thread that you think you may have suffered metabolic damage from all the different diets, and there's discussion of that sort of thing on the Setting your recommended calories thread. I think that makes it more important not to go too low with your calories, as you want to repair your metabolism. :)

    Good luck! xx
  8. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    That's an amazing achievement, 10 stone is a whole other person! Well done. As you say, though, the trick will I'm sure be maintaining!

    I've looked at the BMR/TDEE/other acronyms I can't remember threads and do appreciate the need to do some damage control! I'll do some more revision! Thanks again.

    And good luck to you too!
  9. TracyGWill

    TracyGWill Gold Member

    Definitely, the trick is all in the maintenance! I too have yo-yo dieted, for 30 years, albeit always on calorie counting. But this is my most sustained period and amount of weight loss ever, so I'm hoping that's a good sign! xx
  10. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    That's an excellent sign and inspirational to hear. Let's hope you're still posting in a few years at a BMI that you're comfortable with!
  11. TracyGWill

    TracyGWill Gold Member

    I'll do my very best! :) xx
  12. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    After years of cal counting I found the up days difficult to 'relax'. The 500 cal dates were ok, was easier when you knew it was only for a day. I had seen the Horizon documentary months ago, and then read Johnstons book- so understood it, but it's not for me.

    The fat2fitradio site does suggest 2lb loss on 80% tdee, and has all info re figures etc. I'm only on week one, but defo think eating a bit more than 1200 (1400-1500 target), means I'm more likely to achieve a steady balance. 1200 is too difficult, for me, long term then I just blow it!

    Good Luck!


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  13. cheery

    cheery Full Member

    Yeah, the idea of JUDD/5:2 is very tempting to me, but I'm worried that the reason it is tempting is because I get to blow out with pizza/beer/chocolate etc (very attractive to me!) and really that's the kind of behaviour I need to be nipping in the bud!

    Also, I don't have much information about how successful JUDD/5:2 is apart from the posts on the board here, and there doesn't seem to be many people that have done it for a long time? I guess it hasn't been around that long though!
  14. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    The guy on the documentary had weight loss BUT he was more looking for health benefits (family diabetes history), and wasn't really overweight. I've not got a huge amount to lose but I've worked so hard to get where I am, I knew the up days could get out of control over time.


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  15. DeeOne

    DeeOne Full Member

    Hey Cheery, Good luck with your new regime....I smiled when I read your post of all the diets you've tried, been there done that, but couldn't stick with the daily deprivation feelings they would bring up & usually fell off the wagon after a couple of months. I like the plan you've devised for yourself and its flexible enough for you to tweak when needed to suit your lifestyle, I also agree with Tracy on starting a little higher to allow for slowdown in metabolism as the weight comes off.

    I've lost 5 stones over the last 8 months 2st calorie counting & 3st since July on Juddd. I agree that a slower weightloss on a plan you can maintain longterm is better than the faster diet where the weight creeps back after returning to normal eating.

    As for tips I dont have any new ones to share, but I think where I went wrong a bit in my calorie counting days was not enough water (too much fizzy stuff unfortunately I don't mean champers) & getting plenty of lean protein as it's suppose to keep you feeling fuller longer.

    all the best :)
  16. Agent Shagwell

    Agent Shagwell Silver Member

    I don't mean to be rude or discouraging at all - it's fantastic that you're doing something wonderful to help yourself. However, I'd add in - have you looked at the emotional 'stuff' underneath being overweight and trying so many different diets? Just the way your post reads, I read you saying the following about yourself in the subtext: 'I've failed at this...and this...and this...and this - look at all the things I've failed at. This is my last chance not to fail (but I'm kind of expecting to)'. If you want to succeed at this, you totally CAN, but I'm going to take a leap here and be a bit personal. It's a risk but I'm going to take it because otherwise if you fail again in some weird way I will feel responsible because I can partly see what's going on which you haven't addressed in your post. Everyone here knows you don't just get fat and then diet and diet and diet and fail and fail and fail without some kind of emotional imbalance going on. Even the constant 'I tried this and it didn't work and I tried that and it didn't work and I tried something else and boy I sucked at that too!' is like beating yourself over the head with a 'look how stupid I am' stick, which, even if your being bigger than you wanted didn't START as a big emotional thing, it's kind of become one. The way your post reads is like 'this is my last chance at happiness, ever!'. Listing all the failures you've had doesn't serve you at all, ever. It just makes you feel worse. And you deserve to feel GREAT.

    Well, I'm here to tell you, you gotta get your head and heart in alignment FIRST. I see so many people on here beating themselves up and you need to STOP doing that. Listing the fifty thousand diets which haven't worked for you doesn't do anything for you except keep your attention on 'fail, fail, fail'. So, stop talking about them. They're in the past...this is a NEW, CLEAN, CLEAR start. Second, if you are using food to deal with whatever unhappiness...boredom, sadness, anger (like I used to), control..whatever - you have to find other, more healthier ways of dealing with that. Otherwise you'll be taking away your emotional coping mechanism (the food) and not replacing it with anything, so you'll just go right back to...the food.

    Being fat isn't the problem - it's a symptom. Calorie counting, or pretty much any diet, will work - but you have to heal the problem first. And stop being so melodramatic - this isn't your last chance or last hope. Even if you don't get this one (I said IF, but you CAN), you'll come back to getting your ideal body at some point. Besides which, there's way more important, other things in your life than whether you're fat or not - many other qualities and characteristics that make you a great person, whether or not you're a bit porky (and I can say that 'cause I am too). When you get unhappy, it's easy to observe something and make it into a vast generalization which makes it seem much more big, impossible and ULTIMATE kind of 'DOOOOOM' scenario than it actually is. This isn't your last hope - this is something you're trying to get closer to your ideal body, and whatever happens you'll learn from it. It's an opportunity and the universe is full of INFINITE opportunities for you to learn, grow and keep becoming more of who you truly are.

    So relax and stop with the end of the world type stuff talk.

    Last bit of unasked for but I'm giving it anyway advice: start focusing on the positives instead of the negatives. Start focusing on getting your ideal body instead of 'losing weight'. Start focusing on what you CAN do instead of what you HAVEN'T. Focus on feeling good about where you're going and feeling good about getting there. Start imagining getting there and all the wonderful things you'll do then instead of thinking about how many times you haven't lost weight. Truly, imagining things which feels good is inspiring and if you see it in your mind and feel good about it, it's much easier to do it in real life.

    Good luck, you can totally do this. Good to see you here!
    Strawberry Madness likes this.
  17. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    How u getting on Cheery?

    G x

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  18. Baby_Cakes

    Baby_Cakes Dave's little girl

    I've dieted seriously twice in my life.

    2008 - I started at 14 stone in Jan 2008 and got down to 7 stone 10lbs in December
    2009 - I started at 13 stone in July 2009 and got down to 6 stone 7lbs by August 2010

    I am now back up to 14 stone and hoping that this third time I start will be the end of my cycles.
    I have only ever used Calorie counting and as a permenant diet.
  19. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    That's some loss!

    Do you stick to the same cals throughout, or lower as u go?

    G x

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  20. Baby_Cakes

    Baby_Cakes Dave's little girl

    I've always stuck to the same type of foods and meals throughout, with an hour + of exercise each day. I was eating very very low calorie and it did nothing for my health. I have to be careful this time around as the last time I was sent for many many blood tests, nutritional work shops and councilling sessions. One thing happened during my last weight loss attempt that I would never want to experience again. I'm never going lower than 1000 calories a day now.
  21. gillvegas

    gillvegas Full Member

    1000 is still pretty low.

    Take care and good luck

    G x

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