Question for Iris!!

Discussion in 'Calorie Counting' started by princessadora, 18 July 2009 Social URL.

  1. princessadora

    princessadora Member

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    Iris, you have done such a fab job on losing weight and maintaining it I justed wanted to ask how you did it? Whats your typical daily menu? What foods do you generally eat? Im so rubbish at this I keep falling off the wagon but when it comes down to it I still don't know how calorie count properly.
     
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  3. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    Hi Adora, I haven't reached my goal yet... so haven't maintained at all, unless we count a 3 month plateau earlier this year!

    Please don't feel bad about falling off the wagon. Everyone has up and down days and weeks, so long as you're on track for the majority of the time, you get there in the end. And calorie counting just takes a bit of time and practice... once you get into the swing of it, you become a walking caloric counter and you do it nearly unconsciously. I do think that a written record helps, just so that you can check you're getting a good balance of foods and do some tweaking if needed. Have you tried www.essentialsweightloss.co.uk ? They'll count everything up for you and calculate your five-a-day percentages. 5 day free trial, too!

    I really don't have any big secrets, I yo-yo dieted for years since uni, so I guess maybe the time was just right for me to make a resolution to stop dieting and start eating sensibly for life. I didn't want to suddenly be 50 and still on the diet treadmill! I think that's maybe the major thing, Adora. Start from the right place mentally and emotionally. Don't think of your weight loss campaign as a diet, because a diet is finite and what you really need to keep the weight off for good is a way of eating and relating to food that you can comfortably sustain for the rest of your life. So when I made this resolution on May 1st last year I decided I wasn't going to weigh myself at all while I was losing weight - I'd just go by the tape measure, how my clothes fitted, and how I felt. I didn't weigh myself for 10 months. I think that really helped me in the initial stages, because it took the pressure of goals and deadlines off me and made me think long term.

    That's been the biggest thing for me - ditching the old mindset of wanting speedy results and working to insane targets, and making impossible demands of myself. I think you've got to enjoy your life right now, enjoy what you're eating while you're losing weight, because punishment and misery just aren't sustainable! You can't maintain something for life if it hurts you, and anything you can't sustain will just make you feel like a failure when you finally ditch it.

    So don't try to do too much or be too perfect! Do what you can handle. For me that meant accepting that I just can't handle the gym or regimented exercise in any shape or form. I can be disciplined with food so long as I don't force myself to go to the gym 4 days a week. If you enjoy formal exercise, that's fabulous and it'll really help get the weight off, but if you don't then don't make yourself do it. Just try to focus on speeding up your movements in general, keeping on your feet when you can, getting out and about (even just for shopping!) whenever you get the chance. It all adds up.

    One tip I have is eat plenty! Seriously. I took off the first 7 stone by allowing myself to eat all fruit and vegetables freely. I didn't count their calories, I just ate them when I was hungry and used them to bulk out my evening meals. I still eat a pound of broccoli with my dinner! So maybe try that - don't feel like you have to go hungry at all, just make friends with all the delicious low calorie foods there are out there and regularly graze on them when you feel an attack of the munchies. They will do you nothing but good and they'll really make a difference to your skin and your sense of well-being!

    Also, have the odd treat. Always have something to look forward to in the day and in the week. I think this is vital. If you can say to yourself 'I'm having a lovely meal tonight with a nice pudding,' then the urge to get naughty earlier in the day is less appealing because you know you'll enjoy that meal far more if you're on track. In the same way, if you set aside one day a week to go out for a nice meal, it can be a great incentive to keep going during the week, even when times are rough.

    I think it's important that you don't avoid reality or eliminate any particular food group from your diet. It's easy to get sucked into some crazy, faddy dieting bubble, but that won't help you live normally when you've lost weight. So never be afraid to get out there and have the odd treat and go to restaurants.

    I think a big part of losing weight is in preparation, making time to roughly plan out your menu for the week before you go shopping, and having a list when you get to the supermarket. It's all about making that time for you, I guess, which can be tough, but if you shop smart and have the house well stocked with good foods, then you can't really fall off the wagon because there's always something healthy to graze on. So take some time before shopping to decide what you're going to get, and have a good look at the labels when you're shopping.

    Something else which has helped me and may help you - chopsticks! Yes, chopsticks. Sounds marginally insane, I know, but I started using them for my evening meals and I found that initially it really slowed me down and helped me focus properly on my food, chew it slowly, and appreciate each mouthful instead of just shoveling it down. You can't really absently gobble a meal if you're using chopsticks, and hey, it's a nice skill to have mastered, too! I think that eating slowly, really enjoying each bite, and having plenty to drink with your meal all helps fill you up.

    Visualising yourself where you want to be can always help - it's an old trick. Just closing your eyes and imagining how you look and how you feel when you've shed the weight. Buying a garment you really love in the size you'd like to attain can be a good incentive, as is getting rid of all clothing that's too big for you. As soon as it starts to get baggy - off to the charity shop with it! Imagine yourself at a Christmas party, wearing something festive and sparkley, knocking 'em all dead. ;)

    One other thing I'd say is be prepared for life to intervene. You'll have lousy days, you'll no doubt hit the biscuits at some point, you'll gain some weight (even if you've been good!) but that's just life. You're human, not an android. It's all how you react to it. Always look forward, don't look back, and above all else: don't punish yourself after the fact. Don't cut out a meal or a snack or starve yourself for previously slipping up. Just focus on making sensible, enjoyable eating a life-long habit.
     
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  4. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    Sorry, just realised that I didn't share my daily menu/favourite foods.

    My daily menu is a big one. I nibble and graze frequently and I have a big appetite so I like big portions! I started out on around 1500 calories a day, I dropped that to 1400 after 6 months, then down to 1300 once I finally weighed myself at 10 stone. Now I'm back up to 1500-1600 in preparation for maintenance. The crazy thing is that my metabolism is so happy with an increase in calories that it's trimming the last few pounds off with alacrity.

    Today's food for me:

    -2 weetabix with 200ml skimmed milk (and 100ml water) + 3 canderel. One large banana and 4 apricots
    -250ml of Robinson's orange & mango no added sugar drink to dilute during the day
    -a small portion of homemade shepherds' pie with a 1/4 of a leftover roasted butternut squash, a baby gem lettuce, 200g mini plum tomatoes, and some pickled baby beetroot
    -2 mugs of Options outrageous orange hot choc
    -2 Alpen light choc fudge cereal bars
    -1 mini Twister choc ice
    -Portion of sweet chilli prawns with noodles, 1 red bell pepper, 500g of broccoli, 100g of spring onions, pack of spinach
    -A pint of Hartley's sugarfree orange jelly
    -300g raspberries, 150g blackberries, a peach, slice of fresh pineapple

    As a daily diet, it's basically a low-fat one with plenty of carbs and fibre. I usually eat a portion of fish a day, mostly oily ones like herring, mackerel, trout. As you can see I fill up on mountains of fruit and vegetables! The thing that made me fat was binging on chocolate, so it's a weakness for me, but I've found that there's loads of low calorie choccy snacks out there to be had, and the odd lovely warming mug of Options hot choc with a couple of cereal bars really hits the spot!

    Hope some of this helps in some way - I think you've just got to find the right menu for you that helps you feel full and never too deprived, and above all else - enjoyable to eat and sustainable in the long term!
     
  5. The Rose

    The Rose Rosie

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    Iris
    You always give such really solid, down to earth advice. You are an absolute inspiration and I think may possibly be my diet hero!!! Everything you say makes 100% sense and I think we should all be listening to you.

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of this down, I need to copy and keep this now.

    Rosie xx
     
  6. Karma

    Karma Member

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    I agree with The Rose. Iris always seems to offer such great advice and makes the time to post such thoughtful replies. An inspiration indeed...
     
  7. The Rose

    The Rose Rosie

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    Karma - you have done absolutely brilliantly as well - just looking at your weight loss. You will have to share your tips with me.

    Love
    Rosie x
     
  8. pumpkin2008

    pumpkin2008 Full Member

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    Isis your posts inspire me, thank-you!
    i fell waaaay off the wagon last night, over my daily cal allowance by 2000 calories!!!! BUT, instead of punishing myself with extreme exercise today and beating myself up over it, I have burned a more realistic 502 cals at spin, and I'm no longer thinking about it, it's a new day! Thank-you! xx
     
  9. NIC68

    NIC68 wants to get super fit!

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    Well done you pumpkin2008.....THAT is the way to succeed! Good luck!
     
  10. Dramatic_Star

    Dramatic_Star Calorie Counter

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    May I say, reading the logic between longterm weightloss really makes sense. I think too many people give up because they think its too hard (I've been a culprit all too many times in the past) when actually they are just going through a tough day.

    Thank you! I've got so much out of this thread, so I guess a big thank you to princessadora for posting it!
     
  11. princessadora

    princessadora Member

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    Thanx Iris. You are so right. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you the obvious, especially from someone who has gained results. A quick fix is not the way to go and life is short so you do have to enjoy yourself everyday.

    Thanx again. Your daily menu sounds very satisfying without deniying yourself basic foods.

    I will try again and this time be a bit more relaxed about it. You are very inspirational.:D

    XXX
     
  12. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    I'm toeing the carpet pretty bashfully here! You're a lovely bunch of people, many thanks for the kind words Rosie, Pumpkin, Star, Karma, Adora... just pleased if any of my interminable waffle helps out some! I get a lot of support from all the great people here, too, just knowing that you're not alone in the flab fight raises the spirits when the going gets tough! At the end of the day, luck plays a big part, though - I've been lucky to find something that works okay for me at the moment, a lot of folks aren't so lucky and beat their heads against the yo-yo brick wall for decades, even forever.

    Never blame yourself or feel like a failure if you just can't sustain a particular diet or system - it's not your fault it's unsustainable, you're not failing the diets - they're failing you. So keep tweaking and personalising, making the eating plan comfortable enough to fit you and your life properly, because that's when it stops being a diet and just becomes a sensible way of life.

    Very best of luck to all here! :)
     
  13. rhuba

    rhuba i really don't know life

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    Just logged on for the first time for me hockeydays, and that wonderful, epic post from you iris has just reinforced everything that i feel about weightloss.

    my holiday turned into a bit of a weight-related nightmare. i was out of my comfortable routine, and unable to make most of the meals myself.

    unfortunately i let myself down. there was far too much swiss cheese, french bread and german beer drunk over the 2 weeks while i was away. i think i lost sight of my goals slightly and that, along with the lovely weather and general relaxing nature of being on holiday meant that i wasnt as careful as i should have been.

    i havent had an official weigh in since i got back, but i reckon i've gained about 4-5 lb :cry:
    am firmly back on track, though (albeit very disappointed in myself) i don't think i've quite mastered the head-bit yet. i know what i want and i know how to get it, and i'm not even obsessed with doing it quickly. i just think i was waiting for this holiday so i could let myself blow out. so am just trying to stop beating myself up about it in order to get back on track naturally, and also trying to work out in my head why i did that. soul searching is difficult when you don't know the reasons deep down for why you do things.

    anywho, just thought i'd echo everyone's sentiments in that you are extremely inspiring, and very very helpful. like you said, we're all human, we all make mistakes (even if they are 2-weeks long, drink fuelled and completely counter-productive!) so my self-anihilation for my gain stops here, and onward with the loss!

    sorry for hijacking your thread with my story, but i just wanted to say thank you. i'm feeling a little fragile and you've reinforced everything that i knew was right - sensible, healthy weightloss, no quick fixes.

    stop blushing and take a bow! you're great :D
     
  14. AG1981

    AG1981 Gold Member

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    This makes sooo much sense.
    Well said Iris and well done on your fantastic weight loss.
    You look great.
    X
     
  15. NIC68

    NIC68 wants to get super fit!

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    Hello and welcome back Rhuba! Sounds like you had a great holiday and you may be surprised by what you have or haven't gained when you weigh in you know.
     
  16. dz233

    dz233 Member

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    I'm completely new to these forums but would just like to say that Iris you really are inspirational - it's an incredible weight loss and maintenance.
    I'm certainly pleased with this whole healthy eating calorie counting kind of diet rather than the ridiculous pro ana websites that seem to be everywhere.
     
  17. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    Shucks... I'm beet red here. Pardon me while I muss up my hair and wriggle in my seat! Thank you so much for the lovely words, I'm just delighted if they helped some!

    Your holiday sounds like a good holiday - and, you know, maybe it's what you needed. A break, a good dollop of treats and fun, and a bit of rest for body and mind. Nothing at all wrong with that and nothing to feel guilty about! Skinny folk the world over frequently go overboard on their hols and just trim it back when they get home. I bet you didn't even binge all that much, it can just feel that way when you've been good beforehand. And like you say, it's possible you were mentally preparing yourself before the holiday for a bit of a bonanza, so you may have cut down in the weeks before so that you could enjoy yourself a bit when you got there.

    Whatever you did, you've got a handle on it and you're moving forward, so it's all positive! There's no need for guilt because you haven't used the holiday as an excuse to just go on a six month choccie bender (done that in the past myself!!). You're in control and that in itself says volumes about the new you and your new relationship with food.
     
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  19. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    Thank you! I feel like a hag most of the time, but we'll blame that on 14 years of convent education at the hands of the nuns. :p

    I don't seem to be able to leave thanks for earlier posts... ahh, is it because they're older than a couple of days? Nevermind, encroaching senility! I need to learn to slap the thanks button sooner - sorry folks.
     
  20. Iris

    Iris Full Member

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    Thank you kindly. :) Still got the big war of maintenance ahead of me, but I'm hoping that armed with my arsenal of fruit and veggies I can defeat the ravening hoards of emotional hunger and greediness! Time will tell, though.

    The pro-ana sites are deeply depressing, aren't they? I don't understand how, as women, we've allowed this trend to develop - the trend of, literally, minimising women until they're so weak and insubstantial that they barely exist. And we idolise that sickness! Crazy world.


    By the way, I agree with Nic. You might be pleasantly surprised, Rhuba. Sometimes the old metabolism reacts well to some variety and treats - gives it a kick up the derriere. A bit of variety can be just the ticket to speed up weight loss in the long term, I think!
     
  21. Laurie

    Laurie MM addict

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    i have been doing CD for a month and have swapped to calorie counting...any idea what will happen no doubt the 1st week ill put on weight?
    im eating 1300 calories a day...
    to maintain my current body weight i need to eat 2400 so i know i will lose eventually but really worried bout this 1st week mayb i wont wi for a couple of weeks...can anyone offer any advice or has anyone else been in my position?
    xxx
     
  22. vickydink

    vickydink Determined!!

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    Iris is a true great help your right there :)
     
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