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The Dieting Struggles of a Sweet-tooth

#1
Lately I seem to have hit a brick wall.

After weighing myself in January and realising I'd somehow gained over a stone, I decided it was time I changed my eating habits. Although a stone isn't a lot of weight to have gained within a year and a half, I could see the effects, and my BMI now reads in the 'overweight' section for my petite 5 ft 2 size. Plus I miss being a perfect size 10.

I started Slimming World Extra Easy plan, and at first it seemed like a pretty good deal. But then it seemed to all go horribly wrong when most days I'd be going over my 15 syn allowance. Which only left me feeling downhearted, and not at all like I had satisfied my cravings in the process. It was just too hard to still have my sweet treats and still be within the limits.

Also I came to realise, that unlimited pasta, rice and potatoes, was definitely not for me. Especially considering it was probably the carbs that made me put a considerable amount of the weight on in the first place! Plus I found the 1/3 superfree with every meal rather difficult to stick to on a student budget. Not to mention, rarely sticking to meal plans because half of the time I was simply to busy to spend the time cooking most meals from scratch. Sure there's batch cooking, but with limited space available to store those extra batches, things become a little tricky.

After that, there continued a downward spiral of 'too late to cook' days and regular meals out. Although I did start to find that my appetite must have shrunk slightly / I've started to realise I don't need to eat a big meal every time I'm hungry. Most times I eat out now, I tend to find that I don't feel the need to eat for the rest of the day. Especially if it was the first thing I'd eaten that day, without breakfast. Unhealthy I know. But it does keep the calories down a little on those indulgent days.

Anyway, after recently weighing myself it appears that I have only lost 2lbs since January. I know that's probably an achievement considering how many times I've completely gone off the wagon, but I still couldn't help but feel a little disheartened about all of the days I had tried. I'm back on a healthy eating plan now, but deciding to try something different. I don't think Slimming World was working for me, considering there's no real calorie counting involved, and you're allowed to consume more carbs than makes sense.

Instead I'm going to try and give the 5:2 diet a go. I know the two fasting days are going to be REALLY hard, but at least I have more freedom with the other days. Hopefully I will feel like I'm not being restricted to a certain number of syns or points, and more like I'm not really dieting at all, just healthy eating. I'm also aiming to only eat pasta, rice or potatoes 2-3 times a week, so I can limit my carb intake better. The only difficult part will be the fasting days... and I'm really not sure how I'm going to cope with that. But ill give it a go.

Hopefully I can stick to the 5:2 diet long enough to reach my goal weight, by which point I'll probably switch back to Slimming World or Weight Watchers, when I'm more able to stick to the syns/points system. For now, I think I'm going to give the classic calorie counting route a try.
 
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#2
Okay so today and yesterday haven't gone TOO badly. I think I consumed around 1600 - 1700 calories yesterday. Which is only over my recommended intake by 100 calories. Not bad considering I consumed half a box of Thornton's toffee. Same with today really, plus I ended up ordering a chow mein from the Chinese. Hopefully it's not too many calories, and I'll still be within 1600.

The pressure of revision and exams in a few days is making me want to snack on sweet things. Luckily, the exams will be over by the end of next week, so hopefully I can make better treat decisions!

I've worked out that 1600 calories (or just over) would be the amount I should consume to maintain my weight. Not sure if the fasting to 500 calories on two days would really contribute to losing weight? I think I could comfortably get my intake down to 1300 on most days, which would give me room to manoeuvre for the inevitable slip ups of student life.

I'll see how this week goes.
 

KatSparks

Full Member
G: 67kg
#3
If 1600 calories is the amount you need to maintain then you will be short 1100 each day you fast or 2200 per week. To lose 1lbs of weight you need to be short 3500 calories. So at this rate you will be losing a pound every 10 days or so. You will probably lose faster though with all the extra activities students get up to!

Good luck!
 
#4
Hi KatSparks :)

Judging by your estimate of 3500 a week, I figure that would mean I'd need to only have 1400 calories on a normal day to lose 1lb per week? I was planning to try and stick to 1300 calories a day to see how that goes. I think my main problem is eating more food than I actually need haha.
 

KatSparks

Full Member
G: 67kg
#5
Yes if you want to lose a pound per week you need to be short 1300 calories on your non-fasting days. So 3500 shortage per week = 2200 from two fasting days + 1300 from five non-fasting days.

1300/5 = app 250

1600-250 = 1350 - that's your non-fasting daily food/drink allowance

If you eat a little more either do some cardio to spend extra calories or accept that it might take you a little longer to lose each pound.
 
#6
Okay, so I've been recalculating some things and I discovered that my basal metabolic rate is 1460 calories. That's how many calories I need a day, just to exist. Or at least, how many calories I should burn just by laying in bed all day. If I then factor some little to light exercise into that (mostly habitual brisk walks), then that takes my daily NET calorie intake to between 1750 and 2000 (depending on what I've done that day).

Apparently, if you consume 500 calories below your NET calories each day, that would amount to about 1lb loss per week. And 250 calories half a pound etc. I'm not too focused on aiming for 1lb per week, as I know there are going to be times where I'll eat more than I'm supposed to. I'd be perfectly happy with at least half a pound per week. So as long as I were to consume around 1500 each day on the basis of having done very little movement, I should expect half a pound loss each week. Obviously, the more exercise I do, the more calories I would be able to consume.

Most days so far, I've been averaging between 1400 and 1600 (on an indulgent day), and that's not including the two fast days I will have done this week. Admittedly, the first came to around 600 calories that day, and the second will probably be over 500 too. So in theory, even if I were to over consume on a fast day, I SHOULD still lose weight. It'll be slow, sure, but that's probably a good thing in preventing the weight from coming back.

I'm not making excuses, I swear. The main point to this was to maybe help me change the relationship I have with food. There has been many a day where I know I have eaten a meal (yes a whole meal) not because I was actually hungry, just for the sake of eating. I've noticed that when I'm busy doing something, I tend to eat less. Not through forgetting to eat, but just because I didn't actually need to.

I could be completely wrong about all of this, but it does make sense.
 
#7
So Wednesday was supposed to be my second fast day. It started off well, but then I ended up eating a few things that are high in calories, as I needed to use them up. So I finished with around 1300 calories. Oops.

I'm not upset about it though. I'm still consuming less calories than I should be, so I should still experience SOME weight loss (?) Yesterday was my most indulgent day of 1800 calories, despite not really eating all that much (not as much as I would have before anyway). The only reason it was that much, was because I had a slice of Carrot cake and medium latte from Starbucks.

Looking at what I've eaten over the past week, and how many calories it all adds up to, I can see how easy it would have been before to have well over 2000 in a day. It's really made me look at my eating habits and think about what I've been doing wrong. I also feel like my stomach has shrunk slightly in the process. Even though my meals have been smaller than they normally would be, they've been enough to curb my appetite until my next meal.

Yesterday for example, I only had time for a bowl of cereal for breakfast. But then for lunch I only had half of a boil in the bag rice, half a tin of tuna, a banana and a yogurt. Granted I did drink a bottle of water and a medium latte after that, but it still kept me going until half 5. Normally I would have needed to eat something else on top of that, or have a rather early evening meal. This all could just be a phase, but I'm really hoping it's something I can continue with!
 




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