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LindaF (@fessmom)

Staying Motivated for the Long Haul

Healthy Living | Last Active: Jan 29 3:42pm | Replies (499)

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@fessmom, I am glad that you are reaching out for help with your dietary/weight issues. Unfortunately I am also in a slump right now also. I have not gained, for which I am extremely grateful. But I am going through the cravings. What works for me is to make sure to eat a little something 6 times each day. I have compiled a list of better choices and really focus on that when my initiative fails. My main dietary focus is on lean meat protein, above-ground vegetables (except no green leafies or pumpkin/fall squash); fresh fruits (melons and stone fruit), and grains. I do not eat much prepared foods and try to avoid all preservatives and chemical additives to my food. Also, there are very few ‘fast’ foods that I will eat. I use grains for starches in my diet. I have coffee-water (2 oz coffee with 6 oz water) and room temperature water available all day. I keep bananas and at least one other fresh fruit on hand at all times. My primary protein sources are lean meats. I limit my nuts to walnuts, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. I rarely reach for a second helping. I have learned my serving sizes (general rule of thumb: palm of your hand or size of your fist). I substitute rice cakes for bread and rarely eat anything made with flour (including pasta and crackers).

Please be aware that I have worked into this dietary stance after 40+ years. My first step all those years ago was to drop sugar (baked goods). Luckily I liked sour and salty foods so that was relatively easy for me when I was given my first diabetic diet. I was surprised by how much sugar is in ordinary things like ketchup, canned soups, cereals, etc. Secondly I started watching for ways to cut fats. After that I added other limitations to my diet as needed. I currently limit: carbs, fats, dairy, fiber and oxalates. Just remember, I worked into this over 40 years, not all at once.

My best tips are: Read the ingredient labels. Make a list of foods you wish to avoid and another of foods you wish to eat. Pair your lists with 1 no/1 yes food. Pick a set and work on that until you feel you have made it a habit, then add another set. Limit yourself to one helping per meal. Learn what foods have hidden sugars, fats and salt. Learn what words manufacturers use that actually mean sugar. Stop using sweeteners, they increase your cravings and add chemicals to your diet. Learn what foods are naturally high in fats. Write your intended diet down for reference and occasionally keep a journal of what you are eating and when to cross check your desire with your actual.

I also have had times when no matter what I did my weight went up. A big part of mine was medications and lack of knowledge. Peanut Butter is good, right? Not necessarily, it is quite high in fat. Yogurt is good, right? Not necessarily, the probiotics may not be active and it may have sugar or sweetener added. My hardest time is after dinner. I like to peck. I have started eating sunflower seeds in the shell because it takes time to get that little seed out of the shell and calms my pecking urge without adding many calories. I sometimes substitute popcorn for a meal.

Good luck and keep asking.

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Replies to "@fessmom, I am glad that you are reaching out for help with your dietary/weight issues. Unfortunately..."

Dear 2011 panic: I really sympathise with you and wish you well in all your efforts. I am 75 and have followed the Mediterranean diet just about all my life, excluding some items that are really not my favorite, e.g. fruit (not a great fan). All I can say is I have not changed my weight since the age of 18 and still going strong. My refrigerator is full of fish, green leaf veggies, cottage cheese , etc. etc. I do like my Italian bread and the old legend was, eat it toasted and use Italian butter which is avoid real butter, use olive oil mixed with spices and spread it on the toasted bread. This is always ready in a jar on my kitchen counter. Have lots of grains, lots of salads. I try to move a lot but I get more sedentary in the winter and tend to eat more in cold weather but my weight change is no more than 4/5 lbs. if that much.
I know that sometimes temptation is hard to resist, but after a while you forget all the cheap sweet stuff out there. I grew up with excellent European pastry, nevertheless, one is more than enough to satisfy the sweet tooth once in a while, or a small spoon of peanut butter,
or whatever. I guess I do not eat a lot of fruit only because I ate so much of it in my youth that it does not attract me any more.
Try this for just one month, eat of this as much as you want and you will see it becomes routine and your weight and your tastes buds will improve greatly!