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Starting out? Restarting? Basics inside

blankiefinderblankiefinder Member Posts: 3,599 Member Member Posts: 3,599 Member
Whether you're just starting out on your weight loss journey, or restarting for the second, 5th or 20th try, remember the golden rule to get the basics down first. Sometimes people get mired in the details and lose the big picture, which is that a calorie deficit will result in weight loss. So let's get back to the basics!

I've posted this in other peoples posts when they were asking for help, but now that the formerly best stickies are no longer stickied, I think it's time to put it here by itself.

My MFP 'How-To'

Buy a food scale, weigh and log everything.

Do cardio if you want, and if you do, only eat back 50% of your calories (if you are losing faster than expected after logging for a few weeks, then up the % you eat back). Lift weights and hit your protein goal to help maintain muscle mass while losing.

Cheat meals that take you over maintenance will sabotage your efforts. Log the cheat meals too (falls under the 'log everything' rule).

Eat anything you want in moderation, keeping in mind that your diet will be easier to stick with if you chose foods that make it easier to stay under your calories without feeling hungry.

Also it would be a good idea to read some of the best forum posts such as:
Calorie Counting 101
Logging Accuracy, Consistency, & You're Probably Eating More Than You Think
A Guide To Get You Started on Your Path To Sexy Pants

Weight loss is not linear, and if you see a brief stall, that is not the time to freak out! That is the time to go back and look at your logging, and make sure that everything is accurate (choosing diary entries that have the correct calories, making sure you have all your settings right including activity level - hint, this does not include exercise, and most people are sedentary), and if it is, then give it a few weeks.
edited September 2015
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Replies

  • sociosegurosocioseguro Member Posts: 1,681 Member Member Posts: 1,681 Member
    Thank you for sharing the summary.
  • blarnygurlblarnygurl Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    Thanks for the insight. Just started on this site 6 days ago. I was stalled on my own. Calorie counting works, but it hurts a bit.
  • blankiefinderblankiefinder Member Posts: 3,599 Member Member Posts: 3,599 Member
    blarnygurl wrote: »
    Thanks for the insight. Just started on this site 6 days ago. I was stalled on my own. Calorie counting works, but it hurts a bit.

    It gets easier as you figure out which foods help you reach that magical balance of full enough but still in a deficit :) And where you personally prefer to cut calories from.
  • nicolebaugh518nicolebaugh518 Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    Interesting read. I had a food scale (got broke), but I could get another one. I need to get a food journal to write down what I ate and how much exercise I've done. :)
  • Alyssa_Is_LosingItAlyssa_Is_LosingIt Member Posts: 4,696 Member Member Posts: 4,696 Member
    Just saw this - great post!
  • blankiefinderblankiefinder Member Posts: 3,599 Member Member Posts: 3,599 Member
    Nicole, all of that can get logged through MFP easily either through the website or the app, if you need help figuring out how, just ask here. Just verify that your entries are correct based on the nutrition labels and the nutrition info on the database item you choose.
  • meghaabrahammeghaabraham Member Posts: 134 Member Member Posts: 134 Member
    Does anyone have any tips on useful sites or threads I can use in order to build my knowledge of nutrition and when to "bulk" or "cut" and proper ratios of Macros? I feel like I know facts about everything, but don't know how to tie it all together and apply it, if that makes any sense lol.
  • aspdenbraeaspdenbrae Member Posts: 49 Member Member Posts: 49 Member
    blarnygurl wrote: »
    Thanks for the insight. Just started on this site 6 days ago. I was stalled on my own. Calorie counting works, but it hurts a bit.

    Exactly the same for me, learned real fast amd real hard about portion sizes and that's help a lot.
  • zoeysasha37zoeysasha37 Member Posts: 7,095 Member Member Posts: 7,095 Member
    Great thread!!!
  • nicolebaugh518nicolebaugh518 Member Posts: 20 Member Member Posts: 20 Member
    Nicole, all of that can get logged through MFP easily either through the website or the app, if you need help figuring out how, just ask here. Just verify that your entries are correct based on the nutrition labels and the nutrition info on the database item you choose.

    OK!! :)
  • lisaann0712lisaann0712 Member Posts: 7 Member Member Posts: 7 Member
    Thanks for this!
  • AzexasAzexas Member Posts: 4,340 Member Member Posts: 4,340 Member
    Great thread! Bookmarked to help others.
  • lfw57lfw57 Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3 Member
    Wow...thank you! When I read this, the first thought that came to mind is how well you broke this down into what are really very simple concepts. I think I have been over-complicating things to the Nth degree.

    Off to buy a food scale...

    Thanks again :smiley:
  • queenliz99queenliz99 Member Posts: 15,317 Member Member Posts: 15,317 Member
    Thanks for this!! bookmarked :)
  • SideSteelSideSteel Member Posts: 11,077 Member Member Posts: 11,077 Member
    Does anyone have any tips on useful sites or threads I can use in order to build my knowledge of nutrition and when to "bulk" or "cut" and proper ratios of Macros? I feel like I know facts about everything, but don't know how to tie it all together and apply it, if that makes any sense lol.

    I have some thoughts on this, will comment shortly.
  • Marilyn0924Marilyn0924 Member Posts: 797 Member Member Posts: 797 Member
    Exactly this!! Great post @blankiefinder!!!!!
  • blankiefinderblankiefinder Member Posts: 3,599 Member Member Posts: 3,599 Member
    Thanks, @Marilyn0924 ! I've been told today that my methods of helping people on MFP are bad (apparently not giving blind support to any harebrained idea is bad) so the positive feedback is appreciated!
  • queenliz99queenliz99 Member Posts: 15,317 Member Member Posts: 15,317 Member
    Thanks, @Marilyn0924 ! I've been told today that my methods of helping people on MFP are bad (apparently not giving blind support to any harebrained idea is bad) so the positive feedback is appreciated!

    I think you advice is spot on!! Please don't doubt yourself.
  • SideSteelSideSteel Member Posts: 11,077 Member Member Posts: 11,077 Member
    Edited -- will reply later.
    edited September 2015
  • blankiefinderblankiefinder Member Posts: 3,599 Member Member Posts: 3,599 Member
    Awesome video, thanks for sharing it! Your son is adorable btw :)
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