Well done you, reading threads in MFP Community! This community has been a huge part of my success.
Here’s a bunch of things I’ve learnt here that have been very important and helpful.
Make friends with and learn from successful people.
Use the Help Section and the Most Helpful Posts
in General Weight Loss, Getting Started, and Fitness. These are the Announcement threads stickied at the top of those forums in Community.
Learn how to log accurately and quickly
using advice given in those posts. A digital food scale is a great addition to your kitchen. Log solid food in grams, and liquids in millilitres. Don’t just log “1 cup of pasta” or “1 medium avocado”. These things can be out by hundreds of calories, especially if you’re not honest with yourself.
You MUST be honest with yourself!
Try to log food before or as soon as you eat it, or, as many studies have shown, you won’t let yourself remember. Logging is very quick once you have your regular foods entered once.
Find an exercise you love.
If you love it, you’ll keep exercising.
Eat back exercise calories!
Fast weight loss is bad! Fast weight loss messes with your leptin (satiety hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone) which are part of our metabolism. When those are out of whack, that is when people can’t control their hunger and binge and yo-yo. All those “serial starters” probably crash diet, then overeat, repeatedly and repeatedly. Learning not to crash diet is very, very important!
Once I’d had a talking-to and learned I must eat back my exercise calories, I discovered I had more energy and really got into running. My Fitbit Charge HR (and now my Garmin Fenix 5) both measured my walking/running exercise burns very accurately. I ate/eat back 95% of the calories.
MFP sets your calorie limit according to your weight loss goal.
So if you eat back the extra calories you earn, it’s still going to mean you will lose weight.
If you don’t eat exercise calories back, that’s when you lose muscle, get weaker, move less, get really hungry, and can end up with an eating disorder, or crashing and burning and failing to reach goal weight.
Stick to your weekly calorie limit. Have some days or weeks where you eat at maintenance, to help regulate your metabolism/hormones.
The idea is to eat in a way that will teach you habits you can stick to for life.
There’s no point doing a crazy diet then going back to eating the way you used to. Hello yo-yo!
Reduce your weekly weight loss goal when you lose weight along the way.
Fruit and veg have fibre which makes you feel full, and they bulk up the size of your meal without adding many calories. Protein, fat, and fibre can make you feel fuller. My macronutrients are usually around 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, 20% protein, and that keeps me very healthy, active, and happy. Please talk regularly to a doctor and/or dietitian about your health and dietary requirements.
Better health through technology.
MFP of course! Strava! I love this app! Lots of health apps. Daybreak for alcohol regulation.
Happy Scale app, iPeriod app! Daily weight fluctuations are normal! Most successful people seem to weigh themselves daily and record it. It gives you an idea how sodium, hormone cycles, exercise, and stress can mean you hold more water some days. Eating a “forbidden food” (I don’t have any) will not make you gain 2 lb in one day. The human body can’t convert an additional 7,000 calories over your calorie limit into 2 lb of fat in one day! (1 lb of fat = 3,500 calories.) The “weight gain” has got to have been a big workout, ovulation/menstruation, a few thousand milligrams of salt, a little bit more waste in the digestive tract, or something like that.
It’s hard to get your weightloss mindset switched to a maintenance mindset. I went 2 kg lower than what turned out to be my perfect weight. But by exercising daily I’ve added that 2 kg back in muscle. Even though I weigh a little more now, I’m more defined.
Make friends with successful people! Join some Challenges in the Challenges forum. I’ve learned so much from my friends in the Running, Less Alcohol, and Self-care challenge threads, and we’ve done some amazing things together.
Decluttering. Letting go.
Have your life filled with things you love. Don’t give space or time to things or behaviour that drag you down.
Get regular health checks by doctors, psychologists, dieticians. I don’t need any medication anymore.
Medical and mental health advice are awesome!
Thanks for reading, and thank you, My Fitness Pal!
Finally, some of my favourite mantras:
You might as well keep trying because the time will pass anyway.
Don’t wait around for motivation. Just do it.
Don’t believe everything you think.