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How To Start Off Wrong (from member experiences)



  • FibroHikerFibroHiker Member Posts: 339 Member Member Posts: 339 Member
    Things I did in the past that made me "start off wrong":

    Thinking I had to do everything all at once.

    There are several habits that I have developed since I started in April. I have gradually added those habits as I went along, building one on another over time. Many times in the past I thought I had to start out strong and make many changes immediately. I always failed with that mentality.

    Not knowing what foods bothered my intestines.

    I started this time with an elimination diet and then slowly began adding in foods one at a time to see which ones would cause a reaction. Not knowing this before had me spinning my wheels. I would get so bloated and not know what caused it. I went through a rollercoaster of bloating and healing not knowing what I was doing wrong or why.

    Not creating enough of a daily calorie deficit.

    Before I was only aiming for -500 calories every day. I figured this would be enough for weight loss, but I would lose 10 lbs. and then get stalled out not making much progress after that. Now I aim to create a calorie deficit between 750 and 1000 daily.
  • FibroHikerFibroHiker Member Posts: 339 Member Member Posts: 339 Member
    Calorie counting "diet" meant eating 700 calories a day. This went on my entire childhood. :s

    I remember doing similar things as a child, maybe not that low, but similar. No child should be dieting unless the parents have been advised by a physician
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 6,605 Member Member Posts: 6,605 Member
    I’ve been thinking hard about how to answer this, since I have yo-yo dieted several times. Surely I have some anecdotes about how to do it wrong! But in my case, I always start off great. I lose weight great. I make my goal, great. And then gradually regain... or at least I did every time before using MFP. Currently at healthy weight 3 years and counting!

    So the thing I did wrong every other time was not learn how to eat in a way which would sustain me at a healthy weight for the rest of my life. I dieted, in various ways, and it worked... but then life intervened, my activity levels dropped due to illness or injury, or I started eating out more, and the weight came back on.

    What worked this time was eating the food I needed to meet my goals, no extra and no less, from day one. And adjusting that amount as my goals changed. Every day I plan to track, and be aware of how much food I need to eat. So far so good.
  • GabiV125GabiV125 Member Posts: 2,661 Member Member Posts: 2,661 Member
    1. Believed that since I had maintained easily until my second pregnancy in mid-thirties, the extra weight will just fall off
    2. Lose weight for a specific event ( a wedding, a vacation etc) and be done watching myself after
    3. As life got more complicated, the only way to do everything is to reduce, then cut off any activity just for me
  • AlexandraFindsHerself1971AlexandraFindsHerself1971 Member Posts: 2,449 Member Member Posts: 2,449 Member
    Thinking that I would be seeing a pound drop in my weight twice a week since I had my calories set to lose two pounds a week. After eight months, I figured out I am a plateau and cliff pattern weight loser. I plateau for two to three weeks, and then seven to ten pounds fall off in five days. Unrelated to my menstrual cycle, too. Now when I see the scale suddenly start dropping, it's nice, but I don't let the days where I jog around +/- 2 pounds get me down. That's just water, and more or less noise, so I ignore it.

    I also find that weighing every day works better for me. Then it's routine, and unexciting. Otherwise I start to game the scale and try stunts with my food the day before. That's very silly, but the only solution I found was to just do it every morning. When it drops, I log it.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 9,183 Member Member Posts: 9,183 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    I find it really interesting, the posts about the psychology of obesity - i.e. that people overeat due to various existential issues in their lives, emptiness, lack of control, needing to assert control, etc.

    Lost in all that is a subset of people I feel I belong to - people who don't have existential issues in their lives. I mean, I'm pretty happy, content, relaxed, I'm where I want to be on this giant orb. I wasn't overeating to fill holes in my life or to assert control or because of feelings of helplessness or anything like that. I just massively prefer beef fajitas with extra queso and a side of guac with extra tortillas, to grilled tilapia with steamed broccoli. Having an apple at night is OK - no problem with that - but what I really want are big sacks of chocolate chip cookies. Because they taste so good. Maybe I'm lying to myself but I don't think there's any psychology driving that craving. They just taste good, and I want them. Lots of them. And they're readily available, within walking distance. At a hundred stores within a 5 minute drive. Or on a thousands stores on the Internet. We are surrounded 24x7 by things that are absolutely delicious and calorically mega-dense. That has been true for only the last roughly 50 years of our 4 million year history as a species - it's kinda new, and some of us have a problem dealing with it.

    For we in the "no major life issues; just like to binge on food" camp, I'm thinking it boils down to this. Dieting is, in essence, a trade off of short term pleasure for long term gain. We humans are CONSTANTLY having to make this tradeoff. I will buy the cheaper car so I can save money for college/kids/retirement. I will take a local vacation instead of going to France so I can beef up my 401k. I will work out 3x a week for 40 years so I don't turn into one of those 55-60 year olds with bad hips and high BP and diabetes. I will study even though my friends are out partying, so I don't get a bad grade so that I eventually get a good job offer. On and on it goes. It's what separates us from most animals, who cannot conceive of not eating all the treats for some future gain - they simply eat what's in front of them. We have a 3 mm thick neocortex of higher-order thinking that makes self-discipline possible, doing constant battle with approximately 86 billion neurons all screaming "I WANT IT NOW". And a lot of the time, in most areas of life, we do a decent job of investing in our own future, because we were designed to.

    But then you get to food, and here's the problem as I see it. A large, delicious piece of chocolate cake has around 600 calories. That's about 1/6 of a pound of fat. Which isn't really much in the grand scheme of things. But it tastes so f'ing good. It tastes better than a 1/6th of a pound of fat feels bad. The end-goal, so distant, of being at whatever weight we want to be, is so far off - it's really a slog to push toward that distant goal day after day after day. So what we have is an imbalance: an extremely high short-term pleasure/reward and a goal that can be distant and start to seem abstract as the diet wears on and on - years, for some people. Dieting means pushing through this lopsided equation every single day. Some of us succeed, some don't, some succeed but then are so worn out from fighting the impulses that the weight all comes back. Regardless of outcome, it seems to me that is the issue in play: one's ability, sometimes wavering, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, to sacrifice short term pleasure for long term gain.

    I don't think you need to be empty, hopeless, anxious, despondent, or anything else to become obese. You just have to be someone who's had difficulty giving up short-term rewards for a long-term goal. Hopefully you find a system or approach that makes it easier to do so, and that's where diets come in. No wonder it's a 10's of billion dollar industry. You can be a perfectly normal, well adjusted person and still end up 100 or 150 pounds overweight. Easily.

    I know I'm circling back to a 10-day-old post, but I just discovered this thread, and I wanted to point out that the bar for being someone who is good at giving up short-term rewards for a long-term goal is incredibly high when it comes to weight management. You can make the right long-term choice 95% of the time, and still be gaining weight. Let's say I get presented with one choice at each meal (and we're not even thinking about snacks and random offers of office treats here. or the fact that most meals involve more than one choice in calorie trade-offs), and 19 times out of 20 meals during the week (let's say one weekend day you only have brunch and dinner, just to make the math easy) you make the right long-term choice. But one meal -- 5% of the time -- you give in to the short-term temptation and have the 600 calorie slice of cake. An extra 600 calories a week is nearly nine extra pounds over the course of a year.

    There are not a lot of facets of life where you're expected to do better than 95% to get positive outcomes.
  • MollyJE19MollyJE19 Member Posts: 67 Member Member Posts: 67 Member
    Thinking that as long as I didn't go over my calorie goal, it didn't matter whether I ate healthy. That worked in my 20s and 30s, but not so well here in my late 50s. Not eating highly nutritious foods on a daily basis will always lead me to overeat because my aging body can't renew itself the way it used to and it just demands more and more calories to compensate for the lost nutrition.
  • StevefromMichiganStevefromMichigan Member Posts: 460 Member Member Posts: 460 Member
    My biggest mistakes in the beginning was not diligently weighing everything. I later found out I was eating a lot more calories than I thought I was.
  • PsychgrrlPsychgrrl Member Posts: 3,151 Member Member Posts: 3,151 Member
    Oh man, I have a few of these from over the years!

    2. Not giving my efforts time to have an effect before giving up - I ate under range yesterday and I exercised and my scale still reads the same! No fair! Apparently you gotta give it time!

    Oh my goodness, yes! I forgot this one.

    "I dieted for two whole days and my pants feel the same - I guess it's impossible for me to lose weight!"

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