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Give Me Your Best Weight Loss Advice

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  • thelastnightingalethelastnightingale Member, Premium Posts: 533 Member Member, Premium Posts: 533 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Putting myself out here because I really want to be successful at losing weight. I feel like I have been on a diet every other day for 18 years with very little to show for it and don't want to continue on this cycle. I've done a lot of different things, both on the extreme end and the moderate end.

    What do you think went wrong? It's not nice to dwell on what we think are our failures, but if you've tried to manage your weight for 18 years, you have lots of insightful information on what doesn't work for you. Unpick that information and build it into your plan now.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I feel like I am either eating 1200 calories a day and binging on the weekends, or I am eating 1800 calories consistently and not losing anything. Can you please look at my stats/info below and give your best advice/plan?

    With your height and weight, 1,200 is too low. Your body cannot cope with so little fuel consistently, setting you up to binge and go overboard. You want to eat less than you burn, and you don't want or need the gap to be massive.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I currently dance in my apartment for 30 mins 2-3x's per week consistently.
    Inconsistently, I lift weights and go for walks.

    Do you like any of this? You could just focus on a better diet and build in exercise later. Is the inconsistency because you don't enjoy it?
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Lose 100lbs

    You can do it. Break this up into smaller milestones though; you'll feel better for having the victories along the way.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Diagnosed as slightly insulin resistant (If I am not careful, I will become prediabetic)
    Some knee pains, sometimes

    So, time to prioritise your heath. Great stuff.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Tools I have:
    Food Scale
    Apple Watch
    Internet/Access to Youtube
    Gym with all of the basics for weight lifting, walking, and elliptical.
    Access to a walking path at my apartment and close to my work.

    I'll be honest, the food scale is your main tool of choice.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Struggles:
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    If you really like sweets, and you are going to eat sweets later, cut your calories during the day so you have calories left for the sweets. Weight loss = calories out < calories in. Yes, there are healthier, more balanced ways to do it. But don't try to overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Take small steps.

    Work on cutting your calorie intake to a sustainable level. Your calorie intake can include 'unhealthy' things if you really like them that much. Over time, you can start to switch out some foods for ones with better macros. Make calories your initial goal. Like I said, small steps. Change takes time.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    That's an issue. If you're grabbing food on the go, you need to know what is the best value for calorie option at any of the places you frequent. Otherwise, you'll sabotage yourself. You also need to work at making food you actually like!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    (snip)
    Struggles:
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    Save some calories for evening snacks, or consider whether your evening snacking is about something else.

    Common examples:

    * Inadequate sleep. Fatigue increases sweets cravings for most of us, and hits more toward the end of the day, can reduce ability to resist impulses.
    * Stress. This also increases fatigue, plus calorie deficit increases physical stress so compounds the problem. If stress is high, seek non-food stress-management strategies (exercise, aromatherapy bubblebaths, meditation, journaling, prayer, whatever).
    * Habit. Better to find a new non-food habit to replace the old one, not try to white-knuckle through.
    * Boredom. Consider resuming an old hobby, or starting a new one; bonus points if it requires clean hands (needlework, sketching, musical instrument) or creates dirty ones (gardening, painting, carpentry).

    If the problem isn't really hunger, the solution isn't food.

    If your IR lets you eat fruits, consider trying to consistently eat several fruit servings daily for a few weeks. This is not universally helpful, but it's advice I got from a registered dietitian that worked well for me to reduce cravings for simpler sweets like candy, baked goods, etc. I've seen others here say it helped them, too. Could be worth a try.
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    Brainstorm a list of foods you enjoy that require no prep. Ideally, some of them will be shelf stable. For meals at home, it could be commercial prepared frozen or shelf-stable packet meals. It could include pick-up snack foods like hardboiled eggs, 2% milk string cheese, whole-grain calorie-efficient breads (can be frozen), calorie-limited packs of nuts or soynuts, etc. Keep some of those brainstormed foods on hand all the time.

    When you do cook, make a big batch & freeze some meals (or components, like cooked whole grains or beans or meat) for later use.

    If you fall for fast foods under these circumstances, take a good hard look at the online menus of the ones near you (or near your work, etc.). Identify calorie-efficient, nutritious options, and keep that list with you. Most of the chains will sell you pieces (burger patty with no bun, for example). You can use those as part of a meal solution. Some of the chains have options in their online menus that don't show up on the menu board, or have calculators where you can mix and match parts to make a better overall meal choice. (Taco Bell has both of those options via their web site, for example.)

    Figure out how to game your limitations/struggles, exploit your strengths and preferences.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    You almost definitely don't need to be restricting to 1200 calories. The people who actually need to eat that little in order to maintain a safe, sustainable calorie deficit are little old ladies with five pounds to lose who spend all day watching Maury and do no appreciable exercise whatsoever.

    Go through the guided setup again, set it to lose 1lb per week and mark yourself Sedentary. Log your intentional exercise and eat those calories back, to keep your net intake at whatever level the app sets for you. For context, I'm three inches shorter than you and five pounds lighter, and my budget is 1990 net calories per day.

    Thanks... what about maintaining muscle? I saw a video where people who have dieted for a long time often have slower metabolism because they lose so much muscle over time. My fear is that some of my crash dieting mistakes of the past has lead to muscle loss and therefore slower metabolism.

    If you've already lost muscle, that's water under the bridge, right? Forget about that, can't change the past, not worth hand-wringing about.

    Now, you can do strength exercise to avoid losing more, and maybe even slowly add some muscle over the long haul. Get adequate protein, and general good nutrition, to support that.

    Going forward, part of the way you prevent more muscle loss is by losing weight sensibly slowly, getting adequate nutrition while you do it. That, plus becoming more active and strong, is how you "repair your metabolism". (Mostly, it's not actually entirely literally metabolism in practice, but that's how people talk about it.🙄 It can include some metabolic functions, but also subconscious fatigue effects and habitual inactivity.)

    As you lose weight, you'll find it's easier and more fun to add movement to your day . . . not just exercise, but increased daily activity of all sorts. Do that, consciously. Attack home projects, volunteer to help friends/neighbors with stuff, cook from scratch (it's movement, not just food), etc. Move while you wait for the dinner to microwave, while you brush your teeth, on your breaks at work. Just move more. Research suggests fidgety people burn a couple hundred or more extra calories daily, compared to very non-fidgety ones. I'm not suggesting you try to fidget, just saying that tiny changes add up.
    edited February 23
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    Disclaimer up front: Not a doctor, formally trained or have any credentials in health & fitness. Basically some dude on the internet who considers themselves at least reasonably well-versed in a common-sense approach to weight management and fitness.

    I'm going to try and break things up to cover everything you laid out and put my overall recommendations at the end.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    I've struggled with this sort of thing a few times and the best way to break the habit is to remove/avoid the decision point where you keep finding yourself making the choice you don't like.
    - At one point I noticed I was torpedoing my progress by getting too many things out the vending machines at work, purely out of boredom. At the time the machines were cash/change only... so I stopped having cash on me. Eventually they added credit card readers to the machines but I'd curbed that habit such that it's not a high risk for me anymore.
    - My wife and I are both big snackers if left to our own devices. We started keeping each other accountable to the kinds of things we bought at the store and kept in the house. It made a world of difference to how much we would snack. Again, we mitigated the habit to a point where it's not a calorie bonanza if one of us buys a pack of oreos or she makes a batch of cookies.
    *Generally, the solution I've found is to start with restriction while training yourself to tolerate moderation for the long term.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    I am a HUGE fan of pre-logging as much as humanly possible. I also LOATHE leftovers so traditional meal prepping/batch cooking just makes me sad. The balance I've found is that I pre-log my day the night before. It starts with planning dinner with my wife so we can take something out of the freezer, etc. Once I know what's for dinner I can adjust the rest of the day to hit my macros accordingly. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are usually some combination of protein shakes, portable fruit, or reasonable pre-packaged snacks (especially during the week). Is it ideal? Probably not but it's what I've found that works for me and is way better than what I find myself doing if I don't plan. It will surely take some iteration but figuring out what works for you and fits your definition of "good enough" will be a valuable learning process.

    Given the difficulty in accurately measuring exercise burn I'm partial to the TDEE model vs. MFP's NEAT+Exercise model. I've found good accuracy with Tdeecalculator.net with my own data. Given the stats you provided your maintenance level is likely somewhere in the 2200-2300 cal/day range.
    *Source: https://tdeecalculator.net/result.php?s=imperial&g=female&age=34&lbs=247&in=66&act=1.2&f=1

    Based on some recent data from RP and their RP Diet app, the most successful dieters in their user base favored a loss rate of ~0.6% body weight per week lost, aka a starting loss rate for you of just over 1.5 lbs/week (750 cal/day deficit). For round numbers let's say your maintenance level is 2250 so to achieve a 1.5 lb/week loss set your goal at 1500 cal/day and see how that goes for about 6 weeks and re-evaluate based on your loss rate and adherence.

    For macros, get 0.6-0.8 g protein/lb and treat that as a minimum rather than a limit so long as other macros aren't being neglected. Fat should be ~15-30% of your total calories and then you get the rest of your calories for carbs. Consider shooting for a +/- 15% range on macros and don't give too much thought to days you're a little off. You can drive yourself crazy obsessing on hitting the perfect macros.

    A moderate loss rate and sufficient protein should help you hold on to muscle as you lose, though getting some resistance training in certainly won't hurt. The best workout program is the one you'll execute consistently. If you don't enjoy it, you probably won't do it (I know that's been the case for me).

    As far as other tips are concerned:
    - log everything as accurately and honestly as possible. Even if you have a day you're way over your target, the data is valuable to have.
    - weight yourself daily and use a trending app like HappyScale to monitor your progress. You will see water weight spikes and general noise in your data. I've found nothing else to be as reassuring as seeing those ebbs and flows to really believe them to be true.
    - Foster a positive relationship with food. There are no good/bad foods just recognize there are certain things you're probably not going to be able enjoy without consequence when restricting calories. There aren't any demon foods that will prevent you from losing weight, only quantities.
    - It's less about motivation and more about habit and discipline. Do what you can to refine your process to remove obstacle and set yourself up for what you define as success. Plan meals, lay out workout clothes, block out gym time in your calendar, etc.
    - Have patience and be kind to yourself. Losing 100 lbs is going to take some time and weight loss is never linear. You will have days you don't feel like following your plan, getting in a workout, etc. Avoid any sort of time limit or deadline and don't shy away from shifting to maintenance for a diet break if you start to feel some burnout. It's always better to hit pause than totally throw in the towel. Sustainability and consistency are going to be what gets you where you want to go, not some shortcut or fad diet. Get good at executing the basics and rest will get easier as you go.

    Thank you! All of this was really helpful to read through. I was curious about the muscle loss and if eating protein/ enough calories would help me to keep some of what I have, so this answered my question.

    I definitely will need some diet breaks. I think I've just always been afraid to lose momentum or not to seize the moments and so I kinda spent my wheels when I should have taken breaks.

    I also really like your idea about removing obstacles because in the moment, I don't always want to do what I should and just having some things ready can make decisions easier.
  • PapillonNoirePapillonNoire Member Posts: 67 Member Member Posts: 67 Member
    The biggest game changer for me was increasing my NEAT. I do very little purposeful exercise, but I try to move a lot throughout the day. I have a desk job, but I'll walk around the room while I'm on calls and get up and jog in place throughout the day. Instead of bringing a large water bottle with me to my office, I'll make frequent trips downstairs to get small glasses of water. It all adds up- according to my fitbit those changes ended up adding an extra 300-400 calories burned per day on average.

    I also do not keep any snacks in my house that I can't eat in moderation (i.e. Oreos).
  • steveko89steveko89 Member Posts: 1,851 Member Member Posts: 1,851 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    steveko89 wrote: »
    Disclaimer up front: Not a doctor, formally trained or have any credentials in health & fitness. Basically some dude on the internet who considers themselves at least reasonably well-versed in a common-sense approach to weight management and fitness.

    I'm going to try and break things up to cover everything you laid out and put my overall recommendations at the end.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    I've struggled with this sort of thing a few times and the best way to break the habit is to remove/avoid the decision point where you keep finding yourself making the choice you don't like.
    - At one point I noticed I was torpedoing my progress by getting too many things out the vending machines at work, purely out of boredom. At the time the machines were cash/change only... so I stopped having cash on me. Eventually they added credit card readers to the machines but I'd curbed that habit such that it's not a high risk for me anymore.
    - My wife and I are both big snackers if left to our own devices. We started keeping each other accountable to the kinds of things we bought at the store and kept in the house. It made a world of difference to how much we would snack. Again, we mitigated the habit to a point where it's not a calorie bonanza if one of us buys a pack of oreos or she makes a batch of cookies.
    *Generally, the solution I've found is to start with restriction while training yourself to tolerate moderation for the long term.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    I am a HUGE fan of pre-logging as much as humanly possible. I also LOATHE leftovers so traditional meal prepping/batch cooking just makes me sad. The balance I've found is that I pre-log my day the night before. It starts with planning dinner with my wife so we can take something out of the freezer, etc. Once I know what's for dinner I can adjust the rest of the day to hit my macros accordingly. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are usually some combination of protein shakes, portable fruit, or reasonable pre-packaged snacks (especially during the week). Is it ideal? Probably not but it's what I've found that works for me and is way better than what I find myself doing if I don't plan. It will surely take some iteration but figuring out what works for you and fits your definition of "good enough" will be a valuable learning process.

    Given the difficulty in accurately measuring exercise burn I'm partial to the TDEE model vs. MFP's NEAT+Exercise model. I've found good accuracy with Tdeecalculator.net with my own data. Given the stats you provided your maintenance level is likely somewhere in the 2200-2300 cal/day range.
    *Source: https://tdeecalculator.net/result.php?s=imperial&g=female&age=34&lbs=247&in=66&act=1.2&f=1

    Based on some recent data from RP and their RP Diet app, the most successful dieters in their user base favored a loss rate of ~0.6% body weight per week lost, aka a starting loss rate for you of just over 1.5 lbs/week (750 cal/day deficit). For round numbers let's say your maintenance level is 2250 so to achieve a 1.5 lb/week loss set your goal at 1500 cal/day and see how that goes for about 6 weeks and re-evaluate based on your loss rate and adherence.

    For macros, get 0.6-0.8 g protein/lb and treat that as a minimum rather than a limit so long as other macros aren't being neglected. Fat should be ~15-30% of your total calories and then you get the rest of your calories for carbs. Consider shooting for a +/- 15% range on macros and don't give too much thought to days you're a little off. You can drive yourself crazy obsessing on hitting the perfect macros.

    A moderate loss rate and sufficient protein should help you hold on to muscle as you lose, though getting some resistance training in certainly won't hurt. The best workout program is the one you'll execute consistently. If you don't enjoy it, you probably won't do it (I know that's been the case for me).

    As far as other tips are concerned:
    - log everything as accurately and honestly as possible. Even if you have a day you're way over your target, the data is valuable to have.
    - weight yourself daily and use a trending app like HappyScale to monitor your progress. You will see water weight spikes and general noise in your data. I've found nothing else to be as reassuring as seeing those ebbs and flows to really believe them to be true.
    - Foster a positive relationship with food. There are no good/bad foods just recognize there are certain things you're probably not going to be able enjoy without consequence when restricting calories. There aren't any demon foods that will prevent you from losing weight, only quantities.
    - It's less about motivation and more about habit and discipline. Do what you can to refine your process to remove obstacle and set yourself up for what you define as success. Plan meals, lay out workout clothes, block out gym time in your calendar, etc.
    - Have patience and be kind to yourself. Losing 100 lbs is going to take some time and weight loss is never linear. You will have days you don't feel like following your plan, getting in a workout, etc. Avoid any sort of time limit or deadline and don't shy away from shifting to maintenance for a diet break if you start to feel some burnout. It's always better to hit pause than totally throw in the towel. Sustainability and consistency are going to be what gets you where you want to go, not some shortcut or fad diet. Get good at executing the basics and rest will get easier as you go.

    Thank you! All of this was really helpful to read through. I was curious about the muscle loss and if eating protein/ enough calories would help me to keep some of what I have, so this answered my question.

    I definitely will need some diet breaks. I think I've just always been afraid to lose momentum or not to seize the moments and so I kinda spent my wheels when I should have taken breaks.

    I also really like your idea about removing obstacles because in the moment, I don't always want to do what I should and just having some things ready can make decisions easier.

    No problem, glad I could help. You got some other really good advice in the time I saw your initial post and drafted up this wall of text. Good luck and feel free to add me as a friend and/or shoot me a DM any time.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Putting myself out here because I really want to be successful at losing weight. I feel like I have been on a diet every other day for 18 years with very little to show for it and don't want to continue on this cycle. I've done a lot of different things, both on the extreme end and the moderate end.

    What do you think went wrong? It's not nice to dwell on what we think are our failures, but if you've tried to manage your weight for 18 years, you have lots of insightful information on what doesn't work for you. Unpick that information and build it into your plan now.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I feel like I am either eating 1200 calories a day and binging on the weekends, or I am eating 1800 calories consistently and not losing anything. Can you please look at my stats/info below and give your best advice/plan?

    With your height and weight, 1,200 is too low. Your body cannot cope with so little fuel consistently, setting you up to binge and go overboard. You want to eat less than you burn, and you don't want or need the gap to be massive.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I currently dance in my apartment for 30 mins 2-3x's per week consistently.
    Inconsistently, I lift weights and go for walks.

    Do you like any of this? You could just focus on a better diet and build in exercise later. Is the inconsistency because you don't enjoy it?
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Lose 100lbs

    You can do it. Break this up into smaller milestones though; you'll feel better for having the victories along the way.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Diagnosed as slightly insulin resistant (If I am not careful, I will become prediabetic)
    Some knee pains, sometimes

    So, time to prioritise your heath. Great stuff.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Tools I have:
    Food Scale
    Apple Watch
    Internet/Access to Youtube
    Gym with all of the basics for weight lifting, walking, and elliptical.
    Access to a walking path at my apartment and close to my work.

    I'll be honest, the food scale is your main tool of choice.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Struggles:
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    If you really like sweets, and you are going to eat sweets later, cut your calories during the day so you have calories left for the sweets. Weight loss = calories out < calories in. Yes, there are healthier, more balanced ways to do it. But don't try to overhaul your lifestyle overnight. Take small steps.

    Work on cutting your calorie intake to a sustainable level. Your calorie intake can include 'unhealthy' things if you really like them that much. Over time, you can start to switch out some foods for ones with better macros. Make calories your initial goal. Like I said, small steps. Change takes time.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    That's an issue. If you're grabbing food on the go, you need to know what is the best value for calorie option at any of the places you frequent. Otherwise, you'll sabotage yourself. You also need to work at making food you actually like!

    I think a big thing that has gone wrong is maybe switching things up too much. I get really in my head over developing the PERFECT plan, and make excuses to hop to other plans. I just need to follow through... I get really in my head over what plan is the best. I am a fantastic planner.... but not so much a great follow through-er.

    I do enjoy walking but I HATE the cold. I enjoy lifting if I have the gym to myself. I am mainly concerned with the sweets because I'm a little insulin resistant and notice some big swings in my blood sugars. I find that if I balance a sugar out with a protein, I am unaffected.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    (snip)
    Struggles:
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    Save some calories for evening snacks, or consider whether your evening snacking is about something else.

    Common examples:

    * Inadequate sleep. Fatigue increases sweets cravings for most of us, and hits more toward the end of the day, can reduce ability to resist impulses.
    * Stress. This also increases fatigue, plus calorie deficit increases physical stress so compounds the problem. If stress is high, seek non-food stress-management strategies (exercise, aromatherapy bubblebaths, meditation, journaling, prayer, whatever).
    * Habit. Better to find a new non-food habit to replace the old one, not try to white-knuckle through.
    * Boredom. Consider resuming an old hobby, or starting a new one; bonus points if it requires clean hands (needlework, sketching, musical instrument) or creates dirty ones (gardening, painting, carpentry).

    If the problem isn't really hunger, the solution isn't food.

    If your IR lets you eat fruits, consider trying to consistently eat several fruit servings daily for a few weeks. This is not universally helpful, but it's advice I got from a registered dietitian that worked well for me to reduce cravings for simpler sweets like candy, baked goods, etc. I've seen others here say it helped them, too. Could be worth a try.
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    Brainstorm a list of foods you enjoy that require no prep. Ideally, some of them will be shelf stable. For meals at home, it could be commercial prepared frozen or shelf-stable packet meals. It could include pick-up snack foods like hardboiled eggs, 2% milk string cheese, whole-grain calorie-efficient breads (can be frozen), calorie-limited packs of nuts or soynuts, etc. Keep some of those brainstormed foods on hand all the time.

    When you do cook, make a big batch & freeze some meals (or components, like cooked whole grains or beans or meat) for later use.

    If you fall for fast foods under these circumstances, take a good hard look at the online menus of the ones near you (or near your work, etc.). Identify calorie-efficient, nutritious options, and keep that list with you. Most of the chains will sell you pieces (burger patty with no bun, for example). You can use those as part of a meal solution. Some of the chains have options in their online menus that don't show up on the menu board, or have calculators where you can mix and match parts to make a better overall meal choice. (Taco Bell has both of those options via their web site, for example.)

    Figure out how to game your limitations/struggles, exploit your strengths and preferences.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    You almost definitely don't need to be restricting to 1200 calories. The people who actually need to eat that little in order to maintain a safe, sustainable calorie deficit are little old ladies with five pounds to lose who spend all day watching Maury and do no appreciable exercise whatsoever.

    Go through the guided setup again, set it to lose 1lb per week and mark yourself Sedentary. Log your intentional exercise and eat those calories back, to keep your net intake at whatever level the app sets for you. For context, I'm three inches shorter than you and five pounds lighter, and my budget is 1990 net calories per day.

    Thanks... what about maintaining muscle? I saw a video where people who have dieted for a long time often have slower metabolism because they lose so much muscle over time. My fear is that some of my crash dieting mistakes of the past has lead to muscle loss and therefore slower metabolism.

    If you've already lost muscle, that's water under the bridge, right? Forget about that, can't change the past, not worth hand-wringing about.

    Now, you can do strength exercise to avoid losing more, and maybe even slowly add some muscle over the long haul. Get adequate protein, and general good nutrition, to support that.

    Going forward, part of the way you prevent more muscle loss is by losing weight sensibly slowly, getting adequate nutrition while you do it. That, plus becoming more active and strong, is how you "repair your metabolism". (Mostly, it's not actually entirely literally metabolism in practice, but that's how people talk about it.🙄 It can include some metabolic functions, but also subconscious fatigue effects and habitual inactivity.)

    As you lose weight, you'll find it's easier and more fun to add movement to your day . . . not just exercise, but increased daily activity of all sorts. Do that, consciously. Attack home projects, volunteer to help friends/neighbors with stuff, cook from scratch (it's movement, not just food), etc. Move while you wait for the dinner to microwave, while you brush your teeth, on your breaks at work. Just move more. Research suggests fidgety people burn a couple hundred or more extra calories daily, compared to very non-fidgety ones. I'm not suggesting you try to fidget, just saying that tiny changes add up.

    Thank you! I have some muscle but I definitely don't want to lose more. I have a friend that lost 100lbs but really lost a lot of her muscle with it-- she told me that she had lost and gained her weight many times before finally losing it it for good and maintained it for 10 years. But she eats really low calories to maintain her loss-- I can only assume it is due to muscle loss. So I don't want to do it that way.

    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    The biggest game changer for me was increasing my NEAT. I do very little purposeful exercise, but I try to move a lot throughout the day. I have a desk job, but I'll walk around the room while I'm on calls and get up and jog in place throughout the day. Instead of bringing a large water bottle with me to my office, I'll make frequent trips downstairs to get small glasses of water. It all adds up- according to my fitbit those changes ended up adding an extra 300-400 calories burned per day on average.

    I also do not keep any snacks in my house that I can't eat in moderation (i.e. Oreos).

    I just said this above and hadn't even read your message yet about getting small glasses of water!! I'll definitely try this.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I feel like I got some really good ideas/responses and appreciate everyone taking the time to write.

    I will definitely be putting the main chunk of these to use starting with setting up my calories better and dusting off the old food scale.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 123 Member Member Posts: 123 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 123 Member Member Posts: 123 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.

    It was weird for me. I went from keeping my snacks upstairs, because the act of walking up a flight of stairs would sufficiently deter me from going to get them, to wanting to go on walks just because I had energy and nothing to do with it. I haven't turned into a gym rat or an athletic person but it was a big, obvious, and kind of confusing change from mY "WHY WOULD I MOVE IF THE ALTERNATIVE WAS NOT?!?!?!"
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    (snip)
    Struggles:
    My biggest struggle is night-time eating and too many sweets. I keep trying to be a "normal" moderate person and allow for sweets in moderation, but in all honesty I end up eating them all up in a night.

    Save some calories for evening snacks, or consider whether your evening snacking is about something else.

    Common examples:

    * Inadequate sleep. Fatigue increases sweets cravings for most of us, and hits more toward the end of the day, can reduce ability to resist impulses.
    * Stress. This also increases fatigue, plus calorie deficit increases physical stress so compounds the problem. If stress is high, seek non-food stress-management strategies (exercise, aromatherapy bubblebaths, meditation, journaling, prayer, whatever).
    * Habit. Better to find a new non-food habit to replace the old one, not try to white-knuckle through.
    * Boredom. Consider resuming an old hobby, or starting a new one; bonus points if it requires clean hands (needlework, sketching, musical instrument) or creates dirty ones (gardening, painting, carpentry).

    If the problem isn't really hunger, the solution isn't food.

    If your IR lets you eat fruits, consider trying to consistently eat several fruit servings daily for a few weeks. This is not universally helpful, but it's advice I got from a registered dietitian that worked well for me to reduce cravings for simpler sweets like candy, baked goods, etc. I've seen others here say it helped them, too. Could be worth a try.
    I also struggle with not being prepared and grabbing food on the go. Some weeks my meal prep is on point, other weeks I don't do so well... or just straight up hate the food I cooked lol.

    Brainstorm a list of foods you enjoy that require no prep. Ideally, some of them will be shelf stable. For meals at home, it could be commercial prepared frozen or shelf-stable packet meals. It could include pick-up snack foods like hardboiled eggs, 2% milk string cheese, whole-grain calorie-efficient breads (can be frozen), calorie-limited packs of nuts or soynuts, etc. Keep some of those brainstormed foods on hand all the time.

    When you do cook, make a big batch & freeze some meals (or components, like cooked whole grains or beans or meat) for later use.

    If you fall for fast foods under these circumstances, take a good hard look at the online menus of the ones near you (or near your work, etc.). Identify calorie-efficient, nutritious options, and keep that list with you. Most of the chains will sell you pieces (burger patty with no bun, for example). You can use those as part of a meal solution. Some of the chains have options in their online menus that don't show up on the menu board, or have calculators where you can mix and match parts to make a better overall meal choice. (Taco Bell has both of those options via their web site, for example.)

    Figure out how to game your limitations/struggles, exploit your strengths and preferences.
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    You almost definitely don't need to be restricting to 1200 calories. The people who actually need to eat that little in order to maintain a safe, sustainable calorie deficit are little old ladies with five pounds to lose who spend all day watching Maury and do no appreciable exercise whatsoever.

    Go through the guided setup again, set it to lose 1lb per week and mark yourself Sedentary. Log your intentional exercise and eat those calories back, to keep your net intake at whatever level the app sets for you. For context, I'm three inches shorter than you and five pounds lighter, and my budget is 1990 net calories per day.

    Thanks... what about maintaining muscle? I saw a video where people who have dieted for a long time often have slower metabolism because they lose so much muscle over time. My fear is that some of my crash dieting mistakes of the past has lead to muscle loss and therefore slower metabolism.

    If you've already lost muscle, that's water under the bridge, right? Forget about that, can't change the past, not worth hand-wringing about.

    Now, you can do strength exercise to avoid losing more, and maybe even slowly add some muscle over the long haul. Get adequate protein, and general good nutrition, to support that.

    Going forward, part of the way you prevent more muscle loss is by losing weight sensibly slowly, getting adequate nutrition while you do it. That, plus becoming more active and strong, is how you "repair your metabolism". (Mostly, it's not actually entirely literally metabolism in practice, but that's how people talk about it.🙄 It can include some metabolic functions, but also subconscious fatigue effects and habitual inactivity.)

    As you lose weight, you'll find it's easier and more fun to add movement to your day . . . not just exercise, but increased daily activity of all sorts. Do that, consciously. Attack home projects, volunteer to help friends/neighbors with stuff, cook from scratch (it's movement, not just food), etc. Move while you wait for the dinner to microwave, while you brush your teeth, on your breaks at work. Just move more. Research suggests fidgety people burn a couple hundred or more extra calories daily, compared to very non-fidgety ones. I'm not suggesting you try to fidget, just saying that tiny changes add up.

    Thank you! I have some muscle but I definitely don't want to lose more. I have a friend that lost 100lbs but really lost a lot of her muscle with it-- she told me that she had lost and gained her weight many times before finally losing it it for good and maintained it for 10 years. But she eats really low calories to maintain her loss-- I can only assume it is due to muscle loss. So I don't want to do it that way.

    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.

    I think that (speaking very generically) our bodies get good at what we train them to do.

    I suspect (can't prove) that we can train our body to limp along on minimal calories. Along the way, maybe we over-react to the inevitable immediate water weight jump (that isn't fat) when we increase calories by a few hundred, so we drop back down to the minimal numbers and continue the "limp along on less" training.

    I think a smarter strategy is to eat the most calories we can, compatible with continuing reasonable weight loss, getting excellent nutrition; and move in ways that are pleasant/continue-able, to train our bodies to thrive and move, rather than limp along in depletion and fatigue. Strategies like maintenance breaks can help train that, too, for some people.

    As far as moving more in daily life, there's a thread about it here:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10610953/neat-improvement-strategies-to-improve-weight-loss/p1

    Somewhere partway through, it links to another thread on a similar topic.
  • steveko89steveko89 Member Posts: 1,851 Member Member Posts: 1,851 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.

    In my judgement there's certainly something to this... call it momentum maybe? Either way, healthy habits seems to beget other healthy habits. So much of this is also mental and how we choose to talk with ourselves and self-identify. In hindsight, this was a huge barrier for me years ago. I've long identified with being out of shape nerdy kid (glasses and braces by 2nd grade does things to a kid). Though I aspired to be athletic, participated in sports, and coveted a superhero-style physique for the longest time I had self-talk and self-worth issues about allowing this to be a reality. I couldn't lift weights... that's for athletes, and the popular good-looking people... that's not me. Even after getting to a healthy weight at 17 and maintaining through college I was a fish out of water and felt like such an imposter going to the gym with my roommates. I would go to the rec alone at like midnight and keep to myself, almost like I was trespassing. I mostly did cardio or machines, occasionally I'd use the lone weight rack and bench that was inexplicably by the track and not in the actual weight room as if I didn't deserve to transgress the hallowed ground the frat bros typically occupied. After college I felt confined to stuff like p90x because that's what "regular" people do. I bought some adjustable bowflex dumbbells but it was a few years of half-*kitten*ing workouts I didn't really like before I realized what I really wanted to look like was at least somewhat achievable. I had the space and means to buy some olympic weights so I did... though I did so as economically as possible in part because, again, who was I kidding trying to do be a weightlifter? Learning how to quiet that negative mental voice has been a huge win and something I didn't realize was happening in the moment, or even recognize as a hurdle until I'd been able to largely overcome it.
  • 33gail3333gail33 Member Posts: 379 Member Member Posts: 379 Member
    Maybe some accountability would help? There are some groups on here with challenges and such. I find that just the knowledge that I am going to share my "weigh in" can be helpful in sticking to a plan.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,745 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.

    In my judgement there's certainly something to this... call it momentum maybe? Either way, healthy habits seems to beget other healthy habits. So much of this is also mental and how we choose to talk with ourselves and self-identify. In hindsight, this was a huge barrier for me years ago. I've long identified with being out of shape nerdy kid (glasses and braces by 2nd grade does things to a kid). Though I aspired to be athletic, participated in sports, and coveted a superhero-style physique for the longest time I had self-talk and self-worth issues about allowing this to be a reality. I couldn't lift weights... that's for athletes, and the popular good-looking people... that's not me. Even after getting to a healthy weight at 17 and maintaining through college I was a fish out of water and felt like such an imposter going to the gym with my roommates. I would go to the rec alone at like midnight and keep to myself, almost like I was trespassing. I mostly did cardio or machines, occasionally I'd use the lone weight rack and bench that was inexplicably by the track and not in the actual weight room as if I didn't deserve to transgress the hallowed ground the frat bros typically occupied. After college I felt confined to stuff like p90x because that's what "regular" people do. I bought some adjustable bowflex dumbbells but it was a few years of half-*kitten*ing workouts I didn't really like before I realized what I really wanted to look like was at least somewhat achievable. I had the space and means to buy some olympic weights so I did... though I did so as economically as possible in part because, again, who was I kidding trying to do be a weightlifter? Learning how to quiet that negative mental voice has been a huge win and something I didn't realize was happening in the moment, or even recognize as a hurdle until I'd been able to largely overcome it.

    So, so true. I was a bookish kid, one of those "chosen last in gym class" people, and grew up in an era (1960s) when athleticism was not encouraged or even seen as normal for young women (some high schools didn't even have sports teams for girls at all - mine did have a couple, though in contrast to quite a number for boys). For sure, women didn't lift, even most women athletes, because muscles were masculine. (Even the male ideal was less muscular than now, the bodybuilders seen as very distorted.)

    I was a bit more active in college, and not really afraid to do "unfeminine" things, but still saw myself as inherently unathletic and physically incompetent, then settled into mostly blob-hood in adulthood, with a few occasional active pursuits that I never felt very good at.

    Through a combination of fortunate and unfortunate circumstances (including a need to recover after debilitating cancer treatment), I became quite active in my mid-40s, and actually came to surprise myself with what my body could do. That mental part - making room for self-definition to change - is huge, IMO. Now, at 65, I'm a whole different person physically than the early-40s me . . . effectively younger physically than she was in many respects, I suspect.

    Open yourself to possibilities, OP. Give new things a fair try, get past the newbie blues. Complex new habits and skills take time to develop, and it's normal to feel like "I'll never be good at this!" at first. Super simple things get boring fast, complex ones stay interesting (IMO). It's fine to take on some quick wins at simple things at first - that builds fitness - but the big payoffs are about committing to gradual progress via a change in self-definition. Surprise yourself. You can.
  • JoyfulandactiveJoyfulandactive Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    Drink 8 glasses of water a day, often we think we are hungry when we are thirsty. If you wait too long to drink your body will tell you to eat to get the moisture from food,

    Get a really good nights sleep of at least 8 hours. Oversleeping and undersleeping messes with your metabolism and makes it hard to stick to a healthy schedule. If you have 6 or less hours a night you eat an average of 300 extra calories the next day. Don’t stare at screens all night, put them away by 8pm and read a book instead.

    Track your food honestly using the mfp app. Too many people cheat, you are very sedentary so you need to control your calories intake to lose weight. Have a healthy breakfast that is filling, oatmeal with fruit is great or a couple of eggs (cooked in 0% fat spray) plus spinach or mushrooms. Then you won’t have a sugar low mid morning when you will crave snacks and simple carbs.

    Have a list of low calorie meals that you like on hand. Examples are: tomato soup, chicken and broccoli, salmon with rice and steamed veg, a stir fry in a 0 calorie spray etc, Plan some lunches and dinners and don’t buy unhealthy snacks like candy an chips. Have lots of healthy snacks available at work like snap peas, baby carrots, rice cakes, berries etc.

    Soda is lethal. It is nutrition-free sugar water that is really bad for your bones and just gives you empty calories. Buy sparkling flavored water instead.

    You might try replacing one meal with a protein shake. Don’t eliminate your favorite meal of the day if you enjoy eating in the evening, have your shake for breakfast or lunch but control your calories.

    If possible take a walk at lunch and in the evening.

    Create Pinterest boards of people with your body type who have lost weight and look at them daily for motivation. Know it’s your daily habits that get you to your final destination. If someone were to give you a million $ if you lost the weight in a year, could you do it? If the answer is “yes” then you know it’s down to motivation so you need to have short term goals (such as losing 5lb) and long term goals.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 308 Member Member Posts: 308 Member
    You've gotten a lot of helpful advice already and hopefully I'm not double-downing on the following:

    Look at what's going on in your life right now? Is there a lot going on where it would be difficult to follow a moderate plan consistently? If so, now may not be the best time to tackle consistent weight loss? If things are going okay and you are mentally ready to "do this," then by all means go for it!

    That brings me to my next point: Changing your mindset to believe that you are person that can truly lose weight and keep it off in a healthy manner is just as important to changing your eating and exercise habits. If you still have a lot of self-doubt in the back of your mind, that can lead to self-sabotage. This also means accepting that change can be hard, and there WILL be times that you may want to throw in the towel. If you start to go down the bingeing path, be aware of it and stop it...it doesn't mean you have to give up or start fresh on Monday...you can start again NOW!

    Take a look at why you think you are eating all the sweets at night? Are you stressed, tired, or overly hungry from restricting all day? Are you bored? If it's any of the things than being way too hungry, then come up with ways to sit with the uncomfortable feelings and manage them without food.

    Lastly, weight loss is individual. Everyone has given a A LOT of advice, but tkae what you think will work for you long-term, what will actually be sustainable for YOU.

  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    steveko89 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.

    In my judgement there's certainly something to this... call it momentum maybe? Either way, healthy habits seems to beget other healthy habits. So much of this is also mental and how we choose to talk with ourselves and self-identify. In hindsight, this was a huge barrier for me years ago. I've long identified with being out of shape nerdy kid (glasses and braces by 2nd grade does things to a kid). Though I aspired to be athletic, participated in sports, and coveted a superhero-style physique for the longest time I had self-talk and self-worth issues about allowing this to be a reality. I couldn't lift weights... that's for athletes, and the popular good-looking people... that's not me. Even after getting to a healthy weight at 17 and maintaining through college I was a fish out of water and felt like such an imposter going to the gym with my roommates. I would go to the rec alone at like midnight and keep to myself, almost like I was trespassing. I mostly did cardio or machines, occasionally I'd use the lone weight rack and bench that was inexplicably by the track and not in the actual weight room as if I didn't deserve to transgress the hallowed ground the frat bros typically occupied. After college I felt confined to stuff like p90x because that's what "regular" people do. I bought some adjustable bowflex dumbbells but it was a few years of half-*kitten*ing workouts I didn't really like before I realized what I really wanted to look like was at least somewhat achievable. I had the space and means to buy some olympic weights so I did... though I did so as economically as possible in part because, again, who was I kidding trying to do be a weightlifter? Learning how to quiet that negative mental voice has been a huge win and something I didn't realize was happening in the moment, or even recognize as a hurdle until I'd been able to largely overcome it.

    Love this! I love momentum-- I have often said that starting is the hardest part.... but once I am hitting my stride, it isn't so bad. It's been a little while since I've been able to do that... I feel like I've been on the quiter/restart game for a while. As soon as the thought of starting enters in my mind, so does a lot of thoughts of past failings. I hope that little by little I can build up my confidence in myself.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    steveko89 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »


    I definitely think I could add a little more movement around the office! I bought a HUGE water bottle to encourage me to drink water.... but I could easily get a smaller one and just fill it up more. Admittedly, I find myself being very lazy with movement. Or rather, I think of it as "efficient." Like, getting everything I need (water, phone, remote, pencil, computer) so that I don't have to get up again. But in reality, getting up more would be helpful.


    I think you'll find that as weight comes off and your diet improves (not in a restrictive way for me - I just ate a brownie 2 seconds ago - but in a maximizing your calories way that is mostly self-defense) you'll WANT to move more.

    I self-identified as lazy as heck. Move as little as possible. It's taken me a good 6 months to lose 30lbs but somewhere around month 3 I started getting a little... antsy? And WANTING to do the things and find ways to move more -- instead of wanting to find ways to move LESS.

    Really easily the biggest surprise/shock I've had so far.

    This is so encouraging to hear. I've become more aware of my laziness just in doing little things and really want this to be a habit that I change.

    In my judgement there's certainly something to this... call it momentum maybe? Either way, healthy habits seems to beget other healthy habits. So much of this is also mental and how we choose to talk with ourselves and self-identify. In hindsight, this was a huge barrier for me years ago. I've long identified with being out of shape nerdy kid (glasses and braces by 2nd grade does things to a kid). Though I aspired to be athletic, participated in sports, and coveted a superhero-style physique for the longest time I had self-talk and self-worth issues about allowing this to be a reality. I couldn't lift weights... that's for athletes, and the popular good-looking people... that's not me. Even after getting to a healthy weight at 17 and maintaining through college I was a fish out of water and felt like such an imposter going to the gym with my roommates. I would go to the rec alone at like midnight and keep to myself, almost like I was trespassing. I mostly did cardio or machines, occasionally I'd use the lone weight rack and bench that was inexplicably by the track and not in the actual weight room as if I didn't deserve to transgress the hallowed ground the frat bros typically occupied. After college I felt confined to stuff like p90x because that's what "regular" people do. I bought some adjustable bowflex dumbbells but it was a few years of half-*kitten*ing workouts I didn't really like before I realized what I really wanted to look like was at least somewhat achievable. I had the space and means to buy some olympic weights so I did... though I did so as economically as possible in part because, again, who was I kidding trying to do be a weightlifter? Learning how to quiet that negative mental voice has been a huge win and something I didn't realize was happening in the moment, or even recognize as a hurdle until I'd been able to largely overcome it.

    So, so true. I was a bookish kid, one of those "chosen last in gym class" people, and grew up in an era (1960s) when athleticism was not encouraged or even seen as normal for young women (some high schools didn't even have sports teams for girls at all - mine did have a couple, though in contrast to quite a number for boys). For sure, women didn't lift, even most women athletes, because muscles were masculine. (Even the male ideal was less muscular than now, the bodybuilders seen as very distorted.)

    I was a bit more active in college, and not really afraid to do "unfeminine" things, but still saw myself as inherently unathletic and physically incompetent, then settled into mostly blob-hood in adulthood, with a few occasional active pursuits that I never felt very good at.

    Through a combination of fortunate and unfortunate circumstances (including a need to recover after debilitating cancer treatment), I became quite active in my mid-40s, and actually came to surprise myself with what my body could do. That mental part - making room for self-definition to change - is huge, IMO. Now, at 65, I'm a whole different person physically than the early-40s me . . . effectively younger physically than she was in many respects, I suspect.

    Open yourself to possibilities, OP. Give new things a fair try, get past the newbie blues. Complex new habits and skills take time to develop, and it's normal to feel like "I'll never be good at this!" at first. Super simple things get boring fast, complex ones stay interesting (IMO). It's fine to take on some quick wins at simple things at first - that builds fitness - but the big payoffs are about committing to gradual progress via a change in self-definition. Surprise yourself. You can.

    <3<3<3 Thank you! I needed to hear this.
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