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what is a sustainable diet for me?

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I've been dieting with MFP for five weeks and i am finding it too hard. I lost 8.8 pounds in four weeks. I had my goal set at one pound a week eating 1200 - 1500 [more like the lower limit most days] but during the fifth week i gained and panicked and set it to 1200. I found that was just too punishing and quit.

But i haven't been enjoying indulging these past few days. My stomach and intestines feel stuffed and i feel like my biggest jeans are like sausage wrap. I can't believe i am straining the seams at size 22! I gagged eating the last bite of my McChicken today.

I see women in the mall bigger than me and i think they look so awful and i think how that is probably my fate. I see older women in walkers and think how it's likely i will end up like that if i can't get my eating under control.

All i can think to do is to try and just maintain my weight and try and eat healthy. I have a very junky diet when i'm not dieting. I've developed such bad eating habits all my adult life [48 now] that i have diarrhea all the time except for when i'm dieting. [Sorry for the tmi!]

Maybe i just have to develop healthy eating habits before i try and restrict?

Any other ideas?

Replies

  • Sweet_Heresy
    Sweet_Heresy Posts: 411 Member
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    What's your height and weight? You might not be eating enough.
  • kindrabbit
    kindrabbit Posts: 837 Member
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    It's not too hard. You lost weight when you followed the diet, you feel awful when you don't restrict your intake, you fear you will end up obese and immobile.

    You followed mfp successfully for 4 weeks and it worked. Now do it again. I'm not sure I understand from your post exactly what's stopping you apart from 'it's too hard'. Pretty sure things are going to get even harder if you dont take control.
  • apfei
    apfei Posts: 20 Member
    edited March 2015
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    I am 5'3" and 220 pounds. I am 48, female and sedentary.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
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    I'd say:
    • If you are full, stop. Throw that last bite of McChicken out.
    • Eat at the higher range, 1500 per day, and set your target at 1lb per week. No need to punish yourself.
    • Avoid the scale and focus on good food choices.
    • Give yourself one treat day a week where you eat what you like and you don't track. But don't stuff yourself. Eat what you like and put the rest away.
    • When your jeans feel right, you will have arrived.
  • apfei
    apfei Posts: 20 Member
    edited March 2015
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    It's just that my life is so empty -- no partner, no family, no friends, no work, just a sweet dog. I'm chronically bored and i use food to cope with my emptiness. Such a mess!
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
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    Could you add a new hobby that keeps your hands busy? Then you have something else to do other than eat. Or take your sweet dog to the dog park. You will both benefit from the fresh air and exercise.

    Your self-talk needs some work, too.
  • sarahfeelingood
    sarahfeelingood Posts: 21 Member
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    I am certainly not at my goal yet, so I hope you don't think I'm speaking out of turn, but I think you ate too little. I am a size 18 and 206 pounds on a 5'2" frame. I lose about a pound a week just cutting back to 1700-1800 calories/day. I think it would be beneficial to start there regardless of what the MFP system says. I need around (forgive me if I'm off, it's been a while since I did the calculations) 2200 calories to maintain my weight. So I can cut back even just to 2000 if I wanted, the weight loss would just be slower. I find 1800 calories is MUCH more doable, and you can always trim a little more off from there after a few months of adjustment. Or stay at 1800 and add in mild exercise. I am trying to take walks more often but nothing too crazy because I'm out of shape right now. I hope you will give a higher range of calories a try and see if you still lose half a pound or a pound a week. Good luck to you!

    PS. Eating healthier food is always a good choice regardless of whether you're counting calories or not. :) I agree that the junk food can be gag-inducing at times!
  • girlviernes
    girlviernes Posts: 2,402 Member
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    I would definitely recommend upping your calories. 1800 is probably a good place to start, you could probably eat even more. Losing about 1 lb/week would be a big success for you.

    It sounds like you might also really benefit from some increased support through working with a therapist and/or group therapy.
  • apfei
    apfei Posts: 20 Member
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    Thanx SarahFeelingGood! I still want to make an effort, but this rollercoaster of dieting success and failure is very hard on me. I think i will concentrate on eating healthy. Thanx for letting me know your higher numbers still work.

    I eat too much because i feel bad and i feel bad because i eat too much!

    My gp was the one who gave the okay to eating at 1200. He said it 'sounded about right.' I think it's a lot easier for him to eat healthy because he's got a full life. I don't think he appreciates how traumatic it is for me to remove my go-to coping mechanism -- dysfunctional tho it may be.
  • girlviernes
    girlviernes Posts: 2,402 Member
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    1200 is a pretty ridiculous place to start. GP doesn't know what he's talking about in this domain.
  • tomatoey
    tomatoey Posts: 5,446 Member
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    You can turn it around. It's never too late. One thing you do have is your body. When you start with that, you will have more energy to put towards putting some of the other pieces together. And you'll remember what it's like to work with a purpose, and see yourself reach little goals, and it will rebuild your confidence. At least some of that will spill over into other parts of life. Many people on MFP first started their journeys when they were without work. Doing this can be life-changing, and you can do it!
  • strmbreez
    strmbreez Posts: 8 Member
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    apfei wrote: »
    I am 5'3" and 220 pounds. I am 48, female and sedentary.

    Just do it. It's hard. Really hard. I want to eat all day long. And it hasn't gotten easier. I eat 1200, and I'm pretty much at the same place as you are ( I started at 240). Every morning is a new commitment.

    Keep going. Don't stop. Set small goals.
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
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    apfei wrote: »
    Thanx SarahFeelingGood! I still want to make an effort, but this rollercoaster of dieting success and failure is very hard on me. I think i will concentrate on eating healthy. Thanx for letting me know your higher numbers still work.

    I eat too much because i feel bad and i feel bad because i eat too much!

    My gp was the one who gave the okay to eating at 1200. He said it 'sounded about right.' I think it's a lot easier for him to eat healthy because he's got a full life. I don't think he appreciates how traumatic it is for me to remove my go-to coping mechanism -- dysfunctional tho it may be.

    It's an awful cycle, isn't it? There's absolutely no need to go absolutely crazy restricting oneself to a bare minimum of calories and forgoing the things we love to eat in order to lose weight.

    There are few issues here. One, you use food for comfort and to fight boredom. There are dangers inherent in turning to food for comfort but I'm betting you know that. Perhaps it's time to look for a club or group based on something you like to do. Not only will it get you out of the house a couple of times per month you might meet some great people. Along with that, find a physical activity you enjoy and start doing that a couple of days or nights per week.

    I was completely sedentary until my 45th birthday when I started running. I'm still running and last year I took up weight lifting, too. I love them both much more than I would have ever thought possible. You don't have to do those things but find something you do like: biking, swimming, tennis, martial arts. You don't have to be good at them, just do them. You'll get better with time and you'll burn calories and reduce stress, too. If you really don't think you can do something physical, take up a craft. Knitting, crocheting and cross-stitching can be done in front of the TV and require clean hands. You'll be keeping your hands busy and creating beautful, useful things.
  • mathandcats
    mathandcats Posts: 786 Member
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    You can eat a lot more than you were. I started at 212 eating 1500 and it was too little - I think I lost too fast. I'm also 5'3, although I'm 22. I don't do much exercise - when I started it was just 30-45 min walking per day. Now I strength train or jog about 30 min 5days/week, and lose about 0.75-1lb/week at 1650 (I'm now 148lb).

    Try eating 1700-1800 consistently. You'd lose faster at a lower intake, but it's better to do something you can stick to.
  • mkvigneau
    mkvigneau Posts: 4 Member
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    Have you considered seeing a counselor about the emotional side this struggle? You have clearly stated you don't enjoy your coping mechanisms. Seeing someone who can help you develop a new strategies and help you talk through the things that are holding you back should help. I would also ask your gp for a referral to a nutritionist to help you figure out what to eat.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,995 Member
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    Congratulation on your first attempt at changing your life. Figuring out where you went wrong will help you succeed in the future!

    "I've been dieting with MFP for five weeks and i am finding it too hard. I lost 8.8 pounds in four weeks. I had my goal set at one pound a week eating 1200 - 1500 [more like the lower limit most days] but during the fifth week i gained and panicked and set it to 1200. I found that was just too punishing and quit"

    1--you went on a "diet".
    2--your deficit was too large.
    3--you panicked in response to a number because you do not yet understand and trust the process.

    1-A "diet" will not solve a ~55lb, ~48yr, lifestyle issue. You may want to consider whether you're ready to move beyond the concept of a "diet".

    Check out the National Weight Control Registry site: http://www.nwcr.ws/ and the Research Findings and NWCR Facts sections. Do you see yourself joining the NWCR in a couple of years?

    2-- You are 5.3/220lbs/F/48/sedentary. To me this means less than 5000 steps a day, no exercise, no standing at work, no chasing children around, moves from computer to couch, drives to McDonald's and back home.

    Your maintenance level is probably NORTH of 2,300 calories.

    With a little bit of activity and the occasional bout of exercise you are probably closer to a maintenance level of 3,000 calories a day.

    So why are you eating 1,200 as opposed to 2,000, or more, calories? Are you trying to teach your body how to survive on less calories so that you can more easily gain fat in the future?

    3--You may want to consider that your weight changes not only when you gain, or lose, fat; but, also when you gain, or lose, muscle. Your weight also changes if you haven't pooped, or when your scale is inaccurate, or when you've retained water because of salt, glycogen replenishment, or hormones.

    When you're ready to give MFP another try, you may want to read: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1080242/a-guide-to-get-you-started-on-your-path-to-sexypants

    When you weigh everything you eat and log it, accurately, it is extremely unlikely that a pound of fat will sneak up on you!

    Figuring out exercise burn and TDEE is harder, especially without prior data.

    Devices such as pedometers and activity trackers may help with that. Phone based applications are also available if you don't want to invest in a device. All these things can synchronize with MFP making it easier to figure out where you're at.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,995 Member
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    I see that the OP has added some more information.

    Obviously when you use food as a reward and comfort and to combat boredom making a lifestyle change won't be trivial.

    I can only offer a single data point: I decided that morbid obesity was not very healthy and that instead of eating to relieve frustration I would go for a walk instead. The more frustrated the longer and faster the walk.

    You may be surprised as to how much your dog may be willing to walk! My guy was pulling 2x80 minute walk shifts at age 13+ with rampant arthritis and bad knees.