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How To Start Off Wrong (from member experiences)

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  • asz8777asz8777 Member, Premium Posts: 8 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    My list:

    1) Cheat meals - undoing an entire week of dieting in an hour.

    2) The slippery slope of perfectionism, aka "black or white" thinking.

    By which I mean:

    Going a few hundred calories over quota and thinking, "Well, the day's no longer perfectly compliant, so I'll just shoot for break even ... which entitles me to another 300 calories", which leads to eating 3 of 7 cookies in the pantry, and then "it's no longer a diet day, so I guess I'll have the last 4 cookies", which leads to "Now I'm over maintenance, I'll just restart tomorrow," which leads to eating everything in the house, which goes past midnight, which leads to waking up the next day thinking that that day too is shot because it already started badly at 12:01 am, which leads to ... 2 years later, starting all over from a much higher weight.

    Lesson I learned: If it's either diet perfection or insane binging, the diet is already dead. Gotta learn to be happy with "did fairly well today". A B+ day is still a B+ not an F.

    3) Trying to make up for overeating with excessive exercise, instead of addressing my weight issues at the source: the food that goes into my mouth.

    4) Making too big a deal about food even while successfully dieting - such as, spending hours or chunks of hours planning out and talking about the next meal - thus never breaking that obese person habit of thinking/planning/dreaming/wanting/craving/needing food constantly. Even while successfully dieting, spending the whole day thinking about the next meal, very understandable given the often-a-little-hungry nature of dieting, contains the seeds of a future diet breakdown.

    5) Keeping garbage foods in the house because "I've got everything under control; I've proven myself, so why shouldn't I have a bag of chocolate fudge cookies for when I want ONE cookie". Works great until it doesn't work. Replace with grapes LOL

    And finally ...

    6) Thinking I was "cured" of obesity behavior because I'd lost a bunch of weight. The opposite is the truth - I am an obese person by nature and if I weighed 140 pounds I'd still be one. Learning that was a huge epiphany for me. You don't suddenly get to some weight and then voila, you're a different person and don't need to log/count/self-monitor/exercise/eat carefully anymore. It's like an alcoholic who hasn't had a drink in a year thinking he isn't an alcoholic anymore so he can just go into a bar and just get a Diet Coke. All my best laid plans about counting calories, eating right, blah blah, can come unwound in 5 minutes if I forget that just having lost weight does not mean I am immune to obesity. Sit me down in an Italian restaurant, put a bottle of wine and an extra large pizza with extra cheese and pepperoni in front of me, and guess what, it's like I was never on a diet - I can revert to my true self in seconds. Constant vigilance is needed and will always be needed, forever.

    exactly that!
  • dragon_girl26dragon_girl26 Member Posts: 2,181 Member Member Posts: 2,181 Member
    These run the range from age 16-mid 30s (when I finally began calorie counting)

    1. "Kickstart" with an all liquid diet
    2. Any kind of plan that encouraged the thinking that the day was "ruined" if I had the wrong foods or ate at the wrong time
    3. Less than 1,000 calories a day
    4. Eliminating caffeine just because I thought it would keep me from losing weight
    5. Raw veganism
    6. Extremely low fat diet
    7. Exercise as punishment
    8. IF to manage weight while ignoring calories consumed or how it fit my preferences/lifestyle
    9. Slimfast
    10. "Smoking is an appetite suppressant, right?"

    So many of these were on my list..and to add to #2, Thinking my whole diet plan was "ruined" if I ate something "bad", so I may as well just quit because I "screwed up".
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 25,883 Member Member Posts: 25,883 Member
    These run the range from age 16-mid 30s (when I finally began calorie counting)

    1. "Kickstart" with an all liquid diet
    2. Any kind of plan that encouraged the thinking that the day was "ruined" if I had the wrong foods or ate at the wrong time
    3. Less than 1,000 calories a day
    4. Eliminating caffeine just because I thought it would keep me from losing weight
    5. Raw veganism
    6. Extremely low fat diet
    7. Exercise as punishment
    8. IF to manage weight while ignoring calories consumed or how it fit my preferences/lifestyle
    9. Slimfast
    10. "Smoking is an appetite suppressant, right?"

    So many of these were on my list..and to add to #2, Thinking my whole diet plan was "ruined" if I ate something "bad", so I may as well just quit because I "screwed up".

    Yep, that was me for so long. Telling myself I'd have no cookies (or whatever), have a single cookie, and then eat the rest of the bag because I'd already destroyed my entire diet. :#
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,825 Member Member Posts: 2,825 Member
    Others have alluded to this, but listening to and friending those that constantly fail or fall of the wagon or believe in myths (like it's all genetic or "I'm suffering from starvation mode") is the surest way to fail.

    I guess I'm lucky in I picked people that I wanted to have success like in my online accountability buddies. People that logged religiously, people that worked out consistently.

    The only "failure" I've had is stopping logging food too soon the first time -- I logged religiously for over two years into maintenance.

    I'm very much a believer in personal accountability, though. That's an important step in weight loss.
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,439 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,439 Member
    I am going to be a bad mod and mildly bash the MFP system:

    For me, the NEAT system MFP is based off of really doesn't work well for me. I end up hyper-fixated on calories and exercise burns and end up missing my goal (or just throwing it out the window) when its a constantly moving target. A TDEE system works way better for my brain, especially if I go the extra step and prelog a bit, I guess I need the consistency and to make myself let go of the numbers a bit. I do love MFP for the logging capabilities and forums, but I don't really use it "as intended" anymore.

    As a premium member, I get my choice of NEAT or TDEE (in MFP-ese, I can choose to have or not to have the exercise calories added to my food calorie quota for the day). I started with NEAT but switched to TDEE and never looked back. I much prefer having a consistent daily calorie target to work towards. It's always the same, I know what tomorrow's quota will be, and I can plan my meals accordingly. However, I do get that NEAT+exercise works very well for many people, and I did that for months.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,942 Member
    I am going to be a bad mod and mildly bash the MFP system:

    For me, the NEAT system MFP is based off of really doesn't work well for me. I end up hyper-fixated on calories and exercise burns and end up missing my goal (or just throwing it out the window) when its a constantly moving target. A TDEE system works way better for my brain, especially if I go the extra step and prelog a bit, I guess I need the consistency and to make myself let go of the numbers a bit. I do love MFP for the logging capabilities and forums, but I don't really use it "as intended" anymore.

    I hate the NEAT system. I am using it currently because at the moment it is a better way to manage myself.

    For most of my weight loss - most of 2 years and in excess of 250 pounds - I have used my spreadsheet to determine TDEE and updated MFP as needed.

    I miss TDEE and the consistent calorie count. It was SO much easier and I rarely had remnant calories that had to be eaten unless I made a logging error that created a positive balance. With my activity level being higher now and my fat stores being lower I can't get away with banking as much as I could before. There was a time I never cared if I left 400 more calories uneaten until the next day. Now single day steep deficits can leave me wiped out. I have to be so careful because I do not eat too close to bed for fear of acid reflux.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,913 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.

    (much good analysis snipped by reply-er, for length)

    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.

    @lgfrie, though we differ dramatically in other ways, this is how I feel, too. Not emotionally fraught in any signficant way when it comes to food, just find that it's pleasurable, and will overeat. The "be nice to future self" idea is part of my current buy-in to maintaining.

    One thing I tnink is weird: So often, people here say things like "you have a budget for your money, why wouldn't you have one for your calories"? I can do fine with "intuitive spending" (have almost never had any kind of formal budget, and disaster has never occurred - quite the reverse, despite not being remotely wealthy). But "intuitive eating"? That's a train wreck, for me. If I don't have a calorie budget, I *will* gain weight, to a low-obese level (based on history), where I pretty much stabilize.
    I am going to be a bad mod and mildly bash the MFP system:

    For me, the NEAT system MFP is based off of really doesn't work well for me. I end up hyper-fixated on calories and exercise burns and end up missing my goal (or just throwing it out the window) when its a constantly moving target. A TDEE system works way better for my brain, especially if I go the extra step and prelog a bit, I guess I need the consistency and to make myself let go of the numbers a bit. I do love MFP for the logging capabilities and forums, but I don't really use it "as intended" anymore.

    I can see how that works, for some people.

    Me, I loveLoveLOVE the NEAT system. I think it's part of what made weight loss this time manageable and sensible for me.

    My exercise is seasonally variable, and (in Winter especially), I go through phases where I don't work out much at all, comparatively speaking. It completely works well for me to add exercise separately. I can maintain or lose pretty easily, with or without exercise, and I really appreciate how the NEAT system makes it easy and straightforward. I'm pretty sure I could maintain or lose in general on a TDEE system if I had to, but it would be annoying as a practical matter, and much more stressful - there would be more/wilder fluctuations and guessing, for me . . . and my fluctuations are pretty big already, from combining calorie banking with occasional indulgent eating.
    edited August 2020
  • New_Heavens_EarthNew_Heavens_Earth Member Posts: 610 Member Member Posts: 610 Member
    Really interesting thread.

    For me the problem was believing all of that rubbish about intuitive eating. Like it was a moral failing that I didn't just know how to just eat healthy foods and be the right weight. For me I've been obese since I was about 9 and had significant patches of anorexic behaviour during my teenage years so I don't have normal hunger or satiation responses. People who haven't been through that just don't get it. You see a lot on here where people are getting back to a healthy weight. For me (and I'm sure others) when I first reached normal weight it was the first time in my memory I'd ever been there. I had to learn how to eat from a completely different base. It lead me to regain when I became pregnant and stopped logging because I had been finding logging so easy surely that meant I was now an intuitive eater.

    The feeling at the beginning that I should be able to just intuitively eat and that I clearly just didn't understand food if I didn't (for the record my diet has been very healthy whilst I still put weight on) lead to binges and restrictions.

    Another thing was that I believed that if I solved my emotional worries I'd find everything easy. Actually being happier was a huge thing and helped me to have the energy to motivate etc. However it didn't solve the fact that it takes a huge amount of food for me to feel too full. It doesn't solve the fact that I can eat tiny amounts and not really feel very hungry. I need to count calories to both eat enough and to not eat too much. But that's OK.

    Something I was told about IE was that it did not guarantee weight loss or a desired weight. Pretty much IE is you eat without judgement or restrictions according to hunger and satiety signals (which take time to regulate), and your weight will sort out at its natural set point. Along my journey those set points were much higher than I desired, which implies some level of reduction in intake is necessary for me to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • ccrdragonccrdragon Member Posts: 3,179 Member Member Posts: 3,179 Member
    lgfrie wrote: »
    Something I was told about IE was that it did not guarantee weight loss or a desired weight. Pretty much IE is you eat without judgement or restrictions according to hunger and satiety signals (which take time to regulate), and your weight will sort out at its natural set point. Along my journey those set points were much higher than I desired, which implies some level of reduction in intake is necessary for me to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

    I had the very worst dieting experience of my entire life with Intuitive Eating, the "don't count calories, just listen to your body" thing. I not only gained weight while doing IE, but gained much more weight when I stopped doing it. It was an unmitigated disaster.

    I try to be as non-judgmental as possible about diet strategies. I mean, the low carb thing seems pointless to me unless you have blood sugar issues or dislike carbs, but who am I to judge? Lots and lots of people lose weight doing low carb, keto, grapefruit diets, Meditteranean, Weight Watchers, whatever. In the end, these are all just tools to help you exert control over your urge to eat. Every diet out there works for someone. Calorie counting works best for many but in the end it's just another way to get you not to put that next donut in your mouth, right?

    BUT ... I really find it hard to be non-judgmental about intuitive eating. At least insofar as it's hoisted onto obese people as a panacea (not having been Normal BMI in 35 years I can't speak to IE's usefulness for fit people). So anyway, here we have obese people. People who, by definition, have not been able to eat the right amount of food - for whatever reason, anxiety, depression, bad habits, low self esteem, or because food tastes really really good LOL Whatever the reason, an obese person is a person who has not been - possibly for their entire lives - "full" or "satisfied" with a maintenance level of calories; if they were, they wouldn't be obese. I know that in my case, "fully satisfied" for a full day, as in "I don't want any more food, and even if it was sitting in front of me, I probably wouldn't eat any more of it" requires around 3,500-4,000 calories. I am NEVER fully satisfied either at my diet quota or at my maintenance calories. I tolerate it, feel reasonably sated a decent amount of the time, hungry some other times, and that's the best I can do. It's hard for me to imagine, though possible, that other obese people feel differently. The whole nature of obesity is that obese people are people who haven't been satisfied at maintenance calories; otherwise they wouldn't be obese.

    Why would anything think an obese person with a lifetime of overeating can just "listen to his body"? When I listen to my body here's what it says: FEED ME, NOW. It says that often, and sometimes loudly. For me, dieting is the process of learning to ignore what it's saying and developing the mental habits and toolkit to cotinue doing so. My goal is to ignore my annoyingly cloying, ravenous, food-greedy inner voice so I can get to and remain a healthy weight.

    I'll stick with calorie counting.

    This is me in a nutshell... I eat because food tastes good, so more is better! My intuitive eating (listening to my body signals) puts me somewhere between 265 and 275 on the scale... only problem is that I'm 5'8" so that weight really, really doesn't work for me. The only way I can keep this in check is to count and be very aware of what and how much I am eating.

    To take this back to the original topic:

    1. Lack of patience
    2. Lack of consistency
    3. Lack of direction

    Those are the 3 biggest mistakes that I made in starting the journey.
  • deepsea117deepsea117 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    Diet:
    1. I totally underestimated how important moderation is.
    2. I didn't read nutrition labels.
    3. I didn't track what I ate on MFP
    4. I didn't start by figuring out my RMR, and just used the standard:
    2000 calories - whatever = Weight loss
    5. I overloaded on proteins, thinking my body would absorb everything from a 6-oz steak in one sitting.
    6. I'd start off meals with bread at a restaurant, when I was hungry. Sugar-spike!
    7. I didn't realize there's a proper way to eat your food. The timing, and the order of it.
    8. Didn't realize I could get fit from just bodyweight exercises and resistance bands till quarantine.
    9. Didn't realize walking everywhere witha heavy backpack was actually making me stronger.
    10. Didnt realize I could be under 200lbs again (I'm 5'11".)
  • pink_mintpink_mint Member Posts: 93 Member Member Posts: 93 Member
    1. Going back and forth between torture and free-for-all with food.

    2. Thinking there must be some totally deprivation -free way to lose weight.

    3. Keto. It "worked" but it is just not sustainable. I cannot live the rest of my entire life like that and as soon as I reintroduced carbs I blew up.

    4. Intuitive eating. My "set point" must be morbidly obese because intuitive eating was simply a means to rapid and out of control weight gain.

    5. Believing there was some secret trick to weight loss. Like solving a Rubiks cube.

    6. Thinking there's just something wrong with me physically and I might as well not bother.

    7. Impatience.
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