Feeling lost

I'm really just looking for some suggestions on how to get myself out of this pit of misinformation and confusion as to what "normal eating" looks like and wondering if anyone has been through a similar issue (or have any solutions/tips?).

A little back story - I have a history of eating disorders, and although I am now recovered and no longer meet any eating disorder criteria, I am really struggling to work out what "normal" eating is. I've been on this forum for over a year now and have not lost any weight. I can't get the balance of foods right and am really stuck on what / how much I should be eating. There is so much contradicting advice (don't eat gluten, low carb, high protein, low protein, high fat, low fat, calorie counting, portion counting, no snacking, lots of snacks) I'm just so lost in it all. I grew up with two parents with eating disorders and so never really learnt from them what I should be eating either. I feel a bit silly being in my 20s and not knowing how to eat properly.

One of my biggest problems is not knowing how much it is ok to "break the rules" as such. For example, I know desserts such as ice cream or cake are obviously not very healthy but it's not normal to cut them out completely. How do I know how often I can eat these things and still live healthily / lose some weight? Could I eat small desserts twice per day? Once per day? Once per week? Once per month? I really have no idea what "normal" or "healthy" people do.

I am hesitant to count calories as I know it brings back eating disorder tendencies. I would prefer to lose weight through healthier habits and lifestyle changes.

My misinformation is still heavily confused after my GP referring me to four different community weight loss programmes over the years to try and get me on track losing weight. Three told me to count portions but each gave a very different calorie allowance (1500, 2200, 2500). I found 1500 too hard to stick to. 2200 worked to some extent but my weight loss got stuck after 6 pounds lost and I gained it all back. 2500 I just gained weight on. The fourth nutritionist told me we should all be eating lower carb diets (no bread, pasta etc.) but personally I do question how qualified she was).

I've read through the information on the 12 week plan but it's so vague I found it difficult to make any kind of "rules" out of so found it difficult to follow. I could never find a calorie limit that I could consistently lose weight on.

Please help. I really need to lose weight and get healthier because myself and my partner want to try for a baby and I'm just not healthy enough to manage a pregnancy right now.

Apologies for the long essay but I thought the more info I gave the more people might be able to help. Thank you so much in advance to anyone and everyone who comments. I'm having a bit of a desperate hour!

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5 Replies

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  • Hello Natz994 Welcome to the forum.

    It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you having two parents both with eating disorders. It sounds like you have a happy life now with your partner and wanting to start a family so that's great.

    I'm not sure exactly where to start in advising you, and as for 'normal'...who really knows what that is?!

    I guess I would say you should enjoy your food, not have it rule your life, eat regular meals, eat when you are hungry and stop before you feel overly full?

    I have been on this site since August and have lost a stone. During this time I regularly have desserts, but sometimes that will just be yoghurt and fruit. Most days I would have something like this, and once a week I might have something richer, a slice of cake with a latte when I am out and about for example. I have a couple of biscuits some days! Being keen to lose weight (over 17 stone when I started) I was very careful with desserts and I weigh foods like hard cheese as it is so full of calories. But I still have grated cheese on my pasta regularly. I can't give everything up, but I weigh it out! If I have been 'doing well' and losing weight I will allow myself to have whatever I fancy over the weekend, but since changing my eating habits, I find I am satisfied very quickly and easily, I don't need the cake 'hit' like I used to!

    I know some people swear by low carb, this, that and the other diet, but I don't do any of that. No food is off the menu, but I know which foods will see me retaining or gaining weight, ie, cake, cheese, cream, crisps, so I go very carefully with these.

    This is my perspective and my approach. I hope it is of some help to you. I would be happy to chat more and I am sure there are other people who will be along to advise you.

    I do wish you all the very best.

    Ruby8 :-)

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  • Hi Natz,

    Ruby's response is really helpful, I think you'll find. I find a correct portion size plate helpful. You can buy them in Amazon. Keep talking to people on here, you will find it helps. The majority know an awful lot about sensible and healthy eating. Good luck! 😊

  • Hello and welcome to the group. Please continue to do postings/comments, asking questions, reading and commenting on other postings/comments the other members of the group had done, take a look at the Topics section of the group (on the side if using a computer; on the bottom if you're on a cellphone), and of course, just get to meet the rest of the group's members. Everyone wants to help everyone else reach their goals.

    You had said you don't want to count calories.... Are you okay with carb. counting? Did the Nutritionist/Dietian recommend that you do carb. counting with each meal and snack during the day? When counting carbs., it can be different for everyone. Some people can have 75-80 carbs. for dinner, but the next person may just be able to have 50-65 carbs.. Same with snacks and other meals. It depends on the person. Please take a look at the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation's website for the free leaflets. All leaflets can be downloaded, read and/or listened to at anytime. The two you can start with are: "A Healthy Diet and Diabetes" and "Exercise and Diabetes". Go to: drwf.org.uk/diabetes-leaflets

    I hope this helps!

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