Cutting down? Cutting out? Not cutting anything?!

I decided when I started back in September, that in order to sustain what I am doing I am not cutting anything out and nothing is forbidden or banned (not even crisps - my ultimate weakness!). My motto now is everything in moderation. I have cut down my portions and am trying to increase my exercise. Am just interested to know if anyone else is doing the same as many of the January 'diet' programmes seem to be advocating quite restrictive eating regimes. I know I've not lost a lot or particularly quickly but it seems to be heading in the right direction. Just interested to know, especially from maintainers or people near their target what you have found in terms of your own mottos, rules or things that have worked for you. Thank you.

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28 Replies

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  • I agree that "everything in moderation" is the right way to go.

    For me, however, I know that wheat products and carbohydrates need to be reduced for me to continue losing weight. My calorie allowance for continuing to lose weight now that I have about a stone left to lose is very low (1100 calories a day) as I am very short, mature (54!) and sedentary! So for me, at the moment, although I luuurvve crisps, the 120 or so calories to enjoy a packet just isn't worth it - I need to really consider the nutritional value of my food - will it give me the energy I need?

    One of the biggest eye openers to me was realising just how enormous the portion sizes were that I ate, and reigning that in! 30g - 40g of cereal was about a third of what I would eat. I'd easily munch my way through about 100g of pasta (dried weight) whereas now I measure out 50g. It looks measly, but it's enough for little 'ol me!

  • Thanks Pineapple27 Yes, when you start weighing or checking what is considered a portion, it's quite staggering. Especially as I could previously out eat most people I know! Reducing plates and bowls has helped and yes, although nothing is banned I now am so much more aware of my choices. I do confess my crisps are now much more of a treat than an everyday item. Thanks for the response.

  • I am also 54, (fairly sedentary but trying hard to move a bit more) and not overly tall - MFP has given me a calorie target of 1200; I try to avoid the obvious carbs - and the weight loss I have achieved has probably been mainly when I am doing that. I am maintaining now around 10;7 or just over. I have been pushing to get a bit lower, but it may be that I have actually reached my 'right' weight. Now trying to identify better/different fitness options instead of being too wound up about the numbers. Portion size also a big factor for me. I was just out at a curry place we used to go to a lot and I decided not to go there as I used to overeat and it's obviously oily. Anyway, could barely eat anything compared to what I used to pack away. Lots of leftovers for tomorrow lunch!

  • Well done on your weight loss. I would love to be in the tens. It's amazing how quickly your body adjusts to smaller portions. Like you the amounts I used to eat (where I regularly felt uncomfortably full) are now way too much. I am getting very good at asking for leftovers to be wrapped up when out now rather than clearing my plate because it's there. It's funny but posting this is making me realise how many small changes I have made which is a really positive thing.

  • I worked on exactly the same principles, knowing that to cut out items I enjoyed would be a recipe for failure. I know myself only too well. My weight loss was slow to start but I have lost a stone and a half which is more than I set out to do. I included these items in my calorie count and always left room for a treat in the evening.

  • Snap! If I know I can't have it I will only want it more... Yes, I am including it all in my allowance and an included treat is fab. Well done on your weight loss - that's great work.

  • Thank you. I'm nowhere near healthy bmi but I'm where I want to be for the time being. I'll decide later if I want to go further.

  • Hi TheJuggler

    I enjoyed your Interesting post. Yes portion control is important but for me my willpower is not strong enough to have just one !

    Sugar in the form of bread, cakes, biscuits, white pasta etc is just too addictive for me so I'm much better to avoid it completely.

    I'm embarrassed to admit I could easily eat half a loaf of white bread a day and used to feel quite panicked if there was none in the house. It most definitely was an addiction.

    Now I eat almost unlimited vegetables and salad stuff that is grown above the ground, quality protein and a very small amount of dairy. It seems to suit me and the lbs are dropping of :)

    We're all different and that is the joy of this forum. Yes I agree forget faddy TV diets they are usually unsustainable and instead think of food as medicine for your body. It will either poison it or heal and feed it.

    Good luck in your continued loss :)

    Onwards and most definitely downwards xx

  • Hi jopo I love bread but yes, have to moderate as it doesn't love me as much! It really does depend on willpower and weaknesses as well doesn't it? I can take or leave sweet things. I had three maltesers today with a cup of tea but easily left the rest of the packet but any crisps, well, I could eat a factory's worth in one sitting I think! I now have oatcakes or ryvita as my bread alternative but sometimes a nice slice of bread can't be beaten! Thanks for sharing your tips and keep up the good work.

  • Xx it can be so hard sometimes. I know for certain that this forum helps and people like you just being on the end of of my phone always with a caring word or virtual pat on the back etc.

    much love xx

  • The low fat kind of course ! :)

  • 🖒

  • We can have any treat or food we want. But we know if it's in the house, it will be calling to us for us to eat it!

    In the evenings now (my worst time for snacking - it's all those cookery programmes and adverts on TV) if I REALLY need to eat something, I'll slice up an apple and cube about 50g of strong cheddar. It's really filling, healthy plus the fat in the cheese won't cause a spike - carbs are satisfying, but then an hour later, your blood sugars will drop off (it happens rapidly with carbs) and you'll be reaching out for more!

  • Most definitely my "danger" time too.

    Great advice. Apple and cheese is perfect combo.

    :) x

  • Ooh yum. Will be trying that.

  • YES! This is exactly my attitude. I don't mind that I lose weight slowly, because I do lose weight, and I would rather lose slowly as I do believe it stays off. I was dreading gaining loads of weight over christmas and although I gained two or three pounds, they fell away after xmas, and I believe this is because I lost it slowly.

    There is a certain amount of discipline of course, if you want to lose weight you have to cut down on some things. I eat fruit or a yoghurt when I might've had crisps or biccys, but like you those things are not off limits. I have also found my capacity to over eat has diminished, I stop sooner than I used to, I don't like feeling overly full.

  • It sounds like what you are doing and the changes you have made are really doing the trick. Great work on your Christmas gain/loss. For the first time this year I gained a couple of pounds and lost them rather than ballooning up as I used to at this time of year. Again nothing was banned but the impact of two sausage rolls rather than ten seemed to help! Baby steps but hopefully will get me there.

  • I'm not a maintainer or near my target, but I've lost Weight and put it back on. So I know you're right, I consulted a nutritionist, who also advised not banning any food, which just make people want more of it, she was talking about kids, but I think same applies to adults. I don't believe a quick for healthy weight loss. I'm in for developing new habits.

  • With you on the new habits! Before long they will be the norm as it all clicks into place. Good luck working towards your target. We will get there.

  • Hi everyone - I agree - portion control, everything in moderation ... and for me, no snacking at all, however healthy, as once I get a taste for something, I want more. So, I only eat at mealtimes and I have never felt hungry ... and lost 20lbs so far (only another 7 to go )

  • Wow! 20lbs is amazing. Really well done. Those 7lbs will be gone in no time. I am much better if I snack in between meals but now have my go to snacks. It definitely has to work for you and meet your individual needs doesn't it? Keep on going- you will be a maintainer in no time!

  • This is my new philosophy too! With longstanding IBS and having developed a couple of food intolerances over the last couple of years (lactose and yeast) I find that most 'diet' regimes are either too restrictive or require me to eat too much of things that my body doesnt like! Dont get me wrong I love food and love cooking! I decided that I would design my own programme where nothing is banned but I just count the calories - simple really! This is my second week and I have lost 4lbs already - so far so good! Its a relief to see other people with the same way of thinking!

  • Yes, I think it's important to listen to your body and know what it needs. I suffered with Candida overgrowth and I now know that rice, potatoes and pasta are a better choice than bread but that bread is fine if I don't eat it morning, noon and night (which believe me I could!). Well done on the 4lb loss. What a fantastic start!

  • I'm the same. I have cut down my portion sizes, but essentially nothing is off limits for me, so long as I stay within my calories for the day. It's the only way I can make this sustainable. We had a Dominos Pizza just before Christmas and I ate 2 slices and some wedges. I was within my calories for the day and had a nice takeaway without any guilt. I'm finding that if I do build in the odd treat, that I don't go as mad and I can stop when I'm full.

    Restrictive diets just don't work for me and I try not to restrict any food groups too much either, as I want to do a half marathon in May, so I need the carbs to fuel my training plan and protein to stop my muscles aching! I'm happy to be a slow loser, at 1/2lb per week, I feel I could stick to what I am currently eating for the foreseeable future.

  • Apart from the half marathon I'm with you totally! Being able to have a takeaway but not go mad is so nice. I have also being experimenting with 'home' takeaways as well. My kids love my homemade fish and chips and chicken marinated in paprika, olive oil and thyme makes lovely kebabs with some salad or roasted veg. Good luck with your half marathon - what an achievement that will be.

  • I'm hoping I do it this time - I was signed up to one in 2009 and I injured myself in training a week before and had to pull out. That highlighted the stupidity of attempting an 11 mile run whilst having not trained fully! I'm fully embracing the fakeaway too - someone gave me a recipe for salt and chilli chicken, which I'm dying to try! I do my fish in cornflakes, a la Annabel Karmel, and it is delicious!

  • I guess it may come down to your definition of "everything in moderation". There are some foods that are now "once in a blue moon" for me, like crisps, so not banned but regulated. I visit family every couple of months by train and my crisps are part of a packed meal.

    As others have said, watching portion sizes and the amount and type of carbs has worked well. I'm now well into healthy BMI having lost 2 stone.

  • I agree, moderated, restricted or occasional. Just not totally banned never to be seen again! Really well done on your weight loss and healthy BMI. That is my aim plus 2.5 stone so thank you for showing it can be done.

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