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How to avoid diet fatigue

How to avoid diet fatigue

Hey all. Just wondering if you all had any tips on how to keep going in the long term. I find eating nice foods to be the easy part. What I find really tiresome is (1) logging foods on MFP all the time (2) thinking about what to eat rather than just eating (3) shopping all the time! I used to rely on more quick pasta/noodle meals but they are now off my menu (trying to do low carb high fat).

Anyone just take a break from calorie counting? Or have any other tips to make it easier? I'm thrilled with my progress but I'm really busy at work and with the kids - this is just taking up a lot of head space for me at the moment.

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Hi supermarmite, I hear what you say! Sometimes I simply don't have the time! Or sometimes I want to feel like I'm taking a holiday from really strict counting! What has worked for me and what I might suggest to you, is to have a few simple meals that you know are low carb and healthy and then just have those on days/at times when you don't want to have to think about it. When I've not had time to be meticulous I just repeat recipes that I know are on plan and that I've made plenty of times before then I don't count, but I know that I'm still doing the right thing :) maybe you could give that a try? For me it is low carb pancakes, goats cheese frittata, simple salad, omelettes, that I know I can whip up without a second thought and that I know are not going to do me any harm :)

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I do LCHF and actually you don’t need to count calories. Just make the right choices - your body will tell you when you’re hungry. I counted to start with to make sure I was getting enough calories from fat and few enough from carbs. But once I had the hang of what to eat I stopped counting. Have you visited the LCHF forum? There are some good posts there that might help you out.

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Ditto, I don't know what LCHF is, but I don't count calories, I just make healthy choices.

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Low Carb High Fat

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The best way to avoid diet fatigue is not to diet :)

Your aim should be to change your eating patterns for the long term. Weight loss will follow as a natural consequence.

As ExcitableElf said, if you're eating enough fat, and few carbs, there's absolutely no need to count calories (or anything else). Your body will know when it's had enough.

Unfortunately, learning a whole new set of recipes does take a bit of time and effort (there's no way around that) but as ohsofierce said, it really helps to just establish a bunch of set menus that you can repeat over and over. I have pretty much the same things for breakfast and dinner and (strangely enough) I don't get bored with them.

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Can you simply tell me how much carbs I am likely to eat, now that I don’t eat bread, potatoes, rice or pasta also I don’t eat anything processed but I understand there are some things which cannot be avoided.

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The beauty of low-carb eating is that it's so very simple: all you need to do is exactly what you described (cutting out bread, potatoes, rice, pasta) and then add some fat to replace those missing carb calories.

I find that it's best not to even talk about "carbs" or "fat" but simply to focus on actual foods: if you've got vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy on your plate, you're probably eating the right things. Instead of spending time calculating carb or calorie content in your meals, treat yourself to a few recipe books and extract some ideas that you can live with over the long term. If you think back to your former life, you probably had half-a-dozen go-to recipes that you cooked over and over again, and all you need to do is establish a routine with a different set of recipes.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply and I do read what you post I like your philosophy to food, and it is a way of eating I can live with. I initially began calorie counting but aimed at the low end of my calorie allowance. I did lose a stone and then it became up and down by a pound or two then back down. So I began eating less so up to a month ago I was very pleased with myself for eating 5300 calories a week. While all this was going on I discovered that carbs were actually causing me to eat more. So I cut all carbs. No longer felt hungry, it was great. But then I was beginning to feel the effects of not eating enough because I had cut carbs but did not replace them with anything else. And that’s how I got to eating so few calories. I now eat full fat foods, I do chose healthy fats avoid anything processed. But I am not losing the weight. I am generally around my low end of calorie allowance. I am hoping that the weight loss will come eventually as I don’t find a LCHF diet is a quick way to lose weight as you read about.

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The fact that you're not feeling hungry suggests that you're basically doing it right, but perhaps you're just one of those unlucky people with a rather low carb threshold. You'd probably benefit from doing a full-blown induction phase, which basically means <25g net carbs per day for one week. You can just Google how to do this, or there's a post about it on the LCHF forum. It seems to reliably kickstart the weight-loss process, although nobody seems to know exactly why it works.

Can you maybe list out a typical day's meals? It may be that you've got just one or two unexpected high-carb foods hiding in there somewhere.

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Thanks again for replying.

I am just looking at ‘Diet Dr’ website, and I am contemplating of joining their two week low carb/keto diet. I have also read I could be eating too many nuts and too much dairy. My typical day is

Breakfast 1 egg 2 mushrooms sliced cooked in butter

Lunch 20g nuts half apple 30g cheese (this sometimes varies and is completely missed)

Dinner chicken breast or salmon always with green vegetables (sometimes I do a very nice Thai curry with chicken breast.

Some days I will have a latte and I do add milk in my morning coffee.

I have also been looking at fasting - having breakfast for lunch, but I am mindful that I don’t eat too little again.

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Well ... you're eating the right things, but very little; you're probably waaay below 1000kCal there. It doesn't normally happen on LCHF, but I would guess you're in starvation mode. Eat more; in particular, eat more fat. For example, try adding some bacon to your breakfast, and have a chicken portion cooked skin-on instead of a chicken breast. And have a proper lunch. Add butter, coconut oil, or olive oil liberally. Use mayonnaise and cream-based dressings where appropriate.

You don't need to stuff yourself, but do make sure you feel comfortably full. Don't attempt to meet an arbitrary calorie target. Use the force. Allow your body to figure out when it's had enough.

I would skip the milk for the time being; use cream instead. You can reintroduce it later.

If you prefer to sign up for an actual meal schedule with Diet Dr, I don't see any harm in doing so. I can certainly understand it's easier to just follow a plan rather than try to figure it out from scratch. However the Atkins induction plan is as good as any, and I think it's freely available online.

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Once again thank you. I am not too keen on menu plans as they consist of recipes and it’s often foods which I wouldn’t eat anyway. I don’t miss bread, potatoes, pasta or rice so I don’t see any point in looking for a substitute. I am reading that less than 50g of carbs is classed as being very low carb. But I am finding it difficult to work out carbs as they seem to be in all foods. I shall have a look at the Atkins induction plan.

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The Atkins plan just tells you what ingredients to avoid and which ones are OK (rather than specific recipes) so it should suit your requirements. You mix-and-match in whatever combination you like. Yes, you're right that everything has some carbs in it, but therein lies the danger with counting stuff: the underlying principle is insulin control, and as long as you follow the Atkins "OK list" you will maintain a low insulin baseline.

This can all seem a bit daunting to begin with, but it's actually far easier than the "traditional" approach. You're almost certainly on the right track if you're not missing your carbs: that's a very good indication that your carb level is low enough (when its too high, you tend to crave even more). Just eat more food! I know that sounds illogical, but the whole point of LCHF is to get you eating normal meals again. Unless you've omitted some things, your calorie total for the example day is maybe 600-700kCal (I've added a bit to account for eg., cooking oil). I've heard of doctors taking their patients as low as 800kCal/day temporarily, but that's under close monitoring and guidance.

On a side note, I have a strong suspicion that the whole calorie-counting idea is directly responsible for the epidemic of eating disorders that we've seen recently. It forces you to put less food on your plate than your appetite is demanding, for ever, and you inevitably end up gaslighting yourself:

'I'm hungry. I can feel hunger'.

'No you're not. You put your calorie allowance on your plate. You can't be hungry'.

'Oh all right then, I'm not hungry'.

Couple that with the idea that "if you're not losing weight then you're eating too much" (which isn't true) and you've got a recipe for a mental-health epidemic.

So if you've spent any length of time doing a calorie-controlled diet, you may need to learn what "hungry" and "full" feels like again. Although you may worry that eating too much will cause you to put on weight, on LCHF this is virtually impossible.

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When I have dieted I have always gone low cals, and I have lost the desired stone only to gradually gain. This time I need to lose at the very least two stone, lost my initial stone easy but then nothing. Then it was mentioned that carbs are my problem. Straight away I stopped eating them and as I said before felt great didn’t miss them either. But I failed to substitute the carbs for something else, ate loads of veg kept protein the same. Hence the low calorie intake.

I have looked at the Atkins induction and I have a meal planner ‘phase 1’ and ‘phase 2’, it has daily meals set out and I know there are some that I wouldn’t eat. I don’t miss junk food or sugary treats because I have never seen the pleasure in eating whole bar of chocolate Big Mac has even less appeal.

I am going to print it off study it then do it to the letter, and I may even try a 16 hour fast; although I am not sure what the point is especially if you are low carbs anyway. Because is it to do with insulin.

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Good luck! Let us know how it goes. I really wouldn't attempt to fast (as you said, there really isn't any point, and I suspect your main problem here is that you're not eating enough). I'd be very interested to know how you get on with the Atkins instructions.

Once you get the low-carb thing working, it's a HUGE buzz seeing the weight drop off. And it stays off.

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I look forward to the day when I am in control of my weight. It must be a lovely place to be. I have always been able to lose weight and I am at a loss as to why this time I am unable to go any further. The only thing I can think of is I am older or possibly my body has had enough of diets. I will keep in touch and let you know how it progresses. I need to read the menu plans and get everything in place, and I shall follow it to the letter. Thank you once again.

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I'm on week 7 of LCHF and still recording everything in a notebook including calories (around 1300 daily). It's about time I listened to all the advice (see LCHF forum as well as comments here) and relaxed a bit! I do loads of exercise so can afford lots more calories and still have a big deficit each day. In fact as I usually only eat after 6pm (iced water all day & don't feel hungry) I doubt whether I could eat much more!

Recording everything is a discipline, but maybe too much so - if I've already got to 20 carbs I get antsy about having some melon or an apple. I'm fortunate that I've already lost most of my target weight (started 6 weeks before LCHF on just counting calories - but it wasn't drastically different from now except less fat and lots of milk!). I think I need to try chilling out for a week and not worry if carbs go up to 50 - 60 average!

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You have done brilliantly to have lost so much weight. I haven’t measured my carbs I have cut the obvious such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta also avoid processed foods as much as possible. My calories are around 1300 or maybe just below

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That sounds more sensible than my nerdy approach - although it was necessary for me as I'd never even thought about it before. Having said that I've just been out and practised my "stop worrying about it" approach by drinking 4 San Miguels and very nice evening it was too ... but unfortunately I KNOW each one is 7.6 carbs ... bugger it - back to water tomorrow!

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Oh dear, sometimes we have to have some pleasures, it’s good that you admit it. I knew someone who continued drinking through all her diets. I like to chew my calories not drink them.

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It's all about it being a lifestyle not a diet - another reason to chill out a bit coz I certainly aint going to record everything forever! Hopefully it will all be "logged" subconsciously and adjusting to having a treat day will be automatic...

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Oh dear, if I looked and felt like your picture, I'd have given up long ago :(

I agree with all the other replies you've had and the tip I would add is enjoy your food, try new things, there's a whole world of food out there and we're so fortunate - most of us - to have ready access to it.

So, have your stock, quick and easy recipes for convenience, and start experimenting and enjoying :)

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If it were easy supermarmite, we wouldn’t all be here now! So it’s not easy, and we all feel like going a bit mad sometimes, but it is so worth sticking with. Gradually over time you will have recipes and menu plans which don’t need counting, as you will know them by heart, but for the time being, keep keeping on!

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Mix stuff up, calorie cycle, relax and try loads of low cal new recipes, I hope by now your portions are much smaller, your food of a better quality, and you are enjoying being slimmer?

All great motivators, this is what keeps me on track, never mind the expense of buying bigger clothes, which isn’t going to happen!

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Yes definitely - it's all easier. But it's literally just the amount of thinking which is exhausting in the context of a busy life!

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Maybe it is, worth the price tho

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Great advice from others.

Definitely over time it becomes second nature, you don't have to think as much. I know I can have occasional treat and not stress because next day I simply eat less. For me it's a lifestyle eating well and exercising as much as time allows.

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Great topic. I alternate some prepared foods with cook from scratch. Love sushi so buy a box and add a big salad etc then the calorie bit is very simple. If I am in a rush i have a selection of pre calorie counted combinations which I fall back on. I think the interest is important so change my options as often as I can. I treat myself to the odd thing from m and s to break it up. They do yoghurt fruit and granola which is a great breakfast on the run choice.

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Hi, I've just put about 4lbs back on over my leave (*silent scream*) and decided I needed some help to get me back on it. So I bought The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. There's also the Roasting Tin with meat recipes too.

I've not made anything yet (arrived yesterday) but it's got some very simple recipes, some take about half an hour or so (Including prep time) others between 45mins to an hour - all easy to do.

There are carbs included in some of the recipes (though carb cycling can be good for weight loss once or twice a week apparently?), but you can just tweak the ingredients to your own needs.

Might be worth a look at both books for some inspo... Think I'll be getting the meat one too. 🙂

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my mate has those books and loves them too - thanks I'll give that a go!

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I totally understand how you feel. It can be time consuming and when juggling all the other stuff life throws at us it’s hard to keep up. But my experience in the past is that just when I say ‘oh it’s ok I kind of know what to eat now, I won’t bother with MFP’ that’s when I lose focus and end up back at square one. And that seems to happen at the half stone point.

I do think though that the suggestions above about finding a few no-brainer fallbacks could save a lot of time so I’m going to try that.

This week coming my husband is away all week, kids have loads of stuff going on as do I at work so I’m going to try and plan my week ahead of things. My other fallback is calorie counted ready meals but I still need to make something for the kids which can defeat the purpose a bit!

Good luck and have a great weekend. 🙂

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Literally - this. I had a go at going it alone (without MFP) on Saturday and went 200cals over! I thought I was doing really well. Clearly I still need help.

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I've have been logging my calories on my laptop, breakfast, lunch, dinner, now I just print the weeks off and pick out my individual meals which already tells me the calories, so no counting. the weighing can be a bit tedious but so many things come already weighed. Good luck and well done with the weight loss

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Good planning :)

Have you had a look at the Daily Diary yet? healthunlocked.com/nhsweigh... It can be really helpful in keeping you to your plans because you've put them "in writing", as well as for getting feedback and pinching ideas :)

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I agree that if you do LCHF you certainly don't need to count calories, or bother with portion sizes, but you do need to be sure you ARE truly doing LCHF, and I think also that a good part of your diet is leafy greens. After a bit cooking low carb is really second nature.

Another trick is the whole IF thing--or keeping your meals confined to a window of the day. In other words, don't have your first bite of food until as late as possible in the morning, and have your last bite as early as possible. (11:00 am to 7:00pm?) Huge meals if you like, but NO SNACKING.

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I eat some cheese and maybe ham when get in, main meal between 9 - 10pm then loads of mascarpone, creme fraiche and berries which is eaten slowly to last me the rest of evening. I've never eaten early esp in last 18 years in Spain - hopefully body is used to it by now!

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Oh, Spain--I remember the late meals! I don't know how you get around that. Berries and cream for me too after dinner, but eaten all at once and right away.

I used to eat slowly through the night until bed...that was one of the things I changed. But I suppose you could do that--it just means you might not want to eat your first bite of food until 3:00 or so the next day. The idea is to give your body a nice long window to reset the insulin system.

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Wow. I've had a really busy weekend and not logged into HU. Suddenly I come back and here is the most helpful batch of comments ever! Really want to THANK you all for taking the time - I need this support more than I know. I had a party to host on Saturday and made a low carb cake (yum) which went well, but slightly overdid it on the prosecco (oops) and ended up way over my calorie target (I thought I'd done really well!). So clearly I'm not quite ready to go without MFP. As so many have said, it needs to become second nature. I'm going to stick with MFP until it IS second nature, because I really want this to become normal and easy.

Also really grateful for Lesley1234567 and IvanTheHorrible's exchange because I do often under-do the calories which makes me feel tired and rubbishy. I don't miss carbs but I miss the easy way you can just stick toast on and not worry about looking at the ingredient & nutrition lists all the time. I'll look at the Atkins plan and see if there's anything I can pick out to make it easy.

Lots of you mentioned treating yourself to M&S and other pre-made bits. Got any low-carb recommendations for ready meals? THANK YOU again - Supermarmite :-)

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Hey all. Just wanted to report in that I took all of your advice - been alternating easy meals (ham + veg, cheese salad) with the odd shop bought thing (Tesco Thai chicken soup, Aldi chicken jalfrezi) that I'm having with extra leafy greens. Feels easier. Also downloaded the Atkins diet plans which are pretty simple recipes and really tasty for the most part. Planned the week ahead - diet fatigue over come, raring to go. Thanks so much for your help and inspiration.

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