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Old 06-04-2016, 08:38 PM   #21
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I don't eat very healthy but have never been overweight. I can't eat as much as I used to but I still eat 2300+ calories most days. I'm 6'6" 175 lbs so I burn a lot of calories just doing basic daily activities. After being mostly sedentary for the last decade, i've started biking regularly. I've biked 400+ miles since May 1st. I've increased my calories a little and gained a little muscle so my weight is the same as before starting to exercise. I suspect that when the weather cools down and I can no longer bike, then I will have to lower my calories or I will gain fat. I only drink water so that helps. In fact I think that may be the best thing a person can do to stay healthy.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:00 PM   #22
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This is an issue I could talk a lot about (probably because I've had a weight loss blog for 2 1/2 years -- if I mention it I get asked where it is so will simply say that I have the link in my profile).

I lost about 65 pounds and am at normal weight. I will speak from the standpoint of someone who has been overweight.

1. There is no one way to lose weight. I read a lot of weight loss blogs, have read a lot of scientific articles, and have a lot of readers of my blog who have talked about their struggles. People lose weight a lot of different ways and it is, in my opinion, individual as to what works for the particular person.

2. For me, personally, my most successful method of losing weight was to use Weight Watchers. I do best with a lowish carb diet (averaging about 100 g of carbs a day while losing weight, a bit more now that I am maintaining).

3. The biggest factor that I have seen in successful long term weight loss is commitment to the weight loss and commitment to maintaining. Someone with a short term mentality of wanting to lose weight quickly and then go back to eating how they ate before will usually regain regain.

4. I do not just eat food to survive. We eat food for lots of reason. We eat food because it is pleasurable. We eat food as part of social events. We eat food as part of cultural traditions. A successful way of eating in my opinion has to appeal to all the reasons we eat food. If we are miserable with how we are eating we will not successfully lose weight and maintain the weight loss. A very good book that talks about this is The Diet Fix by Dr. Yani Freedhoff. I highly recommend it.

5. So there is the tradeoff. I want to eat food that I like for pleasure and to be social and to take part of holidays and special occasions. At the same time I didn't want to be over 200 pounds any more. For me, I found that portion control worked best. There is literally no food that I have said that I will not eat for weight reasons (I don't eat beef, but that is not for weight reasons). But, there are some foods I eat very, very, very infrequently. For example, I love the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel at Panera. It is a lot of calories and, more importantly, a lot of sugar. I ate it and tested my blood sugar (I am not diabetic but am a little insulin resistant) and saw how much it raised my blood sugar. I haven't had a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel in 15 months (yes, I remember the last one). But, I don't say that I "can't" have one. I can have one and maybe I will have one sometime.

As I was losing weight, there were so many times the option would come up to eat some yummy food and I consciously asked myself whether I wanted the short-term pleasure of the food or whether I wanted to lose weight. Most of the time I chose to lose weight.

6. While what works is individual there are certain things that I have seen personally and with others and in research that helps most people. For example, I weigh every day in the morning. On maintenance, if I go up more than a couple of pounds I start being more careful on what I eat. While I was losing weight I looked at the pattern over time not just an individual day. When I don't weigh daily, I gain weight. Period.

Also, I track what I eat. I track both on the Weight Watchers site and on MyFitnessPal. I have not missed a day of tracking in over 1000 days. I recently had surgery and couldn't see much for about a week. During that week, I dictated what I ate to my husband and then I recorded it after I was able to see. Because I have a long history of tracking it is very fast now and takes me only a few minutes each day as almost everything is in the database now.

7. There are some foods that are hard for me to portion control. I don't forbid myself from having them. However, I don't buy them in large quantities for the house. I like potato chips. I will have a small bag at Panera when I eat there. I don't buy a big bag for the house because it makes it too difficult. When my daughter was living at home and buying chips for her I had her put them in a drawer where I wouldn't see them. I eat dark chocolate several days a week (I break off one small square) and I can do that with no problem, but I can't have large bags of chips or cookies in the house or I will tend to go off track. It makes it ever so much easier to have food in the house that supports the way I want to eat.

8. When I was losing weight and even now, there are certain restaurants that I tend to avoid or eat at rarely. I can eat a reasonable meal (caloriewise) almost anywhere. But, some restaurants I mostly like what it is really high calorie and find it difficult to eat there reasonably. So...I mostly don't go to those restaurants. I like California Pizza Kitchen, but find it hard to eat what I like there. So I don't go there very often (I haven't been there in a couple of years). Some restaurants I have fairly strict rules that I will eat there no more often than once a month or once a quarter or even once a year depending on the restaurants. Other restaurants I could eat at every day and still lose/maintain weight (Panera, Chili's, for example).

9. After I got to my goal weight I went to a lab and actually had my Resting metabolic rate tested and I have a lower RMR rate than you would expect based upon my size and my body fat (had that tested also). My RMR tested at 1120 which is really low. What that means is that I still must eat very carefully in order to maintain my weight and I must exercise in order to be able to eat very much. On a day that I am at home (1 story home, not a lot of walking needed) and don't exercise I can easily burn less than 1300 calories. So, I need to burn some calories through exercise be able to eat more than about 1300 calories a day.

10. If you can't exercise it makes it more difficult. I recommend getting RMR tested to see what you are actually burning. I had surgery almost 4 weeks ago and could not exercise and still can't do more than mild walking for several weeks. So I have to be more careful about what I eat than I was when I was walking several days a week and strength training twice.

11. If it is just not liking exercise, my best advice is to find something you like or can distract yourself during exercise. For example, I find that I like walking in our hilly neighborhood with my husband. It is a good time for us to be able to chat uninterrupted by anything else. And, because we talk the time passes very quickly. During the summer it is too hot to walk outside so I use a treadmill or exercise bike. I don't love those but I play something from the DVR to distract me and it makes it tolerable. I also find that I don't like walking real fast (I have a bad knee and can't run) so I do better increasing intensity through incline rather than speed so much. I also found that I tend to like the elliptical (again need to read or watch a show while I do it). Before surgery, I worked with a trainer twice a week on strength training. I mostly used the trainer because otherwise I was too tempted to skip sessions. But, I knew it was important to do for good health.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:30 PM   #23
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I have watched my weight most of my life so when I found myself 10 pounds over my upper limit I went crazy . I still eat everything but I have cut portions in half and I only eat two meals a day . These few restrictions have resulted in a forty pound weight loss .
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:33 AM   #24
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@Katsmeow, thanks for the long post. I enjoyed reading it probably because it echoes some of the things that happen to me. For instance, my wife will buy a bag of chips for the kids or a 1 lb bag of M&M's and I will eat all of them in one day. So I ask her to not buy them because I have no willpower to not eat them.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:05 AM   #25
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While w*rking, I used to walk about 3 miles a day just back and forth to/from the train station and during my lunch break. During the first year or two of ER, I had put on about 15 lbs due to inactivity and eating more and not so good.

Now, I've lost that 15 lbs and pretty much my weight stays plus or minus 5 lbs. I do try to do the moving around at least about 30 mins a day (treadmill during cold months, bicycle during warmer month or rain, plus dumbells for toning). Also, I cut down a lot of the white stuff (white bread, pasta, rice and replaces with grain and wheats). The switch helped stop the craving. Oh yeah, only drink soda occassionally too and no more oreo cookies .
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:38 AM   #26
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When I found myself uncomfortably over my target weight a couple years ago (almost 190 for someone who should be 160-170) I started doing HIIT workout daily and started eating less and eating better. Amazing how quickly the pounds melting off and how much better I felt. Now I've leveled off between 162 and 164 using this approach:
1) Run 2-3 miles, 3-5 days a week
2) If it's cold out, skip the running and do some other kind of aerobic activity (I picked up some battle ropes for my basement- it's a great aerobic and resistance combo)
3) Free weights on days I don't run (and some days that I do run but lighter).
4) Keep moving; the more I sit around the more I want to snack... bad combo!
5) Eat healthier; more whole foods and less junk food.
6) Smaller portions- and adding more protein and fiber fills me up faster.
7) Drink lots of water- fills you up and good for you.
8) No soda and less alcohol. Still have an occasional beer, wine or mixed drink but not every day.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:52 AM   #27
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I've dropped 28 lbs over the last 9 months...4" off the waist. Went from borderline obese to upper normal. Going to drop 2-3 more and call it good.

I did this by aiming for 1600 calories/day with a 40/30/30 carb/protein/fat mix and doing the elliptical/bike ride 3x per week. Like ER, it's all about asset allocation and keeping costs low -- Planet Fitness is $10/mo. though replacing clothes is expensive

My observations:

1). I was/am essentially a sugar alcoholic. There is no such thing as just one

2). I think the glycemic index is the real deal

3). If it doesn't go into MyFitness Pal, it doesn't go into my mouth

4). Binge watching on the elliptical is great. I essentially lost all my weight while watching "Black Sails"

5). Becks Lite (64 calories) and all natural peanut butter are the answer to most of life's problems.
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:56 AM   #28
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For instance, my wife will buy a bag of chips for the kids or a 1 lb bag of M&M's and I will eat all of them in one day. So I ask her to not buy them because I have no willpower to not eat them.
Once when I was in my 20s I bought a bag of red licorice pieces, started on them, and had finished them on the drive home. It kind of scared me- typically I don't eat like that. My mother had once made the intelligent observation, though, that sweet stuff leaves an aftertaste in your mouth that makes you want to eat more sweet stuff to get rid of it. Vicious cycle. I've never bought a bag of red licorice since and if I do eat a small portion of something in that category, I follow it up with water or something else to eliminate the aftertaste. (Mom always said her downfall was those chewy gumdrop-textured spearmint leaves.)

Other thoughts on eating habits that keep my weight down: I like spicy. Sometimes you're slowed down when eating spicy foods, and I've also found that, with Indian food in particular, the flavors are so intense and complex you feel full with less food- especially less, or even no, meat.

I also like texture. Think of all the processed stuff they sell- so much of it is soft, lacks fiber, engineered to go down quickly. Having to actually chew food slows you down, as you've noticed if you ever had a large salad while out with friends who ordered burgers. (And why do you think they call smaller burgers "sliders"?) Simple example: orange juice (orange juice with pulp removed most of the time, plus water and sometimes sugar or, God forbid, high-fructose corn syrup) vs. a whole orange, which has to be taken apart and chewed, pulp and no extra sweeteners. Same with squishy white bread vs. a nice crunchy variety with whole grains and seeds.

With more taste and more crunch, I can enjoy a lot more food with fewer calories.
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Old 06-05-2016, 08:21 AM   #29
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Portion Control
For me it's some of that, but I need to cut down on sweets and beer. I don't drink beer everyday, but when I do I might have two or three. That's when I meet friends at the local pub. More of a social thing. Guess I need to be less social. And I have always had a sweet tooth. You name it.....I like it. When I make up my mind, I can eliminate those completely and substitute fruit. I'm 6' and feel pretty good about myself when I'm in the 175-180lbs. In my 30's I stayed around 175lbs. So got some work to do, about 10lbs worth.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:06 AM   #30
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As I wrote on that other thread, I took off - and kept off - 40 pounds about 15 years ago. Combination of newly-found exercise regimen and portion control.
My fighting weight is 178-182. Whenever I hit the 182 mark I'm especially careful about my portion sizes. I don't diet, per se, and I definitely don't eat classical healthy foods. I have a bagel, or often a flagel ( a bigger flat bagel) almost every morning for breakfast, and tuna or lox on a bagel almost every day for lunch. I generally eat a light dinner.
Oh, yeah, I have a cup of low fat chocolate ice cream every night for dessert and usually chocolate chip cookie after my lunch sandwich.
I was seriously ill for all of April and part of May, and still have residuals of low stamina. So, I did no exercise in April and am only now slowly and steadily getting back to my normal exercise regimen. I gained 5 pounds and hit that 182 mark, so it's back to more diligent portion watching for me.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:06 AM   #31
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Many diets will help one lose weight, but the big variable is finding a meal plan that will allow you maintain healthy eating without regressing. Right now, I am about 175 lbs at 5'10", and I've been able to stay very close to that for some time by watching what I eat. Nevertheless, there is much room for improvement in my nutrition, as I could stand to lose another 15 lbs based on my frame. My big bugaboo is snacking at night, but I try to limit that to low cal popcorn, some fruit, and a few pieces of low fat cheese. Also, for me, being diabetic, I have to watch my carb intake, and try to get around 30g protein at each meal. Tough for a pasta and pizza lover

Exercise wise, I play softball 2x a week, and workout at the gym 3X. I used to lift pretty heavy doing the big compound lifts, but have lightened up as I've gotten older. Cardio wise, I get benefit from the softball, hitting the heavy bag and pushing a weight sled at the gym.

I will also say that never under estimate the benefit that walking can give to you if you don't like other forms of exercise(suggest at least 3 miles/day), however, I no longer walk due to the other fitness activities.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:01 AM   #32
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I have watched my weight most of my life so when I found myself 10 pounds over my upper limit I went crazy . I still eat everything but I have cut portions in half and I only eat two meals a day . These few restrictions have resulted in a forty pound weight loss .
Do you get hungry at all, or were you eating twice as much food as you needed to. How long have you maintained your new weight?

I do something very similar to this but after about 12 years, I find my weight is rising slowly and even with a lower carb diet I have to think about everything I put into my mouth to keep my pants from getting too snug.

I think my body has adjusted to my new eating habits and it takes less food then it used to for me to gain pounds.

It's a pain and sometimes I feel like a hamster in a wheel. If I let up for a moment things quickly go to my hips. Not what I was expecting in my early 60's. I can still be very active, I don't know what I'll do when my activity level starts to drop.
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Old 06-05-2016, 10:11 AM   #33
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Daily exercise.. strenuous walk/hike 4-5 miles day. We do a lot of walking when we travel (4-5 months a year) so this also keeps us in shape. If we can walk instead of drive somewhere we do.

Grapefruit and one dry grain toast for breakfast each morning. Fresh fruit for lunch-oranges/pineapple, etc. Sometimes add a piece of cheese or some lean mean-chicken, etc. Cheese is usually cheddar or some feta at night in a salad. Two eggs once in a while, maybe every second week or so.

Grilled meat/fish (lean) for dinner. Salad every night-usually w/balsamic vinegar dressing. No fatty salad dressings. Sometimes a touch of olive oil. Often add some grilled or steamed veg. Not a potato lover so I do not bother with them...dw does.

Seldom have dessert. This was a challenge because I have a sweet tooth. Cut back on wine from a glass or two a day to a glass perhaps twice/three times week. Have never liked soda very much so no issue there. Lots of coffee. I take it with just of touch of 2% milk. If I want something sweet I may have a piece of very good chocolate. Something high end that has a high cocoa content and a much lower sugar content. Cost is the same as a candy bar since I eat so much less of it.

No butter. The only oil we use is olive oil. No more that one or two slices of bread per day-dry.

No fast food, no processed food, no junk snacks. Keep then out of the house.

Hard to do this when we travel. I will put 4-5 lbs on over eight weeks of travel but it comes off very quickly once I am home. Like others, my metabolism has changed. Both of us have changed our eating habits to adjust. Eating this way is more work. We shop more often for fresh fruit/veg. Food prep often takes longer because it is not out of a box or package. After a while we started to find that our taste buds improved. If we do taste a processed food, lets say a sample in a grocery store, we find it all has a chemical taste to us. We stray from our normal food routine sometimes but after a day or two we feel the need to get back on it because we feel much less sluggish.


Don't count calories or BMI. Just ensure that our weight is in range, that our clothes are not tight, and that we feel good physically and feel good about ourselves.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:29 PM   #34
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I must be a fantasist because I have never even considered portion control. I think the goal of my eating is pleasure, nutritional adequacy, and keeping insulin low. But better educated members than I have said that insulin in only one among many factors, and that the rubber meets the road with cico.

So who knows, obviously not me!


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Old 06-05-2016, 12:58 PM   #35
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@aaronc879 Have you considered an indoor trainer? I have no personal experience, but they're quite popular with riders where weather can keep them indoors for extended periods.

Example: Amazon.com : Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand : Resistance Bike Trainers : Sports & Outdoors
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:23 PM   #36
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@aaronc879 Have you considered an indoor trainer? I have no personal experience, but they're quite popular with riders where weather can keep them indoors for extended periods.

Example: Amazon.com : Conquer Indoor Bike Trainer Portable Exercise Bicycle Magnetic Stand : Resistance Bike Trainers : Sports & Outdoors
If I had my own home or lived on the first floor i'd use something like that but i'm on the third floor of an apartment building. If I used any kind of exercise equipment i'd be evicted quick. I know i'd be complaining to management daily if someone above me was using something like that. That's why i'm on the top floor. I'll just have to eat better to make up for the reduced exercise over the cold half of the year here in Wisconsin.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:31 PM   #37
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1. There is no one way to lose weight. I read a lot of weight loss blogs, have read a lot of scientific articles, and have a lot of readers of my blog who have talked about their struggles. People lose weight a lot of different ways and it is, in my opinion, individual as to what works for the particular person.

3. The biggest factor that I have seen in successful long term weight loss is commitment to the weight loss and commitment to maintaining. Someone with a short term mentality of wanting to lose weight quickly and then go back to eating how they ate before will usually regain regain.
These are the keys IMO.

We all have a different base metabolic rate, though you can alter your metabolism significantly with your eating and exercise habits. While 5-10% of us will be overweight without a herculean effort, there are lots of folks in developed countries who are unnecessarily overweight or obese.

The most effective way to maintain a healthy weight IME is a combination of mindful eating and exercise. Your body will find an equilibrium based on what you eat and the exercise/activity you maintain. Anything temporary is a waste of time. Maintaining a healthy weight is an ongoing lifestyle, not a program you follow only to revert to the prior lifestyle that led to unhealthy weight.

That does not mean you have to starve yourself or count calories obsessively - no one will maintain that indefinitely. You can't diet for a while and then revert to poor eating habits, or your weight will revert to what it was before (or worse, the yo-yo effect). Doing Weight Watchers for weeks or months may decrease your weight, but if you revert to your pre-WW eating habits, the weight will quickly come back and then some.

We all know the basic do's and don'ts by now, there's no magic bullet or shortcut. Need to be very conscious of saturated fats, sugars/simple carbs including alcohol. You need a combination of proteins, carbs and (good) fats - excluding any one is not healthy, they all have a purpose. Try to fill up on raw or steamed vegetables and just water, 4-6 ounces of lean protein, and go easy on carbs like potatoes, white rice and lots of processed foods. The calories nutritional info can be found on most foods, and in most restaurants (if you just ask).

I did Body for Life for several years, and those habits are largely still intact. What I found most helpful, was the concept of eating healthy six days/week and then splurging ONE day a week if I want to - literally eating anything I wanted one day a week. Like many, you find you don't want to splurge that often, but if you do, no problem. Or an event comes up where there's just too much temptation, you eat and drink what you want - no problem. The idea that you could splurge once a week makes it a lot easier to maintain a "program" IME. Denying yourself meal after meal, day after day, week after week, etc. - is too much. And it's not necessary...

And it doesn't mean you have to become a triathelete - VERY few will maintain that lifestyle indefinitely. You can't exercise like a madperson and then revert to a sedentary lifestyle, or your weight/fitness will revert to what it was before. It doesn't have to be conventional exercise, just something active, get off the couch! Though some folks want to just maintain good weight by diet alone, that alone does not guarantee good health. Being active is essential to good health, maintaining muscle mass, performing everyday tasks without risk of injury, etc.

You need to find a way to eat in moderation, and stick with it. You need to find exercises or just physical activities that you can stick with. If you splurge on food once a week or less, or miss exercise/activity every few days, it won't kill your body weight/fitness.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:36 PM   #38
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After a while we started to find that our taste buds improved. If we do taste a processed food, lets say a sample in a grocery store, we find it all has a chemical taste to us. We stray from our normal food routine sometimes but after a day or two we feel the need to get back on it because we feel much less sluggish.
I noticed that, too after I changed my eating habits a few years ago. It's MUCH easier for me to pass up packaged baked goods and other cheaper sweets because I know they'll leave a greasy film in my mouth or have a chemical aftertaste. It's interesting to take a detached look at in-store bakery offerings in the grocery store and see how much the focus is on eye appeal, which doesn't always translate into good taste. I save a lot of calories that way.
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Old 06-05-2016, 01:49 PM   #39
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I'm on my second week of Weight Watchers and have lost 5 lbs. Yes, much is "water weight" and I'm sure the loss will slow down. I have 15 lbs to go but I mainly badly needed to start eating better. I stopped all sugar. Since I'm also doing a kitchen remodel and have a temporary kitchen (tiny dorm-sized fridge, hot plate, microwave) I'm eating very simply but well. Eggs or oatmeal and berries for breakfast, big salad with veggies, tuna, egg, or garbanzo beans for lunch, and something simple like a chicken fajita (low carb low calorie wrap; meat; onion; peppers; salsa; avocado) for dinner. And drinking lots of water. It was rough the first couple of days but now I feel great, more energy, and little to no cravings. One thing I remember from past dieting has helped: if you are feeling hungry, do you crave a salad? If not, you are not really hungry. So much of this is in the mind, it seems to me.
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Old 06-05-2016, 02:09 PM   #40
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Another things I noticed about eating well is that having the right food in the house is the key.

We were lucky enough to get a new Aldi's and it's really helped me. I will go to the store more often since I can get in and out so quickly. They have fantastic deals on seasonal fruits and veggies. It's so easy to just walk up and down their small produce area and throw stuff in a basket. I've been going nuts on the 49 cents avocados for the last 3 weeks. Putting strawberries on my grilled chicken salads. And I'm saving money to boot.Most of my quick fresh produce/ cottage cheese runs cost me less then 20 bucks.
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