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Great expectations

So . . . I just joined this week and weighed myself (for the first time in a while) at 223.5 - more than I have ever been and way more than my 5'6" frame should be asked to hold up.

Of course, my goal is sustained weight loss and an end to yo-yo dieting (isn't that always the goal?). I am trying to set realistic goals for myself - weight loss that is fast enough to keep me motivated but slow enough to sustain over time. I've always heard that one to two pounds is the most that one should aspire to lose, but I am wondering what the latest thoughts are on that idea. I'd also love to know what people's experiences are with (a) goal-setting; and (b) actual sustainable weight loss.

Fri. Jun 2, 10:55pm

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i just want to say i love that book XD

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 2:14 AM

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I believe the general consensus will be that 1 - 2 pounds per week is the only healthy way to go. As for setting goals, Weight Watchers recommends that your first goal be losing 10% of your body weight. Some people prefer to make small, mini goals for themselves like 5 or 10 pounds at a time, and then they reward themselves when they reach those goals.

Probably the only way to achieve and then maintain your weightloss is to eat less and exercise more. Lots of people like to count calories and have a range for the day. The Weight Watchers points system works the same way, you have a certain number of "points" that you should eat per day, along with a few extra for special occasions or days you are just really hungry.

The main thing is that you start eating healthy, good for you foods (not just low calorie junk food) and watching the portion size. Good Luck!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 8:36 AM

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Instead of looking at the total amount I need to lose, I focus on losing 5 pounds per month. If you want to count the fat loss just think of it in terms of 20 sticks of butter!

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 9:09 AM

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1 to 2 lbs per week is considered safe and sustainable. However, it differs greatly from person to person when you're first starting out. If you're going from eating whatever you want, in large quantities, and never exercising, to eating healthy all the time and exercising 3-5 times a week, you'll see a bigger drop than 1 to 2 lbs for the first few weeks. If you've been trying to be healthy, and are now just getting serious about it, the weight probably won't come off faster than 1-2 lbs per week, as long as you're being healthy.

Also, you need to remember that as you start exercising, you will gain muscle, and muscle weighs a lot. You should take your measurements now, or judge by how tight clothes are, because you may lose, say, 10lbs in fat but gain 5lbs in muscle, and you'll be way smaller than if you had just lost the 5lbs of fat. Also, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does, so if you gain muscle, you'll eventually be able to consume more calories and still lose weight/fat! So, muscle is your friend, which makes pounds not necessarily your enemy!!

I've been doing PeerTrainer for over a year now, and am close enough to my goal that it's not reasonable for me to lose 1-2 lbs per week anymore; at that rate, I'd be too skinny in a few months. So now I have goals of getting X amounts of workouts in during the week, and I just started a goal of eating well for 5 days in a row - I'm on day 5 now, so I just upped it to 8 days in a row. I'll keep building as I go. That way, maybe it'll become habit!

The biggest thing that helped me was learning portion size, and learning what kinds of foods fill me up and which I can skip. I've personally never had a salad when I really wanted a burger, but on the other hand, I can't even remember the last time that I ate even a bite of the bun! I find that's an easy 150-200 calories to eliminate, and I don't miss it at all. At home, I'll snack on cheese (in moderate portions) or nuts, or other "high-cal" foods, but in controlled portions, because they're filling. I'll never snack on crackers or fat-free cookies, or baked chips, etc., b/c I could eat them all day and never be full! Even if they're less calories than things that I do eat, I see them as a waste of calories, b/c I'll still be hungry afterwards.

I'm not advocating low-carb (just realized that's what it sounded like!), I'm just advocating seeing what works for you, and then sticking to it. Find what you can cut w/o really missing it, and find out what treats still fit into your goals. If you find that you're constantly hungry on the reduced-calorie diet (or Points diet) that you're trying for, look back at your logs and see what unfilling foods you're eating, and try to replace them with foods that are filling (generally foods with protein, fiber, or fat).

Welcome!! You can do it!!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 9:53 AM

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above poster:

what a great post, and what sound advice. thanks! (I'm not the OP, but just happened to find it extremely helpful)

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 10:58 AM

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Thanks! :-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 9:32 PM

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excellent post 9:53. the very same actions 9:53 outlined worked for me when i had to loose a substaintal amount of weight. being boldly honest about your eating habits is really difficult to do. key word is "healthy": being, eating, lifestyle.

i don't advocate going cold turkey, but that's exactly what i did. i went cold turkey on soda (all, even diet), fast food (no-brainer), eating out (and made it more of a special occassion thing), desserts, red meat. i also started hitting the gym 4 times a week and doing cardio for an hour. these habits have lasted me nearly 15 years now. i've gained, but never the 60+ that i had on me. and i've also known what modifications i needed to make to lose what i gained. remember, you're not just losing weight, your creating a new lifestyle. It took me year and a half to lose the weight.

one thing that kept me on track and still does: reading labels. i'm still aghast at what manufactures tout as low-fat. gah! now i hardly ever eat anything that's processed-ready made.

Thanks everyone for sharing! You can totallly do it!

Sunday, June 04, 2006, 12:48 PM

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