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What do I need to change to lose weight?

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#1 Lifesgood

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:07 PM

Please help! I really need to shift some weight - not a lot, but enough that its making me feel unhappy. I've been gaining weight as I get older (turning 50 end of this year) and I'm short, so am starting to look very dumpy and none of my clothes are fitting me. I want to lose around 5-10kgs.

I need some advice on how to change my diet in a sustainable way. I eat mostly healthily, obviously too much though! And wine is a weakness, but only on weekends.

In terms of exercise I am gradually building up how much I do but its a case of finding time for a sustainable exercise regimen. Currently I play soccer on Sundays (1hr 20mins), soccer training on Thursdays (1.5 hours), pilates on Mondays (1 hour) and yoga on Weds (1 hour).

My usual eating pattern on a well-behaved day is something like:
  • Breakfast - 2 pcs spelt sourdough with butter (lots) and a cup of coffee
  • Lunch - sushi (2 rolls)
  • Afternoon snack - rice crackers and cheese or a mandarin
  • Dinner - salmon, potatoes, green veges or pasta with home made pesto/chicken/parmesan
  • Other - tea (x 2 cups), cappuccino (x1), peppermint tea (x1), water (x 3 glasses)

On a not-so-well behaved day I would have:
  • Breakfast - same
  • Lunch - grilled chicken, fries, slaw
  • Dinner - 2 egg omelette with 1 piece toast
  • Snack - packet of chips (chips are a weakness)
  • Other - same, but maybe 2 cappuccinos

Friday nights is pizza night at our house - I eat 3/4 of a dinner-plate sized home-made pizza.

On weekends I usually drink 2-3 glasses of wine each night with dinner, and have 3-4 squares of dark chocolate after dinner. I don't usually drink alcohol other than this, unless we are socialising, and I don't eat sweets (including biscuits, cakes or desserts) at all really - very rare occasions.

Another factor to consider is that I follow a low FODMAP diet to manage IBS so I am limited in what I can eat.

Any helpful thoughts or ideas on how I can change things in a lasting way so I can shift the weight and keep it off?

Thanks in advance!

#2 born.a.girl

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:15 PM

I can only suggest the 16 - 8 method which works for me and many others, but plenty more find it doesn't.

I've now done exactly as I've done on return from each holiday, changed my eating habits, and started eating breakfast again.  I've just turned that around in this week and stopped, ignoring the bellowing from my stomach, which takes about three weeks to subside.

Obviously when there's a free breakfast thrown in :ph34r: I'm not going to knock it back. Also we buy muesli & oats and have that for breakfast when it's not, to avoid having to buy all food out.  I'm therefore generally eating about 2.5 meals when I'm away.  Back, I eat breakfast, and because I'm home, start lusting after last night's leftovers by twelve, and still eat dinner.  It's not a huge amount by any means, but I've calculated my daily calorie needs as only about 1400 - 1500, even with reasonable exercise (2k walk 5 x times a week, yoga x 3, pilates x 3 plus several gym sessions).

I'll stop putting it on now that I've disciplined myself to not eat breakfast and once I'm back in that habit, will reduce a bit of food to ditch the 3 - 4 kg I've gained in only that many weeks!

#3 Caribou

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:18 PM

Come join us over at the weight loss thread!

I use MFP (my fitness pal) to track what I eat and the calories I use, and 16:8. I don’t ‘skip’ breakfast I just eat it later. Stops me snacking mindlessly if I have an eating window.

#4 Caribou

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:19 PM

Edited to add: I’m also following low FODMAP diet and there are great recipes out there for that.

#5 JBH

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:21 PM

I did the online 4 week version of the CSIRO Protein Plus diet, which was a good learning experience in terms of how much vegetable matter a good diet contains, and what is the size of an “indulgence”.

A typical day on that program is:
Breakfast - overnight oats (quarter cup oats, half cup high protein low fat milk, half cup low fat high protein yogurt, half apple, 2 tspn chia), white coffee
Lunch - lots and lots of salad vegetables, hard boiled egg or mini tin tuna, 2 slices Burgen bread
Snack - vegetable sticks and slice of cheese
Dinner - 200g meat, fish or tofu or legume equivalent, lots and lots of vegetables, 2 tspn olive oil or 1 tbsn avocado

You also get 7 “indulgences” per week, and they are tiny. A “normal” glass of wine is 2, and the pizza you describe is probably 3.  I went through much less olive oil than usual in that month.  However, I was not hungry.

I find it very, very hard to shift weight, but I did eating consistently like that. I have maintained by eating like that during the week and being a bit more relaxed on weekends.

I’ll admit I don’t know how your dietary needs would fit in, but the key message is to fill up mostly on vegetables. Common sense I suppose, but I benefitted from the structure for a while.

#6 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:22 PM

I’d put everything into one of the calorie counter apps so you can see exactly where the calories are coming from. Then you can decide what to do. And make sure you are honest about quantities - I’ve seen quite a few people lie to themselves about volume of a particular item, and of course that makes a big difference :)

#7 born.a.girl

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:24 PM

View PostCaribou, on 10 July 2019 - 03:18 PM, said:

Come join us over at the weight loss thread!

I use MFP (my fitness pal) to track what I eat and the calories I use, and 16:8. I don’t ‘skip’ breakfast I just eat it later. Stops me snacking mindlessly if I have an eating window.

I do actually have muesli with extra oats for lunch. :)

Off topic, the oats have got my cholesterol from 7.1 down to 5.6.  Only one point to go to be top normal. Have not changed anything else, and the last one was after a holiday so probably up a bit.

#8 Beancat

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:26 PM

yep come and join us in the weight loss thread we are very friendly:)

My immediate observations:

Your activity levels are pretty good - could in fit in one more cardio session per week?
What is your ration of good to bad days?
How large are your slices of toast?  There is potentially heaps of calories here - can you suffice with one slice?
Wine is my weakness too.  I usually drink fri, sat and sunday and can easily consume 2 bottles. wine is a killer on calories and makes you eat more bad food

I think your weekends are undoing your efforts.  Slightly cut back during the week - do you know how many calories you are eating a day? Cut back the wine and chocolate. Don't get rid of it but limit yourself to 1-2 glasses per weekend day. Homemade pizza can be quite healthy - halve the cheese and use wholemeal pita or mountain bread as a base

#9 Zippypeaks

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:29 PM

Try calorie counting - it might surprise you (for example, there are more calories in dark chocolate than milk chocolate, it’s just that dark chocolate is bitter, so people tend to eat less of it). I got a PT once a week, she would kick my butt, which made me not want to ruin all my hard work with a crummy diet and I try and do something active for at least 30 mins every day.

#10 kerilyntaryn

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:32 PM

I'd up the water levels to 8 to 10 glasses a day and eat within a 12 hour period eg 7 to 7,  watch carbs including potato, corn, sweet potato, limit fats/sugars to a miniscule amount.  5 veg, 2 fruit per day,  watch portion sizes

#11 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:38 PM

I'm exactly the same - short and need to lose about 3-5kg.  (I've lost about 5 in the recent past, and am struggling with the final few).

You are doing a lot more exercise than I am!  That's a good start.

For me, the best way (not the easiest) is a combination of the 5:2 and low carb.  I lost the 5kg on low carb, and haven't put it back on by following a vague 5:2.  Also eating more at lunch time and minimising dinner, with no after dinner snacks.

I am finding the last 5kg REALLY hard.  I'm now fluctuating - I get down to 3kg to lose, then bounce back up to 5 again.

#12 Kabu84

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:39 PM

I don't know if this helps but I tend to lose weight if I ditch the bread, lower carbs and increase the (healthy) fats. Increasing the fats is essential as it lowers your appetite, stabilises blood sugar and reduces how often and how much you need to eat.

So today I had:
Breakfast - Coconut milk smoothie with berries and cacao powder.
- Lunch (from a cafe) - Bowl of greens, avo, salmon, rice, some sort of sauce.
- Mid afternoon snack: Homemade chicken soup with a dollop of pesto on top (bought the pesto at a market)
- Dinner will be either sausages and veg or leftover mince and veg

When I eat this way I feel full and satisfied and still lose weight.

#13 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:39 PM

Yes come join us at the weight loss thread. A nice friendly bunch and they help keep me motivated when I really don't want to stick to healthy eating.

I can see a couple of places which might be impacting. 1 tablespoon of butter is a lot of calories, add in the bread and that might be part of the downfall. Also what type of sushi? Rice is calorie dense. And if you are talking one whole long roll of sushi that is about 1 cup of rice which alone around 240 calories. So 2 is 500 calories in rice alone. I'm not sure about low foodmap but maybe some sort of salad with fish or chicken for protein? Maybe using My fitness pal will help lay out where all the calories are.

I also do the 16:8. I don't eat breakfast, but I eat something around 11/11.30 and then don't eat after 6. I am losing slowly, but steadily. And that's just diet alone, I won't talk about exercise.

#14 AllyK81

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:51 PM

When I need to lose a couple of kilos I quit dairy and bread (even sourdough). I never eat potatoes. Basically cut out anything white.

Eat large quantities of leafy greens to fill up. Green smoothies are delicious for breakfast (frozen banana, handful of kale, handful of spinach, half an avocado, almond milk and super green powder, few sprigs of mint).

The older I get the more exercise I need. The amount you are doing would not cut it for me. I am nearly 38 and like to stay around 60kg. I am 5 foot 2.

I take an hour of tap class a week, an hour of jazz, 2 spinning classes, 2 pilates classes and a barre class. I then do 2 - 3 weights sessions (I have a home gym for that so it is easier to squeeze in) and I run or walk every day for a minimum of 30 minutes. It is a LOT but it is what I need (mentally as well as physically!).

#15 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:55 PM

See a dietitian.

Your diet doesn't look inherently alarming.  But it's the amounts of food and combinations that could be key. You could cut back on higher carb/starch foods, like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 10 July 2019 - 03:57 PM.

#16 Abernathy

Posted 10 July 2019 - 03:58 PM

Cut out bread, pasta, potatoes white rice. You’ll see a change with just those few changes.

#17 nom_de_plume

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:09 PM

I know people hate to hear this but weight loss at its simplest is calories in being less than calories out.

I would track your food using a free app like My Fitness Pal or pen and paper and a calorie counting book (or online equivalencies such as Calorie King). Be honest, weigh and track everything, and I think you’ll find you’re eating much more than you think.

I can see potentials for hidden calories in a few places:
How much butter are you putting on your toast? It’s very calorie dense. So is cheese.
What size coffees are they? What milk is in them? Are you adding any sugar or syrups?
Pesto can also be quite calorific as it’s generally made with nuts, herbs and cheese/oil.
You also need to track any sauces or gravies you’re having and the oil/butter you cook in.

After tracking your food I’d stick to the recommended serving size where possible, and look to introduce more lean protein to your diet as it will keep you fuller for longer.

I would also look to introduce another 1-2 sessions of exercise in your week. Something like weights or HIIT.

#18 skicat

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:22 PM

Lots of calories in snack foods- rice crackers, dry biscuits, chips, cheese & dips so try to avoid.
No butter, 1 slice of thin toast, watch the latte & alcohol intake (drinking the calories)
I find different flavoured teas are good.
Have cooked rice but only 1/4 cup, no pasta ( what we do here), 1/2 potato boiled or roasted. I cook vege based soups ie cauliflower & carrot, tomato & roast capsicum.
Spray olive oil, salad dressings watered down with vinegar (less oil).

#19 .Jerry.

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:23 PM

Calorie counting and sticking to it will make you lose weight.
I lost 15kg pretty easily by sticking to a 1200-1400 calorie per day diet.

I didn't give up anything.  Ate sugar, bread, alcohol.  
You just have to eat smaller amounts.

I used My Fitness Pal to count calories, but I didn't weigh food, so allowed myself a bit of leeway.

I don't exercise.  Hate exercising, so mine was food control only.

I like following The Fitness Chef on Facebook/Instagram.  He shows the calorie comparisons and gives simple advice.  He is very much in favour of people having treats, as some "healthy" foods are high in calories.

#20 jojonbeanie

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:31 PM

Where are your vegetables?

#21 JomoMum

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:50 PM

At a brief glance, the toast for breakfast and sushi for lunch is very (empty) carb heavy.

I’d be switching breakfast to something like a fried egg with some avo and spinach (just chuck it all in the fry pan). If you need the toast, buy a seed dense loaf. Or when it’s warmer, I do a smoothie with some banana, almond milk, big handful of baby spinach, some avocado, vanilla protein powder. Sooo yummy.

Lunch, maybe try to add in more salad with some protein and some good fat like avocado or some nuts, and cut out the rice.

I’ve had my most success with weight loss when I combined 16:8 intermittent fasting, with a very loose version of high protein and fat, low carb.

Edited by JomoMum, 10 July 2019 - 04:51 PM.

#22 Lifesgood

Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:59 PM

Wow, a lot of suggestions, thanks everyone!

I have calorie counted previously and it doesn't work sustainably for me. I get fed up with measuring and inputting everything and stop bothering.

I need something simpler and easier to adopt and stick to. I hadn't thought about 16:8 or 5:2 - I don't understand exactly what they are but assume the 16:8 is fasting for 16 hours each day? And 5:2 is some kind of fasting 5 days a week?

I guess cutting down on white carbs is another easy one to adopt and would force me to eat more low-calorie veges.

I think I will cut down to 1-2 glasses of wine on weekends and perhaps drop the cappuccino/s - I could replace with black tea or peppermint tea. If I cut out breakfast and perhaps take a boiled egg to work for morning tea instead that should help. Also like the sound of the CSIRO diet, might try that.

And I will need to come up with more exercise alternatives as soccer season finishes in a few weeks. A PT or HIIT session once a week is a good idea but will have to be in a park as I am not a member of a gym (don't like gyms, or gym classes).

And thanks for the invitations to join the weight loss thread but I always feel a bit of a fraud as I'm not actually overweight - just uncomfortable with my weight gain and starting to look dumpy. I could go back to my dietician (the one who helped with my IBS) and see if she could help me but again I think she'd just say you are a healthy weight, go away.

#23 NikiOne

Posted 10 July 2019 - 05:01 PM

What about your incidental exercise. Can you walk to the shops or part of the way to work?

#24 Lifesgood

Posted 10 July 2019 - 05:02 PM

View Postjojonbeanie, on 10 July 2019 - 04:31 PM, said:

Where are your vegetables?
With lunch and dinner - I usually have some kind of salad with lunch unless I'm having sushi and I always have 2-3 serves of veges with dinner, except for pizza night (even then our home made pizza has lots of veg on it). Our omelettes are also loaded with veges.

But like most people I could eat more veges!

#25 Lifesgood

Posted 10 July 2019 - 05:04 PM

View PostNikiOne, on 10 July 2019 - 05:01 PM, said:

What about your incidental exercise. Can you walk to the shops or part of the way to work?
Not really, I don't have time - but I could try to work some in to my routine. I'd rather do more sport, particular team sport as it motivates me. I love soccer for example and can't wait to train and play.

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