Sunday, April 18, 2010

My History of Diets

So, I've decided to make a list of all the diets I've tried over the years. This is not an effort in defeatism but a search and discovery. Like many people who struggle with their weight, I've had better success on some diets than on others. In making this list and recalling my experiences, I hope to discover what works best for me and to encourage you to do the same. Personally, I don't believe there is one "right" diet for everyone. I think we need to start paying attention to our bodies and our feelings to find our best and healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off.

Here goes (diets I've tried more than once or have followed for at least two weeks):

3-Day Diet
Atkins Diet
Atkins Diet Revolution
Beyond Pritikin
Cabbage Soup Diet
Carbohydrate Lover's Diet
Eat More, Weigh Less
Fit for Life
Low Carbohydrate Diet
Low Fat Diet
Master Cleanse
Slim Fast
Weight Watchers
The Zone

Diets I have read about, wanted to try an/or have tried for no more than one week:

Fat Flush Plan
McDougall Program
Mediterranean Diet
South Beach Diet
Sugar Busters

I'm sure I've missed some but this is still a frighteningly long list ... But, again, this is about discovering positive things that I can learn from and apply to my life.

The first thing I have discovered is that I do not do well on the restricted diets on which you can't snack when you want to or need to. I did not do well on the 3-day diet, Beyond Pritikin, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers or the Zone. On Beyond Pritikin, I had fewer cravings, so I only had to deal with the hunger.

Just to play my own devil's advocate I will tell you about people I've known who have had success on these programs: I had a friend in school who lost over 30 pounds by doing the 3-day diet every week and eating what she wanted the other four days of the week. I don't think she overate during her four "off days" but she also was not afraid to go out on the weekends and enjoy wine or cocktails. She has stayed pretty slim over the years.

I don't know anyone who has tried Beyond Pritikin for a long period of time but I do believe there are people who have had success. Like I said before, I did not have the cravings I have experienced on other programs and I think that goes a long way to supporting a persons efforts to lose weight. I also liked the simple food choices.

I know a few people who swear by Slim Fast for losing 10-15 pounds for special events. And, the flavors Slim Fast offer are very good. I think I have trouble with this, not only because of the restrictive nature of the diet but, also, because of the high sugar content. I find myself having a lot of cravings and feelling hungry through much of the day. I have tried mixing the shakes with 8-oz of 2% milk and sipping this mixture rather than drinking it in one sitting. This did help. Also, I do find this good in a pinch, like those times when someone in the office has brought two dozen Krispy Kremes to the office.

My mom's secretary has been on Weight Watchers for over 25 years. She lost at least 100 pounds and has kept most of it off. I don't think she's gained more than 15 pounds back and she immediately gets back on a stricter version of the program when she finds herself gaining weight. She usually eats meals she prepares herself rather than the pre-packaged ones. She's in her 60's now and still going strong. Honestly, she should be a spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

A woman I worked with went on The Zone for a few months. She had the meals delivered to her and lost about 20 pounds. She continued on the program for a couple of months after she had lost the weight and seems to have kept most of it off during the last few years.

What I have discovered that I can use in choosing and/or designing a weight loss program for myself:

1) I need a diet that allows me to snack throughout the day.
2) I need a diet that does not cause cravings, one with limited refined carbohydrates.

Well, that's all for now. I wish you well on your journey and hope you will share your questions and experiences with me.


PS - If you want a brief description of many of the popular and fad diets from the past and present, WebMd is a good source of information: "Evaluate Latest Diets."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taking the First Step

Welcome to those who happen upon this blog. I have been inspired by the many blogs I have found when seeking answers that give a personal perspective. I have learned great recipes, gained advice on organizing and been inspired by the many people who are blogging about their sewing and crafting. So, with a lot of reservations, but encouraged by fellow bloggers, I begin this journey into my own blog.

Like many people who want to change their lives, in very small or in enormous ways, I have been frustrated by day-to-day life, small failures, and huge life events, which can never be avoided. I have wondered why I haven't had that "light bulb" moment - or moments - which would change the course of my life forever. I have berated myself for not having more willpower, energy, faith ... And, I have given up one less time than I have tried to persevere.

But, I have given up one less time than I have tried to persevere, which means I have tried one more time than I have given up and I am still trying now. To me that means that there is still hope and life and the possibility for positive change.

In the next weeks, months ... year(s), I will strive to create a healthier lifestyle for myself, to be more social and socially conscious, and to be more creative. In other words, I will work to make a better life for myself and for those in my life.

It is my hope that some of my discoveries, adventures and stumbles along the way may prove helpful to you in your own journey. Whether it be diet, exercise, cooking, sewing, beading, or anything else I may share, I hope I may answer a question, offer an insight or even prove to be a cautionary tale.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments.