Yet another diet rethink — 23 Comments

  1. “I’m afraid I may have leaped before looking sufficiently”

    No problem, Doug – am reading there also, since I need to get more serious about this. Eat a mandarin at 08 (with my pills and a vitamin), a granny apple at 10, a light lunch at 12 (mostly salads, with fish) and then dinner….. I love pizza and lasgna, steamed rice, Woks…. (Sigh)

    Think the real trick is the portions. Now that it is winter, I steam vegetables – carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, sesame and other seeds – and it tastes really good! But just as with the salads I bring for lunch, need to reduce the portions – since even the salads leave me feeling “stuffed!” 🙂

  2. I’m doing pretty well with Weight Watchers, but I realize that probably isn’t viable in Japan. Since the WW system is, in fact, basically another way of looking at portions and calories (with the difference that not all calories are created equal), I agree that you’re on the right track there.

  3. The basic problem with WW is the promise of unlimited this or that – particularly unlimited fruits. I center on the literal rules and try to take advantage of them. So it ends up not really working.

    The best WW experience I had was long ago in grad school in Michigan. Conversely, that was a time with the strictest WW rules.

    Loosening it up over the years actually made it harder for me to stay on in my opinion.

    I hear Oprah is back plugging WW again.


  4. Hmm…

    What’s wrong with us – not knowing “instinctively and naturally” what we need to do, to eat healthier, battle (probable) oncoming illmnesses (so many, including alzheimers, parkinsons, cancers – there is no end.)
    And maybe add a few more years to our lives.

    Have we become “slaves” to “new, more better faster” diet “solutions” here – for money?

    It is so much BS – since you and we, all know what we need to do, to eat and get healthier, and maybe live a bit longer also.

    And as a side-bar:
    Haven’t watched an Oprah show since she went off the networks, but remember she, like so many millions of us and others, had problems with weight loss and gain – up and down – then heard she bought Weight Watchers – or at least a controlling interest in it.
    Once upon a time (1986) worked for a business consulting company, founded by Michael Gerber and Thomas Travisano – and at the time was told that Thomas (a really nice guy) was also a co-founder of Weight Watchers. Amd at the time (1986) he was very overweight, and also chain-smoking.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Oprah show. Maybe it started after I moved to Japan.


  6. Yes, Oprah bought a block of WW stock and is also doing some ads. WW has been in financial trouble for a while now (stock value was WAY down) and their hope is that Oprah will help turn it around.

    The “unlimited” fruit actually hasn’t proven to be a problem, and I was at first somewhat surprised about that. The reality seems to be that nobody really wants to eat huge amounts of fruit indefinitely. A common experience for new WW people, according to what I hear in meetings, is to gorge for a week or two and then stabilize to a reasonable amount.

    The new WW points algorithm, released just a month or so ago, is quite interesting and a major change from past approaches. It strongly discourages both saturated fats and sugar (by increasing the point value of a food), and there’s no longer a “bonus” for high fiber. I’ve been kind of plateaued about 5 pounds from my weight goal for several months, so I’m hoping the new approach will help me finally get where I need to be.

  7. WW changes the plan every couple of years. I think it’s partly marketing – so they have something new to talk about – and partly changes based on current science. This is the first time, at least in my experience (of five years or more, and at least three major revisions of the plan) that they have directly targeted sugar as opposed to carbohydrates generally.

    It’s the new penalty for saturated fats that’s giving me a hard time, I got over the sugar thing years ago. Cheese has been a significant part of my diet and cutting it way back is pretty darn difficult.

    On the upside, my regular meeting leader is a slender woman who has been at her weight goal for several years. She was a beta tester for the new plan and dropped 8 pounds BELOW her goal in 4 months…

  8. Have we become “slaves” to “new, more better faster” diet “solutions” here – for money?

    I think it’s more that we have become “slaves” to very sophisticated marketing from giant multinational food corporations. They have essentially coerced much of the population into unthinkingly adopting a diet heavy in carbs and saturated fats because they can make money on those products.

    It’s certainly not necessary to pay money to get free of that system, but for some of us it’s worth paying for a system that works well. I’ve lost about 40 pounds with WW, and don’t doubt that I probably would have gained that much or more in the same time period without the program.

  9. A vegan no-added-fat diet like I went on (and am on again) is very high carb. But it concentrates on whole foods rather than processed foods and refined carbs.

    WW itself is a high-carb diet.

    Anything but those Atkins/Paleo diets are all high-carb, aren’t they?

    I agree that having a support system you pay for is worth it. I’ve also lost a lot of weight on WW in the past – back in grad school.

    I’ve lost a lot of weight on almost every diet I’ve gone on in the past. The problem for me (and apparently for 80% of people who diet) is preventing a rebound.

  10. Thanks Michael, in

    [i]”I think it’s more that we have become “slaves” to very sophisticated marketing from giant multinational food corporations”[/i]

    Yes to that. And self has never subscribed to any weight-loss programs.

    But am thinking of the sizes of the plates of food, today, compared to when I grew up, in the 50’s and 60’s. Much smaller plates. We were “middle class” people at the time, we also ate conservatively. Every Saturday there were “Fishballs” – not balls from Fish!!, but Fish-meat made into meatballs. With sauce, and potatoes.
    Later we had Spaghetti Sundays – Spaghetti with Ketchup (Heinz, the only one in town, then) – and no Italian meat-sauce, not yet available. Still small plates.
    We were fed, and did not over-eat.
    Did not indulge in eating more, since there was no more.

    That’s where my “more, bigger, faster” comments came from.

    These days, I eat less, although my sub-mind keeps telling me, eat more. Since – “it is there” – right in front of me.

    But going to bed slightly hungry, and waking up in the same way, it is working for me. All of a sudden.

  11. But am thinking of the sizes of the plates of food, today, compared to when I grew up, in the 50’s and 60’s. Much smaller plates.

    That’s an interesting point, and my experience growing up in that same time period was similar. These days I do most of the cooking in our house and when I think our plates look a bit sparse I’ll try to remind myself that my mother would have thought – quite accurately – that it was an appropriate amount.

  12. 🙂 About smaller dinner plates…
    Yes – I am using smaller tableware, meaning the plate is still full, but with a lot less food on it than the larger plates would have.

    Interesting reading here, though, about your experiences with various diet programs. Appreciate it!
    It is also so individual, is it not?

    Eight years ago I was at 109.5 Kg. Then I started bicycling to work, slow and leisurely, about 20-25 minutes each way, and in Six (6) months, I lost 14 Kgs – mostly water. With a much unhealthier diet than I have today. Then i stagnated at 95 Kg – while the goal was 90.

    Now I’m back up to around 100 Kg, and need to lose five, again mostly water, and must really work on losing 10. I’ll still be a little overweight, but can live with that.

    That must include doing some 20 minutes of home excercise, once, preferably twice a day. Just your basic stuff, w/o any fancy (n expensive) equipment to help. And it must include a healthier diet – including lots of fruits and veggies.

    (Says he – who yesterday made a 2+ kg (ah – it is so good!) – bowl of Lasagna, meat n cheese, hot chili peppers, champignons and carrots…) now in the fridge. It can last me for 3 days, or six, since this stuff gets better in the fridge!) I’m going for Five!

  13. I don’t think it’s possible you had 14 kg of water loss. That must have been mostly fat lost. Especially since it took 6 months, which is a normal amount of time to lose weight.


  14. “I don’t think it’s possible you had 14 kg of water loss. That must have been mostly fat lost.”

    Doug, that’s why I enjoy this “thread.” I know so little about “the science” of it – and get really confused when I try to learn. That is – what the WW and so many others – propose – and claim as “scientific solutions.”

    I was told by people wiser than me that this weightloss must have been mostly water loss, since aside from drinking wine (no more vodka!) 🙂 just about every day, I also drink 1-1,5 liter of water. Plus 3 cups of coffee – no more sugar. Of course, there must have been some fat-loss too, I would think. The weightloss stopped cold at around 95Kgs, down from 109,4. And now up to around 100.

    At 65, one is allowed a little extra weight, but I look like I’m pregnant, most of the time, and get teased a lot by friends and co-workers, and need to do something about it. With bad legs and a bad back, I also feel the extra weight – lifting even 5 kilos, illustrates that, and lifting ten illustrates it even more. That’s the extra “shiit” my body is burdened with. I kknow I will feel so much better when I lose this, so that is my goal between now and Summer! 🙂

    Over the next 7 weeks I’ll go on the scale twice a week, and see if my mostly steamed veggie diet + fruits works, although I will eat some meat several times a week. Bicycle, except now it is 12C below here, and 20-30 cm of snow – so that is “on hold” for a littlw while…

  15. It’s fine to drink plenty of liquids. Your body does not store that much water. It’s normal to drink 2 L of water a day and other liquids. If you lose 14 kg over six months it must’ve been mostly fat loss.

  16. “If you lose 14 kg over six months it must’ve been mostly fat loss.”

    No – I think you may be possibly be wrong here.
    Unless excess fat is really “water.”
    I remember well – that six-month period.
    Mostly Water loss! 🙂

  17. “I think water loss is the first six DAYS not the first six months. :)”

    Hey, maybe you are right, but as stated – I have no scientific knowledge of all this.

    Doug – this wasn’t “a training program” – I just uderstood (to self) that after sitting down all day, most days, I had to move my body more, and also save on busfares.

    So bicycled, leisurely – 25 minutes each way – for 5+ months, and 14.5 Kgs went off.

    Where I work, a school college place, there is some rather intensive physical training programs in the basement there, and that is where I went on the scales, maybe twice a month. Didn’t believe the numbers, for several months, then one of the trainers there, after looking at my numbers, said, w”ell – that is mostly water weight.

    Good luck!”

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