The Weight Loss Journey
There's no getting around it: And you're the second person today to mention a half marathon, good for you and Mark! Jump on a stationary bike or onto a treadmill, and start your own interval training regimen with this guide from Ballantyne:. Some studies have suggested that consumption of creatine with protein and carbohydrates can have a greater effect than creatine combined with either protein or carbohydrates alone. The utility of HMB does seem to be affected by timing of intake prior to workouts and dosage . For those who eat out a lot, you might actually save money. For her, the tracking made all the difference.
LIVE LEAN + TONED
Research shows mixed results as to whether breakfast intake contributes to weight loss. One study found that people who ate breakfast saw reduce dietary fat intake and impulsive snacking. Breakfast patterns have a smaller role in daily intake than post-breakfast meals. Restricting what you eat to a certain time every day sets your body on a schedule.
Research shows that trying to delay this window can take multiple days before your body adapts. This may explain why splitting up three meals into six can be an adjustment for someone going on a diet. Regular meal times also play a long-term role in body weight. Try to eat at the same time every day. You can keep healthy, high-satiety snacks like vegetables and cheese around to eat between meals to curb your appetite. In some cases of meal timing, switching when you eat bigger meals can make a difference.
One study saw that obese women who ate more for breakfast than dinner lost more weight and had an improved metabolism. One study found that mice who were exposed to light at night gained 50 percent more weight than mice who had truly dark nights. One study found that people who ate and slept out of their circadian rhythm had symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a combination of disorders that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. We often think of diet as the quality of the food we eat, but it really also includes when you eat. Overall, they ate about the same amount of calories per day as people who slept normally, but calories consumed after 8: If you exercise regularly and want to maintain lean mass, you may be interested in intermittent fasting IF.
IF is different from eating on a regular schedule, as you restrict your energy intake to certain time periods of the day. This study saw a decrease in fat mass and weight for people who practiced hour fasting with an eight-hour eating window along with resistance training. One study also suggests that IF works as an alternative to calorie restriction for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. Another study in mice found that IF had more benefits than permanent calorie restriction.
For example, if your last meal was at 11 p. But this method of weight loss on its own may not be as effective without exercise. But you can also address these concerns with proper nutrition and strength training.
In general, intermittent fasting may not be right for your lifestyle. You may also find it hard to not eat for a lengthy amount of time or to avoid eating during social situations. Calorie restriction is believed to be the most effective method of weight loss, but when you eat may affect how your weight loss journey goes.
The recommended route to managing your food intake is to have an eating schedule that suits your lifestyle. You may find a food journal helpful to avoiding mindless eating.
Should you count carbs or calories? Some diets are more radical than others, but all have the same goal: Read on to learn about calorie and carb…. Making the decision to revamp your diet and shed some pounds takes courage, dedication, time, and effort, but it absolutely can be done.
Don't let it turn into 30 or 40 or worse. I wish I'd followed my own advice. Thank you for the article. I at a point where I really need to loose the weight-again-and keep it off this time. My health is affected by the extra weight. I know of other people who have chosen meal replacement programs with great success.
My question to you which I can't find in the article is why this program and not Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem? I was younger than 40 at the time and thought "not me!! To be honest, I was in my late 40s when I began to notice this. It wasn't just weight creeping up, it was that I didn't feel well eating like I did when I was younger. At about the same time I read about a group of people who maintained their health and had minimal weight gain throughout their lifetimes.
It didn't prompt me to eat the way they did, but it did inspire me to find out how people in other countries and cultures ate. There were a lot of similarities and some differences -- mostly in exactly what they ate. I also started thinking back to when I was growing up in the s and s -- when it was rare to see someone who was truly overweight.
I was also in contact with older adults, many of whom weren't significantly overweight and had few health problems. I either observed or asked them about their eating habits. I started noticing some similarities. The slim, healthy people in other countries and the slim, relatively healthy older adults I saw had some things in common. Most never ate processed foods. If they did, they were consumed rarely.
And contrary to the advice now to snack throughout the day, most never snacked. If they did snack it was only once a day. Among the older adults, those who were slim ate less than they had when they were younger. Not little enough to be malnourished, but definitely less than when they were in their prime.
I eat three meals daily and rarely snack. About the only time I snack is if a meal is going to be significantly late. I do eat less at meals. Two of my meals, usually breakfast and lunch, tend to be smaller and one is larger. I don't feel deprived because I'm satisfied with how much and what I eat.
There's nothing I don't eat, but many things that I don't eat often. If I really want something, I have it. I also have a general plan of what to eat at meals.
I'm also a fan of Michael Pollan's mantra: I've found that I don't need to eat as much real food to be satisfied. Another thing I learned is that it's perfectly normal, in fact, somewhat necessary, for a woman to gain pounds from the time she's about 20 until her mids. It has to do with reproduction. This has been observed throughout the world and throughout history. It's even observed in art where maidens are slim and matrons are, well, more matronly.
Part of the reason it may be hard for those of us "of a certain age" to lose weight is that we're not supposed to weigh the same as when we were younger. Alanna, I wish you the best of luck on Medi-Fast! A couple of years ago my friend lost 40 pounds on the program, at the same time I was losing 20 lbs on Jenny Craig. Two years later, she's gained 35 lbs back, and I've gained Since I've gone vegan 9 months ago none of those "packaged" plans will work for me, they all rely on animal protein of some sort.
However, if you "use" Medifast as a jumping point and maintain from there, awesome! I just couldn't do it, call me a packaged diet failure.
Alanna, you look wonderful! I really enjoyed your story. I'ts similar to mine. I lost 80lbs and my husband lost lbs on WW about 12 years ago. I am a lifetime member and even worked for WW as a meeting leader for a year quit because a new job forced me to travel a lot. However, like many of us, I've gained the weight back. I wanted to do Medifast for a while, but I was worried that it really didn't teach about how to cook or eat.
It, like many other weight loss programs, just gives you the food to eat to lose weight. I liked learning what a portion is i. However, my sister-in-law pointed out something to me. She said, "You worked for WW, you know how much to eat, how to cook, and what you should do. You're just having a hard time doing it.
If you're goal is to lose weight and feel better, Medifast can help you do that. Then implement what you know you should do to keep it off. I just was having a hard time doing the WW plan; too "open" for me right now. So, on to Medifast. I've lost 38lbs in 3 months and I haven't had one issue following the plan.
Thanks so much for your post and inspraition. So glad you posted this! As it turned out, I just got back from a trip and started on Medifast yesterday for the first time the package arrived while I was away. Love the tip about making the shake with coffee.
I'll definitely try that. I don't have a lot of weight to lose only about 15 pounds , but have just not been able to motivate myself to reduce my food intake enough to get rid of it. I think that putting myself on a diet like this where I have specific food to eat each day is the kind of structure I need to jump-start my weight loss. I usually eat well fresh foods from scratch, with lots of lean protein and veggies, not many sweets , so the idea of the pre-packaged food wasn't all that exciting to me.
I just bought the 2-week variety pack to try it out. If it works out OK, I'll order more. Since I don't need to lose a lot, I don't expect to be on it for more than a few months. If I find it hard to stick with it for a long stretch of time, perhaps I'll try alternating the Medifast food with home-cooked food on alternate weeks or even alternate days.
As long as I'm lowering my overall food intake, I should still lose weight, though more slowly, of course. Congratulations on your weight loss, and sticking with it! It's a great inspiration to me. Hi Alanna--I left a message on your blog but I guess it was after you closed it to comments.
I am just wondering why you chose medifast over other meal replacement systems like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. Congrats on your weight loss--I hope to be down 20 to 30 lbs by this summer. In part, that's because I didn't "choose" Medifast, it chose me by virtue of my friends Kathy and Georgia starting it. I did no other research. I honestly didn't even think of it but also know that I am often confounded by too many choices, leading to long periods of indecision.
Sorry, not much help as you make your own deliberations! The "snack" ideas do resonate, since one of the things I most appreciate about Medifast is the frequency of the food intake. A meal implies something else, and for me, at least for now and I hope for later, more small and healthy meals during the course of a day feels right, keeping my sugar levels even over many hours.
My idea for these "non meal" meals are a small bowl of vegetable soup or a small salad or a small piece of protein or a small piece of fruit.
There IS a difference between a girl's physique and a "matron's". My very thin friends somehow appear gaunt and wiry and tired, those with some healthy weight seem to glow. Thank you, thank you, for adding so much to this conversation.
Is "vegan" working as a weight loss vehicle for you? Mark Bittman of course lost many, many pounds with his "vegan until dinner" approach. I know that the first time I gained weight, back in my 30s, was when I stopped eating meat. It's not fair to blame vegetarianism, it's just that I wasn't well-educated and switched to cheese as one protein source.
That is terrific, go, go, go. And it really encourages me that I'm not alone in using both WW and Medifast as different tools at different times in our lives. Your sister is a wise woman! If you're not used to caffeine, be careful using a full 2 cups of coffee to make the shake, it will, at least it did me, give you a bad-bad case of the shakes!
Really interesting post - I'll be looking forward to hearing about your experiences going forward. Keep up the good work. Just for clarification, by "snack" I mean anything eaten between the three major meals.
I define "treat" as cake, cookies, anything dessert-like. I don't see popcorn as a treat so much, but carmel corn or any of the sweetened popcorns would be a treat. So a snack isn't necessarily a treat, but it could be. Your goal around "thinking about food less" really hit home for me. Any tips on how you reached this goal would be appreciated!
I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since , but spent a lot of that time over goal. Two years ago, I got back down to goal and am now working part time for Weight Watchers. I agree that the importance of maintaining a healthy weight trumps other considerations. I believe everyone must do what works best for them. I am so glad that you are losing weight, becoming healthier and feeling better about yourself.
Losing weight is difficult, and maintaining a healthy weight is even more difficult. We constantly must start over and try new techniques. Good luck on your healthy living journey. By the way, my husband and I enjoyed Chicken Sybil for lunch today. Alanna, so feel like we could be sisters. Have treasured this blog, along with Veggie Ventures for years. Have been on and off WW for almost 40 years.
Still believe WW is best program if you take time to plan and follow program. Four years ago I was at my highest weight ever. My father in law had been on Medifast without telling us. He asked if I really wanted to loose weight. I had been skeptical about packaged foods and cost. Yet when you really step back and think about it, it was skilled at buying ingredients with the best of intentions, changing plans, forgetting the recipe and then throwing away the food.
Wasted food, larger clothes, and most importantly diminishing health can be even more costly than the MF plan. With thyroid issues, to ease my mind, I also checked with our family physician. He gave his seal of approval. Originally I questioned how some of the prepackaged "meals" could keep me full.
Like you, it took trial and error to find the meals I preferred. Tastes do change over time. Recommend reconsidering some of the items you did not like earlier.
I started Medifast in May and am approaching 60 pounds lost. This is my "mindless", stress management diet. I keep a variety of products well stocked so I can change my mind easily for each meal. Looking forward to maintenance, I can see Medifast as a quick option if those pesky 5 or so pound start to creep back on. I do believe that everyone is different and will champion any plan that works for someone as long as they are not compromising their health in the process.
For me, going truly low carb makes a difference. It irritates me to see all of the high carb options with WW and the many "healthy" frozen entrees by a number of brands. Wish they'd focus more on ramping up veggies and decreasing carbs. Enough of my Saturday morning rant. Thanks for being a blessing to so many of your readers. Dear Alanna, I have only just "met" you having stumbled on your site while looking for a recipe. I am a Weight Watchers Lifer who after several false starts on WW finally lost over 70 lbs 8 years ago and have kept it off.
What did I do differently my last time on WW? I had also heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and execting different results. Once I lost the weight it was always "Woo Hoo! This time was different.
Then when I reached my goal weight 8 years ago I was so excited because I was finally able to start what I had set out to do when I joined. It was like I was finally in front of the door I had been waiting for for so long.
I was going to start the maintenance program. And I have never looked back. If you think you can eat a lot on WW when losing weight, you should see what Maintenance looks like! I wish you much success on Medi Fast but if you ever end up back on WW you might want to consider my strategy. Thank you for your great blogs and your enthusiasm for healthy food and for including WW points in your recipes.
There's a big difference between my goal and my current reality. The goal was to really step away from food, to stop reading about it, to stop writing about it and definitely to stop cooking it and thus going through the constant consideration of What's in the fridge?
The reality is that I got away from that last but not away from the first ones, you'd think they would have been the easier ones! I'm still a work-in-progress on this regard but I am slowly filling my time with non-food interests again.
How would you do it? I am happy that official WW people are finding what I'm doing to make sense, if only for awhile. Your words really made my day, thank you. I'm so glad you wrote. I know it's because my practice was to do 18 points a day most days, then relax on the weekends.
And that system worked for me for about four years! Thanks for sharing Alanna. I lost 50 pounds thru attention to diet and exercise a few years ago but still had about 50 to go. You have inspired me to try medifast. Thank you for posting your experience and being so honest and forthcoming. I'm a WW life-timer and loyal to the program. I've been hesitant to post a comment because I did not want to appear as a troll or as negating others' experience. That's not my intention. So, that said, here is my concern One's overall health status and underlying medical conditions can be at the heart of being unable to maintain a healthy weight.
I understand the struggle with weight loss and maintenance. After all, I didn't end up in Weight Watchers because I ate healthy and exercised regularly. However, I've often struggled since attaining my goal weight. Some times, I wasn't faithful to the program, and that is correctable.
It's these times that a physician, not a new weight loss plan, was my best course of action. So, my intention is to encourage your readers to evaluated their own health and visit their doctor prior to adopting a new diet if they think it might be necessary. I, too, needed a change from Weight Watchers. I am a lifetime member, but currently over my desired weight.
I tried WW several more times, with no success I decided on Jenny Craig for many of the same reasons, and I am finding the change was a good one. As a real-food cook, I was worried, but the meals are tolerable, and once I got past the first week of starving, even cooking for my family is ok--they were kind enough to eat dinners out the first week!
I worried about all the processed food and still do , so I was glad to hear the friend's advice that the important thing is to lose the weight and keep it off. I do the Jenny 5 day plan loosely , which gives me 6 meals a week on my own, with their guidelines.
I sometimes do more than 6 on my own, but have plenty of Jenny meals and snacks in the freezer for back up. I agree--find something that works for you in this stage of your life. There's another way to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as most other common diseases of aging, but it requires a complete paradigm shift-- to being fueled by fat, not carbs.
In this way you can keep your blood sugar low and consistent without having to "eat" every hours. And I think you're totally right to be suspicious of highly processed food-- it's not food! Look at what humans have been eating for most of our time on this earth-- it wasn't grains or sugars, and it sure as heck wasn't processed food. The longterm health risks of a carb-fueled, processed-food diet are still significant, even if you lose weight. And starving yourself is not the answer. You'll lose weight with calorie-restricted carb-based diets, but it will always come back.
I've been eating this way low carb, meats, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit, all real unprocessed food for two years and have never felt better. Best wishes to you and thanks for a great source of wonderful veggie recipes! Alanna, Three years ago, I reached that very low place where my weight was at an all time high, and I was no longer chubby but FAT.
I, too, knew many people who were successful on Medifast. I considered the plan for months before I dove in. I was on Medifast for almost 6 months, and lost 31 lbs.
Considering the fact that I lost 7 lbs. I went on a cruise, celebrated my daughter's high school graduation, and never deviated once. I reached a very happy goal weight of lbs. As soon as the holidays came, I started to fall off the wagon. I did not do a good job transitioning and making the permanent changes necessary. I am sad to say that I am starting again on Medifast tomorrow, and I am not sure how long I will last, or how I will do.
I have a limited supply of foods remaining from past orders, so I want to use them up and not order anything new, but I will see how it goes. I think I have enough for at least a month or two. I wish you luck in the transition and maintenance phase. It is truly the hardest part. I just switched to Medifast myself, which is something I said I would never do, but I just could keep joining WW time after time and failing. I needed something different, and so far so good.
Of course I would rather be eating whole foods, but I have tried that way too many times with little success I will continue this until I am at goal. I also know that I will have to do what I am told if I am to maintain. With weight, indiscretions are visible to all. I wanted to thank you for posting your switch from WW to Medifast.
After reading your decision, I started to investigate and found out all I could about MF. I started my journey in February and am now down 40 pounds. I have more to go, but this is the first time in 30 years I have been able to stick to a diet long enough to be successful.
So again, I thank you. But, like you said, I wasn't working the program. I hate how they change it every year so nothing is consistent anymore. Plus, I'm food obsessed. WW was too permissive because I could anything and this made me push the "anything" boundary until those choices were unhealthy and I'd "make up" for it by making more unhealthy choices to compensate.
What I love about MF so far is I just don't think about food anymore. I eat to fuel. I can't wait to get to goal so I can enjoy real food again and I hope that this "reprieve" from my obsession with food may help me develop a different mindset about food in my future.
I was reluctant to try it--and I don't share that I'm doing MF with many people--because in a way I feel like I gave in to something "easy" or that I'm cheating in this weight loss.
Except, it's not easy, it just seems to be working. If so, how is that going? I have been doing Medifast on my own and lost 60 pounds so far. I loose and average of three a week! A's book explains how you CAN do medifast without buying the food! This allows you to eat Organic non processed food AND it gives a better option for people with Soy issues or prefer to stay Vegetarian! One of the best ways I have found to stay motivated is to blog diymydiet I love reading about other people who are successful against the "fat" battle!
Thanks for all the info and the super detailed post! I have had the same problem as you with ww. I am lifetime but I feel like all I do is think about food when I'm on it. I have been feeling like a sell-out to good health for considering mf so I really appreciate your honest input. I am going to give it a try! And btw, your comments to others are always so kind and considerate. Thank you for being such a lovely voice on the internet when we are barraged with so much ugliness!
I think that I started to put on weight again after losing 30 pounds on WW in beginning in when I started writing A Veggie Venture. Thank you for the reminder. PS You put your concern so very gently, no worries about sounding like negative or like a troll!
Figuring out what works for each one of us, what a revelation. I hear such good things about this whole approach. I think it would be an easy transition for me And down 40 pounds, whoa!! Thanks for adding your experience! And good luck, it takes commitment, of course, every program does.
I found your blog because of the WW recipes and was so excited. Disappointed that you're eating crap instead of real food. You realize you can't maintain that for the rest of your life, right?
I went back to real food in March and using principles learned from Medifast, have stayed at my goal weight with little issue. I was interested in your journey and also happy to see you are now on maintenance and doing well. I too did the WW thing in I was able to slowly lose, but then hit a plateau and was unable to lose down to my goal no matter how diligent or how much exercise I did.
After abandoning the WW plan, I regained all but ten pounds. I now believe I'll reset my goal to 50 as I feel it is attainable. I don't like all the Medifast food either, however I do like most of it. I appreciate never feeling hungry and all the support the TSFL community gives. It's the easiest weight reduction program and most successful I've every tried. Not only have I had success, but also my 2 daughters, daughter-in-law and my best friend are losing steadily or on transition.
It really is wonderful to have so many of us helping each other. My coach is great too! Good for you taking off the weight and keeping it off. I detested counting points and was always hungry on WW. Every day I say to myself or others "this is so easy I can't believe it.
You have your own Medifast support group going on there! Hi Alanna - checking back here. Thanks for your input regarding the continuing journey! I have found out it really helps me to read inspirational stories of success. I have attended the TSFL meeting that was held locally - it is so much fun to hear the passion that people have to tell how losing weight has changed their life.
It was amazing to me that some of the people are even dietitians and health professionals! One was even the director of "Be Fit" for our state and found out that exercise alone does not a slender person make! I was especially happy to hear the men that spoke. I have some men in my life that could use this program! I am almost ready to go into transition now. I plan to follow the "rules" and add back gradually - I believe I'll be using some MF meals to help me stay at my goal weight even on maintenance.
One last note - it sure is more fun to go shopping now! Yes yes and yes again! Congratulations on reaching the transition point, yes, so empowering it is to take control.
Just FYI - keep your shopping in check, my experience with both WW and Medifast is that it takes a couple two or three or even six months for your body to settle into its new size and shape. I started Medifast after my father died of an obesity related heart condition. I lost a lot of weight, got to a lower size then I had ever been as an adult and felt I went from lb to in about a year. I seem to be an all or nothing kind of person.
I have gained back 50lbs and feel terrible. I am terrified to do medifast again thinking it will work in the short term but not in the long run, but then again maybe I woudl finaly learn to transition and eat healthy after.
So scared to make a choice on what to do McDonalds and ice cream. I dont even like this food, I just dont know how to stop. I had a beautiful garden this year and ate very little of it because I was so out of control with yucky food that nothing healthy sounds remotely appetizing.
Just not sure what to do. I hope that someday, when "your" time is right again, that the memory of feeling so fantastic will help you make a choice. My belief is that "all" the legitimate weight-loss programs work: Maintaining the weight, no matter the weight-loss program, is the real trick. I think WW teaches healthy-eating habits, whether or not you count points. I think Medifast does not teach you what "is" healthy food but does have important lessons about the timing of food intake.
Good luck with your journey, my heart goes out to you. I can "hear" the tears and frustration. Just checked back in and found your update on your MediFast post. You inspire me to try yet again to take off those unwanted 25lbs and keep them off for good. I am considering MF I will have to read more about it on their website.
I am pre diabetic and you are right the risks are too high to wait any longer. Wishing you continued success! It feels a little bit like "paying it forward". Let me know, please? Thanks for your story! I did Medifast several years ago through the guidance of my physician. I checked in weekly, weighed, took my blood pressure, etc. My blood pressure lowered, my cholesterol went down where it should have been and I felt amazing. I lost over 50 pounds with Medifast. Afterwards, I went to WW to learn to maintain.
However, having a daughter who plays travel ball did me in summer after summer. To the point where I said, the heck with it, I just don't care. Well, that wasn't true really! Recently, a very, very close friend of mine who has struggled with weight loss and is a couple years older than me, I'm 52, started going to a trainer and eating better and looks amazing. With my job, unfortunately, I can't go to a trainer and some physical issue limit me right now on what I can do training wise. However, I got on the scale the other day and not only did I gain back the 50 pounds I had lost about 4 times now I gained another 5.
That's when I said, nope, not gonna do this anymore. I don't have lots of time, but hope I can work it out. I know how great I felt on Medifast and how much I don't hurt when the weight is gone. So, realistically, I have to lose about 70 pounds. The good news is that Medifast has some more choices now than ever before. Years ago, my parents went on Medifast and all they had were shakes!
So, to have options now like cereal is huge for me! I love the bars and the shakes and it's easy to prepare. Thanks again for sharing and wish you continued success! I did weight watchers for a while, but with the plan changes and the meetings it just wasn't working for me and I stopped doing it a few years ago I started Medifast on my doctor's suggestion about 6 weeks ago and it has been amazing for me I've been blogging about the experience daily and would love some more readers who can help keep me accountable, and maybe I can inspire some folks too!
Great article, thank you! Medifast was simple, convenient and really fast. I guess I am very healthy so I did not experience any adverse effect from rapid weight loss. On the contrary, my skin problem and gastrointestinal problems were gone since losing 50 lbs.
I had more energy and learned to cook healthy mind you, I am a total idiot in the kitchen so this gave me an opportunity to learn to cook. I felt like I was ready to continue with my weight loss journey and to lose the last 35 lbs using a new method -- yep, weight watchers.
I figured cooking 3-meals and learning to eat healthy when eating out might be a good challenge. It's only been 3-days but I do feel good in general and lost a bit already. If this doesn't work, I will go back to medifast. For now, I'm going for slower method while learning how to cook healthy!
I was lifetime WW member and after hitting about Following WW and eating less than extra points on that I was still gaining. I exercise faithfully 5 to 6 days a week and at age 65 was at my highest weight.
I think I had 3 cookies all of Christmas and was careful with food choices. I decided I needed to try that. One of them had been WW member too and was gaining on the plan after about age 50 too!!!
I am losing slowly on Medifast and have found shakes and bars that make this pretty easy to do daily. We have always loved veggies and chicken or fish, so easy to have my cooked meal a day too.
My only concern is that I hope I am not getting too much soy in my diet with all these products!! Anyone have any thoughts on this? So far I have gotten used to the soy taste in the shakes and bars and now they seem to taste pretty good!!