General Question

nebule's avatar

How do I get back on the diet wagon?

Asked by nebule (16104 points ) August 4th, 2009

As some of you may or may not know I have been dieting (I’m doing Weight Watchers) and have lost 11 pounds so far… it’s coming off rather slowly… last week and the week before I only lost 1 pound. I’ve been going for seven weeks.

I know that people say that if the scales are going in the direction of down then it’s all good and better than putting weight on. However, I’ve been working really hard exercising during the week and walking’s real tough too…SO I kind of expect to lose a little more.

Anyway, I kind of fell off the wagon totally at the weekend and went a bit wild drinking and eating and thought that I could hit Monday and just curb it again…and be really good for the rest of the week until my weigh in day…

But I feel like I’ve lost hope and feel despondent and fed up with the whole thing.I got up this morning thinking…“ok,, start!” and then ended up ordering pizza this evning because I’m so angry with myself and just feel like…what the heck there’s always next week… But it’s like I’ve lost trust and faith in myself in being able to do it… the spark has disappeared…

How do I get back on the diet..get my spark back…???

Anyone have any ideas? Please please please be nice….

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47 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Remove the stress for starters.
That is why walking is a good start. It relieves stress, so your cravings are lessened.
Also, it then motivates you to do other things.
Besides having another bowl of chocolate ice-cream.. I know you are thinking of it. ;-)

PerryDolia's avatar


Instead of stressing about the diet, just keep focusing the exercise.

Weight loss is a simple calories-in-minus-calories-out equation.

Keep using up those calories through lots of exercise and you can lighten up on yourself (a bit) on what you eat.

tedibear's avatar

Oy! This is a tough one. Been there, done that and I keep trying not to do it again. To me, the key is forgiveness. You need to forgive yourself for goofing up your hard work. Once you’ve done that, give yourself permission to treat yourself better. You’ve lost 11 pounds so far; that’s terrific! Be proud of that accomplishment. It’s hard to not beat yourself up for those slips, but please, do try.

Someone else I know likened this to brushing your teeth. If you forgot to brush your teeth one night, would you just give up and never brush them again? I should hope not! You would brush them in the morning and move on. So, today, or this hour or your next meal, that’s your chance to do it right and move on.

It may take a while for your spark to come back. Until then, the only thing that ever worked for me was the old Nike campaign: “Just do it.” I’m not trying to just hand you a cliche’ and run, I promise. But sometimes, you just have to make yourself do it until the spark comes back. Some people say “one day at a time,” but when it comes to food, it may be one meal at a time. Can you make yourself hyper-aware of what you’re putting in your mouth for the next couple of weeks? Literally, before you eat anything, ask yourself why you’re eating it. Is it meal/snack time? Are you sad or lonely? Are you stressed about something that’s not diet related? Are you thirsty? (Thirst can come disguised as hunger.) Also, do you feel like you’re “not worth” losing weight? That’s where self-sabotage comes in. Try to remember that you’re worth doing this for.

FWIW, I’ve lost 67 pounds and had many, many, many incidents with pizza along the way. Chin up, mouth closed, move on.

dpworkin's avatar

I have expressed my ideas about this in another post, but I am a newcomer, and don’t know how to link to it. I don’t really mind writing it all out again, but it would be more convenient if I could show you what I have already written. Does anyone know how I do this?

Fyrius's avatar

If you rollover your cursor next to the “flag as…” button there will appear a ¶ sign. Click it for the post you want to link to, then copy the URL from the address bar. Then paste it here.
Or just copy-paste the lot of it.

Darwin's avatar

Forgive yourself and just keep on going. Pizza will always be there, so diet for a while, have a slice, and then diet some more. Also keep in mind that even if you don’t lose weight, the exercise is helping you build muscles and strength, helping you avoid osteoporosis, improving the condition of your circulatory system, and making it easier to accomplish physical tasks.

I have lost 24 pounds since last year and have been on a plateau for about 6 months. However, I have dropped two sizes, easily tote a 50-pound sack of dog food into the house, and my blood pressure is back down to 120/76, so I can tolerate not losing.

Fly's avatar

I’m currently having similar problems. I’m on Weight Watchers as well, and have lost 10 lbs on it after a few weeks. But then I went on vacation…I went mostly off-diet for vacation. When I came back, I attempted to get right back into dieting. I was eating well, but I got out of the habit of writing it down and going to meetings, and eventually stopped eating so great. I’m currently at the point where I have started gaining back a bit of the weight, so that’s the motivation that drove me to start getting back into my diet this week, and I’ve started to improve my habits again.

So, my advice to you is to do what helped me: get some motivation. I’m not saying to let yourself go so long like I did, but find something that really makes you want to lose that weight again, like success stories of others, or perhaps your goal size, etc. Then apply that motivation to your diet, and go all-out. Also, try to make getting back into your diet enjoyable. If you like shopping, go to your grocery store and go on a big, healthy food shopping trip. If you like reading, pick up a good diet book. If you like to cook, buy a Weight Watchers cookbook (or other diet cookbooks) and make something that sounds good.

Also, remember that the part of the Weight Watchers plan is to not feel guilty about those little weekend slip-ups or pizza binges, but to allow yourself to have those indulgences every once in a while, then move on. Everybody has weak moments- it’s only natural.

kenmc's avatar

You’re probably building muscle, which as they say, weighs more than fat.

So you’re probably losing fat still, but gaining muscle mass, which would even out your weight.

Judi's avatar

You start by forgiving yourself and acting like a thin person. Thin people occasionally eat pizza and go a little wild, but they then have days where they way under eat to make up for it. Instead of getting judgmental on yourself, determine to have some very low point (is weight watchers still doing points?) days to make up for your high point days. You might want to start counting your weekly points instead of daily points if it makes it easier.

nebule's avatar

@Fly and @tedibear39 you both made me cry..thank you…maybe I’m a bit emotional today too!

and @Judi very good idea thank you…I like the act like a thin person thing!! That’s the hardest part not thinking like a fat person..that’s when the trouble starts isn’t it!

thank you all

Steven0512's avatar

As soon as it clicks that food is only there to satisfy your natural hunger and no other feelings, you will be on your way to a more healthy and slim you. It’s not easy, but you can do it.

nebule's avatar

@Steven0512 and how does one go about activating this realisation…I mean..I know I eat emotionally…but what makes you actually stop doing this?

tedibear's avatar

@lynneblundell There is a wonderful workbook out there called “Food & Feelings” by Karen Koenig. (I got mine from amazon, but use whatever source.) I’m only on chapter 3 and I’m amazed at how much it has helped. It helps you get to the core of the emotional eating issue – namely, understanding why you’re eating your feelings. (In my support group we have a saying: “Don’t eat your feelings. The aftertaste isn’t very good.) I highly recommend this book for anyone who is an emotional eater.

For the record, muscle does not weigh more than fat. The issue is that in the comparison, people are trying to compare weight to volume. 1 pound of fat weighs the same as 1 pound of muscle. The muscle takes up less space, so while you may not lose pounds on the scale (weight) as you build muscle, which is why the toning of muscle building helps you to lose inches. (volume)

dpworkin's avatar

Here’s what I posted in another thread:

Just don’t diet. Dieting is guaranteed to make you heavy. I lost two hundred pounds over a three year period, and have weighed 175 instead of 375 since 2002. I try to swim every day (there’s a pool at the high school, a pool at the University and my ex-wife has a pool) I walk everywhere, I park as far as I can from store entrances, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, and I try to eat fresh, local food in season, but I don’t obsess about an occasional slip – just don’t allow one to cause you to give up. I keep a lot of fruit and local tomatoes around this time of year, and in the winter I make soups and stews with winter veggies. Like the man says, eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.

erniefernandez's avatar

Want it bad enough.

Be patient. I lost 75lb when I was a teenager. Read carefully…

If you rush it, you fail. Take your time, adjust your diet in small ways, and be diligent. The weight will slowly come off and stay off without any suffering on your part

Lay off all soda, all fast food, all potato products and anything deep fried. All, and don’t bullshit yourself. That alone will make you lose plenty of weight.

Zendo's avatar

Definitely do diet. Just use some willpower at the store. Don’t but anything not on your diet. If it’s not in your home, you will not eat it.

whereisfreespeech's avatar

stop going to fast food?

Jack79's avatar

Slow is good actually. If you lose weight too fast, you’re almost certain to get it back on. I aim for a pound a week.

The desperation and frustration you’re feeling is exactly what happens to everyone when they fall off that wagon, and it’s happened to me plenty of times too. btw in case you didn’t know, wine doesn’t help. I am always hungry, exercise, never eat sugar…and I’m still gaining weight rather than losing.

I’m sorry I don’t have any real advice to give (if I did, I’d follow it myself). All I can say is that you’re cute on that new facebook picture anyway :)

charliecompany34's avatar

it starts with your next grocery visit. clear everything out your fridge that you regret eating either by eating it or tossing it. THEN go grocery shopping. you know what’s healthy—or do you? stock up on lean meats (if u eat that), fresh fish, fresh produce and maybe some legumes too.

ditch the pasta and rice unless you plan to exercise and work it off.

healthy costs more. fast food costs less. let that marinate.

hearkat's avatar

I have lost almost 40 pounds of fat, but have gained over 15 pounds of muscle (my gym does an analysis every 3 months). The difference is in how my clothes fit, and how the new clothes I just bought are already getting loose.

I have dieted so many times over the past 3 decades. This time, I decided NOT to diet. I eat what I want, when I want. The difference is that what I want has changed. For one thing, I have overcome the depression and low self-worth that made me an emotional, compulsive overeater for many years. Also, I plan my meals so I can indulge and know that it balances out over time.

This time I chose to change my lifestyle, not to impose restrictions or limitations on myself. I also have NO goal—not a number on the scale or on the clothing label. I will respect my body and enjoy my life, and whatever I weigh is whatever I weigh. I am happier now than I’ve ever been because I stopped beating up on myself for allowing the weight gain in the first place. I cant change it, and berating myself only perpetuates the cycle.

Losing 1–2 pounds per week is actually much healthier for your body. Your organs – including your skin – can react to the changes more gradually, rather than trying to accommodate rapid changes. So you are right on track! Good for you!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you’re drinking diet soft drinks, don’t. They can really impair dieting efforts.

Jack79's avatar

@hearkat that sounds wonderful! It’s what I’d like for myself and everyone I know too. I don’t aim for some magic number either, though I know I’d like to be thinner, mainly for health reasons. I don’t blame myself for anything because it was a conscious decision to gain that weight in the first place when I quit smoking. But I’d like to lose a bit, both in terms of weight (I’ve always had problems with my legs) and in terms of fat (beauty reasons).

So any tips? Is it all about exercise? Because if I eat “what I want when I want” then I’d be having 2 pizzas just for breakfast, and a bucket of ice cream to help them go down.

hearkat's avatar

@Jack79:  I still eat pizza and ice cream.  I choose smaller portions, eat more slowly, and contemplate seconds rather than automatically grabbing them.  I also have changed the proportions of my meals, emphasizing veggies/fruits (the fresher, the better) and protiens over carbs; and choosing less processed, more fiberous carbs (e.g. whole grains).

I know that it can take an hour or more of hard cardiovascular work to burn off a chocolate bar; so when I want chocolate, I break off a couple pieces and put the rest away, and I eat smaller bites and close my eyes and let it melt on my tongue, and I savor the flavor and texture and try to be very zen about the experience.  This way, I am usually satisfied with the smaller portion.  If I still want more, I will take one section and make the most of that experience.

When we eat mindlessly while watching television, Fluthering, surfing the web, or even chatting with friends and family over a meal, we aren’t engaged in the sensory experience of the meal, and we consume way more than we want or need.

Having made major improvements in my psychological well-being, I rarely need to comfort myself with food, so I can look at it as a fuel source and also as a pleasurable sensory experience.  My attitude about exercise is similar…  it is no longer a punishment for my prior overindulgences, it is a preparation for my future adventures! I am changing my lifestyle to become the person I’ve always wanted to be, but denied myself because I felt afraid of change and undeserving of happiness.

I used to think I’d be happy if I lost weight, but that was all about self-criticism and trying to please others. Now that I’m happy and love myself, I am losing weight because I respect and appreciate my body.  I am still 30 pounds heavier than I was before I had my son, and over 50 pounds heavier than I was at 18.  But I am thrilled with the shape I am in, and as long as I am able to participate in the activities I choose, then my body is perfect the size it is.

Another motivation for me is working with elderly and disabled people.  I have come to realize how I had been taking my health and abilities for granted.  I will never be 43 again, so I want to make the most of this time in my life, because time is our most precious asset, especially since we don’t know how much of it we have!

Jack79's avatar

Thanks, it reminds me very much of how I quit smoking. I started by savouring the smoking experience in the same way you described eating a chocolate, which automatically dropped my average daily consumption from 33.3 to 4. Within a few days that number dropped to 1, and after that it was easy to quit. I gained a lot of weight as a result, and the plan was to lose it in the same way, but I never managed to do that. I guess I’ll try and remember your advice from now on.

Luckily I never comfort myself with food, but I do love some unhealthy stuff, and I’m always hungry, even after I’ve just eaten. Ok, I am not exactly “fat”, but I’m certainly heavier than I’d like to.

charliecompany34's avatar

good question. whatever got you on it in the first place is the same mindset you need to revisit now. if you were losing weight for a minute and then celebrated too much after you got to a desired point, that is where you got off the diet boat. you have to stay focused on the new lifestyle. once you go there, you have to stay there.

bumwithablackberry's avatar

I recently did the Master Cleanse diet, not to lose wieght but to get rid of the Midiclorians out of my body. I lost 10 pounds, and haven’t been able to gain it back. Thinking I might be at my more natural weight now that I lost some toxins. Just saying, cleanseing is actually a good place to start, before modifying diet and starting a life of excercise.

nebule's avatar

I love your username…welcome to fluther…(just realised you probably don’t mean the fruity kind of blackberry… but still!! brought lovely imagery into my mind) What’s the Master Cleanse diet?

nebule's avatar

oh and P.S I’ve now lost 13.5 pounds in total… it’s still coming off!

bumwithablackberry's avatar

I’m no expert, but it’s a detox diet, that involves drinking a mixture of Lemons, Maple Syrup, and Cayenne Pepper, throughout the day, for about ten days. It is pretty intense, didn’t do it long enough last time, need to do it again, for two weeks, instead of eight days. Went to a vegetarian pot luck, and I was like, you know, I miss food.

Jack79's avatar

@lynneblundell ok so I’ll give you another couple of weeks to get to -15 ;)

shit, perhaps I should lose those extra 100pounds myself

nebule's avatar

lol… I’m watching you you know!! be careful mr! :-p

I might be tempted to think you have an aversion to cuddlier women.. and that will never do..and then we’ll have to call the whole thing off! ;-)

you look pretty skinny to me!

Jack79's avatar

Actually I don’t. I very much like cuddlier women (as long as we mean “cuddlier” and not “elephantine”). Let’s say I like to have my arms full when I hug them, but hopefully manage to touch my fingertips on the other side (or take off her bra without having to turn her around).

And no, I’m not really 100 pounds overweight, but I sure could lose 20 or so.

Judi's avatar

I tried to do the master cleanse twice. I think I am to addicted t artificial sweeteners. I got horiffic headaches and really nauseous.

bumwithablackberry's avatar

Nobody said anything about the “Midiclorians” What no Star Wars fans. I heard it’s a way to remove heavy metals, toxins, clean the digestive tract. Also kind of gives you the spiritual insights, a water fast does with out the total lack of sustenance. Why doesn’t this have a spell check.

nebule's avatar

lol @bumwithablackberry I see…just Googled it.. see that’s how much we trust one another not to be talking bs lol (well that’s how much I trust people! lol) It does have a spell check doesn’t it…

@Jack79 You could definitely get your arms around me…;-) (considering I’m overweight that is..)

so…about this master cleanse…would it work if I did it for a couple of days.. I don’t think i could last much longer…

bumwithablackberry's avatar

Nope, it’s a minumum ten day trip. It’s wild what happens, you go through changes. After 2–3 days, you don’t get hungry. Then around day 4–5 you get energized. Throughout you do tend to feel weakened and a little spaced out. It supposed to really clean you out, it does, every morning you drink salt water, and just go. I have to do it again, this time with the book, instead of word of mouth. Think about it, it’s a good starting point, to start with a blank canvas, or an empty page…

nebule's avatar

it doesn’t sound very…healthy though…:-/

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. Having had to lose weight which I put on because of me and wanting to lose it I kind of know what you are thinking. However I did not know diet from shinola, and I KNEW I could never stick to one. My 1st advice is NEVER GET ON A DIET WAGON to start. There is no way on God’s green Earth was I going to give up lasagna, mashed potatoes, burgers and such. I knew if I did I was setting myself up for failure. That is when an epiphany hit me; it is not what you eat it is what you keep. I look at a bank account, when you run out of money but you keep writing checks or charging that card you overdraft. If you have overdraft protection then money is charged to your checking account from your card or pulled off another card to cover the 1st. I started to see my fat cells as the overdraft account. If I could spend more calories than I was taking in then the fat overdraft account would have to kick in. I could not do much at the beginning but I could walk. Started off with maybe half a mile, worked my way up to a mile and then some. After a time I started doing weights. I never got back down to my starting weight because 20lb shy of that I stopped. But the extra 20lb was muscle so I looked thinner and better than I was even though I was 20lb heavier. If you can’t or don’t like exercising and there are many things you can do even small things through out the day to serve as exercising take up an activity that burns a lot of calories like ballroom dancing. DO NOT deny yourself treats like ice cream and pizza. When you feel you cannot have it you will think of it more. Change the way you eat. Have pizza just have less. Have candy just have less. Think eat 80% healthy I can eat 20% whatever I want. I bet you will find it more fun, and you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself.

Judi's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central ; I gave you a great answer because you bank account analogy was a great picture and really does make a person think about fat deposits and withdrawals. I like it!
FYI, your post was really hard to read. Can you separate your paragraphs a bit?

Coloma's avatar

Vacations really mess up ones good intentions. I have been back for a couple of weeks from 2 weeks overseas…thing is, I must have walked 50 miles at least, average 3 a day I’d estimate, thought I was watching my calories somewhat anyway, but, came back 7 lbs. heavier!!!!! WTF! lololol

So now, this past 2 weeks I am finding my motivation down again, yes, being forgiving as I readjust to my reality after such a carefree time. haha

Okay…maybe a few lbs. ARE muscle. I’m sticking with that!

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

Do what I do, I diet for my man, he tells me I don’t need to but deep down he wants me too. All men want a woman whos skin and bones. :)

nebule's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1 that really would not work for me… doing something for someone else.. besides…it is not true at all that all men want skin and bones…:-/

hearkat's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1: You are sadly mistaken… many men prefer curves, but some think that other people don’t like them, and so shun them out of a sense of wanting to fit in. Any man worth your love and affection will accept you as you are and will continue to love you unconditionally as you and your body go through life’s inevitable changes for better or worse.

Earthgirl's avatar

Agreed with Perma Link’s advice to never get on the Diet Wagon. I think what you are really asking for is inspiration that works and mental outlook that you can stick to not so much what to eat and what not to eat.
First off I will say that with me one of the hardest things about a diet is that even though you know you are doing it for yourself it can feel like unremitting self denial! Everytime you feel like having something that you know you shouldn’t have you either scold yourself or you have to give yourself a pep talk! -sometimes the pep talk works, other times the ice cream just looks too damn good!-Because it can feel like I am denying myself something I find that by being good to myself, in ways other than eating food, can really help me stick with my diet. Distract yourself from the hunger or craving by substituting something you enjoy. Go for a walk with your ipod or walkman, see a great movie, whatever you enjoy….dancing..and remind yourself that you are doing this for you. And if you must have something you shouldn’t have, try to limit the portion. Decide before you have it that you will eat just one truffle and then stop. Another strategy is to eat more of the healthy foods and drink more fluids to curb your appetite.
There’s a funny phrase that I use to stop myself sometimes. When thinking of having something I shouldn’t , I think “Kiss Of Death!” That reminds me that if I start losing my self control and indulge too much it will undo all the good work I have done.

Coloma's avatar

The desire for fitness and feeling good has to outweigh the desire to gorge on junk, while not depriving yourself to the point of obsession.

I agree with @Earthgirl

In my case, I have long employed the 5 out of 7 strategy.

Eat light, healthy, exercise 5 days out of 7 and, no worries.

Let your weekends be ‘free’ days or, whatever days you choose.

On those days you can eat, drink and be merry with no negative ‘gains.’ ;-)

If you employ this reward system, along with other non-food rewards like @Earthgirl mentioned, you’ll be feelin’ fine and maintain a good weight.

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