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I have a question about weight loss, and reducing calories. If a person calculates the number of calories they need to eat daily to maintain their current weight, and that number is significantly higher than the amount of calories reccomended for their age and activity level at <a href="http://www.mypyramid.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.mypyramid.gov/</a> , how does a person decide how many calories to eat? My concern is that drastically dropping the number of calories eaten per day is counter productive, because wouldn't it kick your body into survival mode, slowing down the metabolism? Wouldn't a more gradual reduction of caloric intake, while paying attention to the quality of food, and only eating when hungry, taking your time to eat, etc. while increasing exercise make more sense?<br><br>
Also, how does a person go about setting a realistic goal for weight loss?
 

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have you read/considered "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman? The reason I ask is that his basic concept is so smart and before reading it, I never thought about it. If we eat the most nutritious foods we can, as opposed to the "least bad" foods, then calories and other numbers don't matter. The idea here is to nourish your body with the BEST, and then it gets what it needs nutritionally so you don't have to worry about starvation, numbers, calories, proportions, any of that. And when it is nourished by nothing but good stuff, the weight comes off and you naturally self-regulate.<br><br>
Perhaps this is NOT at all what you were looking for, but I thought I would toss it out there. Worst that could happen was you'd say, "nah." My DH and I have been doing this "way of living," I guess you call it, and have seen how the weight comes off and we don't even try and we have NEVER felt better physically. I spent years, off and on, of trying "diets" and counting numbers and formulating things and busting my butt at the gym. Now I am losing weight and just exercising for general health. And I KNOW I am healthier, not just skinnier, for it and so is my family.<br><br>
If this is of no help, or if it is, good luck with what you decide to do!!
 

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I started out wanting to lose weight. I have lost a lot over the past year, but thankfully, my motivation has changed. I want to become healthy. I'm healthier than I was a year ago (just losing weight might not have guaranteed that, but the steps I have followed have made it happen), and I am on the road to better health.<br><br>
I have never been able to follow a diet. In the past, as teenager/young adult, I could drop 40 pounds in a summer using diet pills and cigarettes. Then, as soon as I went back to my regular life, it came back and then some.<br><br>
Over the years, a few experiences led me to make a couple of big changes. One was switching to whole foods, another was quitting smoking. I also quit drinking (I drank more than I should have). Unfortunately, I struggle with binge eating, and so I have had to do some big "head work" along the way to keep from the gigantic, 1000-calorie lovefests that would make up for mean things people in my life would say or do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Sounds corny, but the first question I had to ask was, "why am I eating this?"<br><br>
Anyway, I never read a diet book. I never joined a program. Those things don't fit into my lifestyle or schedule. What I have focused on instead is "swapping" out better choices for the unhealthy foods I might have had in the past. I keep the produce drawers in the fridge full, and a fruit bowl on the counter. I don't ever, ever drink sugar soda, and diet soda is something I might have at someone else's house. Fast food is a NEVER--I'd rather scrounge for leftovers or make an omlette, or eat sardines straight from a can.<br><br>
I only lately really started looking at portion sizes--and that's because it's barbecue season, and we're eating at other people's homes a lot, and it's not exactly healthy food. I try to eat often, and only a little, and I find it's now impossible to polish off a piled-high plate of potato salad, burger, chips, etc. My stomach doesn't tolerate a lot of that food anymore--thank God!<br><br>
In order to keep losing weight (which I am losing at possibly the slowest rate anyone has ever lost it), I have had to ramp up my activity. I started with perhaps 30 minutes of walking 5x/week. Then I bought used bellydance tapes and added that. Now, I walk at least 10-15 miles a week with friends, I run another 10-15 behind a stroller, and I bike at least 20 with kids in trailer, running errands. I do Pilates 4-5x/week, and I dance and play with the kids, mow the lawn, etc. One year ago, I mowed the lawn and thought I'd die.<br><br>
I'm only down 4 jeans sizes, and I have only lost half my goal in all this time, but I have not got myself into any kind of dietary change that will set me up to gain it back. I am doing activities I enjoy, and I intend to continue them for a lifetime. And I eat food I love--bread, rice, potatoes are all a part of my life, just not a giant part. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
The short version of the above is, try increasing fruits and vegetables and you'll automatically reduce unhealthy and high-cal players. Try reducing meat servings if you eat them, and watch your sauces/dressings/condiments--you might be surprised at how much veggie dip or mayo or butter you really use. Eliminate junk from your daily routine, and when it sneaks up on you, it's not such a big deal. And most importantly, move move move!<br><br>
And as for goal setting, I look at it like I look at my running. I've asked around, to get an idea of what people really weigh (and they actually do tell me) and what size they wear. I set a goal. And as long as I am moving toward it, I am happy with my progress. Good luck!
 

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I also do the Eat to Live plan. It's not a diet, but a life change. I thought I would throw in some tips that may help.<br><br>
Don't count calories. You will make yourself crazy.<br><br>
Raw vegetables are great when you want to loose weight. They are full of nutrition and fiber. They fill you up and take a long time to digest which means to stay full longer. Beans are another great food when you are trying to loose weight, for the same reason raw vegetables are. They are full of fiber and keep you full. Beans, fruit and vegetables are all very nutrient rich foods that are low in calories. You can eat all you want without worry.<br><br>
Cut your meat consumption to 1 small serving a day, and be sure it's a lean meat choice. Rely on beans for most of your protien.<br><br>
Eat those good fats. Omega 3 rich fats in flax seeds/oil, hemp seeds/oil, a little olive oil and so on. You need fat. Don't overdo it, but be sure to eat it.<br><br>
Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. When you're hydrated you body won't retain water. When you don't drink enough water your water retains in in an effort to conserve it.<br><br>
Exersize. No matter what you do, you need to excersize. Muscles burn more calories than fat. When you excersize you are also uping your metabolism and it stays at a high for hours after you excersize, so you are still burning calories long after you have stopped.<br><br>
Eat. Eating a lot of nutritient, fiber rich foods will keep your metabolism elevated. It's when you starve yourself of food in general, that you will store the calories. Eating lots of low calorie, high nutrient foods will not result in calorie storage.<br><br>
No sugar, or very very little. Also, watch the starches/grains. Not the carbs, but the actual starchy foods. These foods convert to sugar. Root vegetable, cooked carrots (raw is fine), breads and grains. If you are eating lots of raw vegetables then you don't need the fiber in whole grain products...trust me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 
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