Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

I am overweight. This is my own fault for not paying attention and for lacking the will power to say no to a chocolate bar. I am owning this. But getting the fat off is something else again. It's especially difficult now that I'm dealing with this weird abdominal issue. A 30-minute visit to Barnes & Noble does me in, so exercise, aside from the physical therapy I'm doing, is not feasible right now. Because I'm not well, I'm not getting out as much. So I'm alone a lot more than I used to be, and I think that makes the bad stuff look even more appealing.

Plus I have ulcers, and that means no 'maters or spicy foods. I've been looking at diets. Diets confuse me and always have. They are like some sort of math only written in alien language. I simply can't figure out why if I eat a pound of fudge I gain more than a pound. I mean, the fudge just weighs a pound, right?

My problem with weight loss books is they go into all of this detail about why their diet works better than others, blah blah. I don't care. I just want a month's worth of foods spelled out for me, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks, that I can live with, that are healthy and filling, that are fairly easy to fix, and don't cost a fortune. Apparently no one can offer that.

Anyway, here is a list of diets that I've tried or looked at or read books on. I hope I can come up with 13.

1. FODMAP diet. This is my latest one. My gastroenterologist handed me a piece of paper several weeks ago with this word on it, FODMAP, and a list of foods you could eat and a list you couldn't. Here, do this, he said, though you won't be able to stick to it. That was incredibly unhelpful. I've done a little looking online but still couldn't figure it out. I ordered a book. It just came yesterday. I will be reading it this weekend.

2. Atkins diet. My husband likes this one. He did it about 10 years ago now and lost a lot of weight, all of which he gained back once he stopped the diet. That's the trouble with diets. You gain it all back plus 10. I lost weight on Atkins, too, but also got very depressed. I need some carbs.

3. South Beach Diet. I tried this one some years ago, but it had too many foods on it that I couldn't eat. I have a lot of food sensitivities and I think this diet had most of them in it.

4. Weight Watchers. I have done Weight Watchers online a couple of times and in the first several months, I lose weight, but then Thanksgiving comes and that's the end of that. My issue with WW is that it doesn't teach you anything at all about healthy eating, really. I mean, if you want to eat 28 points in chocolate (which would be about 4.5 candy bars, btw) and call it a day, you can do that. And that's not healthy.

5. The Scarsdale Diet. This is an old one. My husband used it 35 years ago when he finished high school. He's always had a little trouble keeping his weight in check, and right before I met him, he went on this diet and he was fine looking, let me tell you. :-)It's a lot like Atkins. Eliminate the carbs.

6. Jorge Cruise. I had never heard of this guy until someone who had just started his diet recommended him. "Oh, I've lost 9 pounds in a week," said the skinny friend who probably didn't need to lose that much anyway. I found his book online for $1.99 so I downloaded it. It's low carb. But it's on my kindle and I have discovered I can't manipulate that like a book. Still might try this one if I can figure out how to get the diet onto a piece of paper. However, above-mentioned friend confided a few weeks later that she and her husband had found it impossible to stick to the plan.

7. The Schwarzbein Principle. This is one of the best diet books I've ever read, even if I couldn't stick to the program or figure it out. I did understand this one more than most. Maybe after I finish the FODMAP book I'll go back and reread this one.

8. The Dash Diet. The Dash Diet is supposed to help with high blood pressure. I don't know if it works because again, I couldn't really get my head around it. This is supposed to be one of the better diets.

9. The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program. I have already admitted I'm a sugar-holic, so this seemed like a good idea when I read the book. The most interesting premise was that you needed to eat a high carb like a potato before you went to bed. I actually tried that for a while. I had the craziest nightmares. You ain't had a nightmare until you've had a potato-driven one.

10. Eat Carbs, Lose Weight. This is diet book by Denise Austin. It seemed pretty good.

11. The Writing Diet, by Julia Cameron. Yes, really! A diet for writers. Good advice in here, but no menus. This is more about self-care and mindset, and I need to reread this but I see my copy has gotten musty. I should stick in the freezer a while, ha, to get the musty smell gone. The best thing I took from this book was her acronym of HALT: Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.

Hmm. I've run out of diet books. I only had 11. So here are two diets I've heard of but never tried:

12. Simply Weight Loss. I hear ads for this on my local radio station all the time, and have for years. It must work for somebody. It's herbs and supplements.

13. Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems. We've all seen the commercials. I've never tried either of these because they seem to rely too much on prepared foods, which have a lot of salt in them. My aunt has attempted Nutrisystems and I looked at the labels - way too much sodium for my high blood pressure. But anyway, there they are.

What diets have you tried? Any tips for the chocoholic who is trying to quit?

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 349th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. For the first time in my life I am drastically over weight and cannot lose due to asge that's a big factor over 60 takes months to shed 4 pounds. the only answer cutting sweets and exercising more not a lot because you feel like a lump already but some ,,I am currently going through recipes of low sodium, low sugar and making my own booklet and for meals eating only good foods that contain next to no calories doing my own..Ice cream and milk kill me

    1. Sandy, eating next to no calories will likely make you ravenously hungry. This is why diets don't work and the diet companies stay in business. People fail at the diet, which really isn't their fault, but they've been brainwashed to believe it is.
      You might try what worked for my cousin, although she is diabetic so it was somewhat forced on her. Follow the American Diabetes Association guidelines for carbohydrate intake. She currently eats (or tries to eat) four meals a day with approximately 50 grams of carbs or less to a meal. It helped her overcome her insatiable cravings for simple carbohydrates.
      Also, she eats a lot of cheese although she is lactose intolerant. Cheese has hardly any lactose because of the fermentation process. It is a very filling food. Don't be afraid of the calories. She ended up losing about 25 pounds in spite of the fact that cheese is high in fat in calories. I wish you well.

  2. I related to a Barnes and Noble trip. I have to space everything out and sometimes normal things are too much. I love the Schwartzbein book. Joe got it and I read a couple of chapters and realized it is how I had to learn to eat to manage my low energy. I think of it as having a portion of each type of food, fat, protein, vegetables and a carb/starch at each meal. It's all about balance and not adding extra carbs as we do so often in this country. If I skip one of the food groups, I feel bad or start craving other stuff. I often top a good meal off with a square of dark chocolate. I don't do well with sandwiches for l lunch, too much carb. So I eat supper for lunch and then a small snack/meal in the evening. I found I could eat desserts if I only have about 3 bites and that has to be later in the day after being well nourished all day. Eggs for breakfast are my mainstay and get me off to a good start. I eat them with half a high protein sprouted bagel and plenty of butter and usually with a handful of sprouts of something green. For me, I need to eat this way to function with CFS. Also, if I can't exercise much cause it wipes me out, but I can swim, dance or jump on a trampoline.

  3. I feel for you. I'm not a fan of dieting.

  4. I admit, I've never dieted, though I've consciously changed some eating habits. The first bad habit to go was soda, which I quite cold turkey about twenty years ago and never missed. The exception is the occasional 7-Up when I have an upset stomach. I can't believe I'm so far behind with your blog again -- my apologies.

    This week's post: Arboretum Walk No. 1
    Last week's post: Recently Viewed

  5. I know from experience when you reach a (ahem) certain age, you become insulin resistant and that excess circulating insulin makes it easy to pack on pounds when you eat what the nutritionists think is healthy (it really isn't). When I gave up wheat I dropped twenty-five pounds easily, but when the dr. put me on insulin, I gained back ten. A good book is Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat. It explains a lot.

    1. My family has horrible endocrine problems. My cousin's hypothyroidism combined with her insulin resistance caused a lot of weight gain, but the doctors never addressed this. She had insatiable cravings for simple sugars. The way she describes it is it was similar to the way a heroin addict craves their drug of choice, only she couldn't abstain from food because a person has to eat. The doctors treated her like a "silly fat woman," chiding her to "just not eat that stuff." If an alcoholic was forced to buy their milk and juice in a liquor store, it would be similar to what my cousin faced every time she went shopping for food.
      She was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic early this year, and when she started controlling her carbohydrates, the cravings disappeared literally overnight. I could kick those stupid doctors for giving this poor woman Hail Columbia over the years when insulin resistance tends to promote weight gain and make weight loss very difficult. Once she started treating her diabetes, she lost a nominal amount of weight and her kidneys started functioning properly again, so her skin's appearance improved as well. The thing is, at this point she actually has trouble eating enough, but she's still big, so doctors don't believe her when she says she has to force herself to eat. It makes me very angry.

  6. Please look into Health At Every Size (HAES). Google it yesterday! It saved my life from beating up on myself for being overweight (over what weight? The BMI was never supposed to be used as a measure of health.) Also check out these blogs: and My cousin turned me on to them. Also google Golda Poretsky Body Love Wellness.
    Thin does not necessarily equal healthy. Fat does not necessarily equal unhealthy. You are beautiful as you are. Yo yo dieting never helped anybody. Dieting almost never leads to long term weight loss, only to heartbreak. I wish you the best.
    Thank you for visiting Poetry of the Netherworld.

  7. Fresh food and walking (daily) help me the most. No diets. They just don't work.

  8. The thing that works best for me is counting calories - setting a 1200 calorie limit for a day and sticking to it. I think it works for me because I become more aware of what I'm putting in my mouth. Any way you look at it, dieting is hard, especially the first couple of weeks.

  9. Walking, fresh fruits and veggies work for me. I'm so lazy with exercise and can't resist eating especially when on holidays.

  10. Well, I'm a recovering chocoholic, so I don't know if I should give advice. However, when I exercised regularly - 4 times a week - my craving decreased dramatically. I don't know why. Then, when I wanted chocolate, I indulged on something extra luscious. I've tried the 3-day diet, the 7-day diet, and Weight Watchers. They all work, but I'm not consistent with eating or working out. I've been doing walking challenges by Full Medal Runs to jump start my giddy up. It has helped, but when there's a gap between challenges, I fall off. See, I'm not too helpful. I wish you health wealth soon. Take care.

    Thanks for visiting The Food Temptress site!

  11. Boy, I sympathize. I have been on lots of diets to. The only one that ever worked for me was Weight Watchers, on which I lost 85 lbs and was feeling very good about myself. But I gained it all back. I have lost the battle and have given up.

    I did Thursday 13 many years ago. I did it for a bit over a year, I think, but gave that up too!

    1. ARRGH. "Lots of diets TOO" I hate it when I make that typo!

  12. I can lose weight on just about any diet. It's sticking to the diet and then not going back to old habits after the weight loss. I should have been born a couple of hundred years ago when my size was looked at differently than today. But I wouldn't like the plumbing issues of living back then .And chances are, I would have been the one emptying the commode and hauling buckets of water. sigh


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