I’ve been working at this way of eating for a few months now --- since sometime in September --- and just can’t seem to get it right. I’m hoping to learn from those who have managed to “work the program” successfully.
Basically, I’m wondering if any of the Stars had to watch the amount of food they were eating in order to lose the extra weight.
Hi, portwest, I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to respond until today. The others have given you very good, thoughtful responses. I thought I would add my experience as well. To the question above, did I have to watch the amount of food
? Well, yes, I did have to watch
my intake. As Katy said earlier, many of us with weight problems have really no concept of when to stop! It really doesn't have as much to do with hunger, as something a bit deeper--boredom, as Donna (I believe) mentioned, is a big drive for many of us to eat. However, although I had (still have) to watch
the amount of food I ate, I didn't measure or count calories
We all measure, of course, to some extent, simply by the fact that we have food in containers. If we didn't measure our food into our bowls, they would overflow. I know my bowls hold about 2 cups, so if I eat two bowls, I know I've had 4 cups. If I then feel full, I have the knowledge that "last time, I had 4 cups." If I lose weight after a day of "4 cup" meals, I cannot help but note that. If I don't lose, or gain, after a day of "6 cup" meals, I cannot help but note that, either, and if I want to lose more weight, I say to myself, "maybe I should have only had 4-cup meals." We can't stop our brains from measuring, and calculating the effects.
I have a BMI of 29 (it’s borderline --- it's 30 once I've had my oatmeal and a cup of tea), so I definitely have some weight to lose. I'm post-menopausal female, 5'9", 204-205 lbs.
I seem to need a lot of starch to feel sated. Well, maybe it's not "a lot" but apparently it's too much, because I'm not losing weight.
It appears that you've been following the plan for about 10 weeks, and you want to lose about 50 pounds. You also mention your sedentary job--I also work a desk job 10 or more hours a day, and commute another 2 (minimum). I wanted to check my experience to see if it could inform your decisions. So, I went back to my chart to see how I did in my first 10 weeks. You lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks. Your 8 pounds is still a decent loss, especially for a post-menopausal woman. In my first 2 weeks, I lost just under 4 pounds. In the 10 weeks, I lost about 16 pounds. I gained twice in those 10 weeks, so it was not a smooth ride, by any means.
Then I looked at how my losses went in the 10 weeks after the point where I had 50 pounds to lose. In the first two weeks, I lost just less than 3/4 of a pound, and in the 10 weeks, I lost 13 pounds, and gained twice in those weeks, too.
I'm telling you this because you seem incredibly discouraged, for someone who has had moderate success! I have lost 95 pounds, but it was not in the 15-pound-a-month mode. That doesn't make the loss any less valuable or real.
I’ve read the material online, read “The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss” book, watched several of Dr. McDougall’s videos on YouTube, including “The Starch Solution” a couple of times, as well as Mike T’s video from the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. Again and again, I read and hear “eat until you’re satisfied”....
I’m coming to terms with the fact that maybe those responses were right, that calorie counting and measuring food is my only avenue to weight loss. It just feels so unfair to read and hear about people piling their plates high and even competing with Dr. McD for eating so much and still losing weight, while I don’t get that luxury. It feels like a promise that’s been broken....
Anyway, that’s a long introduction to a short question: Have any of the Stars had to limit their food intake and just live with some hunger on a daily basis in order to drop the excess weight? Have any of the Stars found that the program didn’t work for them until they made some non-McDougall changes (like measuring out food)? Did anyone have trouble finding the balance between low-calorie-dense veggies and satisfying starches?
If so, how did you get around it? I'd appreciate hearing about your experiences.
I have highlighted two phrases above to talk about being human and how we interpret language. The concept of "limiting food intake" must seem like the opposite (to you) of "eating until satisfied." But I don't think of it that way. I think of "limiting food intake" as "not eating until I'm stuffed and uncomfortable," which I am very capable of doing (eating till I bust, I mean!).
The other highlighted phrase is "just live with some hunger," as if that was the obvious and inevitable result of "limiting food intake." You have mentioned wandering about the kitchen hungry, and the choices that you made, which are very familiar to me--the pitas, the Lara bars--what we call around this household "a little something." That sounds more, to me, like the boredom hunger I and others have mentioned. The title, and the general gist, of your other thread, "Please Tell Me What to Eat?" seems to indicate that your feeling of hunger is really a feeling that is asking you, "so what else can I have?" Believe me, I know that feeling oh so well!!! And THAT is the "hunger" that you may have to live with. You may need to learn to tell yourself, "I have had enough good, nutritious food for today, and what I am feeling is not hunger, but another thing altogether. I will not starve if I wait until breakfast."
I guess what I'm saying is that it's possible that "not being satisfied" can be a whole different thing from being hungry because you haven't had enough to eat. I hear so much anguish in your posts, a feeling of betrayal and disappointment that you saw promises that weren't fulfilled. Perhaps if you take a new look at your sensations of hunger, and at your perceptions of how long you have been at this (I'm wondering if you had expected to have lost most of your excess weight in these 10 weeks? I have to say, not everyone can lose 12 - 15 pounds a month!), you can see this way of eating from a different perspective.
You have gotten a lot of good suggestions--I want to second Donna's suggestion about more variety in your vegetables. I didn't see corn, peas, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and a host of other vegetables. The other suggestion I want to second, which is straight from Dr M, it to eat the fresh foods first. I do this every day at work now--when it gets close to lunch time, I get out my baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and other fresh munchies and I have those before I start in on my warm soup. Sometimes, the fresh makes me so full, I have to wait a couple of hours before I can eat the soup, but sometimes I eat them one after the other.
Don't give up! You haven't posted for a few days--keep us posted and tell us how you are doing. It's early days yet! Think how healthy your insides are getting!