Diet - Am I Doing It Right??

Updated on August 21, 2012
M.M. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

I started with my diet abt 10 days ago. I hardly see any changes, so wondering if it's working or not. I don;t have a weighing scale at home , so no weight measurements to keep track. I didn't buy one thinking I would give up on my diet if I see the weight being the same. The frst 2 days I did feel different , felt like I was losing weight but now it's back t sqaure one. My clothes are as tight as before, and my tummy looks as pregnant as before (even though I am not). Makes M. sad. So my question is is it way too early to see any changes???
I have reduced my portions a LOT, I eat almost everything I was eating before but I eat healthy - lots of fruits and veggies everyday and no more cookies, pastries etc. I generally eat a multigrain bread sandwich for breakfast with no fat egg whites( the one you get in those mini cartons). Or sometimes I eat reduced sugar flavoured quaker oatmeal. Some fruits as a snack an hr or so after. For lunch I have wheat bread or tortilla or white rice with stir fry veggies .I have eaten rice maybe twice so far, mostly I eat wheat. I eat fish/ chicken for protein every other day. I use very little oil in my cooking(canola oil).Late afternoon I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, fills M. up. And in the night again almost similar as what I ate for lunch.But one thing is, I sleep about an hour after I eat.
I did eat outside few times and always order a small portion mostly soup, salad with some protein. I have started walking a lot, atleast 1 hr a day and the rest of the time I am running behind my toddler, cooking etc.
Am I doing it right? What could I change? I know thyroid etc can afftect weight loss, but maybe I can give some more time before I go for a checkup. Right now I plan to continue with this diet , because this seems do-able to M.. But the question is - will I ever lose any weight doing this? I am kinda getting tempted to go eat a heavy lunch today at my fav restaurant(my first signs of giving up!), so I thought I will post this question and ask you moms if anyone lost weight with such diet changes as mine and how long did it take? What else did you do that helped? Also, do you think buying a weighing scale is a good idea for M.?
Also, I guess most of you will say I am expecting too much on just 10 days, so does that mean you saw absolutely no change in the first couple weeks on a diet. How long does it take to show some changes (I just need it as a confidence boost).No matter what I am not going back to way I was eating before. Thanks moms!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the replies!! I have been eating a LOT of fruits and mostly watermelon, cantaloupe,grapes - so I am going to reduce on that. Also will give up on white rice for a while. I will start taking protein every meal and also eat a early meal before bed. Hopefully these changes should help M. lose weight!

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answers from Phoenix on


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answers from Pittsburgh on

Some advice-
-Get a scale! You really need to track your progress this way.-I don't believe in the 'are my clothes tight' test unless you are seriously weight training where you could be putting on some muscle.
-No articifial sweeteners. These are terrible for you and a huge cause of bloating. This includes gum and soda. I saw a huge difference when I cut these out. You are better off with a tad of real sugar, agave or stevia for sweetness.
-Subsitute brown rice for your white rice. Also watch what fruit you eat. Try to stick with the lower carb fruits like berries. Fruits such as bananas, watermelon and pineappe are loaded with sugar.
-Watch your carbs. When you eat simple carbs such as white rice, crackers, cookies etc. you will cause your blood sugar to spike. Your body will use this for energy instead of going into your reserves and burning off fat in the process. All dieters should do a little research on this body chemistry reaction to understand the mechanics of weight loss and why carbs ARE a big deal. It is no longer believed that it is all about the calories. It is the QUALITY of the calorie that matters. So a 100 calorie handful of nuts is much better for you than a 100 calorie snack pack of cookies.

It sounds like you are really doing well for the most part. I encourage you to think of this as your new normal and not a diet. Just keep with it and you will see results. Losing weight is not easy but so worth it!

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answers from Boston on

You're on the right track and doing some good things, so keep it up!

Be sure that you are eating things that take a long time to digest - so that means complex carbs. Switch to brown rice from white, and make sure it's the real thing and not instant. Switch to real oatmeal and not sugar flavored and not instant. I make it with a little stevia (not sugar, and definitely never any Splenda or Equal or that chemical junk). I have it with fresh berries but out of season I add frozen berries for the last minute of cooking. Add 1 T of flaxseed oil (says Dr. Oz) or you can add flax meal or flax seed.

You need protein every day, and every meal. I'm not sure if your "chicken/fish every other day" means you are eating other forms of protein on the in-between days, or if you're not eating it! Veggies are great but you absolutely need protein. What happens to most dieters is they fill up on veggies and fruits, and without enough protein, the body thinks it's starving! Your metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories. That stalls weight loss and makes you start craving. If you want to go eat a heavy lunch, that could be why.

If you're sleeping one hour after eating, you may be eating too much white flour, getting a bit of a sugar rush, and then a crash. Or do you mean you are eating so late and then going to bed an hour later? Either way, not good.

Also, too many people eliminate fats, and that's not a good idea. Olive oil is good, seeds and nuts are good. Canola oil is good too, but not corn, "vegetable", etc. A little peanut butter on that whole wheat bread will give you protein, healthy fat, and a slower digestion (keeping you satisfied longer). Watch the high-sugar fruits.

You could make a big pot of brown rice with olive oil instead of butter, and then make a few different things from it. Add some cooked lentils or chick peas or beans to it and any herbs/spices you like, or add it to a salad. Add tomatoes to it and serve with that whole wheat tortilla filled with vegetarian refried beans, whole black and kidney beans, some chopped green pepper, hot peppers if you like them, and a little skim milk Mexican cheese. Top with a tomato sauce flavored with cumin and cilantro. I make a bunch of enchiladas like that (put the filling in the middle and fold up the two sides, securing with a toothpick) and just reheat them.

Get a pedometer and clip it to your pocket or belt. Aim for 10,000 steps a day. Put the kid in a stroller and take a walk, but it will also count those steps you take chasing a child around the house! Park a little father from the store and walk in, take the steps when you can, and so on.

Don't expect too much right away. A scale helps if you're losing, but it discourages you if you're not. Building muscle takes time, and muscle does weigh more than fat. Can you do some weight training at all? If you don't belong to a gym, buy some hand weights and work out to an exercise tape or while you're watching cartoons with your child. Lie down and do some crunches, knees bent, small of the back flat on the floor, arms back behind your ears with elbows out of sight, and keep your eyes on the ceiling. Do not put your chin on your chest. Do a set of 15 or 20. Then do some bicep curls with your weights. Stand straight, feet apart and knees slightly bent. Never lock your knees. Then go back to the crunches. Mix up the sets so you use different muscles, take a break by working another set, and then repeat so you do 3 sets of each kind. Then do another combination, alternating different muscle groups. Make sure you are doing exercises correctly.

Exercise burns calories and releases endorphins to help your brain. Muscle weighs more than fat but also burns calories. And you need fuel for your muscles so don't just eat low calorie foods that have no nutritive value.

No diet sodas. They still push up your sugar levels and they're horrible for you. Water with a little lemon is great. Don't drink store-bought energy drinks - they are loaded with sugar and just one or two isolated vitamins -- bit deal! And no processed foods - they are loaded with hidden saboteurs!

Keep it up!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I lost 2 inches off my waist in the first 2 weeks of my diet/new way of eating. Then I lost about 1 1/2 lbs per week. At week 10 I had lost 15 lbs. I did it by cutting all junk food out of my diet. I also cut all bread, rice and pasta out of my diet. I don't eat any packaged foods. I strongly recommend you do not eat white rice. Now for what I do eat. Lots of everything else. I eat bacon and homemade whip cream made with Splenda. I eat as much fruit and protein as I want. I eat nuts. I drink a protein shake, made with skim milk, banana and whey protein everyday. I am rarely hungry. When we go out to dinner I typically eat a bowl of strawberries or blueberries before we go out so I will not be tempted to eat bread. I also exercise everyday on a recumbent bike. Are you breaking out in a sweat during your walk? If not start walking faster. Good luck!
Also, I weigh myself every morning. At first it reminded M. why I had to loose weight and now it is so I maintain my weight.

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answers from Washington DC on


Every body responds differently to a diet.

If you are exercising as well - muscle weighs more than fat.

You MUST drink water. The ONLY way for ANY "diet" to work is to consume less calories per day than you expend. If you are eating healthier - more fruits, veggies and less fried foods - you will notice a difference..

drop the coke/soda/pepsi
drink water or tea (unsweetened)
feel hungry? Munch on celery sticks with peanut butter (some people put raisins on them too) or carrots.

DO NOT binge eat.
DO NOT skip a meal.
You change too much - your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to all the fat you have as a protection measure. So I don't know what type of diet you are on...the best thing you can do is exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat right...better/smaller portions, less fried foods, consume less than you expend...


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answers from Dallas on

It does take some time. When you start a lifestyle change (what you've done is a lifestyle change, not so much a diet. Good job!!) your body goes into a bit of survival mode. It naturally holds on to what it's used to. It wants to keep those fat stores. The body also has to detox, for lack of better words. Your gut has to repair from all the unhealthy, sugary, processed, and and bad fats food. You WILL begin to lose weight, but your body has to get through some stages first. it has to get past the holding on stage, shed the bad stuff, and lose water weight, first. Speaking of, are you drinking PLENTY of water? Straight up water? You need that when you change your diet, it helps in the detox process. Water also helps you shed weight more efficiently, and keeps the body working properly. You will not lose much weight, if your muscles are dehydrated.

Are you exercising? That will certainly help move things along. One thing I'd like to clear up, is muscle does NOT weight more then fat. A pound, is a pound, is a pound. Muscles LOOKS different then fat. A pound of muscle on a scale is much smaller then a pound of fat, but it WEIGHS the same. It's like saying a pound of feathers weighs more then a pound of quarters, because it takes more feathers to equal a pound. A pound, is a POUND.

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answers from Phoenix on

Jenny, if you are active on Facebook, search for the group "Be My Diet Buddy". Its a great online support of women of all sizes who are on the same journey to loose some weight and get healthier. Just an FYI, being part of the group does not give anyone access to your personal profile unless you accept them as friends. Keep up the good work, the hardest part is starting. =)

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answers from Rockford on

I think 10 days is a little fast for noticing a loss, IMO. It takes my body about 2 weeks of eating 'clean' to start losing weight. Back a year ago, after I had tried every diet known to man, I joined Weight Watchers Online & was successful in losing & keeping off 50 lbs. My first suggestion is to join, but, if that's not a possibility, then I can tell you what I've done through W/W to lose. I eat as many fruits & veggies throughout the day. I eat whole grain bread & pasta, and I really don't eat much of it. My protein comes from chicken, turkey, fish and lean meat. It is really important to drink 8 8oz. of water daily. I take a multi-vitamin as well, and at the beginning of my weight loss, I was working out 30 mins. of cardio a day. 4 x a week. Walking, walking uphill, biking, running. Now, over a year later, I work out 4x a week, 1 1/2 hours of cardio 1 x a week, then I run 3 x a week. The most important thing is to view this as a life style change, NOT a diet. Once you view it that way, it will be easier to be successful. I also do NOT weight myself daily, one time a week. I don't know how much weight your looking to lose, but W/W really has been a GREAT help to M.. GOOD LUCK to you!!!

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answers from San Diego on

You go on with your bad self. You are modeling how your are eating and discipline for your children and what better motivation than being healthy for your kids! Have you heard of thinking your way thin? That is because of the choices you make reflect your thinking. Diets come and go - this is a life change.

Too, the fact that you are checking in here... you want that accountability. So much easier to do it when you are accountable to someone. Do you have a friend you can do this with? Going is alone can be tough.

Watch 60 minutes from August 12. This will inspire you with regard to your health.

You may want to substitute brown rice for white, olive oil or grape seed oil for canola, and check the label on "reduced sugar" oatmeal. Eat regular oatmeal and that way you can control what you add. For that matter, eliminate processed foods. You may want to add beans, lentils, & increase veggies.

Every time you go shopping or go out to dinner, remember you are making these choices because you love yourself.


answers from Los Angeles on

I would buy a scale and I would do your body measurements (bust, waist hips). If your habits are drastically different, would say you could have lost 2-4 lbs by now. You may not notice that or see it if you have a lot to loose. I find that switching to a healthy diet makes M. feel great, but I never loose lbs unless I am also doing portion control (which it sounds like you are doing). But to answer your question, yes I would pick up a scale.



answers from San Francisco on

If you'd like something a little more structured and motivating, get the South Beach diet book. It's healthy and will change your eating habits for the long term. Not a fad diet! Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Go to -- you plug in all your info and it tells you how many calories per day you need to lose a specific amount. Helps you track what you eat and how many calories that adds up to, which really helps you understand just what your intake is. Lots of healthy eating and helpful tips, too. Good luck! Sounds like you're off to a good start.


answers from San Antonio on

Dieting only works if calories EATEN are LESS than calories BURNED. So depending on your height and weight, probably you need 1200-1500 calories a day. If you have a smartphone, you can try the app My Fitness (it's Free). It basically tallies the calories for you. It really taught M. a lot about my calorie intake though. I saw that the bagel with cream cheese for breakfast was more calories than the grilled chicken, spinach salad, sweet tea, and small cookie combined. I stopped eating so many carbs during the day and tried to limit my carbs to either one meal a day or just limited my portion size (my common carbs included rice, noodles, tortillas, sourdough bread, hot dog buns, etc).

When I felt hungry, I reached for some low-cal snacks:
- beef jerky (good protein, keeps you fuller longer, less than 100 calories for a big hunk of the Costco brand)
- Frigo string cheese (80 calories a piece, calcium, protein)
- pickles (one claussen pickle is like 25 calories. Yumm I love pickles) Plus all the sodium would encourage M. to drink more water.

So that app did help b/c it opened my eyes. Little things I popped in my mouth without thinking made M. really reflect on how many calories I absently ate. So if you don't have app abilities, maybe try writing down everything you eat. It'll remind you that yes, that one bite of fudge or one donut hole DOES have calories whether you like it or not.

As for the scale - I do own one. It frustrates M.. One day I am X-lbs. The next day I'm 3 lbs lighter. The day after that I'm 4 lbs heavier. I feel like I'm going nowhere. I think the truth is in the way your pants fit you. And remember, hormones will mess us up. One day we'll retain water, the next week we wont. So don't let that discourage you.

And congrats on walking an hour a day. I don't get the exercise I need. It's one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. Keep it up!

- YES at what Diane said! Eat protein at every meal! Egg white hard boiled egg is a great breakfast!



answers from New London on

I was obese as a child. I have ALWAYS had to watch my weight since then.

I gained 6 lbs this summer. I am beside myself.

At this age, I do not lose weight easily. Yet, if I eat very healthy and excercise alot...the weight comes off easier.

One pound of fat is equal to eating about 3500 extra calories. I always tell myself that I enjoyed the food, but, it does take a while to lose even 1 pound of fat !!

I do not rec that you eat less than 1300 - 1400 calories a day. Keep your muscle. If you do not eat enough calories, you can end up losing muscle. I know that because it happened to M..

Take 1 day a week and eat !

I eat lots of organic fruits, veggies and whole grain foods. I love beans, etc.... But, 1 day last week, I allowed myself to have a big sandwich, fries and a carmel sundae !!!!

I lift light weights a few times a week to keep toned! Starting next week, I have to get back to my 4 day a week excercise schedule !!!

Good luck
PS It will take M. about a month to lose this 6 lbs!



answers from Chicago on

Hi Jenny
I would highly recommend Jillian Michaels book -Master Your Metabolism, it talks about what to eat, what not to eat, what they put in some of the foods (kind of scary). That book will really teach you a lot about food, so you can make healthy choices for yourself and your family.
I use the guidelines in her book and do work out videos (Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Tae Bo) at home for about an hour 4-5 times a week and I've been loosing 1-2 lbs per week. The main thing is to stay consistent and keep going. Even if you cheat once in a while and have some cookies or something, just eat one or two, not 20, and then get right back into it.
That used to be my problem, I would eat something I should not, and then would be like, oh well, I already ate 2, might as well just eat the whole bag. The next day, would do the same, since I already ate bad yesterday, might as well give up.
I still have a lot to lose, but have already lost 45 lbs, and overall I just learned it's ok to have a treat once in a while, just have a little and then keep going and just to stick to it, no matter what. Get right back into it immediately after you cheat!
Also, I don't like to weigh myself too often, because if I don't see some crazy results I tend to give up. So, I weigh myself maybe once a month, then I can already see a few lbs. difference and it helps M. to keep going....
Another thing that helped M. in the beginning was logging my foods at That way I learned how much to eat and stay within my caloric range for the day. I don't do it anymore, its too time consuming, with 4 kids, I don't have time for it, but it did help M. in the beginning...
You can do it!!!!



answers from San Francisco on

Yes, a scale is good. Weigh yourself once a week.

You should see some change in a week, if you are taking in fewer calories. When you say you eat a "lot" of fruit and veggies for a snack, I have to tell you that fruits in particular can be highly caloric. A snack should be ONE fruit and some veggies, without a lot of dip or something for the veggies. Each fruit (apple, banana, orange) has at least 80-150 calories, so "a lot" of fruit is too much.

Don't eat fruit snacks, they are just glorified candy.

To fill yourself up, drink a glass of water before each meal.

Possibly your portion sizes are too much. A "sandwich" can have double the calories depending on the size of the bread and what is in it. Is it a smallish sandwich?

I'm guessing your portion sizes are still too big. You might want to try Weight Watchers, as they train you about proper portion sizes.

Also, as exhausting as it seems, running after a toddler is not really exercise. For a healthy life, you should add more real exercise to your life. Walking is good, but you should walk for at least 45 mins. if you are trying to be healthy and lose weight, and you should actually do something more aerobic for great health. Try running, or buy a jump rope, or join a gym.

Good luck!

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