Help with Weight Loss.

Updated on November 03, 2006
J.F. asks from Portland, OR
22 answers

I am looking for ideas and suggestions of diets or weight loss plans that have worked for other moms. I have some obstacles. I don't have money to join a gym. Also I have a large family and a small food budget. Further, I don't have medical insurance or the means to see a doctor to get a pre-exercise physical. I am too the point where I will try just about anything. I don't want to necessarily DIET. I want to eat healtier, and be healthier. I don't want to go on any type of "crash diet" that will only last a couple weeks, then I'll gain all the weight right back. I know that I am an emotional eater, and I am working on the issues that cause me to want to eat, and over eat. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Oh, and I am about 125 pounds over weight!!!

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

I really like MyfreeDiet.com IT gives you choices on how many calories you feel comfortable with. It is not cutting out anything, just eating sensible. It gives you meal plans and grocery lists and it is FREE!!!

M.

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K.T.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.! My advice to you is start slow. I am about 90lbs over weight. I have lost 15 lbs the last few months by making small changes in the way I eat and my activity level. I can't afford a gym, nor do I have time. I make it a point to get out for a walk (20-25 min) as often as possible. I'm not perfect.....but if you follow your plan about 85% of the time, you should start to see results. We were given a Costco membership as a gift and it has helped a LOT, especially with the budget. It is a little more of an investment to begin with, but over time you save a lot and go shopping less. We get a huge box of regular cheerios and I keep a measuring cup (equal to the serving size) inside the box. That and a little 1% milk and a stick of string cheese and we have breakfast. My 2 year old and 5 year old eat it too. I try to keep fruit in the house, but only what I think will get eaten. I used to skip breakfast (not a breakfast person) but realized it makes a big diff. When you pair good carbs (cheerios) with protien (cheese) you stay fuller longer. I also get the CheeseHead string cheese at Costco. I learned (I hadnt known) That when looking for for healthy grains, you want to look for the words WHOLE GRAIN not Whole Wheat....theres a big diff. I try to eat small snacks all day long like apple slices with some cheese or reduced fat crackers with cheese. When its dinner time, look at your plate. Women need 1/2 the plate filled with veggies, 1/4 with meat, and your starch about the size of a plum. I used to think corn was a veggie, nope...its a starch! Try to eat dinner on time and give yourself 3-4 hours of not eating before bed. Also, i'm sure you know this :) ...drink LOTS and LOTS of water, and try to cut out any empty calories in drinks or snacks. I found those 100 calorie packs, and once in a while when I give my sons a snack....thats what they get, and they love them! Give yourself time to start making small changes and adjust to them....be gentle with yourself. I have lots more information if your interested (including info on emotional eating and ways to help) ...My babies are waking up...have a great day!! P.S. I just read Kimberly's response...and I told you everything she already told you LOL ....I also have PCOS, and although It dosent sound like that my be an issue for you, Kimberly is right in that these suggestions should still be effective. Let me know if you'd like any suggestions on the emotional eating? :)

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J.D.

answers from Spokane on

Hi, J., I am J., I am a CMA, so I can give you some "simple" dieting tips to help you eat healthier without taking away foods you enjoy.

First off start with changing your carbs. Take pastas out and change them with Barilla Plus, or another whole wheat grain. Take out white potatoes, use red. Eat lean red meat ONLY twice a week. Chicken is cheap if you shop with a friend at Costco, they have prepackaged, frozen and PORTIONED chicken. Eat a salad with EVERY dinner, on top of a veggie for the night. the darker the fruit or vegatable, the better. Portion meats to around 6 oz. Carbs to around 4-8oz. And dont limit greens. YOu do want to limit fruit to 2-3 due to dietary fiber....its not pretty if youeat too much....LOL

Walk, if you have a stroller and a young child, use that weight for your benifit. Start out picking leaves and admiring the nice weather, then you will soon be doing a mile a day. When you get home, get some weights (Target, ankle weights, 10 pounds, $10) walk around the house doing chores with those babies on!!! You can also use your children as weights. I do it all the time. Remember the airplane??? GREAT for the leg and buttock muscles. Dance, kids loveto dance, and the more you move, the better. Hate those yucky love handles??? Hula hoop motions, do 20 each way.....

Hope this helps, good luck!!!!

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T.M.

answers from Rapid City on

Hi J.!!

Well, I've just lost 25 pounds recently. Here's what I did:
You want to stay away from refined sugars to start with. "My motto: If it tastes good, spit it out!!" LOL
Okay, you want to eat two proteins a day, two starches(be careful what kind of starch you eat..potatoes for example, 1/2 of a small potato is equalled to one starch.), 3 fruits, 3-4 vegetables(once again, not all veggies are equal....stick with mainly your green veggies...other veggies include: carrots(not too many though), tomatoes, cucumber(1/4 of a small one equals one veggie), summer squash, zucchini...then, 1 dairy a day(that's 8 oz. of milk or yogurt or 2 oz. of cheese), 1 fat: that could be 1tsp. margarine or butter, 1tsp of mayo (there's other choices...just be careful not too much fat in your diet).
There is many more choices than I've given you...I would need more time to visit with you than in this response.
Eating is definitely the key. It's not only what you eat, it's also how much you eat. AND BIG KEY.....DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!! This is what kickstarts your metabolism.
Good luck. Feel free to write again. I'm happy to help you in your endeavor. I had a hard time but once I got going it was great seeing it come off. And I didn't think I could do it!!
I am also with a company who has a great program. I know money is an issue right now for you so you can start with the above.
Here's my website in case you want to see what I do from home.
It's not real detailed but if you're interested in more info, please just fill out the "get more info" and I'll give you a call.
http://tinamccomb.stayinhomeandlovinit.com

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K.C.

answers from Las Vegas on

I don't know much about your particular weight problem, but on the chance that it helps you, I'll share...

I have PCOS. I dieted and exercised for years and years and only gained weight. It wasn't until I learned about PCOS that I found out PCOS women need to act as if they are diabetic in their food choices. It's generally not quite as dire as for a diabetic (ie they're not necessarily going to go into insulin shock if they eat a sweet), but in terms of weight management, diabetic diets work best.

So as part of going into IVF treatments, I had to go ultra-low-carb to keep my estrogen levels stable. That diet SUCKED. Seriously, it was awful and not something that can be maintained long term. However, coupled with nightly power walks, I dropped weight like crazy, about 30lbs in a month and a half.

Then when I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes so the low-carb thing continued. Again, it sucked big time, and wasn't realistic to maintain, especially once the baby was born and fast, portable food became important (look around, there are very little choices in low-carb for fast, portable food).

So now for my own health and weight managment, I'm trying to be good-carb rather than low-carb. I try to stick to whole grains as much as possible and avoid white bread/rice. I avoid sugar snacks (and in fact my tolerance for sugar has gone way down...I licked a halloween lolipop tonight and it tasted great but my stomach only let me have one more lick before I had to put it away). I do eat fruit, but I try to spread it out in smaller servings through the day.

And whenever I do eat something carby, I try to exercise (usually meaning active baby play or a stroller walk) within an hour, because that kicks my metabolism into high gear to burn it off instead of storing it.

Most importantly, I've sought to almost eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my diet. It's in almost everything (that's a rant for another day). It's very, very bad stuff. I look for things that have sugar in the ingredients instead...they taste better and are better for my weight.

So if you have PCOS, these things might work for you too. They might work for you anyway. Switch to whole wheat bread (read the ingredients...you want 100% whole wheat, not just "wheat" or brown bread) and brown rice. Don't deny yourself fruit and other sweet treats, just pick healthy ones and eat less of them. Burn off carbs within an hour of consuming them and you'll have more energy to do things.

Hope this helps.

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N.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Have you ever heard of OA, it's a twelve-step program to treat overeating. Have a [email protected]____.com free to email me, too, [email protected]____.com.
I know what it's like to deal with depression, I have eaten to medicate my feelings in the past and OA has helped me gain new coping tools rathern than turning to the food.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.W.

answers from Portland on

My best advice to you is weight watchers. For only 12.00 a week that is for the support meetings it is the only diet that allows you to eat everything.. It goes off a point system and that is what allows you to base your choices on. If you feel like pizza that day you just don't eat as much of other foods that day to stay in your point alowance. My doctor told me about it and is the only one he reccommends. If I were you I would attend a meeting you can usually go to one without paying to see if it's something you think you would like and talk to a counselor and have them explain the whole process to you. I went back on the diet this time without the meeting since I have all the materials. Hope this helps.

A.

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S.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I ditto the Weight Watchers plan. I did it before and after I had my son. I gained 90 lbs getting pregnant and have lost all of it. The first time I lost 53 lbs on it. It is a great diet because it teaches you how to eat healthy for life. I did the online version, but you can also do meetings too. Goodluck with your weightloss, I know it is really hard esp. with kiddo's and hubbies around.

-- S.

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M.W.

answers from Bismarck on

Cinnamon is an ancient herb that has recently gained widespread popularity for its ability to support health and wellness. Synergistic formulas includes high-potency Chromium Picolinate. Scientifically formulated to deliver 1000 mg Cinnamon and 200 mcg Chromium Picolinate — an unbeatable combination.Cinnamon is an ancient herb has been referenced in Oriental scripts dating back thousands of years. As an herbal addition to your health program, cinnamon may help support sugar metabolism. Love it!!

also try rebounding-a small trampaline and walking.

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M.D.

answers from Honolulu on

Hi J.
I will quickly respond too because I just left work as an exercise physiologist at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center where I worked with clients who were 100-200 even 300 pounds overweight.
The clients who were the most successful were really ready for change. I hope that is you too!
You know the key is to intake fewer calories and burn more calories. Basically, eat smart and move.
If your joints are achy, there is nothing better than a pool. You can water walk or jog and swim. You can also do strength training exercises in the pool. Walking, cycling, even trying the classes that are shown on Fit TV are also terrific. Try to strength train at least twice a week and go for at least 30 minutes of aerobic work most days of the week.
Keeping track of your exercise and food can help. So can having exercise partners. I encourage you to talk to your husband and kids, let them know what you are trying to do and invite them to be healthy and active with you.
M.
www.dobbinstraining.com

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E.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

First off I am aware how hard it can be to lose/maintain weight when you are stressed etc. I know you feel lost, but you can do alot of things at home with no extra cost. I will tell you what I did... I monitored my eating habits better. I always thought I ate well but it is amazing what you notice when you write it down or take an honest look at your eating habits. I allowed myself treats just a small amount and not as often. Treats also include fried foods. I started eating alot of salads and never put the dressing on the salad. I only allowed myself to dip. You will eventually get used to eating salad, but at first it seems so boring. You can find little exercises to do on t.v. or go for a walk. It all seems so simple but I know it is hard to retrain yourself. Hang in there and it will become second nature. I now have my kids excercising beside me and wanting to eat better because they have watched my dramatic lifestyle changes.

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L.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi J....

I would like to suggest that you start out kick-starting your metabolism by doing a liver cleanse. The book I would recommend is called "The Liver-Cleansing Diet" by Sandra Cabot. You body CANNOT get rid of fat if you have an unhealthy liver, and if you are 125 lbs overweight then there is no queston that your liver could use some assistance.

But if you would just like some tips - here goes...
1) Listen to your body. Eat only when you are hungry and only until you start to feel full.

2) Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water a day.

3) Avoid excessive sugars and COMPLETELY avoid refined sugars. This means anything with sugar or hugh fructose corn syrup on the label.

4) Don't be obsessed with measuring calories. Although it is important to control your portion sizes, calories are not the most important thing when trying to get and maintain a healthy system.

5) Avoid foods that you may be allergic to and maybe try a digestive enzyme before meals to aid with digestion. It also helps to start meals with a small salad of fresh veggies.

6)Be aware of good intesinal hygiene - avoid processed, pre-packaged foods and "preservatives".

7)DO NOT EAT WHEN YOU FEEL STRESSED OR ANXIOUS

8)Try to buy free-range and organic as much as humanly possible.

9) Try to get your protein from other sources besides just meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Did you know that you can get all necessary protein by combinig any grain with any legume.

10) Choose your breads and spreads wisely. Most supermarket brands are terrible for someone trying to lose weight. Your best bets are either sprouted grain breads from the health food store or fresh bread from a local bakery. Margarine and butter will make it very difficult for you to lose weight. There are lots of tasty alternatives to these.

11) Avoid constipation by eating a very high fiber diet. Lots of raw fruits and veggies, whole grain cereals, etc.

12) Avoid saturated fats and ELIMINATE hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils completely. This is very important.

Good Luck!
--L

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R.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I am also an emotion/ boredom eater my problem was "grazing" while I was making dinner I would eat a bag of potatoe chips or a couple cookies then I would pick at the dinner I was making then I would sit down and eat dinner with my family then "graze" again later that night. To make matters worse I work at a hotel with an amazing pastry chef so pastries and cookies and cakes are everywhere. I heard from a friend about Hoodia, I dont take diet pills I never have I dont agree with "crash" diets. I started taking the pills they curb your desire to graze they dont make you dizzy or feel like you are on speed they just help curb the eating habit. It has worked for me I dont always take it every day now but it helped me break the habits I had. You eat less but you are not hungy. It is about $30 for the pills you can buy them at any grocery store I was really skeptical but they worked for me.

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C.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

J.,

Nothing safe will happen over night. You could make some small changes in yours and your familys everyday meals that would assist you for years. I live here in SE Las Vegas. I am also tied down with a limited budget for food and all of the healthy stuff is way expensive. My husband re-inlisted in the Army after being out for 10 years and he wanted to get down to an acceptable weight. I cut down on the amount of potatoes, pasta and rices. I always made a balanced meal including. Baked or BBQ meat, vegitables, and some type of starch. The problem I ran into wasn't that he wouldn't eat the veggies he was still trying to eat larger portions than his body needed. I started to make his plate for him and tell him that is all he could have.(not an easy task) But he was not alone with his meals. We as a family ate the same thing and it in turn tought our children good eating habbits. I know you said you didn't have money for the Gym. Me either. I would welcome a walking partner. I am trying to gain mussle and I have no stamina to do anything. My husband suggested power walking in the am or after work to get my body use to the idea before going all out with an excercize plan. You can call me anytime. sometimes it is just nice to get out of the house and talk to someone.

C. Moss
###-###-####

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W.D.

answers from Boise on

J.,
My name is W.. I have found a program that is christian based, called the Prism Weight Loss Program. We meet weekly in the Meridian area, so if you are close to there let me know if you're interested in seeing an intro video. There is daily lesson that we do, along with following a healthy eating plan. Exercise is recommended but not required. You can visit PrismWeightLossProgram.com for more info. I know of another group that meets in Eagle. Or the web site contacts can help you find one in your area. I have lost 21 pounds in 20 weeks and am keeping this off! I am still on my way to my goal, however long it takes. This is something I am not giving up on. It really helps us figure out food addictions and attitudes and behaviors around them. It takes discipline, but is really worth it. It's a good lifestyle change, not a crash diet. I hope this helps whomever reads it! My email is [email protected]____.com a great day!

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T.F.

answers from Eugene on

My mom lost over 30 lbs in a year with walking... be sure and drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Drink water before you eat...

We(Mom and I) are both emotional eaters... and I know how you feel and what you are going through!

Walking helps relieve stress and it works!

Good Luck!

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M.C.

answers from Portland on

I had great success with Weight Watchers also. I did the online version and I found it to be inexpensive and easy to understand. My family also came to appreciate all of the nutritional changes I made in our diets.

As for exercise... I started walking with one of my neighbors every morning before the kids go to school. It has been the best thing for me! It's free, I get a nice chat with a friend everyday, kid-free time, and a great boost of energy to get through the day. I consider losing weight just to be a pleasant side effect of the walking. Just start out at your own pace and add time intensity as you feel up to it.

Good luck. Let us all know of your success!

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C.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi J., my name is C.. I am responding to your e-mail about losing weight. First of all, I hope you realize that losing weight is a really hard thing to do. But it is possible. Might I suggest a little research on weight loss. there are a lot of books out there geared toward those who want to make those lifestyle changes in order to lose weight. THe books can serve as a part of your emotional therapy in order to discover and tackle those emotional issues you are dealing with. Then you need to get moving. Exercise is a great way to combat the blues and ofcourse it helps you lose weight. I love to exercise in my house because I can't afford a gym membership either. Or if you want to get out, go to the school nearby and walk the track. but the key with exercise is always finding something that you can do everyday or at least three days a week.And then have some variety. Strength train one day and than one day cardio and then on a day when you're feeling really good do both. Exercise DVDs are really cheap on Amazon.com. And then lastly you gotta work on the caloric intake. Thats when a food journal comes in handy. write everything that passes your lips everyday. Keep one in your purse when you are on the go and than somewhere in your house where you can access it easily. Make it a habit. That alone will make you more concious of what you are eating because it gives you accoutablility. Ofcourse eating out should be limited to once a week and whole grains lean meats and lots of fruits and veggies are a must in a healthy diet. Need more direction when it comes to cooking. Take your favorite recipes and tweak them. Whole wheat pasta for the regular stuff. Give yourself smaller portions of the cheesy casserole and have a salad before and a yogurt after to give variety and a fuller feeling. Those are the basics but maybe some supplemental hints are to have someone or sombodies who support you. You need a cheering section. Also as you begin to lose weight by whatever means ..don't weigh yourself. Then you might become obsessed with that number or size that may not be ideal for you. Being healthy has no number or size. Please feel free to ask more questions on specific books or exersise programs that I like and would reccommend. take it one day at a time and never give up.

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L.W.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.,
I went on weight watchers after I had my son. I love the diet. You can go a few different ways w/ it. It's very flexible. You may want to check out the website. They are awesome. I'm currently pregnant with my second child...so I'm not counting points...just watching what I eat. It's helped. I will go right back on it after I have this baby.
Feel free to write back with any questions. I'd love to help. :)

L.

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N.S.

answers from Bellingham on

I see you already have great suggestions (which is good because I need them too!) I wanted to say, you may be able to qualify for a YMCA scholorship. You fill out an application and just pay a portion of the cost. I pay ten dollars a month for me AND my daughter. They also have those progrems where they evalute your weight for free (I'm way to embarrased to do that though) And insurance....um this may sound scary to you, but with your depression you might be able to sign up for social security and then get on Medicare...or if you don't make much money you could always try for Medicaid.

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T.S.

answers from Casper on

I am really proud of you trying to get healthy and lose some weight in the process. Your family might even get a few benefits from this as well. ;) My biggest recomendation is this: remove sugar from your diet. Don't buy candy, pop or anything with High fructose syrup in it. Not only will this help you lose weight, it will cut your grocery bill and make you more healthy. Now, this doesn't mean buy sugar free stuff, that actually makes you gain weight. There are some studies saying that they are addictive and make you gain weight. Another easy thing is to buy all whole wheat whole grain products. NO white bread!!! This is a great beginning step. Of course eating more veggies and no red meat will also make you more healthy and help you lose weight. My last suggestion is to watch the portion size on items you buy. I usually get out the serving size and put it in a bowl instead of eating out of the bag or box. I find when I eat out of the bag or box I can eat the whole thing. Good luck and if you need any encouragement let me know!!!

:)T

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H.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

This is the age old question isn't it. I too gained 80 lbs with my first child, I was able to loose it all very quickly and not put back on any wieght with herbalife, but it was VERY EXPENSIVE. I put on 40 lbs with my sencond so I am not as big as I was after the first child. I am currently using a wieght loss plan called Vitality for life.com... It is only $6 a month and does meal planning, shoppig list and you don't have to go to meeting. It is very flexible and I am steadily lossing the weight. I would be glad to talk to you about it more if you would like. [email protected]____.com

H.

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