Portion Control? Low Carb?

Updated on March 31, 2015
N.R. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

Hi Moms - looking to jump start a little weight loss this spring and would love to hear how you were most successful. I know fad/crash diets are not the long term answer to changing habits and keeping weight off, etc., but am curious to hear what worked best for you to get going on your weight loss goals. Some swear by Weigh Watchers type portion control, others cut out carbs/dairy/alcohol etc. I know adding more exercise is key. Just looking to see what worked well for others. I'm looking to lose 10-15 pounds and would love to hear from you.

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answers from Reno on

I have been using myfitness pal app and that way I am more accountable to what I am eating.
I also go to the gym for my 30 minute lunch everyday. (i have two co workers that go with me)
I have been slowly getting rid of processed food and I make nice dinners with a salad.
I have lost 16.8 pounds so far in 9 weeks, I feel great. Still have about 60 pounds to lose but I feel the best I ever have.
Many blessings to you

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I lost 25 lbs. In a year Just by eating less. I dished up my meals on a luncheon sized plate And didn't have seconds. Manufacturers call this size plate a salad plate. For me, it's the right sized plate to remind me to eat smaller portions. I still had sweet treats such as cinnamon rolls. I did eat less carbs but I didn't go carb free. Neother did I focus on how many carbs I ate. I included healthy fats and some considered not so healthy such as butter. The only change to my diet was to eat less.

Wanting to lose 10-15 lbs. Indicates that you are possibly not obese. Neither was I. Those 25 lbs. were what I'd put on in the years after college. My weight was still within the healthy range. If you're not at an healthy weight now you may need more help to learn what is healthy.

My daughter was helped by Weight Watchers but she wasn't able to stay with the plan and gained back what she'd lost and then some.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Eat less, move more.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I tracked my calories online with a free program (spark people) and I joined a gym. I went to the gym for two hours four days a week and an hour on Saturday. One hour of cardio and one hour of alternating yoga and Pilates.

I took off about 30 pounds over a year.

Yes, I used tons of portion control.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Weight loss 101: eat less, exercise more.

Keep a journal of how much you eat in a day. Don't worry about what it is yet. Then, start cutting it down.
I lost 25 lbs over the course of a year by making slow adjustments so that I wasn't starving by doing it abruptly.

Now, I can tell you that at my previous weight, I was eating literally 2x as much as my body needs in a day. I also found that once I started eating less, I started to focus more on WHAT I ate, so that I stayed full longer. But at first, if you try to focus on too much, it's a recipe for failure.
So to start off, just eat less.
Worry about what you're eating once you have a handle on small portions.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My daughter had to follow the Whole30 food plan for 30 days, per orders of her doctor. For 30 days, people who follow this plan eliminate grains, dairy, and soy, (and alcohol, although that did not apply to her since she doesn't drink) and eat proteins (beef, chicken, fish, eggs), fresh fruits and vegetables, etc. The point of the program is that your food should look like food; not put into muffins or disguised or always in a casserole or covered with sauces and cheese. The meal should be recognizable: a portion of grilled or baked chicken, with sauteed or roasted or raw vegetables, fresh fruit.

Out of support for her, we followed the plan too. Their website is great, and there are Facebook pages for people who are following it, with recipes and ideas.

I lost 10 pounds!

What I observed afterwards, after evaluating how the 30 days had gone, was really interesting. I had learned what foods I routinely chose because they were easy, or fast. I don't eat badly, and I cook from scratch (no processed foods), but if I wanted something sweet, I chose a piece of chocolate without thinking. I had forgotten how nice it is to sit and eat some fresh blueberries, or orange segments, or strawberries, in the evening, instead of a cookie or piece of chocolate. Instead of a glass of wine, I had plain sparkling water with fresh lemon juice or lime juice squeezed into it.

Now we don't follow the plan precisely, but I still stick to the good things we learned.

I liked the plan because it wasn't food that was planned out for us or shipped to us, and it was real food, not packaged, processed things. We tried new vegetables, new fruits and new salad ingredients. I feel that the problem with the diet plans that provide your food or plan it out for you, or require you to count or portion or measure precisely, is that they don't set you up for long-term success. Most of us are not going to follow those kinds of plans forever, so it's best to make some good healthy switches (fresh roasted broccoli instead of frozen stuff in a sauce, fresh fruit instead of sugary stuff in a rainbow-swirled yogurt, needing to have bread with every meal - things like that), learn to appreciate food in its real form, and learn about and carefully evaluate our own eating habits.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am not looking to lose weight but I am a firm believer in healthy eating and exercise. My belief is moderation is the key.

When you forbid your body to have something it craves, you make it worse for yourself. SO, instead of eating an entire piece of dessert, cookie, salty snack, etc.... take 2 bites or less and you are done. You satisfied the craving so move on... MODERATION.

My mom took everything possible out of her house with fat and then bought fat free stuff. They were never satisified... they still wound up with a little bowl of ice cream or something to counter what they were missing from daily moderation.

You do need some fat in your system you know!

I walk a LOT. My IPhone has a built in app that helps me keep track of daily steps.

Also, instead of serving your dinner, etc on a dinner plate, use a salad plate. Your plate looks full but it holds less than a dinner plate! NEVER get a second helping of anything.

Drink LOTS of water. I drink about 8 large ice waters a day and I like to spike mine with fresh lemon, mint, orange, grapefruit, apple, berries... etc... just whatever fruit I have on hand.

I do drink a daily probiotic and I feel healthier when I drink it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Just eat real food. Stop eating when you feel almost full.
Exercise needn't be a trip o the gym or an Insanity video. Walk the dog around the block a few times after dinner.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Eat a dinner salad every night before you eat the rest of your dinner. I use low fat dressing. This way you fill your stomach with salad and not higher calorie foods.
A serving of potatoes or rice is a HALF cup. A serving of meat is about the size of your palm. Fill your plate with steamed veggies, if still hungry have a piece of fruit.
There are certain foods I can't live without. Spaghetti is one of them. I will make spaghetti about once a month maybe once every two months and eat it several nights in a row. I'm not big on the garlic bread so I never make that.
I remember several years ago Richard Simmons said comfort foods are important. For him it was the fried chicken and fixings his mom always made. He said if you don't indulge in your comfort foods every once in a while, when you do you will go wild and eat tons then feel guilty and could ruin your eating plan.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Eat less, move more, drink more water. And stay away from processed foods as much as you can and eat meat, veggies and fruits. And like Marda said, portion control... and 2 healthy snacks so you don't get so hungry between meals. This is my plan for when I get organized. lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

For Lent I have given up drinking anything but water. So NO juice, coffee, tea, soda, wine, beer, or anything but water. I've lost weight and feel better. The hardest part was the first week. I even believe I will try to stick to this beyond it's deadline because it is making a difference and I actually like the way the inside of my mouth feels. I can't really explain that but there are so many things I drink that are full of sugar.

Eating 3 meals a day with the largest meal at breakfast, a smaller meal for lunch and a light meal for dinner also works. If you must snack keep it to two snacks a day of fresh fruit or fresh veggies but without sauces, dips or creams for dipping. Reduce your intake of meat and starches (rices and potatoes). You can and should eat a variety of vegetables. Have a cut off time for eating which is at least two hours before your bedtime. If you have a particular weakness only engage in that weakness once a week if you must and limit the intake to a reasonable portion. 1 slice instead of a half of a pie or cake.

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, twice a day being optimal. If you can't get that into your schedule then build fitness into your everyday routine by taking the stairs, walking by parking further away from the door, or even standing instead of sitting. Get your body moving. There are plenty of free fitness videos on YouTube you can learn anything you wanted.

Also enlist the help of a partner to help keep you honest and encourage your goals if you aren't self motivated. 10-15 pounds can be easy but it is about finding the right balance. These are the things I have done and do to keep fit.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I have a healthy lifestyle change that doubles as a faster weight loss secret than fasting or detoxing or any other fad!

The book "Fit For Life" by Diamond from the 1980s. Amazon. You don't count calories or control portions, but you do eat healthy foods in certain combos between 8am and 8pm keeping approximately 75% of your intake fresh fruit and veggies with the 25% carbs and proteins. I eat huge salads and dark chocolate...

When I did it strictly a few years ago, I lost 20 pounds in one month (no lie, 5 pounds per week and I'm in my 40s), detoxed my skin, and experienced a huge energy boost. Once I was my healthy weight, I easily stayed thin for the next few years by keeping to the plan "usually" but I could be much more flexible. Weight loss has always been hard for me, so it was shock to have it be easy for the first time ever at my age!!

I just packed on 15 pounds over the past several months due to being sick and eating too many carbs and not exercising (basically not eating nearly Fit For Life-ish), so I'm going strict this month as of yesterday. I already feel less puffy today after one day of proper eating and exercise.

The rapid results are paired with serious exercise, but you'll still lose weight quickly and feel MUCH BETTER with normal exercise.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My DH has had a lot of success with a modified South Beach diet. He will say that you have to be careful with "low fat". Many "low fat" options add high fructose corn syrup, which he wants to avoid. So read the labels. Our family eats better since he's been on the diet but we don't always eat the same things. He might eat whole grain tortillas but DD prefers the white ones. Or he'll skip the taco shells and make a "taco salad". We all eat lower fat cheese, because it's just as tasty. We eat a LOT of fruit and veg and less meat. We don't do a lot of chips and sodas and candy (not that we did much anyway, but less so now). We also enjoy eating ethnic foods vs fast foods. They are often just as fast, but it's better to have quinoa than fries. And water. I keep a refillable water bottle by my desk and try to drink at least 1 if not more during the day, especially when I feel snackish. Most people are dehydrated and eat when they are actually thirsty.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I would treat it like I do my financial budget when something needs to change. Write everything down and review it at the end of the week. Your review will help you decide what needs changing. Use an app like Lose It or something.



answers from Portland on

I went on a crazy diet when I was young, and lost a ton of weight (bad) ... I just counted calories. The problem with that is you get a bit obsessed about food. Like it took a long time for me to forget how many calories were in a banana. So I think measuring and counting ... is an unhealthy way to think about food. I don't recommend it myself.

I do the same thing every spring when I go to try on my shorts and they are too snug.

When I go reaching for stuff - I have to have a glass of water or piece of fruit - FIRST. Usually that does it. Or some carrots/celery. You have to have it cut up.

That's all I do to change my habits. Otherwise I eat what I want.

If I think about foot and portion control, I just automatically start salivating and put weight on. It totally backfires for me.

Water's huge though. If you start exercising, and you don't drink water - you will eat because you're hungry. Make sure you get the water in.

Good luck :) Time for me to start too. I tried on shorts and can't do up the waist band.

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