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Help me figure out the key to weight loss for me?

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I'm struggling here. I need to lose at minimum 100lbs for both physical and mental health reasons. My metabolism is shot {two rounds of long term near starvation due to illness, thyroid issues, etc}. Dealing with joint issues caused by a mystery illness, but also in part due to {suspected} celiac and a Vit. D deficiency. And of course add in high stress and we all know that affects weight too. 

 

I've tried several diets over the last 2 years - and I'm still within a pound of where I started. I give up - it doesn't seem to matter if I binge on chocolate and chips or eat super healthy - my weight remains within a 15lb window! 

 

I'm willing to try just about anything. Here's what I have tried so far:

 

Weight Watchers - worked well for me back in 2004, but the last 3 times I've tried it I either maintained or gained {new programs}. 

Paleo / Whole30 - I lost about 20-ish {not entirely sure it was actually the diet, tbh}

Nutrisystem - of everything I've tried over the last 2 years, this was easiest imo. I loved the ease of just grabbing my food and not having to worry about weighing or measuring or anything. I lost maybe 15lbs over a few months. But now with celiac, I can't do nutrisystem because everything contains wheat. 

Calorie Counting {myfitnesspal / sparkpeople} - there's something about the numbers that just doesn't work for me. I start off tracking...and then grab the first candy in sight, and say forget it. Then rinse and repeat the next day. IF I do manage to stick to it....I usually just maintain. and I'm painfully hungry, which leads to falling off the diet etc. 

Weight loss surgery - I looked into it and am not a canidate due to the thyroid causing issues. 

Nutritionist - they can't figure out WHY I'm the weight I am, and never have been able to. My diet is usually healthy, I eat balanced most of the time, I get exercise....

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I recently had a gastric bypass, after debating the idea of weight loss surgery for 6 years. Like you, I could not lose weight, and stayed within 10 lbs +/- no matter what I ate or did. My endocrinologist recommended weight loss surgery. He told me that, statistically, once you are morbidly obese, you have a less than 5% of ever not being morbidly obese without weight loss surgery. So, with 100 lbs to lose, my advice would be weight loss surgery. You might be interested in this 60 Minutes episode on the topic:

 

This NYT Magazine article also gives a realistic look at life after surgery:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/27/health/bariatric-surgery.html

 

One thing I noticed not on your list would be a ketogenic diet. Before trying weight loss surgery, you might give keto a good college try. I really like this FB group for support and education on ketogenic diets:

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1604356226464490/

 

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My suggestions:

 

1.. get tested for celiac (ttg blood test). You must be on gluten for awhile for the test to be accurate. Going gluten free to celiac levels is different than just being gluten free. It really changed things for me.

 

2. If your metabolism is messed up I would talk to your doctor about going on metformin.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Shoot, someone how I missed that you wrote that WLS is out. My bad. 

 

ETA: I might get a second opinion on the surgery because plenty of people have had bariatric surgery with thyroid problems.

Edited by SeaConquest

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My suggestions:

 

1.. get tested for celiac (ttg blood test). You must be on gluten for awhile for the test to be accurate. Going gluten free to celiac levels is different than just being gluten free. It really changed things for me.

 

2. If your metabolism is messed up I would talk to your doctor about going on metformin.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

:iagree:  I don't know how it's come up for me in two different threads tonight, but yes, metformin is amazing.

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Shoot, someone how I missed that you wrote that WLS is out. My bad. 

 

ETA: I might get a second opinion on the surgery because plenty of people have had bariatric surgery with thyroid problems.

 

I was told it was contra-indicated because I'm hyper thyoid {controlled with medication} which causes mal-absorbtion of nutrients already. WLS surgery would worsen that and potentially cause issues. 

 

I'll double check again though. I'm so sick of trying things only for them to not work. 

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Have you ever been to a naturopathic doctor?

I went once and got a thorough workup.  She focusses on making you well, optimally well, not just not sick.  It's subtle but a very important distinction.  I felt like she got me *as a system*, an overall, not just a collection of issues.  

 

Nutritionally she nailed a bunch of stuff, and now whenever I start feeling worn out I know what to take to pop myself back into optimal energy.  She has some kind of weight loss program as well, which I have not tried.  One of these days I just might, because all of her other recommendations have been spot on.

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Waiting until I'm physically hungry and stopping before I'm full/stuffed (i.e., until just satisfied) worksfor me -- when I do it.  That's the hard part, but I have lost 30-35 pounds (down to my regular weight) three different times in my life doing this.  I need to make it a lifestyle to make the weight loss stick,and that's where I struggle, but it does work for me when I'm consistent.  To me, it's the normal, designed way of eating so it's the only thing that's going to work for me long term.  Last fall I ordered a four month program on this very thing, at the website www.ThinWithin.com. I'm still working through these weekly lessons. 

Edited by milovany
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Have you tried working on timing rather than focusing on what you eat? Something like the No S diet or 5:2?

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This isn’t a diet, per se, but the beck diet solution by Judith Beckman, PhD. It focuses on why your diets might be failing from a thought perspective. For instance, why give up for the day after eating one candy, instead of getting back on tract after eating something you didn’t plan? Gotta run but I hope to come back later.

Edited by displace
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The Beck Diet Solution is cognitive behavioral therapy based. It hyper focuses on rethinking about how you eat, mindless eating, motivation to lose weight, changing habits, making time and effort. I’m still working through it, and some of the knowledge I “know†already, but I don’t always think of it in the moment when it’s important.

 

It works with any diet.

 

Disclosure: I’m still working on it, I’m only about halfway through, so it’s not a “success†for me yet, but there are plenty of success stories on amazon reviews for it. She has lost 15 lbs per her book, so doesn’t have an obese (or formerly obese) perspective on weight. She made one comment so far, about watching people eat and saying “they couldn’t possibly still be hungryâ€, or some such. Well, that’s how obesity can work, but I see her point that maybe they weren’t hungry but they were still eating. And she states she’s counseled many patients (which I have no reason to doubt). So I do trust her enough to continue reading and trying, just like any doctor can help even if she hasn’t been through it herself.

 

Things included in her plan are realistic and known to be helpful, just things I never did with such frequency before: daily reminders (or more), of your personal motivation reasons, sitting down to eat, finding a helpful coach for when things are hard, understanding that hunger isn’t an emergency, getting back on track even after the first bite or food, making time to diet and exercise, planning meals to prevent overeating, etc.

 

It’s stuff you may “know†you have to do, but probably don’t do and may need to do to be successful.

 

One thing about the thyroid. Is it possible your thyroid is causing a stronger hunger cue?

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0848732758/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521537910&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=beck+diet+solution+book&dpPl=1&dpID=51R7BeY7AOL&ref=plSrch

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I think, at that level, surgery options are worth looking into. I've known quite a few people (irl, and a whole lot more online) who have gone that way with terrific results.  Only a few of the ones from 20 years ago kept the weight off, but I can't think of any from +/- 10 years ago who hasn't.

 

Outside of medical supervision, I'm still not a fan of strict diets.  I think calorie reduction is the most effective for the most people in the big picture, and most "prescribed" diets do just that, but with strict rules.  With hunger being your issue in that area, it's really okay to aim "low carb" to get the more filling fats and proteins without having to be a perfectionist.  Another thought is to gradually decrease your calories instead of trying to work off of the numbers for your goal weight. Drastic cuts are hard for the body AND the mind to handle. You're going on a long journey. Try to be patient with yourself, whatever route you take!

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Waiting until I'm physically hungry and stopping before I'm full/stuffed (i.e., until just satisfied) worksfor me -- when I do it.  That's the hard part, but I have lost 30-35 pounds (down to my regular weight) three different times in my life doing this.  I need to make it a lifestyle to make the weight loss stick,and that's where I struggle, but it does work for me when I'm consistent.  To me, it's the normal, designed way of eating so it's the only thing that's going to work for me long term.  Last fall I ordered a four month program on this very thing, at the website www.ThinWithin.com. I'm still working through these weekly lessons. 

 

There is also a video program called Naturally Slim that works this way.  I didn't do that well on it, but I would like to try again.  I can post the general outline of the program if you are interested.   Several people I know have lost large amounts of weight on this program.  

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Do you still have your old Weight Watchers stuff from 2004? If so, that might be worth a try again.

 

I understand the frustration.

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I know this is very controversial on this board, but... Keto.  

 

If you have that always hungry feeling, feel you need sugar because of huge energy swings throughout the day, find it impossible to limit it to just one sweet, etc... and you have the symptoms of insulin resistance, which it sounds like you do... this could be a workable diet.  

 

For some people, the all-or-nothing approach feels very unhealthy mentally.  Many people CAN implement and succeed with moderation methods, such as WW.  These people probably do not have any insulin resistance issues.  For others, having very strict guidelines makes it a lot easier.  There is no more need to decide if a sweet could be a reasonable splurge, you know it's not on-plan.  Personally, I tend to be a black and white thinker and get decision-fatigue easily, so keto is a great option.  It's so much easier for me to say, "I don't eat non-vegetable carbohydrates" than for me to ask myself 1000 times a day, "If I had the toast for breakfast, but I skip the potato salad, I could have 2 squares of milk chocolate, assuming I don't put sauce on my chicken tonight, and tomorrow I skip breakfast..."- trying to juggle calorie intake, with a body whose metabolism shifts constantly... no thank you!

 

I recommend before starting that you watch some Jason Fung videos on youtube.  This is a wonderful introduction and explains why even with pretty strong calore-restriciton, many people with insulin resistance still struggle to lose any weight at all.  

 It's worth noting that Jason Fung's main focus is on fasting, but what applies to fasting also applies to ketosis, since fasting is effective because it puts the body into ketosis.  Then head over to the reddit keto board, which is an incredibly friendly forum with an excellent FAQ on how to get started.  There are no gimmicks in keto (well, very few, and none are a necessary thing).  DietDoctor.com is another good resource.  

 

I "went keto" for a number of reasons: PCOS, which is insulin-metabolism related, migraine headaches, running performance, energy, and yes, to lose about 20 pounds as well.  It is doing all of those things for me, though I'm not at goal yet for my weight, as I'm too early in.  It is worth it for me just for the dramatic migraine reduction and energy increase though.    

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. I lost 60 lbs in my late 50s and have kept it off.  My suggestions would be these:

 

1. Given all the diets that you've tried, it seems that it would be best to evaluate the bigger picture before evaluating a specific eating plan. I would really, really encourage you to take a perspective of caring tenderly for your body, just like you would care for your child's,  rather than on  losing weight. 

 

2. Evaluate your sleep. If you are not sleeping (actual sleep time, not time in bed)  for 7-8 hours a night, your body produces hormones that are designed to increase your food intake.Fighting your hormones is not the way to weight loss. f you suspect that you snore or you have sleep issues that you cannot resolve through good sleep hygiene, go to a sleep doctor and get a sleep study done.  Being overweight puts you at greater risk for sleep apnea and a vicious cycle can be created. 

 

3. In addition to seeking medical help for any sleep issues that can't be resolved, make sure your medical care is optimal for thyroid, celiac, etc. If your body is constantly inflamed, or if your thyroid levels are not optimal,  you will find it hard to lose. 

 

4. Evaluate your hydration. Many of us eat when we are thirsty. Additionally, water  before a meal does help to fill us up. Also, one of the first things to tackle in terms of weight loss is what you drink. Water, clear tea, and clear coffee are your friends. If you are used to sugar in your tea or coffee, you can either try cold turkey or gradually diminishing the amounts. There is debate in the research, but there is enough research that is tending to show that artificial sweeteners may be a hindrance to losing weight, that I would ditch the diet drinks as well. There are some nice flavored sparkling waters now if you crave carbonation. 

 

5. Strengthen your support system. Often family and friends undermine our dieting efforts. That could be because they are culturally conditioned to view food intake as a sign of love, etc. or it can be for other reasons. It is helpful for friends to know that you are doing what you are doing for your health. It's harder to push something that will make you unhealthy. If you do have celiac, find good information and give it to them proactively so they don't say things like, "One piece of cake won't matter. It's a birthday party!"  Online support systems can help tremendously. (There is a thread on WTM called Well Trained Bodies. You're welcome to come over! But there are several online groups focused on supporting people through their journey to health.) 

 

5. Make sure your environment is not giving you cues to eat and how much to eat.

  • People eat more in cluttered kitchens, so if you have any issues with clutter, make your kitchen a clutter-free zone.
  • The only food that should be out in view is a bowl of fruit.
  • Get rid of any trigger foods. If someone else in your family just loves chips and they are a trigger food for you, ask them to keep them out of sight, or to forego them for your sake. Your i DH can eat forbidden foods at lunchtime. The kids don't need to establish a pattern of eating in the first place. (See support above) .
  • Arrange your pantry, cabinets, and fridge so that the food that is healthiest for you is what you see first
  • Use smaler plates. Use salad plates for lunch and lunch plates for supper---unless you are eating a huge salad or something. 

6. Look up the National Weight Loss Registry and see what people who have successfully lost and maintained have in common. 

 

7. Exercise. If you don't already exercise, I would strongly encourage you to do it for its many positive effects on your health and body rather than view it as a way to burn calories. Exercise increases longevity, protects cognitive health, helps manage stress, improves the appearance of your skin, keeps your immune system younger as you age, etc. etc. AND it causes your body to produce hormones that will be the balance you need to lose weight.  Calorie burning is inexact anyway and exercise often becomes a punishment for overeating if it's thought of as a calorie burner. The most important exercise step is to "not sit." Keep moving during the day--every hour to 1/2 hour make sure you're up and doing something---sweep, vacuum, garden, pace while you're on the phone, etc. After that, add in walking. If your joint pain is bad, look for a YMCA or other fitness center with a heated pool. 

 

8. In terms of actual food intake in the meantime, I would encourage you to focus on nutrition Take tender care of your body. Try for 5-9 servings of fruit and veges a day. They are full of things your body is needs to run well.  Don't eat junk. Read labels. 

 

9. Pay attention to what you say to yourself about yourself and about food. (I have not read the Beck solution, but Beck was the pioneer for cognitive behavioral therapy, which has an excellent research base across multiple conditions. 

 

If you take care of the big picture first, I think you will have more choices in terms of eating programs that will work. 

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If NutriSystem worked for you there are alternatives to NutriSystem that may have options without all the wheat. Here is a gluten free option from Green Chef. https://greenchef.com/home

 

If it were me, I'd consult the doctors, try a low wheat meal plan to take the daily food decisionmaking off your plate (so to speak), and begin a physical activity that has great mental benefits. You've probably got your mind tied up in knots trying to figure out this health and dieting thing, give it a break for thirty minutes a day. I recommend daily walking preferably in an area with some greenery (if your joints allow for walking). Yes, for the exercise, but really because walking is great for the mind. Start small (even a block), and increase slowly over time. Think of walking as a meditative exercise rather than a physical one. Walk alone if it is safe and do not listen to music. I find long walks in nature (or along streets with many trees) to be the perfect way to spark creativity, work through problems, and to feel strong and alive. There is also a reason for the saying "walk it off". Sometimes a short walk is the best solution to frustration. Sometimes, I come back from walks wanting to do more traditional exercises, sometimes I have an inspiration for something to write, sometimes I see something so beautiful (wildflowers, birds, etc.) it makes my heart sing, sometimes it was just some fresh air. But all the time, I am better off physically for doing the walk (think here of endurance and muscle tone rather than weight loss) and in a better mental state than before the walk.

 

Here is a blog post and an article about the brain science behind walking in nature and how it positively changes outlooks. Sometimes if we just have one thing that is going really right, everything else falls into place behind it.

 

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/22/how-nature-changes-the-brain/

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/how-walking-in-nature-prevents-depression/397172/

 

Also seconding Laurie4B's list in the post above mine. She covers just about everything (sleep!) and has the same perspective about caring for your mind and body rather than focusing on the scale.

 

Edited by Kalmia
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Have you seen a bariatric physician, even though you’re not a candidate for surgery? A specialist may be able to help when others cannot.

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I hate to say it as well, but the keto diet can be very effective for some folks. I would talk to your doctor.

 

Can you start swimming? It is great exercise for someone with aching joints. It tones your whole body and can really help you shred calories as well.

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7. Exercise. If you don't already exercise, I would strongly encourage you to do it for its many positive effects on your health and body rather than view it as a way to burn calories. Exercise increases longevity, protects cognitive health, helps manage stress, improves the appearance of your skin, keeps your immune system younger as you age, etc. etc. AND it causes your body to produce hormones that will be the balance you need to lose weight.  Calorie burning is inexact anyway and exercise often becomes a punishment for overeating if it's thought of as a calorie burner. The most important exercise step is to "not sit." Keep moving during the day--every hour to 1/2 hour make sure you're up and doing something---sweep, vacuum, garden, pace while you're on the phone, etc. After that, add in walking. If your joint pain is bad, look for a YMCA or other fitness center with a heated pool. 

 

 

The health benefits from daily exercise are enormous, and I'd place this as the #1 place. I love your point about not treating exercise as a punishment for eating, or as a method of losing weight. Being physically active is an excellent indicator of good health, and good health involves so much more than simply weight.

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What has worked for dh and me:

 

Read the book How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger (much of the information can also be found for free on his website, NutrionFacts.org)

 

Adopt the plant based, whole foods diet that he recommends.

 

We are at our lowest weights in years and feeling great.

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I can only tell you what has worked for me. I was always chubby. In my mid-20's, after taking a sedentary, stressful job I found myself in obese territory. I woke up one morning around my 25th birthday and decided to change things starting that day. I lost over sixty pounds. I made lots of mistakes along the way but I learned from them. It's thirty years later now and other than a few ups and downs I've kept the weight off. That's through two pregnancies, several surgeries, menopause and a hypothyroidism diagnosis. These things work for me:

 

Calories in/calories out

 

Mindful eating--paying attention to what I'm eating, how much, and (especially) to how that food makes me feel afterwards

 

I don't avoid any food groups, but any given food has to "earn its keep" with me. That means it has to be satisfying for the number of calories it contains and not make me feel bad after I eat it

 

I move as much as I can. I focus on overall movement much more than formal exercising

 

Constant vigilance is my norm, but I give myself permission to take plenty of breaks. Sometimes that's for one meal and sometimes it's an entire vacation

 

But I always come back to my normal vigilance. It's not particularly hard because I know what makes me feel best, and that's what I come back to

 

I weigh every single day and track it on an app. I need the accountability of daily weighing. It helps me maintain focus and understand fluctuations. The app keeps me from fixating on any single number.

 

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but that's the gist of it.

 

There are no magic secrets. It's about figuring out what works for you. And no one else can tell you what that is.

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I'm by far an expert, but I think a whole foods based diet is the way to go for anyone, if at all possible. The chemicals and food additives and overall strange things that go in packaged food these days are mind boggling. Take "natural flavors" for example... which are in SO many things, even organic juice! If it's so natural and healthy, why not just say what it is?

 

If it were me, I'd start by cleaning out any packaged foods, and then buy real, honest foods. If you need packaged food for convenience, get stuff like instant oatmeal with no weird ingredients, cheese sticks, etc. No natural flavors. No soy lecithin... no "healthy" foods that have even the slightest suspect ingredients.

 

I wouldn't focus on restricting calories right now, since you said it doesn't seem to make a difference anyway. Why not take a couple weeks to really try and nourish your body. Only eat things that have some kind of nutritional value. If that still doesn't work, a naturopath is a fantastic idea. There could be many food intolerances that you don't know about yet which cause inflammation + weight gain.

 

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I’m with laurie4b, wintermom, and Pawz4me.

 

I would also caution against keto mostly because for you it doesn’t seem like it would be a good fit. If Paelo/Whole30 had been a more sustainable thing for you then maybe I might leave it in there. Maybe. Probably not. I’m fairly anti-keto and certainly anti-hype surrounding keto. It’s not a magic pill and Dr. Fung is a nephrologist so for me he’s not real high on the list of experts. His previous association with Jimmy Moore doesn’t do him any favors, either. YMMV amd all that.

 

If WW worked for you in 2004 and the new plans don’t, then I’d say it’s the new plans. Do you still have the plan info from 2004? If not, it’s possible you can find the info online. I’d consider doing that because you said it did work.

 

Calorie counting is imprecise, but there’s a difference between satiety in low calorie foods. So you can eat lower calories and not feel ravenously hungry if you keep that in mind, that being said, I’m more concerned with the way you talk about your experiences - there’s a lot of “I did x then I ate y and decided to give up.†It seems like that’s a pattern for you and it reads to me like self-sabotage which can be a very powerful way to make sure you stay exactly where you are.

 

Here’s what I can guarantee for you about losing a significant amount of weight, it is going to be full of plateaus, setbacks, small weight increases, large weight losses, bad days, good days, just alright days. Your weight loss graph will be full of ups and downs. And ups. And downs. If you zoom out you’ll see the larger trend, but if you focus on any one little up, then it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. So, above all, it’s time to deal with how you deal with setbacks. You are not a failure if you have a piece of candy and there’s no need to give up and eat whatever because you did. Keep on keeping on is my motto.

 

I’m down with anyone who addresses the mental game in weight loss. So, maybe the Beck Diet might work for you or Dr. Doug Lisle’s “The Pleasure Trap.†Lisle’s big on calorie density/satiety, but he comes at that within the context of veganism so that may not work for you. I would have recommended Brian Wansink’s stuff in the past, but he’s got some credibility issues right now. There might be others out there that I’m not familiar with. I’ve seen Bright Line Eating mentioned here and there, but can’t say much beyond that.

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I wish I had answers. I, too, had great success on WW in the early 2000's but have not been able to lose any of the weight I gained while on anti-anxiety meds. I have tried every diet out there and have spent lots of time and money chasing the dream. I lose 2-3 and then gain back 3-4. The joke in our family is that I could go on Survivor, Naked and Afraid, or Alone and be the only person to gain weight while starving. I would love to be in the healthy weight range for my height and age. It's an elusive goal, however.

 

I hope you find something that works for you.  :grouphug:

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I was told it was contra-indicated because I'm hyper thyoid {controlled with medication} which causes mal-absorbtion of nutrients already. WLS surgery would worsen that and potentially cause issues. 

 

I'll double check again though. I'm so sick of trying things only for them to not work. 

 

How long ago did you look into it? Sleeve surgery has very little malabsorption, so may be an option. (stomach is cut down to the size of a banana)

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For those that liked the older WW plans, the iTrackBites app has WW Classic, Points Plus, Smart points, or just tracking calories all available as options in the app.

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(hugs) I won't even try to give advice.

I've never had to lose that much weight so won't pretend I know how any secrets.

More (hugs)

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Have you seen a bariatric physician, even though you’re not a candidate for surgery? A specialist may be able to help when others cannot.

 

Agree. If they can't do surgery they will tell you, and still help you. But do PLEASE seek out a bariatric center of excellence, not just some person with a billboard or whatever. Results vary WIDELY based on the both the competency of the surgeon AND the thoroughness of the whole program (nutritionist/therapist/etc integration). If they are a center of excellence they will claim it loudly and proudly, so not hard to tell :)

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I want to second Selkie's recommendation for Dr. Gregor's book and eating plan.  It has been absolutely life-changing for me.  If you prefer videos rather than books, he has many at his website.  (Though I want to be honest with you that my issues were different than yours.  I was dealing with high cholesterol, chronic migraines, some anxiety, and about 15 pounds of excess weight.  It helped with all of that, and also improved my sleep, my energy levels, my skin, my immunity, my allergies...)

 

I will admit upfront that I am anti-keto.  I ate keto for 12 years (that's how I ended up with the high cholesterol, the chronic migraines, etc.).  Even when I was an avid defender/promoter of the diet, I wouldn't have recommended it for you.  It's been demonstrated that dropping carbohydrate intake below 50g per day reduces the body's ability to convert T4 to T3.  I don't know what your exact thyroid problem is, of course, but I just wouldn't risk it.  

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Would lower-carb as opposed to full keto be a possibility? If you're eating hundreds of carbs per day, which is easy for many of us to do, you can certainly lower that quite a bit before getting to the keto or Atkins induction levels. 

 

One strategy that I have seen, and that was recommended to a diabetic friend by her doctor, is to have no more than 40g carbs in a 3-hour window. So if you eat 40 carbs at lunch, and want a snack two hours later, it should be a no carb snack. 

 

The idea is that lowering carbs overall and/or at one time will improve metabolism and reduce cravings and hunger. 

 

I know nothing about the thyroid issues. Is low carb an issue only long-term or also short-term? The progress I made on very low carb (not keto for me, just low carb) was very motivating, even though I didn't stay at that level long-term. It was just extremely discouraging to me to eat healthy, count calories, and do all the things for what seemed like a 1 or 2 pound difference. And those scant pounds came back the minute I went off-plan. I realize those things were aiding lifetime health, but what can I say? I am shallow and impatient. With low carb, the weight has so far stayed off for several months, even going to a higher number of carbs and more variety of them. That's not true long-term success, I realize, but it's the only success I've had, lol. 

 

I have not tried metformin but I've heard good things about it, and it seems to make the same claims as low carb: improved metabolism, reduced cravings and hunger. 

 

If you haven't done so, you might try keeping a daily journal - not just a food journal, but food, exercise, activities, and mood/energy. Over time, it's easier to see patterns and triggers. 

 

It's such a difficult and personal journey. A way of eating that makes one person feel great makes another person sluggish and foggy. Best of luck as you try to get it figured out. 

Edited by katilac
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For those that liked the older WW plans, the iTrackBites app has WW Classic, Points Plus, Smart points, or just tracking calories all available as options in the app.

 

And I would bet that the old books are floating around somewhere for sale used. 

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ebay has some Weight Watchers 2004 stuff for sale, including a starter kit. 

 

Amazon has the food companion book. 

 

It looks like you can find most variations pretty readily (of the various WW programs). 

 

If it worked before, it might be the thing to try again!

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I want to second Selkie's recommendation for Dr. Gregor's book and eating plan.  It has been absolutely life-changing for me.  If you prefer videos rather than books, he has many at his website.  (Though I want to be honest with you that my issues were different than yours.  I was dealing with high cholesterol, chronic migraines, some anxiety, and about 15 pounds of excess weight.  It helped with all of that, and also improved my sleep, my energy levels, my skin, my immunity, my allergies...)

 

I will admit upfront that I am anti-keto.  I ate keto for 12 years (that's how I ended up with the high cholesterol, the chronic migraines, etc.).  Even when I was an avid defender/promoter of the diet, I wouldn't have recommended it for you.  It's been demonstrated that dropping carbohydrate intake below 50g per day reduces the body's ability to convert T4 to T3.  I don't know what your exact thyroid problem is, of course, but I just wouldn't risk it.  

From what I've read I don't think low carb is ideal for thyroid disease either, of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that the SAD level of carbs is good either. I'm not sure how that would work for hyper instead of hypothyroidism.

 

I did low carb before and felt great but don't feel good with it anymore. But I don't feel good entirely veg*n either, although I eat many more veg*n meals then I did in the past. Fasting doesn't work for me either. I've never had cholesterol issues though, or migraines. Even very low carb my cholesterol levels were always low.

 

But I think everyone has to do their own experimentation to figure out what works for them. It took me a good while to figure out what way of eating made me feel the best now that I'm past pregnancy/nursing and have thyroid disease. I didn't feel good when I was too high or too low in carbs, although other people do great with both those WoE.

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Nia Shanks is another one who has a good, level-headed, and evidence-based take on weight loss. I’ll lini it in case you find it helpful - http://www.niashanks.com/uncomfortable-truths-nutrition-health-fitness/

 

Regardless of how much weight you have to lose, I think focusing on other goals can be helpful because often times the pursuit of those things for their own sake often results in weight/fat loss. Kind of like running. If you run because you love running and do it just for the sake of running, then weight loss/fat loss/body re-comp usually follows. On the other hand, if you run because you think it’s a good way to lose weight, then chances are you won’t stick with it and you’ll also find it’s an ineffective tool.

 

But you don’t have to run, or do yoga, or take up any specific exercise me or anyone else mentions. Maybe right now you just focus on adding in some physical activity - whatever it is that you enjoy and even if it’s only walking around the block. First, because it’s a great way to deal with stress. Second, because often times it is accompanied by endorphins which helps your mood improve. And lastly, because being active can remind you just how amazingly wonderful your very own body is *and* how very much you are worth it. You are more than your body fat. You are more than the number that reflects how much gravity pulls you to the earth. You can pursue health no matter your size. Weight loss may accompany that - can accompany that, but i proved health can be found even if it doesn’t happen in huge amounts.

 

To me, that’s worth pursuing all by itself.

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I want to second Selkie's recommendation for Dr. Gregor's book and eating plan.  It has been absolutely life-changing for me.  If you prefer videos rather than books, he has many at his website.  (Though I want to be honest with you that my issues were different than yours.  I was dealing with high cholesterol, chronic migraines, some anxiety, and about 15 pounds of excess weight.  It helped with all of that, and also improved my sleep, my energy levels, my skin, my immunity, my allergies...)

 

I will admit upfront that I am anti-keto.  I ate keto for 12 years (that's how I ended up with the high cholesterol, the chronic migraines, etc.).  Even when I was an avid defender/promoter of the diet, I wouldn't have recommended it for you.  It's been demonstrated that dropping carbohydrate intake below 50g per day reduces the body's ability to convert T4 to T3.  I don't know what your exact thyroid problem is, of course, but I just wouldn't risk it.  

 

I'm curious... Were you eating a low carb/ high fat/ moderate protein diet for those years? I've been following a page on FB--lurking for a year. This particular page is distinctive in that they eat more protein than fat. So for me they would recommend I eat 120g protein/ 73g fat/ 20 net carbs. I've been blown away by the transformations I've seen--no gimmicks, no products. Improved blood work, too--cholesterol and thyroid. 

 

And when I eat this way, I NEVER feel hungry. I can't even get that much protein in most days. So I tweaked my macros--a few more carbs, a little less protein. Still under 1300 calories.

 

btw, not sold on this woe yet. I've just been experimenting with it to see how I do. I'm not long term committed or anything.

 

I'm not trying to be contrary--just genuinely curious. I have no doubts that what you are recommending--Dr. Gregor-- is a very healty way of eating. I'm going to check it out, too. :)

 

OP--I'm so sorry you are struggling in this way. You must be very weary of it all. I wish you the best and hope you find what works for you. My 2 cents for you based on some friends' experiences is to look into integrative medicine. These 2 friends of mine have seen some life changing results.

Edited by stephensgirls

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I'm curious... Were you eating a low carb/ high fat/ moderate protein diet for those years? I've been following a page on FB--lurking for a year. This particular page is distinctive in that they eat more protein than fat. So for me they would recommend I eat 120g protein/ 73g fat/ 20 net carbs. I've been blown away by the transformations I've seen--no gimmicks, no products. Improved blood work, too--cholesterol and thyroid. 

 

And when I eat this way, I NEVER feel hungry. I can't even get that much protein in most days. So I tweaked my macros--a few more carbs, a little less protein. Still under 1300 calories.

 

btw, not sold on this woe yet. I've just been experimenting with it to see how I do. I'm not long term committed or anything.

 

I'm not trying to be contrary--just genuinely curious. I have no doubts that what you are recommending--Dr. Gregor-- is a very healty way of eating. I'm going to check it out, too. :)

 

 

I don't mind questions at all!  I know that different people can have very different experiences with the diet.  And I felt really good and loved it for the first several years - it was really only the last few years that my blood sugar and HA1c started going up, followed shortly by the cholesterol going up, and the onset of the other problems.  Also, my thyroid numbers were still within normal, but not optimal, and getting worse as time went on.

 

Anyway, to answer your question, I was eating low-carb, high-fat, and moderate-protein.  I didn't typically count my fat and protein grams, but I know my fat intake was about 70% of my calories, protein was about 20%, and carbs were 10% or less.

 

It was very good for appetite control.  And it really seemed to make my immune system stronger.  (Though WFPB has been great in that way as well, so I guess that's more about avoiding refined sugars than it is about total carb grams?  Not sure.)

 

My husband was never happy about my choice to go keto, because he said it made my skin look unhealthy, and it dramatically reduced my ability to do any kind of endurance exercise.  I ignored those things because I thought it was so great in other ways, that it couldn't possibly be that which was causing those problems.  (Like, if it's good for me in this way, it has to be good for me overall, right?)  So I would just advise you to keep an eye out for things like that, for slowly rising fasting glucose levels, for cholesterol levels that start creeping up, for any signal that your body might be in distress.  But I wish you continued success with it!

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I'm not sure how that would work for hyper instead of hypothyroidism.

 

 

 

I'm not either.  My numbers were creeping toward hypo while I was low-carb (had started out normal).  I really don't have any idea what effect it would have on hyperthyroidism.

 

I hope you are finding what works for you now!  

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I started the Wahls Protocol after being diagnosed with MS. I can't say if it's helping with MS, but I did lose about 45 pounds so far, no calorie counting at all. The main component is eating 9 cups of veggies/fruit a day: 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of colors and 3 cups of sulfur. I get close to that but rarely get a full 9 cups in. I also don't eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and very minimal amounts of processed foods. Aside from the weight loss I do have more energy. I would say that the diet works very well to reduce inflammation in the body. I also have Hashimoto's, and I have felt better in that regard. 

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I started the Wahls Protocol after being diagnosed with MS. I can't say if it's helping with MS, but I did lose about 45 pounds so far, no calorie counting at all. The main component is eating 9 cups of veggies/fruit a day: 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of colors and 3 cups of sulfur. I get close to that but rarely get a full 9 cups in. I also don't eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and very minimal amounts of processed foods. Aside from the weight loss I do have more energy. I would say that the diet works very well to reduce inflammation in the body. I also have Hashimoto's, and I have felt better in that regard.

Derailing to mention I heard a BBC news report yesterday regarding excellent prognosis for MS after stem cell transplants.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/health-43435868

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I don't mind questions at all!  I know that different people can have very different experiences with the diet.  And I felt really good and loved it 

 

My husband was never happy about my choice to go keto, because he said it made my skin look unhealthy, and it dramatically reduced my ability to do any kind of endurance exercise. 

 

That's so weird. It's funny how different people respond to different things...

 

I find keto is great for my endurance. When I first switched over to keto it took a few weeks for me to adjust, but then I quickly took off from there. I ran a half marathon in February in a fasted state and was very happy with my time. I feel like I have a ton of energy and I think my skin looks great ;) 

 

I've also noticed my immune system seems stronger. I don't get headaches or heartburn anymore. I'm getting stronger in the gym - deadlifted 225 lbs this week :) 

 

The weight loss was really just the beginning. 

 

And just to address the weight loss - I had been hovering around 30 lbs above what I weighed when I was 19 for years. I tried a variety of different things - slim fast, calorie restriction, weird cabbage soup diets, etc. These would work for a while and then I'd plateau and get frustrated and eventually give up. I had clothes in my closet that I didn't think I would ever fit into again. About five years ago, I read the Japanese decluttering book and actually got rid of the majority of clothes that didn't fit. I figured I'd weigh about 155 lbs forever and that there was no point in hanging on to anything small. 

 

We moved here, I got hit with really horrible seasonal depression, and in two years I gained about 30 more pounds. When I saw 183.9 on the scale I decided that was enough. I started calorie restriction at first, using the Lose It app and logging all my food. I had a friend who was doing keto and I researched that and eventually began eating keto. When I was researching, the info about how calorie restriction can reduce your basal metabolic rate really resonated with me. I was sure that's what I did when I was trying to restrict calories all those times I attempted to lose weight. The info about insulin resistance also resonated with me, as did the link between increased insulin and increased weight gain. I lost 60 lbs in 7 months following a ketogenic diet with some intermittent fasting. I got down to 122 lbs - I hadn't seen that weight since I was 19. I didn't believe it was possible, but it happened.

 

Then I gained 25 back during my worst winter of seasonal depression. I'm still battling seasonal depression this year, but I'm using a bunch of strategies to fight it and I have more good days than bad days. I'm 13 lbs above goal weight at the moment - I keep bouncing around from 4 lbs above to 14 lbs above, but I think once I get through the worst of the winter I'll be able to get back down pretty easily. 

 

I honestly did not think it was possible for me to lose this much weight or to ever fit into xs clothing. I feel like I'm myself again. 

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My endocrinologist has me on 50-100 g of carbs a day (total, not net), with Hashimoto’s and LADA. I’m tracking calories and macros. I have found that when I limit carbs to the 50-75g level, calories usually are under 1200 without feeling terribly deprived.

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That's so weird. It's funny how different people respond to different things...

 

I find keto is great for my endurance. When I first switched over to keto it took a few weeks for me to adjust, but then I quickly took off from there. I ran a half marathon in February in a fasted state and was very happy with my time. I feel like I have a ton of energy and I think my skin looks great ;)

 

I've also noticed my immune system seems stronger. I don't get headaches or heartburn anymore. I'm getting stronger in the gym - deadlifted 225 lbs this week :)

 

The weight loss was really just the beginning. 

 

 

 

 

I'm so glad that it's working for you, and that you are feeling so well, and so strong, and so happy!  That is awesome.  My endurance markedly improved when I went off of keto, I mean for me it was really a huge difference.  I enjoy exercise more now because I can accomplish so much more, and I recover more quickly, and I just feel so much better doing it.  My skin looks better now too, so I have to admit my husband was right about that as well.  But I'm glad you're not having those problems, and you are doing so well!

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. I lost 60 lbs in my late 50s and have kept it off. My suggestions would be these:

 

1. Given all the diets that you've tried, it seems that it would be best to evaluate the bigger picture before evaluating a specific eating plan. I would really, really encourage you to take a perspective of caring tenderly for your body, just like you would care for your child's, rather than on losing weight.

 

2. Evaluate your sleep. If you are not sleeping (actual sleep time, not time in bed) for 7-8 hours a night, your body produces hormones that are designed to increase your food intake.Fighting your hormones is not the way to weight loss. f you suspect that you snore or you have sleep issues that you cannot resolve through good sleep hygiene, go to a sleep doctor and get a sleep study done. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for sleep apnea and a vicious cycle can be created.

 

3. In addition to seeking medical help for any sleep issues that can't be resolved, make sure your medical care is optimal for thyroid, celiac, etc. If your body is constantly inflamed, or if your thyroid levels are not optimal, you will find it hard to lose.

 

4. Evaluate your hydration. Many of us eat when we are thirsty. Additionally, water before a meal does help to fill us up. Also, one of the first things to tackle in terms of weight loss is what you drink. Water, clear tea, and clear coffee are your friends. If you are used to sugar in your tea or coffee, you can either try cold turkey or gradually diminishing the amounts. There is debate in the research, but there is enough research that is tending to show that artificial sweeteners may be a hindrance to losing weight, that I would ditch the diet drinks as well. There are some nice flavored sparkling waters now if you crave carbonation.

 

5. Strengthen your support system. Often family and friends undermine our dieting efforts. That could be because they are culturally conditioned to view food intake as a sign of love, etc. or it can be for other reasons. It is helpful for friends to know that you are doing what you are doing for your health. It's harder to push something that will make you unhealthy. If you do have celiac, find good information and give it to them proactively so they don't say things like, "One piece of cake won't matter. It's a birthday party!" Online support systems can help tremendously. (There is a thread on WTM called Well Trained Bodies. You're welcome to come over! But there are several online groups focused on supporting people through their journey to health.)

 

5. Make sure your environment is not giving you cues to eat and how much to eat.

  • People eat more in cluttered kitchens, so if you have any issues with clutter, make your kitchen a clutter-free zone.
  • The only food that should be out in view is a bowl of fruit.
  • Get rid of any trigger foods. If someone else in your family just loves chips and they are a trigger food for you, ask them to keep them out of sight, or to forego them for your sake. Your i DH can eat forbidden foods at lunchtime. The kids don't need to establish a pattern of eating in the first place. (See support above) .
  • Arrange your pantry, cabinets, and fridge so that the food that is healthiest for you is what you see first
  • Use smaler plates. Use salad plates for lunch and lunch plates for supper---unless you are eating a huge salad or something.
6. Look up the National Weight Loss Registry and see what people who have successfully lost and maintained have in common.

 

7. Exercise. If you don't already exercise, I would strongly encourage you to do it for its many positive effects on your health and body rather than view it as a way to burn calories. Exercise increases longevity, protects cognitive health, helps manage stress, improves the appearance of your skin, keeps your immune system younger as you age, etc. etc. AND it causes your body to produce hormones that will be the balance you need to lose weight. Calorie burning is inexact anyway and exercise often becomes a punishment for overeating if it's thought of as a calorie burner. The most important exercise step is to "not sit." Keep moving during the day--every hour to 1/2 hour make sure you're up and doing something---sweep, vacuum, garden, pace while you're on the phone, etc. After that, add in walking. If your joint pain is bad, look for a YMCA or other fitness center with a heated pool.

 

8. In terms of actual food intake in the meantime, I would encourage you to focus on nutrition Take tender care of your body. Try for 5-9 servings of fruit and veges a day. They are full of things your body is needs to run well. Don't eat junk. Read labels.

 

9. Pay attention to what you say to yourself about yourself and about food. (I have not read the Beck solution, but Beck was the pioneer for cognitive behavioral therapy, which has an excellent research base across multiple conditions.

 

If you take care of the big picture first, I think you will have more choices in terms of eating programs that will work.

All of this.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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