Diets 2023 the thinner thread

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Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by science_fox » Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm

Yes it had to go into Weighty Matters. even if it isn't.

I appear to have gained a good couple of inches over december! Maybe it was creeping up before then but only realized recently. I blame 9 days of Dad's feasting in celebration of all the family being home for once.


Is it better to finish all the xmas excesses in one binge before cutting back? or save them for treats during the harsher regime?

I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.

Post here how/what you're doing along with the papers showing this is the the best practice.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by TopBadger » Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:20 pm

science_fox wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm
I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.
When I did my first ever (and currently only) diet two years ago it was certainly the case for me that the weight loss came from reducing the input... unless you have the time to put in some serious training its really hard to shift weight with exercise.

Good luck!
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:23 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:20 pm
science_fox wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm
I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.
When I did my first ever (and currently only) diet two years ago it was certainly the case for me that the weight loss came from reducing the input... unless you have the time to put in some serious training its really hard to shift weight with exercise.

Good luck!
Ditto for me at the start of CoVID. I joined a gym on the last day of the January sale in 2020, so exercise didn't happen there. I did lose 30lbs that year though.

This year, my January weight loss is mostly due to CoVID.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by shpalman » Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:42 pm

I'm going to say the same things I always say: keep a food diary (I use the MyFitnessPal app), get ~30% of your calories from protein, do weight/resistance training and not just cardio, but learn to dance anyway. Drink less alcohol.

Something which was effective for me but I don't recommend, was the anxious attachment to a probably unrequited but definitely unavailable and therefore unconsummated dance crush which led to me losing ~2kg between August and November (which put me under 60 kg for the first time in a long time) even with ~1,000 extra calories per day.

I was in Budapest for new year's, at the Ice Swing Holiday, my smartwatch tracked over 42,000 steps per day. I may have hit 60-70,000 during one of the days at Swing'n'Milan although there may be some double-counting there, since the Kronaby counts midnight-to-midnight while the Oura Ring counts from waking to going to sleep and some dance festivals leave very little time for sleep. GoogleFit also seems to get confused if I switch from one of my Kronabys to the other one.

If you need a bit more motivation to walk, my WeWard referral code is DANN-gxD7H .
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:04 pm

science_fox wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm
Yes it had to go into Weighty Matters. even if it isn't.

I appear to have gained a good couple of inches over december! Maybe it was creeping up before then but only realized recently. I blame 9 days of Dad's feasting in celebration of all the family being home for once.


Is it better to finish all the xmas excesses in one binge before cutting back? or save them for treats during the harsher regime?

I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.

Post here how/what you're doing along with the papers showing this is the the best practice.
No papers to back anything up, but from experience trying to eat less isn't the the best option. If anything eat more when trying to lose weight. Instead just change the ratios so fruit and vegetables go up and bread, rice, pasta (or whatever your highly calorie common foods are) go down.

Also obvious things like keep no packets/tubs of things like cakes, biscuits, ice cream etc in the house. If you want these things, go out and buy them one at a time in a bakery/cafe.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:17 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:04 pm
science_fox wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm
Yes it had to go into Weighty Matters. even if it isn't.

I appear to have gained a good couple of inches over december! Maybe it was creeping up before then but only realized recently. I blame 9 days of Dad's feasting in celebration of all the family being home for once.


Is it better to finish all the xmas excesses in one binge before cutting back? or save them for treats during the harsher regime?

I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.

Post here how/what you're doing along with the papers showing this is the the best practice.
No papers to back anything up, but from experience trying to eat less isn't the the best option. If anything eat more when trying to lose weight. Instead just change the ratios so fruit and vegetables go up and bread, rice, pasta (or whatever your highly calorie common foods are) go down.

Also obvious things like keep no packets/tubs of things like cakes, biscuits, ice cream etc in the house. If you want these things, go out and buy them one at a time in a bakery/cafe.
What you describe here is eating less. Filling up on healthy low calorie foods to displace high calorie foods.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:19 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:17 pm
What you describe here is eating less. Filling up on healthy low calorie foods to displace high calorie foods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fC2oke5MFg

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by Herainestold » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:24 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:23 pm
TopBadger wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:20 pm
science_fox wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:54 pm
I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.
When I did my first ever (and currently only) diet two years ago it was certainly the case for me that the weight loss came from reducing the input... unless you have the time to put in some serious training its really hard to shift weight with exercise.

Good luck!
Ditto for me at the start of CoVID. I joined a gym on the last day of the January sale in 2020, so exercise didn't happen there. I did lose 30lbs that year though.

This year, my January weight loss is mostly due to CoVID.
30 lbs, that is impressive. Good on you.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:40 pm

I'm at 82kg right now, right on the boundary of overweight BMI, and I'd certainly like to look less flabby. It's a goal this year to change my phsyique rather than lose weight per se, though I've been 10 kg lighter no worries before, and putting less crap in my body is definitely a good idea.

I'm doing dry January, so that's a few hundred calories a day eliminated on recent form. Also trying to come up with interesting cheese and crisps replacements for sandwiches and snacking, but other than that my diet is basically pulses and vegetables.

Also want to add some formal exercise, so will be joining Mrs B in the gym for a Beach Body Challenge before a destination wedding in September: biggest bum muscles wins.

No paper recs yet. I've been reading The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz which is full of interesting techniques for making stuff, in the vein of Salt Fat Acid Heat in that it's teaching concepts rather than strict recipes. Have a big (vegan) kimchi on the go.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:21 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:19 pm
dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:17 pm
What you describe here is eating less. Filling up on healthy low calorie foods to displace high calorie foods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fC2oke5MFg
You seem to be confusing mass with energy.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:52 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:21 pm
WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:19 pm
dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:17 pm
What you describe here is eating less. Filling up on healthy low calorie foods to displace high calorie foods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fC2oke5MFg
You seem to be confusing mass with energy.
You appear to be confusing an amount measurement with an (energy) density measurement, or, more likely, attempting to make a pointlessly pedantic quibble that added no value.

I was responding to a post about eating fewer and smaller portions, ie less total amount of food, and suggesting this might not be the best option. It is obviously a truism that to lose weight it is necessary to reduce net calorie consumption, but suggesting people eat less calories and burn more isn't usually considered helpful. Instead suggesting ways of achieving this is probably more useful.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:57 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:52 pm
dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:21 pm
WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:19 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fC2oke5MFg
You seem to be confusing mass with energy.
You appear to be confusing an amount measurement with an (energy) density measurement, or, more likely, attempting to make a pointlessly pedantic quibble that added no value.

I was responding to a post about eating fewer and smaller portions, ie less total amount of food, and suggesting this might not be the best option. It is obviously a truism that to lose weight it is necessary to reduce net calorie consumption, but suggesting people eat less calories and burn more isn't usually considered helpful. Instead suggesting ways of achieving this is probably more useful.
I'm not the one making the pointless contribution here. You responded to statements about eating less/reducing input that clearly implied eating fewer calories (as the opposite to burning more calories) by saying that was wrong, and that people should eat more (calories). And then proceeded to describe ways to eat fewer calories.

ETA: we're generally intelligent people here. We know that "eating less" is not a plan in itself. It's been discussed a lot here already.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:07 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:57 pm
I'm not the one making the pointless contribution here. You responded to statements about eating less that clearly implied eating fewer calories (as the opposite to burning more calories) by saying that was wrong, and that people should eat more (calories). And then proceeded to describe ways to eat fewer calories.
Of course people should eat less calories if they want to lose weight. I'm confused where you think I suggested otherwise. Especially as, as you say, I described a way to do so.

Suggesting that reducing calories by changing the ratio of high to low energy dense foods, as opposed to smaller and fewer portions, was my (attempted) contribution to the thread.

ETA: for clarity, the specific part I was replying to in the quote in my first post was
I'm going to start by just eating less, all around, smaller portions and fewer of them, whilst hopefully getting back to my normal exercise pattern.... we'll see.
Last edited by WFJ on Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:14 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:07 pm
dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:57 pm
I'm not the one making the pointless contribution here. You responded to statements about eating less that clearly implied eating fewer calories (as the opposite to burning more calories) by saying that was wrong, and that people should eat more (calories). And then proceeded to describe ways to eat fewer calories.
Of course people should eat less calories if they want to lose weight. I'm confused where you think I suggested otherwise. Especially as, as you say, I described a way to do so.

Suggesting that reducing calories by changing the ratio of high to low energy dense foods, as opposed to smaller and fewer portions, was my (attempted) contribution to the thread.
Maybe you should have done that by agreeing with people saying to eat less (calories) rather than saying that they were wrong, and that eating more was better in your experience.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:21 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:14 pm

Maybe you should have done that by agreeing with people saying to eat less (calories) rather than saying that they were wrong, and that eating more was better in your experience.
I didn't say anyone was wrong. That eating less calories is a good idea seems so obvious it never even occurred to me that it should be necessary to agree with it.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by dyqik » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:25 pm

WFJ wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:21 pm
dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:14 pm

Maybe you should have done that by agreeing with people saying to eat less (calories) rather than saying that they were wrong, and that eating more was better in your experience.
I didn't say anyone was wrong. That eating less calories is a good idea seems so obvious it never even occurred to me that it should be necessary to agree with it.
And the idea that an abstract "eating more" could mean more volume but less calories didn't occur to me, because I assumed that everyone measured food by calorie in this context.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by WFJ » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:37 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:25 pm

And the idea that an abstract "eating more" could mean more volume but less calories didn't occur to me, because I assumed that everyone measured food by calorie in this context.
Eat more volume/mass/bulk. I think this was clear in the context of my post as you got the point I was making. Try eating 1000 calories of pizza for lunch one day then 900 calories of cucumber the next. I guarantee you won't think you've eaten less on the second day (assuming you actually manage it).

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not suggesting a cucumber only lunch as a sensible weight loss plan.

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:42 pm

I think I'd probably generally assume that "eat more/less" without a qualifier refers to portion size rather than calories, but this seems like a simple miscommunication that can be easily remedied through the judicious use of nouns.

I also reckon that the advice to swap what you eat rather than how much is pretty helpful - find where most of your spare/unhealthy calories (probably carbs, maybe fat) are coming from and see which ones you can substitute without becoming miserable ;)
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by shpalman » Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:59 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 5:42 pm
I think I'd probably generally assume that "eat more/less" without a qualifier refers to portion size rather than calories, but this seems like a simple miscommunication that can be easily remedied through the judicious use of nouns.

I also reckon that the advice to swap what you eat rather than how much is pretty helpful - find where most of your spare/unhealthy calories (probably carbs, maybe fat) are coming from and see which ones you can substitute without becoming miserable ;)
One thing I'll suggest is to not bother switching to a low-fat version of something if you're then going to end up eating more total calories of it. (However, I do eat the zero-fat version of Greek yogurt, because it has the best protein density.) Switching from fat to carbs (i.e. maltodextrin) may not help reach satiety faster.

Get kitchen scales and weigh out your portions, and when you cook, cook a known amount which you can then divide up into portions. A quantity of food which doesn't look like much in the pan ("oh I'll just finish this last bit") can end up being a lot on the plate (i.e. you just ate a whole second portion).

I remember once talking about a portion of (dry) pasta being 80g and someone replying they could eat twice that amount without thinking. Well, you're going to have to starting thinking. And you're sometimes going to have to accept stopping eating when you've reached the end of the portion, rather than keeping going until you feel full.

My app reckons I need to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain, and I know from what I track that I can regularly be 500-1000 calories over that, and I don't put on weight, so some of you must be eating several whole f.cks of a lot.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by Imrael » Wed Jan 04, 2023 6:55 pm

I lost a bunch during first Covid lockdown, which I've regained about half of. I think the magic was

1. New dog and some house projects , so a lot of incidental on-my-feet-ism. Not exaclty exercise, which I did only a very little of.
2. Very structured shopping (because local arrangement was one way flow round the shop, so you planned a list, ordered it and bought just that.
3. I did about a month of calorie counting, mostly to understand where the bad habits were. Using an app - MyFatSecret as it happens, alhough not sure it matters much.

Interestingly (ish) switched to Vegan at my sons prompting about a year ago, and thats been if anything a bit unhelpful. Finding vegan treats is just hard enough that you always grab them when you do.

And a small side note - if you have a dog note that Xylitol is used in a fair few diet products and is very poisonous to dogs.

(I did try an Atkins-style low carb diet a couple of decades ago, and it was phenomenally effective while I kept to it. Mostly I think because I wasnt actually all that hungry - something in the mix seemed to suppress appetite. Transitioning off is tricky, and staying on it is socially tough, and expensive. )

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by monkey » Wed Jan 04, 2023 7:28 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:20 pm
...unless you have the time to put in some serious training its really hard to shift weight with exercise.
I did alright with just increasing my exercise. I bought a smart watch and made sure I was burning enough Joules each week, after working out how many was keeping my weight stable with my usual diet.

However, I was only aiming to lose 5kg or so to put my BMI into the ideal bit, I wasn't that fussed about how quickly I lost the weight, and I started off from stable. I would have had to do a fair bit more exercise if I wanted to lose more, faster. I guess it depends what you want/need.

I also measured my belly, because that's where I was most wobbly. That did shrink, but it was a reeaaalllly slow change, so didn't find doing that helped me, but it was interesting to plot the graph. Just going by my appearance would've been fine, progress pictures or summat.

Yoga helped with my belly appearance too, but that's just cos I seem to stand up straighter after getting all stretchy than I do normally :)

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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by shpalman » Wed Jan 04, 2023 7:56 pm

monkey wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 7:28 pm
TopBadger wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 1:20 pm
...unless you have the time to put in some serious training its really hard to shift weight with exercise.
I did alright with just increasing my exercise. I bought a smart watch and made sure I was burning enough Joules each week, after working out how many was keeping my weight stable with my usual diet.

However, I was only aiming to lose 5kg or so to put my BMI into the ideal bit, I wasn't that fussed about how quickly I lost the weight, and I started off from stable. I would have had to do a fair bit more exercise if I wanted to lose more, faster. I guess it depends what you want/need.

I also measured my belly, because that's where I was most wobbly. That did shrink, but it was a reeaaalllly slow change, so didn't find doing that helped me, but it was interesting to plot the graph. Just going by my appearance would've been fine, progress pictures or summat.

Yoga helped with my belly appearance too, but that's just cos I seem to stand up straighter after getting all stretchy than I do normally :)
That kind of slow change is probably more sustainable though. Rather than thinking of a short term 'diet' as in the OP, it's better to figure out which changes you'd be OK with for the rest of your life.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jan 04, 2023 9:19 pm

Imrael wrote:
Wed Jan 04, 2023 6:55 pm
Interestingly (ish) switched to Vegan at my sons prompting about a year ago, and thats been if anything a bit unhelpful. Finding vegan treats is just hard enough that you always grab them when you do.
That is interesting. I guess I'm lucky that I'm not really into sweet things, because if anything the dairy in desserts seems even harder to replace than meat in main dishes. As well as my crisp addiction, I eat a lot of nuts and seeds (toast + flavoured myself, so little/no salt) and chanachur which are all vegan anyway. I guess sweet wise I'd be having lots of dark chocolate digestives, fruit, non-dairy yoghurt and coconut cream - probably still better nutritionally than a chocolate bar though.

And yeah it's amazing how fats help with satiety. I find a salad perfectly filling enough for lunch if you chuck on a couple of tbsp of olive oil. That's about 300 kcal of mostly fat.

Otherwise just sub everything for legumes to up protein density. Chickpeas instead of rice, lentils instead of potatoes for thickening soup, beans instead of meat. They've still got a lot of carbs and can be used to make dough/batter/patties too. (otherwise whole grains don't duck). Combine with something dark green, some other veg and flavours.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by tenchboy » Thu Jan 05, 2023 7:25 am

Give up bread full stop. Not just to lose weight but to be generally more fitterer.
This is not scientific advice, merely personal annecdote.
I've lived pretty much my whole adult life on toast and sandwhiches - porridge in the winter for breakfast more recently.
Last spring... blah <edit> blah... and so I stopped eating bread entirely, breakfast is porridge in the winter (with honey and raisins) or yoghurt and a banana in the summer; and fruit instead of sandwhiches through the day (tomatoes, nectarines, pears) - I think the trick is not to feel you've got to 'fill up' but just to eat enough so as you stop feeling hungry: so have another nectarine; then a tin of tomato soup when I get in (in summer keep it in the fridge and drink it cold - hits the spot! (yssit)) and some cold chicken or cold fish with (say a tub of sag aloo) later followed by another banana and the rest of the yoghurt later in the evening.
I lost a bit of stomach fat (but, to be honest, there wasn't a lot there to start with) but I feel so much more alive all over, not so sluggish: I sleep better, I'm more alert and I'm bouncing around like a forty year old.
Would recommend.
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Re: Diets 2023 the thinner thread

Post by bob sterman » Thu Jan 05, 2023 7:43 am

I recommend resistance (weight) training 3 x week in addition to whatever else you're up too. Should find this changes your body composition - increasing muscle mass and decreasing adiposity. It's rewarding because you see results quickly - significant changes within the first month or two. Just make sure you have a good level of protein intake.

But ignore the scales. You will get smaller but you may not get lighter initially. Don't worry about getting too bulky - unless you're very young it's extremely difficult to put on very large amounts of muscle mass.

Fine to start with exercise bands (the thicker type) / dumbells at home but to make decent progress you will likely need to visit a gym where you can do some more intense exercises. E.g. squats to increase glute size as BOAF is planning to do!

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