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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-14-11, 07:04 AM   #1
Lobs616
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Question about eating plan

I have been lurking here for awhile and am very impressed with the knowledge and information that so many of you have. Last summer I picked up cycling again for the first time in 25 or so years. I started riding consistently with my 14 year old son and we love it. This year has been tough with a job change and other stress but we finally got back out on the trails. We ride mtbs on a couple of rails to trails in our area. I am doing well with the exercise but not with eating. I am 5'8" and now weigh 266 lbs. I want to get down to at least 200 lbs. I keep reading about diet plans but obviously have not found anything that works. I am not interested in a diet, rather trying to find the "right" way to eat. I like the concept of eat better and work out more but the question becomes what to eat. I am curious what others have done to "eat better", specifically what do you eat for each meal?
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Old 07-14-11, 08:51 AM   #2
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I have lost over 80 lbs in fourteen months. My trick? I just eat half
of what I used to and ride every day. No snacks, no candy, no sodas.

Good breakfast, light lunch, nice dinner. Just half as much.

This morning, one sausage patty, two small pancakes, OJ, coffee, peaches.
I use 1/2 cup of batter and make four pancakes, two for me two
for wife. Sausage is well drained.

Lunch will be a ham sandwich with chips and a pickle.

Dinner will be grilled chicken, baked potato, carrots, jello and pudding.

Sugar free jello and pudding. Potato with just a bit of butter and I
eat the whole thing, skin and all. Carrots cooked with butter and
just a sprinkle of sugar.

Just keep eating the same thing, without snacks, and cut it in half.

BTW, I left the house at 4am and returned just after 8am, fifty miles later.
And I did the monster hill twice.

Last edited by BHOFM; 07-14-11 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 07-14-11, 09:22 AM   #3
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What my wife and I have done and it seems to be working is just cut out everything and anything processed. If the package has more than one ingredient in it we don't buy it. No white flour, white rice, sugar or anything else that we know is overly processed.

When we started we went through or fridge and cupboards and got rid of everything that didn't match our new criteria and it was a lot of stuff. It takes a bit of time to prepare everything yourself but I think it is worth it.
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Old 07-14-11, 10:21 AM   #4
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Eat (REAL) food, mostly plants.
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Old 07-14-11, 10:40 AM   #5
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I will tell you what my doctor told me. "You know when you eating it, if it's bad or good for you." I cut out butter and mayonnaise almost completely, if I drink a soda, it's diet soda. I cut way back on the beer too, from about a case a week to about a 6 pack a month. Diet doesn't mean eating less, diet is what you eat. Some of us have a good diet, most of us have a bad diet, some of us eat until we are satisfied, most of us eat until we are stuffed. As hard as it is, it's actually quite simple, eat better, don't overeat, and exercise for health. Oh and BTW, I've lost almost 60 pounds since the first of the year following that simple plan.
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Old 07-14-11, 10:42 AM   #6
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Eat this not that books help.
The new plate design of the food pyramid makes a heck of a lot of sense.

The use of a food calculator like Livestrong.com, Sparkpeople.com. Using the food diaries at these places will help you to see where you are over indulging and what you are missing.

Make simple changes to start with. If you drink milk switch to skim. If you use margarine switch to olive oil. Sounds weird but olive oil on toast is really good. If you eat peanut butter switch to natural peanut butter or make your own. If you eat a lot of pasta (flour) switch to a rice pasta.

Check out body types. You may find information there to help you as well.

BTW I am maintaining my weight and gaining muscle using body type food intakes. I am not a clydesdale, but trust me when I say that maintaining my weight and dropping my body fat to my goal of 8% takes a lot of effort

Basically do not go on a diet. Diets fail. Change small things and eventually you will get there.

BTW, Green tea or tea is better than soda and water is better than tea. We all need flavor. Do not worry about organic this or that. Just eat healthy and take a look at the Eat this Not that books they will really help to keep your focus.

Last edited by I_like_cereal; 07-14-11 at 10:45 AM. Reason: info
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Old 07-14-11, 11:00 AM   #7
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You are only a little lighter than I was when I started a little over a year ago and we are both roughly the same height. Here is what worked for me.

I completely stopped drinking Coca cola (a personal addiction) and switched entirely to drinking water over the course of the first month. If I feel a need for flavor I add some Tru-lemon, which is a freeze dried lemon zest that adds no calories but a nice flavor.

I gradually shifted my eating habits from three food groups; meat, cheese, and pasta to a more balanced diet. I consume 40-50% of my calories as carbohydrates, 20-30% of calories as protein, and the remainder as fat. This is what is usually meant by a balanced diet. The carbs were gradually shifted from predominant processed grains to predominantly vegetables with some whole grains. For meat I tend to choose white meats while before it was predominantly red meat, though I still eat both. And for fats I have mostly shifted from butter to olive and canola oils.

A typical day for me consists of a breakfast consisting of granola, bannana, and milk (after my morning 45-60 minutes of exercise). Lunch will be a sandwhich (with lots of veggies) on two slices of whole grain bread, and a cut up apple. Dinner will either be a meat/veggie plate or a salad of meat and veggies. Depending on my hunger levels I will also eat snacks during the day. These can be fruit or nuts depending upon what I feel like. Every once in a while I will still have sweets as well.

The key for me was making gradual dietary changes. Learning to prepare one vegetable a week in a way that I could at least eat as an example. Over time I have found that I actually enjoy the taste of the veggies I prepare now. Indeed many things that I did not used to eat at all are foods I now enjoy. Examples are carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, and beans...

All of these food changes have been integrated slowly over a 9-12 month period.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:27 AM   #8
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Eat (REAL) food, mostly plants.
Exactly
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Old 07-14-11, 10:09 PM   #9
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A couple tricks that I have learned are psychological ones;
use a smaller plate when serving yourself, you may load the plate, but it is still less than when it was a large plate.
When eating out, eat til sated, then if there is food left on plate cover it with a napkin, your mind identifies it as trash and is less likely to go after it (and it also signals the server to get the plate)
This next one has helped ALOT... serve myself my serving and if I am still hungry, have a glass of water and wait 5 minutes before a second plate.
Besides that, I have cut out alot of refined foods, added alot of veggies into my diet and ALOT of water. If you aren't drinking enough water you aren't flushing out your toxins.
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Old 07-15-11, 11:44 AM   #10
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I do two things:

1) Eat a lot of fresh produce and minimal processed food. We cook from scratch a lot. I don't do "diet" food and don't stint on things like olive oil, pasta, avocado, butter when called for, good cheese, bacon on the brussels sprouts, and so forth -- but we don't do a lot of total junk concocted in a factory (a little total junk, sure!). I don't drink a lot of juice and never sugared soda, although I drink a shameful amount of Diet Coke, which is really my one factory fake-food addiction.

2) For a couple of years now, I've been doing "No S": No sweets, seconds, or snacks during the week, with exceptions for treats on Saturday and Sunday and "special days" like holidays or your birthday. It's not a fast weightloss plan, but it's effective and doesn't trigger binging or feelings of deprivation the way every diet I've ever been on in the past does. The (free) website is here: www.nosdiet.com, and it's great, but what I've just described is essentially the whole diet and everything you need to know. Three plates of food a day during the week, with no candy/cookies/dessert/other sweets, and nothing eaten in between. I can't believe how much of my food intake used to come from snacking! Then on the weekend you are free to have a snack or an elaborate multicourse dinner or an ice-cream cone if you want it.
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Old 07-15-11, 11:50 AM   #11
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Love the No S idea ... going to try that!

Sweets are a killer for me!
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Old 07-15-11, 11:51 AM   #12
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Yeah, I think most people who try it have the hardest time with the sweets, at first. But knowing you can have them on "S Days" (Saturday/Sunday) helps -- you never have to give up anything totally.
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Old 07-15-11, 03:52 PM   #13
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Get rid of sodas completely imho. Its poison.

My diet was pretty simple.

1. Replace snacks with fruits. If you crave sweets, ask the proprietor of the local farmer's market how to pick fruits, its amazing how sweet oranges can be. Pineapples/cantalopes > any candy bar any day. Oh yeah, dates kick ass, they are sweeter than most crap you find in the candy isle and is great for you.
2. Replace sugar with honey in your diet, and absolutely NO SODAS, not even diet ones because it tricks your body so you won't break your sugar habit. White sugar is poison. Honey is beneficial to you in many ways and is more than sweet enough to satisfy.
3. No processed or fried food. The word 'grilled' is your best friend.
4. Allow yourself one pass on one type of food. For me it was bread. I kept bread in my diet, although I don't eat white anymore, I go for rye...Toasted dark rye with a light butter spread...Ahh all you need before a ride.
4. Keep all of the above simple, stupid. Because it becomes trivial to follow. Don't get into this trap of designing something so complicated that you keep forgetting what you are going to do next. If you don't remember, or if its troublesome, you won't do it.
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Old 07-15-11, 04:33 PM   #14
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I've lost 20% of my original weight.

The first month was very low carb. It jumped started things just great. After that I was less religious.

My typical breakfasts: one egg and two slices bacon
or, apple (or banana) and six walnut halves
or, apple and one ounce cheese
or, blueberries and half and half

Sometimes I have a midmorning snack. It may be a homemade date bar which is just dates mixed with nuts.

Lunch is usually soup made with lots of vegetables and usually a very small bit of mung dal for body.

I'll have an afternoon snack. Maybe fruit and nuts or with milk or half and half.

Dinner has the biggest variety. Anything from fish to blueberries and milk to lettuce, blue cheese dressing and chicken. Usually very low on the carbs.

I will go out to eat, especially if on the road. I might even go to a buffet but I save the calories and short myself the day after or the day before. I try to average 1200 calories a day.

Once a week in the heat of the summer I will blow the carbs out of the water and have a DQ kid cone (140 calories of pure sugar and fat. ) I do that to make me happy with eating this way for the long term.

OH, and I love my diet coke. Not giving it up.

Last edited by goldfinch; 07-15-11 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 07-14-12, 07:22 AM   #15
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Losing weight is something I know a little about. I have been over weight most of my adult life and have tried just about everything in an attempt to "get normal". 24 months ago I was 265 and 5'9". Over the course of 20 months I dropped to 193 lbs with just a regimen of walking 30 minutes per day and eating a decent diet. What worked for me was the Primal Diet. There are some books you can read and prolly find at the library. Essentially, no processed foods. Whole foods only. No grains, pastas, cereals etc. The only problem I ever had was eating enough green stuff. I took a holiday form my diet and promptly regained about 20 pounds. So now IM back on the plan. I want to get to 160 lbs.
Over the course of that 24 months I took BP every day, walked every day, weighed in every day and generally got anal about weight loss. I could tell if I ate a piece of fruit on any given day because I kept a food log and knew if I ate a chunk of fruit I would not lose weight.
After that I was determined to change something to get me to my goal of 160 lbs. So I began exercising more. I go to the YMCA each day and walk/jog for thirty minutes, use several machines at high intensity and as of the last two weeks, I now bike to and from the Y. It is only 2 miles ish each way but it is a start and I hope to up my miles over time. I biked 14 days straight but my legs got weary so Im taking the weekend off from the biking bits and still going to the Y. Weight is falling off slowly because I have not been faithful to the Primal Diet plan in toto and IM building muscle mass. However, I feel just peachy. I'm looking forward to biking more and more miles and someday want to tour. I am 67 next month so things change slowly the older you get. Take it easy, pay attention to what works for your metabolism and add in a nice amount of exercise. I have plenty of energy whilst eating no carbs. More energy comes from fat than carbs anyway. BTW, whilst doing my Primal, BP dropped to 110/60 and cholesterol dropped like a stone. Watch HFCS (High fructose corn syrup) it is very nasty stuff. As an endocrinologist once famously said... HFCS is booze without the buzz. Think about that next time you hand a kid a Coke. Sorry if this got too long. It is my first post here. Best, Chas
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Old 07-14-12, 09:10 AM   #16
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Every thing above is great advice, but don't ignore the hardest part...you said you hadn't found a diet that worked for you...

Truth is unless you followed it to the letter, you can't judge whether it worked or not.

You! Are going to have to decide to eat well, and You! Are going to have to exercise regularly if you want any eating plan to work.
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Old 07-14-12, 09:16 AM   #17
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Eat (REAL) food, mostly plants.
I heartily agree. I am on a quest to lose 50% of my body weight, or a bit more. I recommend you find a copy of "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. The science is solid, the results are amazing, and (for my wife and me, at least), it works like magic. I bought my personal copy and 6 others as gifts on Ebay. Another friend got the book at the local library. The basic way to eat is simple, the food is uber healthy.
Good luck, and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-14-12, 09:37 AM   #18
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Ah, I love zombie threads. I see that I last posted exactly a year ago. By the end of the year I had lost 1/3 of my weight. For the past six months I have been maintaining my weight loss, though I recently had a two pound uptick. I am cutting calories to deal with the uptick.

After some experimenting with the balance of fat and carbs I ended up eating about the same as in my original post but instead of 1200 calories a day to lose weight, I need about 1700 a day to stay at my maintenance weight of 104. This assumes a fairly high level of exercise. If the exercise level goes down the weight goes up. If the eating increases even by 100 calories a day the weight starts drifting up. I still do not have a properly functioning eating regulator so I still count calories. However, I have noted that it is difficult to count accurately when you eat at other people's homes or you eat restaurant meals. I found that if I count at the end of the day rather than throughout the day I overeat even if I think that I am not. I seem to naturally drift to about 2000 to 2100 a day, which will make me fat.

I have certain trigger foods that I do best if I avoid. Mostly it is sugary treats like ice cream, bars, etc. I find that the kinds of foods I carry on long bike rides are extraordinarily difficult for me to deal with. Clif bars, shot blocks, all are tasty to me and I want MORE. I bought Clif bars in bulk and I ended up eating a number of them outside of riding. Not good. However, I can eat lots of fruit without the same desire to over do it.

Basically, my "new way of eating" is eating carefully, counting the calories and staying away from trigger foods and trying to stay away from trigger situations. Unlike many, I do not find "diet" to be a bad word. When I was losing weight I was dieting. Inotherwords, eating less calories than my body needed to maintain my weight. Now I am not dieting to lose weight but on a diet of restricted calories and careful food choices. And plenty of exercise.

Over the past year after reading about weight loss, particular diets, etc., I have come to the conclusion that there is no one best diet for everyone. People can do well and lose weight on wide variety of diets, at least for the short term as there isn't a lot of long term research on particular types of diets. Low fat. Low carb. Raw. Paleo. Balanced. Some people seem to need to forbid certain foods. Others do not. I wonder if part of the reason a particular diet works for someone is the fact that they are simply changing what they eat so they are more aware of what they are eating, which makes it easier to cut the calories.

If you have particular health issues, those issues may effect what you can or cannot eat, like insulin resistance, salt sensitivity, etc. You have to find what works for you and your own biology and psychology. You can look and see what correlates with success and maybe learn from it, but it doesn't mean that what applies to one person will apply to you. There is no rule book.

Last edited by goldfinch; 07-14-12 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 07-14-12, 10:18 AM   #19
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Go online and research some diabetic eating plans. Some tips to help along the way:

Eliminate anything that's made with high fructose corn syrup. That crap is poison. Not that natural cane sugar (sucrose) is much better. Get whatever sugar you ingest from fruits and dairy.

Portion control is the single most important key for most people. Measure what you eat. If half a cup of brown rice is one carb exchange, eat half a cup. You want to limit your carb intake to ~50 gms, at meals, ~25 gms. at snacks. Learn the nutritional value of everything you eat. Budget your food intake accordingly, the same way you would budget your household expenses.

There's a difference between dry and liquid measures. Half a dry cup is less than half a liquid cup.

Eat smaller meals, and add a snack between meals. You're better off eating small portions 6 times a day, than huge portions 3 times a day.

When you eat a full meal, use imaginay lines to section your plate. "Cut" your plate in half. On one half, you put green and/or fibrous vegetables. Divide the remaining half into two quarters. One quarter gets your whole grain or high fiber carbs. The second quarter gets low fat protein. You don't have to avoid red meat if you're a beef lover, but you should limit it to a couple of servings a week. Fish is better for you and you are allowed a double portion of fish, compared to any meat (red or white). Chicken (skin trimmed) is good. Even lean pork is good. You can also get protein from non-animal sources---soy, legumes, nuts, quimoa, etc.

Avoid seconds. There's a lag between eating and the "fullness" sensation. Have some water if you still feel hungray after a serving. If you feel the need for seconds of anything, go with the veggies. Be aware that not all veggies are created equal. Some have higher carb content than others. "Winter" squash, for example, is counted as carbs in your daily budget. Summer squashes are veggies.

Don't drink your calories. If you must drink soda, drink diet soda. Alcohol is very high in calories. Limit your intake, especially in the losing stages. Once you're close to target weight, and later, maintaining, you can drink in moderation.

If you feel deprived and are jonesing for a treat, have it. Budget for it. Ride the extra half-hour that day. Cut back on your food intake the following day. The worst thing for people to do is to "diet" and feel deprived. That almost guarantees a return to the old bad habits when you reach your goal. Celebrate it, and then get back on the program.

Last edited by mprelaw; 07-14-12 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 07-14-12, 04:01 PM   #20
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Eat smaller meals, and add a snack between meals. You're better off eating small portions 6 times a day, than huge portions 3 times a day.
This is one of those suggestions which I think works for many but doesn't work at all for others and may be more legend than truly helpful at curbing hunger and regulating blood sugar. I am aware of at least two studies that showed no differences in weight loss between the six meals a day people and the three meals a day people and no studies which show more meals are helpful. When I was losing weight I was limiting myself to 1200 calories a day. I am a small person, this amount will be too low for many. Having more than three meals on that few calories meant that meals were not satisfying. No snacks worked better. Now that I can eat 1700 calories I've added some of the extra calories in the form of snacks. Even so, the snacks are generally 150 calories or less, not at all like having six meals a day. Frankly, sometimes I think that going without snacks is better for me as too many snacks just contributes to me thinking about food.

FWIW
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Old 07-14-12, 04:34 PM   #21
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It's hard because we have to find something that works for us.. I can tell you what is working (or not) for me but might not work for you. Bottom line as I believe everyone has mentioned... eat good/real food, move more, and really be aware of what goes in the pie hole .

I've struggled with my weight all of my life.. the last couple of years though I've really put some effort into me.

What works For Me:
1. Food Log - Yes it is a royal pain but you need to know what you're taking in. Once you do it for a while, it'll be second nature. You will need to know how many calories you allow for a day. I looked at a couple of math formulae to calculate my BMR and I felt that number was too high. So I dumbed it down and decided I would start at 1800 calls/Day. (I'm 51 yrs, 6'1'', and when I started, I was 287)

2. Food Choices - I HATE to diet. Tried many and all of them failed. My weakness has never been sweets, I LOVE BREAD. I also would eat late at night. I mean a huge sandwich at 10 or 11PM. Then I started making small changes to what I ate. I started including vegetables. Reduced red meat and increased fish. I don't use butter any longer either. I love butter and could go through 2-3 sticks in a week. I really don't miss it either. I've found things that are better for me and I like just as much.

Eating out... This has been the steepest learning curve for me. I might do well on the meat choice.. Salmon and I might even order double vegetable and skip the rice. But then I find out there is some succulent butter sauce they smother the fish and veggies in. So this is where my guilt comes in. I feel so guilty for messing up. I'm getting better but it's hard. I try to accept the fact that I will fall off the wagon...heck sometimes, I might jump off for a little splurge. I think these are ok, I just can't let the slip happen every day..

Ask how the food is prepared. I used to be embarrassed to ask but now I don't care and most waiters/waitresses, are more than happy to help.

3. Exercise - After so many attempts looking for that magic combination of drug, combinations of food, and other crap, I finally learned that there is no easy way. If it were easy, wouldn't we all be at our correct weight? I found out that I had to work really hard...so much harder than eating that Quarter Pounder, out that Cheese Quesadilla. Start small and keep it fun or you won't return to it. It sounds like you're having a blast with your son!

I would be happy to share any details about what I eat but it's really just more green, yellow, and red vegetables. Decided that I really do like the taste of salads with no dressing or maybe some lemon juice. I have salmon/chicken 3-4 times/week and if dining out, I ask for no sauce and as little oil as possible. Oh and I found that Boca burgers are just as good as hamburger . I eat a smaller meal at dinner and make sure I exercise 4-5 times/week. I do splurge sometimes..

I hope this rant helps. I do wish you success...Everyone on this forum is here to help
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