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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 08-22-12, 12:44 AM   #1
OiS
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What have you given up?

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Originally Posted by Neil_B
Too many people, here and elsewhere, will do anything to lose weight and restore their health as long as they don't have to give up what made them fat in the first place.
Neil made this comment on another thread, and it honestly made me stop and think. I have been watching what I eat and getting more exercise to slowly get healthier and work towards getting fit enough to the point of being able to consider myself "better than average". I don't think I am there yet, but I am on the way. Or am I....

Although I have been watching my calorie intake and being conscious of the "cost" of everything I put in my mouth, I haven't made an effort to really 'give up' anything in terms of food. I eat less 'bad' food, and eat that less frequently, but I haven't consciously given it up. Unless I do, am I destined to ultimately put back on what I am now working hard to lose?

It is easy to say "need to just cut out the unhealthy things from your diet", but, do I actually want to? If one of the things I enjoy in life is a great meal, or a tasty snack, do I want to try to give it up? I am thinking the answer is "moderation", but will certainly give it some more thought.

Most of the above is a bit of internal soul searching, but would be interested to know if others have gone through similar thought processes, and/or have made commitments to give something up. If you gave something up, what was it, and how do you feel about having given it up - occassionally tempted, or haven't given it another thought?
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Old 08-22-12, 01:47 AM   #2
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Short answer: Carbohydrates
Long Answer: Bread, Dorito's, Coca-Cola, fried foods, pastries, milk, cereal, candy, ice cream, pizza, pasta, PB & J, sweet tea, etc.

Am I tempted? Physically? No. Mentally? Yes. Late at night I might dwell on some of the mind night snacks I used to eat and I get minor cravings, but nothing strong enough to get me to cheat. All I have to do is think about how much effort I have put in, which deters me from eating any of that garbage. When I first started my weight loss journey I failed many diets due to lack of willpower. I would always quit because I told myself I can eat those 'delicious' treats in moderation.

I then decided to cut out certain things one week at a time, the first being sugary drinks, followed by fried food then sweets. I could follow this and allow myself on cheat day for every 5 pounds than I lose (every 10 days or so) to keep from hitting a plateau and to reward myself for all the hard work I've put in. This is a great long term option (in my opinion) but I wanted the weight to come off faster so I switched to Atkins.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:04 AM   #3
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Sugared soft drinks of all kinds. I haven't had one in probably 6 or 7 years. All my other bad choices are made with less frequency and increased moderation.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:34 AM   #4
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After being diagnosed ith COPD and Sleep Apnea lets see.......... EVERYTHING !
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Old 08-22-12, 05:49 AM   #5
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* sugary snacks; cookies, ice cream, etc
* soft drinks
* bread
* string cheese
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Old 08-22-12, 06:13 AM   #6
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Huge portions. If I want a burger, it's a small one (like a Wendy's single) instead of a "triple". It's just as satisfying. Also there's a switch in ingredients in some of my favorite dishes. For example, I love omelettes; but now I put a lot of veggies (spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomaters, etc.) instead of bacon/sausage/cheese. They taste just as good and are just as filling. I think the OP's word "moderate" is key for me, and along with bike riding I've lost almost 38 pounds (27 to go!)
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Old 08-22-12, 06:49 AM   #7
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I think that some people need to give up certain foods that act as overeating triggers for them and others can simply eat less of them. I find that it is very difficult for me to keep my calories in check if I eat sugary foods. I don't know if it is behavioral, hormonal or a bit of both, or what is the cause, I just know that it is problematic so it is best if I stay away. I even find the snacks that I take on long bike rides a problem. I can store gels without eating them off the bike. But I gave up Clif bars because I would eat them when not riding. Um! Salty! Sweet! Why tempt myself by having them around?

I don't follow this 100% of the time. Today we are having company and I am making an angel food cake. I will have a piece and we will send most of the remaining cake home with the company.

When my spouse and I are in the same place I eat a different diet from when I am alone as he is a vegetarian. I do eat meat when alone but rarely do I eat beef or pork but it is a case of preference, not because they are problematic for me.

I have done a few "experiments of one" when I was losing weight and after I lost weight. I have high cholesterol and was disappointed that the weight loss caused no change in my blood lipid profile. So, I tried a variety of different eating plans to see if it made a difference. If I go extremely low fat I can make the numbers go down a bit. This means absolutely no meat, no cheese, low in vegetable fats and very high on fiber. Very unappetizing. Otherwise, the lipids stay about same whether I am eating a high fat diet/low carb or moderately low fat diet and heavy on the better carbs. Either way, I need the statins and fortunately I do not seem to have side effects from taking them. This shouldn't have been a surprise because I have been on statins for close to 30 years, even before I was overweight.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:52 AM   #8
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Don't think I have cut out anything completely. I certainly eat less "junk food" like pizza, hoagies and cheesesteaks than I did when I got my heaviest in college and then dropped 90 lbs. in 9 months solely through diet change and exercise. I also nearly eliminated what my GF calls "white food." Stuff like potato and macaroni salad. I eat very little processed foods. Rather, I cook mostly from "scratch," with fresh ingredients. For example, tonight is grilled wild sockeye night. Will probably have a tomato salad and a fresh, whole wheat olive roll to go with it. It really helps if you like to experiment in the kitchen. Too many people think making a healthy, flavorful meal is difficult. It really isn't. Epicurious.com is a great resource for recipes.

One thing that I am sure has given me an advantage is that I have never really had a sweet tooth. When I was a kid, there was always dessert in the house because my mother and sister loved that sort of stuff. I ate it because it was there. Ever since I have lived on my own, I rarely eat dessert-type foods like ice cream, cake and pie. One major exception to that is when I am doing week-long+ unsupported tours. I usually have a slice of pie and/or a milk shake along the way, but I have earned it.
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Old 08-22-12, 08:58 AM   #9
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I gave up thinking "It's OK, I'm just big boned"
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Old 08-22-12, 09:04 AM   #10
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I've never been one to eat a lot of junk food like chips or sweets - I just never think about buying them when I'm shopping so I don't have them at home. If they're there, I may have somem but that's pretty rare in itself. I am, however, in the process of kicking my love of eating bad breakfasts out - fast food, full english, pancakes, whatever it is, I love it. Diet soda is next (I never drink regular soda, so it's a slightly lower priority than bad breakfasts), but I'm also working on dropping the snuff habit, so.... baby steps. Oatmeal is no replacement for a good sausage, mushroom, and onion omlette or biscuits and gravy. I don't cook that stuff at home, so if I do eat at home instead of going out, I mitigate the bacon-lust substantially before I even walk out the door.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:05 AM   #11
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I gave up on big portions, and a lot of sweets stuff, but I still have some . The biggest change is I gave up my winter time hobby. It would take me out of my work out routine, and I would always gain back 10-15 pounds over that time. By doing this, I have not only kept off the wintertime weight gain, but dropped myself to an all time low.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:38 AM   #12
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Good Lord, why do you torture me every time I pass a gelatoria?
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Old 08-22-12, 10:25 AM   #13
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Good Lord, why do you torture me every time I pass a gelatoria?
Think of a skunk-flavored one.
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Old 08-22-12, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I think that some people need to give up certain foods that act as overeating triggers for them and others can simply eat less of them.
This was the motivation behind giving up the String Cheese. I would buy a package of these each week, and they would disappear either on the same day or the next. I just can't control my consumption of those for some reason; so... I stopped buying them. And didn't replace them with anything.

Since they were mostly protein and fat it's not like they were that bad for me... it's just the impulse eating that scared me and I'm trying to break that habit.
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Old 08-22-12, 11:42 AM   #15
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probably the only thing would be extra side dishes. Still sorta eat what I want.
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Old 08-22-12, 01:52 PM   #16
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I believe that I will always be a natural clyde at 6 ft, should be at 200 but never can get under 220 because of sweets, my crutch. I eat way less red meat because of cholesterol but never really gave up any one thing.
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Old 08-22-12, 02:49 PM   #17
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Carbs, most fried food (I refuse to give up hot wings, so I limit them to once every other week or so), and fast food.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:36 PM   #18
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I gave up refined sugars. No more Sugary soda, some diet now and then. Gave up cafine and salt. Only salt I eat is in the food I eat. Have some salty snack now and then when I get too low and start to cramp up. I eat smaller portions. Eat mostly whole grains in bread and pasta. I cut out junk food for the most part. Cut the pork and cut back on red meats.

I had a heart attack this year and it was forced on me. Now I find it just fine. I've dumped about 40 pounds. I have 10 more I'd like to ditch. It just comes down to motivation. You have to want it.

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Old 08-22-12, 05:52 PM   #19
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I avoid pizza and other high calorie foods if possible. I eat a lot of cereal and yoghurt these days. But to be honest apart from the first 4 months of trying to lose weight I've really only moderated what I eat. I find that with my current levels of physical activity, active job (on my feet all the time), 30-140km of cycling every day, kids to watch when I get home. If I don't eat 2-3000 calories a day I lose weight. This is bad because I don't have much weight left to lose. 85kg at 190cm 32 inch waist makes me 'ideal'. If I get any skinnier I'll look like I'm sick and thats not a look thats fits with my job.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:00 PM   #20
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I gave up many small things in baby steps towards being a different me. I am not on a diet, but I am different (more healthy) than I was 5 years ago. I figure it took me ~20 years to get this way, it's okay if it takes me a few years to get out.

Off the top of my head, stuff I gave up:
Soft drinks
Huge portions
China Buffets
Mega-Mart meat and (most) produce*
Fast Food Lunches
Most red meat*
Snorting up all the extra cupcakes on goodie day at work
Free time: 10-12 hrs a week on a bike, at the pool, or splitting wood instead of on the PC playing games

Traded that for ... about 50 lbs, 8 inches off my waist, and 2 shirt sizes, and a good amount of self esteem.


* We buy local meat from local farmers. Bought 1.5 hogs this year from a coworker of my dad's. Mrs. Zoxe's mom (who is on fixed income but has a lot of time) raises chickens and gives us meat for Christmas. The taste is MUCH better, and I know what they've been treated with.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:38 PM   #21
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Three years ago this September I gave up Copenhagen cold turkey! Since then i have given up feeling guilty about what I eat. I have given up avoiding exercise at all costs. I have changed my diet to include salad for lunch 4 days a week and most weekends I am riding a bike during lunchtime so I eat nutrition while on the bike rather than a comfort food meal at home or in a fast food joint. If I drink a beer it is a beer rather than several beers, at one time it was several beers every night. Over the course of adulthood I have adopted and then changed habits. Eating healthier which includes smaller portions and adding exercise back in has my numbers improving to "normal" and my weight to slowly shrink. Last winter my plan and goal was to not gain back more than ten pounds. I think just having that goal and being serious about it caused me to make the choices that kept me slowly losing weight over the winter, in spite of less physical activity than I had last fall.

From what I am reading here some of y'all that have given up specific foods have not necessarily reaped weight loss benefit from that. We are all different and weight loss and proper diet is a rather complex formula not lending itself to hard and fast global rules. I hope each of us is able to find what not only works but also keeps us on a happy path. I think a positive state of mind helps.

Zoxe, you are absolutely right about chicken. I've had chicken that was grown to be harvested and consumed by the grower and it is nothing like the commercial stuff. I really should build my chicken coop this fall so next spring at "chick time" I'm ready and have no excuses. It totally sucks that I live outside of the city limits and have yet to raise my own chickens.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:56 AM   #22
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Thank you all for sharing and for your comments. It has also helped me reflect on what I have done, which has been helpful.
Certainly tracking the food has been extremely informative in terms of the caloric value of everything. I am also reminded of one thing I have actually given up. I do like the occasional McDonald's meal, and have not yet completely cut them out as an option, but when listing my normal meal - Qtr pounder with cheese, medium fries and, for a drink, an Iced Milo (not sure if they have that in the US, it is a menu item here in Singapore, and is also available in the UK I think). Well, I was shocked to learn that just the iced Milo was something like 600 calories!!! Since the moment I learned of that, I have never again ordered an iced Milo!
Upon reflection, I think I am on the right track, or at least heading in the right direction anyway. If I truly want to get to a point of having a lifestyle that not only will get me fit, but keep me there for life, I should ensure the changes will be gradual and permanent, and that I will not regret the changes I make. I know I wont ever give up the occasional wine and cheese indulgence (Must admit though, I did have to look up on Google to see what "string cheese" was!)
Neil, I am not sure I interpreted what you said correctly, but I suppose the way I read it, it just highlighted a perspective that I had not really consciously considered. It may not mean "give up on the iced Milo", it may be more broad like eliminating "white foods" that indyfabz mentioned, or more conceptually thinking about what is the composition of the food that I have on my plate. In any case, it was thought provoking!
Btw, Zoxe, lucky fella! It is hard to get non-commercial meat here, it is hard to even find meat from 'grass fed' cows. *sigh*
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Old 08-23-12, 08:53 AM   #23
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I've had to give up peanut butter. I know it's not horrible for you in moderation. I just can't eat it in moderation. And my serving estimates where way off. I weighed what I thought was a serving and it turned out to be almost 4.

Its best I not have it in the house.
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Old 08-23-12, 08:55 AM   #24
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I've had to give up peanut butter. I know it's not horrible for you in moderation. I just can't eat it in moderation. And my serving estimates where way off. I weighed what I thought was a serving and it turned out to be almost 4.

Its best I not have it in the house.
I used to have the same problem. With time I overcame it, but I still have to use caution.
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Old 08-23-12, 09:00 AM   #25
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I'm afraid in my attempt to turn a phrase I was less than clear. Its not any specific food or food group I had in mind, but the way of thinking about food a person may hold. As I wrote in that same thread, when I lost weight I never thought of food as evil. Nothing was off the table, so to speak, so I never felt I was depriving myself of anything. But I gave up thinking an all day pizza, soda, and candy bender was OK as long as it was diet soda. Ditto that an acceptable lunch is two pepperoni bagel melts from WaWa (700 calories, half of them from fat, and tons of sodium.)
I understood what you meant. and I think the above sums it up nicely. It's not "You have to give up carbs or M&M's or ice cream. etc." You need to change your core behavior.
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