4

votes

I have NO DISCIPLINE for weight loss... and it is unbelievably frustrating.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 02, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I have been dieting off and on for like two years.. These past few months have been the worst and most inconsistent time for me. I will diet for like two days and cheat.. get depressed and gain weight. Then I will say okay! No more messing around!! And diet for two or three days.. then cheat and give up! What the hell is going on??!? Does anyone have this experience? I have been wanting to lose this weight for like two years and can't find the discipline to do so. :(

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on November 10, 2012
at 12:35 PM

I wuold second that. (I am not doing very well at present but when it's worked I have done that - forget weight loss, fewer calories - just move back on to good foods, as much as I like and for me that would often be 1000 calories of pecan nuts and raisins. Then when I have "got clean" - no unhealthy processed foods at all - then restrict them to 3 meals a day and then perhaps lose weight).

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on April 17, 2011
at 12:02 AM

I'll second your experience, Alan. For me the solution was zero-carb -- not even 30 was low enough. But yes, insulin control was the key. And I also second the congratulations on your progress!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 02, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Congratulations on your progress!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 02, 2011
at 06:03 PM

I agree! I'd say restricting the right foods is even more important than not eating when hungry *at first*, because sometimes eating a little more can help you get over the craving stage. In other words, eat as much as you like of non-carby foods until the cravings go away. Once that monkey is off your back, you can worry about being true to hunger.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 02, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Good suggestions - clean out your house so there are no temptations sitting around.

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11 Answers

6
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on April 02, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I don't know what you are eating, but maybe you are overwhelming yourself. Work on eliminating sugar, gluten and vegetable oils first, one at time if you need to (sugar first!), and steer very clear of adding things like extra cheese, nuts, high calorie smoothies and primal baked goodies for now.

If you don't exercise, just try and go for a walk a couple times a day, or even once a day. And worry about an exercise program when your eating is more in control, even if it's in a few months. When you get really hungry between meals, go for a walk. Being active does something to mitigate strong hunger. I don't know what, maybe it's some kind of signal for your body to burn fat stores instead of asking for more food.

Some of us are not going to be successful diving in, trying to Whole30 our way out of decades of ingrained habit. You can not be afraid of it taking a longer time than you'd like if that is what's going to work for you. The time is going to pass no matter what you do. You can spend it repeatedly failing to start an immediately pure paleo lifestyle, or you can spend it working up to a life-long healthy way of living and body composition.

Above all, when you have the inevitable setbacks, you have to be resolute, pick yourself back up and forge on ahead as if you didn't.

4
1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

on April 02, 2011
at 01:43 PM

For me, the key was getting my insulin under control. By eating only about 15 grams of carbs per meal, about 6 oz of meat or eggs or fish, and plenty of wholesome saturated fat like cultured, high CLA butter, I find that I can be perfectly happy and satisfied for about 5 hours. However, if I eat about 30 grams of carbs, I am starving 3 hours later and can quickly lose control. Make as many changes as you can at first (getting rid of sugar and flour was absolutely necessary for me) and keep improving as you go along. Think long term. What could you do for the rest of your life (with an occasional treat)? A restrictive diet (with too many carbs and too few calories) that makes you count the minutes until you can eat again is not viable for the long run. Btw, I have gone from 312 to 238 in the last 12 months.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 02, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Congratulations on your progress!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on April 17, 2011
at 12:02 AM

I'll second your experience, Alan. For me the solution was zero-carb -- not even 30 was low enough. But yes, insulin control was the key. And I also second the congratulations on your progress!

3
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:30 PM

What sort of 'dieting' are you trying to do and failing? Are you trying to restrict calories or restricting foods?

If the former, then I wouldn't bother, simply switch to an optimally sating low carb/high fat/moderate->high protein/high fibre (iyl)/adequately micronutriented/including appropriate exercise paleo diet and hopefully your body will naturally adjust to restrict calories without hunger. Then all you need to do is not eat when not hungry because you're bored or some other psychological issue and if you can't then those are the problems to be tackled. I increasingly (post-Taubes) don't think that 'discipline' or 'greediness' is at all plausible as an explanation for weight gain/lack of weight loss in almost all cases, rather I think that 'discipline' and the desire and ability to not eat result from a properly functioning body.

If you're trying to restrict foods and failing, then either one of two things are happening. Either you're restricting the wrong foods, in which case stop, or you're restricting the right foods in which you need to carry on, because not eating the (few) wrong things on paleo is half (at least) the battle in terms of results, not craving, weight loss being easy rather than torturous etc. Reasons why the latter might be difficult could be not eating enough calories (if you're trying strategy one) or not eating enough sating fat and protein. If you just eat fat and protein (esp the latter) then there should be a pretty definite upper limit on how much food you can eat. Things like sugar, dairy and wheat are notoriously addictive anyway, and apart from eating enough of other things, I don't know any other strategy to avoid cravings other than simply waiting it out for a few days until the addiction passes. Only in this sense might sheer discipline be the problem. In my experience you do quickly lose your taste for things that were otherwise irresistible (dairy in my case), but also one's sugar sensitivity seems to reduce pretty quickly (after a while low carbing I found a lightly sweetened tomato sauce to be absolutely inedible). It's also worth bearing in mind that micronutrient deficiencies might cause food cravings (see this recent post from the Perfect Health Diet blog).

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on April 02, 2011
at 06:03 PM

I agree! I'd say restricting the right foods is even more important than not eating when hungry *at first*, because sometimes eating a little more can help you get over the craving stage. In other words, eat as much as you like of non-carby foods until the cravings go away. Once that monkey is off your back, you can worry about being true to hunger.

2
Fac1af832cc3c6a20059c41411fd0f6b

(1548)

on April 03, 2011
at 08:17 AM

It is a bit easier when you might die if you screw up. I am diabetic and celiac so I have a bit of motivation, but telling yourself that the garbage you are consuming is KILLING you does have a cumulative effect after a while. You do have to break the cycle and is the hard part. When you do, the "cheats" suddenly become much more penalizing because you can feel what they are doing to you. You will be staggered at how sick you were.

Cheat foods are just that, cheats, because they are fast and easy. I found that making "clean" foods more accessible and available helps. Specialty sausages and a few other items and tools that help you keep decent foods around are a start. I like my little apple cutter that cores and apple and slices it into wedges. I can have a few bits and share the rest with the kids or enjoy a wedge or two with a chunk of cheese and be satisfied.

With other stuff, try and skip the bulk. Stirfry - Ditch the rice. Sandwiches - Ditch the bread. Spaghetti - Eat the sauce by itself or put it over spaghetti squash or over more meat or the like. You will not be able to eat the same volume of the good stuff as you would the good stuff and the filler. Whatever you do do not deny your hunger pangs, just try and consume that isn't carb laden. I started with low carb burgers from Carl's Jr. I can't stand the dang things now, but you gotta start somewhere.

Remember that you are not defective. You are not a genetic failure. You are in a foreign environment and you need to find your way is all. Sugar and starches are addictive. We are supposed to be driven to eat the stuff. This was a benefit when these sorts of things were available only seasonally in certain climes.

The greatest thing about all this was coming to realization that I was not genetically inferior and that all, and I mean ALL of my ills were diet related. THe freedom and confidence that comes with that is something that is the greatest gift you could ever give yourself.

You gut is doing the driving right now. Steer it down a path full of good food and soon you will be able to gain full control of yourself. It is well worth the trip.

2
3145c7a95850b2ecddbecf9d3d55afd1

(30)

on April 02, 2011
at 04:17 PM

You need to make your diet a permanent thing! I made a choice to not let food be my friend, lover, and companion. You have to get off the crack! Food is a drug! It's the worse drug to kick since we NEED food, but not too much or the wrong kind. It took me 20 years to figure it out. I was always athletic but never had the knowledge to eat right until 1 1/2 yrs. ago. I committed myself for 8 mos., loss 80 lbs and have kept it off + or - 5lbs. There are foods I used to like, but they aren't worth it or due to the foul basis of the food, I don't like it anymore. The world DIET is what one consumes...not a temporary thing. You are what you eat! When I do go out of the zone or paleo, I feel like crap so I don't do it often. My body NOT brain, tells me what to eat, but you need to stay disciplined so your body can take over while right now your brain is controlling the drug situation. I get pissed sometimes when I can't drink w/o paying for it the next day, but you know what...its still worth it to be in better health. Remember you always have a choice....you can have a choice to focus or not, but it's your decision.

2
62b205d8d5c8fb09f2eea515f12cbd26

on April 02, 2011
at 02:25 PM

Discipline is NEVER the way, because that would be a symptom of suppressing your self (and that causes stress and that causes fat accumulation), apposed to bring your body in a state that the body knows what and when to eat(the natural state: then the body knows what to eat). Fasting (like a few days) could be a sort of "cold turkey", and fasting is good anyway, not for weight loss, but for health reasons. Then start to eat paleo (whatever that may be :-), see the discussion about Paleo 2.0 of Kurt Harris and to me it is unprocessed food).But be aware of the responses your body gives to you! Nobody can tell you how much carbs, how much proteine and fat you should eat, but your body can! And the body may change: during weight loss it may prefer some foods, during maintenance it may prefer different foods! IF could also do the job, but don't do that with discipline either! IF means variation, eventually the body tell you also when to IF. It helps you also not to surround your self with processed food; so throw it away. Much of that processed "food" is addictive and the addiction is easily triggered, as soon as you eat some of it, like smoking and alcohol. The neural pathways will never disappear completely, but it helps when you just don't eat the rubbish for a long period....

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on April 02, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Good suggestions - clean out your house so there are no temptations sitting around.

2
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Have you tried keeping a journal? It can really help with weight loss. It may also help you figure out the reasons why you're having so much trouble.

You might also try making yourself accountable to someone else. Say, for every day you eat crap or don't journal you pay them a dollar or even just tell them. That can be a powerful motivator.

This seems to be a common problem and you're definitely not the first person to struggle with eating healthy. It may be hard, but it will be worth it. You can do it!

1
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on April 02, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I think discipline is indeed part of the solution. However much you are perfect, sweets will be around and cheating is as simple as deciding to cheat. Luckily, over time it gets easier to be good.

My advise:

  • Every day, resolve not to cheat.
  • When you find yourself cheating, STOP. There's a big difference between 1/2 pint of ice cream and a full pint. You're already improving if your cheats are smaller.
  • If you can remove all sugar, grains, legumes and dairy, you're doing better than me. Maybe just stop eating bread for now. One day, you'll wake up and it'll be easy. That might be after a week of trying and failing or after a year, but it'll come. At some point, attempt remove sugar too. Again it might come quickly or slowly.
  • Make sure you have lots of foods around that are legal, so you never cheat out of need. Of course you never NEED to cheat even if there are no legal foods around, but why make it hard on yourself?
  • At some point you may eat 100% paleo and so binge on nuts and eggs! Nobody said it would be easy! Eventually I had to stop eating nuts because they're a binge food. But they were a good stepping stone.
  • Read this forum and other blogs, listen to Robb Wolf. The more knowledge you have, the less appealing bread, sugar and ice cream are. They're still appealing, but less so.

Constant slow improvement, less frequent and smaller cheats, and never allowing a cheat to get you down. Also, a goal like losing 20 lbs this year isn't the best. Make your goal no bread or dessert at tonight's dinner, and no snacking at all after dinner (drink water instead). Overcome cheating with short-term goals.

Keep it up!

1
3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:04 PM

First off...how much weight are trying to lose?...100 or the last 10?

As far as working out goes...join a crossfit gym...when you're paying $150 a month ...you're gonna go...plus you'll find it puts you in a supportive environment

as your trainers push you harder....the bad will make you feel worse and you will be a force to switch over to decent food

btw...paleo is not a diet it's a lifestyle

0
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on April 03, 2011
at 09:57 AM

You are cheating because you are hungry. The best tactic I've found to get back on track (I have very little discipline too!) is to spend the first week eating LOTS of paleo food. Stuff yourself, nourish yourself. Snack constantly, always have good food to hand, plan plan plan. Don't count anything. It takes a while for appetite to normalize, so stuff your presses with paleo food and don't go more than 2 hours without eating.

After a week your appetite will back off and you'll find it much easier to lose weight.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on November 10, 2012
at 12:35 PM

I wuold second that. (I am not doing very well at present but when it's worked I have done that - forget weight loss, fewer calories - just move back on to good foods, as much as I like and for me that would often be 1000 calories of pecan nuts and raisins. Then when I have "got clean" - no unhealthy processed foods at all - then restrict them to 3 meals a day and then perhaps lose weight).

0
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 02, 2011
at 03:26 PM

Most important thing is not to weigh every single day. I do that and it is frustrating to no end. DON'T DO IT. Water weight fluctuates, even if you gain a pound or two its SERIOUSLY UNLIKELY due to what you're eating, more likely it depends on variance between what's still in your body at the moment.

Just be consistent.

Stop cheating - this isn't a diet, its just eating wholesome clean foods. It's really hard to cheat if you look at it that way. Want some sugar? Have 1/2 cup of berries with cream - that'll knock it right out.

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