The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

For those wanting to learn about and follow the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program. You can also join our monthly weigh-ins.

Moderators: JeffN, f1jim, carolve, Heather McDougall

Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby George Ohwell » Fri Mar 11, 2022 8:20 pm

1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.
yes

2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.
yes

3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
yes

4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
yes

5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).
yes

6. Eliminate any added oil.
yes

7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.
yes

8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).
yes

9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.
yes

10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking).
yes

Victories, comments, concerns, questions: I"ve had several weeks of success following this program. I'm almost to my goal weight. I'm getting finish line anxiety, fear of messing up. Someone mentioned the Lenten season. That is helping me a lot as well. That is more important to me than goal weight or eating off plan or overeating. so there might be hope for me. an upcoming concern is some wonderful new friends I met who will be inviting me to dinner regularly. I think I can set up the ground rules and make it work. yes, it makes me a difficult guest perhaps. but they can handle it. and I'm perfectly happy to bring my food. but it really is easy to describe: if you want to cook for me, bake me sweet potatoes or potatoes and make a salad with just raw veggies, and cut up some fruit. done! and if not, I'll bring my own food. what do you think? is that a good approach? should I not be so demanding?

-George
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Obadiah » Fri Mar 11, 2022 11:32 pm

1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.
Two times this week, I found I "had" to quickly eat two peanut butter sandwiches. This sometimes happens if I wait for hunger before eating. There was another small difficulty I'll explain under #2.

2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.
Today, I had to drive 105 miles each way for an infusion. My blood pressure was something like 123/68/. They seemed unsuitable unimpressed. Oh well. They didn't have the parade and marching band I was hoping for.

The medicine upset my stomach a bit and gave me diarrhea and a bit of nausea, so I had to stop several times on the way back. I stopped at a Mexican bar and grill which had a vegan burrito. I'm pretty sure it had some dressing with oil in it. The good news is I met a guy I talked to for about three hours. This took my mind off other things, and I was able to drive home without incident.

I brought a bowl for breakfast and lunch. Aging them a bit made them taste better.

3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them. Done
4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood). Done
5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy). The burrito had avocado in it. I also had a couple of peanut butter sandwiches during the week.
6. Eliminate any added oil. Probably had some in the burrito.
7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit. Wow, my sin is getting multiple charges.
8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages). Done
Last edited by Obadiah on Sat Mar 12, 2022 6:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby josietheschnauzer » Sat Mar 12, 2022 5:09 am

MWL Check List for 3/11/2022
Last week I listed for goals 4 and 5: Goal 4. To learn how to accommodate “unplanned deviations” at restaurants without entering the slippery slope of the pleasure trap. 5. To try and figure out by December 2022 when I have reached the proper weight. Bad news, good news: I went to restaurants last week, first one was a birthday celebration. I called ahead to my pre-covid Italian restaurant. I had plain vegetables on plain (white, they don’t have whole wheat) pasta. It was great, but then I just had to “taste” the bread stick and I just “had” to order sorbet…..The good news is that I am not on the pleasure trap. The bad news is that my eyes and mind wanted the breadstick and sorbet, not my stomach. So much of my overeating has nothing to do with hunger. I KNOW this, but my hope with our new behavioral MWL program is that I will “know it in action and just say no”. The second restaurant was my regular Chinese one where I did eat my gratis vegetable sushi that had a little avocado. Now for goal 5, am I too concerned about the scale? I have to figure out/understand how to find/accept my proper body weight rather than the scale weight. I don’t know how to do that. For example, Last week I did gain less than a pound and it bothered me a lot. Yet, when I wasn’t reporting in for MWL, I didn’t even bother to weigh and didn’t realize that I had gained 10 pounds until my clothes started getting tight! My inconsistencies :eek: Thank you!
1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit: Yes.
2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals: Yes.
3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. No. Sorbet.
4. Eliminate all animal foods: Yes.
5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods: No, slice of avocado.
6. Eliminate any added oil: Yes
7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products, popcorn and dried fruit: No, bread stick and white pasta.
8. Don't drink your calories: Yes
9. Eat when hungry & until comfortably full. Don't starve and don't stuff: Yes, maybe. I am trying to follow Mark’s advice—I probably am hungry……
10. Include 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily: Yes, I walk every day at 5am.
I have completed ten weeks on this 2022 with MWL. I gained .6 pound last week for a total loss of 13 pounds in that time frame.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby josietheschnauzer » Sat Mar 12, 2022 5:24 am

Hi, Mark and Jeff, I am having a little trouble. The "discussion board: keeps asking me to log in.

For George and others, I bring my food and no one minds. Next Saturday we are having a luncheon at my church. I am bringing my mexican chop salad for 20 plus people with plenty of McDougall food. People always love my WFPB food so I can't ever understand why they keep eating bad food! Anyway, I follow Jeff and Doug Lisle and just offer food, I don't lecture.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Gimmelean » Sat Mar 12, 2022 9:46 am

McDougall Post for week ending 3/12/22

1) Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit. 

Yes. Having cut up fruit and raw vegetables in clear containers in the front of the refrigerator is helpful and reinforces this good habit.

2). Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals:
Yes. Batch cooking foods that are adherent for me with guests for two weeks helps me to stay on track when I am stressed because my routine is upside down. Everyone loves what I make.

3) Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts.  This includes gourmet sugars and salts too.  If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.
No-
Very difficult this week with homemade, handmade chocolates made right in front of me in the house. However, I’ve made enormous progress in this area because before I would never have stopped with one or two and would have continued until they were all gone despite feeling less than optimal after eating them.

4) Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).
No. I ate cheese. Will not be difficult to stop right now.

5) Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).
Yes.

6) Eliminate any added oil.
Yes.

7) Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e. bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.
No. Bread and bagels continue to be a challenge I am working on.

8 ) Don’t drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).
Yes.

9) Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full.   Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself.

Yes.

10) Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking).
Yes.

Victories, comments, concerns, questions: Hello everyone.
Mark, last week I reflected on feeling guilty for hyper focusing on self care during these times. Your words of advice as always, were rational, sane, and comforting. There is always room for empathy and for self care. Thank you for answering so personally. I hope everyone benefits by going back and re-reading your replies from last week.
I have guests for two weeks. 3 out of 10 No’s but 7 Yeses. My schedule and routine are happily upside down and challenged. I feel that I have been practicing this way of eating long enough now to know what is right and normal for me. I no longer feel that I’m completely lacking control or will always be trying to strive for an unattainable goal. My weight has remained consistent which is the result of focusing on the 10 point checklist and adherence. It’s taken a lifetime. Yes, I had doubts about putting the scale on lower priority but not now. Have a good week one day at a time and looking forward to checking in next week.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby moonlight » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:47 am

    1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit.This is the behavior I adhere to the most. It's a behavior have learned since I've been participating in this forum.

    2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert.This is the other greatly improved and appreciated behavior I've learned while participating here.

    3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.I've been a little freer with this one in the last couple of weeks. Not much but definitely needs attention.

    4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood).I still struggle with this one. My desire is to eliminate all animal foods all the time. Usually if I'm really hungry, don't have anything prepared, and my husband has made some type of fish, I will eat some. My desire for dairy products have been eliminated. I still marvel at that new behavior.

    5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).This isn't too much of a problem. I went through an avocado phase but it has passed.

    6. Eliminate any added oil.Not a problem.

    7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e. bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit.Okay, this is a behavior I am almost convinced that I can't overcome! I guess writing that and thinking about how I overcame my desire for cheese gives me hope. Bread is the thing I eat the most. I buy Ezikiel bread which I think is better than most. I just want a sandwich sometimes... It's a hard one. Also, recently I have allowed myself to have cereal and almond milk at night...

    8. Don’t drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).I've started enjoying a little cereal and almond milk at night.... Actually, every night!! :(

    9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don’t starve yourself and don’t stuff yourself.I don't have the obsessive desire to eat all the time anymore. Yay!!

    10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking). I have done better at this in weeks past. I've hiked quite a bit but I have days that I don't get any exercise.

Thank you, Mark, Jeff, and Wildgoose, for providing this awesome forum for us. It helps me in so many ways. It renews my commitment when I post these results each week. I can see that I have made improvements even though I still have a lot of room for improvement.

Like # 7 above, another behavior I really struggle with is planning menus and having food prepped. I know I can do this. In the past I have been very good at this. I feel like I have had two weeks where I relaxed more on things I wanted, like cereal and bread. I will ask my husband to move the cereal to the box that I won't look in. :D Maybe if the bread is all that triggers me within my reach, I can use willpower and advanced planning to stave off the cravings.

I hope you all have a great week. Happy Spring!! At least, in the south!
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby jaccisimms » Sat Mar 12, 2022 1:00 pm

1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit. I did this for the most part

2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert. I did do this; had beans and quinoa a lot this week with my meals

3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them. This was an epic fail this week; cookies and bread where is my diet this week

4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood). Yes

5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy). Yes

6. Eliminate any added oil. Yes

7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit. I didn’t do so well with this one. I had bread, cookies and cereal

8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages). Yes

9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until you are comfortably full. Don't starve yourself and don't stuff yourself. No, I seemed to be eating all the time due to stress

10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking). I didn’t get any exercise this week

I had some devastating new this week. I tried my best to stay on task with our 10-point checklist. I reverted to old coping mechanisms. I had Girl Scout cookies and bread this week. Good news is I lost 1lb. Not sure I’ll be on for a few weeks while dealing with this issue that’s come up in my life. I promise to try my best to stick to our checklist.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Gimmelean » Sat Mar 12, 2022 5:05 pm

Mark and Family-
Hope you’re having a wonderful time in NYC!!!
Enjoy the show.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Noella » Sat Mar 12, 2022 6:37 pm

Hi Mark, I hope you had a great time with your daughter! I have been thinking about your wonderful dad & daughter outing all day! What an excellent opportunity for you both!

I continue to focus on the three goals I set out at the beginning of March ( I did this in response to your question of “what are your goals for March?”)
1. Move More! More cross-country skiing. More movement of any kind. Less time sitting at my desk. This is MWL Guideline #10;
2.More Veg! More non-starchy veggies. More kale, broccoli, and cruciferous vegetables. Less fruit. I haven't yet, reduced the number of pieces of fruit to only three per day. MWL Guideline #2
3. Spice More! More spices and herbs to add flavour and interest to meals. Less reliance on salt. MWL Guideline #3.

These goals are suitable for me to focus on daily. I need to add one more goal to my list:

4. Believe More! More self-efficacy. More positive self-talk. More trust in the wisdom contained in the guiding principles of the MWL Program. Less worry that I will fail.


1. Start each meal with a soup and/or salad and/or fruit. :nod: I enjoy eating various fruits and vegetables for appetizers. More veggies than ever before in my life, and I have discovered some new-to-me vegetables, such as fennel, that I love.
2. Follow the 50/50 plate method for your meals, filling half your plate (by visual volume) with non-starchy vegetables and 50% (by visual volume) with minimally processed starches. Choose fruit for dessert. :nod: I am trying to include a wide variety of non-starchy veggies to keep my meals interesting
3. Greatly reduce or eliminate added sugars and added salts. This includes gourmet sugars and salts, too. If either is troublesome for you, you can eliminate them.:nod: I'm trying to use less salt and condiments with salt.
4. Eliminate all animal foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish, seafood). :nod: The more I eat this way, the more I want to eat this way: whole grain pasta, lentils, legumes, veggies and fruits.
5. Eliminate all higher fat plant foods (i.e., nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu, soy).:nod: I look forward to the day when I am at my goal weight for six months so that I can then, occasionally, and in moderation, say yes to some of these foods again.
6. Eliminate any added oil.:nod: It was such a surprise! We don't need oil to cook our food, and the best thing is that food tastes so much better without fat on it.
7. Eliminate all higher calorie-dense foods, including flour products (i.e., bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, dry cereals, cookies, cakes), puffed cereals, air-popped popcorn and dried fruit. :nod:
8. Don't drink your calories (especially from juices & sugar-sweetened beverages).:nod: this is going fine
9. Follow these principles, eating whenever you are hungry until comfortably satiated. Don't starve yourself, and don't stuff yourself. :nod: better at this this week
10. Avoid being sedentary and aim for at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise daily (i.e., brisk walking). :eek: I need to move more.

I worry that my weight loss has plateaued, and I am afraid that I will regain weight quickly if I'm not very careful. This journey is scary at times.

Best regards to you all,
Noella
C.W.: 145
Last edited by Noella on Sat Mar 26, 2022 11:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Mark Cooper » Sun Mar 13, 2022 5:36 am

My apologies, everyone! We arrived home quite late last night, and today I find my available time is tied up with some personal commitments. You can expect my replies and the summary on Monday, March 14. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for being patient. :)
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby wildgoose » Sun Mar 13, 2022 1:17 pm

Mark will be back soon, responding to all of you (hope you and your family had a great time at the show, Mark!). I just had a couple of thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading this week.

I listen to a lot of lectures and interviews from Dr. Doug Lisle. One of the things that he emphasizes repeatedly is that weight is a matter of equilibrium. Behavior and weight, in balance or not. The goal for weight loss is to be slightly out of balance on the behavior side — where your behavior leads to a way of eating that provides slightly less in terms of calorie density than you need to maintain your current weight. The result: slow, steady weight loss. Eventually, you reach a weight that matches your behavior, and weight loss slows, then stops. You are back in equilibrium.

If the equilibrium weight is not where you want to be, you get to decide how to adjust your behavior to tip the balance in favor of weight loss again. Or you may decide that adjusting the behavior further would be too restrictive, and you’re satisfied with the current weight.

If you’re lucky, you reach goal weight before you stop losing, and you get to adjust your behavior in the other direction, to get to equilibrium. This means increasing your overall calorie density a bit until your weight is stable at your goal.

Once the equilibrium weight is where you want to be, you now know that you can stay at that weight as long as you maintain the behavior that got you there. This is where people stumble. They think that once they achieve their goal weight and have stopped losing, they can add a few favorites back in. But that usually tips the equilibrium out of balance on the other side. The result: weight gain and a return to the yo-yo pattern that so many of us have longed to escape.

Most of us test that equilibrium, and we might fluctuate a few pounds up and down. But it’s important, Dr. Lisle says, to find a way of eating that you can stay with, pretty much for the rest of your life. For some of us, that means MWL, or MWL with a few small modifications, as a permanent way of eating.

I can hear the moans. "I couldn’t possibly eat like this forever!" "I long for the day when I can have ________ again!" But after a long time on MWL, if you’re consistent, it doesn’t feel restrictive — it just feels normal. That tasty treat you’ve been craving, if you have it, doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would, and you don’t feel quite as good afterwards as you normally do.

The good news is that if you get unbalanced (either from adding too many foods of higher calorie density or from a period of time like a vacation where you have less than ideal choices), you know what to do. The checklist is always there. The group is here. The behavior is straightforward and clear cut, even though it might not be easy after a few weeks in the Pleasure Trap. The path to success is never far away.

Goose
My story: MWL works!
How I determined my "goal weight"
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby josietheschnauzer » Mon Mar 14, 2022 4:50 am

Dear Wild Goose, thank you for the terrific summary on equilibrium. I hope to in-grain (pun intended) it into my brain. Happy third week of March everyone. :-D
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Mark's Replies for March 11 - Part 2

Postby Mark Cooper » Mon Mar 14, 2022 12:24 pm

squealcat - Getting out the checklist when things are feeling tough is always a sound strategy, Marilyn! I understand what you mean about disappointment transforming into a feeling of deprivation. Something else that possibly contributed: I imagine that potato veg scramble likely wasn't a very substantial portion, so you may not have felt very satiated for that reason, too. Registering and remembering that the "take-out food really didn't taste good" seems like important information to hold going forward.
squealcat wrote: I am thinking about eating at home next time I meet with my friends and maybe just have a fruit bowl and some tea. They really won't mind. I don't think I will either as long as I am not hungry.
Good plan; this is pretty much what I do when dining out, as well. Sometimes I will even bring along some cooked sweet potatoes from home to add to an order of salad, fruit or broccoli - nobody has ever complained. :-D

BambiS - Enjoy that St. Patrick's Day Stew! Yum! Do your difficulties with the 50/50 recommendation stem from getting non starchy vegetables prepared, or is it more a matter of wanting more starch / liking those foods better? Are there non starchy vegetables that you particularly enjoy? One really easy way to satisfy the 50/50 recommendation is by using Jeff's Fast Food recipes and/or the SNAP template - automatic success. Keep striving!

George Ohwell - Excellent adherence! What tactics or tools have you been applying to attain these weeks of success? Anything stand out as a real winning strategy for you? I don't think your approach to dinner with friends is at all unreasonable; if they find the request too taxing, as you say, you can always bring your own food along, right? In my personal experience, most people are pretty reasonable about this stuff if we can make it simple and easy for them.

Obadiah - Sorry you were dealing with those stomach troubles on such a long drive! I'm sure that wasn't very enjoyable. Jeff's resources for Dining Out offer a solid foundation for possibilities that can satisfy the guidelines and could be handy for future trips. When you wrote that you " 'had' to quickly eat two peanut butter sandwiches," do you mean that you suddenly felt ravenously hungry? Did you have adherent foods ready and easy to access, or were the sandwiches the quickest and simplest thing you could pull together? Depending on the context, eating more frequently or more food prep could be possible solutions. Of course, one nearly sure way not to eat peanut butter sandwiches is to have no peanut butter or bread in the immediate environment. ;-)

josietheschnauzer - Learning how to successfully manage these varying situations can be complicated, right? It seems like you are taking time to really think through and assess in the wake of challenges, so as to get them figured out, Elsa. To my mind, that is the path that eventually leads to mastery. One way to fortify your willpower, so it feels easier to “know it in action and just say no”: eat more adherent food in advance, in line with Dr. Lisle's lecture on The Story of Willpower – What it Is & How it Works. In her post from this week, wildgoose offers some solid insight into finding that equilibrium. What really worked for me, was focusing all my effort on maintaining my desired pattern of behavior, and treating the scale dispassionately, as an afterthought, really. Building self-confidence over a variety of situations and feeling fully seated in trust of the process was definitely a lengthy journey for me, but we get there a few steps at a time. :D

Gimmelean - Recognizing the importance (and victory) inherent in those 7 YESes is important, right? Three NOs are challenges to be considered, but maintaining a significant majority of the recommended behaviors when your "schedule and routine are happily upside down and challenged" isn't a small feat, and is worth acknowledging. :) Thanks for the happy wishes for our New York trip; we had a great time!
Gimmelan wrote:I feel that I have been practicing this way of eating long enough now to know what is right and normal for me. I no longer feel that I’m completely lacking control or will always be trying to strive for an unattainable goal. My weight has remained consistent which is the result of focusing on the 10 point checklist and adherence. It’s taken a lifetime.
A great way to be feeling, I am sure! Building a suitable lifestyle certainly is the practice of a lifetime, yes? Ever onward!

moonlight - Being able to see where improvements are happening, and where further improvement can and needs to be made is really important and empowering, it seems to me. That is a key strength of consistently doing these behavioral self-assessments. I would submit that the challenges you describe, dealing with more calorie rich foods and managing meal planning / food prep, are intimately interconnected. When we are in a situation where hunger strikes and adherent meals aren't easy to assemble in the moment, the path of least resistance often leads toward calorie rich and/or highly processed foods. Likewise, I think when those rich, tempting foods are visible and close to hand, it can make us less motivated to put in the work of planning and preparation, because those easy, quick, highly palatable, rich foods are there to fall back upon, right? This isn't always an easy hurdle to get over, but I think your idea to get those foods out of sight (and hopefully more out of mind) is a good step, and if you can follow that with scheduling in and taking the time and effort to have adherent foods that you really enjoy prepared and easy to turn into a meal, you will be well on your way to overcoming these obstacles. It isn't easy, but you con do it; as you note, you have been very good at planning and prep in the past. What worked for you then? What was your routine? Can you readopt some of those techniques to today?

jaccisimms - Let me offer my sincere sympathy for your devastating news. :) My thoughts are with you in managing what seems like an overwhelming situation. It is so easy to shift back to old coping mechanisms, right? After all, many of us have so much more experience with the old, maladaptive strategies, and the new pattern of behavior we are trying to maintain can feel very fresh, uncomfortable and difficult at times. Something that helps me is to really be honest with myself about whether I actually feel happier, manage more effectively, and better cope with tough situations using those old methods, or by striving toward behaviors that are congruent with my most important goals. For me, the answer is usually pretty clear in terms of how I feel and how I function. Wishing you the best. :)

Noella - Posey, Beth and I had an amazing time (in spite of some lousy weather)! Thanks for the kind wishes! I can totally understand what you are saying, about this feeling like a scary journey, sometimes. :nod: I think you are exactly right that the path through that fear is working toward self-efficacy and equanimity. In Jeff' post here, the linked review section discussing "Self-Efficacy Enhancement" has some great information and references to offer. Focusing on those 4 reasonable and proximal goals you describe seems like it is right in line with that. Something I personally find helpful is to get pretty specific about what I'm trying to achieve, within a given timeframe. E. g., today, I'm going to add cinnamon to my breakfast, curry powder to my lunch, and basil to my dinner (whatever spices you like and fit your situation). Or, I will stand up and walk around for ten minutes after every hour (or two, &c) of sitting at my desk. That makes it really easy for me to gauge my progress. I think anyone willing to commit themselves to this effort at behavior change, within the current societal context, is very brave. :nod:
Last edited by Mark Cooper on Tue Mar 15, 2022 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Summary for March 11 Reports

Postby Mark Cooper » Mon Mar 14, 2022 12:40 pm

Please note - I replied to reporting participants in the two posts linked below.

Mark's Replies for March 11 - Part 1
Mark's Replies for March 11 - Part 2

WOW! Just like that we are into the third week of March! With any luck, spring will be here soon! 8)

I'm going to try to be fairly succinct this week. :lol:

Big CONGRATULATIONS to Rebecka22, VegSeekingFit, and George Ohwell for landing 10/10 assessments! Fantastic effort and success worth celebrating.

A really great read, in case you missed it, is a few posts above: wildgoose discussing weight and weight maintenance in the context of dietary and behavioral equilibrium. It is absolutely worth reading, or rereading! ;-)

If you are in the mood for a video, the lecture I referenced above, The Story of Willpower – What it Is & How it Works, is always worth a review. Oftentimes, the answer to our struggles with "willpower" is just to eat some adherent food, especially starches. Remember, when we are eating the recommended foods, in the recommended fashion, we can eat WHENEVER we feel hungry, until we're comfortably full. Restriction, whether by time, volume, calorie counting, inadequate starch, or other "hacks," leads to feeling deprived and possibly bingeing. If you are hungry, eat of the recommended foods, until you feel satiated.

Let's make this another great week! Cheers to all of you! :D
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Mark Cooper
 
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Re: The Behavioral Path to MWL Success - March 2022 Group

Postby Noella » Mon Mar 14, 2022 2:03 pm

wildgoose wrote:Mark will be back soon, responding to all of you (hope you and your family had a great time at the show, Mark!). I just had a couple of thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading this week.

I listen to a lot of lectures and interviews from Dr. Doug Lisle. One of the things that he emphasizes repeatedly is that weight is a matter of equilibrium. Behavior and weight, in balance or not. The goal for weight loss is to be slightly out of balance on the behavior side — where your behavior leads to a way of eating that provides slightly less in terms of calorie density than you need to maintain your current weight. The result: slow, steady weight loss. Eventually, you reach a weight that matches your behavior , and weight loss slows, then stops. You are back in equilibrium.

If the equilibrium weight is not where you want to be, you get to decide how to adjust yourbehavior to tip the balance in favour of weight loss again. Or you may decide that adjusting the behavior further would be too restrictive, and you’re satisfied with the current weight.

If you’re lucky, you reach goal weight before you stop losing, and you get to adjust your behavior in the other direction, to get to equilibrium. This means increasing your overall calorie density a bit until your weight is stable at your goal.

Once the equilibrium weight is where you want to be, you now know that you can stay at that weight as long as you maintain the behavior that got you there. This is where people stumble. They think that once they achieve their goal weight and have stopped losing, they can add a few favourites back in. But that usually tips the equilibrium out of balance on the other side. The result: weight gain and a return to the yo-yo pattern that so many of us have longed to escape.

Most of us test that equilibrium, and we might fluctuate a few pounds up and down. But it’s important, Dr. Lisle says, to find a way of eating that you can stay with, pretty much for the rest of your life. For some of us, that means MWL, or MWL with a few small modifications, as a permanent way of eating.

I can hear the moans. "I couldn’t possibly eat like this forever!" "I long for the day when I can have ________ again!" But after a long time on MWL, if you’re consistent, it doesn’t feel restrictive — it just feels normal. That tasty treat you’ve been craving, if you have it, doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would, and you don’t feel quite as good afterwards as you normally do.

The good news is that if you get unbalanced (either from adding too many foods of higher calorie density or from a period of time like a vacation where you have less than ideal choices), you know what to do. The checklist is always there. The group is here. The behavior is straightforward and clear-cut, even though it might not be easy after a few weeks in the Pleasure Trap. The path to success is never far away.

Goose


Hi Wildgoose,
Thank you for this description of what it means to reach 'equilibrium' during weight loss, Wildgoose. You used the word 'behaviour' nine times! Haha... I'm starting to get the MWL message. It's all about my behaviours, daily actions, and choices. My behaviours don't just happen for no reason, though. They fulfill essential needs for survival, mastery, belonging, independence and generosity. There is a lot to navigate each day alongside my goal to get healthier. I can see that having the internal motivation and power (self-efficacy) to change my behaviours is critical to my ongoing success. I have a strong sense of self-efficacy in my academic studies and profession; recently, I have been learning to improve my health and well-being with a similar focus. Learning about and following the MWL principles has helped me lose many excess pounds. I believe that following the MWL principles will lead to me losing another inch, or two, from my waistline and help me maintain this accomplishment when I get there. I can't wait to leave the plateau or equilibrium that I am in at the moment and figure out what it is I need to tweak to achieve my next new level of eating that is delicious, enjoyable and sustainable yet, as you mentioned, "provides slightly less in terms of calorie density than needed to maintain your current weight. The result: slow, steady weight loss."

You also said, "That tasty treat you’ve been craving if you have it doesn’t taste as good as you thought it would, and you don’t feel quite as good afterwards as you normally do." This has been my experience, too. I often prefer the taste, texture and flavour of the more healthy MWL adherent choice over the less healthy non-MWL adherent 'tasty treat'. This knowledge helps me to move forward toward health.

Best Regards,
Noella
C.W.: 145 lbs.
Last edited by Noella on Sat Mar 26, 2022 11:48 am, edited 6 times in total.
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