Top 10 reasons for failure

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Top 10 reasons for failure

Postby SactoBob » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:29 am


It seems to me that there is a recurring theme of people who say that the McDougall program is not working for them, when it turns out that they are not following the program.

Would it be worthwhile to list - from your experience- the top 10 (or 9 or 8 or?) ways in which people err in trying to follow the program? I am especially interested if it would be knowing noncompliance, label reading errors or omissions (my own weakness), thinking that weekends and social occasions are exempt, underestimating their deviations, failure to understand what is required, etc.

Another way of approaching it would be a top 10 reasons why you think you are following the McDougall program but you are not.

Also, am I wrong in thinking that this is a substantial problem for those of us who recognize that the McDougall program works and want to do it? We could even do a poll to determine our biggest problems.

Postby dlb » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:37 am

Bob -

Good idea. I think maybe the poll would be a help. I came up with my top ten:

Eating enough of the proper foods – not letting myself get hungry

Keeping myself out of the path of temptation – not having available foods that are off plan

Keeping it simple

Remaining aware of my long term goals

Properly planning ahead for social engagements

Journaling food and exercise at times when I am struggling to make sure I’m going in the direction I want to be

Reaching out to others in similar situations

Sharing my goals with others as a means of accountability

Finding positive motivation in books, DVD, lectures

Using prayer and meditation to strengthen my commitment to myself

It will be interesting to hear Jeff's. How about sharing yours with us?

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Postby eaufraiche703 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:42 am

Donna's listed her top ways of KEEPING on program!

Great list, dlb!
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Good ideas

Postby SactoBob » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:56 am

But, as said above, those are the things to ensure success.
I am interested here in the things that keep us from success, and wonder if there is any pattern. The hunger part is important, because when you are hungry, you are liable to intentionally deviate, and maybe think it is not important.

My own worst failing is assumptions on labels. In particular, not keeping an eye on things, and not seeing that I bought a different version of a product than the one I had checked out before, and the different version has problems.

Postby wordweaver » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:01 pm

One thing for me I've noticed is failure to advise family members or friends ... who are aware of my vegan diet, but perhaps not the "no more oil in foods" policy... and so then feeling I should eat that special something they went out of their way to veganize for me :-(
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Postby eaufraiche703 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:02 pm

my biggest obstacle to continuing success is RESTAURANTS!

tough to navigate sometimes. can do better, most likely
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Postby karin_kiwi » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:07 pm

For me personally, the biggest ways that I find I am not compliant (when I'm not) are:

1. Not enough non-starchy veggies. This is an ongoing struggle, even when I am really good about following the plan. I am quite capable of going through the day on only oats, potatoes, beans (with some tomato there) and maybe a piece of fruit.
2. Too much sugar. Again, an ongoing struggle.
3. Too much vegan convenience food. I go through phases with this stuff and it's not that hard for me to eliminate - if I make up my mind to do it.
4. Flour, especially white flour. Phases.

Risk factors for me are:
1. Getting very hungry. I then go on eating binges in compensation.
2. Being really good during a time of temptation (parties, restaurants, etc). Afterward, I feel like I "deserve" a treat for being so good and that it's normal to have treats and then sometimes I find myself not being able to stop having the vegan treats.

I can't think too much about what to eat because invariably there's something not as healthy that sounds more appealing than the healthy option (for all kinds of reasons). It's better for me to quickly make something than to think too long.

It is hard to eat at other people's houses - especially when they have tried really hard to make something for you and it's not quite right. Like they've cooked vegan, not no added fat vegan (as wordweaver said). I do not know how to refuse this or even if it is best to refuse this or just eat a small portion and move on.

I see that many people (myself included) look at their diet and say that because it's vegan, it's healthy - and that is certainly not the case. Most "vegan" people I come into contact with (this board excepted, of course...) have pretty poor diets from a nutritional standpoint. Just because something didn't come from an animal doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. I've eaten vegan stuff that was so full of oil and processed junk that it would have been less health-damaging to just eat a piece of roast chicken (which I probably would have enjoyed more anyway).

I've noticed on this board that sometimes people feel they are following McDougall and it's not working for them when they:

1. Eat a lot of tofu, TVP and other meat/dairy substitutes (a lot meaning more than once or twice a week).
2. Use flaxseed oil.
3. Eat nuts/seeds daily (assuming there are remaining health problems).
4. Use a lot of soy or other nondairy milks.
5. Base their meals around green/yellow veggies and not a starch.
6. Lots of fruit juices or even fruit smoothies (not as bad as juices, but still not supposed to be an everyday item).
7. Too many flour products. Although they're allowed in the regular program (in the whole grain form), I don't think they're meant to play as large a role as the starchy veggies like potatoes or whole grains like rice.
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Postby joyfulmama » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:26 pm

I drink fruit smoothies daily, sometimes twice a day- well not all fruit. I add lots of greens and whole beans to them- so they have the starch factor and have my greens too. I think this makes a difference. My hubby has hypoglycemia. 32 ounces of green smoothie full of beans keeps him full until lunch and he doesn't have the fluctuation in his blood sugars.
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Postby dlb » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:19 am

Oops - I was making my list and it sounded kind of negative. So I changed it around to give it a positive spin - not paying attention to the fact that I was getting off the mark. Turn those around again and that's how I get myself in trouble :D.

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Postby JeffN » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:34 am

Hi Bob

It is a great question and I want to think about it some more before I post my response.

However, offhand, I would say the following are important issues I consistently see

1) Poor Adherence/compliance. Sometimes from lack of application and sometimes from lack of understanding.

2) Misdirection of focus/priorities. Focusing on matters that don't really effect their health while not focusing on the ones that do.

3) Minimizing/Rationalizing the effect of certain behaviors and/or personal preferences, **especially in regard to certain foods**.

4) Too many processed/refined foods, especially those that are marketing as being "healthy."

I will post more later. Am on the road traveling this week and will think more about it.

In Health

PS Not Planning Ahead is a big one.
Last edited by JeffN on Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby mtns » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:24 pm

My biggest problem right now is eating at somewhere else other than home. My second biggest problem is not having something prepared for those times when I get hungry, especially when I am out and about. Then I get too hungry and eat something I shouldn't.
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Postby starchcurious » Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:17 pm

Thanks, Jeff! Hope you're having fun on the road! :cool:
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Postby kpolninja » Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:31 pm

I've only been doing this for a couple of days, but what I can forsee as the hardest thing for me is when I'm out with friends and such....I'm young and I like going out to eat or for drinks.

I also hate to tell my friends, yet again that I have changed my diet. How many times have they heard from me, due to my several unsuccessful diet attempts (fad diets, not lifestyle changes)...sorry I can't go out or eat that because I really want to loose weight...then end up not loosing the weight and feeling like a jerk.

And then feeling left out when it comes to going out!

I just have to learn that if I want to do those things that it doesn't mean I can eat crap all weekend long, just a meal or a drink.

I feel like this is much easier than any other change I've made, with the exception of going vegan last year. That was easy because I wanted to be vegan.
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Postby landog » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:49 pm

1. Lack of excercise!
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Postby JeffN » Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:38 am

landog wrote:1. Lack of excercise!

I agree.

I have been thinking about it and so far will stick with the five I mentioned and add in lack of exercise (though that may fall under lack of adherence).

I did make a slight edit to number 3 above.

In Health
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