Monday, May 2, 2011


I have had some crazy desperate thoughts this week as I have battled craving after craving and way too much hunger. (No, my calories have not been too low. Probably too high, as I got on the scale and it bumped back up a pound). I started wondering what I could "take" to kill my appetite. You know that desperation... the place I was 4 years ago when I was 278 pounds and nothing seemed to "work" and I was Googling everything from "how to lose weight fast" to "diet pills that work." I was ready to do almost anything and pay as much as I had to to get the weight off back then. Yet everything I tried... Weight Watchers, OA, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Eat Right 4 Your Type, Carb Blocker chews, Dexatrim, Slim Fast, the Weigh Down Diet, Fat Busters, and so many other methods... did not "work." I know, lots of people will say "diets don't work" but I am a believer that "any reasonable, healthy diet works IF YOU WORK IT." Some of those things I tried were not reasonable, some were not healthy, but some work for lots of other people who lose weight and keep it off. It is really a matter, in my opinion, of trying various (healthy) things until you find something that works for YOU and yields better health as measured by your doctor and yourself. Over all these years of trying to lose weight, only 3 things "worked" for me and got approval from my doctor:

1. South Beach Diet. And I do not mean using their products. I just mean eating according to their food lists: good carbs, good fats, that kind of thing. I lost about 40 pounds on SBD several years back. Of course, I gained it all back when I started eating cake and ice cream in huge quantities again, which will happen regardless of how you lose weight.

2. Calorie counting. I used the free site,, to log my calories and stay in a range from 1400-1800 per day. This is how I lost the first big chunk of weight on this journey as you can see by reading my blog archives. It's simple, free, and you can eat whatever fits into your calories for the day, although I did try to make healthier choices and eat lots of veggies. This method fell apart for me after 64 pounds lost and I started having a hard time staying away from junk food.

3. Medifast. This is, by far, the easiest way I have ever found to lose weight. It got me out of a 20-month stall and I lost 59 pounds before I stopped following the program and started a regain. Yes, they sent me the food for free. However I have been blatantly honest about what I feel are the positives and negatives of this program, and my opinion remains that this is THE best "system/diet" out there (calorie counting aside, which is free and available to everyone).

So the other day I was thinking that if I could find an appetite suppressant pill I would think about taking it. I am feeling that desperate. I started Googling appetite suppressants and was reminded of all the health risks and dangers of those kinds of things. And then I remembered something. When I was doing the Medifast 5&1 plan, I had very little appetite. Kind of how it is on South Beach phase 1 or Atkins... you go into some stage of ketosis (very mild on Medifast but a stronger state on Atkins because of ingesting far fewer carbs). And that ketosis gets rid of cravings. In fact there were times on Medifast when I almost forgot to eat. I just did not get hungry. Well, I want that back. I think I need to cut the fruit and yogurt back out. They have just been making me hungry/cravey. But really, why would I even consider taking an appetite suppressant when I can get the same effect without the health risks just by cutting out fruit and dairy? So that's my plan. Back to 5&1.

Frankly I am sick of this merry-go-round and just want to get the weight off already with one method and quit screwing around trying stuff that may or may not "work."


bbubblyb said...

I really think it's a mind thing more than a body thing. Are things going on in your life that are stressing you or giving you anxiety? I do believe sometimes more carbs can give you more cravings but I find more times that it's something going on with me mentally that is driving me to eat more even when I'm not unhealthy foods.

Anonymous said...

The thing you resist the most is the thing you need the most. I know you've said you can't do therapy, but that's what is required to address an eating disorder. Here's on definition of an eating disorder:

"Eating disorder" is when a person eats, or refuses to eat, in order to satisfy a psychic need and not a physical need. The person doesn't listen to bodily signals or perhaps is not even aware of them. A normal person eats when hungry and stops eating when the body doesn't need more, when he feels the signal of satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but diets are good for a start but unless you change the way you eat for life, no matter what diet you are on, you are always going to go back to the old way of eating once you get off any plan. That's why diets in my opinion do not work because they are only thought of as temporary until the weight comes off, then you go back to your old ways and bam the weight is back.Finding foods you love, that are healthy and you enjoy eating is the best way. Learn to cook again, rediscover your kitchen. If you still think diets are for you, you should have a plan B for when you decide to go off the diet. You are always going to go off a diet, if you don't have a plan for when that happens, you are doomed to regain.

Anonymous said...

I like South Beach, as I like to work with my own food and groceries. I think it's kind of a common sense way to live, not just to "diet". It's healthy as a whole, you can do it without being hostage to a food purchasing program, and if you need to bump weight loss up, you can restrict some fruits for a bit.

Combining this with some of the OA strategies (those that work for me, those that don't—I don't I don't like to feel like I give up my control to anyone or anything but what I choose and what works for me is what I do as a life plan :-)

Good luck finding the next life plan that works for you. Meditating a bit might help (15-20 minutes of quiet breathing a day) to find what your heart tells you will work for you, I do mine at bedtime, as it's the best time for "me time".

Princess Dieter said...

Quite frankly, two out of those three "what worked for me" plans were LOW CARB. YOu know you can't handle the appetite surge and cravings. So, cut out the yogurt, milk, starches. Eat veggies and protein and healthy fat MAINLY. Add a little fruit (1/2 a serving at first) to each meal for a sweet treat (or no fruit for a week or two to get into a low appetite mode).

It's not a secret for you. YOU know what makes your appetite subside. It's not Medifast. It's not South Beach. IT IS STAYING AWAY FROM SUGARS AND STARCHES AND GRAINS. Legumes, too, will give sugar spikes.

Just go back to watching starches/sugars/carbs and telling yourself every day, "If I want to not have an appetite or have a low appetite and untroublesome appetite, then I have to commit to lean and green above all."

I say go for it. You don't need an appetite suppressant. You already know what suppresses your appetite. Go for it, Lyn. We're cheering!

Anonymous said...

Actually, legumes are reputed to help control blood sugar spikes.

Jaclyn said...

It's like there are 3 different Lyns. Obese Lyn wants to eat 6 cupcakes and a latte, then hide the evidence. Thin Lyn wants to eat lean meats, fruits, yogurt and a variety of healthy and delicious food. Then there's Losing Lyn, who knows what she needs is to just stick with what works for her - which right now happens to be Medifast.

You've been going back and forth between Thin Lyn and Losing Lyn for a while, which has allowed Obese Lyn's habits to creep in, I think. Go ahead and just be Losing Lyn a while longer. She'll help you get back to being Thin Lyn before you know it, and she'll help you learn the tools that will forever put Obese Lyn to rest.

Karen@WaistingTime said...

South Beach absolutely works for me when I stick to it. And I've had a doctor approve it as well. In SB, unlike Atikins you don't actually go into ketosis; it is not that low in carb. But those first two weeks really do seem to kick the cravings for most people. Every time I regain I think "if I could just commit to restarting SB I could get back on track but I don't want to." Eventually I get on the plan and what a difference it makes. Everyone is different but for me, this seems to fit my life. And work. Good luck!

Kristi-Bisti said...

I can relate to the headspace you are in! It is relentless. How many times have I said to myself, "I am never going back there" only to go back there again and again.

Be gentle with yourself!

ps. I hesitate to say this, because you must get so many of these things but I will anyway because I think they have great/moderate information. One podcast I have been listening to is
Their whole premise is to eat as much as you can each day while also eating as the leaner person you want to be. Therefore it's not a diet per se. When you go into maintenance, you aren't really changing anything because you have been eating the same way all along. I know that doesn't help much mid-binge, but it sounds a lot like what you have been trying to do all along.


timothy said...

ketosis is a GREAT thing, IF i remember to get there! lolol i know fruit is supposedly good for you but to a carb/sugar addict the natural sugar triggers cravings that can derail you completely. so even though i could eat berries and such i choose to stay in control. there's nothing in there you can't get elsewhere or supplement. good luck hon i KNOW you'll figure this out! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Amy said...

I'm kinda in the same place. I keep making healthy choices and exercising and seeing no real results!!! So I started Atkins. When I go low carb, I start seeing the pounds coem off. It's just hard to make it work in social setting when carbs are everywhere!

Claire said...

Lyn, it's not about manipulating the food; it's about changing your mind-set.

Please read "The Beck Diet Solution." It's not a diet, at all. It's cognitive therapy to change the way you approach eating. No diet ever works if your mind isn't in the right place. For the first time in my overweight life (about 20 years), I feel like I've found the answer to beating my emotional eating.

I stress eat. A stressful marriage, a child with chronic pain, and unmet expectations contributed to 80 pounds of pain. I am down some pounds, and exercising and feeling hopeful for the first time in years. PLEASE read the book. It will change the way you think, which is the most important part of this weight loss journey.

LHA said...

Lyn, I want to thank you for your last two posts. They spoke to me in a very real way, so thank you for sharing your struggles and your thoughts.

Like many who have commented I am struggling to also find the motivation and the psychological energy to get back to the way of eating which was healthy and allowed me to lose weight. Like you, I can identify what did work for me and I remember spending two years feeling better, looking better and enjoying life so much more.

Just reading your thought processes made me go down a similar train of thought and I am going to keep thinking and come to a decision about my future. I guess for all of us it is a personal struggle but there has to be an answer and a solution. I appreciate the reminder to look within and remember what has worked for me in the past. I really needed to hear that.

Lyn said...

Thank you LHA! I was surprised to see your comment on a post from 2011, and then I saw that it had mysteriously posted to the top of my blog! Well, perhaps it was just what you needed to read. I'm with you :)