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Weight loss nutrition question
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So I have begun my annual post spring break calorie counting portion of my training in the hopes of getting to 154# from 164# by Sept for IM Chattanooga. After the fall races until the kids' spring break I really don't watch what I eat as closely as long as I'm around 163-167# at 5'8". Anyways I use myfitnesspal app to log what I eat with the goal of losing 2# per week which in actuality is probably closer to ~1 #/week. So for someone my size I am supposed to take in approximately 1970 cal plus whatever I burn up working out. As I've begun my HIM build and am now working out approximately 10-13 hours/week I tend to burn up another 600-1200 cal/day.
My question is this: I try to eat what I can but I do eat fairly healthy with mostly lean meats and less carbs as well as minimal to no junk food which typically is not calorie rich. This leaves me at a 700-800 calories deficit per day 4 days of the week. The other days I'm neutral. IOW if my goal is to take in 2700 cals for the day, I'll be at 2000 or so.

Do you guys supplement your diet with protein supplements to get to neutral calories or just let it ride and be under the goal for those days. I already know that in general I don't take the 1.2-1.5 g/kg body weight of protein that I should but I'm often not that hungry.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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I usually eat the exact same proportionally when I'm slimming down, just less.

https://reluctantmultisport.wordpress.com
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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I used the app to lose almost 15# this winter. And I started pretty lean. Now I'm about pro tour lean at 143# :)

I've found my macros to be generally as recommended at 50-30-20. I try to stay consistent at 200ish deficit every day so about 1/2# per week. I'm still strong. So far.

I do find that after hard or long days I can't deficit. So the metabolism must really roll after a hard effort. I feel like I'm starving if I don't eat a bit over those days.

I'm in the shape of my life and as trim as ever at age 39. Ftp is over 5w/kg. But I've worked my ass off on the bike and with my diet.

I've never been above 160.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cmscat50] [ In reply to ]
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cmscat50 wrote:
I've found my macros to be generally as recommended at 50-30-20.

Just curious whose recommendation you have followed and how that is broken down by macro? I'm assuming 50 carb, 30 protein, 20 fat but might have it wrong. Thanks.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Toothless] [ In reply to ]
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50-30-20 is the default in MyFitnessPal. I won't say that's the best but it seems to work for me. I get more carbs may work better for long course but too many carbs on a consistent basis leaves me hungrier. 50 carbs, 30 fat, 20 protein.

My weight loss process has been a lot of luck. I guessed at a target intake and must have hit it dead on right away and the weight came off nice and slow. Same with macros. I didn't change much to get the recommended balance.

My stay even intake at 143# seems to be about 2200-2300 with a desk job.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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1970 + workout calories sounds a bit high. I'm 5'11" at 175 now and working towards 165 and my base intake is 1750 + workouts. I'm shooting for 1.5 lbs per week. I still end up under each day though by about 500 calories. So far, I am feeling strong and like I have enough energy for 14 hours of training per week. I just let it be under. If you start feeling like your losing steam, just eat a bit more earlier in the day.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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Protein needs have an upper and lower boundary, the upper being what’s the maximum amount of protein synthesis you can sustain in a day, and the lower driven by the bodies protein turnover rate. The body continually breaks down damaged protein structures and rebuilds them, not just in muscles after workouts but in internal organs as well. You have muscle protein breakdown (MPB) competing with muscle protein synthesis (MPS) with your goal being MPS-MPB>=0. Obviously repairing damaged protein in vital organs is higher on the bodies priority list than maintaining that sweet biceps peak you worked so hard for, so if you aren’t taking in the minimum amount of protein you’ll lose muscle mass, and of course strength. The impacts would be subtle, but over enough time noticeable.

Similar to you, I’m 5’8”ish and I’ve been in the weight loss portion of my schedule and have dropped around 8lbs from around 164 to around 156 while seeing my power on the bike go up and run speeds increase, making sure I am getting around 0.8g/lb (1.76g/Kg) day. I’ve attached a link to a study that used cyclist and triathletes training about 11 hours a week to determine protein needs. There is a lot of debate over the minimum amounts needed, with the most reputable numbers coming in at the 0.6-0.8g/lb a day, and this study found about 0.8g/lb/day required to maintain nitrogen balance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24476478

I would agree AKCrafty that 1970 seems a bit high for basal metabolic rate for 164lbs. I didn’t see your age mentioned but using 40 I get in the 1680-1700 range, 30 jumps that some but only about 60-70 calories. Assuming you get 0.8g/lb of protein each day that will be about 520 calories. I would add about 150 grams of carbs as a starting point (the brain needs 600 calories each day and this must come from carbs or ketones, so unless you are ketogenic this is a good baseline number) which takes you to 1120 calories, then fill the rest with fat up to your desired deficit without the workouts included. Try to make sure you are getting around .3g/lb day of fat though, around 50g/day otherwise over time hormonal issues can develop. Literature on fat intake isn’t as easy to come by as protein but I’ve also included some info on that.


If you add roughly 50% of your workout calories on top as carbs this should get you pretty close to being carb neutral and providing a decent deficit for fat loss. You can obviously experiment with the carbs and fat calories to get the rate of weight loss you want but this should be a good starting point with a decent guard against muscle loss and hormonal issues that come from too little fat or protein.

As for your actual question of supplementing, whole foods are always preferable, but there are times where I am too lazy or not hungry enough to want to deal with preparing actual food, and in those cases I will use whey powder as supplement. Whey has a very good AA profile but there are some who have a inflammation response to dairy so be conscious of that. We have a stick blender so I’ll throw in a scoop and just enough water to mix it up and then blend it and down the hatch. The whole process take about 2 minutes and it isn’t enough volume to be a concern if you’re not in the mood to eat.

Hope this helps…
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply. That would explain why I'm not losing weight. I simply plugged it into MyFitnessPal and didn't think much of it. I'll change to those parameters.
I'm 44 and have actually gotten stronger on the bike but I've known for awhile that my protein intake has been subpar. Guess I'll have to make more of an effort to prep my food.
Just to review. So at my current 164# I should shoot for as a min
Protein 0.8 g/lb = 130 gm protein (520 cal)
CHO 0.91g/lb= 150 go 600 cal
Fat 0.39 g/lb= 64g (580 cal)
= 1700 cal
. On top of this if I work burn 600-1200 cal per day for workouts I would be 1100-1750 short of my needs.
1100-1750 cal should then be broken up into min 50% carbs (550-875 cal/135-218 g)

What would you suggest the other 550-875 cals be?
Thx a lot
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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I do exactly the same as cdub. Protein and fat needs are fixed by mass (0.8g/lb and 0.3g/lb, respectively), carb needs are supplemented as required to meet remaining caloric needs...scaled up/down based on workout load and desired weight loss rate.

I find that I can't sustain a deficit larger than 500 calories per day without impacting recovery from higher intensity workouts. About 18 months ago, I lost 50 lbs over 8 months or so. At my peak, I was losing 2 lbs / week (actually a tad higher than that), and all I could manage day over day was zone2...anything higher than that and the legs would just get heavier and heavier. So now, when I'm in weight management mode, I prefer to maintain a steady deficit, eg: 7x500, rather than 4x850. I don't know if one is better than the other for weight loss; but for me mentally I find it easier to "stay on target", rather than break the routine every few days. I would think the 850 deficit days would also compromise my recovery too much.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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Rule #1 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.
Rule #2 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.
Rule #3 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.

Measure your food (with a scale).
Weigh yourself daily.
Track your daily calorie expenditure.

Trend all three using a rolling two week average.
If you aren't losing weight (after two weeks), subtract 500 calories from your allowable dietary intake.

Using a scale is important. 500 calories per day is 1 large slice of bread extra with each meal (or a handfuls of nuts, etc)---Not really very much. So, if you make these small errors systematically...you won't lose weight.

Make all adjustments to daily intake with carbs---big day, more carbs....off day, less carbs. Treat protein and fat as fixed-ish amounts---independent of workout load.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome. Thx
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Tom_hampton wrote:
Rule #1 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.
Rule #2 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.
Rule #3 of weight loss: If you aren't losing weight, you are eating too much.

Measure your food (with a scale).
Weigh yourself daily.
Track your daily calorie expenditure.

Trend all three using a rolling two week average.
If you aren't losing weight (after two weeks), subtract 500 calories from your allowable dietary intake.

Using a scale is important. 500 calories per day is 1 large slice of bread extra with each meal (or a handfuls of nuts, etc)---Not really very much. So, if you make these small errors systematically...you won't lose weight.

Make all adjustments to daily intake with carbs---big day, more carbs....off day, less carbs. Treat protein and fat as fixed-ish amounts---independent of workout load.

Did you mean to say 50 calories?

1 oz of almonds is ~170cals and is what I would call two handfuls...
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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1lb fat = 3500 calories, so for 1/lb a week of fat loss you need a 500 calorie/day deficit. Obviously your workouts can lead to a much great deficit than this, however assuming that your respiratory quotient lands you burning about 50/50 fat/carbs during your workouts then if you don’t get in enough carbs your body will breakdown protein via gluconeogenesis to create the carbs it needs. Taking in too few carbs will increase the % fat burned during the workouts, but will also result in increased MPB, in this case think of the carb intake as a protein sparing tool. There are some merits to ketosis for this reason but that is a very lengthy discussion in itself.

If we arrive at 520 calories from protein, 600 calories from carbs, and 580 calories from fat to get to the 1700 you indicated and if you do 1000 calories of exercise, replacing 500 calories burned with 125 grams of carbs this would leave you with a 500 calorie deficit, in theory anyway, which leads to a 1lb loss per week. I say in theory because studies show exercise calories don’t seem to result in as much fat loss as anticipated but researchers aren’t sure why. There is a belief that NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is lower on days you work out accounting for the less than expected fat loss, however a study I saw in the last few weeks seems to show that isn’t the case.

My recommendation for a starting point on the macro breakdown is 0.8g/lb protein, 0.3g/lb fat(minimum) and 150g/day carbs, + 50% of exercise related calories as carbs, so an example day would look like…
BMR = 1700
Workout=1000
Total Expended calories = 2700
Protein = 164*0.8=131 grams = 524 calories
Fat = 164*0.35 = 57grams = 513 calories
Carbs = 150g+125g=250 grams = 1100 calories
524+513+1100=2137-2700 = -563 calories/day.
This should result right around 1lb/week. A few more things to think about…

1.There is consideration but nothing official to drop the calories in protein from 4 down to the 3-3.2 range due to the fact it has such a high TEF(Thermogenic Effect of Food), so this may result in slightly greater deficit than calculated.
2.The 50% carb burn rate is an assumption, the greater training age you have the more power you can generate from fat and thus burn more fat at a given heart rate. You may need less carbs than this depending on how aerobically fit you are, it is just a good starting point if you don’t know you RQ (most people including me don’t).
3. Don’t forget to adjust the numbers as you lose weight.
4. Calorie burn calculated is just an estimate. I’ve seen a lot of mass-marketed program grotesquely over-estimate calories burned, and even the better ones we are likely using are still just estimating.
5. Water weight can vary drastically from day-day, and is primarily driven by carb consumption, both glycogen repletion as well as inflammation. If you’re consistent day-day with carb intake the fluctuations will level out, but binging for a day can add pounds of water weight, so don’t let these fluctuations distract you when you step on the scale if you ate a higher than usual amount of carbs in the last 24 hours.

You can certainly lose more weight by upping the amount of workouts or decreasing carbs. I would start out with the above and then experiment with the carb #’s if you want some additional loss. As long as you feel good, are maintaining strength or getting stronger while dropping weight you are getting things right. If you start having mood swings and feeling weak (not just workout wise, but in general) then I’d look at upping your fat intake. I have been between 1500-2000 calories a day from workouts and haven’t been hitting the 50% carb mark and am doing fine, but all my workouts thus far have been Z2 so my carb burn during workouts is pretty low. I can tell I am staying right on the edge of going into ketosis so for me that means I am just about where I want to be.

At this point the only number I really pay a lot of attention to each day is the protein number, I eat plenty of eggs and avocados and take fish oil every day so that fats are taken care of and just adjust my carb intake as needed to make sure the scale is moving in the right direction. My carb intake will go up once I start doing more intense workouts and I shift out of my weight loss phase.

Once you enter a weight maintenance phase up your fats primarily as this drives the productions of the hormones we need, with some tweaks to carbs primarily timed around workouts. Carbs are definitely beneficial for performance, but in an acute sense, while fat is beneficial for performance in a chronic sense due to improved hormonal profile.

Hope this answers your question.

Edit: Should have been 150grams/day of carbs for starting point, I mistyped it as 125...
Last edited by: cdub147: Apr 21, 17 10:29
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Brad Fio] [ In reply to ]
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No, 500 calories total per day. Divided by 3 that's 170 calories extra per meal.

My point was that it is VERY easy to consume and extra 100-200 calories with every meal (by having an extra slice or bread, handful of nuts, cheese, mayo, chips, etc). These things tend to sort of blend in with the woodwork, so to speak. Do that with every meal and you have consumed an "invisible" extra 500 calories or so.

A handful obviously depends on the size of a hand...and how "full" you make that hand. So, it might be 75-100 for small hands and a reasonable pile of nuts. Or it could be 180 for monster hands and a pile that barely fits. Or, someone thinks two small handfuls = 1 handful. Its VERY easy to think (or convince yourself) it doesn't matter, when it very much does because 170 calories isn't really all that much.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Tom_hampton wrote:
No, 500 calories total per day. Divided by 3 that's 170 calories extra per meal.

My point was that it is VERY easy to consume and extra 100-200 calories with every meal (by having an extra slice or bread, handful of nuts, cheese, mayo, chips, etc). These things tend to sort of blend in with the woodwork, so to speak. Do that with every meal and you have consumed an "invisible" extra 500 calories or so.

A handful obviously depends on the size of a hand...and how "full" you make that hand. So, it might be 75-100 for small hands and a reasonable pile of nuts. Or it could be 180 for monster hands and a pile that barely fits. Or, someone thinks two small handfuls = 1 handful. Its VERY easy to think (or convince yourself) it doesn't matter, when it very much does because 170 calories isn't really all that much.

Ok I see what you meant now.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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This x2. If you aren't losing weight like want to then start weighing everything. Scales on Amazon are cheap, and the added benefit is you get so tired of weighing stuff that you find yourself deciding not to eat anymore just because you don't feel like going through the process of getting it weighed and calculated.

With that said having done it so much I learned to just make a bunch of something like chicken salad at the beginning of the week and then figured out how much "10oz" looks like and rinse/repeat that everyday along with lots of raw veggies.

After you've spent a few months weighing out everything you can pretty much tell just by looking when you've helped too much onto your plate...
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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Thx so much for the color by numbers approach which is exactly what I needed. I was trying to figure out how to get the fat up as l dont' really eat too much fatty stuff. Looks like fish oil doesn't have too much fat so eggs, etc it is.


Kar-Ming
Last edited by: IMStillTrying: Apr 21, 17 12:15
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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This is a great discussion. Thanks for the resources.

Formerly DrD
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [IMStillTrying] [ In reply to ]
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question in general for those that use myfitnesspal. if you plug in your information as accurately as possible and select one of their "exercise" standard items

like for instance "bike at fast pace 16-20mph"

have you found/do you believe that the "calories burned" portion is accurate (ie. if you then plug in a 60 minute workout and it determines you burned X calories)

the total calories burned for S B and R seem a little high per 60 minutes to me.

My doc said that I may need to adjust them down a bit do to years of training and my body adapting, but I think this audience would be in the same boat

thanks
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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I do this -- I have a scale from amazon and portion out 100-200 calories of my favorite snacks. I dont avoid lots of foods but I do portion control. So weighing out 100 calories of goldfish into snack bags helps me limit my intake. I can then easily log my calories. I can pre-stage bags on sunday and have tons of easy to grab snacks.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [ironmayb] [ In reply to ]
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In MFP the calorie counts for activities all high for me.

The closest for me is cycling, but only if I'm on my touring/commuting bike, then bicycling at 12mph average on MFP roughly works out for my extremely hilly commute.

What I do is the use the lowest number between Garmin, Strava, and MFP.

If I'm using just MFP calorie numbers for work outs, I have to use the "leisurely" numbers for swimming, and pick a running pace about 90 seconds per mile slower for the run.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [ironmayb] [ In reply to ]
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The issue with these type apps is that they are trying to capture a range of efforts and weights all into a single output, and the difference between riding 16mph and 20mph is pretty big. Playing around with the calculator pasted below there is about 300 calories difference for a 160lb rider riding for an hour.

http://bikecalculator.com/

I would recommend using a Heart Rate monitor at the least, especially given how much benefit they provide to overall training, and they start in the $50 range. If you don't have a HR monitor or power meter to use when cycling and need to use an app I would suggest using the range below where you are actually training as a starting point for calculating calories, unless you are at the high-end of the range. After a few weeks you should start to have an idea of whether you are getting close with your calories. I remember reading in forums for those apps a few years ago that a lot of people didn't start seeing weight loss until they stopped counting the calories from their workouts. The fact that those apps can over-estimate BMR and calories from workouts can certainly be problematic if you're relying on them for calculating your energy intake for weight loss.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [cdub147] [ In reply to ]
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I finally got to really dig into your attachments. So I calculated out my BMR at 1795 via the Karch McArdle equation with LBM = 65 (BF 11.5%). Now this is the part I'm not certain about. I chose 1.2 as the factor to multiply my BMR to obtain a Total Energy Equivalent. This comes out to 2154 calories. So when I obtain my calories burned via my Powermeter or Garmin watch and estimate swimming based on Training peaks, do I add this to 1795 (BMR calories) or to 2154 (TEE) to get the calories I burn for the day to figure out my calorie deficit per day?

thanks

last thing, once I get to weight maintenance, what do you suggest as the g/lb I should strive for.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [captain-tri] [ In reply to ]
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Same here. I've noticed that Strava consistently gives me higher numbers on the run. I had an hour run (progressive run) that resulted in a 500 calorie difference between Garmin Connect and Strava.
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Re: Weight loss nutrition question [marklemcd] [ In reply to ]
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This. Portion control is a critical variable. I'm in a similar boat as I raced an open half marathon in mid-January at 177, while my historical sweet spot race weight for long distance tris and running is 160. My first goal race is in early may so I had about 3 months to get there. I have succeeded, losing that 16# in 3 months, or about 1.5# per week on average. I'm 47, and 6'0". I cut out alcohol 100% though I really didn't drink that much to begin with. And the big things for me were (i) portion control - using smaller plates is a big help here; and (ii) not allowing myself to go hungry. When I feel like I'm starving my willpower fizzles. So I drink lots of green tea, sparkling water and eat lots of fruit and yogurt throughout the day in between the smaller meals. Why sparkling water? For me, it is more "interesting" than tap water and especially the La Croix waters with natural lime, lemon and orange flavors give me the sensation of a soda without real or artificial sweeteners.

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