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Dog Days of Dieting?
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BigDaddyMatty posted:


Does anyone else here ever feel what I call the "dog days of dieting?" While I don't weight myself, all is going very well. I feel great, albeit hungry at night. My energy level is way up. Clothes are beginning to fit again. My injured knee feels a great deal better. My face is no longer puffy, etc. etc.

Yet I feel this odd sort of feeling. On the one hand I feel an almost impatience to get the weight off so I can focus on maintaining it and really building my health.

On the other hand I feel so good that that I sometimes almost question whether I should remain on the diet yet I KNOW I need to.

Sunday will be my 30th day on the diet. Fully 1/3 of the time I think I will need to be in a reduction phase. I find these dog days to be disquieting...
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
Woof woof over here....and congratulation on 30 days BDM!
Stay the course!

The temptation to get off track because things are going so well is a struggle for me. Having kids is a huge motivator and helps me look at the "forest", not the trees. Not only do I want to stay healthy as I age, I want to set a good example for them. But, that doesn't always work day-to-day.

Thanks for posting this - hope more people chime in!

Haylen

PS - I googled "Dog Days of Summer" and found interesting information about where that phrase came from here .
 
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Tomato05 responded:
Just do what you believe is the healthiest and best thing to do for you...

If you are getting this feeling, it is maybe time to refresh your diet, rather than abandon it - maybe just a minor change or two.

For example, if you are feeling hungry at night, a small snack (50 or 100 cal, something like 1/2 cup of yogurt, or boiled egg or something similar) won't slow down your weight loss much.
 
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BigDaddyMatty replied to Tomato05's response:
I made it through day #30. Two monster walks. I drank a gallon of water on the first walk (it was 91F.) Second walk was shorter this evening. Between the two of them they are among the longest (almost 9 miles combined) and fastest I have ever taken.

I had a container of 1% cottage cheese and a can of pineapple in it's own juice mixed together for dinner with a few crushed peanuts. About 650 calories. Tasted like steak and lobster to me! It will be interesting to see how I recover. The walks were brutal!
 
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Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
Hi Matty and thanks so much for your posting. I'll wager that most people on our community can identify with your feelings. In my new book THE HUNGER FIX, I stress time and time again, please take each day 24 hours at a time. When you run a marathon, you look at each mile as a major accomplishment. It's a mental bummer to be at mile 5 and only think about mile 26. Your mind wants to race faster than your body. Be careful and slow it down to 24 hours or a day at a time. It's a mental trick that guarantees success.

Next, I'm so glad that you feel great. This should remind you that THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION. That's right. Every step you take you need to relish and realize that you constantly hit mini-destinations with each achievement. Stop obsessing about some mythical Nirvana when you hit a weight milestone. Each day is a milestone as you slug it out practicing healthier lifestyle choices. Enjoy the ride.

Finally, please transition from calling this a diet, to looking at your journey as accepting a healthier total lifestyle. You need to work on your MIND, your MOUTH and your MUSCLE. Mentally powering up your motivation to stay on track each day. Nutritionally eating whole foods and eliminating the sugary/fatty/salty food combos that packed on the pounds. And staying physically active, scheduling in time to get up and moving each and every day.

Speaking of dog days, turn it around. Get out right now and walk your dog---even if you don't have one!

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

Dr. Peeke
 
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BigDaddyMatty replied to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP's response:
Thanks for your advice. Taking this journey 24 hours at a time (or even 24 minutes in some cases) is very sound advice for the most part. I take a longer view with things like menu preparation and shopping, but the rest is taken a day at a time.

Your comment "slug it out" is very appropriate. When I fitness walk I often get into a mode where I am tired, bored and hurting (not seriously) yet I almost enjoy that mixture of feelings. "No pain, no gain", "I got myself into this, now I have to pay the price", etc. I suspect it's a matter of direct feedback.

I realize that staying fit is going to take a lifetime of living a healthy lifestyle. "Dieting" has become a bad word these days but a huge part of the process of getting into shape for me is requiring a diet that is lower in calories.

Thanks again.
 
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Tomato05 replied to BigDaddyMatty's response:
I hope you recovered well after your long walk, and that you are giving your body a break at least one day a week.

That's where I find running so convenien t- one can cover a lot of distance in a much shorter time than walking, but of course walking is 2nd best! And a lot of people can't run because of health issues.

Still, if you could jog here and there it would cut your walking time considerably. I run 9 miles, for example, in about 76 or 77 minutes (I'm not the fastest runner), so instead of walking for 3 hours, I have to persevere only for just more than an hour. While I cool down (and wait to stop sweating) I then do some abs exercises, push-ups, back extensions and stretches.
 
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BigDaddyMatty replied to Tomato05's response:
Recovery was amazing. I felt very good this morning. Staying very well hydrated, stretching after the second walk and the meal I ate for dinner really helped I think.

I cannot run. My knee is recovering. Even then I know few runners in their 50's and 60's without knee/foot/ankle issues and I don't want to follow them. I might start riding my bike when I am lighter though.

I stop midway during the first walk each day for push-ups and leg lifts. I am going to try to do these monster 2-a-day walks until Halloween unless I hurt myself or truly get burnt-out in the meantime.


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