Vanilla or nothing?

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

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Dandelion
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Vanilla or nothing?

Post by Dandelion » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:39 am

I know a few people here have mentioned that they have to stick to vanilla - win or lose - cuz if they don't it's a 'slippery slope' kinda thing, or they can follow someone else's rules but not their own, or some other similar reason.

I think I may be one of those - I don't mean it's going to be easy or that I"ll always make it. In fact, aiming for the 'ideal' I may never achieve for me is turning out to be less work than aiming for something theoretically easier to achieve.

I may not be 'able' to stick to vanilla every day, but I think that is what I have to have as my goal.

At least I learned it early on :)

frugaltexan
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Post by frugaltexan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:11 am

Yep, I think I'm one of those people. If I start to make "accommodations" or "mods" I can soon make this into something completely different.

What I like so much about No-s is how simple it is. I want to keep the simplicity - I don't need something complicated or time consuming.
5'9 -- Laura --

Started July 23, 2009 -- 246.6
Restart: June 13, 2010 - 241.6
July 18, 2010 -- 235 .... - 11.6 lb loss in ~1 yr.
Back Again: January 13, 2012 -- 242.2 lbs

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NoelFigart
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Post by NoelFigart » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:53 am

Okay, if my GOAL were weight loss first, I'd do mods, no question about it. I'm not a six foot tall young male who has never dieted. I'm a 5'2" woman of a certain age who has dieted all her life.

As a lifetime yo-yo dieter, that's not my goal. My goal is to stop yo-yoing, get my eating habits under control and stop looking at short term fixes for a problem that's now thirty years on.

Weight loss is happening in the process, but it's slloooowwww.
------
My blog https://noelfigart.com/wordpress/ I talk about being a freelance writer, working out and cooking mostly. The language is not always drawing room fashion. Just sayin'.

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:18 am

I don't think I've ever stuck to vanilla No-S. Initially it was because I didn't realize there was a one plate rule. I ate one serving of whatever was being served and salad was often on a separate plate. When I realized there was a one plate rule, I didn't see any reason to change that. I was already using a portion control plan where my plate was ½ vegetables, ¼ starch and ¼ meat/main dish and there could be additional vegetables.

I rarely feel the need to snack, but when I do I don't follow Reinhard's instructions to have a glass of milk or juice. I understand his rationale; I don't agree with it. First, I don't drink milk of any kind -- ever. Actually, I don't drink juice, either. Both are ingredients to me. Second, I think it's a lot easier to consume extra calories through these beverages than by eating vegetables or fruits. In the rare case I do feel the need to snack, I'll have a non-caloric beverage (water, tea or coffee). If that doesn't work, I have raw vegetables or fruit. It saves me calories and gives me the fiber which will help me to feel satisfied.

For a long time I followed the no sweets rule, but I realized that I was eating more sweets on S days than if I allowed myself to have some sweets daily. So, I have a handful of cookies (nearly always homemade) every day.

Is what I do completely different from No-S? Maybe. But I don't think that matters a whit. It's still a very sensible way of eating and has eliminated random eating. Most importantly, it makes sense to me and works for me. With the exception of violating the one plate rule, my modifications are well thought out, make sense to me and work for me.

Another important thing -- this is my habit and I'm consistent with it. It doesn't change as the wind blows or the spirit moves me or temptations arise.

I've never been good at blindly following rules that someone else sets for my personal behavior and habits -- especially if they don't make sense to me.

In a recent post Reinhard said
It's so immensely gratifying to see an idea I came up with actually helping people in so many ways. I feel amazingly lucky that it popped into my head
It makes sense and works for a lot of people as is. Reinhard trusted his own judgement in finding what works for him. I trust my judgement to do what works for me. I find what I do to be as simple and uncomplicated as vanilla No-S, just a better fit for me.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

Starla
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Post by Starla » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:04 pm

I'm another one who needs vanilla No S. I posted a picture in the "catch phrases" thread of the counter part of my desk at work. It holds two candy jars, and those jars are in front of my face every day, eight hours a day. I've had years to prove I can eat sweets moderately, and I've proven I can't. I needed some weapons! No S puts sweets totally off limits during the work week. I don't even have to make the "eat or don't eat" decisions any more. That's been a godsend.

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BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:10 pm

wosnes wrote:My modifications are well thought out,
make sense to me and work for me.

I've never been good at blindly following rules that someone else sets
for my personal behavior and habits .

Reinhard trusted his own judgment in finding what works for him.
I trust my judgment to do what works for me.
I find what I do to be as simple and uncomplicated as vanilla No-S,
just a better fit for me.
I am very attracted to the No S "Habit" concept.
Reinhard's philosophy closely resembles my own,
AND I am in complete agreement with the quote above.
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

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Nichole
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Post by Nichole » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:04 pm

BrightAngel wrote:
wosnes wrote:My modifications are well thought out,
make sense to me and work for me.

I've never been good at blindly following rules that someone else sets
for my personal behavior and habits .

Reinhard trusted his own judgment in finding what works for him.
I trust my judgment to do what works for me.
I find what I do to be as simple and uncomplicated as vanilla No-S,
just a better fit for me.
I am very attracted to the No S "Habit" concept.
Reinhard's philosophy closely resembles my own,
AND I am in complete agreement with the quote above.
Me too! :)
"Anyone can cook." ~ Chef Gusteau, Ratatouille

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:46 pm

I should change my signature to this (but I like my current one, too):

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
Buddha
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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Dandelion
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Post by Dandelion » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:53 pm

Yes, the simplicity is definitely a draw for me. I think my life is chaotic enough :).

I also like the definite lines. No blurred edges. After a dozen years of 'IE' I'm soooo sick of endlessly thinking about food and whether I"m 'really' hungry all the time and whether I'm 'satisfied' 'full' or 'overfull'. I like that I can just eat or not eat and leave it at that.

I also gravitate naturally toward the 'slow food' type of lifestyle - high quality, traditionally prepared meals in a pleasant atmosphere. I don't *want* to eat junk, or 'permasnack', so it would seem that I would be naturally inclined to have fewer conflicts with NoS.

I don't know why I keep looking for them :)

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buttercreampillow
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Post by buttercreampillow » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:00 pm

I'm one who does Vanilla No S because I have to. When I first started, I didn't lose any weight. Then I gained a little. Then I lost that. Now I've lost a little more.

I don't feel threatened by anyone's mods--I'm just glad I don't have to do 'em. What worked for me was to just keep on and let the diet change me over time.

Best of luck, Dandelion!
Natural Eater

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:55 pm

buttercreampillow wrote: I don't feel threatened by anyone's mods--I'm just glad I don't have to do 'em. What worked for me was to just keep on and let the diet change me over time.
I'm glad I don't have to follow vanilla No-S. If I did, I wouldn't be here.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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DaveMc
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Post by DaveMc » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:14 am

This and a number of related recent posts has got me to thinking about this question: Should you do vanilla NoS if it's incredibly hard for you to maintain?

That is, if you've given it a good, fair, honest try (months, say), but you still find that every day is a huge struggle, should you try to stick to unmodified NoS anyway? I think the answer is pretty clearly "no": the whole point is that this is supposed to be a pattern of eating that you can keep up for the rest of your life. For many people (including me), vanilla NoS is easy enough that it falls into that category: it's simple, and now that the habits are well engrained (about four months in), it requires so little attention or willpower that I don't feel like it's a daily struggle.

However, that's clearly not the case for everyone. If you're fighting every single day and that doesn't change after months, I don't see how you can doom yourself to that for the rest of your life. It won't be sustainable. Maybe, like wosnes, you'll find that some slightly modified version *would* be sustainable. It may also be that you could "sneak up" on vanilla NoS by initially deviating from it, then gradually removing the modifications until you're back to the simplest version of the plan.

I don't know how this fits with the fear that people have of being "all or nothing", but it's what comes to mind whenever people talk about modifying the vanilla plan. What is supposed to distinguish NoS from a temporary diet is that it's not meant to be something you "grit your way through" temporarily -- that sort of thinking will probably lead to sticking to it for a while, then completely letting go. As I understand the philosophy, the idea is that you're better off with something sub-optimal but sustainable than something optimal but temporary.

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:58 am

Ultimately, I think No-S is about moderation, being sensible and going back to something that resembles the way people used to eat (before everyone had problems with weight and health). If vanilla doesn't work for you, no problem. Just find something that does work for you.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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sporkfancier
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Post by sporkfancier » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:25 pm

I'm surprised noone has mentioned this yet, but Reinhard did three podcasts on this subject (though really just the first two apply to your question):
Episode 35: The Mods and Tweaks Trilogy Part I: To Tweak Or Not To Tweak

Episode 36: The Mods and Tweaks Trilogy Part II: How To Tweak

Episode 37: The Mods and Tweaks Trilogy Part III: When a mere mod isn't enough
These give you a great discussion surrounding when you should tweak (really important!) and what sorts of tweaks are a good idea.
Shovel glove? Isn't that the size of prophylactic I use?

Dawn
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Post by Dawn » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:20 pm

DaveMc wrote: As I understand the philosophy, the idea is that you're better off with something sub-optimal but sustainable than something optimal but temporary.
You hit it on the head Dave. I'd much rather settle on 155 on a no brainer plan like the No-S than yo-yoing anywhere from 145 to 175, which I have been doing by entire adult life.
Dawn

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Dandelion
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Post by Dandelion » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 pm

Buttercreampillow - I really like what you said about letting the diet change you.

It's been good to hear from other Vanilla or nothings out there :) It truly was a surprise to me to find out that Vanilla was what worked for *me*. I honestly expected to not be able to stick to this without mods. Instead I found out I could *only* stick to it without mods.

I'm really not trying to criticise anyone's mod if that is what they need, I have just learned it works against me. I know. I tried it. I just haven't seen many threads from people who found mods didn't work for them and I was hoping if I threw this out there I'd find a few like souls - and happily, I did :)

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:46 pm

BrightAngel wrote:
wosnes wrote:My modifications are well thought out,
make sense to me and work for me.

I've never been good at blindly following rules that someone else sets
for my personal behavior and habits .

Reinhard trusted his own judgment in finding what works for him.
I trust my judgment to do what works for me.
I find what I do to be as simple and uncomplicated as vanilla No-S,
just a better fit for me.
I am very attracted to the No S "Habit" concept.
Reinhard's philosophy closely resembles my own,
AND I am in complete agreement with the quote above.
I read the transcripts of the mods and tweaks podcasts and I realized something. Reinhard created everyday systems for areas in his life in which he was having problems -- including diet. He created a system to deal with snacks, sweets and seconds and it's been successful for him and others. My modifications are part of "my" system.

Two of my modifications have to do with the secondary rules (the one plate rule and what to consume between meals). The third mod has to do with the "no sweets" rule. I consume a small amount of sweets (usually cookies) daily. I save the really calorie-laden, fancy desserts for special days/events.

Ironically, as a result of reading about the mods and tweaks, I've decided to make another modification: I'm going to eliminate Saturday and Sunday as routine S days. Instead, I'm going to take S days as they come. I don't think I'm going to set a weekly or monthly cap on them, unless it seems like I'm having too many. I suspect that I'll end up with more flexibility and fewer monthly S days than by allowing 8-9 (weekend days) plus another couple of floating days.

I've found that with rare exceptions (Thanksgiving and Christmas) most things are actually S events rather than S days.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

clarinetgal
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Post by clarinetgal » Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:35 am

I'm also in the camp where I need a modification. Like Wosnes said, I'm trying to find a way of eating that I can stick with for the rest of my life and so far, my modifications (one dessert with either lunch or dinner and a few extra treats on the wekends, but not outright S day eating) seem to be working. When I tried Vanilla No S, I was thinking WAY too much about food. With my modifications, I don't think about food nearly as much, and my eating is almost stress free. But this is what works for me. I applaud the people who do, and like, Vanilla No S.
I discovered today that I'm actually starting to lose my taste for sweets. I had a dessert yesterday night and a few mini chocolate bars today, and they didn't taste nearly as good to me as they would have in times past. I thought they were almost sickly sweet.
Maybe I'll eventually get to the point where I don't need sweets every day, but I'm going to take it one day at a time.

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:49 am

I should explain my reasoning for getting rid of the regular S days. The very short version of this is that I'm eating things on weekends that I don't particularly want just because it's the weekend and I can. The other part is that I'm missing things I want on weekdays just because it's a weekday and I can't. Additionally I realized that I would almost definitely have fewer S's, enjoy myself more and not feel deprived (or guilty) if the S's were "floating" instead of every Saturday and Sunday being S days.

Clarinetgal -- I've not lost my taste for sweets, but I'm going for quality instead of quantity. I've found that most purchased items just aren't worth it. As I've mentioned, cookies are my sweet of choice. Homemade cookies. If I can't have homemade, I'll usually go without (there are a few exceptions).
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

clarinetgal
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Post by clarinetgal » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:37 pm

Wosnes, I hear you on homemade cookies! I'm finding that, too. I'd much rather have my homemade cookies than the store-bought ones.

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DaveMc
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Post by DaveMc » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:58 pm

Of course, the short version of my long post, above (the one that responded to something other than the original topic, sorry about that!) is: Whatever works for you! :) It's interesting that for some people it's easier to follow stricter rules than less strict ones - but that's great, so much the better for you.

guadopt1997
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Post by guadopt1997 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:55 pm

Ironically, as a result of reading about the mods and tweaks, I've decided to make another modification: I'm going to eliminate Saturday and Sunday as routine S days. Instead, I'm going to take S days as they come. I don't think I'm going to set a weekly or monthly cap on them, unless it seems like I'm having too many. I suspect that I'll end up with more flexibility and fewer monthly S days than by allowing 8-9 (weekend days) plus another couple of floating days.
Wosnes, I'll be very interested to hear how this works for you. It might be a cure for my S days gone wild.

Liz[/quote]
Liz
Weight goal: less than I weigh now
Basic goal: doing no-S for life

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