A year on No S - habits rather than diet dogma!

(New!) Read (or post) about people who have stuck with No-S for 10 or more months, lost 10 or more pounds, or 10 or more percent for their starting weight. Periodic updates strongly encouraged -- you can think of it as "Yearly Check In."

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bonnieUK
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A year on No S - habits rather than diet dogma!

Post by bonnieUK » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:44 pm

It’s been a year since I started No-S! I’ll try to keep this brief and use bullet points where possible:

Problems pre-No S

• The perception of feeling hungry all the time – I’ve always had a large appetite, but it was starting to get out of hand and affect my quality of life.
• Eating seconds and thirds virtually every dinner time.
• The sudden realisation that I was 6-7kgs heavier at the age of 28 than I was at the age of 22 and on a steady upward trend.
• Having occasional short-lived obsessions with some extreme diet which I couldn’t stick to (raw food diet, McDougall diet) – basically looking for a quick fix and then failing!

Luckily, I didn’t have any issues with sugar (I’d already dealt with sugar issues at the age of 19/20, when I eliminated virtually all refined sugar and refined flour foods in search of better health – I also went vegan at about the same time).

Getting started with No S

What I liked about No S was that it was about habits rather than the actual food, and I found it liberating to just concentrate on habits rather than worrying about some crazy diet dogma (cooked food is toxic, fat will kill you, carbs make you fat etc. etc.).

And, that in terms of appetite management and habits, changes happened very quickly, here is something from my daily check in after 1 month on No S:

“I think this No S ing is gradually reducing my appetite...(in the past) I'd feel a bit anxious if I didn't have at least 2 snacks in my lunch pack (for the workday). That anxious feeling has now gone and I feel fine with just lunch.â€

Changes since No S

Something that surprised me was that although I started the No S thing simply hoping to lose a bit of weight (or at least stop the trend of gaining weight) I experienced a few other positives too:

• In the first 6 months, I lost almost 3kgs and my body fat percentage went down from 29% to 27%.
• In the last 6 months, I’ve been steadily maintaining the same weight.
• I’ve experienced much better, more consistent energy levels.
• I’ve also experienced much less bloating (which I used to suffer as a result of overeating).
• My appetite has become more predictable and manageable.

What’s up now – continuing No S & having to re-think veganism

I’m going along quite well on No S, but had a few lapses recently due to some health issues (e.g. fatigue and teeth problems) which appears to be due to deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12 and possibly vitamin K2. I resorted to eating more carbs and even eating sugary snacks at times just to counteract the feelings of fatigue.

My only choice in resolving these health issues seemed to be to either add more supplements to my daily regimen (and I already take quite a few) or include some eggs into my diet as a natural way to cover these needs, so I was torn between the desire to stick to vegan principles and the desire to rely on real food rather than supplements. After some soul searching, I decided to go with the latter, so last week, I ate a few eggs (organic and free range or course) for the first time in 10 years! Though I must admit I’m not a fan of eggs, I have been feeling better since eating them, for example within a couple of days, the dark circles around my eyes which have been there since I started feeling unwell have cleared up significantly, and I no longer feel the need for 3 cups of coffee just to function normally, so it must be a good sign :) So now I plan to have a few eggs a week for the foreseeable future (my mum keeps chickens, so supplies should be easy to come by!). This change has also helped me get back on track with No S (e.g. now I no longer feel so tired and in need of quick fix food energy!).

Emotionally, this re-think of veganism was actually quite difficult, so I’m very grateful to the sense of structure that the No S diet provides while I adjust to the change. Once I’ve got my health issues straightened out, my main goal is to continue on the right track, and I’m confident now that No S is the way to do that :)

Edit Just realised I should probably put my stats in here for context. I'm 29, female, 5'6 - started out at 58kgs and am now 54-55kgs (approx figures - I'm not so strict about keeping track of my weight!).

Also, my No S plan was until recently 3 meals per day with no snacks, at the moment though I have 3 meals plus 1 "allowed" snack of either fruit (an apple or banana) or nuts (e.g. a handful of almonds or 2tbs dried coconut). I may go back to just 3 meals eventually though depending on how I feel.

blueskighs
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Post by blueskighs » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:23 am

Bonnie,

CONGRATULATIONS on a year on the NO S Diet. That must feel really good. It sounds like you have many postive gains, thank you for posting your testimonial.

Blueskighs
www.nosdiet.blogspot.com Where I blog daily about my No S journey

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:55 pm

Bonnie,

Congratulations on passing the year mark and thank you for taking advantage of the occasion to contribute such a compelling, thoughtful, and well-organized testimonial!

Best of luck working out the vegan re-thinking -- I'm happy you're finding no-s a useful structure even there.

Reinhard

oolala53
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delicate frame?

Post by oolala53 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:25 pm

I think it's amazing that you lost any weight at all. You must have a delicate frame, because I am 5'6,'' and I would be happy to get to 66 kg. I haven't weighed 55 kg since I was in the 8th grade 42 years ago! Oh, well, everyone is different. I know that eating issues can be distressing no matter how big or small we are. I'm just awed to think what it would be like to go month after month having at least 20 days a month of eating three meals a day. As Reinhard and others have said, it should get easier. I'm just imagining how good it will feel. It actually felt good to eat according to diets, when I was able to do it, too, but there was definitely as sense of, Can I really keep this up? If I wonder that with No S, it's not because it seems like semi-torture, especially in terms of what I feel I can eat. It's just more can I get over my mini-bingeing in the afternoon or evening. I have thought before that I could do it, but I'm even more confident this time.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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bonnieUK
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Feeling better at 30 than I did at 28!

Post by bonnieUK » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:40 am

Just thought I'd make an addition here, I know it hasn't been a year yet but I've just had my 30th birthday and feel quite good about it because I realise I feel and look much better now at 30 than I did at 28 (when I started No S ing).

I've had several slack weeks due to an inordinate number of S days (several of which weren't really justified I'm sure!) but am back on track again.

I've found that as long as I plan ahead and prepare or plan meals in advance (especially to take to work with me) I do quite well.

My goal now is maintenance really and upping the exercise, I do lots of urban rangering (but bizarely find that has no impact on my weight or size, either I walk to slow or unconsciously increase food intake on walking days :wink: ) so I've just started doing the T-Tapp 15 min workout about 4 days per week which is quite enjoyable and manageable because it's just 15 minutes.

Who knows, maybe I'll be back here in 10 years saying I feel even better at 40 than at 30! :wink:

Amyliz
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Post by Amyliz » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:46 pm

Congratualtions Bonnie! I love your posts, and your profile cat pic always makes me smile!

upping the exercise helped me alot - i've lost 6lbs in 4 months, and I really attribute it to the exercise b/c I didn't change my meals very much.
Amyliz

START: 03/30/08 - 158- 161lbs range
Current: 145-148lbs range
On 12/22/09 I saw 145 on the scale for the first time in 7 years!

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bonnieUK
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Wow, time flies!

Post by bonnieUK » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Hello

I just thought it was about time for an update on the "yearly check in".

I have been successfully "half S ing" :wink: for the last year or so, by that I mean that I do the No Seconds & No Sweets thing but do allow "permitted snacks" 2x per day (usually fruit, nuts, some almond butter or a protein shake, or ocassionally 2 squares of dark chocolate, technically has sugar in I know, but 85% cocoa chocolate is not the kind of "S" you can pig out on!).

I'm doing well and feel fitter, stronger and healther in my 30s than I did in my 20s, which is great :D

I used to be a vegan, but transitioned back to a more omnivorous (mostly veggie, but with occasional eggs & fish) diet a couple of years ago and feel much better for doing so.

The things that are working for me are:

* "half S ing" as detailed above

* Getting a good protein source with each meal (tofu, nuts, eggs, beans etc.)

* Only eating old fashioned (preferably home made) bread, and not too much of the stuff.

* Focusing on Quality rather than Quantity regarding food choices.

* Kettlebells workout, 3 x per week for 20 minutes each time, this is the least amount of time I've ever spent doing exercise and ironically I have had the best results! I love that Kettlebells involves working out in a way which develops functional strength and fitness, like shovelglove I guess!

* Urban (and sub-urban) rangering a few times a week.

I still weigh 54kgs, which I think is pretty much my ideal weight, I could probably do with gaining more muscle mass, but have to be honest with myself that I just don't enjoy exercise enough (much as I love the kettlebells, 3x per week is about enough for me!).

I think No S has provided me with a great way to structure and balance my diet and develop good habits in general :D

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:08 pm

Bonnie,

I love hearing from no-essers who've dropped scores of pounds or more, but I don't think anything makes me happier than hearing from people who've been maintaining on no-s for years -- when people actually use this "yearly checkin" to check in year after year instead of disappearing after a one-shot testimonial, however impressive.

Congratulations and thank you for letting us know!

Reinhard

oolala53
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Post by oolala53 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:30 pm

You're keeping up more exercise than 90% of the population. Congrats on your maintenance!
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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bonnieUK
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Location: Near London, UK

Post by bonnieUK » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:54 am

I notice it's been 4 years or so since my last update here, wow time flies!
I'm now in my third trimester of pregnancy (baby due in February 2015), so a lot has changed for me this year!

What's new

No S has always been a consistent thing to return to every time I feel like I need to get my eating habits back on track. However, I have had a tendency towards orthorexia (excessive preoccupation with "dietary purity") and while No S got rid of this to some degree, it did frequently creep back. Last December, I had drifted and was doing obsessive calorie counting, avoiding gluten, even dabbling with paleo, one day I had a "stop the insanity" moment and realised I wasn't doing myself any good. Someone prompted me to take a month or so off all dieting/exercise rules as a kind of reset/act of dietary rebellion (the ebook "Diet Recovery" had been going around, which influenced this trend). So for about a month I threw all diet and exercise rules out the window with wild abandon, it was quite liberating but slightly scary! Not sure if I’d recommend it, or necessarily do it again because I did gain 4kgs (I think going back to vanilla No S in such cases is a much safer strategy!). But I do think it helped as a kind of reset. After that I went back to my previous No S pattern (eating about 4 times a day), lost some of what I'd gained and have tried to stay away from thoughts about “dietary purity†– it can be hard sometimes as friends of mine dabble with gluten free, paleo, vegan, raw veganism, 80/10/10 etc. and preach about them. It’s hard to make them understand that I have been there and done that and am now at the other side of it, whereas they think I and everyone else needs to be “rescued†from a Standard UK Diet (or SUKD as they like to say!).

Prego

It’s quite good that I had that diet reset at the beginning of the year because I became pregnant in the summer, and have learned that with pregnancy I really have to rely on intuition about what/when/how to eat more than ever before, which varied a lot depending on how I felt (morning sickness etc). Once I got into the second trimester of pregnancy, eating 3 meals a day and 1 snack was do-able again. However, I have noticed that every now and then I’d have 1-3 days of wanting to eat constantly. I have discovered that if I just go with it on those days (which seem to correspond with growth spurts), my appetite returns to some kind of normality fairly quickly – I think it is about having faith that my body knows what it is doing and what it needs, so I think I’ll keep up with this strategy for the rest of my pregnancy and while breast feeding, coming back to the No S structure when I feel that my appetite has normalised and I no longer gaze at the food cupboard like a hungry cat.

Intuitive S days

The way I’m eating at the moment seems to be more about having what I call intuitive S days rather than specific weekend ones, as I find that I often wake up on a Saturday with hardly any appetite and no desire for anything sweet (a great blessing for me this pregnancy has been an aversion to sweet foods about 90% of the time). Likewise, I may wake up on a Wednesday morning and feel that I really need to eat a whole packet of fig rolls (AKA fig newtons), which I actually did last week and felt so much better afterwards.

I've gained around 15kgs (33lbs) this pregnancy, which I think is at the upper end of the recommended amount of weight gain for someone with a healthy starting weight. I still have 5 weeks left though, so will probably end up a little over.

Being a bit French

Something else I'm doing lately is trying to follow the "French women don't get fat" rule of only eating real food while at the table, so no grabbing something to eat while standing, walking, in the car etc. I definitely think this is a great strategy which makes eating so much more nourishing and pleasurable.

I plan to return to vanilla No S as soon as my body is no longer subjected to the nutritional needs and whims of a tiny person :D

oolala53
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Post by oolala53 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:11 pm

First of all, congrats on your growing family. Wow! You've been at this for seven years, right? And it has taken you through pregnancies quite well, it sounds like. So many women seem to take it as a time to put no barriers on eating. Speaking of the French, I think they don't have the same attitude at all, and it doesn't sound like the population has suffered.

Anytime I see some reference to "grabbing" this food or that, I think, "Mistake!" I guess it might work for some guys- yeah, gender bias here- but the habit of glossing over the eating experience is part of our culture's problem. Besides, if one is eating meals, it isn't likely to be done standing or walking. Plate-based meal-eating eliminates a lot of that. It can feel like a sacrifice, but the alternative is such a slippery slope for most. And keeping it to meals is what makes calorie counting rather moot.

So nice to hear from a woman who isn't spending her life ping ponging back and forth between dieting and going overboard, all the while deploring her body and her eating. Consider yourself lucky to have [mostly] escaped it.
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Jan/12-26.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

eschano
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Post by eschano » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:22 pm

What a wonderful testimonial! Very inspiring.
eschano - Vanilla rocks!

July 2012- January 2016
Started again July 2018

vmsurbat
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Post by vmsurbat » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:39 pm

Just wanted to chime in on the Congratulations for the New Baby!
Vicki in MNE
7! Yrs. with Vanilla NoS, down 55+lb, happily maintaining and still loving it!

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