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Phases of No-S (as I see them)

 
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kccc



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 3943

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Phases of No-S (as I see them) Reply with quote

I initially wrote my perception of "No-S" phases on another thread. I've been thinking about it further and would like to expand on it and offer it for more discussion. This is from my perception as a long-time No-Ser, who struggled with diets/weight control before coming here. (You can read my testimonial page for the full story, if you don't already know it.)

To over-simplify a bit...

Phase I: Establishing habit
Description/Goal: Getting the N-days down. S-days are often still over the top, but the focus is building N-day habits, and getting them SOLID.
Suggested strategies (IMHO!):
1. Do a 21-day challenge and try to go that long following the No-S rules exactly.
2. If it's too hard to do them all at once, phase them in individually until they're all in place.
3. Lather, rinse, repeat until habits are solid - with some reflection/assessment on what's changing for you. Don't even think about Phase II until your N-day habits are in place.
4. Use the resources on this bb and website (the "Strictness" podcast - #13 - is the one I recommend most frequently at this stage).
Issues:
1. Some people gain weight initially because of "diet deprivation rebound." Address by: Time - get 21 days of No-S behind you, and see if the initial over-eating has subsided. Re-evaluate
2. Some people can't let go of "diet mentality" and have trouble with hunger because they're simply not eating enough at meals. Address by: adding food until a balance is reached!
Results: More normal food habits. A better understanding of how much you need to eat at mealtimes. Psychological relief from over-attention on food.

Phase II: S-day worries
Description/Goal: Over-the-top S-days don't "feel" good. Mondays are almost a relief. People are perhaps frustrated with their lack of control on S-days. The contrast between N and S begins to stand out. Ideally, the "binges" unconsciously get a bit smaller because the person is starting to recognize that they DON'T GIVE PLEASURE... that happens naturally in some cases, but not in others. People may start to get pickier about what they consider "s-worthy" treats.
Issues: "S-days gone wild" may affect weight loss, leading to frustration. If they don't resolve themselves naturally (which they do for many, but not all), they may need attention.
Strategies: Review the "S-days Gone Wild" podcast and associated sticky threads, and select 1-2 strategies that will work for you WITHOUT tipping you back into "diet deprivation mindset." Slow and steady wins the race here - you want to make little changes that don't make you feel that you're on a "diet" (which will end at some point). Focusing on making S-days pleasant and satisfying seems to help the most - it just takes a while to figure out that those words do not mean "over-full" or "frantic."

Phase III: Got it!
Description/Goal: N-days are solid, and S-days have become more moderate overall, but WITHOUT a sense of deprivation. Sometimes that happens through a gradual shift during a long "Phase II", sometimes by some conscious maintenance of N-day habits on S-days. It's a pretty comfortable place to be.
Issues: Minor in terms of habit - an occasional excessive S-day. May be some frustration if the person is still focused primarily on weight loss and reaches a plateau. May choose to tweak "what's on the plate" in terms of health or continuing weight-loss goals.
Strategies: Keep on keeping on, but with awareness. What's working well for you, and what might need attention? Where are you "backsliding" a bit, and need to tighten up?

Notes and Observations:
The trick is to go slowly enough that Phase III does NOT feel like deprivation. This evolution happens over time, but it NEEDS time. Only repeated experience will reassure the non-cognitive part of your nature ("the lizard brain" - or, as one book called it, your "inner piggie") that there WILL be food again and you will NOT starve!

Also, during this transition there may be a bit of emotional fallout for those who have been accustomed to using food to stuff down emotions or avoid facing issues. As one of the quotes goes "if hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer!" The good news is that as we identify and deal with actual problems, emotionally-driven eating is less of an issue. (I found it easier to deal with the eating first, then the emotions, rather than trying to handle the emotions first.) Developing better life skills is a nice side benefit to No-S!

Phase IV: Maintenance and fine-tuning for individual needs
Description/Goal: The person has been doing No-S for a while, and really truly has it down. But... there are issues that need addressing.
Issues:
1) There's a place where No_s is just out-of-sync with the general lifestyle. You go out every Wednesday with your friends, and would rather have an S-day then.
2) You've done it all perfectly, but your weight loss has totally stalled out for months. You're starting to wonder "is basic No-S enough for me?" CAVEAT: If you haven't gone through Phases I-2, stop reading now! More damage is done by people jumping here too early than anything else!
Strategies:
For both issues, review the "Mods and Tweaks" podcast trilogy, and thoughtfully implement whatever mod you think would help you, WITH attention to "how it's working for you." The podcasts spell it out better than I ever could - just follow the ideas.
For the second, specifically (and again, don't read this if you're not at this phase)...You won't know until you've done No-S for a while if "just" No-S is enough for you. Everyone's metabolism is different, and those who are male/have-a-lot-to-lose/younger/larger/active/ will lose easier than those who are female/close-to-healthy-weight/older/smaller/less-active. Life is not fair. IF you fit the second category more than the first, what will probably happen is that eventually, you'll stall out or gain on No-S. (For example, if you were a very overweight female, you might lose at first, then stall out. If you fit ALL the "harder" categories, you may gain.)
Does that mean No-S has failed you? I don't think so, as someone who fits most of the "harder" categories. You've taken off the top layer of excess by cutting snacking/sweets/seconds (remember, that's ALL many lucky people need), and made those changes into habit. You've learned how powerful habit is. Those changes allow you to focus more clearly on "what else could make a difference" while keeping in mind that "I want to be able to live with this." Here is where I think calorie counting makes sense - use what you know of nutrition and activity to make TINY, PAINLESS changes in your current habits. Yes, you might have to go beyond No-S, but No-S has given you a foundation from which to work that will enable you to reach your goal with less difficulty and more chance of success than you would have otherwise had.

So that's my bird's-eye view of the process, as lived and observed. Last bit of advice (repeated): Don't push too fast. You can't jump to Phase III/IV right off, and shouldn't try. Start with the N-days, and move from there.


Last edited by kccc on Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Starla



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant! I think if someone could read only one post on this board, this should be the post.

I believe I'm in Phase III right now, although if my plateau continues I may be pushed into Phase IV. I totally agree with your descriptions of the process, and appreciate your analyis of possible problems and solutions.
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KareBear



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I REALLY appreciate your perspective. It seems like the boat I am in (frustrated at not losing and thinking about dieting again, or giving up all together is premature). Deep down, I love this program because takes the obsession out of it and after 2 months I don't feel so focused on food.

I am really going to work on getting Phase 1 and 2 under my belt before doing anything else. I really feel good about the exercise phase though as I am working out now almost 5 days a week. So thats good. I do get caught up in the numbers and start to get down on myself. I have to tell myself 5 million times a day (maybe more) that I am loved by my family and friends and should love myself. This is the hardest part for me. I only have about 20 pounds to lose but it feels like 100.

Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to post that. It was the lifeline I needed this morning.
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sophiasapientia



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post!!! Very Happy Sticky worthy, IMO.

ITA that there is a natural progression to No S that can't be rushed. Idea I reckon I'm somewhere between Phase 3 and 4 now but definitely spent a good amount of time in Phase 1 and 2 -- and falling off the wagon -- first.
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Doran



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Phases of No-S (as I see them) Reply with quote

Reinhard should give you some sort of commission for this. Wink Very well said, and even as a newer No S'er, I can see how much wisdom there is in what you've written.


This bit really resonates for me:

KCCC wrote:
those who are female/close-to-healthy-weight/older/smaller/less-active. Life is not fair. IF you fit the second category more than the first, what will probably happen is that eventually, you'll stall out or gain on No-S.



Although I'm not at phase IV yet (so I could be accused of jumping the gun), the thought had occurred to me in the past week that I'm just not likely to be one of the "lucky ones." Pretty much everything you've listed above there applies to me, except the "smaller" part, I think.

I've been giving a lot of thought to what it takes for me to change a deeply ingrained habit, and it occurred to me that success is largely dependent on both ease and results. I hate the idea of counting calories, and I think increasing my levels of activity is where I need to be looking. So, in my case, I've got to find a way to build more movement into my days by doing things that are (a) easy for me to incorporate and (b) either give me the shape-changing results I desire, or that replace those results with some other motivating feature. For example, I was thinking about simply building more walking into my days. That doesn't come naturally for me. However, if I use walking time to listen to an engaging book on my iPod, then the reward becomes the pleasure of listening to the book, and that takes the focus off of the body-image component. I need to realize some positive results if I'm going to stick with the program, even the first couple of phases. So, if diligence isn't going to show up on the scale, or with the measuring tape, or with increased energy, or something...then I've got to find some other hook on which to hang my hat. Change the expectation, and find results in something more immediately attainable.

Thanks for posting this.
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LoriLifts



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for such an eloquent post!

I always enjoy your writing.

Lori
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Sierra



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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THANK YOU - This is very encouraging!!

I'm going to keep reminding myself it's all part of the learning curve and I'm only in Phase I. Very Happy

Sierra
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leafy_greens



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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: Phases of No-S (as I see them) Reply with quote

KCCC wrote:
(I found it easier to deal with the eating first, then the emotions, rather than trying to handle the emotions first.)


This is precisely the disconnect I had with intuitive eating. Emotions are so out of control that you can wallow in them forever and never even get to the eating part.

I like how you spelled out the stages for us. It takes a lot of the uncertainty and worry out of what is coming next, for those of us who are just beginning. It's neat to know just what to do when it gets tough, and that those stages will pass. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

I agree - sticky this thread!
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PetVet



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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Post!
Thank you!

Smile Cathy
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DaveMc



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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautifully done! I'd second the idea that this should be a "sticky". 82.4% of the questions newcomers ask [warning: imaginary statistic] could be answered by pointing them at what you've written here.
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kccc



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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone.

While this description is over-simplified, I do think it applies to about 82.4% of the time. (Using DaveMc's imaginary statistic as an internet citation - there's a lesson in that, I'm sure! At any rate, I'm quite entertained by it.)

Almost every phase that I've identified could be annotated further, but then the post would be too long. So, I'll leave it as is... despite noticing all the places where further editing would help. (As I always do in writing-made-public).

Glad if it helps anyone. And feel free to comment as well... anything that is a simplified description will have "but in THIS particular circumstance" exceptions. So, 17.6%* of the No-S forum members probably have a different story.

[* = another imaginary statistic, quite improperly extrapolated from prior one]

I think the core message is that it's an evolutionary process, and people are at different points in it. That, I strongly believe.
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reinhard
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC, thank you again for another deeply thoughtful and helpful post. I've been hesitant to talk about "phases" because I like to emphasize the continuity of what one does on No-s (practicing maintenance from day 1), but what you've written is profoundly true and worth knowing, especially for beginners. Because it's not so much the behaviors that change with each phase (they do stay largely the same, plus or minus a minor tweak or two perhaps) but one's attitude towards those behaviors. And that attitude is very, very important. Most of the no-s related podcasts I've done have been about precisely this issue of attitude -- but they've been kind of ad hoc, I've never formalized the phases as you've done here.

Quote:
Reinhard should give you some sort of commission for this.


I'll give you 10% of my profits, so about -2 dollars a month. Smile

Quote:
I'd second the idea that this should be a "sticky"


That I can gladly do!

Reinhard
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kccc



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reinhard wrote:


Quote:
Reinhard should give you some sort of commission for this.


I'll give you 10% of my profits, so about -2 dollars a month. Smile

Reinhard


Lovely! Can you put it against what I owe you for coming up with this system and sharing it? I know I'll never be able to pay it back in full, but it's nice to make an attempt... Smile

Wait... is that NEGATIVE $2? Nevermind.
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DaveMc



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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's talk timing -- in very approximate terms, because I think trying to pin these down to a specific schedule would be a very bad idea! At the same time, newcomers may wonder about how long we're talking about, here.

Very roughly, I'd say that each of these phases takes (at least) several months. You probably shouldn't expect to be approaching phase IV until you're about a year in to doing NoS. Your experience may vary, but if you think you're at phase IV after your second week, chances are you're rushing things.
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~reneew



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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with your observations! I have twice been solidly past the first phase and getting close to the third when Christmas season came and blew me out of the water. I am back to the first phase again and stuck. I really thank you for shining a light on the steps that I have been following. It encourages me tremendously! I think I'll paste it to my check-in so I won't loose it. Thanks again! Wink
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mrsj



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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your post KCC! It made me realize that I'm still at phase 1 and trying to do the other phases too soon. It really clarifies a lot for me.
I read phase 1 every morning so that it will really sink in. Thanks!
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paprad



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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC, thank you. That is a hugely useful post.
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butterfly1000



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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been trying to get it all perfect (unsuccessfully) and getting discouraged in the process. This is a great breakdown of the different phases. As recommended, I'm going to take one phase at a time and work on it before going to the next.

Question: How do you count the 21 day challenge, is it 21 days in a row that you treat as No-S, or do you still incorporate the S days in between?
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DaveMc



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

butterfly1000 wrote:
Question: How do you count the 21 day challenge, is it 21 days in a row that you treat as No-S, or do you still incorporate the S days in between?

I believe the usual practice is to count 21 calendar days in a row, including both both N and S days. It's based on the vague and unproven notion that it takes three weeks to establish a habit -- everyone acknowledges that it's more complicated than that, but it's a bit of conventional wisdom that makes a handy goal to aim for. Since S days are part of the habit, you should count them as part of the three weeks.
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Grammy G



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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC, I was so happy to see this post as a sticky so I can go right to it! As you may have noticed,I have been offtrack for awhile. I seemed to have been OK while away for the winter but went crazy when I came home..go figure! Two months of ignoring what I knew I needed to do!! I got back to this site..saw your sticky and cheered! I always thought your entries spoke to me..and this one did too! I'm back.. I'm going to give Reneew's challenge a try... no.. I'm going to DO Reneew's challenge Very Happy and I am going to see a lot of green on my calendar! I know this plan is the way I need to approach food and exercise and I will be reading your entries for inspiration! Smile Keep up the great work Exclamation
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Cassie



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC, just wanted to say thanks thanks thanks for a wonderful, helpful post. I read it yesterday & it really resonated with me...and then I read it to my partner who is helping me along on my NoS path. He found it excellent too. I think it's now clear to me that I'm still firmly in phase 1 (even though I'm more than a year into NoS) & I need to put at least 3 or 4 successful 21-days-with-no-reds under my belt before I move on to phase 2. Thanks again ever so much for posting this, makes it all very clear.
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kccc



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I wasn't going to edit, but I really wanted to add in #4 under phase I, and clean up a bit of redundancy where I meant to move a sentence and copied it. Finally broke down and did those two things.

Also, I want to add that this is oversimplified in that the phases are not necessarily linear. I have some habits that are rock-solid, and others that I keep having to revisit and "re-boot."

Changes in circumstances may take you into a totally different phase. The key is recognizing where you are, and doing what you need to do... without trying to jump ahead so fast that you de-rail.
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andreamuse



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late to the party, but wow, this is great! I'm really enjoying reading all these older posts! Thank you for all that!
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Cantab



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Cassie"]I think it's now clear to me that I'm still firmly in phase 1 (even though I'm more than a year into NoS) & I need to put at least 3 or 4 successful 21-days-with-no-reds under my belt before I move on to phase 2. Thanks again ever so much for posting this, makes it all very clear.[/quote]

I saw that your signature said that you had lost 1 pound. Is that in the past year? If it's taken you a year to lose a pound, I was thinking that the phrase under Phase III may apply: if you are small, female, and not too overweight, is it possible that your troubles with sticking to plain No S are due to (understandable, I would say) frustration at not seeing results?

If we are thinking about "how grandma ate", she generally ate a bit less than grandpa and sometimes stayed away from the foods regarded in the 1950s as traditionally fattening, like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, etc. It is possible that even single servings can add up.

I've found that I can maintain weight on No S, but to lose weight I need to "eat clean": reasonable serving of protein, fat, veggies/fruit at each meal; starch in the morning and the meal after a workout; and fruit not too much more often than twice a day. It's not many rules, and it's still how grandma ate, and it does cut out I would guess about 300 calories a day that would be there if I ate starch at more meals.
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Cassie



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cantab

No, I haven't lost 1 pound in one year. I actually had quite the rollercoaster year! Did NoS for 2-3 months, got frustrated at very slow weight loss, went on an Atkins-type diet, lost about 8 kilos, which I promptly put back on (well almost all of it) once i re-introduced carbs in my diet. So I got a good reminder about the futility of diets and the awfulness of yo-yo dieting once again. I'm now back on NoS successfully (for the last couple of months) & have sworn my Atkins style diet is the last diet of the kind I ever go on. NoS it is for me from now on, indefinitely, and it actually feels like a great prospect Smile .
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MerryKat



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCCC - Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together.

Reading this, I think I have just figured out where I consistently go wrong (After 5 years, I can honestly say "Yes, I am a slow learner!") - each time I stick to Phase 1 very successfully and start lookinginto Phase 2 I get over enthusiastic and jump to Phase 4 to 'speed' things up. This always proves fatal and the rot sets in, followed by a pity party and a who is going to stop me snacking kind of attitude!
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poetgirl



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It feels like Phase 1 will never end for me, but then again I'm new to this diet. I just want to be at Phase Three already, but patience is key.

April
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kccc



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

poetgirl wrote:
It feels like Phase 1 will never end for me, but then again I'm new to this diet. I just want to be at Phase Three already, but patience is key.

April
.

See Dave's quote, above, on approximate timeframes.

Phase One does take a bit of time. BUT... it gets easier as you go.
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poetgirl



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveMc wrote:
Let's talk timing -- in very approximate terms, because I think trying to pin these down to a specific schedule would be a very bad idea! At the same time, newcomers may wonder about how long we're talking about, here.

Very roughly, I'd say that each of these phases takes (at least) several months. You probably shouldn't expect to be approaching phase IV until you're about a year in to doing NoS. Your experience may vary, but if you think you're at phase IV after your second week, chances are you're rushing things.


You're very right, Dave. My experience is that my timing with No S phases are going to be very paced, and patience is the key here. Newcomers (like myself) need to realize that this isn't some standard 'diet.' That's why I chose this: it seems to be a lifestyle. Smile Other diets just last for a couple of weeks, if that. This sticks!
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r.jean



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Great post Reply with quote

I think I read this post early on, and it did not mean much. Now that I am nearing the end of month 3, I read it again. Wow! You have hit the nail on the head. These phases are very true to what I have been going through. I am still tweaking and still finding ways to improve but hope to get to that maintenance point some day.
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used2bskinny



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Phases of No-S (as I see them) Reply with quote

KCCC wrote:
I initially wrote my perception of "No-S" phases on another thread. I've been thinking about it further and would like to expand on it and offer it for more discussion. This is from my perception as a long-time No-Ser, who struggled with diets/weight control before coming here. (You can read my testimonial page for the full story, if you don't already know it.)

To over-simplify a bit...

Phase I: Establishing habit
Description/Goal: Getting the N-days down. S-days are often still over the top, but the focus is building N-day habits, and getting them SOLID.
Suggested strategies (IMHO!):
1. Do a 21-day challenge and try to go that long following the No-S rules exactly.
2. If it's too hard to do them all at once, phase them in individually until they're all in place.
3. Lather, rinse, repeat until habits are solid - with some reflection/assessment on what's changing for you. Don't even think about Phase II until your N-day habits are in place.
4. Use the resources on this bb and website (the "Strictness" podcast - #13 - is the one I recommend most frequently at this stage).
Issues:
1. Some people gain weight initially because of "diet deprivation rebound." Address by: Time - get 21 days of No-S behind you, and see if the initial over-eating has subsided. Re-evaluate
2. Some people can't let go of "diet mentality" and have trouble with hunger because they're simply not eating enough at meals. Address by: adding food until a balance is reached!
Results: More normal food habits. A better understanding of how much you need to eat at mealtimes. Psychological relief from over-attention on food.

Phase II: S-day worries
Description/Goal: Over-the-top S-days don't "feel" good. Mondays are almost a relief. People are perhaps frustrated with their lack of control on S-days. The contrast between N and S begins to stand out. Ideally, the "binges" unconsciously get a bit smaller because the person is starting to recognize that they DON'T GIVE PLEASURE... that happens naturally in some cases, but not in others. People may start to get pickier about what they consider "s-worthy" treats.
Issues: "S-days gone wild" may affect weight loss, leading to frustration. If they don't resolve themselves naturally (which they do for many, but not all), they may need attention.
Strategies: Review the "S-days Gone Wild" podcast and associated sticky threads, and select 1-2 strategies that will work for you WITHOUT tipping you back into "diet deprivation mindset." Slow and steady wins the race here - you want to make little changes that don't make you feel that you're on a "diet" (which will end at some point). Focusing on making S-days pleasant and satisfying seems to help the most - it just takes a while to figure out that those words do not mean "over-full" or "frantic."

Phase III: Got it!
Description/Goal: N-days are solid, and S-days have become more moderate overall, but WITHOUT a sense of deprivation. Sometimes that happens through a gradual shift during a long "Phase II", sometimes by some conscious maintenance of N-day habits on S-days. It's a pretty comfortable place to be.
Issues: Minor in terms of habit - an occasional excessive S-day. May be some frustration if the person is still focused primarily on weight loss and reaches a plateau. May choose to tweak "what's on the plate" in terms of health or continuing weight-loss goals.
Strategies: Keep on keeping on, but with awareness. What's working well for you, and what might need attention? Where are you "backsliding" a bit, and need to tighten up?

Notes and Observations:
The trick is to go slowly enough that Phase III does NOT feel like deprivation. This evolution happens over time, but it NEEDS time. Only repeated experience will reassure the non-cognitive part of your nature ("the lizard brain" - or, as one book called it, your "inner piggie") that there WILL be food again and you will NOT starve!

Also, during this transition there may be a bit of emotional fallout for those who have been accustomed to using food to stuff down emotions or avoid facing issues. As one of the quotes goes "if hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer!" The good news is that as we identify and deal with actual problems, emotionally-driven eating is less of an issue. (I found it easier to deal with the eating first, then the emotions, rather than trying to handle the emotions first.) Developing better life skills is a nice side benefit to No-S!

Phase IV: Maintenance and fine-tuning for individual needs
Description/Goal: The person has been doing No-S for a while, and really truly has it down. But... there are issues that need addressing.
Issues:
1) There's a place where No_s is just out-of-sync with the general lifestyle. You go out every Wednesday with your friends, and would rather have an S-day then.
2) You've done it all perfectly, but your weight loss has totally stalled out for months. You're starting to wonder "is basic No-S enough for me?" CAVEAT: If you haven't gone through Phases I-2, stop reading now! More damage is done by people jumping here too early than anything else!
Strategies:
For both issues, review the "Mods and Tweaks" podcast trilogy, and thoughtfully implement whatever mod you think would help you, WITH attention to "how it's working for you." The podcasts spell it out better than I ever could - just follow the ideas.
For the second, specifically (and again, don't read this if you're not at this phase)...You won't know until you've done No-S for a while if "just" No-S is enough for you. Everyone's metabolism is different, and those who are male/have-a-lot-to-lose/younger/larger/active/ will lose easier than those who are female/close-to-healthy-weight/older/smaller/less-active. Life is not fair. IF you fit the second category more than the first, what will probably happen is that eventually, you'll stall out or gain on No-S. (For example, if you were a very overweight female, you might lose at first, then stall out. If you fit ALL the "harder" categories, you may gain.)
Does that mean No-S has failed you? I don't think so, as someone who fits most of the "harder" categories. You've taken off the top layer of excess by cutting snacking/sweets/seconds (remember, that's ALL many lucky people need), and made those changes into habit. You've learned how powerful habit is. Those changes allow you to focus more clearly on "what else could make a difference" while keeping in mind that "I want to be able to live with this." Here is where I think calorie counting makes sense - use what you know of nutrition and activity to make TINY, PAINLESS changes in your current habits. Yes, you might have to go beyond No-S, but No-S has given you a foundation from which to work that will enable you to reach your goal with less difficulty and more chance of success than you would have otherwise had.

So that's my bird's-eye view of the process, as lived and observed. Last bit of advice (repeated): Don't push too fast. You can't jump to Phase III/IV right off, and shouldn't try. Start with the N-days, and move from there.


Thank you, thank you, from a recovering low carber, I feel psychologically better already! ...Used2bSkinny
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Junebug95



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:30 am    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

This post was so beneficial to read! I am a newbie but I am so enjoying the freedom and space in my brain even the first days have brought me. I want to come back to this post again and again to remind myself that this is a "process"....when the going gets tough, as I expect it to sooner or later Smile
Thanks KCCC!
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Sweetness



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this, very helpful!
Very Happy
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GraceW



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a brilliant post. I needed the reminder that I can't jump to Phase III/IV right away. I now realize I'm firmly in Phase II right now and that's OKAY. Thank you for sharing this!
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BrightAngel



Joined: 09 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chiming in here to add my compliments to this post.
It is really GREAT and I think every No S person should read it. Exclamation

Also, I just finished reading the No S book AGAIN (about the 12th time)
I still think that it is one of the best diet books I've every read,
and I've read hundreds of them as part of my dieting hobby.
It just doesn't get better than Reinhard's Habit Building concepts.

KCCC and I have had differences about the value and ease of calorie counting,
in that FOR ME, combining my food-logging-calorie-counting
together with working toward building No S Habits is beneficial
.
HOWEVER, bear in mind that
I've never used No S WITHOUT calorie counting,
because I found No S in my weight-loss maintenance phase,
and at that time, I already had a solid and enjoyable habit
of successful calorie counting with my computer software journal.
My difficulty is successfully eating within my personal calorie limits .... forever.

Studies show that ... overall ... 95% of people who diet and lose weight, regain it all.
I am one of the successful 5%. I'm now starting the 8th year of maintaining a very large weight-loss.
An individualized variation of the No S Plan can be very valuable
for new people who need help with maintenance,
as No S can easily be combined with many ongoing weight-loss diet methods.

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oolala53



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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this up.
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There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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r.jean



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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great post. I remember reading it early on in my No S journey. Most people will identify with one part or another.
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Christine



Joined: 26 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject: Good to start off with Reply with quote

Thanks for this brilliant observation. I've thought about No S for a long time and have finally decided to take the plunge. So this was the perfect time for me to read this. I used Medifast to get the weight off in the first place, but was shocked to actually see how often I've ordered it in the past five years, just to try to maintain the loss, when I happened to look at my order history. I've got to learn the hard way, at long last. But I think No S might be my perfect answer to finally get over the madness. Thanks so much for the post.
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, Christine!

I overheard a staff member at school today. She had weight loss surgery several years ago. She got slim very fast and has remained so. But I heard her telling someone else that she is still a big person on the inside. I didn't hear the details, but I guess she meant she still fears overeating.

Just about everyone has to figure out a way to negotiate this food-rich, food-pushing culture. Hope you've found your tribe!
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
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.


Last edited by oolala53 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Christine



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much! You and I seem to be about the same size & age. I too am 5'6" and am 62 years old (OMG, can't believe I'm saying that!!! Where DO the years go?). And it looks like you have been very successful over the past few years. Well, wish me luck! I'm in this for the rest of the month and see what happens from there.
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Bnapptural



Joined: 20 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump.... What happened to this being a sticky?

This is great info for me, a newbie, on day three.
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reinhard
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By popular demand it's sticky again!

(sticky note section is a little crowded at present, but it's tricky finding anything to demote -- certainly not this!)

Reinhard
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pleasant conundrum.
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
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There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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musiclvr02



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you are all going to say it varies with each person, but approx. how long is each phase? I've been doing this since July.
thanks this is a good post!
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does vary a lot. Given how many people I've seen leave because they got frustrated and come back a few years later because they realize they didn't stick with it long enough, I'd say give it at least a year. Two months for most people is just getting going. I had a big bump my first year and a long, low one my second year, but I'm really glad I've stayed with it. I didn't lose all at once. In fact, I'm still losing.

Keep this in perspective. What are your alternatives? Most people never do actually learn to eat less on diets, and it takes the ones who do 2-5 years to bring their failure rate down to 27%. So accept that this is a long term strategy that goes beyond the time it takes to actually lose the weight. Include the time for mistakes, recommitment, and really learning what combination and amounts of foods will truly satisfy your needs for nutrition and overall pleasure. That is the bottom line.
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There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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Hippy Dippy



Joined: 02 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Oolala!
I gotta learn patience!

This IS a good Sticky Note!!!

Hippy Dippy
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chentegt



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After almost 3 years of NOSing right I finally got this thing about the 'phases'.

However, it's kind of ironic that, at the end of the day, "vanilla NOS" is becoming a rare thing these days... There should not really be "phases", or it just becomes another diet.
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oolala53



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is Vanilla No S a rare thing? I think it's pretty common around here.
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
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There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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musiclvr02



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how long did each phase last (from your experience)?
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kccc



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chentegt wrote:
After almost 3 years of NOSing right I finally got this thing about the 'phases'.

However, it's kind of ironic that, at the end of the day, "vanilla NOS" is becoming a rare thing these days... There should not really be "phases", or it just becomes another diet.


Actually, you could be doing Vanilla No-S through all the phases. The differences are mostly psychological, highlighting where you're likely to trip yourself up and suggesting strategies.

They're also not linear. I'm back to phase 1 after YEARS of No-S , fairly successfully, because I thought I had it down and got sloppy. So... it's back to building basic habit. Smile
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The phases just happen. They are not set. The habits are about the same but the reasoning and effort change over time and according to circumstances. That's inevitable. Almost no one immediately takes to any change in eating and has no trouble. It really takes about 2-5 years to settle into a routine that is pleasing all around, unless the motivation is very high and firm. And that isn't average.
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Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 8 years & counting
Age 64
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
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There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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RAWCOOKIE



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this - I'm in Phase 1 and totally 'get it'! loving all the shared info here -and the podcasts - waiting for my copy of the book.
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Red



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:17 pm    Post subject: 6 day old Newbie... Reply with quote

So - I have encountered some fun challenges so far, I'm not quite a newbie...and consider myself almost PRE-Phase 1 (the 'stumbling over my own two left feet' phase while I'm figuring this all out) but your post helps me understand what to expect.

I've decided to keep a little log of blockers... just out of curiosity. I want to see what floats to the surface today - and in a year or so read back through them. (Mostly to giggle at myself, but in reality to recognize that these things can be overcome.)
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automatedeating



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just reread this post and realized I am finally in Phase III. After 4.5 years.

And during that time I have moved between Phases I and II. It's been clear to me that I was never in Phase III because I always felt consciously resentful of needing to consider what was on the plate.

And somehow, amazingly, I'm ready to consider what's on the plate. Something has shifted in me. But it took years. But maybe that's not so unnatural. After all, I had spent decades developing that resentment. In that light, 4 years isn't too long to wait for my attitude to change.

And I know this about me: if I had forced it sooner, rebellion would have ensued.

I am a few pounds overweight still, but considering everything, I feel like I'm in a good spot NoS-wise/food-wise.

Oh, and one final thing -- I am only just STARTING Phase III, so I'll need careful focus on habit this year as I try on new ways of choosing foods.
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oolala53



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! I looked at what I said here in 2013. Even though I talked about automaticity, I'm not sure everything I've been through/done feels automatic.I sometimes can't believe I'm still toying with the plate, but I have never regretted my efforts. What were my options? So if it took 4.5 years, I get it. Only a very small number of people even get to the point you're at. I don't mean to demean them, but you are moving at warp speed compared to the masses caught by the culture of excess.
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Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.
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