It can get overwhelming- one thing that I think helps is to have sort of a target of calories for each meal- I have the same thing for breakfast every work day (a protein shake) but I can add in different flavors to change it up. Either way I know I'm getting around 300 calories and 25 g protein. I also make similar lunches (couscous or orzo with veggies and beans/chicken, sometimes a little cheese) and that calorie count is usually around 350 max. I have set snacks- greek yogurts and string cheese, a few times a week I have some walnuts. Two snacks a day usually add up to max 250 cals. So I know my typical dinner can be bigger- usually 450-500 cals (and I can have a treat a few times a week too).
You may find it less overwhelming if you prep yourself with typical meals and know their calorie count for yourself- it makes it easier to guesstimate/stay on track without being hyper focused on the numbers.
I definitely understand the difficulty with weekends and social plans. Try to set up some non-food/drink related outings- go to a museum or a park, grab tea or a smaller treat like froyo. The other thing you can do is eat a small portion before you go out to eat- maybe 200 cals or so with some protein so that you can eat less out- and follow typical dining out guides (avoid fried, only eat half of what they serve you, eat your veggies first, etc.). Depending where you are (you said abroad, but that depends on where you're from...), portions may not be as gigantic as the us so you may not need to halve what you eat. You can also order appetizers as entrees.
I also think it could be a phase for you- I know I get very number obsessed when I start and as I go on I get better about it.
You have the right idea to PLAN your meals out and work them into your nutritional goals. You can also budget by eating on the lower end of your calorie range through the week so you have 'extra' and can eat at the higher end/a little over on the weekends. And you can always try to work out more on days you're eating out (or walk to the restaurant/etc instead of taking a metro or taxi or whatever).
I don't know if any of that will be helpful, but I hope at least SOMETHING will resonate with you.
The important thing to remember is that it's a lifestyle change- you know it's not healthy to binge on delectable goodies and to eat out on a regular basis- you can change your habits and make it a lasting lifelong change!
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41 10/11/12 7:54 P
I just wanted to say that for me I tried tracking calories in the past. I could not do it after a while because I ENJOY food too much.
So now I just make sure I monitor my portions and eat healthy.
I know that isn't the best advice, but for me, I had to stop counting. It was driving me nuts. So what I am saying, is that I understand what you are saying!
When it comes to eating healthier—or eating less for that matter—it isn't always as simple as "just eating less." Why? Because what and how much we eat is influenced by so many factors—the environment in which we're eating (relaxed at home or at a party), how much food is served (a portion-controlled meal at home or a super-sized restaurant meal), and how hungry we are (just a little or famished)—mindfulness, speed, emotional state. The list could go on and on.
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39 10/11/12 9:07 A
Hi, I started trying to lose weight about three weeks ago. My attitude towards food has always been fairly healthy – in the past I didn’t have to think much about it as I was very active; I just ate when I was hungry and never denied myself anything. Since leaving uni I put on a lot of weight as a combination of working abroad and having to eat out in restaurants 5 days a week, having no time to exercise, and going on binges with biscuits/chocolate. Around three weeks ago I started actively tracking my diet and exercise using an app. My trouble is that I now feel very stressed about food. As an example, today I am meeting a friend for cocktails and dinner (not something I do every night!) and I am just really worried about it and what it will do to my plan. Weekends with lots of social plans are especially hard. I just find myself constantly calculating allowances and estimating calorie content and working out what treats I can afford and whether Monday will make up for Sunday etc. I’ve just realised that all this tracking and over-thinking is making me quite stressed, which is not a good place to be. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to measure my intake whilst retaining a positive relationship with food?
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