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NIRERIN Posts: 14,234
2/4/13 4:53 P

for starters you can have cookies or double chocolate cookies or egg cream ice cream, you just can't have all of them. so pick one and have it. it may help to make a list of all the goody treats you want throughout the week, then pick one from that list to have. i find that when i am trying to budget seeing all of my wants together makes it easier to say no to the rest of them and pick the one i want most. because a lot of my wants are here and now gimme gimmes. but if i see them beside things i actually do like and want, it's easier to skip the here and now gimme gimmes because i'm not denying myself i am picking my favorite out and skipping all the crap i don't really like that much that happened to be nearby.
i don't know if you live by yourself or not, but if you do live by yourself, try having soft cheese or cheddar cheese. in the amounts you should be eating cheese in a block is enough for a week. if you shop at a specialty store to get cheese and it's easier to make a monthly trip, be sure you put all but one cheese in a somewhat inaccessible corner. this way you'll use up what you have [and hopefully less of it] rather than using more cheese because you have it.
the super noodles and the pizza are good kinds of food to have on hand in the sense that it's always a good idea to keep something quick and easy on hand so that going out seems more difficult. if super noodles are those flavored ramen style noodles, then look for something a little better to replace them. check for cup of soups like lentil curry, chili, potato leek, miso, or black bean soup. they're no more effort, but have things that have nutritional value to them. same for the pizza. try to find single serving things to keep on hand for when you need a safety net. if you're just starting out and not used to cooking, having six to ten of them on hand a week might be where you start out. but as you adjust to cooking more, scale back how many you keep on hand. it's better to start where you are and work to where you want to be than to start where you want to be and fail because it is too dramatic of a change.
i think it's safe to say you can skip the spam fritters too. buy flour and spices and you already have the ingredients for lamb fritters or onion rings or you could do a really nice cheese and spinach mixture center as well.

AKOLL09 SparkPoints: (16,171)
Fitness Minutes: (30,452)
Posts: 20
2/4/13 4:00 P

It is definitely hard to kick the processed foods! But if you are committed to being healthy, you have to do it. I'm no expert or even all that knowledgeable on this healthy eating, but I use my brain. If it comes in a box, I don't buy it. If its canned food, I pay close attention to added sugars and salt. I do 90% of my shopping in the produce and meat section, I venture into aisles for things like wheat bread, frozen veggies, and the occasional treat. This is my 4th week on my new eating/exercise plan....I have been off SP for quite a while. I have already dropped 2lbs and a few inches. I feel great and I attribute most of my progress to better nutrition.

But don't ignore exercise. Even if you can only handle 10 minute walks right now, do it. I really don't force myself to get in (x) amount of exercise a day bc we all have bad days. I have goals set, but never beat myself up if I don't reach them. I just keep in mind that if I don't exercise one day, I know I need to eat on the lighter side of my calorie range.

I feel its different for me this time around bc I am in a routine with my nutrition and exercise that I can maintain. My goals are realistic this time around and I am educating myself on the foods I eat before they make their way to my kitchen. I allow myself cheat foods every now and then, I think that's healthy as long as you can control yourself. I recently bought a food scale which is a great help when portioning things like meat or anything else you feel you're not accurately measuring (cheese was hard for me).

I don't know enough about Atkins, but I have learned that carbs are ok in my diet. I avoid white bread/rice/flour, but enjoy potatoes in small portions and whole wheat products when I crave them. I'm a firm believer in just being smart about your choices and if you don't know, just ask here on the boards. SP is an awesome tool.

Wishing you the best on your new start here on SP!

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
2/4/13 3:56 P

If you start by entering your data into the Spark People tracker, (including your weight loss goals) it will give you recommended ranges for calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. It's a great place to start. The next step would be to learn to enter your foods (everything that you eat, even if it's just a little) into the tracker. If you can get a food scale (one that weighs in grams and ounces), this will help you to be accurate about how much you are eating. They are widely available for very little money here in the US. If you cannot get one, do get a set of measuring spoons, a couple of liquid measuring cups and a set of measuring cups for dry foods (make sure to use the correct type of measuring cup for the type of food that you use...liquid foods like milk vs non-liquid foods). It's important to make sure that you keep your foods flat within the measuring cup (a little below the rim for dry foods and right at the line for liquid foods) and not heap them up.

Once you are comfortable tracking your foods, the next step is to make slow changes to the foods that you eat so that you will slowly come into the proper ranges for calories, fats, proteins, carbs, etc. The key is slow changes. Don't try to do it all overnight or it can become overwhelming. A great place to start is to try and make some of your favorite recipes/foods healthier. For example, use lean meats instead of fattier cuts, grill or bake instead of frying, etc. Slowly work on your portions too. You may need to eat less of some foods and more of others.

So far as what foods to eat, stick to the basics (e.g. lean meats/dairy, whole grains, vegetables and fruits). Look more for ingredients for meals instead of packaged, ready-to-eat things. Potatoes are actually a healthy food (and sweet potatoes are even healthier). They have a lot of nutrients in them. The key is to weigh or measure them so that you are eating a proper portion (and staying in your ranges for calories and carbohydrates) and to watch how you cook them and top them. The toppings can really add up so far as calories and fat content, so keep toppings to a minimum and make sure that you always weigh or measure toppings. So far as your last trip to the grocery store, some of the things you listed are actually pretty healthy. Things like the oats, cheese (so long as you watch your portions, maybe consider lowfat cheese too), eggs, cucumber, watermelon, spinach, onions and apples are good choices. I'm not sure about lamb as it's not something I have eaten more than a couple of times in my life. But, red meat can definitely be a part of a healthy diet so long as you choose lean cuts.

Some of the things that I routinely buy include: nonfat milk, nonfat plain yogurt (I'd recommend nonfat greek yogurt if you can get it; you can sweeten plain yogurts yourself with a little Splenda, fruit, etc.) peanut butter without added oils (peanuts have heart-healthy fat and peanut butter is fine, so long as you carefully measure out your portion), oats, whole wheat bread, fruits (I'll get whatever's in-season or on sale), vegetables (including starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes), lean red meat (like sirloin, flank steak, 93% lean hamburger meat), boneless/skinless chicken breasts, whole wheat tortillas, dried beans (like pinto beans and split peas), etc.

Overall, just go slowly and make changes that you feel like you can sustain for a lifetime. Don't eat foods you don't like and don't do anything to lose weight that you cannot sustain for a lifetime. Don't get frustrated if it takes a few weeks for you to start losing weight or if you're losing slower than you'd like. Losing weight and getting healthy takes time, so be patient. Aim to lose 1-2 lbs per week. Be patient and persistent. Work on it every day and, if you get off track, get right back on at your next meal. If you are persistent and keep at it you will reach your goals.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,270)
Fitness Minutes: (15,537)
Posts: 9,713
2/4/13 3:39 P

Remember that this is not all or nothing. You don't have to give up everything you love and want in the name of being "healthy" all at once, or even at all!

You know how I got started on the road to eating healthy? I started out by mixing my pasta half regular and half whole wheat. You see, I don't like (or rather, didn't like) the texture of whole wheat pasta. But mixing it half and half was doable, because I still had the texture of what I did like!

First, because of your epilepsy, ask your doctor (who is the person who told you to start Atkins, I presume?) for a referral to a registered dietician. That person can then guide you on making a meal plan and healthy choices for your individual medical needs.

Looking at your menu here, I see a couple of ways you can start making these dietary changes.

Double Chocolate cookies: Buy the ingredients, and make them yourself! Make small batches, and freeze them in individual portion. Enjoy them in moderation!

Creme egg ice cream: Umm... no. ;) Switch that out for something lighter, maybe a plain vanilla (the good stuff!) or a weight watchers version. I love Weight WAtchers ice cream... their fudge bars are awesome!

Super noodles bacon: Swap these out for whole grain noodles, and if you want bacon flavor, make your own bacon!

Funghi Ristorante Pizza: Make your own pizza! There are some fabulous recipes on that can really fill you up, have a fraction of the sodium, and can even be very healthy!

Aim for whole foods. Things without a nutrition label! You don't have to make this all or nothing. Enjoy some of these things, but PAY ATTENTION to those serving sizes! Measure and weigh it all, and learn what a real serving is. Those super noodles, for example. I bet you eat the whole package, right? That's two servings! More than 500 calories, right there, and you're probably hungry soon after. MAke HALF the package, and fill it in with lots of veggies, and you can enjoy your treat, and make it healthy by eating lots of veggies.

2/4/13 3:18 P

For a while now I've been gaining weight. When I used to use SparkPeople (I left the site for about two years but have returned) I weighed around 220lb for a lot of the time. My weight fluctuated a lot and I paid a price for that with stretch marks. Now I weigh about 250lb and my goal for the time being is to get down to 200lb.

Initially my focus will be changing what I eat. Maybe once I've become used to a new and healthy diet I'll start an exercise plan, but I don't want to take on too much at once as like in the past, although it helps accelerate my weight loss, it can also overwhelm me to the point of giving up. So, this is an example of what my diet was on quite a few months in 2010: (By the way, ignore the totals on this image, they are calculated by mathematical formulae which Google Docs doesn't seem to like and I made this in Microsoft Word.)

Now, here's a few items from my last shopping receipt:

Porridge Oats
Double Chocolate Cookies
Creme Egg Ice Cream
Rice Pudding
Soft Cheese Plain
Super Noodles Bacon
Funghi Ristorante Pizza
Seeded Batch Loaf
Cheddar Mature Cheese Block
Lamb Shoulder Fillets
Spam Fritters
Free Range Eggs
Red Onions
Snack Pack Watermelon
Jazz Apples

Just to list a few. Terrible, eh? I need to cut out most of the processed crud and order mainly more natural foods. Also, since I have epilepsy it has been recommended to go on an Atkins diet, but I'm not so keen on following a pre-made diet. Apparently it would be a good idea for me to cut out starchy foods like potatoes though. Any pointers? How did you guys make the transition?

Sorry for the long-winded thread.

Edited by: GENESTARWIND at: 2/4/2013 (15:21)
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