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VIRGOGRL250 SparkPoints: (372)
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Posts: 6
7/17/13 11:56 A

Hi, Eating Less? Doing that can leave you feeling hungry causing you to eat more in the evening or eventually pigging out. Water helps some by expanding your stomach and hydrating you, but can leave you feeling queazy if you are really hungry and your body needs food. So the question is, Why are you eating, because you Feel hungry or Want something for your mouth? At meals, eat until you no longer feel hungry then stop. Don't take more food because it tastes good. Stop! On a scale of 1-10 1 being famished, 10 being gut busting full, eat until your about a 7or 8. If you want something for the "mouth hungrys" find a deversion, pop a strong breathmint, enjoy a 0 calorie beverage or low calorie popsicle. My favorite is frozen seedless grapes, the dark ones are sweet helping out a "sweet tooth" I"m new to Spark, but not dieting..this is how I lost my first 90 lbs.

NHELENE Posts: 1,505
7/17/13 11:32 A

Try drinking a glass of water when you get those hunger pangs. It may help fill your stomach and help subside your hunger, and if not, you've still done your body good by hydrating it. Keep something healthy on hand like carrot sticks or fruit that you can eat as a snack if you are really hungry.

HEALTHYJ29 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1,307
7/17/13 6:16 A

I can understand why you were hungry after lunch because cheese toast is not a full lunch with adequate calories. Often if you get too hungry you will end up eating more. I really encourage a pre planned meal plan at first to have some structure and balance. Often it is better to make small changes to your current way so you don't feel deprived and like it is too hard to follow. You can eat all foods but it is important to think in moderation. If you like kraft mac and cheese why not have a smaller portion and pair it with steam veggies or a salad for example?

WOUBBIE Posts: 13,309
7/16/13 10:59 A

Hunger is all about chemistry.

Mac and cheese packs a whallop of glucose (the starch breaks down into blood sugar and hits your system faster than table sugar does). So do highly refined starches like breakfast cereal.

What's happening is that every time you eat things with tons of starch and/or sugar your blood sugar goes up and so does your insulin level.

One of the overlooked facts about insulin is that it not only controls spikes in your blood sugar levels, but it also tells your body to store what starch it can't immediately burn as fat!!!

So, the simplest answer is to cut WAY back on anything with a lot of starch and sugar. They're empty calories anyway, with very little nutrition per calorie. The only carbs you actually need are from veggies and fruits, and they're just along for the ride with all those vitamins and minerals!

Focus on protein at every meal and snack, good sources of fat, and the minimum amount of starch (and, obviously, sugar as well).

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
7/16/13 10:36 A

have you looked at the spark people menus for an idea of food distribution and portion sizes? It may be a place to start in adjusting your portions and varieties.

Also, some people find writing down exactly HOW they feel when they eat is a big solution in determining whether they are eating for hunger - or boredom - or something else.

Best wishes. I'm not quite sure what to say other than "just do it" and I realize that's like no help at all

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,102)
Fitness Minutes: (65,019)
Posts: 4,896
7/15/13 10:19 P

HUNGRYJESS...good for you for tracking and figuring this out!! You are well on your way now.....

One last suggestion: if you purposefully plan two healthy snacks a day between meals, you just might find those hunger pangs are easier to control!! Have a small bit of protein and a small serving of carb...Peanut Butter and Triscuits for instance...or PB & celery...or nuts.... or fill up with a good serving of extra veggies!

Enjoy your journey towards a healthy you!!

AUGUSTREADY SparkPoints: (1,560)
Fitness Minutes: (2,878)
Posts: 86
7/15/13 10:00 P

Can I also suggest that you start learning about nutrition.

Seek out resources written by independent sources with scientific basis..."Nutrition for Dummies" is an excellent book that will help you understand the fundamentals of a good, healthy diet...

Good luck!

Like others have said, you've made a good start by joining here and starting your journey towards better health...

HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 36
7/15/13 9:42 P

Thanks everyone for all your tips. I finally tracked ALL of my daily food in the food tracker today, and I found out that I was eating 510 extra calories, that I could have easily avoided. Well not easily, but I could have tried a little harder to avoid. I guess, I hated writing down how much food I ate because I knew it was always too much and it would just make me depressed. However, once I calculated the math of everything, I realized where I could 'cut out' calories.

You see, I love Trader Joe's Oat Bran with milk, almonds, and honey

oat bran: 1/3 cup

milk: 1 cup

almonds, slivered: 1/4 cup

honey 1 tablespoon

Those are each one serving. This is the breakfast I had almost every day last summer when I was in NY on an internship (I'm from Las Vegas). I love it because it's the right combo of warm milk, crunchy almonds, honey and oat bran.

The problem now is even though I used to use skim milk in college (I carried on this tradition of eating this breakfast throughout this past year in college after last summer), and I had actual measuring cups and spoons. Now, that I'm home for the summer, I can only measure with a small to medium sized tea cup and a big spoon. Also, I only have 2% milk because that's what my family drinks.

So it turns out to be approximately 510 calories.

I ate that for breakfast this morning. Then, I had cheese on toast around noon. Mozzarella
cheese about 90 cal per serving, with tomatoes, onions and spinach. And seasoned with some tabasco.

Then, I was hungry about a half hour ago and guess what? I ate another serving of oat bran. I wasn't excruciatingly hungry. I was just hungry enough to make the little voice inside my head go: "It's ONLY one more serving of oat bran. That can't hurt? Besides, I'll do better tomorrow." So I ate the second serving.

Then, I calculated what I'm going to have for dinner, and you know what the math told me? I'M EATING TOO MUCH!!! It's not only one more serving of oat bran. It's a whole extra 510 calories more.

I think I need to ignore those hunger pangs, because they aren't necessary. I need to stop fooling myself.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,754
7/15/13 2:57 A

You have to start by eating proper portions of your foods. Read the boxes to see what that is, better yet don't eat anything from a box and make your own food. It will be tastier and you can be satisfied on less.

BOOTYLICIOUS83 SparkPoints: (49,858)
Fitness Minutes: (38,104)
Posts: 4,033
7/14/13 11:10 P

my problem is overeating . like i love chicken tacos so ill have 2 shells 5 pieces of chicken split 1 slice of cheese split some mayo then I put some honey bbq sauce on them.
how good for me are they?

and I love tuna casserole in the box but ill literally eat the whole box which is over 2,000 cal!!
I dont want to have to cut out my fave foods I just wnat to be able to eat it but not the entire portion.

BOOTYLICIOUS83 SparkPoints: (49,858)
Fitness Minutes: (38,104)
Posts: 4,033
7/14/13 11:07 P

wheat pasta is very good but fills you up fast.

GETSALONG Posts: 2,842
7/14/13 10:31 P

I started by sitting down with a notebook and creating some go to meals; like 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners. I started with pairing a protein choice with a carb choice, then added fruits and veggies. That gives you a shopping list of main foods to buy, and I would swap the meat and the fruit and veggies based on what is for sale this week when I shop.

You can use the spark people food tracker to see how your overall carbs, proteins and fats balance out (especially compared to SparkPeople recommendations.)

Also, so how do you choose food that is good for you and that you like? I got a book SuperFoods Rx to help me learn why different foods are healthy. I think of them as having super hero fighting powers to nourish me and keep me healthier. You can check SparkPeople for super food articles and google superfoods too...

so much information out there, really, you just have to pick some foods you like and start experimenting. Learn how much to fit in your calorie ranges recommended by SparkPeople and different yummy ways to make it. Kinda Think of it as a mystery box challenge on Master Chef :)


Edited by: GETSALONG at: 7/14/2013 (22:34)
ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
7/14/13 8:32 P

What do you mean, you "don't know where to start"? You HAVE started already: you're here, asking questions and getting to know your way around the site so that you'll have all of the tools that you need on this quest! Sounds like a pretty solid first step to me!

A few things that I would suggest are:

- Set up your SparkPage, open your nutrition and fitness trackers, and start "friending" some folks (a blog or two can help get the ball rolling). People can be really helpful with specifics if they know where you're coming from.

- Wander through the blogs and message boards to find posters who inspire you. When you find one, check out their SparkPage and their trackers. I've found some great ideas for meals by doing this. Don't be shy about dropping them a SparkMail with questions, either! Everybody who I've approached has been more than helpful.

- Make lists of the veggies and fruits that you really like, sorta like, and have never tried but sound interesting. Start with planning on including a few servings each day of your favourites to start with, but experiment a bit with how you prepare them. Say you really like green beans and carrots and snap peas. Take a day and do them all as a stir-fry with a sauce that you like. Another day you could have them steamed, with a tsp of butter. Yet another day, try roasting them in the oven with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan. Try sauteing them with your eggs in the morning, instead of having the eggs in a sandwich. Each week, try adding another vegetable, and try making it in a number of different ways.

- Get the idea of "comparing" new foods to your old favourites out of your head. Truly, nothing you're going to make "healthy" is going to taste the same as your boxed mac and cheese. But, if you keep an open mind, you will find things that taste "different" and are in their own way really good. Two of my current favourites are cauliflower crust pizza and "spaghetti" sauce served over steamed broccoli and cauliflower. They don't taste anything like regular pizza or spaghetti, but they do taste really, really good!

- As everyone else has said, get the idea of "less" out of your mind. You are looking for more nutrition, more flavour, and more satisfaction. These are changes that you want to keep for the rest of your life, so make sure that they're changes that make you happy.

- I personally do watch the occasional cooking show, simply for the inspiration. If I'd seen that burger that you did, I would have been plotting how to put together a big, juicy lean burger the next evening, filled with apples and oat bran and tomatoes, and loaded up with sauteed onions and mushrooms and maybe a slice of pear and a bit of gorgonzola... No bun required, just nutritious, tasty goodness. I'm just learning to cook, and I treat this whole thing as a wonderful adventure, so I have a blast with coming up with things that will taste wonderful to me. There have been a few abysmal failures, but hey, we had a good laugh about them, so it's all good!

- Finally, you might like to try the way that I got started on this healthy eating gig. I started out by picking a few micronutrients (in my case, iron and folate and calcium) and started tracking those. Since I was generally low, I started out by researching what foods were high in just those nutrients, and then started adding those foods to my "usual" diet. As these foods got added (and they all seemed to be relatively low calorie foods - who knew?!), I gradually ended up dropping off less nutritious foods, since I was too full to eat any more. By focusing on specific nutrients, and tasty foods that included these, I have painlessly dropped my average calories each day from around 2200 when I started, to around 1500 now.

Give yourself a pat on the back for starting out and asking questions! Good luck in taking the next steps...

NIRERIN Posts: 14,234
7/14/13 7:46 P

if you eat mac and cheese and you love mac and cheese, start tweaking your mac and cheese to make it work better for you. just the stuff in the box is going to run you about 200 cals a cup once cooked. for 2.5 servings in a box, that's going to add up to 500 cals for just what's in the box. instead of adding the Tablespoon of butter, try adding a teaspoon of olive oil and you'll save 60 calories [or if you prefer the butter, try using 1/2 of a Tbsp and save 50 cals or 1/4 of a teaspoon and save 75 cals]. i use almond milk and that's 30 cals a cup [though use the cow of your choice, i just don't use any and don't know any of the nutrition info off the top of my head]. so with 1 tsp olive oil and a half cup of milk plus the contents of the box, you're looking at 545 cals. with a 2.5 cup yield, you're looking at 218 cals in a cup. while it's not the most calorie laden cup you'll ever find, it's a lot of calories for not a lot of bulk. one of the easiest things you can do to tweak this is to add vegetables. ideally a 1:1 ratio of veg to mac gets you a nice balance. the broccoli i happen to have in my freezer is 30 cals for a cup of it. so if you were to add 2.5 cups of frozen broccoli [i tend to toss it in right after i drain the water so that it has time to warm up] that's adding 75 cals of broccoli while doubling the yield of the box. so with the broccoli, you have five cups of food for a total calorie yield of 620 cals, or 124 cals a cup. plus you added fiber and protein. now mac and cheese works quite well with most vegetables you like [especially if you like zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, onions, peppers, spinach or any of the dark green leafies, squash, eggplant and mushrooms]. if you don't love a lot of vegetables, don't try starting at 1:1 on the added veg. for the whole box of mac, add just a half cup of veg and try that. you may find you prefer your veg more or less cooked, so note that and start adding in the veg earlier or later [earlier if you like them more cooked, later if you prefer more of a crunch to your veg]. give yourself at least a few tries of the modified recipe this way, then bump it up to 1 cup of veg per box of mac. again, give yourself time to adjust to the next textures and flavors and bump up to 1.5 cups of veg and keep easing yourself up until you find a nice balance. one of the last times i made boxed mac i sauteed some onions and peppers and added those in with black beans and tomatoes. it was quite tasty.

CRSMITH75 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (858)
Posts: 271
7/14/13 6:52 P

I'm with you , hungryjess. I struggle also with changing what my family eats because they are not overweight like I am. One thing I have done is cutting out empty calories. Extra breads like rolls with dinner, or garlic bread with pasta, soft drinks, snack cakes; any food that has absolutely no health benefit is gone. I also have been exchanging wheat for white; wheat bread, wheat or whole grain pasta noodles, etc. They even make whole grain mac n' cheese, although it is a little more expensive. Small steps like not buttering your toast or drinking a lower fat milk help too. I also suggest watching only the food shows that make healthier foods so you don't tempt yourself.

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
7/14/13 5:12 P

You've gotten great advice. It's really true. The key is not to think about what you "can't" or "shouldn't" eat, but rather what you need to and "get to" eat.

It's a lot like budgeting money. Protein and veggies are like your rent or tuition; sweets and chips are like movies and nail polish and gossip magazines. There's nothing "bad" about nail polish; you just have to get your rent and utilities and textbooks paid for first. Being overweight is like having credit card debt-- it means that at some time in the past you spent more than you could afford, and now you have to severely limit what you spend on unimportant things, and also learn how to resist and find less-expensive/lower-calorie substitutes for those things so you don't get back into the same kind of trouble in the future.

And there's nothing "pathetic" about wishing you could have a certain food. Don't think of it as a "bad" food that you're not allowed to have. Think about it as an attractive food that maybe you can have someday. It's no more pathetic to see a delicious burger on TV and want it than it is to see a pair of gorgeous Manolo Blahniks and wish you could have them. Society tries to make "fat" people ashamed of even wanting food, but it's an absolutely natural, healthy feeling. We just can't always indulge that desire.

BITTERQUILL Posts: 1,639
7/14/13 4:13 P

It just takes practice, and lots of patience. Nobody wakes up one day and knows exactly how to eat healthfully, in a way that fits within their tastes, time constraints and budget. It takes trial and error, and lots of determination. People who eat healthfully were almost always either taught to do so in their youth (and the teaching stuck), or have to teach themselves as adults. And learning a new way of eating can be *very* challenging.

Take a look at the ranges provided by Spark. They are based on your current size and age, your activity levels (as set by your weekly goals in the Fitness Tracker), and the rate at which you want to lose weight. You don't want to eat too little lest you risk not only under-nourishing your body, but leaving yourself hungry and frustrated and thus more likely to quit. You also don't want to eat too much, thus negating any caloric deficit and either maintaining or even gaining weight.

If you're eating less than you burn, you will lose weight. Unless you have a medical condition that affects your metabolism, or you're tracking inaccurately (ie not burning as much as your goal or eating more than you track), the weight will come off. It sometimes happens quickly, and sometimes slowly, but stick with it and it will work. You have to be honest when you set your fitness goals, reasonable when you set your weight loss goals, and accurate when you track your food.

Invest in a $20 food scale and measure that way rather than by volume. You will probably be shocked at how inaccurate volume measurements often are; "eyeball" measurements are even worse, and a hungry stomach can make a person *massively* underestimate how much they have eaten. If you can afford it, consider a heart rate monitor to more accurately track what you burn; if that's out of your budget, just be aware that the fitness calculator sometimes tends to over-estimate your output by a little bit.

For weight loss, overall caloric deficit is the most important part. However, it is to your benefit to take a look at the Spark ranges for macronutrients as well. You need a good mix of carbs, fat and protein to stay satisfied and energized, and to keep your heart, brain and muscles as healthy as possible. This is the hardest part for most people. You honestly can lose weight eating nothing but Cheetos and pizza, as long as you're not eating *too much* of them, but you'll be undernourished and your macronutrient ratios will be way out of whack. It can take a little time to determine what ratios are best for you, but following the Spark ranges is a good place to start. Maybe you don't have enough energy unless you get a few more carbs. Maybe you don't feel full unless you get a little more fat or protein. Maybe your weight loss stalls if you get too much of something. Everyone is different.

Likewise, consider the *source* of your calories and macronutrients. Fruit and vegetables provide lots of carbs, but they are not nearly as calorically dense as things like bread and pasta. You can eat an enormous heap of fresh vegetables for the same amount of carbohydrates and calories as a single white potato. Captain Crunch is high in carbs, but so is oatmeal...and only one is highly processed and packed with refined sugars. In general, the closer your food is to its original source, the healthier it is. Switching to a diet of whole foods can be tough, though, so sometimes small steps (like replacing white rice for brown) make the process a lot smoother.

The foods you mentioned are almost all carbohydrate -based, including a high number of "white" and refined carbs. Consider using whole wheat bread for your egg sandwich, and maybe mix in some onions, mushrooms, peppers and spinach with the eggs to get a little more fiber and vitamins/minerals (not to mention flavor). The Indian flatbread sandwich *could* be healthy, depending on its components and how it's made. Stuffed with some grilled chicken and lots of veggies on whole grain naan, that could be very reasonable; just watch the size of your potato portion or trade it for something green. Cereal isn't necessarily bad, but look for choices that are high in fiber and low in refined sugars, or swap it entirely for a little fruit and something high in protein, like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. For the fried rice, make it with brown rice and look for a recipe for faux-fried rice that is a little lower in oil; make it a side dish rather than the main dish and be sure you get more veggies and a little lean protein, like stirfried chicken or tofu with veggies.

And remember: you don't have to deny yourself everything (or anything, really). Eating for a healthy body isn't about never again having a beer and some pizza with friends, or a slice of cake at a birthday party. It's not about living on a diet of raw fish and veggies at every meal for the rest of your life. It's about learning how much is too much, and how often is too often. It's about learning how to determine if you really have caloric room for that burger, or how you can make it healthier so you *do* have room, or what sort of steps you can take afterward if you do over-indulge from time to time. It's about learning how to nourish your body for optimum performance, and knowing when it's okay to splurge a little.

It really is a learning process. Taste new foods, try new recipes, use more herbs and spices to add flavor with minimal calories, and make small changes to your favorites that make them a little healthier. Every choice you make that is better than one you would have made before is a step in the right direction. Don't expect to have a perfect diet tomorrow. Just aim to have one that is better than the one you had today, every day. And if you slip up from time to time (and chances are, you will...plenty of times), just dust yourself off and keep going.

Good luck.

Edited by: BITTERQUILL at: 7/14/2013 (16:23)
KELLYK1027 SparkPoints: (7,570)
Fitness Minutes: (6,492)
Posts: 236
7/14/13 2:59 P

You are kind of in the same boat as me. I am the same age, and the same weight as you, and I also live on a college campus. I started to learn more about healthy foods, rather than focus on eliminating foods right away. I tend to go to the grocery store and get as much fruit and veggies as possible. Snacking on these don't make me miss my mac and cheese because I feel full. Also, our cafeteria does have some healthier options, you just have to be able to spot them. Learning more about which foods give you the best fuel, will help you.

One last bit of advice, try using a protein drink to supplement you. It is easy to grab and go.

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (83,102)
Fitness Minutes: (65,019)
Posts: 4,896
7/14/13 2:54 P

I agree with OnlineasLou... Focus on eating More of healthy things!

If you aren't using the Nutrition Tracker, you will find it is really a great help. It took me a few weeks to really get enough of my Favorites listed, and figure it out, so start slowly...maybe one meal a day...

The best information you get from it is what you **aren't** eating! By following the daily totals of Carb, Fats, Protein you will quickly learn what kinds of food you are missing... Then find decent sources of those (check the Spark Meal Plans for suggestions is one idea...)

I noticed in your post that you seem to be consuming relatively higher amounts of Carbs. Typical College food?!! LOL Try getting more of the veggies, and quality proteins and fats like cottage cheese (if Dairy is OK for you), eggs, lean chicken, tuna, avocados, nuts and some olive oil with those pasta dishes. (Also add your veggies into that pasta!) It will keep you fuller for longer and help with your nutrition goals. It takes some careful $$$budgeting when you are going to college, but there are many forums on here about eating well on a tight budget. Put that into the Search function above!

Also...Don't think that burgers and Pasta are gone from your Life! They certainly aren't from mine...!! The key is frequency and portion control. If you do eat a burger out and its large...split it in half...have some for lunch, and look forward to the rest as part of your dinner. fill in the meals with salad with a low cal dressing...or fruit...or even raw veggies!!

You CAN do this---and have some great fun challenging yourself to eat better every day!!

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
Fitness Minutes: (57,011)
Posts: 4,787
7/14/13 1:45 P

Begin by not thinking of it as "not eating certain foods" ... and start thinking of eating MORE healthy foods. Identify some fruits, vegetables, and lean meats that you like and be sure to have those in the house and easy to access. Then when you get hungry, reach for those healthy foods. You'll end up eating as MUCH as you did before and that will help you feel satisfied. But you will be eating foods that are more nutritious and with less calories.

I also STRONGLY suggest you go to your START page here on SparkPeople and explore the Spark Plan. Do the things in STAGE ONE of the plan to get you started. Take it one step at a time and make a committment to doing 2 or 3 healthy things this week. Then do 2 or 3 healthy things next week. Take "baby steps" for a couple of weeks to establish a few health habits.

That's how you start. You can't do it all at once in the beginning.

Good luck to you!

P.S. You may need to stop watching cooking shows for a while -- or limit yourself to only watching ones which emphasize HEALTHY cooking (such as "Lost 5 Pounds" on the Cooking Channel.)

Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 7/14/2013 (13:46)
HUNGRYJESS SparkPoints: (294)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 36
7/14/13 1:28 P

Hi Everyone,

I apologize if my posts sound repetitive. But honestly, I need all the help I can get.

I know I have to eat less, but...

I don't know where to start.

Last night, I watched a rerun of Master Chef. I'm not a big fan of cooking shows, but I like the ones with competition. I used to be a huge Top Chef fan. It's weird because I'm not a foodie at all. At university, one of the things I eat often is Kraft Mac 'n Cheese.

Anyhow, it was so difficult to get to sleep that night because in that episode they were cooking at Gordon Ramsay's BURGR restaurant in Las Vegas. The burgers looked so delicious. So it took me some time to sleep because I kept thinking about the burgers.

Pathetic, right?

I don't know what to eat for breakfast. What to eat for lunch. I don't know how to put anything together, besides pasta.

Yesterday, I had an egg sandwich. Then a few hours later I had an Indian flatbread stuffed with potatoes. Then an hour or so later I had a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats. And at night I had homemade fried rice and watched Master Chef.

I've read so many different stories that talk about how people cut out certain foods and they lose weight. I don't know what not to eat. I don't know how to eat well.

I need to lose weight. My health depends on it. I'm 22 (turning 23 next month) and I weight 220lbs. Not good.


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