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CARRIENIGN SparkPoints: (96,695)
Fitness Minutes: (77,550)
Posts: 490
9/25/13 5:23 P

I'm with you! I also work night shift and definitely don't get meal time. My whole diet is multiple "small meals" or what some others may refer to as snacks. I eat a lot of yogurt, fresh fruit, protein bars, pistachios, etc--stuff I can eat on the go. I also try to take a chicken breast and veggies or rice to take to work when I have the time to prepare it. When I'm really in a bind, sometimes I supplement with a Slimfast or Kellogs Protein shake. I feel like I'm eating constantly, so I'm never hungry. I plan it out so that all the snacks add up to what I need for calories for the day. Also, when I get up in the afternoon, I always try to eat something substantial before I go to work. Usually a frozen salmon or tilapia filet with a baked potato or brussel sprouts.

The number one thing I did to improve my diet when it came to work was to pack my lunch! I feel like the moment I stopped eating work food, it really helped my weight loss goals. Also, when there are doughnuts or some other equally bad thing in the break room, I have one, count it in my daily calories, and move on. Realistically, I can't pass up sweets, but as long as I fit it in my daily allowance, I'm happy with that.

Good luck to you!

9/25/13 11:20 A

Some of the things that have helped me on my adventure with weight loss have been:
-Nuts and seeds (including butters)
-Cottage cheese
-0% "Greek" (I actually buy Arab) yogurt: Look at the ingredients for this you want it to have only 2ish ingredients (mine has milk and bacterial culture no sugar or pectin etc). This can also be used as a substitute for dressing,dips(with some chipotle), mayo etc
-Boiled eggs
-Whole grain/multi-grain toast (Look for whole grains as the first ingredient(s) and good amounts of fibre and protein). I LOVE dipping plain toast in cottage cheese
-Fruits like oranges, apples, and bananas
-Frozen berries (high in fibre) to add to my yogurt or oatmeal
-Dark green veggies like broccoli or spinach (eat out of a baggie that you can carry around with you). I love to have a cup of spinach with a small bit of low fat mozzarella grated on top.
-Chickpeas: put them on your spinach with some red onion and bam! you've got a salad. Mash them with some mustard and a little bit of low fat mayo and you've got a tasty dip/sandwich spread.
Wholegrain couscous is super easy to make even at work etc, so long as you have a kettle and measuring spoon: boil water and pour it over 1/2 as much couscous, cover it and come back in a bit and it's done. Great even if interrupted
Fish! Make it in a sandwich, put leftovers on a salad or some couscous with veggies
Microwave-popped popcorn kernels in a paper lunch bag (2-3 Tspoons for 1:25) makes 2-3 cups and is great to snack on and a great boost for protein and fibre
Finncrisp or Ryvita type crackers

Tracking was definitely hard for me at first and still is sometimes, but it definitely keeps me on track and is super educational which is super important for me and most people because a lot of the time we don't actually realize what we're eating. Try carrying around a tiny notebook where you mark down what you eat and then filling out the tracker later. Another thing that really helped me is buying measuring cups/spoons (Dollarama) and a food scale. These really helped me to realize how off I was in my serving portions and after a while I'm better able to guess at them rather than always having to measure.

One thing I would recommend is to look around at the nutritional labels/ingredients list at the supermarket. Maybe try to do this when you're not actually shopping to avoid stress and just compare things. It's just a really great way to start really understanding the different values of different options.

ZINIXO SparkPoints: (10,558)
Fitness Minutes: (8,868)
Posts: 15
9/25/13 11:05 A

Maybe someone else has mentioned this, but if not, here is what I do to save time. Once a week, I bake a bunch of chicken breast (seansoned with a small amount of olive oil, dijon mustard, sea salt pepper - or use what spices you like). Slice it up and refrigerate. I cook a big pot of brown rice and roast some vegetables. Boom, lunch or dinner for 5 or 6 days. Such a time saver and guarantees that you have something delicious and healthy to eat.

I realize you may not be able to take this to work with you as it requires refrigeration, but you could have this before you pick your kids up from school. I hope this helps you.

Good luck!

9/25/13 10:49 A

I've found in my own adventures of tracking that I really don't eat traditional meals. I tend to eat a lot more over the course of the day in smaller portions than a lot of other people. for example I've gone from skipping breakfasts a lot of the time to eating a 2nd breakfast.or sometimes eating the leftovers from supper the night before as breakfast. Most of the foods I make as dinners tend to be a whole bunch of stuff mixed together in a bowl like shrimp, quinoa, black beans, and veggies with some tomato sauce so they're great to eat cold anytime I need a snack.

One thing I would suggest is to up your fibre and protein counts. That's something that tracking has really helped me to see in the patterns of my eating. I was eating super low amounts of both and that was contributing to my always hungry feeling. Even now I have to constantly look out for ways to fill up my quotas on those things, but I'm slowly learning what foods are best for me and provide the most ideal nutrients for me. Also watch out for sugar! Chances are you're filling up on a lot of sugary drinks (even juice counts!) and snacks that give you a sugar rush but don't give you much nutrients and then cause to crash later.

One thing I noticed when you mentioned what you eat work (veggies and dip) is that you're eating "diet foods". What I mean by this is you're eating stuff that has low calories but not a lot of filling nutrients and then you smother that in what is basically fat laden calories. Which is not to say that the idea is necessarily bad, it just needs to be tweaked a bit. For example if you're going to have dip, use the light version and eat it with broccoli which I've found is super filling for me (because of things like fibre and protein) or another option is to swap out the dip itself for something like low fat cottage cheese (I love this option), or something like hummus or nut butter. What's really helped me is to tweak things that I already eat to make them better options.

NOTTHATSKINNY SparkPoints: (249)
Fitness Minutes: (33)
Posts: 15
9/25/13 7:36 A

Thanks for the great ideas!

I work the night audit at a hotel. Some days I have hours of down time, other days I am so busy I barely stop my whole shift. I don't track often (I don't remember or frankly im lazy about it) But usually at work I have carrots and ranch or celery sticks .. things i can dip. I can bring sandwiches but it gets sort of tricky. I could have down time and sit to eat a sandwich and get pulled away for a few seconds or the rest of the night! I am determined to get the hang of this! I love all the ideas for food and the rice thing! thanks all!

NIRERIN Posts: 14,127
9/25/13 7:28 A

if you like snacking and your schedule works best with snacking, then you should snack. the key is making snacks that at the end of the day add up to a healthy, balanced diet.
part of that is prep. if a sandwich is too much at once, use a wrap instead of bread, roll up your sandwich ingredients and slice the wrap into bite sized pieces. this way you're getting all the amount and balance from your sandwich, but you've made it in a way that lets you easily eat little bits over time. if you had a bunch of toothpicks and don't mind pointy things you could also make a sandwich, cut it into inch squares and put toothpicks in the top to keep them together and make them fingerfood.
if you'd like some better suggestions then either actually tracking in your tracker or sharing what you eat [and don't say "breakfast: oatmeal" because that's not going to get you helpful suggestions. something like "breakfast: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup milk, 1 Tablespoon nut butter" is what is going to get you helpful suggestions about easy tweaks that you can make] will get you the most targeted help.
one other tip is to make tomorrow's wake up meal today. in other words since you know you're going to wake up ravenous and won't have time to make anything when you get up, make something now that you can reheat when you need it. soups, stews, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, the possibilities are endless. just make it now when you have a few minutes so that you will have it available when you need it.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
9/25/13 7:00 A

I have a co-worker who has a little crock pot that she keeps on her desk to keep her meals warm.

The same could be used for you either at work or home.
When you have the opportunity, make some stews, pasta-based casseroles, or similar in large quantities and refrigerate/freeze. Then they can be put in the slow cooker at work, or before you go to bed at home, ready for when you get up.

There are lots of slow cooker recipes for even regular sized slow cookers (and these meals could be shared by your family, too, if you wished). I'm not quite sure what your family eats, but can they set aside left-overs of meat/vegetables for you to grab and go?

Cheese, tinned meat/fish, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus (or some sort of dip) are all good healthy 'snack-type' items that are easily transportable.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
Fitness Minutes: (16,207)
Posts: 770
9/25/13 6:56 A

I had a little peak on your tracker, and even though you don't track all meals and snacks I got a general idea of your breakfast. I will say it has room for improvement nutritionally, but it is not all bad. It is a bit high in fat and calories, and a bit low on fiber and vegetables. Portion control on the fat, whole-wheat breads and more veggies are some small and easy steps to increase the nutritional value and decrease the calories of what you are already eating.

Oh, and just a small edit, just wanted to add I don't always eat "proper" meals either :) I found the clif builder protein bars a great meal substitute for lunch on the days where I am working at the laboratory. (I work short hours there, so I don't have a lunch-break) For breakfast I will often grab a ham and rye sandwich on the go.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 9/25/2013 (07:03)
ALORTA SparkPoints: (7,363)
Fitness Minutes: (3,449)
Posts: 310
9/25/13 6:36 A

You don't have to eat traditional meals to lose weight... just make healthy snack choices.
Off the top of my head I'd suggest nuts (or non-candy trail mix) as a good go-to snack; its ultra portable, and has a good deal of protein (and calories) in a small package.
More filling things, you might want to try making things in batches ahead of time.
I know a lot of people who like cold hard boiled eggs, and beyond some shells (or you can peel them ahead of time too) there's not much mess... and if you have a microwave you can warm them up easily too ^_^ Again, good source of protein in a portable package.
Fruit can also work, no need to make a fuss over it, and you can walk and eat a banana without much more than needing a trash can once you're done. If you have the time to peel them earlier stuff like oranges, etc keeps well, too. Apples are a bit more annoying as they brown (not that that hurts them, just makes them look icky).
Baby carrots are a good go-to snack as well, and quite filling in my opinion. And you can buy smaller packages so you don't have to sort them before grabbing a baggie and going (though if you have the time to do so, bigger bag IS cheaper).
If you lay off the sauces (mustard/mayo/ketchup) and tomatoes, sandwiches keep quite well, and can be loaded up with veggies and other good stuff (and the tomatoes can be put in a side container if you like them and added when you are ready to eat, same with sauces).
Also, I know you said you didn't have much time, but if you have dinner, you can always see if you'll have the time to make a bento box with the leftovers. Its a nice way to have variety and keep the fridge from getting filled with extras.
There's also a trick I learned in college; you mass make rice (sticky asian type, but I'd imagine it'll work for all types, so brown/wild would be good to get in some extra umph for the calories) and portion out 1cup servings into baggies while its still hot, seal and freeze once its cool. The trapped steam makes it like new when you stick the frozen block in the microwave for a minute and boom, fresh rice on the quick!

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
Fitness Minutes: (13,224)
Posts: 130
9/25/13 6:22 A

" When i wake up to pick them up I am starving! I eat a lot of something mostly snack ish because I am so hungry and need to eat immediately, not make a meal time. "

What's wrong with normal breakfast food? A bowl of wholegrain, no sugar added cereal, some wholewheat toast with peanut/nut butter, Greek yogurt and fruit (which can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge); there are loads of things you can eat when you first wake up that are nutritious and fast.

Can you bring a packed lunch kind of thing to work? A sandwich, some chopped veggies, a baggie of trail mix. I know it's not lunch, but if you're having your main meal at 8 then you can maybe afford to have a lighter meal later.

NOTTHATSKINNY SparkPoints: (249)
Fitness Minutes: (33)
Posts: 15
9/25/13 4:56 A

I have a crazy schedule that is really not conducive to weight loss which is so discouraging since my goal is 100 plus!

I need help and ideas! I don't really eat meals. I work graveyard (but my job doesn't always allow me to sit and eat meals, so i take snack ish foods that i can walk away from if im interpreted and don't have to worry about it going cold ect..) Then I go home and sleep while my girls are in school. When i wake up to pick them up I am starving! I eat a lot of something mostly snack ish because I am so hungry and need to eat immediately, not make a meal time. Usually I eat dinner late around eight and then head to work..... help? ideas on how to get food in regularly and healthily

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