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YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/12/12 11:31 A

Yup, that's why tracking is so helpful, you can look back and see what's going on!

Another suggestion for you would be frozen meals. I know they get a bad rap, but honestly when I first started making changes, I ate a lot of them. At the time I was working full time and going to school at night, so making dinners like I do now wasn't really an option. I also shared a kitchen with 2 other people so making food ahead and keeping a ton of stuff in the freezer didn't work out so well either. But, I landed on the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers, and stuck with those for the most part. I had one for lunch almost every day, and sometimes for dinner too. Out of all the frozen food options, they're not bad, even though they do still have chemicals etc. Another thing they taught me was portion control. Before I started I ate A LOT of food, like crazy amounts. So I had to re-learn how to eat and the frozen meals helped with that. I don't eat them too often anymore, but I am having one today (that's what reminded me) since I didn't have leftovers from last night. I'm having it with a salad and overall it's a pretty healthy meal other than being higher on the sodium than I'd like. Also the Healthy Choice ones are cheapest to buy at Target, unless the grocery store is having a sale. Their regular price at Target is 2.52 each :)

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
10/12/12 8:50 A

Yojulez - Whoa, I ate fries twice in the past two weeks? How on earth did that happen? Sheesh. That's what I meant about turning a blind eye to things, and getting a fresh perspective. I guess I should go back and look at my tracker occasionally, instead of on a day-to-day basis, and see exactly what I am eating. I do watch my nutrients weekly, but never really looked at where it was coming from. Eek!
The carbs on the cake is a good sidenote, thanks for pointing that out. I never would have noticed that! I'm slowly working on entering the foods I eat myself, so I can be a little more trusting that it is correct. Definitely a good idea.
I also love the idea of the baked chicken, that is awesome. Doing a whole meal to freeze has always seemed a little overwhelming at times, but just some chicken, I can definitely do. Certainly versatile! I'm going to be doing that this weekend, for sure.

Jennilacey, Thanks for the comments on carbs. I see your point, and am definitely going to try and follow your suggestions. I also like the clean eating idea. Again, it's something that has seemed at times overwhelming, but it is something I would like to do. I think I could make more of an effort when reading labels to ensure I am buying mostly things with ingredients I can recognize and are ok with. I also have to say, your sister is such an inspiration! If she can do it, I certainly can do it. And I do know of others who are going through things similar to, or worse than, myself that are able to lose weight. It is hard, and I do know that I rely on that excuse too often. While it is valid, it doesn't apply 100% of the time.
I have learned so much from this one single question I posted, I've actually taken notes on everyone's suggestions. Even though I've read so many articles and posts and blogs, having it aimed directly at me seems to make it easier to digest (no pun intended!) and formulate for my life. You all have given awesome suggestions and advice, I certainly appreciate every response.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,498)
Fitness Minutes: (86,042)
Posts: 2,489
10/11/12 7:22 P

It appears your carbs are very high most of the week. I would try reducing your carbs and try your best to ensure most of them are complex carbs and less refined grains or sugars (which yes, some of fruit flavoured yogurts will contribute to these type of carbs). Just some examples of foods that contain complex carbs; veggies, whole grains and legumes. Yes, fruit is technically a simple carb but they are also loaded with vitamins and dietary fiber which will fend off hunger. I would work on having a larger ratio of vegetables to fruit.

I would also recommend paying attention to your fats. Healthy fats are great and needed to ensure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs but you're going to want to avoid saturated and especially trans fats as much as possible. Opt for polysaturates and monosaturates. Good sources of healthy fats would be nuts, olive oil, avocado and cold water fish.

Before I had ever heard of the trend, when I wanted to lose weight after my first pregnancy, common sense told me to eat the way nature intended.... later I found out they called it "eating clean". That means natural, unprocessed, fresh foods and trying to cut out as many added chemicals as you can. When I read labels, I tend to live by the rule that if I don't understand what some of the things are in the ingredient list, I don't buy it. I also, for the most part, try to buy most of my foods from the perimeter of the grocery store. That's typically where you're going to find all the fresh, natural, wholesome foods.

High sodium will also contribute to overall bloat and processed foods are just loaded with it. That's another benefit of clean eating. If you haven't done so already, start tracking sodium on your fitness tracker.

And don't make excuses for yourself, you're better than that! My sister was in university, working, living on her own and suffers from gall bladder issues that make it difficult for her body to break down fat (she's actually having it removed next month which will make digesting fat even more difficult) and she managed to lose 100lbs on Sparkpeople. If there is a will, there is a way. You can do it! And from my own experience, eating healthier has made me feel not only better about myself and how well I'm taking care of myself, aided in my weightloss (I've just watched the pounds shed away), built up my confidence, given me tons of energy but I no longer suffer from depression.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 10/11/2012 (19:52)
YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 7:17 P

I only went about 2 weeks back in your tracker, in that time you have cake in your tracker 5 times for dinner, 10/9, 10/8, 10/29, 10/28, and 10/27. You had french fries with dinner on 10/6, and lunch on 10/29. I didn't go past 10/27 on your tracker so that's good that you don't eat like that all the time. But those past two weeks of eating are likely the cause of your weight gain. I'm not trying to be mean or judgmental as we've all been there, I'm sorry you're taking it that way. I am genuinely trying to help. We all did start somewhere, I certainly didn't eat like I do now when I first started, but I learned a lot from these boards on ways I could improve what I was doing.

Another note, your cake on 10/8 lists the carbs as zero. That is most likely incorrect (as much as I like the idea of a zero carb chocolate cake! LOL). Be careful when using entries entered by other members, I've found they're wrong at least half the time, so you really have to double check them, or better yet, enter your own and save as a favorite. People are careless when doing their entries.

I would also encourage you to try to cook at home on the days when you feel better, like on your days off work and make extra portions of whatever it is you're making, to put in the freezer to have on your not so great days. One thing I do that requires little effort is cook up a bunch of chicken breasts in the oven on a baking sheet, I just put salt and pepper on them and roast them for about 25 minutes at 400 or so. Then you can save some in the fridge to use for sandwiches/wraps, or to add to some pasta or salad, and some you can freeze to use later. You could add some of the meat to the canned soup for some additional protein. You can even just eat them by themselves with a veggie for a very healthy dinner.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 10/11/2012 (19:20)
LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
10/11/12 6:47 P

YOJULEZ, thanks for the feedback. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things:
1. I don't remember the last time I had fries, so I'm not sure how you're saying you saw that on my tracker. I did have a Whopper Jr this weekend, but ordered a salad with it, and that was based on a suggestion I had seen here on SP in the eating a restaurants section. Being a fry addict, I was pretty proud of that. It was the first time I had eaten at a fast food place and not gotten fries.
2. I do not eat cake every day. Again, I do not see how you saw that on my tracker. I have eaten quite a bit lately, but even then, it's not every day.
3. I'm not sure where you saw I had a piece of cake that was worth 1/4 of my calories, but I have not eaten that either.
4. I never said, or meant to imply, that I am the only one working a full time job, handling household duties, or having other challenges. I was just trying to give a broader picture, and explain things more indepth.
5. I never said I was going to eliminate fruits, or that I was thinking about it. All I said regarding that was, I am trying to eat less fruit and more vegetables, as I know I need more of them. I further said that I was going to try and eat 3 freggie servings a day, and have at least one be a veggie. Thats just a small step in my eventual goal of getting 5 freggie servings a day, and making them a mix. I apologize if that wasn't clear, I didn't mean to imply I thought fruits were evil. I was just curious about the sugars in them, especially things like berries, which I love to eat.

As far as the soup goes, it did have chicken in it and I ate it with greek yogurt. I didn't feel hungry afterwards, so I don't see a problem with it. Yes, it does have a lot of sodium, but again, I don't eat soup every day, as I do try and watch my sodium intake for the reasons you listed.
I do like your idea about freezing cookies, but I can't make homemade cookies, it takes too much out of me. I may try that with bakery cookies sometime, though, see if it works. Definitely have to portion those out when they are frozen!
I appreciate your comments, judgemental and harsh as they may have been. I'll just leave that at that.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 6:08 P

LAURAAT, you asked why you were gaining weight. I told you why. Of course I don't know every aspect of your life, I only know what you told us, which was that you were thinking of eliminating fruit and yogurt because you think it's making you fat, but when looking at your tracker, we see you are eating cake every night and things like fried chicken, french fries, and other high calorie/low nutrient/low quality foods. We are all busy people, I work full time, commute 2 hours a day and take care of a household too, you are not the only one. In fact, I'm sure there's many folks here who have managed to make the lifestyle changes with even a lot more challenges than you, so you are not alone there.

The sugars in fruit are different than the sugars you get from eating sweets and the like. Fruit is also a very good source of many vitamins and minerals, and fiber. So eliminating that isn't really a good idea.

But, it just comes down to making better choices, even if you are eating take-out and fast food. For example, why not get baked or grilled chicken instead of fried? I know my grocery store has those options at the deli counter. Hit up the store salad bar to build a salad to eat as a side instead of the potato salad. Skip the cheesecake and cake and have a more substantial dinner with protein and fiber, with maybe just a small treat for dessert, versus consuming a quarter of your daily calories in one slice of cake. If you're getting fast food, get a grilled chicken sandwich or a salad, and not a cheeseburger and fries. Or even just the cheeseburger, but have with a side salad. Canned soup is OK, but if that's all you're eating then it's not enough. Plus it has tons of sodium which can cause you to retain water and weight heavier on a scale. Have the soup with a piece of chicken or a salad so you can get more nutrients and feel fuller. Store bought potato salad is made with heavy high fat ingredients and doesn't provide a whole lot of nutrients. Basically, think about the QUALITY of the food you're putting in your mouth. Think about what it's providing for you, nutritional wise, and it's not just about calories.... look at fats and carbs and protein too.

I have a pretty big sweet tooth also, so I get wanting to have the cake etc. I make cookies instead, and keep them in the freezer. I put out two per day, and that's all I get to eat that day. I save it for after dinner, that way I'm already pretty full and not wanting to binge on them. Plus since they're frozen I can't grab them on a whim, unless I want to break a tooth.

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
10/11/12 5:45 P

Stephen- I hadn’t realized how high my carbs were, just that they were in range. Thanks for pointing that out, and for the suggestions. I definitely need more veggies, that’s something I’ve been working on. Work in progress!

YOJULEZ- First, I do eat veggies, just not enough. I know that, and it’s something I’m working on. I had just recently realized how much fruit I was eating, and how much in veggies I was lacking. My goal right now is a minimum of 3 freggie servings/day, and at least one being a veggie. I know fruit is not a big problem, but I also wonder how much sugar am I getting from them, and in conjunction with yogurt, is that a lot of sugar? I guess as long as I stay in my servings, I am ok?
You are right about last night; broccoli would have been a much, much better choice. The last few days have been high in calories, as I had mentioned, I haven’t been eating the best or as I normally do lately.
Second, if you think it may sound harsh, then I think you know it will be sounding harsh. And it was harsh, and a little judgmental. I did put everything out there though, so you have every right to your opinion. And, it didn’t hurt my feelings, and you do have some valid points that I definitely appreciate. No, I certainly do not expect to lose weight on fried chicken. That would be crazy. But I do not see a problem with canned soup (at around 100 calories) am I missing something there? Or store bought potato salad. When kept to serving sizes, I do not have a problem with store bought foods.
Unfortunately, you only saw a snapshot of my life, and what I eat, and not the larger picture. You also don’t see what I am going through, and the why’s of what I am eating. To keep it short, I am trying to work a full time job, take care of al the household duties, and eat healthy. This is while battling an autoimmune disease, fatigue, and attempting to get off of steroids. Unfortunately, after four years, my body has become addicted to it and I am dealing with withdrawal symptoms. My doctor and I are going as slowly as possible, but it is still difficult between the disease and the withdrawal. Lately I have been relying more and more on whatever I can easily get my hands on and eat, as well as a lot more emotional eating as I go through this.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to handle things in this situation, please, do share. I am more than open to what everyone has to say or suggestions that may be made, that is, after all, why I started this post.

Becky – My range is 1200ish -1750. The high end is ok when I am regularly exercising, which I have been unable to do as of late. You are very right, at those ranges I would not be losing weight. I’ve just recently begun tracking regularly again, and just recently began eating poorly like that. Definitely need to make some changes, and watch more carefully how much I am eating. Thanks for pointing that out. It’s nice to have a fresh perspective and honest feedback, as sometimes I think I have a tendency to turn a blind eye to things.

10/11/12 5:08 P

What is your calorie range??
I see many days of 1600-1900 calories.
I know many people who would not lose weight on this amount.
Dietitian Becky

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 3:34 P

Again, the fruit is NOT the problem. Keep the fruit, cut out the other junk you're eating.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 3:32 P

I agree w/ Stephen's suggestions. I don't see any veggies at all. For example, your dinner last night, I would have had a cup of broccoli instead of those cheese rice cakes. There's not a whole lot of substance with those. Also look at your eating on Oct 4, 5, 6. Your calories are high on all 3 of those days, so it shouldn't be a surprise that you gained weight. It's great you're tracking everything but now it's time to take what you're learning from tracking and use it to your advantage.

Also, this might sound harsh, but did you really think you'd lose weight by eating dinners that consist of fried chicken, store bought potato salad, and cake, or by eating lunches of canned soup, cheesecake, and pretzels? Sure, they might fit into your calorie ranges but that is in no way considered healthy eating. The greek yogurt is one of few healthy things you do eat, so that's definitely not the problem. It's everything else.

STEPHEN_NANNY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
10/11/12 3:16 P

ok a quick glance at your diet for the last while...what is jumping out at me is that you are definitely at the high end of your carb numbers. I would suggest fewer grains (like in those bars) and more veggies for bulk, or maybe some healthy fats like fish, avocado, olive oil etc. So, the fruit part of the yogurt is contributing, but the yogurt itself isn't the problem.

For me, my calorie allowance is higher, but my carb targets are much lower (although I don't worry much about carbs from good sources, like apples).

Just some thoughts

Edited by: STEPHEN_NANNY at: 10/11/2012 (15:17)
LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
10/11/12 3:09 P

Thanks for putting it in perspective, guys! I haven't been going over my carbs, and I don't normally get a lot of sugar, now that I think about it. I have as of late, but on average, I don't consume too much sugar.
I guess I didn't give the overall picture a lot of thought, so thanks everyone! I'm off to try to make my tracker public. :)

ETA: My tracker is public now. After I did that, I took a peek at it again, and realized maybe I AM getting too much sugar. I eat an awful lot of fruit, and that's what's worrying me. Between that and the yogurt. But I am trying to cut back on fruit and increase veggies, it's one of my current small goals.

Edited by: LAURAAT at: 10/11/2012 (15:16)
YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/11/12 3:04 P

Since we can't see what else you're eating it's hard to say if that's the problem. (Can you make your tracker public, assuming you're tracking here?)

If it's not causing you to go over your calorie allotment for the day, then it's probably not a contributor. But, if it's making your carb levels go way high or something, then it might be. Hard to tell without seeing what else you're having.

If it helps, I eat 5 Yoplait yogurts a week (1 per weekday) and I haven't gained any weight :) But, it fits in with the rest of my eating plan, and I'm eating them because they provide some stuff I was lacking in, like calcium.

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
10/11/12 3:04 P

It's hard to say without seeing/knowing the full picture. I would say no it's not making you fat, but it could be hurting your diet based on what else you're eating. If the greek yogurt is the only time you're getting sugar during the week, it's not a big deal. If you're getting tons of sugar or fat or calories from other foods during your day and week, well then the greek yogurt is just adding to that. It's the same situation if I eat a serving of veggies for every meal today and then have a slice of cake, it's no big deal because I haven't gotten too many calories or sugar the rest of the day, but if I'm eating a slice of cake every meal and then decide to have a 4th or 5th piece, it's too much.

STEPHEN_NANNY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
10/11/12 3:02 P

ya, that manufactured fruit mix has alot of sugar, and you'd be better off mixing your own fruit, but unless you make your meal tracker public its impossible to answer your can only be answered in the context of what else you are eating and how much you are exercising.

LAURAAT Posts: 1,506
10/11/12 2:56 P

I had a lightbulb today. emoticon
I keep eating greek yogurts, but I hate the plain kind. Even with mixed in berries, it's just blah to me. So I started buying the kind with fruit in it. I know it has a lot of sugar (~16mg on average). I eat about 4-5 yogurts a week, so add up all that sugar, and it's an awful lot. I just started thinking about that today. Do you think that yogurt has contributed to my weight gain as of late, and preventing me from losing? Of course, I won't blame it all on the yogurt, but is it a big enough contributor to need to change?
What should I be doing instead? I love my yogurt and don't really want to give it up, but I'd be happy to try something different if it's really doing that much harm.

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