Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
3/23/13 8:46 P

I eat prepackaged foods all the time and I've lost 20 lbs. Its not the best possible choice in the world. Way too much sodium and not as many nutrients as I could get if I made the same dishes from scratch. But they fit into my life better than homemade would at the moment. And they really help with portion control. If I cook up a big pot of something, I would have a hard time not eating way too much of it. But with a TV dinner, you get exactly the amount you're meant to eat and then its gone.

Don't worry too much about what the"experts" say you're supposed to eat. Just start by eating a little cleanER, one step at a time. Then you can move on to the next step. You'll get to totally clean eating eventually, but no need to overwhelm yourself by going all in right away.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,032)
Fitness Minutes: (41,372)
Posts: 26,795
3/22/13 6:13 P

The best way IS to only change one or two things to start with, and allow your mind/body to get used to it before adding something else to the mix.

It might be if you eat out regularly, rather than buy your full meal out, eat a piece of fruit for desert, or leave out some of the soda and replace it with water. It might be taking one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator all the way. It might be walking to the loo and/or water cooler more often during the day. Any extra mobilization is going to help.

In time you will find that you are a long way down the road to a better lifestyle, and your body won't really have noticed you tricking it! In time it will all be second nature to you and you will even wonder why you were so overwhelmed in the beginning :-)

Kris xx

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,121)
Fitness Minutes: (294,298)
Posts: 27,076
3/22/13 4:40 P


It's true. there is a lot of information out there that can overwhelm a person. One day we're told we shouldn't eat eggs because they are bad for us. the next day, we're told, no it's okay to eat eggs because they are a good source of protein.

While it's true that we should be eating as "clean" as possible. the problem is that while it isn't impossible to eat totally clean, it is hard to do. I'm not a perfectly clean eater. I do eat way better than I did 10 years ago. But yes, I still eat things like cookies, cupcakes, candy, etc... I haven't eliminated it from my diet. I'm just eating a lot less of it.

You don't have to deprive yourself of the foods you really like because you think it will help you lose weight. A donut can be a part of a healthy lifestyle as long as you are mindful of the portion. One donut once in a while will not make or break your healthy lifestyle long term.

You're a normal human being with normal human needs. That's why you should start with the really simple things. So, what's a simple goal for the week ? How many servings of fresh fruit and veggies are you currently eating ? Let's say you eat 2 each day. Why not set a goal to eat that two servings plus 1-2 more each day. that's 3-4 servings each day for one week. don't worry about next week. just think about what you want to do for THIS week.

And while it's true that some veggies are more nutrient dense than others, don't stop eating a veggie because someone said they aren't healthy. that's not true. All fruits and veggies provide vital nutrients and minerals for our bodies.

So, don't worry about what fruits/veggies you should or shouldn't be eating, just try to eat more servings of them to start. as you learn more about nutrition things will change, but you have to start somewhere.

what do you do for exercise ? If you've been very sedentary for a long time, you'll need to start slowly. why not start with a daily 10-30 minute walk ? walking is wonderful cardiovascular exercise.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/22/13 3:45 P

" I could agree to no fast food and only eating out when I am with someone (i.e. no take out, no drive thru, no pizza delivery). Once I have mastered that, I can add something else. "

THIS is a very good goal!

TYFF32 SparkPoints: (571)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 4
3/22/13 3:38 P


Thank you for your response. I understand what you are saying. You are right, I try to be perfect and pile too much on myself at once. I don't think my goals are too high long term...but I think they probably are for starting a new journey. Maybe I start with cutting back the amount of diet soda I drink and increase my water intake. Also, I could agree to no fast food and only eating out when I am with someone (i.e. no take out, no drive thru, no pizza delivery). Once I have mastered that, I can add something else.

I read all of these things about "eating clean", only eating whole grains (which I like, so no problem), eat this many veggies...but not this veggie because there is no nutritional value, drink more water...but not with crystal light because of the additives, eat fewer calories...but not prepackaged foods, and on and on. I want to start somewhere, but I don't want my effort to be for nothing. It seems like every time I set a goal, I read something that says it's not necessarily the right thing to do. Eventually, I would like to go to clean eating only, no preservatives/additives/artificial sweetener/etc...but right now that feels too overwhelming to me.

What do you think a good goal is to start with?

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,121)
Fitness Minutes: (294,298)
Posts: 27,076
3/22/13 3:22 P


I give all new members one piece of advice when they start out and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you were to do for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

Perhaps the reason you end up quitting is because you're setting goals that are too ambitious. You don't want to set yourself up for failure. Don't try to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Spark People encourages its members to set some simple goals first. Example, if you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. if you're not exercising, don't try to start with an hour, set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones.

No "all or nothing". One bad meal or even one less than perfect week of eating will NOT make or break your healthy lifestyle. Setting some simple goals will help ease you into a healthier eating pattern. Believe me, no one ever became a healthy eater overnight. it's impossible.

So, let me ask you this, what simple goals are you willing to set for yourself ?

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/22/13 3:15 P

"I want to figure out how to change my lifestyle so even when I lose motivation, I have changed enough that I am already making the right choices. But, I just don't know how to do that... "

Well... good habits will tide you over for a time... but I suspect that for most of us, there will be episodes of "non-motivation" that will override our best intentions to make good food choices...

Perhaps you could set yourself the goal of figuring out how to shorten-up those periods of non-motivation? For example, when you eat one bad meal - instead of punishing yourself with a full week of unhealthy eating "because you blew it, might as well"... try and shorten that down.... ideally to "I'll start over again with my very next meal" but even "I'll start over again tomorrow, tomorrow is a new day..."

Try not to be so hard on yourself!

TYFF32 SparkPoints: (571)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 4
3/22/13 2:49 P

Thank you all for your advice. As some of you mentioned, I think starting by changing one or two things at a time would be really helpful to me. I don't mind to track what I eat, I love organization so this tool makes total sense to me. My problem is that I feel like there is so much I need to do, exercise more, eat less, eat more veggies, eat out less, drink more water, get more sleep, I could go on and on. I feel overwhelmed because I want to do everything at once, and maybe that just isn't practical. I'm too hard on mistake and I throw everything out the window. One bad meal ends up a whole week of poor eating because "well, you already messed up this week, you can start again on Monday." I have lost up to 50lbs before...but every time it comes right back. I can stay motivated for a long time, but when the motivation is gone, it's GONE. I want to figure out how to change my lifestyle so even when I lose motivation, I have changed enough that I am already making the right choices. But, I just don't know how to do that...

NEWLISA2013 Posts: 69
3/22/13 10:51 A

I have been here almost 5 weeks. I feel great. The most helpful thing to me is the support ppl offer, and advice. Secondly, I would go with my spark page, and nutrition and fitness counter. I do not have a lot of exercise going on right now. A few days a week with 10-15 mins on my bike. It's hard for someone close to 300# to exercise. But my nutrition is what is doing me good. You can set it up for your current weight and your goal. It will tell you how many calories you need to eat per day. Log everything you eat. And drink...I do not log water or powerade zero cause neither has calories.

STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,376
3/22/13 9:57 A

I agree with PSHOWS. Tracking everything eaten is a huge step towards a healthy lifestyle. I recently fell into a slump. SO much that I hadn't been consistent with writing down everything I ate. Prior personal experience shows that when I stop tracking my food-regardless of the outcome, I start gaining weight again.
I finally reset my sparkpage last Sunday, and made a vow to write down anything and everything I ate regardless of the damage. I'll admit, it hasn't been pretty, but I consider it progress because it's doing something more for myself that I wasn't doing before. Today's goal is to drink enough water and continue writing everything down.
Tracking food provides a starting point. This isn't about making a million changes all at once. It's about finding what works for you, and doing what you're comfortable with.

You can do it! I definitely understand that it can be overwhelming especially when there's a lot of weight to lose. Just start slow, and remember that slow progress is better than no progress. I've been doing this for the better part of the last 3 years. I know that once I hit my goal weight, I'm not going to be like "oh, never mind, I don't want it anymore. It took too long". Lol.

Happy sparking!

KARA623 Posts: 727
3/22/13 8:36 A

It can be overwhelming to completely overhaul your lifestyle. Conventional, longstanding wisdom will tell you that if you move more and eat less, you'll lose weight. Fad diets that promise big results in a small amount of time always have scientific data to back them up. But most people who have lost a lot of weight and maintained it have done it by following the simple plan of just watching what they eat and making wiser choices with the types of food they eat and making sure to get intentional exercise. I've lost 125 lbs, and I did it eating real food, no diet, no fads, no pills, no crazy injections. It took a while, but I started out by changing one or two things at a time.

That's what I recommend: Change one thing right now. Master it. Then change something else. You don't have to go all in on the first week. Baby steps. Taking longer with your weight loss will help you really settle in to a lifestyle that will support maintaining your new weight.

PSHOWS SparkPoints: (6,492)
Fitness Minutes: (1,305)
Posts: 445
3/22/13 7:08 A

I've been in your shoes when I have said the same thing to myself as you are saying now. You want to get going. You want to lose weight. You ask yourself..."why can't I get going?"
With me, I have had to feel totally disgusted before I started on a healthy path.... Feeling so gross, fat, lonely... Miserable.! Then I would begin a day by saying...."I will write down everything I eat even if those foods aren't the best for me!" .Then I take a look at what I ate and see I'd I can do just a little better the next day... I keep writing those foods down though. By the third day, I can usually go with 1500 calories. By logging your food on the trackers here, they will post your calories for you. Take baby steps to improve your health habits... Walk a little bit at first. Then see how much you can Increase that walking. You can do it. If I can... Anybody can:)

Edited by: PSHOWS at: 3/22/2013 (07:13)
SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,032)
Fitness Minutes: (41,372)
Posts: 26,795
3/22/13 1:56 A

Hi - I can understand your being overwhelmed when you are bombarded with often differing 'directives' about how to go about weight-loss. Some of them are the latest fad that are downright dangerous, and some are diets which generally don't work because of their often restrictive nature.

The good thing about SparkPeople is that it isn't a fad and it isn't a diet. It is merely a healthy lifestyle. It is about a healthy choice of foods MOST of the time, (in other words the less healthy choices should be left for occasional treats), getting plenty of fruit/veges every day, quality protein (NOT from processed meats), good hydration from mostly water (no calories and no additives), and a good amount of exercise. It is NOT about skipping meals or undereating. You really need to eat ALL your meals and in a healthy range - SP even sets that out for you according to your current weight/height/age/sex. I strongly suggest that you weigh all of your food and enter it all into the Nutrition Tracker. Some people find they are overwhelmed by doing that, but I can tell you it is the only thing that allowed me to lose my weight. I was able to stay focused, and because I had good feed-back was able to tweak my nutrition so that the fat/protein/carbs were well balanced. It took 16 months to lose just over 50lb, and I happily sat there for a year before deciding to move on down again. I reached my goal just over 2 years ago, but I STILL weigh all of my food and enter it into the Nutrition Tracker to ensure that I stay there!

You CAN do this - just have faith in yourself. Also, don't expect quick losses because those ones are far more inclined to go back on again, and it is also an unhealthy way to lose weight because it can play havoc with your physical health.

Don't focus on the scales but instead let other factors be the indicators that you are succeeding. Things like how your clothes fit, the quality of your sleep, your BP, your blood results, your energy levels, ........ and the list goes on.

You will also find that if you create a SparkPage and have it set so that others can drop by you will get tons more support because we will be able to leave encouraging messages (and the occasional goodie :-) Also, being active on the Message Boards is a proven way to help us with our journey.

Good luck and take care,

TYFF32 SparkPoints: (571)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 4
3/22/13 12:20 A

So like many of you, I feel like I have tried it ALL, yet here I am still overweight (and that's being nice about it). I feel overwhelmed with information. Every website, news report, book, message board, etc says "do this" until you read the next thing that says "do that". They all contradict each other. I feel like I'm an intelligent person, why can't I figure this out? I don't know what to do, so I do nothing. I need motivation, I need change, I need to do something to get on track...but I don't know where to start. Help anyone?

Page: 1 of (1)  

Other Panic! Button for Immediate Help Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Recipe ???? 9/14/2015 11:12:19 AM
Downward spiral 6/5/2015 1:06:48 PM
why do i keep doing this.... 12/11/2015 12:33:59 PM
Sleep and caffeine and me 7/20/2016 4:09:29 PM
Really bad day 7/6/2016 10:18:38 PM