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4/18/13 6:40 P


Edited by: CNICKERSON00 at: 4/18/2013 (18:41)
PROUD__MOMMA SparkPoints: (2,358)
Fitness Minutes: (465)
Posts: 92
4/18/13 5:18 P

My suggestion is just to start tracking your food. If you're ready to jump right in, use SP meal plans as suggestions. When I first started, I followed it mostly to a T (except for substituting things I did not like.) I'm on week 3 now and I still eat some of the suggestions, but use it as a tool of how much cals, fat, etc. that I have to work with to meal plan.

Also, I find the articles to be really helpful, along with the success stories. It's really inspiring to read about other people who met goals similiar to mine, and the little tricks that helped them get there.

Good luck my friend!

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,696
4/18/13 2:18 P

Fellow Sparkers, can we try to remember to not be so judgemental, especially when someone is asking for help. Let's try to remember when we started (or restarted) and how many of those I can't and I don't and I need/have to ideas we held.

Welcome, you have taken important steps already, joining spark and asking for help. As the others suggested, set up your profile and start tracking your food intake. Buy a food scale and a set of measuring spoons/cups. You can download the spark app if you have a smartphone. You can do as the others suggested and not make changes for the first week just to get a grasp on what you actually do when you're not trying lose/manage weight. I didn't do that because I had a pretty good idea that what I was doing was not the way so I picked a day and started making changes. Make small changes at first and build up to major ones. For example, I gave up soda for water with fruit then eventually just to water. After 3 months I gave up sugar in my coffee in favor of just cream. Read the articles and blogs on this site, you will find many helpful tips.

As far as making meals, I feel your pain. I'm out the door at 7 a.m. and for example got home at 10 p.m. last night. I use one day per weekend to cook a few things that I pack in the fridge/freezer for dinner for the week. I also pack my lunch and snacks for work. I do it the night before. I don't mind eating the same thing for lunch so I bring a salad with some chicken. When I am desperate enough and know it's going to be a long day, I even pack my dinner and take it to work.

Workouts- start small. Some people are intimidated by the gym or an exercise class where people are already in shape and that's ok. You can buy some DVDs and do them at home. Personally, I like Jillian Michaels. You can also use the spark workout videos and those on youtube. Niketrainer or similar apps are also useful. If you can afford it, you can buy some small pieces of exercise equipment to use at home. If you like walking outdoors, do that. When you're ready, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer even for a short while to help you design some workout routines and teach you proper form, especially when doing strength training.

Hope this helps, feel free to message me if you have other questions that you think I may be able to help you with.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
Fitness Minutes: (11,285)
Posts: 3,116
4/18/13 2:06 P

I also would start by recording everything that goes into your mouth to see how many calories you presently consume. I would do that for a week and get a good idea. Then decide on small changes you can make to reduce the calorie intake. Tracking food was an eye opener for me, especially the little tastes and bites I never paid attention to. Make small goals eg today I am not going to eat anything between meals except planned snacks (like an apple and about 10 almonds) Try it again tomorrow, and so forth until it becomes a habit. If you fail, just start again the next day. Then decide your next goal like cutting down on fried foods, or fast foods, or soda. Don't try to do it all at once. But once you have success achieving a goal, don't let go of it when you add another one. It is work, but so worth it. emoticon

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,271)
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
Posts: 9,713
4/18/13 1:43 P

Start first by tracking your food for a week. Every morsel, every lick. Get a kitchen scale, and weigh it! No guessing. Don't worry about "dieting" or making healthy choices, just start where you are.

By doing this, you'll be able to draw a picture of where you are, and what habits need to be changed. Make small, achievable goals, and don't try to change everything at once.

You know what my starting step on this journey was? I didn't change *anything* about my diet, I just started measuring my portions and eating less. Instead of HALF a pizza, I'd eat three slices instead.

Then, I made the switch to whole wheat pasta. Not all at once, mind you, I started mixing my pasta half and half. I didn't like the texture of whole wheat pasta then, but I could handle half of a serving. And half a serving is better than none!

ELENGIL Posts: 957
4/18/13 1:29 P

Pizza is a hard one for me, too. Even with mild lactose intolerance, I still have the cravings. I found a good substitute for me is take a piece of whole wheat pita bread, 1/4 cup of a tomato-based pasta sauce, and sliced veggies of whatever kind you like, top with 1 oz. of cheese (for me it's almond cheese) and bake it in the oven or a toaster oven until the cheese is nice and melty. It's so quick and easy.

Another great quick meal idea is to keep frozen mixed vegetables and make a stir-fry. Add some lean meat or tofu and serve over brown rice.

Roasting can be a way of getting a long-cooked meal without having to be standing there cooking it. Put either a whole or pieces of chicken on a baking pan, chop up hearty vegetables into a covered baking dish (potatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, garlic, peppers, etc) and then go off and do other stuff while it cooks. Especially great for having left overs for lunch the next day or a couple dinners in a row.

JENNYWILSON312 SparkPoints: (2,711)
Fitness Minutes: (1,233)
Posts: 55
4/18/13 1:25 P

Hi! Congrats on making the first step to CHANGE! that is a HUGE STEP!! I have always felt like the "big girl" comparing myself to all my friends my whole life. I finally decided to do something myself at the beginning of 28th birthday!
I have gotten very overwhelmed in the past, with trying to wrap my brain around ALL the information that is out there about diets, weight loss, exercise, what to eat, what not to eat, etc! I have terrible cravings similar to yours. I decided to smart small and just remove one thing at a time from my normal diet. Last month i gave up soda and sweet tea, and now i can hardly stand a sip anymore. I feel like i am drinking straight sugar. I crave water, which i used to say i could never drink by itself. I hated the taste of it. I put fruit in mine for a while, squeezed some fresh orange or lemon in it, but now i can drink plenty of water everyday.

I've read it takes a month to break a habit and create a new one. So this month of April I gave up fried food. I LOVE FRIED FOOD...french fries are my weakness!!! This one I have broken at least once, which is fine because i didn't order the large fry, only a small and i ate my sandwich before i ate my fries and i didn't even finish them because i was full. Its all about moderation and proportion. Slowly once your body starts to taste better things, you crave those instead of the sugar and chocolate and other things. I crave carrots now all the time...i used to HATE to eat carrots. Slowly as I am removing things, I add one or two to my daily routine. I still eat bread, and pasta, and some of those other good things, but i just don't eat them every single day.
so my advice, if anything is just do it slowly, you didn't start craving all those things in one day, and it will take a while to retrain your brain and body to want something different. I can only tell you what has worked for me, and hope it helps you too!!
With the exercise, that came more slowly. I ended up joining an exercise class that i love. I won't sweat if i do it by myself at a gym, it just overwhelms me and i don't feel like i am working anything. So this class works well for me, and i tend to be more consistent about it.
I also use my crock pot a lot for meals, so all i have to do is make a side and the main part is done.
I hope i helped, and if you have any questions feel free to send me a message! Congrats on changing your life! That's a HUGE part of the battle! emoticon

4/18/13 1:02 P

Start moving your body, check out the SP fitness resource center for ideas on cardio and strength training. Don't worry about the "perfect" workout....just get moving 30-60 mnutes most days of the week.

For meal plan ideas, make sure your meal plans are "turned on" in your NUTRITION TRACKER. You can use these plans as is, or make substitutuions---but at least you will get a good meal plan within your calorie range and a good place to start.

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/18/13 12:55 P

What kind of meals do you deem "healthy? I am gone from the house from 8am to 7pm (work 9-6 with an hour commute each way) and I still manage to make healthy meals every night... so I don't like hearing "I don't have time" as an excuse! :)

I think the first place to start is to set up your profile here via the start menu... enter your current height, weight, age, and what your goal weight and date is. After doing that you will get a calorie range that you should be eating in.

The next step is to start tracking what you are eating... even if you're not in the calorie ranges provided at first. Do that for a week or two to get an idea of where you're at now, and what you need to do to get into the calorie range for weight loss.

Then, just start making small changes to work on getting your calorie counts down. Don't try to do it all at once... that's usually a set up for failure. I know for me, at first, I utilized frozen meals to help me get used to eating smaller, reasonable portions. Once I was used to eating correct portions, I ditched the frozen meals. I also know some folks have benefitted from using the Sparkpeople meal plans, at least to see what kinds of foods to eat to stay within the calorie ranges.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 4/18/2013 (12:56)
4/18/13 12:46 P

Hello everyone,

As the title suggests, I am beginning my weight loss journey but am having trouble establishing basics. Like most stories begin, I have been battling weight my whole life. My father always told me I would be challenged by it for the rest of my life as everyone woman from both gene strings had a hard go of it.

But I am ready to fight what genetics think my future should be.

My setback as of late is that I dont know where to get started. What exercise routines will prove most effective? What kind of eating habits should I adapt/drop? The basics.

Allow me to tell you a bit about myself and my day to day: I work a Mon-Fri 9-5 job and find I do not have a lot of time in the evenings to make the kinds of meals that I would deem "healthy". I also battle WICKED cravings which vary from chocolate and sweets to pizza, grease and salt. I have always given in to my cravings and find it extremely challenging to quiet them down, so to speak. I also would like to mention that I am trying to be as gluten free as possible.

Any advice or tidbits that anyone would have to offer would be a huge help at this point. I am excited to learn about making this challenge more of an enjoyment than a chore and learning all I can about clean living.

Thank you in advance for your replies :)

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