So glad that I came across this discussion. The advice here is great!! I was feeling discouraged because I struggle with similar issues. Thanks for the encouragement!!
Fitness Minutes: (10,074)
10/7/13 8:44 A
Have you tracked you food intake along with how you are feeling when you are eating. This can show patterns and stress indicators that may be leading you to make the wrong choices. You can have the pancakes and bacon occasionally in moderation, but if you have cravings, this might help. Best of luck. You can do this.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
10/6/13 7:56 P
Have you tried pre-tracking? Like, plan out your day ahead of time, and adding in a fun snack every day?
I personally have been struggling with the "extras" lately since I started a new job where there's lots of candies and other temptations laying around. So, to compensate for that, I'm changing my lunch and dinner meals to be a bit less calories, so I have some to use for the extras.
There's also a psychological change that needs to happen. You said:
"It seems like almost every day there is some part of my diet that gets ruined"
No. Nothing "gets ruined." That's passive voice. Passive voice is what we use when we don't know who or what caused the action. An English composition teacher would tell you to change that to active voice, and so would a good weight loss counselor. And you'll find that when you change grammatical voice, you're going to change the verb as well.
"My diet gets ruined" doesn't make sense, if you really think about it. So what's really happening? What verb really fits the situation when you use "I" as the subject?
"It seems like every day I make a poor choice about some part of my diet."
If you say it like that, it A) sounds a lot less mysterious and B) looks a lot easier to fix.
We CHOOSE what we eat. It doesn't just happen to us. Once we accept that it's a choice, we start thinking about all the other choices we can make. Choose not to buy food that's not useful for meeting our goals. Choose to eat a little less of something else and work the snack into our menu plan. Choose a different snack. When you hammer yourself with that word "choose," all of a sudden you realize that you have dozens of choices.
Okay, I'm here to tell you that you CAN achieve weight loss while cheating every day! I've lost 130 pounds doing just that. The very first key to success is to stop looking at your cheats as screwing up your efforts. Allow for them. I know that every day, whether it's something sweet or some chips with my salad, that I'm going to need SOMETHING tasty and not so healthy to keep me on track. I allow for this by eating clean every where I feel comfortable (and not deprived) doing so and I exercise my butt off to rev up my metabolism through the post-exercise afterburn effect (check out HIIT) and building as much muscle mass as possible! I'm 36 years old (as of today actually!) and I was previously overweight my whole life so if I can find success this way, so can everyone else. One of the most important things that will help you stay on track MOST of the time is to truly educate yourself (through books/audiobooks, movies, podcasts, articles, etc.) on the importance of proper nutrition. This will make you gravitate towards the right foods more often just because you'll understand why you need them and the not so good things, when you do indulge, will have way less of an impact on your efforts and overall success. Just remember, this is not an all or nothing diet. This is a slow, step by step process of life changes that will one day add up to a new you!
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
10/6/13 12:49 P
You'll be ok. Try not to panic over what might happen (I know it's so tempting -- been there!) and focus instead on what is happening. You're on the right track with sticking mostly to your ranges and limiting the frequency of foods you know do you no favors. You can absolutely continue your course and even build on your success. There's no magical rule that says that small indulgences or moments when you eat other than what you want to eat, or whatever else, must multiply and get out of control. It's all in what you do with it.
For what it's worth, during the time I was losing weight I ate pizza, pie, cake, bacon, pancakes, candy, chocolate, cookies, all kinds of things. (Though there are other things I actually did stay away from completely.) But as you are aiming for yourself, they were rare or in very small quantities. But I never felt guilty about it. I felt far worse about the rare times that (for example), somebody offered me seconds I didn't really want or need, and I took it without thinking, then ate it because it was there. That's a behavioral issue that requires monitoring for me. Having a single slice of pizza the once a month or so that we are out, and it's there, and I want some, then doing exactly what I planned? Not. a. problem. It's all about doing what you want for your life, what will work best for you to meet your goals.
Right now you're thinking you're eating the "these don't help me" foods a little too often for your own comfort or long-term goals. And you may well be right about that. So instead of wasting energy on worry, focus on how it's happening (lack of preparation for social occasions? feeling deprived and stubborn? pressure from family? didn't shop right?) and then make adjustments to eliminate some of the instances or reduce some of the amounts. And you'll get there. Good luck!
10/6/13 12:26 P
You have already gotten really good advice, so I just want to say I'm sympathetic to how you feel. You won't change your habits overnight but in small increments. You'll get there, keep going!
10/6/13 11:37 A
You've already been given some great advice so it's hard to add to it. My strategy is to air pop popcorn and top it with flavor packed seasonings. Then I make a "shake" out of my favorite 1 gram sugar vanilla protein drink. I add some root beer extract and ice and whirl it in my Bullet. Popcorn and Root beer float, YUM! HEALTHY TOO! Also, it's important to remember that this is not a diet, but a change for life. It has to be workable and livable. Don't beat yourself up. You're doing great.
you are right that it's just a time thing. and don't beat yourself up because you'll only get there when you get there. most people can't go cold turkey and just start doing something else, it can take 6-8 weeks to change a habit. a habit. not more than one, just one habit. you could also look for bigger breakfasts that have more vegetables. something like a skillet hash could have the protein of your choice, potatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions and greens and be a tasty middle ground between pancakes and bacon and oatmeal. the thing i have really gotten into lately is greens and grits. cook up some greens seasoned however you like [and add some other veggies in if you like] and mix them in with grits. i have been doing kale and mushroom and truffle salt recently. or you could go more in the lines of asparagus and seafood. or if you really like pancakes and bacon, split them up and pair each one with something that balances it out a little better. maybe have pancakes, fruit and a leaner protein [edamame, chicken, eggs] or bacon wrapped scallops with asparagus. so you're getting the higher cal item that you want, but you're working it in with something that makes it a little less of a calorie drain and bumps up the nutrition content.
Fitness Minutes: (20,298)
1,724 10/5/13 9:18 P
Perfect! If you know you'll have a portion-controlled amount of your desired item two or three times a week, that might help. Just plan for it, track, etc. No food should really be taboo, but there may be choices you decide are just not worth it to you in time. Be willing to change, but also work with what you really enjoy.
Something that helps me when I want to eat stuff I don't have "room" for on a given day is to remind myself that tomorrow there will be more food. It seriously helps to remind myself it's not "no" forever, just for now. And if I want the serving of pancakes or whatever, I can plan it out tomorrow, and have them.
Often when I do that, I realize I'd rather have something different, which will satisfy me more in the moment (more filling, more flavor), but the point for me is that I remind myself that I can have it later, even if right now isn't a great time to have it.
Thank you for the advice. I guess I'm just hoping I can get down to doing it once or twice a month as opposed to several times a week. I guess I get scared of getting too out of control. I'm hoping with time and practice I'll learn to be more moderate in my choices.
I did buy some pancake mix from the grocery store and I followed the portion sizes to a tee so I could track it easily. Sometimes I just want a big breakfast on the weekend instead of oatmeal.
Again, thank you!
Fitness Minutes: (20,298)
1,724 10/5/13 7:11 P
I agree with Jennilacey. If you like these foods, include them in your food plan. Moderation or portion control will allow you to do that. And making choices. For example, I really enjoy a cocktail with dinner out with my mom once or twice a month. Rather than beat myself up for a high calorie dinner plus a cocktail, I plan for it. I eat reasonably the rest of the day, and I account for the foods in my tracker. This way, I can see a reality check. How did I do, and how does the meal fit into my week? By the end of the week, I'm well within my calorie range and I've enjoyed a treat. No problem. But, as I said, it's a choice. I don't also eat dessert at that meal. I don't let it turn into a free-for-all for the whole day or weekend. It's not my usual eating behavior. It's a choice for once or twice a month. It's one meal, one cocktail, the end.
Likewise, you could choose to have your treats. Just plan for them in your day or your week. Stop thinking of this as all or nothing or as a deprivation thing. You get to eat. It's real life. Just plan, be accountable, and make choices to allow you to have your most desired things within your plan.
Fitness Minutes: (85,402)
10/5/13 7:05 P
I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying these foods if most of your choices during the day are nutrient dense foods and you are staying in your calorie range.
You may want to look into healthier alternatives if you are concerned.
Popcorn isn't bad as long as it's not full of butter/oil. It's actually considered a whole grain. You can top it with other things. You can google "healthy popcorn toppings" for some ideas; nuts, nut butters, spices, herbs, cheeses, etc.
You can make kale chips or other alternatives for a crunchy and crispy snack.
You can make your own pancakes. There are tons of recipes to suit your dietary preferences. I make mine with oats, cottage cheese and egg whites.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be about giving up the foods you enjoy. It's about learning to enjoy these things in smaller quantities and finding healthier ways of cooking/preparing them.
It seems like almost every day there is some part of my diet that gets ruined whether it's a snack or a meal. I managed to stay within my calorie range yesterday and so far today, but I ate popcorn and chips. Yesterday it was brunch (pancakes,bacon). This is what gets me in trouble: I worry that I can't go a day without eating at least one thing that isn't good for me. I've been trying to eat mindfully, but it seems that my cravings win out. Any advice? I'd appreciate whatever you share. Thank you.
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