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LUCYLOVESIT SparkPoints: (12)
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Posts: 13
1/1/13 1:32 P

Very good points. Maybe you don't like broccolli and carrots Because you are under or overlooking them, or eating the ones that come frozen. Try steaming fresh ones in the steamer bags that you can find in the plastic bag aisle in the supermarket. They only take a few mins and taste good with or without any additional salt.

Drink plenty of water, it helps you feel full and you certainly need extra if you are eating more protein in order to stay regular. Too much protein and not enough water will make you feel lethargic.

AM_MORRIS87 Posts: 1,665
1/1/13 11:26 A

Hmm... I think you misinterperated my advice. At no point did I say to eat junk as long as you're staying under your calories. I said that is was okay to eat regular foods you were use to while you were learning to make substitutions, but you should eat the healthy foods that you DO like, and create new healthy staples.

Who wouldn't feel like crap if they were having sugar and carbs for every meal? It sounds to me like you did realize those foods weren't working for you, but... I'm not sure where you went from there? You know what kind of reaction your mind/body has when you eat the sugar junk, so just stop eating cinnamon rolls and drinking mochas. It's simple. Once you stop eating it, you'll stop craving it. But you have to have some willpower and stick with it through the cravings for that first week. That's where your personal motivation comes in.

Determining what is healthy is easy. It's unfortunate to see you write that you would be "punishing" yourself by eating "carrots and broccoli." I love broccoli, even when I was overweight. In fact, I eat 1 lb of broccoli for dinner almost every night because I love it so much. You need to focus on what you DO like. Do you like cabbage? Spinach? Cauliflower? Green beans? Brussel sprouts? Then eat those. Your new lifestyle isn't about forcing yourself to eat foods you hate. Do you like grapes? Apples? Bananas? Mango? There's your substite for sugar right there. Hate chicken, but love seafood? Great! Eat seafood 5 days a week if you want.

No one is going to give you a list of healthy foods vs bad foods. Everyone has their own opinion. But if I truly had to give you one piece of advice, it would be to eat clean. Fresh fruit, vegetables, oats, meat, eggs, etc, should always be your first choice of what to eat. These things are usually in their simplest form. Avoid anything that says "diet." I really don't even recommend eating "reduced fat" or "fat free" foods. (Unless they are naturally low fat or non fat.) When they reduce the fat in something, they are usually replacing it with something else. Avoid 100 calorie snack packs, avoid frozen meals like lean cuisines, avoid defaulting to slimfast or other convenience shakes, avoid Cliff bars and Power bars. This stuff is all junk, and it's part of this ridiculous "diet" industry that takes advantage of people who don't know that they don't know.

You have gotten some incredible advice in this thread, and it's up to you what you do with it.

Edited by: AM_MORRIS87 at: 1/1/2013 (11:27)
DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (75,259)
Fitness Minutes: (105,459)
Posts: 127
12/31/12 9:02 P

There's some very good advice in this thread! Make slow changes -- you're changing your lifestyle. That's more of a challenge than it seems. It's definitely not easy!

Some of your comments sound like me, almost 3 years ago. "I was having (as an example of a sort of typical day) a mocha for breakfast and a cinnamon roll for lunch and a French fries for dinner and logging it." Logging it is GOOD. As I saw what I ate, I saw what were good choices and what need to be cut down (NOT cut OUT!). I am accountable to ME, so it doesn't matter what anyone ELSE thinks about my choices. So I log them all, both good and "bad." Tomorrow, just try to turn a "bad" choice into a "better" choice!

"I was determined not to punish myself by eating broccoli and carrots all the time." This one made me giggle, because THAT WAS ME AND MY FAMILY. We now _adore_ steamed broccoli, and 2 pounds of carrots won't last a week for three of us! used to be a bag of potato chips, a package or three of cookies, and several half-gallons of ice cream instead! As I saw how many calories those had, I found that by eating one measured serving (which, alas, is _not_ the whole container *sigh*) of those items, I could save a lot of calories just by doing that (and SAVORING each bite). Then we started eating more produce. Since you have a sweet tooth (LIKE ME!), try those carrots cooked with a tiny bit of butter and bit of honey or brown sugar on top. YUM! Also good that way are sweet potatoes and winter squashes (butternut, acorn, etc.). Try green beans gently boiled in water with a teaspoon of sugar (or Splenda), and maybe put some almonds in. After you get used to those, look for some savory recipes for vegetables that use some dried herbs and spices, or those bags of frozen blends of veggies which are quite good. My husband, an avowed meat and potatoes guy, is actually craving vegetables now and has kicked his gallon of ice cream a week habit!

"And I didn't gain any weight but I didn't lose it either." NOT GAINING IS GOOD! It doesn't feel nearly as good as watching the scale go down, but I've seen some research that maintaining weight is a very good first step that bodes well for keeping the weight off in the future.

"All day long I craved sugar and couldn't wait to get to the next "treat" coz I felt like I was starving. So just staying under the calories isn't enough for me." Going cold-turkey on sugar works for some people; I don't know how, though! I portioned out some treats for myself and worked them in as "rewards" for healthier choices. Or maybe not rewards, but a healthy exchange: "If I eat this apple first, THEN I can have half of the sweet roll" (and cursing the genius that decided that "one serving" is HALF a roll!). There's some calorie savings by eating only one serving (instead of 2-6 like I used to) and the fruit adds a bit of fiber to keep me satiated longer than the just the sweets by themselves.

Try purchasing a bag of apples, as these apples are MUCH smaller than the ones sold individually. Big apples are too much effort to eat for snack! We like Gala, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples because they are sweet and have firm flesh. Also look for those clementines that are in season right now. They are very sweet and very easy to peel instead of a big ol' orange. Eat one of these BEFORE your sweet snack -- they're sweet but not as intensely sweet as sugary snacks. We did this, and before long, we were reaching for the fruit instead of the snack.

And as far as the rumbly, grumbly, AWFUL feeling of hunger...yeah, it doesn't feel so good. However, instead of thinking it as "AWFUL," try thinking of it as "the feeling of losing weight." Well, for at least 10 minutes anyway. Chew some mint gum (nearly everything tastes bad if you have a minty fresh mouth), drink some water (or coffee, tea, diet soda, or other no-calorie beverage), or try to busy yourself for 10 minutes. Next week, try to soak in that feeling of losing weight for a few more minutes. Use that time for laundry, a bit of stretching, a walk around the block, phone a friend (and walk while you talk to burn another couple of calories), learn to knit, or even watch some crazy YouTube videos -- ANYTHING but eat. With any luck you distract yourself from the grumblies -- NO, NOT GRUMBLIES, but "The Feeling Of Losing Weight!" Learning to not eat at the first sign of hunger (or, more likely, thirst, boredom, or habit) really helps.

Don't worry so much about "good" food groups vs. "bad" food groups...think moderation instead. High fat, high sugar, highly processed foods (you know, the ones that taste good, like Fritos, Cinnabons, candy bars, ice cream, etc...) don't have a lot of nutrition and are high in calories. Aim to CUT BACK (not cut out) and replace them with food with higher nutrition, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats -- or even make it as simple as choosing a skinny latte instead of the usual full fat with the whip. :) Once you feel comfortable with cutting back a little on the sweets and increasing lower calorie alternatives, then try to swap a little more. Maybe then it's time to look for the next step to take -- perhaps that's looking at increasing protein to 20-30% of your diet or cutting back fat to 30% or less (use the Daily Feedback button in the tracker to see how you're doing), or maybe increasing your fiber or calcium consumption...but think of those as advanced goals for now.

OK, I just spewed a lot of information, and there are plenty of other good ideas in this thread. It's a lot to take in! Maybe even too much, right? Just commit to making ONE change today. Keep that up for 3-4 days, and when you're comfortable, add another change. It takes time. You can change just one thing today, right? When you're comfortable with that one little change, add another. Small changes add up.

And rename the grumblies to "The Feeling Of Losing Weight." You'll find it easier to stomach (I'm so punny!). :)


LUCYLOVESIT SparkPoints: (12)
Fitness Minutes: (46,350)
Posts: 13
12/31/12 9:40 A

Also make sure that your serving sizes are correct. It is easy to eat too much and therefore consume more calories than you think you are eating. Whether ice cream or cereal I have a friend who puts three times the amount of food in a bowl as I do. It made me very aware of the quantity of food I was eating. A cup of something is not a bowl full, its a very small amount.

OKLAMEG1 SparkPoints: (23,458)
Fitness Minutes: (7,559)
Posts: 51
12/30/12 6:58 P

There's some very good advice in this thread. What I have learned over the past year of my weight loss journey is that somedays I need more carbohydrates in my diet and somedays I need more protein. Even if I try to get the recommended balance of carbs, protein, and fats, sometimes I think my body needs more or less of one or the other, and that's okay. I'm thinking that making these slight changeups in the carb/protein/fat balance helps to keep my metabolism charged. I'm not in a race to lose the weight fast, I'm just determined to lose the weight and change my eating habits one day at a time. So far, I'm real pleased with the results and I really feel that I can stick with it for the rest of my life. So, what I'm recommending is that you take it one day at a time and try to learn what your body needs from day to day. There will be some plateaus, but if you are consistent, track your food and excercise, and know what changes you need to make, you will see the results. Best wishes!

MARXELLA Posts: 106
12/30/12 6:28 P

Try to stay positive and not get down on yourself. This is a first step is actively planning what to do to be healthier.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,139
12/30/12 6:24 P

there actually are several good eating plans with meals, recipes and shopping lists. part of the journey is finding out what works for you, what foods you can eat and what foods don't really help. calories are not all the same. a cinnamon bun for breakfast does not burn the same way a smoothie does, or a yogurt and toast. fried foods contain more fat than the same foods baked, without a better taste.
exercise again is different for different people. some do better with high cardio and other must include weights to get a result. timing is important, so there is something else you need to study and experiment with. start slow and increase what you're doing at intervals. don't push, because your body will push back and you will get hurt.
tracking or journalising will help you learn what works for you. everybody has an opinion about what works best. listen and apply it to what you have learned about your body and your willingness to do certain things. keep track of the results and you will succeed. rushing is not encouraged.

LUCYLOVESIT SparkPoints: (12)
Fitness Minutes: (46,350)
Posts: 13
12/30/12 5:29 P

I try to track what I eat but I cant keep it up. What I did discover though is that although I am active I dont exercise regularly and when I compared the calories I consumed v the calories I burned they were about the same, so even when I kept to 1500 calories a day I was only burning that amount - a lightbulb moment for me!

I have found that I only lose weight when I cut back on carbs. There is diabetes in my family so I think it must have something to do with metabolism. I only lost weight when I followed the Atkins diet for a while. The problem is that when I am busy Im not as consistent because it takes time to put it all together. Now I make a fruit and spinach smoothie with almond milk for breakfast. There is always enough for two glasses so I save half in a mason jar in the fridge so I can shake it up and have it for lunch. I try to avoid cereal, bread, potatoes, corn and pasta and any kind of sugary foods. When it is just me for dinner I like the Amys bowls which are low calorie and reasonably natural if you dont have the inclination to cook from scratch. So I can keep my calories low. My downfall is the exercise part. I plan once again to exercise more starting tomorrow. I have all the equipment, just lack the time and motivation. My NY resolution is to make more time so that I can do it.

I think the answer is not what to eat, it is a combination of food and exercise.

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (735)
Fitness Minutes: (139)
Posts: 50
12/30/12 3:20 P

I was doing that for several months. I was having (as an example of a sort of typical day) a mocha for breakfast and a cinnamon roll for lunch and a French fries for dinner and logging it. I was determined not to punish myself by eating broccoli and carrots all the time. And I didn't gain any weight but I didn't lose it either. I was super depressed. I started taking vitamins and that helped a lot. All day long I craved sugar and couldn't wait to get to the next "treat" coz I felt like I was starving. So just staying under the calories isn't enough for me.

That's why I am here. To get advice how to eat healthy, detox off of the sugar craving (which is going ok) and find healthy foods that are satisfying. But determining what is healthy is turning out to be trickier than I thought.

AM_MORRIS87 Posts: 1,665
12/30/12 2:23 P

The reason why everyone has different advice is because different things work for different people. I can give you a meal plan and grocery list that has helped me lose so much weight, but that doesn't mean it will necessarily work for you.

What you need to do is to focus on staying within your calorie limit each day. That's it. Don't worry about the carbs, protein, sugar, fat, etc. ONLY worry about your calories. Because truthfully, that's what matters. We can talk about macros all day and night, but someone can lose weight eat 80% carbs, and someone could lose weight eating a high protein/fat diet. It doesn't matter. Focusing on only your calories is going to help you learn what works for you. You're going to learn what foods help you feel full and satisfy you the most. You're going to develop new healthy staples that will become favorites, and eventually you'll cut out the foods that don't work for you.

The other benefit to focusing on your calories alone, is that it gives you room to improve in the future. If you start out eating perfectly, how are you suppose to improve your diet when you hit a plateau? Plus, you don't need to go cold turkey anyway. Slowly changing your diet is the ONLY way to have lasting success. When I first started my journey I use to eat pasta, cereal, creamy sauces, fried foods, ice cream, etc. Of course, I portioned those foods out and tracked them, but the point is that you can still eat "normal" foods while being successful. I would plan out what I wanted to eat the day before, so that I was never caught off guard. So for example, if I knew I wanted to eat spinach tortellini with alfredo sauce and a piece of garlic bread, I would enter that into my tracker for dinner. So then I would know, "Okay, I have ___ calories to work with for the rest of the day." And I would choose foods that fit into those perameters. As time went on, I lost weight, and had to reduce my caloric intake. It's at that point where you start to really say, "Okay, I guess I could do without the garlic bread, and that way I'll have 180 calories to eat somewhere else during the day." Like I said, you learn as you go.

I see it time and time again, people set themselves up for failure by trying to eat perfectly, and they just change everything overnight, which doesn't TEACH them anything. No new habits are developed, nothing it learned. It's like jumping on a motorcycle and hopping on the freeway. You need to learn about what you're changing and doing by using trial and error. Some days you're going to go over your calories at 10:00 at night because you're hungry, because whatever you ate didn't saisfy you. That's okay! Learn from it, and move on. I love love love bagels, bread, and cereal, but I know that those things literally leave me more hungry than I was before I ate them. So I eliminated them from my diet. Once you learn something isn't satisfying you or working, cut it out or find a healthy substitute.

If you ever want to chat, feel free to message me. Good luck! :)

Edited by: AM_MORRIS87 at: 12/31/2012 (21:11)
CYNNANE Posts: 567
12/30/12 1:27 P

Fruit has sugar, but it isn't refined cane sugar. Your body processes it differently.

What I would do is focus on one thing at a time. I tend to get overwhelmed. If you are concerned about sugar then less carbohydrates, veggies and lean meats will help. Maybe try looking up food ideas for people with diabetes. Veggies are always good, cheese, some yogurts, and lean meats.

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (735)
Fitness Minutes: (139)
Posts: 50
12/30/12 12:52 P

Thanks for the encouragement.
I already don't eat any fast food or soda. After Christmas I threw out all the extra sweets we were given. I did have an emotional year and got addicted to ice cream and pastries so I am trying to detox from sugar. Also I got in the habit of a mocha almost everyday which I have been off a week now and I feel pretty good.

However, here is am example of my dilemma : I have a food tracker and have been listing what I eat. So I got off the sugar cereals, orange juice, pancakes and coffee and started eating a natural yogurt from the health food store with granola and fruit...sound healthier right? But according to the food tracker I have already eaten past the recommended limit for sugar for the day with just this! I'm confused! The calories are only a bit lower and I'm still getting too much sugar. I don't understand. I wish I I knew what I was supposed to be eating.

STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,376
12/30/12 12:25 P

There is a lot of advice out there. It's definitely hard to figure out what's right for you.
I've tried cutting foods out, but the reality is that's too restrictive and while it works for maybe a couple of weeks, I eventually snap and eat everything, and the only thing I lose is motivation.

I have read books, and articles, and heard other people's stories, but I had to find the perfect balance for me. Start with something small and obvious-like limiting soda or candy intake. If you're going to cut out something for reasons other than losing weight (some people can't have gluten for example) it's important to properly research and ask your doctor or a nutritionist if that's appropriate for you. My dad always tells me "protein" as though that's the only nutrient I need for healthy weight loss (I guess people pushed 'protein' back in the 80's...probably with the Adtkin's diet) There are tons of articles on this website too as well as the nutrition section of the message boards to get some ideas on where you can start. Sure, a cookie may not be the healthiest, but there's a difference between having 1 and having 5. I took a nutrition class a couple years ago, and my teacher said something that really stuck: Its not about what's the absolute best, it's about just making a better decision. For example, you could still eat a hamburger, but maybe remove the mayo and don't add cheese (eliminating about 200 calories) and instead of having a large fry, have a small. If you can't give up soda yet, have diet instead. When I do eat fast food, I get a small combo instead of the large or medium.

The one thing I know for sure is that cutting things out cold turkey doesn't work. It sets one up for failure.

Edited by: STARDUST2K4 at: 12/30/2012 (12:28)
PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (735)
Fitness Minutes: (139)
Posts: 50
12/29/12 10:42 P

Confused about what I need to do to get healthy. Everyone has different ideas and advice, little of it I understand. Some say eat whole wheat, others say wheat causes allergies, others say don't eat bread, meat and dairy, is it good or bad? Has calories but also protein, which makes them what? Good or bad? Exercise, I have heard so many different ideas on what to do I can't even begin to list it here and when I'm doing something I think is right, others disagree. Having this with juicing too. Some swear by it, others say smoothies work, others say its only good if it retains the pulp....I was at an acupuncturists and was being told about the benefit of sour cream, then an hour later a friend told me how bad sour cream is for you and it's full of calories.
I was talking about cutting out sugar and was told a spoon of sugar has only 15 calories so its ok...I am beginning to feel like being fit is beyond my mental abilities, raelly sad, I want a cookie

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