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BEST tips for newbies



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SBURDEN
Posts: 2,414
5/17/13 9:23 A

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I started by using one feature and after I grew more comfortable, I would try another until before I knew it, I was using multiple features!



RUDBECKIA13
RUDBECKIA13's Photo Posts: 23
5/16/13 2:06 P

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Having a hard time getting started - I re-started with SparkCoach. Did you try their one week free trial? I had tried SparkPeople in the past but sometimes got overwhelmed with everything that was available on the site. SparkCoach really helped structure my first week. After the trial I thought, "OK - now I have a sequence of things to do on SparkPeople. I can do this on my own" Well - that didn't work too well - it wasn't a total failure but I only checked in about 50% of the week so I decided to sign up for the 6 month SparkCoach. You could try a month if you didn't want think you needed 6 months. I like it because it is the first thing that comes up when I turn on my computer and it isn't the tracking page - it opens with a welcome page and a meditation which really gets me in a good frame of mind. Eventually I hope not to need it but I at this point, I needed some hand holding.
Good luck and let us know how you're doing! emoticon



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STARLIGHTSHADOW
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5/16/13 12:33 P

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Teefat, I'd suggest starting by setting one short-term goal you will commit to, like tracking your food for a week, or even just logging in every day for a week.

Look for some SparkTeams and SparkFriends to motivate you to stick to your goal, and just take it from there.

Don't do too much at once- one step at a time is still a step further than before :)

~ I never make misteaks ~


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CHRISANDER
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5/16/13 12:27 P

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I so agree about tracking food. Until I started using
the food tracker on Spark People I had no idea how
many calories I was eating of walnuts and pistachios.
I love those for snack but, I turned what was a healthy
snack into as many calories as I should have for lunch
or dinner. Needless to say I switched that up a bit.

Chris

WHEN PRAISE GOES UP, BLESSINGS COME DOWN!


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TEEFAT1982
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5/16/13 10:12 A

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I am new and its hard for me to get started. I need to know where to start



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TEEFAT1982
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5/16/13 10:11 A

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I am new and its hard for me to get started. I need to know where to start



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MARYJOANNA
Posts: 209
5/16/13 5:33 A

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Discover where you are going wrong. Take one thing and work on it until you have conquered it, and then go on to the next one. One thing at a time.



 
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SJWILLI83
SJWILLI83's Photo SparkPoints: (2,934)
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5/15/13 11:24 P

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emoticon emoticon

S. Javon Williams


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JEANIEH160
JEANIEH160's Photo Posts: 33
5/15/13 3:10 P

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I'm new to this too, and I've seen a pattern in my own eating...waaaaaaay too many calories. I love the idea of the Portion Plate, so yesterday I started using one of my baby's sectioned plates and one of her small bowls for all meals and using measuring cups and spoons. This way I'll be sure to control my portion size and make sure I know what "one serving" looks like emoticon

Love, Jeanie

"Try Not, Do or Do Not. There is No Try" - Yoda, Jedi Master


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HAWTLIKEME
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5/15/13 3:04 P

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I have so many tips I'd love to share that it's hard to choose just one, but I think so much of it really boils right down to this:

MAKE IT FIT!

If you choose eating or exercise programs that don't fit into your life, values, needs and preferences, they won't work and they won't stick. For me, I can take or leave cooking and don't have much time or patience for it, but needed to cut out processed (and often that means convenience) foods. I don't get excited about fresh veggies and was never that turned on by a chicken breast. I'm not out of luck. I just found a system that works for my preferences and time restraints. I buy mostly frozen veggie medleys with no added ingredients along with cooked, frozen seafood. Add some fresh or frozen herbs and I've got instant microwaveable or skillet meals that I absolutely love and truly enjoy in usually less than 4 minutes!! My workout routine is currently as effective appropriate for my life right now. 3-4 walks with the dog per week, 3 visits to Curves (30 minute ST circuit) and a bike ride or something else fun to do with the family if it works out each week.

You have to play around and get to know your own needs, wants and limitations. I think sometimes the reasons healthy lifestyle changes don't stick for some people is that they are trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

Though we cannot control the winds, we can adjust the sails.

Vic



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CHRISANDER
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5/15/13 12:43 P

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Hi! This is my second week with Sparkpeople. I am loving it.
The trackers are a must. I have also tried some recipes on the
site. I love the cauliflower/millet mash, the yam mash, the slow
cooker veggie and chicken stew and the oatmeal/blueberry
muffins.

WHEN PRAISE GOES UP, BLESSINGS COME DOWN!


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GYPSYROVER
GYPSYROVER's Photo Posts: 2,595
5/15/13 11:08 A

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I just did a SP web search for "portion plate". It will help you track one down, SJWILLI83! And thanks for all these newbie tips, everyone! emoticon



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APRIL_V_2
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5/15/13 11:03 A

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Wow, this thread is full of great advice and tips! Thank you everyone! I think tracking my food (and beverages!) has been very helpful in revealing my patterns. I sort of already knew them, but seeing them in black and white means I can't ignore them. For example, 3 glasses of red wine on Friday and Saturday nights is too many calories! Probably not healthy either, besides the calories. I think I'll have to limit it to one or two glasses max from now on!

Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells, "can't!"

But you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper, "can."

And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.


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BUZZ0317
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5/15/13 10:20 A

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Thanks everyone for the great advice!!!



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SJWILLI83
SJWILLI83's Photo SparkPoints: (2,934)
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5/15/13 10:09 A

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Where can I buy one? A portion plate! I'm new and loving the advice and pointers!

Edited by: SJWILLI83 at: 5/15/2013 (10:10)
S. Javon Williams


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ANNE007
ANNE007's Photo Posts: 153
5/15/13 8:51 A

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I think tracking your nutrition is the most important aspect of getting control over your health and fitness.

It's important to know what's going in-exactly what's going in. How does it make you feel? You will learn that good nutrition makes you feel better and your body and mind work optimally. Over time you will realize when your nutrition is lacking because of how you feel.

Start by tracking a week of what you are eating now - without making any changes. See where your calories, protein, fat and carb levels are right now versus where they need to be. Then slowly begin making changes with the goal being to eat within your spark ranges for these nutrients / calorie count every day.

What works for me is to automate meals. Not all of them, but some. For example, I feel best when I have a good breakfast: about 350 calories, 35 grams of protein and a bit of healthy fat. It will also keep me satiated easily until lunch. Most days I have the same breakfast - I played around with it until I was able to find something I enjoyed eating that fit my nutritional requirements. Now breakfast is automatic.

I have done the same for snacks. Though I change them around here and there, I snack on the same healthy types of things on most days. Fruit, nuts, vegetables with hummus.

It also helps to decide what meal of the day is most important to you - splurge a bit on that meal and be a bit more conservative on the others.

Good luck!



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RUDBECKIA13
RUDBECKIA13's Photo Posts: 23
5/15/13 8:26 A

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Use the tracking reports. They are quite interesting to see. I learned which meal I tended to eat the most in - not always in a bad way but it showed me patterns and I learned that if I eat too little at breakfast and lunch, I'll over do it at dinner. I also like looking at the distribution of my calories. If I felt sluggish one day, I can look and see that maybe I didn't eat enough protein, etc.
Good luck!



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ALYANDA
SparkPoints: (318)
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5/15/13 8:22 A

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I am a Newbie and very Happy to be here! Thanks for all the advice!



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LOSIN_IT4GOOD
LOSIN_IT4GOOD's Photo Posts: 544
5/15/13 4:59 A

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Measure until you have a realistic grasp on portion size.
Track everything, every day.
Exercise daily-even if it's just 5 minutes.
Buy a heart rate monitor for consistent calorie tracking (Mine is a wristwatch HR monitor)
Designate a Freebie day once a week to go over your calorie range.
Read the inspirational stories, blogs, health articles-you are not alone!

Look at your first few weeks as an "information gathering"time...track everything and see how many calories you're taking in as well as how many calories you're burning. Then start making small adjustments from there like substituting a banana for french fries, or whole wheat bread for white bread, walking for 20 minutes instead of 10, blog about your experience so far.
Good Luck!


~~~~~~~~~~Jody~~~~~~~~~~

Be who you are and say what you feel...
Because those who mind don't matter...
And those who matter don't mind.
~Dr. Suess~


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ELLIEW4
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5/15/13 1:13 A

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Forgive yourself. You are going to over eat or laze around. Don't quit! Forgive yourself and get back on track as quickly as possible. Tracking your food and exercise helps you identify triggers that send you off track.

Edited by: ELLIEW4 at: 5/15/2013 (01:13)

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ASCHU2
ASCHU2's Photo Posts: 49
5/14/13 9:20 P

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My advice to newbies is to set the weight loss goals for one lb a week, but only a month out. After 17 months and 65-70 lbs off, I adjust my weight loss goals/calories in/calories out every Wednesday after I weigh and I check my schedule for the week. If I have a super crazy week, I try to maintain that week. I love the advice about only doing what you can see doing for life. Otherwise, I'll go back to "old" me and regain. I want to always use sparkpeople, the scale (I know that's not how everyone feels), my heart rate monitor to see my exercise, and my food measurement tools-tablespoon, 1/2 cup, food scale, water bottle. Take it sllllloooowwww and steady.

I was 219 in August 2011. I am now 140-135 lbs and seeing if I can go any farther without feeling deprived. As of March, I went from 37% to 19% body fat, dropped from a size 18/20 to a 6/8, lost 38.25 inches all over, and love getting fired up for exercise goals!


Just keep swimming...

You only regret the workouts you didn't do.


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KAPELAKIN
KAPELAKIN's Photo Posts: 1,969
5/14/13 7:34 P

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Making one change you can stick with is better than trying to change everything at once and getting overwhelmed. Once you form a habit, choose another change and work on making it a habit. This way, you don't over-exhaust your stores of willpower, and are more likely to have long-term success.

Voluntary Discomfort is the secret cornerstone of strength. We build our whole lives around increasing comfort and avoiding discomfort, and yet by doing so we are drinking a can of Weakness Tonic with every morning’s breakfast. ~Mr. Money Mustache
5K PR: 23:40
10K PR: 48:57
HM PR: 1:59:37
30K: 2:57:44


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TLB6565
SparkPoints: (551)
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5/14/13 7:19 P

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I am on week 2 and love the tracking system. It makes me accountable when I have to put what I eat in the system.



MNNICE
MNNICE's Photo Posts: 12,702
5/14/13 5:07 P

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Definitely take photos along the way. Biggest thing is be totally honest with your food tracking and follow the "rules" of setting goals. The small, short-term goals are so important! And don't forget the rewards!



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GYPSYROVER
GYPSYROVER's Photo Posts: 2,595
5/14/13 5:00 P

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emoticon I never thought about taking the "before" photo! I took all the measurements, and weighed myself but no pic! I'm going to do that right now! emoticon emoticon



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DEDRA1984
Posts: 3
5/14/13 4:53 P

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Im back here to make a change..i think the best tip is to start off small...set realistic and small goals and accomplish them gradually...it's best when you can hold yourself accountable. A workout buddy or a healthy track buddy where you can motivate and share ideals, healthy snacks and food together, take zumba, pole dancing and other fun classes together.




KIMBERLY_Y
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5/14/13 12:19 P

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My best tip to anyone just starting this journey is something that I regret not doing . . . take all your measurements and continue to measure your inches throughout your journey. I wish I had done this because I can see a noticeable difference, but I would loved to have quantified it. Also, take an honest picture of yourself at the beginning of your journey, you will be amazed the change a few months will make. Best wishes to all the new sparkers on your journey towards health! emoticon

-Kim

"Be what you want, but always be you!"

"Enjoy each moment because it is a gift."

Maintenance goal obtained April 12, 2013!


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MJWAXLER
Posts: 3
5/14/13 11:06 A

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Hi - I'm about the same and recently gained about 20 lbs - I don't know why but I'm determined to get it off - plus. I need to lose 80 lbs too, but would be really happy with 50. I'm working in 20 increments like someone suggested. I just started back on Spark People. I know it works so here we go!!!



JULISKA09
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5/14/13 9:32 A

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I didn't read the whole thread, so I'm sure that I will repeat a few things...

1) Track your food every day. All of it. Even the creamer in your coffee. It all adds up. At least it does for me, I put way too much cream in the too-strong coffee at work. emoticon

2) Find an activity that you like to do and is not too strenuous for your fitness level, at least at first. If you want to run, start by walking. Zumba is a decent, fun activity as well.

3) Join some Sparkteams. You can find one for pretty much any hobby/location/sports team you'd want. If there isn't one, start your own!

4) I try to use Sparkpeople everyday until I get the bonus spin on the Sparkwheel. You have to get 25 spark points to get it. You can read a lot of useful articles and track a lot of food in a short period of time.

5) Do remember to take off at least a few days a week to rest from working out. You get stronger when you rest.

6) Tell a coworker your goals. That way when everyone goes out for McDonalds, they can help you choose the salad instead of the double quarter pounder with cheese.



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MARYSPARKS2013
MARYSPARKS2013's Photo SparkPoints: (1,814)
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5/14/13 8:05 A

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Thanks for sharing... I beat myself up all the time when I mess up. These tips will help me remember to be kinder to myself and not to let the people in my life "love me to death".

MarySparks ;-)

Therefore, whatever you do... do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31b


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AMANDANCES
AMANDANCES's Photo Posts: 1,974
5/13/13 11:29 P

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The best tip I think I can give anybody is to make the investment in a heart rate monitor. You won't need a fancy kind - the Polar Ft4 is perfect for what we're trying to accomplish here on Spark and if you check around, it won't set you back more than around $65-$70.

The reason I recommend this is because it's an amazing way to track how you're REALLY spending your energy when you're working out. Personally I have a hard time with those "perceived exertion rates" because no matter how hard I'm working, I always feel like I'm giving it my all. With a heart rate monitor, you can tell instantly whether you're being lazy or working really hard -- and many of them will give you an approximate calorie burn which is way more accurate than the calorie burn charts you'll find online.

Plus it's a great motivator -- seeing how many more minutes you need to run in order to burn off that ice cream, or trying to keep your heart rate in the target zone. I absolutely LOVE mine, and it's the reason I was able to lose the weight I lost 5 years ago (before I got pregnant!)

On our way to Mordor.

Blogging our walking fitness journey here:
thereandbackagainforfitness.blogspot.com/


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SACGAL10
SACGAL10's Photo Posts: 33
5/13/13 5:42 P

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The best advice I have is to explore all that the site has to offer and then pick one thing at a time to concentrate on. Get comfortable with it until it becomes a habit for you. Make it a 30 day goal and then move on to the next thing. If you try to change too many things all at once, you will feel overwhelmed and you'll lose your motivation. When I first started, I just used the food tracker, I then started creating meal plans and grocery lists. Just recently, I have been using the fitness tracker to log my lunchtime walks every Monday through Friday and it has been a thrill to get trophy's for consistency and fitness minutes. Not all the tools or advice will be for you so take it easy and step-by-step you will find just the right mix that helps you achieve your goals.
emoticon

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles that one has overcome while trying to succeed. ~Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)~


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EMJUDY
EMJUDY's Photo Posts: 185
5/13/13 4:17 P

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My #1 tip for newbies would be to scale back your weight loss goals! Yes, I need to lose 80+ pounds, but that is DAUNTING! I've been on and off SparkPeople for 5 years (it's the one program I keep coming back to), and I'm now setting 20-pound goals (and trying not to even THINK about the remaining 60 or more).

For me, twenty pounds is much more realistic and less overwhelming. I ask myself, "Could you be happy twenty pounds lighter? Even if it means you don't lose any more weight than that?" For me, the answer is YES. Twenty pounds is better than zero pounds, and I plan to re-evaluate my goals with weight loss and health once that first twenty-pound loss is complete(and which I am currently three pounds away from).

Best of luck, newbies!!!

emoticon

Stay positive.
Do not give up.


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MARTINAH2O
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5/13/13 12:05 P

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I'm a newbie and can't find all the answers, but am trying.
I'm currently about 220 LBS and want to loose 45 as a start.
My ticker below here says I weigh 220 KILOS...YIKES...but I don't!! and not sure how to change it since my weight tracker is set up in pounds...um
I love this site so far, love the trackers. This is only my second post with 2 small questions but nobody has given me an answer yet so wonder if anyone actually reads what I write lol



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TOLOSEWEIGHTP
Posts: 6
5/13/13 11:44 A

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I am in too. I am completely new to this site. My weight is 189 LB and I am planning to loose to 160 LB by Aug 27 2013, that is 2 LB per week. Lets motivate and help each other.



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MLH909
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5/13/13 10:33 A

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Hey! Im new to this site and I would like to find a buddy or someone to motivate me and so we can help each other out. Im 20 years old and i would like to loose between 80-100lbs. Thanks :)



ROCKANDROLL7
ROCKANDROLL7's Photo Posts: 473
5/13/13 9:15 A

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Dont give up you can do it just keep in sparks for tips and try some work for some some for others

You can not judge yourself by others your different as they are.

My plan working for me maybe not for some.

I count my calories each day on paper and write down all i eat every scrap

i do not buy or eat item if to many calories period

shop in fruit isle and produce isle

if you have netflex watch the firehouse or firestation 2 diet . Man tells tons of hints on it and

shows you how to read back of labels

Do not shop on front of labels they are allowed by law to fib but on back they can not.

I eat no sugar no white foods like rice pancake mix or baked goods. No cookies cake or candy

if so tiny sliver only.

chose strawberrys there fiber fill you up. NO sugar no fat cool whip or splenda on them

I drink coke 0 or water

I gained as i got down anniversary of my sisters death on easter so i am trying to get it off.

I empty panty and fridge of bad foods.

Toss out all such items to food bank

Good luck

Headed to school so got go i go help lunch my grandbaby every day

iF YOUR NOT HAPPY TRY TO AT LEAST MAKE SOMEONE ELSE HAPPY. THEN YOU CAN SAY, I LIVED TODAY.


ROCKANDROLL7
ROCKANDROLL7's Photo Posts: 473
5/13/13 9:10 A

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sparks is great but if you need calories for one food just type it in home page

i type in example how many calories in dannon yogart

you get pages to go to i use calories count it tells you exactly how many calories and breaks down on

pie chart what the calories came from

i count my calories BEFORE i eat a food after it too late lol

Good luck

iF YOUR NOT HAPPY TRY TO AT LEAST MAKE SOMEONE ELSE HAPPY. THEN YOU CAN SAY, I LIVED TODAY.


SLIMRNTOBE
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5/12/13 8:14 P

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I am tired of saying I can do this alone . I need additional support also. I will be your buddy maybe we can inspire and encourage eachother and be successful at meeting our goals.



TINKERBELL9269
TINKERBELL9269's Photo SparkPoints: (274)
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5/12/13 7:35 P

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Hi, im looking for a weight loss buddy too... i find it easier if i had someone to lose weight with.. my friends can eat what they want and still look good, not me!! Im 230lbs and need to lose 80 plus pounds...

i know this is a challenge, but the end result will be soooo worth it!!!


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ANGIEFORTIN
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5/12/13 4:21 P

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If you don't feel like keeping up with sparkpeople and food logs and decide to leave the program... come back... you'll see it is the time you left that you either stayed the same weight or began to gain it back... just keep on keeping on!

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. Mark Twain


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MARTINAH2O
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5/12/13 4:00 P

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Hi, I'm a complete Newbie. I'm tired of Yo Yo'ing and want to loose slower but stick to it...but I have a stupid question and can't find the answer...
on the Nutrition Tracker when for Lunch it says 10 oz of mixed vegetables...is this the weight or the measure amounts in 'cups'? Because when I weigh it, it's a LOT more than what it would be in a cup type measuring. Thanks in advance.
Tina



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1M2FAT
SparkPoints: (1,664)
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5/12/13 12:59 P

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Ill be your weight loss buddy!
Im pretty much only have one inspirational person on here. MOSTMOM1 is amazing. emoticon



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LEYLA2
LEYLA2's Photo Posts: 251
5/12/13 9:46 A

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anyonelse have problems using the nutrition tracker ? i eat alot of indian food, and i don't know how to track it, i try to find a substitute but i cant find one?

please help

thanks



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RUSSELL_40
RUSSELL_40's Photo Posts: 16,217
5/11/13 7:56 P

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#1 tip for newbies. Plan out you Nutrition tracker for a week in ADVANCE, and then use the grocery button on bottom right of page. Buy only what is on the menu.

#2 Pre-cook meals for the day if possible. Much easier to stay on track if you have a meal sitting at home after a long, tiring day of work.

Russell - current BMI 28.6
197 - bmi 30 - done
164 - bmi-25


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TINKERBELL9269
TINKERBELL9269's Photo SparkPoints: (274)
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5/11/13 6:52 P

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I'm a newbie for the first time.. i finally decided i cant do it alone.. i weigh 230 lbs, am normally 135...your post inspired me, i wish we could be weight loss buddys.. all my friends dont care about fitness, i guess they think their perfect..lol.. time to find new friends i say..i would love to keep committed to this, im going to give it 100%

i know this is a challenge, but the end result will be soooo worth it!!!


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MYOWNHERO
MYOWNHERO's Photo Posts: 1,140
5/11/13 2:41 P

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Learn to fall in love with yourself. You are worth the effort it takes to be healthy and we are all here for you, cheering you on in good times and bad.

"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars. You have a right to be here."


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KLUTZY68
KLUTZY68's Photo SparkPoints: (2,884)
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5/11/13 11:39 A

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Use this site! Read blogs marked as inspiring, search recipes, sign up for challenges, explore articles, videos, and the community. There is a vast wealth of information and help just waiting to be discovered!

Trying to live binge-free.


321 Days since:  Free from Bingeing
 
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SHARON5913
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5/11/13 10:20 A

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Lots of good ideas here. I have struggled with emotional eating for a very long time and continue to do so but here is what helps me:

Drink LOTS of water
Find something to distract you if you feel like bingeing
Decide on some kind of reward.





MITCHARVEY
MITCHARVEY's Photo Posts: 160
5/10/13 5:39 P

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carry a water bottle everywhere! you woul dbe surprised when you are bored in meetings or waiting in line how often you finish the bottle without any effort.

Keep fit and have fun.


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CHELLE_REBUILT
CHELLE_REBUILT's Photo SparkPoints: (522)
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5/10/13 4:21 P

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I'm a newbie for the second time. I started out on Sparkpeople a few years ago, but didn't use it to its full potential. This time I intend to use every facet of it as a part of my toolbox to help me on my journey. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I love your post and that there is SO much truth in there! I took nutrition to satisfy a general ed requirement a year ago at my university, and we talked about a lot of those topics. I get all up on my soapbox when people want to do these "diets" where something is forbidden. To be truely successful, I believe that the answer is not dieting, it's healthy eating overall, but not denying always either. Like, if you are craving chocolate, then one hersey kiss or small, mini size snicker's bar won't kill your progress. Just track it and keep on trucking! :) Every time I've tried to deny myself something like that, I ended up caving in several days later and eating like 3 big candy bars or something crazy. Anyway, I digress... great post! Thank you so much for your insights! /wave :)



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LWADE1963
LWADE1963's Photo SparkPoints: (15,713)
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5/10/13 1:50 P

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be sure and try some of the spark recipes. they are great and they are a lot of easy ones

Lisa--canton ohio


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GRANDMAFRANNY
GRANDMAFRANNY's Photo Posts: 3,869
5/10/13 12:31 A

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HI !! YOU HAVE TO DO THIS, emoticon , YOU MUST TO THIS.WE ALL HAVE FAITH IN YOU.



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KNITWEAVE
KNITWEAVE's Photo Posts: 26
5/9/13 11:50 P

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I agree. Lots of good advice here. I am more determined to reach my goal and enjoy eating healthier.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Phil. 4:13

YES, I CAN DO THIS!!!


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CANDACEB47
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5/9/13 2:22 P

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I loved your post ~ "things that have helped me." I have recently been diagnosed with stage 1 heart disease, and I look for articles/posts that are inspirational to keep me on the right path. I started a couple years back with SparkPeople, when my stepdaughter had the lap band surgery, but I slipped away from it after the first year even though I continued with the exercising...
Now that I'm back ~ I want to stay committed to a lifestyle change, and turn this disease around. Thank you for taking the time to post this. ;~).
Candace



BRONWATER
BRONWATER's Photo Posts: 109
5/9/13 1:40 P

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Lots of good advice here - I'd also say set yourself shorter term goals and make sure that you give yourself a reward (a non food one!) when you reach them.



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SUSANWENDORF
SUSANWENDORF's Photo Posts: 60
5/9/13 8:11 A

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Have fun trying new fruits and veggies. Going in to the gym with a positive attitude makes a big difference.



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KCURTIS15
Posts: 13
5/9/13 8:09 A

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Be dedicated, but don't stress! It's all a learning process and you are making changes for a lifetime. If you "goof up" then don't get down on yourself, just re-set the next day or even the next meal. Also would recommend getting on this site as much as possible and using all it's resources - I've learned SO much! Thanks, Sparkpeeps! :)



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GRANDMAFRANNY
GRANDMAFRANNY's Photo Posts: 3,869
5/9/13 8:07 A

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Buy a "Portion Plate".



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MARYJOANNA
Posts: 209
5/9/13 5:53 A

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Begin with just one step at a time. If you are eating too many carbs, cut down but not out.
Increase fruits and vegetables and try new veges. It makes things more interesting.



 
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NOMOREGODDESS
NOMOREGODDESS's Photo Posts: 677
5/8/13 5:32 P

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Things that have helped me:

1. There is no "can't have(s)" or "bad" or "good" days. It is about consistency. A 4000 calorie day will not stop my progress. A week of that behavior will.
2. Don't go too long without eating something. If that means that I need to have a smaller portion @ a meal & then a snack later.. Well that is just what that means.
3.Do drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day. However sometimes that includes decaf teas (just because I like the fruity ones better than black & green tea has too much caffeine for my body).
4.Track the food you eat everyday.
5. Have an accountability partner that is actually accountable & encouraging.
6. Exercise BUT be honest about what you are capable of right now. Just because you CAN do a thing does not mean that you SHOULD do a thing. Sure I could probably run for a while & @ my current weight I would mess up my knees & both ankles (again).
8. Don't beat yourself up over mistakes & the occasional unhealthy choice. If I ate something that I did not track for that day I try to fit it in by changing what I had planned for later. It that does not work "Oh well" I track it & move on. Tomorrow is another day.
9. If you started eating something that does not fit into your ranges, you can stop too. So just because blah, blah, blah did (did not) happen & I had pizza. That is not reason to excuse myself for declaring the whole day a wash & chowing down on anything that I see. Eat it & be done when you are done.
10. Enjoy food. If it sucks don't eat it. America has the fattest people & sells the most "diet food" a whole box of tofu cookies will not make up for the one real cookie you have been craving. Eat the one you have been craving savor it & track it.
11. Have a balanced diet. Every human body needs the right amount of calories, carbs, fat & protein. If you don't; you will feel hungry & get cravings until your body gets the food that it needs. No matter how much of the other stuff that you eat your body will not be satisfied. Also if you cut one thing out not only will your body not get the benefit from that food (e.g. energy to exercise from carbs, freedom from the plateau from enough fats etc.) but if you do manage to carve out a weight loss then it will pile back on as soon as your body makes you eat something that you are "not supposed" to eat.
12. Tricks & gimmicks don't work. Eat less of a balanced diet & exercise more. It is that simple.
13. Get your love, affection & stress relief from the people in your life, not your food. If the people in your life cannot give you that. Find new people that can.
14. If you don't like the way something tastes it then don't finish it (even if your Mom, brother, husband, sister, mother in law etc.. etc... made it "just for you").
15. Not everyone that SHOULD support your efforts to be healthier WILL support your efforts to be healthier. That is their problem not yours.

Edited by: NOMOREGODDESS at: 5/8/2013 (17:33)

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NOMOREGODDESS
NOMOREGODDESS's Photo Posts: 677
5/8/13 4:46 P

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People get down on coffee. However the original study that said that (on average) people drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day counted the water in coffee & other drinks. The study did not say that that is what you should drink just what the average person did drink. In that study the researchers stated that our bodies filtered the water out of the non-water drinks. Here is a link that gives you some information on some statistical links between disease reduction & coffee. authoritynutrition.com/why-is-coffee-good-
for-you/




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MZKYNDLY
MZKYNDLY's Photo SparkPoints: (11,146)
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5/8/13 3:43 P

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I love this advice, too many times I beat myself up over something I can't control. I.E a couple extra pounds at that time of month or something and never pat myself on the back for what I DO do. from here on out I am taking this advice to heart!! :)

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb

Looking for a fitbit friend?

www.fitbit.com/user/24CB3M

kyndvalley.net/


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BSCHWARTZ
BSCHWARTZ's Photo Posts: 1,195
5/7/13 2:57 P

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Measure portions, use the tracker and never give up!

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius,power and magic in it. Begin it now!
Goethe


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BRITTTURTLE
Posts: 236
5/7/13 2:37 P

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Eat your veggies!



LASKNITS21
LASKNITS21's Photo Posts: 22
5/7/13 1:48 P

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Get enough sleep - it will make the other healthy habits easier to maintain.



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BML2013
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5/7/13 12:23 P

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I agree they do have some great tips on the message board. Getting ready to leave with my daugter and do a little walking. emoticon



4ME2LOSELBS
Posts: 26
5/7/13 11:26 A

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Use SparkPeople as a Guide. Ultimately, you will find what works for you. Be realistic in establishing your plan to reach your goal (whatever it might be) by understanding and working with your own strengths. This doesn't mean you shouldn't challenge yourself and try new things, just make sure you set yourself up for success.

Read the comments and stories. Take in all the ideas and suggestions -- there are some great ones out there -- use them to form your own plan based on what you know you can and will do.

I enjoy reading the Blogs and comments. It amazes me how dedicated people can be and what incredible stories they tell. Even if I am not going to run a marathon, their stories motivate me to continue toward my goal with the plan I have put in place for myself.

It's also reassuring to see when people are down and need a boost, there are lots of responses to help that person get going.



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SKOKIMOM
SKOKIMOM's Photo Posts: 2
5/7/13 10:02 A

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Great tips, thank you for sharing and CONGRATS on your success. It helped me to read that this program has worked well for you. Cheers!



KARENBILIDA
KARENBILIDA's Photo Posts: 34
5/7/13 12:12 A

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track food faithfully - get a digital kitchen scale
eat small portions, do not eat more than 1 serving - you will get used to being "hungry" in a week or two
don't eat anything out of a box
move, even if it is just walking a bit



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PEETYSMOM
PEETYSMOM's Photo Posts: 42
5/6/13 7:34 P

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Love this tip!!!! I learn something new every time i log in!!

Never look back.....


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