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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 12,406
7/14/14 9:32 A



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If you plan ahead and the plans meet your goals, but then you don't follow the plans, nobody else can really help you. You need to figure out why you go off your plan, and/or decide what to do when you find yourself wanting to go off.

The thing is, when it comes to food, each of us has a 3-year-old inside. No matter how good a parent you are to that inner 3-year-old, there's going to come a day when she says, "What's for dinner?" and you say, "Chicken!", and then she bursts into tears, throws herself on the floor, and screams, "I don't WANT chicken! I HAAAAAAAAATE chicken!" Then you have to make a decision.

Right now, your decision is to say, "Oh, okay, sweetie. What DO you want? You can have anything; just tell me." Well, when you tell a hungry, cranky 3-year-old she can have whatever she wants, you're putting her into a position she just can't handle. The tantrum will get worse, not better, because she can't make a decision like that. Many screams and tears later, you find yourself feeding the kid fish sticks and PopTarts, and she's *still* not happy, plus she's half sick in the morning.

You know the tantrum is coming. What can the adult part of you do to be prepared? You have to be the one who answers this, because you're the one who knows both the adult and the toddler in you. Different things work for different people. Different things even work for the same person at different times.

Two things work for me. One is to tell the screaming inner child, "Well, mommy is making chicken because that's what we planned at the beginning of the week. You don't have to eat the chicken. We have salad and sweet potatoes and cauliflower, and you can just eat more of those." Go on and make the healthy meal that you planned. 95% of the time, by the time you finish cooking the kid will have calmed down and will eat the chicken.

Another option is to give the kid a choice without overwhelming her. Make your weekly plan, and do as much of the prep work as possible on the first day of the week. Also have the ingredients for two or three other healthy, quick meals. Then if your toddler screams, you can say, "Okay, if you don't want chicken, tell me whether you want an omelet or the beef stew I made for Wednesday. No, a Big Mac is not one of the choices. Chicken, omelet, or stew?"

The second is what works for me most of the time. I didn't even realize I was doing it, but it's pretty easy. Once you have planned a week, it doesn't really matter which day you eat which meals. If you change your mind, you just eat a different thing that day. You give yourself a choice among five to seven meals, so you don't feel like you're being forced to eat something you don't want, but you're not sitting there, hungry and tired, trying to make a decision out of all the possible meals in the world. You get the flexibility of choosing, but with the knowledge that whatever you choose will fit your health needs.



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NIRERIN Posts: 11,851
7/14/14 6:53 A

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i can't plan out a meal and eat it when called for either. so i broke down my guidelines so that i know where each meal should be [i eat pretty frequently so it's 200 cals, 6.5 g protein for me, your breakdown might be 350 cals, 20 grams protein, 20 grams carbs, 5 grams fat. however the math breaks down for you per meal]. then as i decide what to make right then, i have to take the time to make that meal fit my needs. the good news is that if you write down the combination that meets those needs and in what portions [think on an index card or a list titled with the breakdown that it is] then you can refer back to that info the next time you want it. but not planning in advance does mean that you need to take more time in the moment to get what you want to fit the needs you need it to.
another thing that you could do is to plan meals based on your needs and keep them on a list or on index cards. when you get hungry, look and see what's in the fridge, then go to your planned list and pick out what most closely meets what you want and what you have. follow the planned meal in that fashion. so you're planning everything in advance, but you're only picking what in the moment. but the planning part is going to require a lot of work to get what you want to fit your needs.

-google first. ask questions later.

DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/14/14 1:20 A

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Lil;

Aahhhh....."Leftovers"
The mainstay of our existence for so many years I lost count.
Were it not for them we'd likely be on the anorexia forums by now rather than concerned about losing weight (only because "portions" and "healthy food choices" weren't in our lexicon in those days).

Prior to retirement, both of us were typically "on the job" for 12-14 hrs a day with "after hours" meetings thrown in for good measure - despite loving to cook, there just weren't the hours (or the desire) left on most days.

Cooking "marathons" occurred on the weekends and always in quantities that (over)fed those at the table by at least 4 leftover "plates" which carried us through the week, most never getting past the frig.

Saran wrap, a little wine, and the nuke = a girl's and a guy's best friend.

EXCELLENT suggestion LilSparkGirl!!!

All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
LILSPARKGIRL's Photo LILSPARKGIRL Posts: 2,740
7/14/14 12:20 A

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If you find you are needing to eat and don't have time to cook or you want more variety but not wanting to make a meal from scratch nightly, you might consider getting those smaller ziplock containers. Then if you make chicken, rice and vegetables make a couple extra servings, figure out calories, fat, fiber and write it on masking tape and stick it in your freezer. then when you are in rush or have limited time, you have a balanced meal at your finger tips. If you do this regularly, you will have a lost of choices at your fingertips.

Good luck!

1st Goal: 18lbs by June 1 - Met goal on 4/28

2nd Goal: Onederland by July 31



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DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/13/14 11:49 P

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Gypsy;

We still don't know (at least the last I checked) if the OP was or wasn't ("using a different tracker") which is why I offered options.
"Offered options" in my words, "googling a new one" in yours - we're just going to have to agree to disagree on the nuances.

The "tracker here is terrific" is, of course, your opinion and while the vast majority of SP's probably agree with you, even that doesn't mean it's "terrific" or "the best choice" for everyone. Were that even possible, there would be no WIN vs MAC wars, no FitBit vs whatever is the preferred flavor of the day in activity trackers, and no disagreement in the weight loss community as to "which" app has the most "accurate" TDEE "estimator", (and we all know how "righteous" members of either sect can be).

I get your point about the "hassle to keep up with two sites..." and agree with your point that the integration of the tracker and (especially) the nutrition info on S recipes is a plus weighing in favor of using both SP products, but I really wasn't considering that particular aspect when making my original rec to the OP. It is a benefit and I'll concede that it should have been mentioned - just didn't think of it at the time. (But you did, and in the interest of providing OP's not only the most accurate, but also the most diverse info (where the "answers" can't be answered with straight-forward "facts") - isn't that when Forums like this are at their BEST?

OTOH, part of the reason I didn't is that (in my case) I don't actually have to go back and forth (SP to LI) very often (except when entering SP recipes as "recipes" (as opposed to ingredients). Most of the ingredients already exist in the LI database (one of its strongest attributes) so if the recipe is one we'll use infrequently it's quick and easy to enter as ingredients, if it's a "keeper", 30 secs on average and it's entered/saved as a recipe and a "one click" enter in the future.

The other reason is that I'm much more familiar with LI (having used it as long as I have) so taking things like the recipe issue "in stride" is less of an issue than it might be for others.

I did "look at" the SP tracker (same way I'm currently "looking" at HSK) to try and evaluate if there's something out there with enough "new" or different "features" to make it worth the time and effort required to make the change.

It's been a while so I really don't remember much detail, but in general there were things I liked about Spark's and things I didn't (although the "things I didn't" could very possibly be because I hadn't spent enough time with it to familiarize myself with the "ins and outs").

I doubt I'm much different from the majority though, in the respect that there are only so many hours in my day and so much time I can spend "evaluating" alternatives.

Computers are my business (side) and I've been pretty heavily involved in that world for more years than most but still can't figure out why macs don't have a mouse button or even how to turn one on (without my bride's help). Don't do apples and likely never will - just trying to keep up with the constant changes in WinWorld (that directly affect my customers) is more than I can handle. I envy the "young bloods" that can, but this gray beard has enough trouble remembering what I had to eat for lunch yesterday and recognizes his limitations.

I "totally get it" when my customers balk at upgrading the OS or changing versions of Word that are so outdated that security updates are no longer available....."do you REALIZE the turmoil this is going to cause? How are we ever going to train our people on the versions? Know what that's going to COST us both in real dollars and lost productivity?", "They'll never go for it......change....".

It's on a much smaller scale but the analogy is not much different for the home user, not the OP, not for me, and I'm pretty sure, not for most.

The OP had questions enough regarding the "diet" issues, I didn't want her thinking that (if she was already using another tracker) she would also be facing a "mandatory" app change. Or, if she wasn't using any, that there weren't "options" (all free) available.

In the end, I really don't care a whit WHICH tracker the OP (or anybody else) winds up selecting - only care that they DO select the one they think best fits the way they work, that they are comfortable with, and that they will stay committed to using for the "long haul."

All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
GYPSYGOTH's Photo GYPSYGOTH SparkPoints: (85,969)
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Posts: 44,526
7/13/14 9:17 P

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I totally understand if one was already using a different tracker... but you suggested googling a new one.

It just seems like a lot of hassle to keep up with two sites when the tracker here is terrific, is all I was saying.


~desiree/dez/D~
Always welcoming new members in The Hen House! We are small, active, and awesome:
teams.sparkpeople.com/thehenhouse

My blog about my long-term unemployment:
desperationpapers.wordpress.com/


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DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/13/14 8:22 P

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Gypsy;
Replies inline below.

? Why would someone track on an additional site besides here, DeansDad? I don't understand the suggestion. It would be inefficient and/or and mean that one wouldn't be getting the valuable nutrition information here or be able to make recipes from here easily, etc...

****Why?
Because this (or any other "site") is not necessarily the "best" for any one, single individual.
I "love" MANY aspects of SP and use them on a regular basis but that doesn't "have" to mean that their "tracker" is the ONLY one I will look at, try out, or end up selecting.
It's not a religion, it's a tool. Might be "the best" for you (and that's fine) but it doesn't mean it is for the OP.
Has nothing to do with "inefficient" or "mean that one is or is not getting nutrition information (or recipes) here.
OR, the OP may already be using another tracker, OR, like us, started by looking at a number of trackers and decided on LI (mostly because of the UI) before we ever heard of SP.
Almost 6 months in, ALL of our data is there and moving would be a major chore. If and when we find one that's "better" enough to justify making the change, we will. In the meantime, we'll keep an open mind, consider ALL alternatives and provide whatever advice we can based on our experiences. Each app will succeed or fail, ultimately, on it's own merits - not it's ability to produce a following of "sheeple".
We get plenty of recipes (one of the things I "love" about SP) here but "nutrition information" in the context I was speaking of is more "efficiently" obtained when the OP is entering her "changes" for that particular day and for me, LI does it "best".
The OP didn't address whether or not she is CURRENTLY using ANY tracker - hence my comments that IF she is already familiar with one (Spark, LI, HSK, or ANY other), it's probably best to "stick" with it - if NOT, the "options" and what's "best" for her is HER decision to make - not mine and not yours and I would encourage her to place equal weight on each of our "opinions" as part of the process.
------------------

OP, are you tracking ahead based on what you have on hand and may well make? Or just a shot in the dark?

*****See above
-----------------------

I try to do a general weekly meal plan and then decide which one to do depending on how much time I have, how much help I have chopping, if any, and whether it's too hot to use the oven or not. Then I know what I have on hand and what meals it will make but I am not beholden to any particular day's meal.

****As long as that method "works" for you, it's great.
It may or may not work for the OP but providing "another" option for her consideration IS a valuable contribution.
We're not big fans of "week old" vegetables and "some" or "most" might plan and buy once a week, we don't, and pretty much "never" plan meals more than a day or two in advance, yet we typically eat "home cooked" with maybe one or two meals (not days) "out" a month.
We know our daily cal requirements and know ahead of time what our portion limits for whatever it is we decide to eat that day (based, many times on "whim" - not "emotion". Might not "know" it a week in advance (almost never do), but before the fork hits our lips we do, what else matters?
For nutrients, we keep an eye on the percentage totals and the trend and might "decide" what to eat that day based on them if an adjustment is in order.
Works for us, might not for others but it has absolutely nothing to do with sticking to our daily goals, calorie wise or nutrient wise.
--------

If you find you are tracking ahead with "wishful thinking" and then going off track because you are presented with temptations, try to "head off the pass" (or whatever that term is) and snack BEFORE you are hungry, preferably on something that is not just simple carbs so that you don't have cravings for more necessarily. If you still do, examine the reasons... HALT? (Are you really hungry or could you be angry or lonely or tired? Or thirsty?)

*****OR, maybe the "reason" is just that the OP doesn't "feel like" having tofu burgers today (despite having planned for it and already having chopped the tofu).
It doesn't ALWAYS have to be "emotional", "stress", or "cravings" - for me, it's NONE of those - I just FEEL LIKE having "x" instead of "y" and I'll eat "x" tomorrow.
On the other hand, if she "planned" last week to have tofu burgers today but decides instead, at the last minute, to swap them out for ice cream and bon bons, then I'd agree there's an "issue". (although, given the choice........kidding, just kidding).

Might be for the OP, might not, and raising the issue is another, perfectly valid contribution to the discussion but not a foregone conclusion until the OP says it is.




All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
DIETITIANBECKY's Photo DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,575
7/13/14 7:29 P

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Dear GGERALD--

Planning ahead is always the best.
Most people do this in 1 week time slots.

Look at your commitments for the upcoming week. How much time do you have to cook based on your commitments? How many people will you need to cook for? Look at the local grocery flyer for sale foods you want to include.

Then make out your meal plans.
Enter them into your Sparkpeople Nutrition Tracker. It is completely FREE.
You can also add your favorite recipes too.
Once you see the totals, adjust portions to meet the diabetes eating plan provided by your doctor/dietitian.
Make your grocery list and go shopping---so your pantry is ready.
Do not buy extras.

Of course "emergencies" will come up, you have to work late, or got invited to a friend's home....but "most" of the time stick to the plan.

Why do you find that you are going off your plan? Are you hungry for more food? Are you eating for emotional reasons---bored, stressed, etc? Do you not have the foods on the plan? Do other foods sound more appealing?

Becky
Your SP Registered Dietitian

GYPSYGOTH's Photo GYPSYGOTH SparkPoints: (85,969)
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Posts: 44,526
7/13/14 6:11 P

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? Why would someone track on an additional site besides here, DeansDad? I don't understand the suggestion. It would be inefficient and/or and mean that one wouldn't be getting the valuable nutrition information here or be able to make recipes from here easily, etc...

OP, are you tracking ahead based on what you have on hand and may well make? Or just a shot in the dark?

I try to do a general weekly meal plan and then decide which one to do depending on how much time I have, how much help I have chopping, if any, and whether it's too hot to use the oven or not. Then I know what I have on hand and what meals it will make but I am not beholden to any particular day's meal.

If you find you are tracking ahead with "wishful thinking" and then going off track because you are presented with temptations, try to "head off the pass" (or whatever that term is) and snack BEFORE you are hungry, preferably on something that is not just simple carbs so that you don't have cravings for more necessarily. If you still do, examine the reasons... HALT? (Are you really hungry or could you be angry or lonely or tired? Or thirsty?)

I hope you are taking advantage of the great resources here for diabetics...

Good luck with your journey!



~desiree/dez/D~
Always welcoming new members in The Hen House! We are small, active, and awesome:
teams.sparkpeople.com/thehenhouse

My blog about my long-term unemployment:
desperationpapers.wordpress.com/


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DEANSDAD Posts: 71
7/13/14 5:48 P

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GG;

Nothing wrong with "changing your mind", we do it all the time.
Planning in advance is good, but like you, sometimes whatever we "planned" for Tuesday just isn't what we "feel like" having when Tuesday arrives - so we change.

My suggestion would be to utilize a calorie/nutrition "tracker" if you aren't already.

There are a bunch of "free" ones out there and it's just a matter of finding one you like and getting used to it. They all have little "quirks" of their own but to me the most important item is ease of use or user "friendliness". A large part of that is what you "know" about any particular one and if familiar with the way one works, it's likely you'll find ANY other one "harder" to use, at least at first, simply because you don't have as much experience with it.

All that said, my favorite is LI (LoseIT) although I'm also "trying out" another (Health Side Kick) which is promising. The Google machine will point you to a number of others.

Once set up, and you've decided "what" you "want" to eat, plug the items into the tracking app and "play with" the portion sizes to meet your goal for that day/meal.

Since you are already on a "diabetic meal plan", and assuming that "plan" is one recommended by your Doc or dietitian, it's important that you track (and adjust) not only calories, but also the individual nutrients so be sure whichever tracking app you use gives you those numbers.

The particular foods you choose matter much less than nutrients.
Stay away from "processed" and "junk" (but you already know that), stay within the guidelines recommended by your Doc and you'll be fine.

All Cows have four legs,
Rover has four legs,
Therefore - Rover is a Cow.
(case closed)
MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (6,605)
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7/13/14 5:32 P

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Are you overeating out of physical hunger or emotional?

If emotional hunger: I encourage you to remember that change requires commitment, one day at a time. I encourage you to be patient, focus on the goal and how good it will feel when you reach it.

If physical hunger: Are you drinking enough? Are you getting enough fat and protein?

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 7/13/2014 (17:41)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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GGERALD9's Photo GGERALD9 SparkPoints: (5,228)
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7/13/14 5:25 P

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I am on a diabetic meal plan. The calorie goal is between 1500-1904 per day. I plan meals in advanced yet I change my mind whenever I plan my meals. I tend to change my mind often and I end up eating more than I plan to. I need help with this. What should I do? How should I plan? Should I plan meals daily or should I plan meals for the week?



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