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CED1106's Photo CED1106 Posts: 85
6/5/17 7:02 A

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I start with a meal plan. Found a 4-week 1800-calorie on on EatingWell.com. Then I cut out the simple carbs, so I have less to cook. That's my rationale for eating more servings than I should (: but I'm losing weight. I also use SuperCook.com to find what other recipes I can make with the ingredients I have, and use these recipes to substitute. Although I cut the recipes in half, I still have leftovers, which I have as a midnight meal. I typically skip breakfast and snacks during the day, so a midnight meal seems to work out.

Palo Alto resident and dog owner looking for a walking and exercise partner (with two legs).


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IRISHEI's Photo IRISHEI Posts: 7,978
6/5/17 5:11 A

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Breakfast is easiest for me. I normally have a scrambled egg w/ liquid egg whites,
1 slice whole grain bread,1/2 c of berries, two coffee, 2 stevia and 1/2 c skim milk.---about 3x a week, oatmeal on 3 other days and whole grain toast on day when want to eat a little lighter breakfast....I always add fruit to breakfast in some way.

Lunch varies with salad and lot of veggies in it, or tuna on spinach, or any leftover
homemade soup, etc.

Dinner I always plan protein, could be chicken breast or chicken sausage links or turkey burger, hot veggies-varies from broccoli to asparagus, or other veggies,
1/2 c brown rice or quinoa once a week, occasionally a baked potato or red potatoes, but a small amount.
greek yogurt and or skim milk, 3x daily
fruit, try for 2 pieces of fruit (if-- large size) otherwise 3
veggies at least one hot and also fresh veggies daily
8 water a day, which is normally two glasses with each meal

Edited by: IRISHEI at: 6/5/2017 (05:13)
Spark Anniversary 9/2/2010

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TRAILTRODDER's Photo TRAILTRODDER Posts: 1,620
6/4/17 11:47 P

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I can tell you this ....it always starts with coffee. .... We plan around a balanced calorie intake for our meals during the day. Nothing but water after 8:30.

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EARTHAKITT's Photo EARTHAKITT Posts: 195
6/4/17 5:57 A

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I start with what is in the fridge, and put that into my meals. Then I look for healthy options to balance out those meals. I make sure there are enough to good choices I like, to help me stay on track. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: EARTHAKITT at: 6/4/2017 (05:58)
EARTHKITTDANCING


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ITSALLGOOD6's Photo ITSALLGOOD6 Posts: 566
6/3/17 3:24 P

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I eat simple. Chicken, fish, lean pork, roasted or sauteed or bbq'd with a tiny bit of OO. Brown rice, whole grain spaghetti, itty bitty baked potato couples times a week. I roast & steam veggies. At least 5 salad meals a week. Soft boiled or scrambled eggs once or twice a week. Whole grain cereal w/1% milk for breakfast. And fruit, minimum two servings a day, sometimes three. I use Sosi's Armenian Yogurt Dip, or low-sodium peanut sauce to spice things up. Not much processed food at all. No fast food. If I am gonna exceed daily calories, carbs, fats, proteins, fiber, it's gonna be for something that is really, really worth it (bbq ribs or a pasta dish at favorites restaurants). This makes my market list pretty easy. I use the SP nutrition tracker to keep my intake balanced. I mostly figure out meals a day ahead. I live solo so I only have to feed me:)

LININPARADISE7's Photo LININPARADISE7 Posts: 941
6/2/17 12:59 P

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I plan for eggs, lean proteins, green veggies, and some type of starch for my hubby. I don't eat any of the rice or pasta I make for him, but I will indulge in a baked potato or sweet potato now and then.

Live, Laugh, Love!!


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GOLFGMA's Photo GOLFGMA Posts: 17,423
6/2/17 12:44 P

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I plan my meals using the 5 or more freggies and use the percentage chart after each meal to see what would work for the next meal. I have found several meals I like and shop accordingly.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:3-4.


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SARAJAYNEE Posts: 79
5/31/17 1:20 P

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I base my days around 800 grams or more of vegetables and fruit, 2 servings of beans and then 1 serving of nuts or seeds. I also eat fish twice a week so that's factored in. From there I add things to finish meals, what foods sound good etc. I make a general weekly plan/list before I head to the store and then every morning I finalize my plan for the day, before I start eating.



Edited by: SARAJAYNEE at: 5/31/2017 (13:21)
~Sara
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SHARONKHARTER's Photo SHARONKHARTER Posts: 2,947
5/31/17 10:41 A

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I am very bad at planning, so try to do daily!

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Always believe in yourself, trust yourself, and be true to yourself.


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VICKYLYLES's Photo VICKYLYLES SparkPoints: (172,358)
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5/28/17 11:17 A

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Mine usually depends on what we have going on. If we have a busy night, I like to do crock pot meals. Makes things so much easier.

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BLAZINGSWORD's Photo BLAZINGSWORD SparkPoints: (27,322)
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5/27/17 9:13 P

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Since it's only me in my household, I do mine on a daily basis. I use a cronometer and along with the help of a nutritionist, then I decide what I want to eat each day to meet my nutrient goals. I find it's much easier for me to track using the cronometer on my cell phone. But then again I also use the Fitbit Zip on my shoe and it motivates me to move more. Plus I am now taking a mobility and kettlebell class.

If you see a turtle sitting on top of a fencepost, you know he had help getting there. ~ John Maxwell

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RABBITOLM's Photo RABBITOLM SparkPoints: (108,561)
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5/25/17 3:32 P

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I make up a menu for the upcoming week. This works great for our family for a number of reasons. I plan around sales. If my husband beats me home, he knows what we're having and can get started on chopping/prepping. If anyone is in the mood for a particular dish, I can plan for it. I add all the necessaries to the grocery list, so I know what to get, it's easier on the budget, and it's easier to avoid the unnecessary/unhealthy/over processed foods. With a menu plan, too, I can make sure that on nights where we have to be out at swimming lessons or whatnot, we have something quick to make ready to go.

Robyn from Ottawa, ON (EST)

Currently expecting baby #2 on August 31st!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust


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4LMHJCR SparkPoints: (27,936)
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5/23/17 11:52 A

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I don't plan for the entire week in advance, but I do know that hubby will want lasagna once a week as well as pork tenderloin once a week for dinner so I can easily calculate the rest of my nutritional needs on those days.

I either have Fiber One Cereal, Steel Cut Oats or an egg white scramble with veggies and a whole grain wrap for breakfast. Lunch and Dinner are mostly veggies with some protein and fat the rest of the week - (some variation or another). My snack is usually an apple with a little almond butter on most days, but now that all the fresh fruits and veggies are starting to appear I will be adding lots more fresh fruits and veggies to my menu.

In the winter a nice bowl of homemade chili or soup is also on the menu

MSLOUIE3's Photo MSLOUIE3 SparkPoints: (39,360)
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5/23/17 7:08 A

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I try to plan, but I also like spontaneity,.

Luann
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RUBYREDSTAR19's Photo RUBYREDSTAR19 Posts: 5,367
5/23/17 6:58 A

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I know what I will be eating throughout the day. If something will be a surprise (like a lunch at work or attending a training with catered lunch), I plan my other 2 meals out and snacks and then I have a game plan in my head of how much I can eat for that unplanned meal.



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GRAMCRACKER46's Photo GRAMCRACKER46 Posts: 1,651
5/22/17 10:17 A

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You are all amazing! I too love Pinterest for tasty healthy recipes.

Since we are retired, meal planning has become more of a problem because of lack of routine. I might think I know what lunch or dinner will be, but often we go somewhere on a whim or are invited out. I pretty much know how to order at a restaurant and am cautious otherwise.

Good luck to all you great planners!

People!
read the INGREDIENTS!

"It's not what you eat between Christmas and New Years that matters, it's what you eat between New Years and Christmas that counts. "

Sharon from Florida





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CMRKSU12's Photo CMRKSU12 SparkPoints: (51,306)
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5/22/17 9:34 A

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I plan the day before and track what I will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and usually one evening snack. That way I know what I have to take out of the freezer for dinner. I always eat breakfast now, and it varies a bit from oatmeal to homemade whole wheat pancakes, to eggs and homemade whole wheat toast with pb, etc. I love variety so my meals and pretty varied.
Dinner varies too, from boneless skinless chicken, sweet or white potatoes, and another veggie like frozen green beans or peas, pork chops, whole wheat spaghetti, salmon patties, homemade chili with cheese, bean soup with ham, some spark recipes like white chicken chili, Mexican chicken and rice casserole, etc. A lot of my dinners include chicken in some way. Cheap and healthy!
I always eat lunch of either tuna, pb and jelly on homemade whole wheat bread, yogurt, an apple or orange. If I worked out a bunch (which is almost daily) I may have 1/2 cup ice cream, or a small snack of graham crackers with pb or Nutella on them.
Basically my diet varies so much and it works for me! I lost 55 lbs from when I first started with Spark in 2014. I am now working off an extra 15 lbs I gained while hubby was in the hospital this past winter and all thoughts of healthy eating went out the window for a while. Back on track now! lol

Fail To Plan, Plan to Fail.


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TUKARAMA's Photo TUKARAMA SparkPoints: (32,999)
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5/21/17 9:46 P

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I buy 1 can of corn, peas, and mushrooms, combine it with about equal amounts of fresh, blanched, chopped, green beans & carrots. Mix well and freeze.

Six chicken breasts - debone and freeze the fillets (100 gr each). Use the scraps to make a pot of soup.

A couple pork steaks (100 gr each)

I make my own granola bars once a week.

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs
Lunch & dinner: Grilled meat, either pork or chicken (usually chicken). One cup mixed veggies.
Snacks: granola bars, apples, and the occasional 1 oz bag of mixed nuts.
At least 9 glasses of water a day.
The soup can take the place of a meal, or a snack.

There is barely any planning now. I keep it simple and never get bored with it.

Of course I am the only one eating, so it is easy. My wife lives on rice with fish - either canned or dried.

Edited by: TUKARAMA at: 5/21/2017 (21:48)
~Tito Tim~
Iloilo, Philippines (GMT +8)
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GERRTIE's Photo GERRTIE SparkPoints: (40,180)
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5/21/17 6:30 P

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Well, I work at a major chain grocery store, and I do not plan ahead for the week. Since I am there five days a week, I just buy what I need for the day when I go home. I do ALWAYS have breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 planned snacks a day. I use the SP nutrition tracker to help keep me in line with calories and proper nutrition.

You mention you eat too much. I have a digital food scale and measuring cups I use to make sure I am not going over what an actual, real portion size is. I still get plenty to eat, and have no question as to what my serving sizes should be. I have been maintaining a 90 lb weight loss since Dec. 2009. As always this is just what works for me. You hafta find what works for you personally, but I hope this has helped you do that.


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And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.
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NOBLEANNE's Photo NOBLEANNE Posts: 45
5/21/17 3:21 P

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I've just recently come back to healthy eating, but I've succeeded in 1/2 plate of greens 1/4 plate of protein and 1/4 plate of carbs in this first week. I also keep breakfast to oatmeal with berries and bananas, and lunch is a simple green veg salad with bits of shrimp or chicken. It feels good.

Edited by: NOBLEANNE at: 5/21/2017 (15:22)
Serenity - Courage - Wisdom


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JWELCH11's Photo JWELCH11 SparkPoints: (959)
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5/18/17 12:18 P

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We all need to find what works for US as individuals, I personally started to do my week food prep on Sunday afternoons. I meal prep for the whole week, label each container with sticky notes and i'm done, I do this for multiple reasons. 1. it's just so much easier for me to keep myself honest this way, I do all the carb, cal, sodium, sugar counting I need to do in one afternoon. 2. this will usually prevent me from eating out at lunch, I used to find myself lazy at night, and not up early enough in the morning to make a decent lunch so it was way easier to go out for lunch or order lunch. 3. I know what I can eat in a day, all my breakfast, lunch and snacks are preped so all I have to concern myself with is having a healthy Dinner with my family and then working out... Seems to be working for me but we are all different...

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5/18/17 11:15 A

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@K80 That is exactly what I do. But more often than once a week and lunch is always different. It just works for me. :)

K80DALY's Photo K80DALY Posts: 439
5/16/17 2:07 P

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I love finding new recipes and ideas on Pinterest; when I see something that looks healthy and interesting I save it. Once a week I create a menu based on what's in my meal board, trying to incorporate at least two new recipes with returning faves for dinner six nights a week. Night seven we either order in, go out, or everyone can figure it out on their own. There's always one day a week when I just don't feel like cooking.

Sundays I'll make a big batch of breakfast cookies or healthy muffins for during the week. If I'm not in the mood to bake, I'll just pick up some Larabars and yogurt for breakfast throughout the week.

Lunch is usually leftovers.

What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.


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BITHOO's Photo BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,132)
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5/13/17 7:53 A

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I do have trouble planning dinners... I don't love plain ANYTHING, but my husband and son do... so I cook plain chicken tenders and plain meatballs and add sauce, but honestly I don't care much for it. When I make some of the legume-rich meals, my veggie daughter loves it, but no one else will eat it!

Will try turning on the meal plans to see what's suggested here, though!



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ANGIEN9's Photo ANGIEN9 Posts: 3,618
5/12/17 11:56 P

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I am not a planner when it comes to meals.

~~Angie ~~
Just taking it one day at a time!!!



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LULUBELLE65's Photo LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (33,427)
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5/11/17 10:45 A

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I eat the same thing for breakfast most days--Buffalo curd with muesli, half a banana and some blueberries. Occasionally the fruit will change, but even so, it's about the same calorie count.

Lunch and dinner are basically protein--usually chicken or fish, a big salad, and maybe some fruit.

Snacks are almost always protein and fruit--peanut butter and a banana, or a piece of cheese and an apple.

If I am working out and my calorie range is higher, I might have something carb-y, like a baked potato or some pasta. Or dessert.

It sounds boring, but it's do-able, and if you change how you prepare the protein and what you put on the salad, it's varied enough for most days.--salsa, black beans, corn and hot sauce, and it's a reasonable taco salad substitute. Chickpeas, feta, lots of fresh herbs and a garlic/red wine vinegar/olive oil dressing and it's completely different.

I also don't really like cooked vegetables, so I would rather eat a lot of salad than eat steamed green beans or something like that. Certainly you could eat your veggies hot if that's what you like.

Lauren
Sri Lanka

If you have formed the habit of checking on every new diet that comes along, you will find that, mercifully, they all blur together, leaving you with only one definite piece of information: french-fried potatoes are out. ~~Jean Kerr

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~~Anais Nin

Life is too short for self-hatred and celery sticks. ~~Marilyn Wann


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KELLY_R's Photo KELLY_R Posts: 3,012
5/11/17 9:51 A

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One thing you could do is start looking at your favorite recipes and making sure those recipes are pretty balanced in the first place and make those well-balanced recipes during your week.

Plan out snacks, as well, that help with nutritional balances.

I try my best, for example, to make sure every meal includes a protein, healthy carb, and fat. Usually this is in the form of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and veggies. If I need a protein boost, I'll add in eggs or cheese (I'm lacto-ovo vegetarian.)

So, example of planned out balanced meals I've been eating lately:

Breakfasts:
Overnight oats made with mashed banana, rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds with a bit of peanut butter added or chopped walnuts, and then always some fresh fruit like blueberries and sliced strawberries.

Lunches:
Homemade tomato sauce that has a ton of veggies in it: ie zucchini, mushrooms, bell pepper... with cooked lentils added in and some chia seeds, served over spaghetti squash or whole grain pasta. Maybe a piece of string cheese to go with it.

Dinners:
Black bean salad with tomatoes, corn, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, onion along with some corn tortilla chips.

Snacks:
Homemade granola bar that's packed with nuts, rolled oats, seeds, dried fruit, coconut and maybe a little bit of chocolate chips. Fruit and veg smoothie (a favorite of mine uses coconut water, spinach, lime juice, apple, watermelon, avocado and mint - soooo refereshing.) And always I have fruit on hand for snacks like clementines, apples, bananas. Sometimes I snack on veggies like cherry tomatoes or baby carrots. Almonds, cashews, etc (although I have to take it easy with nuts for snacks since the calories pile up really quick.)

Overall this is pretty balanced for me. I DO take a daily vegetarian multi-vitamin supplement, however, since being vegetarian makes it difficult for me to always get my daily value of vitamins B-12 and D.

SWEET-PEASMOM's Photo SWEET-PEASMOM Posts: 307
5/10/17 8:09 A

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I start with dinners and plan those out with my family. Then I work the rest of my own meals around that :)

"Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive."

THE LOVE DARE


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JIACOLO's Photo JIACOLO SparkPoints: (496,892)
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5/10/17 8:00 A

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I meal plan on Sundays for the week. I package up lunches and make extra for dinner so that I know what is available for me to take. It makes a big difference in sticking to healthier eating.

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.

- It's Janine!


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OLGA18's Photo OLGA18 SparkPoints: (19,430)
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5/10/17 7:54 A

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I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast every day so a box of cereal and some bananas works for the week.
Lunches are often salads or sandwiches (tuna, turkey) so a loaf of bread, the proteins and fresh veggies
Dinners - I usually buy smaller packages of 2 or 3 proteins (fish, chicken, beef(rarely) then a bunch of fresh and frozen veggies.
Black beans are always good to have on hand as you can eat them on salads or make black bean burgers
Sweet potatoes to eat roasted, mashed or as sweet potato fries are good to have on hand to help with potassium intake, and they keep for a very long time.
I don't plan the meals, per se, I just make sure I have stuff on hand so that I have choices.



SANDSERAPH's Photo SANDSERAPH SparkPoints: (5,508)
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5/10/17 7:03 A

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Light breakfast, light lunch, heavy dinner and the rest snacks. I figure out what my heavy dinner will be and since pretty much all my recipes are for 6+ people, just have that for 3 nights running. Generally its yogurt for breakfast, salad or yogurt for lunch and a meat dish for dinner. Snacks are chocolate, fruit and cheese.



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EO4WELLNESS's Photo EO4WELLNESS SparkPoints: (74,261)
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5/9/17 6:35 P

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For quite a while, I didn't track here at SP but I did turn on the daily dietitian recommended diet. I learned from the professionals! Now, I have food allergies, serious ones, so I rarely eat like other folks. When I was ready to start tracking everything--I originally did it to make certain I was meeting my nutritional needs without going too hog wild on any one nutrient. Before long, that tracking helped me get better at meal planning. Now, I have a list of meals that I can eat (allergy wise; and also and still loose weight wise, which are PORTION controlled, are within my personal preferences, are things I can afford and enjoy, include items which are easy to reheat-for stressed days as well as other items which involved chopping and cooking things, and still meet my nutritional needs). With this list I pick the protein source I feel like eating or skip the ones I need to avoid (I also do a rotational diet so I don't eat the same proteins each day so I don't become allergic to more of them in the future) short term and pick the meals I want to eat or the ones my nutritional tracker shows me I can "afford" to eat. Its becoming easier and easier. If I have a chocolate crisis or some other craving or birthday party to attend, I simply adjust the other meals and exercise more. It works. I'm shedding pounds.



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ROSEBOMB's Photo ROSEBOMB Posts: 343
5/9/17 2:15 P

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NEWLIFENEWME16 - That's what I do right now - I make a weekly meal plan on Google docs and the build my grocery list from it. But I build it based on what I want to eat - not really based on macro nutrients and stuff. Good job refusing to go out to eat! That's a huge step!



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NEWLIFENEWME16's Photo NEWLIFENEWME16 SparkPoints: (7,343)
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5/9/17 12:41 P

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I do not do the meal prep you are discussing on this topic. I find it hard to do even though it is easy for some of you to do it. Instead I rather write out my meal plan for the week on a big board and just buy what I will be cooking for the week. My food list at the grocery store is small and I only buy exactly what I will be eating. I also know exactly what I will be eating on that specific day instead of thinking about it. This helps me with saving money and calories. What I just learned from doing this recently is that if I don't have it in the house, then I do not need to eat it. I am also learning to refuse to eat out at restaurants and cook all my foods at home. It is hard and it is a learning process, but it will only get better.

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ournal_summary.asp?id=NEWLIFENEWME16R>https://www.facebook.com/ashleysofia
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KITTYKNIT's Photo KITTYKNIT SparkPoints: (6,703)
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5/9/17 11:19 A

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I stock my fridge with veggies and stock freezer with protein.
Grab a veg, grab a protein. I'm done. .
Couple of pieces of fruit for snacks

Edited by: KITTYKNIT at: 5/9/2017 (11:19)
For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power. - Philipians 4:13


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RUBYREDSTAR19's Photo RUBYREDSTAR19 Posts: 5,367
5/9/17 7:26 A

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I meal prep over the weekend and put everything in a container so when I leave the house I just grab them and walk out the door. ALso the night before I put my protein shake together so again it's a grab and go



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HIMELISSA2007's Photo HIMELISSA2007 Posts: 1,865
5/8/17 8:54 P

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I'm still in the learning process of this. I suppose in this there is something new to learn. What works best is I eat mostly fruits and vegetables each meal with some protein and occasionally a grain. If I plan the day before about what each meal will be seems to be the most convenient. I write a little note and put it on the fridge and try to get as close to it as possible the next day. The good thing is its not written in stone and if I need to adjust slightly I don't criticize myself.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.� ~Theodore Roosevelt www.fitnessforweightloss.com/helpful
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ROSEBOMB's Photo ROSEBOMB Posts: 343
5/8/17 6:30 P

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Good tips! Thank you!



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NIRERIN Posts: 14,051
5/8/17 6:14 P

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Honestly, if you are where you want to be on average on a weekly basis you do not really need to worry about being a little high or a little low one day. If you are consistently low/high then you need to take a look at your staples and start making tweaks to the recipes. So if you are always high on fat you might want to try baked or roasted chicken instead of fried or try a marinara sauce instead of a cream sauce.
Another thing that I do is to try and alter all of my recipes so that each portion is around 300 cals. I eat small, roughly equal meals and snack so everything being about the same calories means that I can work with whatever is in season or on special.

-google first. ask questions later.

ROSEBOMB's Photo ROSEBOMB Posts: 343
5/8/17 4:46 P

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I'm a big planner - I like to make a meal plan each week before I go to the grocery store. I plan my meals basically just based on what I want to eat that week. My problem is that, even though I eat healthy, nutritious foods (no white carbs, no fried foods, no soda) I tend to eat too much. On top of that, I'm having trouble figuring out how to plan the macros - to make sure I'm eating the right amounts of each every day. So how do you plan your meals?



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