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KASEYCOFF's Photo KASEYCOFF Posts: 7,814
7/26/10 3:45 A

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I know just what you mean, Joals - in the 'old days' when I used to have to plan meals for five or six, my focus was on thrift, stretching things, avoiding the worst excesses of unhealthy food. Now there's just the two of us, and while that should make it easier, he has high cholesterol... I have diabetes... we both try to be as healthful as possible... and there are a surprising amount of recipes that need to be cut down from three or four portions to two. Sometimes I find recipes have such 'generous' portions that one designed for four would accommodate six servings for us, maybe even as many as eight. Anybody who thinks cooking is easy needs to get out in the kitchen for a while, lol...

BLOOM where you are PLANTED!


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JOALYNE's Photo JOALYNE Posts: 99
7/25/10 7:19 P

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Thanks for the site, Kasey. Love Cheerios, by the way!

I don't use the meal plans because it can be kind of hard to purchase everything for six to eight people. There are a lot of specialty items in the plans. We use mostly organic lean proteins, beans, etc. and make good choices snack-wise. My kids are getting fitter - they didn't really need to lose weight, but they are becoming stronger and learning about how food choices can affect your energy.

I am worried about starting back to work after the summer break. My colleagues can make it difficult for anyone on a diet!

Do you what love; love what you do. - Life is Good


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KASEYCOFF's Photo KASEYCOFF Posts: 7,814
7/23/10 5:29 A

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While I think of it, I'll post this site:

www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/searc
h/


It's accessible whether you're in the US or not. I use it all the time for 'real' food: as Sue said, you don't necessarily find the same foods in the UK that you have in the States, and here, I always use grams, whereas American Sparklers tend to list measurements by the cupful, or per portion, or whatever. So if I want to know the nutrients in plain ol' generic cucumber, it's on there; all I have to do is put in how many grams I'm using. And if I have a bowl of cheerios (yes! they have 'em here!) again, all I have to do is put in the grams. And like Sue, I often add a lot of stuff to my own 'nutrition data' and then I have it when I want it. :-)

BLOOM where you are PLANTED!


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NEEDSHELP4EVER's Photo NEEDSHELP4EVER Posts: 7,949
7/23/10 3:22 A

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Good point Mona, I don't use their plans either as some things we have never heard of this side of the pond. At the start it took me ages to put in my own foods and save into my favourites but now I just have to click on them so worth the hours putting in..lol

Sue from UK



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MONAMOM's Photo MONAMOM SparkPoints: (68,176)
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Posts: 14,834
7/22/10 2:46 P

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I faithfully use the nutrition and fitness trackers. BUT that being said I pretty much do my own thing. I follow the calorie range they set but never the diet plan.

I keep right in range with all the nutrients~~only the sodium which still goes up a bit with my own menu. But it is 100% better than it used to be.

I get that fitness warning too and I keep my goals where I want them. I did up them yesterday because I really felt I needed to get a bit more challenge in. My own thoughts on that are that if you get in a rut and stop losing~~MAYBE~~that might be one reason. So they show that you may need to be doing something different.

To me they are an excellent guideline and it took me forever to get the hang of it but I LOVE it now and really feel it is one of the biggest keys to my own personal success.

Hugs, Mona

Edited by: MONAMOM at: 7/22/2010 (14:48)
Mona~~SC



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JOALYNE's Photo JOALYNE Posts: 99
7/22/10 10:19 A

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The 11.5 came off quickly ONLY because I started moving! I got my bike and it came off quickly. It has been a month now and I have slowed way, way down.

It's not like we don't eat well. The vast majority of our food is organic; I read labels like a fiend! I have for a few years now. I was just eating way too much! Anyway, I don't want to feel uncomfortable with my eating. Believe me, I eat!

Kasey - That's funny about the salt rant. I have abnormally low blood pressure, so I am required to up my sodium. I use all kinds of cool gourmet salts on my food, but I won't buy foods high in sodium either. It's like when all the companies started to use high fructose corn syrup to sweeten everything. Never mind it mimics bad estrogen... We gave up all brands that use it.

Thanks for the advice, ladies! I appreciate it!

Do you what love; love what you do. - Life is Good


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KASEYCOFF's Photo KASEYCOFF Posts: 7,814
7/22/10 6:15 A

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Joals, I tend to take SP's recommendations with a grain of salt. I'm pretty conversant with nutrition - I know the percentage of carbs I need (especially dicey with Type 2 diabetes)... I know the percentage of fat I should have (while I also always keep an eye on triglycerides and cholesterol)... I know the percentage of protein I need (while remembering that diabetics are prone to kidney problems, something often aggravated by protein). I deliberately limit salt, as not only do I have high blood pressure (I'm starting to sound like a walking basket-case, lol...) but I'm becoming more convinced all the time that food manufacturers are adding poison to food in the guise of 'added salt.' Just like tobacco companies added nicotine to cigarettes to make them more addictive and build a 'trapped market' of customers, sometimes I think food manufacturers deliberately try to develop a 'need' for salty foods by upping the sodium levels to ten times what people would put in foods they cook for themselves - thereby building in an assured market of salt-craving customers! Sorry. I will go off on tangents.

Anyhow, the point is, I have enough confidence in my ability to devise a healthy diet for myself, one that will take my conditions (diabetes, hypertension) into account; one that will take my preferences (borderline vegetarian) into account; and one that will enable me to lose weight without feeling hungry. Unfortunately, SP doesn't do that for me. If I walk a lot in a week, I will start seeing red warnings on the fitness tracker - 'You need to adjust your calorie intake' or some such. And when I ignore said warning, I suddenly find my nutrition tracker has upped all the goals! Grrr... nuisance. So on the nutrition tracker page, I frequently have to change my goals (in case you haven't seen it, it's a small button to the right of the title, above the 'water gauge'). I have carefully worked out the percentages to make sure I have a carbohydrate intake lower than what they have said but that will still be plenty of fiber and vitamins, that I have sufficient fat to keep me healthy and maintain good levels of HDL while keeping LDL at bay, and that I get enough protein to give me energy and strength while not overworking the renal system.

Whew!

So there's not much I can recommend in terms of what you do or don't eat - my nutrition advice doesn't extend beyond what I can figure out for myself and my own quirky diet - but as I see it, you have two options.

1) Ignore what SP says, use the tracker so you know what you are eating and what nutrients you are getting, and just assume you are following a healthy diet for yourself; or

2) Work out the diet you want and that you know will enable you to eat properly and lose weight, then keep changing the nutrition tracker every time it arbitrarily changes your settings.

I really think there should be a way to 'turn off' these defaults or whatever they are. For people who want to rely on them and make use of them, they're great, and maybe they work really well for some people. But for those of us who want to do it our way, and who have just as healthy a plan as SP's but a different one... well, I wish we could adjust for that, but I don't think we can, at least not yet. :-)

BLOOM where you are PLANTED!


 current weight: 148.7 
 
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NEEDSHELP4EVER's Photo NEEDSHELP4EVER Posts: 7,949
7/22/10 4:28 A

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Congrats on losing 11.5lbs, but did you lose it all in 1 or 2 weeks? Spark says to lose about 1-2lbs per week and that is safer and also more likely to stay off and I know that is true from experience. I know we all want to get it off as quickly as possible, but if it is going to come straight back it just makes us depressed

If you go to your start page and scroll down to your trackers (weight, nutrition and fitness) you can click on change if you want to change anything. If you are really stuffed all I can suggest is that you change on your weight tracker the time you are taking to lose the weight..BUT if you are doing a LOT of exercise you do need to eat more to fuel your body. I recently found I was not eating enough and I either stayed the same or even put on so I have upped my cals and am now losing..I know go figure.
Try their figures for one week, but have 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks to spread it out and see if you can do it that way. If after the week you feel no better about it and gain weight then you can think again. We are all different how we process foods but Spark is usually pretty good at this. If it keeps doing it maybe you could sparkmail CoachJen for advice?

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=SP
AR
K_COACH_JEN


this will take you to her page and you can sparkmail from there in the top right corner of the page

btw, my cals went up from 1200-1550 to 1600-1960 and I am losing so just try for a week

Edited by: NEEDSHELP4EVER at: 7/22/2010 (04:31)
Sue from UK



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JOALYNE's Photo JOALYNE Posts: 99
7/21/10 7:48 P

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I am a tad frustrated with the whole nutrition tracker (which I use religiously!) because I get all kinds of warnings from it. I lost 11.5 pounds and it upped everything on me because of my exercise and now I am stuck. I am not fond of carbs so I get a carb warning every day. I couldn't make 180 carbs a day and now it is up to 217! I was at 1450 calories minimum and it upped me to 1700. I feel completely stuffed - like I am up to my throat in food. I was enjoying it and had kind of hit a stride, now everything is higher! What the heck!!? I don't want to obsess over it, but it is supposed to be the most useful tool. If I follow it, I don't feel as well now. Suggestions?

Do you what love; love what you do. - Life is Good


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