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AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
6/4/13 10:07 A

Emily, congrats on the success. I am glad you found something that works for you. emoticon

KEEPGOINGEMILY SparkPoints: (20,644)
Fitness Minutes: (11,096)
Posts: 676
6/2/13 5:26 P

I wanted to report a SUCCESS! on this, a favorite of me and my mom's is pasta with pesto sauce (from a packet mix) and peppers. The packet's preparation directions call for oil and water to make it, and normally I'd double the oil used because it was tastier that way. The peppers would be cooked in oil too. So, not the best choice really, but so yummy!

Since it's another hot day here, I decided to try adapting the flavor craving into a macaroni salad instead. So I mixed the "sauce" packet into Greek yogurt and mayo, and added the peppers raw. It was pretty tasty! I entered the recipe into the calculator here, and had a pretty satisfying portion for lunch! Actually, my stomach kind of hurt after I finished, so maybe a smaller portion next time. Planning on having a side-dish portion with dinner too. Happy!

LDHAWKE SparkPoints: (19,069)
Fitness Minutes: (1,818)
Posts: 771
6/2/13 5:18 P

It's all about portion control. If you can conquer that combined with tracking what you eat then you can eat whatever you want.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,612)
Fitness Minutes: (18,761)
Posts: 1,243
6/2/13 1:06 P

I'm definitely one for making substitutions or just gradually shrinking portion sizes of the "unhealthy" parts of a meal. If you're craving pasta, and can still get it, I really recommend spaghetti squash! I know it is a winter squash, but I can still get it here in Florida. HELLO veggie portion and you can make it any way you would make regular pasta. With red sauce, white sauce, or my favorite, a little garlic, butter, and shrimp!

As far as other things, my bf brought home a 4-pack of cheesecake slices. I took them out of the package and sliced them in HALF so I had 8 smaller pieces that were under 200 cals each. It gets me the satisfaction of cheesecake and the taste(s) I am going for while being portion controlled more than what they were.

Little tricks help! :)

ELMA1913 Posts: 5,051
6/2/13 9:05 A

Most of the time, if I have just a small serving or a taste of something I am fine. The trick is to stop at a small serving.............

ICAMP2 SparkPoints: (5,962)
Fitness Minutes: (2,557)
Posts: 173
6/2/13 8:54 A

I guess I am odd man out, I am one that does tend to go total denial because typically if I am really craving something, it is because of stress. If I can deny it and get through that hurdle, then I am far more likely to stay on track.

Again, this may also be due to being hypoglycemic but an example is at work on Friday I had a stressed day, I forgot my lunch and coworker was getting take out Mexican. I ordered as well KNOWING this would trigger me. I ate the whole bag of tortilla chips plus all the beans and rice. I have spent all weekend fighting cravings because of the high carbs that crashed me

SO, typically if I really want something, I figure out why I want it. If its a stress craving then I let it go... exercise, drink water, eat something that is approved for me and it gets better..

AURORA629 Posts: 2,393
6/2/13 8:47 A

My response is almost identical to Susan's, except I would not have even put #3 on the list. Total denial, no way!!

I would add that while you are controlling the portions, try also increase the fiber and lean protein content. This generally makes the dish more filling so you don't feel as much of a need for more of it. I highly recommend Ronizoni Smarttaste for the pasta. It tastes like normal white pasta, but has more fiber, so a smaller serving is more filling.

For pizza, try making your crust with white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour usually results in a very good end product, is hirer in fiber yet still tasty.

Both pizza and pasta can be served with any lean meats you want (unless you are a vegetarian.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/1/13 7:18 P

When I want pizza or pasta... I make it myself. I make enough for one meal. I use a pre-made thin crust base, chop myself off a "serving size" (50-100 grams), top with a bit of tomato (pasta sauce, pizza sauce or just plain old tomato paste) and if i want meat, I use lean ham or lean capicolli (a half ounce to an ounce goes a long way if it's sliced thin). Or maybe i forgoe the meat altogether and make a veggie pizza (sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers or fennel, or any combination of the above... sometimes steamed spinach... sometimes artichoke heart). Then i weigh out one ounce of cheese and sprinkle it about. Giant green salad on the side and tah dah, for 400-600 calories I can have a luxurious and more-delicious-than-takeout home-made artisan pizza.

Pasta, well, think VEGGIES. Reducing the serving of the actual pasta is hard. I hate looking at a half-cup of noodles on my plate, how sad is that!!! BUT if you bulk it up with sauteed veg, or chopped-up roasted eggplant, or leftover steamed broccoli or cauliflower... suddenly you can have a nice "normal serving size" that is very delicious, extra-nutritious, and fits into my calorie plan! Again, a nice side salad and skip any plans for buns/garlic bread etc. on the side, and use a good aged (strong flavoured) parmesan or romano or other grating cheese on top (you'll get all the cheese flavour you need out of a tablespoon or two). Delicious!!!!!

I have found it to be a real win-win when i set out to MAKE my "favorite foods" BECOME "healthy." Not only does my body thank me, but my tastebuds do, too! My so called "healthier" versions - are actually BETTER than what I used to eat (which would be soggy takeout too-much-crust-not-enough-toppings greasy pizza, or a plateful of boring spaghetti topped with an uninteresting bottled sauce).

AMANDA133 SparkPoints: (34,338)
Fitness Minutes: (41,923)
Posts: 234
6/1/13 6:20 P

I enjoy what I love but in very small amounts and not often.

KEEPGOINGEMILY SparkPoints: (20,644)
Fitness Minutes: (11,096)
Posts: 676
6/1/13 6:08 P

Thank you both for your comments! I don't know what I was thinking, here in the northeast US it's a sweltering hot day, NO way do I want to fire up the oven today lol. Or eat a pile of steaming pasta. I ended up making a blt wrap tonight, which fits in the meal plan much easier than pizza or pasta. This is an issue I am going to have to resolve at some point though, if I'm to make long-term progress. I know total denial will not work, so the other options will be taken into consideration!

I think what I'm going to try next time is to reduce the total size of the meal I cook. Normally I cook the whole pound-box of pasta, or make a cookie-sheet sized pizza. I've been working on cutting back on cooking leftovers anyway. With the BLT, it's pretty simple, you put it together and eat, and that's all there is. I tried this with pizza once, and it worked well, we each made a personal-pan pie with whatever toppings we wanted. I'm a proficient cook, so we eat pretty much exclusively from home. It's just a little more work!

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
6/1/13 5:13 P

There are four different approaches:

1. Portion control - You already know about this, but I would also mention that it doesn't have to mean going by exact serving size. If you want to eat 1 1/2 servings and can fit it in your day, that's fine.

2. Modification - Find ways to make your favorites that cuts down calories per portion and adds nutrition. Bulking with vegetables is a good way.

3. Total denial - This is one approach but it's one I highly discourage. It's hard to say no forever, and when you do finally say yes you could find yourself eating to excess with the excuse of "Well, I've already screwed up, might as well go all out".

4. Eating sparingly - This is very similar to approach #1, but it might be that you just plan to eat as much of what you want. That's fine as long as it happens rarely and you are willing to deal with the consequences. As long as it is not a pattern and you don't take it as an excuse to throw all restraint away, you can try to eat the same amounts as you are used to. What you might find is that you have built in good habits such that you recognize your limits and find you don't want to eat as much as you want to.

You can use any of these approaches depending on the situation and what works for you. Just remember that no food is evil and all foods have a place in a balanced diet. It's just how much makes sense that is the difference.

Edited by: SUSAN_FOSTER at: 6/1/2013 (17:14)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,329
6/1/13 4:17 P

Try to build in portion control. So instead of ordering pizza, make pita or English muffin pizzas, so that you do not have the option to go back for more. Or if you make your own pizza, make 3/4 of the recipe instead of the full recipe.
Also, try and pair pizza with something bulky and light that you like, like salad. Then have your salad portion before the pizza so that you are already partially full when you get to the pizza. Your favorite veggie soup or veggie side would also work here.
For pasta, bulk it out with veggies. When I make pasta for myself ( I live alone) I take 2 oz dry, add whatever I am adding and that end results makes me two servings, which means I am only having an ounce of dry pasta, 100 cals, at a go. Yet when I eat it I am eating nearly two cups of food each time. I will cut zucchini into a similar shape a the pasta I am using. I will add broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomato, peppers, onion, eggplant, squahs, whatever I have on hand that will pair well with the sauce. This way I am getting the pasta and sauce I love, but I am having it with the veg I should be eating more of.
You should also check out cooking light type recipes, particularly for your favotie pasta dishes. Learning some of the tricks they use to make recipes lighter can help you make your recipes lighter even if you you do not find ones you like as well or better.

KEEPGOINGEMILY SparkPoints: (20,644)
Fitness Minutes: (11,096)
Posts: 676
6/1/13 3:48 P

I'm at a loss for what I want to make dinner tonight, and all I keep thinking of is pizza or pasta.

I know from past experience that these are difficult foods for me to maintain portion control with. This is a big stumbling point for me, since I don't want to deny myself (and family) these favorite meals. I tend to portion out what I know I "should" eat, and get resentful at how little it is! Then I end up stewing about it, and finally eat the portion I am used to. This leads to remorse that I failed to control myself eventually, but that doesn't stop me from doing it anyway.

Generally I have a pretty good meal plan in place, so I know what I have to choose from to cook. Today, I just can't make up my mind! What do you do when faced with those old standbys, and appreciating eating less of them?

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