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NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
4/1/13 10:44 P

Hey. all. Thanks for the advice and positive energy. I've been not drinking my calories as much. I met with a trainer last Thursday. I have my homework assignments of 45 minutes of walking per day, planning my meals, and eating every three hours, which working two jobs is tough to do. I feel like every time I turn around I have to eat, but I'm making smarter food choices and am more conscious of the quality of what goes in my body. So, that helps. Hope you all had a great holiday. Talk soon. Kelly.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
3/26/13 12:36 P

YOJOLEZ nailed it. Try smaller portions of the things you're having now and cut the liquid calories. Pre-planning your day wil help a lot as well as previewing restaurant menus before going out. Also, you have cut back on the fried and buttered stuff. Finally, try eating a whole grain version of the things you like, it will keep you full longer and add more protein to you diet, same effect.

NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
3/25/13 10:10 P

Thanks, for the support and advice everyone. I made an appointment with a personal trainer at my work. So, this Thursday, I will be getting more specific with my game plan. I also recruited not one, but four workout buddies. One does weights with me. Another plays tennis and wants to start jogging. One loves to walk, and the other is a former runner who wants to get back into shape for her wedding. I am truly grateful to you all and to them for helping me on this new journey. I'll talk to you again soon. Right now, I'm cleaning out the cupboards, so by Friday I can make way for healthier, more filling foods. Thanks again, Kelly.

BLYNQI SparkPoints: (7,097)
Fitness Minutes: (6,104)
Posts: 39
3/25/13 8:47 P

i have 2 simple pieces of advice, which i try to follow myself:
1) pack your meals with nutrient-dense ingredients. choose foods which are naturally low-calorie, but contain lots of vitamins, fiber, and/or protein. and cook with a little bit of healthy fat. look for these kinds of options when you eat out, too. you will be satisfied on fewer calories this way. SP has charts which show how certain foods measure up against each other. they are a great resource!

2) exercise does not have to be all-or-nothing. plan your exercise routines as best as you can, but don't give up if you can't fit it in sometimes. aim to get more movement in everyday. go for walks when you can, even if it's only 5 or 10 minutes. bonus: going on walks, especially outdoors, can be a great mood lifter.

Edited by: BLYNQI at: 3/25/2013 (20:50)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
3/25/13 4:26 P

while i don't think you can switch to proper portions in one go, becoming more aware of what a serving is could help.
for example:
-a serving of milk is 8oz, not 12oz or 28oz
-a serving of meat is 3-4oz and you're eating 8 and 10oz
-a serving of rice is a half cup, not 1 3/4 cups

and i'm not saying this to make you feel bad, but just to point out that getting a little closer to actual serving sizes will help you get where you need to be.
a few things jump out. you're mostly tracking everything as one or two big meals. which is fine if it is just easier to input it all in at once. but if you really are eating all of that at once, breaking things up into smaller meals may help in the long term.

also, for me and many others, cereal is the most useless food on the planet. it takes up calories and doesn't do anything to fill one up. having just about anything else will fill you up more and keep you for longer.

if you're going to have oatmeal, don't have it plain. if you're using the cup or two of milk to cook it in, cut back to not more than a cup and use water as the rest of the liquid. perhaps even try mixing in an egg [you mix it in uncooked and then cook it so that the egg cooks with the oatmeal ]. or try adding in a Tablespoon or two of nut butter. or add in a half cup of pumpkin puree and spices.

rice is a great way to get vegetables into your diet [yes, i use the primary definition of diet, which is simply what one eats]. and if you mix rice and veggies you get more volume for fewer calories. broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, mushrooms, winter squash, carrots, tomatoes and pretty much every other veggie you can think of does well mixed in with rice. if you're not a big fan of texture, mince and either cook or leave raw [depending on which way you find them less offensive] the veggies and mix into the cooked rice. so if you want to eat 1 and 3/4 cups of food, work towards getting the rice down to 3/4 or 1 cup and incorporate veggies to make up the rest of the volume. if you like dirty rice, it's the same idea. add spices if you like, but you can get the same volume for fewer cals. it's the same for pasta.

3/25/13 3:51 P

Also noticing that you don't get many servings of vegetables. I find if I add veggies to meals, I'm less likely to want a second serving of the main dish. I love roasting veggies -- broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower. If I'm cooking green beans, I add light italian dressing and saute the beans in it to add extra flavor while still being low in calories. You can even bake chips from spinach or kale if you need a slow entry point. You can eat a LOT of veggies without racking up many calories at all. When I cook, I find that adding them into recipes can help make it feel like I'm eating a ton without doing any damage to the tracker (and helping, because you get to see fiber and vitamins go up!)

3/25/13 3:44 P

I echo the others in their encouragement. This can seem overwhelming, but as others have pointed out, you don't have to change everything all at once -- even small changes can have great benefits.

On the Starbucks note: my husband works there, so I get free drinks when I visit him at work. There are some tasty options that are low on calories. If you like to go regularly, but don't always want to spend the calories on a skinny latte, I recommend the refresher drinks (the lime has 50 calories in a grande, the berry has 70). Both have caffeine and are made with real fruit juice. I also love the vanilla rooibos tea (no caffeine). I tend to simply add splenda to it, meaning it is calorie free. They also make a latte from it which is fantastic (for the days I have more calories to spend).

I've found a lot of the healthier options at restaurants are just as tasty. If there are days when I really want something higher in calories (like yesterday when I really wanted fried chicken), I got it. But took some home (which was then given to a neighbor). I did get fries -- I ate half and had green beans as a second side. I tracked everything I ate and was still in my calorie range for the day.

If you like to cook, you can also invite your friends to your place. I've had friends who cook meals to feed lots of folks and ask for a small donation to help cover the ingredients -- it is usually WAY less than we'd pay to go out. and far tastier! That way you can keep your tradition of shared meals while eating the sorts of foods you want.

Your idea of more active social activities is great! Most of us want to be healthier, but don't know how to start and don't want to do it alone. You may be helping friends meet their own goals. It also helps you equate exercise with good thoughts (being with people you enjoy).

On the countrytime -- at times I've bought koolaid packets, but add splenda or other non-sugar sweetener instead. I do find that when I'm in a habit of drinking water, I crave water more. If I'm drinking other stuff, I have no interest in water. So drinking more of the clear stuff could actually help with actually WANTING the clear stuff =)

ELENGIL Posts: 957
3/25/13 2:54 P

You're on your first week. Don't beat yourself up!

Look, you knew your food choices weren't the best, that's part of how we all got here in the first place. This week, you're just finding out how your food is stacking up. That's all. Given the 'climate' we live in, the way food is saturated in our culture, don't beat yourself up for not making the best choices up till now. Look at it as now you understand and can start making better choices.

You have a great list to go back and look at and see where better choices can help. As others have said, don't try to change everything all at once, just look at a few that you can modify and work from there.

I see you love pink lemonade. I love lemonade, too, but 120 calories for a glass is more than I feel I want to "spend" in a day. Instead, I make my own lemonade. Water, pure lemon juice, and stevia for a touch of sweetness. Or you can add a strawberry or three raspberries in the blender with the water and lemon juice for a touch of the 'pink' and a little added flavor.

Not everything is all or nothing, some things are just choosing ways of having what you love that won't break your calorie budget.

Going out to eat can still be fine, as well. If you make it even a once-a-week thing, eat at the lower end of your range through the week, and then eat at the high end on that night out. Even going a little over once a week won't hurt you. We got here by eating too much *every* day.

But there are better and worse choices you can make at restaurants. Skip heavy cream dishes, have only a few chips or one piece of the complimentary bread, eat a good salad with the dressing on the side. Skinless chicken or fish baked, or broiled steaks, are usually good choices, along with veggies. Avoid deep fried foods and appetizers. Many chains also have nutrition info and menus online, so you can even decide ahead what you're going to order instead of being stuck in that situation where it all smells so good and you end up getting something you hadn't intended.

Don't worry about getting it "right" all at once. Just know you don't have to give up your life, and you aren't a failure. Pick one or two things per week to work on, and know we're always here to help you out emoticon

OHITSKELLY SparkPoints: (14,074)
Fitness Minutes: (9,079)
Posts: 147
3/25/13 2:36 P

Ditto what Yojulez said (and well said!). I would also add that you should start incorporating water into your day.

You will be better able to cut down on your portions if you're not so famished. You need water for 100 million reasons but one good one is that it can help to fill you up. There is a water tracker on the nutrition tracker page. The recommendation is 8 + glasses a day, but I know lots of folk have a hard time with that. Start with a small glass before you eat each meal and work your way up. I make it my rule to only drink water with my meals. It took me almost 6 months, but I cut out gravy from my food (except at Thanksgiving) and sometimes even the best seasoned foods are a little dry so I am forced to drink more water. LOL It works.

And one more thing, go buy a digital food scale if you can. Mine has been a life saver for me and has made tracking a lot easier.

Just start somewhere! You can do this! Also remember to check out the Spark motivational pages to keep you going strong during the week.

Keep coming back, keep logging your food and you will get the hang of it.

A year from now you will be glad you started. Heck, this time next month you will be proud of your accomplishments! And we will be too, and rooting for ya!


YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
3/25/13 11:51 A

When I first started, my biggest issue by far was portion control, and eating snacks on a whim when I was out and about. Based on your food trackers, I'm guessing this is your issue too. I had to re-train my body to be happy with less. I started by just slowly eating smaller portions. Sometimes I was hungry, and sometimes I wanted that 2nd cheeseburger, but now that my body is used to it, I'm completely satisfied eating much less. I also agree that trying to go from 2500 calories one day, to 1400 the next is really hard to do and is a set up for failure.

So for you, instead of starting with 1 cup of dry oatmeal, start with 3/4 cup. Instead of 10oz of pulled pork, have 8. Skip snacks like crackers and try to have baby carrots and/or celery. Instead of getting the sausage biscuit at a fast food joint, get the sausage muffin.

My next suggestion for you is to stop drinking your calories (other than maybe your latte and diet coke, to start). Stuff like the lemonade and Pepsi is just useless calories that aren't providing you with any benefits, yet they're costing you a lot of calories each day. Same for milk... 1 glass is fine but 2.5 glasses in one meal is a lot. Instead of the lemonade, try flavoring your water with lemon juice or even try some of the zero calorie options out there for flavored water.

My last suggestion is to try planning your day of eating out ahead of time. I do mine a week in advance. That way you have a plan of what to eat, and when, and you can make room for stuff like dinners out with your girlfriends where you might be eating more calories than normal. By doing this, you avoid last minute "pantry grabs" where you're starving and you just grab the first snack you see... or you stop at Starbucks and that croissant looks real good because it's 4pm and you're starving. If you already have your snacks and meals planned, you'll stay fuller and more satisfied throughout the day, and you know what you have coming up so you're not reaching for junk. You can even keep some "quick grab" snacks like baggies of carrots or some nuts or fruit with you, that way if you're out and about and feel hungry, you're already prepared.

And my last comment is to remember nobody is perfect. I don't know anybody that went from eating tons of food and junk one day, to eating a perfectly healthy diet the next. I've been at this over a year and I still have my rough days. Just keep at it and do your best, and remember, it does get easier once you've changed your habits.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 3/25/2013 (11:55)
NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
3/25/13 9:12 A

Thanks, I'll fix that so you can see.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,551)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,282
3/25/13 2:29 A

I just went to have a peek at your Nutrition Tracker but your SparkPage is set to Private.

I'm glad you have managed to get a lot of the info that you needed. It really helps if we are forewarned :-)


NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
3/24/13 11:45 A

Thanks, everyone for all the great ideas. I went to the nturition pages of the local restaurants and have figured out what the healthy options are. Also, I'll make my food tracker public so you all can see what I am doing. Thanks for the help.

SEAGIRL545 Posts: 88
3/24/13 9:57 A

Can you make your Food trackers public so we can get a better idea of your current meals and maybe make suggestions for changes?

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
3/24/13 9:53 A

try a new goal. if you're averaging about 2500 cals a day, then topping out at 1400 cals a day is cutting 900 cals a day out. that's a lot of calories to just wake up and magically find to cut. so for the next three weeks, work on getting your cals down to 2300. that's finding 200 cals a day to cut. 200 cals is an ounce of nuts, 200 grams of raw potato, a Tablespoon and two thirds of oil, a slice or two of bread [depending on the brand you buy] and other small changes. even cutting back just a little [7/8 or 3/4 cup instead of a full cup, two teaspoons instead of a Tablespoon, 90 grams instead of 100 grams] adds up over the course of your day. if you eat out a lot, could you get steamed veggies instead of fries? could you get the lunch portion instead of the dinner portion?
also, if you share your trackers or some typical days [and "1/2 cup dry oatmeal with 1 cup skim milk" is a lot more helpful than "oatmeal"] you can get suggestions as to where you can trim a little. in other words if you are cooking a single portion in a Tablespoon of olive oil, you might get the suggestion that by using a teaspoon instead you'll save 80 cals. if you're getting a 1000 cal burger at chili's someone might mention the fried shrimp are only 700 cals. and so forth, targeted to where you are and what you are doing right now.
once you've gotten the hang of getting down to 2300 cals, cut out another 200 cals so you're topping out at 2100 cals. and give it a few weeks to adjust to this new level. because then you can cut it back to 1900 cals and i think you are getting the general idea of how you ease into the range where you want to be rather than cutting it all at once.

IVYLASS SparkPoints: (227,478)
Fitness Minutes: (85,494)
Posts: 7,172
3/24/13 9:04 A

Review the menu nutrition information of the restaurant before you go out to eat. Are your friends overweight? Then your chances of losing weight will be lower. How often are you exercising? Tracking your food is a great eye opener. Keep doing it and see where you're going wrong.

3/24/13 8:53 A

I took my Keurig to the office and and set up a little coffee bar- it's been saving me calories AND money. I love Starbucks but it's a rare treat for me.

Eating out is rough because the portion sizes can be pretty big. Again, I will have a "treat" every now and then but when I eat out I find that sticking to salads and veggie burgers minus the bun keeps me on track.

JUMP888 SparkPoints: (14,113)
Fitness Minutes: (21,628)
Posts: 28
3/24/13 3:09 A

I can only tell you what I do...

I avoid Starbucks now and carry a thermos of black coffee from home. Saves $ and temptation.

I use the intermittent fasting plan and only eat in an 8 hour window. There may be hormonal and fat burning bonuses with this eating program. At the very least, it limits grazing and sneaking a snack. Again with the temptation avoidance. Search 'intermittent fasting' on youtube if interested.

Also, I feel proud when I walk by the food I want to eat in the grocery store. I just do NOT bring it in the house. Period. I will eat it.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
3/24/13 2:02 A

Make healthier choices when you're out with friends. Skip the bread and wine, stick with water and a low calorie meal (or order an (non fried) app and a side salad, that's what I do).

Skinny lattes don't pack too many calories. Just get the smallest size.

You DONT need to give up your life to lose weight, you just need to prioritise and make good choices.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,551)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,282
3/24/13 1:37 A

Don't worry about that at this point of time. It is best that you just GRADUALLY change your lifestyle because then you will be far more likely to stay on it the rest of your life!

To do this, it may be that you just need to reduce soda/juice and increase water, plus mobilize a little bit further in your day. When your mind/body has gotten used to the change, then add something else to the mix. It might be having an extra piece of fruit instead of reaching for candy or cake.

In time you will find that you are eating well and healthily, and it didn't even seem like an effort.

Rushing lifestyle changes and rushing weight-loss is really counter-productive because altho' you might manage it for a while, you won't be able to sustain it. You will start to feel bored and/or deprived, and these are the most common reasons why people fall off the wagon.

We ALL had to start at the beginning and work through to the middle before we reach our goal. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts - I am SURE that you will get there, too!


NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
3/23/13 11:08 P

Thanks for the comments! I appreciate them. Jami, you bring up a good point. My life before now has been filled with plenty of food-and drink-laiden, sedentary activities, that I do to socialize. So, I've started replacing some activities with healthier choices, gym on Friday, Zumba on Wednesday, Tennis and walks with girlfriends. So, I guess it's just going to take time a discipline to replace some habits for old ones. I've made progress, the old me would eat the 890 calorie cheesecake and not worry. Now, I did that this week, saw the calorie count on the tracker, freaked out and then did an exercise video, lol. I have to control my impulses.

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,835
3/23/13 10:26 P

I'm single, go out with my friends and have the occasional latte. For me, it's prioritizing and making better choices. I think the real question is why eating/drinking the way that you still want to is something that you associate with having a life? Are there things you can do with your friends that do not involve food? You may need to redefine some things for yourself.

If you do go out to eat, do the restaurants that you go to have online nutritionals? I choose come thing before I go out, so that I'm not as tempted to make a bad choice.

It's tough, but keep tracking! It'll get easier.

Edited by: JAMIRBLAZE at: 3/23/2013 (22:27)
MELMOMOF4 SparkPoints: (7,311)
Fitness Minutes: (1,404)
Posts: 1,455
3/23/13 10:12 P

just make sure you are logging all of your nutrition and look over every night. you will learn what to cut out or cut down on. try picking healthier choices of what you like. it will get better for you. emoticon emoticon

NOMOREFATKELLY SparkPoints: (1,616)
Fitness Minutes: (2,824)
Posts: 17
3/23/13 10:07 P

Okay, I'm in my first week, and I continually find myself overeating my calories. My goal is to get down to 1400, but with totals like 2,365 and 2,644 throughout this week, I am just angry at myself for making such stupid food choices and wasting calories. Any advice, I've tried switching to skinny lattes to get my Starbucks fix, but I'm thinking ditching it alltogether. Going out to eat (as I am a single lady and like to share dinner with my friends) is an extra challenge. Does weight loss mean no longer having a life until I reach my goal? Help!

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