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JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
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Posts: 69
7/4/14 8:58 A

Well, it seems adding some calories is working. The first day I gained a pound, the second day I gained two, almost panicked, the next day I lost 1 and today I lost 3.5. So I am less than where I started this week! yay! Gonna keep it up and see where it takes me! :D

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
Fitness Minutes: (798)
Posts: 69
7/3/14 10:05 A

yep, there is no way I can eat that many calories, and I too felt their calculation was wrong. I want to get a good heart monitor, but right now it's not in the budget, so I take their calculation and 1/2 it, but still don't eat those extra calories. I have the option turned off right now, and figure it might be a good tool once I want to maintain, but for now, I am wanting that deficit, so yeah, not using it.

I have a big green glass with lid and straw (those nice plastic ones hold... 3? glasses) that I drink all day long, I must have 3-4 of them a day.

*but I bet I would struggle to keep in calorie range if I could eat dairy again! ;) mmmm butter, cheese, sour cream.... sigh....... for now it's just organic butter, and very small amounts

GENIE72 SparkPoints: (1,874)
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7/3/14 9:10 A

You mentioned going from 1600 to 2200 calories when you add in your exercise. I think you are way over estimating your calorie expenditure at the gym. 600 calories is a lot. That's probably 3 or 4 hours of intense cardio. (For me, an hour on the bike within my target heart range - which is fast pedaling - is about 200 calories, plus or minus). If you are going through the weight machines you are burning very few calories because you are not getting your heart rate up. Don't get me wrong - all exercise is good, but don't think it's a license to eat more. Think of it as a license to lose more.

The best way to measure your calorie expenditure is to go to the sporting goods store and buy a polar heart monitor. Wear it at the gym and see what it says. You can't trust the calorie expenditures you find on the web. If you can't afford a polar heart monitor then don't eat your exercise calories.

In my opinion, if your follow the dietitian's advice and lower your calories to 1400 and don't eat your exercise calories - you will start seeing results. Also - don't forget to drink your water to purge your excess sodium.

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
Fitness Minutes: (798)
Posts: 69
7/3/14 8:36 A

Yes, this has been a long road. When first diagnosed I had no time to deal with it as I was back in school and swamped with homework/housework/kids, etc. I did the bare minimum I needed to in order to not be reacting all the time. I was on 2 zyrtec and 2 prilosec a day as prescribed by my allergy dr who diagnosed me with sulfite allergy, oral allergy syndrome and a host of other foods as well.

In Feb this year I had some black tea before church and almost went to the hospital, scared my kids to death. Had I not taken my benadryl/inhaler as soon as I did, I probably would have.That's when I got pretty strict and got really unhealthy eating for a while. I am trying to get to a point of eating healthier. I wish I wasn't so worried about the calories right now, but I am to the point I have my core "safe" foods and find myself not eating because it's too much effort, tired of cooking everything for me every meal, organics are expensive and we are tight, so I try to control how much I eat so we can afford for at least me to eat the way I need to. I have recently realized how much all that impacts what I am eating, and how little I am eating.

So, I am trying to be pro-active and get back on track. LOL about eating nut butters by the spoon, yeah, I have been known to do that in the past, guess I'm not as weird as I thought! LOL

I have eaten brown rice pasta with little problem, so I may add some of that today or tomorrow (need to go to the grocery! ;) ). and I am out of fruit thanks to my kiddos who are starting to eat all of my fruits! LOL not such a bad problem, just need to plan for it better! LOL

Feeling off today, a bit achy. I tried garlic powder last night.... guess that's still out.....Thank you all for your great words of widsom! I am a researcher by heart, but never guessed sulfite allergy. I knew I was reacting to a lot of things, just didn't know why. The dr was knowledgeable in knowing what it was, but not in how invasive sulfites are in every day life (even down to water having them added!). Special toothpaste, homemade shampoo, I seem to react more to man-made sulfites than naturally occurring (I was hoping, but think garlic squashed that idea!).

I have made my menu for today, fought to get to 1662 cals, gonna have some chocolate tonight! the only thing I am under in is carbs for today. and not by much, so I am happy. And really, not denying myself anything, nice full meals

H0KIE_GIRL SparkPoints: (3,588)
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Posts: 88
7/2/14 10:20 P

Have you thought about adding in protein shakes to your diet? Not only will the increase protein help build muscle which will in turn make you lose more weight but they're quick and easy drinks so you don't necessarily feel like you're getting another meal in but they're packed with 150-200 calories a piece and you can add fruit and ice to it to make a lower fat smoothie too

JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,446)
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Posts: 647
7/2/14 9:57 P

If your problem with pasta has been the "enrichment"- many pastas are available that are minimally processed with nothing added. Not so much in the grocery store, but other sources have them especially for non-wheat pastas. Some sources sell pastas from Europe, for instance, where the customer expectations are very different. Some excellent gluten free pastas come from Italy since celiac disease is a growing problem there. Anyway, once you get away from the supermarket brands, you also get away from the penchant for "enriching" everything in not-very-absorbable forms of vitamins and minerals as a marketing thing. It's really getting out of hand. I've seen kids' cereals with 50% to 80% of the RDA for iron, for instance, which would be rather alarming (considering how many servings a day some kids and adults eat) except they use a cheap iron compound that hopefully is hardly absorbed....

7/2/14 9:04 P

Have you been tested for food allergies by a "board certified physician-MD"???
This is where you should begin. You can not "trust" diagnosis and treatment of food allergies via an internet search.

There are very specific protocols to follow for the diagnosis and interventions (diet education, elimination diet protocols) used to treat food allergies.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,446)
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7/2/14 8:56 P

Ah, the wonderful days of allergy testing. Memories. Take heart, though, for a while I felt like I was reacting to everything also. But as the body heals, it will become easier to sort out the permanent allergies from the allergies/intolerances/sensitivities that go along with a system overly sensitive due to the long term problems. The only sure way to discover which is which is by being experimental, eliminate and re-introduce, since there are serious limitations to other types of testing (false negatives and positives, lack of testing for many foods).

The most important thing is to get together a reasonably nutritious list of safe foods, which you actually have. Maybe you just need to relax about the calories and let the scale be your guide in deciding if you're eating too much or too little. You more likely have it right despite the standard figures. One thing that happens when you've eliminated allergens is that you can actually trust your hunger - it isn't deceived by such things as allergic addiction to a food.

Just google

"rotation diet" "food allergies"

and that should bring up loads of good information to consider. It's an old idea but very helpful in self-testing.

Be aware that different forms of a food have different effects. Whole soy may be a problem but not tofu (by the way, mashed tofu works instead of egg in egg salad, blended tofu works as a base for dips and dressings and puddings); raw tomatoes may be a problem but not cooked or vice versa. The protein is changed with processing (including just cooking). Also be aware that non-protein parts of food can cause symptoms also due to absorption problems (this can happen with wheat, for example; wheat protein or gluten may not always be the culprit). Don't cross something off your list permanently until you've tried the organically grown version, because you could be reacting to a specific pesticide (or an antibiotic in the case of meat). Sprouted grains and seeds and legumes may not be a problem when the unsprouted versions are (sprout has loads of do-it-yourself info plus seeds and sprouted, even kitchen-challenged me can use the aptly named Easy Sprout Sprouter).

One thing I learned while strictly rotating foods was how easy it was to do one-food or two-food meals, very handy for testing and also restful under stress. Just eat more at once or eat more mini meals.

You asked about nut-seed butters without grains- easy, just eat by the spoonful! Really. I do this a lot, sometimes with fruit but often without anything else. I do find the butters easier to digest when I'm under stress. Which is another thing to remember - stress is stress, and stress is additive. I have to eat much more carefully when under a tight deadline or dealing with a difficult personal situation. All stress is ultimately physical, the body doesn't care if it's because of that tomato you ate or the pollen you were hit with outdoors or your impossible boss. So stress management can expand your eating possibilities also. Just rearrange your thinking about the definition of a meal. If you track all your food, you can reassure yourself that you're still getting enough nutrition. Another stress can be intolerances to common chemicals in the air, especially artificial fragrances which people stick into everything and wear with wild abandon. Other environmental pollutants also add to stress, including in cleaning supplies. This can definitely affect allergic reactions to other things such as food.

If any of your symptoms hit you in the gastrointestinal tract, it's worth looking at advice for people with irritable bowel syndrome even if you don't fit the full profile. Often foods are triggers for ibs, so there is some overlap. If you suspect malabsorption issues, the newer FODMAP approach may be useful (FODMAPs are small fermentable carbohydrates that can cause trouble for some). An excellent source of information on successful ways to reduce ibs triggers is

Edited by: JWOOLMAN at: 7/2/2014 (20:59)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
7/2/14 8:15 A

Heath food stores should be able to help you with many issues related to food processing. Check one out and see. For instance, they often have bulk bins filled with whole-grain wheat, spelt, oats, etc; plus similar-looking non-grains like quinoa. It's possible some of these would suit you and add some variety to what you are able to eat. (For instance, they will often sell sulfite-free dried fruits, which are hard to find elsewhere.)

As for calories, staying above the bare minimim is very important, but how far above might take some experimentation. If you can stay consistent at a given level for a few weeks at a time you might begin to get some idea of what works best for you. You are losing, from what you say, and that is in itself a great thing; some people here who've ultimately been successful lost no faster than you are, so it can be done even if you can manage no further improvements in rate.

Best of luck; I have some very limited experience with elimination of foods and it is beyond frustrating. You can use all the help you can get!

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
Fitness Minutes: (798)
Posts: 69
7/2/14 7:31 A

Thank you Becky, that was one thing I was worried about, if even 1600 was too much. The calorie range I am using is provided by Spark, and I trust it more than other websites. When I add in how much I burn for exercise (we try to hit the gym 3 - 5 days a week, but the last couple weeks have been spotty) which is 30-60 min on the treadmill, it says I need to eat 2200! There is NO way I can eat that much. But I also know because of my allergies I am afraid to expand. But I also know fighting to get to 1000 calories isn't good either. Such a balancing act

When first eliminating my allergens my diet was fried or baked white potato with butter, sc, cheese, and a small portion of meat. I went that drastic to get my allergens out (sulfites are TOUGH and eating that way is expensive). I seemed to be reacting to everything, and was trying to make sure and get enough calories in during the day. After a few weeks I added back broccoli. It has been a slow, painful process, but I think I am finally in the groove to being able to eat a bit more.

Today's menu consists of grapefruit, local honey, eggs (they are my test food today) broccoli, mixed veggies at lunch, 2 T butter, ground beef, sweet potato, chicken breast and homemade veggie soup. that is just over 1600 cals. I would add a banana, but my kids have been inhaling them lately (where a month ago they were going bad waiting to be eaten! lol)

Thank you for responding. I just want to make sure I do it right this time so I am healthy and I keep it off

7/2/14 7:17 A

When someone has a greater amount of weight to lose, the formulas that determine calorie needs sometime give a too high of a range.

I know many women who would not lose weight on 1700-1800 calories daily.

I mention this, so that as you implement your healthier plan, start tracking everything, weighing and measuring portions---you also include an accurate calorie range too for with loss.

I would suggest beginning with about 1400-1600 and monitoring your weight loss, how you feel, your energy level, etc.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
Fitness Minutes: (798)
Posts: 69
7/2/14 6:49 A

Thank you, yes I eat a sweet potato a day, I know it's better than white potatoes :) Sunflower seeds and pepitas make my stomach very upset or I get a headache (classic symptoms for me) and just not sure how to incorporate nut butter in my diet if I can't have it on toast/bread! ;)

I WISH I liked avocados, I just... don't. I have tried and tried, but....I have tried quinoa as well, but yeah, I tried at least! ;)

I have heard about rotation, I need to look more into it. When I first got the allergens out I think I lost 20 lbs in a month or so, really spurred me on in many ways, then it just stalled. I started following 16:8 hoping a minor fast a day would help in a lot of ways (fasting does have many health benefits) so that's why I tend to skip breakfast, but now, it's just habit. I have been avoiding allergens since the middle of February. I just don't want my "normal" number to be this high, I have a good 70 more pounds to lose?

I am going to try for a month, keep good track of my calories, make sure what I am eating is healthy and in range at least every day and if I have lost minimal or gained, then I have that info to take to my dr and have him do more tests. I am eating healthier than I have in a very very long time, so....

Yes, I am a daily weigher and found I was up 2 lbs this am. I figure some has to be water because I ate salty popcorn, but I also figure that it may go up for a couple days as it realizes these extra calories are here to stay and then it will start releasing again. going to work on my meal plan now for today. I hate worrying about food so much, I want it to be easy again...

JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,446)
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Posts: 647
7/2/14 6:08 A

Sweet potatoes with a little fat are excellent for breakfast.... :)

How are you with buckwheat? Would 100% buckwheat or sweet potato/ buckwheat noodles work for you? Or would they have the same processing problem you mentioned with regular pasta? You can buy buckwheat groats or flour.

Have you tried other nuts or seeds (especially as butters)? Pistachio might be out if you cross react with cashews (same food family). Almonds are in the same family as stone fruits (can you tell I have allergies too?!?). But other nuts and seeds are often all by themselves in their food families or close to it. I think walnuts and pecans and black walnuts are grouped together. That leaves macademias, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, filberts, sesame seeds, hempseeds, pumpkin seeds off the top of my head. Hempseed butter and pumpkin seed butters are quite tasty, although I think hempseed butter needs something sweet added (even if just some coconut oil).

Looking through more offbeat online grocery sources like iHerb, Vitacost, VeganEssentials, The Gluten-Free Mall might give you some ideas. They have ingredients listed and some reviews. Amazon also has a growing list of offbeat items with reviews, but they might be easier to find in the smaller stores.

How about avocado? That would help boost calories if tolerated.

Amaranth? Teff? Quinoa? Millet?

Have you tried the rotation approach to managing food allergies, separating eating a food by a certain time interval? That can help if you're reacting to a lot of food, since many food allergies are "cyclic" rather than "permanent" allergens and as long as we only eat them at intervals, we can avoid reactions. The interval can be short or long, depending on the individual sensitivity. Also sometimes limiting the kinds of foods at a meal can help (eating more meals, eating more servings at once).

If you're not losing weight fast, though, maybe you're closer to your actual calorie needs than you think. Some people just are slow losers. Also allergies can have an effect - how long have you been avoiding your known allergens? When I first tested and eliminated mine and then rotated foods for quite a while- without even trying, my weight zoomed downward to the right number and stayed there. I lost so much weight so fast that it had to be water weight. Managing allergies tends to normalize weight up or down as needed. If your diagnosis is recent, give it time. Also you might still have allergies/intolerances to discover (yeah, what fun...). If you are on certain medications, that also can affect weight loss.

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
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7/1/14 11:50 P

thanks! yeah, it has been a tough go. I have really been watching my allergens since Feb, when most of my weightloss happened, and now it is slow... blah.

rice is a no, most grains are out due to how they are processed. I miss icecream, pasta and pizza! LOL citrus and bananas are about my best tolerated fruits. I think I just need to make a good effort to eat a potato with lunch AND dinner (I never used to eat them at all! so that is a tough thing!) and try to figure out SOMETHING I can have for breakfast.....

NIRERIN Posts: 14,297
7/1/14 11:43 P

if you can't do pasta what about any grain? barley, oats, quinoa, millet, and farro are pretty readily available in my area and will add a bit more calorie punch. or rice? or you could make your own pasta. it seems to be one of those things that's a pain to learn to do, but once you get the hang of it people seem to like it. you'd just need to be careful about your ingredients.
and when i say apple, i mean any fruit you can have, but ideally less in the citrus family as they tend to be lower cal.
so sorry you have to balance all that.

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
Fitness Minutes: (798)
Posts: 69
7/1/14 11:25 P

thank you for your reply. I will be able to incorporate some of your ideas. I am allergic to sulfites, so that has many pitfalls, not just man made, but also naturally occurring. I can't have eggs, onions, garlic, mushrooms, even nuts have naturally occurring sulfites (I think that's why they don't do me well). I won't do the popcorn again... tummy unhappy tonight. I WISH I could add noodles, but anything "enriched" or with corn syrup/ corn starch are out of the question. will have to try dairy again. if it's not organic it can be treated with "vitamins" which contain... sulfites. and I have other allergies too (apples, stone fruits)! LOL yeah, I live on air! LOL

BUT I can make a conscious effort to eat breakfast. We work out about 3-5 days a week, so when I get home I'm not hungry (a big glass of water during workout and after), so I don't think about eating until about 10. Then it's so close to lunch, I just wait! ;) I feel like I eat huge portions already (a big bowl full, usually), I was so stuffed from lunch today! LOL Will have to look into smoothies, I used to like them a lot (with flax seed), need to try them again.

I think one big thing is that i am afraid I am eating too much because I am full, then shocked to see how few calories I really am eating! I have been watching supersize vs superskinny, and I eat around what the superskinnies eat in calories, though I am hardly ever weak and am the "healthiest fat person' most medical people have seen.... LOL some may pick at the show, but it's been a real eye opener the last few days I have been watching it. I have lost about 47 lbs this past year (37 according to my notes starting in Oct 2013, 25 according to spark), but still have a LONG way to go and I don't want to screw it up.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,297
7/1/14 11:05 P

if you want to eat more calories you have to eat more each time you eat or eat more frequently.

so you could eat a half grapefruit or a banana for breakfast whether you are hungry or not. then eat your regular half grapefruit or banana as your morning snack. there is some merit in not mindlessly munching if you aren't hungry, but i think you're going to be okay if you make an exception for that sort of breakfast.

or you can bump up your portions. have a whole grapefruit instead of a half. have a Tablespoon of nut butter with your banana or piece of dark chocolate. three slices of beef bacon instead of two. 6 oz chicken instead of 5 oz. use a half Tablespoon of olive oil to cook in instead of a teaspoon. add a teaspoon of olive oil to your salad. when you say medium sweet potato are you talking a 150-200 gram sweet potato or the middle size you find in the grocery store, which is more like 400 grams? instead of popcorn, which is a great bulk food if you don't have a lot of calories, what about fruit and nuts or cheese? an apple and cheese or nut butter is going to have around the same calories as a bag of popcorn, but for a lot less actual food. something like a banana or avocado "ice cream" or even just frozen and pureed fruit will be a little more calorie dense. since you need to raise your calories could you add an ounce of dry pasta [100 cals] to your soup to add some cals for not a lot of bulk? also, drink your calories if you can. milk or juice or even a smoothie is an easy way to add calories and not have it feel like so much food.

you may also want to try not drinking water with or right before your meal.

JEHOGAN09 SparkPoints: (5,686)
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Posts: 69
7/1/14 10:45 P

I know I should be losing weight, I am a big person, but yet, it is coming off painfully slow. I have severe food allergies, so I am sticking to whole foods to eat without reaction. You could call what I do more paleo than anything, but I don't think I am eating enough and may be going into starvation mode because of it.

My calorie range is 1600-1900 calories (without exercise added in) and today I fought to have just over 1200. I have large portions, but because of the nature of what I need to eat, it's pretty low calorie.

I usually skip breakfast because I am not hungry, but by my first break (I work from home) I am hungry. sometimes I will have a banana, yesterday I had 1/2 a grapefruit, honey and 2 slices of beef bacon. Today, I had nothing. lunch today was 5 oz bl/sl chicken breast, 2 cups mixed veggies nuked with about 1/2 tbsp salt free organic butter, I drizzled about a tsp of olive oil in the pan for sautee'ing the chicken. I had a medium size sweet potato with 1 1/5 tbsp butter. I also added 1/2 grapefruit drizzled with honey.

for dinner I had 5 more oz chicken breast chunked and sauteed mixed in with homemade veggie soup (my spark recipe says less than 300 cals for all the soup with added chicken), so I had a beer! ;) then I added a bag of popped natural popcorn with 2 more tbsp butter (not a big oil person at all, and was trying to add calories!) and a big glass of water. I am about ready to pop tonight, and I had less than 1500 cals all day. * note I haven't eaten this much butter in about 2+ weeks, this was an unusual day but I was trying to up my calories

I usually eat 2 meals, I don't skimp on them, but they just don't have enough calories I think. I try to add cashews or sunflower seeds, but they make me feel bad, so I avoid them, I avoid legumes and all processed food due to my allergies. Am I putting myself in starvation mode even though I am having large portions? any other ideas on how to remedy this. Right now I am nervous to switch up my "safe foods" too much, but overall I think what I am eating is healthy. I will eat beef too, chicken is my preferred. I can't have pork, seafood or fish due to allergies.

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