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RUNDVCSCRAP SparkPoints: (1,069)
Fitness Minutes: (135)
Posts: 6
8/22/13 9:56 P

Reading about using food to heal what is wrong and has been for years has been the single most motivating thing I have ever done to change what I wanted to eat. An example - Ive had an awful cold this week, and I was reading about raw garlic. I was desperate to feel better for work and I tried it and it worked!!!!! Better than any antibiotic prescription I have ever been on and Ive been on hundreds.....
When you read about how certain foods make you feel better or help with energy or allergies , blood pressure it makes you seek those foods out which leads to healthier choices. Ive been reading articles here on Spark as well as Natural News. emoticon

DRSOOO Posts: 30
8/22/13 2:21 P

I have made it a goal to eat 3 servings of fruit and 6 servings of vegetables in a day. I have found that when you have a goal to eat certain foods, it's easier to opt for healthier meals and snacks when you eat out (my trigger) and I find that I am fuller and not running to the candy machine or buying a cookie at the coffee shop.

NEECOLE09 SparkPoints: (6,062)
Fitness Minutes: (2,710)
Posts: 76
8/22/13 11:36 A

Tracking, tracking, tracking. It helps to keep me accountable and to think before I eat. Can I really afford the calories in that cookie or should I choose something that is healthy and will keep me fuller, longer? I tend to ask myself questions like this when I'm tempted to over-indulge and often times it keeps me on the straight and narrow.

THERESACHANGED SparkPoints: (39,583)
Fitness Minutes: (69,744)
Posts: 1,330
8/22/13 9:57 A

That is difficult. I know my triggers too, but I am not always successful in avoiding them. I do meal plan and nothing is off limits. I eat 5 times a day so I never go too long without food. I walk 12,000 steps every day and that helps clear my mind and get me out of the house when I'm in danger of losing control. My biggest trigger is stress so I also practice yoga. For me, I know it will never be - ok, you are not an emotional eater anymore and your relationship with food is just fine now - that isn't ever going to happen, so I try to manage it every day.

8/22/13 8:34 A

Pre planning my meals and tracing them is key for me. Once I actually see how many calories everything it becomes a budgeting issue. I never want to be in the red becaus eof a splurge or a craving!! I would rather go over with healthy lean protiens! It helps me stay focused on my goals and I feel so much better all around. ALl it takes is a weekend of unplanned meals and I feel terrible physically and mentally. Taking time for my daialyw orkouts and water intake is also a huge PLUS!!!

BETHLOCK SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (416)
Posts: 12
8/22/13 8:25 A

I start from the things I got home. Eliminate all unhealthy choices so even if I crave them I will not have an option to eat them at 2am. I don't buy processed food. The more ingredients are listed on the label the hardest it is for me to make sense what's in there. I minimize the times I eat things that I haven't cooked myself. And the hardest of all I try to resist when I am being offered food. (it is a common practice at my workplace for people to bring over food for sharing, homemade or store bough and although it helps team building it certainly puts my determination in trial)

VKKESU Posts: 1,010
8/22/13 8:08 A

I'm seriously addicted to sugar ...... the two week non-sugar detox is miserable for the entire family.

1. I DO NOT keep any cookies/candy/ sugar stuff in the house for the first month of "starting over" . Then I realized I can't have more than 1 sugar treat a week or I relapse into the binge sugar eating.

2. I have to track ALL foods in the morning or day before I eat it. I can change it easy enough if I switch it up, but more likely to stick with it when I can see what numbers work before I start eating. For some reason this really makes a big deal with me.

3. No fast food for the first month. I can't even go through drive thru for others at work, or I break down and get something with the attitude I'll start tomorrow.

4. I need a variety and get bored with what I have, I'm much better if I buy the frozen Healthy Choice 300 calorie or less meals and have one for lunch every day at work. Seriously makes my life easier and it fits into my planner.

5. I never do without what the family is having. I'll weigh it and put it in the tracker. I usually have a MUCH smaller portion than I used to but I make it fit with salad or whatever. I couldn't handle the feeling of "being left out of the meal" by eating something different many times. If I want pizza, I'll have one slice and make sure it fits into my daily calories. Pre planning is key to my success.

Edited by: VKKESU at: 8/22/2013 (08:14)
144AUTUMN SparkPoints: (75,311)
Fitness Minutes: (50,305)
Posts: 2,306
8/21/13 7:52 P

I keep my focus on eating as many fruits and veggies I can each day and it's all about drinking my 8 glasses of water each day!

-RUBIES- Posts: 6,232
8/21/13 7:31 P

1) I stay away from the places (if I can) that will trigger the want. I'm learning to get better at this. Example... if it's a grocery store that has a deli item I can't pass up, I go to a different grocery store.
2) If I must have that thing that's got me going, I'll indulge, but, I'll make sure it's a small portion. I read something on Spark the other day regarding a 3 bite rule. Bottomline... the person allowed 3 bites of the dessert she was craving and let it go from there (threw it away, gave it away, garbage disposal...whatever it took).
3) Lastly, track, track, track, no matter what - track. If you eat it, track it and stay within your range and you should be fine. Don't deprive yourself all the time, every time. That's a quick way to eventual weight gain.

50YEARSAWIFE Posts: 7,789
8/21/13 6:46 P

always use my nutrition tracker

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/21/13 6:44 P

I eat low carb. All my trigger foods are carbs. Not many people craving chicken breast, or eggs.

This allows me to not feel hungry. I eat 2000-2500 calories a day, and went cold turkey, by eating warm chicken. If I have a teaspoon of these trigger foods, I go off on a 5000 calorie carb binge, so while moderation is always preached about, I think it is a recipe for failure.

Over the years I have experimented to find the carbs that I can eat, so I don't just go " Eek! a carb " I can have brown rice once a week, but 1/2 a slice of bread, and I am ravenous. Instead of labeling an entire set of macronutrients as " bad ", I have narrowed it down to under 20 food items, and all I need to do is avoid them, and I never have any cravings. I am still in Ongoing Weight Loss phase, and have over 50 more to lose, so I eat stricter than I will need to on Maintenance, but there are many carb foods that I will be able to enjoy more, once I get there, and knowing how often I can eat these foods before I have any negative effects, puts me in control. Since I am not cutting out a whole group of foods, like dairy, I can usually find something healthy to eat.

Your goal should be to be informed about your trigger foods, but most people just eliminate 100's of foods, and then feel deprived. When that happens, we tend to rebel, and get caught with our hand in the cookie So when I want to have a banana split, I can use a cup of raspberries, with 2 Tbsp. Cool Whip, and a 1/4 cup crushed macadamia nuts. Interestingly enough though, I almost never have those urges. Maybe 2-3 times a year.

As we switch our diet, if we stick to it for 3-4 weeks, we tend to adapt. This is why moderation doesn't work. We just have to have pasta, and if we allow ourselves a taste every week, even once, then we will never get to the point where we no longer care about pasta, or any food for that matter. We never adapt, because we haven't made a change, we have just limited, like if we smoked one cigarette a week, or had a Jack & Coke once a week. People all over the world look at what we eat, and shudder, and we do the same when we look at their food. If we switched places for a year, we would both be eating the opposite meals, and still be shuddering, but at what we used to eat. If we switch our diet, it becomes what we love to eat.

This will only be required of your trigger foods. If pasta doesn't cause you cravings, then why worry. Overeating is not a natural thing to do though, so if you are overweight, some food you are consuming is causing that to happen, and you should pay attention to what foods cause that, and get rid of them. You will be surprised at how much you can eat, when you eat steadily. Most of us are at a low number of calories, because we are punishing ourselves from our last cheat. So we say we eat 1500, which is the level we are forcing ourselves to eat, and then we are starving, and in a day or two, we cheat again, cry, repeat. Overall, we may be averaging 2500 calories a day though. By just eating 2000 calories a day of foods that do not cause cravings/ trigger foods, we can lose a lb a week, and never be " hungry ".

Not being hungry allows you to eat the proper amount, and that leads to weight loss. It is much easier to stick to a 2000 calorie diet, than a 1500 calorie one, with a 2000 calorie binge every other night. Plus there is no crying, or self

Diet is probably one of the top 3 things in your life, but one of the things we spend the least amount of time with. The answer to the question.. What do you do to eat better? is nothing, for most people, other than try out other people's ideas. As long as you are their twin, that is a good plan. If not, a little planning with help from your dietitian, and doctor, may make losing weight a bit less of a struggle. You can get tested for food allergies, write down how each meal made you feel, and discuss it with your dietitian, and get a roadmap of what works for YOU.

I agree with keeping trigger foods out of the house, don't believe you should ever be hungry, so you wouldn't be when you were shopping, or any other time, and the healthy food you should have on hand should be your next meal. Many of the suggestions, are based on the idea that you will be hungry. I totally reject that. No one should EVER be hungry, and if they are, and ate within the last 8 hours, then it is cravings, caused by a trigger food. At this point, they will have to use that plan to have another healthy meal, but they should also stop, and examine why they felt hungry, and which food caused it. I would eliminate that completely from my diet. We have thousands of food choices, and most of us only have a few trigger foods. So why eat any of them? Once you no longer have cravings, you will find it as absurd as I do, that we expect to feel hungry, while suffering from obesity. We accept that hunger/cravings are part of life, and they are not.

HOTDISH2DIE4 SparkPoints: (28,452)
Fitness Minutes: (15,292)
Posts: 146
8/21/13 6:36 P

except for Ezekiel bread, almond milk and organic salsa, absolutely no processed foods. Oh, and no sugar, no sugar substitutes, no honey, no agar whatever..nothing. I only eat what can be grown or caught.

8/21/13 5:48 P

1) Always control my environment. I do not keep trigger or junk food in the house
2) Never grocery shop when hungry
3) Always have some ready-made food (homemade, in my case) or healthy food that you can eat out-of-hand available. I almost always have homemade, pureed vegetable soup in the fridge, ready to heat up, add a splash of acid (lemon juice or vinegar) and devour.

MIMAWELIZABETH SparkPoints: (421,415)
Fitness Minutes: (147,092)
Posts: 19,140
8/21/13 4:43 P

Track track track track track track track track track! emoticon emoticon

When I'm sorely tempted to overeat or binge, I think about tracking what
I want to eat, and how that will mess up me reaching my daily nutrition goals. Crunching those numbers often helps me find what I CAN eat to satisfy the cravings but stay in my ranges.

I also track about Dinner time, to see where I stand for the day. Looking
at my totals-so-far shows me what nutrients I still need to eat to reach my goals. Seeing it in writing not only educates me on WHAT to eat, but motivates me to make those choices.

Edited by: MIMAWELIZABETH at: 8/21/2013 (16:45)
CMORGAN253 SparkPoints: (2,146)
Fitness Minutes: (480)
Posts: 79
8/21/13 3:54 P

I LOVE food. I mean, omg love it. For me, I have a hard time not munching on stuff with a movie or something similar. So, I find foods that I enjoy and that I can also eat a lot of. Carrots are my #1 go-to food. If I want chips or popcorn (crunchy, munchy-type foods), I grab a bag of baby carrots and eat until I'm full. Even if I eat the *entire* bag, I only have around 120 calories at the size I buy. And it's 120 calories of fiber, good carbs, and gets my servings in veggies out of the way. If I want something sweet, I get huge green grapes or cherry tomatoes. And if I absolutely *have* to have something "bad" for me - I let myself. But, it has to be the smallest portion, healthiest version around, and I CAN'T keep them in the house. I even gave away my leftover wedding cake after setting aside a piece for our one-year anniversary.

For example, let's say I'm craving chocolate BAD. I LOVE Snickers, but they're loaded with fat and processed sugar. Instead, I get something like dark-chocolate-covered pretzels. I get the chocolate, and the crunchy effect Snickers gives me, but I'm getting some grains, too. I eat less because it fills me up faster, and takes longer to eat.

Hope this helps a little. :)

LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
8/21/13 12:28 P

Not buying those foods is the best way for me to avoid them.
I've cut back on processed foods and the foods I have trouble with are highly processed and salty like cheese flavored crackers. Most other foods I can just eat in moderation. I really enjoy healthy foods so I focus on the things that I can enjoy rather than the few that I can't.

MELBA321 Posts: 66
8/21/13 12:01 P

My trigger foods were mainly soda, pre-packaged sweets, pasta, fatty condiments (like mayo, bleu cheese salad dressing), salty foods and fast food, even though the majority of meals were made at home.

I started with working on switching "sweets".

I switched to only homemade versions (of cakes, cookies, pies, etc..), but altered recipes...using less sugar, less oil (and changing oil to organic coconut), adding fresh or dried fruit (not sugar coated fruit) or unsweetened applesauce, switched out white bleached flour to gluten free flours & switched table salt to sea salt.

I also kept a supply of fresh fruits stocked up and available at all times for snacking.

For hot cocoa, I switched that by making my own with dark chocolate, a wee bit of coconut oil, very little sugar & I used almond milk (sometimes added instant coffee to perk it up).

Other chocolate or candy cravings, I just went for dark chocolate (especially the high % ones with sea salt & low in sugar and no corn syrup) and blue diamond dark chocolate roasted almonds (these are my only "pre-packaged junk food" now).

Soda, I slowly replaced with La Croix (unsweetened carbonated drink), fruit juice, veggie juice, unsweetened hot teas, unsweetened iced green tea, filtered water (and/or added fresh lemon/citrus, ginger, mint, English cucumber, etc... to add interesting flavor) ...and now, I rarely even drink La Croix, so getting carbonation out of my system too. =).

I ended up more "satisfied" and craved sweets less and less. I stay away from artificial sweeteners (except stevia), artificial flavors and food dyes too.

For marinara, spaghetti sauce and the like, I make my own and use unsweetened applesauce, so I don't need to add sugar for cutting tomato acidity and use French or Himalayan sea salt instead of table salt.

Pasta, I have switched out with gluten free variety pasta (and eat less) or a gluten free grain like quinoa, millet, amaranth, etc...

For mayo, I used mustard instead or mustard and red wine vinegar. When recipes require mayo, I use sour cream and/or organic plain yogurt instead (and play around with lemon juice, vinegar, mustard and/or spices to perk it up to the right "taste" needed).

Salad dressings, I am really loving making my own by playing around with extra virgin olive oil, different vinegars, soy sauce, citrus, peppers, fresh ginger, spices and/or herbs. Sometimes, I will even just use salsa as a salad dressing. When I want a "creamy" dressing, I play around with using organic plain yogurt and sour cream.

Salty foods, especially French fries (the "salty fat" craving), I just make my own for those days with fresh potatoes (playing it up a bit with purple, blue and sweet potatoes more often), I have been lightly coating in coconut oil and then baking them and season with sea salt and sometimes other spices and/or herbs. These have been more satisfying and I eat less.

I have found popcorn to be outstanding using a "stir crazy" type popper, with a little coconut oil (organic, extra virgin, not hydrogenated!), fresh chopped garlic & peppers added for the kernels to "pop" in. Then lightly salted with sea salt. --So good and better than buttered, in my opinion anyway. lol The hubby still likes his "buttered" popcorn, but he does mix half butter with half coconut, he's at least cutting his "butter" fat in half this way. We like this better than "chips" and pre-packaged snack crackers.

For fast food, hahaha --just watch "Super Sized" movie and read up on fast food & it's true nutritional values. That was enough for the hub and I to eliminate it for good. The only "fast food" we eat now is the occasional subway, but even that is becoming rare for us now. We started the switch with just making our own burgers (and even blending different meats like bison, organic beef, elk, etc...), chicken, fish & BBQ sandwiches and perk it up with spices & prepping veggies differently, etc... Then, of course, we do our own fries. Next step is making my own gluten free version of buns. I usually only use half of my bun when eating burgers/sandwiches though.

For the ice cream and milk shake cravings, I make my own shakes with fruit, milk and/or organic plain yogurt and honey. I am also starting to make my own ice cream, sorbet and Italian ice with my KA ice cream maker. It is so much better being able to manipulate what goes in and without the crap ingredients.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
Posts: 337
8/21/13 11:53 A

I simply eat healthy foods. I work too hard with exercising to ruin my hard work. On occasion if I want maybe Mexican food, then I will walk extra, or stay on my cycle longer, I find now that my mind starts to feel guilty when I Don't eat healthy. Dont get me wrong I will enjoy my food, for instance for my son's Bday, we will go out, But I will just push myself extra to burn it off. After many years of Not getting it right, I can finally say "I have will power!!!""

Edited by: BANDOMOM1 at: 8/21/2013 (11:55)
ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (2,912)
Fitness Minutes: (3,613)
Posts: 49
8/21/13 11:34 A

I have emotional triggers around abundance/scarcity and feeling deprived, so I try to focus on what I need MORE of.

I try to track my intake of fruits and veggies, to make sure I am getting at least 6 servings a day (which is really filling, you know). Also, I tend to be low on iron and calcium, so I focus on adding those in whenever I can.

Then I look at trying to make sure I am getting 2/3 to 3/4 of my calories before 5pm, starting with a hearty breakfast and morning snack, and tapering down from there. Having a protien snack around 4:30, like nuts and raisins, keeps me from feeling empty and desperate when i get home.

Controlling my environment, by choosing simple whole-food ingredients at the store, and packing my lunch and snacks every day helps a lot.

I also have one "dessert day" a week, I don't go totally off the rails, but I do have as much of whatever one fabulous dessert I want. That gives me something to look forward to, and makes it easier to say "no" to passing temptation, because it is rarely worth "spoiling" my treat day later!

The hardest thing for me is training myself to follow my own advice, without becoming overly restrictive or beating myself up. I have found that giving myself lots of "rewards" that are NOT food helps with this. I had to think really hard about what would make me feel rewarded - when you have depended on food as your main source of indulgence for a long time, it is hard to think outside that box!

For me this kind of "big picture" thinking about managing my day and the way I feel, makes a huge difference in my ability to be consistent.

LOTUS737 Posts: 4,380
8/21/13 9:39 A

I'm with many others on this one- I don't keep trigger foods around. I may do well with self control one day and then fail miserably the next (chips, i'm looking at you!). So not buying them helps a LOT.

I also make healthier versions of foods I want- I really felt like Chinese take out so I made sesame chicken and broccoli at home- and it definitely satisfied that want in a healthy way!

For other temptations, like when a coworker brings hot, fresh doughnuts to work, I avoid at all costs. Or I enjoy the smell. Then when I am REALLY wanting it I go look at the box of them and see how greasy it is, and think about the equivalent cals in healthy food/how long it would take to burn off and it's just not worth it. I do budget in treats but in a very limited way.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
8/21/13 9:23 A

Get rid of hydrogenated oils! They are terrible for you.

PEACEFULONE SparkPoints: (73,804)
Fitness Minutes: (77,621)
Posts: 6,012
8/21/13 1:46 A

I gave up all soda pop and dairy, cut way back on animal products replacing them with more servings of fresh fruits and veggies. We only eat brown rice and whole wheat bread and use olive oil.

DAVIDJACKSON01 SparkPoints: (126)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 42
8/21/13 1:29 A

Choose the right carbohydrates. Simple carbs, like sugar and flour, are quickly absorbed by the body's digestive system. This causes a kind of carb overload, and your body releases huge amounts of insulin to combat the overload. Eat these in moderation. complex carbs. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are slowly digested by the body. They include whole-grain flour, hearty vegetables, oats, and unprocessed grains like brown rice. These foods are usually higher in vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body, and they are higher in fiber (which keeps your digestive system running smoothly).
Consider eating leafy greens like kale, collard greens, mustard greens and swiss chard. They are packed with nutrients and will fill you up very quickly. A simple sauté with olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper and you have a surprisingly tasty meal that is very nutritious.
Choose wheat (brown) bread instead of white bread, and whole wheat pasta instead of "normal" pasta. Processed carbohydrates such as those found in white bread are harder to draw nutrients from, and therefore constitute empty calories.

SKABELS2 Posts: 78
8/20/13 9:53 P

Whatever and whenever I eat, I make sure to include a fruit or vegetable serving and a glass of water. I also like to plan my menus for the week because I find that I will start to crave the things I'm planning to make and am less tempted to give in to other cravings.

The better I eat, the more I want to eat better.

4TISHA SparkPoints: (12,313)
Fitness Minutes: (13,895)
Posts: 339
8/20/13 7:43 P

I sit down every Saturday and list my diet plan (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the week. Helps me to avoid grabbing whatever is in the fridge when am hungry and cook ahead instead. Helps with my grocery shopping too. This way I make sure that I eat healthy and fresh food. Tracking helped me realize that I do not meet minimum protein requirements some days and now, I have started making a conscious effort to make sure I have a cup of low fat greek yogurt or low fat string cheese every day.

KLASSY813 SparkPoints: (5,555)
Fitness Minutes: (1,075)
Posts: 332
8/20/13 6:20 P

Starting 8-14-13 I joined SP and started counting calories instead of points with the Weight Watchers program. I am finding this easier to accomplish on a daily basis. I keep fresh veggies in my fridge all ready cut up and ready to snack on when I feel the urge. I am now paying closer attention to nutrition labels and making healthier choices. I drink on average 4-5 -- 44 oz cups of water a day instead of grabbing soda after soda. I scout restaurant menus online when possible and choose what I want to eat ahead of time and stick to this plan when we arrive.

ALBERTJON SparkPoints: (3,133)
Fitness Minutes: (7,415)
Posts: 1,299
8/20/13 6:04 P

The biggest change I made in my diet, starting a few years ago, is to include fruits and vegetables pretty much daily in my diet. However, I have to make certain I don't forget to do that, such as when we are visiting the children or are on some sort of trip to "the big city." It seems I sometimes "forget" to get my daily dose of fruits and vegetables when I am away from home.

PRINCESSAA12 Posts: 473
8/20/13 5:50 P

I count calories and do my best to stay within the recommended range.

LAURA7051 SparkPoints: (9,688)
Fitness Minutes: (292)
Posts: 60
8/20/13 5:41 P

- I track my food. I do this mainly for the calorie counts, but my goal is to work on better nutrition and being able to see sodium, protein, sugar, fiber will be helpful.
- I bring my lunch & snacks to work. It helps me eat healthier foods and control my portions. It helps me avoid eating large portions of unhealthy foods. It also helps me avoid picking up sweets after lunch. In essence it got me out of a very bad lunchtime routine. I guess this could be generalized to "don't put yourself in the position of being tempted by unhealthy foods".
- I weigh and measure the foods I prepare at home. Even if it's off plan, I still know how much I ate.

COO_KIE SparkPoints: (64,337)
Fitness Minutes: (49,533)
Posts: 633
8/20/13 5:16 P

Spark tracking helps me the most, as I see the components of the foods I eat. Now, my next step is to plan my meals before the day I am eating them so I can tweak things to be sure I have enough protein and fiber. (Seems like the foods I am drawn to provide enough carbs and fat.) emoticon

HACK_HACKER SparkPoints: (16,150)
Fitness Minutes: (29,163)
Posts: 54
8/20/13 4:55 P

It really helps to have total control over what's in your pantry and to cook most of your meals at home. I lost the most of my weight while working from home, cooking everything I ate and only going out to eat for special treats. Learning to like what you cook is a slower process, but it's mostly about education. Once you gain an appreciation of clean foods and knowing exactly what's in your food, you stop craving junk foods with ingredients that set you back. So, make sure everyone in the house is on board with your plan, stock up on healthy ingredients, read about cooking healthfully, and experiment.

8/20/13 12:50 P

I love to cook when I have time. So I try new and different healthy recipes or experiment with family favorite recipes but put a healthy twist on them. I also stick to the rule of grocery shopping on the outskirts of the store and always, always, always have a grocery list and a plan. I buy a lot of fresh produce instead of canned or frozen. I try to keep unhealthy food out of the house. If I want to embrace a craving I just buy a small amount of it and that's it. Sounds pretty strict but it works for me. I am trying to make a life change not just another crash diet.

SONICB Posts: 4,381
8/20/13 11:53 A

I treat myself to the not-so-healthy foods I love so that they're not off-limits, but I also control how much of them I eat. It's all about moderation (though I understand this doesn't work for everyone)!

8/20/13 11:16 A

1. Keep junk out of the house.
2. Cook most of my meals.

FLOYDIE40 Posts: 34
8/20/13 10:09 A

It helps me to take the power back. Once in a while I'll swing by the vending machines at work (without cash in hand) and talk to the food in there. I see it for the crap it is and that it doesn't even taste that good.

Since most restaurants have their menus online, you can take an afternoon and research what you can eat there for under 500 calories.

I love going out for breakfast, so I get egg white omlettes with fruit on the side instead of toast or potatoes. If I feel I must have toast, I can usually be happy with half an english muffin.

JAZZYGF Posts: 2,900
8/20/13 9:50 A

planning definitely
I don't eat enough so major problem

CANDY365 Posts: 49
8/20/13 9:16 A

I think celebrating the little achievements is a great way to stay on track when it comes to good food choices. I am a vegetarian, so I have a very colorful plate when it comes to eating. But it is the little things I change that make a huge difference. For example: I am a honey freak. just love the stuff. Each TBS has 64 calories in it which I did not know. I switched my creamer from plain to french vanilla (I use So Delicious Coconut Milk) and found I really did not miss the extra sweet the honey added. Bam 64 calorie A CUP decrease overall. That was a big day and a small change, one I have been able to maintain. If I worry about every change I eventually want to make all at the same time, nothing changes because it is overwhelming. So I guess for me the key to success is change one small thing, make it a habit, then change the next thing. One change at a time. Track everything it really helps to identify patterns that need to change.


Edited by: CANDY365 at: 8/20/2013 (09:16)
SPARK921 Posts: 3,353
8/20/13 9:08 A

My biggest "trick" is to be sure I track all I eat. Sometimes my craving for ice cream decreases when I use either my phone, Nook, or laptop to enter it in my tracker and I see the nutritional values. LOL.

But, I feel as long as I make good choices the majority of the time and keep exercise in the mix, I have room for treats now and then.

I certainly read a lot of great info on Spark but, in the end, I have to do what works best for me and keeps me going in the right direction...even if I lose very slowly.

8/20/13 8:41 A

These are all good suggestions below. It's really important for me to keep junk out of my house. If my husband has to have it, I buy things for him that don't really appeal to me but satisfy his need for sweets or snacks. I also have to keep healthy foods available and planned out and portioned. The recommendations to get on Spark People and to not let yourself get too hungry are also good.

STARMONICA SparkPoints: (231,164)
Fitness Minutes: (57,607)
Posts: 12,856
8/20/13 8:00 A

totally agree of SPARK

LEANJEAN6 Posts: 18,704
8/20/13 6:33 A

read Spark!

PRINCESSAA12 Posts: 473
8/20/13 3:53 A

If I feel like I really want to eat something, I take a portion of it, account for it in my daily total intake of calories and go ahead and enjoy it slowly. I never ignore my cravings or I know I'll end up eating everything in sight. So I attend to whatever I am craving for, and eat a small portion of it. :)

1CUTESMILE Posts: 61
8/19/13 4:23 P

Mine can be both savory and sweet. I usually tend to want that stuff at work, which is why I don't keep snacks at work. I'm pretty good when it comes having "junk" food at home, usually forget its there. It's taken me a long time to figure out I can have what I want as long as its a smaller portion and I track it. I know if I don't "allow" myself the cravings I get the way more I want them and then I sorta binge on them and the worse I feel about myself.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
8/19/13 3:35 P

I look at it a little bit differently, as I focus primarily on nutrients instead of calories. I track fibre, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, and others - and choose the foods that I enjoy the most which will give me these nutrients.

I've found that I look for different foods that I can add to each day in order to get the nutrient values up, and have been fairly amused to discover that the majority of the nutrient-rich foods seem to be lower in calories. I'll grant you that it helps tremendously that I've always been a major veggie lover, which makes it easy for me to be really happy about meals including a pile of them!

I also make a point of preparing foods in different ways, and play with flavourful and nutritious sauces. I like strong flavours, and am way more satisfied if I make sure to include them.

My pantry and freezer have stashes of all kinds of "junk" foods that my partner or guests enjoy on occasion, and I have no problem not eating them. It's not too hard to *not* be tempted by "junk" foods when I'm already stuffed silly with nutritious food that I really enjoyed...

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
Fitness Minutes: (24,670)
Posts: 2,738
8/19/13 2:01 P

I definitely have to keep the junk out of the house. It's easy right now, as my husband is deployed, but I hope I'm entrenched in my routine enough to continue to eat well once he's home. I also find that the longer I do without junk, the less I crave it. Seriously, I haven't eaten fast food in over a year, and I feel like I could do without ever eating it again. It doesn't even appeal to me. I try to never get really hungry, by eating five-six times aday (three small meals and three large snacks), so I never get to the point of stuffing food in my face. Lots of fresh fruits and veg, plus tons of water. And finding the right macro nutrient balance for you. I love the nutrition tracker for that.

8/19/13 1:47 P

I should say that I feel like there's a difference between triggers and cravings for me. Sweets are a trigger for me. If I have a little, it's more difficult for me to stop. I do allow myself alternatives and planned treats, but I try to eliminate the extra sugar throughout the day to help myself stay accountable to my own plan.

NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,640)
Fitness Minutes: (10,988)
Posts: 247
8/19/13 1:43 P

I don't try to avoid my cravings but simply find healthy alternatives. For example, instead of eating potatoe chips I will grab something like:
-Stacy's whole wheat or baked pita chips
-Air Popped Popcorn

If I want a candy bar or chocolate Ice cream I will eat some dark chocolate or something of the sort.

I also find that eating lots of fruits and veggies lowers cravings. Cravings will overwhelm you if you are hungry so it's easier to turn down cravings if your tummy is full.

Edited by: NOBLEEQUESTRIAN at: 8/19/2013 (13:45)
8/19/13 1:24 P

Love those top two tips!

Sugar's my issue; I don't keep sweets in the house and I've weened it out of my "extras" throughout the day. For example, I've got my coffee black now and have my morning eggs with no ketchup (biggie for me!). I still struggle with parties and social events, but my day to day is pretty good.

KARA623 Posts: 727
8/19/13 11:51 A

It was a process for me, but I come from a background of compulsive overeating. I went from eating 90% junk to probably 95% clean, whole foods, but it took a while - and many steps - to get there. I started out by eliminating most junk during the week and just having a snack of baked potato chips with dip when I got home from work (transitioning to pretzels and dip, then carrots and dip, then popcorn, then fruit/veggie smoothie), and I saved my fast food and "junk" for the weekend. I always planned to have the junk under controlled amounts by not keeping it in my house but going to get it in a single serving and then eating it slowly and enjoying it. I used to do this every weekend, but now it's a rare occurrence, but if I want ice cream or pizza or something like that, I find a way to have it.

Two top recommendations:
1. Don't keep it in your house.
2. Don't have it on a whim. Ever. Acknowledge your craving and then plan to have it in a few days when you can fit it into your day. This will help you with discipline.

LETAYLOR5413 SparkPoints: (21,693)
Fitness Minutes: (36,707)
Posts: 103
8/19/13 11:37 A

HI there SparkPeople!

I ponder calories OFTEN, as I'm sure many of you do too. I think I've identified my eating triggers, but I'm having a hard time avoiding them even though I know their bad news. What helps you avoid your triggers? I'm really willing to change - I'm tired of being on my on-again-off-again cycle. What works for you?

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