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DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
12/6/13 8:45 A

You've gotten some great advice already, but I think you MUST work on your mindset if you're going to be successful for the long haul. You cannot think of "getting healthy" as a wall you jump over and --poof-- all of your habits change instantly and you never make mistakes or overeat. It just doesn't work that way, unfortunately. It's something you'll work on for the rest of your life--there will be bumps, u-turns, times when you'll make great progress and times when you'll hang on by your fingernails. That's the key, IMO...small changes will add up over time, and mistakes are never fatal failures - they are opportunities to learn to do it differently.

I would also seriously consider tracking, at least for a few months until you get a good idea of how you eat and where your trouble spots are. Yes, it is a pain at first, but the knowledge you'll gain really is priceless. I tracked for a year until I felt comfortable with my ability to make good decisions without it, and I still return to it from time to time just to keep myself honest.

Reading through your posts, my suggestion would be to work on snacks first. Many snacks are easily portable and automatically portion-controlled. A piece of fruit or a bag of baby carrots, a cheese stick, yogurt, or one of the many fiber/protein bars would all be great choices. If you're not already doing so, work on getting some water into your day. Once you're comfortable with snack choices, pick one meal and work on that. Breakfast might be a good choice, especially since there are so many quick and easy ways to eat it. A good cold cereal, oatmeal, whole wheat toast with a smear of peanut butter, or even a banana and a glass of milk would get your metabolism going and start your day off right. It doesn't HAVE to be breakfast food, so if you want to take a half turkey sandwich in the car to munch on, that's fine too.

You mention that you live with your parents...could you get them involved in making dinner or any other common meals in the home better? Approached in the right way, they may be willing to change their habits too, especially if they see progress from you.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
12/5/13 10:56 P

Why don't you use the tracker and turn on the meal plans? That will give you an idea of how to eat in a balanced way.

KMHILLI Posts: 165
12/5/13 10:55 P

Skim milk is good. Try to find a cereal that has fiber in it. You might also want to try whole wheat toast (make sure it says whole wheat not just "whole grain" and a tablespoon or so peanut butter (natural or low sugar if possible). Maybe a banana on the side?

Edited by: KMHILLI at: 12/5/2013 (22:58)
CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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Posts: 20
12/5/13 9:03 P

I would like to start eating breakfast. I am ok with adding fruit. And I don't drink that good for you? Should it be skim milk?

KMHILLI Posts: 165
12/5/13 8:44 P

Here you go. It is from Cook's Illustrated. This isn't a complicated recipe if you take it step by step. By all means, take Becky's advice, though. Start simple. You can do this!

3 slices bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon) -- I usually use 6 cloves!
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces), drained
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (you can use dry if you need to, just use a little less)
1 cup lentils (7 ounces), rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves

1. Fry bacon in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in lentils, salt, and pepper to taste; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vegetables are softened and lentils have darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, add wine, and bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and water; bring to boil, cover partially, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, 30 to 35 minutes; discard bay leaf.

2. Puree 3 cups soup in blender until smooth, then return to pot; stir in lemon juice and heat soup over medium-low until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro and serve, garnishing each bowl with some of remaining cilantro.

Edited by: KMHILLI at: 12/5/2013 (20:49)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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Posts: 1,379
12/5/13 8:41 P

I think your first goal, before even trying to lose weight, should be learning to cook a little and getting used to making a few simple meals for yourself. Even something like "2 scrambled eggs for breakfast, leftover chicken on a sandwich and three cherry tomatoes for lunch, and crockpot chicken stew with carrots and onion and peppers for dinner" would be such a huge improvement over what you're eating now and would make you feel so much better that it would be worth it in terms of being good to yourself, even if you lose zero weight while you're figuring it all out. Anyone can do it ,and it wont' even take long to learn, but it would be a little hard to learn cooking AND nutrition/calories at the same time, so first things first.

It's brutally difficult, if it's even possible at all, to both lose weight and eat healthy without cooking a large percentage of your own food.

12/5/13 8:33 P

I am going to suggest that you start checking out some simple recipes here at SP.
If you are looking for a very easy cookbook, check out:

I saw your nutrition tracker. You took in about 1300 calories; but almost 900 of those calories provided very little nutritional benefit, nor helped to keep you full and satisfied (salad dressing, donuts, rice krispie treat, Cheetos)

How do you feel about eating breakfast?
Would you be willing to include some fruit each day?
Do you drink milk?

Your SP Registered Dietitian

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
12/5/13 8:21 P

I resisted counted calories at first, too. But now I can't do without it. Here at sparkpeople, the counter will count whatever you want - it automatically counts protein - which will lead me to my next point in a second.

There is a ton of stuff already entered in the tracker. A lot of what you probably eat is there already, you just type it in and hit search. Otherwise, looking online is simple. google calories snicker bar...296 cals 16.4 fat 34.5 carb 4.3 protein. It took me less than 2 seconds to find that info. Cup diced chicken breast 231 cals, 5 fat 0 carb 43 gram protein.

It might help you to track calories just for a few weeks to help you learn the basics.

Anyway, my second point is protein. How much do you get a day? Protein can help you feel more full and satiated, leading to less snacking. Fiber can really help that as well.

Anyway, it's up to you about tracking calories, but I'd definitely take a look at the tracker here and see what it has to offer. Plus you will get an idea of how many calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. you should be getting vs what you are actually getting which helps you create healthy eating habits.

If you are trying to lose weight, you need to do the goal thingy (I don't know what it is called!!!). You enter in your starting weight and your goal weight with a realistic date, and the tracker set's up your calorie, fat, carb & protein daily goal based on your input.

Good luck, Hunny :)

Edited to say: you did it while I was typing..good for you!!!

Edited by: EELPIE at: 12/5/2013 (20:23)
CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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Posts: 20
12/5/13 8:17 P

well i put my food for the day into my nutrition tracker. i guess i wont get too hung up about exact amounts -at least for now. ill put it there now since i guess that makes more sense.

CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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Posts: 20
12/5/13 8:06 P

Hello, yes I would like the recipe for the soup, And I do not really know how to make a casserole but I think I would like it.

I think I just messed up because I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of veggies and fruit, but that is like it. So, I am really scared I am going to quit because of this.

I think this is what I don't understand. Like I only know the two extremes.

I don't want to count calories because I think it is incredibly difficult and time consuming. I don't feel it is necessary.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
12/5/13 4:43 P

Ok I looked at your blog for today so far, it's not too horribly bad...

Cheetoes from vending machine
Salad with blue cheese dressing
some doughnuts
some honey roasted cashews

The amounts?

Well, you could do some swapping:

Bleu cheese dressing (my favourite in the world!!!)
2 tbs approx: 160 cals, 16 gr. fat
SWAP for Light Ranch: 2tbs = 80 cals, 7 gr. fat

1 bag cheetos (are you my twin??)
21 pieces (wow!) : 141 cals, 9 gr. fat
SWAP for 2 cups microwave popcorn (I am assuming you are at work for this snack, use microwave) 140 cals, 4 gr fat (this is approx) OR
Swap 2 apples: 200 cals, 0 gr fat
(Your snack choices could be endless here - like cheese strips for protein, people here will have a ton of ideas for you)

Doughnuts (you are not my twin)
what kind? How many?
1 plain Entenmann Doughnut has 170 cals, 10 gr. fat - for one doughnut
SWAP 2 hard boiled eggs: 160 cals., 10 gr fat

Honey roasted peanuts (twin??)
I bag from machine?
1 bag: 310 cals. 25 gr fat
SWAP: Chobani Greek yogurt, plain 100 cals, 0 gr. fat - throw in handful fresh berries you bought at store.

If you count calories it's easy to see this, and make changes to your diet :)

Edited by: EELPIE at: 12/5/2013 (16:46)
KMHILLI Posts: 165
12/5/13 4:36 P

Also -- why won't you count calories? I think that most folks will tell you that Spark's calorie counter makes an enormous difference in transitioning to healthier eating.

KMHILLI Posts: 165
12/5/13 4:34 P

Just took a peek at your blog. The good news is...there's lots of room for improvement ;)

You eat a lot of processed stuff...that can be remedied easily. Take it slowly. You don't have to change everything all at once. Don't rely on Lean Cuisine. (I'm always starving after I eat them!) And, don't try to eat "healthy" by simply having a salad for lunch! You'll be starving in a couple hours and will head back down to the vending machine!

Here's a small suggestion. Do you have off on weekends? If you do, make a big pot of hearty soup or a healthy casserole or something to get you through the beginning of the week. Do you like lentil soup? Let me know if you do and I'll give you a fantastic recipe to get you started. Especially combined with some brown rice and a nice veg, it is really, really filling. (Trust me, I like GOOD food, not rabbit/diet food. This soup is flavorful (it even has a bit of bacon in it!)

Take baby steps from there. Don't commit to a specific "diet," not yet anyway. Start out by making small changes towards healthier eating.

Edited by: KMHILLI at: 12/5/2013 (17:49)
CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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12/5/13 4:17 P

Okay I fixed my page so it isnt private. and i will start to keep track of what i am eating. even if it is crap and i wont count calories. i want to focus on choosing healthier options.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
12/5/13 2:50 P

Now, don't be scared of food. This is where 'writing down what you eat' comes in handy... when you eat something and then find yourself finishing off the whole bag/box/pot... write that down. Note that taking that first bite of "x" set you off on a bit of a binge. Don't beat yourself up because it happened, just learn from it. "I should avoid X because when i eat one, i eat them all." You note that you've already discovered a tendency to do that with bread and pasta - so by all means, keep on avoiding those. What you're experiencing with them is pretty common - Many people have the same reaction to "refined starches" (white bread, white pasta, white rice, white flour and items made of it such as chips, cookies, cakes...) - the body metabolizes these "simple carbohydrates" very quickly, leaving you hungry again way too soon (and for some people - such as me - too much of such foods can lead to wildly spiking blood sugar levels that creates a terribly uncomfortable shaky-dying-of-hunger-must-eat-everything-
in-my-path sort of reaction). So try to avoid these.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
12/5/13 2:43 P

Ok well, I can't see your blog (your page is set to private), which is fine...

So. How about for a first step, you make a plan to pack your own lunches from home? Rather than going to a fast food restaurant or other kind of take out place. If you're just starting out with cooking, you might find lunches a little less intimidating than trying to prepare a whole dinner. There's a lot of prepackaged "lunch foods" available that can help you get started - single-serving packages of yogurt or cheese, beef jerky... some fruit (grapes, apples, banana, mandarin orange?) or maybe some cherry-tomatoes. Single serving containers of hummus, with carrot sticks to dip? A handy "sort of convenience" food that I like to have around is a rotisserie chicken from the grocery deli - pre-cooked convenience, but a much better way of consuming chicken than from chicken-fingers or deep-fried take-out. I buy one, rip it up, throw in fridge and then take a couple legs one day, throw some sliced meat on a sandwich or salad the next day...

Counting calories is not required, but "keeping track of what you eat" is REALLY useful and I would highly recommend that you try it... just write down what you eat, then, and nevermind recording or adding up the calorie part. Just write it down.

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 12/5/2013 (14:43)
CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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12/5/13 2:31 P

I wrote what I ate in my blog for yesterday and today so far.

I eat all processed stuff or food from somewhere like take out.

I would like to cook, but it seems so hard.

I go to work from 8AM-5PM and that is it. I have no kids. I live with my parents. Not on a budget. I have grocery stores near me. I have a car. No one really enables me. I do not want to count calories.

I also feel scared of some foods, because I only know how to do ALL or nothing. So, I will be scared to eat bread or I don't know what I can or can't eat. Also, I do not want to count calories. I would just like to change the foods I eat to healthy things.

Edited by: CJAC30 at: 12/5/2013 (14:32)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
12/5/13 2:10 P

It would help if you provided a bit more information! What do you mean by "horrible"? What are you eating? Fast food? Restaurant food? Too many processed snack foods? Too much candy or other sweets?

Do you cook? Or have an interest in learning to cook (from scratch, not from assembling an assortment of canned and packaged items)?

What kind of constraints do you face in your daily life? Are you a busy student, a night shift worker, on-the-road a lot? Raising kids? Between jobs? Stressed out? Bored? On a budget? With or without good access to a decent grocery/source of fresh produce? Do you have supportive family and friends, or perhaps enabling or even sabotaging people in your social network?

You don't need to answer all these questions at once... just, perhaps clarify what your immediate concern is...

When you realize you want to change your life, and you realize how "far from healthy" your current lifestyle is - it is very tempting to want to overhaul everything all at once. It's really worth it to attack this process in stages. Start small, just one or two little changes. For example, "start tracking what you do eat in your nutrition journal" - even if you don't change what you eat, and even if the numbers are way over the "suggested calorie range" - it's a GOOD step, as it gives you information and accountability. Once it's all written down in black and white, you can look at it and start to see "areas for improvement."

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
12/5/13 1:57 P

Hunny, what is your diet? You need to be a bit more specific. :)

CJAC30 SparkPoints: (174)
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Posts: 20
12/5/13 1:49 P

My diet is horrible. I feel so lost. Can someone help me?

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