Getting in Shape

Help with my Diet.

I am not unhealthy but I could be healthier. I want to lose about 10 to 15 pounds before my wedding but I am having difficulty with my diet. Mostly because I generally eat healthy but I don't know exactly what kind of foods are good and what aren't aside from the obvious of no processed foods. 

Does anyone know any website or anything where you can download free food plans? My fiance has a really hard time with food quality. He grew up in a family that cooked terribly fatty foods. He is a lot better now but he also has a lot of work to do. 

So is anyone else struggling with this or have any tips for me? Any tips on how to overhaul your diet? I don't want to go on any kind of crash diet, just generally change my life style to be better. 

Re: Help with my Diet.

  • I use the 21 Day Fix and I love it!  It's a nutrition plan and workouts!
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    It may not be WHAT you are eating, but HOW MUCH you are eating.  

    Do you weigh/measure your portion before you eat?  If not, I would start with that and counting your calories before you overhaul your diet (especially if you already eat fairly healty).
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    There aren't any "good" foods and "bad" foods.  Any food in a large amount is not healthy for you.  For example, it is known that almonds are a "good" nut for you.  But only if you eat the appropriate serving size, if you eat a whole can then the "good" almonds just turned into a "bad" food.

    What I am saying (and basically repeating what April said) is all food is "good" in moderation.  You shouldn't have to cut out specific types of foods just because a website labels them as "bad" for you. Eat what you like, but just be cognizant of portion sizes.  Also, you need to add in exercise if you haven't already done so.

    So in summary, if you want some pizza have two slices and wrap up the rest.  You want ice cream?  Then get a kids size cup.  In the mood for pasta?  Make the serving size and saute up a chicken breast and add some broccoli to really fill out the meal.

  • I follow a primal/paleo eating style. I know it's not for everyone, but I truly feel healthier when I eat this way. I recommend checking out Mark's Daily Apple and his Primal Blueprint.
  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    I eat clean, that means all natural and organic and no processed foods.  I also don't eat white carbs, only brown carbs.

    I also use MFP (though I have been horrible at tracking of late, been so busy) to track my calorie intake.

    It really does come down to portion control.  Measure everything out according to its serving size.

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  • I only eat about 1200-1600 calories a day. I always aim for 1200 (I'm shorter) but the max I go up to on my "bad days' is 1600 which is just my calorie limit for my body type. What I'm talking about is eating the proper nutrients, like a well rounded diet every day. I don't want to do a crash diet or anything like that, which is why I'm giving myself 5 months to lose 15 pounds. I just want to be healthier. Although the 21 day fix sounds interesting. It might help my fiance out a lot, he has lots of problems with how much he eats. 

    I use My Fitness Pal too, I like the new scan feature but sometimes it is hard to keep track of your homemade food when each chicken breast is a totally different size. 
  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 Dirty Jerz mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    Here is something that will help with portion control and healthy sizes (click).

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  • About a year ago I started using MyFitnessPal to track how much I was eating. This is the key. I eat healthy foods and I work out hard very regularly. But for a while I still wasn't losing weight. Because I was eating too many calories. When you want to lose weight you need a calorie deficit! The key is that you need to be eating less than you're working off. So even if you're eating healthy, even healthy foods have calories. I found MyFitnessPal helpful to track how many calories were in the foods I was cooking so I could estimate proper portion size. It also helped me bump up my exercise and stay motivated. I've lost about 15 lbs and feel better than I have in years. I would still like to lose some more and when I'm not making progress, I just back on MyFitnessPal to figure out where I can cut some calories. 
  • I started Weight Watchers with three months to go for my wedding and lost about 15 pounds. It's relatively inexpensive (I just have the online app and it was $19 a month with a 3 month minimum) but knowing that I paid for it really kept me strict to it. It's super easy to log points and keep yourself on track!
  • I second weight watchers. I lost 20-25 pounds for my wedding on it. I was able to cancel my subscription after about 5 months (and 15 pounds) because by then I had the hang of it and continued eating the same. It was infinitely easier than any other diet or exercise plan I had tried. I wish I had discovered this about 10 years ago.

    It helps you figure out both what to eat (which was probably 25% of my problem) AND how much to eat (the rest of my problem). Good stuff is worth fewer points so you can eat more of it. But you can still eat pizza if you are somehow ok with eating one piece and nothing else for the day. Obviously, no one is ok with that, so it steers you towards more of the good stuff or else you end the day starving.

  • I'm a huge fan of the 21 Day Fix as well. 21 days to create a habit! I'm actually restarting the program in a few days (I'm 8 months out from my wedding date). From my experience though - you have to incorporate all of the elements into your routine -- the workouts, the portion control meal plans, and  Shakeology. It makes a big big difference in helping you stay on track and reducing cravings. I lost 26 lbs about 18 months ago by focusing on those three things -- portion control, getting the right nutrients, and workouts! The other thing I've found very helpful --- joining an accountability group who are working on the same goals you are!!

  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer

    Here are some suggestions that I hope will help:

    -Oatmeal for breakfast.  I make the original Quaker oats on the stovetop with milk.  Most people use water but I like the taste of milk better.  Once it's finished I add golden raisins, walnuts, depending on what I have at home. Also applesauce that I keep in the fridge.  The cold applesauce allows me to eat the warm oatmeal right away. Banana slices are great too.  The ready-made flavored packs are okay too, but sugary.  Steel cut oats are even better, but take slightly longer to make.

    -Avoid butter, mayo, sauces, dressings.  If you're eating salad, go light on the dressing and try Italian, vinaigrette, avoid Caesar dressing, blue cheese, Thousand Island.

    -Go easy on the potatoes, avoid mashed.  I think the small red bliss potatoes are healthier than others, does anyone else know the facts on this?

    -Every time you out to eat and your meal comes with fries, chips or something like that on the side, substitute for vegetable instead.  If you're out for breakfast substitute home fries with fruit.

    -Avoid creamy soups.  Any broth-based soup will be healthier than a creamy soup.

    -Drink lots of water.  All the time.  Try to cut out soda and any sweet alcoholic drinks. 

  • edited November 2014
    I personally swear by Michael Pollan's basic food rules, which are summarized as:

    "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"

    This is common sense, and is a sustainable way to eat without having to obsess over calorie counting. It's good for your body and good for the environment too. Basically it means -

    1. Eat food: Don't eat processed food. Cook/prepare your own food, so you know what goes into it. At all costs avoid artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, anything wrapped in plastic and then sold in a box, anything labelled "sugar free", "low-fat", "low-carb", or "diet". 95% of food sold in your average grocery store (even Whole Foods!) is heavily processed. These days when I go to the store I bypass every single aisle except the produce section, meat and seafood counter, and dairy section.

    2. Not too much: portion control is important. I switched from eating dinner off of dinner plates to salad plates. Pasta dishes went from pasta bowls to cereal bowls. For desserts, try little ramekins.

    3. Mostly plants: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains are your best friends. But especially vegetables. 3/4 of your plate should be filled with vegetables at every meal except maybe breakfast. If you're still hungry at the end of a meal then eat more vegetables (salad, carrot sticks, etc.) The more colorful your food the more nutrients it contains - think dark leafy greens, orange root vegetables (rather than potatoes and cauliflower). Visit your local farmstand (I joined a CSA and it's awesome!). Try new things. Find a good vegetarian cookbook.

    Want more ideas? I like what's listed here:

    Except the part about sardines. I hate sardines, and that's okay. You don't need to love all of these foods, just enough of them to replace what you're currently eating.
  • One more thing - I'm not a fan of things like 21 Day Fix, Weight Watchers, or careful calorie-counting because I think they're less likely to result in the types of permanent lifestyle changes that will lead to sustainable weight loss.
  • Another vote for weight Watchers! I've lost 60 lbs on the program and have kept it off for almost 2 yrs.  It is the best program to follow! It's truly about a lifestyle, not a "diet."
  • IamnowmrsjmsIamnowmrsjms member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited November 2014
    redheadbride-WW is ALL about sustainable weight loss! :)
  • @disalek - So glad WW worked for you - that's awesome! I'm just not the type of girl who could stand counting calories or points or anything like that - it's not a sustainable pattern for me. But, if change what I put in my grocery cart, and also how much goes on my plate - that works. To each her own :)
  • @redheadbride15 That's so helpful thank you. My fiance and I switched to eating off really small plates a long time ago, although I never really told him. He has it in his mind that he always needs seconds, regardless of if he does. He just loves the food I make and always wants more. So I load his first small plate really lightly and then he does his second plate himself. It definitely is better then eating off the big ones. I shudder to think how many calories he ate before. 

    All the other stuff is really good. It's hard because we are both students right now and when I have class or work until 10 pm it makes it difficult to prepare meals, even though I love to do t. 

    But again, thanks for the tips. They are definitely helpful. 
  • I totally understand the difficulty preparing meals when you work long hours! I was working 80+ hrs per week until recently. You'd be surprised how quickly you can throw some things together though! I have a whole battery of 15 minute meals, like pasta w/ veggies, sauteed greens, bean dishes... Salads and sandwiches are also great for those late nights. Also cook ahead of time when you have time, like on weekends or nights when you don't have class (soups, stews, chili, etc.) and then store or freeze leftovers for later. It takes a bit of dedication at first, but you quickly learn that it's actually faster than take-out, and it's waaaaay better.

    It's also helpful to plan out a week's worth of meals at a time, so you have all the ingredients ready-to-go. On Sunday mornings my fiancee and I brainstorm what we want to cook/eat and what our schedule is for the next week and write the week's menu (3 meals/day) on a chalkboard in the kitchen. Based on that we make a grocery shopping list and go out and stock up for the week. It's kind of fun! But that way, if I know I have to work late on Monday then I plan to make a big pot of chili on Sunday night and we'll eat leftovers Monday.

    Hahaha - I do the same thing with my fiancee (try to give him small portions). And yes, he always goes back for seconds. Poor guy has gained like 40 lb since knowing me, but he was very thin to start with so he's okay.
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