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Why do I make it so hard?

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Why do I make it so hard?

I think I'm making an issue out of it for nothing. But meal planning is just this huge task to me. I started calorie counting today and it's been hard but I've tracked everything and already I'm over 1800 calories and I still have dinner to go. I know where the calories are coming from though and I'll be able to adjust for tomorrow.

But now I have to face meal planning and I've made it this huge deal in my head and I don't know why. I keep making excuses about it.

I found some meal planner sheets online and now I just have to fill them out with meals. Do you figure out your calories before hand and put those in, so you know what you are getting that day or do them that day?
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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I do my planning the day before on paper, that way I know if I have to add anything to get to my calorie goal or take away. If I eat anything that I haven't planned on I add that as soon as I can so I don't forget. When I don't plan a day at least a day earlier I find that is when I have the most problems.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Can someone point me in the direction of where I can find meal planning sheets?
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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I plan out the day before as well. I have certain amounts that I allow myself for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So lately I've been eating 1500 calories a day. I'll have 300 for breakfast, 400 for lunch, 200 for an afternoon snack, 500 for dinner, and 100 for an evening snack. I'm not really hungry in the mornings, so I plan my day accordingly. The late afternoon (after 5-ish) is the toughest for me so I plan more calories for that time of day. It's what works for me. If you're hungrier in the morning then plan for more calories in the morning than in the evening. Figure out what works for you.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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i usually just write down as i go but have SOME idea what i want to eat the day before. i just find if i plan every little bite then i end up not wanting to eat that! but i pretty much know the cals/portion sizes of the stuff in my house so it's not hard for me to just go on the fly...
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:18 PM   #6
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http://www.healthymenumailer.com/ebo...-meal-plan.pdf

One I found, I can't find the original one I found but I have it saved on my computer.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Maybe it would be good to look at some sample meal plans online. That way you can get started meal planning by just copying what someone else does, then eventually you'll do it without thinking.

Don't psych yourself out. I'm a HUGE self-saboteur and I always psych myself out of anything that might be a bit confusing at first. But that's how we got into this mess in the first place. You know you can do it, everyone who has read this thread knows you can do it.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
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I know exactly how you feel, I was there last year about this time! I found sparkpeople.com and it is free, it sets you up with calorie and nutrition goals according to your weight and height etc........then if you want it to it sets up some meal plans. THis is a great idea to see exactly the types of meals you should be eating for balanced nutrition within your calorie guidelines. Of course you dont have to use those meal plans, I always brought them up and it gave me ideas.

For example if it said for dinner to have chicken breast, rice pilaf and brocoli (it gives exact amounts) I could switch that out to fish, brown rice, and spinach........great reminder of the right nutrition balance and the right portions.

Now I just log in my foods and I rarely use the meal planner (you can switch it off and on) but every once in awhile I bring it up for new ideas.

Hope that helps
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:08 AM   #9
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I hate planning with a passion. I have no idea what I'll feel like cooking and/or eating in 2 hours let alone 24.

I enter my weight in TDP everyday and it spits out how many calories I get. Then I take my meds and wait an hour and then I eat something. Often I eat an apple or granola bar or yogurt. Before, during, or after eating I enter whatever it was on TDP. It shows me how many calories I have left. Then later when I'm hungry again I look at how many calories I have left and pick something that seems like a good choice but leaves more calories for later.

I really REALLY hate coming to the end of the day and having no more calories left so it helps me budget pretty well during the day. Once I'm out of calories, that's it. I'm done.

I almost always come in slightly under my calorie budget but once in awhile I go 100 calories over. It pretty much all evens out so I'm eating 1670 calories which is my current calorie budget.

A HUGE part of what makes this work for me is that I eat a LOT of bulk much of the time. So a ginormous spinach salad with lots of chicken is a staple. I also like pita sandwiches with 2oz of turkey, hummus and greek yogurt, and lots of shredded lettuce. Around 300 calories for a pretty filling meal. Roasted asparagus is another favorite. You can eat a LOT of asparagus for not too many calories.

EDIT: I should add that it helps to identify high calorie/per oz items. Walnuts are great nutrition but I only eat about 1/4 to 1/2 oz per day - which is a small handful. Rice, bread, and tortillas are also calorically dense. A few months ago I'd eat 3-4 tortillas a day easy. Now I eat one a week if that. Milk and cheese are also used sparingly. Figuring out that 300 calories of rice was not nearly as satisfying as 300 calories of chicken was a pretty big help to me in the beginning.

EDIT #2: Also maybe at your weight maybe 1800 calories isn't enough? I think when I was closer to your weight I was eating around 1900 a day and still dropping 3lbs a week. Sometimes and extra 50 or 100 calories can really make a difference.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:42 AM   #10
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It's also possible to come up with a general idea of what you'll be eating and go from there. I have a few combinations I have for breakfast (and I know the calories for them). I'm a fan of Lean Cuisine, so often I rely on those and add to them.

As far as more fresh foods, I'll buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, cook them all up at once, and then I have cold chicken left over for a few days. Same with other meats like lean pork or steak, and with vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. I can put those into a meal combination without much trouble. chicken, salad, green beans (I like the frozen microwaveable packages). Or, chicken sandwich on half a piece of bread (or two pieces if I plan for it) with salad and leftover broccoli. You get the idea I'm sure!

But I rarely plan all the meals in advance for every day.

As for snacks, again, I have a few options I can go to in different combinations.

Don't stop yourself! Just figure out how to make it work.

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Old 02-04-2009, 09:29 AM   #11
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I have a very hard time also. I know most people say to prepare meals yourself but I like the weight watchers meals.. Lean Cuisine..
Healthy Choice.. My life style is so busy.. On weekends we will grill extra chicken so we can eat on it during the week. I love snacks.. I feel like I will just die if I do not have one at night before bed so I always make sure I save at least 100 calories for a snack.
Thanks for the weekly meal plan.. I think I will try it..
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:50 AM   #12
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This may not be helpful advice because I know different things work for different people. But I want my plan to be something I can continue and maintain for the rest of my life, and it has worked for two years now, so I am very hopeful. There is no way I can make time every day for the rest of my life to count calories, measure and weigh, and plan every bite I am going to take each day, so my plan is one that doesn't require that. I may calorie count on occasion as a sanity check, if I feel I've been eating too much. I believe planning IS key to successful weight loss and maintenance, but I think if it's a huge burden you won't be able to keep doing it. So once a week I take some time to plan my dinners for the next week, and make my grocery list at the same time. I make a quick list of what will be available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Every morning I go to the accountability thread and think about what I feel like eating that day and make a quick plan. This just takes a couple of minutes. I am well known for making things way more complicated than they need to be and burning out quickly, so I try to focus on really keeping this simple.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:25 AM   #13
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I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by meal planning. I never plan meals. Most days I don't know what's for supper till it's supper time. I need to get on that as well I just don't know where to start. With a plan or with a grocerie list.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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I'm a meal planner....always have since I have multiple people to feed. I like to know what I need to buy (I go to the grocery once a week).

When I started WW I do admit I was a bit intimidated about meal planning. Mainly because I wasn't so sure if I should cook one meal for me & another for the rest of the family. Now we all eat the same thing so I stopped worrying.

Take it a little at a time....planning helps keep you on plan & where you aren't jumping into a situation that might take you off. It doesn't mean you have to make complicated meals try something simple like baked skinless boneless chicken breasts, brown rice and steamed broccoli or even a frozen Smart One.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmoodle View Post
This may not be helpful advice because I know different things work for different people. But I want my plan to be something I can continue and maintain for the rest of my life, and it has worked for two years now, so I am very hopeful. There is no way I can make time every day for the rest of my life to count calories, measure and weigh, and plan every bite I am going to take each day, so my plan is one that doesn't require that. I may calorie count on occasion as a sanity check, if I feel I've been eating too much. I believe planning IS key to successful weight loss and maintenance, but I think if it's a huge burden you won't be able to keep doing it. So once a week I take some time to plan my dinners for the next week, and make my grocery list at the same time. I make a quick list of what will be available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Every morning I go to the accountability thread and think about what I feel like eating that day and make a quick plan. This just takes a couple of minutes. I am well known for making things way more complicated than they need to be and burning out quickly, so I try to focus on really keeping this simple.
Ditto ditto ditto

Meal planning for me is more about having the things I will need available, and not wasting fresh produce. I always leave out a few meals so I have some flexibility when invited somewhere (or just wanting to eat out) without making produce or leftovers go to waste. Sigh, yes, early on I had some major coping issues when I needed to deviate from my detailed plan
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