Okay, I know this question is asked a lot and there are many, many replies on it but I'm having a problem shopping for food. I've never been a cook, in fact I just don't do it. I never had a problem when I lived in the US because I knew how to shop for food, I'd buy frozen WW meals when I didn't want to cook, fruits, and if I was craving something sweet 100 cal packs. I was using WW so I tracked my points and did splendid.
The problem is now. This country (and as much as I love it) doesn't have anything that is weight loss supportive! They don't have frozen meals (unless you count the pizza!), no 100 cal packs, no skim milk (1.5% is the lowest),they don't even have calories! (some other unit of measurements!), not to mention when I go to buy food and try to make an effort to pick things low in calories I have no idea what it is saying.
I'm already dreading shopping tomorrow because I want to make a good effort into getting the right food, it just doesn't seem possible. I was thinking to buy some common things and try to prepare easy meals that I can freeze. But I have no idea what to make! Does anyone have any suggestions on the type of foods I should buy? I'm already planning on the fruits/veggies and no bread or chocolate! Any help would be great! I'm going to try to look around the site as well and hopefully find something!!!
I'd recommend learning to cook. I mean, if you absolutely CAN NOT count your calories, eating something like saute'd zucchini in a splash of olive oil is pretty safe, as opposed to something pre made that you have no idea if it's 'diet friendly' or not.
I love cooking, but I didn't always. :P
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it's the courage to continue that counts." --Winston Churchill\
I would learn several different ways to make chicken or any other hunk of meat. You can find calorie information for foods like that online. Chicken is chicken regardless of country. Vegetables are the same way. Perhaps a meal of a hunk of meat and a side of veggies and fruit is the way to go until you figure something out. Big chicken salads with your own homemade salad dressing is a great option or you can even just use olive oil and vinegar with a splash of lemon as a great dressing. You could just force yourself to cook up some meat one time per week and then freeze it in portioned amounts. (Unless Hungary is anything like Holland in which everything, including freezers, are teeny tiny or nonexistent.)
Does that help?
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)
If they use the kcal measurement there, then 1 kcal=1 calorie. The thing I've noticed about European foods, is that the kcal (calorie) info isn't for a serving size, it's almost always for 100 grams. So, I'd suggest getting a kitchen scale and a calculator. Measure out 100 grams and then measure out an actual serving (whatever the package says.) You'll just have to do the math accordingly.
I would also recommend learning to cook. Try searching the internet for basic recipes that have regular ingredients (veggies, whole grains, etc.,) so you don't have to look for low calorie equivalents. Allrecipes.com and Recipezaar.com have calorie counts on their sites as well. There is also an allrecipes site that is specifically for Germany, but it's in German so you'd need a translator.
no bread or chocolate in Germany, yikes! the land of the best bread and ritter bars (not to mention all the good beer and wurst). I'd be toast.
think simple with your dinner meals, a starch (potato, sweet potato, yams, rice, pasta), protein (including beans, fish, lean read meats, lean pork cuts, chicken), veggie. fruit for snacks, or carrots and such, crackers, small low fat cheeses like swiss. check out fitday.com to get an idea of the calories of the foods. you could make beans (lentil soup). a pot of veggie soup. salads (as long as you don't put dressing on it, a salad will last a couple of days in your fridge)
ham tends to be lean, eggs, for breakfast, or wheat toast with peanut butter and a piece of fruit, a bowl of cereal (granola can be high in sugars and fats, so I'd skip that), yogurt
once you get a routine down, shopping should be much easier. I think (I could be wrong) vegan eating is fairly common in Germany too, lots of healthy, lower cal alternatives that way.
it is not hard to learn to cook!! I was raised in a home where both parents worked full time, often opposite shifts, and we typically ate things that looking back i don't consider food. Chicken baked in a pan of soup, while it can be tastey, is not thought provoking enough for me to feed my family.
I never took a cooking class, never found a cook-book i liked enough to used, i just started adding things to things to see what worked. I now am a semi-homemade cook, i add things to everything to add flavor and make the meals better. Cooking it with my own trial and error ways makes me appreciate the food more & slow down to really taste it.
think about this, when you get a frozen dinner, you put a slit in the film, push a couple buttons, check e-mail, thewn go back and stir, wait two minutes after the beep and then eat it. The only decision to make based on taste is whether ot not you'll buty it again. if you spend 20-45 mins cooking a meal your more likely to really savor it thinking about maybe more garlic, pepper, salt, onion, add some cheese, try oregano, toss in spinach or broccolli next time.
the meal will become yours. Remember spa-peggy and meatballs on king of the hill? maybe meganated chicken with stir-fry veggies is in your future.
Vegetable soups and stews are very tasty, and very forgiving. If you have a crockpot (or a large pot to keep on the back burner on low heat), there are hundreds of soups that are easy to make, and low in calorie.
My simplest soup is to cut all sorts of veggies (an assortment, I haven't found a combination that tasted bad, yet) and toss them into a can of tomato juice or can of chicken broth, or water with bouillon cubes in them.
There are hundreds and hundreds of recipes online, so you're bound to find dozens of recipes based on ingredients you do have available. Before long, you'll find it pretty easy to improvise.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help you have given me! I know I should learn to cook, but I'm they type of person that can burn water! Since I do want to make a valid effort at weight loss I know that I must learn to cook. The links everyone provided were very helpful.
I will be heading to the store soon, so hopefully I can make some good decisions. I've started to think about salads with chicken breasts and vegetable soups!
Also I'm in Hungary now, no longer in Germany! Trust me it was easier shopping there as I could understand the language and they have skim milk! Luckily though we are close enough to Austria that I could shop there if things get to desperate!