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Overwhelmed By the Idea of Planning

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Old 03-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #1
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Default Overwhelmed By the Idea of Planning

Ive been lurking on and off for a long time- thought I was ready a few months ago to really buckle down- turns out not so much- but at least I more or less maintained my weight which is a blessing- but I'm ready to try again.

I've lately been able to make better choices as they come up and I'm able to half my portions by just throwing out half before I start eating (it breaks my heart to be so wasteful but its one of the only ways to control my portions since I eat out so much) but I'm ready to take it to the next step.

I know that planning is a big part of the toolbox for successful losers but having never ever done it I'm having a really hard time.

I think I'm getting hung on having the "perfect" plan and I have more or less decided that it doesn't matter too much what the starting plan is as long as I get used to deciding ahead of time what to eat- figure out how to make it available to myself and then actually stick to earing what I had planned to eat and only that.

I've been searching for threads on this but its hard to come up with good search terms so I was wondering if folks could remember any good threads on this or if folks had some suggestions on how to get started
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:06 PM   #2
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Sometimes I get all caught up on the "details" of the plan when the truth was that I wasn't sticking to any plan. My suggestion for now would to be to come up with a simple plan that you can stick with, then you can tweak it as you go. I find it simplest to count calories. Every night before bed, I get on fitday and plan my food for the next day. Then all I have to do is follow it.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:40 PM   #3
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Oh paralysis. We're all familiar with it. It's normal. We think we have to be perfect, have the perfect plan, or else nothing will work. But that's sooo not true.

It sounds like you're up to a great start. You've made a small step and that's awesome! And better yet, it seems to be working for you.

My advice is to decide on the next small step. A good small step would be keeping a food journal. This will allow you to see what your calorie intake in and maybe where you're lacking nutritionally. It will also allow you to find out where your next small step would be the most effective. For instance, if you're eating too little for dinner and then you're eat too much after 8PM, you can see that!

My point is -- don't get hung up on this!
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:50 PM   #4
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I'm all for "automating" my food ~ I don't need a variety of 100 things to make me happy luckily LOL so my breakfasts are virtually the same old boring thing during the week (cereal, 1% milk, piece of fruit, and a big scoop of cottage cheese) and on weekends maybe i'll live a little and make oatmeal or breakfast quinoa. Lunches are similar too, i buy a great big bag o salad, usually greek, that lasts 3 or 4 days, and have some soup and a bun, or 1/2 sandwich and soup. Not having to think about 2 meals of the day is wicked!!!! And on weekend, sometimes I'll cook up a ton of chicken breasts so it's always in the freezer ready to go when I don't feel up to deciding what to make. Whatever I make (as it's just me & DH) I have some left over and I'll package it up and freeze it, always have some 'go to meals" on hand for those days you can't put one foot in front of the other. Automating choices can really help, I've found!

I don't know if this stupid, or if it was just me, but I had LOTS of energy some days, and other days it was all I could do to stay awake. The days I felt energized I went crazy and cooked up a storm and put things in my freezer for HER, that poor tired creature who was about to go to McDonald's because preparing food was too overwhelming when she was tired LOL

Best of luck, and be sure to check in with us lots!!
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:08 AM   #5
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Hi.. so glad you posted. Here is a thread from up above in the 'stickies' (recipes and other sticky worthy posts) There is alot of good information and inspiration in this:

Is it REALLY possible?!
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:22 AM   #6
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Planning is a great way to delay. I initially started doing Sparkpeople for a few weeks just to sort of stop planning and start doing, then I joined weight watchers to really stop planning and start doing.

Make this weekend the one that you will stop planning and start doing.

You can always adjust along the way if you need to, but you've got to start cutting back the food and tracking calories to make sure you are within the appropriate limits for your body if you want the weight to start coming off.

You could plan a trip to Italy forever, but if you don't actually put down the guidebook and pick up the credit card to make the plane reservation you'll never get there. Same with weight loss.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:36 AM   #7
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One of the first steps I made was realizing that I ate out a lot, to the point that I really didn't grocery shop regularly. There was never anything much in the house, and so we'd order takeout, go out, or run for fast food. One of the first things I had to make myself do was pick a grocery day every week and GO. I never thought I would be someone who prepared 95% of my own meals, and at first, I still ate out more than I do now with smarter choices. It got to the point pretty fast where I couldn't reconcile spending all that money on groceries AND eating out, so gradually I got to the point where now going out to eat is something that is a very planned and out of the ordinary occurence. It's much easier for me to stay on plan when I have everything I need at home and I don't have to flirt with the more tempting choices at restaurants constantly.

I don't know if this relates to you or not, but the simple act of grocery shopping weekly got me on the right track, big time.

Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:42 AM   #8
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I'm with Trazey. I found early on when I was struggling with planning that if I just focused on a couple of meals, I did much better and didn't feel overwhelmed.

I planned out three or four breakfasts that I like and that fit into my plan. I alternate among them. THat was the easiest for me.

Then I moved to lunch, and figured out five or six lunches that I like and that fit into my plan. I added them to the rotation.

Dinner was the hardest, because I don't cook; my husband does. So I never really know what dinner is going to be, so I need to be somewhat flexible. He knows he's okay as long as it's basic meat and veg... it's when he gets a hankering for pork and beans or pasta or mac and cheese that it can really throw me off. But by this time I even have options for those... but it took time for me to work them into my low-carb plan.

Take it a step at a time. You CAN do this!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:32 AM   #9
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I agree w/ starting to journal your food / count calories. I was SO resistent to this for so long. I had every excuse in the book for why I couldn't do it. My Wellness Coach challanged me to track for two random days (I couldn't pass up a challange, LOL!). What an eye opener! I couldn't believe I was eating that many calories. Now, I track every day. I even have the app on my phone. I use thedailyplate, so it makes it super easy.

I also plan out my meals for the week and get groceries once a week--which eliminates the guess work. I also have several meals that I rotate through, but I am always up for trying new things, too. I try to cook more on the weekends, when I have more time.

The bottem line is, you have to find what will work best for you. Start with some small changes and build on them. You can do it!!!!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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I'm also a planner.

I can say to myself "I want to eat 1700 calories today" then I go through the day and my calories get away from me....FAST!


I need to break it down for my head to see it. I have to say I want 200 calories here, and 150 for this snack, and 300 for supper... then go even further and plot out the meals.

Try it one meal at a time. I regained all my weight after some family crises. Right now I am doing meal replacement because we are still in the middle of the crises, and I don't have time to plot out my meals. I need quick. And I need to know that I am getting the calories I think I am (rather than guessing at a restaurant).

In a few weeks (HOPEFULLY) I will be able to phase out one of the meal replacements(lunch hopefully- drinking lunch is not fun) and replace it with the equivalant number of calories in healthy, satisfying food.

We can do this! Just don't give up. And keep it as simple as you can for as long as you can!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:47 AM   #11
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EKKKKKKK THIS IS ME TOO! Which is why I am doing what I am doing now.... I am tracking my food in a little note book and then putting them into fitday (see my side thingy) I am also journaling ( which I have always had a hard time with!) Today is the 1st day that I really feel in control and I also learned I do not like those Flatout Flatbread things - yucky they taste gritty to me :-/

Do things slow planning is good but not when all you do is plan and never put it into action!

oh and welcome :-)
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:39 PM   #12
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Thanks Folks for the advice and warm welcome! this is very helpful.

I think Meal replacement might be a good thing to try for at least one meal to make things simpler. I used to make green monster smoothies every once in awhile and really liked them.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #13
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Have you considered Southbeach? Once you get past the first two weeks, it is incredibly easy. If you follow the recipes, it is also incredibly delicious. Or, you can do what I've done....I'm on Medifast. It's not for everyone, but it has finally gotten me out of a 2 year wilderness trip where I couldn't seem to find my way back on-plan. Planning can be overwhelming. As others have suggested, you can plan one day of calories, then just repeat those foods each day for about a week or so. Then, add a different dinner. Gradually, add options for breakfast and lunch. Eventually, you'll have go-to options for each meal and it takes the thinking out of the equation.

Whatever you do, don't give up! Keep searching until you find what works best for you.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:04 AM   #14
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With a gazillion food choices out there it IS really overwhelming to try to plan and keep track of what you eat. That is why I try to eat the same thing/similar meals every day.

I have greek yogurt with berries, muesili and almonds for breakfast. Usually hummus with pita and veg and fruit for lunch. Then meat + veg for dinner. Dinner is the only time I change it up very much -- sometimes stir fry, sometimes something frozen, sometimes something on the BBQ. If I'm in the mood to experiment or try new recipes, I look for different ways to make vegetables -- for example, butternut squash "fries", roasted brussel sprouts, kale chips.

I count weight watcher points. With "free" fruit and veg, there is less to count.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #15
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I don't have a plan at all. I just count my calories.
I know what is in my fridge and cupboards, and I figure out what to eat for the day in the morning.

I would like to stick to 1500 calories a day, but I end up at around 1700.
And I am losing weight...very slowly... 30 pounds last year... I'd like to lose 50 pounds this year.

I figured out what to eat today...And it will total 1675 calories.
I just take it one day at a time.

And I don't exercize. I need all my energy for housework and gardening.
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