LA Weight Loss - I need help. Cheap healthy food?




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sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 01:45 PM
Hi guys.

Background info:
I weigh about 152. This is the highest weight I have ever been at and it's mostly fat, no muscle tone whatsoever. My belly is a bowl of flab and I am not lean at all. At least if I was a lean 150, I could deal, but I've never been so flabby in my whole life.

Okayy, I'm only 15, turning 16 very soon, but I would really like to reach my goal of being 125-130 pounds once and for all. I am SICK AND TIRED of worrying about my weight. I would just like tor reach my goal weight and keep it off. I would also like to speed up my metabolism and gain a lot of muscle.

I use to have an eating disorder similar to anorexia but I was never diagnosed so I can't really say I've had that. Ever since then, my weight has gone up, down, and up again.

My mom doesn't really buy healthy food. at all. Please excuse my family as an option for me losing weight. They are not an option. If I want to do this, I basically have to do this by myself. They do provide whole grain bread, bananas, and eggs occasionally.


Main Question:

My question is how can I afford to buy everything I need to lose weight, food wise, with an income of 80 dollars a week from working at the mall? I would like to buy protein, vegetables, fruits and nuts, in order to achieve my goal.

I need to use about 30-40 a week MAX on food because I need the rest for other things. So please help me become healthy on my budget once and for all!

Also I work 3 days a week directly after school, are they any quick meals are snacks that you think I could eat during work. I work at a kiosk so I could eat small granolas. Nothing that smells like protein. Small granolas or snacks would work.


Please help me come up with a plan!


bargoo
12-08-2007, 03:39 PM
At 5'10" and 152 pounds , you are not overweight , you will look like a bean pole at 125 pounds. You can get rid of the flab and tone your muscles if you will start exercising and you will look great and see that you don't need to lose weight.

sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 04:12 PM
At 5'10" and 152 pounds , you are not overweight , you will look like a bean pole at 125 pounds. You can get rid of the flab and tone your muscles if you will start exercising and you will look great and see that you don't need to lose weight.



I am not overweight but I would still like to drop 20 pounds and return to the weight that best suits my body frame

150 would be find if I were a fully grown adult but right now, I am not done growing so I will continue to put MORE weight on with the years. so losing some would be beneficial


sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 04:56 PM
any advice on cheap healthy foods?

SoulBliss
12-08-2007, 05:00 PM
Frozen vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables in season, bulk beans and rice to be cooked at home.

sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 05:46 PM
Frozen vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables in season, bulk beans and rice to be cooked at home.

thank you

4star
12-08-2007, 06:25 PM
At 5'10" and 152 pounds , you are not overweight , you will look like a bean pole at 125 pounds. You can get rid of the flab and tone your muscles if you will start exercising and you will look great and see that you don't need to lose weight.

I totally agree. I have never seen a recommendation for less that 140 pounds for this height, even for a very slender frame. Exercise would give you the tone you desire but you're at a pretty healthy weight for your height.

sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 07:43 PM
oh brother. Can you pretend like Im 5 ft then? I just want to know how to drop some pounds and compile a plan that works. Just because you don't agree doesnt mean you can't give me advice on losing weight and buying affordable healthy food anyway

This type of thing is really annoying because I don't need people telling me what weight I should be at. that's MY decision just like it is yours.

Synergy
12-08-2007, 08:11 PM
I think that if you eat a sensibel meal of a healthy breakfast, cheerios, fruit and lowfat milk, half a sandwhich with fruit, and dinner with some veggies you will be ok. Also, you have to excercise and drink plenty of water. I think for your height at 5"10 140lbs that should be good for you

Lafayette
12-08-2007, 08:47 PM
Jeez... I see what you mean, sweetlovin. Look at the trackers... did I call it, or what? ;)

I diet/eat healthy on a budget, too. First, let me say I'm sorry your family doesn't support you. I know how that is, especially when you can't help but worry about what the people you love are doing to themselves on top of it all.

I do the "geek thing" and compare nutrition info on everything. Often things that aren't labelled "diet" are less expensive and lower calorie/better for you. I also find that buying larger quantities and making your own snack packs are much cheaper.

In spring/summer/fall, I get fresh produce at the farmers' markets where it's much cheaper than at the grocery. Now that it's winter, I buy frozen veggies- usually whatever I find on sale. These with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray make a great light meal on the run. You can even toss the spray bottle right in an insulated lunch bag. Cold pre-cooked veggies are neither great nor horrible eaten cold but a quick zap in the microwave is best.

A good, cheap lean protein option is canned tuna packed in water. You can usually get the store brand for the best price. It would certainly stink up your kiosk, though. :) I also love the ease and simplicity of Boca Burgers. They zap in the microwave, don't really smell like anything, are 100 calories per burger, and they are healthy and FILLING. Well worth the price!

For starch on the go, I buy large (cheap) bags of pretzel sticks and package individual servings in baggies. Check the nutrition info, but you can have something like 15 pretzel sticks for around 100 calories. Of course, granola bars are always a good option here, too. I also buy light whole grain English muffins (use the butter spray) for good starch and fiber. I may have to try the Cheerios tip!

For dairy, I buy plain, lowfat kefir or plain lowfat yogurt in larger containers and package it for individual servings. I add in cinnamon and artificial sweetener for flavor. I developed an addiction for Dannon Light n' Fit smoothies, which are more expensive but a tasty way to get your calcium!

I have to say, the best way to boost your metabolism is by increasing your muscle mass. I'm guessing you have the wonderful advantage of still having access to your school gym equipment instead of having to shell out for a gym membership.

Last, don't pay any attention to the criticism you have received on this post. The overwhelming majority of people on 3FC are very supportive. It seems some people think critical comments like those above are flattering and don't realize how hurtful they can be, especially to someone who struggles with body and image. Hopefully this helps them see the light...

Take care of yourself! Be healthy! And be sure to share any other good finds from your shopping!

sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 09:23 PM
Jeez... I see what you mean, sweetlovin. Look at the trackers... did I call it, or what? ;)

I diet/eat healthy on a budget, too. First, let me say I'm sorry your family doesn't support you. I know how that is, especially when you can't help but worry about what the people you love are doing to themselves on top of it all.

I do the "geek thing" and compare nutrition info on everything. Often things that aren't labelled "diet" are less expensive and lower calorie/better for you. I also find that buying larger quantities and making your own snack packs are much cheaper.

In spring/summer/fall, I get fresh produce at the farmers' markets where it's much cheaper than at the grocery. Now that it's winter, I buy frozen veggies- usually whatever I find on sale. These with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray make a great light meal on the run. You can even toss the spray bottle right in an insulated lunch bag. Cold pre-cooked veggies are neither great nor horrible eaten cold but a quick zap in the microwave is best.

A good, cheap lean protein option is canned tuna packed in water. You can usually get the store brand for the best price. It would certainly stink up your kiosk, though. :) I also love the ease and simplicity of Boca Burgers. They zap in the microwave, don't really smell like anything, are 100 calories per burger, and they are healthy and FILLING. Well worth the price!

For starch on the go, I buy large (cheap) bags of pretzel sticks and package individual servings in baggies. Check the nutrition info, but you can have something like 15 pretzel sticks for around 100 calories. Of course, granola bars are always a good option here, too. I also buy light whole grain English muffins (use the butter spray) for good starch and fiber. I may have to try the Cheerios tip!

For dairy, I buy plain, lowfat kefir or plain lowfat yogurt in larger containers and package it for individual servings. I add in cinnamon and artificial sweetener for flavor. I developed an addiction for Dannon Light n' Fit smoothies, which are more expensive but a tasty way to get your calcium!

I have to say, the best way to boost your metabolism is by increasing your muscle mass. I'm guessing you have the wonderful advantage of still having access to your school gym equipment instead of having to shell out for a gym membership.

Last, don't pay any attention to the criticism you have received on this post. The overwhelming majority of people on 3FC are very supportive. It seems some people think critical comments like those above are flattering and don't realize how hurtful they can be, especially to someone who struggles with body and image. Hopefully this helps them see the light...

Take care of yourself! Be healthy! And be sure to share any other good finds from your shopping!

OMG. thank you sooo much! You gave me so much advice, I don't even know how I can thank you. Now I just have to reread that and take the tips that you gave me into action.

Wow I didn't think i would get such a great response finally. I will make sure to message you with any questions/tips if I get any. Congrats on your weight loss by the way!


I'm going to try to do the whole muscle exercise thing. I seem to find cardio a lot more fun but I guess I will have to suffer with the lunges. What to you think helps you build muscle the best?

Off to reread all of that again and take some quick notes!

Tammy
12-08-2007, 09:31 PM
I think if you are 15 and healthy, you could exercise to tone up your body. Could you walk at the mall? Maybe walk to work? I don't know how far it would be for you of course. Do you have a bike? Maybe borrow some workout videos at the library to give some different forms of exercise a try. With exercise, you would probably tone up and lose some of the flab that you say that you have. Remember though, muscles weighs more than fat, so don't be surprised it the weight goes up a bit at first when you start exercising.

Even with the family having the other foods around, smart choices could still be made. You could eat from what they are having and also have some fresh fruits and vegies. Maybe if they are frying a meat, you could broil or bake yours. I can't imagine a parent not wanting their child to eat healthy foods, but I guess that's the mom in me coming out. Getting to an ideal weight at a young age is important because the older you get, the tougher it becomes.

My son's girlfriend lost about 25 pounds over the past several months just be giving up sodas, drinking more water, and exercising more. Worth a shot!
Good luck!

sweetlovin
12-08-2007, 10:07 PM
I think if you are 15 and healthy, you could exercise to tone up your body. Could you walk at the mall? Maybe walk to work? I don't know how far it would be for you of course. Do you have a bike? Maybe borrow some workout videos at the library to give some different forms of exercise a try. With exercise, you would probably tone up and lose some of the flab that you say that you have. Remember though, muscles weighs more than fat, so don't be surprised it the weight goes up a bit at first when you start exercising.

Even with the family having the other foods around, smart choices could still be made. You could eat from what they are having and also have some fresh fruits and vegies. Maybe if they are frying a meat, you could broil or bake yours. I can't imagine a parent not wanting their child to eat healthy foods, but I guess that's the mom in me coming out. Getting to an ideal weight at a young age is important because the older you get, the tougher it becomes.

My son's girlfriend lost about 25 pounds over the past several months just be giving up sodas, drinking more water, and exercising more. Worth a shot!
Good luck!

I have workout videos, a apt gym, and my neighborhood so I definitely have the exercise options open.

The problem that I have is my portion control. I eat carbs a lot, whole grain but carbs, and I overeat on healthy food= too many calories. I never eat fast food and I NEVER drink soda so portion control is a huge issue for me. Also eating when i am not hungry/bored is a huge issue

medbook
12-09-2007, 04:15 AM
I suggest you to do 3 things:

1. Purchase a video tutorial or an article explaining the possible diseases of not eating healthy foods and give it to your parents.

2. Buy a mini stepper and Strapped Hand Weights

3. Wake up early in the morning and do 20-30 minutes a day before breakfast

That's it!

Tammy
12-09-2007, 05:42 AM
There is nothing any of us can do to help you with the portion control since we aren't there with you on a daily basis. I think if you really want to control the portions, you are going to have to make a commitment to yourself to do it on your own.

medbook had some good ideas in her post. Maybe you could get some info from you doctor to share with your parents about the importance of healthy eating when you are a teen.

Lafayette
12-09-2007, 02:06 PM
Back to your original food ideas question... check out the "Food Finds" area under Foods on 3FC.

For portion control, here are a few tips I try to follow:

Try to eat things that are filling. Anything high fiber, whole grain, etc. The veggies burgers I mentioned in a previous post work well and Kashi TLC granola bars are also a great item I've found in this category.

Or (because being full rarely slows me down) try to find things that you can eat a TON of for few calories like celery sticks and salsa. These two together make a great, cheap, statisfying snack- just watch the sodium content of store-bought salsa (I try to make my own with fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro and whatever else I feel like throwing in).

I've read that you should eat the recommended portion size, then wait 10-15 minutes to determine if you are truly still hungry before eating another 1/3-1/2 portion.

I've also been told that you should pay attention to the point during the meal where you sigh. Everyone does this- it's a physiological response to being "full." This is where we should all push our plate back and get up from the table.

Good luck!

suitejudyblueeyes
12-12-2007, 03:30 PM
I feel compelled to reply here, because eating healthy food cheaply is something I've had to work very hard at and I know how daunting it might seem, since all those purported "health" foods can get very, very expensive! A lot of what I'm about to say assumes you have time to try out a bit of cooking. Anything I suggest you make at home for the sake of the price savings can be made ahead of time, like on the weekend, and portioned out for you to grab quickly in the morning.

Yes, you can exist on Lean Cuisines. I don't think it's a very pleasant existence, though. Besides, those things are expensive! At over $3 a pop you're spending 10% of your weekly eating budget on one meal... Can you stand to only eat 10 meals a week? Last I checked you need 21, and that doesn't include snack food...

Here are some things addressing price:
-Buy in bulk where you can. I don't know what kinds of stores you have access to but Whole Foods has a great bulk grain section. You can get lots of wonderful things like barley, quinoa, and dried beans there.
-Opt for making your own instead of purchasing pre-packaged. Honestly, 3/4 of the stuff in a grocery store is not worth buying due to the immense price mark-ups. Why buy 8 packets of instant flavored oatmeal for $4 when you can buy whole rolled oats for $1/lb?
-Stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store. This will generally provide you with fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, and bread. Don't go down aisles you don't specifically need something from lest you start impulse-buying.
-Becoming a smart shopper at your age would be a huge help for you later in life. Learn to shop sales and use coupons. It may seem like an old lady thing to do but if you're really serious about sticking to a small food budget it's worth it.

Some things addressing preparation:
-Breakfasts can be pretty simple. Oatmeal and either chopped up fresh fruit or a reasonable amount of dried fruit is great and quick. If you prefer the consistency of "instant" oatmeal over rolled oats, easy! throw some rolled oats in a food processor for a quick second (don't blend too long, you'll get oat flour!) to chop it up. Shortens the cooking time. If you like the flavors of the instant variety, they're easy to duplicate: cinnamon and brown sugar is obvious, something like peaches n cream just add a bit of powdered fat free coffee creamer and dried fruit, and voila!
Other cheap breakfasts: toast with natural peanut butter (a little more expensive but worth it), an egg on toast, a couple of homemade pancakes (if you have the time and aren't tempted to top it with a bunch of stuff). Oatmeal is by far my favorite, though.

-Lunch: If you have an hour or two on a weekend, make a giant pot of soup to eat the whole week! Homemade soup can be made very, very cheaply and then portioned out and frozen to take with you where you need to be, so long as you have a microwave (my high school had one, not sure if yours does).
Other easy, cheap lunches: salads with leftover protein from the night before; rice and beans with appropriate spices; sandwiches; add plain lf yogurt (buy the large cartons and portion it out, cheaper that way), pretzel sticks, fresh fruit, etc.

-Dinner: Try to eat vegetarian at least 3x a week. Meat is by far the most expensive part of a dinner. You can make your own veggie patties (or buy Boca burgers, which I LOVE, but only buy them on sale). Beans are incredibly versatile and with a grain provide a complete protein. This might take some trial and error, but you can really take the price punch out of dinner if you skip the meat for a few nights (but be sure you are getting enough protein, that's what's going to help repair your muscles after exercise).

-Snacks: If you really are looking to exist on a small amount of money, you might want to forgo the granola bars. First, they tend to have way more sugar than any one person needs, and second, they are far more expensive than they ought to be. If the idea of a granola bar interests you, I'm sure there are healthier recipes you can try out over a weekend.
Good, cheap snack ideas include sliced veggies (carrots, celery, bell pepper) with homemade hummus or salsa; yogurt; a piece of fruit paired with a serving of nuts; cottage cheese paired with fruit/veg/crackers (whichever you prefer); an egg made into egg salad and served on a serving of crackers; even a small sandwich would be decent, such as turkey breast on a 100-cal english muffin.

You want to try to eat on about $5/day, and that is totally possible, regardless of whether you are able to eat anything kept in your house by your parents. If you can drink their milk and eat their bread, all the better for you! You can afford a couple of Lean Cuisines! But I think to make it work any other way is going to take a lot of work on your part, and you're going to have to be committed to it like you commit yourself to getting fit and healthy.

Here's a nice financial example.
I'm going to make chicken noodle soup. Takes about 45 minutes.
Buy:
-Whole rotisserie chicken, pre-cooked from the grocery's deli, $6
-Pack of no yolks egg noodles, $0.99
-Three whole carrots, $0.50 (over estimating)
-Three stalks of celery, $0.50 (over estimating)
-Broth, either free (if you boil the chicken after you take the meat off) or initial investment of $2 to buy a jar of powdered stock mix that will last you til you're 20...
Total investment = $10 (counting the stock)
That easily makes 8 servings of filling, healthy soup, for $1.25 each. You can make it into more servings by using more broth; I like my soup with lots of stuff so I make it into 8.

The actual price per soup is much lower than that, though, because you only use 1/2 the chicken for the soup, the other 1/2 you use for 2 night's dinners! And I counted $2 for broth when in reality you use about $0.05 worth, so really... Total investment in soup is $5, putting each serving at $0.40-something each! Talk about cheap! (And you can make it cheaper by buying a raw whole chicken and roasting it yourself, but that's probably not very realistic for you.)

Okay, this has to be the longest post ever. But I'm very passionate about eating on a budget. It is VERY doable if you put some effort into it. Have fun with it!

gailr42
12-12-2007, 06:40 PM
Wow, SuiteJudy, thanks for all that useful information.

Lafayette
12-12-2007, 07:24 PM
Awesome! I never knew you could make instant oatmeal in a food processor! I'll be giving that a try...

BillBlueEyes
12-12-2007, 07:46 PM
Sweetloving,

A good snack food is toasted soy nuts. They have good protein so they stick with you and I like them better than peanuts or almonds for snacks. And they are cheaper than peanuts or tree nuts. They would be easy to eat at a kiosk at the mall.

I get them in bulk at Whole Foods, but I've seen them in 20 ounce containers at one food store. I pay about $0.15 per serving of a quarter of a cup which has about 120 calories. One serving makes me feel full between meals. One granola bar make me feel like I'd like to have another granola bar. YMMV.

Good luck on your journey.

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perclady
01-06-2008, 04:15 PM
Have you talked to your parents about the kinds of foods you want to eat? Obviously I don't know your family situation, but maybe your folks are just stuck in a rut food-wise? It's very common, especially with children in the house. Perhaps introduce them to a healthier way of eating by cooking a meal for them? Maybe finances are a concern? Many families eat a lot of carbs becasue they are simply cheaper than proteins and vegetables, but if you buy on sale or bulk foods, it doesn't have to be expensive. Could you use some of your earnings to help your family buy better foods? Just some suggestions. It's hard for me to beleive that you parents wouldn't help their children eat healthy, particulary if they expressed the interest and desire.