20-Somethings - How do you keep at it?

View Full Version : How do you keep at it?

04-23-2008, 10:15 PM
Alright, so, motivation isn't my problem. I want to lose the weight, I want to kick the "cravings" but here is my core problem: Healthy food tastes like complete and utter crap to me. There, I said it. I don't crave bad food for emotional or boredom eating, I crave it because cheese burgers and chicken nuggets taste good and I like them. How do you girls really keep that stuff away? I tell myself "you don't need that" or "think of how good you'll look at after 10 lbs is gone" but I can't overcome how damn hungry I am. I can be beating myself up while I drive through the window but it doesn't change the fact that I'll eat it anyway. I don't even feel like I'm treating myself, I just feel like "Holy balls, I was hungry this is so worth it."

I literally choke down high fibre, whole grain cereal in the morning. While eating it, 9 times out of 10, I need to take a break so I don't throw up. By the time I get to lunch, which is usually something simple like a turkey sandwich on wheat with mustard (sounds normal right?) I, once again, pretty much feel nauseous at the thought of eating it. To the point where just holding it makes me dry heave a little. Even the healthy sides make me cringe, like carrots and hummus or cucumbers and dip. Screwed up, right?

So, basically, I am ranting because after two weeks of eating really well and going to the gym, I cracked and have been eating "bad" food for the past week because I've been so damned hungry. I have been getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, variety and calories during those weeks too I just can't frigging stand eating this way.

What are your tips or commiserations? I want to lose weight and be a better me but I don't want to suffer the entire way through it. Am I being dramatic and whiny? Right now, damn right! Because I'm frustrated and upset. With myself, with food itself, I'm just pissed!

Ugh, I just need something, I don't know what.

Edit: I hope I'm not annoying or offending anyone, but ranting in a journal no one can read wouldn't help me as much as you ladies and gents could and I just want to be honest and up front with myself and you.

04-23-2008, 10:29 PM
my suggestion is try to find a healthy way to cook what you normally would eat examples: for a hamburger use mustard, all the veg, on wheat buns, and used ground turkey for the burger or for a pasta substitute, get spaghetti squash and use that instead of noodles, and try not to fry any of your foods, try grilling them or baking,broiling, boiling, etc...
Oh, and my new fav. substitute is those ranch flavored rice chips, instead of normal ones.

Or you can go to kraftfoods.com and they have this thing where the kinda make this dieting profile and you choose what foods you like and they make out a grocery list within a certain calorie limit based on how much weight you want to lose.

but all in all it dose take some getting used to!

hope i helped a little bit

04-23-2008, 10:30 PM
Well I do atkins which means I can have hamburgers (with extra mayo even) as long as I don't have the bun. I think finding a plan that you can stick with and enjoy is key, also keeping busy so you aren't eating out of boredom (big problem of mine) Exercise is a good thing. I just keep at it, if I hit a plateau I don't let it get me domn, I just keep at it because eventually I will go down.

04-24-2008, 01:21 AM
I heard from a personal trainer on a workout reality show once that "Dieting isn't about restrictive eating. It is about adding in more healthy foods. The more healthy foods you add in, the less you will want the junk."

For me this is SO true. The more junk I eat, the more junk I WANT to eat. Junk food IS addictive. When you feed your body high levels of fat and sugar, you will eventually start coming down from that high, and need to eat more fat and sugar to boost your levels up again. However, when you eat more healthy food, your body will crave the healthy food.

I use to eat junk food ALL the time at EVERY meal. When I first started it was REALLY hard for me to eat healthy food too. I have been eating healthy since February, and now I don't even really like junk food. Greasy fast food grosses me out. Candy bars don't even taste sweet, it tastes like fake processed sugar which is what it is.
When I go out to eat, I CRAVE big salads and fresh healthy food.

I would suggest just adding in more healthy foods everyday. The more healthy you eat, the less you will crave junk. If you ABSOLUTELY feel that you HAVE to eat junk, try to eat just a little bit. For example, eat a small fry from a fast food place alongside a big healthy salad or steamed vegetables and chicken.

04-24-2008, 09:02 AM
I had the same problem, it's getting better now though. As a Vegetarian, I obviously adore eating fruits and veggies, I actually find them delicious. But there's some things (oatmeal being one which is odd because I love oatmeal cookies) that I just hate eating. The first post is exactly what I did, I found healthy ways to cook what I liked and bought the same product, but with "low fat" or "___ less calories." I also eat veggie chicken burgers, veggie dogs, etc. They are so much lower in cals, carbs, and higher in protein then actual meat is and they're healthy too.

I was watching the Biggest Loser the other week and they had a chef on, he showed the contestants how to cook their favourite meals with a LOT less calories then the normal was. For instance, I remember one was around 1500 calories for a serving, and he cut it down to 300-400 and still tasted just as good.

I think the key is to slowly change over to healthier eating habits. If you suddenly one week get up and say I'm going to not have any snacks or sweets at all, you'll end up going for that tub of ice cream or cake. Don't deprive yourself, I have a cheat day (Sundays normally but I do it Saturday or Sunday, depends on how I feel) so I have something to look forward to.

04-24-2008, 09:21 AM
I love junk food and that is probably the main reason I am over weight! Today is day four for me on the fat smash diet and I must admitt that each day I surprise myself even more. Its amazing what can happen when you have the healthy foods you should eat within reach that makes a **** of a difference. Monday I brought cans of veggies to work with me so when I get ready to eat something I am not suppose to have I eat veggies and to be honest when I am hungry they taste so so good! Keep healthy foods with you at all times that way you won't get tempted to go for fast food.....so far that is what has been working for me!

04-24-2008, 09:25 AM
I'd agree, slowly change your eating habits, try and find some healthier foods that you like and start to incorporate them into your daily diet. It's better to start slow and continue on than go hardcore for 2 weeks and then quit entirely. Personally, it was hard for me at first to eat healthier just because my entire life I had nothing but junk. But, after a while, I started to make better and better decisions, I think that's how it goes for a lot of people. All health food isn't that bad though, I enjoy Clif and Luna bars and lots of the Kashi products. There're a lot of good tasting things out there, you just have to be willing to give them a try. You'll get there sunny, Good Luck!!!

04-24-2008, 09:57 AM
IMO, it does get a bit easier as you go along. But, losing weight and getting over battles and humps can be really hard. It's gonna be even more tough on you if you don't find a good handful of foods you love as you lose weight. Because, as we all know, this never ends! You can't lose weight and go back to old habits... or you're back to square 1. It's a life-style change. And, because of that, you HAVE to eat foods you enjoy. There's no reason you can't have a burger .. all things in moderation, imo. But even better, make one at home! Use leaner ground beef, grill it.. top it with lots of veggies, and bake some fries on the side. Yum! (with veggies, tooooo).

There's just GOTTA be some healthy foods out there you enjoy, there are SO many choices for you... kwim? Try some things you haven't before. And sometimes you might not enjoy a particular food because of the way it's prepared... prepare it in a different way.

Keep at it, though.. you can do it!

04-24-2008, 10:10 AM
If eating that high-fiber cereal in the morning makes you literally gag, don't eat it. If that turkey sandwich makes you dry heave, don't eat it. If you can't stand carrots and hummus and cucumbers, don't eat them.

This isn't a struggle to MAKE yourself suddenly love things you hate. Find things you like well enough now that are healthier than where you were before. You may be surprised how your taste for certain foods changes. As others have mentioned, you may find that you start craving healthier things as you go along.

But until that happens, stop punishing yourself with food! What's wrong with a couple eggs and toast for breakfast? Make up some hamburger patties (using whatever meat with as low of a fat ratio as you can find). Have them for dinner topped with some sauteed onions and mushrooms. Have some steamed broccoli on the side with a sprinkle of lf cheese melted on top or a spray of butter spray. Buy shoestring french fries at the grocery store and bake them, in the proper portions. I have meals like that pretty often, they're entirely reasonable.

The foods you get at fast food places, as general categories of food, are not bad. The fast food places make them bad, in the way they prepare them. You can make healthier versions of pizza, hamburgers, french fries, baked goods, everything you enjoy eating. Everything can be made manageable when you're willing to try to work with your cravings. Fighting them is going to make you resent being on this journey, and when you're struggling against yourself like that, it's not going to last for very long.

Maybe if you post a list of foods you simply can't do without, we can help you find healthier substitutes? Or change up some recipes to make them healthier?

04-24-2008, 10:13 AM
I hope like most of you I end up loving fruit and veg and not craving the junk so much :D

04-24-2008, 10:45 AM
I am having real problems with my low carb low fat diet this week because of Passover. I really miss my comfort foods especially decaf coffee and gum. Its only a few more days I will be lucky to maintain this month instead of losing. On the positive side I have been very good about preparing and eating low carb/low fat foods and I was very conscientious during the evening Sedar meals.
Its funny how some weeks are just incredibly easy and others are a terrible slog.
This is definitely a slog week.
tz :carrot:

04-24-2008, 10:55 AM
Well, for me, I knew that I didn't want to have to lose this weight more than once, so I needed to change my habits for good. And I knew that eating things I didn't like wasn't something I would be able to maintain in the long run. So don't eat things you find unappealing, are there ANY healthy foods you like? Make a list and start off eating those. It's also helped me a lot to experiment and try lots of new things. I've found many foods over the past year that I had never tried but now I love. Also, it's okay to allow yourself some treats along the way, if you can keep it in control. And I second the suggestion of finding healthier ways to prepare the stuff you like that isn't healthy. You WILL find that the less of the bad stuff you eat, the easier it will be to resist. I now feel actually nauseated at the thought of eating a fast food meal, and I enjoyed it quite a bit in the past. Just start by making little changes you can maintain forever, because to be brutally honest, we will never be "done" if we want to get and stay healthy.
I recently picked up a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious. It's about hiding veggies and fruits in other foods so you don't know you're eating them. It's geared towards getting kids to eat more healthy food, but I saw lots of things I would enjoy too.
Good luck to you!

04-24-2008, 11:27 AM
Healthy food doesn't mean having to swallow down high fiber cereal every morning. I too would choke if I made myself eat that. Instead I would rather have a bowl of Cheeriios with a banana and skim milk instead. If you can't drink skim, start with 2% and work your way down. I might make some scrambled eggs with a handful of sauteed mushrooms and peppers and cheese thrown in there - if the thought of egg whites only makes you gag, try 1 egg white with 1 regular egg and see how it goes. Slowly you can transition to 2 egg whites and not notice the difference. If turkey sandwiches are blah, make it more interesting by adding a slice of cheese and toasting it in the oven. I can't stand raw broccoli, but if i microwave or saute them and add seasonings or a sprinkle of cheese on top, it is much more palatable! I love curly fries but have found that eating one serving of the oven-baked waffle fries you find in the grocery store (I think the name of the brand is Alexa?) satisfies the craving. It is hard at first, but slowly I have found food substitutes I like that are better for me and I don't crave the bad stuff from the take-out anymore.

Even when you eat out, you can transition to eating better. If you get a burger and fries, get the smallest size of fries they have and eat and enjoy them slowly. (The difference in size between small and medium fries at McDonalds is crazy). You can ask them to skip the mayo and see how that goes. You don't have to buy the combo just because it is listed that way. I buy just the sandwich at McDonald's or Wendy many times, and every time they always ask "You mean the #7?" and I have to say "No, just the sandwich, no combo." Another trick I've found when eating out is to order from the kids menu - the food is still just as unhealty, but the portion is much smaller so it is a lot fewer calories.

You don't have to cut all the calories and fat out at once. Go slow and your body will adjust. Take some time to walk around the supermarket and read the labels. You'll be surprised that there are a lot of things you can eat that are still tasty and good for you too!

04-24-2008, 11:48 AM
yeah, as others have said you don't need to force yourself to eat foods that you cannot stand. That is just not sustainable. For me, the spice rack was the best way to go, you can take some bland foods and make them delicious without a lot of calories, marinades and saucse also are a great way to add flavor, you'll have to check calories and stuff but there are great options out there. And I found foods that were reasonable calorie wise that didn't seem so 'diety'. Like those skillet meals from stouffers and birds eye, where its like a pasta with veggies and a meat, with some sort of sauce, I love the three cheese chicken ones and the alfredo. Or vitalicious.com has some low calorie treats that have a decent amount of fiber and nutrients in them, like their 100 calorie vita-tops, they remind me of cake. morningstar farms has a parmesan ranch 'chicken' patty that I sometimes will make with marinara sauce and low-fat mozzarella to make a 'chicken parmesan' type meal. There are pastas out now that are white but have a high fiber content if you don't like whole grain stuff. You can get a 40 calorie hot dog from oscar meyer, earth grains (I think thats the brand) has an 80 calorie whitewheat bread bun. kashi and amys organic have some tasty frozen meals that you might want to try. boca has a really healthy meatless chili, if you like that stuff. Some fast food places have some healthy options (like subway, wendys has a decent chili and their side salads are reasonable, jack in the box has a low calorie pita sandwich) Its tough at first to give up the junk, to be honest I haven't fully, I still let myself eat some greasy food here and there, but I do think it gets easier.

04-24-2008, 12:59 PM
It's been four weeks since I started Weight Watchers. I was a junk food queen. I LOVE pizza, cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, fries, tacos.... you name it I eat it and not only do I eat it, but tons of it. For me, i know I can only have small portions of those kinds of things, if any at all. For example if you love burgers. Try a lean turkey burger homemade. I bough a george forman grill and since I bought it I have been using it like crazy.

Dieting should not be about taking away food you love, it's about having what you like in moderation. I never realized how not normal I was until I figured out the portions I was eating was easily 5 times what normal skinnies were eating.

04-24-2008, 01:10 PM
:lol: You know, I ate sugar snap peas for a looong time (a couple of years) before I let myself say, "Jen, you don't even LIKE these things!"

So I made a list of all the stuff I do like (and it's a pretty long list), so I eat that instead. You should also realize that the longer you eat healthfully, the more you will LIKE eating healthfully. I used to eat fast food several times a week. My perception of what was healthy was completely out of whack. But when I made a decision to change my life, I also made a decision to eat different foods. Now, you can't pay me to eat it. It's garbage and I feel as such when I do eat it. My last fast food burger incident was about 2 years ago when after a night of drinking my fiance and I went through the drive-thru. When we got home I took one look at that sorry, discolored burger and threw it across the room.

That, of course, is not to say that I don't eat "bad stuff", but my threshold is significantly lowered to where it's a "treat" instead of "lunch".

So, I guess my point is, don't be afraid to experiment. The Hungry Girl website has some GREAT alternative recipes for stuff- everything from starbucks to turkey stuffing, to meatballs, etc... So you can modify things that you DO like to eat that would otherwise be high in calories. But changing your taste buds and what your body craves does take time, so don't throw in the towel just yet.

LiLi Gettin Thin
04-24-2008, 02:07 PM
I agree with everyone else. You won't be able to stick with a plan if you don't like the food you're eating.

I'm a fast-food junkie too. I think the key is to figure out how to incorporate some better food in with the junk. Get a cheeseburger, but instead of fries, get a side salad. Instead of getting a fried chicken sandwich, get it grilled.

I'm also a big fan of Happy Meals. I usually get my fast-food fix with one of these and if I'm still hungry I'll have an apple or something healthier. McDonald's also has the All-American Meal which is a Happy Meal with a small drink instead of kid's size and no toy. It's not on the menu, but it does exist.

As for the cereal. Who says you have to eat high fiber cereal? Yuck! That stuff is nasty! The only kind I sort of like is Grape Nuts and I still have to dump a ton of sugar on that. I love Reeses cereal, which has whole grains. I measure out exactly one serving and eat it with skim milk. It is really hard to eat only one serving, but after a while it gets easier. If I'm still hungry after that, I'll have a banana.

I also find ways to make my favorites at home, but I know not everyone likes to or can cook. Some alternatives might be to check out some microwaveable meals that are healthier for you. Someone mentioned Kashi, and I have to say I love their frozen dinners. Or, find a "healthy" fast food place. I know we have a few in my area that make turkey burgers and baked french fries, so it's a bit healthier for you.

Good luck and hang in there!

04-24-2008, 02:49 PM
I think all the points that have been made so far are great ones --find something you like, otherwise you won't stick to it! Don't jump head first into oat bran and cauliflower, make smaller changes instead.

Some tips that have helped me:

I took some tips from the recipe book the Sneaky Chef --it has a lot of great ideas for adding nutrition to foods like macaroni & cheese or brownies without compromising the taste.

Fiber One Caramel Delight is an awesome high fiber cereal that tastes exactly like Cinnamon Toast Crunch -- I eat it 3 or 4 times a week. The bars are delicious too... it feels like I'm indulging when I eat one.

Sometimes you have to start small and make little changes, like adding some chopped garlic and mushrooms to your burgers. After a while you'll realize how delicious good food can be and you'll actually WANT something healthy. It took me a year to break my Wendy's addiction, but now I'd much rather have a good veggie burger and baked sweet potato fries than the lard-filled junk at fast food joints.

Just don't go too drastic --baby steps!

04-24-2008, 05:01 PM
so true what everybody is saying about how you start WANTING healthy food once you start eating it. It's hard to believe unless you try it... I realized today that my usual craving for "something sweet" (chocolate, etc) had subsided and I was actually craving a cold, juicy pear! Crazy, but true. You just have to let your body receive the goodness...

04-24-2008, 05:25 PM
If you don't like it, don't eat it! You shouldn't be forcing yourself to eat things you don't like. Try experimenting with other foods that you haven't tried yet and making the things you love in a healthier way. If you love chicken tenders, try doing an egg white wash on them, dipping in bread crumbs, and baking. Serve with some honey mustard. MUCH better than boneless buffalo wings, and very tasty! Or how about turkey burgers or veggies burgers on whole wheat light buns instead of hamburgers on white buns?

Once I started eating healthier, I craved those healthier foods instead of the unhealthy ones. I recently "fell back" into an unhealthy way of eating and it was spiraling out of control because I started craving those unhealthy things. Find healthy foods you like and once you start eating them regularly, I'm sure you will start craving them instead of the unhealthy stuff!

04-24-2008, 05:31 PM
I feel your pain! my friends and i always talk about how healthy food might be tasty sometimes but it doesnt taste like smothered pork steak or macaroni and cheese. no fair! but my trainer and my brother (who is also a personal trainer) explained to me that once i get down to a healthy weight and am working out consistently i can have those things and it wont be a big deal. so i am sacrificing now...except for my one cheat day a week. so i can be skinny later.:hug: i support you girl. get back on it!

04-24-2008, 09:20 PM
Thanks everyone, these ideas are awesome and I'm going to use them all. Especially the list of things I do like! That way I can start using all the good stuff and stop forcing in the 'I think this is good...' stuff. Thanks for the support and with all of it, I'm ready to leap back on plan tonight!

Edit: These websites are awesome, too. Thanks a ton everyone!

04-25-2008, 11:59 AM
The way I keep motivated is that if I have a craving I fill it, but in a healthy way. I had a dream about pizza so the next day I made a Kashi pizza. I had a craving for cake so I got an angel food cake to eat over the week. I really felt like Mexican so I made myself a taco salad. It is possible to eat what you want, as long as you can fit it in your diet. I have a friend that goes up and down in her weight because she starves herself. And she can't understand why she's always up and down... hmmm

10-11-2008, 12:03 AM
I feel your pain! my friends and i always talk about how healthy food might be tasty sometimes but it doesnt taste like smothered pork steak or macaroni and cheese. no fair! but my trainer and my brother (who is also a personal trainer) explained to me that once i get down to a healthy weight and am working out consistently i can have those things and it wont be a big deal. so i am sacrificing now...except for my one cheat day a week. so i can be skinny later.:hug: i support you girl. get back on it!http://top5choices.com/-pics-/vitali.jpg

If all health food tasted good, these companies wouldn't be in business, and we wouldn't have this forum, lol.:p:dizzy:

10-12-2008, 12:37 AM
For me this is just life now. And I took my weight loss reeeallly slowly (3 years) but that was the best way for me. Because now I truly appreciate my weight loss and you know what? I don't even have a desire to eat many foods that before I lost weight I would eat all the time like pizza, pad thai, spring rolls, fast food, etc. Now that just turns me off. I can't bear to eat greasy foods. In fact, over the summer I stopped off at a Sonic with my family (it was a novelty for us-- we don't have those in the NE) and I took one look at my grilled chicken "salad" and said Eww and threw it out.
But, I still have my "vices" like ice cream, cookies and chocolate. And I eat them daily (not all every day tho!) and I am able to enjoy them in small portions and know that there is more there waiting for me tomorrow.
It is just about looking at this as your life now and not thinking that you are on a "diet" or that you are sacrificing anything. If anything, you should look at it as a "trade:" eating poorly and not exercising and being unhappy and flabby vs. eating well, exercising, feeling great and being healthy and in shape. Not a bad bargain if you ask me.
You just need to tell yourself daily that it is worth it. So worth it. :)

10-12-2008, 01:09 PM
You have a couple of ways you can go, as I'm sure 2937842394 people have said here already: But here goes!

In my "diet" I either make substitutes to create a similar meal, like someone suggested using turkey for the meat, etc etc. You will have to figure out a way to flavor it that you like, because turkey is a little dry and tastes different than a hamburger. I personally use beef stock with low sodium to help it lock in moisture and provide a little beefy kick! Always, always whole wheat bun. And my next tip is the other way I handle my tastebuds...

Load up on veggies (like for instance, my turkey burgers have tons of lettuce and tomato on them). And eat them first, so that you can feel both accomplished and rewarded by the time you get to the delicious part of the meal! So if you make a hamburger (the "normal" way) then make it a little smaller than you normally would, and instead of fries, put something healthy in there. I've found that fries you bake at home can be consumed with less consequences than fast food fries. And I promise, after a while, you don't think they taste good anymore. It will make you sick to eat them.

Portion size! Make a small burger with BIG flavor, and then... yep... you guessed it... load up on the veggies and fruit! Those veggies and fruits keep you looking young, and feeling fresh, and after a while, that feeling will be a "high" for you, and you know it will come from eating those things, so you keep eating 'em.

Good luck... and taste buds do change. In the mean time, find some balance and eat what you like to eat!