I fill my days with mostly carbs and junk, because I can't cook, have no time to think, and I'm just plan lazy. Please, help me see what a balanced day's worth of meals looks like. What do I eat? What do I not eat?
Simplify it for me, please. I need a back to basics approach, and support. Please, no lecture. I know I am bad at this, and I need help to get better. I can do this.
08-06-2008, 04:01 AM
Well, I've found cutting back carbs to be helpful - but I'm a lot heavier than you.
I'd suggest weightwatchers core plan as a pretty simple way of getting to grips with what you can/can't eat?
As I recall, you can basically eat whatever fish, poultry, meat, fresh veggies and fruit you want. You're supposed to be more sparing with bread, flour, fried food etc...no, actually I can't remember the details off the top of my head, but it's probably over in the WW forum. There's a lot to be said for that plan, I think - you don't have to do the whole points-calculating thing (which I couldn't be doing with), but you DO have built-in flexibility to be able to allow for unusual things like a cake or some wine or something, as and when. Check it out!
Beyond that, whatever your plan I'd say make sure you get a good breakfast in first thing to kickstart your metabolism - oatmeal, bacon and eggs, whatever is appropriate (I've always been guilty of that Fat Girl Cliche of not bothering with breakfast, or eating something crap) - and make sure you're drinking plenty of water all day.
(And, okay, I can't help myself - I do think that cutting back on carbs really helps. But that's just my experience. YMMV.)
08-06-2008, 04:17 AM
Well what exactly do are you eating, further than carbs and junk?
08-06-2008, 05:40 AM
Here are some ideas for meals that don't require a lot of cooking and have a good mix of good carbs, protein, and good fats
Breakfast: eggs or egg sub, yogurt, cottage cheese, high fiber/low sugar cereal, oatmeal and other hot cereals, whole wheat toast and PB, lean ham or veggie sausage, fruit (not all of these things, pick one one or two).
My standard weekday breakfast is 1 cup FF plain Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup High Fiber Cereal (similar to Fiber One) and 2 oz raspberries.
Lunch: Sandwiches using lean deli meat on whole wheat bread or in whole wheat or low carb wraps. Salads with at least 4 oz of protein (pre-cooked chicken breasts strips, smoked turkey, or 98% FF ham work great). PB&J on whole wheat is always a great easy alternative. Just try to make sure your lunch includes a protein and some fruit or veggies, and that any carbs you eat are whole grains.
Dinner: You want to make sure dinner includes a protein (I generally shoot for 4 to 6 oz of lean meat) and at least one serving of veggies. Grilled or broiled chicken breast or fish with veggie sides are an easy choice. Tacos also can be a great, easy choice, when made with lean meat (93% lean ground beef or ground turkey, or chicken breast tenders) and served with whole wheat or corn tortillas (add some onions and bell peppers when you cook the meat to get some veggies in). Salads with chicken, salmon, shrimp, lots of veggies, and a low cal dressing. Whole wheat pasta with a low cal bottled pasta sauce and turkey sausage or lean ground beef or turkey (again, add some onions and bell peppers to the meat when you cook it to increase your veggies). Or try a stir fry: you can buy reasonably low calorie bottled stir-fry sauces, pre-cut veggies, chicken breast tenders or lean beef, and pre-cooked brown rice. Pork tenderloin with a veggie side is also super easy--just stick it in the oven and forget about it. You can buy the pork tenderloin pre-seasoned. Chili is another easy and great option.
Snacks: eggs, egg-white omelets, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, fresh veggies (try them dipped in salsa or hummus), oatmeal or another hot cereal, canned tuna (try Bumblebee's tuna sensations), sardines, nuts, reduced fat string cheese, Meg's Fiber On e Muffins (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2067764&postcount=2).
Desserts (one per day): SF FF puddings, 100-calorie packs, sweetened yogurt with fruit, reduced fat ice cream.
08-06-2008, 06:31 AM
I was talking to a fellow yestday, his son is an athlete. He was joking that the son makes many chicken breats and brown rice on Sundays and grabs some of each for his lunch everyday ... with raw vegetables.
That's not a bad idea to start with as long as you soon learn to sub in other things.
Egg, toast, an apple
Tuna, green salad, rice cake
Pork chop, potato, steamed boccoli
08-06-2008, 07:00 AM
i like things i can just grab and go (otherwise im pretty stuffed because im so disorganised in the evenings and mornings!). What i usually take to uni to keep me going is a combination of an apple or two, light natural yoghurt, sandwich (whole grain bread, no butter, usually a combination of salad and cheese, you can omit the cheese if you want, or use low fat cheese), chopped carrots, small handful of nuts, lots of water, some rice crackers, any other veggies i can find and eat without cooking them (not all of these every day though of course!)
Lately i have discovered Uncle Ben's Express rice packets. Probably a bit too high carb for you, but i find them very filling and they keep me going all day, so i can have a decent breakfast, lunch and dinner without feeling hungry and without going over my carb limit
Also a good idea are the steam lock bags- just chop some veggies, put them in the bag, and microwave at work or uni when you're hungry and you've got instant steamed veggies. I havent tried these yet but they are sitting in my kitchen, begging to be used :D
08-06-2008, 07:41 AM
An easy way to go would be to stock your freezer with Lean Cuisines and frozen vegetables in microwaveable packs. Green beans are one of my favorites. And buy some bag salad from time to time, get a lowfat dressing or spritzer. Buy baby carrots for snacks, get some Baby Bel (Laughing Cow) cheese wedges to go with them.
I don't think we can tell you what to eat every day and every meal. If you need that level of help, you probably ought to join Weight Watchers or buy a weight-loss book that includes menu planning--like Sugar Busters, but there are many other to choose from. :)
If you really don't know what to eat and what not to eat, get a copy of EAT THIS, NOT THAT. It will give you some ideas.
08-06-2008, 07:43 AM
It is really hard, figuring out how to do this when you're busy. I think the first thing you have to do is really make a commitment to yourself that you'll make the time to eat well. That, for me, means spending one day a week (Sunday afternoon) cooking and packing up my meals for the week. That way I can just grab a container on the way to work, regardless of which shift I'm working, and I don't get caught downtown with only restaurants that will send me into a panic.
If you are eating on the go, it helps a lot to know what calories are in what foods. I avoid restaurants that don't post their calories completely. Luckily there's a Subway near my job, which is a go-to for me because I know exactly what I'm eating and it's filling. I do try to limit carbs, especially late in the day, so this isn't a standard choice for me.
Check out the food forum for some ideas on recipes. There have been lots of good discussions around here about breakfast lately. And if you still feel overwhelmed, maybe think about trying a diet for awhile that dictates your meals for you. South Beach and several others will give you meal plans to follow until you get in the swing.
08-06-2008, 08:07 AM
Other then then advice you've already been given, just wondering.... most insurance plans cover a nutritionist. Might be something you'd like to look into.
08-06-2008, 09:49 AM
Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with low fat protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Once of my favorite "mini meals" that I grab and eat in teh cart is an large apple and 2 low fat mozzarella cheese sticks. I also like cucumber slices, triscuit and a cheese stick. I grab these when walking out the door, adn I am not tempted to drive through fats food on busy days. HTH
08-06-2008, 10:18 AM
Plenty of great suggestions here already, so I won't repeat them. Just a reminder - learn what a portion (serving) is. For example, a serving of rice = 1/2 cup.
I also eat pasta (here and there) but it is ALWAYS whole wheat pasta. I use a can of pasta sauce (I like Hunt's) and I add salsa to it. Also, I add a huge bowl of chopped veggies (chopped red or orange bell peppers, zucchini, celery stalks, thinly sliced or grated carrots, kohlrabi, etc. Now summer squash is available. I also add some finely grated celery and parsley root and I let it simmer a bit. When I feel frivolous, I add canned chickpeas. I end up with a HUGE pot of pasta sauce. It takes a while to make it but I have plenty of portions from it. I divide them into tupperware and freeze (I also freeze already cooked pasta). When I don't have time to cook, I just defrost a serving of pasta and a serving of sauce and presto, lunch is ready.