100 lb. Club - Why do I make it so hard?




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SnowboundChick
02-03-2009, 06:49 PM
I think I'm making an issue out of it for nothing. But meal planning is just this huge task to me. I started calorie counting today and it's been hard but I've tracked everything and already I'm over 1800 calories and I still have dinner to go. I know where the calories are coming from though and I'll be able to adjust for tomorrow.

But now I have to face meal planning and I've made it this huge deal in my head and I don't know why. I keep making excuses about it.

I found some meal planner sheets online and now I just have to fill them out with meals. Do you figure out your calories before hand and put those in, so you know what you are getting that day or do them that day?


jademarlene
02-03-2009, 06:57 PM
I do my planning the day before on paper, that way I know if I have to add anything to get to my calorie goal or take away. If I eat anything that I haven't planned on I add that as soon as I can so I don't forget. When I don't plan a day at least a day earlier I find that is when I have the most problems.

Iianae
02-03-2009, 07:10 PM
Can someone point me in the direction of where I can find meal planning sheets?


FreeSpirit
02-03-2009, 07:12 PM
I plan out the day before as well. I have certain amounts that I allow myself for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So lately I've been eating 1500 calories a day. I'll have 300 for breakfast, 400 for lunch, 200 for an afternoon snack, 500 for dinner, and 100 for an evening snack. I'm not really hungry in the mornings, so I plan my day accordingly. The late afternoon (after 5-ish) is the toughest for me so I plan more calories for that time of day. It's what works for me. If you're hungrier in the morning then plan for more calories in the morning than in the evening. Figure out what works for you.

corazonas
02-03-2009, 07:15 PM
i usually just write down as i go but have SOME idea what i want to eat the day before. i just find if i plan every little bite then i end up not wanting to eat that! but i pretty much know the cals/portion sizes of the stuff in my house so it's not hard for me to just go on the fly...

SnowboundChick
02-03-2009, 07:18 PM
http://www.healthymenumailer.com/ebooks/weekly-meal-plan.pdf

One I found, I can't find the original one I found but I have it saved on my computer.

moon safari
02-03-2009, 07:30 PM
Maybe it would be good to look at some sample meal plans online. That way you can get started meal planning by just copying what someone else does, then eventually you'll do it without thinking.

Don't psych yourself out. I'm a HUGE self-saboteur and I always psych myself out of anything that might be a bit confusing at first. But that's how we got into this mess in the first place. You know you can do it, everyone who has read this thread knows you can do it.

Redflame
02-03-2009, 07:43 PM
I know exactly how you feel, I was there last year about this time! I found sparkpeople.com and it is free, it sets you up with calorie and nutrition goals according to your weight and height etc........then if you want it to it sets up some meal plans. THis is a great idea to see exactly the types of meals you should be eating for balanced nutrition within your calorie guidelines. Of course you dont have to use those meal plans, I always brought them up and it gave me ideas.

For example if it said for dinner to have chicken breast, rice pilaf and brocoli (it gives exact amounts) I could switch that out to fish, brown rice, and spinach........great reminder of the right nutrition balance and the right portions.

Now I just log in my foods and I rarely use the meal planner (you can switch it off and on) but every once in awhile I bring it up for new ideas.

Hope that helps

rodeogirl
02-04-2009, 04:08 AM
I hate planning with a passion. I have no idea what I'll feel like cooking and/or eating in 2 hours let alone 24.

I enter my weight in TDP everyday and it spits out how many calories I get. Then I take my meds and wait an hour and then I eat something. Often I eat an apple or granola bar or yogurt. Before, during, or after eating I enter whatever it was on TDP. It shows me how many calories I have left. Then later when I'm hungry again I look at how many calories I have left and pick something that seems like a good choice but leaves more calories for later.

I really REALLY hate coming to the end of the day and having no more calories left so it helps me budget pretty well during the day. Once I'm out of calories, that's it. I'm done.

I almost always come in slightly under my calorie budget but once in awhile I go 100 calories over. It pretty much all evens out so I'm eating 1670 calories which is my current calorie budget.

A HUGE part of what makes this work for me is that I eat a LOT of bulk much of the time. So a ginormous spinach salad with lots of chicken is a staple. I also like pita sandwiches with 2oz of turkey, hummus and greek yogurt, and lots of shredded lettuce. Around 300 calories for a pretty filling meal. Roasted asparagus is another favorite. You can eat a LOT of asparagus for not too many calories.

EDIT: I should add that it helps to identify high calorie/per oz items. Walnuts are great nutrition but I only eat about 1/4 to 1/2 oz per day - which is a small handful. Rice, bread, and tortillas are also calorically dense. A few months ago I'd eat 3-4 tortillas a day easy. Now I eat one a week if that. Milk and cheese are also used sparingly. Figuring out that 300 calories of rice was not nearly as satisfying as 300 calories of chicken was a pretty big help to me in the beginning.

EDIT #2: Also maybe at your weight maybe 1800 calories isn't enough? I think when I was closer to your weight I was eating around 1900 a day and still dropping 3lbs a week. Sometimes and extra 50 or 100 calories can really make a difference.

JayEll
02-04-2009, 08:42 AM
It's also possible to come up with a general idea of what you'll be eating and go from there. I have a few combinations I have for breakfast (and I know the calories for them). I'm a fan of Lean Cuisine, so often I rely on those and add to them.

As far as more fresh foods, I'll buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, cook them all up at once, and then I have cold chicken left over for a few days. Same with other meats like lean pork or steak, and with vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. I can put those into a meal combination without much trouble. chicken, salad, green beans (I like the frozen microwaveable packages). Or, chicken sandwich on half a piece of bread (or two pieces if I plan for it) with salad and leftover broccoli. You get the idea I'm sure!

But I rarely plan all the meals in advance for every day.

As for snacks, again, I have a few options I can go to in different combinations.

Don't stop yourself! Just figure out how to make it work.

Jay

wchs2007
02-04-2009, 10:29 AM
I have a very hard time also. I know most people say to prepare meals yourself but I like the weight watchers meals.. Lean Cuisine..
Healthy Choice.. My life style is so busy.. On weekends we will grill extra chicken so we can eat on it during the week. I love snacks.. I feel like I will just die if I do not have one at night before bed so I always make sure I save at least 100 calories for a snack.
Thanks for the weekly meal plan.. I think I will try it..

Schmoodle
02-04-2009, 10:50 AM
This may not be helpful advice because I know different things work for different people. But I want my plan to be something I can continue and maintain for the rest of my life, and it has worked for two years now, so I am very hopeful. There is no way I can make time every day for the rest of my life to count calories, measure and weigh, and plan every bite I am going to take each day, so my plan is one that doesn't require that. I may calorie count on occasion as a sanity check, if I feel I've been eating too much. I believe planning IS key to successful weight loss and maintenance, but I think if it's a huge burden you won't be able to keep doing it. So once a week I take some time to plan my dinners for the next week, and make my grocery list at the same time. I make a quick list of what will be available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Every morning I go to the accountability thread and think about what I feel like eating that day and make a quick plan. This just takes a couple of minutes. I am well known for making things way more complicated than they need to be and burning out quickly, so I try to focus on really keeping this simple.

TraceyElaine
02-04-2009, 11:25 AM
I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by meal planning. I never plan meals. Most days I don't know what's for supper till it's supper time. I need to get on that as well I just don't know where to start. With a plan or with a grocerie list.

TJFitnessDiva
02-04-2009, 11:38 AM
I'm a meal planner....always have since I have multiple people to feed. I like to know what I need to buy (I go to the grocery once a week).

When I started WW I do admit I was a bit intimidated about meal planning. Mainly because I wasn't so sure if I should cook one meal for me & another for the rest of the family. Now we all eat the same thing so I stopped worrying.

Take it a little at a time....planning helps keep you on plan & where you aren't jumping into a situation that might take you off. It doesn't mean you have to make complicated meals try something simple like baked skinless boneless chicken breasts, brown rice and steamed broccoli or even a frozen Smart One.

JulieJ08
02-04-2009, 01:31 PM
This may not be helpful advice because I know different things work for different people. But I want my plan to be something I can continue and maintain for the rest of my life, and it has worked for two years now, so I am very hopeful. There is no way I can make time every day for the rest of my life to count calories, measure and weigh, and plan every bite I am going to take each day, so my plan is one that doesn't require that. I may calorie count on occasion as a sanity check, if I feel I've been eating too much. I believe planning IS key to successful weight loss and maintenance, but I think if it's a huge burden you won't be able to keep doing it. So once a week I take some time to plan my dinners for the next week, and make my grocery list at the same time. I make a quick list of what will be available for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Every morning I go to the accountability thread and think about what I feel like eating that day and make a quick plan. This just takes a couple of minutes. I am well known for making things way more complicated than they need to be and burning out quickly, so I try to focus on really keeping this simple.

Ditto ditto ditto :)

Meal planning for me is more about having the things I will need available, and not wasting fresh produce. I always leave out a few meals so I have some flexibility when invited somewhere (or just wanting to eat out) without making produce or leftovers go to waste. Sigh, yes, early on I had some major coping issues when I needed to deviate from my detailed plan :o

H8cake
02-04-2009, 02:42 PM
This is one reason why diets that give you menu's never worked for me. I would get so overwhelmed when I got to the store. I did the zone diet once and my cart was so full of stuff and it cost an arm and a leg when I checked out. This time I decided to keep it simple. Dr Oz suggests keeping breakfast and lunch pretty much the same every day. That way you don't have to think much about it. I now have a couple of breakfast options to pick from. I work so I started out with weight watchers frozen meals. I have a freezer at work so I would fill it with these and I didn't have to think about it. Dinners are quick and easy or something in the crock pot.
Keeping it as simple as possible made it doable for me. You can make adjustments as you go along to keep it interesting and to make it more healthy. I don't eat many of the frozen meals now, but they helped me get started.

Daimere
02-04-2009, 02:44 PM
Dinners are quick and easy or something in the crock pot.

Do you have any good, healthy crock pot recipes?

JulieJ08
02-04-2009, 02:55 PM
. Dr Oz suggests keeping breakfast and lunch pretty much the same every day. That way you don't have to think much about it. I now have a couple of breakfast options to pick from.

I think that was one of the best things about their book. Permission to simplify. :)

H8cake
02-04-2009, 03:02 PM
Do you have any good, healthy crock pot recipes?

Crock Pot Chicken
whole chicken
lawry's seasoned salt
make some balls of foil and place in a crock pot that has been sprayed with non stick spray. rinse the chicken and salt liberally with the seasoning salt and place on top of the foil balls. The foil keeps the chicken out of the drippings so it isn't soaking up all that fat. set the crock pot for 4-5 hours on high. It works better on high than low for this recipe.

I've found some spice mixes at the store for the crock pot. The italian chicken is really good. You mix the spices with a small can of tomato paste and stewed tomatoes and pour over some chicken breasts in the crock pot. It is really good served over some whole grain pasta. I think you could substitute some italian spices and garlic powder for the spice mix.

For chicken taco's I put some chicken breasts in the crock pot and pour a container of salsa over and cook on low for five hours. This is great served in corn tortillas with lettuce, black beans and a little fat free sour cream and a little reduced fat cheese.

Once in awhile I do a roast in the crock pot with potatoes, carrots and onions and use one of the spice mixes with it. I don't eat many of the potatoes, I leave them for the guys and make myself a sweet potato in the microwave.

This site has some recipes that look interesting too.
http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/lowfatcookingtools/a/slowcooker.htm

SnowboundChick
02-04-2009, 03:32 PM
Wow, there is a lot of advice here, thank you ladies. I'm taking it one day at a time. THe key for me is simplicity, with 3 sons and a husband to feed I have to make it easy for all of us. We already do cook pretty simple meals most of the time, so that is a plus. I'll just have to work that into a menu, so it's more planned. My goal right now is to do the calorie counting and meal planning and portion control until I have a good handle on it(it may take a few years)and I like many don't want to have to count everything I eat for the rest of my life, this is a lifestyle change for me that I'm going to stick with.
I find when I'm looking at menus and other meal plans, such as at Sparkpeople(I've been a member there for 3 years), that I do get overwhelmed about the process and they show food that either I don't like or would have to struggle to prepare, that was the reason I was trying to just follow the Canada Food Guide recommendations, but I'm the kind of gal who takes infromation form everywhere and process it that way, so I have many options out there and right now this is the one that looks like it will work for me, for now.
Now going to do a reread and write these tips down. Thanks again.

lindalou0510
02-04-2009, 04:22 PM
Dr Oz suggests keeping breakfast and lunch pretty much the same every day. That way you don't have to think much about it.

That is truly great advice!

I always feel like I should be mixing things up, when it comes to meal planning. I have tried the online meal plans, and most of the ingredients are obscure, stuff I won't eat, or stuff I don't like.

You do have to find what works for you. Simplicity is key in the beginning. Making small changes, one day at a time. If you do too much too soon, you become overwhelmed and are setting yourself up for failure.

Best of luck!

rodeogirl
02-04-2009, 05:46 PM
I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by meal planning. I never plan meals. Most days I don't know what's for supper till it's supper time. I need to get on that as well I just don't know where to start. With a plan or with a grocerie list.

If it's working for you, your probably don't need to plan. But if you think it would work better to plan or your unhappy with your current progress, by all means! :)

Numina
02-04-2009, 06:26 PM
I haven't been doing this long enough to have a handle on menu planning myself --- and it IS hard when you have to cook a meal that everyone can eat (in my humble opinion....)

One thing to really keep an eye on is portion sizes; it's so darn easy to blow your calorie budget just by taking a big serving or getting seconds. (At least, that's true for me!) You could make sure every dinner has a side vegetable and fill up on that. Or you could have an apple or salad right before dinner to fill you up some before everyone sits down. Or you could fill 1/2 your plate with fruit/veggies, 1/4 with protein and 1/4 with starches/carbs as a quick and dirty way to balance what you are eating.

Good for you for taking the time to try to do this right and not just giving up when it gets complicated or tough! Those FatNasty pounds that are freeloading at your house should be getting very, very nervous!

:cool:

Gretchy
02-04-2009, 06:39 PM
I think about what I want for dinner and put it in on fitday. That way I can see what my calories will be if I eat it - and if it doesn't seem worth getting my calories to a certain point, I change it. Breakfast and lunch I have no problem keeping as minimal calories so I just put it in after I've eaten it, but dinner I have to look at the amount of calories good and hard before I eat it.

cfmama
02-04-2009, 08:49 PM
I plan my day in advance because it works for ME and helps to keep ME accountable. Your milage may vary of course.