General Diet Plans and Questions - My new diet-- what do you think?

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04-06-2011, 02:25 PM
Nothing seems to work for me. My last diet failed, I realize, because it was much too restrictive, so I am trying something new.

1.) I have a major sweet tooth, and in my last diet, I tried to cut it ALL out, but that didn't work, because I craved sugar too much.

So, I am replacing my sweets with Jello, Pudding, fruit, and those little spongecake shells with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and a little whip cream (those are only for special treats, though). Yes, I realize that this isn't exactly the healthiest way to do this, but it is cutting my calories down by a lot because I would binge on Debbie snack-cakes.

Oh, and thanks to my husband, I now love instant coffee and hot chocolate mixed together. *rolls eyes* Also, it really works, so I just count it as my "clean the house" or "workout" drink. lol.

2.) I am not going to eat until I am stuffed, so my meals are going to be light, and I'm going to eat every few hours instead of just eating one or two huge meals. I am also going to just eat one serving at a meal (unless it is vegetables by themselves, or something light like my quinoa stir-fry).

3.) My lunch is going to be raw vegetables with Greek yogurt (with a little ranch seasoning stirred into it).

4.) I'm going to limit my junk. I bought a thing of individual potato-chip bags that are divided in serving sizes, so if I want something salty I can have one bag as a snack once in a while. I'm trying to not deprive myself, because it doesn't work for me.

Does this seem like an okay way to start a diet?

04-06-2011, 02:42 PM
A couple of the steps you are taking make so much sense- especially substituting "better" sweets (ones with less added sugar and processed stuff) with more natural, lower cal ones (fruit, etc). I also have salty cravings and love chips every now and then, but I can't limit them like you are able to, so I have to find things to eat instead of them (hummus and pita, for example) instead of just smaller portions of the actual thing I crave. For me, like you are doing with the sweets, substitution is the key!

It seems like your diet is a mix between general rules of thumb (i.e. cutting back on junk food) and some hard-and-fast rules (i.e. "lunch will be vegetables and yogurt"). I personally do better with general rules of thumb rather than hard and fast rules, so your lunch requirement wouldn't work for me. I'd get tired of it quickly :D However if you are getting enough nutrients and it makes sense for you, go for it of course!

Like you, I also hate depriving myself completely of anything- I think moderation makes the most sense. That's why calorie counting works well for me- I can eat anything as long as it fits into my caloric restrictions and I meet my macronutrient requirements for the day. But like I said, it's whatever makes sense for YOU, and it seems like the steps you laid out are a great start to a healthy diet!

04-06-2011, 03:05 PM
Thanks for replying, indiblue! It's nice to know that my idea sounds good. By the way, I love your profile pic! I just tried sushi for the first time a week or so ago, and it was AMAZING. :D Anyway... back on topic. lol.

My husband is also doing this too, but maybe not as extreme as me (he's still eating his chicken pot-pies, which is fine, because they don't tempt me). The veggies and yogurt was actually very good yesterday. I realized a while back that if I have something to dip it in, I can put away just about anything. lol.

I am also considering grazing on baby spinach leaves while I am at the computer. Spinach seems low-fat enough, that it shouldn't matter if I indulge, since it is so nutritious, right? My main thing I'm trying to do with this diet is to keep myself from getting VERY hungry, because that's when the bad cravings start.

I also bought oatmeal for breakfast, and I have apples, bananas, berries, salad for snacks. I stocked up on frozen veggies and chicken breasts for making homemade soups. I also bought some deli turkey and almond-butter for sandwiches. It's going to be hard to limit myself to one sandwich, because sandwiches are something I love, but I did it last night for dinner, so I will just have to put my foot down. :)

I got to see my cousin that I hadn't seen for a couple years in person, the week before last, and she was so, so petite that it really motivated me to start working on myself again. :) So, hopefully it will work out.

04-06-2011, 03:17 PM
Fiber and protein are key to staying full, as you probably already know. Oatmeal is a great breakfast food and there are tons of high protein/fiber breakfast ideas you can adopt to keep from getting hungry. I love homemade hearty fiber/protein goodies like bran/oatmeal/whole wheat/apple/carrot muffins as well as pumpkin protein cookies like these ( (Although full disclosure: I'm doing IF right now so I actually don't eat breakfast... though that doesn't mean I can't eat these for lunch or an afternoon snack!).

For me spinach wouldn't be satisfying enough to snack on (though it may be for you!). Perhaps popcorn (air-popped, not in a bag) could be a good thing to snack on?

Just some ideas :)

04-06-2011, 03:32 PM
I don't really like popcorn. I hate how it sticks in my teeth. :( I noticed that I can really put leafy greens away, so that's why I chose spinach. Those cookies look amazing, by the way. I might take up baking homemade things like that.

See, I was trying to do a restrictive paleo-style diet, which cut out all junk, dairy, and grains, so I'm changing that (for now, I may revert back to paleo if I can cut out that stuff later, but I can't now).

I'm still a bit too afraid to try making pasta again, though. My husband and I would cover it in cheese and devour the entire dish. :(

04-07-2011, 04:33 PM
This is the third day, but I cheated a little last night.


Breakfast: 2 little bags of chips (I slightly binged, because I got depressed), 320 calories.
Lunch: I shared a plate of carrots, celery, broccoli, and radishes with my husband. We dipped them in Greek yogurt with a little ranch seasoning. Yogurt with seasoning was about 100 calories.
Dinner: A turkey sandwich.


Breakfast: A shortcake with fruit, chocolate pudding, whip cream (I need to work on my breakfasts). I estimated that it was a little under 400 calories (without fruit).
Lunch: Turkey sandwich with a little bag of chips Chips are 160 calories, but I'm not sure about the sandwich.
Dinner: I went to my parents' so I ate a hamburger, fries, and 2 miniature chocolate caramel eggs. No idea the amount of calories (yikes).
Snack: Another bag of chips (I felt triggered from my dinner). About 160 calories.

Breakfast: Spinach leaves, two slices of turkey breast, celery, carrots, and radishes. Not sure about the calories, but all of it was healthy anyway.
Lunch: two bean burritos with a bag of chips. I estimated it was around 800 calories
Snack: Shortcake with pudding, whip cream, and fruit. Just under 400 calories (without counting the fruit).
Dinner: Turkey sandwich (All the times I've had this, I've loaded the sandwich with spinach leaves and put mustard on it) and chips.

I'm not doing too bad (for me). I just need to try harder. I figure if I keep each day under 2000 calories then I will still lose something.

04-07-2011, 05:58 PM
I don't do well with restricting any type of food, but I have to have some structure/rules. If I don't, I will convince myself that what I am eating is not that bad even when the scale screams otherwise. I could easily put away 3,000 calories a day of " mostly healthy" food if I don't track it religiously and have a plan to know when to stop.

You already know the changes you need to make, so you don't need anyone to tell you what to follow. The only suggestion I have is to set yourself some limits to live by, perhaps simply setting a calorie target?

It sounds like you aren't really looking to do a plan, i.e. south beach, sugar busters, etc. but if you'd like some help figuring out numbers (calorie deficit, WW points, etc) that will put you on the right track this is the right place for support ;)

As of now, it's great that you include so many veggies in your diet. I wish I could, I loathe them. Your problem, however, is exactly what mine is-you love starches and comfort/junk food. If you change nothing else, try to find some substitutes for those foods. Try baked chips or the light (olestra) kind, or maybe some whole grain flavored crackers.

I'm with ya on the sweet tooth. I have to have something sweet every day or I lose my mind. I like sugarfree pudding cups with light whipped cream. There are a few little debbies that are pretty low cal-star crunch and marshmallow puffs are both under 150 calories. The 90 calorie fiber one bars taste good and chocolatey.

The point is to find things you can love that don't do as much damage, and to set a limit of some kind to know that your efforts will get the job done.

04-07-2011, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, dragonlady1978. The reason I chose potato chips instead of whole grain crackers is because I found a good deal on one of those boxes with the individual bags, and I like that they're single servings. We're on foodstamps, so we usually have to substitute quality for quantity. I have bought those kinds of snacks before, and I will eat them until I finish the entire box/bag. I'm like that with any kind of snack-cake too. That's why I've been taking one of those little shortcakes and putting a couple spoonfuls of chocolate pudding and whip cream in them (as well as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries). It hits the spot, and although it goes over the calories of an individual snack-cake, it actually comes out to less, because I'm used to eating several in one serving.

Yeah, for now, I'm trying to keep my calories under 2000, but I'm kind of an eccentric-eater, meaning one day I'll eat a small amount of calories, and the next I'll eat a large amount.

Yes, I do love my comfort foods. I have actually substituted spaghetti squash for pasta noodles, but because of the price, it ends up only being a once or twice a month thing.

I also love bread and tortillas, but I'm trying to limit myself to 2 slices of bread or 2 tortillas (wheat) whenever I have them.

04-07-2011, 07:09 PM
On the same point, does anyone know a site that offers some kind of free thing that keeps count of your calories or helps you figure out the calories in certain things? I tried to keep count once, just by typing it up in a document, but it was kind of a lot of work, and I'm pretty lazy. lol.

04-07-2011, 07:41 PM and

04-07-2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks! I'll check them out. :)

04-07-2011, 11:14 PM
The reason I chose potato chips instead of whole grain crackers is because I found a good deal on one of those boxes with the individual bags, and I like that they're single servings. We're on foodstamps, so we usually have to substitute quality for quantity.

How about making homemade pita chips? You can either buy pitas and cut them into triangles, put some salt/seasonings on them and bake them, OR just make your own pitas and cut them up, etc. Pita is just flour and water rolled out- there are lots of easy recipes online. Most things packaged/processed can be made at home with a little creativity, and they end up being much more nutritious and MUCH cheaper.

04-08-2011, 10:39 AM
How about making homemade pita chips? You can either buy pitas and cut them into triangles, put some salt/seasonings on them and bake them, OR just make your own pitas and cut them up, etc. Pita is just flour and water rolled out- there are lots of easy recipes online. Most things packaged/processed can be made at home with a little creativity, and they end up being much more nutritious and MUCH cheaper.

I'll second this! I make my own pitas,and LOVE them much better then the store bought ones.I then also know exactly what goes into them.My next one I'll try is homemade tortillas :carrot:

04-08-2011, 12:53 PM
I found that cutting sweets out completely was almost impossible for me, too. I think your ideas are great. I also chew gum a lot, or drink a glass of milk chocolate ovaltine when I get a sweet craving. Also, I eat skittles or junior mints (But I make sure someone else keeps the bag and I only get a serving size when I actually want them. You'd be surprised how many mints are in a serving size, and they're pretty low-cal, IMO). I also eat those Werthers caramel treats. I think 2 or 3 is a serving, and they're also low cal. I don't eat them very often, but I do get sweet cravings. I figure it's better than cookies and ice cream, right?

The eating every few hours thing is a great idea. I tend to make myself a little something in the evening if we have leftovers, eat that for breakfast, and I'm good until noon-1PM. I find if I eat every couple of hours, it really keeps me fuller. If a glass of water doesn't cut it, though, I drink a glass of milk. It helps me hold off on snacking between meals. I probably drink more milk than I should though LOL.

The divided-by-serving-size chip idea seems great to me. I do the same. But try to stretch the consumption out. Even if they're serving sizes and you CAN have them, I'd rather have them every once in a while than two or three times a week. I don't know, they'd seem more...special then. That's just me, though.

I think this is a great starting point, with lots of wiggle room. I'm at the point where I don't really calorie count anymore (I swear by it, though), but I DO actually LOOK at how many calories are in what I'm eating. If I'm not sure, I just don't eat it. If I'm sort of hungry, I just cut it in half.

I'm excited to see how you get along- sorry this reply is late- I'll check in every once in a while! Good luck!!

04-10-2011, 04:28 PM
I'm sort of doing the same thing you are. I'm counting carbs though because it just works better for me. I'm doing 100carbs a day. Greek yogurt w/berries*cereal, whole milk w/cereal, salads, hot cocoa, berries w/whipped cream, cheese & salami, chicken sandwiches, etc. I've been losing 2-3lbs a week with 40min workouts three times a week. I really suggest getting stevia. Its a natural sweetner and you just need a 1/2 tsp for most items. I buy powder cocoa (2g sugar), combine with milk, vanilla, and add 1/2 tsp stevia (0 everything). There are some things that stevia just doesn't work with. It does go well with plain greek yogurt and berries though. I really recommend you look into it. I refuse artificial sweeteners but I'm all for this natural sugar substitute. I get to the point where I'm ready to do whatever possible for something sweet. Today, I'm going to try a flourless chocolate cake with stevia and I will probably put greek yogurt in as a bulking agent. I have lost 60lbs before in 3 months and that was doing a cut out sweets entirely (20carb diet). But, I just cant do that again. I think when you slowly teach yourself to watch sugar you better equip yourself in general for eating right. So far 40lbs lost and 20lbs to go!

04-10-2011, 05:41 PM
Thanks, garnet. I might try limiting my carbs to 100 too. I haven't tried stevia, though I've seen it in the store. I can pretty much take Greek Yogurt by itself with just a touch of honey and blueberries added to it. That tastes almost as good as ice-cream to me. :) 40 minutes seems to be my magic exercise number, but I need to start exercising consistently again. I'll do good for a week or two, and then I'll just stop.

indiblue, I've never thought of making my own pita chips or tortillas. I will definitely look into that, especially if it's cheaper.

I've been having 2 burritos here recently for my lunch. They're full of refried beans, a little cheese, a huge handful of spinach, and a generous amount of salsa. I'm going to consider making my own refried beans soon, though, because the sodium content is a bit high in the canned ones, plus if I made a huge pot of beans, myself, I could probably stretch it out further.

04-10-2011, 11:45 PM
Yummy burritos!

My boyfriend is Mexican-American and does great homemade refried beans. You are totally right, dried beans are so cheap so buying a big bag and making them at home is much healthier (less fat and they retain more of their nutrients) and cheaper than buying the cans. It's just beans, oil, tomato, onion, and salt.

Do you do homemade salsa or storebought? If you haven't tried making homemade, that is super yummy too, and again, healthier and cheaper. This is the one I use, under the skirt steak recipe: It's basically just onions, tomatos, peppers, and cilantro but it's amazing.

My bf and I loooove to cook, plus we live in a developing country right where there are very few imported ingredients, so we are forced to. It's been good though because it encourages us to eat healthier and more cheaply, and it's fun bonding time!

Also, I am from Tennessee too ^_^