General Diet Plans and Questions - Need some suggestions on my diet plan please :)




DTerminedOne1219
04-25-2011, 07:52 PM
So I have been on a healthier eating plan for quite some time now but am getting serious about counting calories and staying on track. With some recent household changes and having to deal with low carb and sugar free i've had to switch it up a bit. I have always been a healthy eater but am ready to put that towards losing weight. So i would really appreciate it if i could get some feedback about my diet plan! I work 12:30-9pm monday through friday so my times are off quite a bit too so any suggestions on how to make my time more efficient would be great!


Weekdays

I'll be getting up around 9:30 to work out until 10:30 and then get ready for work until 11:30 and get to work between noon and 12:30pm.

Breakfast: 2 and 1/2 cups of coffee with 2tbs of half and half and 2 packets of sweet n' low. If i eat when i get to work it's usually a cinnamon raisen english muffin with I cant beleive its not butter. Sometimes i dont eat breakfast.

Lunch: If i dont eat breakfast i eat my lunch at 3, if i do i eat at 5:30. Either way i eat a sandwich with low sodium ham and yellow mustard on light wheat bread. Sometimes i have half a slice of low sodium/low fat provolone cheese. I eat the sandwich with a 100 calorie bag of smartfood popcorn. If i'm still a little hungry i'll have a sugar free pudding cup.

Snack: 7:30 or so I have 1 cup of select harvest soup (between 100-130 calories). I rotate between the Tomato and the Southwestern one. Sometimes a couple of crackers if im hungry. Unsalted of course.

Dinner: Dinner doesnt get made until i get home from work. I work out 2 days a week after work (for now). So sometimes i eat at 10:30pm, other days its not until 11:30pm. Then i head to bed between midnight and 1 am. Dinner choices rotate between chicken, pork, or ground turkey with either brocoli or cauliflower and a side salad with fat free dressing.



Right now i think my food choices aren't bad. I'm usually between 1200-1600 calories a day (its a broad range) but i'm afraid that the timeline in which im eating isnt the best. I'm not sure what else to do though because its kinda what works for me. I am completely open to suggestions!

I rarely eat outside of that meal plan but when i do i have low cal snack bars, usually fruit or granola, wheat thins, and if i need dessert i have WW strawberry smoothie yogurt bars or Carb Smart chocolate ice cream in the freezer.

I could really use the help! Thanks!!


ERHR
04-25-2011, 08:04 PM
Did you say you were trying to eat low-carb? It seems like you're eating barely any fat. If you are trying to eat low-carb, I think you should up your fat and maybe protein and leave out the English muffin, bread, snacks, etc. If you're not trying to eat low-carb I would still increase the fat content but it's more a personal preference.

DTerminedOne1219
04-25-2011, 08:08 PM
Well my boyfriend is diabetic so for him i've cut out carbs for dinner. No bread, no pasta, no starchy veggies. But during the day i do eat carbs. When i used a calorie counter it showed a large portion of my food choices were fat and it just didnt seem right to me. I've always had an issue with getting more protein into my diet. Do you have any suggestions? Most of what i eat needs to be prepared while im at work.


alicia89
04-25-2011, 08:54 PM
This is just my opinion and I don't mean any offense, but to me it seems like you're eating quite a lot of processed, unnatural, chemical-laden foods - fake butter, aspartame, pudding cups, "fat-free/low-fat" cheese and dressing (which typically have way more sugar, ie carbs, as well as fillers, weird additives and high fructose corn syrup to make up for the fat that's been removed from them), and not all that many fruits or veg. Also, is that english muffin that you sometimes eat a whole grain english muffin? If you want to have bread-based crabs in your diet, that's cool, but I would make sure that they are whole-grain breads/muffins, not white ones (white bread products are known as "refined carbs" and they do bad things to your blood sugar, plus they have no fibre).

Additionally, fat is not necessarily your enemy. Some of the 3fchicks may disagree with me on this, but personally I believe it's much, much healthier to have moderate, appropriately portioned amounts of full-fat foods, because they are natural and have less crap in them, rather than a bunch of low-fat or fat-free products. A tablespoon of real butter can be worked into your calorie budget, will help you better absorb nutrients from veggies, plus butter is a completely natural food that people have been eating for thousands of years. Fat-free salad dressings are often quite unhealthy, despite their lower fat content, because they're full of all sorts of fillers and weird ingredients, and also you won't be able to absorb the nutrients from the veggies unless you eat some fat with them. You'd be much better off to dress your salad with with a tablespoon of healthy oil (extra virgin olive, walnut, etc) and your choice of vinegar or a healthy full-fat salad dressing. I would suggest replacing snacks like pudding cups with something a piece of fruit, string cheese, baby carrots with a bit of hummus, an ounce of nuts, or if you really need something sweet, maybe something like yogurt with a bit of honey and strawberries, dark chocolate, or some healthy granola. And I know the smartfood popcorn is delish (trust me, I've devoured whole bags), but it really isn't as healthy as it likes to pretend to be. I think snacks like smartfood should be an occasional treat, no something you eat every single day. You're better off popping your own popcorn and then experimenting with toppings like some cayenne pepper, seasoning mixes, a bit of freshly-grated parmesan, etc. You could also consider making your own low-cal soup if you have time for something like that? A crockpot can be helpful for making time-efficient soup or what I do is make soup in enormous batches and then freeze them. You should find plenty of recipes on this site. Good luck!

ERHR
04-25-2011, 10:16 PM
I do agree with Alicia on eating more whole foods and cooking your meals instead of eating processed stuff. As Alicia said, your sample menu doesn't include fruits - I eat mostly berries because they are comparatively low in sugar. Strawberries are in season now so you could easily add those. Your dinners look great to me so you could always pack the leftovers for lunch the next day.

As for protein, you could bring tuna fish to work with you very easily. You could eat it on a sandwich but I prefer to just have it plain. Recently I have been mushing together half an avocado with a can of tuna fish and a bit of mayo - that gives me lots of protein, fat, and fiber so it's very filling. For snacks I frequently eat nuts, cheese, and peanut butter, all of which have fat and protein so they are quite filling (nuts can give you some more fiber too). Eggs also give you fat and protein (detecting a pattern here? lol) so you could hardboil some to bring to work with you for a snack or eat them for breakfast. I make a very hearty spinach salad with black beans, tomato, and hardboiled eggs - again lots of fiber and protein.

I use my slow cooker a lot, again as Alicia suggested. I often make chili (beef, beans, and vegetables) and split pea soup. I find that it's easy to make a slow cooker or casserole-type dish or two on the weekends in the oven and bring portions of it for my lunches. That helped me to break away from the sandwich-and-sides lunch model that I followed before.

DTerminedOne1219
04-25-2011, 11:41 PM
This is just my opinion and I don't mean any offense, but to me it seems like you're eating quite a lot of processed, unnatural, chemical-laden foods - fake butter, aspartame, pudding cups, "fat-free/low-fat" cheese and dressing (which typically have way more sugar, ie carbs, as well as fillers, weird additives and high fructose corn syrup to make up for the fat that's been removed from them), and not all that many fruits or veg. Also, is that english muffin that you sometimes eat a whole grain english muffin? If you want to have bread-based crabs in your diet, that's cool, but I would make sure that they are whole-grain breads/muffins, not white ones (white bread products are known as "refined carbs" and they do bad things to your blood sugar, plus they have no fibre).

Additionally, fat is not necessarily your enemy. Some of the 3fchicks may disagree with me on this, but personally I believe it's much, much healthier to have moderate, appropriately portioned amounts of full-fat foods, because they are natural and have less crap in them, rather than a bunch of low-fat or fat-free products. A tablespoon of real butter can be worked into your calorie budget, will help you better absorb nutrients from veggies, plus butter is a completely natural food that people have been eating for thousands of years. Fat-free salad dressings are often quite unhealthy, despite their lower fat content, because they're full of all sorts of fillers and weird ingredients, and also you won't be able to absorb the nutrients from the veggies unless you eat some fat with them. You'd be much better off to dress your salad with with a tablespoon of healthy oil (extra virgin olive, walnut, etc) and your choice of vinegar or a healthy full-fat salad dressing. I would suggest replacing snacks like pudding cups with something a piece of fruit, string cheese, baby carrots with a bit of hummus, an ounce of nuts, or if you really need something sweet, maybe something like yogurt with a bit of honey and strawberries, dark chocolate, or some healthy granola. And I know the smartfood popcorn is delish (trust me, I've devoured whole bags), but it really isn't as healthy as it likes to pretend to be. I think snacks like smartfood should be an occasional treat, no something you eat every single day. You're better off popping your own popcorn and then experimenting with toppings like some cayenne pepper, seasoning mixes, a bit of freshly-grated parmesan, etc. You could also consider making your own low-cal soup if you have time for something like that? A crockpot can be helpful for making time-efficient soup or what I do is make soup in enormous batches and then freeze them. You should find plenty of recipes on this site. Good luck!

I absolutely do not take offense, your advice is exactly what i was looking for! trust me when i say that i would LOVE to spend the money to eat more all natural foods because i know i eat a ton of processes crap. I think i struggle with figuring out how to work my budget around it. but i think i can definately handle buying real butter instead of margarin. All i use it for is on the english muffin, that is whole grain. I could also allow myself to have an english muffin every once in a while and other days have fruit and yogurt. And i definately think i can get real popcorn and season it myself instead of the smart food, either that or swap it out for some carrots instead! and the idea of dressing the salad with oil and vinegar is actually probably more cost effective because it will last longer!! dont know why i didnt think of it before. definately out with the pudding cups i'll find a substitute for that as well! all simple changes i would never have thought of. My other thought is what i can do for lunch besides a sandwich thats just as easy and cost effective...

DTerminedOne1219
04-25-2011, 11:44 PM
All wonderful suggestions. I LOVE fruit and wish i ate more than i did but i have like a ZERO budget for groceries as it is so i think i need to really sit down and re write things out to see what changes can be made in what i currently get for groceries and see where i can replace the processed stuff for more fruits and veggies.

i did manage to finish my day at about 1650 calories so not too bad i guess. Didnt allow myself to eat anything extra. stuck to what i had planned so hopefully i'll just do well with what i have this week and come payday i'll make smarter choices at the grocery store and see a great outcome from it at next weeks weigh in!

alicia89
04-26-2011, 12:43 AM
Yay, Determined!! Sounds awesome - you can do it! :carrot: You're completely right that it involves planning ahead and some extra effort, but it is totally worth it. I don't have a large budget for groceries either, so I can definitely relate to that, however I am a vegetarian so I am not purchasing the most expensive food (meat), and most of my main foods like beans, lentils and veg are pretty cheap. One thing I do though is religiously comb through the weekly grocery flyer and then sort of plan what I'll eat for the week based on what items are on sale in the flyer. When it comes to fruits and veg, I pretty much only buy what's seasonal or items that are in the flyer, and each week there is pretty much always 5-10 veg and 5-10 fruits on sale in the flyer. So if one week the veggies on sale are cauliflower, carrots and beets, those will be my veggies for the week instead of buying broccoli or peppers. If apples are on sale, I'll buy those instead of oranges. Usually there is one type of nut on sale, so I'll have almonds one week, pistachioes the next, etc. I always stock up on shelf-stable goods like rice, pasta, canned beans, oatmeal etc whenever it's on sale for a good price. I only have a couple of staples that I buy every week regardless of whether they're on sale like eggs, yogurt and my favourite brand of wholegrain flax bread. If I find that I have money left over I will use it to "splurge" on something a bit special like a high-quality cheddar or parmesan or some special out of season fruit like mangoes, so that I don't always have to feel like a total penny-pincher who can never buy anything special.

You might also be surprised to find how cheap it is to make your own soup rather than buying it canned. What I do for soup is keep tupperware containers or large freezer bags in my freezer, and then fill them up with any food odds and ends like broccoli stalks, carrot and potato peelings, the bottom of the celery and the leaves of the celery, scraps of onion, mushrooms that dried out, etc. If you eat meat, you'll also want to add any chicken bones or meat bones. Once I have several baggies full, I empty them into my crockpot (or just a normal pot on the stovetop is fine), fill it up with water, add a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, a dash of tamari, parsely and a bay leaf. You can add any other seasonings or herbs you may have on hand. Let it simmer for a few hours, strain and you have your stock, essentially the base for a delicious soup. Add any veggies you wish, some protein (beans, chicken, ham, whatever you want), a can of crushed tomatoes if you want it tomatoey or curry powder or cajun spices if you want it hot, etc. Healthy, homemade and yummy! It sounds time-consuming, but it's really not because you just save all the scraps as you go for the stock and you can just throw anything in to make the soup and use canned or frozen veggies, canned beans or meat if you wish to save time on chopping. It's also extremely cheap - the stock is virtually free because you're using scraps that have already been paid for and then just the cost of a few veggies and protein. I divide it up into individual containers right away and you can freeze them or just keep in the fridge to eat throughout the week.

Regarding the sandwhich, I don't think there is anything wrong with eating a sandwich as long as it's got some protein and is on whole-grain bread (which you've got covered). If you want to mix things up though, you could do "sandwiches" on whole-wheat pitas or do whole grain tortillas with some salsa, veggies and meat. Bagged coleslaw tends to be really cheap and is a good way to add some veggies and crunch onto a sandwich, plus it tastes really good with mustard mixed into it. As an occasional treat I like to do a variation on the standard peanut butter sandwich - I take a small whole wheat tortilla, spread it with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, put a small banana in the middle, drizzle it with a small amount (like a teaspoon) of honey and roll it up. Zap it in the microwave for a few seconds so it's just a bit gooey. If I'm feeling really crazy, I add some raisins too. It's definitely not low carb, but it's reasonably healthy, very filling, unboring, and is a nice sweet fix. I also like egg salad lettuce wraps. It's just two hard-boiled eggs with honey mustard and a tablespoon of natural mayo. You can usually buy lettuce wraps or romaine hearts that are good for rolling up sandwich fillings like egg salad in. I know lettuce wraps instead of bread sound very "diety" but they are surprisingly amazing with the egg salad because you have sort of the decadence and creaminess of the eggs contrasted with the crispness and freshness of the lettuce. Two eggs with a tablespoon of mayo, a bit of honey mustard and the lettuce wraps is under 300 calories. Other good easy lunch options are cottage cheese with fruit stirred in, hummus (very cheap to make your own) with assorted raw veg and whole-grain crackers, a chili or stew (more filling than soup), and if you're not concerned about the carbs in potatoes, a baked potato (sweet or jacket or red) with a small amount of cheese, sour cream (just don't overdo the sour cram and cheese) and lots of veg like broccoli or baked potato topped with black beans and salsa is amazing too (I don't actually bake them, just do the potatoes in the microwave).

DTerminedOne1219
04-26-2011, 01:49 PM
Well Alicia, you are like my diet Guru i think. haha. After reading through what you wrote though i do find i'm a bit picky. I dont eat a lot of beans, not a lot of nuts that i like, and dont eat a lot of rice and pasta because my b/f wont touch it. But once again, everything you posted is very helpful. Gives me a great starting point. I'm looking online at the sales flyer as we speak to see what i'll be getting for the week. Definately going to be getting more fruits and veggies. Also on a coupon hunt to see if cant get even more bang for my buck! My diet may be the same thing day in and day out but i'd rather have it be boring and be good for me than be cheap and not so good for me! I'm going to post once i go to the store with my new diet plan for next week!!!

Thanks again!!!