PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - Little help?

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06-03-2012, 12:43 AM
Hi ladies,

I'm still pretty new here, but I was hoping someone might be able to provide some advice. I work at a few different elementary schools in Japan, and unfortunately I'm required to eat the school-provided lunch every day. This wouldn't be a problem, except that they're HUGE. There's generally half a plate of vegetables, soup, a small meat entree, and rice or bread coupled with a half pint of milk. According to the menu handed out at the beginning of each month, the lunches alone can be up to 800 calories! Because I eat with the kids and they're trying to teach little kids to eat what they're given, I'm expected to be a good example and finish my plate...but it's SO MUCH. When I expressed a concern to the other teachers they replied in Japanese that they're trying to instill that kids shouldn't dislike any foods, so they should always finish their plate. I told them that it wasn't a matter of liking the food, just that it was too much...and they didn't believe me.

I always breathe a sigh of relief on tofu-based days because my hypothyroidism gives me a legitimate medical excuse to ignore a portion of the meal (soy products block iodine absorption and can lead to goiters). The amount of rice worries me too, since it's probably not great for my IR, but I think that it's a losing battle trying to not eat rice in Japan.

I know that skipping meals (particularly breakfast) is a poor decision, but does anyone have suggestions for cutting down calories when one meal is massive 5 days a week?

Thank you for any advice you might have!

06-03-2012, 01:02 AM
I don't know your BMR but (just my 2 cents) can you do 200 cal protein packed breakfast (6 egg whites and mushroom omelete for example) the 800 cal school lunch & then 400 cal dinner and and a few 100 protein snacks?

06-03-2012, 01:05 AM
In case you need the link 

06-03-2012, 01:13 AM
Using your link, I got a BMR of 1683...so is that the number of calories I should try to stay below for the day? Luckily my location and lack of car means that I stay pretty active (at least 40 minutes-1 hour of riding a bike in my commute alone).

06-04-2012, 12:37 AM
You want AMR. Active Metabolic Rate.

Basal Metabolic Rate -- BMR -- is what to need to not be dead -- breathe, blinking, heart pumping, etc.


In your situation after checking my AMR needs, I'd slim the breakfast and dinner a bit, go with the lunch, and build in your workouts to offset it.


06-07-2012, 08:53 AM
Thanks a bunch guys!

06-07-2012, 09:09 AM
An egg white has 16 calories. You'd be better off with a 3 egg omlet (210 cals) and some veggies, more nutrients.

Could you bring some of the lunch home and then throw it away? Can you ask for smaller servings or is it just handed to you.

06-08-2012, 09:23 AM
Unfortunately they just plunk everything on a tray and shove it into my hands as I'm leaving the teachers room with an escort of kids >.< I'm still a bit of a novelty, so they tend to get excited and come down to the office looking for me so that they can call dibs on getting to sit with me the second I get to their classroom. I'm not allowed to bring stuff home, and they don't let the kids clean up and go to recess until everyone's plate is cleared. Sometimes if I'm sitting with inquisitive kids I'll run out of time because they ask a lot of questions, but if I eat slowly on purpose the kids will notice and demand to know what's wrong.

I've upped my exercise a bit at least...I've decided to go grocery shopping every day instead of stocking up for the week like I usually do. That way I A) have less food in the apartment and B) have a good reason to walk an extra mile and a half or so going to the grocery store and back. I'll have to pick up eggs tomorrow when I go...Thanks again!

06-09-2012, 01:18 AM
Any chance you could get a letter from a dr that says you are not allowed to eat certain things (like rice and bread)?

06-09-2012, 05:12 AM
No, unfortunately my doctor is back in America (and apparently just got arrested for inappropriate behavior with patients O_O ) so there's not really any chance of that happening. I figure that if I don't eat it for the other two meals, a bowl of rice or slice of bread at lunch shouldn't cause TOO much disturbance in the force. Bread is also the only thing that usually comes individually wrapped, so I might be able to get away with "saving that part for later."

06-09-2012, 12:55 PM
I agree with having a protein heavy meal in the morning that isn't a lot of calories -- I eat eggs in the mornings for that reason too. Or cottage cheese, but I don't know how readily available that is in Japan.

The high protein allows me to eat less calories but still stay full (and balance my blood sugar) and that way you can make it to lunch.

Then, I would eat the lunch in a specific order -- in other words, I would eat the protein and the vegetables first. Then if there is rice or bread or other "bad" carbs for you, I would leave those last, so the protein has a chance to get into your system first, before that does (as a way to balance your blood sugar levels during the meal).

If you can, I would incorporate more exercise and I would do one of these two options: Increase my muscles (weight training) as a way to handle the excess glucose you have in your system or I would do cardio every evening after work (aside from your bike ride home). If you can incorporate more exercise in the school, like playing with the kids or taking a walk during the break, then I would take advantage of that too.

This is tough, but you'll have to be extra low-carb on the weekends to make up for the high carb during the week. And know that if it doesn't help, then you will just have to find a doctor in Japan and explain your condition and hopefully that doctor (or series of doctors if takes that many) will finally understand and write a note to the school that you have to be on a special diet, end of story.

06-10-2012, 07:29 AM
Thanks for all of your suggestions! I bought eggs today, so I'll definitely start having those for breakfast and trying to re-order how I eat lunch. I always make a point of all-out bouncing off the walls to keep the kids interested (English is incredibly hard for Japanese people, so it's easy to lose the kids)...a few teachers have informed me after class that I make them tired just watching me. I've been going on extra walks/bike rides after I get home every day and that seems to be helping. It usually rains pretty much every day in June in Japan, but thankfully the weather's been holding up pretty well for me, so I've had lots of fresh air exercise.

I've been looking around for weights (there aren't really any gyms nearby) with little success, but I did manage to find some resistance tubing yesterday. I'm probably going to try to find a 45 minute-hour long workout to do a few times a week.

Again, thank you SO much for your input everyone!

06-10-2012, 07:31 AM
(As for cottage cheese, I was thinking longingly of that and celery today...unfortunately the grocery store doesn't carry either. I was terribly disappointed.)