Weight Loss Support - This is nerdy, but I'm excited!




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JossFit
08-05-2012, 03:59 PM
Today I decided to permanently eliminate as much processed/refined/unnatural food and drink from my life as possible. I eat pretty "clean" but I've noticed lately that a larger percentage of my calories are coming from little additives like processed cheeses and low-calorie things than I would like.

So, with the exception of my post-workout shake I am cutting it all out! I'm going as natural as I can possibly stand, to include diet sodas and energy drinks, low calorie cereals and breads, non-fat cheeses, Jello mixes and the like.

I know it's not *necessary* for weight loss, but weight loss is not my goal; maximizing my health and minimizing cravings is.

I will still have chocolate and ice cream from time to time like I do now, but I will seek out natural treats made with only the highest quality ingredients. I think adhering to that guideline will also really make me evalute if something is "worth" it or not.

Starting tomorrow... I'm off! :carrot:

Has anyone else made this change? Thoughts? Anyone else feel like committing to this?


ChickieChicks
08-05-2012, 04:10 PM
I haven't done that exactly, but we did make a huge move in or house to completely elimate trans fat and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as limiting "diet" products or anything that uses sucralose, etc.

Just by eliminating trans fat, that got rid of about 80% of the few processed foods we ate. Some things I could find healthier substitutes for, and some I couldn't, so it is healthier to just make them from scratch with whole ingredients.

I don't want to consume "fake food" or a bunch of chemicals mixed together to make me think it is food! It either is, or it isn't.

This transition took about three months, for a family that was already eating well, mostly because it was so darn depressing going ot the store and spending forever reading labels, and mostly being surprised and disgusted! I cleared out the whole house, tossed opened items and donated unopened to our church. It was extra money to do it that way, but I just had to go for it. After that, it was just a slow learns process of fnding new "acceptable" foods each week, searching for recipes and trying them out, and finally finding our "sweet spot" with our food plan.

I don't follow any certain rules, so I can't say I am raw,or whole foods or whatever. Just no trans fat ever, No HFCS and keeping foods as close to whole as possible. When we do buy processed food, we opt for organic packaged items with as few ingredients as possible.

Hope that helps! My husband feels awesome and much less "bogged down" after switching this past year. I love how it is very easy for me to maintain my weight, because every choice in my house is a good one.

devnet
08-05-2012, 04:21 PM
Good for you, that's awesome! I'm trying to go as natural as possible too. My only real vice right now is hot dogs - my husband's parents gave us 6 pounds of them, and he has not been eating them. I'm just trying to get rid of them so they don't go to waste. After that, I think the only thing I'll be dealing with is condiments.

Good luck with this!


m3k
08-05-2012, 04:36 PM
Around here we've been trying to limit processed foods as much as possible. We tend to mostly eat at home, or at actual restaurants, pretty much anything you actually had to harvest and cook, without it being through a factory first.

The only thing I have had a hard time cutting out is diet soda. Every once in a while, I'm desperate for a diet soda for whatever reason.

We slip here once in a while, but for the most part stick to as clean of eating as possible.

Megan33
08-05-2012, 06:10 PM
Good for you! And holy cow, you have a rockin' body!!!!!

alaskanlaughter
08-05-2012, 06:32 PM
ive always wanted to go to a way of eating that is similar to what they ate when they were homesteading on the prairie...cant remember what time period that was...but ive always been drawn to that kind of lifestyle in general....but what i mean is a focus on foods that you could grow, or garden, or buy from the little store in town....meat, vegetables, dairy, berries, flour, spices, stuff like that...and to eat more like that...i dont know what label you'd even put on a way of eating similar to that

sontaikle
08-05-2012, 07:07 PM
Good for you Joss!!

I've been making the change slowly. I still have one wrap per day maybe, but I've been moving to a diet of as many unprocessed things as possible. I recently found this site: http://punchfork.com/paleo and those things are all so yummy that I certainly wouldn't mind going Paleo!!

Still can't cut out the diet soda, but admittedly I'm not really trying all that hard.

Blueberries
08-05-2012, 08:06 PM
Yay Joss! I'd say at this point I'm probably 98% Paleo + dairy + protein shakes. I do make the occasional exception, but I'm happy with the bulk of my diet. I looooooove eating this way!

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:24 PM
I don't follow any certain rules, so I can't say I am raw,or whole foods or whatever. Just no trans fat ever, No HFCS and keeping foods as close to whole as possible. When we do buy processed food, we opt for organic packaged items with as few ingredients as possible.

Thanks for the reply! This is exactly what I'm going for. I don't want to follow a "diet" and say I'm doing raw/paleo/etc. or something that's overly restrictive but I do want to eat as natural as possible.

I'm pretty much there, but I think it might help me with my cravings. Any experience with that?

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:26 PM
Good for you, that's awesome! I'm trying to go as natural as possible too. My only real vice right now is hot dogs - my husband's parents gave us 6 pounds of them, and he has not been eating them. I'm just trying to get rid of them so they don't go to waste. After that, I think the only thing I'll be dealing with is condiments.

Good luck with this!

Thank you! I cleaned the house out today and I even tossed the condiments with the exception of soy sauce, grey poupon, and some hot sauces. Anything else (low sugar BBQ sauce, Sugar free coffee creamer, etc.) went down the disposal.

Good luck with those hot dogs!

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:32 PM
Around here we've been trying to limit processed foods as much as possible. We tend to mostly eat at home, or at actual restaurants, pretty much anything you actually had to harvest and cook, without it being through a factory first.

The only thing I have had a hard time cutting out is diet soda. Every once in a while, I'm desperate for a diet soda for whatever reason.

We slip here once in a while, but for the most part stick to as clean of eating as possible.

I think of everything, the occasional diet soda will be the one thing I have a hard time kicking. I'm with you though... I know I'll slip up here and there and sometimes I will be put in situations where it's hard to eat naturally, but I'm giving it my best shot!

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:34 PM
Good for you! And holy cow, you have a rockin' body!!!!!


You're too kind, thank you! My roommate took me out to Mellow Mushroom as some sort of "send off" and of course I had dessert as well. My rockin body is now bloated and sluggish... haha

All the more reason I'm excited to fuel it with the best stuff I can. I don't like feeling this way!

Misti in Seattle
08-05-2012, 08:37 PM
Hi JossFit. Yes, I've done it to a huge extent. I eat very little processed food and as few chemicals and fake sugar as I can manage. I'm not 100% -- I still eat stuff like cottage cheese, feta cheese, some canned vegetables (though mostly fresh), etc. I also take an all natural nutritional supplement called "Tonic Alchemy" which almost completely eliminates my cravings and gives me tons of energy.

And devnet.. perhaps it is better to let the hot dogs go to waste than go to waist. :)

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:38 PM
AlaskanLaughter, Sontaikle, Blueberries - I think you guys are all on the same page as me... eating "clean" but by your own rules. I don't think I'll miss those little extras, and actually, eliminating them allows me more calories to add back in things that I haven't been having lately like salmon, lentils, and things like that.

I was getting into a mindset where I was trying to eat low calorie things to maximize how much I could eat. I think going for quality over quantity is a better approach.

Rana
08-05-2012, 08:41 PM
Yes! I've been eating this way for three years now and I haven't missed any of the processed stuff I used to eat.

The most processed food I eat is a Kind bar that I will eat. But everything else, I eat from scratch, made from organic/whole foods. I even soak beans and cook them! I do have canned beans for "emergencies" (which means I didn't plan my meals and I need something quick and fast).

Honestly, once your body gets used to the real food, you won't crave any of the processed stuff. I'd rather take coffee with real milk than creamer any day of the week!

JossFit
08-05-2012, 08:43 PM
Hi JossFit. Yes, I've done it to a huge extent. I eat very little processed food and as few chemicals and fake sugar as I can manage. I'm not 100% -- I still eat stuff like cottage cheese, feta cheese, some canned vegetables (though mostly fresh), etc. I also take an all natural nutritional supplement which I find tremendously helpful.

I definitely plan to keep cottage cheese, feta, and some canned/frozen veggies in there. While I do want to cut down on processing, I think my focus is basically "whole" foods. I want the ingredients in my cottage cheese to be milk solids, salt, water as opposed to all that plus a slew of other stuff because they added some sugary fruit component to it, know what I mean?

I know we live in a day and age where pretty much everything has been through some sort of process, and I'm okay with that. I intend to primarily eat whole veggies, fruits, nuts, grains and proteins (meat, fish, shellfish, etc.) but there will definitely still be dairy in there.

How do you feel since having switched to that sort of diet? Do you EVER eat anything else? I plan to even have my "treats" be whole foods/organic/natural. (Has anyone else made that same choice?)

ChickieChicks
08-05-2012, 08:58 PM
Joss- I think it has helped me to feel fuller, since I am usually getting more bang for my buck. And I don't have as much rebound hunger, which I would get after I ate or drank something altered to be "light", etc.

I still eat ice cream, dark chocolate, pizza, etc. The biggest change for me was my twice daily mocha. I always made it at home, but coffee creamer had to go. I used just cream for a while, but it wasn't the same. It took a month, but I eventually just stopped wanting it. Such a small thing! And I get annoyed when I can't find something like tortillas without them being made with crap. Like, hello...it's a freaking tortilla. Why is is made with extra junk?? So I make my own.

Like my general approach to eating and exercise, if I can't do it for the next sixty years, I'm not doing it! ;-) I enjoy being able to have the convenience of packaged foods when necessary, so I don't think I'll ever go "au natural".

ChickieChicks
08-05-2012, 09:00 PM
I definitely plan to keep cottage cheese, feta, and some canned/frozen veggies in there. While I do want to cut down on processing, I think my focus is basically "whole" foods. I want the ingredients in my cottage cheese to be milk solids, salt, water as opposed to all that plus a slew of other stuff because they added some sugary fruit component to it, know what I mean?

I know we live in a day and age where pretty much everything has been through some sort of process, and I'm okay with that. I intend to primarily eat whole veggies, fruits, nuts, grains and proteins (meat, fish, shellfish, etc.) but there will definitely still be dairy in there.

)


This. This. This!

sontaikle
08-05-2012, 09:03 PM
AlaskanLaughter, Sontaikle, Blueberries - I think you guys are all on the same page as me... eating "clean" but by your own rules. I don't think I'll miss those little extras, and actually, eliminating them allows me more calories to add back in things that I haven't been having lately like salmon, lentils, and things like that.

I was getting into a mindset where I was trying to eat low calorie things to maximize how much I could eat. I think going for quality over quantity is a better approach.

Yeah that's pretty much it. "Clean" eating but by my own definition. Reading about so many different diets and things makes my head spin, so I'm just focusing on eating as many healthy things as possible :) It's working for me, so I'm going to keep at it.


I plan to even have my "treats" be whole foods/organic/natural. (Has anyone else made that same choice?)

That's pretty much what I do now—treats are still whole foods, etc. For example one of my favorite treats is a frozen half of a banana dipped in dark chocolate :) If I'm craving something cold I will go for that instead of ice cream. If I want something chocolatey/dessert-like, I go for a Quest bar.


I still straight up calorie count and have "junk" but it's been happening less frequently

JossFit
08-05-2012, 09:05 PM
Joss- I think it has helped me to feel fuller, since I am usually getting more bang for my buck. And I don't have as much rebound hunger, which I would get after I ate or drank something altered to be "light", etc.

This is what I'm hoping for... more satisfaction out of my meals.

I still eat ice cream, dark chocolate, pizza, etc.

Yeah, I don't see anything wrong with that. I already make my own pizzas and things like that, and it's not hard to find natural versions of chocolate and other goodies that aren't filled with unnecessary things.

And I get annoyed when I can't find something like tortillas without them being made with crap. Like, hello...it's a freaking tortilla. Why is is made with extra junk??

Exactly! Why so much extra garbage in everything?

Like my general approach to eating and exercise, if I can't do it for the next sixty years, I'm not doing it! ;-) I enjoy being able to have the convenience of packaged foods when necessary, so I don't think I'll ever go "au natural".

Yeah, I don't intend to be a zealot about it and start growing my own seeds in the windowsill... haha. I just want to do as well as I can to feed my body.

Thank you so much for all the chit chat so far! I'm really pumped about this little change. :)

JossFit
08-06-2012, 01:00 PM
Yes! I've been eating this way for three years now and I haven't missed any of the processed stuff I used to eat.

The most processed food I eat is a Kind bar that I will eat. But everything else, I eat from scratch, made from organic/whole foods. I even soak beans and cook them! I do have canned beans for "emergencies" (which means I didn't plan my meals and I need something quick and fast).

Honestly, once your body gets used to the real food, you won't crave any of the processed stuff. I'd rather take coffee with real milk than creamer any day of the week!

I think I'll eventually get to that place, but right now I'm still using a Ready to Drink protein shake and a few random condiments/canned veggies/frozen foods, etc. I still have to have those little conveniences otherwise I won't be able to maintain it, and at times I know work will force me into situations where I have to eat what's available to me.

That being said, I'm happy I'm making this change! I will admit that my coffee this morning wasn't as creamy with almond milk in place of the sugar-free coffee mate creamer I was using, but next time I get to the store I'll find a better creamer to use. Like Chickie was saying, I just have to keep trying things!

Munchy
08-07-2012, 12:57 PM
I eat about 90% of my foods whole/unprocessed, but I'm just bad at making breads, so I try to just make the best choices I can at the store.

I have a four year old and I feed her similarly, but she's more like 80% whole foods. Because she likes things like ketchup and BBQ sauce, I make my own. Tortillas and flatbreads aren't too hard to make, but the first time I made homemade "goldfish" they were delicious, but entirely too thick and didn't puff up the way they were supposed to.

I can cook my azz off, but I'm a bad baker!

Munchy
08-07-2012, 01:02 PM
I even soak beans and cook them! I do have canned beans for "emergencies" (which means I didn't plan my meals and I need something quick and fast).

This is how I freeze my beans (http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-kick-can-of-beans.html) just for those emergencies. I like to be frugal, so that helps too :)

ICUwishing
08-07-2012, 01:07 PM
Congrats, Joss - that's a noble goal in a difficult world. :) The angst I have left is that sifting through the PRODUCE is now a complicated operation. Going "whole" is a huge improvement - making that final step into "organic" is where it gets touchy. We are trying hard to eliminate all GMO from our foods - and now, it's becoming hard work. California's Prop 37 will give consumers the right to choose whether they eat this stuff or try to avoid it ... and if it's so freaking safe (it's not - see latest Norwegian 10-year study on GMO corn), then golly, the manufacturers can proudly label it. So goes California, so goes the nation. Knowledge is NEVER a bad thing!

LaurieDawn
08-08-2012, 02:04 AM
Wow, Joss. That sounds like an amazing plan.

For a while, I was doing what I have heard referred to as 'Frankenfood.' Protein bars and SlimFast kind of choices. I finally realized that I just didn't feel good when these foods accounted for most of my calories. Now, I do lean protein and produce almost exclusively. I need simple. And I feel way better. I haven't decided not to eat those foods, and I do have either a protein bar or shake after I lift, but even just the shift to getting the bulk of my calories from whole foods has been amazing.

JossFit
08-08-2012, 01:40 PM
I eat about 90% of my foods whole/unprocessed, but I'm just bad at making breads, so I try to just make the best choices I can at the store.

I tossed out my Natures Own Light Whole Wheat Bread and picked up some Sprouted Grain Ezekiel bread the other day. I don't use much bread anyway, so the fact that it's kept in the freezer just means it's not going to go bad because I don't use it quickly enough.

Have you tried the Ezekiel bread? It's actually not really hard to find. A lot more stores carry it than I would have thought.

JossFit
08-08-2012, 01:45 PM
Congrats, Joss - that's a noble goal in a difficult world. :) The angst I have left is that sifting through the PRODUCE is now a complicated operation. Going "whole" is a huge improvement - making that final step into "organic" is where it gets touchy. We are trying hard to eliminate all GMO from our foods - and now, it's becoming hard work. California's Prop 37 will give consumers the right to choose whether they eat this stuff or try to avoid it ... and if it's so freaking safe (it's not - see latest Norwegian 10-year study on GMO corn), then golly, the manufacturers can proudly label it. So goes California, so goes the nation. Knowledge is NEVER a bad thing!

Yeah, baby steps! haha

Right now I'm just focusing on making my choices more natural; trying to stay away from packaged foods, and choosing items with fewer ingredients when I do have to go packaged... no artificial chemicals and such... eventually I would like to buy more organic foods as well but they are so hard to come by in this area and soooo expensive. I buy my eggs free range and organic, but that's about it.

This weekend I'm actually going to try making a couple of recipes I found for salad dressings. I can't seem to find any in the stores that are both natural AND low calorie, so I'll make my own! :)

JossFit
08-08-2012, 01:48 PM
Wow, Joss. That sounds like an amazing plan.

For a while, I was doing what I have heard referred to as 'Frankenfood.' Protein bars and SlimFast kind of choices. I finally realized that I just didn't feel good when these foods accounted for most of my calories. Now, I do lean protein and produce almost exclusively. I need simple. And I feel way better. I haven't decided not to eat those foods, and I do have either a protein bar or shake after I lift, but even just the shift to getting the bulk of my calories from whole foods has been amazing.

Right there with ya sister. I'm still drinking my RTD Protein shake after my workouts, (I picked up a couple of samples of natural protein sweetened with Stevia. I'll try those after I run out of the other shakes.) but other than that, Frankenfoods are out.
I would rather have bread that is 80 calories a piece and is natural than have a piece that is full of crap for 40 calories.

Munchy
08-08-2012, 03:11 PM
Have you tried the Ezekiel bread? It's actually not really hard to find. A lot more stores carry it than I would have thought.

Yep - I love it. My daughter, however, doesn't like it much :) We don't eat much bread, and she usually opts for some sharp cheese and cherry tomatoes in lieu of a sandwich at school.

SunnySide99
08-16-2012, 02:18 PM
Just wondering how everyone is doing? This is an inspiring thread for me. Like others here I'm not following a diet and I'm trying to eat clean. One thing I've done is starting to make my own salad dressings, condiments etc. and I feel so much better because I know what's in them.

going2bskinny
08-16-2012, 04:30 PM
I think of everything, the occasional diet soda will be the one thing I have a hard time kicking. I'm with you though... I know I'll slip up here and there and sometimes I will be put in situations where it's hard to eat naturally, but I'm giving it my best shot!

have you tried flavored sparkling spring water la croix is a good brand i love the coconut kind I usually make some iced green tea then add some of that to it and also some lemon or lime squeezed in and it really tastes like a diet soda or u could squeeze in some grapefruit juice whatever u like or put mint in it. Thats what saves me when I have a soda craving.

going2bskinny
08-16-2012, 04:41 PM
I have done this before and kind of slipped back into eating some bad things again it's hard because I live with 3 other people that all buy diff foods so the temptation is there. But I have just started to do this again also so I'm with ya today I made my own balsalmic vinagarette and it was great I'm going to be eating veggies and lean meats some fruit for snacks eggs unsweetened coconut milk for smoothies

I cut out dairy, grains and carbs all processed foods and chemicals even my gum had to go :( lol

I may have a cheat meal here and there but only one I make myself in a healthier manner but for the most part I'm going to be sticking to that daily. Sometimes I really want my tortilla pizza :O for those I use a healthy wrap like ezekiel or sometimes a spinach flour one from trader joes and the only thing kinda bad on it is the mozzarella I guess but I put on only a minimal amount.

If you all have any really good recipes for do it yourself condiments like salad dressings that have no dairy or sugar please share them.

bellona
08-16-2012, 09:47 PM
That's a great goal! I try to do that myself. Convincing my fiance that frozen pizza and sausage isn't a good diet has been rough, though. I've finally just got him eating the "whole wheat white" bread that at least has 40% whole wheat flour...yes there's a long way to go! The fridge at his house is so full, with two of basically everything (for example, Ezekiel bread and his white bread, organic natural peanut butter with no sugar added and his Jif, etc.) Sigh! He loves veggies but doesn't like to keep them because they spoil fast.

sontaikle
08-17-2012, 07:45 AM
have you tried flavored sparkling spring water la croix is a good brand i love the coconut kind I usually make some iced green tea then add some of that to it and also some lemon or lime squeezed in and it really tastes like a diet soda or u could squeeze in some grapefruit juice whatever u like or put mint in it. Thats what saves me when I have a soda craving.

This has actually been great for me and I've been able to cut down on the diet soda as a result.

Can't really completely kick it, but it now seems the only diet soda I like anymore is cherry coke zero which is impossible to find! For some reason diet coke has been giving me an odd aftertaste lately so I've been refraining from drinking it.

Thank goodness cherry coke zero is rare, makes it harder to drink it!

JossFit
08-17-2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the tips ladies! I actually have a brand of soda that I like that is all natural and sweetened with Stevia. It's called Zevia, and they make a ginger ale, root beer, cola, etc. all with zero calories and all natural.

If I REALLY need a soda I would probably go for that or a sparkling water, but the reason I have been avoiding that particular item is more about the damage it does to your teeth as well.

I do still have a couple of servings of Propel Zero during the day (after my workouts) but aside from that I'd say my diet is pretty much all natural at this point! :)

I'm loving it. Not a whole lot of really dramatic changes but I just feel happier knowing I'm not putting questionable things into my body, and I have a renewed sense of creativity in my cooking.

JossFit
08-19-2012, 06:36 PM
**Just a quick update**

I've noticed the past few days that even though my calories haven't changed, it's been much easier to hit my macronutrient ratios I shoot for (roughly 40P/30C/30F, though I don't stress over it too much) and I haven't had any serious evening sweet cravings.

I didn't normally have to white-knuckle it through the evenings or anything, but every few days I would have those little arguements with myself about whether or not I wanted some/some more dark chocolate or some other such little treat. The past couple of weeks since I started eliminating unnatural foods those cravings have significantly lessened and are nearly non-existent.

ChickieChicks
08-19-2012, 08:31 PM
Great news, Joss! When I am eating all home cooked, whole foods, I rarely am hungry and sometimes even have a hard time eating enough! It's just so filling in most cases...way more bang for your buck!! I just finished a huge bowl of oats, blueberries, peaches and chia seeds (made with almond milk). Barely 275 cals. Yummy!

JossFit
08-20-2012, 06:49 PM
Great news, Joss! When I am eating all home cooked, whole foods, I rarely am hungry and sometimes even have a hard time eating enough! It's just so filling in most cases...way more bang for your buck!! I just finished a huge bowl of oats, blueberries, peaches and chia seeds (made with almond milk). Barely 275 cals. Yummy!

I haven't tried chia seeds yet, but I understand that they set up and sort of "gel" and act as a bit of a filler (in addition to having lots of goodness in them). How do they taste?