General Diet Plans and Questions - HELP! Not sure where to start!

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Happy Housewife
05-12-2005, 05:22 PM
Hello Everyone!

I've noticed that most people have a "plan" or specific diet that they stick too... but I just can't afford to go out and buy a book right now, I can't afford to go to meetings or join a website! I just can't!

I can afford to buy veggies, and more healthy groceries! I can afford to walk around the block (or further!) with my dog everyday, and I can afford to start living a healthier life style.

That being said, anyone have any ideas of what might work for me? I can't do calorie counting! (I get bored and discouraged!)

HELP! Please!

05-12-2005, 06:51 PM
well hey go on the atkins.,, and the whole program is there. or the south beach plan. lots of information right here on the boards for both of them. or just watch portions and eat what you want. smaller portions. i myself do the atkins. theres also lots of information on for both and other plans. go to and theres the exchange plan right there. do not have to have books anymore or below to groups its all here on line. just search eating plans and lots come up. good luck. glad you came to the board. LaDean

Happy Housewife
05-12-2005, 07:16 PM
Thank you LaDean for your information!

05-12-2005, 07:19 PM
I'm doing the Weight Watcher's Core program and going to the meetings and all, but the basic idea is simple and there's little or no counting involved: Eat all you need of fruits and vegetables, nonfat dairy, lean meat, beans, soy and fish, whole grains including oatmeal, polenta, cous-cous, kasha and bulgur. Eat one serving a day, if you want, of whole wheat pasta, potatoes, OR brown rice. Have a bowl a day of wholegrain, no sugar cereal with skim milk or yogurt. Use small amounts of healthy oils for cooking. Allow yourself the occasional treat off "the list," but if you find a particular food hard to control, avoid it. Try to get at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies and 2 of dairy.

The idea is that if you focus on healthy foods and only eat until you are comfortably satisfied, counting isn't really necessary.

05-12-2005, 08:51 PM
Hi! I agree with Cher123 about Weight Watchers. I just rejoined Monday--and they've this new Core diet Cher wrote about. Another thing I like, you're allowed 35 points to use as you feel the need that week--a cheeseburger, peanut butter and toast, WW bars or snacks--whatever. Another side--you can purchase their online program without attending meetings. My son was very successful doing it on his own--received quite a lot for the price. The meetings keep you motivated though if you can afford them. Lots of luck in whatever you choose. The Core without the flex points is like "God's Diet"--if it doesn't move or grow, don't eat it. In other words nothing processed like goodies and casseroles.

Happy Housewife
05-12-2005, 09:30 PM
I just can't afford to even sign up online right now... So I will probably stay away from weight watchers!! Although I love hte premise of it!

05-12-2005, 10:09 PM
If you're near a library, that would be a good source of diet books and motivational books to give you an idea of what sort of plan to follow. Maybe even find a calorie counter. You don't need a fancy plan to lose weight, just motivation and consistency. Eat more fruits & vegs than protein and cook them in a healthy manner. Eat grains in moderation - replace white bread, potatoes, etc. with whole grains. Use olive or canola oil instead of trans fatty oils and butter. Moderate the salt. Avoid sugar and junk food -- empty calories. And of course, increase your exercise, even just walking for a half hour or so. Good luck!

05-13-2005, 10:46 AM
Yes-you can read about any plan by checking out the book at the library! :)

I am a calorie counter, and I find that I am not bored at all-because unlike Atkins or South Beach-I don't have any "forbidden" foods at all. Obviously I stay away from really high calorie foods, but if I really have to have something rich now and then, then I am free to have a small portion and just cut back a little the rest of the day.
It works best for me-because if I am told I "can't" have something-even if it is something that I don't normall crave-just telling me I can't have it will make me want it! :lol:
I calorie count, and exercise daily!

Mrs. Partridge
05-25-2005, 10:39 PM
Well, I lost 90 pounds in about 11 months. I did not follow a "plan," mainly because I was BROKE! I "shopped the horseshoe," meaning that I shopped produce, meat and dairy. I did not count carbs, fat or calories because I did not need to. If you stay away from the processed foods, you have nothing to worry about. Brown rice and whole wheat pasta works great. Fish twice a week, actually, the fattier (salmon) the better (Omega 3 fatty acids). I cut back on beef, picked up the packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts at Wal-Mart.
Cut back on salt and no canned foods! Most frozen vegetables are OK, just make sure they don't have a bunch of preservatives.
Cut the sugar (cookies, cake, etc) and watch the sugar in yogurt, it tends to be pretty high. I would not go more than 12 - 15 grams and let that be your snack, maybe throw in a little Kashi cereal. Some of the "carb cutter" yogurts are OK, but most are pretty nasty. Just try until you find one you like. I also like the EAS or Body for Life drinks for breakfast. They have a lot of protein, very little sugar or fat and they taste pretty good.
You don't have to spend a whole lot of money, just think healthy and fresh.
Also, check out the USDA's new version of the food pyramid. It is an interactive site that actually takes your age, gender and activity level into account and then gives recommendations for your diet. The website has tons of valuable advice. You can find it at
Hope this helps. I have a lot of great recipes that even kids love. Just let me know if this "non plan" sounds like something doable for you and I'll get the recipes to you.
Good luck!

Mrs. Partridge
05-25-2005, 10:50 PM
Oh, actually two more things! I forgot to tell you, water, water, water. Some tea is OK, but don't fool with those diet sodas. Even if they don't have sugar or calories, the carbonation can make you bloat up and retain water.

Also, exercise is essential to weightloss. A combination of cardio and weight-bearing is generally most effective. Several studies have been done that show that combining cardio and weight training facilitates the most weight loss. If you can manage to do intervel or circuit training, that is even better.

You can get you a couple of sets of dumb bells and do some exercises at home and walk. Also, you can look on the internet for which is a site that has different groups for different communities or cities and people get together and give away stuff. I am a member of freecycle here in my town and I always see treadmills, elliptical machines, weights and all types of exercise equipment that people are giving away. It is worth checking out anyway. You have to watch the posts and respond quickly to get it, but I have gotten lots of things off of there such as clothes, a sofa, exercise stuff, nutrition books - and I gave away all my "big girl" clothes on there! Look for the freecycle in your area and check it out. You will probably find some equipment and information on there to help you.

05-26-2005, 04:34 AM
I agree that you don't need to buy a lot of books/spend a lot of money to change your lifestyle........the most important thing is to find a way of eating that suits you and your life, and that is healthy - and you will find that out by experimenting, and trial and error. I do think it helps to educate yourself about basic nutrition and healthy eating - there are a lot of websites which give you all you need to know without paying a cent! And this website is fantastic place for wisdom, support, encouragement and inspiration - much better than a book!

I am also in the 'eat fresh produce camp' - I like the 'shop the horseshoe idea' - made me smile. I also stick to slow-burning carbs (oatmeal, basmati rice), and I don't eat junk/processed food, and mainly avoid sugar/baked goods. It works for me because I like eating this way - I rarely get cravings, and I find that when I do very sweet fruit (melon, berries, mango) mainly does the trick. My principle is that whatever approach I take, it has to be something I am happy to do for the rest of my life - this is a long-term endeavour, and it has to be permanent.

Also, I think the right approach for you depends a lot on what kind of person you are. I am totally resistant to detailed planning, and detailed counting - I am like that in all areas of my life, and unlikely to change! So like Mrs Partridge, and the 'core' ladies above, I have a few principles to guide most of what I eat, and I just 'count' the treats. And although I never plan what I will eat from one day to the next, I do have a fridge/cupboards/freezer full of healthy choices, and I have a very good understanding of the best choice to make when I eat out (which I do a lot!).

I also agree with the point about finding an enjoyable way to exercise - which easily comes free.

Do come back and tell us what you decide to do!

Mrs. Partridge
05-26-2005, 11:22 AM
Yes, I do plan ahead and anticipate the little cravings that I may encounter. But I prefer the unstructured type of eating lifestyle - it feels less like a diet and more like a, well, lifestyle!

Additionally, my life is so very structured and organized, I need a little room somewhere to just let my hair down. With the way I eat, I don't feel confined to certain rules or restrictions. I do not believe in deprivation at all. If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie - or two, just not the whole bag!