100 lb. Club - Skipping meals

View Full Version : Skipping meals

10-20-2005, 10:58 AM
As you've seen from some recent posts I've had some big hiccups in the plan. I usually plan for the meals by saving my points (I'm on ww)
During the week I'm right on plan, drink my water, take my vitamins, eating every 2 hours, doing light exercise(right now)...just right on plan.
I've noticed that when I get home at night I'm just not hungry for dinner. Tuesday night I ate when I wasn't hungry- and actually felt like I was about to explode. I ate a normal portion not alot but I was so uncomfortable. So last night I cooked dinner but wasn't hungry but felt like I needed to eat something so about 7 I ate a nutrigain bar and I was fine.

Is it okay to not eat if you aren't hungry or should I eat anyway?

10-20-2005, 12:18 PM
I know it isn't advised, but I do skip meals sometimes if I'm just not hungry. I'm trying to learn to listen to my body and feed it accordingly. Now, if I have to skip a meal due to circumstance I always try to fit in at least a small snack so that I don't end up overeating later on. But, I've learned to tell the difference between not being hungry at all and being slightly hungry-not enough to want to eat but enough to know that I'll face uncontrollable hunger in a few hours if I don't.

I do believe the "rules" of eating often and never letting yourself got too hungry are valid and I follow them most of the time. But, eating when I wasn't hungry was how I got fat to begin with. I've come to realize that my body knows what it is doing so I try to pay attention to it. As long as I am eating enough to get the nutrients I need and have plenty of energy then I don't think a lack of appetite every now and then is going to have a negative impact on my long term weight loss goals.

10-20-2005, 12:27 PM
I have an opposing viewpoint. Skipping meals (or eating too little) sends your body into starvation mode, which makes your body hold on to every last calorie!

Try spreading your eating out to every three hours. It might help you feel a little hungry by dinner time.

10-20-2005, 12:43 PM
I agree with listening to your body. You never want to wait until you are really famished to eat, so you should eat regularly, but if you aren't hungry at all, then you shouldn't force yourself to eat something.

10-20-2005, 01:21 PM
I'm a morning person to the extreme, and I'm hungry in the mornings. I'm hungry when I wake up, I'm hungry a couple of hours later, a couple of hours later, a couple of hours later...and then I'm not. My body winds down as the day progresses, and by the time it's time for "dinner" I typically want a bowl of veggies, or a quarter of a baked chicken breast, or a couple of slices of turkey (I try to avoid carbs in the evenings, they make my legs twitchy). So I "front weight" my day, taking in most of my calories (Points) before about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I'm generally in bed by 10, and I'm not plagued by night-eating issues at all.

What I suggest is that you plan your days around the times when YOU are most hungry, and work with the way your body naturally is. Hubby is the exact opposite of me--wants nothing more than a bowl of cereal in the morning, and gets progressively more hungry as the day goes on (he stays up til 1am most nights, too!). I'll make dinner and have a very small part of it or something different entirely, and we get along just fine.

Eat when you are hungry. Don't force yourself to eat if you're not. The caveat to that is to EAT when you are hungry! Make sure you're getting your calories in your day, but put them where you are most comfortable with them. :)

10-20-2005, 01:31 PM
I think if you stick to a schedule it will be better for you in the long run. Maybe your body still needs to adjust to your new routien. I eat 4 to 5 times a day now and am usally not starved when I eat but just starting to feel hungry. I find if I get to hungry then I will have a harder time not over eating.

10-20-2005, 01:41 PM
I DO agree that learning to listen to your body is a good idea, but I ALSO think that skipping meals ISN'T.

When I started my program I found that I had completely lost touch with my hunger & thirst signals. This meant that not only did I not stop eating when I was satisfied, but went all the way to stuffed, but I also didn't recognize subtle signals that my body needed food. So, my program has a schedule they really like for you to follow, 3 meals and 3 snacks, meaning you are eating every 3 or 4 hours. After doing that for a while, I started to recognize that I felt much better after my little snacks even though I hadn't thought myself "hungry" or low on energy.

Now, that's not to say you shouldn't pay attention to your own rhythms. Maybe you're the kind of person who typically needs more fuel early in the day but not so much at night (which is really how we all should eat). So, rather than having a full typical dinner meal at night, crowd more of your food into earlier in the day, and have a healthy snack-size meal in the evening, maybe just some cheese and fruit.

You DO need to fuel your body on a regular basis. That will not only keep your metabolism humming and keep you from getting over hungry, but will prevent insulin spikes and keep your blood sugar on an even keel. Keep in mind that people who are insulin resistant and who have diabetes are instructed to eat small frequent meals rather than 3 squares. It's really how our bodies were meant to work.

10-20-2005, 02:31 PM
I'm kinda like Mousie, I eat constantly from when I get up until noon. I don't eat anything else then until supper and no snacks in the evening. But...even if I don't feel all that hungry for supper I make sure I have something or I'll totally pig out the next morning. Right now in the mornings it mostly fruit, veggie, yogurt, stuff like that. If I didn't eat supper the night before I'm sure that would change to to Mickey Dee's breakfast or something similar.


10-20-2005, 03:05 PM
Good question, I struggle with this one myself. I know that I, personally, need to eat every 3 hours, but sometimes I'm just not hungry, or as hungry as I usually am at snack/meal times. In fact, just the other day I writing in my blog about how I realized about halfway through my dinner that I really wasn't hungry anymore, but since it was "healthy" (a big, honkin salad w/ lotsa yummy veggies and chicken breast) I went ahead and finished it off anyway, and was too full afterwards. Blah! This is especially tricky for me because I thrive on a routine, so it's difficult for me to do something different than normal, which is, of course, where the whole listening to my body idea seems to fly straight out the window! I guess, if you're truly not hungry, then your body must be telling you something, but you may still want to eat at least a small snack, just to keep your body fuled and your metabolism revved up. My 2 cents, anyway.


10-20-2005, 03:18 PM
I have an opposing viewpoint. Skipping meals (or eating too little) sends your body into starvation mode, which makes your body hold on to every last calorie!
It really takes a lot to put our bodies into "starvation" mode. Skipping a meal here and there isn't enough to trigger anything drastic. Depending on the person, it can take up to a few weeks for your body to actually think it's starving. I say if you're not hungry, don't eat! Like someone (jawsmom?) said, eating when I'm not hungry is what made me overweight in the first place! As long as you maintain that average of at least 1200 calories a day (unless lowered by your doctor), then I'm pretty sure you'll be just fine ;)

10-20-2005, 03:29 PM
Thank you for the responses. I was worried about the 'starvation' mode thing because I've heard that before.
I am eating a nutrigrain bar around 8 am with a Fuze green tea. Then I eat a banana at 10 a.m ish and then lunch(weight watchers meal) and then at 2 I eat an apple then I go home and might grab a ww ice cream(has 1 pt). I also have one diet coke with lunch and water for the rest of the day. I have a diet coke with dinner but a bottle of water before bed. I was just noticing tues I was not hungry for dinner but ate and felt miserably full even though it was a very small portion. So last night not wanting that again I decided not to eat a full dinner waited until 7 and had a nutrigrain bar. I wasn't hungry - normally I'd get the stomach growling I'm so hungry in the middle of the night but...I didn't.
maybe like they say when you are feeling hungry its really thirsty and the water is helping me?

10-20-2005, 03:43 PM

Are you getting all your Points? That part is IMPORTANT! From what you've listed I'm coming up with about 15-20 Points (ballparking, since I don't know what meals you're eating). You need to eat all of your Points. There is no virtue in eating too few of them--it's referred to as "too few" for a reason!

10-20-2005, 03:47 PM
Are you tracking your calories or using points or something? If that's all you're really eating, that sounds like MUCH too little food and not well-balanced. The only protein and vegetables you're getting is the little bit in the WW meal, and you have no dairy and essentially no fat. It's primarly carbohydrates; even though you've got some good fruit in there, the nutrigrain bar and the WW snack is pretty empty nutritionally. I don't know what's in the Fuze drink but if it's not sugar-free then those calories are basically empty, too.

I know your problem is not being hungry, but the rest of this scenario worries me, too. If you were eating 1500 - 1800 nutrient-dense calories a day and not being hungry in the evening, that would be one thing. But to eat so little food, and NOT getting much besides simple carbohydrates makes it even more odd.

Goddess Jessica
10-20-2005, 04:52 PM
Yikes. Please name a vegetable that you ate that day.

I think the bigger issue here is your nutrition.

In my experience (and only in my experience), I think that making a lifestyle change is moving away from processed foods and getting my nutients in better, wholesome forms. I see a lot of processed foods on your menu that leads me to believe that when your hunger DOES kick back (and it will) that you won't have enough volume (fiber etc) in your habits to fall back on.

10-20-2005, 05:17 PM
I didn't list any of my dinners.

Until this week I was eating a salad with my dinner and lunch everyday, the lasagna florentine has a serving of veges in it(ww meal), I am supposed to eat 5 serving of fruit and veges a day- and I do that. The chicken enchilad suiza is another one I eat for lunch.

If I eat dinner I usually am right at 30 pts, If I don't then I will be at 20. thats why I am asking.

10-20-2005, 05:49 PM
I know it isn't the BEST thing, but I drink my vegetables every day in the form of low sodium V-8. I only like certain veggies, so at least this way I'm getting most of what I need.

10-20-2005, 05:52 PM
Okay, to answer your question: it's fine if you don't eat a big dinner.


It is NOT FINE if that leaves you 10 points shy. You must, must, must eat all your Points. You can get your Points in with a bigger breakfast...get some dairy in with yogurt in the morning, maybe...try a spoonful of peanut butter with your banana to get healthy fats in...Green Giant has fantastic frozen veggies with a low-fat cheese sauce, just throw them in the microwave and count 1 point (per serving) for the cheese sauce...salads need to go back into your diet, you need your veggies! I love chicken enchiladas suiza, I often have that for breakfast (yogurt and unsweetened applesauce 2 hours later, 2T of peanut butter and a banana 2 hours later, salad and protein 2 hours later...etc), but it's not veggie-based.

Your body needs these things to function properly. The snack cakes and the bottle of tea (if it's not sugar free) come after you get all of your essentials in. I can't stress this enough. Put those extra Points whereever you want them, but you must eat them all!

Now that I've gone a bit preacherish :soap:, I'll address another question. Occasionally missing a meal--because you were just too exhausted to eat and went right to bed, because (like me, today) you can't swallow due to an inflamed throat (I can barely get water down), because your stomach is upset and anything would come right back up--that's okay. Starvation response doesn't kick in that fast. If it's a habit, though, then it's worrisome, and needs to be addressed.

10-21-2005, 01:24 AM
Starvation mode is really something of a misnomer. Missing one meal, even daily, will not put you in any mode whatsoever. (Much like one binge won't put you into a weight gaining mode.) You will, however, be immediately affected. When you go more than three or four hours without eating, your blood sugar needs to be bumped back up, so your body releases loads of great chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol to increase your sugar level. Cortisol will cause your blood pressure to rise. It will cause your body to take glycogen from muscle rather than using fat stores. Low blood sugar will cause a chain reaction that will result in your body storing a portion of the calories you ingest during the next meal (no matter how small) as fat. Adrenaline and cortisol combined are actually believed to cause all the symptoms of hypoglycemia. (Oh. Cortisol also suppresses your immune system. That's why you're more likely to get sick when you're stressed. Well, I think it's pretty cool.)

Skipping the occasional meal will not affect your weight loss attempts. Any negative effects will be essentially unnoticeable. Regularly skipping meals, however, will. It is true that you should only eat when you’re hungry, but it is also true that your brain chemistry works on patterns. In fact, studies have shown that your body adapts so effectively that it will begin producing insulin to counter the perceived sugar intake from the flavor of artificially sweetened soft drinks.

If you’ve already developed a pattern where you regularly skip an evening meal, your body has adapted to it. Try eating something small: an apple, some carrots or a few crackers (diet permitting). That should keep your blood sugar level even. That will keep the chemicals and hormones in your body balanced and your weight loss goals on track.

And, I'm sorry for babbling. I do that . . . a lot.

10-21-2005, 10:32 AM
I'm definetly not like this everyday. It happened two days in a row. But I ate really well yesterday. We had lunch brought into work and I looked at the menu ahead of time- the rest had a low fat turkey reuben. 5 g fat and 397 calories. It was awesome!
Last night I had two slices of a small cheap pizza with a plate of salad with tomato and balslamic vinagrette.

Fuze green tea is sugar free. It has the vitamins of 3 servings of vegetables, it has crystalline sweetener and honey - no high fructose corn syrup. It has vitamin C, E, B3, B5, B6 and B12. It also has folic acid in it. Its 60 calories a serving, or 120 for the whole bottle. I drink one a day. I get it at walmart.

I don't consider nutrigrain a "snack cake". It is a low fat fruit and grain bar. I get the walmart brand and based on the box it has 4 pts. I knew I needed to eat something because I also am trying not to eat after 730 p.m.

I guess the real question is if I'm not hungry should I eat at least a little something. It appears the answer is eating every few hours - which I do- is the best way to do it and skipping an occasional meal is fine. I know next time I am not hungry I will know to listen to my body about it and just eat when my stomach says its full. I had spagetti and salad on the night I wasn't hungry. I measured it out and put it on a plate and I guess I didn't need to eat it all. But I did and I could hardly move.

10-21-2005, 11:05 AM
I don't consider nutrigrain a "snack cake". It is a low fat fruit and grain bar.

Let me preface what I am about to say with this: I am in support of people eating whatever they deem to be best for them, in support of informed choices. That being said, I feel many people are misguided about nutrition, due to multiple factors which I will not get into in this thread :p

Nutrigrain and other similar "bars" are marketed as a "healthy snack to grab on the go" and the truth couldn't be further than that. For starters, well, it's not a good source of grain, really. It has flour in it. So little flour, in fact, that it has less than a single gram of fiber per bar.

With 140 calories, it has 3 grams of fat, one gram of protein and many different forms of sugar showing up a total of 6 times in the bar :o (with high fructose corn syrup being listed several times- HFCS has terrible effects on blood sugar). It boasts an array of chemicals and artificial ingredients, making it far form "wholesome" or "natural" at all.

It's basically a chemical-ridden, artificially colored and flavored low-fat cookie with a vitamin thrown in.

Okay! Off my soap box now and back to my juicer (gotta make fresh 6-vegatable juice for my daughter before she goes to school) :cool:

10-21-2005, 12:38 PM
but its better than the donuts I'd normally have eaten or not eating at all which is really what I normally did- no breakfast and no fruit.

10-21-2005, 12:56 PM
but its better than the donuts I'd normally have eaten or not eating at all which is really what I normally did- no breakfast and no fruit.
That's what I was thinking, too! I now have those Special K bars that I eat almost every day. I know they're not the eggs and whole grain toast and fruit I should have for breakfast, but if it keeps me from hitting the McDonald's drive-thru for a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel with hashbrown and large orange juice, then it's still a much better choice! :D

10-21-2005, 01:00 PM
amen to that.

Because mcgriddle sandwiches were addictive to me! :)
along with hasbrowns...

I didn't get this over weight eating nutrigrain thats for sure.

10-21-2005, 01:13 PM
Jillybean, make your own! Seriously, takes like 5 minutes. Scramble an egg or use egg beaters, put it in a ramekin, microwave for about 1.5-1.75 minutes. Toast an english muffin, put on Kraft 2% Singles, and I add canadian bacon (a friend of mine uses veggie sausage). 6 points (if you're doing WW), ~285 calories if you're not. It's lovely, and really filling and satisfying! :)

10-21-2005, 01:22 PM
Jillybean, make your own! Seriously, takes like 5 minutes. Scramble an egg or use egg beaters, put it in a ramekin, microwave for about 1.5-1.75 minutes. Toast an english muffin, put on Kraft 2% Singles, and I add canadian bacon (a friend of mine uses veggie sausage). 6 points (if you're doing WW), ~285 calories if you're not. It's lovely, and really filling and satisfying! :)
I've done it before, but I just don't have time now. As it is, I get up at 5am and leave the house by 5:30. I don't eat breakfast before I go to the gym (usually just have a glass of Carnation Instant Breakfast to wake me up), so if I made my own, I would have to microwave it once I got to work at 7. My Special K bar also only has 90 calories, so I'd really rather not triple that. I always have a yogurt a little while later (before lunch), and I'm never really hungry. The short of it is, I have no time and no money, so 6 Special K bars for 2.50 works for me (which is about what I would pay for the English muffins alone). There's also the matter of McDonald's food just always tasting better! When I make them at home, they're just okay--nothing to write home about. But a hot one from McD's, man, that is GOOD stuff (thanks to the butter and sauce and grease and...)!

I'm really not trying to be difficult--just trying to point out that different lifestyles have different requirements, and if a NutriGrain bar or a Special K bar fit into those requirements, it's still a lot better than donuts or McDonald's :dizzy:

10-21-2005, 01:23 PM
When we all start out on the weight loss journey, we have to start somewhere. That's what's great about WW is that it gives you points to "spend" on whatever foods you want. Be it spending 20 points on a slice of cake and ice cream and 10 on other junk or spending all 30 of your points on nutritious food. But as you go along, it's good to go ahead and start balancing out your nutrition to get in your servings of veggies/fruits, protein and dairy.
As they are really starting to stress now in the diet world it is all a matter of calories in vs. calories out. WW is still basically restricting the amount of calories you consume in each day.

When I first started to lose weight I used the WW points because I had all the stuff for it. But I also entered all my food into my fitday (http://www.fitday.com) diary. I wanted to make sure I was eating enough protein and veggies. I ate very similar to what you have described. My main focus at that point was the get the weight off no matter what. After doing a ton of research and trial and error realized that my main focus should be more on my health and let the weight take care of itself.

I've since abandoned both WW (not because I don't believe in the program but because I was tired of counting points) and counting calories (tired of counting) and am now instead following the new pyramid (http://www.mypyramid.gov). It breaks it down better by telling me I need.
The example above is how much I need at my age with my activity level. I like how it breaks it down by cups and ounces.

I think you are doing fine by trying to listen to your body for your hunger cues and you are right that the nutri-grain is way better than stopping for fast food.

10-21-2005, 01:29 PM
Oh, I agree, Jilly--Nutrigrain or Special K bars are better than donuts any day! Though there are days when donuts sing to me...thank goodness we don't have a donut shop around here!

I was just trying to suggest something you might not have thought about. :)

10-21-2005, 01:38 PM
I think this process of becoming healthier is a very individual thing. We all make changes at our own pace and for evolving reasons - based on our changing motivations on the weight loss/overall good health spectrum. It may be that for some among us, the first or second level of improvement is the elimination of McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts -- and that's AWESOME!! :cp: That said, I do think it's extremely important to continue to inform and educate yourself along the way in an effort to maintain that positive momentum to continue to progress in the incorporation of lasting positive changes. So eventually that NutriGrain (which is pretty much neither very nutritious nor much of a grain) gives way to something which has a much more positive impact on your health. But we're always talking about progress not perfection here -- so I think it's great that progress is being made, as long as it's acknowledged that there's more progress to be made still. Rome was not built in a day!

It's a journey, and not only are we all at different points along the road, but it's also possible that there's more than just one way to get there! So hear, hear to that NutriGrain bar.....for now! ;)


10-21-2005, 01:52 PM
^^ Beautifully put, Sarah :)

10-21-2005, 02:00 PM
I would agree the the protein bars are not the best. However I would agree that they are much better than a doughnut or cheesburger ect... Even if the calorie and fat would be the same it's telling your mind this is a better choice it's not the same old junk food I've been feeding myself.

We don't eat a lot of these but I have tried a few. We made are own from a recipe we seen on Food TV by Alton Brown. They were very good and much better for you. They freeze well to. I can't remember all the info but I now they were around 190 in calories and 8 grams of fat. They had pretty good protein and fiber but I can't remember exactly. Here is the recipe.

4 ounces soy protein powder, approximately 1 cup
2 1/4 ounces oat bran, approximately 1/2 cup
2 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour, approximately 1/2 cup
3/4-ounce wheat germ, approximately 1/4 cup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces raisins, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried cherries, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces dried blueberries, approximately 1/2 cup
2 1/2 ounces dried apricots, approximately 1/2 cup
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft silken tofu
1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/2 cup packed
2 large whole eggs, beaten
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Canola oil, for pan

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with parchment paper and lightly coat with canola oil. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, oat bran, wheat flour, wheat germ, and salt. Set aside.

Coarsely chop the raisins, dried cherries, blueberries and apricots and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth. Add the apple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter, 1 at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition. Add this to the protein powder mixture and stir well to combine. Fold in the dried fruit. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 205 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

10-21-2005, 02:10 PM
Howie, that's a great recipe and would be so much more healthy and nutritious! Real fruit, grains, nuts and no artificial flavors, colors or chemicals!

(Just to be clear, Protein bars and Nutrigrain bars are vastly different and the comments I made in previos posts were based on "nutrigrain" style bars (the kind that were being discussed) and they have only 1 gram of protein each yet list processed sugars 6 times. Cliff and Luna bars, while not exactly "health foods" are far superior nutritionlly to "cereal bars". Bars like the one you give a recipe for are nutritional powerhouses, especially if you add a bit of ground flax!)

10-21-2005, 02:21 PM
There is no way I'd even make anything with that many ingredients! :)

I have eaten luna bars and cliff bars before. I also have eaten the harvest bars too(they are my favorite).

I will switch to one of those for breakfast instead this next week.

I really do get my vege's. I buy two bags of romaine lettuce a week and 3 large tomatoes and eat them by myself throughout the week. This week I have not packed a salad for lunch. I guess I justify it because I take vitamins and drink vitamins...I kind of thought it was ok.

10-21-2005, 02:40 PM
I also agree that this is a journey, and the goal is to improve continuously. We DO all have to start somewhere, and do what we can handle at the time. Moving from doughnuts to a Nutri-Grain bar is a step in the right direction, definitely, and I would be the first to congratulate someone for doing so. The problem is that people are so easily mislead by packaging, advertising, and just plain ol' lack of knowledge that they think they are making healthier choices than they are.

Lots of foods have words like "low-fat" or "low carb" or "organic" or "natural" or "whole grain" splashed on them, and the term is either meaningless or misleads people into thinking something is healthier than it is overall. When you read the label, though -- both nutritional stats and ingredients -- you understand what you are REALLY eating, and you can make choices based on that knowledge, not on what the manufacturer wants you to think. Most meal replacement and protein bars are PACKED with sugar. Do you really want a major source of carbohydrate from a food that's supposed to be your main course to be sugar? The new Fig Newtons, etc. that are being marketed as "whole grain" have only 1 g fiber more per serving than the regular version; that is the ONLY difference, nutritionally. Nutri-Grain (which I also eat on occasion) APPEARS to be a healthy, whole-grain food. It's brown, it has fruit in it, it's dusted with oats, etc. I mean, it's CALLED Nutri-Grain, right?! But please don't fool yourself into thinking this bar gives you anything other than simple carbohydrates -- the teaspoon or less of fruit that went into the filling isn't giving you ANYTHING nutritionally. The FUZE drink cannot legally be labeled sugar-free if it is sweetened with "crystalline sweetener and honey." Those 120 calories are all sugar, even if it's not HFCS or cane sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar. For the same amount of calories you could have 2 small pieces of fruit or two slices of 100% whole wheat bread and get loads more nutrition, and fiber too. Nutritionally, drinking that drink is the same as swallowing part of a vitamin pill and washing it down with 9 oz of Coca-Cola. There's nothing WRONG with that if that's what you choose to do. You not only miss the fiber from those vegetables, but the phytonutrients. The drink is not EQUAL to 3 servings of vegeables, it has some of the same vitamin/mineral content. You'd be better off drinking 120 calories' worth of tomato juice. If that's what gets you through the day as you make this transition to a healthier lifestyle, then that's what you should do. We're just asking you to BE AWARE of what you are consuming and understand what tradeoffs you are making.

Especially when you are restricting calories, you want to make every calorie COUNT for something, at least most of the time. After all, you could eat 1200 calories of butter every day and nothing else, and you would "lose weight," but that's not really a good idea, is it? It's all about being fully-informed and aware and making choices. I think what most of us are saying is: First, do you understand why replacing whole foods for a lot of processed foods packed with sugar and fillers isn't a good idea in the long run? Second, are you even fully aware of the content of the foods you're eating?

We all make compromises and trade-offs and even bad decisions, sometimes deliberately. I am certainly no saint when it comes to choosing food. But when I choose something that's not as healthy, I know exactly what I'm doing. I read labels like a demon, and I understand that breakfast bars and shakes are mostly sugar, and I choose not to have them in lieu of more complex carbohydrates. If I need something fast and convenient there are a million other things I can have that require just as little time and preparation, or merely need to be prepared in advance. It's all about choice, and trying to do the best you can day to day. You can't claim to make a real choice, however, if you don't understand what you're choosing and what the alternatives are. We're not trying to criticize you or jump on your case, so please don't think that. We just want to make sure you are fully informed and learn to make truly healthy choices so that you will not only lose weight, but give your body what it needs for a healthy, active life.

10-21-2005, 02:45 PM
Liz--the reason nutritionists et.al. recommend eating your veggies are numerous, but here's a couple:

*Veggies have more fiber than juices or vitamins, and thus keep you full longer. And fill you up more in the first place--unless you're taking REALLY BIG vitamins! :lol:
*Veggies contain phytochemicals, components that we know "do the body good" but that we can't exactly pinpoint or extract. Your body seems to need those, and the only place we've come up with to get them (so far) is from whole foods (veggies).

Making a conscious effort to get the vitamins in, in whatever state, is a really good start! Don't feel discouraged--you're doing better than most people in this world! :)

10-21-2005, 02:50 PM
Funniegirl, I feel exactly that same way. :)

10-21-2005, 02:52 PM
I guess some have more tact than most.

10-21-2005, 02:57 PM
I guess some have more tact than most.

Sorry if it hurts your feelings for people to congratulate you on each step you make towards a healthier lifestyle and to offer information that most aren't conscious of :?: As everyone said, you *are* making progress and that's good! What's the problem with being honset and helpful? :(

10-21-2005, 02:58 PM
Hey Liz I just saw your most recent post. Let me give you an idea of what I eat in a typical day so you can see some of the differences, especially when it comes to vegetables. I'm going to even include a grain bar and some other convenience foods in the example. :)

FYI I am a Jenny Craig client, but this day would be one of my "days on my own." I am in the last stages of weight loss so I am eating 1200 calories right now. (I don't always hit that target, though, so I probably average more like 1300-1400.) Earlier in my program, though, I was eating more. We follow an exchange system similar to what Dawn described, so every day I have a good balance of real foods.

1 Health Valley Apple Cereal Bar (very similar to Nutri-Grain)
1 cup low-fat milk

Salad (dark green lettuces and/or spinach with AT LEAST 1/2 cup of other raw or roasted vegetables -- carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, scallions are typical)
2 Tbsp low-fat (NOT non-fat) salad dressing
Sandwich (2 REGULAR slices 100% whole wheat bread, 2 oz lean meat, 1 tsp mayonnaise, sometimes lettuce and/or vegetables)
1 fresh fruit

1 fresh fruit

1 Lean Cuisine or similar under 300 calories (I choose the ones with the most vegetables and the least starchy filler, and choose the LC Spa whole-grain options often)
At least 1 cup of steamed, roasted, or stir-fried vegetables, using the smallest amount of olive oil possible

1 cup low-fat milk or yogurt

I am free to snack on as many non-starchy vegetables as I like, and my meals often include more than I listed above. I also drink tomato juice on occasion. I also use free foods like sugar-free Jell-o, salsa, condiments, broth, etc. liberally.

So, I hope that gives you an idea of a fairly convenient but nutritionally well-rounded day. This is by no means the only way I eat, every day's a little different, but this would be entirely typical.

10-21-2005, 03:14 PM
My, how one seemingly simple question can evolve and explode...remember, it was "should I eat if I'm not hungry?" I now know more about NutriGrain bars than I ever really cared to :lol:

And yes, I will continue to eat my 90-calorie Special K bars :p Like I said before, I didn't get to 310 pounds by eating Special K (or NutriGrain) bars :dizzy: We all have individual goals, needs, and lifestyles, and since I never had any health problems when I was living on Mcdonald's, Wendy's, Ruby Tuesday, and convenient college foods (i.e., Pop Tarts, sugared cereals, and *gasp* WHITE bread and pastas :o ), I'm pretty sure the Special K bar isn't doing me much harm :p I have also never in my life eaten enough vegetables (since the only ones I like are lettuce, potatoes, and corn, all of which are actually either carbs or pretty much crunchy water--and it certainly isn't for lack of trying...I've had multiple kinds prepared multiple ways!), yet all bloodwork and urinalyses results have been normal for yeeeeears.

I agree that marketing can be misleading. Not everything marked "low-fat" or "low-calorie" is actually good for you. However, please keep in mind that agriculturalists do marketing, too (for example, sugar cane growers and sugar associations have plenty of anti-Splenda propaganda out there). Yes, veggies are good for you, but no, you probably won't be harmed too much by not getting your 5 servings a day. Doctors recommend that we do a lot of things, and I bet not a single one of us actually does them all :lol:

I'm almost afraid to hit "Submit Reply"...I'm only trying to express a point of view, but I'm sure I'll get jumped all over for it, so let the arrows fly! :s: After all, playing Devil's Advocate can be fun :devil:

10-21-2005, 03:14 PM
I am one person on this journey who has not always made the changes to more whole foods gracefully. I tend to fight it!

When I first started my new healthier journey this summer, I started bringing nature valley granola bars to work. As others have said, they were better than the candy and chips I had been eating for my afternoon snack. I loved the taste of them -- in many ways MORE than the other food I'd been shoving in my maw without though! It was absolutely the right choice.

Then, I started reading here about how granola bars are not necessarily healthy and became very defensive about my lovely hew treats -- I had made a positive change! And now I'm hearing it's not a "good enough" change?!! My dander was up! Part of the problem was that I perceived people who touted more whole foods as being judgmental somehow. (note: I don't think that's the case -- I think people are trying to provide information. But when you feel threatened, you don't have the same perceptions...)

Then, I looked at my bars, and I started to realize that at 170 calories, with 9 grams of fat, 2 of fiber and 4 of protein, that *maybe* they weren't my most healthy choice. The next time I was at Sam's club, I reluctantly picked up some kashi granola bars. 130 calories, 5g fat, 4g fiber and 5g protein. No hydrogenated oils or HFCS. Better. The first one I had claimed to be peanut butter -- but when I tried it... EWW!! That wasn't the nice, sweet, rich peanut butter taste I was expecting.

I was feeling like I had wasted my money, because you buy in bulk at Sams, and now I had 3 different kinds of these bars. A couple days later I tried another flavor, and liked it! And I liked the 3rd even more (mmm... trail mix) Finally, went back to the peanut butter, and it was okay too! They aren't as sweet, but esp the trail mix has a lot of nice flavors, once you get past that they won't be sweet.

I'm not saying I won't eat other granola bars again (or even candy)... or that I won't find something healthier later. But by keeping my mind open, I did make another change that's a little healthier (and really no more expensive ... lots cheaper than my candy and chips!).

I agree that we all have to come at all of this in our own way. What I appreciate about this space is the information that I can use if and when I'm ready for it. I am not ready to make a lot of other changes that I might someday, but I can see now that I might, someday.

I have learned that I actually enjoy the taste of the food I eat now in many ways more than I did before (sometimes because I just take the time to appreciate it), and that's an amazing discovery, since I'm eating some things I never thought I would.

10-21-2005, 03:41 PM
I appreciate the information and suggestions.
I really did feel defensive yesterday because I didn't post what I ate to brag or say yay look at me I'm hardly eating right. I did it because I knew I wasn't eating enough and wanted to know how bad is it that I'm not eating all my points and then deciding one night not to eat. That is it.

I am not going to start eating whole food right now. They don't fit into my time or my budget. Two weeks ago I was eating mini bagels with low fat cream cheese and a banana. Prior to that I was eating waffles with syrup - all are within ww. I change it up when I get bored.

I have a 2 year old and 12 year old and dh and I are using one car to carpool us all to school work daycare. I just don't have time to make a breakfast or lunch. I need something to grab in the morning. I throw all the things I mentioned before in a tote bag and bring it to work. Sometimes I goto the deli here and order a side salad but instead of cheese I get tomato.

I'm not perfect either - I have been struggling with this but I'm determined to keep losing. If skipping a meal and eating less points is bad then I wanted to know. At ww they alway talk about sticking on the plan, this includes vitamins, water, exercise points and there is more and I'm guessing its fruit and veges. I actually struggle with the first 4 that I'm trying to remember just that but I am doing the first 4 so I also feel good about that.

WW doesn't say anything about not eating flour or high fructose or anything. I can eat what I want within points. Am I supposed to get fruit and veges? sure. Is it best you bet. Anyway I was only miffed at one post but thats it.

10-21-2005, 03:43 PM
After all, you could eat 1200 calories of butter every day and nothing else, and you would "lose weight," but that's not really a good idea, is it?
Isn't that called the Atkin's diet? :lol:

10-21-2005, 03:50 PM
Liz--to reiterate:

Yes, you need to eat all your points. No, missing some OCCASIONALLY won't kill you, just don't make it a daily habit. Life happens, the body is flexible. Just don't get caught in the "less is more" trap and you're fine. Try to make the healthiest decisions and choices that fit into your lifestyle right now, and don't be afraid to change them in the future if they need to be changed. There, answers. :)

10-21-2005, 03:52 PM

Jill, I don't see that anyone's jumped on anyone here. You understand why people say certain foods are better choices than others, and you either don't believe it or simply choose not to change your current habits because of it (I'm not sure which). No one can force you to eat / not eat what you want, and we've said over and over and over and over again: "Eat what you want, do what you have to do, just UNDERSTAND what you're doing." I have found that most poor food choices are made out of ignorance -- not stupidity, but lack of knowledge. If I know something that I think someone else doesn't know that might help them, then I'm going to tell them. They can then choose to do with that information what they wish. If they start to ARGUE with me, then I'm going to present counter-arguments to support my point. I'm not attacking them or saying they are a bad person or being judgemental. No one here has been militant, insisting that only "whole foods" should ever be consumed. But IT SEEMS that the person who started thread thought they were making really healthy choices, and we just wanted to point out that wasn't so. They can do with that information what they like -- as can you -- but at least they have the information.

To me, this entire discussion can be boiled down to these questions for each of us: What is my real goal -- weight loss only, or optimal nutrition? and What sacrifices am I willing to make, what existing food habits and preferences am I willing to challege, in order to get to my goal? Each of us have different lines in the sand, and for some of us the lines shift over time. Operating on misinformation and lack of information never got anyone anywhere, though, and if I can give someone information they lack so that they can make BETTER decisions IF THEY CHOOSE, then I will do so.

10-21-2005, 04:04 PM
Funnie I appreciated everything you said I'm not here to debate anyone. I am here for support. If someone doesn't like my choice in diet plans its really not up for discussion. I will never ever criticize someones personal decision for diets. Whether its jenny craig, slim fast, atkins, LA Weight loss, calorie counting or WW. I've done them all myself.
Like I said in the other thread. We are all experts at dieting. If anyone wants to know nutrition we probably know better than anyone. I knew there was high fructose syrup in the dang nutrigrain. I chose to eat them for breakfast. I have been enlightened and will seek better breakfast choices. I split my meals out throughout the day. I will continue to do this and I will make an effort to get in fruit and veges.

I had fried chicken and beer on saturday and no one said a word about that! :)

10-21-2005, 04:06 PM
I didn't say anyone jumped on anyone--just that I was prepared to handle such in response to saying that I'm healthy even though I don't eat nearly enough veggies :p

So, no need to *sigh*. We're all about help, advice, and support here, and I know that. It just seemed like a lot of "hey, you're doing a great job, but here's all the things you're doing wrong." Maybe it's a personal thing, but that's how I read a lot of previous posts. We all do it--it's natural to want to help, but I think it's also somewhat--hmm, frustrating? discouraging? not sure of the exact word I'm looking for here--to ask a question and get a hundred reponses telling you about all the things you're doing wrong in addition to the one question you asked about in the first place :dizzy:

You understand why people say certain foods are better choices than others, and you either don't believe it or simply choose not to change your current habits because of it (I'm not sure which).
I'd just like to note that I have made plenty of changes--I used to count calories and nothing else. I had little cans of mac n' cheese, lean pockets, low-fat ice cream, reduced-fat cheese-its, and all kinds of "good" stuff that fit within my calories. I hardly eat any of those things anymore because I know that whole foods are better for you than processed, but unfortunately, I don't have the time or money to devote to ALL whole foods, so things like Carnation Instant Breakfast and Special K bars will have to suffice for the time being :)

Like I said, though, maybe that's just how I read it. After all, that's what I've gotten my whole life.
"Mom, I got an A on my exam!"
"That's nice...why wasn't it an A PLUS?" :rolleyes:

10-21-2005, 04:52 PM
reduced-fat cheese-its

Oh no! Not those too!! I'm not gonna give up my reduced fat cheez its!!! :dizzy:

10-21-2005, 05:20 PM
I'll go back to your original question. I remember when I was doing the WW points that I had problems many times eating my required number of points. It seemed like I was just cramming junk in at the end of the day to get to 32 or whatever # it was.

I think if it is something that you are doing occassionally (which you said is the case), then don't worry about it. I was on the points system where you "banked" points anyway and would just spend them a couple of days later if I was hungry or I would save a few each day to have a treat night on the weekend.

It sounds like you are doing a great job so far on the program. The whole point of WW is to eat WHATEVER you want and stay within your points range to lose weight.

I hope I wasn't the one who offended you and that you continue to seek support and advice from us.