Weight Loss Support - Would someone critique my appaling routine...

11-10-2005, 04:18 AM
I started a full time office job in august (i used to be in a very active job where i would be walking 7+ miles a day) and I want to be sure that I don't gain weight and would actually like to lose if possible. I am fully aware that my diet and exercise plan are either full on extreme or at the other end of the scale... I want much shouting, screaming and putting me right and telling me off...


my usual day looks like this...

B - 1.5 cup of branflakes with milk
S - through the day at my desk I eat 3 apples and copious amounts of tea.
D - when I get home potato/pasta/meat (chicken) with plenty of veg and 2-3 slices of bread and low fat spread.

exercise - I was running between 5-6miles a day until last weekend when I injured my thigh. I am now cycling around 15miles a day to compensate.

My water intake is awful and I probably get about a litre... at most 1.5litres. I also am rather fond of tea and diet coke!

The only different days are weekends when I have more time and have a bigger brekkie and two smaller meals in the day - I'm also more prone to smacking on bits and pieces :mad: . At the weekend I cycle between 18.5-25miles a day :D . On thursdays my day is hectic :dizzy: . I eat breakfast and treat myself to chocolate shortbread :o . But that is all i get because I don't go home in the evening :( . I go straight from my day job to a waitressing job :faint: (i need the money) and don't get time inbetween to eat.

I am a car crash waiting to happen :bomb: . Help me out girls. I need motivation, a better diet... I need routine!

11-10-2005, 04:51 AM
You've a few too many carbs and not really enough protein. Also keep track of your calories so you know how many you're consuming. At your evening meal try cutting down the bread to just one slice, and eventually cutting that out completely.

I'd also maybe suggest having eggs for breakfast instead of all that cereal. If you like carbs a whole lot you can also mix up some cottage cheese pancakes (wierd I know!) - 2eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese in a blender, then add 1/2 cup porridge oats then blend again. Whack in any cinnamon, banana, vanilla, spice, flavour that you like then fry in a non stick pan like ordinary pancakes and they are GORGEOUS and give you the carb feeling without hardly any of the carbs! :D They really fill you up till lunch too!

Oh yeah, and where's your lunch??? :?: Instead of snacking on just apples, try taking a yoghurt or some cottage cheese with fruit, or a baked potato with beans or SOMETHING so you're not famished by dinner time!

You also might want to try 5 small meals a day instead of having a big dinner in the evening, it will keep your blood sugar stable through the day.

11-10-2005, 05:03 AM
Thank you 2frustrated.
I had some people telling me I wasn't eatign enough and others (my mother) saying i was eating too much but she doesn't see what I eat at breakfast and lunch so she must assume I eat the same amoutn at all meals that I eat at dinner! I dropped lunch because when I first got my job all i could see was endless 9 hour days stuck at a desk barely moving and I knew it would be detrimental (big word! :D) to my health. I've worked really hard to make sure I get a minimum of 8-9hrs of exercise a week and I assumed this would keep the pounds at bay! I find it so hard to find some sort of balance - i must try harder!

Are carbs really that bad? I thought carbs were the best thing to be getting? I do like carbs... would it help if I exercised more?

11-10-2005, 07:08 AM
Okay chill out with the exercising! You are doing PLENTY! If you cycle every day, try and take at least 1 day off a week, be kind to your body, it needs some rest and recouperation to actually improve :D

Unrefined carbs are good (eg brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread), however you need protein to stop you losing muscle when you lose weight. I would try eating a few small meals spread out over the day. This will keep your metabolism raised (whereas skipping lunch will lower it) and keep you on an even keel with your energy levels.

Will post more later, have to go out now, feel free to ask more questions!

11-10-2005, 08:58 AM
It's not appalling! It's rough to eat right when you've got a hectic shedule. I worked my 8-hour office job plus waitressing 4 nights a week for months, so I feel your pain!

I agree that eggs would be better for breakfast, but I also understand that you're probably not wanting to get up any earlier to cook breakfast :dizzy: Maybe instead of just the cereal, you could cut it back to 3/4 to 1 cup and add some fruit? Bananas, strawberries, blueberries...frozen berries are great for this if you're like me and don't have time to buy fresh fruit multiple times a week so it doesn't go bad. At least you're good enough to have bran cereal instead of something completely sugary and void of nutrition.

I snack a lot at the office, too. An apple is okay, but I find that it's not very feeling (for me, anyway). Maybe you could replace some of the apples with rolled sandwich meat, string cheese, a few nuts, or a slice of whole-grain bread with nut butter? Or even some veggies and dip for a fiber-filled snack? Any of these have a little more protein than just an apple. If you really don't want to eat lunch, just make sure you get plenty from your snacks so you're not super hungry by dinner time.

I certainly think you're getting plenty of exercise! In addition to the cycling, I happen to know that waitressing can kick your behind, too, with the carrying drinks and trays and plates and walking a million miles around the restaurant all night (and if your kitchen is anything like ours, it's like sitting in a sauna it's so hot!) :p

There is a bit of discrepancy as to whether or not low/no-calories drinks count towards your water intake for the day. Personally, I think if it's liquid and has no calories, why not count it as water? I drink at least 9 servings of water during the day plus a couple cans of diet soda. I don't think I'd beat myself up if I only had 5-6 servings of water plus the soda. As long as you don't feel dehydrated, I wouldn't stress about it.

I would certainly start tracking your calories. Whether you're eating nthing but carbs or nothing but protein or lard straight out of a bucket, weight loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out (of course, a well-balanced diet is best for your body, but you get the idea). Try plugging your foods into Fitday.com (free) or just keep track on a piece of paper. Even with just apples during the day, you may ind that the number of calories at dinner could be keeping you off kilter. I know I had some instant mashed potatoes last night, and those alone were almost 300 calories :o

I think that's about it for my not-so-expert advice ;) I hope some of this helps you. If not, at least I have successfully wasted some more time at work today, so thanks :lol:

11-10-2005, 09:12 AM
B - 1.5 cup of branflakes with milk I'd add some protein here: egg/s, low-fat cottage cheese, etc.
S - through the day at my desk I eat 3 apples and copious amounts of tea. Again, I'd add protein: low-fat string cheese, protein shake, etc. And what do you put in your tea?

My water intake is awful and I probably get about a litre... at most 1.5litres. I also am rather fond of tea and diet coke! You sound JUST LIKE ME! Except I drink Diet Sprite Zero.

The only other thing I could add is have more snacks throughout the day, as they keep you satisfied.

Your exercise sounds great to me, but I would HIGHLY suggest adding weight-training.

Good luck !

11-10-2005, 09:58 AM
You've gotten some great ideas here!!

I have found that tracking not only calories, but carbs,fat,protein -- and nutrients -- can be VERY beneficial (not to mention eyeopening). Once you get started it's pretty easy -- try a site like fitday or nutridiary.

I understand the whole lunch thing... but eating throughout the day may help your metabolism. I also find when I eat the RIGHT foods during the day (inc fiber and protein), that I plain feel better. Bring a little sack of snack foods for during the day (many that people have suggested) makes it pretty easy. I pack up small bags of grapes and carrots ahead of time, then grab a yogurt, piece of cheese... doesn't add time to my morning!

I wish I got in as much exercise as you do every week!! Good lucK!

11-10-2005, 12:01 PM
Personally, I DON'T think whole-grain cereal and milk for breakfast is a bad thing. I rarely have eggs or cheese for breakfast. If you're happy with that, there's no need not to stick with it. I do agree that your food during the day isn't great. Basically you're only eating fruit -- that's not nearly enough balance to keep you satisfied and healthy. I would add protein as the others have suggested, and some vegetables, maybe some additional dairy in place of some of the fruit. For dinner, you should have only ONE starch source -- pick bread (1 or 2 pieces) OR potato (3 to 6 oz) OR pasta (1/2 to 1 cup). It IS a good idea to eat a little something every 3 or 4 hours to keep your metabolism humming and blood sugar on an even keel. Remember that food is how you supply your body with energy, and if you leave it for long periods to depend primarily on fat stores, it's not good in terms of how you feel or how fast your metabolism will run. The ideal scenario all around is to give it a steady supply of fresh fuel, but just a little less than needed so that it taps into your reserves for a boost here and there.

I also agree with the idea of tracking exactly what you eat in a program like fitday.com just to see where you are. You MAY be eating too much or too little; hard to know unless you have some concrete data to look at.

11-10-2005, 01:00 PM
B - 1.5 cup of branflakes with milk
S - through the day at my desk I eat 3 apples and copious amounts of tea.
D - when I get home potato/pasta/meat (chicken) with plenty of veg and 2-3 slices of bread and low fat spread[I]

my suggestions would be these:
try 1 cup of bran mixed w 1/2 c of fiber one, 1 c of ff or 1%milk, and a piece of fruit.

as for the tea, if its not decaff replace it w decaff and use splenda in place of sugar. also dont skip lunch.

also, id cut the bread down to 1 slice of bread and try to make it a light variety and instead of having both bread and potato, choose 1.
and lastly, i find that adding flacvor to h20 helps.
you are more than welcome to join us here for support!


11-11-2005, 04:21 AM
You guys are little chicky angels! I never really thought about the sort of food I was eating e.g. carbs, protein etc...
I just used to assume 'oh well, i'm not eating much (of this tub of lard) so it must be ok!'

how niave! :angel: :angel:

11-11-2005, 07:35 AM
actually, i should probably update. Yesterday I had my usual breakfast... followed by chocolate shortbread at lunch!! tut tut. but that was it. i squeezed in a 20minute wakl at lunch and then ran my little tush off waitressing in the evennig. not a good day but i was ehausted.

i'm planning 15-20mile cycle today and am going to try and eat a little more responsibly!

11-11-2005, 09:43 AM
Penguina -- I knew from previous diet go-rounds what I was "supposed" to eat, but never gave it as good a try as I have this time. I have really been amazed at how much better I feel eating the "right" foods... that's as motivating as the weight loss!

So yes, not just how much but WHAT we eat really makes a difference! Good luck!

11-11-2005, 09:50 AM
PLAN PLAN PLAN in advance...that is the key. If you know you are going to have a busy night waitressing grab a protein bar to eat on the way to work. Eating breakfast and lunch and that's it isn't a healthy way to go about it either. You've got some great advice here, good luck!!

11-11-2005, 10:24 AM
you have to look at food as fuel for your body and life, not something that will make you fat. you need more fuel in your day. you can't expect to keep up a work and workout schedule like that with such poor fueling. everyone here has posted great ideas. get some more protein in. pack sandwiches on the days that you know you will not go home for dinner before your waitressing job. plan ahead for missed meals. i have food with me almost everywhere i go. this is so if i get hungry i have the option to eat right.

you are on the right track, but i think you will find if you fine tune your diet, you will feel 100% better and be able to accomplish so much more in your fitness goals.

11-11-2005, 04:01 PM
Sounds like you eat bad food when you let yourself become too hungry. That's a common problem for all of us. :) Try eating breakfast, a small snack, a small lunch, a small snack, and then dinner. You might be less likely to reach for chocolate shortbread if you are eating throughout the day and not putting your belly through hunger cramps. :)

I bike, too, and I find that biking every day wears me out. Plus I'm less likely to do any upper body work or other strength training. Try five days a week, and a long walk plus some weights on the other two days.

Finally, I know from personal experience that eating too little does not help you lose weight more quickly than eating a reasonable amount of food. I once crash-dieted at 800 calories per day, plus 30 minutes of cardio, and I lost 1.5 to 2 lbs. per week. Then another time I did 1200 calories per day, and lost... 1.5 to 2 lbs. per week... and felt a whole lot healthier. Don't be afraid to eat a little more food.

(Now I know I can't keep up a plan with only 1200 cals per day, so I eat more and am content with losing more slowly. Think long-term, and pick a plan that is close to maintenance. Will you really be biking 9 hours per week when you're 60? Pregnant? Injured?)

Take care!

11-11-2005, 04:09 PM
TBJ333 - is that your own photo in your avatar?! I love it! :D

I realise you are all so right. I get so hungry I just eat blindly and then wonder why even though i exercise alot i'm still not losing. Tomorrow is a new day, i will plan and do better. I have also decided to go on a nice bike ride if the weather is good. I have the day off and I'm going to plan a route on google earth and take a map and have a gentle cycle so i'm going to pack sandwiches and fruit! I'm actually really excited (how lame!)

thank you for all the wise words and support. I'm grateful to you all for taking the time with me.