100 lb. Club - Eat poorly or not eat at all?

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09-01-2006, 12:21 PM
Today I was running late and did not plan my meals ahead of time for today. I debated what would be best--to go through a drive thru and get something less than healthy, or go without food until I could go out to get a decent meal. I opted for the drive-thru :( Had I had enough time, I would have stopped at the grocery to get some fresh fruit, but I was going to be late for work.

Have you ever been in this situation? If so, what did you do?

One thing for sure, I need to develop an emergency plan...

09-01-2006, 01:20 PM
I'm with you. An emergency plan is imperative. For me, my emergency plan includes fast food choices, but they're my last resort. But they're much better for me than going hungry too long. I get nasty at best.. then if I'm hungry too long I get distant and glassy. Not a happy thing. So food is always the better choice for me.

My plan includes grab-and-go snacks like fruit, nuts, or protein bars, which I keep in my desk at work. But if I'm out and about and not at my desk with my comforting stash of food, I need other options.

So, for low-carb and cheap, McDonald's double cheeseburger with extra pickles (eating the meat and cheese and veggies and peeling away the bun), or one of their chicken salads. Or get a kids meal with a burger and apple slices. Wendy's chili is really good. They have baked potatoes, too, if you are not low-carb. Taco Bell's pintos and cheese are yummy, and if you order your taco or burrito "Fresco" they'll replace the cheese/sour cream with salsa, which can shave a good 100 calories off a taco (and who eats just one?).

A few other fast food places also have chicken on salad, or sandwiches that fit within my plan (usually with some stretching, but my plan is flexible enough for SOME variation).

09-01-2006, 01:22 PM
When I'm in that situation I do without rather than buy fast food, because I know from past experience that the additives and excessive sodium in the fast food will make me feel worse than not eating at all.

09-01-2006, 01:27 PM
Hmm this is something I've never actually come across. I don't know exactly why.

I mean I used to plan poorly and maybe I'd have to eat at work's cafeteria but the cafeteria would generally have decent things to eat among all the bad things.

I tend to keep snacks at work including some of my shake mix so I can make a shake if I really need to. I also know it isn't always possible but I would rather be late for work than not eat my normal food. I know not everyone has the flexibility that I have though with work hours.

I would suggest keeping some snacks at work including meal bars or shake mixes if you can. I also suggest preparing the night before as best you can.

09-01-2006, 01:42 PM
I don't allow myself to go off plan unless I've planned to do it in advance (e.g., for a special occasion). So if I got myself into a situation where I didn't have appropriate food on hand for one of my meals, I would not go off my calorie plan for the meal. I would either find something that fits within my calorie range at the fast food restaurant or I wouldn't eat. Obviously it would be bad to do this everyday but it's not going to hurt me to go hungry for a few hours one day.

Off-plan meals are treats. If I allow myself a treat for poor planning on my part, that just encourages me to plan poorly in the future. Suddenly, once or twice a week I would find myself not having planned or running late and eating off plan. If I force myself to stay within my calorie plan (by not eating or by eating something that I wouldn't normally want to eat, like a salad from a fast food restaurant), that encourages me to plan better in the future so that I have foods available that I want to eat. This way, I know that poor planning isn't going to be an excuse for a treat meal.

But it would be pretty rare to find myself in this situation, especially for breakfast. I always have fresh fruit in the fridge (pre-washed, even) and I always have low-calorie nutrition/energy/granola bars on hand. So if I was running late and didn't have time to eat my usual bowl of cereal, I could just grab some fruit or a bar to take with me. And grabbing something out of the fridge is a lot faster than going through the drive-thru (in fact, around here there's usually a line of cars at the drive-thru, so going to the grocery store would be faster, too).

And for lunch, I'm pretty sure I could find choices that fit within my calorie plan if I hadn't packed my lunch. Subways are everywhere and if I can't find one there are other sandwich places. Also, McDonald's salads would fit in my calorie plan (and would be a good choice because I would be loath to eat them otherwise, so it would encourage me to plan ahead next time).

- Barbara

09-01-2006, 01:44 PM
I would have probably done the same thing--gotten some food--since, like others have mentioned, I'd likely get grumpy if I were hungry too long, and no one needs to deal with additional grumpiness in addition to that of already being early in the morning and running late :devil: However, even most fast food places have better choices nowadays. At McD's, I know you could get a small fruit n yogurt parfait. I'm not sure about the calories (since there's sugar and granola), but at least health-wise, it's got good stuff (fruit, yogurt, oats), as compared to the ickiness that would come in a breakfast sandwich or something.

I also agree with keeping snacks in your office. I have a couple small cans of juice-packed canned fruit, some packets of reduced-sugar instant oatmeal, and a Campbell's Soup at Hand cup of chicken n stars soup. Yes, there are healthier foods in the world, but in a pinch, I think they're a good alternative to the many many worse choices out there!

09-01-2006, 01:46 PM
Hey, Jen! :wave: Thank you for all of your support, you sweetheart! :goodvibes

I think you definitely need to have some sort of emergency, "tide you over" stores in your car and desk (or purse or whatever) at work. Nelie mentioned a couple of things I used to rely on: shakes and bars. I used to keep single serving powder protein drinks in baggies so I could just add them to water; I also kept high fiber, lower sugar protein bars (like South Beach's High Protein Cereal Bars) in my purse, the car, and my desk so I always had something easy to grab in place of something I'd regret. Oh! And I also kept a packet or two of low sugar, higher protein oatmeal so I could just add some microwaved water and have a warm and filling, stick-to-your ribs option.

You don't say when it was that you went through the drive-through -- was it for breakfast or lunch? If it was for breakfast, I think I'd probably have just toughed it out and gone without, drinking extra water (and, dare I say it -- COFFEE! :^: ) to tide me over till lunch. Or maybe if I was starving, gotten one of those platter things and eaten just the scrambled eggs or something. If it was for lunch, then I think it's possible that you could have made a healthier choice.....like going to a deli, supermarket, or picking a different fast food place like Subway. I know, hindsight is 20/20, and I don't want to beat you up when you're coming here and asking for feedback - :) - but the drive-through maybe wasn't the best -- or only -- choice available.

But we're just talking about one meal here! So live and learn, set yourself up for success next time, and maybe invest a tiny bit more time in planning and preparing/placing your meals ahead of time. You may remember that I used to be more focused on my weekly counts as I monitored my daily counts, so I could factor in a little splurge (within reason) regularly without blowing my whole week. I'd sacrifice before or after. So maybe you could make some more, ahem, "austere" choices to make up for that off-plan food? I'm not frequenting the board as I did (as you know) so I'm not sure how strictly you're living these days. Just a thought!

Anyway, great job coming on here for counsel on how to avoid this misstep next time. :goodvibes

09-01-2006, 01:53 PM
As I was writing my post, Barbara posted hers -- just wanted to say EXCELLENT POST, Barbara!! Sounds like you're in a GREAT place and totally have your head straight. I love your focus! You remind me of where I was at one time, and as soon as I put some medical stuff behind me, I look forward to getting back into that same groove. Thanks for the inspiration!

Great job and congratulations on your success! :high:

09-01-2006, 02:15 PM
I have to eat something. If I don't eat I'll either binge later or occasionally pass out.

Fast food restaurants can be few and far between where I live (I think there's a mcdonalds 2 towns over maybe....) so my usual plan is a ice green tea, some dried mango and whatever bread option at the 7-11 looks okay.

09-01-2006, 02:18 PM
Jen -

I would always eat rather than not eat, I would just try to make the best choice among the options available. I would never penalize myself by denying myself food because I didn't plan ahead. Life happens, you know? For me, being flexible is of the utmost importance, if I'm going to do this "for life."

Besides, if I don't eat I get a migraine and me and everyone around me suffers. Not a pretty picture. Or I binge. Also less than desirable.

Good luck figuring out what works best for you, as the situation may crop up again. Or maybe not!

09-01-2006, 02:27 PM
I guess I should have mentioned that the meal I got through the drive thru was breakfast--and unfortunately, my only alternative there was Burger King:eek:

I never even thought about canned fruit or protein shakes. That's stuff I can keep in my drawer at work indefinitely, and it would have been a heck of a lot better than what I got this morning!

Good news is...I was able to get something lighter and healthier for lunch, so I'm back on track.

Thanks for all the good suggestions!

09-01-2006, 02:33 PM
Good news is...I was able to get something lighter and healthier for lunch, so I'm back on track.
FABULOUS! I know from, well, entirely too much experience, that one bad meal can trigger a whole bad day, so getting right back to it is excellent. Way to go! :D

09-01-2006, 02:42 PM
Thanks girl! :) Glad to see you around still! I know your new job has kept you busy!

09-01-2006, 03:28 PM
Hey Jen, Glad you are back on track! What I would ideally do in a similar situation would be to run to the grocery store and pick up a yogurt and some cut up fruit. That can be a quick in and out trip (but beware of the donuts!).
In real life, I likely would have done what you did. Back on track is a GREAT place to be and one meal will not doom anyone's efforts.

09-01-2006, 03:59 PM
If I needed a quick breakfast on the go, I can think of better options than a fast food place. There are grocery stores everywhere - easy to pick up fruit. Most grocery stores have bakeries - easy to pick up bagels. Grocery stores often have organic sections, with healthy "pop tart" like choices. Gas stations often have single serve boxes of cereal with milk/spoons. Gas stations often have apples/bananas. Both groery stores and gas stations have protein bars, fig newtons, packages of nuts, beef jerky, yogurt, containers of oatmeal that just need hot water added. Coffee places have non fat lattes and fruit.

Maybe those places aren't as FAST as a drive through, but for 5 extra minutes you can easily get something better for your health/waistline and heart. I haven't set foot in a fast food place in over 2 years, it wouldn't occur to me if I needed something fast for breakfast, there are so many other options.

09-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Jen I am so proud of you for getting right back at it. Baby steps and we are learning. Sometimes I feel like I am a very slow learner. You deserve kudos for getting back to it!

09-01-2006, 04:20 PM
My fast-food compromise at breakfast is to order one egg mcmuffin with no butter, and I ditch the top half of the English muffin. It fills me up and isn't quite as bad as some of the other choices. I sometimes make those "other" choices too, so I try to stay away from fast food as much as possible.

I'm a horrible planner, and planning seems to be a key component to weight loss, so I regularly eat a piece of peanut-butter toast and fruit for breakfast at home. And even though sometimes I *plan* to make a "healthy choice" at a drive-thru, it's really a crap shoot on whether I come out of the drive-thru with something horrible or with a reasonable choice. So I have to make it a practice to just stay away.

09-03-2006, 10:25 PM
I carry a fast food calorie guide around in my purse, it cost a whopping 99 cents. When fast food becomes the plan I know whats going in my mouth and some things can suprise you.

Just my two cents ;)
Miss Chris

09-04-2006, 12:17 AM
I think it's so important to figure out why we go off plan and make adjustments, so that's a great step!

And way to go getting back on track!

I would rather eat something than do without. I don't like me when I'm cranky. I generally pack a lunch and snacks for the day, and try to keep something in the car. One day I left my lunch at home, but my snacks in my desk at work kept me from heading to the vending machine, or worse.