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Anyone else eat just "normal" food?

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Old 10-15-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else eat just "normal" food?

I sometimes feel like such an outsider when I read other folks' menus (not just here, but on other forums as well). It seems like so many people who are counting calories have skim milk, salad w/ fat free dressing, low fat cheese, fat-free yogurt, etc. I, on the other hand, don't have anything fat-free or even low-fat in my house. Yes, I eat veggies & fruits, but so much of the food I eat is just regular food that I ate before I started counting calories---just less of it. For example, here was my menu today:

B - Large slice of artisan Italian bread with real butter

Snack: Homemade hot cocoa (organic dark chocolate cocoa powder, tsp of sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla, itsy bitsy pinch of salt, ginger, & cinnamon---all dissolved in organic whole milk)

L - 2/3 c. brown rice, 1/2 organic chorizo sausage, 1/2 oz. organic cheddar melted over both

D - Two oven-fried chicken wings & 1/4 oven-fried breast w/ roasted carrots & peas

Dessert: Slice of homemade apple pie (1/8 of pie)

Now, granted today's menu was a bit higher in calories than normal because I just didn't end up eating as many calories this week as I thought I would, so I had many calories to spare (I been eating homemade chicken soup all week, and it's VERY filling yet low in calories---and delicious if I don't say so myself ). In fact, at the end of the week, my calories averaged out to only about 1500 per day.

However, nothing on my menu looks like what one would eat on a "diet." Granted, my portions are definitely smaller than my pre-calorie counting days, but I'm still surprised at how well I can eat and still lose.

Does anyone else calorie count and mainly eat the same foods they ate prior to calorie counting (just cutting down on portions)? Just curious as to how many out there do this.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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Nope. You're not alone. My menu actually looks really similar to yours. When I began I decided I did not want to deprive myself of anything so I don't. I still eat whatever I want just smaller portions or spread my cravings over a few days vs. Eating them whenever I feel like it.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:27 PM   #3
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I'm mostly eating the same, but before I occasionally succumbed to foods I don't touch now (crisps, packets of biscuits), snacking's been greatly reduced, and I eat less of the more calorie-dense foods such as nuts. Especially if they're high in fat, due to those blasted gallstones. Of course, my diet before was very healthy anyway, that wasn't really the issue.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esofia View Post
I'm mostly eating the same, but before I occasionally succumbed to foods I don't touch now (crisps, packets of biscuits), snacking's been greatly reduced, and I eat less of the more calorie-dense foods such as nuts. Especially if they're high in fat, due to those blasted gallstones. Of course, my diet before was very healthy anyway, that wasn't really the issue.
Esofia, same here: I don't snack as much, and I must say that nuts are so high in calories and easy to overeat, that I usually just avoid them (especially cashews, which I still cannot control myself around)
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lambiechop View Post
When I began I decided I did not want to deprive myself of anything so I don't.
Me, too. I realized this time around that I needed to begin as I planned to continue. One of the reasons I love calorie counting so much is that I can still eat the foods I love in moderation.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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Hi lin. Dinner is my "normal" foods meal.

I do better if I stick with the same options for breakfast and lunch. That makes it easier for me to plan and there's no question what foods that will be. Generally for lunch, even if we go out (which is maybe 1x weekly) I have salad. I love a greek salad and find I crave it, so it is probably very good for me. Snacks are generally fruit during the week too, and I get some dairy in my coffee with (of course) skim milk. I also like Progresso soups in the winter - very filling and really hits the spot!

Breakfasts are whole grain toast/tomato/cheese, yogurt/fruit/cereal, banana with peanut butter and a cup of coffee. Occasionally an egg and toast with a smidge of real butter. I don't use fake butter ever. I also don't do artificial sweetener. If there's a way to reduce the sugar, I will, but the artificial stuff, ugh.

Dinner is different because I have to feed others, so I try not to make it too difficult on them. Everything from soup to nuts can be on the menu, but I do try to do a generic protein/starch/veg combo.

Dinners can be rice and beans with salad, roasted chicken with potatoes/gravy and veg, meatloaf, shrimp marinara with pasta, kielbasi/kraut/pierogi, beef stew or goulash, pasta fagioli, anything on the grill with veg/starch, stuffed cabbage or peppers, meatballs/pasta, sometimes we do breakfast for dinner and have Krusteaz buttermilk pancakes made with fresh berries served with scrambled eggs. We run the gamut for dinners around here.

Weekends are harder for me tho. Today for instance, I was up at 9 a.m. and painting the hallway. I didn't stop until about 3:30. I had not eaten, and didn't want to snack because we were having cheeseburgers for dinner with baked beans and potato salad. I told my husband I needed to eat early!!! I didn't want the potato salad. I had about a 1/3 cup of beans, I scooped out the insides of my hard roll and left the "shell" added raw onion, tomato, pickles and ketchup. I was so full, I had leftover burger! About a half hour ago, I had some Fresh Cuts Mango Salsa (130 calories in the entire container, which I ate it all) and some multi grain tortilla chips.

I do find healthier substitutions for stuff, but its the calorie thing. Regular Tostitos are fat laden and higher in calories than the Garden of Eatin multi grains--and the latter taste better so its a win-win. I definitely don't see the point of making a substitution if it doesn't taste good, but when it works, I go for it.

I have been on diets in the past where I've driven my family nuts with the diet meals, and also where I've cooked often enough 2 separate meals; one for me, one for them. It gets to be a pain in the a$$ after a while.

This is the first time I've counted calories. I also need to get it through my head that a calorie is a calorie. I've been somewhat brainwashed (harsh word, but it fits) by previous diet plans where the calories are strategically hidden in the plan. This time, I'm really learning a lot, and I like having the knowledge at my fingertips. I think the internet has changed everything in the diet game.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Hi!

yes, I too, eat "normal" food. I believe this is the only way, well for me anyway. I lost a lot of weight years ago-when I used to be disciplined-counting fat grams, eating only 20-30 grams per day. However, I would allow my self to indulge on Saturday and Sundays. I went from 172 down to 138 in six months!!!

However, I find I am not disciplined like that anymore. I no longer count fat grams, I pay attention to calorie intake "somewhat." It feels to hard now! LOL I just eat and eat and stopped working out. I am lazy these days and can't find the motivation to stick to a work out routine.

Have you gone through this too? How did you find motivation to stick to a work out routine?

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Old 10-15-2011, 08:51 PM   #8
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I follow Denise Austin too. she is the best! She believes in "normal" foods and does NOT believe in cutting out foods from our daily lives. This is more bad for us then good. She always says "everything in moderation" I have two of her books and they are awesome! Full of yummy easy recipes. Now if I can just get motivated and follow those recipies!! LOL
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:57 PM   #9
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I'm still eating "normal" foods too but I'm watching the portions and eating a better variety of fruits and vegetables. If I find that I need to change things up, I will, but for now what I'm doing seems to be working. I'm not craving foods like I have before when I've really restricted my eating...in the past, that has caused me to fall off the wagon, so to speak.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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I've dieted using a lot of diet products, and I've dieted with none. Right now, I'm in a compromise position. I use a few, but only those I like. I try to minimize "frankenfoods" but do use a few that I really like (such as diet soda and sugar free jello pudding and gelatin).

Products I do use

artificial sweeteners, and foods containing them mostly in diet drinks and desserts. I always have sugar free jello in the pantry, but usually only make it about once a month or so. I do drink diet sodas and sweetened beverages.

I've cut back on sweetener use and caffeine, but I still use moderately.

I was probably 10 when my my parents stopped buying "regular" soda, so regular soda tastes like cough syrup to me.

skim milk - I drink it because I grew up drinking skim and 2% milk. Hubby grew up only drinking skim milk. I don't mind drinking 2%, but to me, whole milk tastes wrong and feels wrong in my mouth (I remember my brother and I complaining that restaurant milk tasted "spoiled").

reduced-fat sour cream I buy whatever's on sale or whatever fits into my food plan best (if I'm in a super-low-carb phase, I'll choose full fat sour cream). I like them both.

Hellman's canola mayo - I usually buy storebrands of regular mayo because I buy what's cheapest. If I have a coupon though I will buy Hellman's canola mayo, because it doesn't taste like "diet mayo" and it's only 50 calories per tablespoon.

low-fat, artificially sweeteened flavored yogurt. I also buy full-fat and reduced fat greek yogurt - depending on price and depending on whether I'm reducing carbs drastically or moderately (usually I follow a moderately-low carb diet. But if I'm retaining water I'll switch to a lower carb diet, because it tends to flush "water weight.")


Neufchatel (a low fat cream cheese) instead of full-fat cream cheese because I like the flavor. It's not a "reduced fat" cheese in the sense of weird stuff added to make a cheese-simulation. It's a real cheese that's naturally lower in fat - though people often call it "diet cream cheese".

Frozen dinners. I make most meals from scratch, but we do buy a few frozen dinners for times when we don't feel like cooking. I do like the Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine, because they tend to be tastier and healthier - but I read the labels and the calorie counts. Often the "non-diet" brands are identical in nutrition, or nearly so - so price and ingredients are a bigger factor than whether the product was designed as a diet product or not.



Products I refuse to use

100 Calorie packs - they're usually so processed that they trigger what I call "rabid hunger." Refined carbs tend to do that to me. Eating them makes me hungrier than eating nothing.

Diet salad dressings - Blech! Most diet dressings are either horrible or outrageously expensive - and often both. I make my own. I love using rice wine and other mild vinegars in my homemade dressings because I don't have to use as much oil to balance the flavors. Some rice wine vinegars taste so good, they make a great dressing all on their own.


Reduced-fat cheeses. Except for naturally lower fat cheeses, I avoid reduced fat cheeses. Most taste like plastic if there's any flavor at all. I use stronger "real cheeses" and just use a lot less. I tend to avoid the mild cheeses because they lack "punch." I use really charp cheddars and swiss cheeses, smoked cheeses, blue cheeses, asiago (I'm an asiago-addict) and other smelly cheeses, because when you use a pungent cheese, you can use a lot less.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #11
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You're food isn't normal too me hahaha. Thats diet food to me. But I before i started dieting i was eating fast food every day!
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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I really am not a fan of low-fat dairy. It leaves me hungry afterwards and the taste is just.

Now, we do sometimes by skim milk but it depends what's on sale, and we all really prefer whole milk That and real butter I eat it every day. Oh, and LOTS of red meat! It's pretty rare that I don't have steak or ground beef in at least on of my meals per day.

I do eat some "abnormal" food, though. We eat pretty much only whole grains here and we don't use sugar (i cook with natural sweeteners instead). However, consider that we just don't have desserts very often it's not a very big deal.

I think some people use a lot of low-fat dairy because it cuts back on calories but it's not worth it to me because of the taste and the hunger afterwards.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by lin43 View Post

Does anyone else calorie count and mainly eat the same foods they ate prior to calorie counting (just cutting down on portions)? Just curious as to how many out there do this.
This is very much what I am wanting to do. I keep trying this program and that program and getting frustrated with the "guidelines" that I never seem to follow for life. I have fad dieted successfully over and over, but I am ready to get off that hamster wheel. I want to just eat less, move more and find a healthy balance in my life eating the foods that I enjoy and are good for me. I have moved back into counting calories. I truly think this will be the best way for me.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lin43 View Post
Esofia, same here: I don't snack as much, and I must say that nuts are so high in calories and easy to overeat, that I usually just avoid them (especially cashews, which I still cannot control myself around)
Me three. I don't calorie count but I make myself aware of the calories in items and as much as I love nuts they just aren't worth it!

I also only have planned snacks (normally a protein+fruit) at set times, which has cut down on snacking on other things.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:29 PM   #15
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I eat normal food too - I have to because I'm not going to cook a separate dinner for myself from DP's, and because I don't feel deprived, I don't feel like binging...

I do however buy a 'light' yoghurt - it tastes exactly the same as the full fat/sugar version of that brand, but it has 90 calories instead of 180
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