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Old 07-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Everyone, throw me your best weight loss advice

I've been eating absolutely terrible for the last 3 months. I don't know what happened to me, new med, new job, new living arraignment, family drama... a lot of life changes & high-stress & I guess, & I reverted back to old eating habits. I've basically been relying on fast food for sustenance. I feel terrible, I regained 28lbs of a 40lb weight loss... I can't even believe that I let myself regain that much. I was less than 7 lbs from getting below 200s!!! & then my brain switched off caring about what I was eating. Ughh...

So I see now that not having a bathroom scale at my new place might be also a big factor, even though my clothes started to get snugger again, not seeing the numbers move on the scale I was able to ignore my weight gain, until I finally weighed myself at my mom's a couple days ago. It didn't surprise me but I was a bit appalled I was up over 230... 234.4 to be exact. I had been so proud & happy I had lost that 40lbs. Then I moved & I got out of habit of all the good habits I'd picked up.

I've been thinking for weeks now that I need to get in better habit. I am very strapped for time & cash tho. I can't keep wasting money on fast food & I can't keep eating it cuz I feel sluggish & depressed & I'm getting fatter again!
So I'm humbly requesting for everyone's advice on what are their tips, tricks & habits they used to get going on their weight-loss journeys?

Or what are some things you discovered along the way that you wished you would have realized in the beginning?

Also what are some healthy, filling, low-cost easy to make/prepare meal/snack ideas? I am working, going to school & I have to drive 2 hours a day in my car so I don't have a lot of time at home to cook food! Sundays are my only day I have at home. I do like to cook Sunday dinner still but sometimes I'm so tired out, we just get pizza.

Please help!!!
Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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Big !!

~ Eat real food! Just make it mostly healthy foods and portion control.

~ Log everything and anything you eat or drink.

~ Make nothing off limits but use treats very sparingly.

~ Do not look at failure as you failing; pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn from it.

~ Log all exercises. And make sure you do exercise.

~ Weight training is important.

~ Make sure you eat enough calories so you keep a high metabolism. I eat around 1500 to slightly over 2000 calories per day (I also walk and jog 8-15 miles per day and weight train three days).

~ Expect the unexpected...like the plateau that hits just when you feel like you are in a groove.

~ Believe in yourself. Know that you deserve to be healthier and more fit.

~ You are your biggest supporter. It is very nice to have others but the only person you can truly count on is yourself. I am blessed to have a son, parents, friends, and an ex-husband that are supportive but it still all falls on me. I am the one in control whether I will become healthier and lose weight or not.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Use your Sunday to prep food for the week. Go shopping, bring back the veggies and fruit, wash them, cut them up, put them into containers and you're ready to go the next morning with healthy snacks for your day.

Then, when you come home, you have veggies already washed and pre-cut for dinner, all you have to do is make a protein (chicken, fish, pork or steak or even eggs!) and you're done with dinner for the day. Make an extra portion and it's your lunch.

It will take a little while to get used to doing this routine, but in the same way you prepare to spend 2 hours in the car, you have to make your meal prep non-negotiable on Sundays.

For now, I wouldn't worry about losing weight, as much as just eating healthier if you're feeling sluggish on the fast-food. Get some energy first and then start making other changes. You've got a lot going on right now, just focus on the healthy stuff until you have a handle on everything else.

I did baby steps and it's the only way I was able to start losing weight and keeping it off.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your tips!

The thing is I'll have to shop Saturday night after work. Because Sunday's being my only day off & I'm 25mins from the nearest grocery store, I do not like to leave the house as it takes a whole 2-3hrs out of my time at home.

& Sunday is the only day I can cook dinner at home. I work till 9pm the other 6 days week. So I have to be able to have dinner meals to bring to work with me that can either be eaten cold or microwaved. & there is no freezer so I can't do lean cuisine's even. I will hopefully get a toaster oven here but I will have to wait until I have some extra money. & for lunch Mon-Fri I would have to take a packed lunch to school & Sat to work with me. A big reason I just resorted to fast food. I wouldn't have my lunch ready to go & I'd be running late so I wouldn't take a lunch with me & then I'd end up going through a drive through between classes & unfortunately I let it become a habit.

& I don't know what you mean about the way I prepare to spend 2 hours in the car." That doesn't take any preparation time. I have to just drive. I've never been good at preparing or planning for meals. When I lost the weight, I was unemployed & not in school, so I could spend time deciding on what to eat. Now, I need some quick, easy, non-cooking options that are tasty & filling.

& yes I would like tips on actual meals & snacks too that anyone has found that are nutritious & filling & taste-bud satisfying. I'm not very creative in the cold-meal department besides lunch meat sandwiches or wraps. But I don't want to eat too much lunch-meat either because of nitrates. But I guess it's better than fat & sugar laden fast food. So I welcome all tips, tricks & other people's easy to-go meal or snack ideas or appetite control strategies.

Basically what I need help with is coming up with ideas for taking a whole day's worth of food (minus breakfast) with me in a cooler to go to school & then when I get to work I can transfer it to a fridge.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:22 PM   #5
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My best advice to to commit. Be straight up married to your weight loss plan (for better or worse, in sickness and health, and all that jazz). You won't always feel motivated... sometimes you will be extremely frustrated. Just don't let anything convince you to give up.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if you are saying you don't have a freezer at home or at work or both. That being said, what if you drove by the grocery store on your way to work or on lunch break [where you were already driving to the fast food place] and bought 2 or three lean cuisines, some fruit and/or some ready to eat carrots and celery and some yogurt cups. Be sure to get the reduced fat/sugar variety of yogurt. I think the lean cuisines would last a few days just in the refrigerator at work. Just don't nuke them as long. I know I have saved a defrosted dinner on days when something came up and I couldn't eat it right away.

I like to poach a couple of chicken breasts and make either a salad or a sandwich with the chicken. You could get a package of the little sandwich rounds and keep them at work to make your sandwiches. Poaching chicken breasts is a very non-labor intensive activity.

I have come to the conclusion that there are every day meals that don't need to be very inspired. They just have to keep you functioning. A banana, a cup of yogurt and some canned green beans with an appropriate salad dressing over a bed of lettuce makes a fine, if not exciting lunch. You can do a lot with canned foods. Don't forget Tuna or canned chicken. Find the smallest can, and just eat the fish or chicken out of the can for your protein. Not fancy, but sustaining.

I really like Laughing Cow cheese for a snack. I particularly like the blue cheese flavor spread on a pear.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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Carrots and hummus are my go-to snack right now that is portable and filling. I bring lean cuisines to work all the time and don't put them in the freezer. They'll thaw a little, so I just shave some time off the microwaving. Sandwiches and salads are obviously options as well. With a microwave, I feel like your options are kind of limitless. Just about anything you can cook when you're at home, you can put in a Tupperware and heat up at work. Maybe look into getting a crock pot so you can cook large portions on Sundays for later in the week without slaving in the kitchen all day.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #8
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Skip dinner. Drink beer instead.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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I have to agree a lot with Aspen:
  1. Eating real food is the way to go. I'd push non-starchy veggies. Like you could easily eat 6-8 servings a day. If you gotta eat a pre-packaged food, stay away from foods that have more than five ingredients listed. Stay away from everything that has added sweeteners of any form in them. And stay away from juice too.
  2. Eat enough to maintain the BMR for your goal weight x 1.2 (sedentary state). So your goal weight is 148 lbs. Your BMR is 1515 calories, and if you did nothing but sit around all day, you'd need 1818 calories to live and not lose lean muscle. Whenever we cut below the minimum calories we need to survive, we start to lose muscle. When you eat adequately, you can build muscles.
  3. Build more muscle by doing weight training and body weight resistance exercises. Don't concentrate on single muscles (like just doing dumbbell curls). Work on whole muscle groups (like push-ups with abs engaged or squats with glutes and pelvic floor engaged) in good form. It's not so much about lifting a lot (although lifting heavy is a GREAT THING for women). It's more about proper form so you will actually build muscles.
  4. Cardio is good every day, but not hours and hours of it. If you haven't been exercising, start with just 20 minutes to get your heart rate up, and then add in your weight training while your heart rate is up to continue to burn calories.
  5. Get good, regular sleep every night. When you don't get enough sleep, your body can't do it's job to repair itself and grow those muscles.
  6. Drink plenty of water every day.
  7. Don't focus on the scale. Instead, take your measurements. If you're building muscle but losing fat, you might gain weight on the scale but your clothes will fit looser. That's positive progress, no matter what the scale says!
  8. As for cooking, spend time on Sundays preparing food for the week. I like greens, broccoli and cauliflower. I wash them up, cut them into smaller pieces in separate bowls, toss them with a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt, then roast them in a 350-degree oven. Any vegetable can be roasted. Just Google for recipes. Then you can store them in containers in the refrigerator and they'll be ready for you later in the week. You can roast meats ahead of time as well, then when you assemble your lunches, it goes fast. Add a salad to your lunches too and that helps increase how much veggies you're eating.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanG View Post
Skip dinner. Drink beer instead.
Oh yeah, and that.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
Trying to be in the 160s
 
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I think the numbers speak for themselves.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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Yes I'm trying to start today to be committed. After not eating breakfast & not bringing lunch I picked up McDonald's before work today & then felt so gross & bloated afterwards. I know I could choose the healthier options but I guess I don't have great self-control. & I did have a greek yogurt for a snack. But I haven't had dinner because I don't want to go get fast food again. So I think tonight after I get home from grocery shopping, I'll google McD & BK healthy options & put a list in my smartphone like people have suggested for when I don't have any other choice.

I really hadn't even thought of bringing bread & lunch-meat here to work. I mean it's pretty silly that I think I have to have it "made" before hand. I sometimes over-think things too much & miss the simplest answers.

I've never poached anything before so I'll have to google that one too. I don't usually "cook" things in the microwave...It's mainly for reheating leftovers of take out. I don't usually cook much at all. Sundays are usually baked salmon with steamed veggies, Turkey tacos, or baked chicken with steamed veggies. I don't really have great cooking experience. I wish I knew how to make stir-fry but I don't even have a wok.

& I'll have to work up my courage to bring frozen dinners to work to thaw... because one time I got pretty bad food poisoning from a defrosted frozen dinner. So I've never ate a frozen dinner that wasn't still frozen before microwaving again. I know it could have been a fluke but the "memories" have kept me wary. I also want to avoid microwaving plastics so & I only have a few glass containers... so I guess on my next payday I need to invest in some more smaller glass containers with the rubbermaid lids. Then I won't worry about microwaving them.

So here's my shopping list for tonight:
Greek Yogurt
Hummus
Eggs (I'll hard boil cook them for my to-go bfasts on days I have to fly out the door)
Chicken Breast
Fiber One Bars (bfast or a snack)
Bagel Thins
Bread
Chicken Chunk
Turkey Lunch-meat
Green Leaf Lettuce or Spinach (for sandwiches)
Carrots
Celery
Oranges
Bananas

(and I have brown rice & frozen veggies at home that I'll make up tomorrow with the chicken & split into a few dinners to bring to work next week.)
& then Monday before I come to work, I'll stop by the grocery store & buy a container of pre-cut broccoli & cauliflower too.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:18 PM   #13
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Thank you all so much for your input. Hearing everyone's advice is getting my brain going again! I wish I could just drink beer for dinner but I'm at work at dinner time... & I might lose my job.

geoblewis
Thanks for your exercise advice. I can plan on eating 1800-1900 calories, that is doable! Not to little, not too much.
I do have a lot of down time at work I can mess on the internet... so I think next week I'll look up some good compound exercises I can do right here with no equipment (when no customers are in). I can warm up by walking around the store 2-3 minutes & then do a few exercises each day it will really add up! I used to do just pushups & squats every other day & was amazed at how much difference I felt/saw by just doing that.

& yeah I don't have a scale, so I want to just focus on eating for energy & doing some exercise to increase my endurance & overall fitness. I know by doing those things by the time I go visit my mom again I will have lost some weight anyways. So I'll use "not having a scale" as motivation to eat healthier since I can't monitor my weight, instead as an excuse to not watch what I eat since I don't have to "view the consequences." I'll be eating for health.

& Thanks for the roasting ideas... I can roast my veggies when I make my chicken & rice & have roasted veggies for Sunday night dinner sometimes too. A little variety to the steamed. Do you reheat them when you eat the leftovers or do you eat them cold?
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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Good luck! Don't skip meals - just sets yourself up for failure later.
Just say NO completely to typical fast food restaurants. What you think you might save with a $3 meal will cost you in health care costs down the line.

Beans are a cheap protein that can be used cold in salads or warm in other foods ... Add in as many healthy foods - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc., and crowd out the crummy stuff.

Think the poster's line about "prepare to drive 2 hrs." meant that those two hours are just part of the day that are used that aren't negotiable, so make the time for the food prep...

Don't worry about motivation waning as the days go by. It's not motivation that will get you there. It'll be your commitment. Don't worry too much about exercise right off the bat in order to succeed in losing pounds - obviously it's good for your heart, mind, and body, but nearly all of your weight loss will result from modification of your diet. Shape/toning from exercise/activity.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:00 PM   #15
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My advice:

Don't listen to too much advice. . Ask questions but don't get too caught up on the answers. You will get a lot of advice on what diet to follow, what foods to eat (or not eat), what to do for exercise and how often. A lot of conflicting advice. Because what works for some may not work for others.

The important thing to know is that you will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume, and that exercise of some form is good. Other than that, how you choose to lose the weight is really up to your personal preferences and what works best for you. It is important to choose a method of eating that you can stick with for the rest of your life. That might be low carb, but it might also be calorie counting or Weight Watchers if you want to be able to have more freedom to eat carbs and processed foods occasionally. Maybe it's vegan, or intuitive eating, or Jenny Craig or any other number of programs. But you have to choose a method that makes you the most comfortable and can last a lifetime.

As for inexpensive foods, eggs are a great protein source, as are beans. I actually like to mix black beans in with my eggs. Add cheese and salsa = yum. Oats are cheap, healthy, versatile and filling. Same with sweet potatoes. Frozen veggies are usually a bit cheaper than fresh and taste almost as good. Chicken thighs are cheaper than breasts and just as tasty and nearly as lean.
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