3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support Give and get support here!

Regaining Portion Control with pre-packaged foods

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-30-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default Regaining Portion Control with pre-packaged foods

Hi all - after years of struggle to keep off the 120 lbs I lost since 2009, I have watched the scale creep up until I've re-gained 50 lbs. This has been kind of terrifying, and I've been frustrated because I couldn't figure out why - I was still trying to follow my very low carb diet, but it just wasn't working anymore. My doc says my thyroid tests normal, but I am having hormonal fluctuations that look like perimenopause.

So, I've decided to nip it in the bud by regaining control over portion sizes, which low carbing never focused on.

Now, before someone says, "OMG, but frozen dinners are so high in sodium, and you should home cook everything and pre-package it", that just doesn't work for me. I'm a food addict - I WILL find a way to make portion sizes bigger if I'm pre-packaging my own meals. And, I've never had issues with sodium or high blood pressure. Frankly, I'm impressed with the higher quality of frozen meals out there for cheap prices. I counted my sodium yesterday - it was well within normal limits.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from others who are doing this - I'm not doing the "Simple Diet", as I'm not eating bars and I'm rarely having a shake. I'm sticking with frozen entrees that are higher in protein, as well as progresso light soups (love soup in winter), and having snacks of fruits and fresh veggies. I just started (after the holiday overbloating) yesterday. Stepped on the scale today and dropped 4 lbs. Now, I realize that's probably water weight, but I'll take it anyway.

Anyone else who would like to (or is) doing this?
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
QuilterInVA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Yorktown, VA USA
Posts: 5,131

Default

Cheap prices = cheap food = poor nutrition. Most frozen meals don't have enough protein and vegetables and should be supplemented. Unless you plan to live on these the rest of your life, you need a scale and measuring cups and spoons and nutritious foods.
__________________
Susan

HW 356 pounds - CW 138 - GW 130


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Forget Yesterday. I am, where I am. I know where I could have been, had I done what I did not do. Tell me, Friend, what I can do today, to be where I want to be tomorrow. - Sigrad
QuilterInVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
On a break with Baby #5
 
Arctic Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,764

S/C/G: 257 /ticker/ 160

Height: 5'3" - I got taller!

Default

I agree with Susan - I'm all about finding what works for you, but that isn't going to do anything but forestall the issue. Working with whole foods and volumetric principles is wiser (and if you're like me, nothing works but low carb - I overeat on any other normal diet), and getting used to finding a system daily to limit portions.

What about doing your own system, with once a week cooking and portioning out your main course into containers in the fridge? Then add in one serving (cup) of vegetables and one of nuts/dairy and having that be your portion controlled meal? Surely you could come up with a rotation that way that controlled your overall intake a bit, but with better quality food?
__________________
Taryl - http://www.aurorafiberarts.com/weightloss

Weight loss since Oct 2008:

Last edited by Arctic Mama : 12-30-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: Autocorrect is not smarter than me. Really.
Arctic Mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #4
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default

Trust me, ladies, I know this is a stop gap measure to regain portion control. I'm a foodie and a great cook. I am not forestalling anything. I'm feeling a bit frustrated right now, because it feels like my opening post was not read, but skimmed. I do not WANT to once a week cook and portion into containers right now - I know me - I will find a way to add too much to each portion, or I will get so bogged down in the pressure of doing that, I'll give up too soon.

Susan - in my post, I stated I was supplementing with fresh veggies, fruit, etc. And choosing those dinners that have good protein - frozen meals have come a long way since Banquet was the only brand. I get bogged down in the measuring and minutiae and trying to be "perfect" in my nutritional choices, so that does not work for me.

Arctic Mama - in my post, I stated that low carb wasn't working for me anymore. I also addressed why a "once a week cooking system" would not work for me, and yet that is your advice. I lost 120 lbs low carbing, but middle age has struck and it's just not working anymore.

I've researched nutrition and weight loss all my life, and one thing I have discovered is that every single one of us is different. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Just as no one drug works for everyone, as we are all chemically and genetically different, neither does one nutritional plan work the same for everyone.

As you can see by my stats, I've lost a lot as a result. I hesitated to respond because I feel like, rather than being listened to, I'm being lectured as to why my choice to do this is wrong, rather than supported in my decision to get control of portion sizes again. I specifically asked in my opening post for folks NOT to throw the lectures at me. **sigh**

Last edited by puhlease1 : 12-30-2013 at 11:38 AM.
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
pixelllate's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Park Slope, NYC
Posts: 1,143

Height: 5'3.25''

Default

Ohhh yes. I've had to resort to methods in order to control my portions and love of eating a TON - not even an emotional eating, I just grew up not allowed to leave the table till I ate past full so its a habitual thing. What are leftovers? I know not of this concept! hahaha doggie bags from restaurants are eaten that very evening.

My method is to "buy what I need for the day" Sure its easier to buy a lot 1x a week, and then portion it out, but I will def overeat. I also live in NYC and I hate granny carts, so this works out for me anyways.

Frozen meals for me (that are within the caloric goals) don't fill me up for some reason? However, it sounds like its working for you and the nutrition labels make it pretty easy to see the nutrition facts - yay!
Maybe since you are also eating fresh fruit + veg, you can throw in some veg as you are heating up the frozen meals? I used to do that and the pre-made sauces+seasonings made it an easy way to season up those veggies.
__________________


I listened to my gut and it said "You could do with less of me."

B00ty-Underwear pic as of March 2014 NSFW
pixelllate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
On a break with Baby #5
 
Arctic Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,764

S/C/G: 257 /ticker/ 160

Height: 5'3" - I got taller!

Default

No, I read your post. But I truly believe that the way you're going isn't going to help, and may cause many more issues relating to true hunger. Those meals are not highly nourishing or nutrient dense for the calories, and that may get you into more trouble than it solves.

If you know yourself and this is the only method you'll use, you don't need confirmation from us. There are no great alternatives that don't involve managing portions by the listed means, that aren't quite a shift. You could always play around with higher fat, lower protein, lower carb (Nutritional Ketosis a la Phinney and Volek), and that may help with overall appetite and weight control, but the portion issue has no easy solutions besides pre-planning, food logging with measuring, or working off a volumetrics/exchange plan. There's no magical unicorns to solve the issues and trust me, I'm looking I have much the same issue in maintaining my losses as well, and my weight is low enough and reduced enough that it takes a lot more strictness than it did a few years and pounds ago. There's nothing for it but daily disciplines and making sure I'm not having dietary triggers, unfortunately.

It's not that I don't hear you, it's that I can't give you the answer you're seeking. And if you're struggling to maintain on very low carb, a plan reduced in calories and the same or higher in carbs is likely only going to exacerbate your issues

I hope someone else can give you something I haven't though of - I wish your the very best success but Nutrisystem is probably not going to yield that. It might, I could be wrong, and that would be GREAT! But I have not seen others do this with much success, especially longer term. My apologies my support didn't come across as more supportive - sometimes the kindest approach one can take is the truth, not platitudes we want to hear, and that was primary and gentle intent.
__________________
Taryl - http://www.aurorafiberarts.com/weightloss

Weight loss since Oct 2008:

Last edited by Arctic Mama : 12-30-2013 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Autocorrect issues
Arctic Mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelllate View Post
Ohhh yes. I've had to resort to methods in order to control my portions and love of eating a TON - not even an emotional eating, I just grew up not allowed to leave the table till I ate past full so its a habitual thing. What are leftovers? I know not of this concept! hahaha doggie bags from restaurants are eaten that very evening.

My method is to "buy what I need for the day" Sure its easier to buy a lot 1x a week, and then portion it out, but I will def overeat. I also live in NYC and I hate granny carts, so this works out for me anyways.

Frozen meals for me (that are within the caloric goals) don't fill me up for some reason? However, it sounds like its working for you and the nutrition labels make it pretty easy to see the nutrition facts - yay!
Maybe since you are also eating fresh fruit + veg, you can throw in some veg as you are heating up the frozen meals? I used to do that and the pre-made sauces+seasonings made it an easy way to season up those veggies.
LOL - yeah, I think I was raised in the same family. Take what you want, but eat everything you take. Of course, when you're a kid and you're hungry, eyes are bigger than stomachs...so you end up taking too much, then having to stuff yourself to finish. It's a lifestyle.

Frozen meals by themselves don't fill me up, but with the newer steamer bowls that several brands have started producing, I tend to add at least a cup more of veggies. Last night, for example, for dinner, I had a Lean Cuisine Kung Pao chicken steamer bowl, but added an extra cup of broccoli - it was filling and had enough sauce to coat the whole dish, including the extra veggies. When I felt munchy later, for a snack I had a few sprigs of asparagus seasoned with lemon pepper, and a really perfectly ripe pear.

I'm finding that doing this - adding the extra veggies to the meal - sometimes adding a little extra protein, is helping with the feeling of fullness.

I shop for just a couple of days at a time as well. I have a small refrigerator, so not a lot of freezer space. And, we live within walking distance of two really good grocery stores.
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 01:35 PM   #8
Stay Focused & Committed
 
GettinFit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: ATL
Posts: 2,130

Height: 5" 5.5

Default

puhlease1 - Congrats on getting back on track with your weght loss and congrats on your success in the past. After months of being off the wagon, I was finally able to get back on track and I'm on my 10th day now.

I have been using frozen dinners to help me get back on track. Adding extra veggies or a side salad is a great idea. I have also prepared some of my meals but the frozen dinners work for me too. My favorites are the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers as I've found that they are lower in sodium than some of the other ones.

I wish you much success and I hope your new plan works for you.
__________________



Mini Goals - Lose 10% of my weight:
Reach Onederland:
Jiggle Free Abs:
Reach 50 Pound Loss Mark:
Comfortably Fit a Size 12:
A for every 5 pounds loss:
GettinFit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 01:58 PM   #9
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettinFit View Post
puhlease1 - Congrats on getting back on track with your weght loss and congrats on your success in the past. After months of being off the wagon, I was finally able to get back on track and I'm on my 10th day now.

I have been using frozen dinners to help me get back on track. Adding extra veggies or a side salad is a great idea. I have also prepared some of my meals but the frozen dinners work for me too. My favorites are the Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers as I've found that they are lower in sodium than some of the other ones.

I wish you much success and I hope your new plan works for you.
Congrats to you as well with getting back on track. On your 10th day? Meaning, you were getting back on track over the holidays - you're a rock star!

The Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers are one of my favorites as well. They're what I have in the freezer currently, along with veggies to add for healthy bulk.

I'm going to stray tonight from frozen dinners, mainly because I have some fresh veggies I need to use before they go bad, but I'm going to keep it in the calorie count of a frozen dinner. I'll make a shrimp stir fry to use up the veggies (cabbage, green onions, broccoli/carrot slaw). I've actually got bowls that are the same size as the cafe steamer bowls, so I can control portion size.

At any rate, I've only been doing this for two days, but I feel so much better already - there is so much more variety in this than there was in the low carb eating, which was no longer working for me. Just to be able to eat a piece of fruit once in awhile is amazing. And, 4 lbs dropped in two days doesn't hurt, though I am aware that it's likely not going to be that much every two days.
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Wannabeskinny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,382

S/C/G: 215/188/150

Height: 5'4"

Default

You know yourself better than we do so I say if it works then do it. I won't lecture you but twice you said that if you cooked once a week that you would find a way to portion out more than a proper portion. So I wanted to address that. Similar to the trick of never going to the grocery store on an empty stomach, I'd say never do portion control on an empty stomach either. So if you do by chance decide to make a stew and portion it out, do so only after you've eaten and are no longer hungry. That way you won't be tempted.

Look, we all have to find what works for us. I'm constantly advising people to shop for groceries every day rather than waiting for once a week. Shopping for what I need on a daily basis accomplishes many things. 1) it gets me walking every day like it or not 2) it keeps me from buying things I don't need 3) it keeps my refrigerator clean and my pantries manageable 4) it ensures that I buy very fresh produce and eat it every day. I read this tip once in the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" and it really stuck with me. However, I can think of a multitude of reasons why this tactic cannot work for someone else. I live in NYC for example so I live within walking distance to all sorts of markets, whereas someone living in a suburb outside of a small town might live miles away form a store, therefore this wouldn't work. I also work from home, so someone who works until 7pm everyday might not want to go to the grocery store every day. Anyway, the point is that what works for me doesn't work for someone else. Personally, the thought of frozen dinners is quite repulsive to me, so that's how I know that it wouldn't work for me
__________________


Fat isn't a feeling

"Food is not the enemy. Hunger is a sign of life and vitality." - Caroline Haagen from The F- it Diet
Wannabeskinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 03:47 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,283

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

In an ideal world, I would shop daily for the best, local foods. And in the Spring, Summer, and Fall I usually do.

However, there are also times I rely on frozen meals (usually about half commercial and half my own homemade meals).

It can be hard to find tasty, healthy frozen dinners, but there are a few. Most are much more expensive, less healthy and much less tasty than a similar meal from scratch, but they definitely can be useful in re-adjusting one's perception of appropriate portion size.

I really like the skillet meal frozen meals such as Birds Eye Inspirations Meal Starters (veggies, sauce and rice, to which you add your own cooked chicken or other protein).

These are listed as having 2.5 servings at 180-210 calories per serving (not including the protein).

The pkg recommendation is to simmer the veggies and sauce and to then add 1/2 lb boneless chicken that has been cooked and set aside.

Instead, I usually just simmer my chosen protein in with the veggies and sauce.

It's perfectly portioned for hubby and I (1 serving for me, and 1.5 for him, or 2 servings for me to split between two meals).
__________________
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)

http://www.dreamstormdesigns.etsy.com
etsy link by permission from 3fc! Want to add yours? Ask them!
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
On a break with Baby #5
 
Arctic Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,764

S/C/G: 257 /ticker/ 160

Height: 5'3" - I got taller!

Default

Wannabe - That's a great tip on not portioning out on an empty stomach! I hadn't even thought of that as an issue but it definitely could be (I have problems making my meal selections when I'm overly hungry, I tend to grab more than I need ).
__________________
Taryl - http://www.aurorafiberarts.com/weightloss

Weight loss since Oct 2008:

Last edited by Arctic Mama : 12-30-2013 at 03:48 PM.
Arctic Mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 04:28 PM   #13
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
Look, we all have to find what works for us. I'm constantly advising people to shop for groceries every day rather than waiting for once a week. Shopping for what I need on a daily basis accomplishes many things. 1) it gets me walking every day like it or not 2) it keeps me from buying things I don't need 3) it keeps my refrigerator clean and my pantries manageable 4) it ensures that I buy very fresh produce and eat it every day. I read this tip once in the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" and it really stuck with me. However, I can think of a multitude of reasons why this tactic cannot work for someone else. I live in NYC for example so I live within walking distance to all sorts of markets, whereas someone living in a suburb outside of a small town might live miles away form a store, therefore this wouldn't work. I also work from home, so someone who works until 7pm everyday might not want to go to the grocery store every day. Anyway, the point is that what works for me doesn't work for someone else. Personally, the thought of frozen dinners is quite repulsive to me, so that's how I know that it wouldn't work for me
I agree (and loved the French Women Don't Get Fat book). When I lived in a very rural area, it didn't make sense to get groceries every day, as the grocery store was 15 minutes away. Now, though, I live in a semi-urban community and have two large stores in walking distance. It gets me exercise to walk and get things daily, as well as keeping things fresh.

Most frozen dinners aren't thrilling - though the cafe steamers have actually turned ot to have good flavor and lower sodium than others. It's a temporary thing, to get me used to eating normal portion sizes again after years of eating very low carb but as much as I wanted of those things. I'm working on finding my "real" hunger again, rather than allowing my addiction to food to take over my life. And, quite honestly, I'm a really good cook - so getting more bland/frozen dinners is also helping me not to overeat and slow down to monitor fullness.

I've also curtailed my watching of gourmet food shows as well - because I tend to want to make what they're making. I'll confine the rich foods to dinner parties and planning the amuse bouche menu for my wedding.
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
Member
 
puhlease1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United States, North Carolina
Posts: 30

S/C/G: 320/239/150

Height: 5'8"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post

I really like the skillet meal frozen meals such as Birds Eye Inspirations Meal Starters (veggies, sauce and rice, to which you add your own cooked chicken or other protein).

These are listed as having 2.5 servings at 180-210 calories per serving (not including the protein).

The pkg recommendation is to simmer the veggies and sauce and to then add 1/2 lb boneless chicken that has been cooked and set aside.

Instead, I usually just simmer my chosen protein in with the veggies and sauce.

It's perfectly portioned for hubby and I (1 serving for me, and 1.5 for him, or 2 servings for me to split between two meals).
I hadn't even thought to look at the Birdseye steamers. I'll put that on my list to check out. Great tip
puhlease1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2013, 05:33 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
kaplods's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,283

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by puhlease1 View Post
I hadn't even thought to look at the Birdseye steamers. I'll put that on my list to check out. Great tip
I usually make my own (1 pkg frozen mixed veggies, 1/2 lb or less meat, beans, tvp, or meatballs, and a homemade or store-bought stir fry, pasta or simmering sauce).

I found the Birds Eye meal starters at Dollar Tree last week. I like them, because I can trust hubby to make these according to pkg directions if I'm not feeling well. Otherwise his cooking tends to be restaurant-style - delicious but highly caloric.
__________________
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)

http://www.dreamstormdesigns.etsy.com
etsy link by permission from 3fc! Want to add yours? Ask them!
kaplods is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:06 AM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2