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Just Starting, What do I need to know?

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
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Default Just Starting, What do I need to know?

Good morning everyone.

I have been doing the Atkins diet for 2 and a half weeks now and although I have lost a little weight, I find the diet to be unbearably restrictive and not something I could keep up long term. I have been looking for alternatives, preferably a healthy lifestyle with good food choices I can use to prepare meals for a family.

Before I started Atkins, I used to count calories, but I still wasn't making the best food choices. For example, I love chick-fil-a's spicy chicken sandwiches. However, they are loaded with calories, carbs, and they're fried. So I've decided to cook pretty much everything myself from scratch, that way I know what goes into what I eat.

Also, I don't want to completely cut sweets out of my diet. Moderation I can do, but not complete exclusion.

I have been researching the whole foods lifestyle this morning and I am looking for all the information I can get. I have about 20lbs to lose but I'm not in a huge hurry to do so. I just need an overall healthy lifestyle I can stick with for good, stay healthy, and raise healthy kids.

Do you guys cook everything you eat yourselves, bread included? I'm willing to do that. I love food, and I love cooking. Any success stories you can share? Tips? Recipe sites or sites where I can find more information?

Everything is appreciated! Thanks!

PS I'm throwing in the dancing carrot because I like this guy...
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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I'd recommend looking at the stickies on this forum. Lots of good info there.

I think the thing you should know is that good whole foods may still be high in calorie so often people couple it with calorie counting.

I don't make bread but I also don't eat it that often. I am just picky about the bread I buy, I personally like Ezekiel bread although sometimes I'll buy bakery bread of rye, pumpernickel or sourdough that looks good.

When I started, I basically wouldn't buy anything with more than 4 or 5 ingredients and that is still mostly true (ezekiel tends to be beyond that but has decent ingredients).
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
I'd recommend looking at the stickies on this forum. Lots of good info there.

I think the thing you should know is that good whole foods may still be high in calorie so often people couple it with calorie counting.

I don't make bread but I also don't eat it that often. I am just picky about the bread I buy, I personally like Ezekiel bread although sometimes I'll buy bakery bread of rye, pumpernickel or sourdough that looks good.

When I started, I basically wouldn't buy anything with more than 4 or 5 ingredients and that is still mostly true (ezekiel tends to be beyond that but has decent ingredients).
I definitely plan to count calories as well. Doesn't matter how healthy I eat if I load up on more calories than I burn!

Thanks, that makes sense, looking for breads with very few preservatives and useless ingredients. I have never baked my own, but I know it takes time to do. That's a good first step. We have an organic meat and produce store right across from us and we're going this evening to check it out. I'll see what they have.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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I'm doing a combination of calorie counting and low carb (because I'm carb sensitive and wheat intolerant) and I try to avoid processed crap as much as possible.

It's really pretty simple, especially if you love to cook. Just plan basic meals that include meat, veggies, and fruit. When you go to the supermarket, shop the perimeter - produce, dairy, meat department - and avoid the center aisles and frozen section where all the processed crap lurks.

If you want to bake your own bread there are several recipes online for homemade sprouted grain bread, which is what Ezekiel bread is. There are also recipes for copycat Chick-fil-A! Pinterest is a fun resource for finding recipes, but be warned that people love to post A LOT of desserts!

Using a food log will help you learn how to create meals that are balanced in macronutriets (protein, carbs, fat) and enable you to plan your daily menu so that you're within an allotted calorie amount. I use spark.com but there are several other options. Spark.com also has a recipe analyzer which is invaluable.

I, personally, cannot do a diet where I'm told what I can and cannot eat. I want to learn how to eat healthy and learn more about nutrition and my body in the process.

Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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Welcome 2 3fc, I don't do Atkins but I did reduce my carbs and counted calories. It took me about 12 weeks to lose about 27 lbs. I also did cardio pretty much daily. I hope u can find a way to make your meals enjoyable, I know I did. Best of luck!
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novus View Post
I'm doing a combination of calorie counting and low carb (because I'm carb sensitive and wheat intolerant) and I try to avoid processed crap as much as possible.

It's really pretty simple, especially if you love to cook. Just plan basic meals that include meat, veggies, and fruit. When you go to the supermarket, shop the perimeter - produce, dairy, meat department - and avoid the center aisles and frozen section where all the processed crap lurks.

If you want to bake your own bread there are several recipes online for homemade sprouted grain bread, which is what Ezekiel bread is. There are also recipes for copycat Chick-fil-A! Pinterest is a fun resource for finding recipes, but be warned that people love to post A LOT of desserts!

Using a food log will help you learn how to create meals that are balanced in macronutriets (protein, carbs, fat) and enable you to plan your daily menu so that you're within an allotted calorie amount. I use spark.com but there are several other options. Spark.com also has a recipe analyzer which is invaluable.

I, personally, cannot do a diet where I'm told what I can and cannot eat. I want to learn how to eat healthy and learn more about nutrition and my body in the process.

Good luck!
I do have a sparkpeople account and use it to track calories. I like it. As for being told what you can and can't eat, I agree with you. I was craving potatoes on the Atkins diet. Not even sweets, and I'm a sweet maniac! I just wanted a baked freaking potato! lol
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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I think shopping the perimeter is generally a good guideline but it depends on what you buy. The grocery stores I go to tend to not have much of a perimeter (ha) but that is because they tend to be small and focus more on less processed foods.

Things you might not find in the perimeter:
Dried (or canned) beans - most of the canned beans are just beans, salt and water. I'd rinse canned beans if you buy them. Kidney beans sometimes come with sugar but if you buy a spanish brand (Goya, Iberia), the kidney beans shouldn't have sugar.

Whole grains - rice, millet, amaranth, barley, couscous, quinoa, etc

Nuts - I tend to buy raw, unsalted. Trader Joes, if you have one, generally has decent prices.

Frozen fruit - berries especially, they tend to be cheaper than fresh

Frozen vegetables - I'm kind of picky about these but I do try to keep frozen greens (kale, spinach, others) in my freezer
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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I love shopping the perimeter... It really helped me! These tips are great, guys!
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