Do you have anyone that can hold you accountable for the exercise? A friend, relative or neighbor who you can either meet on the walk/at the gym or who would be willing to ask you how your week went exercise-wise? It helps to get you out the door for the first few weeks until it becomes part of your routine.
As for cooking, no need to eat stuff you hate! You can make other choices that affect your diet. Studies have shown that people are MUCH more likely to stick with and lose weight via small changes than by upsetting their entire diet.
I also really like Cooking Light for taking familiar meals and making them a better choice without reducing flavor. They also usually feature some recipes that are quick or easy to prepare.
Check out the Volumetrics cookbooks and diet. All of the food is tasty, healthy, and generally pretty easy to cook. It's a common sense diet that advocates for no bad foods and moderation. They have a killer chili recipe, pastas, pizza, and yes, fish recipes. Lots of vegetables, very filling, and tasty. Did I mention they are tasty?
I've lost about 30 pounds following this approach with very little sacrifice.
Also, once you get over the sugar addiction, I think you'll find yourself to be a lot more energetic - at least I have.
I started using chicken and turkey meat instead of beef for a leaner diet for the BF. He likes it and really doesn't notice the difference. I make my own spaghetti sauce so I know what is going in it and honestly it doesn't take me that long.
Slow cookers save me a ton of calories and soups are easy and tasty. Chili with gator/deer/turkey is awesome and easy. Not too high in bad fat/calories. I do chicken noodle soup, tomato based soups, and so on.
Fast food is horrible as you know. Once you break away from it, you will hate eating it. I hate the smell, fries, the grease, and the feeling. you will feel 100x better when you stop eating the fast food.
Try different types of fish/meats. There are so many choices out there and honestly so many recipes that will replace the fast food.
If you want the beef, try for leaner cuts and leaner ground beef for hamburgers. 97% fat free is easy to find in the beef and it will make a huge difference.
Also pre making meals for the week helps a ton. Packing snacks with you like yogurt, nuts, fruits, veggies, and small salads help. Portion control and calorie control are great. Have a calorie tracker on your phone.
I LOVE this brand of non-wheat pasta: http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Harves.../dp/B000LKTB90
It has the proper texture (to my palate) and doesn't cause the cravings that frankenwheat pasta does.
I second the eating of proteins and proper fats. Go ahead and use butter. Just not so much :) Get a plastic squirt bottle for your olive oil. I can't believe how much oil I don't use by squeezing vs. pouring.
You may be having issues with portion control because your body is having cravings thanks to high glycemic carbs. I ditched bread, cereal, crackers...pretty much everything but wheat tortillas (just can't stand corn ones)
Ooooooooh... share that potato recipe, please!!
Originally Posted by Crackerdog
I actually like tilipia in some recipes. My fave is to saute it in a little butter with cajun seasonings and then caramelize some sweet onions to make fish tacos. Very quick and tasty.
My favorite salmon recipe is to saute salmon medallions and serve over wilted spinach with scallions. Loads of flavor and very healthy. If you like things zingy, try some raspberry chipotle sauce as a drizzle over the top.
One thing we did a couple of years ago was put all of our dinner plates in storage and we eat our meals off of salad plates which helps with portion control.
I love to cook but it can't be overly complex or time-consuming to prepare, so I look for recipes that use fresh ingredients. That whole shop the perimeter of the store theory really works.
Make a list of what you need to do. Then put in order of what is the most immediate priority. Start one thing at a time, and I suggest the easiest is to walk the dogs a certain amount of time every day. That you can start tomorrow morning, and it will solve two problems: more exercise for person and animal, and second, it's easy. Don't change everything you eat suddenly either. Cut back on extras, like a small pat of margarine, instead of a pile of it, instead of a bunch of shredded cheese on something like tacos, put a little cheese, and add extra lettuce and tomato; Or try fixing one meal a day, like breakfast healthier.
Spices are your best friend in cooking anything, but especially low cal. Invest in some good spices from Penzys and it makes a HUGE difference.
Because I get into a rut with cooking - soup then salad with chicken then pasta then soup then salad etc - I have in the past subscribed to emeals. Just renewed my subscription to the "clean eating" menu. Really enjoy the ideas for herbs and such. Makes me stretch outside my cooking comfort level to try new things.
Try the South Beach Diet cookbook (there are a few, I have the one with the yellow cover). It has easy, simple and delicious meals even if you are not on the South Beach diet! I have tried 5 or 6 recipes from it and enjoyed all of them!
If you like Indian I have an awesome recipe for Tilapia but it'll take awhile to type out so let me know if you (or anyone else!) wants it!
My trigger is continuing to crave food after I've eaten a meal. It's the worst feeling in the world (or so it seems at the time!). For ages (erm my whole adult life until recently) i would finish my food and IMMEDIATELY grab a dessert. Something sweet. Do you know how hard it is to finish a delicious turkey sandwich and NOT eat anything else right after??
I've found if I can make it ten minutes, I'm fine. The feeling of absolutely needing (MUST HAVE) a sweet treat goes away, i just have to wait it out. Drinking a big glass of water instead does help.
I do think there's something mildly wrong with me for how incredibly desperate I feel for additional food after eating a perfectly acceptable amount. Just trying to break that chain (eat, overeat, feel like crap, pissed I ate so badly, so i give up for the rest of the day...)
I am also trying to drink more fluids. A lot of the time when I think I'm hungry, I actually am just thirsty. If I finish a big glass of water and am still feeling hungry, then I'll have a snack.
Also, so many calories are in other drinks. I try to think of it as wasting those calories by drinking them. And while I loathe looking at nutrition facts, just knowing the ballpark amount of a candy bar, and comparing it to something else I want (when its sweltering outside and a powerade sounds fabulous, but water is just as good) is helpful to curb myself a bit. (If I have a sports drink now, i dilute it with water to make it last longer).
Don't know if any of these things would apply to or help you, but just wanted to share.
Truly, with the exercise, the hardest part is actually starting it. Once it's routine you might find yourself wanting to do more, and more often!
3 lbs floury potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
Originally Posted by headsupheelsdown
6 Tbs of oil (I used olive)
seasonings (I used salt, pepper, and garlic salt)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and cut into bite size chunks. Boil in salted water for 5 minutes, drain, return to pot, and shake to roughen up the surface (very important).
Put oil in bottom of a large roasting pan and put in the oven to preheat. Add the potatoes, stir to coat in oil, season, and bake for 40-50 minutes turning once or twice, until crisp and cooked through.
In our oven we cooked them for 45 minutes and stirred them every 15 minutes. They are seriously some of the best potatoes we've ever had and will go with a lot of dishes or are great by themselves. The recipe is in England's Heritage Food and Cooking by Annette Yates. I found it on Amazon.
oh my goodness Bits! I actually got by without desserts until I joined Weight watchers! [[[[[[[[[[[[love cake]]]]]]]]] I have frozen Snickers bars in the freezer, and was contemplating one... I know EXACTLY what you mean about RIGHT AFTER YOU EAT. I will work on that. One of the good things about what i eat and drink, is that I probably drink a gallon of water a day. My refrigerator is so filled with water bottles, there is not much room for other things!
I also drink skim milk. Not a fan, but WW put me on that too. I always thought I hated milk, now I can drink it, but I prefer it with cookies....
I alsao love STRONG iced tea. I tell em at the drive thru, ' I want it strong and straight-just like my men!'
I hope those choices don't involve any really intense sports...I lost the most weight skating and eating 2700-3000 calories a day (which is actually a bit light compared to some competitive skaters who do more 3-4,000!) I'd faint on 1600.
Originally Posted by wsmoak
Also losing (not as intensely) working at the restaurant--the walk-in's in the basement, and I don't have time to do more than graze. Also, learned a neat trick for controlling pasta-we make each type to order, with the pasta and base sauces made already, and sautee the ingredients in a pan, drop the pasta in the hot water, then mix it in the pan. One serving, no excess sauce, everything coated. I'll make stuff to take home and experiment.
One thing I do like about the pastas, too, is when I do one for me, I can throw in vegetables into the sauce. Same with soups and stews. I don't especially like vegetables (though I tolerate them more than fruit, where I'm REALLY picky) and being able to get everything into one dish works for me.
Fringe benefit to dog walking as exercise: Dogs get tired out and don't pester you all night. (I don't have time for three-mile walks every day, but weekends-well, my Sun-Mon weekend--means dogs get a workout.)
As far as the eating goes, I do best with no simple carbs, limited complex carbs, lots of eggs, meat and vegies. Not really adkins b/c I don't let myself "forbid" anything, just have some of what sounds good, pay attention to the format of the meal. Things like mashed potatoes, pasta and sauce, casseroles, those just go down way too easy-there's a reason they're comfort food. If you find yourself wanting those foods stop and think for a moment; can you provide the comfort without the smashed spuds? Opt for a bath or shopping, phone call... meet yourself where you're at. IF you need comfort from a crappy day, let's explore our options. If mac-n-cheese is what is called for then know you're playing with fire and be careful. Or abandon all reason, let yourself have it, and do something different tomorrow. You'd let any friend decide to have a treat now and then, do it for yourself too.
Everyone knows healthy eating tips and where to find the recipes and websites, ect.
What hardly anyone can provide for you is the right frame of mind and motivation. You know yourself better than anyone-you've probably been playing the mental game of "you're bad, do better, what's wrong with you, you're not ok the way you are, tomorrow you'll crack down but tonight you just don't want to worry about it".. ect, whatever your personal muzak is playing in your head. When you change what you're saying to yourself you will change what you do.
I can't forbid or go to extremes or I rebel like a 15 year old. I have a built in defiance even to myself, which is quite the handicap in life. I'm too hard on myself and it shoots me in the foot. I have to really consciously talk to myself like I would anyone else b/c it's probably nicer than I talk to myself. You know how to be kind and supportive to someone else, do it for yourself. Make the space in your head a safe spot, whatever that takes.
I think it helps to stay away from tv and computers and things that distract your mind-you have a habit of how you think, we all do, and if you'd like to change yours I think it helps to slow down for at least part of the day and actively think, journal, meditate... chill out in a nice way. For me, that's my dog walking time.
I also tell myself lies and repeat them. I tell myself I hate to feel full, that I don't like too much butter, that I love the fresh taste of vegies, that I eat healthy so that I feel better, that I hate sugar, that more than a handful of chips gives me a stomach ache, I love cardio, I feel better if I stretch out and get some fresh air every day.... Crazy talk, most of it... but the more I say it the more I believe it. I say it out loud to myself and I say it to other people. Fake it till you feel it; just put words around it until it sinks in, it helps, don't know why but it helps...
Anyone can get excited for a few days but at some point old habits and triggers are going to show up. You need to be on a safe positive foundation with yourself in order not to get all tangled up again. Think about that more than the food. Spend at least as much time changing your mental framework as you do your diet and you'll be much better off.
It all starts with walking the dogs, I think. Make the house be quiet, wake up your brain, sit on the floor and look at the dogs and tell them they get a walk today. And keep the momentum rolling. Be nice to yourself, take care of yourself, literally.
Thank You!! I might even get the book!!
Originally Posted by Crackerdog
We love beef in our house...and salmon and pork and well...meat in general. But I started doing 2 vegetarian days a week in our house due to hubby's gout issues. Get thee a wok! You can make lots of lower fat sauces for stir fry. I like to use allrecipes.com for ideas.
If you like berries but find that yours spoil before you can finish them up, get the bags of frozen. I keep blueberries, strawberries and rasberries in the fridge. Kids throw them on yogurt, make smoothies, etc.
I know that for me, one issue I have especially when it's just me and the fam is gone is that I am so danged hungry I don't want to wait. Having hard boiled eggs on hand helps as do bocaburgers. I like the black bean burger with a little cheese on it, nuked for a minute each side.
You don't have to eat crap you don't like. (I won't eat tilapia...period) But using alternatives to butter or heavy sauces is a good place to start. Getting rid of soda, dropping fast food or limiting to say once a week.
In all honesty, once you start limiting your intake of some of the crap, you lose a taste for it. Heck, I can't even eat fast food now w/o feeling ill which is an awfully good deterrent!
Best wishes in your endeavor!
Originally Posted by LovelyBay
If you watched the episode of Dirty Jobs where you see what Tilapia do for a living, you would not want to eat it!!
Oh, heavens no. I had a sit-down job, lived in a city, and wasn't exercising at all. 1600 worked to lose about a pound a week when I added in 2-3 cardio days plus my session with the trainer, and maintenance was 1800-2000 depending on how much I exercised that week.
Originally Posted by danceronice
Out here on the farm where it seems like I walk from sunup to sundown, I get to eat more. :)
On portion control if you love casseroles... get some small plastic containers and portion it out *immediately* so it's not sitting there tempting you. Or get a bunch of ramekins/small baking dishes and cook it in there directly.
We do that for desserts like peach crisp so it's not as easy to go back for 'just a little bite' and then discover that we've eaten the entire thing in 24 hours!
Here's a blog I follow. She lost half her body weight a while back and writes about her relationship with food and shares recipes. http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/
For us, it helps a lot to keep the 'bad" food out of the house. That (for us) means no chips, no sweets, no crackers, no cereal, no soda... when I shop, I buy "whole" foods like dried beans, all our veggies, fruit, rice, quinoa, popcorn, nuts, coffee. We eat very, very little meat so I'm not much help to you there - boneless, skinless chicken breasts were on sale last week and I bought two packages which will probably last us 8+ meals - we called them the 48DD chickens and each piece was really enough for 3 portions. I cook it ahead, cut it up and freeze it in little baggies and we take it out to add to veggies and rice. It all comes down to paying attention to what you keep in the house, and how much of it you eat. We tend to sit around the kitchen table in the evening = bad setup for picking before bed, so sometimes we intentionally get ourselves away from the place that triggers that (sometimes we just give in and make more popcorn. We're not saints). If we know we don't have it in the house, then when we get the chance to have something special - like today, there will be a bake sale at the voting place - I don't feel as badly about it because I can make it my only time today when I eat something I "shouldn't."