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Jul 10, 2006 05:46 AM

eating well to lose weight

I don't eat bad, I just could eat a little better.

I have a big event in about 2 months, and I'd like to drop about 10-15lbs by then if possible.

Has anyone figured out a diet that works well? I usually have time after work to cook a pretty good dinner, although some nights I work late and I have to pick something up.

In the mornings I'm usually out the door with either no breakfast or just a cup of coffee. I know I should probably eat something...are those healthier breakfast bars any good?

Lunch is usually with people from the office or something quick and affordable (which sometimes means fast food). When it is fast food though, I try to stick to a salad.

Dinner is usually something pretty quick, but I can give it more time. I'm thinking I should try to get a lot of fish in. I seem to eat a lot of pasta, just cause it's easy and it's always there...

I guess I'm just looking for a little input and to see how you lost a little weight in a quick amount of time.

As for exercise, I try, but it doesn't always get done. I belong to a gym (acutally I need to renew) and I usually end up starting the week there, but then meetings come up, night events, and by the end of the week I've only made it to the gym once or twice. As much as I hate it I'm thinking about running (at least around the block a few times) as often as possible, but I'm hoping eating right will knock a few pounds off in about 7 weeks.

Sorry if I've been rambling...Any suggestions?

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  1. Yep...cut calories and increase exercise. Make going to the gym as important as going to work. Schedule it and be consistent. Get a personal trainer if you have keep you motivated. Stay away from empty booze..if you drink at all. Take the time to eat breakfast...get up 15 minutes earlier. Eat something like Kashi with low-fat milk or soy milk and half a grapefruit.

    Be consistent, make it a priority...and it will work.

    2 Replies
    1. re: melly

      Kashi is great stuff. Is a bowl of cereal the equivalent of eating a healthier breakfast bar? Like a Special K bar or a South Beach Diet bar? Those are about 100 calories and a few grams of fat.

      I'm not much of a boozer, but when I do drink it's usually something like a light beer or a mixed vodka drink, but I'll try to keep it at a minimum (lots of work events coming up).

      As for a workout, I'm trying to figure out if I'm staying in my current apt. so I don't want to commit to my gym just yet, but I probably will soon. I'm thinking about running everyday after work around the neighborhood.

      1. re: cincodemayo1

        The running thing is a good idea. I get A LOT of strenous exercise on the bike 3 days a week and run 1 day. Over the last few weeks, out of desperation because summer time is so full of things I want to eat...i have started running the other 3 days of the week. Not a long run necessarily, just 15-20 minutes. It has seemed to make a difference...I've lost a couple of pounds since then.

        Otherwise, try not to eat after 7 o'clock. It's great if you can be a little hungry when you go to bed.

        Beware huge salads w/ cheese, and egg and bacon and lots of dressing. Can be a stealth diet-killer.

        Have you tried Fage Greek yogurt? I have a cup of 2% w/ a little honey at my desk everyday for breakfast, unless I run out, then I eat a Powerbar (2 grams of fat...but a lot of carbs, so it's a good thing I run)

        Coffee is the only drink w/ sugar that I allow myself. Otherwise water. Even exercising, i try to limit my Gatorade consumption. I love Smartwater, it has the electrolytes of a Gatorade, but no sugar (or artificial sugar either, ick)

        Good luck!

    2. Eliminate the pasta and other carbs. This is important.

      I find that when I am feeling blobbish and/or objectively am blobbish, the first thing I need to do is cut out all carbs and stick with fresh fruits and vegetables almost exclusively. A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables will leave you a bit hungry, I won't lie, but the pounds do shed quickly.

      Also, eliminate all sodas (and juices, if possible). I find that a lot of overweight folks--indeed, the most UNhealthy people, regardless of whether or not they are overweight--tend to be the ones who consume sodas, which tend to be empty calories with absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. If you need the caffeine, stick to coffee.

      I notice that I tend to eat much healthier when I am exercising regularly. If you exercise regularly, it becomes a welcomed routine. (I actually find myself wanting to exercise and look forward to spending time with a treadmill an hour a day or so.) With regular exercise, you can then sort of ease up on the strict diet.

      Finally, it's always best to combine exercise with a good diet; you can't really do one without the other if your goal is good physical (and mental) health.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pamela

        Vegetables do contain carbs..complex carbs. I do use the new and improved multi-grain pasta or the quinoa pasta's. Very tasty with a low glycimic index (is burned slowly rather than quickly). I agree with fresh fruits and veggies...but really see the all meat and no carb diets to be unhealthy and artery clogging!

        1. re: melly

          You're right. By carbs I meant pasta, rice, bread--the really starchy and calorific stuff.

          With the fruit and veggie diet, I eat all I want (but I end up still hungry).

          I agree with everyone who says that COMPLETELY eliminating anything is unrealistic in the long run, but in the short term, eliminating the starchy stuff least in my experience.

          I think cincodemayo's plan of 10-15 pounds in two months is do-able. However, any "diet" requires an awful lot of motivation. For longer-term goals, however, you really need to combine exercise and healthy eating. Again, the good thing is that healthy eating usually naturally follows with regular exercise. And with increased exercise and healthier eating, you no longer have to deprive yourself of all the wickedly wonderful and "sinful" stuff (desserts, pasta, etc.)

          Good luck, cincodemayo! I'm sure you'll do great!

          I'm guessing that the event is either your wedding or a reunion.

        2. re: Pamela

          I've been trying to eat more fruits and veggies lately, so I'll keep that up.

          Should I try to cut all carbs (meaning sugar and breads) or should I just make it minimal?

          I don't drink soda (occasionally diet) but usually I drink coffee in the morning and iced tea throughout the day.

          What are some good healthy snacks besides the obvious of fruits or veggies?

          Also, I have some One A Day vitamins that I've started taking lately. Should I keep that up?

          Good tips so far. Thanks everybody.

          1. re: Pamela

            Any diet that tells you to eliminate pasta and carbs seems ridiculous to me (maybe it's my Italian background). Truth is, any diet that tells you to eliminate anything completely can't be sustainable. If you're looking for quick, and not necessarily sustainable, then fair enough, but for keeping off weight in the long term you've got to exercise moderation in your eating, and...well, exercise! Eat less, move more, and if you're concerned about nutrition, maybe consult a nutritionist.

          2. Hey - just a little basics in case you don't know (always helps me get my head around it): no matter WHAT you do burning 3500 calories in a week will equal 1 pound of weight loss. As much as it SUCKS try something like Keep track of everything you're eating and your exercise (sorry, it just probably isn't going to happen without it and you're better off for that anyway....the more you exercise the more you can eat, too!) on this simple, free food log and get a feel for where you are going wrong.

            10lbs in 2 months is VERY doable. That's just over a pound a week, meaning 3500-4000 calories or so. Whole grains and lean proteins are your best bet. Good luck!

            4 Replies
            1. re: krissywats

              Fitday was a huge help for me. I lost 55 pounds by keeping track with the free version of their software. That and learning about portion control and cutting out unnecessary things like fast food and soda. In fact, I rarely ever drink my calories other than coffee and milk.

              I also improved what I ate, leaner protein, more grains, fruits and veggies, a lot more water - got rid of bad fats in general and included more healthy ones. Started reading nutrition labels. Stopped eating out as much - that was a huge help - unfortunately had to stop being a chowhound for a good year, that was kind of depressing since I love trying new restaurants but all that hidden butter - yikes.

              Learned to love myself. That was important!

              I did NOT exercise at all and still lost all that weight. I don't recommend you don't tho - I'm just a slug and I'm still trying to fight my way into including this into my life.

              But I have learned finally to eat better, make better choices and I am now able to incorporate being a chowhound into my life again - in moderation. What you are trying to achieve is doable as many have said. You just have to put your mind to it and realize the first week or so will probably be difficult but if you stick it out it will become much easier. Once it starts to become a habit - that's when it all kicks in.

              1. re: sivyaleah

                I've heard about fitday. Do you get a lot of spam, etc. for signing up? Or, is it really a free lunch. So to speak?

                The main thing I'm interested in is being able to plan meals, but then print out a shopping list... Does it do that for you?


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I've never gotten any spam from signing onto fitday. Been using it for many years.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    The upgrade version costs $19.99 and you can do all of those things, I think. If you check it out online they will tell you exactly what you can do. It's great software.

                    i used the online version for a long time and never got any spam.

              2. You need to make an assesment of of your diet, whether more information about how to diet will really help. Eating less and exercizing more will work with moderate tweaks based on your body chemestry. But that knowledge might not help you loose weight. I have lost 70 lbs on Weight Watchers. Up to the point of joining, I had all the knowledge of how to loose weight but my will was not enough to to overcome my eating issues. With a weigh in every week, the accountability made it easier to diet

                You have 10-15 lbs to loose in 2 months. which would work out to less than 2 lbs a week which the experts say is doable expectation. If you are having trouble sticking to your goal make the goals smaller. Instead of the big goal of 15 lbs in 7 weeks try 2 lbs this week and see how it goes and if you are successful with that goal 7 weeks in a row then you have lost 14 lbs.

                There is no quick fix for this issue and it for some it seems an impossiblen task. but if you take small steps and find people who are supportive of you goal, you'll never believe how far you'll get.

                Take care

                - P.

                1. I have just lost 33 pounds, and I did it by going to Weight Watchers. From my personal experience, it's just very hard to do it on your own. There have been a few key things that I felt were essential - write down everything you eat (studies have shown that this is key in people's weight loss success), stick to the plan (WW is very flexible these days, and the "point system" is easy to follow. They now include ethnic foods in the plan, so it's not boring), and go to the meetings (it's essential to find one led by someone you like and are inspired by). I lost 10 pounds in the first month.

                  I did not exercise initially - just ate a low-fat, low calorie, mainly vegetarian diet for the first 20 pounds (and NO booze). After that I found I had to add some exercise to keep on losing. If you hate the gym, go for a walk at lunch-time.