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#1 of 18 Old 02-14-2013, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I need to lose weight, but I don't know where to start.  I think my biggest problem is emotional eating, followed by lack of meal planning and cooking, followed by lack of exercise.  I am scared to start somewhere on this problem because food is a crutch for me emotionally (stress eating) and I am not sure what I would replace it with.  I feel like I don't have it in me to even try a small modification, like a cup of tea or something at night instead of cookies or whatever else I can get my hands on! 

 

I have done Weight Watchers in the past (before I had kids) and it worked well, but the thought of a DIET completely overwhelms me.  My entire life is overwhelming me right now, and the thought of going on a diet and what a crab I'd be is really frightening!

 

Any advice or been there, done that?

 

Thanks!!


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#2 of 18 Old 02-15-2013, 12:52 AM
 
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I'm there, and doing that - right now.
I guess I am just easing in to a lifestyle...but some days have cookies.

 

One thing that I found easy and I saw results with was that I switched to chicken and ground turkey - no ground beef if I can help it.

Second thing that has helped is that 50 percent of my meal has to be veggie or fruit based. I love tacos! so now I eat the taco fillings in romaine lettuce leaves. I love mashed potatoes, but I discovered that mashed cauliflower was even healthier for me and had a delicious flavor to it. You get the idea...

 

For meal planning,

I discovered soup recipes I loved. A quickie fave is chicken tortilla - chicken (actually chicken is optional) Rotel can, can of black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, can of corn, can of tomato sauce, onion, bellpepper - simmer in bouillion water (or stock), add lots of cumin and taco seasoning and then when its all done being heated I add strips of corn tortilla, and some lime  juice if I have it. I can garnish with some diced avocados, tomatoes, bit of cheese and sour cream (cilantro too..mmm)..Its pretty darn healthy, filling, and got tons of beans and even veggies. :)

 

Cauliflower soup is a stand by. Lentil soup. etc.

 

Basically, if I can't seem to get a hold of my emotional eating - I make darn sure I have healthier, filling foods around. I make foods that I like, but I see if there is a way to do it healthier some how. Its one foot in front of the other, but I definitely think that if you don't want to start a DIET (and who does?) maybe look at what I've started doing and seeing if any of it will work for you :)


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#3 of 18 Old 02-17-2013, 04:51 AM
 
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BTDT, partially, now I can confidently say I'm not an emotional eater anymore.

 

What I would recommend is NOT to go on a diet. Eat whatever you like and crave, but follow some basic principles:

 

- set up three mealtimes and two snack times a day, and eat only at those specific times. If you need a snack at 11pm (like I do), just set up one of your snack times at 11pm. No grazing between meals and snacks, that's very important! You have to be a little hungry before a meal (but not famished), so you can be aware of what and how much your body needs.

 

- eat as much as you want until you feel satisfied. And this means overeating sometimes, but that's ok. If you overeat at one meal, you won't feel so inclined to overeat at the next.

 

- eat whatever you want even if that means pie for breakfast. If you satisfy your cravings, you will stop overeating. (I need to have a bit of chocolate every day, otherwise I can eat bowls of salad and other "healthy" food and actually gain weight. BTDT)

 

- be completely mindful and present when you eat (this was THE most difficult thing for me); meaning you have to actually sit at a table with the food in front of you, no computer, TV, iphone or book.
 

HTH

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#4 of 18 Old 02-18-2013, 04:05 PM
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This is a journey. I still struggle with emotional eating.  It took a long time for me to find different ways to nurture myself that didn't involve calories.  My suggestion would be to not try to tackle the BIG thing all at once.  You said that you really feel like you need to have some cookies in the evening.  I get that.  When the kids finally started sleeping better at night, I would sit down with my husband at the end of the day and have a snack.  A sort of reward for making it through another day with my small children still intact and with some semblance of sanity.  The thing I changed first was to cut out those "special treats" during the day.  I have more willpower earlier in the day, more energy to find a diversion.  So, I would do that, and continue my evening snack.  I did start to lose from that small change.  After I met with that success, I felt stronger and more able to make more changes.  My daughter would not nap on her own.  She needed to be held, in the car, in the stroller or in the Ergo.  I started carrying her in the Ergo a lot of the time for her naps.  The upside of this, is that I could not sit down during this time.  Add that movement to actually carrying her weight, and I had the start of an exercise routine.  I started by just doing some housework (my house has never been so clean as when I had to carry her for an hour+ every day!).  After a while, I started walking on my home treadmill with her in there.  I was able to work up to an hour of walking this way (all so she could get a nap!).  I started making more small changes, adding more vegetables, fewer white starches, things like that.  Overwhelming if taken all at once, but really doable when I was doing it one at a time.

 

One thing that did help with the emotional eating, though, would be the internal conversation I would have with myself (sometimes it was out loud).  I would ask myself if I was in the kitchen because I was really hungry, or because I needed something else.  Was I bored, sad, angry, feeling neglected, etc.  If the answer was an emotional one, I would have a glass of water (this was REALLY, REALLY hard to do in the beginning).  If the answer was that I really was hungry (felt my stomach rumbling), I would have something to eat without feeling any shame. 

 

You can do it, bit by bit.  Don't start with the thing that seems insurmountable.  Start smaller than that. 


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#5 of 18 Old 02-18-2013, 05:52 PM
 
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Dealing with it right now as well.  I am a big carb craver when I am sad, lonely, angry, bored, frustrated, you get the picture.  I have over exercised, tried to only do liquid, ugh...   I found Spark People - tons of adds, but I ignore them, don't link my fb account, whatever.  I really like knowing where I am calorie wise throughout the day.  It really helps me plan for my next day.  Meal planning is huge for me.  As well as figuring out what a serving is.  'Cause, you know - it's girl scout cookie time!  A serving of Savannah Smiles is 5 cookies.So I take 5 cookies and close up the box and walk away.  Those 5 cookies and a ginormous cup of tea are soo yummy.  The only thing I have "given up" are french fries.  Because you know what?  I'd rather have the cookies :-)

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#6 of 18 Old 03-23-2013, 07:02 PM
 
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Yup. grouphug.gif I pretty much had to hit rock bottom to get my act together with my eating. I'm dealing with it right now. I am the type of person who is very easily overwhelmed, too. I weigh more now then I did when I gave birth to my kids. I weigh a lot and I'm not being dainty about it. I met my best friend for a drink and her weight came up. She weighs 120lbs. I weigh over two of her. I carry a HIlary around with me everywhere I go. My poor body. I am killing my body. No bloody wonder my knee, hips, and back are always screaming at me. Anyway, that was it, I realized I had to stop with the crazy person eating. Getting that slap in the face was what it took for me to clean the crap out of my house and clean up my very poor vegetarian diet. If I feel the need to shove food in my face now, I make sure it's something healthy. Life is too short to be that miserable, yo. 


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#7 of 18 Old 03-23-2013, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

BTDT, partially, now I can confidently say I'm not an emotional eater anymore.

 

What I would recommend is NOT to go on a diet. Eat whatever you like and crave, but follow some basic principles:

 

- set up three mealtimes and two snack times a day, and eat only at those specific times. If you need a snack at 11pm (like I do), just set up one of your snack times at 11pm. No grazing between meals and snacks, that's very important! You have to be a little hungry before a meal (but not famished), so you can be aware of what and how much your body needs.

 

- eat as much as you want until you feel satisfied. And this means overeating sometimes, but that's ok. If you overeat at one meal, you won't feel so inclined to overeat at the next.

 

- eat whatever you want even if that means pie for breakfast. If you satisfy your cravings, you will stop overeating. (I need to have a bit of chocolate every day, otherwise I can eat bowls of salad and other "healthy" food and actually gain weight. BTDT)

 

- be completely mindful and present when you eat (this was THE most difficult thing for me); meaning you have to actually sit at a table with the food in front of you, no computer, TV, iphone or book.
 

HTH

Great advice.  I would add that if you feel hungry after a serving of food, don't give yourself seconds, add something different.  Still hungry after pasta?  Add salad.  Then an apple.  Then dessert.  

 

What also helped me was to identify which meal I was the hungriest at--for me lunch-- and be more generous with that meal.  It took a while to wean myself of nighttime snacks, because when I skip these, I feel better in the morning.  I understand that late snacks can have an disproportionate impact on weight than meals at other times.  

 

Don't let yourself get too hungry--bring a filling snack with you if you are going to be out and about.  And don't skip dessert!  This is so important for my morale.


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#8 of 18 Old 03-24-2013, 07:05 PM
 
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i have to think that snack plates are a good place to start! I discovered them on pinterest of all places and can't help but think that these little gems are the cure all to overboard, unhealthy snacking. You make a plate of snacks either the night before or the day of - fruits, vegetables, nuts - and then on that day you only SNACK on those items. You will of course keep up with the healthy meals you provide for yourself and your family, but also at snack time - which is ALWAYS tough ... i particularly feel discouraged and turn to snacking when i am supposed to be cleaning or working. Try to only cook three healthy unprocessed meals a day (no restrictions to carbohydrates or starches) and then you will have your plate of healthy foods in the fridge ready for you. So that when you open the door - it is there ready for you and will remind you that Healthy Energy Boosting Foods is the way to go - GOOD LUCK! I feel for you and am constantly struggling with weight ... :) i know you can do it.


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#9 of 18 Old 03-27-2013, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, thank you for all the helpful replies. It helps that DH has gotten on board with me a bit. He's struggling to control his diabetes, so we are both more focused on just not bringing the binge foods into the house. He's also quit going out at night for a treat for us, and I don't go either, so that helps. I've only lost 5 lbs but it is giving me a glimmer of hope. Next to tackle is the meal planning, which has recently been complicated by my kids' multiple food allergies. But we will get there!!!

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#10 of 18 Old 05-02-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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Hi Azzeps, 

 

I know it does sound overwhelming but honestly, one step at a time. Don't try to go cold turkey because in my experience this sets up a lot of people for failure. I agree with the other girls tips to:

  • make half your meal veggies that are prepared in a sensible way, 1/4 meat or protein, 1/4 carbs
  • soups are amazing

 

 

But i'd also like to add:

  • eating a CLEAN breakfast every morning really helps to keep you full to lunch. Lately I just have plain oatmeal with strawberries sliced on top (theyre sooo sweet right now yummy.gif)
  • stay HYDRATED. A lot of people think theyre hungry when theyre just thirty. I drink 2 L a day
  • avoid sugary drinks- lots of liquid calories. If you really want to drink something yummy try mixing 2/3 seltzer water with 1/3 orange juice

 

Also for binge eating try and make some low cal soups you can eat. Theyre comforting and wont be as bad for you as snack on cupcakes etc. Its always hardest the first two weeks you change your diet so just take slow gradual steps.

 

Unfortunately you cant think of it as a diet. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to adopt a lifestyle change one that at the MINIMUM includes healthy eating and ideally includes exercise too. However diet is 10x more important than exercise. I still have a cheat day and eat what i want that day because i still love food, but its important again to be sensible


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#11 of 18 Old 05-24-2013, 03:59 AM
 
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I agree with one step at a time. Back in November, I went to the doctor and discovered that my weight was 294 lbs. At just under 5'10", the most I can weigh and be in my healthy weight range is 170, but the knowledge of the weight wasn't what was upsetting me -- it was the fact that my blood pressure had gone into the pre-hypertensive category and my energy level sucked.

 

Now, six months later, I've just discovered that, as of 2 weeks ago, I have lost 54 lbs., an average of 9 lbs. a month -- not by going on some weird binge diet, but by taking gradual steps and forming habits that I feel comfortable living with for the rest of my life. The first step for me was moving into a regular yoga practice, which helps me to stay centered and to know that I'm already connected to everything I need physically, emotionally, socially, financially, etc. -- what I need is not "out there" somewhere, in the fridge or at some Taco Bell.

 

I've discovered that for me, getting moving physically is the key to feeling more alive and connected to life, and better eating habits naturally follow from that. Over the last six months, I've gradually discovered that I'm satisfied with much smaller portion sizes than what I'd previously have believed possible. I haven't eliminated anything from my diet -- but rather than just freely eating chocolate or chips, I set aside a small portion and close the bag or chocolate bar back up. I also agree about starting my day by filling my thirst. I get a good, long drink of water every morning. Water is also very soothing if I'm feeling a bit stressed or tired just before my evening meal.

 

One thing I'm really excited about is that I've just started learning hula hooping, and have worked myself up to hooping to music at least 30 minutes a day. This is a new skill that I'm just now learning at age 48 -- it wasn't something I could even do as a child.

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#12 of 18 Old 06-20-2013, 01:24 PM
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I go up and down with my weight through the year. I tend to gain in the cooler/colder months and lose in the spring and summer. But I have to make a concerted effort to do so this time. I've found that as I've gotten older it is much harder to get the weight off and much much easier to put it on. 

 

I'm going totally clean eating. Nothing out of a box or can that has multiple ingredients. Whole grains, healthy protein, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Lots of water and some Tulsi tea, which I love and is a good tonic drink. I'm starting this week so I'll let you know how it goes. smile.gif


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#13 of 18 Old 06-22-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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I really agree with Cynthia about the difference that age makes. At 44 one year ago, when I exercised but didn't change my (healthy but way high calorie eating), I lost 5 pounds. Gained back at least 7 over the winter, turned 45, and thought I could do the exact same thing this summer - Nope. The exercise made me feel good, but I didn't lose an ounce. Couldn't believe it. Tried for 3 weeks (nothing intense but regular and hey, it worked last year!) in case I just had to let my metabolism catch up.... Nope. Gained a pound. 

 

I'm conflicted because I really have a prejudice about calorie counting, that it's anti-feminist or something, and holy moly, 1200 per day is not much for me, but I have to admit - 5 days of the same exercise but now counting calories, and I have begun to shift. No, of course, 5 days does not a real shift make, but I haven't gone down AT ALL for months, and now this week I have. 

 

Here's how I'm dealing with the calorie counting conflict. First of all I'm using myfitnesspal, and also like a pp said, not linking or anything. Second of all, I just don't bother counting raw and non-starchy cooked vegetables. I'm not counting the olive oil I put on my food or cook with either. Third, I'm letting my self "go over" on calories if I need to, because I know that on a busy day I'll end up a little under. In about 10 days I'll average it out and hope that shows some balance that I can live with. Fourth, I remind myself that going over (a reasonable amount) on calories isn't gaining weight necessarily, it's just a day without losing. And since I've had 45 years of those kind of days, I'm used to them.

 

I would benefit a lot from other posters noting their own ages in this kind of discussion - it's totally different to hear how an over-40 person succeeds, compared to all you spring chickens.


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#14 of 18 Old 06-23-2013, 03:52 AM
 
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I'm 49, and even though I'm not strictly calorie-counting, I definitely have been increasing my awareness in that area, especially in terms of the amount of foods I eat that have mainly fat and calories and not so many other nutrients.

 

For example, a few weeks ago, dh bought a Marie Calendar pecan pie. When I saw that 1/8 of the pie was nearly 500 calories, I just decided that I didn't want roughly 1/4 of my day's food to be pecan pie. So I cut my one-serving pieces in half, and for a few days with my morning coffee, enjoyed a little sliver of decadence.

 

At this phase of my life, I want to make changes that I can live with for the rest of my life. Rather than giving up anything I really enjoy, I find ways to be happier with a much smaller serving than I used to eat, such as by sitting down with it and taking the time to eat it slowly.

 

As I mentioned further up thread, yoga helps me stay in touch with the fact that I'm already connected to all the good things in life. Being happy isn't about cramming stuff into my mouth -- it's about being still and finding the happiness in just breathing and just really, really, being here, in this moment. It's funny because a teen in my life doesn't understand why I see my weight loss as spiritual -- it's so obvious to her that I'm losing because I'm eating fewer calories and burning more calories by exercising -- and on the surface, that's true. But it's my connection that makes it possible for me to be really happy while eating so much less than I used to.

 

And if I weren't really happy in this new way of life, it simply wouldn't be sustainable over the long haul. And I'm simply done with the back-and-forth stuff, with losing huge amounts of weight only to gain all that back and more. I'm ready to just get healthy and stay healthy..

 

I think that's one positive thing about getting older -- you know yourself better so you're more realistic about any self improvement programs you embark on. It may take you longer to lose weight than a younger person, but you may also be more likely to stick with the positive changes you've made.

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#15 of 18 Old 06-23-2013, 05:13 AM
 
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I need to subscribe to this thread myself. I'll be 33 in a few weeks, currently at my highest weight of ~315 and 35 weeks pregnant. The funny thing is that my weight really hasn't changed much over this pregnancy but being at heavy in the beginning was shocking. My usual is more like 270-280 and while that's still way too heavy, I was comfortable in my own skin. I have a wonderful 2 year old little girl and I'm very committed to being a good role model and teach her about nutrition and health so there is usually very minimal junk food in the house and we rarely indulge in sweets while she's awake. It's a pretty good system but the downfall is that when she's asleep, I am incredibly tempted and DH often runs out for a junk fix. I do quite well all day since she recently dropped naps and I'm on the go with her a fair amount. These last few weeks of pregnancy are getting pretty difficult though and I needed a boost to really cut back on the night snacking. Someone above mentioned rationing out the treats so only one serving is consumed. I'm going to try that since this mama is a chocoholic *sigh*. I'm a sucker for sweets so my best go to used to be keeping the fridge/freezer full of yummy fruits and berries so when the craving hits, I can have something natural and sweet. Frozen cherries for one really hit the spot for me. I need to get back on the wagon smile.gif
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#16 of 18 Old 06-23-2013, 06:29 AM
 
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I'm subbing as we'll. I have15 stubborn lbs to lose in order to be at an ideal weight for my height & build (5'4" - medium build). Having four kids and four m/cs over the past seven years has been challenging for me, both physically and emotionally. As a result, my usual combo of careful eating and moderate exercise is just not cutting it. I'm too busy with my kids and my household to really contemplate making serious changes right now. I need some easy to implement ideas to get back on track. Thanks for any advice you can pass along.

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#17 of 18 Old 06-25-2013, 09:44 AM
 
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Sigh. Right here with you. DD is 2 months old and just before I got pregnant with her I had FINALLY just gotten to a size that I was moderately happy with. Now I'm back to a post-pregnancy weight hoping to lose 15-20 lbs to get me back there. It's so hard with the sleep deprivation and exhaustion and stress. Food is the only way right now to give myself a "treat" and it's an easy way to feel good.

Quote:

 My daughter would not nap on her own.  She needed to be held, in the car, in the stroller or in the Ergo.  I started carrying her in the Ergo a lot of the time for her naps.  The upside of this, is that I could not sit down during this time.  Add that movement to actually carrying her weight, and I had the start of an exercise routine.  I started by just doing some housework (my house has never been so clean as when I had to carry her for an hour+ every day!).  After a while, I started walking on my home treadmill with her in there.  I was able to work up to an hour of walking this way (all so she could get a nap!).  

This is great... one of the problems I have is finding the time to exercise with 2 little ones and, well, hating actual exercise. I do LOVE to walk- unfortunately the climate where I live is not suited to walking outdoors very much. I think I'll go down to our gym and walk with DD in the ergo every day or so. I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

 

I lost the the last of my baby weight from DS just before getting pregnant with DD just by cutting calories, reducing portions, cutting out sugar in coffee etc, putting bad foods completely by the wayside and going on walks. It only took about 6 months and I don't remember it being that hard. I just don't have the will power right now. greensad.gif I hate feeling crappy about how I look and feel in my clothes though.


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#18 of 18 Old 06-25-2013, 09:58 AM
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 I just don't have the will power right now. greensad.gif I hate feeling crappy about how I look and feel in my clothes though.

 

Same here. I'm going to the gym and eating better but it's a daily struggle to stick to the plan. greensad.gif


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