What's On Your Mind Today?

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Replies

  • KCJen
    KCJen Posts: 1,089 Member
    Hi! I'm going to start off the discussion with a question. This is my second month doing the UAC, and I have learned so much. My question is to those of you who are experts at this - how do you track restaurant food? Or do you just not eat out? My method had been that if I ate out, I just didn't track that day because I couldn't track perfectly and so I just gave up. We get takeout about once a week - takeout Friday. Last month I saw (thanks to the wisdom of this group) that really wasn't serving me. But I still struggle with letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, maybe. We generally get from restaurants that do not post nutrition info, and have pretty creative and unusual food that isn't a good match to what is in the database. Any tips?

    My favorite restaurant just announced they are closing in 2 weeks (so sad!) so I have a feeling there will be more takeout on my menu for the next 2 weeks. They are one that usually has not resulted in weight gain if I eat their food moderately, so that's good, but the question is how to track it? I had 9 pass days last month, all because of this restaurant food problem, and I'd really like to have fewer this month.

    Caroline - I track restaurant food by going directly to that restaurant's website and finding the information or ask them for a printout. If it is not available I will look at Nutritionix https://www.nutritionix.com/database there are grocery items, restaurants, and common foods. I use a random google search or the mfp food database as my last option. Serving sizes change from time to time so I try to go directly to the specific restaurant.

    I try to avoid restaurants when I am trying to lose weight. One meal out can blow the whole days calories I have found out that the hard way!

    Sorry to hear your favorite restaurant is closing :(
  • KCJen
    KCJen Posts: 1,089 Member
    @bradkcrew

    I love reading all the responses to finding your ideal goal weight. When I lost weight back in 2016...wow I just realized that was now 5 years ago!! Time flies by soooo fast! In 2016 my Doctor put me on cholesterol medicine and told me my cholesterol and lose weight. I googled info on cholesterol and it scared me because I was in the high risk of heart attack or stroke due to family genes and I was an overweight smoker at the time.

    I needed to lose weight, so I just googled a weight chart online for women listing their age and height. Later I learned this was an "old" chart before the BMI chart. The chart said for my height at 5'6 my ideal weight should be 130-144 pounds. I lost 50 pounds, and I was ONE pound away from hitting my healthy goal weight - which I have never been at my healthy goal weight in my life - ONE pound away and I stopped tracking and exercise and gained it all back plus a little extra.

    This time, I am not using some random chart online, but I am going to follow the BMI weight range from MFP as a general goal which is listed as 115 to 155. Once I actually get closer to that range, I will ask my Doctor to help me determine a set weight range for me.

    I am also concerned about losing weight now since I turned 50 in January and I want to lose as much as possible before menopause.

    This time I am not concerned about a "number" or a "dress size". I just want to be healthy and finally reached my healthy goal weight.
  • bradkcrew
    bradkcrew Posts: 1,168 Member
    edited October 2021
    @WhatMeRunning @jamcnewman @MadisonMolly2017 @caroline_slowly @ashleycarole86 @ideas2 @kcjen

    Thanks to everyone for weighing in (unintentional pun!). The common theme seems to be that everyone is focused on getting to/staying at a "healthy" weight with BMI as a starting point.

    My primary motivation this time around is also health. I don't have any health issues, and I want to keep it that way.

    As of my last weigh-in my BMI was 20.6 (5'4"-120), but still, I have plenty of excess body fat so evidently I can be at the lower end of the BMI scale.

    My Dr.'s advice is that it isn't necessary to be thin, just not obese so that isn't particularly helpful.

    Anyway, I am assessing where I'm at and how I want to proceed. I have upped my calories 200/day over the past few weeks. I think my fear is losing control and gaining weight back if I let off the gas....


  • @KCJen Thank you for your advice about restaurant meals. I will try that website.

    I really like your question about whether to eat the same thing every day for ease of tracking or whether to be flexible so you don't get burnt out.

    To me, on my slow and steady journey, keeping things interesting is 90% of the battle. I am not someone who can eat something boring just to fuel my body. I need my food to be delicious.

    I find with MFP, tracking is easy enough that I can switch up the food.

    I also try to eat the same thing with some variety. My breakfast is an omelet with 1 egg + 2 egg whites, with cheese and veggies - but I switch out what cheese and veggies go in it. Most days one meal (lunch or dinner) is some kind of salad and the other meal is some kind of cooked veggies (both giant piles of veggies, one cooked and one raw). With each, I have some kind of protein, some kind of carb (often a carby veggie, sometimes quinoa or whole grain bread), and some kind of sauce. I also add in some kind of treat/garnish - pickled veggies, olives, cheese, etc. That kind of framework lets me quickly design a meal with things in my fridge, but because I know the rough weights I can have of different types of foods it's pretty easy to put in MFP and get to the right number without having to do a lot of back and forth. I splurge on fancy vinegars, olives, in-season local veggies, things like that so that I always feel like I have an amazing treat.

    I also do tend to eat the exact same thing 2-3 days in a row so that I can save on food prep and tracking time. But beyond that I get sick of it.

    I have spent a fair bit of time reading on MFP and elsewhere for tips on how to feel like you have a variety on a low-calorie diet - always looking for more!
  • snowshoe072
    snowshoe072 Posts: 3,195 Member
    I have been very fortunate in my life to be an overall healthy person even at my heaviest of a tad over 200. My life changing moment came when I realized that in order to get dress pants for work I needed a really large size… a 20 that moment did it. I came home and had a small pity party but realized I had only myself to hold accountable so the next day I began to use the exercise bike we had as more than a coat rack. Since then I have been through 2 bikes a regular stationary and a recumbent which I didn’t like. I now have a spin with a 40lb wheel that is part of my exercise plan.

    My point to sharing all of this is stick with it changing our ways can be difficult but you can do it if you want it bad enough… how much do you want this? Use all the tools at your disposal but be mindful of charts and graphs use your judgement how does your body feel ? Do your cloths fit differently? Reach out to your health care provider mine was wonderful and gave me a good range to work with I am now within 1 lb of the high end of that range.Stay focused you can succeed as determined by you and only you this monthly challenge helps me to stay accountable and vigilant.
  • lesdarts180
    lesdarts180 Posts: 2,010 Member
    @Caroline_slowandsteady, with ref your question about eating out, I hear your difficulty. Very few restaurants here in the UK have nutritional/calorie information. I do eat out quite a lot and my solution breaks down into at least 3 stages:

    1. Read the menu carefully – perhaps avoid those “creative” dishes and find something fairly simple. Look out for high calorie items (high fat for instance).

    2. When ordering can you ask for some simple swaps or ask for dressings, sauces etc to be omitted or served on the side. I always ask for “no chips please” and ask for extra salad or veg instead. (“chips” in UK = fries in USA)

    3. When the food is delivered can you identify the separate items? Is the chicken/meat portion similar to what you would have at home – probably more. Can you see items that perhaps you could leave on the side? (eg the pastry on a pie) Fill up with veg (it’s almost all low cal esp green veg, carrots etc)

    4. Dessert – I try not to have dessert they are nearly always high sugar & fat. Agree with your partner that you will have something at home.

    Good luck. I lost weight successfully while having lots of holidays, days out, dinner with friends etc. Now that the Covid restrictions are mostly gone I'm eating out regularly again while maintaining.
  • bradkcrew
    bradkcrew Posts: 1,168 Member

    @bradcrew a totally understandable fear, one I certainly had until I “woke up” a couple of years into maintenance & realized I actually preferred not to be overfill, that I did/do get hunger signals now, that this wasn’t some fluke…

    Be patient with yourself. Use your tracking data (monthly) to guide you, catch things that begin to creep…

    It’s tough in the beginning because you don’t know your maintenance calories (they often increase slightly over time) my personal theory is our body says “wow, I’m out of starvation, I can move more now!” Which leads to a higher TDEE.

    But the reason I keep tracking daily is the yearly averages & patterns make the whole journey less stressful.

    Best,
    Maddie🌸

    @madisonmolly2017 Thank you for your ongoing advice. This coming Thursday is a pivotal milestone for me, concluding Part I of my journey toward health and wellness which started a little over 6 months ago. Part II is vague right now and I am running out of time. I am really good with plans...not so much with playing it by ear.
  • MadisonMolly2017
    MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 10,224 Member
    @bradkcrew

    I understand. I’m the same. I realized my “monkey brain” will through me into confusion & ultra researching & stress at those times….and those are the times it has the greatest chance of in-doing all my previous accomplishments…

    SO, pick a plan. ANY plan. OR ask your doctor or a close family/friend to choose for you.

    Do it for a week, 10 days, 2 weeks.

    Reduce your stress, indecision…this is a journey, stay roughly on the path, slowly but surely, you will figure out how to tinker with your plan. AND it gets easier.

    From someone who’s been there.

    Anecdote: My first Xmas in maintenance we were motorhome camping, eating dinner put. I brought my scale & could see it climbing as I reverted to my large meals at restaurants…I was really stressed & my brain went into a Really Confused mode. Stop eating out, but it’s so much fun & it’s a rare vacation. Should I eat 1,600 calories a day, 2,000. Maintain this higher weight? Jump back to dieting. Ugh. I’m looking at all my trends & calorie averages, watch exercise calories.

    Finally, I passed my phone to my husband. “Could you please tell me how many calories I should eat? My brain hurts.” He quickly determined a number that would stop
    The increase & slowly bring it down.

    Now, I had done that too as one of 20 options.

    But I just did his suggestion. I let him cut through all the options.

    I was now relaxed, my appetite decreased after the magic 3 days of reasonable calories, weight began to come off 5-7 days afterwards..

    Whenever I feel myself in that “too many options I don’t know what to Fido etc…I don’t ask my husband…because now I know …”Pick a number. Stick to it. Adjust in a week, if necessary.”

    I sincerely hope this is helping.

    Maddie
  • MadisonMolly2017
    MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 10,224 Member
    KCJen wrote: »
    @MadisonMolly2017 "Reduce your stress, indecision…this is a journey, stay roughly on the path, slowly but surely, you will figure out how to tinker with your plan. AND it gets easier." and "Pick a number. Stick to it. Adjust in a week, if necessary."

    This is so helpful to me! I have been trying to decide what should be the calories that I set as my goal. I have been feeling overwhelmed with too many options/choices. It is kinda like being in the toothpaste aisle at Walmart. Ugh.

    I am going to have a range for calories this time, instead of 1200. My range is 1300 to 1500 - closer to the 1500 range on days I am on the treadmill- and a net goal of 1200 in case I would need to "eat back" a few exercise calories.

    I just want to say I am thankful for everyone in UAC. This group is very helpful and encouraging!

    I am SO glad @KCJen!
  • bradkcrew
    bradkcrew Posts: 1,168 Member
    edited October 2021
    @MadisonMolly2017 Thank you!

    I have decided to keep it simple for awhile and just continue with the same way I have been eating. I continually lose weight, I am rarely hungry, and I have not had a craving or veered off course once in over 6 months. Clearly the number of calories, (although too low according to popular opinion) is sufficient or I would not be building muscle and endurance at the level I have, nor would it have been sustainable for so many months.

    However, I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow!!
  • MadisonMolly2017
    MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 10,224 Member
    bradkcrew wrote: »
    @MadisonMolly2017 Thank you!

    I have decided to keep it simple for awhile and just continue with the same way I have been eating. I continually lose weight, I am rarely hungry, and I have not had a craving or veered off course once in over 6 months. Clearly the number of calories, (although too low according to popular opinion) is sufficient or I would not be building muscle and endurance at the level I have, nor would it have been sustainable for so many months.

    However, I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow!!

    @bradkcrew sounds like a great plan!
    If you read enough posts here on MFP, you’d see folks saying they can eat more than “they” say they can… and others who sadly learn they need to eat less than what is recommended.

    I’ve always set my own calories & tracked. Over time, you will know exactly what your body needs.

    I’m happy you aren’t hungry. I’ve been lucky that way , too. Funny thing is every other time I tried to lose weight I was ravenous!
  • Mrs_Hoffer
    Mrs_Hoffer Posts: 5,169 Member
    edited October 2021
    Babs, VERY, VERY well said!!


    @bradkcrew and @slimtastesbetter that's exactly how I would describe how I am when I'm in ketosis (very low carbs and no sugar!) and yes, as soon as I have just a teensy bit of the wrong kind of carbs.... or have even the smallest amount of sugar - POOF!! I'm out of control! :disappointed: When I'm going along great with the low carb thing - I have terrific willpower to say NO to those foods, or walk right by a chocolate cake! Lol. It amazes even me! But once I get out of ketosis, I seem to struggle for WEEKS to get back to that place (this is where I'm at currently). :disappointed:

    I have personally even compared it to being an alcoholic -- I'm just that bad. (And before someone says something about my comparison to alcoholism, let me just say that I DO know first hand about alcoholism! My mother was an alcoholic, and I also consider myself to be a recovered alcoholic who hasn't had more than 1 beer here or there in many, many YEARS! PTL!) :) But I've learned that I have to be extra cautious and watch foods (sweets, snacks) that effect me as far as my addictive nature. ;) THIS is a big fear of mine and is going to have to be a HUGE part of my learned "maintenance skills" because I still don't feel that I do it very well.

  • WhatMeRunning
    WhatMeRunning Posts: 3,538 Member
    edited October 2021
    Agree with the above. You don't have to be keto to feel the effects of greatly reducing (to the point of eliminating) refined and high GI carbs (not necessarily trying to villify carbs or start a debate). Those are what tend to "get added in" when people stop tracking. They no longer focus on eating a higher ratio of the healthier veggies, etc, and let more of those other things in. That change in ratio simply bumps up that blood sugar cycle, and for some people who are just beginning to experience any form of intolerance towards that cycle (you do NOT have to be diabetic to begin that cycle) simply find themselves powerless at their body's demands to get those carbs in. Even if it's from strange sources (like peanut butter). The body knows what it wants, and the minds know what you will allow, and will convince you that you must put it in your mouth, and do so in excess because it is attempting to overcome a perceived deficit. Unfortunately that is simply feeding a cycle that spins out of control.
  • SummerSkier
    SummerSkier Posts: 3,904 Member
    bradkcrew wrote: »
    @MadisonMolly2017 Thank you!

    I have decided to keep it simple for awhile and just continue with the same way I have been eating. I continually lose weight, I am rarely hungry, and I have not had a craving or veered off course once in over 6 months. Clearly the number of calories, (although too low according to popular opinion) is sufficient or I would not be building muscle and endurance at the level I have, nor would it have been sustainable for so many months.

    However, I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow!!

    the most important part of this idea is the last sentence. Maintenance is NOT a static thing. It changes as you change. Just as with losing weight sometimes you have to adjust the balance of what or when you are eating or how much you are working out. But you have a good mind set April and the biggest failures I have seen in maintenance are those who attempt to control EVERYTHING at once and keep controlling it forever. That's an impossible task and eventually leads to burn out and giving up. Keep experimenting and learning about YOU.
  • slimtastesbetter
    slimtastesbetter Posts: 6,992 Member
    edited October 2021
    Thank you @Mrs_Hoffer , and I totally understand the comparing it to being an alcoholic! Back when I was on the Weight Watchers message boards my username was bbbingenomore because I had such a hard time stopping when I got started in on the carbs and had bouts of bingeing. I remember a couple of times I was so desperate for that "sugar high" when there wasn't any junk in the house, that I searched the living room and family room hoping to stumble upon a plastic Easter egg filled with chocolates that the boys had never found. That kind of desperation made me feel like an alcoholic or a junkie. I had found one of the Easter eggs a month or so after Easter once, that's why I thought maybe I'd get lucky and find another. :D

    @WhatMeRunning peanut butter is a big trigger for me! Definitely used to be one of my binge foods. It's nice now that I no longer have to have it in the house to tempt me, not since the boys went off to college and now live on their own. (27 and 30). But back when they were younger and living at home it was an ever present staple. Thing was, I probably ate more of the PB than they did! ;)