I Don't Know Anything About Dieting

Hello! I just recently decided to start dieting. I am 21 years old, 5' 6" and 145 lbs. I'd like to be 130, or 135 at the most. I started off exercising an hour to an hour and thirty minutes a day, and drinking a smoothie for breakfast, eating a lean cuisine for lunch, and having a salad for dinner, with the occasional carrots for a snack. Well I ended up losing 6 pounds in less than two weeks because I was completely under eating (about 1,200 calories less than I was supposed to, I had no idea!) So my question is, what is the right foods to eat on a diet to make sure you don't go over on sugars and fats, and make sure you don't go under on carbs and proteins? Because since I've started using MFP I haven't been able to get any of it right T_T Thanks so much!

Replies

  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    BUMP
  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    Anybody have any tips for me? Please help :(
  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    Bump
  • jody664
    jody664 Posts: 397
    I can only tell you what has worked for me. "Dieting" does not. Deprivation does not.

    What has worked for me:

    *Eating less than I burn each day.
    *Focusing more on whole foods and not eating a lot of pre-packaged stuff.
    *Cooking at home more.
    *Eating out less.
    *Packing a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks for work, so I'm not tempted to get chips and candy bars out of the vending machine.
    *Eating healthy foods 80% of the time, but allowing myself some "breathing room" if I want a piece of cake or ice cream.
    *Working out at least 3-4 times a week.

    My food diary is open if you want some idea of what I eat.
  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,693 Member
    You need to be patient and give people time to respond. You only waited 5 mins between your first and second post. Then only 2 mins between your second and third post. "Patience is the greatest of all virtues."

    From a thread I posted:
    The reason I am creating this post is because I’ve had a few requests for tips regarding weight loss. I don't know why people are asking me for tips considering I still have a lot to lose. :laugh: I am more than happy to share my opinion though and if you don’t agree, well that’s fine to. I make no guarantee that what I am doing will work for you.

    Things I use to help me:

    :heart: Heart Rate Monitor – I only use this for cardio workouts, because they aren’t meant for much else. I own a cheap Pyle Sports Heart Rate Watch (with chest strap) that I got off of amazon for $26. Polar HRM seem to be highly recommended, but are higher in cost.

    :heart: FitBit Zip – I was originally looking to get the One or Flex models, but my husband surprised me with a Zip. I wear it all day, to get a better idea of my total calorie burn for the day. I love that it syncs with MFP and will adjust my calorie goals based on how active I was for the day. It’s extremely tiny and I clip it to my bra (on the part between the two cups).

    :heart: Kitchen Scale – I only recently got my kitchen scale, but it is pretty much a must have if you want to be accurate with your food logs.

    Exercise:

    :heart: Reasons to Exercise:
    :drinker: Cardio – Is good for heart health, endurance, and will help burn some extra calories.
    :drinker: Strength – Is good for body appearance, strength, and will help burn fat (helps maintain LBM)

    :heart: Rest Days – Are important. You want to take at least 1 per week to allow your body time to repair and prevent injury.

    :heart: Work out Length – You don’t need to spend hours working out each day. I work out anywhere from 20- 90 mins 5-6 days a week. It all depends on how I’m feeling and how busy I am. I recently started Stronglifts 5x5, which takes about 30 mins 3x a week. The rest of my workouts are cardio or circuit training.

    Food:

    :heart: “Good”/”Bad” Food - I don’t believe in this. To me it is utter nonsense. Food is Food. Some foods provide more nutrients for very little calories while others have a lot of calories and very little nutrients.

    :heart: Calorie Goals – Should be reasonable and easy to maintain. Find what works for you. I think it’s probably easier to start with a higher calorie number and work your way down until you are losing at a rate that you are happy with (and that’s healthy). You might end up surprised by how many calories you can eat and still lose weight.

    :heart: Metabolic Issues – For those who have medical conditions that affect their metabolism, I’d suggest discussing things like weight loss with a dietitian. That way you can come up with a plan that will work for you. All the online calculators and stuff in that category will probably be very inaccurate for you.

    :heart: Vitamins – I take a multivitamin daily. I am actually going to switch from taking a GNC Multi to one I found at Walmart that is very similar to the GNC one, but only a quarter of the cost($5 vs $20). I take a multi because I found without it I was very lethargic. The one I’m going to start taking as soon as I run out of the ones from GNC is “One Source Multivitamin: Women’s.”

    :heart: Net Goal - MFP is designed to give you a NET goal to eat at. This means you are supposed to eat your exercise calorie burn. Depending on your accuracy of calculating your calorie burn, you might only want to eat 50-75% back. Another way to look at is:

    MFP estimated daily burn (no exercise) - 2500
    lose 1lb per week - -500
    MFP goal of - 2000 (no exercise)
    exercise burn of - 500
    MFP estimated daily burn (with exercise) - 3000
    lose 1lb per week - -500
    MFP goal of - 2500 (or net 2000)

    Tracking Progress:

    :heart: Weight – So many things can affect weight, because of this it shouldn’t be the only way you track your progress. Things to keep in mind:
    :drinker: Always use the same scale – Different scales can show different weights. You will get the most accurate number for tracking when using the same scale.
    :drinker: Don’t move the scale – Carpet, uneven flooring, different types of flooring…can all affect the weight on the scale. So when you weigh, you want it to be approximately the same spot for the most accurate number for tracking.
    :drinker: 3500 calories – To gain 1lb of fat you need to be over maintenance by 3500 calories.
    :drinker: Muscle Repair – Muscles will hold onto water to repair, because of this it is not uncommon to see a gain for a little while after a workout. This weight comes right back off when they are done repairing.
    :drinker: Sodium – Can cause you to retain water. This can also be amplified if you don’t drink enough to flush it out of your system. This is also another reason for temporary weight gain.
    :drinker: Water – Not drinking enough water can actually cause you to retain water. Recommended amount is 8 cups or 64oz. I drink 64 oz to 128 oz of water a day. It doesn’t have to be plain water either. I like to flavor mine with crystal light or tea.
    :drinker: Time of day – Your weight can fluctuate throughout the day. So for the most accurate tracking, you want to weigh at around the same time.
    :drinker: Frequency – This is up to you, but if small fluctuations bother you than only weigh once a week or less.
    :drinker: Lightest Weight – Will be naked, first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom
    :drinker: Multiple times a Day – Don’t Do It. As I said before, your weight will fluctuate throughout the day. What you eat, what you’re wearing, ect will all affect weight.
    :drinker: Clothes – If you weigh with clothing on, keep in mind that the scale will show your weight plus the weight of your clothes. (Jeans are heavy)
    :drinker: TOM - A lot of women will retain water around their TOM, but its just temporary and will go away.

    :heart: Measurements – This is a great way to judge progress. I take measurements once a month. Even if your weight seems to go up, if your measurements are going down, then you are moving in the right direction. For accuracy you want to try and measure the same spots every time. Places I measure:
    :drinker: Neck
    :drinker: Upper Arm – largest part
    :drinker: Forearm – largest part
    :drinker: Wrist – smallest part
    :drinker: Bust
    :drinker: Ribs Under bust
    :drinker: Waist – where you bend (usually the smallest area above belly button, but below rib cage)
    :drinker: Abdomen @ Navel
    :drinker: Hips – largest part
    :drinker: Thigh – largest part
    :drinker: Calf – largest part

    :heart: Pictures – Progress pictures are great. I like to take them once a month and at the start/end of any workout programs I do. You may not see the difference in the mirror, but comparing pictures will show you what the mirror does not.

    :heart: Body Fat % - This is another great weigh to track progress. The electronic devices that track it can actually be affected by how much water you did or did not drink. For this reason, I prefer body fat calipers. I got a cheap one off amazon.com ($4 w/free shipping). This is also another thing you only want to track once a month or so. Like measurements, if this number goes down (even if the scale stays the same or goes up) than you are making progress.
  • jennifershoo
    jennifershoo Posts: 3,209 Member
    First of all, you have to stop thinking that it's a "diet". It's not. It's a lifestyle change. If you make sustainable changes, you'll lose weight and keep it off instead of gaining it all back once your "diet" is over.
    Eat today like you're going to for the rest of your life.

    Then read these links to help you figure out how many calories you need:

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/975025-in-place-of-a-road-map-short-n-sweet

    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/819055-setting-your-calorie-and-macro-targets
  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    Thanks everyone :) Sorry about being impatient I'm just frustrated that I don't know what foods to eat >_<
  • jody664
    jody664 Posts: 397
    Thanks everyone :) Sorry about being impatient I'm just frustrated that I don't know what foods to eat >_<
    As others have said, you can eat ANY food as long as it fits your macros and calorie goals. Take a look at the links JenniferShoo posted. They will give you a better idea of what everyone means. Shadow2Soul also gave you some really good info.
  • ecdce
    ecdce Posts: 129 Member
    Thanks everyone :) Sorry about being impatient I'm just frustrated that I don't know what foods to eat >_<

    Eat what you like to eat. Some people eat what they've always eaten, but in appropriate portions. Some people go veg or vegan. Some people start a paleo/primal thing. Others cut way down on carbs while focusing on protein. Others eat mainly fat. Some people eat primarily carbs with very little fat and protein. Some people don't eat. Some people only eat raw foods. Some people drink protein shakes and smoothies. Some people follow commercial diets.

    For every person here who tells you what to eat, there will be somebody (or 50) who disagree and have a different point of view. There won't even be a consensus on how many calories you should be eating. It's great to hear other opinions, but for the most part you need to decide for yourself.
  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,693 Member
    Thanks everyone :) Sorry about being impatient I'm just frustrated that I don't know what foods to eat >_<

    Whatever foods fit into your calorie goals (providing you don't have a medical reason to cut certain foods out). What makes people gain weight, is the amount of food they eat not the type they choose to eat (again for a person with no medical issues that relate to food or metabolism).

    You will become full quicker if you eat low calorie, nutrient dense food than if you were to eat high calorie foods with less nutrients. Does this mean you have to cut chocolate out (high calorie/low nutrient), ice cream, or cake? No, just means you should eat it in moderation. In fact I had some dark chocolate last night and some this morning. A little later, I'm going to make a salad with eggs, chicken or fish (haven't decided), cheese, and dried fruit on top.
  • whierd
    whierd Posts: 14,032 Member
    The best tip I can give you is to treat it as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet. Eat how you plan to eat for the rest of your life.
  • kaywigs
    kaywigs Posts: 1
    Today's my first day! Thanks for the tips-I'm ordering scale and monitor from Amazon right now. Thx!
  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    Thank you for the help everyone. I greatly appreciate all the tips, and am very happy to know that I can still eat normally, just start having smaller portions! Once I run into some money I will definitely pick up one of the food scales, as well as the fitbit!
  • sanndandi
    sanndandi Posts: 300 Member
    The reason I am creating this post is because I’ve had a few requests for tips regarding weight loss. I don't know why people are asking me for tips considering I still have a lot to lose. :laugh: I am more than happy to share my opinion though and if you don’t agree, well that’s fine to. I make no guarantee that what I am doing will work for you.

    Things I use to help me:

    :heart: Heart Rate Monitor – I only use this for cardio workouts, because they aren’t meant for much else. I own a cheap Pyle Sports Heart Rate Watch (with chest strap) that I got off of amazon for $26. Polar HRM seem to be highly recommended, but are higher in cost.

    :heart: FitBit Zip – I was originally looking to get the One or Flex models, but my husband surprised me with a Zip. I wear it all day, to get a better idea of my total calorie burn for the day. I love that it syncs with MFP and will adjust my calorie goals based on how active I was for the day. It’s extremely tiny and I clip it to my bra (on the part between the two cups).

    :heart: Kitchen Scale – I only recently got my kitchen scale, but it is pretty much a must have if you want to be accurate with your food logs.

    Exercise:

    :heart: Reasons to Exercise:
    :drinker: Cardio – Is good for heart health, endurance, and will help burn some extra calories.
    :drinker: Strength – Is good for body appearance, strength, and will help burn fat (helps maintain LBM)

    :heart: Rest Days – Are important. You want to take at least 1 per week to allow your body time to repair and prevent injury.

    :heart: Work out Length – You don’t need to spend hours working out each day. I work out anywhere from 20- 90 mins 5-6 days a week. It all depends on how I’m feeling and how busy I am. I recently started Stronglifts 5x5, which takes about 30 mins 3x a week. The rest of my workouts are cardio or circuit training.

    Food:

    :heart: “Good”/”Bad” Food - I don’t believe in this. To me it is utter nonsense. Food is Food. Some foods provide more nutrients for very little calories while others have a lot of calories and very little nutrients.

    :heart: Calorie Goals – Should be reasonable and easy to maintain. Find what works for you. I think it’s probably easier to start with a higher calorie number and work your way down until you are losing at a rate that you are happy with (and that’s healthy). You might end up surprised by how many calories you can eat and still lose weight.

    :heart: Metabolic Issues – For those who have medical conditions that affect their metabolism, I’d suggest discussing things like weight loss with a dietitian. That way you can come up with a plan that will work for you. All the online calculators and stuff in that category will probably be very inaccurate for you.

    :heart: Vitamins – I take a multivitamin daily. I am actually going to switch from taking a GNC Multi to one I found at Walmart that is very similar to the GNC one, but only a quarter of the cost($5 vs $20). I take a multi because I found without it I was very lethargic. The one I’m going to start taking as soon as I run out of the ones from GNC is “One Source Multivitamin: Women’s.”

    :heart: Net Goal - MFP is designed to give you a NET goal to eat at. This means you are supposed to eat your exercise calorie burn. Depending on your accuracy of calculating your calorie burn, you might only want to eat 50-75% back. Another way to look at is:

    MFP estimated daily burn (no exercise) - 2500
    lose 1lb per week - -500
    MFP goal of - 2000 (no exercise)
    exercise burn of - 500
    MFP estimated daily burn (with exercise) - 3000
    lose 1lb per week - -500
    MFP goal of - 2500 (or net 2000)

    Tracking Progress:

    :heart: Weight – So many things can affect weight, because of this it shouldn’t be the only way you track your progress. Things to keep in mind:
    :drinker: Always use the same scale – Different scales can show different weights. You will get the most accurate number for tracking when using the same scale.
    :drinker: Don’t move the scale – Carpet, uneven flooring, different types of flooring…can all affect the weight on the scale. So when you weigh, you want it to be approximately the same spot for the most accurate number for tracking.
    :drinker: 3500 calories – To gain 1lb of fat you need to be over maintenance by 3500 calories.
    :drinker: Muscle Repair – Muscles will hold onto water to repair, because of this it is not uncommon to see a gain for a little while after a workout. This weight comes right back off when they are done repairing.
    :drinker: Sodium – Can cause you to retain water. This can also be amplified if you don’t drink enough to flush it out of your system. This is also another reason for temporary weight gain.
    :drinker: Water – Not drinking enough water can actually cause you to retain water. Recommended amount is 8 cups or 64oz. I drink 64 oz to 128 oz of water a day. It doesn’t have to be plain water either. I like to flavor mine with crystal light or tea.
    :drinker: Time of day – Your weight can fluctuate throughout the day. So for the most accurate tracking, you want to weigh at around the same time.
    :drinker: Frequency – This is up to you, but if small fluctuations bother you than only weigh once a week or less.
    :drinker: Lightest Weight – Will be naked, first thing in the morning, after using the bathroom
    :drinker: Multiple times a Day – Don’t Do It. As I said before, your weight will fluctuate throughout the day. What you eat, what you’re wearing, ect will all affect weight.
    :drinker: Clothes – If you weigh with clothing on, keep in mind that the scale will show your weight plus the weight of your clothes. (Jeans are heavy)
    :drinker: TOM - A lot of women will retain water around their TOM, but its just temporary and will go away.

    :heart: Measurements – This is a great way to judge progress. I take measurements once a month. Even if your weight seems to go up, if your measurements are going down, then you are moving in the right direction. For accuracy you want to try and measure the same spots every time. Places I measure:
    :drinker: Neck
    :drinker: Upper Arm – largest part
    :drinker: Forearm – largest part
    :drinker: Wrist – smallest part
    :drinker: Bust
    :drinker: Ribs Under bust
    :drinker: Waist – where you bend (usually the smallest area above belly button, but below rib cage)
    :drinker: Abdomen @ Navel
    :drinker: Hips – largest part
    :drinker: Thigh – largest part
    :drinker: Calf – largest part

    :heart: Pictures – Progress pictures are great. I like to take them once a month and at the start/end of any workout programs I do. You may not see the difference in the mirror, but comparing pictures will show you what the mirror does not.

    :heart: Body Fat % - This is another great weigh to track progress. The electronic devices that track it can actually be affected by how much water you did or did not drink. For this reason, I prefer body fat calipers. I got a cheap one off amazon.com ($4 w/free shipping). This is also another thing you only want to track once a month or so. Like measurements, if this number goes down (even if the scale stays the same or goes up) than you are making progress.
    [/quote]
    :flowerforyou:
  • bulbadoof
    bulbadoof Posts: 1,062 Member
    When I first started out, I kept notes about how I felt a couple hours after eating certain foods. Like, say one day I had a cheeseburger and a chocolate milkshake for lunch; a few hours later I felt headachey, tired, sick to my stomach, just generally bleh. The next day I'd have, say, a grilled chicken breast and a large portion of vegetables; a few hours later I felt satisfied, clear-headed, full of energy, nothing to complain about.

    Since everyone is different, I find that keeping notes about how your body reacts to what you feed it is a great way to learn about what you specifically need to feel your best and take the best care of yourself that you can. Not to mention, knowing that a food you might be craving is gonna make you physically feel like crap is a good way to talk yourself out of it without feeling like you're "missing out" or "depriving yourself".
  • SillaWinchester
    SillaWinchester Posts: 363 Member
    My tip is do not go cold turkey with anything.

    For example, my weak spot is Starbucks. Especially the Fraps. I know from previous experience that I cannot just cut anything out of my diet because that will make me want it more. Take small steps to get healthier. I started with just getting a tall (small) instead of Trenta (Extra large). Then I continued getting talls and also saying no whip on top. When I get teas, I say unsweetened or sugar free. When milk is involved I get fat free.

    Sometimes, fat free isn't a good thing. Like fat free ice cream, they just add extra sugar to make up for there being no fat.

    Another great thing I've learned on here is the fresher the better! All packaged foods are normally worse for you but if you get things out of the garden or you make things from scratch, it's so much healthier!

    I myself just started up a garden in my back yard. It's WAY cheaper than buying veggies at the store, and they are healthier because you control how they grow (no sprays, or harsh chemicals.)

    When you have a snack attack, go for something like rice chips rather than a bowl of ice cream. Rice chips are usually cheap, and they are low on cals but HIGH in taste! For days when you need sweets, you can even get caramel or chocolate flavored rice chips and they are still fairly low in cals. Even get those 50 -100 cal snack packs.

    NEVER skip a meal. That puts your brain and tummy in overdrive and will make you even more hungry than you'd be if you'd just eaten regularly. If you don't have time to eat, grab something healthy on the go like nuts or berries.

    I like drinking water BEFORE I eat because it makes me feel much more full, and it also helps me get my daily water intake.

    Hmmm, yeah, I have a ton more tips. If you're curious, feel free to message me and I can help you out a bit!

    - Prescilla :)
  • Pandlove
    Pandlove Posts: 8
    I wish I had nicer soil. I would totally start a garden!