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While you're losing weight or trying to become more healthy, one of the best things that happens is that you drop bad habits along the way and pick up better ones. A few of mine are:
- I never drink regular soda anymore.
- If I have a choice, I always choose whole wheat over white bread.
- I always ask for salad dressings to be on the side, you'd be surprised at how many calories are in them and how much they drown your salads with them.
- I have discovered that I love fruits, especially the ones in season.
- I use low calorie cooking spray to cook eggs instead of oil.
- I never eat foods I don't like... what a waste of my calories! I try to use them wisely.
- I have nuts more often than I did before. I almost always add them to cereals or salads.
- 1% milk is perfect for me, not too heavy and not too bland.
Also, I almost always use "reduced" versions of things- never completely fat-free, though... yuck! I believe in having the foods or flavors you love but tweaking it a bit to be healthier. And in my opinion, these things taste the same whether they are the regular or reduced version:
- Light mayo
- Light thousand island
- Reduced fat cream cheese
- Low-sodium salt
- Reduced sugar ketchup
- Reduced sugar BBQ sauce
- Natural peanut butter
- Reduced fat ice cream (Dreyer's Slow Churned Cookie Dough is my favorite)
- Certain baked chips (Cheetos, Sour cream and Cheddar Cheese Ruffles)
- Diet Soda
- And a lot more!
Don't get me wrong, some foods are meant to be enjoyed in their original condition, but I use those foods sparingly because a little usually goes a long way.
And yours are?
Reason: 7/17/09: Stickied for a short time, thanks; 7/28/09: Unstickied
After trying soo many fad diets, the best thing I've learned is not to obsess with the scale and to eat healthy nutritional (and delicious) foods rather than the junky stuff.
No more chips and candy at night or watching a movie, instead it's fresh fruit :) Also, that taking a long walk not only burns more fat and calories, but is easier and more fun to stick to
I've really cut down on my portion sizes at meals, especially meat and carbs. Instead I bulk up my food with extra veges if the portion I serve myself doesn't feel satisfying.
I've learnt that at parties, or situations where there is lots of yummy food around I can be happy not eating, or really limiting my portions. For example, if my flatmate brings home a chocolate cake for us to share, I don't have to overeat and get "my fair share".
I've realised I don't need to top all my meals with cheese to make them taste good.
I plan and prepare my lunch the day before, this saves me money and means I can have delicious, low calorie meals.
Most importantly though, I'm so much more aware of what I'm eating. Now, before I buy any food I look at the calorie content and I've realised that extra grated cheese on dinner and snacking on "the odd chip or two" really does add up.
less of a good thing is just as satisfying as more.
-I've completely stopped drinking soda drinks and energy drinks. I'd get through 4-5 cans a day until I realized it was empty calories that were rotting my teeth. Now water is more than sufficient and I don't crave anything else.
-I make sure I stick to the 'no food 3 hours before bed' rule. It stops me going to bed feeling bloated and lethargic and means I wake up in the morning feeling thin and ready for breakfast.
-I eat breakfast. I know it's the most important meal of the day, that doesn't stop the fact that I haven't eaten before 12pm for the last 8 years!! Now I know that eating breakfast stops me from bingeing throughout the day and I feel healthier for it.
-I eat when I'm hungry and I prepare food in advance. I work a job that involves working long hours in the evening/late night and I would often go without eating for 5-6 hours before I could get home and make myself some dinner. This would mean that most nights I'd come home and ravish anything I could find to fill the hunger pangs. Now I prepare food in advance so I can take my meals to work. Stops me from feeling hungry and allows me to focus more on my work.
I have replaced sugary snacks with fresh fruit and vegetables. My favorite snacks are sliced cucumbers, mandarin oranges and apple slices with peanut butter. I have also started eating more whole grains (bread, pasta, cereal,etc). I finally feel like I have control over my weight. Losing weight is about life changes and making good choices. For years I have been making the wrong food choices, but now that I'm a mother I want to change my eating habits so that my kids will have healthy eating habits too.
What it really all boils down to for me..is actually understanding what I am eating and how it affects me!!! It has made me appreciate food so much more and my body, it seems so clear now.
I can do without almost anything that I know is downright empty calories. I don't crave junk now, I crave healthy foods!! I try and pack fruits and veggies into my day that are high in all B vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, D, Omega 3's, Fiber, Fiber and Fiber.
KALE!!! is awesome, so full of great things!!! I eat it twice a day usually lunch and dinner!!TOFU!!!! I still eat red meat.......But, I hated it up until I got preggo 3 yrs. ago???
CHERRIES!! Greek Yogurt. I actually definitely prefer wheat breads hands down now to whites!!!!! and that is a feat, because I was a complete potato pasta white bread freak, until I was about 18 soo. Yeay! . I don't do to many low cal low fat foods, only dairy, and try to consume sparingly!!!
Like everyone else said portion control, and allowing for ups and downs in food mood!
Original Post by stillwatergirl:
i think the healthiest change i have made is just plain reducing how much i eat, following serving sizes. I have always had a pretty balanced diet with fairly good food choices, so i think this is the best change i have made.
another thing i have done is cut waaaaaaay back on diet soda (i only drink diet). i have found that it really makes me retain water. instead, i drink water and flavor it with lemons, limes, orange slices, etc. that way i am getting something more than plain water (and a little extra vitamin c as well). occasionally i will still have a diet coke but i can definitely feel the difference in the water retention.
oh there is one other healthy change i forgot - i dropped the fully loaded vanilla lattes - i was drinking 3-4 of these a week. now i rarely have one but when i do i go for the skinny version (skim milk, sugar-free syrup).
i agree with you on the completely fat-free foods - yuck - they taste way to fake to me. although, i do eat fat-free yoplait yogurt. i don't even really eat lo-fat versions of some foods - i am afraid that they are compensating with something that is worse for you. artificial sweeteners freak me out especially.
Ive learned to
-eat breakfast..even if its just a small piece of wheat bread with rose hip jam, it still helps me not to pig out between when i get up and when i eat lunch.
-bring own wheat bread, gouda cheese, and grilled chicken sandwhich to work..its a lot cheaper and im a lot less sick and drowsy after lunch. (it gives me the RIGHT kinda energy!)
-cut out on cokes AND diet cokes (although i cant resist sometimes)..all the news about diet cokes really freaks me out. ive started to drink water late nights and during work instead of diet coke after diet coke. Plus water seems to help supress my appetite if i sip on it a bit. (I think diet coke actually made me hungrier lol)
-wine...1 glass a night is enough. 2-3 glasses for special occasions is more than enough. will never binge again (plus it makes me super hungry afterwards, so id just grab the unhealthiest thing i could find and gobble it up)
-not gorging myself on things i think that are healthy but actually arent. I use to have the mentality that if I eat this instead of this, it will be all good. Turns out calories are calories..
-knowing when im hungry and when im not. I try for "stretches" now..in other words, I eat enough to be full at lunch so that i wont be pigging out on things before dinner. I used to eat a small bit of something for lunch and then i would say to myself an hour later, oh its ok to eat these cookies because i didnt have much for lunch...some people are successful with eating small meals, but for me small meals means unhealthy things. I eat at certain times a day and thats it. Like my mom used to say, dont eat that, youre going to ruin your appetite! its totally true. Dinners taste better and I enjoy them a lot more if i dont eat a bag of potatoes chips before dinner
I will never, ever subsitute diet foods for the real thing. I love my heinz ketchup and my full fat gouda cheese. Some diet foods do taste good tho like the non-fat vanilla youghurt.
thanks for this post!
I spend more money on healthy food alternatives (instead of buying cheap foods that are filling but fattening).
I enjoy walking/biking as meditation, and have found that an early morning excursion wakes me up so that I no longer need to drink coffee, which always made me hungry.
I force myself to lay down earlier in the evening with a book so that I get at least 7-9 hours of sleep. That ensures that I'll wake up hungry and ready to exercise.
I do a lot of sit-ups and crunches, because that stretched, stiff muscle feeling in my stomach reminds me why I shouldn't get that pint of Ben and Jerry's. :)
Not being a fan of 'remove a food group from what you eat ' type diet, just looked at the portion sizes. So eating mainly same but less of it, am I more hungry? not realy. Also cut out the snacking, its amazing how easy it is to nibble. But now thanks to this site more aware of the calories in different foods.
If i do feel like something extra in the evening, I go for the fruit bowl instead of the crisps.
Must be working cause i am down about 3 Kg from when I started 3 weeks ago.
Also balance my calore intake if going out so as to give me that buffer.
Look at avarage calorie intake over a few days so as to not get guilty about the days I do slip up.
I am down to only 1 Diet Pepsi a day (HUGE for me!). I drink water all day long. I eat more fruits and veggies than ever! The biggest change has to be the DP. I was up to 6-8 per day! Some mornings I can't even finish a whole one anymore!
switched up some of the foods I eat everyday-
peanut butter (jif) (210) > almond butter (180), sunflower butter (200), natural pb (190)
peanut butter & jelly on wheat > sunflower nut butter & banana slices on sprouted bread
cheese (80) > lactose-free rice cheese (40)
blueberry or raisin scones (390)> caramel biscotti (120)
soy latte (130) > iced americano (15)
diet soda > water or tea
I heard that if you change 5 or so of the foods that you normally eat with lower calorie/healthier alternatives then you will lose weight over time.
I lost 2 lbs since I switched 3 weeks ago without really trying!
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For example, instead of eating 2 tbsp of 210 calorie peanut butter, i switched to almond butter. If you eat it everyday like me, then in a year you will lose 3.12 lbs!
Once a week soy latte > iced americano saves 1.7 lbs in a year
Once a month scone > once a month biscotti saves 0.92 lbs in a year
Little changes make a big difference!! :) :)
You are so-o right about that, la9!
I used to put 2-3 full packets of sweetener (NatraTaste) into a full pot of coffee, pour it into my thermos, and then I was good to go all day...when we went out I would add a full packet of sugar to the cup, as they re-filled it, I added more.
Then, my husband & I were talking about small things, just as you have done...so I changed my sweetener to one packet @ a time & I don't even taste the difference! Also, when we are out (at least once a day) I add one HALF of a packet to my first cup, and as they re-fill it, I do NOT add any more...slowly I am getting used to the taste of very little "sweet" in my coffee!
He keeps predicting that someday I will decide to stop adding cream/non-dairy creamer...lol, but I do have my standards, eh?
But as I add one more good habit each week or so, I have noticed a big change in my eating habits...and it's only been since 3 June! I can't wait to see what we will come up with next...
100% cut out regular soda!
100% cut out bread!
and never ever use BBQ sauce anymore (HUGE IMPROVEMENT!!!)
It's very inspiring to read about other's modifications. It encourages me so much more. Here are my major changes:
I drink mostly water, with lemon, or green tea. I used to drown myself in Diet Coke, but, limit my consumption to only one a day for a treat. Now, when I'm thirsty, I crave fresh water.
I eat a whole-grain breakfast, usually oatmeal with raisons, walnuts and dates. For a midmorning snack, I grab a Yoplait light or a handful of cherries, grapes, or watermelon...whatever fruit i have stocked up on.
My main change is in portion size. Instead of big dinner and lunches, I scale it down. For lunch, I have tuna, sardines, or a salad with an egg... something with veggies and lean protein.
Another major strategy is to constantly avoid my trigger foods. For instance, a modest handfull of nuts will set off my appetite, and bread is a fierce temptation. Even one slice of bread undermines my day.
I look up calorie counts of restaurants I am going to dine at that day, and plan my daily menu accordingly.
I try to exercise for at least 20 minutes every day, and an hour every few days.
But, my biggest success has come from praying, and releasing my weakness, depending on God's strength to sustain my hunger pains. Since most of my weight gain was due to an emptiness inside that needed to be constantly fed, I've learned to not replace emotional and spiritual deficiencies with food. I've been learning to love myself, and regard my body as a vessel that God gave me, not to destroy but, to be triumphant.
I don't mean to sound preachy or like an annoying proselyte seeker. Yet, I have lost 30 pounds and without God, I don't think I could have experienced such success. Not only do I look better, but, I feel rejuvenated. Oh, and THANK GOD FOR CALORIE COUNTERS! It works to write down your intake, plan menus, and do it sensibly!!!!
I cut out all pop, and most juices, and only usually drink water and green tea. I also drink skim milk with certrain meals.
I try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible, but if I must have some I only eat a small portion of it.
switched to whole wheat and whole grains rather than white, I find them more filling plus they give me some extra calories which I need.
I try to eat lots of fruit, I'm not a fan of veggies but I eat them with stir fry and other meals.
I never used to eat any nuts, but now I have added some almonds and almond butter to my diet, and I also added some flax seed.
One thing that was really hard for me was to eat MORE. But I am getting the hang of it and getting the right amount of calories my body needs. I have finally lost another two pounds, which makes me so happy because I've been at the same weight for at least a month and was getting really frustrated
stare(mirror,above plate)(set silverware down between bites)(sip water)
slice(whatever,eat INTO bite size pieces)
serve(plate,use utensils,as necessary)
each item,separate plate. much more meaningful,tastefull.
I haven't been at this very long. However, I have noticed that I have better eating habits if I measure out and plan ahead. I am very busy going from job to job. I started planning a few low cal snack options the night before. Then I measure it out. I'm not prone to just pick up whatever I see. While my students are eating their junkfood/sweet treats at snack time, I have some apple slices or crackers that I counted out. It really seems to be helping.