So I need some help

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    So I need some help

    I've always wanted to be in amazing shape and I'm almost 29 so I think my metabolism is going to take a nose dive (more than it already has) soon enough.  Before that happens I want to make sure that I'm as healthy as I can be.  With a family history of heart issues this is a concern for me because I'm already on high blood pressure medication.  Not to mention I kind of like the idea of having a six pack and Buttercup showing me off.

    Last year if you remember I did a weight loss challenge with my friends and I won.  I know how to lose weight but I don't just want to lose weight I want to change my life style so that its like its a diet but its just better food and its better for me.  You all know that I can handle the workout stuff just fine but the carbs are my issue.  I like beer.  I like burgers.  I like sandwiches.  I like potatoes.  Pretty much every meal has at least some form of that for me (not counting breakfast).

    So what I need from you guys are a couple of things if you'd be willing to help.  I tried a workout website where it turns into an online support group.  I liked the support but they didn't really help me too much.  I think knowing you guys will help me a bit more.  So I'm going to try to post what I eat and what I do for exercise on my blog page.  Just a "keep it up" or something like that will work but any new exercise ideas are great.  I like crossfit for new training ideas that are a lot different than normal weight lifting.  The second thing is that I'd like you guys to look at what I'm eating and may suggest alternatives if its awful.

    You might be saying, "Dread, we already boost your ego enough.  What's in this for us?"  Well I was thinking that with all of these recipes that it might help us all to eat just a little better.

    What do you think?
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    Re: So I need some help

    Oh and according to my evil evil scale I'm currently 26% body fat and I think 12% would be a lot better.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Another-Veronica. Show Another-Veronica's posts

    Re: So I need some help

    Dread, I love carbs too & I hate to diet or stick to plans. I want to eat when I want to eat it but because I prefer to be slim, I balance my day out.  If I overdo eating one day, the next day I'll eat lighter. 

    Instead of worrying or depriving myself of the foods I love, I cut down &/or balance it out meaning instead of 2 pieces of bread, I'll have 1. Instead of 3 dishes (small) of pasta, I'll have 2... etc. 

    Same thing with desserts. I have a terrible sweet tooth & love chocolate, muffins, cakes, Twinkies, Little Debbie products, cookies, etc. so I buy less. It's hard because I have kids in the house but it's better for them too.

    I have been trying to eat more fruit which is something that's not easy for me as I'm not a big fruit or vegetable person. I'm also trying to drink more water.

    As far as gaining muscle & losing fat, you know what you have to do.  Find different exercises you like & change it up a bit.  For me it's power walking or an exercise bike & I'm sad to say that I haven't been doing either for about a year & it's showing. 

    I don't need to tell you my age as you know this already & you also know that for my age, I'm doing okay but I could do better & I should be.

    I have no problem nagging you or encouraging you.  What's the link to your blog page? 

    You're young. Develop good habits now as you'll be thankful when you're older.  
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    Re: So I need some help

    You can access it from my profile.

    I don't buy desserts anymore and I don't drink soda or juices that describe themselves as cocktails.  I have a smoothie on mornings that I workout but my main problem is that I'm splitting time at a lot of different places.

    I'm going to school full time and working full time currently.  I spend a lot time at Buttercups but also time at home.  I don't have a ton of time to grocery shop and when I do I can't buy a lot of veggies because they'll just go bad.  In addition to that I don't have time to go grocery shopping with Buttercup and I don't want her to pay for my food either.  So I end up buying a lot of lunches and getting take out which is awful.

    So I need easy stuff to make in the small amount of time that I have.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from diamondgirl. Show diamondgirl's posts

    Re: So I need some help

    I think this is a good idea.  I will try to follow along as well, because I am turning from a Diamond Girl to a Circle Girl at this point, and would like to reverse the process.  We end up eating a lot of pub food, and also have the veggies rot before we get to them problem.

    Guy friends of mine who are big gym rats say they like to buy big packages of chicken breasts, and separate and freeze one per bag.  That way, they can just take out one of them and steam it with rice for dinner.

    Now, I think steamed chicken and rice sound really dull, BUT.... separating out portions of healthy chicken for yourself beforehand really help.

    Also, I have started using a half cup measure to measure our carbs out onto the plate.  I flatly refuse to stop eating food I like, but I realized that with two of us in the house, we were splitting a box of rice or other grains meant for FOUR.  Naughty!  We all eat much too much at once.

    For vegetables, I have stopped buying hidden carb veggies like corn and peas, and I hate to say this, but - there is no substitute for fresh leafy greens.  There is a small grocery store by my house, and I make an effort to stop in there on my way home and buy a couple of mixed peppers or some baby spinach or tomatoes (in season) every day - just enough for dinner.  It can't be helped; if you are going to spend any effort, spend it on fresh vegetables.

    Out at restaurants - eat a salad with grilled chicken or steak on top.  If I really want shepherd's pie or stew or a burger, I make it at home so I am not given a foot high pile of it.

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    Re: So I need some help

    Well about a month ago I started having this crazy idea and I looked at guy that have great bodies.  They all eat protein like its going out of style very minimal carbs and one day a week they eat what they want.  But with my schedule it just doesn't make sense.  So I'm thinking of giving myself 3 meals a week to eat what I want.  I love potatoes.
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    Re: So I need some help

    There is far too much sugar in almost everything we eat, and we eat far too much for our activity levels.  If you can cut potatoes to three meals a week, that would help.  :)
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    Re: So I need some help

    I'd love to help. It will help me keep on track also.

    There are a couple of things that seem counter-intuitive here, but bear with me. Complex carbs are your friends, because they give you fuel to burn. They also stick with you longer, so you don't get as hungry. Simple carbs, like sugary things, even fruits convert to sugar quickly and give you immediate energy that drops off quickly. Potatoes, unfortunately, process similar to sweets. So, if you love potatoes then they should be come your "treat" for the day and drop the soda or cookie you might otherwise eat. Proteins and "good" fats are your friends also because you don't get hungry as often. Fiber is really good, too, because it fills you up.

    As for eating on the run: here are a few things I've done. You can bring food with you in a refrigerated lunch bag and eat when you are hungry, a bit here and there. Good breakfast, half a sandwich at 10 am coffee break, small lunch with fruit and yogurt, gorp or tricuits with cube of cheese at 4, sandwich before class, cup of tea with one sugar at class breaktime. The small canned fruits in fruit juice are very portable, as are whole grain crackers and Laughing Cow cheese (if you can stand them) or a cube or two of better cheese. When I worked and went to school I also made up sandwiches ahead, wrapped them tightly and put them in the freezer (no mayo, it doesn't freeze.) They'd be thawed by lunch time.

    In general, try for whole grain breads, brown rice, and baked goods without trans-fats and with as little sugar or corn syrup added as possible.  If you've got to grab a fast food breakfast get a McMuffin type thing with an English muffin and decline the potato fries.

    At home or at Buttercup's, keep some large baking potatoes and nuke one and cover it with some relatively healthy topping for a quick meal. I also like the Amy's frozen burritos. There are some OK frozen things in the health food section of most supermarkets.

    That's all I got for now.
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    Re: So I need some help

    Well the theory is that proteins provide energy as well and because they are processed more quickly and aren't stored as much as carbs are then you'll lose that extra storage space.
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    Re: So I need some help

    I forgot, with the baking potatoes, get ones that have good clean skins, brush them with a vegetable brush before baking, and eat the skins. Lots of good stuff in there and they taste great.

    Also, stay away from most of the single-serve drinks. Even the fruit drinks can be very high in sugars. Drink water.

    Soups, other than home-made, are usually very high in salt so keep an eye on that.

    If you absolutely have to grab a quick lunch at a deli, choose a sandwich over pizza. Pizza has about a bazillion calories.

    A healthy fit young man who is busy and gets a lot of exercise does not have to eliminate fats. You need some fat in your diet to absorb certain vitamins. Use healthy fats, like olive oil.

    Learn to read labels.

    The American Heart Association has a great website and, I don't know if they still print it, but a terrific consumer-tested cookbook. By consumer-tested I mean the recipes actually come out the way they are supposed to :-)

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    Re: So I need some help

    In Response to Re: So I need some help:
    My holistic doctor is a big fan of the blood type diet.  I am o positive and she says I need more protein. I went vegetarian after reading "The Engine 2 Diet".  Veggie lifestyle may not be for everyone but there are some awesome points in that book.  Dread, I have a marathon you can run with me next year.....
    Posted by Lily87

    Ok.  I'm O Pos as well.
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    Re: So I need some help

    I had to start changing my diet around the time I hit 35.  People that have met me in person will laugh, because I am rail thin these days, but that has more to do with going through a divorce than anything.  But I digress.  I basically started cutting some things out of the grocery list.  Chips and doritos and such.  Anything where my impulse control was weak, I stopped keeping around the house.

    I also stopped eating out for lunch.  Stopped drinking sodas, except for the occasional treat.  I used to love drinking Pepsi in the am.

    I basically tried to make small changes here and there, and it really all added up to a big difference in my middle.  I never tried to do anything that I new I couldn't sustain for the long haul.

    The other thing, of course, is the gym and exercise.  I can't always do it regularly, but I just keep at it.  Sometimes I can only make it 1 day a week, but I never give up.  I just keep at it, no matter how little it might seem.

    good luck
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    Re: So I need some help

    Also, a lot of gyms have a nutritionist available for consults. Just one or two appointments could be a big help if you're not familiar with nutrition or not sure how to get the diet healthiest for your current lifestyle: work + school + athletics + busy social life.
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    Re: So I need some help

    If time is limited, buy frozen vegetables. My kids like broccoli & spinach. They add a little lemon or olive oil & have a nice healthy snack. Also tuna is good with olive oil (little as possible).

    Another thing that I learned years ago--anything light & creamy is a no-no.  This includes cheeses (sorry), mayonnaise, sour cream, butter. Also processed foods &/or foods made with flour, try to do without.

    I have difficulties digesting corn syrup or corn starch which is a actually a positive thing so whenever I go out for Chinese food (which I love), I say "no cornstarch" since they use a lot in their sauces. I usually have foods steamed & ask for ginger sauce on the side.

    I love chicken & I limit beef for special occasions. Unfortunately, seafood is not my favorite.

    Sodas / tonics are to be totally eliminated along with fruit juices which was already mentioned.  I take my coffee black too. Less sugar the better.

    When I crave something sweet (which is always), I buy the bite size chocolate bars. This actually does curb the craving so a regular size bar is not needed. Now it's time for my apple.

    By the way Dread, I'm happy to read that you & Buttercup are still together. Smile
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    Re: So I need some help

    No butter or cheese?  Death First.
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    Re: So I need some help

    I've never done pilates but I'd try anything.  I usually do a core workout with a medicine ball regularly and every time I pee I do 25 pushups, 25 squats, and a plank for 30 seconds.
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    Re: So I need some help

    The core workout that I do is the one if you google tarheals medicine ball workout.  It was in Men's Health.
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    Re: So I need some help

    Dread, I have many of your same issues and I even have a heart stent. I am 59. If heart disease runs in your family it really needs to be watched out for. I have come to the conclusion that genetics plays a huge role in that.

    Carbs will do you in. But complex carbs are good. Try to eliminate as much bread as you can. The only carbs that are any good say "whole wheat" not whole grain or just wheat.

    I must recommend a nutritionist. They are not expensive and they have classes everywhere. It will open your eyes. Eat right and exercise. There is no other way.

    And heck yes we will cheer you on. Even if I never want to see a picture of your 6-pack. DG and Lily, I am sure will.
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheRealJBar. Show TheRealJBar's posts

    Re: So I need some help

    Dread, this is going to be a long post so grab a snack (healthy of course) and settle in.

    Over the past few months I've dropped 32 lbs and I've got 6 more to go.  I went from a size 14 to a 6 and soon I'll be a 4.  I did it through portion control and exercise. 

    If you're at a restaurant, when order your meal ask them to put half of it in a carryout container before they serve you.  Drink water water water.  All day.  Esp before meals.  Salads actually taste better when they're only dressed with balsamic vinegar, no oil.  No bleu cheese! Eat a healthy breakfast as soon as you wake up - it'll kick start your metabolism.  Snack throughout the day on stuff that's easy to carry around (nuts, fruit etc).  Try to make your lunch the biggest meal of your day and go light at dinnertime. 

    When I go to restaurants now I always order a large salad with either chicken or salmon on it.  Even restaurants that don't have this on the menu will almost always make it for you.  If you like salmon, ask the server if it's wild or farm raised. Farm raised is not good.

    Invest in a decent heart rate monitor and wear it all day for a day.  Turn it on before you get out of bed. That night when you're headed to bed, check it to see how many calories you burned that day.  You have to take in fewer calories than you burn if you want to lose weight. 

    Homemade soup is your friend.  Weight Watchers has a recipe for zero point soup.  Make a batch on the stove or in a crockpot and you can heat it up all week for dinner.  I'll send you the recipe if you want.

    Buy everything organic.  Sure it's more expensive but you're not feeding a family of 6.  You can splurge on you.

    Exercise - walk everywhere you can.  And walk quickly!  At the grocery store, gym, etc. park as far away as you can. It kills me when i see people jockeying for the closest parking spot at my gym!  Try to walk briskly at least 30 minutes a day.  If it's not too geeky, carry dumb bells with you and swing your arms while you walk.  It's great for shoulders, biceps and triceps. 

    Exercise in front of the tv.  It's easy to do a bunch of ab exercises, bicep curls, etc while watching the Patriots and the Bruins. 

    Find a walking partner (Buttercup?).  Make a plan to get up 30 minutes early everyday and really bust hump around your neighborhood. 

    Make one weekend day the day you'll really get a good workout in.  Running, biking, hiking, skating, cross country skiing, blading, boarding....make it fun.

    Throw out your fat clothes!  Keeping them in the closet means that you expect to wear them again.  Bad!  Set milestones for yourself (baby steps) and reward yourself when you hit them.  As soon as you drop one size, get some sexy jeans in the new size.  After you drop another 10 pounds, buy those exercise shoes you've been lusting after.  Don't reward yourself with a hot fudge sundae though!

    My diet consists of lots of fruit and veggies, brown rice, lean meats and fish, lots of tea, soups, etc.  I tossed out the chips, cookies, ice cream, and I don't eat much bread anymore.  I know you like sandwiches - try whole wheat pita bread or deli flats for a change. 

    Bottom line is, a "diet" is a lifestyle.  You have to like what you eat or you won't stick with it.  You may be surprised how much "good for you" stuff you actually like!  And food without hormones and pesticides is just plain tastier.

    Last thought - next spring plant a garden.  If you don't have a yard, find a community garden in your town and get a patch of land.  The gardening is great exercise and food that you grow yourself is the best food you'll ever eat.