Healthy balanced diet

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by ~Dixie's_Mom~, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    I want to lose weight, and eat healthy (no extremes like no carbs, or 500 calories a day). I want to eat a healthy number of calories and a good variety of the food groups.

    An example of what I'm looking for would be: 2 grains, 3 proteins, 2 dairy, 3 fruits, 5 vegetables, etc, etc. (I just made up those numbers because I don't know how many is healthy.) Also, healthy eating tips such as: stick to whole grain, limit dairy, no processed foods, blah blah blah.

    What does your healthy diet look like?
     
  2. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Very few grains period. The grains I do eat on a rare basis are rice (typically well digested by everybody) and some corn (can't take the Midwest out of the girl.) No wheat, whole or otherwise.

    Meat. Make sure you're not buying meat that is loaded up with additives, nitrates, artificial colouring - it's disgusting the stuff they put in packaged meats. Pick up a bag of sliced deli meat sometime, gross.

    Actual veggies, not other stuff masquerading as a veggie. Corn is a grain. Potatoes are legumes.

    Fruit is fine as long as you aren't totally overloading on it. It's natural sugar but it's still sugar. I don't worry too much about it but it's something to be aware of. http://thepaleodiet.com/fruits-and-sugars/

    Avoid sugar, especially if it's been added to stuff that it shouldn't be (seriously, dried fruit is sweet enough on the merits of it's natural fructose. It really doesn't need sugar added to it.)

    Some dairy as long as it doesn't make you feel bad after eating/drinking it. Go for the real, full-fat stuff.

    Nuts too.


    Basically, read ingredient lists. If you don't know what all those things are on it, you shouldn't eat it. If you know what that chemical is, then think really hard about if you should still eat it. You want to put REAL food into your body. I'm not saying you have to go all organic or anything, but once you actually start reading labels and realizing how much crap is in so much of our food, including "healthy" packaged foods (ever read the ingredients to a Smart Ones frozen meal? GROSS.) it really changes your whole perspective.


    Also, I know some people claim "oh calories totally don't matter as long as it's REAL FOOD!" Yes, yes they do. You still need to be aware of how much and what you're putting in your body. It's hard to overeat when you're shoveling in lots of meat and veggies but people certainly do it. An absentminded fistful of nuts three or four times a day will add up.
    Here's a BMR calculator to get you a good picture of how many calories you should shoot for every day:
    http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

    As for carbs, I actually eat fewer carbs now eating real food than when I was eating "low carb." Average is sub-50 a day. If it doesn't happen naturally just keep an eye on them, shoot for 100-150. This loops back to the natural sugars in fruit type of thing.
     
  3. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    For me it's easy, real foods, limit grains to a couple times a week, not daily intake. Lots of fresh veggies and some fruit mostly berries. meat, a serving about the size of my fist 3-4 times per day and lots of coconut oil in smoothies and foods like almonds and avocados

    If it comes in a box or a can it is highly unlikely we eat it. Some stuff sure at times, but not a regular part of our diet.
     
  4. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    What beanie said.

    And portion control is important.

    The palm of your hand (sans fingers) is about a serving of protein.
    If you make a fist that's a serving of veggies.
    If you cup your hand what can fit inside that is a serving of starch (oats measured dry, rice measured wet).
    The size of your thumb is about a serving of fat (coconut oil to make scrambled eggs, roughly 10 almonds).

    Cut out anything processed. Generally if it comes in a box, it's not good for you. Dairy is also not the best for you and I'd get rid of it all together if you can. If you're going to eat grains go with rice or steel cut oats.

    If you're gonna eat crap or more starch than you should, you best earn it. Go for a jog with a dog or play a dance game on the wii or something.

    Eat often. Every 3-4 hours. When one works long shifts, protein shakes become your friend lol. I have protein with every meal (but remember I also work out 6 days a week). Planning out and pre packing your food for several days at a time is a smart idea.

    I'm not paleo but what I do is leaning closer to that than anything else really.
     
  5. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    or I could have just said, what Beanie said
     
  6. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    I'd say overall you need to count calories and meet your macro goals (protein, carbs, fat). MEASURE everything. Don't just guess on an ounce of nuts, measure it on a kitchen scale.

    If you work, pack your own lunch. Every day. Do not eat in the cafeteria, or go out to lunch. You cannot eat out healthy. If you manage to stay under your calorie goal, you'll still be ingesting way too much sodium or sugar.

    Eating out should be reserved for once a week and try boxing up half of your meal before you start eating. Avoid appetizers, chips/salsa, and bread. It's all filler. Chips are fried corn basically and almost all bread at restaurants is just white flour and crap.

    Really monitor what you drink. Coffee? That's cool, until you add sugar and creamer etc. Read the label on CoffeeMate coffee creamer, corn syrup galore. I use half and half only. No artificial sweeteners or sugars. Drink with artificial sweeteners have (potentially) been linked to sugar cravings. I was using MIO in my water, but started developing really bad afternoon headaches. My headaches were making me tired and I was skipping the gym a lot. I cut out the MIO and now I buy fresh lemons and squeeze them into my water instead. No more headaches. One margarita at a restaurant can have upwards of 600 calories or more. Beers are usually about 100 calories each and a shot is the same; around 100 calories.

    Get an app like MyFitnessPal. Track your calories. Everything you put in your mouth.

    Be prepared to spend one day a week organizing and cooking meals. We do a whole crockpot chicken sometimes and then use the meat throughout the week on different things. You can do chicken salad, tacos, sandwiches etc. Processed lunch meat is full of salt.

    I'd say the biggest thing is measuring your servings.
     
  7. eddieq

    eddieq Silence! I ban you! Staff Member

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    Everyone has given great advice here. My addition would be to "be deliberate" about what you eat. I have been a "grazer" all of my life. Open bag = empty bag. Is there food left in the serving dish? Finish it. Whatever comes on the plate in the restaurant is gone. Etc. Portion control was already mentioned, but you need to take that to heart.

    I've been updating the "weight loss progress" thread and have my ticker in my signature. I'm down 70 pounds by weighing/measuring everything and reading every label and knowing what I'm eating. If I eat in a restaurant, I'll often ask for something "on the side" if for no other reason than because they almost always come in one of those plastic cups that is a specific size (printed on the bottom by the manufacturer). I then have a measuring cup of known size and can better estimate portions from there (2 ounce dish is 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons, etc.) I log everything that goes into my mouth (I use the sparkpeople.com site with their iPhone app, others use myfitnesspal. Use what works).

    Eating the right portions of the right things and getting active is the "secret" of my success and I KNOW that you can have success, too!
     
  8. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    Thanks guys!! I've tried so many "diets". I've been doing Atkins (or something close to it at least) up until today when I finally decided I was sick of it because it just doesn't seem healthy and it's not really working. The artificial sweeteners are giving me headaches and I've been having bad stomachaches for days now.

    I know that exercise is the main thing I need to add into my daily life. I just have a lot of back problems and have developed some knee/hip problems as well (surely related to my weight) and it keeps me from exercising. But we are cleaning out our pool this weekend and I am planning to do at least 2 hours in the mornings swimming (not just lounging but actually moving around) and possibly some at night when I get off work. Swimming is really the only exercise I can do right now. I had a membership at the rec center and was swimming 3 or 4 times a week (for about 2 hours a day) for a while there and it was paying off. My membership expired though and it's expensive.

    When you say tacos and sandwiches what kind of bread and tortillas are you using?
     
  9. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    My husband is the only one who really eats bread anymore. I don;t eat the sandwiches, but I buy whole wheat bread for him.

    When we do tacos I put all of my taco insides (meat, cheese, guacamole, salsa, beans, whatever) into a bowl and I eat it with no tortilla.

    I went low carb a while back and while I'm not necessarily low carb anymore I never felt the need to add much bread back into my life. If I felt like eating a sandwich I'd probably put the shredded chicken into a bowl and add some shredded cheese and tomatoes, lettuce and maybe put a smidge of mustard on top and eat it with a fork.
     
  10. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Also, (I should think before I hit submit) homemade tortillas are easy. Just google "easy home made tortillas" and you'll get 1000 recipes. Just make it with whole wheat flour, no sugar, and fry it in a little coconut oil.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    One of the main reasons I quit doing "low carb." I was at the grocery store and realized what the low carbers wanted me to put in my body was artificial sweeteners, and what they DIDN'T want me to put in my body was a BANANA because it was too many carbs... nope... something was wrong with that.


    For me, a sandwich now is just the layers of meat and other goodies without the bread. Breakfast sandwiches are two sausage patties with eggs and bacon between them. I eat sausages or bratwurst (the local Amish make some **** good cheddar brats!!) just by slicing them up and eating them, usually with a slice of pepperjack or something layered on top. I just got myself some ham last night and I'm going to basically make a sandwich roll-up.
    For tortillas you can basically make a big flat fried egg and wrap your stuff up in the egg wrapper. Nom!

    Gluten free packaged breads are typically loaded with sugar and the ones you make at home are often full of stuff that isn't really any better for me. But I have sworn that one day I'm just going to buy myself a sourdough gluten free sandwich roll and eat ALL THE SANDWICHES. Just one time haha.

    I live by an 80-20 rule though mostly I'm pretty 100%. If I eat something that isn't "approved" I make a conscious decision to do so. Like I bought mini cupcakes for Payton's birthday and decided I wanted to eat one. It was not a OMG I FELL OF THE WAGON I RUINED EVERYTHING!! I just decided to eat one, even though I knew all the sugar and wheat in it would likely make my stomach hurt (and holy wow did it haha.) I never eat anything "bad" and then bemoan it later because I make sure EVERYTHING I eat I have decided to eat. Sort of like what Eddie said about being deliberate.
     
  12. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    I eat tons of fruit and veggies. For me, it helps to go ahead and splurge a little on them because then I'll actually eat them. English cucumbers are about twice as expensive as a regular one, but they're twice as delicious, too. Bell peppers are $4/bag for the tiny ones, but potato chips are $3, and which would I rather eat? I don't try to cut carbs, but my boyfriend has been for a while (and is down 25lbs! His goal is to lose 100lbs by Christmas, so I think he's going to do it) and he doesn't use fake sweeteners at all; he just doesn't eat wheat, corn, added sugar, or rice. He does a lot of smoothies (with berries, banana, chocolate, greek yogurt--all kinds of stuff) because he likes sweets. He does lettuce wraps, and eats a lot of eggs. We both eat more veggies (in terms of volume) than anything else.
     
  13. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    I recently bought these tortillas:
    http://www.latortillafactory.com/products-3.aspx

    You can get them at Costco. They don't taste as nice as a regular tortilla but they do the job. I tried making egg/cauliflower tortillas and was not impressed.
     
  14. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I'm doing weight watchers online, because I don't have the time or desire to micromanage my diet, and I want to be able to grab things and run. Plus there's 2 of us and we eat together and he like a lot of carbs and quite often cooks

    I've always eaten good healthy meals, but I snack.

    For me its more about planning ahead. Plan your menu for the day and stick to it. Factor in snacks for when you're hungry (I'm always hungry!!).

    Eg. I make a bowl of sugar free jelly with grapes in it. Then get a bowl for a sweet fix. Its free (maybe choc full of other crap, but you can't build Rome in a day). I took my lunch today, usually I make a huuuuge salad. But I keep a stash of weight watchers meals for the days I just can't be bothered (everyone has those days).

    Be realistic. Its not realistic to totally overhaul your diet in one go. I'd love to be all organic and no additives, but reality is that's not only very expensive, but I also have a hectic career and limited options where I can shop. It just isn't available to me. We don't even have a shop in our village LOL.

    One step at a time! You can work on just recording what you eat, then look at what you can comfortably change.

    Record what you eat!!! Whether you write it down or use a phone app (there's tons). Its an eye opener!

    And the portion size thing is soooooo important. I know HOW to eat healthy, but doing ww and weighing stuff out has been a MASSIVE eye opener. I had no idea the portions I was eating were so big.

    And TREAT YOURSELF. If you don't have a little of what you fancy now and then, you will probably be miserable. Just try and find healthier treats and make sure you account for them. And not every day ;)

    Will power is the biggest and hardest hurdle. That and there is SO MUCH unhealthy food out there vs healthy food. I missed breakfast this morning, and could I find anything nice to eat quickly from a shop? Naaa, its all crisps and snacks.

    FYI, I don't count alcohol haha. Unless its a beer, that I rarely rarely touch anyway :p

    I've lost 4lb in 2 weeks which I'm happy with. I've had bad days, I've had good days. I don't feel starved and I'm actually limiting my portions for the first time ever. Tea tonight was salmon fillet, new potatoes, corn cob, green beans and asparagus.

    And EXERCISE. I've got soooooooooo lazy! And I hate exercise. Meh.

    Good luck! Its not easy. I've had a terrible couple of days lol. I don't have tons to lose, but if I don't take control now, I will have tons to lose before long!!!!

    Oh and never get into a relationship. Boys make you fat lol ;)
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I'm overhauling my diet as we speak. I have successfully lost 50 lbs before so I know I can do it. But I fell off after my mom got sick and I lost access to he gym and moved into a house full of junk food and everyone brought us deserts when they made us dinner.

    So here's what I'm doing so far.

    1. No cokes at all. Ever. I read an article that compared meth mouths to people that drink lots of come. Talk about kick in the pants. I haven't gone cold turkey as far as sugary drinks go. I do a little bit of sparkling water and juice occasionally. I am trying to swith the juice out and add flavor with real fruit and such.

    2. No bread/pasta. Or really very limited. I've had one sandwich on whole wheat in the last 2 weeks. Not low carb per say but def more fresh food. Lotta salads and meat and veggies.

    3. One free meal a week. Go all out and don't feel guilty.

    4. Eat a breakfast with protein.

    5. Exercise. Starting small there. Today I ran 2 miles. I am going to lift weights tomorrow. When I lost weight I was working out 5-6 days a week.

    Some simple meals I've had are taco salads. Spinach, avocado, ground beef/turkey, cilantro, salsa, peppers. Probably not a perfect meal but I don't cook well so I go to Sprouts and pick up one of their rotisserie chickens and make roast veggies with it. Some days I make baked sweet potatoes. No butter but drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper. I love them.

    I actually do eat at my cafeteria at work for lunch and some breakfasts. Like I said I don't cook and we have an all organic place downstairs. They have all nutritional stats right there. So yesterday I got a veggie and egg omelette for breakfast and then roast turkey green beans and squash for lunch. They have a killer salad bar I go to for lunch. You have to be careful to avoid the pasta salads and such. Favorite snack is frozen mangoes. Omg yummy.

    So far i feel better overall. I think I can make more changes like cooking more for myself but baby steps are better than no steps. Whenever I try to chnge everything I fail.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    No sugar and creamer in my coffee. It is taking some getting used to for sure.

    I am actually not focusing on how much I eat as opposed to what I eat. I find if I do both initially I fail and feel horrible because I do a 180 on my diet and also drastically cut calories. Once I get adjusted to the different types of food I will go from there.
     
  17. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    sorry Laur but that's one of the best genuine typos I've seen in a while.
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Omg. How did I not see that?!

    Trying not to die laughing at work. Failing.
     
  19. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/02/21/a-decent-meal/
    Stirfry! It's by and large how I live.

    Also rolling ground meats into a ball and baking it.




    also bacon.
     
  20. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Curious, why are legumes bad for you? A Legume is simply a plant that can fix it's own nitrogen, therefore you don't have to fertilize as much with N. Beans, peas, peanuts, etc. Fact, never knew potatoes were a legume!
     

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