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To ask how I can lose weight in my current circumstances

(25 Posts)
WhereDoesThisRoadGo Mon 06-Mar-17 15:44:41

I have gained about 2 stone in 3 years and am now completely miserable at my current weight of 14 stone. At 5'7" this means I am at least 3 stone overweight. I lost a lot of weight when I was younger with weight watchers, when I had little responsibilities and time to cook. Now, I live away with work during the week, work 11+ hours per day, and only have the accomodation canteen or a microwave in my room. Since being in this situation I have maintained my weight, but seem to lose and regain the same 4lbs rather than lose consistently.

So, AIBU to ask for your weight loss tips that would be possible to achieve in this situation? So, no epic food prepping, no recipes that cannot be done in a microwave, and no attending meetings as I do not have the equipment or time. For now.

I am up for a quick fix to get the first stone off then a loner-term plan to see me through to the end. My circumstances become easier in late May so could attend meetings then if it is the best way.

I can exercise most days 0630-0730 and generally do 2 swims, a run, a cycle and a couple of Body Coach things per week. Give or take because, again, time.

DonaldStott Mon 06-Mar-17 15:52:53

The good news is that you are not at least 3 stone overweight. At 5ft 7, you are the top end of the bmi chart, but in the healthy range, at 11st 6lb. You may want to be lighter, but you will not be overweight if you achieve this goal.

I bought a step - tenner off ebay - and put youtube step workouts in the morning. But losing weight is mainly about diet.

What works for me is reducing carbs. Not cutting them out completely, but instead of having a jacket spud with steak, I will have it with a cauliflower steak instead.

I am following slimming world and have lost 16lb in 8 weeks, so must be doing something right.

noeffingidea Mon 06-Mar-17 15:58:23

In your situation I would use and go from there. That way you can work round your limitations.
I probably would prepare my own food rather than use the canteen. That way you know exactly what you are eating.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 06-Mar-17 16:07:22

Do you have a fridge in your room as well?

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Mon 06-Mar-17 16:20:14

I would use 5:2 - you eat 500 calories for 2 days a week and then normally the rest of the week.

With your long hours you will need those calories to keep you going so you could have an omelette for breakfast, a banana & a few (like 3 or 4!) nuts for lunch and then something like a reduced calorie soup (thinking that you won't have to actually cook this which would make it easier).

MrsTWH Mon 06-Mar-17 16:24:04

Log everything in myfitnesspal.

If microwave is most convenient, stock up on M&S Balanced For You meals - all calorie counted and pretty tasty. Soup is also a good low calorie filling food.
Cut down on carbs.

RedMetamorphosis Mon 06-Mar-17 16:38:20

I would calculate how many calories my body needed per day (TDEE). Then you have a baseline to work from. You can then reduce the calories you eat, increase the calories through exercise, or a combination of the two in order to create a calorie deficit and lose weight.

You can immediately reduce calories through slightly decreasing portion size and swapping calorie-laden drinks for water. Make conscious decisions - instead of steak and chips, get steak and salad etc.

What sort of meals do the canteen serve? I would be looking at pots of porridge and fruit for breakfast, some sort of protein with veg for a main meal at lunch and then soup or even ready meals for dinner. At least you can get an idea of how many calories you are consuming in the ready meals.

I've lost and kept off 12kg with the above method of calorie counting and tracking on myfitnesspal very easily.

GrassWillBeGreener Mon 06-Mar-17 16:44:28

Have a read on low-carb bootcamp, both the forum threads and the tools they link to, and see if it sparks some ideas as to how you could make lower carb work for you. Chicken pieces or pork chops can be quite tasty microwaved with vegetables in a covered casserole dish; microwaved greens with butter or oyster or soy sauce are yummy.

I'm more overweight than you (though taller) and have given myself an initial 4 stone goal. 1st stone has taken a month following lowcarb bootcamp, I'm hoping I can lose another over the next couple of months, maybe more.

Justanothernameonthepage Mon 06-Mar-17 17:28:00

Regular meal times. Small multiple courses (nothing fancy, soup and then salad before mains). Eat vegan twice a week (or dairy free veggie if vegan is too big a stretch). Get some pickled veg as well to add variety. Cut down on sugar/diet items. And avoid fizzy drinks.

specialsubject Mon 06-Mar-17 17:45:22

Do you have a fridge? With a microwave you can have nice filling porridge for breakfast, buy the big pack oats not the sugary pricey sachets. Add some fruit.

And I agree - 2.5 stone off puts you in range.

mollymaid16 Mon 06-Mar-17 18:17:15

Hi op I have the exact same stats as you at the moment and currently I find my fitness pal is fantastic. I scan all my food on and don't go above 1300 a day but if I'm having a day were I really struggle then I'll try not to go over 1600 which means I won't put any weight on even if I struggle

I find this cheap as I would go do a Normal shop on my budget and then figure out calories later and you'll find you'll actually start to buy lower calorie food etc etc

WhereDoesThisRoadGo Mon 06-Mar-17 21:08:50

Hi all, thank you so much for your excellent feedback. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply... I have just finished work! 😂 Anyway, to answer your questions, I do have a little fridge, a microwave and a kettle. But not enough imagination to know what to do with them. The canteen serves all sorts - usually a roast meat, a curry and a vegetarian option, plus a salad bar and soup at lunch.

And thank you for the tips about my weight. Weirdly enough, I did used to know that. I guess when we gain weight we lose perspective a bit.

EastMidsMummy Mon 06-Mar-17 21:17:39

Eat less food (smaller portions). Don't twat about with funny diets or 5:2 or Slimmers World.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 06-Mar-17 21:42:10

I use myfitnesspal to log everything which is helpful. The problem with the canteen food is that you don't know the ingredients or the portion sizes which makes it quite hard to work out how many calories you're consuming. In your position I think I'd do things like ready made soups, big salads, maybe some good quality ready meals, jacket potatoes in the microwave with salad, etc. I currently have porridge and fruit for breakfast, I do the porridge in the microwave. Greek yoghurt and fruit or bircher muesli are also good for breakfast.

Ethylred Mon 06-Mar-17 21:58:15

Stop eating the canteen food. Just stop. It will be loaded with fat that you don't know about, because that's a cheap way of making things taste good.

Chocolatecake12 Mon 06-Mar-17 22:04:33

Could you make low fat healthy soups at home during the weekend to take to your works accommodation fridge?
Plus a few ready meals?
Left over healthy pasta re heats quite well too.

RiceBurner Mon 06-Mar-17 23:09:39

Everyone needs to find their own method. (We are not all the same.) But this would be my method in case you want to try ...

Eat only one meal a day in the evening. Make it a low carb one ... eg with lean meat or fish and veg. (But not cheese!) Or just veg. And maybe a probiotic plain small yoghurt (or 2) for dessert, or fruit. (If dessert is needed.)

In your situation, just mainly veg meals might be easier to prepare?

So how about a salad made from tinned veg (eg sweetcorn, kidney beans, greenbeans) or a plate of microwaved fresh veg. (Broccoli, cauliflower, sugarsnap peas or green runner beans?) Or a 2-3 egg omelette with some veg added?

Any veg dish can be vastly improved upon (taste-wise) by a generous potion of fat. Suggest an olive oil dressing made to your taste (eg olive oil mixed with salt/pepper or with sweet soya sauce and/or sesame oil or vinegar etc) to give it some flavour. (And the oil will make you feel more full?!)

Another simple meal could be some (unpeeled) baked pots (well cooked in a microwave so they end up well shrivelled and quite sweet tasting) served with tinned baked beans and/or a good dollop of butter.

Or an omlette with some added veg and maybe some bran if you need the fibre.

In the daytime, just plenty of fluids (ie tea or coffee galore - no sugar but milk is fine).

And if v hungry during day , snack on 1-2 (prepreared) boiled eggs or fresh fruit or veggie sticks .Or unsalted nuts/seeds. (But don't go mad with the nuts/seeds!)

As I say, this sort of eating pattern is not for everyone but it would work for me, as you are giving your body a good fast each day. And you will sleep OK if you have eaten before bedtime. The fluids will keep you going and hopefully keep you from constipation. (If not, add bran to meals/yogs!) The (good) fats and proteins will keep you feeling fuller longer. The lack of (any) added sugar and complex carbs will make you feel much more alert.

Keep busy in the day and try to take a walk outside if you have a break and you are able to. (Rather than just sit and snack.)

This type of food might sound not too great to start with, but you can really get used to this sort of diet. And then the flavours will become far more enjoyable. (Esp after cutting out the carbs/pure sugar and the junk.)

Good luck!

SorrelSoup Mon 06-Mar-17 23:25:07

I'm almost the same as you. I'm 5' 8" and used to use ww. I've been in the 14s since having the dc, stuck in the same cycle of losing and gaining the same 4lbs. Since January I started mfp again on 1200 calories per day. I don't count fruit and vegetables or plain salad. I've just got into the 12s; aiming for 11st 7lbs which is a healthy bmi.

Second the m&s count on us meals. Slim a soup for a snack. I have oatsosimple Porridge every morning. A sandwich for lunch, then ready meal and fresh vegetables for dinner. I do make fresh stir frys etc but obviously you can't do that when away. Would you be able to make a meal and eat in the canteen? Can you add their salad and veg?

I was exercising but have been unable to for a month and the weight has still come off. Good luck!

TheTartOfAsgard Mon 06-Mar-17 23:25:08

I lost 3 stone in 3 months. I just ate fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and bought the weight watchers ready meals (400g version from Iceland)for lunch and dinner with either bagged salad or a Birdseye microwave veg pack, kept my calories at 1200 a day or round about. Did this 6 days a week then had a huge roast dinner on a Sunday. Snacked on clementines and tinned pineapple, or toast and marmite for something savoury. When I was at my goal weight I replaced my evening meal with something more substantial and gradually increased my calorie intake every few weeks until it was at 1900. Kept the weight off since 2009 (2 stone heavier now due to pregnancy but will go back on the above diet after as I know it works for me)

Ele13 Mon 06-Mar-17 23:26:21

Microwave cookery - you can cook loads in the microwave !

Salmon and other fish cook fine. You could have fish with a soy sauce and ginger dressing, or lemon and parsley, or tomatoes and capers and balsamic.

I like a tasty salad with roasted butternut squash, Parmesan, Parma ham, rocket and pine nuts with balsamic.

You can cook pasta and potatoes in the microwave.

I'd second batch cooking at the weekend - e.g. A big vat of bolognese (made with lean mince and bulked with plenty of carrots, celery and onion). Chicken baked in the oven with tomato purée, lime juice, honey and paprika is tasty and low calorie and is nice cold with salad so can be cooked ahead.

French onion soup is low calorie (as long as you don't go mad with the butter) and good for you.

I would often have salmon with roule, veg and new potatoes- all microwave cooked. Cook fish in a bit of wine for flavour.

5-day sauce can also be made in the microwave: onions in first, with a bit of oil, then courgette and carrot then peppers, finally a tin of toms with dried mixed herbs and a squidge of garlic purée then bring to the boil - done. Can also have precooked sausages added - eat with pasta, gnocchi or potatoes and eat over a few days. Can do the same thing with ratatouille. Olives, capers etc can be added as preferred.

All microwave stuff is best done in a Pyrex, I've found and fish etc needs to be covered so it basically steams.

StewardsEnquiry Tue 07-Mar-17 08:24:19

I would go for some kind of meal replacement plan in the circumstances, with M&S calorie counted meals for the third meal. As you say, something for a quick fix for the first stone or so then you could progress on to more 'normal' food to lose the rest.

busyboysmum Tue 07-Mar-17 08:30:35

I'm doing weight watchers as I'm a gold member. You get 30 points a day at my weight. That covers porridge and banana for breakfast 3 points (cooked in 2 minutes in the microwave) unlimited fruit & veg snacks. I have a calorie counted ready meal cooked in the microwave bulked up with some veg. And the same for tea. They are around 10 points. That leaves 7 points if I fancy a snack.

It's easy to follow and can be done in your circumstances. Best of luck whatever you decide.

MummysMaison Tue 07-Mar-17 08:33:44

I have lost 2 and a half stone since 1st Jan (with 2 weeks off for a holiday) by reducing my carb and sugar intake. I'm actually enjoying it!

Olympiathequeen Tue 07-Mar-17 08:55:26

I would use the frozen weight watchers meals which are calorie counted and restrict your calories to 800 for 3 days then eat more normally (about 1600 + calories ) the following 2 days, so you can eat in the canteen and just keep to that routine for a few weeks to shift the weight.

Bluebell9 Tue 07-Mar-17 09:13:33

Reducing sugar is an easy way to do it if your are limited in what you can make. I only eat things with a sugar content of less than 10g per 100g.

My mum did the same, but only had food that has less than 7g per 100g and she went from a size 14 to a size 6-8 and could still eat as much as she wanted, just no sugary food.
The first few days without sugar are hard as its addictive, but the cravings pass.

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