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Got a lot of weight to lose, but want to do it slowly and sensibly. Need some food advice.

(24 Posts)
AdriftOnMemoryBliss Wed 23-Mar-16 17:20:25

I'm currently very very overweight, we're talking about 21stones.

I need to lose weight, i've been a size 22 for years, but the last 2 years i've gone up to a size 26 and its still going on.

I'm hindered by the fact i have a long term problem with my lower spine, and 12mo ago it started affecting my right hip, i'm waiting to see a specialist physio on may 24th, but right now i'm limited to only being able to exercise via swimming as walking hurts far too much after about 10 minutes.

I'm also chronically sleep deprived as i'm a special needs mom and a carer for my son, and i know that doesn't help, my metabolism is very sluggish and often i'm so bloody tired its easier just to grab a pack of crisps to eat than make lunch, or order take away rather than cook.

I'm also fight my sons restricted eating due to his disability as he eats a very carb heavy diet - spag bol, lasagne, pizza, chips, mash, sausages and a lot of cheese and bread.

After the Easter Hols i intend to go back to swimming 2-3 times a week.

Right now i want to work on the diet, i dont like diets, i prefer to try and change my eating habits.

I'm quite a simple eater. When i'm not cooking for my son i make things like Cottage pie, roast dinners, beef stew, sausage and mash. Salmon with jacket potato.
Veg - I eat tomato, carrots, peas, onion, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, red & green peppers.
Salad - lettuce and cucumber
Fruit - i eat green apples, banana, strawberry, grapes, blueberries, peaches, plums and raspberries. i sometimes eat clementines.
Meat - chicken, beef, salmon, bacon, sausage, pork.

seasoning i'm very simple, i use stock cubes, ground black pepper, salt, mixed herbs and garlic.

I will eat cheese, milk and yogurt.
i drink spring water mostly, and 1-2 cup of dolce gusto cappuccino a day. i don't add sugar, i add a tint bit of caramel syrup for flavour, and i mean tiny, not even a teaspoon! if i drink tea i have ot put at least 3 sugars in!

I really need some ideas for meals that will work for both me and DH as i don't mind cooking 2 meals, but 3 is ridiculous!

I'm going to cut out all the chocolate, sweets and crisps, eating after 8pm as much as possible (we sometimes eat late if DS has had a difficult day)

Jade1212 Wed 23-Mar-16 17:30:52

Have you considered Slimming World? I'm sure it'll get suggested in here a few times! It's a very healthy plan and your consultant will review your food diary and be able to help you 1-on-1 if things aren't working (but it normally does work!)

I was a size 22/24 when I started in November and I'm an 18/20 now (though I've been a bit bad with biscuits over the last few weeks so I should be doing better at this point, ah well!) and I have PCOS and Insulin Resistance as well as a sedentary job and a knee injury, all of which make it very difficult for me to lose weight, but I'm doing really well on SW and feel very supported

RunnerOnTheRun Thu 24-Mar-16 14:05:49

You could lose a lot of weight (even without the swimming) just by making some simple changes. You are right to say you don't want to diet....everyone rebounds off them eventually so it is wiser to say you are making healthier choices.

Definitely quit the syrup and sugar in coffee, it really is just causing a huge sugar spike and you simply cannot burn fat when you have sugar in your system! Read up about it. Knowledge is power! Try to avoid buying the crisps and junk at all, if it's not there you won't eat it! Quit the take aways, or reduced to once a fortnight.

Otherwise make sure you load up on salad, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs. Eat whole, real foods, stay away from processed packaged junk. You will save a fortune making these changes and start losing the weight quickly.

lasttimeround Thu 24-Mar-16 16:30:19

Hi I'm also a carer and know the lack of sleep/energy problem ending up mainlining sugar and caffeine. I'm having some success by adding rather than restricting as I can't handle denying myself things on bad days.

I use mfp rather than a slimming club as getting to meetings is hard plus cost. Bump up protein - I've got frozen cooked chicken from farm foods and surprisingly easy to defrost and make a meal out of that and huge portion of veg for my 2 main meals. Then think about how to replace ypur stumvljnv blocks. I've substituted beef jerky for crisps and when fruit or veg won't cut it. I've substituted options hot chocolate with a dash of milk for my evening chocolate fix. I bought a nutribullet and have hugely upped veg intake and have frozen banana smoothies insteaf of sweets. Im 7 weeks in and Im finding it sustainable after a few years of failed restriction attempts. I think I tried to comfort myself and support myself with sugar. I'm slowly learning to do the same by eating good food and exercising.

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Thu 24-Mar-16 21:01:40

i dont tend to eat a lot of processed stuff, i prefer to cook with fresh ingredients.

the only big 'sin' really is i use jarred bolognese sauces, everything else is all freshly made though.

I've not eaten much today. i had a cup of coffee for breakfast, a toasted egg sandwich and a packet of hula hoops at lunch, and i made Chicken Enchiladas for dinner, and only ate 1 and a half, my 9yo ate 2 and a half!

Contemplating going to make myself a fruit salad with my low fat plain yogurt and the fruit i bought as i'm getting peckish now.

RunnerOnTheRun Fri 25-Mar-16 07:05:58

Ok so the pasta & sauce in the bolognese is ALL processed (spikes sugar levels to dizzy heights meaning you cannot burn fat at all while that is being dealt with by your insulin, which is probably already struggling to control your sugar levels. The toast is a processed food. The egg is great! I am unsure of the ingredients in enchiladas but if they are flour wraps or pasta, then processed and should be cut out or right down. Low fat plain yoghurt could be switched up to full fat plain yoghurt, as it will have more goodness and will be more satiating. The reason you feel peckish after eating is because of the insulin dump making you feel like you don't have enough food in your system, this is typical in obese people because of severe insulin resistance and other hormones which dictate if you are "starving" because their signals have become weaker. If you can, read the book called "Fat Chance" Robert Lustig. It is fantastic! Also research more about "clean" foods (( hate that term but it is a good way to get some google responses up about eating food in their natural state and making recipes without using jars etc).

Remember it is not a case of "I didn't eat much today so I am doing really well" it is a case of quality of food. A LOT of unprocessed food is wayyyyy better for you than a little of the bad stuff all day long.

An idea for your eggy breakfast would be to cut the toast and make a 2 or 3 egg omelette with your fave foods in it (mushrooms, peppers, spinach?), and have fruit with it if you like. Fill up big time on the good stuff!

RoganJosh Fri 25-Mar-16 07:14:22

I'm slowly losing weight, thinking about making a few healthy changes rather than being on a diet. I know from past experience that if I follow a diet plan I just go mad after three weeks and eat everything in sight.
What I've done:
Swapped massive bowl of muesli and banana for 1/3 big tub full fat Greek yoghurt, 1/3 packet of frozen raspberries (defrosted). This is a lot less, so I try and eat it later. I am starving by lunch, but am learning to live with that. I'm normally busy this time of day so it's ok.
Lunch as normal.
Dinner, 1/3 less carbs than I used to have.
Evening, don't be a pig on chocolate. Sometimes one square of Lindt salted dark chocolate.

I'm also doing a low impact set of exercises every day which is something I suppose.

RoganJosh Fri 25-Mar-16 07:16:11

Just to add, I kind of approached it by calorie counting to see where my problems were and then looking at how I could tweak this with the least pain! I do find that I am less hungry if I lose the carbs rather than the other stuff.

RunnerOnTheRun Fri 25-Mar-16 07:19:01

That's awesome RoganJosh!

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Fri 25-Mar-16 14:40:48

I don't feel peckish after eating though, that's the issue. I eat quite small portions and often don't eat til lunch, bar a cup of coffee.

I've done the mfp calculations before and my average calorie intake, bar the evening sweets, is only about 1500 a day, or less some days.

Need to go nag the gp about my thyroid tbh.

Zucker Fri 25-Mar-16 16:03:56

Log each and every bite or drink that passes your lips including the evening sweets. Something is piling on the weight on you and something you may regard as innocent enough may be huge in calories. Weigh your portions also before logging them. It's a huge blimmin faff but you need to find the root of the calories.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 25-Mar-16 16:08:04

I think it's the sugar. Your bread, pasta, low fat things are all loaded with sugar.

Eat only unprocessed and the weight will fall off.

lougle Fri 25-Mar-16 16:28:43

I agree that it's not just the calories. It's the constitution. I bet if you put those items into My Fitness Pal, you'd be shocked. MFP is great because you can directly scan barcodes from it. It will analyse your nutrients individually, too.

lougle Fri 25-Mar-16 16:42:06

An example of a diet change would be switching the toasted egg sandwich (276 calories) and hula hoops (127 calories) which total 403 calories, to a big bowl of homemade lentil and carrot soup (78 calories) and 1 slice of wholemeal bread (64 calories) totaling 142 calories. You'd be just as full, if not more.

Lentil and carrot soup (serves 4)
120 red lentils
475g carrots
4 vegetable stock cubes
800 ml water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

RunnerOnTheRun Fri 25-Mar-16 16:54:23

OP, I have never seen anyone reach 26st from thyroid problems. I call bullshit. You need to count those takeaways in your weekly calories! Not just one good day here and there.

RunnerOnTheRun Fri 25-Mar-16 16:55:01

Edit to add: I meant 21st (not 26st). Size 26.

notagiraffe Fri 25-Mar-16 17:03:28

In your position, I'd base my food around similar meals to what your DS likes. Just make them low fat versions.
So make a spag bol with v lean mince, and cook the sauce fresh, using just a tiny amount of oil. Eat that with a leafy salad with no dressing.
Make your own carbonara sauce using lean back bacon and the SW tip of quark with egg and a tiny amount of strong cheddar or parmesan beaten in instead of cream or creamy cheese.
Baked potatoes are good as everyone can have their own toppings. Your DS could have grated cheese, whereas you could have reduced sugar baked beans or tuna and sweetcorn mixed with low fat yoghurt.
Add loads of fresh raw veg and fruit to your diet, as they combat tiredness. Start every meal with a big undressed salad or a home made fat free veg soup.

Wolpertinger Fri 25-Mar-16 17:05:15

Cutting out sugar is always good and often the easiest thing to cut out without overhauling your whole diet, especially as you mainly cook from scratch.

If you have used MFP before, a common experience is that you need to go down to about 1200 calories to lose weight on it as everybody underestimates a bit how much they are eating however scrupulous you think you are, especially if you are portioning up for more than one person - you put a bit more oil in the pan than you think, your slice of bread is a bit bigger, your portion is slighty bigger and so on so what you think is 1500 calories is always 100-200 more. Plus you haven't included evening sweets.

MFP was a major eye opener for me into how many calories there are in stuff, especially sugar and if you aren't including the evening sweets in your total, you are basically currently eating too much.

It takes masses and masses of exercise for it to have an impact on weight loss, the big thing is diet. A wheelchair bound friend who couldn't do any exercise lost weight on diet alone so it is possible!

With MFP (which I liked and worked for me) you have to include everything right down to a single Quality Street which can blow your calories out for the day

bishboschone Fri 25-Mar-16 17:08:20

Do slimming world , it's the only one that worked for me after trying them all!!!!

lougle Fri 25-Mar-16 17:24:48

The other thing I found with MFP is that charting a high calorie, processed, sugar laden snack that didn't even satisfy you is utterly galling. You see your calorie budget shrink by 450 calories because you ate a muffin and you think of the whole meals you could have had that cost less calories. It really does make you think about your choices.

A Harvester meal, say their famous ribs. That's 1,300 calories. My whole day's allowance is 1,200 calories. Before MFP, I'd think "I can splurge here. I only had x for breakfast, y for lunch, that muffin in the afternoon...." and I'd order the ribs and a pudding, which can itself be 600-800 calories. By the end of that day I would have had perhaps 3,000 calories! No wonder I have started to see a bit of weight around my tummy.

Wolpertinger Fri 25-Mar-16 17:34:47

lougle absolutely. If you have 1200 calories for the day (I consistently lost 2 pounds a week on this, starting wt 15st), it's 3pm, you have 400 calories left and you eat one fecking Quality Street because there are some in the office and suddenly now dinner is going to be a poxy 300 calories instead angry

4 years on and I am still reeling from the revelation about that chocolate grin

I really like the BBC Goodfood website as you can search meals by calorie content - loads and loads of really filling meals for 400 calories.

I gave up way before I got to my target weight but I have never put the weight back on because after the MFP experience I just don't eat the same way I did before.

lougle Fri 25-Mar-16 18:22:59

I'm not even overweight, according to the NHS BMI calculator. I'm approaching the middle of 'healthy', but I can see in the mirror that the excess is there (and I can't fit some of my clothes). It's pure overindulgence in high sugar, high fat, high calorie foods. That pudding with lashings of cream after a big dinner.

I'm on 1200 calories and it is possible to be well satisfied if you eat smart. Yesterday I had Greek yoghurt with jam for breakfast, steak with roasted sweet potatoes and tomatoes for lunch and lentil soup with seeded bread and margarine for dinner. Then later in the evening I had more Greek yoghurt and jam to make up my calories. I came in 95 calories under my 1200 and was very well satiated.

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Sat 26-Mar-16 10:58:15

Runner, the thyroid won't be the only cause, but both my mum and my nan developed and under-active thyroid in their late 30's. I get to have blood tests every 2 years to monitor mine because of the genetic predisposition to the condition. My mom was a size 22 when hers was diagnosed and dropped to a size 16 once on the medication.

I'm currently displaying all the signs that mine is starting to go. Hair loss, weight gain, feeling the cold, depression, dry skin, brittle nails, aches and pains, tiredness, voice is croaky, etc. Its been 18mo since my last thyroid check, and while there are other things that could be to blame, considering my age (35 in 2 months) and the length of time since my last check, going to the GP for an MOT to get it checked to make sure i'm not pissing in the wind with something that isn't going to help my attempts to lose weight is not a bad idea.

My passing 'i need to get my thyroid checked' wasn't a flippant remark.

RunnerOnTheRun Sat 26-Mar-16 14:16:46

There is no need to hand around waiting, nothing to do with healthy eating is "pissing in the wind".

Heal your gut for starters

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