General Question

livelaughlove21's avatar

What are the main problems with this diet plan?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15724points) March 1st, 2013 from iPhone

23 year old female
Trying to lose 20 lbs

I find eating roughly the same thing daily saves me money (important) and keeps me on track. When I get tired of it, I switch it up, but here’s what I’ve been eating:

Smoothie with frozen mangoes, a banana, vanilla Greek yogurt, and a splash of orange juice

Light tuna with light mayo and a few garden herb Triscuits

Nature’s Valley Protein Snack Bar

A small portion of what I cook for my husband

I know I’m missing vegetables, but I do squeeze some in at dinner. Texture of food is a big issue for me and I can’t stand salads or most veggies, raw or cooked. I do my best to sneak them in though and keep trying new ones in case my taste buds change.

These are all quick-ish meals because I work and go to school, so I don’t have time to cook 3–5 meals daily.

I know it’s not perfect, but my eating habits have gotten out of control and any change should help. I’m just trying to break my habit of pigging out at night by staying full all day, but that doesn’t seem to be working. Should I add something to my breakfast or lunch?

I’m drinking 5–6 bottles of water daily and I’ll be starting my exercise next week – I’ll begin with walking, then stationary bike, then some light strength training.

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70 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

That seems like a lot of calories to me, especially the breakfast and if you’re not exercising.

burntbonez's avatar

Perhaps you should schedule some vigorous bed time activities that will make you want to fall asleep right away instead of pigging out before bed. Brush your teeth and get ready for bed before you engage in the exercise. Allow yourself to fall asleep sweaty. It won’t kill you. It might just save your life (if you do it for many many years).

janbb's avatar

It sounds like a reasonable diet for a diet to me. The bottom line is can you stay on it and is it succeeding for you?

Judi's avatar

What’s missing from your information is volume. If that smoothy is 1000 calories then it doesn’t leave much more for your day.
Tomorrow, measure your food and look it up on To maintain your weight you need about 10 calories per pound. You might be able to buy a few more by exercising.
After you have calculated your days calories (and be honest, the only one your fooling is yourself) come back and tell us what you discovered.

bookish1's avatar

Most of what you’re eating at breakfast is quick sugar. Except for the greek yogurt, which has a lot of protein, that energy will leave you quickly. I’d recommend considering some slower carbs like whole wheat toast or oatmeal—they will keep you full longer. And load up on protein. Peanut butter is a fast way to eat protein at breakfast. Maybe you could scramble eggs, very quick to do, or keep hard-boiled eggs handy. Some mornings when I barely have time to get out the door, I’ll just eat some raw or roasted almonds or walnuts, and maybe an orange.

It’s good that you’re drinking lots of water. But more might help. Try a full glass before each meal. And there’s no better way to stay full all day than to eat lots of fiber, from vegetables. Also, maybe you could spread fruits out throughout the day. You could bring an apple or orange with lunch, for instance, and be sure to have one with dinner as well.

Have you thought of cooking up big batches of stuff on the weekend and then freezing or refrigerating it? I never have time to cook during the week unless I’m taking a mental health evening, but I do very well by cooking up lots of stuff in advance one day a week—mostly vegetable-laden red pasta sauce, lentils and beans, and soups.

Good luck starting your exercise and with this diet.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I’m also assuming from your previous answers that you don’t consume much alcohol. That’s a lot of empty calories.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe and @Judi

My breakfast is 380–400 calories. Lunch is 350. Snack is 200. So I’m eating about 1000 before dinner. About 400–500 at dinner. My daily calorie goal is 1500. And I’ll be exercising as of next week.

Nope, I don’t drink very much at all.

Judi's avatar

I disagree with bookish on a few points but it depends on your personality.
Peanut butter is low volume high calorie food. If you like to eat at all you shoot to many calories in one bite. There is a product you can google called PB2 which is peanut butter with most of the fat pressed out. It comes in a powder and when you mix it with water it looks and tastes just like creamy peanut butter but I even have to be careful with that.
Oats are good (in moderation) but for me, bread is a killer. You might be able to handle it.
I’m a volume eater so if I make big batches I tend to have this vision problem where the portions look smaller than they actually are. ~
If you eat eggs at breakfast, consider eating just the egg whites. The calories will be considerably less.
Have you considered water based soups to get your vegetables in? Just be careful about added fats.
Edit:1500 calories will maintain 150 lb person aprox.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 That’s not a lot of calories. 1500 should be a maintenance level. I think the exercise would be the key. I went on vacation once for 8 days, ate like crazy and lost 15 pounds. I was swimming morning and afternoon, about 1800 meters total because it was in the high 90’s F.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Wait, is or or is it not too many? You said it’s not too many but then you say it is maintenance level. I’m not looking to maintain, I’m looking to lose.

janbb's avatar

I’m small and I need to eat about 1,000 calories or less to lose weight; 1400 – 1500 to maintain. It really varies from person to person. And basically, the best diet for losing weight is the one you can stay on and that works for you. Long term nutrition is a different story.

Interestingly enough, I lost weight when my marriage ended and do not have a problem maintaining the loss now.

tom_g's avatar

@livelaughlove21: “Smoothie with frozen mangoes, a banana, vanilla Greek yogurt, and a splash of orange juice”

My blood sugar would go crazy if I started my day off with a shot of sugar like that. I’d be eating all day to make up for it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 It’s maintence level if you’re not exercising a lot. With a lot of exercise you would lose weight. Michael Phelps, the olympic swimmer went through 8000 calories a day.

tedibear's avatar

There’s not enough protein, especially at breakfast. And make your carbs complex carbs, not simple ones. Skip the snack bar and eat an egg or something with protein in it. Yes, I know it’s a protein bar, but you’re better off with food that is closer to its origins.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Blah, I already feel like I’m eating nothing. I’m not sure what to cut out. Finding satisfying meals under 300 calories will be tough.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@tedibear Carrying a stinky boiled egg in my bookbag and eating it in the middle of class is a little out of the question. ;)

How many grams of protein do I need at breakfast? I’m eating 13 g now.

tom_g's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – Don’t cut your calories. Just eat more of the good stuff. Load up on lean protein, tons of vegetables, and good fats. Skip the sugars (non-plain greek yogurt, juices, bananas, etc). If you start your day right, you should be able to keep your blood sugar from spiking and needing another fix right away.

Find a “diet” that isn’t a “diet” at all. You should not be hungry. If you are, you’re doing something wrong. Once you re-adjust what you’re eating, the how much part will just fall in line, and you’ll see weight loss.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 You might want to try more veggies, even though you’re not fond of them. They fill you up fast. What type of bread do you eat? Full grain breads fill you up fast.

DigitalBlue's avatar

It’s not about cutting out more, it’s really about what you’re eating. Eating complex carbs and protein and good fats will make you feel satisfied with less food and for longer.
1500 calories of veggies vs 1500 calories of candy bar will give you two very, very different amounts of food and satisfaction.
I’m not suggesting that you try to eat all veggies, I’m just trying to illustrate that the quality and nutritional value of the food will affect how hungry you feel and how satisfied you are, and your don’t have to compromise you calorie goals to do that.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve lost twenty pounds since Christmas by cutting out sugars and “white” foods – flour, rice, potatoes. No root vegetables, just regular vegetables. No Juices, no dairy except a bit of non fat milk in my coffee and some low calorie cheeses. And protein: fish, lean meats, but portions of no more than 5 ounces.

Your diet front loads sugars which will spike your blood sugar, and prevent fat burning and set you off on a cycle for the day. Some healthy fats are needed to lose weight (olive oil, some fats from nuts like almonds or pistachios).

DigitalBlue's avatar

Thinking about it a bit, what about this:
If you aren’t interested in cooking breakfast, do you like nuts? Perhaps swap out some of the sugar from breakfast. The problem isn’t that you aren’t getting enough protein, it’s that you’re getting a lot of calories from sugar right off the bat. Instead, a Greek yogurt with some chopped walnuts and a banana or a slice of whole grain toast.
Then, for lunch, why not switch out the crackers for a whole grain tortilla and have a tuna wrap with an apple or the mango from breakfast. A whole grain tortilla will hold you over longer for fewer calories than the Triscuits. And I think that it is just viscerally more satisfying to eat a “wrap” than it is to eat a handful of crackers.
Whatever veggies you do like, eat as much of them as you can. I am a finicky eater, although I love my veg, but I know that it’s no fun to choke down food that you don’t like. So experiment with preparing the ones that you do like in different ways. Also, if texture is the issue (I’m a texture person, too, so I relate), don’t be afraid to get creative. I’m not crazy about raw cauliflower, for example, but I love to cook it and then smash it up. Not saying you have to do that or like it, just an example.

I wish that I could offer better examples, simply because I feel like I eat on a tight budget, I keep my calories low but I aim for nutritionally sound meals, and I eat between 1200–1500 calories a day, so our circumstances are similar. Plus, I cook for a very picky family, so I’m used to finding workarounds for things that people don’t like to eat. Unfortunately, advice wise, I am a veggie person and that makes suggestions tricky since I don’t know what all you like to eat.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@livelaughlove21 here’s another thought about veggies: Grow your own or go to a farmers market. The stuff you get in a store has no comparison to what you can grow or fresh from the farmers market. I’m craving good produce right now.

mattbrowne's avatar

Diets don’t work, especially when the body perceives them as a threat. Fundamental life-style change is the only midterm solution.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I don’t eat bread. I eat carbs, but I’m not a sandwich/sub person.

I really try to eat veggies – I do. I’ve had them from the grocery store, farmer’s market, right out of the field, etc. Raw, boiled, broiled, grilled, sautéed, etc. Whole, smashed, cut up and put into other food, etc. I wish I loved them; it would be a whole lot easier on me. But, aside from green beans and the OCCASIONAL cooked broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots, eating veggies is like doing a chore I can’t stand. I keep trying, though.

@mattbrowne So, what’s the suggestion? The term “diet” is not synonymous with “fad diet”. I’m aiming for a sufficient number of calories, making healthier choices, exercise – and trying to make the loss maintainable. Saying “diets don’t work; you have to change your lifestyle” is old news and not very helpful if you have no suggestions to add.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@zenvelo Sounds like Atkins. I’m afraid my body refuses to go through that again.

Judi's avatar

It’s a weight loss level if you currently weigh 200 lbs. it’s maintenance if you weigh 150.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The same thing that’s wrong with every diet. It’s just that. A diet. You go on a diet, you go off a diet. You need to completely change your eating habits. Forever.

I needed to lose 20 pounds after my son was born, 25 years ago. With my sister’s help, I completely changed what I eat and the way I eat, and I still eat that way to this day.

If we eat out, I choose fish first, chicken second. At home I rarely eat any meat. Lots of carbs (English muffins and bagels! Yum!) Cream cheese is good and fairly low cal for what it is. Popcorn is good, too. And sunflower seeds in the shell (you use about as many calories getting the seed out as you get from the seed.) Learn to like things like cauliflower and broccoli. I can’ make a whole meal of of just califlower or broccili!

I avoid sugar-free or fat-free stuff that’s supposed to have sugar or fat in it. What’s the point? If it’s fattening or really sugary and you think you shouldn’t have it, stay away from it completely. Get over even wanting it.

Skip breakfast.

Learn to count calories and round every thing to 50 or 100 or 150, etc. for example, a piece of bread has about 60 calories. Round it up to 100. An egg, 100. Keep a runing total in your head.

Don’t deny yourself completely. For the first time in years I am making chocolate chip cookies, as we speak. BUT I’m going to give half the dough away (or more) to my daughter to fix for her family. We won’t have a mountian of cookies here, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.

I had a daycare. Every so often I’d wind up with a bag of candy that someone had given me. It was hard, because I wanted to eat it, but I’d yell “Hey! I have candy!” at the daycare kids! Candy gone! Calories for me- 0!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh….BLT’s are good, right? Yes, they are. I had two of them in one setting the other day. But that was OK, because MOST of the sandwiches consisted of lettuce and tomatoe (which I piled high) and only 1 strip of bacon.


Dutchess_III's avatar

When my husband (when he was my boyfriend) moved in with us, he was amazed that a sack of potato chips would sit on the counter for two weeks and not get eaten. My kids were teenagers. I never had that crap around the house when they were growing up, so they had no taste for it.

LOL! Present day…my husband came down, saw me mixing the dough and said, ”....what are you making???”
Then he saw the chocolate chips on the counter and said, in total awe “Chocolate chip cookies?”
I just grinned. He stared at me like I’d grown another head. He couldn’t believe I was doing that. He toally approved, was just shocked. :) We’ve been married for 10 years and he knows I don’t do stuff like that.

HOWEVER we had the chocolate chips left over from Christmas. I would never have gone out and bought them so I could make cookies to pig out on. If hadn’t already had them, I wouldn’t be making cookies now.

OK. A little bacon is OK, now and then. :)

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have to admit I stopped reading after “Skip breakfast.”

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Because they say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” for a reason. There’s nothing that I could possibly think of to support your advice. There’s no reason to skip breakfast.

Aside from your blood sugar possibly getting low, skipping any meal makes overeating later in the day a bigger possibility. Even more than that, food gives us energy. That comes in handy in the morning.

gailcalled's avatar

Your daily regime seems to have no veggies, no complex carbs, no beans, legumes or nuts…the mainstays of eating well and sensibly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who is “they” and what is that reason? Gosh…you don’t HAVE to skip breakfast, but it won’t hurt you if you do. I mean, you’ve been sleeping all night, not burning a lot of calories! Your body would get used to it, and you won’t get hungry until noon.
BTW…I do eat breakfast. For a long time I didn’t, (and it didn’t bother me a bit) but my lifestyle changed so now I pack most of my daily calories in at breakfast. I don’t eat after 4 p.m.

If you don’t want to take my advice, that’s fine. But I haven’t had any weight problems for over 25 years, for what that’s worth. This is me at my wedding, 2006. This is me (In the K-State sweatshirt) a couple of weeks ago. My stays consistent and it’s not a battle at all. I don’t even have to think about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh…if you still want to pig out at night, go ahead! Just…pig out on pop corn or celery with cream cheese. There are a lot of foods out that that you could eat all day and not gain weight. An entire head of lettuce, for example, only has about 75 calories! Not that any of us are going to eat lettuce like an apple, but I’m just saying…go with popcorn. It satisfies that urge to chomp.

deni's avatar

You shouldn’t eat the same thing every day, you’ve got to get some variety in there. And like you said you’re missing a lot of veggies. Sneak some of them in the smoothie. When I make smoothies, I put lots of berries, kiwis make it excellent, banana, an orange maybe, but also carrots and spinach. You can’t taste them. I also put flax seeds, they are great for you. Something else you can do that’s really good for you is squeeze a couple slices of lemon into your water every time you get a new glass full. Lemon is good for just about everything having to do with your body!!

I also don’t think that you should try to be full all day….I’m sure you’ve heard this, but in general for your metabolism it is much better to snack all day than have three meals that “fill you up”. Even if you are going to eat three meals for the most part, have an apple in between, or munch on some carrots, a few berries, a pear, anything!

It’s good that you keep trying veggies you don’t like. But you listed the ones you do like, so try to eat those every day. Broccoli is GREAT especially, so buy a head every time you go shopping. Why not?

Also, you say you only want to lose 20 pounds, so you are obviously not that out of shape…just a bit jiggly from the winter like many of us. So I wonder why you are starting with just walking? That is an extremely mild exercise and I feel like if you can motivate yourself to do more you should. If you don’t have a lot of time you can do a 40 minute tae bo workout on Youtube that will leave you so sore the next day that you can’t bend down to look at bras in Target without screaming (I just did that). Seriously, it’s tough, but you will feel the difference in a few hours!

I only ramble here because we are the same age and I recently lost a little bit of weight by just living more simply and being more active.

I don’t know where you live but if you can ride your bike anywhere, get a bike and do it! Especially for the upcoming summer! Best, most fun workout and it’s functional too. If you can’t, then disregard that whole statement.

Cayenne Pepper is also really good for you and if you are trying to get rid of excess waste or are feeling bloated or aren’t pooping as much as a healthy person should, take a shot of a little bit of cayenne mixed with some warm water. It’s intense but it will clear you out! And it has about a million other health benefits as well, such as speeding up your metabolism.

Also do you like nuts? Buy nuts in bulk and eat them all the time, they are so good for you.

Oh one more thing. Chia seeds. They are from Peru, I think, and I used to eat a spoonful of them before I went to work in the morning. They expand in your stomach and keep you fuller longer and are also really really good for you.

Wow I hope you find some of this helpful, I sure did ramble.

Dutchess_III's avatar

One of my staples was My Big Fat Burrito. I put a thin layer of cream cheese, and a thin layer reefer beans on a tortillia, some cheddar cheese (I try to keep the cheese down but I LOVE me some cheese) then a bunch of lettuce and tomato and salsa. Then I nuke it. They’re fat and “juicy” and yummy. And I could eat a thousand of them and not worry about the calories.
Salsa is can use salsa in place of a lot of fattening things, like sour cream on a baked potato.

redhen4's avatar

“I know I’m missing vegetables, but I do squeeze some in at dinner. Texture of food is a big issue for me and I can’t stand salads or most veggies, raw or cooked. I do my best to sneak them in though and keep trying new ones in case my taste buds change.”

My experience – yes, tastes change. I hated strawberries growing up. Now I love them. Didn’t eat apples, now I love Red Delish. Over the years tastes have changed, or the way a food or beverage affects me has changed also (at 21 found out I could not drink Pepsi without “consequences”!)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Get a sack of baby carrots. You can munch on those all day and not gain weight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

O! Another trick my sister taught me….if there is a really fattening food that you REALLY want to eat, associate it with something nasty. Like, if you’re tempted to eat a big, juicy, dripping cheeseburger, tell your self that it looks like cow patty. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to walk away when you get that picture in your head. :)

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III That’s great that you don’t have weight problems and skipping meals didn’t have an adverse effect on you, but that doesn’t translate to much for others. If I didn’t eat breakfast, I’d be starving by the time lunch rolled around and I’d probably eat an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting. that is, if I didn’t pass out from low blood sugar first. I can name several people I know who have never been overweight, and yet their diet is horrendous. Does that mean I should follow their diet advice because they’re skinny? No.

Not eating for 8 hours while sleeping is a reason to eat breakfast, not a reason not to. And by “them” I mean every nutritionist, health expert, healthy living websites, etc.

I appreciate you taking the time to give me advice, but skipping meals just isn’t the best suggestion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s fine! Don’t skip breakfast! You don’t have to get mad. Gee whiz. If you did, though, your body would adjust and not tell you you’re hungry until noon or so. Believe it or not.

You keep mentioning blood sugar…are you a diabetic? Won’t a glass of OJ in the morning take care of the blood sugar issue? I don’t know much about that stuff.

I’m just saying that you need to change your eating habits permanently if you want to lose the weight and keep it off. “Diets” always fail. Denying yourself always fails. And you’re only 23. It’ll get that much harder as you age if you don’t fix it now.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Who’s mad? I’m just stating facts here.

You don’t have to be a diabetic to have low blood sugar caused by not eating.

And maybe I should’ve mentioned that I’m not obese or anything. I’m about 20 lbs away from fitting comfortably in my size 4 jeans. It’s not as if this is some dire emergency to lose weight. I just don’t feel good about my body right now.

And as for the “diet” comment, I already addressed that. That is what I’m trying to do. I never I indicated this was a quick fix type of situation that I’ll abandon once I hit my goal weight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, good luck!

Dutchess_III's avatar

BTW…you said you know slender people who have “horrendous” diets. What do their diets consist of? Just curious.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Anything they please. Cookies, cake, fried foods, etc.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Some are blessed with high metabolisms, like my husband.

deni's avatar

@livelaughlove21 You can say they are blessed because they see no immediate results, and they can get away with eating this stuff and they do—their will be detrimental effects to eating all food that is terrible for them in the future though when they have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, you name it. Plus, weight is not the only indicator of health. So maybe not having a super fast metabolism isn’t that bad after all. It forces you to be careful of what you consume, and not just put any old shit into your wonderful, amazing body.

Bellatrix's avatar

@livelaughlove21 there is some great advice here from people I know have battled weight problems and won. Things I would add are don’t drink your food if you can avoid it. Eating real foods makes your body work because it has to digest the stuff and burn calories doing so. In saying that, I often have a protein shake for breakfast because I’m time poor in the morning and really don’t feel like eating much for breakfast. Perhaps try that or as has been suggested, eggs are good.

I would also avoid things like diet bars. Have some real food. Get rid of the fruit smoothie and eat a piece of fruit instead of the diet bar. Add a few blueberries to a small portion of greek yoghurt. Just don’t go crazy on the fruit. Very high in sugar. Add some salad to your tuna. A handful of nuts is okay and good for you too. Just don’t eat too many. Almonds are high in protein and are a good snack to keep in your bag for when you feel hungry.

Pile up the fresh veggies but minimise the starchy stuff and do as @bookish1 suggested. Prepare meals in advance so you can pull one out of the freezer rather than having to prepare something from scratch when you get home and are tired.

mattbrowne's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – There are hundreds of different “named diets” or even thousands. Why? Because there isn’t a single one which offers sustained success. If there were a few which truly worked, there would be no need to invent new ones. Losing 20 pounds should happen over a long period of time, i.e. at least 6 months or better 12 months. Losing weight fast is counterproductive. A good way for sustained success is gaining muscle weight by going to a gym twice a week combined with endurance training three times a week (for example by jogging for 45 minutes each or brisk uphill walking). Swimming is also good, preferably in an indoor or outdoor pool with the water temperature not exceeding 74 F. This forces the body to burn calories in order to stay warm. As for the food key is eating lots of fiber (vegetables, salads, fruit).

livelaughlove21's avatar

@mattbrowne Ok, I think you’re missing what my goal is. I never said “I want to lose 20 lbs in one month on the so-and-so diet.” I AM looking for a lifestyle change with sustainable results, not a quick fix.

And unfortunately, not all of us can afford a gym membership.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I think the problem, that is being pointed out, is that you aren’t going to eat this exact menu every day for the rest of your life. That’s what makes it a diet and not a lifestyle. If you learn how to prepare foods for yourself that are nutritious and varied in your calorie range, it will be better for you short term and long term.

Anyhow, good luck to you, hope you’re able to achieve your goals.

jonsblond's avatar

If you are interested in gaining muscle weight you don’t need a gym membership. You can do squats and lunges in your living room for free. You can also buy affordable small weights to work your arms. I had great results when I worked my legs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday. I worked my arms on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. 10 to 15 minutes is all that is needed each day when you begin the routine.

deni's avatar

Gym memberships are for the birds anyhow, like I said, TAE BO. Or all those things @jonsblond mentioned. Your arms are very easy to tone with small dumbbells and legs, there’s a zillion exercises you can do without any equipment at all.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@DigitalBlue That’s understandable, but I often eat the same stuff all week whether I’m “dieting” or not. I have to eat on a budget – I don’t have the money to buy ingredients for 21 different meals. And like I said in the original question, I switch it up when I start getting sick of it.

Bellatrix's avatar

Perhaps you need to change what you have always done. Your body gets used to what we eat or the exercise we do. I know you said you don’t like vegetables and salad too, but if you want to lose weight they are your friend and are worth putting up with. I can’t say I love vegetables and salad but these days they are the main part of my meals. You can eat on a budget and have variety. Plain, simple foods enhanced with a few spices (that tend to last a long time) and herbs (that you could grow yourself) will add flavour and might help you lose weight. Spicy food is supposed to enhance weight loss.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Bellatrix Maybe what I need is a cook and personal assistant to follow me aroun all day.

I get up at 6:30, exercise, eat breakfast, shower, etc. I work until 4 with no lunch break. Then, I drive from work to school, I’m in class from 5–8, and then I go home and get to bed around 10.

I can’t afford a gym membership or any at-home equipment and I struggle to feed myself and my husband at $100/week without forcing him to eat vegetables we both dislike just for my benefit.

Any extra time I may have is spent doing homework and studying for the 6 classes I’m currently enrolled in.

These are the reasons I’ve opted for a “convenience diet” as opposed to a “well-balanced diet” in which I’d have to cook my meals, work out more than I do, and get in all my food groups with a good variety. Most people seem to think this is laziness, but I simply can’t find any more hours in the day.

Like I said, I’m not horribly overweight – I’m still squeezing my ass into MOST of my size 4 jeans, but I’m not at my ideal weight and I feel fat. I was once 170 lbs and got down to 125 on Atkins. A few years later, I went from 145 back to 125 on WeightWatchers. Structure works best for me, and I’m normally good at losing weight, but I don’t have the free time I once did.

I graduate from college in December and I’ll have more time, money, and energy to eat healthy and exercise as I should. However, I don’t want to wait until then to start losing. I’m just going to do it my way, though no one approves, until I have the ability to do it better.

Thanks for the advice all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sit ups are free. And push ups. You don’t need “equipment” to “work out.”

I don’t think it’s such a bad plan to eat roughly the same food everyday. I do the same, pretty much. Like you said, when you get tired of it you switch up.

No one said they didn’t approve, as far as I could tell. You asked their thoughts on your current eating habits, and they answered.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please remember: This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

mattbrowne's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – You seem to be missing my point. In the detail section you stated your goal in the second sentence:

“Trying to lose 20 lbs”

From all what I read about the subject this should not be the primary goal. Instead it should read:

“Trying to keep my weight stable after losing 20 lbs”

This should be the real focus. What will your life look like? What permanent changes are necessary? What kind of new life-style does this require?

A very good example is Oprah. She repeatedly lost a lot of weight and it was all for nothing. One time it was even 25 pounds in just 6 weeks. From a medical point of view this is complete nonsense. It’s even dangerous, because the body (actually the psyche) goes into alert survival mode craving calories like crazy. You gain more than you lose.

Gaining muscle weight is also possible without a gym membership, but takes greater effort.

So again, try to focus on a new permanent life-style with lots of new rules, like walking on sidewalks instead of taking the car. Only take the car for shopping when it’s about heavy groceries. Never remain on a chair for longer than 30 minutes. Never order XL-size menus unless it is one for 2–3 people. Stuff like that. Drive-throughs are poison. Park the car as far away from the entrance as possible. Evolution developed humans as walking creatures. Humans can outrun antelopes over long distances.

Begin chasing antelopes permanently. Maybe this metaphor will help.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@mattbrowne So you assume I want a quick fix because I worded something the wrong way, or left something off the end of my sentence? Ha, no, I want to lose 20 lbs and then gain it back next winter. :)

I get what you’re saying, and it’s all true. All I’m saying is that I’m not looking for some quick fix fad diet and to hell with what happens after that. Sorry if my wording made you think otherwise, but I don’t plan on reverting back to my bad habits once I lose the weight. I didn’t feel the need to let everyone in on my long-term plans, as I doubt anyone really cares to hear it. Getting in shape comes first; maintenance comes later. I don’t plan on losing 20 lbs in a month. I know it’ll happen slow, as it should.

Thanks for the advice.

mattbrowne's avatar

@livelaughlove21 – Here are two more rules I find very useful:

1) Always eat very slowly. It should take 20 minutes or more
2) Don’t continue to eat when you are no longer hungry just because it’s so good (allow for 5 exception days per year)

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