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Enjoying food while losing weight


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....Can't keep it in the house" is my rule on that one....

Or to paraphrase, if you don't plan to eat it, don't make it or buy it! My new mantra while cooking or shopping is "To what end?" That seasonal pie will be eaten if I make it, similarly the box of snack crackers if it comes home with me from the store. Who am I fooling when I make it or buy it? Only myself. :blink:

eGullet member #80.

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I make a lot of confections and chocolate dipped goodies, both for friends and folks who are good to us (vets, carpenters, butcher, etc, etc), and for charities. I might keep a very few for us, but the rule is that as soon as it is ready...it goes right into presentation boxes, tied (knotted too) with ribbon.

And Dejah, if you are there, thanks again for the hot water tip. :wub: Haven't had one cup of insipid herbal tea since the day you posted that advice. Either lime or lemon juice goes into my hot water. I just reread your post and noticed the thermos part which I hadn't taken in. Brilliant. That's next.

(Right. Some of them are not insipid, to me the ones full of taste are terrible. Have yet to find one I could tolerate.)

ps. Just reread the 'don't buy it or make it' phrase in Margaret Pilgrim's post. Some of us JUST HAVE TO MAKE STUFF. Making it is more important than eating it. Really. I'm serious. Never buy the stuff I make anyway.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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ps. Just reread the 'don't buy it or make it' phrase in Margaret Pilgrim's post. Some of us JUST HAVE TO MAKE STUFF. Making it is more important than eating it. Really. I'm serious. Never buy the stuff I make anyway.

I truly understand what you are saying. And I do make things to give away, namely breads. (7 loaves for next week.) But I have stopped fooling myself about making things that will stay in the house.

I have taken to devouring French food magazines instead. :laugh: (Saveurs, Vin et Cuisine, elle a table, etc.) A good way to learn a foreign language.

eGullet member #80.

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I truly understand what you are saying. And I do make things to give away, namely breads. (7 loaves for next week.) But I have stopped fooling myself about making things that will stay in the house.

I have taken to devouring French food magazines instead. :laugh: (Saveurs, Vin et Cuisine, elle a table, etc.) A good way to learn a foreign language.

Good point. Stop kidding oneself about having self control. Just get it outta here! (Or wrap it up and knot the ribbon. Actually just wrapped today's output.)

As for devouring food literature. It's cookbooks for me. Just have a wonderful time looking at the photos and dreaming of time to make whatever it is. Perhaps I should get some Mexican cookbooks and learn Spanish.

I also have a lot of enjoyment following eG threads and posting on them. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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In other words, don't make it appear like you're depriving yourself. People generally don't like to pig out when it seems that someone else in their group is depriving themselves.
If that is others' reaction to your eating sensibly, it could be the biggest favor you have ever done them.

Unfortunately, what usually happens is that those who wish to indulge themselves will try to pressure the lone dissenter into conforming to their ways.

As for the idea of "splurging just for Thanksgiving," it all sounds good in theory but I've never found that to work for me because it's *NOT* just Thanksgiving we're talking about. For my friends and family that whole period of Thanksgiving to New Year's is just one mega food bonanza of rich foods and dining out, and trying to make up for almost two months of gluttony in January can be overwhelming to say the least.

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I hear ya, sheetz!

I love to read food magazines, cookbooks, and posts here on egullet. Now, I don't make the dishes I pick out the same way. Rather, I adjust so that it fits my diet scheme. So far, everything is working well.

I've been on "this" diet" now for 2 weeks, with a little break in there due to scheduling and being away. But, I have lost 7.5 lbs without much sacrificing.

Tonight, we are going to a Chinese restaurant for a 60th birthday celebration. Again, with Chinese food, I can be selective and just eat what I "should". I have gotten over the need for real rice!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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  • 1 month later...

Here it is, December 22, the days are getting longer again...and just a few days to Christmas, that other time of year when all the goodies you might ever want to eat are being made and eaten.

Who has a good strategy for getting through it all without putting back pounds or saying 'no' to everything?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here's what I'm trying; we will see how well it worked after the new year begins!

1. Weight Diary - weigh myself each morning and write it down.

2. Exercise self control - only eat when hungry and then eat protein rather than carb.

3. Use memory to enjoy - don’t have to eat it to enjoy it again.

4. Wear the jeans I want to feel comfortable in as a reminder not to overeat.

Down a couple of pounds in the last two weeks, so good so far.

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Eating dinner only for quite a while has made not overeating at dinner much easier. It also means I fill up faster, so I just eat the things I actively want: I don't take a little of everything, just because it's there. This means I can easily take a normal helping of duck, or fruitcake, for example, because I'm skipping most of the side dishes and desserts. When it comes to the coffee-with-colossal-trays-of-sweets-to-ward-off-deep-winter-starvation, I mostly drink a lot of coffee, and help myself to a chocolate or two, then forget about the rest, because honestly, they're nothing that's unavailable most of the year.

The thing that has made not overeating easiest, though, is only eating one (no holds barred) meal a day.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I tend to look at my eating 'budget'. I know I have a limited amount of carb 'dollars' to spend, and I try to get the most bang for my bucks. I am not going to spend my hard earned cash on cheap junk from China, and I am not going to spend my carbs on questionable goodies on the treats table. And, just like my real budget, some things I just CANNOT afford--candy is like diamonds. I admire them, but I am not going to take them home and suffer the consequences for splurging.

I also use memory to stave off actual ingestion of carbs/calories, robirdstx. Those egg rolls on the table--I know in real life they are going to be a little soggy and chewy, but my memory egg rolls are crisp and full of fresh pink shrimp and crunchy cabbage. So I can skip those. :laugh:

Edited by sparrowgrass (log)
sparrowgrass
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WOW! Three great replies. Thank you. I really do need to talk about these problems sometimes. Helps me get a hold on it. I've yo-yoed my entire life. Not a gigantic yo-yo and sometimes a 10-yr yo-yo, but I figure now that I am 70 (gasp!) and living

My DH has decades of experience with this situation. He was a fat kid (think 1940s when NO ONE was fat) and it's colored his entire life. He has kept his weight off for over 40 years now, but he says only with diligence every day...a foodaholic. His success is both inspiring and terrifying to me at the same time.

Robirdstx: Am right there with you with your 4 points. I now write my daily weight down on my wall calendar. Self control and memory. Try... Alas for the jeans. I used to live in them. Now my tailbone cannot cope with the flat-felled seam. That one is out. Nope, cannot tolerate stretch fabrics. Itchy.

Mjx: Like your ideas but can't live with only one meal a day. But two of my meals are small, set ahead of time, and well-controlled, so there is that close similarity. I can stand two boring tasteless meals if one meal can be something I'd like to eat.

Sparrowgrass: meal/calorie budget. Right. And so often desserts and other yummy bits are basically 'lousy' wastes of that precious budget. You wondered why you have bothered. If it isn't really going to taste 'Omigawd, that was delicious', then why do it? ( I usually supply the desserts wherever we are.)

One thing we have in our household which I've mentioned before is the "Dessert as Dinner" night. It works so well and is so satisfying. Two nights ago was Mark Bittman's Free Form Apple Tart with Canadian 5-yr old cheese. Oh my. The only thing missing was Northern Spy apples.

Last night I blew it unintentionally. Ate at a friends. Felt very constrained. Ate too much. Ate beef which I cannot do at night. Ate too much dessert. Paid for it all last night.

Today is another day. (I've not yet weighed myself........ :sad: :sad: :hmmm: (BTW, I've taken off 18 pounds since Oct 1st. 12 to go to ideal weight. If I can make it. More importantly, if I can keep it off permanently. I'll settle for another 7 I think. For a while at least.)

Thanks for writing and listening.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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. . . . Robirdstx: Am right there with you with your 4 points. I now write my daily weight down on my wall calendar. Self control and memory. Try... Alas for the jeans. I used to live in them. Now my tailbone cannot cope with the flat-felled seam. That one is out. Nope, cannot tolerate stretch fabrics. Itchy.

Mjx: Like your ideas but can't live with only one meal a day. But two of my meals are small, set ahead of time, and well-controlled, so there is that close similarity. I can stand two boring tasteless meals if one meal can be something I'd like to eat.

. . . .

Not eating for most of the day was difficult at first, but it became fairly easy after about two weeks, and it's the only form of dieting I can pull off (I find life rough enough without treating food as units and penalties). I'll sometimes pop a dextrose tablet, or grab a slice of Wasa.

I'm a bit leary about the daily weighing thing. Bizarrely, my own weight hasn't budged in months, although there's no question that the spare tire I had in the spring is now gone, and my abs are all visible, and very 'displayable' again.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Not eating for most of the day was difficult at first, but it became fairly easy after about two weeks, and it's the only form of dieting I can pull off (I find life rough enough without treating food as units and penalties). I'll sometimes pop a dextrose tablet, or grab a slice of Wasa.

I'm a bit leary about the daily weighing thing. Bizarrely, my own weight hasn't budged in months, although there's no question that the spare tire I had in the spring is now gone, and my abs are all visible, and very 'displayable' again.

Simply can't do one meal a day. But I don't think of food in units particularly. As for snacks...one little piece of 70% bittersweet chocolate has 50 calories and that works for me.

As for the daily weighing thing...I resisted doing it for about 50 years now. Ed weighs himself every day. And then adjusts his food slightly by the results. He never talks about it. I am not aware of his actions really. It is his 'way' and for him it works. This is basically my last hurrah and if it will help this time, well, I'll do it.

Congrats on your displayable abs. It's too late for me I fear. Enjoy it!

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 3 weeks later...

So now the holidays are over (in the US) and it's back to healthy eating for me. Unfortunately family and holidays derailed things more than I had hoped. The transition back to healthier eating wasn't hard though, for the most part, because I felt terrible when I wasn't eating well. But I noticed a few things. Much like people upthread said, if it's in the house I'll eat it and I need to stop kidding myself about that. And if I make it for dinner, and other people are eating it I will want to eat it too. I do not have the ability, yet, to eat small portions of the less healthy components of a meal, and feel satisfied. It's something I have to work on.

One of the things I'm focusing on right now is greatly increasing our veggie intake. We love veggies in our house. I could eat vegetables all the time and be happy. If someone else were doing the prep. It's not that I don't like cooking. I love it. But time is an issue, and with two little kids (5 and nearly 2) it's hard to prep enough for what I want to have particularly during the week. I'm prone to perfectionism, and I like complicated, multicomponent cooking, which makes weekday and night meals a challenge. I tend to be an all or nothing person (it's a flaw I'm working on) and so if I don't have everything ready to go, we often default to take out (hence the need to lose weight).

All of this is a longwinded way of saying I need a new strategy. So this weekend I cooked a large volume of mostly-green veggies on Sunday to be able to scoop and incorporate into whatever meals we're having during the week. This time it was just cooked with olive oil and some salt. Actually lovely on its own, but flexible for anything else. I've put it in breakfast and dinner so far, to great effect. My kids adore broccoli and zucchini, and will happily eat this.

So here's the question: Does anyone else do this? How do you keep from getting bored? Do the veggies get nasty by the end of the week? How do you plan your meals for the week?

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So here's the question: Does anyone else do this? How do you keep from getting bored? Do the veggies get nasty by the end of the week? How do you plan your meals for the week?

No I don't cook vegetables ahead of time. However we don't have young children in our lives and we do eat salad for supper every second night. That's salad FOR our supper. And soup every other night. Then once a week we have "Dessert as Dinner".

I do roast a lot of vegetables, both deliberately for meals and also when I realize that something needs to be roasted and frozen instead of being thrown out. Later it can used for enchilada fillings or soups or whatevers.

When my DH did most of the cooking we did have menus for the week. Now that I do all the cooking, we don't anymore. But wait...supper is preset and so is my breakfast, although not Ed's. Hmmmm...what can I tell you? So often set plans have to be or just are jettisoned that I'm not sure my answer is of any use. :raz:

Still it helps me to try to sort things out.

You are not alone. My sensible holiday plans were not well followed. If it's there and it tastes good, I'll eat it. End of story.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Viktoria - I am usually just cooking for myself but my strategies may work for you.

I am unable to resist gorgeous vegetables, and I hate waste. Rather than letting them languish in the fridge I do pre-cook some at their peak and then use them in various ways for the next several days. For example I picked up some baby broccoli yesterday and will cook the large bunch in a bit of salted water. Some will go in an egg and sausage scramble for lunch, some will be re-heated in the saute pan with garlic and lemon shrimp for dinner today or tomorrow, and the rest I am not sure. I make flexible plans and enjoy variety.

It is also nice to have prepared salads in the fridge and they last maybe 3 to 5 days. Have you tried the ever popular raw kale salad like this one? I also regularly check out Heidi Swanson's site for interesting vegetable and vegetarian ideas.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This seems like a good thread. I've been looking around for good food that won't give me too much weight. I need to start losing weight and I think I should consider the food that I take first as well as exercise. This seems like a good start for that. :)

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At work, we have a good sized fridge in the break room. I keep a large container of plain nonfat yogurt in the fridge, and a bag of mixed berries in the freezer. I picked up a "personal sized" blender for about $15 at Target, which I keep in my office. So if I forget lunch or run off without time for breakfast or I just need an afternoon snack, I can whip up a smoothie at work. We get lots of drug reps bringing in lunch, usually with desserts, so this way I can have something sweet with everyone else but still stay on track.

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Hello all-

I am a home cook that has made the commitment to move the food i cook for those i love in a healthier direction this year. I need some help adapting a recipe. I make the Short-rib recipe in Smoke and spice p. 120 for people i care for. They love it, i love cooking it for them. how can I make it healthier but still robust? here are my questions:

1. What cut of beef can I use instead of short ribs to reduce the fact content but keep the flavor? Brisket? Well trimmed beef shank? beef shoulder? skirt steak? If you could rank these in terms of calorie content i would appreciate it.

2. Am i deceiving myself when I put food in the refrigerator and skim the fat off the next day? I know that it works for stock, but that is pretty straightforward. Does it really work for a slow cooked dish or am i less than honest when i say that you can scrape the fat off and be left with good flavor and few calories?

3. is there a layperson nutritional site where I can go and play with calorie counts/ For example, i have an idea for substituting mayo with highly seasoned yogurt that I have added a tsp of oil. How much fat am I cutting out?

4. I'm trying to sneak calories out first because if Im honest, the portion control issue is going to be a fight. Can anyone give me an opinion who whether the "big flavor, small portions' concept really works or just sounds. good?

thanks for any insight.

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This looks like a reasonable site for getting nutrition data for various cuts of meat. They claim their data comes from the USDA.

I don't think skimming the fat off of a braise or soup hurts the flavor too much, and it does help the mouthfeel (keeps it from being greasy). If you measure how much you take off, you can get an idea of how effective this is in reducing the fat/calorie content (1 cup of rendered fat is about 210g). I'm guessing it's not huge on a per-serving basis, but I haven't measured.

It should be pretty easy to find calorie counts for commercial products on the manufacturers' websites. You'll have do the math though.

Two things I think help in terms of limiting your portions (they help me at least). One: just don't cook as much, or wrap up "leftovers" before serving. If I stick those two extra chicken thighs right in the fridge before I sit down to dinner, I'm much less liable to take seconds. Also, if you're making something like a short rib braise, make more vegetables that can go well with the braise sauce. When you devour the short rib and want more, sauce your veggies. But I'm not the type of person who gets wide-eyed at big chunks of red meat though (usually I like the salty, savory sauce just as much as the meat in a braise), so maybe this isn't something that works for many people.

Good luck--you're fighting an honorable uphill battle.

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Just reread the last few pages of this topic. Re-inspired me and more importantly, REMINDED me of what I was doing right and wrong. I had forgotten about Hot & Sour Soup, one of our mainstays. So delicious and so low calorie. Perfect for supper. Must make a batch.

Heidi's ideas of salads which keep in the fridge for a few days brought back thoughts of summer. It's so cold in East Central Ontario in the winter, and the days are so short, and I get chilled by suppertime now that salads won't work for me. They do in the summer. I also like the thought of cooking vegetables ahead of time at their peak and then doing whatever with them. Haven't done that. Tend to roast them when they are past their prime. However, she says, congratulating herself, at least I've not thrown out a vegetable in two years at least now.

We've just returned from a couple of months away, and the drive there is four to five days each way - 2400 miles. This time was the first time that an eating strategy has worked out well. Breakfast and lunch were shakes using the 'meal replacement plan' noted in an earlier post. Not yummy, but doable. Put the lunch portion in a plastic snak bag and made it in the car using what I think is the simplest, most incredible invention I've seen in a long time: Blender Bottle . We each have one now and they work so well. Snacks were small dark chocolate tablets (50 cals each) mixed with pecans. And we made it to Moab with NO WEIGHT GAIN!!! Supper was from grocery produce with added cheese. Salad dressing came from home.

The trip home did not work as well. The weather was terrible and the driving exhausting. I had a recurrent bout of Spinal Stenosis. We ate out far more. But we made it home alive, unharmed, and only a couple of pounds up.

So basically I've kept off 15 pounds since November. A new high, if you would, for me.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Xmas was a killer - gained back 4 of the 8 lbs I lost before the holidays. So last Monday, it was back to the 17-Day Diet. I've been using Simply Eggwhites (comes in a carton) done as an omelet with curry powder, diced onions, mushrooms, and sweet peppers. If I have fresh herbs, especially dill and cilantro, I'd chop some of that up and cook in a non-stick pan. As fat-free mozzerella cheese is allowed, I sometimes add a slice then fold the omelet over. Salsa goes well with this as a lunch.

2omelet877.jpg

Fish plays a big part in this diet. I love basa with cajun spices, pan seared with a little olive oil then finished in the oven. A squeeze of fresh lime adds the sparkle.

basa896.jpg

I use grated cauliflower a lot to replace rice. Sometimes, it's just plain if I have a dish that is distinct on its own. The other day, I had odds and ends of veg to use up, and a package of ground turkey. I browned the turkey in a little olive oil followed by a short simmer with fat-free sodium-free chicken stock to keep the meat moist, and separately, the vegetables, and some egg white in flat form then diced. In a clean pan, I stir-fried the "rice" for that "wok hei", then added everything back in. Mixed it all up with a dash of tamari soy, and voila! Mock fried rice. It was very good, especially qwith a spoonful of Saigon Chili Oil.

mockfriedrice1012.jpg

The leftover fried rice, I had it for lunch the next day. I added a few smashed fermented soy beans, a quick stir-up in the pan, and ate it as lettuce wrap. No picture on that, but you get the idea... :smile:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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