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Author Topic: Healthy Food Choices  (Read 5436 times)
Losfer
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« on: October 30, 2007, 07:38:30 PM »

Greetings, all!  I know it's a bit strange for me to create a new thread that's not based around Satan or eating babies, but I have been inspired to bring forth some question time here!!!

What I want to discuss are some nice healthy food options.  Since I moved to England (and back), I have managed to pile an additional 50 pounds or so on my already oversized Germanic frame.  So this is not good as I really try to be healthy and stay on top of being overweight since I have spent most of my life there.

I have finally achieved that level of adulthood where I know I need to go to work if I want to or not and have been steadily working for the past two years.  So since then, my time to exercise has dwindled and my ability to cap what I eat has disolved.

When I get home, I REALLY don't want to spend an hour cooking something, so I usually end up chucking a pizza in the oven for 20 minutes while I shower and brush my teeth.  Then I sit and be fat with my pizza and FFXI for the next hour.  :(

So after all of this, the topic comes to a head...!

I need recommendations for cheap and /relatively/ healthy dinners.  I can't eat pizza every night, but I certainly ain't eating just fucking lettuce leaves every day.  :P  So please, list me a few of the staples in your diet that are easy on your waist line and easy on your wallet.

Thanks in advance!
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 08:12:43 PM »

Babies aren't healthy?
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Tooker
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 08:14:37 PM »

Quick suggestion - apples.  They're not too expensive, they're easy to eat, don't require any preparation time, you don't have to buy a whole bunch at a time (like bananas), and there's no cleanup afterwards.

Obviously that's not a whole meal, but it's something.  If you're like most of us, you can probably lose a noticeable amount of weight by cutting soda out of your diet, or at least cutting down to a very small amount.  It kind of sucks, because who doesn't love soda, but it can make a difference.
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Eusis
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 08:34:58 PM »

Yeah, I'd limit soda to a can a day, maybe two occassionally. While I'm not exactly addicted to water or anything, I do feel it's gotten to the point where soda feels like a treat, and not something I'd seriously go chugging down. Also fruit juices are good, namely stuff that's 100%.
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Evil Gately
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 09:05:13 PM »

Don't buy ready-meals. All that stuff's full of salt, sugar, E-numbers and additives!

Buy fresh whenever you can. That doesn't mean  it has to be stupidly expensive, either... An entire sack of spuds would be about the same as a bag of frozen oven chips (fries), so you could go with mashed or jacket potatoes instead of chips.

Apples and fizzy drinks have been mentioned, and that's a real good tip. If you feel like a snack, an apple or a banana with a glass of fruit juice (or even better, water) is so much better (and cheaper) than chocolate or crisps. Also, it's worth remembering that when your body needs water it will trigger the same cravings as if you're hungry, so it might be an idea to get into the habit of taking a glass of water if you're feeling peckish, and see if that sorts it out!

It's little things like that I've found helps, bearing in mind I've dropped from 14.5 to 10 stone in under a year!
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 09:07:02 PM »

I lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks by cutting soda almost entirely out of my diet. I drink 3-4 a week and no more.


Obviously eating more raw vegetables is a good thing. Also chicken with the fat trimmed off cooked on a grill or in a George Foreman grill. You can also find recipes http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Healthy-Living/Main.aspx
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 09:31:28 PM »

Quote from: "Eusis"
Also fruit juices are good, namely stuff that's 100%.


Agreed - just keep in mind that you should limit the amount of juice you drink because it's pretty high in sugar, even if it's the straight stuff.  There's a reason why those little glasses are called juice glasses.

I've heard that suggestion about drinking a glass of water when you're feeling snacky before - it's a good one.
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 09:47:35 PM »

Quote from: "Tooker"

I've heard that suggestion about drinking a glass of water when you're feeling snacky before - it's a good one.


Truth.  In my grand "quit being a fat drunk" campaign I undertook a few years ago, I started drinking water all the damn time.  Health benefits aside, it has the effect of keeping your mouth busy.  I know most of my non-booze calories came from idle, mindless snacking while gaming or looking at porn or what have you, and constantly drinking water fixed that.  I honestly think that helped me stick to quitting the cancer sticks too.

Even now, I still drink an easy two liters of water a day.  That's not even counting the mass quantities of tea I consume, either. :P
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Dincrest
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 09:53:43 PM »

If you're going to do pizza, do it healthy.  

Buy whole wheat pizza dough if you can.  Use a good quality sauce.  In terms of cheese, use less of it or try other kinds that don't get as oily when melted.  Maybe even cut out the cheese entirely (one slice of pizza from your local pizzeria probably has more cheese than should be in a proper daily serving.)  Fresh veggies for toppings and if you decide to use ham or something, thin slices of really lean ham.  You need your protein too.  

I make a pizza with fresh dough and fresh ingredients once a weekend and it lasts me for four dinners.  Portion control, baby.  Prep time and cooking time aren't much.  

One pizza idea that tastes good and won't weigh you down like an anchor is one with buffalo sauce, grilled chicken pieces, and crumbled bleu cheese (don't cover the entire thing in bleu cheese; use judiciously to complement everything else.)  Try that with some celery sticks on the side and some soy milk.  The bread in the crust should help counteract the heat.  The one thing in pizza that weighs you down is the oily/greasy of melted mozzarella.  

In terms of portion controlling, realize that one serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.  Eating smaller portions of meat and larger portions of veggies are the way to go.  I tend to like spring mix because the mix of spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, arugula, and others offers more dynamic flavors than just lettuce or spinach alone.  In terms of dressing, balsamic vinagrette is a healthy way to go.  Don't douse your salad.  A capful should be enough to given an even coat of flavor when you toss.  

Another idea: If you buy a box of ready made chicken tenders, take a small to medium size tortilla, slice up a single chicken tender on it, pile on some spinach and tomatoes, a long thin slice of cheddar, oven for 8-10 minutes, roll, and enjoy.  This actually makes me feel as full as if I were to eat a plate of chicken tenders alone.  

Another thing to do is to eat slowly.  It takes 15 minutes after you eat for your body to feel full.  So if you eat slowly and don't scarf down mass quantities as quickly as possible, your body can digest more effectively and allow you to feel fuller on less food.  

Drinking lots of water is great too.  I'd say a couple of pints a day should be good; stagger it throughout the day, though.  Cleans out your body from the inside and helps keep your skin hydrated too.  Don't overdo the water, though, or you'll fuck up your kidneys.

If you tend to consume a lot of meat and dairy, a good fruit to have on hand is pineapple.  It has bromelain that helps your body more easily break down animal proteins.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 09:59:37 PM »

Actually, seeing the end of Neal's post about the water, Gatorade and the like would be good to look at too. That's specifically formulated to rehydrate your body, plus it's still got some flavor while not being as junky as soda.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2007, 10:05:40 PM »

I'd be careful with some sports drinks.  Some of them, like Gatorade, are REALLY high in sodium (to make you keep drinking.)  If you need a drink with a kick like a sports drink but no (or minimal) sodium, I like VitaminWater.  And even stuff for babies like PediaLyte is great for adults.  Lots of electrolytes.  Great for keeping an adult hydrated and enervated during a bad bout of Montezuma's Revenge.  

Oh, and another thing to watch out for with healthy eating.  If you go from a crap diet to a healthy diet, you WILL get sick.  Why?  Because now that your body has had a taste of healthy stuff, it goes into detox mode to rid itself of bad stuff.  I remember when I got myself into healthier eating habits, eating more vegetables and fresh foods, my body went into major detox mode and I felt like I had the worst flu for a couple of days.  (I used to eat a really bad diet.)  

And anyone who's known me for a while knows I'm really into my Juiceman Juicer.  That's one appliance I use all the time.  Forces me to buy a ton more produce (some for eating, a lot for juicing.)  

Since others have mentioned... I used to weigh 220 in 2004.  I'm around 185 now.  My "fighting" weight is 165.

EDIT:  I don't believe in denying yourself food.  Psychological health is health too.  If you eat all healthy meals during the week, you need to allow yourself one or two 'cheat' meals a week.  If you love chocolate cake and cut it out of your diet completely, you will get irritable because you crave chocolate cake but you can't have it.   Just be sure to make your serving of chocolate cake about 1/4 the size they'd serve you in a diner.  And eat it slowly.  Savor your cheat meal.  

I'm a believer in portion control.  Whenever I eat out, I skip appetizers and only eat about half my entree; I take the rest home.  After all, American restaurants give you ginormous portions.

And a good habit to get into is to take a walk around the block a little after dinner.  This way, you work off some of your dinner and it's not sitting in your gut like a rock as you sleep.
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2007, 10:08:51 PM »

Quote from: "D-Rider"
Quote from: "Tooker"

I've heard that suggestion about drinking a glass of water when you're feeling snacky before - it's a good one.


Truth.  In my grand "quit being a fat drunk" campaign I undertook a few years ago, I started drinking water all the damn time.  Health benefits aside, it has the effect of keeping your mouth busy.  I know most of my non-booze calories came from idle, mindless snacking while gaming or looking at porn or what have you, and constantly drinking water fixed that.  I honestly think that helped me stick to quitting the cancer sticks too.

Even now, I still drink an easy two liters of water a day.  That's not even counting the mass quantities of tea I consume, either. :P


Two liters would keep me hydrated for about twenty minutes or so :-p

Let me be honest: A good diet is something that is immensely helpful, but don't blow off exercise.  Without a change in my diet, two and a half months of playing two hours of hockey four days a week has made me drop from 230 to 205, and I'm still dropping.  Exercise is something that you just can't shell off.
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2007, 10:09:48 PM »

You might want to figure out how many calories a day you are eating and then look on the internet to figure out how much you need to cut down to lose weight depending on your lifestyle. Once you know that you can plan meals accordingly.

Remember its not only what you are eating but how much.
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everluck
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2007, 10:20:47 PM »

1.) Drink lots of water. It'll keep you busy. Plus it has no calories and helps keep your breath fresh. Liquids take up a lot of room in your stomach, so they help keep food cravings away. If you eat anything salty, make sure you have a glass nearby to counter the sodium.

2.) Celery. With peanut butter (100% natural peanut butter, not processed garbage). Almond butter is even better. Celery has lots of fiber and very few calories. Plus some studies show that eating celery helps release pheromones, making you automatically more attractive to the ladies.

3.) Whole wheat bread. It's very nutritious, has a lot of fiber, and has all the natural nutrient value that bread should have; white bread has the nutritious parts all taken out. Wheat bread often does as well, so make sure what you buy says Whole Wheat. As mentioned before, natural peanut butter is a good thing to add.

(Brown rice is another good one).

4.) Spread your meals out over the day. Instead of three big meals, make it six or seven smaller ones. They don't have to be microscopic, either. Just smaller. This helps keep your metabolism going. When you go too long between eating, your body goes into "starvation mode" and starts retaining things you don't want it to retain. It'll hold onto fat in case it needs it for energy. By eating often you keep this from happening, and your body burns calories more readily. Plus it helps keep binge eating from not happening.

5.) Fruits and veggies. This is a given. They're all good, they're almost all tasty.

6.) Try "reversing" the order you eat your meals in. I don't know what time you eat dinner, but most people I know don't get to until late. These same people usually skip breakfast or have something very light during the morning. This isn't really that good. It's better to have a hearty breakfast than a hearty dinner; think about it: the earlier you eat, the more time you have to burn off whatever you put in. Eating a big dinner usually occurs during a time of day where people have little or no physical activity. The food just sits in your stomach and the fat piles up while you're asleep.

7.) Meat is good, but don't eat too much. Go for the loin if you want red meat- it's leaner than the other parts. Hamburger, sausages, things like that- the ground up, processed stuff- are full of fat. White meat has less, but it's still there. Fish is best (I forget which fish have the most/least fat, but I could look it up if you'd like).

8.) Don't eat till you're full. Eat enough so you're not hungry, but don't stuff yourself. The excess literally goes straight to your gut.

9.) Get low fat dairy products. They're always high protein, which helps burn fat. Skim milk is great stuff. Cottage cheese and other sides are also good.

10.) Eggs are very good, egg beaters are better (if you're trying to lose weight, anyway; egg beaters have no fat). They're one of the most nutritious foods out there, and there are many ways to prepare them depending on your mood.

11.) Don't make your meals routine.  Mix things up every day or every other day. You'll get bored otherwise.

12.) Plain old unsalted nuts are great for filling your stomach, and they're very good for you as well. Lots of protein and B vitamins. If you read the nutritional labels, it might look like there's a lot of fat, but you shouldn't pay too much attention to that. Fats from nuts, legumes, beans, things like that- it's very easy to burn. It's not the stuff that adds up. Almonds are the best. Just make sure you don't get anything salted or roasted. Your blood pressure would shoot through the roof.

I go through probably between a pound or pound and a half of almonds a week and I'm 6' and 170 lbs. Two or three handfuls a day is good.

13.) Beans are good as long as they're not baked beans or in chili. Baked beans have a lot of sugar, chili has loads of fat.

14.) If you get fruit juices, the more natural it is the better. Look for that %.

15.) If you get canned fruit, get the stuff in juice, not syrup.

16.) Don't hold out on yourself. If you really, really need some sugar, go for it. Just don't gorge yourself. And not everyday.

17.) Whey protein is a supplement that's especially good at burning fat. It can be expensive, however (last I checked was about $40 for 14 servings), and isn't especially necessary if you're not planning on exercising too much.

18.) Try not to think about dieting, because it'll just make you hungry. Think of it as just eating healthier- which is, really, what it is.

19.) Alcohol is very, very bad if you're trying to lose weight. Doesn't matter what you drink, even if it's a Lite beer. They're all bad. Even red wine, with all its antioxidants, is garbage for losing weight. Most alcoholic drinks are just all empty calories; there's no nutritional value in these drinks and it's very hard to burn off what they add. They also dehydrate you and make you hungry. And drinks have a way of piling up one after another, you know?

One drink a day won't kill you, but any more than that should be frowned on.

20.) Olive oil. It is great for your skin and it's better than pretty much any other oil out there. It's got that same sort of fat that's in nuts- the stuff that's easy to lose. I fry my eggs in olive oil and drizzle it on salads; I'm sure you can think of other places to add it.

I'll put more as it comes to me.

I've got to echo the guys who've said exercise shouldn't be ignored. I wouldn't say it's as essential as a good diet, but it's still very important, especially if you don't want any aches and pains as you age. Weight-bearing exercise is great for your bones as well as muscles and aerobic stuff is good for your heart and lungs. They both burn calories, and every little bit helps.

The thing is, for most people an increase in exercise might make you stronger, but won't help you lose weight. In fact, most people who exercise without a healthy diet actually gain weight. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. They don't look any better, however, because all those fat layers are hiding their muscle.

For a lot of people who lose weight while exercising and on an unhealthy diet, that can be attributed to the fact that they're exercising during times of the day that they'd otherwise be eating. This helps them burn more calories than they're taking in. Which leads to...

21.) Outtake > intake. That's the golden rule for losing weight. You need to figure out how many calories you use in a day- Google can help you with that. You need how many you burn just living, and then you need to add your activities. If you haven't got a very active lifestyle I'd put you around 2200-2500 calories a day (not knowing your exact weight, mind; don't take my word for it, though... it's important that you get it pretty close, and I'm no expert). You need to be taking in less calories than you burn. Say if you use 2600 cals a day. Don't aim for an intake of 2000. Go for 2300 or 2400. You don't want to lose too much too fast; that's the quickest way to an early grave.

You should be aiming for losing 2-3 pounds a week, and no more than 4. If you go over than you'll start losing too much muscle and your immune system will run right down the drain.
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Losfer
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2007, 12:02:30 AM »

Wow...  So many responses in such a short time!

I hear what you're all saying about what you drink.  The good news is, I drink anywhere between two and six liters of water a day.  :P  Don't drink any alcohol at all, stopped drinking pop sometime ago as I was drinking around two liters a day.  Now, as a treat, I might drink a two liter over two days on the weekend.  I only drink water and juice.  And yeah, it's real juice.  The wife and I share a liter of orange or apple juice a day.  It is a little more expensive and you get a little less than what you'd spend on cola or root beer, but it's much better.

As for cheese, that is a difficult issue, since I consume a lot of cheese.  It is by far the only thing I garnish food with.  Having burgers?  Need cheese.  Having pizza?  Need cheese.  Having salad?  Need cheese.

Everluck...  I have to say, I understand what you mean by only eating until your no longer hungry.  I made a /small/ pizza for dinner and immediately thought "this isn't gonna fill me."  But then I took a 20 minute walk and when I got back just a few minutes ago...  I didn't feel hungry.

Might have to do with the huge stitch I have in my side now though.  :(

DR, I remember you using those lose weight shakes awhile back...  Any help at all?

Gately, good idea on the potatoes.  The thought of a nice jacket potato and beans is getting me excited.

Guys, what about pasta?  I've been craving plain spaghetti for some time and I think with a spicy sauce...  That could be a three or four time a week meal.  After all, I know spicy food is supposed to help speed up your metabolism.

Cheers for the suggestions.
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