I’ve been reading since the beginning…I found you from spark people years ago when trying to lose after my first child. I lost doing WW (Weigh Watchers) back then using all packaged products. I then had another child and undid all my progress, and also decided to return to school, further distracting me from losing weight. While I’ve followed you the whole time, and saw your transformation to a more healthy lifestyle, I just spectated and was happy for you. Now, I’m finally about to graduate (at 31), so I’ve went back to WW, but the food just doesn’t do it for me, and I hate fruit, and am not a big vegetable person… I guess I’m looking for some motivation and advice, on a way to move to more filling choices. The new points are different, so some of my old high fiber things don’t work like they did, and I know you used to eat like I do. How do I transition? There is just no way to eat these frozen meals and snacks, and stay within points without feeling starved. I know you aren’t messing with the points+, but I’m finding it hard to find things for the old points. This has been rambling, and I apologize, I’m just frustrated. To bottom line, any advice for someone who’s been out of the game so long? I’m hoping to start working in more activity, but I’m not there yet. Any food ideas for a picky eater that won’t kill me in points? In case you’re wondering, I’m not officially in the program…can’t afford it, so doing my own research. Thanks, Jamie
First let me say I’m SO sorry it’s taken me a year to get back to you. I’m shocked how time seems to get away from me. That being said, congrats on your graduation last year! That’s awesome!
I think your question is pretty common for two reasons: 1.) The new Points Plus doesn’t seem as intuitive (at least to me) so folks try to follow the old points plan with little or no support and 2.) lots of people get really dependent on packaged foods never transitioning to more dependent approach.
So I have a few opinions that may help.
Since you aren’t going to WW I’m wondering if a site like MyFitnessPal or Loseit could be a good supplement. They don’t track points but they could help you track calories and stay accountable to daily goals. I’m not associated with either site but I have tried them each out. They are both free and have quite large communities that could also be a great support structure. I tend to use MFP when I do track, I like that they allow users to enter in custom food.
Speaking of… food! I know it’s hard to start to transition and become more independent with your food choices, especially when you aren’t naturally a fruit or vegetable person. I’d first urge you to constantly keep trying new things. The best thing I ever did was start the produce pick series I launched with The (then) Toddler. I hate to use the word “forced” but that’s basically what I did. I forced myself to regularly try new things expanding my palate. Some things I liked, some I didn’t but the experience was invaluable. It helped make me more adventurous in the kitchen.
Besides trying new things I’d also look at ways to lighten up things that you currently enjoy. Can you skip the cheese? replace mayo with mustard? Order dressings on the side? Reduce your bread intake? Buy leaner cuts of meat? Reduce your portions sizes? etc., etc. etc.
Other ideas: Start meals with “brothy” soups, make sure to drink lots of water to help you feel full, snack on air-popped popcorn, and have “go-tos” to take the guesswork out of meals, for example….
- Serving of your favorite high-fiber cereal with almond milk (add frozen blueberries for bulk!)
- Apple Pie Oatmeal
- Egg MugMuffin with Spinach, Ham and Bacon
- Big bowl of a broth-based soup and a half of sandwich
- Large salad (I know you aren’t a veggie lover but maybe?) with some leftover or precooked protein on top, light dressing
- Quick quesadilla made with leftovers or pantry items like Avocado and Pinto Quasadilla
- Leftovers from dinner the night before
For dinner I have more of a template than “go-tos.” I focus on a protein source and then pair it with a small carb and then vegetables (I know, I know but they really are important!) If I make chili or stews I bulk them up with things like zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, etc. I even chop kale small and put it in my taco meat, add chopped mushrooms to ground beef recipes, I’ve even put chopped cabbage in meatballs!
- Yogurt cups
- Granola bars (less than 200 cals)
- Beef/turkey jerky
- Air-popped popcorn (spritz with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt — or make in the microwave!
- Hot tea! I know it’s not food but at night when I really really want to snack when not hungry it’s a great thing to turn to. SO many fun flavors! Honestly, I’m sipping some RIGHT now.
My advice to get back in the game…. Start doing what you can when you can! Every little step you take matters. Every vegetable you try, every meal you lighten, every small change you make gets you one step closer to your goal. It’s not going to happen overnight. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow a vegetable lover with unlimited motivation but you can optimistically tackle the day, making the best choices you can where you are right now while slowly making choices that will lead toward big changes later. That I can say with confidence because tubs of Greek yogurt and bags of kale don’t lie.