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Unread 04-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #1
ShaylaTheRoo
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Dieting without salads...

Now, when I say "diet" I don't mean some temporary change to the way in which I eat, I mostly mean trying to make a lasting lifestyle change to the way I eat with regard to food choices and portioning. After a really unpleasant wakeup call to how my desk job is affecting my weight, I realized that I needed to be taking way better care of myself, and making realistic changes that I can stick with.

My boyfriend has been working on making changes with me, as he's in the throws of dealing with post-military life. We've both downloaded MyFitnessPal, and I'm quite happy with it (I'm one week in and are right on track with my 1lb a week goal). Plus, my gym trips will be starting this week (my gym has a thing when you join where a trainer can evaluate your current fitness, and create a workout that will help you improve where you're lacking - all for free with your membership).

Now, I've made some great sustainable changes, but my biggest issue trying to move forward is my boyfriend's insisting that I have to introduce "meal salads" into my diet. I've never enjoyed salads as the entire basis of a meal, and eating something when I can barely tolerate it seems like a bad idea - not to mention that every single time I've had a salad as a meal, I've ended up with terrible cramps that make me completely ineffective the entire afternoon at work.

It's not that I hate veggies, there are plenty that I like (corn, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, celery) - but as long as I'm eating reasonably, should I still be trying to force myself to eat salads to "get used to them?" He's even tried basically negating any calorie benefit of eating the salad at lunch by giving me some meat to put in with it, and that just doesn't seem to help at all, either.

I think this is a common stigma against changing your diet towards "healthy choices," because people just associate healthy diets with having to eat salads. :/

If I'm making an effort to take in proper nutrients, working out regularly, and I'm mindful of my portions and calories, does it really matter?
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Unread 04-24-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
littlemissnerdy
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No. You shouldn't force yourself to eat something you don't like. You can drop weight without eating salads. It's about watching everything you eat. It's about cutting out things you don't really need like soda and things with extra sugar.

I use MFP too and it's wonderful! Be sure to check out the forums too for advice.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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That's basically how I felt about approaching all of this, and have already cut out most of my soda (I grab a sugar free Red Bull in the morning for caffeine, but I'm almost weaned off of needing it). Plus, I skipped grabbing my pre-packed "lunch salad" today just because I couldn't stand the thought of spending the afternoon cramped and useless like I have the last two days.

I didn't realize MFP had forums! Granted, I've only used it on my phone and haven't been to their site, so that makes sense, ha ha. Thanks!
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Unread 04-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #4
Boreotheria
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There is sooooooo much healthy food out there that is not salad. You just need to learn to cook a little -- veggies can be roasted, grilled, steamed, stir-fried,* and more.

My current favourites:

Roasted asparagus: use about a tablespoon of olive oil to coat a dozen stalks of asparagus (you'll have to get it on your hands and rub it on them, because it's not enough to drizzle) and roast them at 350ºF for fifteen minutes.

Sauteed rapini: chop up a bunch of rapini, put it in a frying pan, stir it around with a tablespoon of olive oil and some chopped garlic, and cook it over low heat (constantly stirring) until it starts to look wilty and damp.

You don't have to steam everything, because it's not a good idea to cut out fats completely anyways, so use a bit of healthy fat like olive oil and it'll add to the flavour of the food.

* There's a backlash against stir-frying but I think it's because most people use so damn much sauce in it. You can stir-fry veggies with very little oil or sauce if you know what you're doing.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
ShaylaTheRoo
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Actually, I love doing stir-fry, and do it without sauce! I need to push doing more of that, definitely. The roasted asparagus sounds really good, too.

I think he mostly pushes the salads because they're pretty fast prep in advance; but I end up tossing leftover meats, or hardboiled eggs on them, and then they just really become a glorified protein and fat vehicle. That, or I think of the leafy parts of the salad as getting in the way of me eating more cabbage, broccoli, celery, and carrots, ha ha.

He does most of the household cooking (he's a student and home more, while I work full time), but I may have to commandeer some of that control to make sure we're both getting something we like out of this lifestyle change.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 10:14 PM   #6
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There are also plenty of recipes out there for "salads' that have little to no lettuce. I think there's this misconception that salad must involve a bed of lettuce and dressing, not true. Really any mix of veggies can be considered salad. Stir fry (light on the oil and sauce!) a mix of Asian veggies or fire roast some over the grill or in the oven. A cucumber and tomato Greek salad can be very refreshing for summer. My fave place for recipes of any find is http://www.tastespotting.com/ (warning do not browse when hungry it's pure food porn!), there's a handy search box so you can narrow your search down to just 'salad" or "cupcakes" etc.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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Putting meat and stuff in your salad would actually be healthy. If it's a meal salad, you're supposed to put things like meat, eggs, cheese and fruit in it.
Saying that, if you don't like it, you don't have to eat it.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 06:55 PM   #8
cosplaynewb11
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yall that use myfitness pal. iam on that too. total look me up my name is animelose2012
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Unread 04-25-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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Putting meat into a salad doesn't negate its health benefits. You shouldn't be eating with the idea of putting yourself at a huge calorie deficit because there's a point at which that becomes very counterproductive. You need to eat. Adding chicken, eggs, or even cheese or nuts is fine.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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I've basically ditched the "salads" for now - I just couldn't find a good combo that made it appealing, and I found myself just not eating all of it which is honestly worse (left me starving until getting home for dinner).

Trying to eat fairly consistently through the day, though. I've got several things that just stay in my desk like a container of almonds and a few bananas, and I bring in yogurt and fruit cups - on top of my lunch. Hence why I don't typically eat that much for lunch, really, it's just another of my "snacks" through the day, except I like for it to be something warm to make it a change up in the day.

Not trying to go for a huge deficit or anything - basically using the fitnesspal app as a guide, but if I still feel really hungry and it says I'm out of calories for the day, I'm not going to listen and just go grab some food. This happens particularly on days after hitting the gym, especially since I go in the evening and the workout hasn't hit me full force until the next day, ha ha.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:45 PM   #11
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MFP is problematic in that it doesn't particularly explain what you need to do. It will give you a goal (most people set theirs too aggressively) that isn't based on much. Most people also underestimate their activity level. You also need to make sure that if you put "sedentary" for activity level that you're logging your calories burned from exercise and then eat those back to NET whatever calorie goal they give you.

I just use MFP to log my calories and ignore its "goal weights" since my goals are different. I just have my calories set to 2200 daily and try to eat within a couple hundred of that, although I'm usually under. I'm going to actually up my calories since I tend to be hungry all day. But I also lift weights.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
ShaylaTheRoo
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I've definitely been noticing that MFP isn't really giving me enough to work with now that the workouts are becoming more regular, so it's pretty much now just a "guideline" and tracker at this point. I think it's more handy if all you're doing is the diet, but once you're adding in specialized activity it loses its luster.

It's especially annoying that it doesn't count anaerobic stuff for *anything* - and about 40 minutes of my hour workout isn't cardio. Now, I *know* that strength training is going to be making additional demands on me nutritionally, soooo... yeah.

Yesterday was my rest day, and I was fairly hungry throughout, so I ended up just ignoring the total calories and just went with what I felt like I needed. Nothing too terribly bad, and I feel really good this morning. Did have to stop myself from "bored" eating, though. The bored eating is my biggest obstacle, and I think MFP is helping me break that habit a bit.
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