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Help! Does Anyone Actually Plan Meals?

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Hi Everyone,

I'm pretty new to this journey, and I'm in Month ONE of the six-month insurance-required medical diet phase.

I'm two weeks in (and, like, zero weight loss). What's killing me is the meal plan. My eating is totally chaotic, emotionally driven, blah, blah, blah.

Does anyone here PLAN meals for, say, a week at a time? Grocery lists? The whole she-bang? If so, please help! I'm going crazy here..... I keep thinking if I can't do this WITHOUT the sleeve, how will I ever manage counting Protein and Vitamins and stuff WITH the sleeve? I really want to succeed; I just don't know how. (By the way, my NUT said, "Now, you'll need to create a food plan for meals," and I said, "Sure." Help please.)

I have the Fitbit and stuff for tracking. It isn't tracking I need, it's PLANNING.

Thanks, DeterminedGirl

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I went shopping for things like Protein to see what I liked. I made a list of foods I really like and made a shopping list. Then I came home and took a calendar, one day at a time, and put my foods on the calendar. Since I am not the only one cooking, it helps whoever is cooking, to get things ready the night before.

I did use the nut's advice about how many servings of Protein, dairy, etc. when making shopping list. Since I hate milk, I opted for plain non-fat greek yogurt and added my own fresh fruit.< /p>

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Have you tried a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt!? Once you enter in a meal you just click on it to enter it into your diary. As far as a menu- I like simple. I find I do better with a very structured meal plan though- try to limit times where I don't know what to eat- if you are too hungry, you could easily eat too many carbs or sugar.

ie; Bkfst. - Greek yogurt or cottage cheese w a little fruit

AM snack - apple with 2 tbls. natural peanut

butter Beverage- Diet green tea with ginsing (large!)

lunch - 1 egg & 2 liquid egg white omlette with Sinny Cow Lite cheese (any flavor, they are all delish!) or lite Swiss cheese and 2 Jimmy Dean Turkey sausages (thaw, cut into small pieces and start sautéing in Pam sprayed frying pan. Add eggs and cheese, black pepper. Cover pan, lower heat. I top with banana peppers- the best! Also feta/spinach/mushroom/onion. Or chicken, tuna or shrimp with salad. I try to eat one big salad a day - lunch or dinner- packed with veggies and use apple cider vinegar with dressing. I'll eat almost a whole bag of steamfresh veggies (no sauce!) with beef, chicken, turkey burger or fish/shrimp.

PM snack- Jello TemptationsChicklate pudding or sugar free jello.

If I have a hungy day, I'll have chicken broth- 2 pkts in a huge mug (Sodium free-add your own pinch of salt- I use garlic salt)

Drink your Water and take your Vitamins and be sure to eat enough Protein and veggies! Good luck!

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I plan dinners two weeks at a time, and build my grocery list starting with that. My breakfasts, lunches, and Snacks are all planned out (in my "Diet Minder" journal) the night before...so I know, every day, exactly what I need to eat. This has made it very easy to ensure I'm meeting my Protein goals every day, and that my carb intake remains below 30 grams/day. If I decide to change something, during the day, I can do it in an intelligent manner...because I know what I need, in order to make my numbers for the rest of the day.

Tracking food consumed...whatever method you choose to use...is critical (IMHO).

Best of luck!

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I used sparkpeople for awhile, they will set up a menu if you want based on your weight loss goals.

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It's great you have time between now and the surgery to work on things. The following is just my suggestions and ideas.

I had a Protein shake for Breakfast EVERY morning. I figured I might as well get used to supplementing one meal a day with the Protein. There are many to chose from, keeping it at about 25 grams of protein per shake is a good idea, making sure the shake is low carb is important too. Money was a factor for me, so I buy Pure Protein Frosty chocolate and I use skim milk and ice cubes in it. lunch, I would eat, cottage cheese or hard boiled egg, or a few shrimp.

I literally cut out as much carbs as I could and saved carbs for special occasions when we would go out to eat. dinner, I always ate meat first, vegetables seconds and I would have a teaspoon or whatever of the starch was, now I don't even do that. Once in a great while I would allow myself something like a skinny turkey sandwich from potbelly or some rice, but not every day.

Tracking the food is important and the one that seemed to be the easiest to use is myfitnesspal.com. It makes tracking your calories, carbohydrates and fat SO much easier. You input what you ate and as you are learning, this is imperative. It also helps you PLAN, because if you know you are going out to eat somewhere you can input what you think you are going to eat and look it up in advance to check out the carbs and protein.

I kept myself at 800-900 calories a day (except on my "forespecial days" like going to Red Lobster or out to House of Kobe or something special which I allowed myself once in a while during my pre-approval six months phase).

I easily hit 80 grams of protein a day and 45-75 grams of carbohydrates.

Snacks or emotional eating I made sure I hate almonds, Peanut Butter & fruit.

This is a way of life, not really a diet. I promise you if you work on behavior modification before your sleeve it will be so much easier after surgery.

I am 3 months out from surgery and I can say I lost 120 pounds. This is because I put all effort into this way way of life before I had surgery.

Treat yourself once in a while, if you want to have a special dinner that includes carbohydrates have it, a margarita or whatever, but make sure you track things, even on the days you don't do but most importantly, drink 64 ounces of Water a day, eat at least 3 meals a day, chart your food, eat your protein first, vegies second and carbs thirdly.

Exercise. I couldn't exercise at first so I stood and walked in place for 5 minutes a day, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then I did the gazelle, was able to make it 5 minutes a day and before surgery I was able to do an hour in the am and an hour in the pm. I believe exercising or walking 30 minutes a day is beneficial.

Another trick about an hour before dinner, have a hot tea, hot decaff coffee, hot broth or something, that helps. Getting rid of your carb addiction before surgery is the best thing for you. Also wean yourself or get yourself off carbonated beverages, including diet pop. It is really hard for people to do during the pre-op shake and if you can quit now, do so.

Meal planning. I made sure I had 1% cottage cheese on hand, eggs, cheese, sugar-free pudding, Jello, crackers (I use Breton Original) it's the lowest of the carb crackers and I would once in a while have a treat of Peanut Butter on one cracker.

Meals, grilled chicken breast with one dole pineapple ring on it, turkey taco's, turkey sloppy joes, pork chops (grilled), turkey tortilla Soup, chicken tortilla Soup. meat loaf, Steak, etc.

Cooking for my family I used to make a LOT of casseroles, lots of fattening casseroles, with gravy, lots of spaghetti, etc. Unfortunately, when money is tight, cheaper meals like spaghetti, hot dogs, casseroles are more fattening. Learn to buy extra when something is on sale. If you see a lean steak on sale, buy 2 extra packages, when chicken breasts are on sale buy 2 extra each time. You can make a lot of Chicken products that taste good and are so different from each other without getting sick of chicken. Boil chicken, shred it, make chicken taco salad, Chicken with Mozz Cheese & Spaghetti Sauce (go ahead and make a low carb wheat noodle if you have family. Rotisserie Chicken with Light mayo inside a hallowed out Tomato. tuna, Salmon. After surgery I make sure I always have a bag of shrimp here and it lasts for a while because I will have 2 or 3 for lunch once in a while.

Make sure you chew each bite 20 times and do not drink with dinner and wait 1/2 hour after eating to drink. There are lots of reasons for this, but staying full longer is important. I was a chronic choker. I used to choke during dinner. It was horrible and I hated going out to dinner because of it. I could never imagine not drinking with my meal for this reason. Funny thing happened though, I got rid of my Water with dinner, and I quit choking. Why is this? Probably because I focused on chewing my food more and stopped shoveling food in my mouth.

These are the things that worked for me. It may or may not work for you, but from a girl that at this time last year, needed someone to tie her shoes for her, help her out of the chair, help her walk upstairs, had to park in handicapped parking, couldn't walk 1/2 a block, slept with oxygen, gave herself injections every single day, to a girl that just went to Six Flags and nobody even gave me a look as I got into the rides, went out to a fair and stood near the stage dancing for 5 hours, I don't use oxygen anymore, no more shots, I can tie my own shoes and walk 5 miles without even getting tired, I went from 4x clothes to large, you get what you put into this lifestyle.

Good luck to you. Count yourself very lucky that you are working on these things before surgery. Stay positive and look at each new accomplishment before surgery as another big step or hurdle in the journey. If you can get rid of soda, applaud that, if you get your 64 ounces of water in, be happy for that. The sleeve is only a tool, the easiest way to get through this entire ordeal is to do your best, stay positive and focused.

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I lost 65 lbs pre-op and 40 in 11 weeks post op. I must say, planning has been a big part of my success.

Each Sunday I try to make a spreadsheet (or powerpoint or whatever) of my meals for the week. Pre-op I just planned lunch and dinner because I was doing Meal Replacements too. Post-op I plan everything, including Snacks. Then I save it as an image and upload it as my desktop background. It's most accessible to me that way because I'm on my computer a lot. I can't say I adhere to it strictly, it's hard to plan a week out but I try to eat the things I plan, just maybe on different days. I find recipes I like online and add the ingredients to my grocery list. I keep track of what recipes I have the ingredients for and that's how I plan my dinners, and in accordance with any events throughout the week. Lunch is usually leftovers. Again, I might not be super strict according to the plan but at least I know what snacks I SHOULD be having and don't allow myself to eat other things, just maybe rearranged. So, basically, by the end of the week I've eaten most of the things on my menu. It helps me make decisions because I like instant gratification and would probably make the wrong choices just because I'm hungry if I don't know ahead of time what I'm going to eat. And I do use MFP as well. I was resistant to it at first because I'm lazy but it's actually quite easy and now I love it!

Hope that helps!

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It's pretty simple. Just write everything you are going to eat in advance and only eat what's on your list. Make sure you use a food scale to weigh everything and so you stick to the correct portions. If it's not on your list you don't eat it.

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