Eating Healthy

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Sideonecincy, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Sideonecincy macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2003
    I have no general knowledge of how to eat healthy. I have always had a fast metabolism and worked at jobs where I was on my feet for majority of the day. So I always ate whatever I wanted and never really gained weight. I know my metabolism has slowed down now, out of college and a few years into the professional workforce. I spend most of my day in cubicle hell, so I am noticing I am gaining weight. I weigh about 165, so not overweight but I want to get back to about 140-145.

    My current food habits are typically fast food, frozen pizzas, burgers, chicken, peanut butter, chips, hotdogs and general other crap. The only positive thing is that I have cut back my pop consumption pretty drastically in the last month. I went from about 8-12 to 2-3 cans a day and drink about 48-64oz of water a day now.

    I can't remember when the last time I ate vegetables or fruit. So how do you learn to eat healthy? How do you drastically change your diet? How do you get a better idea of what you should and shouldn't be eating?

  2. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Hate to tell you this, but take everything you are eating sans peanut butter and stop eating it. Do not eat out at restaurants unless it's unavoidable/special occasion, and then review the nutritional information beforehand. That "healthy" grilled chicken sandwich is gonna bite you when you realize it's 1200 calories and 45 grams of fat.

    Eat and drink food that would have been available in the 1700s.

    Completely cut out pop/soda. Don't start drinking energy drinks.

    Watch your caloric intake.


    That weight will melt off.
  3. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2011
    I wouldn't drastically change it. if you have been eating like that for a long time, it would be hard to break a bad habit. Also, you will probably experience junk food withdraw. I would slowly incorporate healthy food back to the diet.

    The trick is not to cut the bad Junk food completely out. Indulge once in a while like Dine out once in a while go get some froyo or ice cream. Generally stay away from processed food and eat things that's not too much processed.

    Yea do try to get rid of drinking sugary drinks. Water is much better to hydrate yourself with.
  4. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    Eat less processed food. Cut out fast food altogether. Drink plenty of water, and no soda.
  5. DiamonDecoden macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2011
    As for healthy nutritious food ideas--
    All types and shapes of COLORFUL vegetables (eggplant!) and fruits (I like pomogeanite)-- just go to the supermarket and pick what catches your eyes.
    Lean meat like fish and chicken
    Beans and grains

    No need to count calories just get a balanced diet.
  6. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Pretty much what eric/ said. You can eat crap food every now and then (don't be a nazi about it or people will just think you're weird), but be reasonable about the quantities and and frequency. If you eat nothing but cake and burgers, you're going to look like a guy that eats nothing but cake and burgers. Vegetables are great because they can be filling without being calorie-dense. Cardio exercise is also a good thing to do.
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  8. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    Try There is also a smartphone app.
    it helps you keep track of what you are eating and various nutrients etc. It s a Calorie counter, but a great way to keep track of the bad things your eating.
    I started just over a month ago and have lost almost 15lbs ( along with walking and jogging everyday) .. It really put things into perspective. especially when it involves unhealthy foods.
    I have cut back heavily on unhealthy restaurants, and lowered my junk food intake drastically. The great thing is I am still eating all the things I love, just keeping it in moderate amounts.
  9. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008
    To be honest, you really need to be cooking every evening and bringing a lunch to work. That way you won't be tempted by eating out at crappy lunch/dinner places.

    In addition:

    1. Abolish all prepacked foods/meals.
    2. Start cooking easy dishes in the evening (pasta+meat sauce, Indian curries w/premixed patak's spices, Thai curries w/premixed spices, easy salmon dish below).
    3. Bring the leftovers to work the next day

    Not to be a pompous ass but this "dish" takes about 5 mins to make, 20 to cook and can be served to guests. I always make it when I'm in a rush.

    Buy (cost 5-10 USD/person depending of salmon price):

    1 package Haricot Verts (Kenyan Green Beans)
    1 jar pesto (Barilla is the best combo of easy-to-find/tastes-good/cheap)
    1 slice of unsmoked salmon filet (about 1.25in wide x 4 inches long)
    1 jar lemon juice
    cooking oil
    salt ... LOL

    preheat oven to 200C (don't remember in F)
    start water for potatoes with oil/salt
    place square of aluminum foil on table (12" x 12")
    wash and cut ends off of Haricot Verts
    place in middle of foil
    lay salmon on top of beans
    add pesto
    add lemon juice
    add salt/pepper
    add oil
    fold foil over
    put in oven
    start potatoes (no peeling required)

    in 20min potatoes and salmon is done

    i'd post the original from the book but it's in Swedish. however it's similar to the bottom of this page:

    takes as long as a pizza and if you make two salmon, you have one for lunch the next day.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    There's plenty of books and resources on the net to find out what's healthy.

    Most of the advice here is spot on.

    Fast food, pre-packaged meals, tonic all bad for. Also consider portion control and moderation.

    Eating healthy doesn't mean not enjoying eatnig, having a pizza once in a while it not bad, provided you don't over indulge. Instead of eating 4 slices, eat 3. If you normally eat 3 slices, then opt for 2.

    cocktails often have hidden calories as well, and they encourage snacking, so keep that mind.

    Don't have chips or junkfood in the house, that too encourages, blind mindless grazing.

    Finally while you're being mindful of what's going in your body, consider how you're going to burn off what you already have. Take walks, bike, run, or other forms of exercise. As we get older our metabolism does slow down, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle.

    Good luck
  11. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008
    This is great advice. Eating habits are very habitual. If you get in the habit of eating what's around because it's easy, you need to ditch all snacks from the place.

    We ditched everything except fruit (usually oranges for some reason). However, if a bag of chips shows up from a guest or something, it always gets eaten in one sitting. So, even though we eat healthy 90+% of the time, when an opportunity presents itself, we habitually take it.

    Likewise, make cooking in the evening part of your day. It much easier to do it with two people, but you can cook alone with the radio and with a small glass of wine. Also, invest in some cooking stainless steel pots, good knives, a good cast iron pan and a hug variety of tupper that seals to be leak-proof.

    I'd start by cooking 2-3x what you should eat in one sitting and storing the remaining 50-70% in the freezer. After two weeks of cooking (5 nights x 2 weeks) ... you'll have a nice assortment of extra stuff left over in the freezer for daily lunches.

    Portion control is a really big deal as well. I like to drink a fair bit, so I try to take it easy on the food if I know I have a beer later in the day. Cocktails really do jack up the calories as well.

    One last thing, I'd ditch all sugar-based drinks. No just soda/pop/tonic/cola but juices and milk as well (they pack a ton of calories.) Milk for the coffee only and OJ for the Campari only.

    Good luck.
  12. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    cut out all the soda, and don't switch to energy drinks. Most people can lose 5% of their weight just by stopping with the sugary drinks.
  13. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008
    Thanks for the down-votes :p

    This is a super-easy recipe (what the OP should be doing at a minimum), that is relatively inexpensive, tastes good and would look decent if he ate it the office (women love guys who know their way around a kitchen.)
  14. louiek macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2006
    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    Reduce the processed carbs in your diet. Two slices of bread are about 10% of your daily calorific intake. Throw in cereal for breakfast and a big bowl of pasta for dinner and you've got all your calories for the day just from processed carbs for ZERO nutritional gain. Have yoghurt and fruit for b/f, cook a spagbol for dinner with lean meat, carrots, capsicum, eggplant and mushrooms served on a SMALL serve of pasta. Try to remove the bottom layer of the food pyramid, we don't need processed grains, it's a myth perpetuated by the agricultural lobby. Getting your carbs from veg will also mean you remove the highs and lows associated with high GI foods. I'm not saying go the Paleo diet, just try getting closer to the farm gate than you currently are.
  15. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    An important thought too is it doesn't necessarily matter where you get calories from, but if you eat 3000 calories a day and only use 2000, you're gaining weight (even if you somehow were getting 3k calories from salads, fruit, etc).

    It just happens that fatty/processed foods have a really high calorie density.
  16. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    I use the free LoseIt app to track what I eat. You set a goal in pounds with a pace you're comfortable with, and it calculates how many calories you can eat for that day. A 1 pound per week loss with no exercise would be a drop in 500 calories per day (1 lb = 3500 calories) from the total necessary to maintain weight.

    Download it and just try entering it for one day, even if you're not ready to commit to following it. Somehow when you see all that in front of you, it motivates you to eat healthier, when there's an actual defined goal and steps broken down. It works a lot better than winging it.

    I do not agree with getting rid of ALL packaged/frozen foods because how many calories they have is what ultimately matters, and you're not realistically going to give up the convenience factor anyway. Fiber bars will fill you up without having many calories, and so will high protein packaged foods. Lean Cuisine frozen chicken potstickers are 270 calories, and that's a marked improvement over a frozen pizza. Trader Joe's has some lower calorie stuff, too.

    Full calorie soda has to go, though. Try Diet Dr. Pepper/Dr. Pepper Ten and the Zevia brand sodas. If you're into sports drinks, Powerade Zero isn't bad at all.
  17. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    All calories are not created equal. Try eating nothing but 1800 Calories of McDonalds fries for a few months if you don't believe me.
  18. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    Of course they are, it's an energy unit after all.
  19. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    For my first year in college I lived on food from the dorm mess hall. When I moved off campus I picked up a cookbook and taught myself to prepare all my own meals. Just the act of picking the ingredients made me more conscious of what I was putting in my body. Like the OP, weight has never been an issue with me. I eat a lot and have an active lifestyle. I'm 64 and weigh 165. That's about 20 pounds more than I weighed in my teens. (Don't hit me...)

    Stop eating out, learn to cook and read the labels.

  20. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Not talking about the literal energy unit. Thanks though.
  21. Liquorpuki macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    City of Angels
    I'm the same as you. I'm 5'7", used to work manufacturing in my early 20's and ate whatever I want because I ran around all day. Weighed about 145 lbs. Became a cubicle hamster and hit my 30's and went up to 170 lbs. Now I've been playing around with diets and workouts and I'm at 155 lbs right now with the goal of getting down to 10-12% BF by summer.

    You need to lean up by changing your diet. Easiest way to start is grab a salad for lunch with some protein. The greens keep you full. And try to drop those 2-3 cans down to 1 until you can eventually cut them out. The insulin spike and cyclical crashing from constantly drinking soda becomes addicting and your brain ends up not being able to function without it. Best to work to drop it so your insulin levels get restored back to normal. It sucks (I used to drink a Monster in the morning and 2-3 Mountain Dews in the afternoon) but once your body chem gets restored and you don't need to drink something at 2 pm to be productive, you feel a lot better.

    You also need to hit the gym and do strength training. Your metabolism is dropping because your muscle mass is going down from sitting around all day. Do nothing for 30 years and you'll be one of those fat cubicle hamsters when you retire. Meanwhile, every pound of muscle you have burns 50-100 calories. Every time you lift, your resting metabolic rate increases for 48 hours. And if you're lifting properly, your body creates human growth hormone which burns fat. It really is a must.

    Also the type of calories you eat do matter. You don't wanna be loading up on 1200 calories of trans fats. Yeah you'll lose weight but your LDL will be through the roof.
  22. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    1800 calories of McDonalds or 1800 calories of Broccoli is the same thing as far as weight gain/loss is concerned.

    You're talking about caloric density, not calories.
  23. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I experienced something similar when starting law school. I went from about 130 to 150 within 9 months.

    Technically 150 is still an ok weight for my height, but I had not gained any new muscle.

    I've managed to get a very small amount of muscle, and drop 15lbs over the last 7 months by doing this:

    Do at least 1.5 hours of cardio every week that elevates your heartbeat. You should actually do something closer to 3 hours/week, but we don't always have the time so I do what I can. Ideally the level of activity should be such that you couldn't carry on a conversation. If you can, you're not pushing yourself enough.

    Try to do some weight training, and gradually increase your resistance over time. Muscle is the gift that keeps on giving since it burns lots of calories even when you're not doing anything, so keep that in mind.

    Cut out "white" carbs as much as possible, i.e. sugar, bleached flour, and rice. Add in higher protein and fiber foods like lowfat milk, lean meat, and whole grains. They'll keep you fuller and help build muscle.

    I still drink diet soda and indulge in the occasional sweet or salty snack, but they have to fit into my daily calorie limit. Given your weight of 165, you should be burning about 1815 (if you're male, 1650 if you're female) through homeostasis. If you make your target just-under your weight and add in exercise, you should lose weight steadily. Just remember to keep adjusting the calorie target as you lose weight and stabilize it around the amount you'd need to maintain your target weight (which you'll have to figure out for yourself).
  24. Dweez, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012

    Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Eat fresh & clean and as organic as possible, stay away from soda or anything remotely similar, drink as much clean water as you can (your current consumption is great!), and find an exercise you enjoy which is more cardio than anything else.

    When eating a meal out, chicken or fish vs beef. If you're a red meat fan, bison over beef each and every time.

    Fast food is the devil, and will kill you. High fructose corn syrup is the devil's cousin and doesn't like us very much. Sugar is everywhere/in everything and is also something to avoid as much as possible. If you are a drinker, consider switching to a lighter adult beverage.

    I disagree with setting any type of weight loss goal, as you might be setting yourself up for failure. It's more a lifestyle change, and it's not something which needs to be done overnight. Start slow and gradually crank it up.

    My $0.02 worth, simply stating what has worked very, very well for us. Myself, my wife and our 2 adult kids are all happy, healthy and loving it.

    I think the bottom line is this: distill the input you get and build a plan. Then execute...
  25. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Based on the thread title, I thought we were talking about eating healthy. Biochemically, those fries are going to ravage your body.

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