Losing weight tips - and eating healthy on a budget tips

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GoldCoinLover
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22 Aug 2012, 4:38 pm

Hi guys, I lost 101 lbs 2 or 3 years ago and have maintained it now for over a year.

I wanted to try and make a comprehensive thread on how to lose weight, maintain it, healthy diet, excerise, and strength training, and eating healthy on a budget (I live in poverty and still manage to eat healthy) from my own experiences.

First, I should say a little about myself. When I started out, I was 250 lbs, I'm 5'7''. Doesn't sound that overweight..but I was, since I carried it most on my belly. My waist size was 50. Couldn't even tie my shoes. Couldn't hold a job due to back pain. Couldn't walk 4 minutes without stopping for 5. Couldn't ride my bicycle for half a mile without escaping for air.

My main cardio now is biking. Now I can bike from chandler AZ to Paradise valley and back and up a mountain (11% grade) about 60 miles roundtrid on a hybrid bicycle. I highly recommend biking. Its easier on your joints than running. Swimming is good too. I just liked biking because I could go places, like a car. I'd post pictures, but I have before and people say me without a shirt on is digusting or something so I really shouldn't. I posted my progress on a weight loss forum, I highly recommend it. if you want to see the progress, and my nutrition journal I logged for 2 years, you can view both here:
Progress In Photos and Journal

Nutrition and excerise Journal

I started out eating really junky. I hated all vegetables. I hated all fruit.
I enjoyed sugary foods, especially bakalva and cakes, like those pineapple upside down cakes. Pastries were my favorite.
(And still are, I just eat them in moderation!)

Eating vegetables was very hard to get used to. I started by over 2 years when I first started by getting jack in the box's asian salad. (When they h ad it. Dang it, bring it back! I miss it. And of course, they never did. They had it there for over a year! UGH! Heh)

It wasn't the healthiest I realize now, as I've learned alot about nutrition. i also ordered their chicken strips, just the greasy meat breast formed stuff. No batter. Grilled supposedly..but still greasy as heck.

There was a vew reasons. I didn't realize the dressing (Sesama ginger) was that bad. But it was FULL of fat and sugar. Same with most caesars, ranch, etc. That wasn't the worst. They had fried pieces of wonton strips on top, madarin oranges (those are good), some nuts (ok), and other fried stuff. I used 2 of those dressings, adding my salad up to around 1000 calories!

I thought it was healthy. It wasn't, but, it got me used to vegetables, even though I would drown them in dressing! Gradually, as I eat more and more with more sauce on them, I got used to them. Most vegetables I not only like now, I really enjoy eating them.
A little sauce doesn't hurt, but I usually eat lettuce greens raw (leafy greens are best, avoid iceberg. It's mostly water) or use a light vinegarette.

Another thing, avoid alot of salt. I thought those chicken breasts strips were healthy, ast hey weren't battered or fried. But they were grilled to an extent they had quite alot of grease somehow. Anything that says "creamy" or "corn syrup" , even if its "rice syrup" syrup = sugar. If its the second ingredient, that means its almost primarly sugar. The ingredients go liket his: First ingredient = the product has the most of. It goes in sequencial order. Last ingredient = the least of.

When buying whole wheat bread (Which you can usually buy at walmart for $2) make sure you get 100% whole wheat. But even this can be deceiving. More importantly, look at the nutrition label. Most of them will say 'Wheat flour, sugar, whole wheat flour" or even later down the list. This means it primary isn't whole wheat! Its primary refined (enriched flour. Which is where they take out the nutritions, and add nutritions in by they have to by law. Or you could develop all types of nutrition deficieints without those essnetial nutritints)

If it says "Whole wheat flour" in the first ingredient, you're in luck. Buy it.

If you like fish, you can generally buy canned tuan, sardines, and anchoives very cheaply at most stores. Canned tuna costs $89, when on sale, especially the chunk light. Yellowfin called is something new, I love it, but its a bit more expensive.

Eggs are a great source of protein, despite what the media says, as long as you don't eat a ton of them. If you're paranoid, you could eat just the egg weights. You can do this by cracking the egg gently on the side of something, and seperately the yoke through your fingers. It's a bit messy, but it works. You can use the egg whites to make angel food cake, which is better than most deserts, or cook without the cholesterol laden yoke. But eggs are not bad! Moderation in nutrition is very important. You can eat cake, in moderation. When I was losing weight, I'd have 1 or 2 cheat days. I would eat junk, even 3 times a day. Now, that didn't mean I'd go crazy and eat all I wanted at buffets for 3 meals a day. i still was within reason. It doesn't have to be all or nothing proposition. When I started maintaining, I didn't do that as much, I'd just watch the diet more carefully. If if elt like a hamburger, i had it.
I Just made healtheir choices.

Every restaurant in fast food, even KFC and mcdonalds, you can buy relativly healthy food. if you know what to look for.

Fruit parfuits are high in sugar, yes, but they have yogurt and fruit. Avoid the granola if you want.
The side salads are full of greens have about a couuple servings of vegetables.
Get a diet coke instead of are regular coke. Saves you up to 700 calories.
Avoid refined sugar. Remember a can of regular soda has about 50 grams of sugar, which is your whole daily intake of sugar.
(I used to drink a 12 pack, sometimes a 24 pack of soda (regular) a day)
Look for chicken breast, boneless and skinless. Sometimes you can buy it very cheaply.
Buy frozen fruit and vegetabgles. They are often picked at ripeless, do not go bad quickly, and are generally retain nutritions since they are picked at their peakness.
IFor a healthy snack, try frozen blueberries with light whipped cream. remember the more you cook or dethaw fruit and veggies, the more nutrients lost.
if you want to eat cooked soybeans like edamame, which are very high in protein and fiber, add a little pesto for flavor (A teaspoon!) and wrap it in a bowl in plastic wrap. Steam it for a minute. Streaming is better than stir frying for retaining nutritions. It's better to do it this way then buying the "steam in the bag ones" which are much more expensive. Why not do it yourself? I can buy a decent size bag of shelled soybeans at safeway (not ready to be steamedin a bag) for $2.19

So, there are many ways to eat healthy on a budget.

I would lift weight 5 days a week. I'd isolate a major body part or two, and do it that way. I did it a bit excessively.

This not needed. In fact, a gym membership is not needed. You can get by with a pull up bar, a set of weights, a chair, perhaps a ball.

You can do push ups, if you can't dot hose, wall push ups. One handed push ups, pull ups, sit ups, reverse crunchs, crunchs, planks, bridges, bridges on a ball or elevated. All of these are great exercises. You could do incline push ups (more upper chest), diamond push ups (works more triceps), or regular push ups (more general chest). A good site for these exerciess is done with a simple google search. search "body weight excerises" . Or go to bodybuilding.com for tips. Pull up bars are cheap and can hook to your down frame. It took me about a year to be able to do one pull up without machine assistant. So, take your time.

I'lll add more later. If anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer them. I'm no expert; just going by experience. So, do this at your own discertiion. It's always improtant to consult a doctor about your nutrition and excerise. You do NOT want to eat too little!
It's also very important, very important, to weight weights, do body resistance, something besides cardio, for both sexes. This will help you retain muscle. And more muscle burns more calories. And makes you look more toned and fit, besides just skinny.

best,
Kevin
Hope this helped.



TheLiteralGirl
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22 Aug 2012, 5:40 pm

I almost never come to this site, but I saw your post via the Twitter feed and I wanted to say I thought your post was great. I have metabolic issues (PCOS and genetic insulin resistance) that make the typical approaches relatively ineffective for me, but wow, you really accomplished something great. Congrats! :-)



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23 Aug 2012, 8:22 am

I think it's a amazing the progress that you've made!

In my own experience of healthy eating, many of the realizations you've made along the way are definitely true.

Where you carry your weight makes all of the difference too. Belly weight is most associated with cardiovascular issues, and makes things harder in general. I see this a lot with my dad because his size dimensions are spot on exactly like your before stats. It's not to the point to where he can't tie his shoes yet, but I don't want it to get like that (he usually ties and unties his shoes by propping them up on the woodburning stove and placing his hand on a doorframe for added support, not exactly the easiest thing to do). Everything makes him winded, just even sitting there.

I love biking, and I always have. Same for swimming too (I totally wish we had our own pool, I love it that much). Both are extremely beneficial when it comes to the type of exercise they offer. I second you on the running thing, as someone who occasionally runs, I love running, but I hate the impact factor of it. My joints aren't as spry and as delighted about it as they were when I ran in track a half a lifetime ago.

Bf used to hate veggies, but he's growing adjusted to them, and realized that they are not as bad as they used to be (he grew up on a diet of refined sugar, soda, soda, candy, and more soda). And part of what both of us realized, was that we poo-pooed veggies because we didn't get the version of what we liked about them. We turned our noses up at salads we were served as kids, because they were ice berg salads (yuck). We learned that we didn't like ice berg and its nasty taste-- we both like romaine much better. We turned our noses up at spinach as kids, it was always served to us stewed, we like it fresh (which is even funny, that even between stewed and fresh spinach, stewed has an acidic ph and fresh has an alkaline ph if I remember right). Things like that.

To a lot of people, sugar is where they have their downfall without realizing it. People don't really know what they're putting in their mouths. I just remember Dr. Oz going "this is how much sugar we should be getting at most" then he was like *lifts up scarf to reveal* "this is how much sugar the average american eats every day" *audience gasps loudly at the very large difference in amounts*. Everything from sodas, to bread, to many things load on the sugar. And sugar and salt, the more a person eats of it, the more they get used to it, and get adjusted to it. This is why I am leery of packaging that says "new improved taste!"because then I'm like "according to who!" One thing I've really noticed, that, an unhealthier food, coats the tongue and you are numbed to its tastes, as the flavor flames out quick, whereas healthier food doesn't coat and cover it up like that. The unhealthy stuff makes me want to get out a tongue scraper stat because of that.

Eggs, it can really vary. I personally love eggs, yoke and all (yay protein!). But I won't eat more than 2 in one sitting though, and maybe have them once a week at most. I know people go "well well, cholesterol, ldl blah blah blah", but I have read somewhere, that LDL isn't the enemy people think it is,... within reason of course. If you have a ridiculous amount of eggs in a daily omelet and sit on your butt constantly, then expect to have a heart attack next week. In moderation, a couple of eggs a week is okay. But you see, from what I've read (and i wish I could find the source), LDL helps in building up muscle though. However--- A lot of people still need to eat a good amount of HDL (that they are not eating) to clean up after the LDL after it's done doing its job. And LDL can't do its job right if you lead a sedentary lifestyle-- that's the main point because it's not being taken advantage of. Because people aren't going to be building muscle lazing away on a couch.

Cheat days as far as I've known, if it's one day a week, tend to reboot the metabolism, actually. I don't know about some people, but when it comes to friday, I'm up for seafood cannelloni washed down with some kind of red wine.

You have a lot of good food ideas, I think I want to copy them down to try them.

Gym is overpriced and for most part overrated. Guy staring at your butt not included. Most of the time my mode of working out, is lots of power walking, yoga, and some weight bearing stuff. When I get to, running, biking, and swimming as well. I think weight bearing exercise is underrated, especially in women. It helps us as we get older to not just not lose muscle mass, but it helps our bone density quite a bit as well, which is a very real concern in someone like me who is recovered from an eating disorder, but I am also smaller, Caucasian, and with a family history of osteoporosis.

But yeah, I remember how some girls got a stanky attitude with me when I got well because I wasn't going to endorse their pro-ana crap that they wanted to drag me into when I had a recovery blogring on a blogging site (I was bad enough even before the movement came around that I didn't see a use in it). A lot of them realized the fail in pro-ana (I mean, they were trying to "recruit" people from the recovery blogring into relapse) but came around, but I remember one of them was like "have fun getting fat" when I kicked her out of my blogring. I'm laughing now, as I got to a healthy weight, and have continued maintain at that same size years later. Joke's on her, as never "got fat". I just hope she saw the light, got help, nourished her brain, and stopped making snotty comments as well as the rest of them.

A lot of those people really did set themselves up for sabotage, really. Like they'd restrict so bad they'd binge in the end. Which makes me glad you posted because more people need a beacon of light on how to do things the right way even if someone needed to truly lose weight. It's not required for a person to go insane, and do something that is not sustainable to the health of their bodies, but listen to their bodies and take things one step at a time. In our fast diet culture of diet this and diet that, a lot of us are really looking to savor things that are legitmately filling, not just in our stomachs, but in our hearts and minds. :flower:



zxy8
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23 Aug 2012, 8:25 am

To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.



GoldCoinLover
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25 Aug 2012, 5:32 pm

zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.
right.



6655321
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27 Aug 2012, 2:19 pm

zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.


This is just so true.

However, exercise is very important for health. one certainly CAN lose weight with no exercise, but they really should exercise.



zxy8
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27 Aug 2012, 6:29 pm

6655321 wrote:
zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.


This is just so true.

However, exercise is very important for health. one certainly CAN lose weight with no exercise, but they really should exercise.


Indeed. Exercise does not just help people to lose weight, it also prolongs life and decreases the risk of many diseases.



6655321
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27 Aug 2012, 6:45 pm

zxy8 wrote:
Indeed. Exercise does not just help people to lose weight, it also prolongs life and decreases the risk of many diseases.


I also think it can be fun. I really honestly think even people who don't like most exercise could almost certainly find some kind of exercise they enjoy. There are easily over a thousand different sports, outdoor hobbies, indoor hobbies, video games, calisthenics, competitions, martial arts, human-powered vehicles, journeys, treks, etc. that involve exercise. People just have to find what's right for them. :D



zxy8
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27 Aug 2012, 6:46 pm

6655321 wrote:
zxy8 wrote:
Indeed. Exercise does not just help people to lose weight, it also prolongs life and decreases the risk of many diseases.


I also think it can be fun. I really honestly think even people who don't like most exercise could almost certainly find some kind of exercise they enjoy. There are easily over a thousand different sports, outdoor hobbies, indoor hobbies, video games, calisthenics, competitions, martial arts, human-powered vehicles, journeys, treks, etc. that involve exercise. People just have to find what's right for them. :D


Yah :D They could, but many people are lazy lol.



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27 Aug 2012, 6:53 pm

zxy8 wrote:
6655321 wrote:
zxy8 wrote:
Indeed. Exercise does not just help people to lose weight, it also prolongs life and decreases the risk of many diseases.


I also think it can be fun. I really honestly think even people who don't like most exercise could almost certainly find some kind of exercise they enjoy. There are easily over a thousand different sports, outdoor hobbies, indoor hobbies, video games, calisthenics, competitions, martial arts, human-powered vehicles, journeys, treks, etc. that involve exercise. People just have to find what's right for them. :D


Yah :D They could, but many people are lazy lol.


Well yeah that's true too.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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27 Aug 2012, 10:51 pm

The one inexpensive food you can buy that will help you lose a lot of weight is beans of all varieties. They are cheap and you will lose weight if you eat them everyday while limiting other foods. I have already lost over fifty pounds since January and I altered my diet to include a lot of beans. I also make sure I buy fresh produce and whole grains. I have given up milk, all cooking oils, avocados, all nuts, olives and anything else that is mostly fat.

If you buy canned beans, open the can but keep the lid on and drain the liquid. Then your own water and drain again. If you want liquid in your recipe, replace the liquid the beans come in with water from the tap. This will cut down on the sodium and other preservatives used in processing.



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28 Aug 2012, 1:41 am

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
The one inexpensive food you can buy that will help you lose a lot of weight is beans of all varieties. They are cheap and you will lose weight if you eat them everyday while limiting other foods. I have already lost over fifty pounds since January and I altered my diet to include a lot of beans. I also make sure I buy fresh produce and whole grains. I have given up milk, all cooking oils, avocados, all nuts, olives and anything else that is mostly fat.

If you buy canned beans, open the can but keep the lid on and drain the liquid. Then your own water and drain again. If you want liquid in your recipe, replace the liquid the beans come in with water from the tap. This will cut down on the sodium and other preservatives used in processing.


Or spend even less money and just buy dried beans and soak them, less sodium that way, too. Dried beans go for a tad over $1 a pound now where I live, and one pound makes the equivalent of like 4-5 cans of beans. Just soak overnight, cook for a few hours, or cook in a crockpot and they'll be done by morning, possibly without soaking (I didn't try cooking on the high setting, so...) Beans and brown rice are favorites of mine, though, brown rice has lots of fiber like beans. I don't find beans a magical weight loss food, though, but they're better than lots of other things you can be eating.

For me, the easiest way to lose weight is just with a ton of vegetables and fruit. Like just eat as many veggies and fruit as I want, and then weight will be lost. That and keep some meat in the diet to prevent muscle loss. Go about medium on carby foods like beans and rice. Then again, my metabolism isn't bad really, I can eat at least over 3000 calories a day and maintain weight, especially with my daily exercise (skating.) Processed food of any kind makes me rack up weight like nothing, though, but I can pretty much eat whatever. I'm trying to cut a little weight, though, I'm not at horrible BF percentage, but I'm not "ripped" or "shredded" yet, and I wanna be at least once in my life, so yeah. This would involve going from 195lbs at 18-20% BF, to 10% at 180 or so. I was at 180 before I started lifting, I just gained more muscle mass and kept at the same bodyfat. I got to 180 from 210 or 215, though, and I got to 180 with my primary exercise being ice skating everyday (rink near my house, and they only charge $30 a month with a gym membership for unlimited public ice time.) But I got to 180 from dieting mostly like that, that and some coffee/energy drinks, which I'm now finding out are sorta not good for me and trying to cut down on. Before I was 215, I got as high as 230. 230 was my like "oh s**t" weight, but I oddly just dropped from 230 to 215 by just going out more (I got involved with a church) and learning to cook a bit better.

But my drop from 215 to 180 was just cardio (skating and punching bag), I think lifting made my metabolism a lot more efficient. Weightlifting is sorta weird, in that, you'll generally gain fat weight when gaining muscular weight, almost without question, but then paradoxically your metabolism will be higher. It's a double edged sword in that regard. Athletically, though, it's awesome as hell, it improves your anaerobic capacity. So in some ways it's actually better for lowering your blood pressure than cardio, as it pretty much trains the body to spike blood pressure. People think spiking blood pressure is dangerous, but I don't see it as anymore dangerous than getting your heart rate to 150+ BPM for an extended period of time during some cardio workout.

Anyway, the best two things to save money and lose weight are learning to cook, and finding a sport or athletic pursuit you actually care about and can make a hobby of some kind. Well, the athletic hobby may not save you money, might be the opposite. But this is the longest I've been into health and fitness, and it's due to finding an athletic passion (figure skating and weightlifting.) Since being fit works toward something practical, it's easier. It's much easier when you actually like the exercise you're doing and wanna improve on it because it's a skill you wanna hone. Otherwise, exercising won't help me when I go on the computer and watch youtube.

As far as nutrition goes, cooking. I'm pretty much fine nutrition wise as long as everything I eat is from scratch. I can then control whatever goes in, make substitutes as I see fit, etc. But for me the most important thing is whatever I eat has to be fresh and not processed. If it's both those things, I can pretty much eat whatever and not be fat. Give me McDonalds for a couple weeks and I'll gain weight like nothing. This was my biggest problem as a teenager, as a kid my father lived in the house and could cook well, and all my food was fresh and not processed, usually even organic and I'd have vitamin supps, too. Then my mother got custody, and all my food was Chef Boyardee, Hot Pockets, and Frozen Pizza, and I pretty much ballooned, and I went from normal/skinny to overweight almost instantly. I feel the only people that can survive on processed food are extreme ectomorphs who don't have a lot of appetite (ie, I have a friend that finds it hard to eat 2500 calories a day, and I can do that in one sitting if I feel up to it) every other somatotype gets fat, and this is what we're seeing now. But yeah, learn to cook, cook most of what you eat from scratch or as close as you can get. If you keep at it, you'll be like "Why did I ever go to restaurants" and you'll basically look at restaurants as a scam.

Anyway, OP, lastly, I severely dislike your opinion on diet soda. That stuff is pretty much the devil. Aspartame gave me terrible headaches and palpitations as a kid, I won't touch the stuff now. Do some reading on it, it's not good. Maybe I'm more sensitive than most, but uh, me and Aspartame do not do well. I can handle other artificial sweeteners fairly well, just not Aspartame. Anyway, at restaurants, if you wanna cut the calories in your drink, just order ice water. It's free by law in most locales, you can walk into anywhere and request a cup of ice water and not pay a cent. Me, because I enjoy eating, I'd rather just turn the calories of the soda into more food and eat like 2 more hamburgers for the calories in a soda.

I've never ordered salads at restaurants, though. My favorite healthy fast food item is Wendy's chili, if I go to Wendy's a pretty good meal imo, is a large chili and a baked potato, mix it together and tada. Actually in real life I'd probably eat more (ie, double that), but for sake of argument, that I think is a fairly good meal for fast food.



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28 Aug 2012, 8:56 am

I'm probably gonna read through this more thoroughly later but I wanted to say I'm impressed with your weightloss. I gained a massive amount of weight on meds when I was 14/15 and lost it all eventually and now I try to be careful about everything so I don't ever go back up like that.

I try to stay on a tight budget. Luckily my dad has a massive garden so throughout the summer I get loads of free vegetables and such.



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28 Aug 2012, 4:47 pm

zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.


If ONLY that was the case for everyone.


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zxy8
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28 Aug 2012, 4:48 pm

ValentineWiggin wrote:
zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.


If ONLY that was the case for everyone.


It is the case for everyone.



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28 Aug 2012, 4:54 pm

zxy8 wrote:
ValentineWiggin wrote:
zxy8 wrote:
To best lose weight, eat less, and exercise more. It really is as simple as that. In fact, you don't even need to exercise to lose weight; just eat less and healthy. Simple. And I study this stuff, so I do know what I am talking about. I can go into more detail, but I can't be bothered at the moment.


If ONLY that was the case for everyone.


It is the case for everyone.


True.

If you have a slow metabolism, it doesn't mean that you've been selected as one of the many people who are to be obese for the rest of their lives; it means that biologically, you're supposed to eat LESS and that your body needs LESS calories to function..

I have a slow metabolism and gain fat very quickly when inactive, yet, I'm not fat and I gain muscle mass much faster than a regular man when working out. In April, I could barbell shoulder press 55 kgs; now I can do 105 kgs.