getting out of the habit of choosing to eat junk.Help please

No Snacks, no sweets, no seconds. Except on Days that start with S. Too simple for you? Simple is why it works. Look here for questions, introductions, support, success stories.

Moderators: Soprano, automatedeating

Post Reply
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:50 pm

getting out of the habit of choosing to eat junk.Help please

Post by Skelton » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:21 pm

So I'm getting into the swing of 3 plates a day - I've been trying since 2011 so it's about time :lol:

However, I've noticed that I'm mostly choosing to eat junk instead of decent well balanced meals. In particular, lots of processed foods , plus veggies are not being consumed!

I have issues with food that go beyond simply being overweight, and I think I'm now just using No S as an excuse to eat junk food. ie indulging my addictive desire to eat.
I'm staying away from sweets on N days, and snacks and seconds, but my plates just aren't healthy.

I now feel as if it's time to get a grip on this. I know I need to find a balance between enjoying my 3 plates but eating fairly healthily too. I don't feel good eating crappy food!

I live alone and find it very hard to motivate myself to make an effort to cook good food....I tend to eat healthier when I'm eating at a restaurant than when I'm at home. I was away on business for a week recently, followed No S perfectly but also ate much healthier and felt great for it.

Does this resonate with anyone, and any suggestions for me to deal with it please?
"We stop looking for the better diet and start looking for a better life." pangelsue

User avatar
Posts: 1759
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:15 pm
Location: The Mountains

Post by Over43 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:12 pm

Why not, in the morning before work, load a crock pot with a crock pot meal? You will have dinner when you get home. Breakfast, go to the Bond post: soft boiled eggs, wheat toast (I prefer rice flour bread toast :shock: ), coffee, juice. Lunch can be left overs. Just an idea.

April 4, 2016 197

Bacon is the gateway meat. - Anthony Bourdain
You pale in comparison to Fox Mulder. - The Smoking Man

I made myself be hungry, then I would get hungrier. - Frank Zane Mr. Olympia '77, '78, '79

Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:24 am

Post by kwerp » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:34 pm

I have a busy week with work, so I generally boil a bunch of rice then store in the fridge. To this, I easily make a meaty pasta sauce - chopped onion, ground beef + chopped tomatoes and in the frige.
For lunch/dinner I put the rice into a container, add meaty pasta sauce = instant transportable meal I can heat up at work that's filling and rather healthy.

I also cook chicken + frozen veggies in condensed cream of mushroom soup.
Ground beef, onions, green peppers + cream of mushroom soup = quick and easy stroganoff.
Either over rice is good.
Chicken + salsa over rice = good as well.

I think the key here is prep. Look up casserole recipes, cook them on Sunday, and eat them for the week.

Good luck!

Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:30 pm
Location: Midwest

Post by tacodiscos » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:30 am

On my day off I cook up a ton of veggies to grab during the week. For instance, broccoli. I will add it to two scrambled eggs. Or eat it with leftover meat, like a pork chop.... I also cut up enough lettuce for two salads and have it ready... you can also put leftover meat in it, too. We made 10 pork chops earlier this week and even used it for stir fry (great w those veggies that are cooked on hand) ... but I always keep lunchmeat to put in salad, too, if other meat is not on hand. Hope that helps!!
Start date: 7/21/15, apx 180lbs
2/5/16, -16lbs, 164

Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:09 pm

Post by chomp0 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:19 pm

You've already successfully changed one habit (cutting out snacks, seconds and sweets on N days). Now you need to change another.

You want to cook your own healthy meals but find it difficult to motivate yourself.

You live alone - That's good, you get to eat whatever you want to eat. :P
I've heard people say they hate cooking for just themselves. Is that how you think? You deserve to eat healthy and tasty meals just as much as anyone else. Also you don't have to share, so you could make several portions and put some in the fridge or freezer for another day.

Getting started is the hardest part. Once you are doing something regulary it becomes just another habit and won't be as bad. Start slowly if you want, just cook yourself something on your days off. Two healthy meals a week is better than none right? I don't know if you are any good at cooking but you have the internet. There are countless recipes including lots for quick and easy meals. There are also tutorial vids on youtube, e.g the best way to dice an onion; how to cook a medium-rare steak. ect.

Posts: 4168
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:38 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA

Post by wosnes » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:01 pm

I also live alone and cook just for myself. One thing I've found useful is Weeks and Weeks of Meals from Your Health Is on Your Plate.

Here's an example of what I did one week:

1. For the beans, I made a pot of Refried Beans.
2. I used romaine lettuce.
3. For the grains, I made Spanish Rice.
4. I used Simple Shredded Chicken for the main protein. I also had some cod filets in the freezer.
5. The idea of leftover roasted vegetables is not at all appealing to me, but I pick a few vegetables to use depending on the other weekly ingredients. This week it cabbage, tomatoes, and avocados. There is one type of vegetable dish I might cook to last for the week and it's some variation of ratatouille. I'm particularly fond of briam and I'm eager to try the samfaina mentioned in the article. I can see this with an egg on top, similar to shakshuka.
6. For this week's meals I made a honey-lime vinaigrette = 3 parts oil, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part honey and salt and pepper to taste.. The parts can be as large or small as you like. The vinaigrette here is a good one. I use the 3-2-1 formula a lot. One favorite is 3 parts oil, 1 part EACH lemon juice and red wine vinegar and 1 part honey, salt and pepper to taste. The original 3-2-1 vinaigrette used balsamic vinegar and is very good.

I use this template for both my lunch and dinner, so I add some kind of bread and soup. This particular week it was corn tortillas and a kind of tortilla soup. I also had cheese in the fridge, so used some of that as a garnish with some of the dishes. I also usually add some seasonal fruit -- recently it's been a variety of berries, stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, etc) and melons. Since good fruit is so abundant right now, I'm trying to have one at each meal.

One of my meals was just the rice, beans and a salad. Another was fish tacos with cabbage and rice and beans on the side. I reheated some of the rice and chicken together with salad on the side. With those basic things on hand, I came up with many things I could eat during the week. For reasons I don't understand, this particular group of dishes has given me more options than most others.

For me, the hardest part of this plan isn't the cooking ahead, it's deciding what components to use. Usually sometime during the week I'll think of something I'd like to eat and that becomes the beginning of the next week's meals. Recently chicken fajitas sounded good. I also have a recipe for an Italian Chicken Salad in lettuce cups that uses similar ingredients. Since bell peppers are used in both of those, sausage and peppers was another possibility (I had Italian sausage in the freezer).

One week last summer I did a week of salads. I cooked some chicken and hard boiled eggs and made a variety of salads. I wouldn't want to do that every week, but it was great for a hot weather week. Recently I had a week that relied heavily on dishes made with shrimp and avocados.

One of our local stores has spectacular sale prices on meats and produce in their weekly specials (boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.97/pound!). I usually look at their specials online to see what I can use as part of this weekly plan.

The variety is somewhat limited during the course of any week, but over weeks it is quite varied. This plan seems to keep the grocery bill lower than many other ways of meal planning.

The Fresh 20 is a meal planning service with a "for one" option. They give you menus, grocery list and recipes for five night's worth of meals. I wasn't crazy about it, but I did learn some things. One is to keep a well-stocked pantry. Don't be afraid to change things to suit your preferences. For instance, I hate herbs de provence (can't stand the lavender that's often in it). So, I substituted Italian seasoning. I also added thyme. Another thing I learned from them is to keep the weekly grocery list (not including restocking pantry items) to 20 things. It's not as easy as it sounds!

Google "Melissa D'Arabian 4 step chicken." She has a method that can also be used for fish, pork tenderloin slices or turkey breast filets. Essentially it's season the meat with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and brown in oil. Remove from pan and add aromatics and other vegetables, if desired, to the pan. Cook until tender. Deglaze and return meat to pan. Serve. This is similar to Chicken Sybil and Any Day Chicken Saute. Both Melissa D'Arabian and Wini Moranville have more examples of this technique in their books Ten Dollar Dinners and Chez Bonne Femme. Moranville says her "sauté, deglaze, serve" formula was influenced by Pierre Franey's columns in The New York Times. If you search "Pierre Franey" at the New York Times, his columns are still available.

By the way, I reduce most of the meat recipes to serve one - even the shredded chicken breast. Since chicken breasts are often so large, one will serve me at least two and often three meals.

Well, since I've written a book or at least an article, I hope something helps you out. Oh, there are days/nights when I don't know what to make or nothing I have sounds really good. Then I default to eggs. Sometimes just scrambled eggs, but often an omelet, frittata, or an egg on top of rice or vegetables. The dish mentioned here is very good. I've done it with dressing, dressing and potatoes and just mashed potatoes. Talk about comfort food!

One more hint: if you don't have them, invest in some smaller baking dishes. I have a collection I've amassed over the years and it makes cooking for one much easier.

Again, hope this helps!
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

Posts: 9728
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:46 am
Location: San Diego, CA USA

Post by oolala53 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:29 pm

I live alone, too.

Make it easy to have vegetables. Buy frozen and the easiest raw ones to start. Aim to have about half your plate covered with a combination of the two, plus a piece of fruit, no matter what is on the other side, home cooked or not, for most lunches and dinners, eventually. Ease into this ratio, if needed.

Aim to decrease how much of the other side of the plate is covered with dense foods. See if you can get it to a palm's size of protein and two fists' volume of starch with 1-2 thumbs of fat. These are ball park, but at least you have the measurements with you all the time.

Also ease into cooking for yourself, if it doesn't suddenly wow you. I still cook rather plain foods and then add sauces I've found and liked. I've trained myself to use only enough to flavor, not smother. But I still often enough have a half a fast food burrito or a big slice of pizza on one side of my plate.

Write on an index card or something one opposite sides the disadvantages- ones you really believe, not just the hype- of eating the way you have been, especially how it makes you feel physically and the advantages you've noticed and new ones. READ THE CARD multiple times a day for a few weeks and daily for a few months. A step like this is the FIRST one recommended by Judith Beck in her book on strategies to use to stick to changed eating habits. I resisted it for years-decades!- but it made a big difference when I committed to No S. You can know all the right things to do but if your motivation to do it is too fleeting, you won't do them.

If it's an issue, don't let yourself dwell too much on how hard it is to make the change. Maximize in your mind the idea that you CAN get good at this, and it doesn't have to be overnight, that it can become a new habit, etc. Minimize the idea that it's too hard, too much trouble. Be light and breezy about it, though. Unless you have an actual health problem, heavy lectures don't work very well.

Give yourself credit for EVERY bit of "healthy" food you do eat.

Keep up with us!
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

Posts: 1630
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:12 am
Location: Australia

Post by ironchef » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:39 pm

Although I don't live alone, I do a lot of preparing meals for just me, as I can't always eat at the same time as my husband or kids and I don't always want to eat what my toddler is having.

Everyone has great advice, but one thing I wanted to add that helps me when I can't be bothered is to give myself permission to eat breakfast or lunch foods for dinner just to avoid eating junk. So, instead of a crappy frozen pizza because I'm too tired or unmotivated to make dinner for one, I'll fix myself something really simple like a cheese and salad sandwich with a cut apple spread with peanut butter. I also like to boil an egg and warm a small tin of baked beans with some tomatoes chopped into it. Sure, these things are more likely to be served at breakfast or lunch, but they are quick, easy and not unhealthy. It's great to have goals about servings of veg and things, but just avoiding junky processed foods is a good point to start - make it as easy as possible!

Post Reply