Who knew calories were so sneaky? !

This Monday I started the 12 week plan, so I'm 3 days in and I'm quickly starting to realise that my diet is nowhere near as good as I thought! I had no idea how many calories certain foods have that I thought were good for me and don't get me started on eating out!

Does anyone have go to restaurants and dishes to keep the calorie count low? I'm trying to cut down on how often I eat out so alternative socialising activity ideas are also welcome (but I know food will not be able to disappear entirely).

In good news although I'm not expecting much weight loss this week I'm feeling extremely motivated as I can now see where I need to change things to work towards a healthier lifestyle and it feels really achievable :) I am also already really feeling the support from this forum, so thanks!

Set myself the goal of 4 pounds loss by 1st Jan (I think this is realistic when you factor in Christmas) and then a stone and a half total by 1st April just in time for a trip prague for my Mum's 60th birthday :) I'm going for the slow and steady approach as I just spiral out of control if I fail and I think I have enough wiggle room for some bad weeks with this goal.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Weight Loss Plan

Join over 40,000 others on our 12-week diet and exercise plan. Keep motivated to develop healthier eating habits & get more active.

Get Started!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

10 Replies

  • I remember when I started and realised how many calories I was having just in olive oil! These things are still good for you, but maybe not conducive to weight loss is all. Best to find ways to reduce rather than cut out, the slow and steady method means you're looking for a sustainable route, not one of self-denial. Good luck navigating through these first stages!

    Before going out, try looking up the menu online, loads of places post their menus online, and things like myfitnesspal often have calorie counts for different companies' dishes, just do your homework basically. Plan to have low cal options, plant them in your mind and stick to them. My low cal socialising options tend to be outdoor eg parks etc, so not great for this time of year. Maybe invite people to yours and make a homemade feast of low calorie loveliness, great music, company, chat etc :)

  • Planning is not my forte but I'm working on it because I know it will really help. But I've just downloaded my fitness pal and it looks like it will be really handy for me as it has soooooo many foods on it I can actually make the healthy spontaneous choice :) thanks for your help

  • Alternative social activities

    How about either taking part in a sport, eg bowling (no food or drink), roller/ice skating, badminton, volleyball, swimming etc.

    You could go and watch a sporting activity eg football

    Hold a games night.

    Go to the cinema, theatre, ballet, opera, concert

    Group trip to a spa

    You could have a competition to see who can be the most imaginative :)

  • Thanks for the activity ideas, especially iceskating now we are in the run up to xmas. Sounds fun plus double good for you as your not eating AND your burning calories exercising :)

  • Anything that uses your hands is good - as then you can't also hold a drink/snack etc... Also things in places where there aren't food places, e.g. moors, tops of mountains...!

  • Slow and steady is the best way to be hun as you say a little wiggle room to get back on track if you have a bad day. I find with eating out you can now find the calories online most of the time so you can plan what you will have before hand then can adjust your daily food accordingly. So a lighter lunch then more cals for your evening meal etc.. obviously doesnt always happen that way but can always use cals from the rest of your week for example:








    If that makes sense? Basically youd still be eating the same cals just having them slightly different giving you more flexibility :)

  • Like the idea of adjusting your calories for the rest of the week so you can fit in those treats. It's always hard on an event like a birthday to be sensible when everyone elses food looks so much more yummy, so you are sat there staring at their food and salivating 😁

  • Its something i learnt from a jillians micheals book, it also stops your body getting used to a set amount each day. Pre planning defo allows you to enjoy going out still as you know where you stand calorie wise, but can choose the food you will enjoy that is good for you :) have fun

  • Hi WhamBam

    I think your plans sound great - tailored to previous experience - your unscary and modest goals will get you relaunched and you can adjust them as you get into the swing. Hopefully your wiggle room will became dance space.

    You are right, eating out is all kinds of different nightmares, I do a lot of it because of work, including lots of necessary functions and client smooching and I cannot possibly discuss diet, exercise or health needs with clients. A lot of my friend and family socialising is also quite foodie. However although I go to restaurants a lot, most of the actual eating I now do is food prepped by myself at home, I am a firm believer in regular, healthy and tasty meals. It has taken a long time but I can usually sit in front of food in company and not eat.

    For work type things here are a few tips all of which I have used in the last month

    "Can I just join you for coffee after the meal "

    " is it ok if I pay the cover charge/my share of the cost but don't eat -I have blood tests tomorrow (I often plan my rblood sugar tests and weigh-ins for the morning after big meals out as this keeps me on course )

    "I would love to but I am on a fitness kick so I wouldn't be eating, shall we do brunch /afternoon tea instead"

    "Sorry not drinking, doing alcohol free Oct-Nov-Dec ..cheers"

    " I am fasting for 24 hours , I saw it on a BBC program and thought I would try it"

    Friends and family is all about communications. It is much easier with them now as (1). I am very slowly shrinking under their loving eyes (2) after 20 weeks I admitted that I have to lose weight and get fit and how upset I am by my current state (3) everyone I hang out with loves good food and wine - I am not fending off crisps, kebabs, ready made food or chips -eating at friends houses the challenge is to eat small portions.

    Typical phrases I have used with family/friends in the last two weeks

    "I'll do the cooking "

    " does anyone want to take the rest of the dessert home with them"

    " you all wanted to know how I am getting into shape so Tonight I have made you a special vegan meal (stuffed bean curd, braised greens, marinated mushrooms, pilau, tomato chilli broth), thanks X for organising wine and Y for bringing dessert."

    "I am not staying with you over Christmas cos I can't handle the traditional bowls of nuts, crisps and Belgium chocolates: after six months I would literally go mad and make myself ill"

    "That looks great but can I just have half of what you gave X"

    Eating out for fun - If invited out I prefer to go any where where they cook fresh because you can ask the waiter and chef to modify oil and salt and they will have healthy options. I love Indian food, we often go to the same restaurant where they know me, where the owner is also trying to lose weight: I usually get Dahl/veg combinations or tandoori chicken and I always order chapatti rather than white rice or naan.

    Christmas parties

    I am skipping most of these this year. The ones I have to go to, the plan is to eat before hand and I have set a target of one canapé per party per evening. No one will notice, loads of women do the same thing. The only one I am really looking forward to is a swimming party complete with floating castle -for the adults.

    Sorry for such a long post. I am typing while drinking morning coffee -hands busy as Ruth said- and as often happens doing this reply made me think through the issue and realise how very far I have come. I hope some of it is helpful for someone because other replies on this forum have really helped me.

    Slow and steady. Have a good day💃

  • Eating out is very difficult I go for protein and green veg sparkling water with ice and lemon, melon , prawns anything which has not been doused in sauce, give away half what's on your plate to hungrier people, sounds boring but try to concentrate on being really interested in conversation and initiating new topics. get well versed in what is going on and offer to drive. My challenge will be a set meal with xmas dinner all trimmings with my Aunt and Uncle and tea at there house afterwards!! watch this space on Thu next week.

You may also like...