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Weight Loss NHS
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Help! Eating "out" snack!

So so annoying but my mum, whom I visit on the weekend every second week, is constantly trying to get me to eat out with her despite my protests that I am dieting and don't want to deviate from my planned food! And I don't want to eat early with her and then have no calories left for the rest of the day!

She even has her own health issues where most of the time she is sick if she eats out!! This weekend I told her clearly I don't want food when I visit and suggested we go for a nice dog walk! She will be 70 this year and feels vulnerable going out in the area she lives so of course she wants to make the most of my visit getting out the house!

But on the dog walk she kept suggesting we stop here or there for chips or a diet lemonade (😫) and pointing out posters of fried chicken and chips! Aghh!

Anyways as a compromise I've said when I next visit we will go to the shopping centre and I will 'plan in' a snack allowance on my food plan!

One time we stopped at a nice in-shop cafe and I had a teacake and hot chocolate which I really enjoyed but how many calories should I allocate to that? The teacake was quite large (like 6 inch diameter) with butter. The hot choc I had in a medium sized mug with sweeteners.

What other options would be possible? I ideally don't want to use more than 300 calories on it??

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You need to get into "fat burning mode" before doing OMAD, see:

healthunlocked.com/fasting-...

My advice is to go OMAD (One Meal A Day).

Eat with your mum, and make it your only meal of the day.

I had lunch with my son today, having eaten nothing {but (an hour before) some yoghurt, an apple, an orange and two bananas} for 45 hours... and I will not eat again till 10:00 tomorrow.

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I used to do 5:2 but I much prefer balancing my food out over the day. Especially on the weekend! That's when I'm more hungry and I actually cut calories in the week so I can eat more on the weekend.

Plus I have children I have to cook lunch and dinner for! One meal, even if large, would not work for me!!

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You do have to fit eating round life, family, etc.!

One of the benefits of living alone is that I have no such complications!

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Haha lucky you!

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Wow! What do you do when you get hungry?

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Once you have got your body into "Fat burning mode" hunger is not much of a problem... and what I think might be hunger is boredom - so I go for a walk. See:

healthunlocked.com/fasting-...

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Thanks

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Difficult to say how many calories you “spent” but your tea cake and hot chocolate aren’t unhealthy in themselves. Your tea cake was probably around 240 cals and the hot chocolate might have been say 150 cals, and if you really enjoyed it, then why not? Yes, steer clear of chips and diet drinks, but no harm in a nice buttered tea cake😋.

I’m not sure I’d recommend fasting, as S11m suggests - it can make you so hungry that you forget all your resolve and eat everything in sight! But each to their own.

Maybe you could just remind your mum gently that you have lost an amazing 4 stone, and you don’t want to put any of it back on again!

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Very useful thank you! I don't mind going over a little but I've had two birthdays recently that meant going over my calories so I want to be good for a while before I go off wagon again!

My mum may be secretly sabotaging me now as I am now just under what she weighs!

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Can you prepare a healthy meal in advance that your mum would also enjoy eating and take it round to share?

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That's a good idea although she wants to get out the house! Maybe a picnic option?

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The weather is improving so it could be a plan. I find that most people enjoy eating healthy options but do not want the fuss of the prep as they think it takes too much time which we know isn’t true! If you add a healthy dessert fruit with yoghurt you could be onto a winner 😀

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And the dogs can come too! I will definitely suggest it and my oldest who usually chooses to stay home will maybe want to come too!!

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Try to work with your Mum... do not compete with her, encourage her.

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I'm not sure how you should handle it if you're dieting. If it was a healthy lifestyle you were thinking of, and losing weight in a way you are going to maintain, then having a toasted teacake once a fortnight if you want to have that with your mum is just part of life. It would be ideal if there was somewhere with enough choice so you could both get a meal that you enjoy: maybe you'll find one next time.

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I've recently cut down my exercise schedule a little to make way for study to get a better life balance so I am still waiting to make sure I am still going to lose weight otherwise I might need to put my study on the back burner again until I reach my maintenance weight goal. I don't mind having the occasional treat of course! But my mum seems to want to encourage me every time I see her!!

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It may work better all ways round if you think of this in terms of a change of lifestyle, for life, that will need to accommodate family life, work, study, mum, social occasions, holidays ........... If you are doing a diet to reach a goal weight with the thought that you will then ease up and go back to eating 'normally', the inevitable will happen.

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I know! I am happy with my food plans and like to planning ahead so I can see no problem maintaining. My thought is when I reach my goal weight I am allowed more calories than when you are trying to lose weight. Losing weight the BMI calculator gives 1544 a day lowest end but like an extra 500 calories a day once maintaining! That will easily cover family things such as this!! And as I have enough food/am not hungry or struggling on the lower weight-losing amount I think I would easily be able to balance it out to eat less to counteract a day when I've had to eat more?

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You could expand on BridgeGirl's and Trimmerteacher's common sense. How about choosing, in your mind, where to go in advance and hopefully steer your mum there. You could look at the menu online and pre-choose something maybe more healthy that maybe you can guesstimate the cals on, adding that into your daily plan.

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That's a good idea! There is a wetherspoons near by and they do display calories I'm sure! Otherwise I will go for the teacake option me thinks! As long as it's part of my plan I can work around it! Lol

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They have pulled chicken, avocado and bacon salad which is about 430 calories. Might be an option.

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Hmmm... those we love (and who love us) are often the biggest saboteurs of our plans for healthy eating. They don’t like to see us denied. I used to flat out lie - “Gosh, I just don’t want cake anymore, and it makes me feel a little ill.” Or enthusiastically stopping with them for a snack but only having a tea. (Both of those take a lot of willpower.). Now I’m lucky to be supported in whatever I’m doing. I don’t know what healthy shops might be on your route... How about Joe &the Juice smoothie and nuts? Or Costa/Pret coffee with mixed nuts or one of those nut/fruit bars to eat? I do better with low-carb snacks because then I don’t crave more. Best wishes... you’re doing the right thing by planning in advance.

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Thank you! My mum is very happy at my weight loss and has done numerous diets herself so I'm not sure why she wants to encourage me to eat? I think it must be just the social aspect of eating out! It says a lot about our times that food is so associated with having a good time!

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Yes, exactly! How do we change our mindset? I was so worried a few weeks ago because I was meeting a friend “for a coffee” at a cake shop. I wasn’t sure how to handle it, and wondering if she’d feel bad if she had a cake and I didn’t. However, we both just had coffees and sat and had a lovely social chat!

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One unhealthy meal every two weeks won't do you any harm, infact it might do you good.. it will speed your metabolism up a bit for a day..

Go have it!!!!

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On the weeks visit my mum I usually only lose one pound instead of two! If I eat more calories and lose nothing I'm likely to get fed up and lose all motivation to stick to my food plans and exercise!

Eating out is not so much the issue so long as I can have something that is not a meal - as I need to cook for the kids and we usually have roast or spaghetti Bolognese, something like that - so it has to allow me to have breakfast, a meal and some evening snacks (my favourite time to munch). If planned in advance I can pick a meal that's lower calories than some choices. So around 300 calories would be good. But what can you get for that? I'm going to have a look at the wetherspoons website!

There is a Boswell cafe, an Asda Living cafe and a wetherspoons to choose from. Or a baguette shop.

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300 won't give you much choice, maybe you could just have a cup of tea.

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One pound is good by the way, two is probably slightly to much, starvation mode might kick in (look it up) .

How much weight are you trying to lose?

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I have 2 stone left to lose and as I get down my calorie allowance decreases. Currently I have 1430 cal weekdays and 1830 weekend because weekdays I don't eat at work so I have breakfast 8am, dinner 4pm with the kids, and a snack time at 7pm. Weekends I have breakfast at 9am, dinner at 12-1pm, a light snack at 4pm and my snack time at 7pm.

At home for the light snack I usually have beans on toast (milk roll instead of bread) and 2 Jaffa cakes for 291 calories. Or piri piri chicken breast and noodles (256 calories and scoop of ice cream 53 total 309).

To eat out with my mum I will have to have my main meal at 4pm and substitute my normal choice for an eating out option. I don't want to waste calories on 'just' a drink and be too hungry to last to my main meal.

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"just a drink" might not have many calories. As you get down your calorie allowance decreases, as I said before you need to look into and learn about what happens to your body when it goes into starvation mode, if you eat to little calories you can actually end up putting on weight. 1 to 1:5 pounds of weight lost per week is the recommended amount to lose, any more and your body might start to fight the weight loss process. GO LEARN.

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The recommendations I've read say 1-2lbs a week is the optimum amount.

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I can see both view points here. As someone who is trying to lose weight, I regularly go out with friends shopping etc and I would often have a scone and coffee or sometimes we plan in advance to visit somewhere where we can have a healthy meal. I also have a sibling who calls now and again with his family and he and his wife are always on a diet. I am old school and like to provide a meal when they call. However, I am now used to the fact that they want something light. Last time, I made milky coffees with skimmed milk which went down well and they said they would like some plain biscuits. I put out a selection of plain biscuits and small slices of Genoa cake which went down well. I'm aware there is sugar in what they had but they limited how much they took. From now on I will make sure I have something like teacakes in the freezer. I suppose I could always put out the likes of ryvita with healthy toppings.

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There's definitely a better range of choice when at home! I have some cheese wafer biscuits made by Carrs that are delicious, thin and crispy and only 21 calories for one! That would be a good offering to weight-consious visitors?

Eating out is so much harder as places tend to use higher-calorie ingredients and not display the calories.

I looked at wetherspoons. If we went before 12 noon there is a couple of items on the breakfast menu that are just over 300 calories. But I will probably try to stick with the teacake option!

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I will try those cheese wafer biscuits. They sound delicious. I did offer him healthy low calorie soup which was freshly made but he didn't want that.

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if you have visitors who are eating 'healthy' (or in a certain way) it is worth simply asking them what sort of thing they would like. When I visit my brother (who - sadly for me - is a great baker) he knows I would appreciate a lowish carb snack or meal, and often provides olives, cheese, berries etc Last time he made me slices of spicy crispy fried paneer to go with my soup instead of bread, which I had never had before but really enjoyed. I myself wouldn't have a teacake, because even if it's not too calorific it would set off cravings for other carby things I don't eat these days. If there is only cakes or biscuits etc in a cafe I am best to stick to tea :)

p.s he does bake fabulous cakes on family birthdays and then I have a big slice as it is a special occasion :) :) :)

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Hi, could you not just eat a nice salad ? Maybe with tuna. And just drink plain mineral water. Just a thought.🙂

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Lol. That would be great! But I don't like vegetables. Just a handful of the basics like peas and carrots but even then I eat them to balance my meal rather than because I "like" them. Wetherspoons salad is only 79 calories *sigh* but alas not for me!

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Oh, just a thought. Never mind, we have to eat foods we like, no good forcing stuff we don’t. My problem is crisps and chocolate. I am struggling not to to eat them. I try and eat small meals 3 or 4 times a day and snack on a few nuts. It takes no time to put weight on but ages to lose it. I wish you all the best.

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Your visits are obviously very important to your mum, so there is a lot you can do to make them a pleasure for both of you. First, you could save some calories from the day before by eating salads, fruit or low calorie soups. Second, don’t arrive at your mum’s famished. Drink sugarless tea/coffee/soft drinks depending on the weather and choose a filling snack from your low-calorie favourites. If there is no suitable menu, make your lunch your main meal, avoiding obvious no-nos like chips or doughnuts.

If you are hungry later, have low calorie hot drinks and a piece of fruit. I think you must have a very sweet tooth if you need sweeteners in hot chocolate, so try and get your sweetness from fresh fruit, especially in the summer as there is such a wonderful choice. It really is worth changing your food choices to lose weight. Apart from the health benefits, you will look and feel so much better and have the joy of buying new, smaller clothes instead of trying to hide your weight under loose garments, as I once did! Take charge!

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A supermarket, large teacake is listed as 289 kcal (without any butter for example).

That's 51.7g carbohydrate. GL = Gi/100 x available carb,

=0.72 x 51.7 = 37.2 or the equivalent of 14.3 teaspoons of sugar. For comparison, Holford recommends 45 GLs per day to enable weight loss, the equivalent of 17.3 teaspoons of sugar.

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Hi CrimsonMama

Just wanted to say, I agree - it can be so difficult fitting in what you have planned with everyone round you. My children are teenagers but I still have everyone to cook for. Luckily, I am doing low carb, so just miss out all the carby food and eat extra veg, but obviously we all have our likes and dislikes.

As Tenstoneliz suggests, perhaps another time you could check menus ahead for soup options and go for lunch instead of tea and something? Unless it's very creamy, soup is often a low-calorie, healthy choice.

Well done on your weight loss so far, and I hope you have a nice time whatever you decide to have on your outing.

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Never thought about soup! That's a good idea!

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Yes it's so hard fitting in with others isn't it ? I try to cut down to salad or fruit only or cut out most of the next meal to balance it.

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That's definitely a solution! I used to do the 5:2 diet so I know how to cut calories down to just 500 for the day! I just prefer to have a balanced amount of calories daily these days. But I can keep it as an option!

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As one who is 78 I understand just how precious our children’s visits are. I do hope you can find a compromise .😊

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I think I've got some ideas now how to do just that! Thank you! I think so long as I can plan in advance I can work around it. It's the spontaneous "let's go to Subway" times which throw a spanner in the works! I tend to want to visit my mum, chit chat and help with anything around the house she needs help with whereas she wants to get out the house and socialise in a coffee shop or cafe setting!

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It seems to me that a compromise is not only needed, CrimsonMama but perfectly possible. Your mother is no longer in the first flush of youth and you recognise quite rightly that she loves to out with you and regards that as a treat.

Your mother's instinct to eat with you may be not only an affectionate, chummy thing to do (she eats a lot on her own, perhaps?) but for her, eating with her daughter will take her back years to when you relied on her to feed you, and as food supplier she was Big in Your Life, when you were little.

You are obviously very fond of your mother but perhaps not her taste in food - or is it that being with her brings back the old food habits which you find difficult to resist?

Maybe do a bit of research to find out where you could go that would serve her a cuppa and a scone and you a lovely glass of fresh fruit juice and perhaps a savoury sandwich or salad; there are many options for eating out nowadays. However, if watching your mother eat something naughty is too much for you, why not surprise her with a little picnic, then she has fun and you get to call the shots on what the picnic bags contain!

Good luck with this. I can remember that being with my Dear Old Mum meant pies and potato and puddings, and the trouble was for me that these foods, which I could eat when young, were associated with her. I wanted to eat them because they were a link to my childhood and to her, but I had moved on, at least my body had, so I wanted to refuse for my health's sake, and then I felt guilty.

Aint life complicated?

But I'm sure you'll find a gentle, diplomatic way to change this present problematic part of your relationship with your Mum into a healthy new phase. That means you have to be, with kindness and sensitivity, in charge of the outing menus!

Good luck. Betty x

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What a very thoughtful and nice response Betty! I never thought about the reasons my mum might have to always be trying to offer food! Other than getting out the house! But come to think of it she used to be trying to cook for me too before I was dieting and I said please don't.

We have different tastes in food and my youngest daughter -age 7- is usually with us too who has an allergy to eggs and is also quite fussy!!

But I can work around the types of places we can order so long as I know in advance and can plan my main meal and times around my mum's wishes! I think I will have to sit down and explain this to her. That I am ok with eating out so long as we plan it ahead!

And I've been given some good ideas about cutting calories to make up for it if I do go over my allowance! Although if possible I would prefer not to!

I'm so close -yet so far- from my weight-loss goal!!! About 26lbs to go which I think should be around August time if I'm good! Then I will have a few calories to spare for a mum-day-treat once I'm maintaining!!

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Just one additional thought to all the wisdom above. Perhaps mum is offering the sweet treat to make the time you spend together more 'treaty' and rewarding for you?

Would:

'oh go on have a treat!'

' Being with you is treat enough Mum ;) '

said either seriously or in a joky way depending how your family do things, work?

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Haha another good insight!

It's certainly why she often suggests Subway (something that always makes the kids enjoy visiting her more!).

When you work in the week the time on the weekend becomes so full with catching up on chores and getting uniforms washed, dried and ironed and packed lunches packed and all that stuff I usually hope to just pay my visit and go! I think she knows that going out will also make my visit take longer!!

Or maybe she just wants to get out the house! We really need a good chat about this lol!!

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