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Old 07-17-2013, 06:23 AM   #1
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Planning vs. Not

I am the kind of person who doesn't plan meals ahead of time. I always wait until I am hungry and then say "what do I want to eat?"

I see that many Low carbers plan in great detail sometimes weeks in advance.

Is it necessary to do this to succeed? Thoughts?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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For me - absolutely necessary. If not I end up stuck and either not eating or struggling to stay on plan. I guess some people don't need to but I really have to
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:44 AM   #3
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For me it's necessary . But if your whole house just has safe foods and you wouldn't order takeout bc nothing is calling your name in the pantry, I guess you'd be good.

For me, not knowing can lead to bad choices out of desperation. Also I hate being hungry, I start to go hypoglycemic ( hoping that subsides over time) but it makes me panic so I would shove in whatever, that's why I always hv almonds with me, just in case.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:47 AM   #4
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NOPE, I'm not a planner either. I have found that when I did plan I felt obligated to eat whatever I planned, whether I was hungry or not!

Didn't work very well for this binger personality at all! I now just eat when I'm hungry and what I really want, sometimes a lot, most times a little.

It's works for me and I'm feeling better AND losing weight!
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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Planning has been the essential key to my weight loss and 3 years of maintenance.

I plan weekly, but more specifically each evening for the next day. This is the only way I know to insure that I meet my protein needs and my carb and calorie limits.

I don't always eat exactly what I've planned earlier in the week, but I only make equivalent substitutionsi terms of type of food and amount. For example, if my dinner calls for 4 oz of chicken, I will allow myself to substitute 4 oz of salmon.

For me, to rely on 'What do I feel like eating' is too close to 'eating for pleasure and entertainment,' and I've worked hard to focus on eating for nourishment and health.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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I do...and yet I don't. I don't plan the actual meals ahead of time because I never know what I'm going to feel like eating *BUT* I plan my available choices ahead of time so I easily have something to choose from.

I always have romaine lettuce, eggs (some hard boiled), ham/turkey slices and hard cheese in the fridge. I always have individually packaged skinless chicken breasts, pork chops and steaks (4-5 oz each) and 1 lb packages of ground beef. During the summer I keep kale, broccoli, green beans, etc. (about 4 days worth) as well. I'll usually plan in the morning what I'm going to cook that evening. Lunch is usually a salad with protein in it cuz I *love* salads. Then it's easy enough to take out what I want, stick it in a freezer ziploc (which I just clean and reuse) and submerge it in cold water. It thaws in about an hour (or less if I've let it sit frozen in the fridge from morning).
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:16 AM   #7
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Leo,
Every time I read one of your posts, I feel like I should just say 'ditto'. I'm amazed at how many things we do so similarly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieJack View Post
I am the kind of person who doesn't plan meals ahead of time. I always wait until I am hungry and then say "what do I want to eat?"

I see that many Low carbers plan in great detail sometimes weeks in advance.

Is it necessary to do this to succeed? Thoughts?
In my own experience, I see a correlation between planning and success on low carb.

I need to plan, shop, and cook intentionally in order to not be "stuck" with poor choices. I even plan eating out, researching menus online before going so that I know what low carb options are available.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Planning, at least a day ahead, is important to me.
Most important is a shopping list so I don't bring foolish choices into my house.
Planning is also important when traveling, conferencing or just socializing with friends.
I am generally ok if I have acceptable foods on hand, drink enough water, and never get hungry.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:41 AM   #10
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I try on fridays when I grocery shop to think about what I want to eat that week and get the staples, hwc, eggs, bacon, tuna fish etc but I don't plan out what I will eat each day. I usually wait till I get hungry and then decide.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:53 AM   #11
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I used to plan out my menus every day, but, like some other people here, I got to feeling like I HAD to eat what I had planned out whether I was hungry or not, or whether it even appealed to me or not.

Now I just keep legal foods in the house and eat whatever I am hungry for depending on Carb level and calorie count. Works alot better for me that way.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #12
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I am not a planner. I wing it a lot. My plan is to eat foods from the Atkins acceptable lists, in roughly the amounts allowed, so I just keep these things in the house and go from there.

(By Atkins I mean 1992).

Last edited by Aquarius; 07-17-2013 at 08:03 AM.. Reason: to specify which Atkins lists
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #13
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I am a planner as well. I log in my food in my food journal the night before based on what I know I have on hand. I always keep a certain amount of staples in my frig so I know what I can have. If I do decide to change what I had planned I go to my food journal and plug in the new food to make sure I am keeping within my allowances for the day. I tend to eat the same things over and over so I know what will work and how much of a certain food I can have. I also weigh and measure everything so I am not just guessing how much I can have. I review menus online as well so that I know what I will be eating before I go out for dinner. My failure in the past has been due to not planning and not tracking my food or my weight. For me it is worth the effort to be a little more regimented.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #14
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No real 'plan' for me, but I always make sure I have something legal available, so that in itself requires 'planning'.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:12 AM   #15
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I don't really plan menus or meals, but I do have to plan to have plenty of LC carb food options in the house. It's the kiss of death to my carb count for the day if I open the fridge and there's nothing but carby frozen meals. Sometimes in the winter I'll get motivated and make up several batches of LC soups, chili and quiches, but that's rare.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:13 AM   #16
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Nope, not for me. I don't plan my food in advance, never have. I've never been the type for meal plans or the like; it's not my personality.

I might eat out, but I don't eat off plan, regardless of convenience or hunger. It's simply not an option. Whether I'm cooking, eating out, or grabbing something from the 7-11 because I'm starving, I'm eating on plan.

I only eat foods from the 2002 DANDR list of induction foods. Period.

Last edited by Ntombi; 07-17-2013 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:56 AM   #17
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Meal planning works for me, leaves less room to grab something illegal to eat in a pinch.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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I plan every two days and I do not deviate from it. I myself need structure to stay on track. However, I must admit that there have been times where I ate something different than what was "planned"
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Is it necessary to do this to succeed? Thoughts?
To add to my Ntombi's comments, I think what's necessary to succeed is to find something that works for your personality. I am not a planner and anything that requires me to plan is doomed to failure for me. Anything that requires me to count and keep track of things is also doomed to fail. I know this about myself (finally!) so I just take this into account with my approach.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:06 PM   #20
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99% not a planner here. I live alone, so no high carb options there. If I don't bring a lunch there is always something low carb I can eat from the cafe, or two fast food places right next door.

The few things I do plan. Well I plan to buy lobsters every few nights this week, because they are on sale and the good soft shell ones. If I go to a restaurant where I don't know what kind of food they have, I would probably look it up ahead of time. If I discovered they had basics like steak that would be the end of my planning and I would decide on a meal when I got there. If I was going to some ethnic restaurant that I didn't know much about, I would try to figure out ahead of time what my choices would be. And occasionally there is some certain meal I'm craving, so I'll plan to make it on a certain day (usually weekend).
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius View Post
To add to my Ntombi's comments, I think what's necessary to succeed is to find something that works for your personality. I am not a planner and anything that requires me to plan is doomed to failure for me. Anything that requires me to count and keep track of things is also doomed to fail. I know this about myself (finally!) so I just take this into account with my approach.
EXACTLY!! I only have LC stuff around so keeping with what works for me (not planning) works out for my personality and keeping with head healthy eating habits!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #22
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Rereading my previous post, I realized I inadvertently typed "my Ntombi."

Didn't mean to take possession of you, Ntombi! Sorry!
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
I plan weekly, but more specifically each evening for the next day. This is the only way I know to insure that I meet my protein needs and my carb and calorie limits.

I don't always eat exactly what I've planned earlier in the week, but I only make equivalent substitutionsi terms of type of food and amount. For example, if my dinner calls for 4 oz of chicken, I will allow myself to substitute 4 oz of salmon.

For me, to rely on 'What do I feel like eating' is too close to 'eating for pleasure and entertainment,' and I've worked hard to focus on eating for nourishment and health.
Exactly. I think "what do I feel like eating" is entirely the wrong question to be asking myself. If I know what I'm going to be eating, I don't need to think about it. I pick my weekly foods based on what I know I like, but I don't need to base my regular daily choices on moods or momentary appeal.

Because this approach is my baseline most of the time, I can incorporate what Karerose describes, some of the time:

Quote:
If I go to a restaurant where I don't know what kind of food they have, I would probably look it up ahead of time. If I discovered they had basics like steak that would be the end of my planning and I would decide on a meal when I got there. If I was going to some ethnic restaurant that I didn't know much about, I would try to figure out ahead of time what my choices would be. And occasionally there is some certain meal I'm craving, so I'll plan to make it on a certain day (usually weekend).
That's how I do it too.

I also agree with Phranquie:

Quote:
I tend to eat the same things over and over so I know what will work and how much of a certain food I can have. I also weigh and measure everything so I am not just guessing how much I can have. I review menus online as well so that I know what I will be eating before I go out for dinner. My failure in the past has been due to not planning and not tracking my food or my weight. For me it is worth the effort to be a little more regimented.

This is so true because I already know where being un-regimented gets me. It's really not much different from going to bed when I know I ought to, or making myself work out even if I don't feel like I want to in the moment.

I really don't put much stock in how I might feel or what I might want in the moment, because that's often a less than trustworthy impulse that doesn't pay off. I would rather plan ahead for how I know will feel after making the choices that support my goals and values.

There are different ways of going about the business of weight loss, but I'm firmly on the side of planning ahead. I don't consider it a burden or an inconvenience. Others see things differently, I realize.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:26 PM   #24
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I plan, but I call a lot of audibles.

It's pretty easy because I cook enough meat at dinner to make a couple of lunch plates from the leftovers. So although I usually adhere to my weekly dinner plan, I might look at the leftover selections and pick a different protein from what's on the breakfast or lunch plan.

Like others upthread, prepping is essential for me. I keep either salad or raw veggie strips ready, and the leftovers help. If there's no leftovers, there's eggs in the frig and pattied-out burgers in the freezer.

Aquarius, we have to share our Ntombi, because we've only got one of her.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #25
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I'll add that I usually check out a menu ahead of time, and a friend and I go to a neighborhood tasting event a few times a year, and I'll look online at all the offerings, making a list of what looks on plan, so that I only choose from those when we're there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquarius View Post


Rereading my previous post, I realized I inadvertently typed "my Ntombi."

Didn't mean to take possession of you, Ntombi! Sorry!
I didn't even notice, but I don't mind.

Yours,
Ntombi










Last edited by Ntombi; 07-17-2013 at 02:03 PM..
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #26
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Planning has been the essential key to my weight loss and 3 years of maintenance.

I plan weekly, but more specifically each evening for the next day. This is the only way I know to insure that I meet my protein needs and my carb and calorie limits.

I don't always eat exactly what I've planned earlier in the week, but I only make equivalent substitutionsi terms of type of food and amount. For example, if my dinner calls for 4 oz of chicken, I will allow myself to substitute 4 oz of salmon.

For me, to rely on 'What do I feel like eating' is too close to 'eating for pleasure and entertainment,' and I've worked hard to focus on eating for nourishment and health.
Yes, but make that five years of losing and maintaining, for me. I plan basic menus for myself and my family every two weeks and stock up accordingly. Then I mix and match from among those items to make our daily meals. Breakfasts and lunches are a fairly set routine of items, and dinners are the wildcard where I add more variety in planning.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:42 PM   #27
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Not a planner. I want to think of this as a WOL, not a diet..and nothing screams diet more than knowing every morsel you will eat every day!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #28
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I don't plan in detail. I just need to have some protein I can eat & some veggies available. What I eat depends on my mood at the time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #29
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I plan my daily meals, but it's more like a rough draft than a written-in-stone plan.
Gives me an idea of what's on hand and ready to prep, what I may be in the mood for, and recipe ideas.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #30
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That's an interesting and strongly-expressed opinion, Rocket.

I remember seeing Ali Vincent, the first female winner of The Biggest Loser, on some TV show years ago, and she was showing all the things she still did to maintain her weight loss. She exercised regularly, and she weighed and measured her food (and counted calories). I thought that seemed awful--unnatural, unrealistic, grim, way too strict--and I said "Who would ever want to live that way?!" and I really meant it.

Later, when I was living it, I understood why she did what she did. I had resisted the idea of planning and measuring and counting, prior to weight loss. But...what can I say. I changed my mind. I don't mind living that way at all. I just needed to accept it and get used to it.

To me, "I'm on a diet" hasn't meant anything other than I eat how I eat and do what I have to do. I know there are others who feel the same way about the word "diet", and others who don't. Some people call their program a lifestyle, a way of eating, a way of life. The word we choose doesn't make us successful or not; our habits and choices do. And our habits and choices don't have to look the same as anybody else's, but sometimes we might surprise ourselves.
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