How to eat healthily?

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Hopefulphoenix

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Hi.
Eating in the right way is always something I have struggled with since I was young. I always ate too much, or too litte, or too much junk food at the wrong times etc
But now I am being forced to do something about it because of medication.
I finally got to see a psychiatrist this morning. She was awesome, in that she was kind and had alot of knowledge about cptsd!
I got a solid no to coming off my mood stabilizing medication right now. And that I have to focus on healthy eating and excercise, to combat and accept the fact that my meds are making it very easy to put on weight.
I cried so much this morning when I realised my weight was up again. It really isnt going to change without me doing something different.
Normally I seem to need to eat every 3-4 hours otherwise my blood sugar drops and so does my mood.
But I dont know what to eat, and how on earth to stop eating when im full??!
I do not want to go on a strict diet (no keto etc!) as that triggers eating disorder thinking. But at the same time I seem to react very much to carbs.
Exercising is hard as I get so triggered by leaving the house right now, but im doing it anyway, in the hopes I enjoy it more later. I think id feel worse doing it inside anyway.
Any others been through this? It would surely benefit me alot being healthier but I just want my weight back down so I can fit into my clothes!
Im trying very hard to not go all black and white and think.. possibiity .. over time!
 

Kubash16

Policy Enforcement
I’m at work so I can’t do a quick reply. But for the eating every few hours- that’s fine. Just steer clear from junk. Focus on cheeses, jerky, fruits, veggies, yogurt. That kind of stuff. Granola bars too.
 

Hopefulphoenix

Not Active
hmmmm whats jerky ? and granola... muesli bars?? I think I have a problem with cheese. The blue cheese at xmas time was the start of my weight increase!!
 

Sideways

Moderator
I’m working on healthy eating as a core issue at the moment. I’ve been keeping a record of what I eat each day, which has been useful because it makes me mindful of what’s going in when I’m making a choice about what to eat.

I’ve got a long list of trauma-based issues that I’ve identified relating to food. It’s not a single, simple issue at all. So a fair bit of self-compassion has been necessary to start to make changes. Identifying all those issues, so i could understand why food is such a big problem for me, was incredibly helpful as part of the change process.

My go-to food for a long time has been breakfast cereal. For a number of complicated reasons. And for breakfast, lunch and dinner? It not only leaves me severely malnourished, it also set my metabolism to “store energy”, because the lack of nutrition (despite a pretty healthy calorie content) had my body convinced I was living in famine, so I was malnourished AND putting on weight! Obviously OD’ing on cereal is probably not your problem, but just saying that “eating healthy” has required massive changes to my entire lifestyle which has been really hard.

Much like suddenly stopping a large daily count of refined sugar, suddenly stopping a high-carb diet wreake havoc with my blood glucose levels. Suddenly you find yourself shaking, dizzy, unable to sleep, complete flatline of energy etc.

It’s not a case of me nailing my new diet perfectly from day 1. But for me, that issue with the sudden blood glucose issue lasted about a full week, before my body got used to a new daily sugar/energy intake. It was the week from hell, but it has left me in a much better place nutritionally. And yes, it absolutely meant that I needed to change all my medication doseages.

So, it’s a huge battle. I’ve seen a few nutritionists and dieticians along the way. The one that gave genuinely helpful advice (rather than ridiculously unrealistic “Completely change everything you eat and the entire way you manage your life” type advice that just isn’t sustainable) was a dietician who worked specifically with people living with mental illness.

Her advice (which was a game changer for me) was: Cheat. If you can afford frozen meals and that’s easy? Get your nutrition that way. If not (and I can’t afford those diet programs), use meal-replacement shakes to get good daily nutrition. Speak to your pharmacist. Some are just bogus diet rubbish that will leave you malnourished and super-hungry. Others are such good quality that they use them in hospitals.

So, my advice? Cheat. Easy ways to get nutrition? It’s still nutrition. And with the blood glucose issue? Be patient, ride it out if you can. And if you’re able to really nut out the trauma-based reasons for your issues with food, that can be super helpful in giving yourself the compassion you need while you make these big changes to your diet and lifestyle.

(Sorry for the rant - this is my big therapy issue right now, so i get a bit carried away!).
 

Kubash16

Policy Enforcement
hmmmm whats jerky ? and granola... muesli bars?? I think I have a problem with cheese. The blue cheese at xmas time was the start of my weight increase!!

Jerky is dried meat. Typically beef but there are other sorts. It’s sometimes flavored with pepper or terriyaki or lots of other things.

Granola is kind of a cereal, it’s oats and people add raisins, chocolate, all sorts of things. Granola bars are the same stuff but formed in a bar and usually sweetened.

Cheese can definitely add calories lol but that’s not always a bad thing.

The reason I suggested that stuff is the usually keep me satisfied longer and have some decent nutritional value. Cheese and jerky are fairly high in protein. Sugary/bready stuff converts to sugar faster leading to various health problems but because of that they don’t keep you satisfied very long so you will keep reaching for more.

One of my favorite snacks/meals that keeps me good for a long time is slicing up cheddar cheese, summer sausage, and crackers. So yummy!
 

Friday

Moderator
I’ve worked with a nutritionist/dietician a few different times in my life and I can’t recommend them any more highly.

These are people with masters degrees and higher with a single focus. They’re not going to recommend fad or strict diets, nor impossible standards to achieve, and will work with you & your exact issues (including meds, disorders, age, sex, activity levels, preferences, problems, skills, etc.) to build both an understanding and lifestyle. That actually works. With your life.

They’re looooong appointments in the beginning, (although short in number) typically a few hours for the initial one as they’re collecting a huge amount of information from you and NOT coming up with easy answers (“For every complex human problem there is an answer that is neat, simple, & wrong), the same way a physical therapist / physio isn’t just going to say “exercise”, or a psychologist isn’t just going to say “get over it”. That doesn’t mean there won’t be easy tips/tricks to employ... there will probably be a lot. But you’re dealing with a complex problem, and that is a nutritionist’s bailiwick.

Great group of highly educated, super practical, badass allies to have on your side.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I’m working on healthy eating as a core issue at the moment. I’ve been keeping a record of what I eat each day, which has been useful because it makes me mindful of what’s going in when I’m making a choice about what to eat.

I’ve got a long list of trauma-based issues that I’ve identified relating to food. It’s not a single, simple issue at all. So a fair bit of self-compassion has been necessary to start to make changes. Identifying all those issues, so i could understand why food is such a big problem for me, was incredibly helpful as part of the change process.

My go-to food for a long time has been breakfast cereal. For a number of complicated reasons. And for breakfast, lunch and dinner? It not only leaves me severely malnourished, it also set my metabolism to “store energy”, because the lack of nutrition (despite a pretty healthy calorie content) had my body convinced I was living in famine, so I was malnourished AND putting on weight! Obviously OD’ing on cereal is probably not your problem, but just saying that “eating healthy” has required massive changes to my entire lifestyle which has been really hard.

Much like suddenly stopping a large daily count of refined sugar, suddenly stopping a high-carb diet wreake havoc with my blood glucose levels. Suddenly you find yourself shaking, dizzy, unable to sleep, complete flatline of energy etc.

It’s not a case of me nailing my new diet perfectly from day 1. But for me, that issue with the sudden blood glucose issue lasted about a full week, before my body got used to a new daily sugar/energy intake. It was the week from hell, but it has left me in a much better place nutritionally. And yes, it absolutely meant that I needed to change all my medication doseages.

So, it’s a huge battle. I’ve seen a few nutritionists and dieticians along the way. The one that gave genuinely helpful advice (rather than ridiculously unrealistic “Completely change everything you eat and the entire way you manage your life” type advice that just isn’t sustainable) was a dietician who worked specifically with people living with mental illness.

Her advice (which was a game changer for me) was: Cheat. If you can afford frozen meals and that’s easy? Get your nutrition that way. If not (and I can’t afford those diet programs), use meal-replacement shakes to get good daily nutrition. Speak to your pharmacist. Some are just bogus diet rubbish that will leave you malnourished and super-hungry. Others are such good quality that they use them in hospitals.

So, my advice? Cheat. Easy ways to get nutrition? It’s still nutrition. And with the blood glucose issue? Be patient, ride it out if you can. And if you’re able to really nut out the trauma-based reasons for your issues with food, that can be super helpful in giving yourself the compassion you need while you make these big changes to your diet and lifestyle.

(Sorry for the rant - this is my big therapy issue right now, so i get a bit carried away!).

These are good REALLY ideas and make me feel like my eating isn’t so silly. I have been working with changing my eating habits too as I have always battled my weight. I have trouble with sticking to a prescribed diet plan all day -so I tried a more compassionate meal regimented and not requiring of tons of meal prep. I used to do well and make portioned freezer meals but I got away from cooking.

Now, only one set requirement each day- drinking a Premier Protein choc shake for breakfast with 1/4 cup extra whole milk. This starts my day w 200 cal.( 35g of protein to start the day) w lots of vitamins added. Lunch is reasonable up to 3-4 hundred cal with high fiber- fruit and veggies, veg soup or freezer meal/prepared meal, and dinner -anything without lots of starch( pref w fiber/veggies and protein), and a Yasso choc Greek yogurt on a stick 80 cal- (OMG- divine) 6 G protein for desert! I’ll eat a little something lower in calories like a high fiber snack mid mid afternoon sometimes and I generally eat 5 times a day. Leaving lunch and dinner flexible works for the parts of me who don’t want to be on a diet and who prefer lots of choices- the Greek Yogurt dessert satisfies my sweet needs while getting calcium in (I hate yogurt in a cup!) and is like a choc reward for getting thru the day. This seems to be leaving me not ragged out and not feeling like I’m “dieting.” Your dietician’s advice is wise and understanding lifestyle a real key to success!
 
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