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    New to WebMD, I have at least 50 pounds to lose and I'm not a cook
    Rerun posted:

    I need help. I just turned 54. I live alone and have never been a cook (divorced almost 2 years, I was married to a fantastic cook!!). I have been getting by on frozen stuff and eating out but got any ideas of how I need to change things??

    gmenb responded:
    Eating out is fine for me if I nix the bread and stick to simple entrees like grilled salmon and fresh vegetables. If the portions are large, I take half home for an easy next day meal. Think before you eat - It's what I keep telling myself too.

    I aim for better choices every day. Don't be discouraged.
    PetuniaPea responded:
    Eat mostly foods that have come from the tree, vine, or ground. Eat smaller amounts of lean, organic animal protein (in fact, think of meat as a side dish).

    Avoid as much as humanly possible, foods that come in boxes, packages, containers, or bags. If you do get a food in a box or bag, etc, look to see that you can pronounce all the ingredients and that they are things from nature, and get it if it has 5 ingredients or less!

    Check out some healthy cookbooks from your local library and get inspired!!! I'm not a cook either, but have gotten inspired by a few recipes, then I tweak it and make it my own. Some things that I enjoy and can cook/prepare now: Veggie and bean soup (so easy!) bean, quinoa, tomato, avocado salsa bowl (very easy, it's not even cooking), baked sweet potato fries, and yes, I can make a great salad!

    Good luck!
    Iscabible responded:
    I'm 47 and in a similar situation. Over the past 2 years I have lost 70lbs. I can tell you the biggest problem is trying to change everything all at once, eating healthy, eat more veggies, cut out the meats, etc...speaking from experience, it doesn't work and it will set you up for failure. You want to make changes,but slowly.

    I can tell you what worked for me and hopefully it will give you some ideas to start you on your way.

    The best way to lose WEIGHT, but not necessarily FAT is to burn more calories a day then what you consume. (Burning Fat is an entirely different subject.)

    How many calories should I eat then, you might ask.

    Find a calorie counting program. There are a couple good ones online. When you sign up on one of these, they all ask you what is your current weight, activity level, how much you want to loose, etc. These online programs will then tell you how many calories you should consume per day to lose the WEIGHT that you want to loose. I personally perfer the calorie counter on It will analize what you eat and it will tell you if you ate too much sugar or not enough carbs, etc.

    Next, learn how to cook. It's not too hard. There are books on amazon (as well as recipe sites on the web), that has 400 calorie or 500 calorie one pot meals. I have fell in love with the crock pot and you can get crock pot recipes all over the place. Doing this, you will build up some confidence cooking and before you know it you'll enjoy cooking up some pretty cool meals and eventually you'll be eating healthier. And it will happen over time, at least for me it did.

    So now you are counting your calories and now cooking some healthy meals. You've lost some weight and now you have some extra energy. Guess what you can do with that extra energy....Work Out, go out and do something. Since I could actually now walk without getting out of breath, I went on one day circuit hikes through the different state parks located in my area. Also, if you don't just like to walk or hike, try Geo-Caching to find that hidden treasure. Some of the locations were a challenge to get to, but there was a sense of acomplishment when you hike to a location and found the hidden geo-cache.

    Eventually you will have found yourself living a healthier life style, eating properly and doing some sort of activity.

    Here are a few other hints:
    Don't get frustrated and give up when you had a bad day of eating. Just tell yourself you'll do better tomorrow and then work toward that goal. This isn't the biggest loser, you aren't going to lose 15 lbs that first week and from what I've read and study that just isn't healthy

    Drink lots of WATER. It does help your metabolism. I also read, that people that are dehydrate will tend to eat/snack because they are dehydrated. And they will put food in their mouth so that saliva will wet their whistle. I drink anywhere from 12 - 16 8 ounce glasses a day.

    Get yourself a support group!!!

    I'm sorry this is so long, I have become very passionate about this subject of losing weight. Like I said, this is a starting point that has helped me. I hope somewhere in this reponse is some info that helps you towards your goal. Just challenge yourself a little bit everyday.

    Good Luck!!

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