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OKIEPAPA Posts: 2,408
2/27/06 11:23 A

I just eat what my wife fixes for her meals,and adjust my portions to meet my Cal.requirements.She has always been a healthy eater though,weighed 89 lbs 42 years ago when we got married and weighs 99 lbs now at64.who says wemon can't set a good example,I just should have followed that example and I wouldn't be in this fix.Stay away from the fatty foods,eat more fruits and veggies and hot cereals.drink a lake a day,can you hear me slashing when I walk. emoticon

ROSEPINK Posts: 167
2/27/06 10:43 A

Having used other software, I find SP very nice. I like that others have contributed foods. If I can't find what I want, I add it myself. And, being able to adjust the serving size is a wonderful tool. Sometimes the apple I eat is 125 grams. Sometimes it weighs in at 140. It's so easy to just plug in the correct weight (or measure) for the food I am eating. I love it! What I don't like is having to guess at restaurant foods or my favorite candy store. I've asked for nutrition info from those sources and either not gotten a response at all or was told that since they are a small business, they are not required to provide a nutrition analysis. So, I just guesstimate. Being the nitpicker (nice euphemism) that I am, I hate not being more accurate. I know it doesn't matter in the big picture. I know that. I know that. I know that. I still deal with this stupid perfectionistic tendency that is the bane of my existence. Glad I got that off my chest. LOL

NITEMAN3D SparkPoints: (266,657)
Fitness Minutes: (44,070)
Posts: 12,233
2/27/06 10:39 A

An afterthought. You said you can't change something you already put in. Clear to the right of the screen in the meal planner, there should be a "remove" button. Also, just click on the food once it's in the meal planner screen and you can edit it as well. There's also a place to edit your favorites at any time. Hope this helps.

NITEMAN3D SparkPoints: (266,657)
Fitness Minutes: (44,070)
Posts: 12,233
2/27/06 10:34 A

I agree with Karen. I think you should take another look at the Spark People entry screen. Once you establish a database of your favorites, it's almost effortless. Two clicks per food. Make sure you're naming things what they are first, so it's easy to find later. Instead of "hubby's favorite chili", do "chili, hubby's favorite", so all your chili dishes come up in order. Also, when using their database, use fractions of whatever serving it is you want to get close to the one they display and many times you'll end up right on the button or very close.

If after looking at it again and you don't like it still, there are several good nutrition programs for your computer that you can find by doing a Google search on "diet software". One that someone else mentioned that's been around a while and now sells their program for home use is Fit Day. (About $30 I think?) Make sure you shop and read reviews to get an idea of what they do, as some are pretty limited and some are way too technical. Good Luck!

LUMARA Posts: 2
2/27/06 10:26 A

Karen, I'm so new at this that I didn't realize there was an option of adding foods not on their list and adding to favorites. I'll have to check it out. Thanks! emoticon

KWONSET Posts: 2,499
2/27/06 9:13 A

most of my foods don't match the lists, and I don't use the proposed plans. I've added all my foods into my favorites list (by 'adding a food not listed' ) and clicking 'save this food in my favorites'. I find it super easy after a few weeks/months as most of my food choices are right there. If I make a new recipe, I add up the ingredients, then divide by servings, name it something, and enter it as 1 serving with all the nutritional values.

I didn't read this whole thread, so maybe this doesn't help you.


Edited by: KWONSET at: 2/27/2006 (09:15)
LUMARA Posts: 2
2/27/06 8:49 A

I'm new to sparkpeople and this topic is one that is dear to my heart, not because I feel stupid about planning meals, but because the meal tracker here isn't a good fit for me. I cannot use it the way it is set up since you can only add foods on their list, even the "customized" ones, and the calorrie count for the food listed may not be accurate for the food I'm actually eating. For example, I have found a low-carb, large pita bread that is only 90 calories. Their list only offers sizes for 172 calories (large pita) or 70-something calories (small pita). When I added that incorrect amount to my meal tracker for Feb 25, it didn't offer me the option to delete any of the foods that had previously been "chosen" for me by the software. Anyway, I find the format of the meal tracker useless for my needs.

I'm thinking about creating my own food journal and adding up the calories myself. I wish the meal tracker would give us this option intead of limiting us only to certain foods which may not be exactly what we eat.

If anyone else has found a good alternative to the (totally inadequate for my needs)food tracker at sparkpeople, I'd sure like to hear about it! If there are any sites that offer a free food diary that a person can accurately customize for herself, please share! I want to track what I eat and not go by someone else's meal plan.

Edited by: LUMARA at: 2/27/2006 (08:51)
NITEMAN3D SparkPoints: (266,657)
Fitness Minutes: (44,070)
Posts: 12,233
2/24/06 7:25 P

I can't help much with examples since I'm a lot different from you probably, but I will say that you should concentrate on hitting your calorie target at first and then refine to include other elements of your diet as you gain expertise and confidence. To get an idea about what's in foods, check the nutrition in the Spark People menu planner or go to and read there. The more you learn about what you *need*, the easier it gets to scope out a food or a complete meal or a whole day's worth of food. Reading the articles here at Spark People will help too. Don't get discouraged and good luck!

OKANOG Posts: 7,117
2/24/06 12:41 P


When you say "meal planner"
Are you refering to the menus by SP?
Or do you mean entering foods, you consume during the day?

You asked "Can someone give me an example of what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

I don't stick to a regime of a menu for the day.
Because of time zone differences and often I don't know what I will eat that day, I enter what I ate the day before for the present day.

I don't use the menu plan. I entered all foods I eat manually, from the "Favourites" section. Mainly because alot of the brands are not the same in Canada. It took a bit of time at first to enter all foods but once done it is easy and quick.

Also use the "Food Groupings" alot for entering
home recipes or for grouping foods such as, for different kinds of salads ect.

When I first started I used a small kitchen scale, to measure by weight, to get a better control of portion sizes.

I do use alot of the recipes provided by SP.

Edited by: OKANOG at: 2/24/2006 (13:14)
ROSEPINK Posts: 167
2/24/06 11:27 A

You are not "dumb." We all have our days and our "issues." I'm trying to figure out Medicare D for my mom. With 42 plans to look at, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack! I am a college graduate, etc, etc but still have trouble with some things. I find that the frustration level is what sets me off. It's hard to concentrate when I am frustrated. People just don't learn or function as well when frustrated. So . . . if that is part of your problem, take a deep breath and try to relax. You don't have to do it all at once. Maybe just work on healthy breakfasts for a week. Then when you feel comfortable with that, add healthy lunches and so on. For breakfast, I enjoy oatmeal (I cook up 1/4 cup dry--don't use the quick cooking kind) with 10 gms of walnuts and 1 Tbs of flax (which I grind in a small coffee grinder), and blueberries. I use either skim milk or soy milk. Adjust the portion sizes to your calorie needs. Another breakfast I enjoy is one slice of 100% whole wheat toast with one tablespoon of almond butter and one teaspoon of jam. Add a cup of milk for a beverage and maybe a small piece of fruit. Adjust portion sizes as needed.

Another thing that helps me is to choose foods that help me feel like I am pampering myself a bit. For example, I order Snoqualmie Falls oatmeal. I could get something similar in the store but the "gourmet" oatmeal helps me feel that the meal is special. I like to take my time eating it and then I feel more satisfied than if I had just poured hot water over a packet of instant something or other. I am finding that the usual assortment of junk food just seems so ordinary that I no longer want to eat it. My attitude is that my body is worth taking care of--even if that means spending a little bit more for high quality foods. Since I no longer buy chips, soda pop, etc I have more that I can spend on a good piece of salmon or on organic foods.

You can do it. Just relax and tell yourself that you are most definitely worth the investment.

PS: You can use the menus that sparkpeople provides. They've done all the planning for you. I just use my own judgement but if I was unsure, I would use the SP menus.

Edited by: ROSEPINK at: 2/24/2006 (11:31)
KAT129 Posts: 854
2/24/06 9:05 A

For a smart person, I feel really dumb about this meal planner. Can someone give me an example of what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks for the help !!!

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