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TOPIC: How do I lose weight when I can't cook? lol

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March 22, 2010 8:42 AM
Hi, so I am new here, I'm 21, and have a 10 month old baby. I went up to 260lbs when I was pregnant, and I am at 213 lbs as of this morning. Since I am only 5'3 this is a huge problem. I live on my own and only feed myself really, so I can change my entire food lifestyle to whatever I want. My MAJOR problem is that I can't cook. I mean, really can't cook. I buy fresh meats and fruits and veg, but will eat it raw (besides the meat, it just sits in the freezer!) This week, I bought some of the lean cousines and the weight watchers smart ones to try out, but they are tiny and leave me hungry ohwell

1. Do the lean cousine/weight watchers meals work to lose weight, and should I eat them as lunch or dinner or both?
2. Any other easy easy EASY foods that I can make that will help!
3. Hi! Im new! smile looking for new friends that can help me out!
March 22, 2010 8:58 AM
Welcome to MFP! flowerforyou

Eating raw produce is really good for you! Eating raw meat is a little less so, but it's easy to cook almost any meat in the oven. Line a pan with foil, spray it with a little cooking oil, put the meat on, and put it in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees. Leave it for 5-10 minutes, turn it over, and put it back in for 5-10 more. It's done when you cut into the middle and no longer see anything raw. There are a lot of great books and websites that can help you learn to cook simple, healthy food, and I bet other people are going to suggest them in spades.

Frozen meals are a good solution when you're really busy, but you should be aware that they have a lot of added sodium. On days when you eat them, drink extra water to help flush the excess out of your system.
March 22, 2010 8:59 AM
Only eat the packaged food when you're crushed for time, they are full of sodium and other things that are not good for you as an everyday diet. Buy a cookbook such as the Eating Clean cookbook or the biggest loser cookbook, you need to learn how to make healthy foods. Start by keeping it very simple, throw a chicken breast in the oven wrapped in tin foil with some salt and pepper and bake for an hour on 350. Eat that with some steamed veggies made in the Steamers bags. those bags are your best friend, they steam things to perfection just follow the instructions on the bag. Get some turkey burgers and grill them or fry in a pan, eat it with a whole grain bun and veggies. Try to eat as much fresh fruit and veggies as possible, they require very little cooking or knowlege of cooking and are the key to great health. Eggs are a great protien, you can scramble some in a pan with cooking spray, use 3 eggs, scoop out two of the yolks and scramble, it is a filling breakfast and is only about 150 calories. Also keep some hard boiled eggs on hand, once again they are a quality protien. Try buying some Whey protein, I like the EAS brand, put 1 scoop in a blender with frozen fruit and some sugar free juice and it's a great snack for under 150 calories, or use 2 scoops as a meal replacement. Hope that was helpful. Laurie
March 22, 2010 8:59 AM
Trust me, you can just dont know it yet. Before I started dieting, I couldnt even make a frozen pizza. Cooking is like anything just have to practice. There are plenty of easy, healthy recipes all over the internet. One by one just try them. Oh and get a foreman grill....that will take the hard right out of cooking. Throw some spices on a chicken breast and foreman it for like 7 minutes...make some rice and voila! Healthy meal. You can also grill portobello mushrooms on the foreman and make mushroom burgers. Just google "easy, healthy recipes." I do this all day at work. Then I find which one looks the least complicated, i make sure i understand all the directions, and then I buy the ingredients and try it. Just prepare yourself for screw happens. But its fun and worth it. Try stuffed peppers or mushrooms first. Those are really healthy and easy to make. Or homemade pizzas with low cal cheese, veggies, and pasta sauce on weight watchers english muffins. Thats my favorite quick lunch.
March 22, 2010 9:00 AM
The frozen meals have a lot of sodium, so be careful with that, I usually only do one a day if I do them. Do you have a george foreman grill, you can get chicken breast and fish and even steak and slap it on and it be done in 5 minutes, steam your veggies and your good to go. I get good recipe ideas from and good luck to you....
March 22, 2010 9:02 AM
Crockpots are good cooking involved! The other day I threw some boneless skinless chicken breast in the crockpot and covered with bbq sauce. I let it cook on low for about 6 hours. Eat it on a whole wheat bun...deeeeeeelicious!
Edited by Kristen81 On March 22, 2010 9:02 AM
March 22, 2010 9:04 AM
These meals are fine but you can't live on them forever. I eat them for a quick lunch. You really need to learn how to cook. Start with things that are easy. Look for stir fry veggies in the freezer department. The directions are on the back. You can even add meat to it. Put chicken pieces in the oven with some spice and bake at 350 for an hour. Whole wheat pastas are easy. Then buy the sauce for it. Just remember not to eat too much pasta at a time. You can do it. Start slow and try a few things. Your child will be eating regular food soon and will need more than a frozen dinner. Good luck! Let us know specifics of what you would like to make and maybe we can help to make it easy for you.
March 22, 2010 9:08 AM
I can't cook either, and I am 29, so I am right there with you. My personal succes.. George Foreman. I use it to grill chicken or lean cuts of meat. That's about the only way I know to cook meat. You mean there are other ways? It's great because you can cook as much or as little as you want and freeze the rest. Grocery shopping for one is hard enough, but then you have to go home and cook it too? Not happening. Luckily for me I have a husband who knows a little more than me about cooking. I am a picky eater too, so it's hard for me to cook meals from a cook book. I have eaten a lot of chicken and change up my meal by adding lowfat cheese to the top, or making it tex-mex with so low calorie salsa on the top. I add veggies as sides and go from there. It's an easy way to change up from frozen meals.
Also, since it's just you, experiment with some other foods. You don't have to eat just "diet" frozen meals. I eat whatever I want, honestly. I just make sure I choose something that will keep me full and that tastes good. I count the calories in it, so I can only have so much of that food. I hate frozen meals (get bored with them; did I mention I was a picky eater?), so I do sandwiches for lunch or dinner alot. Another food that I like that keeps me full is a great breakfast item.. fiber one cereal in caramel delight. I'll have it anytime. I also eat breakfast foods for dinner.. egg white omlet or something. That's pretty basic cooking and it's easy to do for one. Add some veggies in our omlet (or scrambled egg whites, which is what my omlet ends up looking like!). Just a few easy thoughts to change it up a bit and keep you away from the frozen meals, which can be high in sodium and other things. I do go out to eat a lot.. I go t places like Lenny's and eat half the sandwich for lunch with some pringles light and then for dinner I eat the other half at home with a salad or veggies or something. I hope this helps you out. Good luck and if you ever need any "recipe" ideas, feel free to contact me on the site!
March 22, 2010 9:17 AM

Crockpots are good cooking involved! The other day I threw some boneless skinless chicken breast in the crockpot and covered with bbq sauce. I let it cook on low for about 6 hours. Eat it on a whole wheat bun...deeeeeeelicious!

I can't cook either.
Crockpots are AWESOME. I make a wicked Brunswick stew in mine, and I promise I cannot cook!

Besides.... while we want you to eat healthy.... the truth is, losing weight is about watching your calories and portion control. You'd still lose weight while eating mac n cheese every night, so long as you keep your portions in line with how many calories you have available. I just ate pizza for lunch. So long as it's within the calories.....

But don't tell anyone here I said that... The Healthy Eating Police will come after me. wink

Dear Healthy Eating Police:
I'm sorry I'm a repeat offender. I try to cook good and nutritious food. I snack on baby carrots and humus, I promise! I just can't cook very well. I'm learning.... I mean it, I am. I try. *hangs head in shame*
Crockpotter for Life
March 22, 2010 9:20 AM
You've got tons of good advise so far so here is my 2 cents (it seems to work for me) take any meat, or chicken put in a deep pan fill 3/4 with water cover with foil bake @325 - 350, after 30 minutes take out add potatos or rice recover put it in for another 30 minutes it comes out really tender and you have a side dish with it (oh yea if you don't mind mixing you can add veggies when you put in the rice. don't forget to season the meat / chicken before you start the water absorbs some of the seaoning and gives your rice / potato's a great taste. (This is just my 2 cents)
March 22, 2010 10:51 AM
I learned to cook watching The Food Network and Youtube videos! Start with Rachael Ray...I know she annoys people but she is the only one who doesn't mysteriously let 2 hours pass and make it look like 5 minutes so you can see *exactly* how meals are prepared. I watch all the shows though, and just try stuff...some will work out and some won't but you'll learn with every experience.
March 22, 2010 10:55 AM
So many great replies here! All I will add is that if you can learn to boil a pot of water and work the microwave, then you can do enough to make healthy, filling, tasteful meals! I will also add that when we really want something, we'll do anything to get it. If you want good health, more energy, and to feel better about how you look, then you'll be willing to get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. You don't need to become a chef or even a good cook to take better care of you and to be a good example to your little one :)
March 22, 2010 11:34 AM
there are lots of "non-recipes" available.
Try you can select recipes by cooking method and ingredients and it gives you all the nutritional data.
I love to cook and could walk you through some basic techniques if you'd like. I also have some great (really easy) healthy recipes I'd be happy to share! Feel free to add me!
March 22, 2010 11:44 AM
Don't be silly, you can cook. Anybody can cook. Try this:

Chop up lettuce & tomato - drizzle some salad dressing on it.

Nuke a potato. Follow your mic's "Baked potato" directions. Maybe get adventurous and do a sweet potato,,,they rock and are very healthy.

Boneless skinless chicken breast (still frozen is Ok) in a frying pan. Cut up an onion and drop it in. Medium heat. Salt & pepper. Flip it a couple times. After a few minutes when it looks not raw anymore, cut it in half through the thickest part. If it's white all the way thru, eat it. If it's still pink give it a few more minutes, then eat it.

That's it,,, start with that.
March 22, 2010 11:59 AM
I used to tell my grandpa that if he could read he could cook, lol! Now that I am older I realize it isn't quite that smple. It does take a little practice and a decent amount of organization but it can be fun! Start simple, buy the slow cooker and browse recipes! Personally, I can cook but I don't like to. I make very simple things to save time and energy. Tuna salad and baked chicken breasts are my spcialties! Good luck!tongue
March 22, 2010 12:53 PM
I know everyone says no to canned food and frozen food, but if your goal is to lose weight, it can work!!

Before I got pregnant, I was still overweight and I went to Jenny Craig. Jenny Craig is awesome and I lost more weight than I ever had before, but then I got pregnant and I am now in pretty much the same position you are because now I can't afford Jenny Craig and don't really have much of kitchen to cook in (long story).

However, what I wanted to point out was that all Jenny Craig offers is frozen and packaged foods. The first week I was on it, I lost 7 lbs! The trick to beating the hunger is to eat fruits and veggies with it. As simple as chopping one up or steaming it and you could eat just about as much as you wanted.

So if they work for you, just add some fruits and veggies as fillers and do drink lots of water.

P.S. - I'm going to add you, I'm at 210 currently and am just now starting to try to lose my pregnancy weight, so we can fight this together!! :) Oh!! and I also got up to 260 with my son.
March 22, 2010 1:02 PM
Wow thank you everyone for the replies and great recipes. I just need the motivation to start cooking. Its hard because my son is a special needs baby and really takes up the majority of my time, half the time I forget to eat all together! I am attempting a pork tenderloin on wednesday night with salad and veggies to impress a man (LOL, he knows i cant cook) so we will see how that turns out! I am also going to try and flip my big meal around to lunchtime, it really is easier for me that way, as thats when my son sleeps, and do a smaller meal at dinner time.

I am shocked at all the support you guys have shown already,and I am happy to be here!

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