Well, if you have 2 kids, I assume you're cooking good healthy meals for them, so you could just eat the same thing. Not sure why you can't eat with them, but you can always heat up food in the microwave, if you have one.
I don't know how old your kids are, but now's the time to be cooking good healthy meals for them, so they learn to eat the proper foods, amounts, etc. Teaching them proper eating habits now, will help prevent them from becoming overweight in the future.
You should center meals on lean protein, which can consist of a lean meat, chicken, fish, beans, eggs etc - these are good sources of iron, vitamin B12 and other nutrients. Dairy also contains a lot of protein, and also provides vitamins/minerals like vitamin B12, calcium, etc. The next thing is vegetables. Make sure there is an ample supply of, preferably, either fresh or frozen vegetables. If you have to use canned, make sure to get the low/no salt versions. Most fresh/frozen vegetables can be eaten in unlimited amounts, because they have so few calories. Fruit should be eaten whole, not in the form of juice. Be sure to add nuts, seeds, "good" fats, such as those found in olives, olive oil, avocados, etc. Opt for whole grain breads and pastas and choose brown rice.
Eliminate items made from white sugar, flour, rice and limit white potatoes.
To get started, you should calculate the number of calories you need each day just to live. This is based on your current weight, height, age and activity level. Once you've done that, you will need to drop off enough calories to lose weight. 1 pound is 3500 calories, so you'd need to drop 500 calories/day, to lose 1 pound per week.
Exercise can be incorporated into most days, even if you can't set aside 30 minutes at a time. Climbing stairs, cleaning house, doing yard work; everything qualifies as exercise and you can learn some simple ways to stop and add a few moves to your work time. Every so often, stop and do a few squats or lunges. In my opinion, lifting children qualifies as lifting weights...... do that often.......lol If you have a desk job, get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour; take a walk on your lunch break, etc. Check out YouTube for simple exercises that can be incorporated into almost any day.
Stick around here and we can help you. If you need help calculating calorie needs, let me know and I'll be glad to help you. We'll help in any way we can.
Forgot to mention that you might want to have your doctor run some simple tests to rule out hypothyroidism and/or insulin resistance. For hypothyroidism, ask for TSH, Free T3 and Free T4. For insulin resistance, fasting blood sugar or A1c test.
The best thing to do is to replace the unhealthiest aspects of what your eating with lots salad (without the dressing), lots of fresh fruit, and lost of steamed/boiled vegetables.
(the main things to avoid are cheese, bread, pasta, fried food, butter/marge, oil, cakes, sweets and rice)
Here are a few examples of healthy meals you might find useful to adapt to suit you;
A quick, perfect breakfast; 40g serving of cereal and skimmed milk (only 180 calories), and if your hungry follow any piece of fruit you like.
A quick perfect lunch; any yogurt of your choice (160-220 calories) and as much fresh fruit as you want.
A quick perfect dinner; as much as you like of salad/steamed or boiled vegetables/grilled mushrooms...
with One of the following;
grilled or steamed fish or lean meat/2 boiled eggs/1 pack of quorn ham/ 1 jacket potato/ 1/2 pot of low fat potatoes salad. (whichever option you choose averages out at only 300 calories)
Snacks; as much fresh fruit as you like.
Drinks; zero/diet fizzy, no added sugar fruit squash, or water (no fresh fruit juice as it's packed with calories)
Including everything, that equals approximately 850 calories, and there is no reason to feel hungry as fresh fruit and veg are unlimited.
The recommended daily calories for a women is 2000 calories, and upto 1000 on a strict diet, so having a diet of 850 cals is perfect for a diet without exercise, as it is so low in cals yet balanced, and full of fibre and vitamins, (and it's cals low enough that the odd cheat on the diet won't ruin it)
Don't worry, not everyone can exercise, my partner is disabled and he lost 3 stone in 4 months on this diet last year, with no exercise.
I wish you the best of luck, and let me know if you need any more info, I'm happy to help.
Cheese is a very good source of protein and vitamin B12, as well as calcium and other nutrients. It should not be left out of the diet, as there are plenty of low fat versions on the market.
For most people, fruit should not be unlimited, because of its sugar content, which spikes the blood sugar, which prompts the pancreas to produce insulin, which is considered the "fat storage" hormone.
There is no set calorie count; we each have to have the number of calories our body needs; too many calories and we'll gain, or at least not lose; too few calories and our body will go into starvation mode. It's generally recommended that no one go below 1000 calories/day.
Every meal should contain protein, fat and complex carbs (veggies, whole grains, etc).
Whilst cheese is a good source of protein, it generally contains more fat than other food, such as quorn, or grilled/steamed fish and chicken,.. and quorn, fish and chicken contain a lot of good things that the body needs that cheese doesn't have.
It is better for a person to grab fruit, being low calorie, than other forms of snack. it is good to have natural sugars. most people can't live without some form of sugar in their life.
The average woman requires 2000 calories per day (as stated on the NHS website), although that varies, that is an average. Also people with a more sedate life style, those who do not, or can not, do exercise require less calories, averaging at 1500 calories to maintain a healthy weight.
so a diet of approximately 1000 or just under would seem logical for weight loss. The suggested diet of 850 cals would allow for portion size fluctuations whist still being just below 1000 cals.
I notice that you are in UK, so perhaps you don't have available, the no/low fat varieties of cheese that we have here in the U.S. I'd never heard of quorn until now, so I had to look it up. I find that it's made from a fungus, to which many people are allergic.
Of course, it's better to grab fruit than it is to grab a candy bar, but natural sugar is still sugar and will spike the blood sugar, producing, often unwanted amounts of insulin, which as I noted before, is considered the "fat storage" hormone. Those with blood sugar issues must be very careful of all the types of sugar we take in.
Yes, I've seen that NHS suggests that the average woman requires approximately 2000 calories/day; however, we don't recognize that in the U.S. because we are all different and calories must be calculated, individually, according to the person's current age, weight, height and activity level. The more active one is the more calories they require. For instance, I, as a 63 yr old, medium active woman would be wallowing in fat on a 2000 calorie/day diet, while someone who is 30 yrs old and is more active than I am, might need 2500 calories.
On the other hand restricting calories too much prevents one from obtaining the nutrition they need and often puts the body into starvation mode, in which it holds onto fat, because there isn't enough food coming in.
It's always dangerous to make across the board assertions, because not everyone has the same requirements or can tolerate the same foods. The "perfect" meal/snack for you, might send someone else to the hospital.
"We agree on the as much as you like of salad/steamed or boiled vegetables". Grilled/broiled vegetables fit in there too. Boiling tends to remove a lot of nutrients, but then again, that depends on the type of vegetable.