It kills me when I see bloggers list what they eat and it’s so minimal. I mean it really kills me because I always want to say something. A few times I have, but instead I’m writing here today. I wrote about this once before. I titled it, “To lose weight, you have to eat!” It’s as simple as that. You can read that blog and my explanation of why we need to eat to lose weight by clicking HERE. Last night I saw a blogger list 5 small food items (just items, not a meal) and 1 glass of water and all I could think was “Nooooo!” And then I thought “Why!?” Eating less does lead to weight loss, yes. Eating nothing is just… bad, for lack of a more horrendous term.
- Eating so little in a day is not realistic for long term success. As soon as you go back to eating a normal number of calories you’re going to gain the weight right back.
- Eating such small amounts will leave you hungry. Being hungry isn’t sustainable because eventually you’re going to eat. When you do, you may be so hungry it increases your chances of making a bad choice or binge eating.
- You are shutting down your metabolism.
- You aren’t giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
- The big one should be that starving sucks. I mean really, it just sucks and very likely it can be the reason for you quitting and losing the motivation you had to either be healthy or lose weight.
There are so many foods out there that we can eat that will keep us full, prevent hunger, and keep this weight off forever. I don’t even mean diet food. Foods that are fun, taste good, and that we may look forward to eating. If you eat things you enjoy you won’t feel deprived. If you don’t feel deprived, it won’t feel like a diet. And if you don’t look at your eating habits as a diet, you can continue with those changes forever which means any weight you lose won’t come back.
When I saw that blog last night I decided to include an example what I eat because it is not necessary to starve ourselves. It’s unhealthy and you’re actually setting yourself far back from the weight loss you could have if you just eat right.
So what I have below is my food diary from Tuesday. I was going to do yesterday but I had Panera Bread for dinner last night. I normally never eat out so I wanted to use an every day food diary. Am I perfect? NO, but I eat all day. I’m happy. I’m not depriving myself, and I’ve lost almost 70 pounds. Eating a normal, healthy diet in which I eat every 3 hours is sustainable. Does it take longer than starving yourself? Absolutely, but you know what? The weight I lose will not come back. So even if it takes me longer I will never have to repeat this process again and THAT is the point, right?
All of this is based on the calories within My Fitness Pal. My times are general ideas because it varies depending on my day. I am a late night snacker so I find that by eating dinner later in the day (5:30-7PM) I lose the tendency to want to snack in the evening. It is important to eat every few hours, generally 3, to keep your metabolism going strong.
Breakfast – usually 7:30-8:30AM
Omelet made up of:
Liquid Egg Whites, 6 tbsp – 50 cal
1 Egg – 92 cal
Hearty sausage turkey crumbles (1/4th cup) – 35 cal
2% mild cheddar shredded cheese (1/3 cup) – 80 cal
Spinach ½ cup – 8 cal
Mushrooms ¼ cup – 4 cal
1 raw medium tomato – 50 cal
That totals 319 calories.
I put mix the egg and egg whites in a cup to mix it up. Pour in a pan. Wait until it cooks a bit then add the vegetables, cheese, and turkey crumbles to one side. Then with a fork I loosen one side of the omelets and flip it over the side with the added veggies using a spatula. I like dicing the tomato and using a little for the omelet and then I have the rest of the tomato on the side. It is a healthy, hearty breakfast that will leave you full.
Snack: Usually 10:30-11AM
YoPlait Yogurt – 90 calories
Blueberries 1/3 cup – 28 calories
Raspberries 1/3 cup – 21 calories
That totals 139 calories.
Lunch: Usually 1:30-2:00
Boneless skinless chicken tenders, 4 ounces – 100 calories
Green beans ½ cup – 63 calories – Del Monte brand but I rinse very well before cooking
Chewy protein bar, fiber one caramel nut – 1 bar – 130 calories
That totals 293 calories.
To change up the chicken I sometimes add a dab of BBQ sauce or change the vegetable.
Snack: Usually 4:00-5:00
Apple – 72 calories
Peanut Butter 1.5 tbsp – 143 calories
That totals 215 calories
After workout protein shake:
Beverly International, 1 scoop – 120 Calories
Dinner: Usually 6:00-7:00
Chili – made up of beans, lean ground turkey meat, diced tomatoes, 1 cup – 292 Calories
Carrots raw mini, 1 cup – 35 calories
That totals 327 calories.
TOTAL for the day: 1413 calories
9 cups of water —- I stress the water because we need to stay hydrated. You should have at least 8 cups of water a day. That’s 4 bottled waters (if they are 16 oz.). I’ve read to divide your weight in half. The number you are left with is how many ounces of water you need a day. So if you weigh 200 pounds you need 100 ounces of water, which would be 6 ½ bottled waters or 12 ½ cups.
I try to stay between 1400-1550 calories a day. This was a low day for me. Depending on the time I eat dinner, if I’m hungry after dinner, my go to snacks are:
- Celery w/peanut butter
- Apple w/peanut butter
- Graham cracker w/peanut butter
- Flavor Ice Popcicle
- Boiled egg – egg whites only no yolk
- Lunch meat
- Trail mix
- Dark chocolate, when I need candy. I never used to like this, but I like Doves Silky Smooth dark chocolate bar. The whole bar is 210 calories, but if you eat 1 piece it’s only 18 calories. So a few pieces to get your candy fix and you’re good.
It is important to never go below 1200 calories a day if you’re a woman and 1500 calories a day if you’re a man.
If you’re starting out on a diet begin with a higher calorie number. Stick with that number until you hit a wall and stop losing. Then adjust the number. It’s better to start with a higher number of calories and be comfortable lowering the number if you hit a wall than to start too low and have to go even lower.
Track your food. The app I use is called My Fitness Pal. It can be used as an app on your phone or tablet and you can also do it online. I love this app because it provides a breakdown of your nutrients. It has really helped me with paying attention to my carbs, sugar and sodium, and of course everything else but these three are a focus for me right now.