I'm also petite, 5'2" and small-boned, and my recommended calorie range from SP is 1200-1550. I've been eating around 1300-1400 every day, and when I'm more hungry, I just try not to go over 1600. Some days, I find that I don't want any more than 1200.
Moving up and down in the recommended range, trying to pay attention to which days my body needs more and which days it needs fewer, has been the real key to my loss--I've been losing consistently.
Also, interestingly, just as a test, I recalculated my SP recommendations as though I were simply trying to maintain my goal weight of 123 pounds. It gave me a range of 1450-1700 cal! So if that calorie intake is going to maintain my goal weight, pretty much anything under that isn't going to make me gain weight. It was an interesting realization.
Maybe calculating your maintenance range would make you feel more comfortable with eating more calories while trying to lose weight. I know how easy it is to fixate on numbers, and this might help take the pressure off. :)
Here's my advice purely in the form of good foods that fill me up!! I did look at your food journal as well and as a previous poster said, you might need to add some more veggies in your plan. They fill you up, are packed with nutrients and can be great fillers in meals you like already. Also it looks like a lot of your meals are from processed foods already so try to find a couple of easy, yummy looking recipes on this site that you make from scratch and can have throughout the week, like vegetable chicken soup, turkey chili etc. They'll be better for you and definitely more satisfying. Also, I find that I feel starving when I have cold cereal in the morning for breakfast. I don't know what it is, but I need protein and need it to be hot, so I have eggs and whole grain toast with any fruit I have around. My mind and body feels fed. For dinner, I'm not too big on salads for my main meal, so instead I make a big healthy stir fry with lots of veggies and a protein I like and have that with just a small serving of brown rice. Always does the trick. There are so many good ideas on this site for filling healthy meals, just search a bit until you find ones that really appeal to your tastes and eat your veggies, lol, can you tell I'm a mom? Hope you got some good info from your post!
make a big pot of vegetable soup with low sodium chicken broth...its filling...full of fiber and you can eat it all day long...freeze some or just keep it in your fridge...i make a pot of soup/chili every week and eat it for lunch and dinner with either a sandwhich or a salad...its really filling
It's not negative, it's a intervention wake-up call.
I'm not saying you *are* heading for an eating disorder. I said it *seems like* you are. You have a very unhealthy mental approach to food, and it is a particular approach that is definitely a trigger for eating disorders.
You are definitely showing preliminary signs that you *could* develop one.
You just said now you'll try to do better, which is a much better reaction than previously where you seemed fixated on the 1200 and unable to accept that anything more could possibly be okay. That's great!
Like one of the PP's said, if you're going to increase, do it slowly. Only add 100 calories per day each week until you get up to 1200 (preferably 1400 - mid range).
Also, throw away the scale. You mostly likely *will* gain some weight increasing your intake. Initially. This goes away. I don't want you to see that, freak out, and stop eating more. :)
1. Put the scale in the cupboard. 2. Eat 100 calories per day more each week. 3. When you're at 1400 on average, stick with that for four weeks. 4. Weigh yourself.
I can almost guarantee you'll start losing. Almost everybody who comes on Spark saying they can't lose weight, and who is under-eating, does.
i know youre all right.. i am fixating on 1200 and if you looked at my food log this week you'd see ive been under 1200 all week. which is probably also why i was starving yesterday. i promise ill work this out...i will look at my food journal and plan a little better. thanks again for all the good advice! i love SP!!
and im not sure who said im headed for an eating disorder but wow.. thats kinda harsh and negative.
Edited by: R3DROBIN at: 1/22/2010 (12:25)
Fitness Minutes: (28,865)
626 1/22/10 12:04 P
I agree with the posters who have said you might want to think about increasing your calorie range. But to answer your question on how to feel fuller on the calories you're working with, I would change your breakfast to include some protein and fat. For the last few weeks I had been eating cereal with fruit every morning because I love cereal, but I would end up being very hungry just a couple hours later and feeling like I was battling hunger all day. I switched back to what i was eating before for breakfast (the Jimmy Dean De-Light Breakfast Sandwiches which, while they have an absurd amount of sodium, have a great balance of protein (18g), fat (8g), and carbs (29g) for a total of 260 calories) and now feel fuller longer and not nearly as hungry. I'm not saying you should necessarily eat those sandwiches in particular, but I do think a breakfast that isn't so carb heavy and includes some protein and fat will help you feel fuller. It's also a good general rule to include a balance of all those things throughout the day to feel fuller longer.
You have gotten some really great advice here on your calorie range. I hope you will really think about changing your calorie range. Go back to the set up page on sparkpeople and enter your current weight and a reasonable 1-2 lb a week weight loss and see where their numbers put you. I guarantee you that the minimum number of calories they will suggest is 1200. And that is the minimum! It is so counter intuitive, but sometimes we need to eat more to lose more.
I used to be of the mindset that fewer calories is always better... I would think that 1,200 is the healthy minimum, and then I'd do my best to stay below that and sometimes only eat 800 or 900 calories per day. And you know what? My loss stalled every time. I'd lose a lot for the first couple weeks, and then my body would just stop losing... because I wasn't getting enough calories.
Now I'm supposed to stay between 1,200 and 1,550. Most days I am somewhere around 1,300 - 1,400, and it seems to be working. It sounds counterproductive, but oftentimes a couple hundred calories more than you think you need is exactly what your body wants.
Fitness Minutes: (18,132)
381 1/22/10 9:49 A
I agree... If you let yourself get fixated on a number you could fail in the long run. Try to stick to a healthy RANGE, that way you have wiggle room if your body is telling you it needs more. I eat in the 1200-1600 range. If you let yourself get too hungry then you run the risk of binging. I know thats what happens to me! the trick is to NEVER let yourself get too hungry! Fill yourself up with healthy foods. STUFF yourself with veggies! They wont bite :)
I am only about 5'4" and I do best at around 1400 calories, give or take. I agree with Unident on this one.
In general I find the most filling meals to be ones that provide a good source of both fiber and protein. Perhaps try a fat free greek yogurt with fiber one cereal for breakfast along with plenty of fruit.
Be very picky about what goes in your turkey sandwiches. Use a high fiber bread, extra lean turkey (less fat does mean more protein per volume), top with healthy veggies. Skip the lettuce, get spinach instead. Keep tomatoes.
Chili is a good, choice because it is high in fiber and protein, but perhaps fast food chili isn't. If you learned to make chili yourself, you could probably lower the fat, improve the nutritional value and end up with a lower calorie chili that would open the door to making room for adding in something else.
you're really going with the "but the urban legend has to to be true" defense? really? how often is what you hear around accurate? i'll answer this for you -not very. i hate to say it, but even petite women, when they maintain, eat more than 1550 cals. it might not be a loss range for all of them, but eventually, you will be eating more [unless you're planning on being quite elderly and inactive soon]. and i know that there are [or were] some gals at about 5'2" who were losing at somewhere around 2000 cals a day, because of all the exercise they were doing. very active people need more food, no matter their size. how much depends on how active they are. and there isn't a magic number that works for everyone. there is what works for the individual based on their specific needs.
Fitness Minutes: (9,795)
732 1/22/10 7:24 A
I've gotta say I'm with Unident. It's not healthy to be fixated on a certain calorie number. In fact, it can boost your metabolism to vary how many calories you eat from day to day, and help weightloss! Remember that the recommended daily calorie allowance for a woman is 2000 (all right, you're petite, so let's say 1800), so as long as you're eating less than that, you should be able to lose weight. And remember that 1200 is the bare minimum for a woman to stay healthy and keep her vital bodily functions going with a minimum of moving around. You mustn't be scared to eat a little more if your body is telling you you need it. Stick to healthy choices, of course. What's the worst that can happen? Your weight may fluctuate a little as it gets used to the change, but you're not suddenly going to add pounds of fat! Your body will be glad of the extra fuel, and reward you.
Fitness Minutes: (3,786)
204 1/22/10 7:10 A
Are you working out at all?If so you may need more than 1200 calories.I work out 6 days a week and mine are 1500-1900 a day...If you are afraid to eat more,than maybe you should consult a doctor(like the previous poster said)
wow lots of great input and ideas thank you guys so much!
@UNIDENT: i think i shud be at 1200 calories becuz im short and petite and to be totally honest with you ive always heard that number as "the" weight loss number..and i have had great success in the past with that number. and i think at this point, like some people with the numbers on a scale, im obsessed with it and terrified to increase it! but, you are right and i do know that if im starving, my body is obviously trying to tell me sumthin. like i said, im just at the point where im terrified to go above that magic number. especially when ive been so bad with my eating habits since thxgiving. i just really really wanna see results. no way i cud do 1550..no no no way. mentally i just cant do that, not if im wanting to lose weight.
@REDSTYLO10: i definately do not get enough water or liquids. i always think about it and know i shud but i'd be lying if i said i did. guess thats something to work on.
as far as breaking my meals up into 5-6 meals a day well.. right now that doesnt really work for me cuz im not working and i dont usually get outta bed until 10 sometimes 11. so even though i have breakfast lunch dinner and a snack or two... i AM eating every few hours (3 max but usually less). so i cant really space it out anymore unless i ate every half hour...which would consume my whole day and is just not possible.
so i guess so im going tomorrow to get some fiber powder that i can add to some of my foods.. i know they make them now without taste or thickening that you can add to almost anything. maybe that will work for me. i will consider trying to eat more calories but i just dunno about that. i'd rather find a way to be satisfied on 1200 a day.
I agree with Unident, there's no need for you to be hungry. That being said 1200 can go a long way. Maybe try replacing 1% milk with nonfat, and adding more fruits and veggies (I peeked at your nutrition tracker and saw you were a little low on fruits and veggies).
Another thing that helps me get ideas is to look at random people's nutrition trackers. See what they're eating to get to 1200-1500 and try some of things they eat. You have some great resources on here!
Don't forget it's okay to eat more than 1200 calories. Some days I eat 1200 other days I eat 1400, I'm all over the place but I try to stay in my range.
Why do you feel you "need/want/should stick to 1200 calories"?
If you're starving, you clearly need to eat more. Feeling hungry is NOT acceptable. That's your body's signal that it needs more food.
1200 is the bare minimum that a slightly built and totally sedentary woman should eat. Even Spark will never suggest lower than that as a minimum, with 1550 as the upper end for that range.
Try eating closer to 1550. Not only will you feel less hungry, but you may even experience better weight loss results.
Under eating is just as bad as over eating. Don't starve yourself.
(And to anyone thinking I'm saying nobody should ever eat 1200 - none of the subsequent posters have said they're on that and always starving. If you're starving - eat more. If you're on 1200 and enjoying success while feeling full and satisfied - more power to you. She's not.)
I'm on a 1,200 cal a day plan too. Just started tracking a few days ago, but if you want to add me as a friend you could see my tracker to get ideas.
It's not a lot of food, true. I try to eat only low cal options so I'm getting more food. I've kept in my range, but do feel hungry in the late evening.
Fiber and protein (and fat, but of course that's pretty limited), are most filling. I have Fiber One bars that are filling. I also have Muscle Milk Light that I got at Costco that has lots of protein and is enough to curb real hunger.
Another poster said she has black beans with non-fat Greek yogurt and salsa, so I bought that last night. I think that will be really filling, has lots of fiber and protein, but not too much fat. (1/2 cup of the beans cause they're fairly high fat, w/ lots of salsa.) I also got some non-fat shredded cheddar to put on top.
Costco also has packs of individual Oberto beef jerky that have 100 cals or less and very little fat, good protein. They're great cause it takes a while to chew through it LOL.
non-fat cottage cheese or yogurt
put the little laughing cow light cheese wedge on a toasted mini cinnamon bagel.yum!
Light popcorn has lots of fiber.
A salad with LOTS of mixed greens, 3oz of white grilled chicken breast cut up, cucumbers, shredded carrots, red pepper, mushrooms, non-fat shredded cheese, and Lighthouse toasted sesame dressing(no fat), is very filling for me.
Are you drinking enough liquids? I'm trying to get myself to drink at least one cup of something before I allow myself to eat anything. So far it's helping.
But, forcing fluids might help you fill up as you're going.
Fitness Minutes: (4,762)
170 1/21/10 9:45 P
I would also recommend breaking up your meals into 5 or 6 small meals/day.
Use the spark recipes to find mini meals to get you through the day. Think of the other 2 or 3 meals as "snacks" to keep your body fueled.
Fitness Minutes: (157,277)
14,925 1/21/10 9:37 P
Guess it depends on what you eat, most days of the week I'm not even at 1200 cals and have to think fast for foods to get me to 1200, then over it to my target cals (which i don't hit very often).
If you are very much use to eating X amount cutting down to a low calorie deal can be an issue, add working out into that mix and 1200 might not even be enough cals for your body to keep it going on a healthy level.
Fitness Minutes: (18,132)
381 1/21/10 9:35 P
Breaking it up into 5 small meals is a good suggestion. I try to stick between 1200 and 1600 calories and sometimes it feels like Im eating all day long because I make sure to fill up on things that take a while to munch on and that make me feel full. Today was one of those days for me.. .I thought I couldnt eat another bite! You can take a peak at my food tracker if you want some ideas.
I hope this helps :)
Fitness Minutes: (3,786)
204 1/21/10 9:24 P
Would breaking up your breakfast,lunch,dinner into 5-6 small meals work for you?Im the type that cant eat three meals a day so I do 5-6 small meals a day and it has been working pretty good and I stay satisfied.
i need/want/should stick to 1200 calories per day. i do it but im starving most of the time... any ideas what i shud try to fill up on? i usually have cereal for breakfast w/fruit, turkey sandwich w/veggies for lunch and grilled chicken or chili and salad for dinner. my snacks have to be so small calorie wise to fit into my day that they dont seem to do me any good but my snacks range from string cheese, almonds, apples, triscuits w/laughing cow cheese, yogurt or maybe some special K cereal. 1200 calories goes really really fast. its so frustrating!
p.s. when im starving a salad, no matter how big, does NOT do it for me. i need real food!
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