Surprisingly enough, I found it to be quite easy to stay within the range once I took a closer look at my portion sizes and switched to the lower fat or fat free versions of my regular foods. Plus you can have lots of fruits and veggies for very few calories.
Apples and brown rice fill me up. I also try to incorporate protein with my whole grain carbs to keep you fuller longer. Also, if you get off sugar, you won't crave sugar or food as much which makes it easier to stay on track with smaller healthy snacks. Good luck!
Eat tons of veggies! They have very few calories so you can eat a lot of them. I had a salad for lunch today and there were only like 40 calories before I added the dressing.
Fitness Minutes: (31,285)
1,601 3/31/10 2:28 A
I can do it if I make all my foods count and don't eat any junk. If all my food for the day is high in fiber or protein or vitamins and low in sugar, refined carbs, fat and sodium I will have a great day foodwise and definitely be low calorie.
Honestly, I have to eat more than that or I get cranky. I've lowered my calories just a tad (1700-2000) to reach a specific goal and even that level makes me a bit on the crabby side. I exercise a lot so I can eat more, usually. I'll be raising them again to a better level for me, hopefully in another week or so.
You can do more exercise, or extend the date to reach your goal to eat more calories, either one.
I tend to stagger the days so that there is one day a week about 1,700, one very low 1,000 ish day then the rest about 1,200.
I don't eat a set brekkie or lunch but take with me about 600 cal worth of food ( fruit, veges, bars etc)that I can snack on in small portions to see me through most of the day, then reserve some calories for a 'normal' type of dinner. That all seems to work out for me.
As for running - or any exercise - it won't lose you enough weight to eat a cream bun!
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. That really helps. Everyone has such great input. I'm really inspired by everyones message. I can't thank you guys enough! By the way how much do you think I need to start running so that I can eat more? :)
Edited by: EDANEN at: 3/31/2010 (00:06)
Fitness Minutes: (10,110)
323 3/30/10 9:33 P
That's my range also, and though I don't always stay within my range (feel free to check out my food tracker on my sparkpage), I have a few suggestions -
1. I try to eat a banana, an apple, and an orange every day as snacks before I have any other snacks. No yogurt or nuts or chips or anything else until those three are out of the way. Those fruits tend to keep me pretty full.
2. If I'm planning on having a sandwich, fruit, and chips for lunch, I'll space them out. I'll eat the sandwich around noon, the fruit at 1 or 1:30, and the chips at 3. That way, I never feel like I'm starving, but my meal keeps me fuller long.
3. This one has helped me the most!! - I plan out my meals a day in advance, especially if I know I'll be having a specific "special occasion" meal or something. For example, I meet one of my college professors for an independent study at a coffee shop every Thursday morning - so, I plan on having that latte and pastry every Thursday, and I plan out a low-calorie lunch and dinner for Thursdays. Another example: I went to a post-concert pizza party last night with my jazz band, and I knew I was going to have 3 slices of pizza, so I planned a low-cal breakfast and lunch to balance it out. And finally - I'm planning on make bison burgers for dinner tomorrow for my boyfriend, and I knew those, plus wine, plus cheese and fries, etc. would be a little high in calories, so I've planned on having a low-calorie breakfast and lunch. I think you really can make any meal fit into this calorie range (any reasonable meal, at least - not the 1500 calorie meals at most restaurants!), especially if you are willing to sacrifice other meals. When I was "starving" yesterday, waiting for dinner, I just kept thinking about how I was going to enjoy 3 slices of pizza and stay within my range. That, along with some water, really held me over.
Hope this helps!!
Fitness Minutes: (10,131)
301 3/30/10 8:24 P
It's all in what you choose really Today I am in the 1400's last night I worked out for 2 hours late got home from the gym after 10 pm and today was an early gym day I did 95 min of cardio .I was STARVING today and I ate a TON of food for that 1400 cals take a peek at my tracker it's public.Lean protein ,comples carbs, lots of veggies,low fat dairy ,fruit and 1 hershey kiss from my son's KDG Easter party.
honestly, watching your portion sizes and making good food choices will help with this. i have been eating 1300 for awhile now and while yes i have days when i eat too much, most days i am really good.
I'm in the calorie range as well (1200-1550) and I thought for sure it would be impossible for me survive on such a low calorie intake, but the first 3 weeks or so I actually found it difficult getting to 1200 calories.
I eat mostly things like:
1) whole wheat sandwich thins/thin bagels/sandwich bread (I make sure everything is whole wheat not white) 2) hummus 3) black bean/corn salsa 4) Greek yogurt 5) eggs & egg whites 6) Canadian bacon or turkey bacon 7) Minestrone soup (low sodium) 8) Fresh/frozen fruit & veggies 9) lean meats (chicken sausage, turkey sausage, etc.) 10) peanut butter (natural) 11) low-fat cheese 12) lean lunch meats 13) fish 14) almonds/other nuts (in moderation of course)
Occasionally I will eat maybe 7-14 tortilla chips a day with my hummus, but for the most part I don't.
Edited by: KISSFAN1 at: 3/30/2010 (19:07)
Fitness Minutes: (3,325)
673 3/30/10 6:36 P
This is also my range and I find that 1500 is a ton of calories - if you make every single one count, and don't eat/drink any empty calories. I eat 350 for breakfast, 350 for lunch, a 100 calorie snack, and generally the remainder for dinner though I try to eat under 1500 if I don't exercise.
Eat veggies, low calorie fruits, whole grains, etc. Don't use 100 calorie packs - they're low in calories, but empty in nutrition. Lots of protein and fiber help, too.
As others have said, everyone's body is different. If it's too hard to eat there right now, eat above for a few days until you feel comfortable scaling back. Make it gradual instead of a sheer drop.
of course if you only focus on the low number of calories, you are going to crave more, but, if you sit down and research foods that will add up to that number, you will be surprised that you can get full...I have been trying to stay under 1300 calories, I am not always successful, but I dont let myself stress too much if I go over, say up to 1550, some days, my doc has recommended a 1200 calorie a day for me, but, at my current weight, it seems almost unreasonable, so, at first I was like there is no way I can get only 1200 calories a day and not get sick but now, I am being creative about it
That's my range also. Surprisingly I don't have a hard time with it. There's a few times with my fat that I went over by 10. I have been averaging at the very least 2 pounds loss a week. I have also stepped up my workouts. I opted for celery instead of chips with my creamy garlic spinach dip. I'm not saying that I have this down to a science by any means. I do eat lots of protein too.
Fitness Minutes: (17,762)
552 3/30/10 6:09 P
Planning ahead is essential if you want to get used to staying in your range.
When I started tracking on SP, I found myself eating a lot less (max of 1300 calories a day). It worked for a while but then I noticed things were starting to slow down. I increased my exercise and started eating more and my weight loss started back on track.
Fitness Minutes: (20,400)
2,704 3/30/10 6:02 P
I have been eating in that range for the past month- check my food tracker (on my Spark Page) to see what I've been eating. You'll even see days like yesterday, where I saved up a few calories here and there throughout the day then ate TWO servings of popcorn in the evening!
You should make your food tracker public so we can look at what you're eating and provide some suggestions. You'll find the setting under "Edit My Spark Page".
I've tried to break my calories down to 200-300 cals at a time. That way it can be eaten in spurts instead of waiting for HOURS between. If I have a planned out "snack" then I don't need to binge because I already know that I have what I need figured out. I do try to eat one bigger meal a day.
Fitness Minutes: (17,163)
656 3/30/10 5:32 P
My range also. When I started tracking I was shocked that I ate so many calories a day. It took me over a week to get down to the 1500 calories. I had to rearrange my meals and plan differently to eat the right stuff and not be hungry when I was done.Drinking lots of water is a good way to fill full.
Fitness Minutes: (4,169)
128 3/30/10 4:37 P
That is my range too, and it seems wierd because some days I am having to find areas to cut in to stay in range and others I can't seem to eat enough. I noticed that if I start to feel hungry when dinner is only an hour away or etc then I down a glass of water and my cravings usually go away. Another trick I use is Gum. I buy the extra sugar free gum and the Trident Sugar Free gum and munch on those at times. one more tip I could give you for snacks is Jello.. It's only 10 calories for 1 of the little cups and it really helps with needing something sweet. Good luck!
Also... Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice, (the "diet" ones) are really great for a quick dinner, they freeze them fresh, don't add perservative anymore, are perfectly conrtolled portions, low in calories, and taste great (i really love the lemon pepper fish).
bkfast: 1cup of special k cereal with berries, fresh strawberries and 1 cup of light vanilla soy milk(60calories, 8th contintent) about 200calories
lunch: 2slices of 100% ww bread natures own, 6slices of oscar mayer deli fresh turkey, 2%cheese baby spinach, dijon organic mustard, pretzels(110-120c) and 100grams of green apple= 370ish
yogurt, lf granola or kashi golean, berries =150-175
kashi entree with side salad, veggies, and light dressing or grilled chicken/fish, steamed veggies, sweet potato 300-400
yogurt, berries, and lf granola or cereal= 150-175
Fitness Minutes: (36,529)
705 3/30/10 4:23 P
When I started the program I just tracked what I ate for a few days to see what it really was. Then I looked for substitutions to take it down slowly without feeling deprived. I had to ditch the morning snack to make room for dessert and pack my lunch most days instead of eating out.
Have you tried looking at the Shared Food Trackers for other members? It is on the right hand side of the personal SparkPage. It might give you some ideas about how other people stick to thier ranges.
I'm in that same range, and admittedly it can be a little tricky. The only reason I fit into my range is the amount of fiber I get due to my vegan diet (even with that, when I first started counting, my portion control needed a major revamp). You're probably aware of most of these tips already, but I hope I can help. A couple major tips are to fill up on fruits and vegetables, and to plan ahead and work out the calories BEFORE you put it in your mouth. Processed foods also really bump up your calorie count, as do certain cooking methods. White anything, (save for mushrooms ;D) can be subbed with whole grain foods quite easily.
The key is calorie quality, especially if you've been feeling tired - high fiber foods will help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you going all day long. I keep an apple in my purse for when I'm feeling tired or peckish (95 calories with 4.4 grams of fiber). I love starting my day with a multigrain oatmeal and fruit (fresh or frozen, just not canned), and usually end up with a large salad or leftovers (about half a dinner servings worth) for lunch. I fill half my dinner plate with salad, a quarter with lean protein (either a portion of beans or a piece of tofu), and a quarter with a whole grain. If you don't have one already, slow cookers are great. The 20 bucks I spent on mine was probably the best investment I've ever made - 5 mins of prep the night before translates into some of the lowest cal, filling meals you can make.
Work with what works best for you, if youre not a big breakfast fan, save some of those calories for lunch, or vice versa. Best of luck to you :) I hope you achieve your goals.
Fitness Minutes: (27,454)
1,546 3/30/10 2:20 P
Making substitutions. Light dressings and cooking spray help instead of full fat options. Low cal yogurts, low cal bread (only 45 calories per slice can save you at least 70 calories per sandwich). Fat free cheese is only 30 calories per slice. And eat lots of veggies, it helps keep you full :]
Fitness Minutes: (21,920)
3,793 3/30/10 2:06 P
That's my range too.
I generally try to get in 3 meals of about 300 calories each, and 3 snacks of about 100-150 calories.
It can be hard, but I make sure to keep each meal balanced with protein, whole grains and a lot of vegetables.
My typical breakfast will be 1 egg, WW toast, green pepper strips and an apple. Lunch is a big salad with chicken breast or fat free Greek yogurt, and vinegar and oil dressing made with just 1 measured tsp of olive oil. I'll add some whole grain crackers or 1/4 cup of brown rice. Dinner is chicken breast or fish, or very lean beef with steamed broccoli and a salad with 1/2 a sweet potato or a piece of whole grain bread. One of my daily snacks is always a glass of skim milk and some kind of fruit. The others vary depending on the day.
I try to keep a sliced cucumber or green pepper strips around all day in case I get the munchies, too.
Reading all these responses has made me really happy...I've been good about sticking to that 1200-1500 range for 2 weeks, even though I know it's too low for me. I just wanted to hit the ground running, you know? And it worked!
Anyway, to stay close to 1200, I usually keep breakfast just under 300, then lunch & dinner are 300-400 each, plus a small snack somewhere during the day. EVERY MEAL contains a lean protein, lots of fiber, and a little fat to keep me satisfied. My go-to meal for lunch or dinner is always 1/2 cup of whole grains, a cup of steamed vegetables, and a grilled fish fillet (right now I have salmon and tilapia in the house, but it varies). If I'm still hungry in the evening, I like popcorn, almonds, or some whole grain crackers with light cheese.
I don't know if that helps or not...half the time I'm hungry too. In a few days my husband is coming back from a long trip, and so is my best friend, and we just looovvvve to go out for a few beers now & then! It will definitely slow my weight loss, but I want to enjoy my life NOW!
You've gotten some good advice. I too eat lots of fruits and vegetables usually 10+ servings and find that protein helps to keep me full longer along with fiber. It takes a bit of time especially if you were eating much higher calories, but whole foods help to keep the calories down too. Processed foods add calories, sodium and unnecessary fats and sugars.
Fitness Minutes: (58,624)
2,765 3/30/10 1:26 P
I agree with what others wrote...find lower cal grains and lean proteins. Also, make sure you're drinking enough water, your body will also confuse thirst with hunger.
I am in that range as well and usually average 1300-1400/day. My trackers are shared as well and you are welcome to check them out. I don't use SP's meal plans, but I do use a lot of Spark recipes.
Knowing when your hungry times are helps, too. I know that I'm always hungrier and snackier in the evenings, so I keep my breakfasts and lunches small and filling (hard boiled egg, oatmeal, fruit, cheese, hummus, salads) so I can eat bigger dinners and have some snacks.
Drinking your calories is usually a waste. I have a glass of wine with dinner every night, and that's 80 calories I have to budget in there, but it's worth it to me. I drink water the rest of the day.
Also, since I know I like salty snacks at night, popcorn has become a staple in our house. It's so low in calories that I can munch while I watch TV or read, and not take in too many calories!
And as others have said, SP usually only gives you that range if you set your goal as being to lose weight very fast. Set your goal date back a bit, and see if it gives you more wiggle room. :)
This is also my calorie intake. I eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Good lean meats and beans. I stay away from breads, cereals and packaged foods as much as possible. It was tough in the beginning b/c I work between 40 and 60 hrs/wk. I plan ahead and read food labels! Good luck to you. Once you get a game plan, it will become second nature.
I always go over my calories so I know I couldn't do 1200 calories!
Fitness Minutes: (67,479)
1,330 3/30/10 11:05 A
I'm in the 1350-1650 range, so a bit more than you, but not much. My best advice is to PLAN meals - this is absolutely essential for me. I also eat 5 times a day. Here's how my day looks - morning meal 350 calories, afternoon meal 350 calories, late afternoon snack 200 cal, dinner 450 cal, evening snack 200 cal. These are approximates, of course, and I do go over sometimes, but I strive for this everyday. Cooking/baking and using whole foods is also essential for me. Good luck to you - it is sure challeging at times, but keep at it and you'll find your balance.
I find it nearly impossible to stay in this range, I've never even bothered to try as 1500 is pretty much a basement for me, I occasionally crack the 1400s, but usually it is higher. I eat 800-900 between breakfast and lunch, and about 500 for dinner. That's ALREADY 1300-1400, and doesn't include daily snacks, pre-workout snacks, and the occasional deserts.
I would rather eat more a lose slower. I'm impatient to get to goal, but I'd rather eat more and be satisfied and take longer to to lose the last 5 pounds or so than be miserable on 1200 a day, fail hard on the weekends and slow it down anyway.
I eat about 1500-2000 a day recently. The past couple weeks I've been around 1600 weekdays, and 2000-2500 on weekends, exercising plenty, and losing like, .5-1 lb a week. I like eating, and it's WAY easier for me to get enough exercise than to eat less.
Fitness Minutes: (3,048)
224 3/30/10 10:43 A
I'm always under so I sneek in a little extra snack this sure does some taking getting used to I cut out bleached flour and that alone cut a lot of cals veggies are very low in cals and a great adition to meals I slice up veggies and put them on my sandwiches
My caloric range is also 1200-1500 calories and I don't find it that difficult, but I think everyone's body is different, and I just don't think I'm as hungry as other people, which is helping with my weight loss.
I may eat an egg white omelet for breakfast with 3 or 4 egg whites, and maybe a bit of cheese, and a piece of fruit which makes my breakfast under 200 calories. For lunch, if I eat out, I'll often have sashimi, or soup/salad, or just a bowl of soup, which is usually not more than another 350-400 calories max. Then I'll have a kashi granola bar for a snack and maybe some more fruit. Usually, by the time I get to have dinner - my favorite meal of the day! - I can eat about 700-800 calories, which I just love! The thing is I do eat when I'm hungry, and don't feel deprived. I also love the freedom of having a bigger meal with my husband - it's the only time we get to spend together during the week so it just feels really special.
I definitely think that if you are used to having more calories, you should slowly decrease your intake so your not tired, dizzy, and feeling unwell. Make small changes, and give your body a bit of time to adjust.
I'm sure you will find tons of great help and good information on SP! Keep at it and don't give up! It will definitely get better!!!
That is my range too. I use the meal plans in the food tracker. When none of those suit my fancy, I try to switch out just one or two things to stay in the right calorie ball park. I used the meal plans exclusively for the first 3 weeks and it really helped me learn what my body needed and what correct portion sizes were...
That is my range as well, although I stay closer to 1400 than 1200. You can take a look at my food log (I think I went over yesterday but not by much, and I know why. lol)
I eat a good amount of protein, especially in the mornings. I find if I start out with some protein for breakfast, I stay fuller all day. Lots of veggies. Lots of water! Snacks that have protein and good fats (almonds, cheese, hummus) Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (29,706)
1,045 3/30/10 9:59 A
Is that the range spark set up for you? That is a very aggressive range for most people. Eat LOTS of veggies! They are good for you and in most cases low calorie. Also, bread can swing greatly in calories from brand to brand. I got for whole wheat and try to find the 100 calorie for two slice sort. Third, NEVER DRINK YOUR CALORIES! Hope that helps!
I'm trying to eat 1200-1500 calories a day and I'm having a very difficult time achieving that. Yesterday I was at 1100 after lunch and my meals where simple and nutritious. I felt a bit fatigued and had to take a nap in the afternoon. I'm drinking lots of water. What do you guys do or eat to stay within these limits. Just looking for some advice. Thanks.
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