Fitness Minutes: (19,684)
1,155 2/26/13 3:05 P
I would have to say plan in advance. Set up your tracker ahead of time with a reasonable amount of nutrients and foods spread out over the day. Don't dismiss salads and veggies. They are filling, provide nutrients and are not high in calories. Try having a fat free yogurt, soup or a small salad about 30 minutes before your meal if possible to help eating within your calorie range. Plan out your snacks. Sliced peppers or celery with some hummus or fat free cream cheese, air-popped popcorn or a piece of fruit and fat free string cheese. A sugar free jello or pudding after a meal helps satisfy a sweet tooth. Hope this helps.
If you're comfortable going above your range, then I still suggest aiming a little higher for a couple of weeks until you get some balance established in yoru diet. For me, being hungry is counter productive, because eventually I give in to the hunger and stuff my face with whatever I can get my hands on. Not a good situation.
If you're not comfortable going above your range, then you really do need to find ways to keep yourself fuller for longer and to reduce overall calorie consumption throughout the day so you're not left short in the evening. It's hard to give up our treats, which is why I don't give them up...I adjust them. Someone mentioned dark chocolate and hot tea as a replacement for your hot chocolate. Those are the sort of adjustments I'm talking about. Get creative and find new ways to satisfy your cravings. Make small changes and don't beat yourself up if you end up going back to your original fall backs every now and then. Eventually you'll get to the point where you're craving the new substitutes rather than the old crutches.
To keep yourself fuller longer, find some ways to add protein to every snack and meal. I recently had to cut out dairy completely from my diet, which significantly affected how much protein I was getting. I found myself binging in the evenings even though I wasn't really hungry, but I was so far below my daily protein levels that my body took over my brain in an effort to bring the balance back up. It's taken work and help from the wonderful people here at SP but I've got my protein levels under control and I no longer feel hungry all the time.
Adding more protein in each snack and meal may add more calories to the individual meal, but you should find yourself feeling fuller for longer, and having less cravings, which should help the overall calorie count at the end of the day.
Lots of good advice so far - the ones that help me most are:
-Plan plan plan! When I leave the house in the morning - I'm armed with breakfast and lunch - both of which has many different pieces so that I can spread them into snacks if I need to. I may start with 200 calories of breakfast and 500 of lunch- but realize that I don't need those rice cakes (with my yogurt first thing in the morning) until 9:30 and want that WW string chesse by 11 to hold me over for lunch. Either way - I stick with that set of calories I put in my tracker that morning that covers my breakfast and lunch.
-When snacking - DO NOT eat from a box! Even if it's special K crackers - I count out or weight my serving and put it in a bowl. That'll keep your snacks to one serving instead of whatever makes you overly full.
-Trade in a fruit or veggie! My friends always comment I must be soooo hungry eating 1200-1550 calories a day. I explain that you can be more than full on that. How so? Lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Read some SP articles and you'll see - covering half your plate with fruits or veggies and you'll get lots of healthy nutrients, a full stomach and a way to stretch those calories!
-Always forgive yourself. One bad day is not the end of the world - just make it a learning experience!
Maybe next time when you want that cup of hot chocolate, opt for a hot tea instead and a couple squares of dark chocolate. It would cut those calories in half and give you the best of both worlds- hot and chocolate.
I feel perfectly sustained all morning on a yogurt, but I have greek nonfat instead with a little more protein in it, and two teaspoons of ground flax. It fills me up more and I don't get hungry as quickly.
I'd agree with the others to plan ahead so that the calories are spread throughout the day.
Fitness Minutes: (405)
211 2/26/13 10:53 A
1550 is the top. I should be consuming between 1200 and 1550. Some days I feel like I am doing good...but others, I am just sooo hungry
you need to find out what keeps you full. some foods keep people fuller than others. for example eggs and cereal are very high on the list of foods that do not keep me full. so i know to skip those foods if i want to feel full. start making a note of when you eat, what you eat and how long it keeps you full. that way you know what works for you and what you need to replace.
another thing to look at is how many serving of food you are actually getting. figure you should be aiming for at least sixteen [2-3 dairy, 2-3 protein, 3-5 fruits, 3-5 vegetables, 6-11 grains or even feel free to swap some of the grains for additional servings of fruit, vegetables or protein]. today you had one dairy, four protein, one fruit, three vegetables and we'll call the rice chex a grain, so a grain and a half plus you get a little boost in protein and grain and possibly vegetables for the chicken sub. that's just over 11.5 servings. the rest of the stuff you ate didn't really contribute anything other than calories. on the 24th you had 1.3 dairy, just over 3 protein, no fruit, no vegetables and and we'll call it three grains for a total of 7.3 servings. on the 23rd you had 2 dairy, 3 protein, no fruit, 6.5 vegetables, and one grain for a total of 12.5 servings of food. on the 22nd you had 2 dairy, 3 protein, 1 fruit, 6 vegetables, and 1 grain for 13 total servings of food.
the first thing i would say is that you need to revamp your breakfast because a yogurt doesn't seem to be cutting it. add a serving of fruit or veg here or even a hardboiled egg. again, you want something that's going to contribute something besides calories to your diet. if any of your snacks are midmorning, you need to be looking for some sort of food, not junk. think of it like a half sized lunch if you need to, but it should be food -beans, grains, vegetables, dairy, lean protein again, something that contributes. if your three cups of lettuce aren't keeping you full [as it wouldn't keep most people full] start adding more things to your salad. cut the lettuce down to two cups and add things like tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, zucchini, beans, lean protein and so forth. even try some fruit. i like adding fruit in place of dressing so i still get a wet bite but without adding any more calories. the more different things that you give your body to eat, the longer it takes them to digest. i also see you made knorr sides. i love keeping those things on hand for when i don't want to cook. instead of just making them, i dump in a cup or two of cooked beans [i buy dried, batch cook and store in one cup portions in the freezer] and a cup or two of chopped vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower. it effectively doubles the yield of the bag [five cups instead of 2.5 cups] while bringing the calories per cup down as well as the sodium and fat while increasing the fiber and protein. it's just as tasty and more filling than the plain bag.
I looked at your nutrition tracker too, and it looks like you should probably give the Cheez-Its the boot. Believe me, I know how hard it is to stay away if there's an open box.... Is it possible to get the snack foods out of your house? If possible, maybe try substituting fruit for the sweet snacks. The fiber and the water in fruit fills you up and makes it easier to resist junkier foods. If your family will support you, try getting some of the tempting foods out of the house.
You've received some excellent suggestions already. But I have a question - is 1550 the top or the bottom of your calorie range?
If it's the bottom of your calorie range, then for a while perhaps you might want to consider aiming a bit higher, towards the top of your range. That may help combat the "I have to deprive myself this evening because I ate too much today" feeling (which I used to get in spades when I was tracking religiously). During the time that you're aiming a bit higher on the calorie range, make small changes to your diet, swapping out healthier options whenever possible. It's generally much easier for most people to live with small changes that can be added to over time, than it is to go cold turkey. (Sometimes I envy the ones that can go cold turkey!)
My personal advice - Experiment a bit to find foods that fill you up and satisfy your sweet craving at the same time. Keep in mind the calorie totals, but don't stress about them too much.
Almond (or other nut butters) are my new best friend. Combined with fruit, it makes a great morning or afternoon snack. Spread on my morning cereal or granola bar, it helps keep me full for hours. Hummus and veggies are my other snack of choice. There are so many different flavours of hummus out there, and a LOT of awesome recipes to make your own (the cookie dough hummus recipe I found absolutely blew my mind). The fruit and sweeter veggies satisfy my sweet cravings while the hummus or nut butter provides the protein I need to help me feel full.
Good luck, and don't give up. Tomorrow is another day which means you get to start over all fresh in the morning.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 2/25/13 5:09 P
Planning ahead helps me to avoid hitting my calorie max before the day is even out. I do it up to a week in advance, and just tweak as I go. Weekends are less planned. I also do all scratch cooking, so I end up being able to eat more than I could if I was relying on processed foods, since I can control things like oils etc, where a lot of calories end up hiding. Also, by knowing what I'm having for lunch and dinner, that prevents me from oversnacking.... knowing I have a good meal coming up in a few hours keeps me away from the snacks. You can take a look at my tracker if you like, I eat more than 1550 but not much more, and I used to eat less than 1500 when I was in weight loss mode and felt satisfied. I just eat larger portions now than I used to to add in the extra calories and go higher on weekends since that is when my SO is home.
Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 2/25/2013 (17:12)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
1,199 2/25/13 5:05 P
Yeah, it's really really hard to fit much of anything in the way of junk food (or non-water drinks, for that matter) into a 1500 calorie food plan. I went pretty much cold turkey on that stuff myself -- for many reasons -- and am glad that I did, since the cravings, while brutal, really only lasted for a few days, and after that I didn't have to deal with it much. I still nibble on such things occasionally, but mostly they're not even in my worldview anymore. (I just remembered, writing this, that most of the cookies we made Friday night to celebrate my son's student-of-the-week are still sitting there in the fridge. This is literally the first time I've even thought of them since giving the kiddo one to eat on Saturday, and I must look at them ten times a day when opening the refrigerator.) Sugar really is a kind of addiction, but sometimes it's a fairly easy one to break.
But you obviously have to do whatever is most comfortable and easiest for you to live with. I'm just bringing up another option.
Edited by: RENATARUNS at: 2/25/2013 (17:06)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,646 2/25/13 4:42 P
Get healthy fats and protein! They help stave off cravings. While I'm NOT a proponent of low-carb dieting, I do believe in swapping out processed, simple carbs for harder-to-digest complex carbs. Simple carbs are basically metabolized right into sugar, and can often trigger cravings in and of themselves.
A good place to start was where I did:
Half whole wheat pasta, half regular. I didn't like the texture of whole grain pasta, but I could deal with half. And over time, I increased the ratio so that now I just do whole grain.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing! Instead of a Dunkin' Donuts donut, for example, try one of Chef Meg's yummy blueberry donuts, homemade. If you like crackers, swap out some of them for healthier whole-grain varieties. Instead of 16 ozs of Hawaiian Punch (that has 60 carbs and god knows how much sugar) instead opt for 8 ozs and a glass of water.
Make small changes to build up over time. If you plan ahead, and arm yourself with small treats instead of large ones, you can beat back the snack monster (a dragon a fight myself on a regular basis! Now, though, instead of half a bag of chips, I reach for broccoli and light ranch dressing... a fraction of the calories, and fills me up for HOURS.
Fitness Minutes: (405)
211 2/25/13 4:24 P
i love snacks. It's so hard to ignore my cravings for sweet stuff. Before I started spark, I could sit down with a 3lb bag of laffy taffy and eat it all or a doz donuts. I don't know how I didn't end up weighing 600 lbs from my eating habits.
I was so hungry earlier, I ate my dinner at 3pm. I usually try to wait until at least 4 30. I will try to plan my meals better tomorrow to keep myself full.
Thank you for your advice.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,646 2/25/13 4:16 P
Because 1550 a day sucks. LOL. I do enough exercise to drive my calorie range up to a higher amount.
When you hit your calorie range too soon, see if you can figure out why, and do better tomorrow, but don't skip meals or try to shortchange yourself to compensate.
Looking at your tracker for today (thanks for sharing that. It helps a LOT!), your meals are small, and your snacks almost as heavy as your meals. You've got 330 calories worth of snacks! Why so many?
For starters, 2 tbsp of peanut butter is NOT enough to serve as a midday meal, not when combined with only a few raspberries and some cereal.
Snacking seems to be your downfall; you eat a lot of sugary, sweet snacks that don't keep you full. There's at least 300-400 calories of prepackaged snacks and junk every day! I think that's your trouble spot. I would suggest ditching stuff like rice cakes and go for healthy, whole foods as much as possible.
Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 2/25/2013 (16:17)
Fitness Minutes: (405)
211 2/25/13 3:59 P
I have reached my max calorie limit for the day already today. It is not even 4pm. Why is it so hard for me to eat under 1550 a day? UGH!
Any advice on what to do when your calorie limit is reached so early in the day?
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