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1935MARY SparkPoints: (5,391)
Fitness Minutes: (20,883)
Posts: 2,490
9/26/12 8:13 A

My problem is not getting in the1200 a day. When I first started about 4 weeks ago, I didn't eat breakfast and sometime I didn't eat lunch, or if I did I eat it between 2or3. When I cooked dinner I would stuff myself until I felt sick.This not getting enough calories , is one time ,less is not better, Because I did not lose any weight. I wasn't eating like this to lose either it was the habit I had gotting use to,and very unhealthy especially emoticon with diabetes. I now eat 3 meals a day 2 snacks, but even being on this program about 4weeks ,I have only eaten the 12 about 5 or6 times, but I have manage to drink 8 waters a day. I think I am going to add a mid day snack. In the pass my doctor had suggested eating 6 smaller meals a day. I am working on it. I need to get my calories out of 900 and1000 a day and get my body out of starvation mode.

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
9/26/12 5:19 A

I never skip a meal even if i have eaten too much at the prior meal. The problem is that is just makes me overeat later or feel deprived. Do not skip meals. If you are hungry or having a craving - eat the food rather than deprive yourself - just eat a small portion or have a taste. It is easier to stay in line when the choices you make are healthy ones. The junk food does not satisfy the body's needs and you just end up eating more

9/26/12 2:54 A

Skimming through other responses, I agree with...

- Sharing your meal tracking if you can, so others can make suggestions.
- Make sure you are tracking your meals ( maybe I should have put that first ) because
everything counts-even too much of a GOOD thing like
- Measure ingredients/portions.
- Drink water with every meal/snack, then choose any other beverage, if any, wisely- like
- Make sure you include higher fiber items like whole grain breads, vegetables into your
- Watch your carb intake AND
"Balance" your proteins and carbs within EACH meal....making sure you have adequate
protein paired with healthy complex carbohydrates. MY best breakfast, one that fills
me up, is 1 slice of high fiber, high protein whole multi-grain bread toasted, with 1.5 Tbsp.
of peanut butter ( I use natural now ), 1 cup of 1 or 2% milk, and a small piece of fruit
( some grapes, small apple ). This generally comes out to be at the upper end of
calories/fat but good in carbs (low) and protein ( high ). Keeps me going and not likely
to overeat at lunch etc..
- DO make use of your snack allotments, whether it is to tide you over to the next
meal or to add a little extra to another meal.
- You may need to consider adjusting your calorie input slightly depending on any number
reasons but some that come to mind....your lifestyle ( if you are a busy person and on the
go most of the day) or if you exercise regularly...everyone is different.

Keep trying! : ) You will find the right combination!! Everyday is a new day!

NATALIE7735 SparkPoints: (10,292)
Fitness Minutes: (17,159)
Posts: 41
9/25/12 11:59 P

The best tip i got is to drink water when you feel hungry and then wait to see if you were really hungry or just thirsty. I also drink a glass beefore annd while I eat it really does heelp filll you up.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
9/25/12 10:55 P

I eat 1200-1250 most days, and that is just fine for me. I am very tall, muscular and quite active. I can only think of one time in the last six months where I felt legitimately hungry after eating that many calories in a day.

My guess is that you need more protein and fewer carbs. Have you tried keeping your carbs around 100G/day?

GOOGYSPO Posts: 28
9/25/12 9:57 P

Skipping meals is never good with me. I'd rather go over a little than by a whole lot by pigging out just because I waited too long to eat.

I go over my allotted calories by 50-300 day on a fairly regular basis. I am still losing weight.

TCBLIKEABOSS SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 26
9/25/12 9:55 P

If I keep my protein, water, and fiber up. So far that has kept me full under 1500 calories.

PJANTO Posts: 79
9/25/12 9:31 P

I used to plan each meal and snack, then un-do all of my good choices by snacking on the kids cereal, snacks, and off their plates. A jar of peanut butter was a train wreck waiting to happen!! I've struggled with getting enough sleep for years, and finally got help from my doctor. My mindless snacking has stopped, and I am losing weight while making good food choices that even include snacks that used to lead to bingeing! Sleep is so important, I now get 6 or 7 hours a night. I like to stretch meals the rest of the family eats with lots of extra veggies, and use collards or low cal wraps instead of bread for sandwiches. 2 or 3 ounces of meat doesn't look like much on a plate, but serve it with a few cups of salad greens and it becomes a filling entrée. Once you find out what works for you, the results will encourage you to stick with it. Track everything before you eat it, and make adjustments throughout the day to stay within your range. You can almost always have a little of everything, just make sure you're honest with yourself when you track. Good luck!

DVEES7 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 10
9/25/12 8:57 P

Does the tracker advise members after loosing so many pounds to drop to a diiferent in-take ? Thank You appreciate any help...

Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 7
9/25/12 7:35 P

I'm at 1200-1500 calories daily as well. Things that helped me to stay under are:

1) Adequate and regular sleep (Keeps my hunger on schedule and studies have shown that not getting enough sleep actually stimulates production of a craving/hunger hormone.)

2) Quitting soda. I looked at a can of soda the other day and it was about 300 calories. That's like a meal, an unhealthy one in a can. What does it do for you? It doesn't give you necessary nutrients or keep your hunger at bay. It's full of sugar. Water is free, good for your body, and 0 calories. After having water for so long, soda starts tasting gross and burns/wears down your esophagus.

3) Exercise. Just do it. No matter if it's just 10 minutes or an hour. Just move a lot more. Track your exercise of course.

4) Having sweets SPARINGLY. I don't know if it was oreos or what, but I looked at a cookie package and the serving size was two cookies for like 250 calories. Not worth it. Little to no nutritional value and it rots your teeth.

BRITOMART Posts: 8,108
9/25/12 5:13 P

TLI. Without seeing what you are actually doing--tracking records, in other words--any advice is mostly well-meant hot air.

LORETTARO SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,865)
Posts: 4
9/25/12 4:57 P

I do not have trouble with this range other than if I eat this much, nothing happens. I have to eat 1000-1100cal/day :-(
On top, I exercise 4-5 times/week (60-90 minutes/each). My "budget" is around 200 cal for breakfast (i.e. lowfat kefir, oats and berries), about 300-400 lunch (chicken, fish or egg whites, with veggies, salad, etc) and the rest I use for dinner. I only drink water and green tea (no sugar) during the day and a glass (of 1/2) of wine with dinner. I do not snack and do not feel the neeed to do it. Dinner is where I get in trouble for the most part, especially if we go to a restaurant or a party. Planning/writing down your meals and "budgeting" calories for each meal I think is key. I do not have a problem with my range during the week, but social events alyaws come with food......and the extra calories. :-(

Edited by: LORETTARO at: 9/25/2012 (16:59)
SARBEAR126 Posts: 120
9/25/12 4:56 P

I just made a very filling sandwich for 235 calories:

Brownberry Sandwich Thin 100 cals
Laughing Cow light wedge cream cheese 35 cals
4 oz Sara Lee Oven Roasted Chicken 50 cals
1/2 cucumber sliced 40 cals
BroccoSprouts 10 cals

The Sandwich thins and LC Light cheeses are staples in my house; load up with vegis, tuna fish, ect and it's a very filling, low cal sandwich :)

You can do it - find small areas to cut cals instead of trying to cut out big portions at once.

LAURENSX SparkPoints: (21,912)
Fitness Minutes: (23,518)
Posts: 213
9/25/12 4:49 P

I just finished reading the comments, as I will soon be reducing my caloric intake to about 1200-1400. The responses you received were really good, helpful and reasonable. One way I help myself stay within my range is eating lots of veggies. Processed foods will be helpful in terms of calories, but you're going to get more bang for your buck with natural, whole foods.

I'm beginning to enjoy a fruit smoothie in the morning. One cup of frozen fruit and 1/2 to 1 cup greek yogurt in the blender! Also, I add onion, peppers, celery and spinach to three egg whites, then top that off with salsa! This is the second part to my breakfast :) For lunch, I make sure I have at least 1 cup veggies with some form of protein. I also keep a 60 cal or 100 cal pack of prunes in my lunch bag, along with some type of protein bar made without lots of chemicals. Light cheese sticks are a nice pick-me-up and carry well in a lunchbag. Since we're in fall, you'll be able to get some nice apples and pears to carry around with you.

The other thing I do is, on the weekends, I cook some sauteed ground beef to have for salad toppings, tacos, burritos or over pasta. I also cook a few pieces either of chicken, turkey or pork. This way, when I come home, all I have to do is warm up my food! If you like fish, you can get pieces of individually wrapped fish and just toss that in the oven for under 30 minutes for a nice meal.

Hope this helps and good luck to you!

MARG17 Posts: 285
9/25/12 4:13 P

I do not have trouble in this range, eating filling foods is the ultimate, it is a mind game as well. drink plenty of water

LEXBUBBA27 Posts: 17
9/25/12 4:13 P

Those are very good ideas i do the same time schedule and food but i need to add peanuts to my food list. Thanks for more ideas (-:

MMERIALES SparkPoints: (6,590)
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Posts: 3
9/25/12 4:11 P

I have found that lunch and dinner are to easy to go over calories for the day. I am now staying in my range by only having boneless skinless chicken or fish for the meat. Boring at first but after a while you find yummy recipies. All the other meats seem to have at least 1/2 my daily calories ( I can never stay at just 3-4 oz ). I only allow myself 1/2 cup starch ( rice, pasta, ect.) and eat all the vegis I want with no oil or butter. If I make vegis with butter for the family I eat a bite or 2 and throw a bunch of broccli in the microwave for me. I like to enter calories as I eat them. If I do not already know the count for a food I check before I eat it and sometimes it will send me searching for another food. Good luck!

-RUBIES- Posts: 6,030
9/25/12 4:08 P

1) track absolutely everything and measure,
2) are you making wise eating choices? Eat "filling" foods like brown rice, protein, veges,
3) cut out/drastically reduce calorie drinks, instead, drink water, you can also use Crystal Light for flavor, it's really good,
4) don't buy or bring the not-so-good foods in your home
5) don't deprive yourself, if you want a piece of cake, eat it, but, make sure you still stay within your calorie range (track it) and have a very small piece
6) increase your fitness minutes, even if it's by 10 minutes,
7) join a challenge here on SP
8) tell your body what it will do and read motivational quotes

N16351D Posts: 2,349
9/25/12 4:02 P

standing short at 5'1", eating 1200 - 1500 calories a day is normal for me. My stomach is small. I eat little bits all day long. Breakfast can take 3 hours because I eat part of it every hour!
5:30 AM peice of fruit before jogging or other exercise
8 AM cereal, milk, and fruit
10 AM hard boiled egg or fruit
12 PM 1/2 sandwich
3 PM other 1/2 of sandwich
4 PM fruit, cracker, cheese, cashews or other small snack
6 PM 1/2 of dinner as compared to my husband's meal ( I often skip the protein and bread)
8 PM nuts, fruit (dried, fresh, or frozen) fresh vegetables (tomatoes in season) or small bowl of frozen desert

EMOFORTRESS SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 224
9/25/12 3:51 P


I have a few pointers you might find useful. I've been following 1200-1500 cals for the last 2 years. I drank LOTS of water when I first started, as before I started SP I was on 3500 a DAY, so water filled me up, detoxed my body and gave me great skin! I always try to cook from fresh, as ready meals can be high in calories. Plus it means you have more calories to PLAY with. And I mean it, have fun with your food. You can find some really flavoursome meal ideas and have spare calories at the end of your day (I'm going to have a Kit Kat in a minuet).

I also use a recipe book I brought last month, that I LOVE called the Hairy Dieters. It's two chefs who did a TV show for BBC UK who lost 42 lbs (3 stone) in 3 months on less than 1500 cals a day. The food is AMAZING. They have recipies from Chinese sweet and sour that tastes incredible to Pies (yep, PIES!) and Lemon Iced Cakes (YAY *nearly faints*).

There are ways to keep under your target, it's just a case of sometimes being creative. I used to HATE veggies, but over the last 12 months, I've found a new found love for them (especially Broccoli) and I fill up on fruit and crushed up meringue.

You ALL CAN do this. I'm always here if you want help or advice, I'm not an expert, but the offer is there to everyone.

Good luck everyone!

Kat x

SCULLERYMAID SparkPoints: (25,909)
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Posts: 179
9/25/12 3:47 P

Jesslloser everyone has given you great advice...weigh and measure everything you eat - Don't guess! What works for me is to plan my meals the night before and only prepare enough for one meal so I won't be picking at the leftovers. When I get home from grocery shopping I portion out the meat and freeze in small baggies, then defrost as needed. Also, always carry a healthy snack so if you get hungry while you're out you can eat an apple instead of a donut.

9/25/12 3:26 P

Pre-planning does help a lot. It's also important not to eat junky foods. Natural foods like fruits and vegetables and grains are rich in vitamins and antioxidants and are more satisfying than processed foods.

9/25/12 3:12 P

I'm right with you! It sometimes seems unfair that just because I'm short, I will end up having to consume fewer calories than my taller friends to maintain my ideal weight. Anyway, here's my 2 cents. Those healthy choice progresso soups are awesome. The whole can (2 cups) is a whopping 140 calories or so. I like to add a bunch of broccoli right before I pop it all in the microwave. The broccoli comes out with just the right tender/crunch ratio, and I get even more filled up for so few extra calories. We love tomatoes around here, so a nice tomato shrimp bake, with just a little parmesan, fills you up with lots of delish food and a nice helping of protein! Don't eat in front of a screen. Slow down and savor each bite. Concentrate on chewing each morsel of food YOU have chosen to eat today. Good luck finding a balance.

CJADERUN Posts: 688
9/25/12 2:33 P

The problem we have is we get hungry, and then want to eat. Because it takes our brains 20 minutes to process the fact that we are now full, we'll sometimes eat more than we need to before we realize we're good. The solution is to never be hungry.

Could it be so easy? It could! Like previous posters, I track my food in advance so I know what I'm eating, but I also prepare it in advance and carry it around with me. I snack literally all day.

Here is a basic day for me:

5:00 Greek yogurt, banana, two cups of water
7:00 Banana
8:00 Apple slices (which I eat while I work, so this spans at least an hour if not two)
9:30 Cup of grapes
12:00 Sandwich PACKED with protein (such as half a chicken breast which I broiled the night before)
2:00 Cup of tomatoes
4:00 Pure Protein bar (180-200 calories with 19-20 grams of protein really keeps me full until my late dinner)
7-9:00 (Whenever dinner is) Dinner, such as a chicken breast with steamed veggies, or similar. I try to prepare my food, then eat in front of the tv or on the computer to slow down my eating so I can avoid overeating.

I'm very rarely hungry because I just constantly nibble. Because of that, I'm always within my calorie range.

CATNINJA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 3
9/25/12 2:29 P

So glad someone else feels this way. The website also told me to do 1200-1500, and I feel like if I stuck to that for just one week, I would have a good success, and could go from there, but part of me is afraid that's too extreme and I would end up over-compensating by over-eating later.

Starting in a few hours I am not eating or drinking at all, so yesterday and today I am not counting calories. It's kind-of easier to diet after fasting because your stomach shrinks, but I also want to overeat the next day.

AFCANTRELL SparkPoints: (27,457)
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Posts: 801
9/25/12 2:24 P

I am in the same calorie range as you and I try my best to track what I will eat the day before I eat it. So that I know that what I will be eating will be perfect for my day's goals. I aim for 1300-1400 calories so that if I decide to not eat something on my tracker or decided something I'd like to add then I have wiggle room. Tracking in advance has been a big help to me!

I also try to "budget" about 300 calories to breakfast, 200 calories to a morning snack, 400 calories to lunch, & 400 calories to dinner. Key word is try - it doesn't always happen, but I make adjustments where needed as necessary.

Good luck!

MARTIN-GRAY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (89,061)
Posts: 172
9/25/12 2:06 P

I struggle to stay within my 1200-1500 calorie zone as well but have by tracking my food where my wasted calories are -- drinks and snacks mainly. I've found my most successful days are those where I plan what I eat ahead of time in order to avoid "unexpected" calories. I also find that for me it is sometimes best to just workout more and raise my calorie allowance since I enjoy eating too much :)

GIZMO08 Posts: 80
9/25/12 1:55 P

I am in the opposite camp, I think I'm going to have to lower my calories to keep loosing. I've upped my exercise - and veggie count - but I think I need to be down around 1000-1250 to start loosing again, nothing is happening! Argh - do I ever feel your pain, I don't know how I'm going to go that low!!!

VANITAKN SparkPoints: (16,689)
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Posts: 12
9/25/12 1:46 P

Jess, I'm not sure how much weight you have to lose, but the SP calorie range is just a guide. If you're constantly feeling hungry, up your calories a little bit (maybe 1600-1700) and see if you are still losing weight. Once your body gets used to the range, slowly bring your calorie intake down. If you try to starve, you will seriously mess up your metabolism.

This method worked for me. Hope it helps you too. Who wants to be miserable and hungry all day?

ANDREAG89 SparkPoints: (27,515)
Fitness Minutes: (21,299)
Posts: 552
9/25/12 1:41 P

I'm not sure what your state of hunger is throughout the day, but I find if I eat 5 - 6 times a day I'm more able to stay within my calorie long as I plan all my meals.

Each of my 5 - 6 meals is usually between 200 - 350 calories. I try to have a protein and a healthy carb for the meal (carbs for me are mostly fruit and maybe whole-grain chips) and add in my veggies with lunch and dinner mostly.

I also try to have most if not all of my carbs before 2:00 p.m. Someone told me about this "trick" to weight loss and I've sort of stuck to it. I'm trying to eat the most "whole" foods I can to keep me full - I'm staying away from prepared foods. I load up on veggies with my dinner.

TARA72586 SparkPoints: (11,393)
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Posts: 17
9/25/12 1:27 P

I suggest instead of eating complete meals like Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with snacks. Trying splitting up the meals into smaller meals and spread them out through out the day. This works best for me. I usually eat 4 small meals through out the day until dinner time, this keeps me from starving and splurging. Also, if you go to bed early, not only will it give you more energy the next day, but it will keep you from doing night-time snacking.

ROGERSBABE1 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 5,351
9/25/12 1:20 P

I feel your pain. I tend not to be too hungry in the morning, but I eat a light breakfast anyway. I can get away with maybe 200 cal in the morning which gives me more cal for later. Also, try boosting your activity levels. You get more cal alloted if you are more active. For me, too many carbs in the morning makes me hungrier during the day as well. I tend to sometimes eat all protein for breakfast or just a few carbs in the morning (complex carbs). Nothing real sweet or sugary.

9/25/12 12:55 P

This is a tough one, no doubt about it. What works for me is to eat very high fiber foods and try to eat a little protein at every meal. The high fiber makes you feel full, and since you're eating so little, it's absolutely necessary for you to eat foods that lead to feelings of fullness. Protein at each meal also helps hold you over to the next meal. Even if it's one hard-boiled egg -- it can really help.

Also, the suggestions to drink water are good ones. Herbal or caffiene-free teas can also be nice and make you feel fuller without calories.

Vegetable soups are also good -- they make you feel full with very few calories. Adding beans increases fiber and protein too.

On the mental/emotional front, I just remind myself that all this is my choice, and the hunger won't kill me. Think of the fat burning up. When I'm extremely hungry I tend to nibble while cooking, and to stop this I make it a rule to never put anything in my mouth without thinking about it. "Do you really want to do that? Really?" I didn't know I had this much self-control in me, and if I can do it, anyone can.

If all else fails and you cannot stick to a calorie regimen that low, don't do it. Raise your daily limit to 1400 to 1700 calories. You'll still lose weight.

9/25/12 12:54 P

in my almost 5 years on this site, the #1 most useful and beneficial thing i have learned about sticking to my calorie range is to always enter what i'm planning on eating BEFORE i start eating... that way i can juggle around different combinations to make sure i am getting the very most amount of the very best food to make that calorie range count!!

MICHELLE73101 Posts: 317
9/25/12 12:39 P

Understand these three things about hunger:

1. The difference between REAL hunger vs. boredom, emotions, cravings, etc. disguised as hunger;

2. Foods and meals that help you avoid hunger;

3. And sometimes, YOU WILL BE HUNGRY. Don't be afraid of this feeling. If you are eating healthfully, then your body is JUST FINE.

GRANDMA0627 Posts: 106
9/25/12 11:25 A

Maybe something that has worked for me will help you:

1) Never skip meals or snacks, but plan them carefully, insuring they are full of veggies and high protein foods.

2) ALWAYS have a very high protein/low carb breakfast. I don't know the reason, honestly, but as sure as anything, if I eat cereal or toast for breakfast and skip eggs and protein shakes, I end up craving carbs allll day long, constantly having to reel myself in. When I start my day with a couple of eggs and a high protein/low carb shake made in my blender, I don't crave food all day. I feel satisfied and in control and able to stick to my nutrition goals. (But even if I don't feel very hungry, I eat when it's time to eat, to avoid getting so hungry I lose control.)

3) Last, but should have been listed first (and others are telling you this too) TRACK EVERYTHING YOU EAT. I have dieted many times, and lost lots of weight in my life...but I never realized just how much I was eating when NOT dieting. Personally, my problem was the carbs: pasta, rice, bread, and fruit. I cooked at home, and insured that the food I was cooking was nutritious and whole grain. But the portions were way to big, and I never felt "satisfied." I was always craving more. I started tracking here on Spark, and began making plans to reduce my overall carb intake while increasing my protein and fat intake (yes fat, after eating only low-fat for the last 20 years). I now feel great, I'm losing weight, I have energy, and I don't crave carbs all day, like I did before. Tracking, and planning your menu to keep within healthy goals...that will def make the difference.

*MADHU* SparkPoints: (202,633)
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Posts: 25,054
9/25/12 11:18 A

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (192,590)
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Posts: 2,243
9/25/12 10:51 A

For me, exercise is always my go-to cure-all. I find the more I workout, the healthier I feel & look & the more the weight drops or stays off. I exercise DAILY...just like I brush my teeth daily. It keeps me healthy & keeps me going...

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 25,763
9/25/12 10:43 A

" I don`t lose because I eat too much healthy food! "

Yep. Eating too much - healthy or otherwise - will not get the results you want!

UGAKATE85 Posts: 2,630
9/25/12 10:31 A

One thing I have found helpfully is to increase my exercise. I work out 5-6 days a week and now my calorie allotment has increased to at least 1500 calories a day.

RIET69 SparkPoints: (47,087)
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Posts: 3,116
9/25/12 9:52 A

What works for me is to never skip a meal, to divide my calories among 3 meals and 2 snacks saving the most calories for the main meal, and tracking everything that goes into my mouth. For example, yesterday I was starving when I came home from work and to hold me over I had a handful of peanuts. I did record them and just made sure no seconds at dinner.

4169AB SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 2
9/25/12 9:43 A

Have you tried IF ( intermittent fasting)? I know it sounds crazy and counterintuitive but so far I have loved it. Research the topic and see if it's right for you. I think we have all been brainwashed into thinking we have to eat constantly or we will destroy our metabolism but the research proves otherwise. Try googling "two meal Mike" and download his info. Good stuff.

GIGGLGAL76 Posts: 111
9/25/12 7:16 A

Only methods that work for me are:
1) Log everything before it goes in your mouth. Sometimes, when you reach for food, without thinking about it, you are not really hungry. And sometimes, if you are hungry, you reach for a snack (i.e. junk) because you want food NOW. Stop, take a breath, choose something your body needs, log it in, and then eat. You will probably find yourself making better choices in the end.
2) Keep healthy foods in the house, both prepared and as ingredients. If you find yourself in a position where you need a snack and you need it NOW, do you really want to have potato chips and ice cream lying around the house? Or would you like for there to be a choice of popcorn instead of potato chips, yogurt instead of ice cream, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies cut and waiting to be eaten? The latter is going to make it more likely that you are going to make your goals in a healthful manner without being hungry.
3) Eat regularly, controlling for portions. Meal skipping rarely works in the long term. Your brain and your body work against you in this. Our bodies have evolved to be terrifyingly efficient at protecting us from starvation. If you do go long enough without eating, your body fears that the resources are not available. The next time you do eat, more than usual will be stored as fat. Obviously, this is a bit oversimplified, but it gets the gist of things. This is assuming that you don't eat more at the 2 meals you do eat because of the knowledge that you won't be eating your 3rd. In the days when I skipped meals (it was lunch for me) I would say to myself, "I can have (fill in the blank), because I didn't eat lunch," and end up eating more anyway.
4) Keep realistic goals. If you have been eating 2500 calories for years, and you now want to lose as much weight as you can in as little time as you can, so you are cutting your calories to the minimum that Spark People will let you, and doing more exercise as well, your progress is going to be slower. If you add the amount cut from your average diet (1000-1300) to, we will say 200 calories burned daily exercise (as an example) right away, that right there is 1200-1500 calories deficit a day, a full 200-500 more than has been defined as healthy and sustainable. For me, small steps is really the only way. Maybe start out by doing small amounts of exercise, and cutting out certain things from your diet. Another goal might be to log every morsel of food, no matter what. If you keep making small goals, and reaching them, these things add up.
5) Eat in quality, not in quantity. Yes, to limit your calories is important. However, in my personal experience, I feel more satisfied for longer when I make certain healthy choices. For example, if I share a stir fry with my husband for lunch and eat lots of veggies, some meat, and just sneak a few forkfuls of rice, I am less hungry when I get home and have to make dinner than if I were to eat approximately the same amount of calories in a small single cheeseburger. There are lots of such decisions we can make that are still as delicious, and don't leave us hungry.
6) Drink your water. If it is at all possible, have a large water bottle with you at all times, and you will find that drinking water becomes a reflex. For me, it is especially important that I drink water after every meal or snack I eat, otherwise the residual taste in my mouth can seduce me into wanting more than I need. Water keeps your body working the way it should, and being dehydrated can send the (false) signal that you are hungry.

If I don't follow these steps, I sabotage my progress and my health. It is hard, but it can be worth it.

SHAKEUPTAMPA SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 925
9/25/12 7:06 A

I agree with sharing your tracker if you would like some assistance.

I am bad during lunch time to try and remember to eat, so I treat myself to a Lean Cuisine Panini and some fruit. The meal is a no brainer to log in calories and keep me on track for the day.

For breakfast I change it up (varies in calories) from yogurt with granola, cereal with 2% milk, Bacon slice and plain whole wheat toast, etc

As I buy things at the store I read the labels there but also before putting the food away I put them into my ADD A FOOD favorites so it is ready when I want to see how I want to use my calories for the day.

Today I know I am going to lunch and I can eat there for about 700 calories, so I am eating a light breakfast and light dinner

You can eat a TON of steamed veggies about 25 calories for 3oz and just season or use spray butter (I sometimes if I have the calories use a japanese white sauce to dip) and a 4oz chicken breast is 100 calories. I sometimes add a sauce, seasoning, or salsa with it to change flavors. Also salmon is about 120 calories for a 4oz.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,234
9/25/12 7:00 A

share your trackers or a list of what you are eating to get better suggestions.
first of all, if you "have breakfast down" but you're shoveling food into your mouth for lunch and dinner you may want to entertain the thought that you don't have breakfast down and you may need to bulk it up a little more so you aren't so hungry by lunch.
spacing out your meals can be a good thing. heck, i eat about eight times a day. but you have to eat smaller portions. and if you're splitting up lunch and dinner, be sure you're having one a little bit earlier so that you're not so hungry when you eat less food.
make sure you are bulking up your meals with vegetables. in other words, if you usually have two eggs for breakfast, make sure you are having them with at least a half cup of veg if not a full cup. for lunch and dinner [or breakfast if you like] start your meal with a cup of broth based soup [this is where weight watchers free soup or the cabbage soup diet soup work well. they're really low cal and broth based] or a green salad. this is going to add bulk [ie give your body something to digest] which should slow down how quickly food is running through you and you're getting hungry again. besides the veg starter, make sure you're having at least a half cup if not a full cup of veg with your meal. they're low cal and add bulk.
and i'm really not sure how skipping dinner three days a week was supposed to help you. skipping meals tends to make you hungrier at the next one.

GRAMCRACKER46 Posts: 1,764
9/25/12 6:32 A

What do you mean "reckon you went over calories". Tracking is so important.

My suggestion: one light meal could be soup or salad, or both.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
9/25/12 4:30 A

I couldn't stick to a 1200-1500 calorie range either. Which is why I don't! Set your goal date out a bit and your calories range will increase. You will lose a bit slower, but if you aren't staying in your ranges then you need to increase them.

Other than that
- Veggies, veggies, veggies. Filling, fibre, not many calories
- Fruit is good
- Greek yogurt (can be high in calories, but filling)
- Egg whites
- Chicken breast

All low in calories and higher in protein (which will help to keep you full)

PIXI_ELF SparkPoints: (5,529)
Fitness Minutes: (7,547)
Posts: 58
9/25/12 2:41 A

Hi Jesslloser

I can't see your tracked information so it's hard to see where you might be going wrong. Do you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables? I also find that if I cut on drinks and only drink water, that helps keep my cals down.

You mention that you know what I good portion size is but you struggle to stick with it? Why don't you try drink a glass of water before you eat. And then measure out the correct portion sizes. Then after you've eaten, if you are still hungry, try drink another glass of water. If you are still hungry after that then grab some fruit (low in calories and can be quite filling).

Skipping meals is not really going to help and will probably make you even hungrier which means you will overeat at the next meal.

I also find it quite helpful to input everything (all meals and snacks) into my tracker in the morning and try to keep a 200 cal deficit (for the urge to eat something a little bit extra if I want it). Then I stick with it as much as I can. This seems to work for me.

Your idea of halving everything is also a pretty good one!

Good luck!

DARLEY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (27,454)
Posts: 1,546
9/25/12 2:37 A

Don't skip meals, if you're like me then you will just end up crazy hungry and gorge out before the night is over.

-I break my calories up into 5-6 meals.

-I try to have one decent sized veggie snack. Today I had 1 cup sliced carrots and 2 tbsp garlic hummus, was only 120 calories and pretty filling.

-A big salad for lunch is a great idea. You can have like 3 cups assorted lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, a protein (like chicken or turkey pepperoni) and a low fat or fat free dressing that easily comes in under 300 calories.

-Egg whites are great for breakfast. If you're not crazy about the white try to do 1 yolk and 2 whites, you won't really notice the whites then. 3 egg whites is 45 calories while 1 yolk with 2 whites is 100 calories. Have this with an apple sliced and a piece of whole wheat toast with sugar free jam. That would come out to 300 calories tops and would be very filling.

-For dinner, try to have half your plate be veggies. You could do a cheese stuffed chicken breast (slit the chicken and stuff with small bit of ricotta, parm and italian seasoning and top with warm marinara), have 1 cup broccoli with it and 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta. That wouldn't even be more than 450 calories.

-Plan the night before. If you plan the night before then it's easier to stay on track. Plan up to 1,000-1,100 calories and then have a splurge snack in the evening like a few pieces of chocolate, a cookie or some jello, a beer, whatever you want..That has always helped me do good because I knew I had some amazing treat waiting for me at the end of the day.

9/25/12 12:40 A

I am having a difficult time with my alloted calories. I want to wrestle them to the ground, but they keep beating me!

I tried skipping dinner 3 days a week. But didn`t lose. Still over my cals on other days I reckon. I need a good way to train myself to eat less. Breakfast is golden. Lunch and especially dinner are the problems.

This week`s experiment is to eat half my lunch and dinner and save it for later. Even though I know what a good portion size is, I usually end up eating more. I don`t lose because I eat too much healthy food!

I think this is a good idea to help me stay under, but do you guys have other good ideas? I`d love to hear em!

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