great suggestions here, I too stuggle to stay in range as I have an allergy to Gluten and therefore cannot have any breads or "diet" or low fat dairy products IE low fat yogurt cups=35 calories but contain gluten, full fat style =110 with NO gluten (BIG difference) any others out here that also cannot have gluten and suggestions?
Fitness Minutes: (60)
10 12/20/11 2:53 A
There are a few really low protein suggestions. But the carbs are way too high. If I had two sanwhiches for lunch I'd feel really bloated and flat. A spinache and feta cheese omlette with lots of salad leaves, spring onions, peppers, grated carrots, any other salad stuff is a great lunch for me, the eggs keep me full until dinner time or a small snack about 4.30. I relaly cannot do even the 6 servings of carb suggested as the lowest amount. Two maybe three a day is fine for me. Yogert and fruit for breakfast, chicken/tuna salad for lunch, some protein and maybe a baked sweet potatoe with steamed veg for dinner with some milk in my two cups of coffee and another snack along the way. Porrage for breakfast, sanwhiches for lunch rice for dinner is way to heavy a diet for me and needs me to miss out on protein
Fitness Minutes: (9,097)
19 12/20/11 2:42 A
I struggle with this too, but I have noticed if I verify how many calories, carbs, fat, and protein is in something BEFORE I eat it, then I can at least make an informed choice. Is eating (fill in the blank) really worth 250 calories, for example.
Focusing on veggies and fruits and lean protein works for me. I'm all for exercise, and I do it often, but true weight loss, at least for me, has more to do with what and how much I eat.
I would suggest eating a bowl of a clear chicken or vegetable broth at the beginning of lunch and/or dinner, which is very filling, but not very high in calories. That can make you feel more full so you will naturally eat less.
Edited by: CINEMAPERSIANS at: 12/20/2011 (04:26)
Fitness Minutes: (30)
3 12/19/11 11:48 P
I find that I eat too much meat. I was looking at the new plate model that the government is pushing and I realized half of my plate is meat. It's weird though because I used to be a vegetarian. I have to think back to those days and increase my veggie and fruit intake! I also need to work on drinking more water! I don't necessarily drink soda, but i drink coffee all day. I'm trying to increase my water intake before I focus on decreasing my coffee intake.
"Supposed to" according to whom? Because I think it's too little calories especially if you exercise. I think this is one of the things that sabotages people is trying to drop calories too low. All calories are not created equal, either. Focusing on veggies will help but never drop the meat. A good many of us are fat because we are insulin resistant, carbs will only make that worse. Get your protein and your fat and a copy of Good Calories, Bad Calories by Taubes or even go to Stumptuous.com and get Krista's free "F*#k Calories" e-book. Keep notes, if you find you can't keep this up increase your calories.
Fitness Minutes: (11,068)
31 12/19/11 10:16 P
thanks cindilou. i will look for that article. you raise a good point. it makes little sense and i am trying so hard. maybe i'm not eating enough though. thanks for the tip!
Fitness Minutes: (116,574)
160 12/19/11 9:29 P
MASA0606 you are right on the money! My doctor told me fruits and veggies are almost like 'freebies' and you can snack on those all day. I find that my mid morning and mid-afternoon snacks are baby carrots, or celery sticks and peanut butter or a cup of grapes, a couple of clementine cuties, etc. Healthy, low cal and getting the recommended amount. Breakfast is a nice measured bowl of high fiber cereal and skim or 1% milk and a cup of coffee. Lunch is soup and a brisk 2 mi. walk with a co-worker. Dinner - well that depends and varies but I usually have enough calories left over that I can choose something nutritious and maybe a little more. Throughout the day I drink around 96 ounces of water in 24 hours.
BOYMAMA13 you may not be losing weight if you're under 1200. Consider going back and reading the nutrition page here. When you drop below 1200 cals/day, you may be putting your body into 'starvation' mode and that is why you're not losing weight. I wouldn't advise dropping any further. If your exercising that much, you can afford to increase your caloric intake and may find that you will start losing again. PLEASE don't cut anymore calories. I tried that once and plateaued, too. It's hard to convince oneself that eating a little more calories is okay if you want to lose.
Great ideas everyone!!! GREAT TOPIC!!!
Fitness Minutes: (11,068)
31 12/19/11 8:46 P
This is a great post. Lots of good ideas here. I've been doing well staying under 1200 calories and exercising 4-5 days a week. The problem is, I am not losing weight. I may have to drop my calorie intake even more but that is really hard for me. Good ideas here though to keep the calories down though! Smart dieters in here.:)
Fitness Minutes: (485)
45 12/19/11 8:31 P
I am just learning how to eat within my limit and I need more tips on how to balance it all.
EXCELLENT Post!! It's not just about the calories.. There has to be balance..
Fitness Minutes: (17,457)
2,272 12/19/11 8:07 P
It is nice to know there are alot of other people on a 1200 cal. diet too. Thank you for all the great ideas! I know I need to increase my water intake and eat more veggies plus exercise no matter how bad it hurts. Just plain walking isn't helping take the weight off since I can't walk very far at a time. I have lots of new ideas to try thank you. Lucinda
Fitness Minutes: (9,834)
83 12/19/11 5:49 P
I love making giant salads that are full of fresh veggies that are low in calories (my staples are lots of romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sliced crimini mushrooms and a small drizzle of olive oil or cottage cheese w/ Mrs Dash), then I switch up the protein and healthy fat toppings every now and then... Right now I'm on chickpeas/five-bean salad, artichokes and a sprinkle of goat cheese. Every now and then I'll add some grilled chicken breast, tuna, or even some lean steak as a dinner, but pretty rarely-- I prefer a sliced up hard boiled egg for protein. If I'm low on carbs for the day, I'll add about a quarter cup of tiny pasta (think orzo or those little round doo dads).... You can do anything with salads!
Your eye sees this giant bowl of delicious and endless food! I generally feel satisfied just knowing I can eat the whole thing for under 250 calories... And I often can't even finish the whole thing (so much lettuce)!
egg whites and hot sauce really seems to work for me i feel full and only a few calories.:)
Fitness Minutes: (139)
1 12/19/11 1:55 P
I agree to try to focus on breakfast. I find that if I keep my breakfasts to under 300 calories, the rest of the day seems more manageable. I find that eggs really do wonders to keeping me feeling full.
A really quick breakfast on the go I use is a pita pocket (100 cal), 1 egg (scrambled or microwaved in a oven proof bowl (80 cal) and some parm cheese or a half a slice of chedder (60 cal) and a few slices of tomato.
If I eat this at 8 I can go to lunchtime (12:30) without even feeling the least bit hungry.
Now if only I had done that this morning... I was running late and in a moment of weakness grabed a huge bagel and cream cheese at a local coffee shop. Now 550 calories later, I'm hoping to make my lunch pf a greek yogurt last me for a while.
Fitness Minutes: (225)
1 12/19/11 1:29 P
I find I get a lot more out of my calorie allowance when I eat mostly plant-based foods. Foods like veggie burgers, falafels in wholegrain pitabreads, and wholegrain cereals are very filling and can be very low-calorie. On days when I eat meat, it's often way more difficult to stretch those 1200 calories.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
64 12/19/11 12:32 P
I like to focus on LEAN protein and LOTS of veggies. Really helps. Green tea is great too.
Thanks for all the great ideas - lots of smart sparkers! I will add that all calories must be chewable!
Fitness Minutes: (77,267)
2,321 12/19/11 11:50 A
Cutting out refined foods and desserts really helps, but what's critical for me is avoiding any calories I might drink (aside from healthy smoothies). When I indulge, it's not soda or lattes or any of those high-calorie options that will just make you feel hungrier...it's a glass of wine with dinner, and believe me, it's nice to treat myself like that once in a while!
When I was first starting off, I tried to follow SP meal plans, but they weren't working for me. I found the article on super foods, and decided to make up my own meal plans and recipes, and to make sure I ate at least one super food with every meal. It's a lot easier than it sounds, and it's great motivation to get in veggies and fruits throughout the day.
The best tips I have are to focus on eating lots of veggies and a single serving of fruit with every meal, eat beans and grains in place of meat but with different meals, so that you fill up, and make your indulgence for the day a healthy-fats rich food, like avocado or raw nuts.
My range starts at 1200 and goes to 1550- this is what I eat, I try to stay at around 1200, I never go about 1350.
I eat ALL DAY during the day until evening- 7AM- Slimfast shake 930-10AM- CarbMaster yogurt (Kroger) weightwatchers cheese snack 1230PM- Low-cal soup w/ a fruit (sometimes applesauce) 230-3PM- Athenos hummus w/ 50cal serving of pretzel crisps
Depending on what fruit I choose, the shake, and a couple other calorie changers this ends up being between 550-650 calories. At about 6 I have supper and can, within reason, eat what I want to because I still have lots of calories left! I just watch portion sizes and use a kitchen scale!!!! Depending on what I eat for dinner, sometimes I still have enough in my "budget" for a cone of strawberry frozen yogurt or low cal mint chocolate chip ice cream! I've been working on this "change" since October 25th and I've lost 17lbs (I went to Louisville the weekend after Thanksgiving and ate all the delicious things I wanted at all the amazing restuarants in town. Gained 3lbs but have lost that again and 4 more since then). Weight really started falling off when I changed my eating plan to how I listed, I stay full and satisfied throughout the day. Good luck to you!!
Hi ShelBruk, I am trying to get back on track...I joined a couple of years ago, got busy with school and got out of making spark time for myself. Since I am a vegetarian, you would think loosing weight would not be so difficult, but yet it seems like the calories slip in there. Any Sagittarius. Oh yes, I love bread, potatoes and rice. It sounds great what you are doing!
Fitness Minutes: (775)
29 12/18/11 6:35 P
Because we are each unique, inside and out, we each have our preferences and techniques that work for us.
For me, I'm on the run (most times, literally) until I get home for dinner about 12 hours later, so I usually have to have something ready the night before. I don't worry too much about the calories consumed per meal or snack during the day, and plan my dinner according to what nutritional "holes" need filling and the number of calories I have left. If I forget to fix my meals the night before, I just grab the fixin's for them as opposed to going through a drive-thru somewhere and running the risk of overdoing it on my meal plan AND my wallet.
One day I ate a lot of fish, trying to fill out my protein requirements, only to discover that I went over on my daily intake of cholesterol. I didn't worry too much, as it was just the one day, and I knew the cholesterol was the good kind (omegas).
It's a learning process, and some days are better than others, but the real WIN is in staying focused on the small changes that make that big changes in the long run.
Fitness Minutes: (1,771)
11 12/18/11 6:20 P
Seajess, As I am a new Sparker I have not posted my menus on my SparkPage yet. Even though I joined back in January 2011 I have only been back on here and set up my page etc in the last few days. Still finding my way around the site, there is so much to absorb :)
But I will definitely try and include my menu plan soon...
Fitness Minutes: (10,975)
2,467 12/18/11 2:49 P
Tania, your meal plan sounds DELICIOUS! Do you post it on your SparkPage? If so, I'd probably check you daily for ideas.
These are all great suggestions. I lost 20 lbs and was doing great. Stress got "ahold" of me and I have gained 10 lbs back, I am getting ready to take a family trip and am afraid I will gain even more. It is a place where food is in abundance. Heaven and "the opposite" for a food aholic such as myself. I am stuck and cannot seem to get below 175...HELP please.
Fitness Minutes: (11,609)
835 12/18/11 1:17 P
I would skip meat, fish and refined carbs altogether and fill up on dairy, eggs, pulses, beans, rice, vegetables and fruit.
Fitness Minutes: (42,980)
176 12/18/11 1:11 P
I've been shocked by how much you can get (calorie-wise) with cuts of meats -- for instance, a big juicy 10oz steak has less calories than two servings of measly chips. Salmon fillets, pork loin, roasted chicken or turkey are all relatively low in calories and will satisfy for hours and hours.
Fitness Minutes: (91,180)
6,401 12/18/11 12:28 P
I think the two biggest keys to weight loss is Balance, and Portion Size. Make sure that you have a balanced intake of macronutrients, Protein, Carbs, Fats, and a variety of exercise both strength training, and cardio (choose some fun things to do). Also watch those portion sizes, there are a lot of online resources for "eyeballing" serving size, once you master that you should be well on your way
If you have no way to track, and are flying by the seat of your pants, reach for foods in this order:
Vegetables Fruits (not juice! Whole pieces of fruit! Eat the skins too when you can!) Meats Breads/Starches
If you *must* grab breads or starches aim for "whole" types... whole grains, whole wheat, the whole potato (including the skin). This will give you the most "bang for your buck".
Avoid any type of drinks that have more than 5 calories a serving. I used to say zero, but a cup of coffee has about 5 calories and has minerals/nutrients that are difficult to find anywhere else. Studies are also showing people who have 1 cup of coffee find it easier to focus and have higher amounts of energy.
There are LOTS of different foods you can eat! Do not feel like you don't have options! Browse through spark recipes to find things that sound interesting. Practice using them as an outline to cook yummy foods that are nutritionally valuable, but low in calorie.
And sweety - you should have a range. Like 1200 - 1300 or something like that. It's ok to have more than 1200 calories, just don't go hogwild!
Make sure your carbs are high in fiber. For one thing, they will be more filling, and for another, that decreases your total net carbs. For instance, I buy "Fiber Full" English Muffins, which are 140 calories, but they have 5 grams of fiber instead of 2 or so in a regular English Muffin. 5 grams of fiber 2 4 calories per gram is 20 calories of the carbs in that muffin that are fiber, and thus adding bulk without adding easily digestible carbs. Other examples would be any kind of beans, brown or black rice, and whole wheat pasta.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
574 12/18/11 8:25 A
Have to agree that you should be filling up on fruits and vegetables and add that you should eat your vegetables raw or slightly cooked. Frozen is an acceptable alternative to fresh but avoid canned veggies as they tend to have a lot of added salt. For breakfast I suggest having a fruit plate w/melon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and some cottage cheese. Have foods like bananas apples and carrots for snacks. At dinner have squash instead of potatoes, pasta or rice - pumpkin is amazing. I also love pepper and butternut squash - occasionally we have spaghetti squash
I find that eating breakfast under 250 calories revs my metabolism and makes counting other calories easier throughout the day.
Breakfasts under 250 calories 2 Hard Boiled eggs 148 Calories 2 Van's 97% Fat Free Waffles110 with 1 tbs of syrup drizzled ( Calories depend on the syrup) 3 Ounces of lox 100, mini bagle 110, whipped cream cheese 1 tbs 30 Spread lightly, 2 Slices of tomato Nature's Own wheat bread, 2 slices @ 70 calories & Jelly ( Calories depend on the jelly)
1 Oatmeal packet or grits packet 100 Calories with 2 slices of chopped Canadian Bacon 100 Calories ( or try putting a soft boiled egg ontop of the hot cereal )
Kashi Whole Grain Puffs 60 Calories a cup & skim milk 90 Calories, add 10 Blueberries
Scrambled wgg whites with sliced green peppers & 1/2 Onion
1 Cup Cottage cheese with Matchstick carrots or chopped onion
Whole grain Cheerios & Skim With 3 Sliced Strawberries
97% Fat Free Greek Yogurt & Blueberries
Fitness Minutes: (1,771)
11 12/18/11 6:51 A
I am on 1200Calories at the moment and I divide it up like this...Allow 300calories for each main meal, (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) and 150 Calories for each snack, (one morning and one afternoon).
My menu goes something like this: Breakfast; 1/2 cup porridge, with sultanas, cinnamon, honey, LSA and milk (286Cal). Morning snack; 1 cup homemade fruit salad with 2 tablespoons of natural yogurt (111Cal) Lunch; a salad sandwich on soy and linseed bread. The salad includes lettuce, grated carrot, beetroot, tomato, capsicum, cucumber and a smidgen of low fat mayonnaise (247Cal). Afternoon snack; no fat yogurt (70cal) Dinner; 2 Salmon patties with tomato salsa (339Cal) and 1 cup fruit salad for dessert (111) Total Calories for the day 1164.
I allow about three hours in between eating, I have not felt hungry at all using this method...
On SparkPeople message boards, even though each post has a "reply" button, you're replying to the whole thread, not to someone else's comment. There's no way for readers to know who you're talking to unless you mention their name. Your comments don't make sense in response to any of the four or five posts before yours, so could you please edit it to add the username of the person you want to read it?
Fitness Minutes: (0)
1 12/17/11 9:56 P
For your personal benefit, please study your comments. I count 9 negative offered by you re: your state of being.
Meals centered around whole grains (a controlled serving) with lots of vegetables (cooked in a small amount of oil).
If you eat them, eggs and fish are filling but low in calories/high in protein.
There are whole wheat breads which are relatively low in calories. Natures Own is OK, does the job anyway. 50 calories per slice, so you get to eat 2 sandwiches at one sitting (well I do anyway).
Coffee and tea. Filling ad tasty, with health benefits (your mileage may vary if caffeine is contraindicated for you)
Cut out sweets, fried food, salty foods, etc. Your brain is programmed to just want more. If you get used to being without them, they are easier to do without.
Read about mindful eating. There are plenty of books and articles about this at the moment.
If only I could take my own good advice...
Fitness Minutes: (32,175)
253 12/17/11 11:27 A
Fitness Minutes: (0)
20 12/17/11 10:46 A
thanks so much for all information about the 1200 calories. i am disabled and have to limit so many calories now since i have become sedentary. i cant lose on weight watchers any longer and so i know even with having menopause i have to limit the calories to lose now since i am older. thanks so much.
1/2 cup of Cottage Cheese & matchstick carrots 2 Van's 97% Fat Free Waffles with 2 Soft Boiled Egss ontop for moisture and 3 Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausages 6 Oscar Mayer Shaved Turkey slices on Natures Own 35 Calorie Wheat Bread & a dill pickle Kashi whole grain Puffs (Organic Section with 1/2 cup of Skim milk & 10 Blueberries Apple or 2 tangerines
2 Slices of Natures Own Wheat Bread with Bordens Fat Free American Cheese Melted ontop 2 Taco with lettuce, refried beans, a dollop of sour cream on each, sliced tomato, peppers 2 chicken legs with 1/2 Cup of Wild Rice & Steamed or raw califlower 2 Tangerines
1 cup of Cottage Cheese With Chopped onion & Parsley Flakes 2 soup bowls Homemade Chicken Soup made with veggies Romaine with sliced radishes, tomato, cucumber, Canned Tuna or Chicken, 2 tbls of Ken's Lite Ceasar Dressing & 8 Croutons Scrambled egg whites with green, red or yellow peppers, 2 pieces of Natures Own Wheat bread, toasted with a pat of butter on each An Apple with 1 ounce of cheese
3 Meals Low in Calories and you still get nutrition
Same here. I used to hear people say to fill up 3/4 of the plate with veggies and 1/4 with your meat (or something like that). Now I actually put it into practice. One of my downfalls was eating processed foods. I found out it was because I wanted something quick but I would be hungry a short time later. To help with this problem, I make a ton of veggies at a time, so I can just grab some and warm them up just as easily as a processed frozen meal. This has really helped. Good luck :-)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
1,939 12/17/11 6:55 A
I believe that the key is not to be more full on fewer calories, but to be satisfied on fewer calories. You can eat a full meal and be hungry again in an hour if it was all water and sugar. What this means is to avoid empty calories as much as possible.
I do this by avoiding sugar. I eat less fruit than the average healthy person. I avoid all carbohydrates that are filler in most meals including most breads most beans , all rice, and potatoes. Everything I put into my mouth is real food, not processed garbage. And yes....I eat more vegetables than I used to. This has resulted in my fat and protein intake to go way up as a percentage of my daily calories, but I don't actually eat more fat and I only eat a little more protein....I mostly just eat fewer carbs and sugar.
Lots of fruits and veggies. That way you can have a lot more food with less calories. When I am on lower calorie diets I try and eat more water based food and fill up on less calorie dense foods. That way I can feel like I am eating a lot more and get more nutrients.
Also, if you started working out, or walking daily your calorie range would increase and you could eat more food.
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