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How I use my Nutrition Tracker

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1st I plan ahead and I try to bring all my meals and snacks from home. I wish it weren’t so, but I’m a snacker so my meals revolve around my snacks. I try to make them healthy snacks but also “bad” enough so I’m not tempted by candy bars or gelato bars. Since my meals revolve around my snacks they have to be healthy and filling; ranging at about 300-400 calories.
A typical breakfast (generally my largest meal of the day) for me is ½ to 1 cup of hot cereal (cream of wheat, oatmeal, or grits), maybe 1 large egg, and a veggie sausage or slice of turkey bacon. I eat this meal before I leave home at about 6:30am. I’m usually craving food about 10am. I say craving because in the beginning of my transformation I wouldn’t let myself get hungry because then I would grab whatever I could get my hands on. This habit of eating before I’m that hungry now has me craving foods at certain times of the day whether I’m hungry or not. Initially I believed this helped me lose weight but now I think I’ve developed a bad habit of eating when I’m not hungry, hence the excessive snacking. Anyway around 10am I will have a greek yogurt or a bowl of cereal (Kashi Go Lean is my favorite) with lowfat milk or almond milk.
Lunch depending on whether I’m at school or work can be a problem. For example, today I work a 12 hour shift and I only packed breakfast, of course snacks, and dinner. My plan was to get lunch from the cafeteria. I had in mind a tuna sandwich (2 slices of bread and ¼ cup of tuna salad) and a bag of Pop Chips.
With the breakfast(s) I had already eaten, the snacks I wasn’t willing to give up and the dinner that I really needed to eat I was at approx 1820 calories; 130 more than I should which is not so bad but I was also over on carbs which I’m trying to bring down, fat within range and not enough protein to meet my liking since I’m trying to come in on the high end. I know the snacks are my problem and I’m working on that.
Well I looked at the café menu and saw they were having fried chicken, collard greens, black eye peas, mashed potatoes or shrimp fried rice or BBQ riblet sandwich and jalepeno poppers plus the regular fair; salad bar, sandwich bar, or hamburger, fries and such. The obvious was out. I rarely eat burgers and fries, never ever jalepeno poppers or other “appetizers” and if I eat riblets I made them and they are definitely worth their weight in calories. I wouldn’t call myself a food nazi but I’m definitely a snob. LOL!
So it was deal with the overage and go with the sandwich or have a salad which I don’t hate but still had me over or forgo lunch all together which is never a good plan for me. So I played with the tracker reducing some of the salad items which included mixed greens, baby carrots, raw onion, sliced tomato, olives, and cottage cheese with fresh ground pepper and a grilled chicken breast; which is the healthy option in the burger and fries station. I wasn’t excited about it b/c I’ve been eating salads and I was having to reduce baby carrots to 3 and 2 serving of greens instead of four but anything not to give up my snack of craisins and walnuts and popcorn, and my yummy fiber one bar and apple. But then it hit me!
What if I ate a cup of collard greens, a cup of black eye peas, and a 3oz chicken breast I just might stay within range up my protein lower my carbs and not have to eat yet another salad. Drumroll….
234 calories; Carbs 19; Fat 4; Protein 31

Black eye peas, collard greens, and chicken breast
224 calories; Carbs 28; Fat 2; Protein 24

The salad would have been better but not by much and I enjoyed the grilled chicken, black eye peas and greens WAYYYY more. I reduced the black eyed peas to ¾ cup and again I’m not a food nazi so I don’t know what they were cooked in or what was added for flavor. I didn’t taste bacon or detect any remnants of meat and the greens were just greens no meat or other veggies so I feel like I’m pretty close in my estimations. I also reduced the rice in my dinner to ½ cup. I would say that I won’t eat all my snacks today but I’m sure that’s not going to happen. One thing at a time…
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I find the whole training one's self to "eat when not hungry" totally fascinating. I have asked myself that question many times. For example, if I haven't eaten all of the allotted calories for the day, should I eat them anyway just to "be" healthy? I used to say "yes." Now, I just eat if I am hungry - for the most part, that is the goal. I think the interesting thing about the journey is learning all of these intricacies about how we view food and what really makes us tick.

    I do applaud you for "knowing" you are a person who likes snacks and was smart enough to work them into your daily plan. I think I stopped struggling when I just accepted who I am in all areas of life, including food - and clearly, you know who you are. Can't beat that with a stick! Anyway, great work! And GREAT blog.

    1984 days ago
    Hi chica, stopped by to say Hello, and wish you much success on your journey.
    2091 days ago
  • TIFFY0906
    I eat 3 meals a day and 3 snacks (healthy snacks of course - like almonds, peanuts, atkins indulge bars, yogurt and my all time favorite skinny cow ice cream). I have a couple not so healthy snacks but not too bad like flamin' hot munchies but I only eat 1/2 serving when I do eat it). I manage to stay in my range setup by SP 1290 - 1640 (I usually keep it around 1420 - 1460). My hardiest time is Tuesday because usually I work about 15+ hours that day so after my last eating schedule I may be ready to eat again fortunately I have about 180 more cals to play with so I usually eat a couple of almonds.

    Anyway, I think the salad or the chicken/collard greens/black eyed peas were both good choices and you did good to resist the other more fattening foods they had. Keep up the good work with your tracking. The fact that we put thought into what we eat now is a good thing. I remember in the past I didn't even think about cals, fat, carbs, protein, etc. Now that is progress.
    2149 days ago
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