Friday, November 15, 2013
Over the last two years I have done some soul-searching and listening to my body. I have learned a lot about myself and my normal eating/hunger rhythms. For instance, I need to eat more calories in the evening than I do in the morning. In fact, I can get away with eating very little for breakfast and still not feel hungry until lunchtime. Typically, for breakfast I choose a piece of fresh fruit and some coffee with cream in it. This usually only adds up to about 100 calories, give or take.
I have also learned that my natural lunch time is closer to 11 am than 12 pm, and I am fine for 2-3 hours after that on about 200-300 calories. At that time, usually around 1 to 2 o'clock, but sometimes as late as 3, I need to eat a small snack. Chips, a piece of fruit, or a fruit filled sweet usually tide me over pretty well until dinner. Again, calories for this snack are less than 300.
Then I eat a large dinner. This meal is consumed with my family so I have to eat things that are higher in calories than the rest of the day to accommodate everyone's desires. Sometimes I even have a dessert after that. However, if I eat dessert I have learned to skip breakfast the next morning since I am usually not hungry at all at breakfast, and to just drink coffee with a bit of cream in it.
I have come back to SparkPeople because I want to track my exercise on a daily basis. I have started walking for exercise because I have found that I love walking outdoors! I want to keep track of the miles that I'm walking, and the map your route feature on SparkPeople's Fitness tracker is perfect for that. It also doesn't hurt to know how many calories I've both consumed and burned during the day, so that I know for sure when I've overindulged and need to cut back a little.
It took me a long time, and I had to try a lot of different things to figure out what works best for my particular body and eating rhythms, but it's been worth the effort. Diets and meal plans that other people have created always ended up being unsuccessful because they didn't take into account my particular quirks.
I would encourage anyone who's fallen off the wagon for long periods of time to perform their own trial and error test. You don't just have to ignore the signals your body is sending you and go by a prescribed diet---figure out what works for you! And don't let the daily calorie tracker make you feel like a failure, there are days when you are going to want to eat less and days that you want to eat more. Look at your calorie intake on a weekly basis instead of a daily one---make sure that even if you overindulge one day that you make up for it the next. Just try to stay under the calories you need for the week!