So, I don't want to bore you with too many details about my eating/daily habits, but I get up very early (4:40am) to make it to the gym by 5am. I come home about 6:15 to get ready, eat breakfast, out the door by 7:40am. I try to be in bed by 9:30pm, but often stay up until 10-10:30, which isn't enough sleep for me (another topic). I typically eat the meals I told you about in my original post for breakfast and lunch and. Each of those meals is about 350 calories. Often after work I will eat a protein bar (Lara or Kind bar, which average 180-200 calories) or an apple. This is about 900-950 calories, which leaves me with about 600 calories for dinner. BUT, where I always mess up is between coming home from work and dinner time. Yesterday when I typed my original post, I stood in the kitchen and ate way too many snacks. Unfortunately, they weren't filling enough for the amount of calories they added to my daily intake. I think the best advice has been given --- pre-plan and look at calories to make sure they are working towards making me full and having enough energy. I'm just struggling in that window of 3:00 - 6:00 to not go overboard with snacks. I guess even more than analyzing my diet, I need to analyze my behavior when I get home and occupy myself with things other than eating! I usually need to clean up the kitchen and get my kids snacks, and it's just so easy to have a little food fest in there, as I wind down from a long day with Elementary School-aged kids. :) Thanks again for your suggestions.
do you have an unusual schedule or a typical 9-5 schedule [get up 6-7am ish, bed at 10-11pm ish]? because if you're going to bed early i can see where only 350 cals might get you through. but if you're going to bed at 10-11pm i can see where not eating enough is leaving you hungry and subject to the munchies. if you're eating between 1350 and 1700 cals, having only 350 left for dinner means you're eating the other 1350 somewhere else. and i would say to look to those 1350 cals to figure out where you can trim and adjust to free up some more room for dinner. perhaps have half and english muffin and an ounce less of yogurt in the mornings. perhaps try half and english muffin with nut butter and fruit in the mornings. add a little more veg and cut back on the higher cal items in your salad. remember that a serving of avocado is 1/4 of one and if it's not something that you personally find filling it can be a big hunk of calories for not a lot of food, even if it is good for you. i had a great dip once that was basically salsa mixed with avocado. it was tasty but lower cal because of the tomato and pepper and onion in the salsa. it won't work with every flavor profile, but it was a lower cal way to work through an avocado. as you're planning and reviewing, look at the biggest calorie numbers and see if you can eat just a little less of those items to free up room for other items. taking a teaspoon/Tablespoon/1/8 cup/ 10 grams/half an ounce out of something might not seem like much, but it can add up to make a big difference.
finally, pay attention to what makes you feel full. for me, a baked potato is just about the most filling food on the planet. i tend to top mine with broccoli and cheese or lentil vegetable curry. and that's often an under 300 cal meal that will keep me for hours. eggs leave me as hungry when i'm done as when i started [boxed mac and cheese fills me up better for longer than eggs], despite how great they seem to work for most other people. noting when you get hungry after a meal can help you make better choices by eliminating the things that aren't keeping you full and eating what does keep you full more often. i mean, if your lunch is 500 cals and it's only keeping you two hours, you can probably find a 200 cal snack that keeps you full for that long and devote the extra 300 cals to something that will fill you. and watch how your workouts affect your hunger. some people get hungry right after, an hour after, and still others it's the next day. you might find that sticking between 1200-1500 works for you on non workout days so that you can use the extra 100-200 cals on workout days works for you. or if you aren't as hungry when you workout, stick to the slightly lower range on workout days and use the extra few hundred the day after when you do get hungry.
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2/25/14 6:19 A
Thanks for your feedback... I think pre planning is necessary. I eat the same healthy breakfast (Greek yogurt, fruit, and whole wheat English muffin) and a huge salad (w/ tons of healthy verges and some ham, a whole wheat pita w/ avocado) for lunch.
What Becky said. If you can't make good choices after 3pm, make those choices earlier. Plan your meals the day before (or a week in advance if you can.) Then you don't end up in the situation of not having quite enough calories "left" for a good dinner and a little evening snack. Go ahead and type everything into the tracker the night before (or on Saturday afternoon for the week, or whenever you have a little space of quiet time.)
The other huge advantage of pre-planning is that it saves major amounts of money, especially if you can do the whole week. When you have to think of something to throw together for dinner and pick up the groceries on the way home from work, you're much more likely to fall back on quick packaged foods, and you're also much more likely to forget that you already have something in the refrigerator that's going to spoil and get wasted.
There's a fine line between "rigid" and "mindful." Thinking ahead doesn't mean you can't program in a little flexibility. For example, you can plan in something called "200-calorie snack," make a list of 10 or 20 snacks that have about that many calories, and grab whichever one of the 20 strikes your fancy at a particular moment. Pre-planning actually can be more relaxing, because you don't have the mini-stress of trying to figure something out on the fly.
What are you eating during the day BEFORE 3 PM? How much are you eating overall?
If you're not eating enough the day before, your body calls in its debts the day after. If you're still hungry, then you're likely not eating the right things. So to be able to answer your question, we need to know more about what, and how much, and when, you're eating before your trouble times.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
After 3:00pm it is so much harder for me to make good nutritional choices! I come home from work about 2:30, my kids come home, and I suddenly feel famished. I am sincerely hungry, but I am also craving relaxation, which triggers the desire to EAT.
A little background... I lost 25 lbs. in about 8 months, eating between 1500-1600 cals/day. Then I stopped tracking because it felt so rigid, and I wanted to learn how to eat more intuitively. Sure enough, however, I put back on about 10 lbs. Now I am tracking again, and trying to be less rigid, yet maintain a strong commitment. I typically exercise about 5x/week and burn about 2,000 calories a week doing it. SP set my calories at 1300-1700 and days like today I feel hungry. I only have about 350 calories left for dinner and I am hoping to eat smart to get all I can from those calories. I don't want to always be hungry though because I know it isn't a sustainable lifestyle. Any suggestions?
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