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11/13/13 10:10 P

Can you try eating a big lunch a little later in the day, and a smaller late dinner?

Like if you eat 1500 calories daily:
Breakfast/morning snack: 300-350 calories
Lunch at 1-2: 600-700 calories
Afternoon snack: 100-150 calories
Finish work, go to the gym, arrive home, Eat a late dinner 7:30-8:30: 300-350 calories

Does that make sense? Eat the "dinner portion" of what you cook at lunch time, and eat the half portion in the evening.

Our culture eats a big dinner, but sometimes a big lunch works better with our schedules.

JCOW84 SparkPoints: (9,041)
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11/13/13 8:20 P

I have the same issue! I usually have a snack of nuts when I get home, prepare and eat dinner an hour later, then go to the gym after that. I find going to the gym between 7:30 - 8:30 helps stop the after dinner snacking, and it's usually much quieter at that time.

BARBARACZOR SparkPoints: (3,912)
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11/13/13 7:44 P


JENNA3 SparkPoints: (74,985)
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11/13/13 11:27 A

I have similar issues. I create menus that cut my cooking time to about ten minutes. I start by making something in my slow cooker. Chicken breasts, or pot roast. Then the next night, I turn the leftovers into something new that's done fast. For example, Monday I'll make chicken breast in the slow cooker and rice in the rice cooker. Steam vegetables in the microwave and then voila, I'm almost done before I start. Tuesday I take half the chicken leftovers and the leftover rice and make chicken fried rice. All I have to do is stir-fry some frozen veggies for a few minutes, add the chicken rice and my fav sauce and cook another two minutes or so. Dinner's done quickly. Wednesday I'll take the rest of the chicken and make a chicken salad, wraps or tacos, shredded chicken bbq, or similar. Again, done in ten minutes.

This saves me from the cravings monster most of the time because all I have to do is get a glass of flavored water to keep my mouth happy for ten minutes.


SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,295
11/13/13 7:26 A

Maybe try an orange or an apple instead of the banana as a snack! Bananas could be high glycemic and the riper they get the more sugar they have which could possibly set off your over ripe banana may be as high as 70 on the glycemic index.

When eating an orange you get a dose of vitamin C as well as fiber, which helps keep blood glucose under control. The fiber keeps blood sugar under control. Also the phytonutrients in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar and it can also boost energy

Other low carb fruits are pears, peaches, plums, cherries, apples, kiwi, all kinds of berries.
Berries have the least impact on blood sugar.

If you need an energy boost...maybe try eggs, blueberries, strawberries or avocados as they are energy boosters.

A cup of Oatmeal, the old fashioned type provides energy because of the B vitamins...maybe you could try that as a snack with some Walnuts or almonds.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,229)
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11/12/13 9:31 P

I would recommend one of two things at first
1. eliminate caffeine entirely
2. have another 1/2 cup coffee at around 2pm.

I like spinach for energy bursts. Have you ever tried green smoothies? I love them for energy.

11/12/13 7:00 P

I too am wondering about your total calorie intake on most days.
Your Protein intake
Your fiber intake

If you make your nutrition tracker public, we can give more specific tips.

your SP Registered Dietitian

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
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11/12/13 1:46 P

The other question to ask is how many calories are you aiming for each day. I'm about the same height and weight as you and I can tell you right now, 1200 calories/day isn't going to work out well. Since you're only about 10# from your goal weight, you have to eat pretty close to maintenance calories in order to continue to lose weight. (Sounds counter intuitive, I know). Also, you're fairly active on a regular basis so your BMR is probably higher than average. I do 3 cardio and 2 strength training sessions a week, have a desk job, and average 1800 calories/day. I'm still losing about a half pound a week. Trying to stick to 1200 calories just made me grumpy and ravenous.

LITTLERED173 SparkPoints: (40)
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11/12/13 1:15 P

Thanks, these are good suggestions. I love my slow cooker and use it about once a week but could probably make a bit more use of it. I also love your suggestion of doing dinner prep in advance. That's something I often think about doing but never actually do it, and it would probably make a big difference. I find in general when I take the time to plan my meals ahead so that I don't have to think about what I'm going to cook when I get home, it's a big help, so doing a little advance prep would take it a step further. Appetizers are a good idea too.

LITTLERED173 SparkPoints: (40)
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Posts: 3
11/12/13 1:11 P

Thanks for the replies! For breakfast I usually have 2 scrambled eggs and a piece of fruit, then a yogurt mid-morning (or sometimes a bowl of protein-fortified cereal if I'm in a hurry), and for lunch I usually have leftovers from the night before. Today, for instance, it's an Egyptian dish of rice, lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetables, and yesterday it was roast beef with green beans and mashed sweet potatoes. I usually have a medium-sized portion, enough that I'm not hungry by the time I'm finished. Then I usually have a couple of snacks in the afternoon: an apple or a banana, a tomato juice, and cheese strings or almonds. I have just one travel mug of coffee every morning, and usually mix half regular coffee half decaf with milk.

For exercise, I have a desk job so don't get much exercise during the workday, but I cycle to and from work (30 mins each way), and try to fit in 5 workouts a week (though often only do 3-4). I do a variety of aerobics classes at the gym, including zumba, spinning, "boot camp", and body pump (which is a strength training class). I don't do any team sports but in the winter I cross country and downhill ski on weekends and in the summer I hike and cycle.

By "stats" do you mean height and weight? I'm 5'8", and on the high end of the healthy weight range for my height at about 158-160 pounds. I've put on about 10 pounds in the past year or so and am no longer able to fit into my old clothes, so I'm just trying to bring my eating habits a bit more under control so that it doesn't become 20 or 30 pounds extra in another year's time. Ideally, I'd like to get back to 150 pounds, because while I'm not technically overweight, I felt healthier and had more energy at that weight than I do now.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,229)
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11/12/13 12:20 P

What are your stats?
What is an average breakfast and lunch and snacks for you?
What is your exercise routine?
Do you drink coffee? If so, when is your last cup of the day?

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 11/12/2013 (12:21)
LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
11/12/13 11:28 A

If you know you get hungry at that time every day and plan have something healthy as an appetizer to your dinner I don't think it would ruin your efforts as much as trying to tough it out and grabbing something less healthy because you feel desperate. Could you plan to have some fruit, raw vegetables, a salad, a smoothie or a hard boiled egg while you cook? Consider it as part of your meal (appetizer) or a planned snack and work out what foods would fit your ranges in the tracker.

Do some of your dinner prep in advance. You can cut up or pre-cook some ingredients to cut down on prep time at 6PM.
Cook double the amount when you cook and plan to quickly warm up the leftovers another night or put the extra in your freezer for another day.
Put your dinner in a slow cooker in the morning so it is ready when you come home.

LITTLERED173 SparkPoints: (40)
Fitness Minutes: (30)
Posts: 3
11/12/13 10:58 A

My biggest challenge in maintaining and losing weight is that I find it very difficult to wait until supper time to eat. I will start off the day with a healthy breakfast (usually around 7:00), pack a healthy lunch to eat at work (which I usually eat at 12:00) and will be feeling great until about 2 or 3 pm, and then the cravings start to kick in. I'll reach for a few healthy snacks throughout the afternoon, like fruit, yogurt, almonds or a piece of cheese, but even so, by the time I make it home (around 6:00) I am often so hungry that I simply can't wait for dinner. At that point, the cravings take over and I binge on sugary foods, like candy or toast with butter and honey, just to tide me over while I'm cooking a healthy dinner. Sometimes I'll actually ruin my appetite for dinner because I'll have filled up on sweets to satisfy earlier cravings.

It's especially difficult on nights when I go to they gym after work: ironically, I'm fitting in some exercise, but then by the time I get home at 7:00, I am even more desperate for something sugary, and really can't wait the extra 30-60 minutes it will take to cook.

Any suggestions on how I can keep my blood sugar more even throughout the day so that I don't hit this daily point of "desperation" and ruin all of my earlier good efforts?

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