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Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a nobleman, and dinner like a peasant!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

My body is feeling tired. I've been working out like crazy, and I'm still trying to find the right balance between that and my eating. Earlier today I was just craving all kinds of junk food right after lunch -- and guess what? I think it was because my lunch just didn't satisfy me after a light breakfast and morning exercise. So my goal for the rest of today is to eat healthy foods to satiety rather than worrying about the number of calories.

Worrying too much about calories is a trap that is so easy to fall into when I'm tracking all my food. Whether because I want to eat less to lose more quickly, because I want to save up for a big dinner or a special treat, or because I'm just naturally frugal, I end up stinting on calories during the day. I also see lots of low-cal recipes (Hungry Girl is one frequent offender) that state, "Only 200 calories per serving!" Yeah, it's great to have shaved extra calories off the original dish, but 200 calories does not constitute a satisfying meal. It makes a snack, or a good main dish to be rounded out with some other side dishes like crackers, fruit, veggies and hummus, etc. No one should eat less than 1200 calories per day (and I need quite a bit more than that), so my meals should be AT LEAST 400 calories, and probably more like 500.

There's a Russian saying: "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a nobleman, and dinner like a peasant." There's another Russian saying, "Eat breakfast yourself. Share lunch with a friend. Give your dinner to your enemy." I don't always believe in all Russian folk wisdom, but I think they're right on in emphasizing that more calories should be consumed earlier in the day -- even though this goes against American culture of having the largest meal in the evening with the family.

Since we Americans tend to eat the largest meal in the evening, that makes it challenging for those of us who like to save up our calories. My own tendency is to want to save several hundred calories, or even more, for dinner, especially if I have plans to go out. I also have a tendency to want to save up extra for a treat, like a low-cal ice cream, after dinner. But it doesn't work that way. Especially with extra exercise and activity, I find I need the calories earlier in the day. Saving them up doesn't work -- I'm starving by the time dinner comes around and I tend to overeat, or consume dessert after dessert after dessert, if I'm hungry after a day of deprivation. (Single-serving desserts don't work as intended if you eat 3 of them!) It's much better for me to eat as much as I need during the day, obviously making healthy choices in terms of calories but also in terms of getting enough protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates to fuel the rest of the day. Then I'm able to have a moderate dinner and a piece of fruit and tea for dessert without feeling deprived.

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I'm also preparing for our upcoming family trip to Hawaii. I hope it goes well (travelling with 9 family members, including 2 babies, can be challenging!) We're leaving tomorrow! That is, assuming my husband is healthy, we make it to the airport with all our stuff, we don't get bumped from our flight, etc., etc. Looking forward to lots of sunshine, salt water, and sea air, as well as fresh fish, tropical fruit, and family time. Can't wait!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    HIllary, this is a great post! I love the title, and you are so right -- we need our calories first thing in the morning to get us going and prevent those hunger attacks!

    Have a wonderful time in Hawaii!!

    1959 days ago
  • CARI2012
    GOod thinking! My job has a program where I have a wellness coach that calls me every few weeks to check up on my progress (hello, accountability!) and she always says that breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day. I hope you have a WONDERFUL vacation! I'm so jealous that you get to go to warm weather... enjoy! emoticon emoticon
    1963 days ago
    Looks like you've got a great plan lined up! You can do it!!! :) I hope you enjoy your vacation immensely and be safe! *hug*
    1963 days ago
    Here in Brazil the largest meal is lunch. People usually have a combination of rice, beans, meat, and salad or vegetables, it is a balanced and satisfying meal.

    What I do is eat a light breakfast (because I'm not too hungry in the morning), and then I practically repeat breakfast at dinner time. Typical breakfast/dinner for me would be oatmeal with toast and a fruit, or another example would be a smoothie made with banana, blueberry, 0% milk, cottage cheese and cinnamon. These foods fill me up and are healthy.

    You said something very important: we shouldn't starve ourselves in order to lose weight. I hope you can keep on making good food choices. Good job!

    1963 days ago
    Enjoy your vacation!! emoticon emoticon
    1963 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/9/2013 8:54:23 PM
    I love this!!! You are SO right!!!! Im gonna take your advise!!!

    1963 days ago
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