Greetings friends! If you noticed my number, you already know how happy I am to see it pop under to 196. I had sincerely hoped to get to 194.5 by the last day of March, but obviously that wasn't meant to be. But that's okay - I am pretty pleased with my results so far, so I am certainly not going to complain.
One of my commenters asked what I was eating everyday. I can say that there are some things that are my "staples" but otherwise I am only limited by my taste buds. I eat between 1200 and 1400 calories a day, with a target of 1350. I also try to eat 4 servings of veggies, 3 servings of fruit, and 80-90g of protein. Like I said, there are only a couple of things that I do every day.
During the week I jump start my metabolism every morning at 7:00 with a protein bar or low fat yogurt. I eat the citrus or almond bars from Herbalife. I like the taste, they're only 130 calories and have 10g of protein. After that, I get in at least one protein shake per day. They have an average of 24-29 grams of protein and at least one serving of fruit, depending on how I make them. And they're really filling, so I can eat them as a snack or meal replacement. Either way works and they're only about 200 calories. If I'm hungrier than normal after dinner, I'll eat one then. Completely satisfying.
I generally have at least one 3-4 oz. chicken breast every day. I marinate them, bake them and keep them in a baggie in the fridge for quick and easy snacks or meals. Then I wrap them in leaf lettuce, "flatout" bread, or a low fat tortilla. I add spinach leaves, tomato or salsa, a little shredded cheese and some light mayo or fat free sour cream. These odd little sandwiches are typically between 150 and 200 calories each. I switch up the chicken with tuna salad or egg salad made with light mayo, onion and celery every couple of weeks. All of them make great little quick sandwiches. My dinners are not a whole lot different. I don't want to cook two meals - one for family members and another for me. So I keep mine easy. I will often have soup and fat free crackers, or my homemade chili as my dinner meal. I also heat up chicken or white fish and add a big serving of veggies. My favorite are the "Steamers" brand. Throw them in the microwave for 7 minutes, 45 calories per serving . . . super!!! Baked veggies with a spray of extra virgin oil are also really good. And then of course I have my wonderful grilled fat free cheese sandwich. Yum!
Okay. I am never without either fresh cut veggies or fresh fruit. I reach for the veggies before the fruit, and usually have 2 measured tablespoons of dip, like ranch. If I haven't had enough veggies, I substitute with V8. Other things I keep on hand are almonds. I eat those as a snack when I'm feeling what I refer to as "desperate hunger." You know, when you're really hungry and have to have something quick. Just a handful or two does the trick. I also keep rice cakes and english muffins on hand. They're a great snack with a little peanut butter. Cooked ham, deli roast beef and turkey are also good on english muffins. Add a handful of pretzels and it is really filling.
The great thing about counting calories as the means for losing weight is that you get to eat whatever you want. You just have to count the calories. Subway without dressing, for a 6 inch sub, is only 350 calories. Yogurt from McDonald's is 60. You can eat what you want, literally. But when you hit your calorie limit, you're done. Period. So you learn to spread your calories out over the course of the day, and you find you start to choose foods with lower calories or higher protein. For example, an Oreo is 56 calories. I can have 4 Oreos or I can have two rice cakes with either peanut butter or tuna salad. No brainer for me.
I don't really eat the 100 calorie snacks. I just think they're a tease for real food and they aren't filling. I'd rather have a little sugar-free pudding cup for 60 calories than two little muffins in a 100 calorie snack package. Or I can have a whole plate of veggies with a little dip for 150. It all comes down to what I choose. And I like that freedom.
Other tidbits: if you're eating a salad, keep the dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and THEN stab your salad. There is NO difference in the taste, you use 1/3 the amount of dressing and cut out 2/3 of the calories. The only other thing I would add it that if you decide to eat pre-made dinners like Lean Cuisine, watch out for the sodium. It causes water retention and will sabotage your weight loss. Cool beans.
Alright -- this has been VERY lengthy. I have learned lots of tricks along the way to help me. But that's the story I have today. The food story. That's what I know so far, anyway. Feel free to share anything you think will make the journey smoother for all of us. :)
And until the next time, God bless and God love ya.