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Old 03-19-2014, 10:19 AM   #5
Munchy
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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I agree with everyone else - 1200 seems like it's a little too low to begin with. I'd probably start with 1600 or so first just to see how it feels (and see if it makes a difference), then go from there, lowering if necessary.

To start, I would compile a few recipes that equal around the same number of calories. That way you can have one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. It is especially helpful to make meal and split it into the correct number of portions so that you don't have to cook every single day. Think of your calories as a daily budget. You have $1200 to spend every day and after that's gone, your "bank" is empty.

300 calorie breakfast: LINK

300=400 calorie lunch/dinner: LINK and LINK

That leaves you about 200 calories for a snack or two.

Planning ahead is key for me so that I don't blow my entire calorie budget in one or two meals, leaving me hungry for the rest of the day. I do this by writing before my day even starts.
Breakfast:
Lunch:
Snack:
Dinner:
Snack:
TOTAL: 1200

In general:
-Non-starchy vegetables are very low in calories, so you'd want to incorporate more of those into your meals to make them larger and more satisfying
-Drinks can "cost" you calories, so you'd want to stick with water, tea, coffee, unless you want to cut back on more of your food in lieu of the drinks
-Pay close attention to serving sizes. Use a kitchen scale for dense and calorie high foods like mayo, butter, oil, peanut butter, and salad dressing, but try to measure other foods according to serving sizes like (1/2 cup of rice, 2oz of dry pasta, 1oz of cheese)
-Try to opt for lighter versions of condiments like sour cream, milk, cheese, salad dressing, mayo, bread, etc. If you're not sure about specific items, there are so many recommendations we can make on specific brands.

Good luck! www.skinnytaste.com is a really good place to start browsing for recipes!
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