Weight Loss Support - How I Used To Eat

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12-18-2008, 06:51 PM
I was responding to another thread here where the OP was surprised that the calorie levels she was eating. It got me to thinking about how much I used to eat. I never counted my calories BEFORE I started eating more healthily. I didn't start counting calories until after I'd started working out and made significant changes to my diet. So I played a little. I just thought about what I would eat on an average day and I put it into my Daily Plate.

Every morning I would go through the drive through at Einstein Bros and get an everything bagel with extra cream cheese and a coffee with cream. On mornings that I really wanted to treat myself I'd go through McD's instead and get a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit with extra cheese and hashbrowns.

I used to go out to lunch every day with a friend from work and usually got a salad - because they were healthy. Uh huh. :lol: And if we went to Chili (which we did probably 2x or 3x a week) there was ALWAYS an order of chips and salsa - with refils.

I always hit the snack machine for a snack in the afternoon. I always had a Snickers bar - I'd tell myself they had peanuts so the protein in there was healthy and would keep me going through the afternoon. Every day I did this. A Snickers and a Diet Coke. Yeah, who was I fooling.

Every night I'd cook dinner or we'd go out. I never ate a single portion of anything. A box of Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes that was supposed to serve 4? DH and I would split it evenly and lick the pot. Veggies? We both love veggies ... but we'd steam them and douse them in cheese sauce.

And always dessert or a late night snack. We'd wait until about 9:30 or 10 and then decide if we wanted salty or sweet. Then we'd go to the store and get our "treats". Either potato chips or Steak N Shake for a strawberry shake or a pint of Ben & Jerry's (Cherries Garcia for him and Double Chocolate Fudge Chunk for me). And don't think we'd eat one serving. It was a large shake with whipped cream or 2 servings (i.e. 1/2 a pint or more of icecream eaten right out of the container) or 1/2 to 3/4 a bag of chips.

And this was NORMAL. We never thought anything about it. We knew we weren't being completely healthy but we never thought it was THAT bad. I mean - a bagel? That's healthy whole grains. A salad for lunch? It's a SALAD!! And dinner was well balanced with a protein, a starch, and a veggie. Right? Right!!!

So I thought about that and entered it all into the Daily Plate. Are you ready? Really? You're sure??? (Calories are in parentheses.)


Einstein Bros Bagel, Everything (340)
Einstein Bros Cream Cheese - Whipped Plain (140)
Einstein Bros Coffee, Cream (140)

Chili's Grill and Bar Bottomless Chips And Salsa (480)
Chili's Grill and Bar Caesar Salad W/ Grilled Chicken (1,010)

Afternoon Snack
Snickers Candy Bars (280)

Meatloaf - my homemade with extra breadcrumbs and eggs (506)
Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes (260)
Broccoli (31)
Velveeta Cheese (110)

Ben and Jerry's Double Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream (520)

Cals: 3,787
Fat: 202g
Chol: 371mg
Sodium: 8,133mg
Carbs: 360g


I look at this and I want to throw up. And I want to stress again that this was a NORMAL day. Every day was like this and weekends were much, much, much worse.

That amount of sodium frightens me. And the fat?

I cannot even conceive of eating like this again, but if you had asked me then was I eating badly .. I honestly would have told you "Eh, not great, but not too bad!"

It's eye opening, isn't it?


12-18-2008, 07:04 PM
It is quite shocking.

I used to think the same thing about salads at all those restaurants and I'd eat that because I thought I was being healthy too.
Only lately restaurants have been publishing caloric counts for their foods and when I saw that those salads have 1000 calories and up I felt so cheated. It is true that I'd probably be better off eating a burger but that's not healthy either.
I still have troubles going to most restaurants and figuring out what to eat, so I don't do it very often and when I do I just see it as a treat while still trying to make the smarter choices.

While working at a former jog I had the chance to talk to a few women who were trying to lose weight and were being unsuccessful while in their heads they were eating "right" and I would always suggest they journal what they ate because I knew that for myself, when I did it, I got quite a surprise just like you.

12-18-2008, 07:07 PM
I did this same experiment with one of my "normal days". I also would have told you I ate fairly well...healthy stuff...lots and lots and lots of healthy stuff...about 3,100 calories worth is what I came up with. Ick...

12-18-2008, 07:09 PM
:fr: :fr: :fr: :fr:

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:


Yean... Sounds about right... Dear, dear, dear!!!

I was oblivious like that, too... Never thought I was eating "that much"...



12-18-2008, 07:10 PM
Broccoli (31)


12-18-2008, 07:11 PM
It's eye opening, isn't it?
When I think back to how I used to eat, I could vomit. I would seriously eat at Wendy's or McDonalds 5-6 times a week. Always got a hamburger with TWO patties on it, with fries, and NOT diet pop. 5-6 times a week! I save a lot of $ nowadays!

12-18-2008, 07:25 PM
I think this is the reason why a food journal is so important when changing your lifestyle.

I hardly ever went out an brough my breakfast and lunch to work-thinking it was healthier then a 'sensible' dinner. but the biggest downfall for me was the wine that I drank in the eve...some with dinner some after dinner. one before I went to bed all that added up to oh about 3100-3500 calories per day
no wonder I would gain 30-40 pounds a year...lose it then do it all over again

12-18-2008, 07:40 PM
2 words: Plato Grande!!

Me going out for Mexican food mindlessly: Endless, uncounted chips with salsa and sour cream. This is BEFORE the food comes...

Oh, does Plato Grande come with a salad? How healthy-ish! Blue cheese please....

Then comes the taco (fried,) chili relleno (ditto,) AND rice and beans.

Did I mention the margaritas? Is everybody else having another? OK, you twisted my arm.

Me eating Mex mindfully: counting out chips (8!) then pushing the basket away; ordering a la carte; soft (not fried) shrimp or fish tacos - iced tea at lunch, one drink with dinner.

I never really figured out but I think there's probably 1500 calories between styles there.

12-18-2008, 08:02 PM
Oh man, I did some of the SAME things. I thought anything was healthy as long as it was organic, natural, or whole grain. I didn't think I ate that much unhealthy food (or even that much food, period) and had no idea why I was overweight when other people were thin.

Like many of you, I frequently ordered salads at restaurants because I thought they were healthy. Since the carb intake usually wasn't too bad (but they sure do get you on those fat grams :eek:), I figured the entire caloric value couldn't be THAT high. Boy was I wrong. Now, I order salads with no cheese, no crutons, no *insert creamy fatty thing here*. Eating out is usually pretty boring for me because at most restaurants, there are only one or two items off the menu that I can order without heavy amounts of modification.

For breakfast, I had an oatmeal square from the vending machine at work. Infact, I usually had two, because one wouldn't cut it. I thought, "It's OATMEAL, so it's whole grain and lowers cholesterol. It MUST be healthy!" If I didn't eat two oatmeal squares, I ate one square and then one bag of Sun Chips around an hour or two later. Breakfast: 440 calories.

For lunch, I often went to Subway. I didn't realize the "6 under 6" rule only applied under certain conditions like no cheese and no creamy/fatty sauces :lol: So, I'd get one of the "healthy" subs with cheese, mayo, mustard, and a bunch of other stuff. I'd usually make it a combo and get the chips. I thought, "Well, ok, chips are not healthy, BUT I am only eating one bag, so what's the harm?" Lunch: 650 calories

Between lunch and dinner/when I'd leave work, I'd usually get a bag of chips, nuts, or trail mix. "Trail mix and nuts are natural!" I thought to myself. "I'm having a healthy snack." Snack: 250 calories

Dinner is where I'd go all out. My now ex girlfriend would make me fried steak, fried chicken, fried plantains, fried yuca, home made fried potatoes, deep fried corn sticks, empanadas, corn on the cob dripping with butter, and fried anythingeverything. We'd both eat a fairly large plate of that and I frequently had seconds. I knew this wasn't healthy (and I didn't eat fried stuff much before living with her -- back when I was thin -- except on special occasions like out to eat), but it tasted so good that I didn't care. Dinner: 1,000 calories.

Then, we'd have dessert an hour or two after. (300 calories) We'd eat another snack after that before bed, too. (300 more calories).

TOTAL: 2,940 calories --
and this, of course, was just a "regular" day. We went out to eat frequently and before I became weight conscious, I had the entire menu to choose from. A restaurant meal with a split dessert can equate to nearly 2,000 calories alone :eek: Sometimes, I got cravings and would eat an entire bag of Munchies party mix. Other times, Hot Fries and Chex Mix were my friends. I thought that since I wasn't eating potato chips or corn chips (never really cared much for either, honestly), I was eating healthy snacks :lol:

12-18-2008, 08:05 PM
Oh, K8-EEE, I love Mexican food. Chinese food, too. I always loved buffets both while previously thin and while fat. While previously thin, though, I would eat pretty much nothing all day until I saw the buffet so I would be EXTRA hungry and get my money's worth. While fat, I ate at other times in addition to the buffet.

I have not seen a buffet in years. I almost miss 'em. Maybe when I make my trip up to DC, my sister and I will hit a buffet for old times' sake (we always went to those when I lived up there!) -- this time, I will just hit the buffet mindfully. ;)

12-18-2008, 08:09 PM
At least some of you ate foods that actually were in the same form as when they were in the ground. I never ever ate breakfast lived on ice-cream (ben and Jerry's cookie dough), twizzlers, oreos, gummy worms (the kind with the sugar) and french fries, on a healthy eating day I had an steak, egg and cheese bagel. I used to be the kind who every gas station attendant around where I lived knew and would comment on how I must make some children happy with all the treats I bought. I wondered why I always felt sluggish and faint turns out I was anemic b/c surprise none of these foods are a good source of iron and I had GERD to the point where I lived on protonix. Funny how whole foods have turned this all around. The embarrassment of eating like a child left to make his/her own food choices for so long still lingers a little.

12-18-2008, 08:25 PM
broccoli - 31 cals ... I know! I laughed out loud when I saw that on the list.

Isn't it amazing how we used to fool ourselves?

And I would order dessert at the restaurant - one of my favorites was strawberries Romanoff at LaMad's. I convinced myself I was being healthy by doing so. But yeah, the Romanoff sauce is nothing but cream and sugar. :)

I never really was a "binge" eater. I just ate. A lot.

And then I think about the days that I didn't eat lunch. Of course I never *brought* my lunch, so if I didn't go out, then I skipped. Then DH and I woudl go to someplace like the Cheesecake Factory and have appetizer, two entrees, and dessert - because by then I was STARVING. Plus I ALWAYS had drinks out - either wine or a margarita or a vodka martini. I forgot to add that to my list. I probably consumed 300 calories a day in alcohol.


12-18-2008, 08:32 PM
I don't know what surprises me more about how I used to eat (3-5,000 calories of crap - similar to others who've posted in this thread): the fact that I ate all that, felt crappy all the time and lethargic - or the fact that I was so in denial about my poor eating habits.

I remember one time my friend and I (he is still overweight but we never, EVER talk about it) polished off 2 dozen krispy kreme donuts (yes, that's 24) in the span of a day and a half. We had a 2 for 1 voucher. Not to mention the 3 or 4 free samples we got standing in line, as they had just been baked.

12-18-2008, 08:42 PM
I don't even want to think about this...but here it goes. XD

Breakfast: Prolly two servings of lucky charms with whole Milk.
Lunch: Wendy's...taco bell (Which I found can be managable but isn't when you order the ultimate nachos.)
Dinner: Either a pasta dinner (Which must have been like a whole bag of pasta with a full ring of sausage on top)
Snack: And I use the term loosely cause it was usually a grilled chicken sandwhich from Wendys
Bedtime snack after closing the store: Onion rings and a chicken parm sandwhich from sheets.

I can't count up all those calories...but I'm assuming it's in the 4,000-5,000 range.

Least now I have my sugar free jello and sugar free cool whip..I dunno what I would do without those guys. xD

12-18-2008, 08:53 PM
Einstein Bros Bagel, Everything (340)
Einstein Bros Cream Cheese - Whipped Plain (140)
Einstein Bros Coffee, Cream (140)

Chili's Grill and Bar Bottomless Chips And Salsa (480)
Chili's Grill and Bar Caesar Salad W/ Grilled Chicken (1,010)

Afternoon Snack
Snickers Candy Bars (280)

Meatloaf - my homemade with extra breadcrumbs and eggs (506)
Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes (260)
Broccoli (31)
Velveeta Cheese (110)

Ben and Jerry's Double Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream (520)

I totally get what you're saying, but D*MN that sounds good!! LOL.


12-18-2008, 09:00 PM
It's really no surprise that many people in America eat like this. Look at all the marketing for supersized meals and fast foods that are not healthy.

I still get angry every time I see the Taco Bell fourth meal commercial. Fourth meal? Comeon...we eat too much with just three meals. And in the middle of the night when you should not be eating at all.

I am so dissapointed that this country doesn't take a stronger stance on how we market health. I see a shift for the better, but it still can't compete with the corporations who want our money.

12-18-2008, 09:05 PM
Oh, I've had it on my mind to do this too. I think it will be a helpful tool for maintenance.

12-18-2008, 09:06 PM
recidivist, I agree... we are products of our environment. People around us often do not eat healthy things. I personally think the idea of three meals a day is overrated, too; for most people's bodies, 4-5+ hours is too long of a fast and the metabolism marginally slows down when the body isn't frequently fed.

You don't even need to consume a lot of food to consume a lot of calories. Sometimes, I felt that I really didn't eat that much at all - and sometimes I didn't eat much in regards to quantity (heck, one big "homemade" cookie from Walgreens has 420 calories :eek:) but I still ate way too many calories. And I wonder how restaurants can pack so many calories into one meal... geeeesh... they must prepare those steaks with oil and butter and then top 'em off with more butter before serving... yup... infact, I know many do ;)

I always wonder how those, say, thirty years ago were not nearly as overweight as we are now, especially when the calorie counting/health conscious craze was not fully in effect. I'm thinking people just ate less. We all know going out to eat was not as frequent, but I'm thinking the meals in restaurants themselves must have been smaller or not so unhealthily prepared.

12-18-2008, 09:14 PM
I'm sorry to say this but reading about the mexican food is making me want some, bad!!

But I am back on track after a dangerous dip into food despair. I am done done done for the night. Gonna make some ginger tea and get outta dodge (the kitchen.)

And yes, my pre counting intake must have ranged in the 3-400 range. yup. uh huh. easy.

12-18-2008, 09:20 PM
I always wonder how those, say, thirty years ago were not nearly as overweight as we are now, especially when the calorie counting/health conscious craze was not fully in effect. I'm thinking people just ate less. We all know going out to eat was not as frequent, but I'm thinking the meals in restaurants themselves must have been smaller or not so unhealthily prepared.

30 years ago fast food places were just starting to become popular. People were eating much healthier foods. Also there is some info on HFCS that shows why it is used in so many foods today (cost savings and government subsidies for corn) and why it is so hard on our bodies.

I can't post a link yet, but if you search youtube for "Conspiracy for Fat America & High-Fructose Corn Syrup" and look at the video by Radhia Gleis, 9.25 minutes long, it explains it really well.

12-18-2008, 09:21 PM
You know, Shane, you're right. Back when McDonald's first opened (after the Earth cooled ;)), there was no Big Mac or Quarter Pounder. All they had were those plain burgers, little thin patty, small bun, no sauce etc. unless you asked for it. And the FF came in small and large and large was like today's medium, but a little less. Soda came in small and large, and large was 12 ounces. Oh, and you could get a hot dog if you didn't want a burger. Oh, and cheese if you wanted it.

My family would go to places like that, and the kids could get either 2 burgers or 1 burger and fries, and a small drink. That was it. Even my parents didn't get much more than that. (Oh, and did I mention that burgers were 5 for a dollar?)

Oh, and as the sizes and choices increased, so did my parents' waistlines...

P.S. You can still get a plain hamburger and it's about 250 cals. But who wants to eat it? Unless it's an emergency.


12-18-2008, 09:21 PM
The thing is .. historically ... (and I have a degree in history and anthropology - social history is my passion) our bodies are meant to MOVE. People used to walk up to 10 miles a day just as a part of regular life. If you "rode" anywhere, you rode a horse which is still exercise.

It hasn't been until just the last 100 years (out of thousands and thousands of years of development) that our lives have been as easy as they are today.

Prior to this century, we were hunters, gatherers, farmers, walkers, riders ... we got up with the sun and went to bed with the sun. We ate by the seasons ... and we ate very little because there was no shipping in strawberries from New Zealand or hydroponically growing lettuce in January.

Our bodies have had thousands of years to adapt to this way of life and less than 1% of that time to adapt to our "new" way of life - which includes automobiles, sedentary jobs, cars, and so forth.

Even my father's generation - he grew up on a farm. Getting up and doing a lot of very physical chores before going to school was normal for him. Sure he ate fried eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, and milk every mornig. But before he ate breakfast, he burned 1500 calories in chores every single morning.

The problem is that he grew up and made the same breakfasts for us that his mom made for him when he was a teenager. But I wasn't getting up the morning, mucking out the barn, milking 2 cows, and laying hay for the horses. :) I was getting up and consuming a 1500 calorie breakfast and going to school and sitting on my a$$ for 8 hours. :)

Technology is an amazing thing and I am so glad I was born when I was. I cannot imagine my life w/out my laptop, the Internet, my cell phone, and all the other amazing things that are a part of my every day life. But my body and my metabolism are still genetically designed for a lifestyle that is massively different from the way I actually live.

And I think that's true for most of us. :)


12-18-2008, 09:26 PM
PhotoChick that is a really good point!
I mean personally I have the normal cubical job. I sit here for 8 hours (Sometimes more) a day behind a computer. The only moving I do is lunch, bathroom, and smoke breaks. Not to mention I work 3:30 to midnight so my lunch is at 6:30 and my dinner it at 1!
Bleh...no wonder it's hard to loose weight. I don't have to move for forty hours out of my week.

12-18-2008, 09:26 PM
I agree on the bodies in motion thing. Quick suggestion for everyone. Technology also gave us cd players. Put on some music that really gets your blood pumping, and get up and dance. What better way to get some exercise after getting home from work or school, and sitting on your a$$ all day (especially when it's cold or snowy or rainy out).

I have to make myself a note to do this everyday. I don't play music often enough and I always want to dance when I do.

12-18-2008, 09:40 PM
Yes, we are meant to move. But also, in the past several decades there has been an insanely large increase in fast and processed junk food.

If you look at other countries where the amount of available junk food is growing.... so are the obeisity numbers.

12-18-2008, 09:45 PM
Hey, at least you weren't consciously bingeing! Aside from the nighttime dessert run, it doesn't "sound" too bad.....I mean, goes to show.

12-18-2008, 09:50 PM
Yes, we are meant to move. But also, in the past several decades there has been an insanely large increase in fast and processed junk food.Oh true. Even if you look at my father's diet as a teen ...

Eggs - from hens that his mom raised
Bread - that she made 2x a week, no preservatives.
Bacon or sausage - from hogs slaughtered on their farm and aged in their smokehouse .. no msg, no preservatives, just naturally smoked
Milk - from their cows (or neighbors cows or a local dairy)

The idea of getting up in the morning and going to McDs for a sausage biscuit would have appalled my g'mother. :)


12-18-2008, 10:38 PM
Oh I was horrible! I would eat out (fried foods of course) several times a week...and for 20 cents it didn't take me 2 seconds to decide that I wanted to supersize my meal. At the time I thought I was getting a good deal! Ever since I started this lifestyle to a healthier/leaner me I started counting calories and it still amazes me how many calories and grams of fat are in some foods. I've realized that even at a 'healthier' restaurants like Subway I can still easily consume my daily intake of calories in one meal if I'm not careful! Yay for a healthier lifestyle! :)

12-18-2008, 10:55 PM
This is a really interesting topic! Photochick, I love social history too, though my speciality is nursing. ;)

I was just telling my friend the other day how humans role in the environment has changed fundamentally, yet our physiological form has yet to evolve, or is it? We were designed to walk upright, use our oposable thumbs and engage in critical, free thought. We were specialized to have a range of emotions and feelings as well. Imagine though, in another 20 years, when the population is 80% obese, is that evolution? Maybe it is. After all, weight gain is nothing but our bodies adaptation to too many calories. The bigger we get, the more we slow down. Geneticists are finding the "fat" genes, the molecular trigger to obesity, WHY?

Also, why are we going to remote places in the world and finding whopper virgins? Why are we tainting people for marketing purpose?

I could easily be 300 pounds. I love to eat. I mean, I love food more than I love air and water. If I don't like it, I'd rather starve. I loathe fast food. I love traditional ukrainian cusine loaded with sugar and fat. I'd so much rather sit on the couch and eat all day. I have a mental illness that forces me to make different choices though. I get up, work, eat healthy, workout, rinse and repeat. I'm a floor nurse, a highly physical occupation, that I must be fit to work. So, being unhealthy and unfit is not an option, because I have to work and live for my kiddo.

I dunno what to do, especially for her. All I can do is instill a healthy image, a desire to remain fit and keep moving and the tools to make the best choices in all aspects of life.

12-18-2008, 10:59 PM
You are soooo right; I never had a pizza until I was 16 years old, and it just had tomato sauce and some parmesan; later, we cut up hot dogs for a Saturday night treat. :lol: I didn't know what a hamburger or french fries were until a nurse told me when I was five; she bought me one for supper after I woke up from surgery. My parents hardly ever ate in a restaurant: maybe once a year at KFC, and that was a big deal for us. Our first big deal was going to get a cone a Dairy Queen.

Were we behind socially; maybe, but we lived on a farm and small towns and always ate fresh farm food. Plus, we didn't eat much; usually one helping becuz we had 8 or 9 people to feed. And, on the farm, we worked hard as PHOTOCHIC says; we always worked hard. I did notice that when I look back, I gained weight whenever I wasn't working hard. Now I can't for health reasons and it's harder to get the weight off too.

The junk foods that we now eat as snacks were meant for several people and we hardly ever ate them as children. Munching is my biggest problem; and those bags of party mix and chips pack THOUSANDS of calories. :yikes:

When we take a good look at this, we can see why and how we ended up where we are. I was not a fat child, but when we started having the money and access to fast foods and junk foods, that's when we all started putting on the excess weight in our family ...

Shannon in ATL
12-18-2008, 11:05 PM
I have calculated calories for some of my days in the past and was disturbed, too. You know what my favorite dinner was in 2004? Two-four hot pockets (different flavors, so I often bought ten boxes at a time so I could mix and match) or an entire frozen pizza. I'm proud to say I haven't had a hot pocket of any type since May of 2005. Sadly though, I just replaced the hot pockets with other food items that added up to 3000 calorie days - heck, I worked for Burger King and got one free meal per each daypart I worked. As I normally worked ten-twelve hour days that meant I got breakfast, lunch and dinner.... I used to take kickboxing twice per week and yoga twice per week just to maintain my BK & Starbucks habit...

DH and I talk about the evolutionary history of the human form a lot. Where we came from, where we are going... Me, I'm going to keep exercising and eating less. Trying to get him to recommit to it is the hard part. He has cut his diet substantially, we actually started the eating healthy and exercising at his suggestion, I just bypassed him on the success scale and he has little time these days for exercise.

My grandfather grew up on a farm - to this day he still gets up every morning at 3am. By 9 he has walked 10 miles on his treadmill, another 10 at the track (or the treadmill in case of rain), done 200 pushups, 200 situps, whatever other exercise strikes his fancy, and gone to his own little farm and put out food for his small number of animals and walked the garden. 68 years old and in better shape than I will ever be in in my life...

12-18-2008, 11:08 PM
I ate out 2-3 meals a day. It was a combination of laziness and the fact that homemade food wasn't as tasty as fast food (or at least I thought that at the time). Breakfast was a large muffin or a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. My favorite lunch was the spicy breaded chicken sandwich at Wendy's with the large fries, ranch dressing to dip them in and a diet coke. After work I would be starving because the 700 calories I consumed at lunch apparently didn't fill me that well, so I would swing by McDonald's and get the chicken ranch wrap as a snack so I didn't have to go to the gym hungry. My gym routine at this time consisted of me doing weight machines for 20-30 minutes and no cardio. Dinner was either a frozen pizza where I would probably eat the whole thing or if I wanted a treat, I would get the large italian sub at Quiznos and chips, because no sub is complete with out chips. I would almost always top of the evening with some ice cream straight out of the container.

I'm sort of amazed that my highest weight was only 194. I was stuck at that number for a few months and wasn't gaining even with eating all that.

12-18-2008, 11:18 PM
Oh, one of my favorite "quick" dinners was Stouffer's French Bread Pepperoni Pizzas. Both of them. When I was tired, I'd come home and throw 2 pizzas into the toaster oven and eat them both.

That's 860 calories for dinner.


12-18-2008, 11:27 PM
Oh true. Even if you look at my father's diet as a teen ...

Eggs - from hens that his mom raised--I have an image of a little boy with bleeding pecked hands!



12-18-2008, 11:37 PM
Oh, man.

When I first started living on my own, I had a horrible sleep schedule and was generally just -off-. Had very few responsibilies but school, and I didn't really go to class, so...

Breakfast - never. At my worst, I was a college student who went to bed at around 4am and got up at 1 or 2.

Lunch - Assorted junk we'd get while out (like Hostess cupcakes, Gardettos, etc...). We'd never really EAT real food until dinner. Sometimes we'd eat ramen or get a bagel and cream cheese.

Dinner - We'd either go out to Wendy's or Taco Bell, or I'd cook a big, heavy meal. At Wendy's, it was a Double Cheeseburger with Bacon and Biggie (or Great Biggie) fries. If I was trying to be "healthy", I'd get a fried chicken sandwich, again with bacon, and with fries. At Taco Bell, a typical order would have 5-6 items...Nachos Supreme, tacos, tostadas, Pintos and Cheese, etc.

If I cooked, it was always heavy on the starches. I used to make dinners that consisted of fried chicken breast, roasted potatoes, rice, and canned corn. We'd also roast a chicken and have it with salad and a LOAF of garlic bread, heavy on the butter. One favorite meal (we were POOR college students) was boxed mac and cheese with cut up hot dogs and frozen peas.

Then we had ice cream on hand for dessert...lots of dessert.

Later on, when I was driving to work at an office park 3 days a week, I'd often get a Luna Bar (healthy!) and a Haagen Daaz bar (er...yeah) at a local convenience store. I'd binge on the Haagen Daaz in the car, then go into the office and very obviously eat my Luna bar.

I'd get a sandwich or a salad with lots of ranch dressing for lunch, and then if I was "good" and got a salad, I'd usually have some ice cream for dessert.

Then for dinner, we'd go to Wendys, or to another restaurant/fast food place, and don't forget dessert!

On the other 2 days a week, I'd stacked all my college classes, so I'd get to school at 9, have a big breakfast burrito with egg, cheese, bacon, and black beans, then go to class. I'd get a big sandwich (lots of cheese, and usually salami, on a big roll) for lunch, and the place where I got them always put tortilla chips on the side. For dinner, more fast food. And this is the worst...if we were up late studying? We'd hit fast food AGAIN around 2am and have a full meal. And usually some dessert as well.

12-18-2008, 11:52 PM
OK, I just did some math..

My standard meal at Wendys (4-5 times a week for dinner or "fourth meal") was 1260 calories.

My standard order at Taco Bell rang in at 1070 calories and 57 grams of fat.

12-18-2008, 11:53 PM
I remember when we were kids,the only time we were allowed soda and chips and dips, was on new year's eve. We almost never got candy of any kind except at Christmas or Halloween. Now they have soda machines fast foods in school cafeterias. :sad:

And we were outside playing most of the time, not glued to TV or video games. Kids today are often starting life with serious handicaps.

12-19-2008, 07:43 AM
Just wanted to add that evolution takes a LOT longer than 30 years. Our bodies aren't trying to "catch up" to the dietary changes of our culture. So, all those genes for storing fat efficiently, based on our ancient ancestors' ways of life, are going to be with us for a long time.

What do we do? Well, we have to learn how to eat and eat consciously.

It was OK to eat a lot of food when it was available, back 12,000 years ago when it wasn't available very much. Now, in Westernized countries, you can get 1,000 calories and more anytime you want just down the street. Ooops! And thanks so much, say all the happy fat cells...


12-19-2008, 10:33 AM
Holy crap. I just tried to add up a normal day pre-lifestyle change in FitDay. I actually quit trying at 3200 calories and I hadn't even got to my appetizers and sauces and butter during dinner! So you are probably looking at like 4000 cals a day for me pre-lifestyle change.

I went out last night to dinner with some family. I felt like I ate a LOT of food. I ordered healthy stuff of course (grilled chicken breast on mixed greens, oranges and dressing on the side!) but I felt so full. When I added up my calories for the day, I was at 1600! Amazing.

Oh, and I did 2.5 miles on the treadmill at 5.5 MPH and I did 2.5 miles on the elliptical at #8 resistance. I also did my ab, back, hammy, quad and calf works in the weight room. That I never would have done in one of my 4000 calorie days!

So yeah...I feel like I've really changed my life and that these changes will stick. I crave vegetables, whole grains and exercise when I used to crave pizza with bacon. LOL.
In any event, thanks for posting photochick so I could see how far I've come.

12-19-2008, 11:03 AM
lol eating out = downfall for many, including me. Baja Fresh is shockingly high on the fat and calorie scale and all those fresh "salads" out there in restaurant land are just that... "salads." I don't even consider them unless they have no cheese and no dressing lol.

I mean...I used to eat fried cheese sticks and a "salad"....now the thought of that makes me ill. EW! Fried cheese...what the **** is that? lol

12-19-2008, 11:45 AM
This is a great thread, so eye opening.

Here's a typical day for old me:

Big cranberry walnut muffin
Venti caramel latte with whip

My office had a great cafeteria downstairs, so whatever looked good that day. Pizza, stuffed calzones, pasta bar, I never picked anything healthy.

Cafeteria had buy 1 get 1 free pastries after 2, I'd usually eat a chocolate croissant, also another venti caramel latte with whip

Either M&Ms or yogurt pretzels (nearly every day)

Ate at home most often and usually pretty healthy things, just a lot of it. A typical dinner was a HUGE plate of white pasta with some home made vegetarian pasta sauce and 5 pieces of sour dough bread

I didn't eat after dinner every night (still not usually hungry after dinner!) but I often ate a big bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce

I can't even guess at my typical daily calories, 3K+ definitely

12-19-2008, 12:09 PM
I can't even remember my 'before' really.

Breakfast - Either I didn't have it or I'd have a piece of fruit. I don't remember breakfast at all. When I moved to a facility that had a cafeteria, sometimes I'd buy pancakes for breakfast but that was a rarity.

Lunch - I've always been a big fan of sandwiches. I would make my own sandwich or I'd buy one.

Dinner - Well this is when all **** would break loose. I would sometimes buy dinner on the way home. I had 2 favorite dinners, Dreyers cookies n cream ice cream or french bread and cheese (brie a favorite). Other times I would cook things and leave little if any leftovers. I'd make some veggies but often grated cheese over the veggies. I'd also bake chicken in the oven but would eat the skin. Other times I'd try out recipes from my various cookbooks and just eat way more than I should've.

Snacks - I loved fruit so I would buy fruit by the ton and binge on fruit. I loved cheese so I ate a lot of cheese. I would buy a block of cheese and just eat blocks of cheese.

Overall my big weaknesses were bread, cheese and ice cream.

12-19-2008, 12:38 PM
Man, it's absolutely amazing how we justify the unhealthiest eating habits... Like the Snickers-bar-has-protein! thing... Or any variety of other things.

I used to make myself a fried egg, cheese and sausage bagel-wich every morning, a PB&J sandwich for lunch and a plate of pierogies or chicken or other such things for dinner. I justified the breakfast by saying that if I eat a big breakfast and very little lunch and little to no dinner it all evens out, right?

In college I'd have a bagel and cream cheese or a big coffee with tons of cream and sugar (still can't drink coffee without tons of cream and sugar) for breakfast (sometimes a pop tart or muffin on the side) and a massive overstuffed burrito (beans AND beef, tons of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and TONS of sour cream - literally popping out of the tortilla) for lunch. Dinner was often skipped, but late night snacks often entailed trips to Sheetz or Krispy Kreme. I did work at TGIFridays for awhile and often had dinner there.

Of course, I didn't gain a single pound until Junior year.... then *blam!*...

Now I stick to GoLEAN Crunch for breakfast (skim milk - I finally gave up 2%) and PB&J for lunch (on Arnold Hearty Grains or Grains 'N' More bread - they have Double Fiber, Double Protein, coming out with Double Omega, as well as 7- and 12-grain, and many others that I love), and chicken or a bag of steamed veggies for dinner. I don't know the calorie count, but it feels good.

Moonlight Mistress
12-19-2008, 12:50 PM
Wow...that sounds almost EXACTLY like how my husband and I used to eat on a day to day basis. Especially the nightly "snack" routine. Scarey.

Shannon in ATL
12-19-2008, 01:13 PM
I didn't think about the rest of my day yesterday, just the hot pocket part. I just added up a day with items I remember - 3560. And it was what I would consider a lighter day....

B: nothing
S: venti chai latte & cinnamon scone from starbucks
L: BK tender crisp with bacon, but healthy since I had no mayo on it, with fries. Never knew how many I ate because I never got a carton - I usually scooped some fries and some onion rings into a double lined 6# takeout bag. Double lined so the grease wouldn't bleed through to my car seat...
S: usually another chai tea latte, sometimes another pastry which I didn't count.
D: two hot pockets
S: I used to make a star on a saucer - frozen individual pieces of cookie dough alternated with frozen mini reese's cups...
Drank about 20 ounces of grapefruit juice during the day, thought I was healthy
Also,sometimes got up around midnight if I was still awake and made one of those 'microwave ready' packs of bacon and toasted a bagel or wrapped it in a tortilla. That isn't even in the 3500 total.

This all changed when I met DH in 2005 and lost down to 135 - my upped calories that got me back to 148 were things like chicken wings and fingers from Zaxby's. I thought I was being healthy if I only ate three fingers and half an order of chips with my large sweet tea...

Now, I eat mostly healthy stuff and feel like I eat all the time... then I didn't count snacking as eating. A Starbucks stop wasn't eating, it was drinking a drink, and sometimes if I ate a pastry it was just a little extra with the drink. That had as many calories as some of my meals, now!

It was looking at fast food calories that shocked me into my diet change - Zaxby's specifically, since that was my favorite at the time...

12-19-2008, 01:14 PM
I cannot remember that far back!

I do remember being terribly poor in college and a lot of the time my roommate and I would buy 20 pounds of potatoes and my great aunt (who was in her 90s) would give me a brick of government cheese so dinners were usually cheese potatoes! Either that or sauteed potatoes with lots of butter and herbs. Of course, we always had money for beer.

When my husband and I started dating, we'd go out clubbing on the weekends and stop at Naugles (Del Taco these days) for a macho burrito at 2 AM. My son eats macho burritos these days (but he needs to put on a few pounds).

While in college and working my lunches were usually fast food, but most of the time I'd get a McDonald's cheeseburger and small fries with a diet coke. I can't say it's the best, but being poor, I'd choose the cheapest things on the menu.

I know breakfasts almost always consisted of coffee and nothing else (I never use cream or sugar).

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that practically all my life I've been aware of my weight and have been on this diet or that diet in order to lose 10-20 pounds. Going out to eat with friends usually meant my sorority sisters and we were always on a diet! We'd go to the local pizza joint and get chef salads. A lot of the time we'd even eat them without dressing, but they were loaded with cheese. It was when the food was free that I'd indulge and do seconds of everything. Living at home with my parents meant free food so I tended to gain when I lived at home.

12-19-2008, 01:47 PM
I am one of those that knows how I got fat. Your daily intake looks much like my own; 2500-3500 calories per day and weekends could go as high as 5000; think Outback cheese fries with extra ranch (one of my favorites). This is over 3000 calories and Mack and I would split them. Then we would eat our main course (loved the Toowamba Pasta), and finish with desert. Oh, can't forget the drinks one large or two small Rita's.

I have to tell you I admire your ability to put half your Ben & Jerry's back in the freezer. I always knew when I pulled it out I was going to eat the whole thing. I would toss the top in the trash, nuke it for 17 seconds, and not even think about stopping once I started. It was a serving as far as I was concerned. We're talking 1400 -1700 calories per pint.... yea I know how I got to where I am. :mad:

12-19-2008, 03:47 PM
I wouldn't dare try to figure out a normal day...but kidding ourselves...I posted this once before about someone. I was doing Optifast and went out with two friends, one announced as we sat down that she was dieting.

She ate two rolls with butter. A salad with creamy garlic dressing. Shrimp Dejong (shrimp made with butter, garlic and breadcrumbs) as an entree with some veggie, and an apple pie a la mode for dessert. When it was all over she pushed back and said "That wasn't too bad, I had a salad and seafood, with fruit for dessert."

My mouth dropped open. I have always remembered that story because watching her made me aware of how I sometimes kidded myself as well.

12-19-2008, 04:09 PM
Count me among the delusional folks who thought Snickers was a healthy vending machine option because of the protein in peanuts. I used to eat one of those every single day my first semester of grad school, stopping by the vending machine around mid-afternoon to collect my pop and chocolate fix.

I never really had a typical day since I ate a pretty wide variety of junk, but these were some of my staples:

Frosted Pop Tarts
Pork fried rice from the Chinese takeout
Hot Pockets
Peanut M&Ms
Mrs. T's pierogies
Wendy's breaded chicken sandwich
Chips Ahoy
Ragu alfredo sauce
Fruity Pebbles
Kraft macaroni and cheese (lots and lots of this)

Almost everything I ate was heavily processed in some way... it still amazes me.

12-19-2008, 04:21 PM
Oh dear! I gained most of my weight while in college. I had to work a lot while taking classes so quite often I was away from home for 15-16 hours a day and when I was home I was stressed-out and studying. Ugh, no wonder I gained weight what I think back on it. I would eat breakfast in my car, on my way to class and I would eat lunch in the student dining area... dinner was usually some sort of take-out or fast food. Example:

Breakfast- Bagel from Panera, loaded with regular cream cheese (500 cals?)
Snack- Whole Foods trail mix, and lots of it! (400 cals)
Lunch- (this makes me cringe) Sbarro pizza (huge) with a side of fries and ranch dressing... sometimes regular cherry Pepsi (1000-1500 calories... whoa)
Snack- huge rice krispy treat from the student center (Who knows? 400 cals?)
Dinner- Huge Panera sandwich with chips and sugar iced tea with sugar (200 cals), or huge burrito from Baja Fresh (roughly 1,000 calories) plus side of chips and salsa (probably another 500 cals)

Oh dear... 3500-4500 calories. That's without desserts or margaritas (which I used to have often in college). No wonder I gained and lost the same 10-15 lbs for years!

12-19-2008, 05:13 PM
A Starbucks stop wasn't eating, it was drinking a drink, Oh good grief! No kidding. And before I got my office, I met potential clients at Starbucks - sometimes 2 a day. That's 2 venti hazelnut lattes with whip. Or two pumpkin lattes. Or two mochas with whip.

Of coruse they didn't count - drinks and coffee have no calories!!


Shannon in ATL
12-19-2008, 05:19 PM
I used to work at the big Starbucks in Roswell with my laptop using their dial-in, and later wifi, so I could be central to all of my restaurants if they had a crisis. I would be there for hours, and just get a new drink every few hours... The chai tea latte was a later evolution of my SB habit, when I was trying to cut back. When I first started going I had a Venti Caramel Mocha Frappucino several times a day sometimes... Or, the mochas with whip... loved those, too...

When I really wanted to cut back I got a smoothie instead, from Planet Smoothie. Looked on their website recently and the one I used to get had 878 calories...

12-19-2008, 06:05 PM
I know that I would end up stopping at Wendy's for lunch several times a week. I just added up the calories for my super-sized combo, with Ranch dressing to dip the fries in, and a frosty for dessert. 1770 calories. For one meal. :o

12-19-2008, 06:22 PM
Oh driving to photo sessions (I don't do studio work - all my work is on location) ... I always had something to eat. To keep up my "energy" for the session, you understand. :)

And driving to a wedding, and then from the wedding to the reception, and then from the reception home? Drive throughs were my friends. :)

Road trips to weekend weddings? Big bags of Pirate's Booty, at least 2 stops at Sonic or McDs, etc. And if I was driving at night? A venti breve latte with an extra shot.

Yeah. For a loooong time for me driving = eating.


12-19-2008, 06:25 PM
I never really had typical days... but a day might go something like

B- nothing
L- nothing
4:00 pm - cheese and crackers, deli meat, yogurt, pretzels... I would just eat until stuffed
6:00- Red Robin's for dinner- dry pepper appy ribs, large burger with bacon, avacado, cheese, mayo, EXTRA fries with ranch dressing, share a desert ;) lol! Probably mile high mudpie, 3 or 4 glasses iced tea
8-2am was a junk food feast- whole large bag of chips, large bag peanut m&m's, 2$ worth of 5 cent candy, pint Ben and Jerry's, more iced tea

I wouldn't even know how many calories... but I'm thinking 4-5 thousand???

This was pre-kids... when I met my hubby. When I gained 150 lbs in two freaking years!!!

12-19-2008, 06:32 PM
The fast food stops were the killer for me. I have young kids (three, 4 years and under) and for a long time the only time they would nap was falling asleep in the car. So then I would stop and get something to eat and park somewhere, reading a book. This was my "me" time. Kids still sleeping an hour later? Another stop for a milkshake in the summer or a caramel latte in the winter.

12-19-2008, 06:50 PM
Oh Lord, I hate even thinking about it. Last year before I started dieting it wasn't unusual that I would eat lunch AND dinner out. Lunch was usually McDonald's (1500 cals) and dinner was a sit down place, Italian being my favorite and I would eat everything on my plate - I am guessing that was in the 1500 cal range as well. Add in multiple Cokes at a sit down restaurant and I was well over 3,000 for the day plus whatever I ate at breakfast (which was my light meal at home).

And I wonder why I always felt tired and just disgusting. I was a walking french fry!

12-20-2008, 02:20 AM
i'd go to multiple drive thru's to make up the "perfect" meal. i'd want 1 taco... and a double cheese burger... and an oreo cookie shake... and chicken strips from popeyes but i'd want a kfc biscuit... i'd make a point to give myself an hour to hit all of them. then eat it in the car and throw out the evidence.

we'd go to red lobster... each of us would get an appetizer which could easily act as a whole meal, large entrees with soups added on and *at least* 4 baskets of biscuits for the two of us...

12-20-2008, 12:30 PM
I remembered something I often forgot. My eating was horrid but especially in college. I used to be super lazy so I'd eat one thing. 2 of my favorite things were canned olives and canned pineapple. So I'd open up a can of pineapple and eat it all. I'd do the same with a can of olives. I also remember liking instant mashed potatoes and I'd make them and then eat the entire batch. I don't think I ever used my tupperware if I ever had any because I'd just eat it all!

12-20-2008, 01:16 PM
I also remember liking instant mashed potatoes and I'd make them and then eat the entire batch.I used to do this in college - make a big bowl of instant mashed, and mix with sour cream and top with cheese. It was a cheap meal because I could buy the potato flakes in bulk at Sams. :)


12-20-2008, 01:25 PM
I'm in no position to post about how healthily I'm eating now, but I wanted to say that I think this is a great thread!

I do remember the first couple of years after I graduated from college (at about 165, which I thought was HUGE, and which is my goal today) I would eat:

Breakfast: either an English muffin with lemon curd and a coke, or a couple of candy bars and a coke

Lunch: a hamburger or cheeseburger or (real! sliced!) turkey sandwich from the deli next door. A coke.

Snacks: About 3 cokes during the day, at least 2 candy bars

Dinner. Ah. Out every night at a local pub with the gang from work. A bacon cheeseburger and fries, a couple of drinks, more cokes, probably cheesecake for desert.

I weighed 220 at the end of my first year out of college -- and somehow maintained that weight eating the above until I went to WW the first time when I was in my early 30s.