Weight Loss Support - Low Calorie Intake? HELP!




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UrthWurm
12-22-2008, 12:55 AM
Okay, just thought I'd post a quick question I've been stewing over here. I just started eating healthier & working out, & radically adjusting my diet has & is persisting to be a bit of a challenge, especially since I have to buy all of the groceries now instead of relying on my mom (natural/organic diet). Basically I'm just a little unsure & perhaps concerned if I'm getting enough calories per day? I use the daily plate to track my calories online, & based on my goal of losing 2lbs/week at my starting weight of 205, it says I'm allowed around 1600 calories a day. Now at first I was trying to eat less, because I was coming in over that 1600 recommended, but I haven't been trying to eat less at all recently, & sometimes I'm barely breaking 1000 calories. I'm not sure how accurate the information is, but I've heard people say you need at least 1200/day to be eating a healthy amount? I wasn't going to stress it as I can squeeze a few extra hundred calories in here or there, but today's caloric intake moved me to seek help. All of my snacks & meals have been eaten today, & having just finished a devilishly good treat I shouldn't have had, I find that I came in at just 823 calories total! I used to eat a couple hundred shy of that PER MEAL. Now is it just me, or is something wrong here? Yesterday I ended up licking a tablespoon of Peanut Butter & drinking a glass of milk to get my extra 200 (& make 1200 calories exactly). Am I just overreacting, or should I be eating more calories a day? Please, let me know. I'll post today's snacks/meals below, so you can take a gander. Thanks for taking the time to read, I appreciate your consideration. :halffull:

Breakfast-
1/2c Organic Whole oats: 150 Calories
1Tbsp Brown Sugar: 30 Calories
1Tbsp Sugar: 45 Calories
Morning Snack-
Quaker Chewy Granola Bar: 90 Calories
3 Ritz Crackers: 48 Calories
Lunch-
1c Organic Chicken & Wild Rice Soup: 90 Calories
Brocolli: 14 Calories
Mid-Day Snack-
1 Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese: 35 Calories
1 Slice Turkey: 15 Calories
Dinner-
Chicken, Egg White, & Veggie Stir-fry: 248 Calories
Pre-Bedtime Snack-
Gudrud Fine Belgian Chocolate: 100 Calories


Schumeany
12-22-2008, 01:18 AM
Where is your fruit? There isn't a single serving of fruit all day. You could easily bulk up those calories, and should, by getting more fruits, veggies and more protein into that diet. Add a banana to breakfast (120-150 calories). And your mid-morning snack had no protein, no fruit and no veggies. You could have a 50 calorie cheese stick with your granola bar and some carrots, a protein bar and 1/2 an apple , some yogurt with granola and blueberries, apples or carrots with peanut butter, a handful of almonds...whatever...just bulk up those calories and I would get more protein into the first half of your day. Your mid-afternoon snack again has no fruit and no veggies -- which is OK if you were getting enough elsewhere but it is also incredibly low in calories -- bulk it up -- veggies and fruit can help with this. Your dinner is a little low on the calorie side, not bad if ALL of your five or six meals a day averaged around 250-300 calories, but they don't.

Yes, you really should stress about not getting enough food day after day. It is extremely important -- not just for weight loss but also for your general health. When you eat under your calories to this extent, your body will burn its lean muscle mass instead of fat to stay alive...icky...it basically eats itself. Oh, and your metabolism crashes making weight loss extremely difficult.

Eat more...hungry or not. Many of us go through the "not hungry" stage or through phases of not feeling hungry...most likely it has to do with decreasing the amount of sugar and carbs in our diets, getting better protein and whole foods and also just the mental exercise of "dieting". Regardless, you need to eat and try to reach those calories goals. You will lose weight in a safe, sane way, and your body will thank you for taking better care of it with increased energy, nice muscle mass, etc. as you go along...but most especially when you reach your goal.

chick_in_the_hat
12-22-2008, 01:28 AM
If I ate like that for any length of time I'd be heading straight for a binge. You need fruit, and more volume. Why just one slice of turkey?

Fruit would be good with any of those meals...or all of them. :hug:

Try and get to 1600 - your body needs fuel.


PhotoChick
12-22-2008, 01:35 AM
Yep. What both the people above said.

You have no fruit and very little veg in your meal. Add an apple to your breakfast. Or stir in a spoonful of peanut butter to your oats instead of all that sugar.

Ditch the chewy granola bar which has NO nutritional value whatsoever and have a piece of fruit, some cheese, something that will nourish you.

I'm also confused about some of your quantities and calories. For example your lunch has 14 calories of broccoli? 1 serving of broccoli is about 1 cup chopped. That amount has 35 calories. Why are you only eating 1/2 serving or less?

For your snack, why only 1 slice of turkey? A regular serving of deli turkey is about 5 slices (61g) and has 60 calories. Why not have a full serving?

For dinner why are you only eating the egg white? Why not the whole egg? The yolk has a LOT of vitamins in it; you should eat it!

You could easily boost your nutrition and your calories by adding in just a few healthy items and eating just a little more.

.

UrthWurm
12-22-2008, 01:49 AM
Thank you to everyone who posted!

I just have to say as far as fruits & veggies go, I usually average an apple a day (because all I have right now is apples). However, I have almost NO money right now, so I can't afford a lot of fruits & veggies. I wont be able to go shopping for a while because not only do I have a limited amount of money, but the weather's terrible here! A foot or more of snow, & it's all covered in ice. Our car sadly doesn't have either four wheel drive, nor chains.

Concerning my food choices & quantities.. First of all, my breakfast was made just real quick because I had to leave for work. The snack actually was given to me by a co-worker because I didn't have time to prepare something for myself (had to leave really early to make it on time in the snow). As far as the eggs go, I didn't eat the yolk because when I ate two eggs yesterday it put me over my daily cholesterol on the daily plate.. Egg whites were several calories less, & didn't have a lot of fat/cholesterol so I figured they were better for me? About the broccoli, we only have a single bag & I was trying to make it last until dinner tonight (for two people). I also wasn't all that hungry. Same with the cheese/turkey. Our turkey is about 60calories for 4 slices, but I wasn't all that hungry & I didn't want to totally deplete our sandwich meat for non-sandwich purposes. Basically I have a small amount of food with little to no veggies that has to last between two people..

At the moment, I'm severely poor, & trying to buy natural/organic foods to be shared among my GF & I. We're getting close to being snowed in over here (though I still have to find rides half way across town to get to work). I wont be getting paid until after Christmas, & I have 30 dollars on me if I CAN make it to a store. The only food I have was bought on my very first official "grocery shopping" trip & I didn't know exactly what to buy (not that there was a great selection where we were looking). I suppose it was just an inconvenient time to decide "Hey! Let's just change our entire lives around!" I guess you could sum it up to stupidity? Naivety? I don't know.. maybe I'm just too unprepared to do this right now. Maybe I need to grow up some more before I attempt to become an adult overnight & start buying my own food.. Then again, I am 18 & I need to start supporting myself, right?

I just feel like I'm doing everything wrong.. ;[

PhotoChick
12-22-2008, 02:08 AM
Whoa whoa! :) It's ok. Everyone has to learn sometime. This is how you learn - you do it, you make a mistake, and you go ... well, I won't do *that* again. :) And it's better to learn NOW, while you're young, and to build healthy habits. It's much harder to change them when you're older. ;)

A few things for you - while I understand wanting to eat all organic, it's MORE IMPORTANT TO FUEL YOUR BODY! So if you're on a really tight budget and the difference between buying organic and buying regular means you get enough food to eat, don't buy the organic. A 5lb bag of regular apples you should be able to get for around $3.99, whereas you'll pay $3.99 for a pound of organic apples. In this case it's better to buy the non-organic and have food to eat.

I would suggest you make a plan for your meals - at least until you get the hang of what is enough and what is too much. I have been cooking for 30 years and I still plan my meals out on Sunday so that I can go grocery shopping either Sunday night or Monday evening. I rarely go shopping w/out having a meal plan first or I wind up not buying enough food, or not buying the right kind of food.

I've posted a link to my plan before, which I lay out in an Excel spreadsheet. It contains my meal plan for the week, plus my shopping list which I build from the meal plan. It looks like this:
http://www.amethystmuse.com/images/3fc/menu.jpg

You don't have to use Excel. You can do the same thing by making a chart on a piece of paper. But the idea is to plan out every meal and every snack and then use that to create your grocery list. If you know that you're going to eat a turkey sandwich every day for lunch, then you know you'll need 1 lb of sliced turkey (1 lb of turkey has about 7 60g servings). If you know that you are going to make hamburgers for dinner one night, you know that you'll need about 1/2 lb of burger for 2 people (that'll give you each 4oz of meat). Etc. So you can figure out what you need to buy.

And it'll also help you budget because you won't be buying things and then trying to figure out how to use them.

Speaking of budgets: When you're on an extremely tight budget, buying things like granola bars is a bad idea. Those types of convenience foods are some of the most expensive things you can buy. Far better to buy a box of oats and make your own oat bars if you really want them, than to buy them prepackaged. As well as being cheaper, they'll be healthier if you make them because you can control the amount of sugar. And of course, there won't be any preservatives. :)

Planning will also help with the issue of not having time to prepare something becuase you're running late in the morning. I've posted this before, but every Sunday I boil a dozen eggs. I make 5 1/2 pb sandwiches (2 T pb on 1 slice whole grain bread, folded over, and put in a ziplock baggie). I portion baby carrots out into snack baggies. I divide my yogurt out into 5 individual containers. I slice a block of cheddar cheese into 1 oz portions and put them in ziplock baggies. I count and set aside string cheese. If I've made something like hummus, I portion it into 5 small containers. If I have apple sauce for the week, I portion it into 5 small containers. If I make oats in the crockpot, I make them Sunday during the day and then portion them into 5 containers. Basically anything I can do Sunday night to make sure that in the mornings I just grab 4 or 5 things and throw them into my bag ... I do it.

Then every night I slice an apple and put it in a ziplock baggie. I fix whatever I'm going to have for lunch the next day - whether it's leftovers from the night before, or something fresh. I put it in the baggie, or the Tupperware container or whatever. I have a shelf in my fridge that is *just* for my food that I take to work and it all goes there. That way in the morning, all I do is grab stuff, throw it in my lunch cooler, and leave.

Planning, planning, planning - it's hugely important especially when you've never done this beforea nd you're just learning what to buy and what amounts to buy it in. At some point you may find that you don't need to plan this strictly any more or that you want more flexiblity, and that's fine. But for now, I think you'd benefit from really planning out your weeks ahead of time. :)

.

betsysunqueen
12-22-2008, 02:42 AM
I'm trying to do a natural diet as well, but have run into budget constraints. One thing that I decided on was that I'd rather have the health benefits of eating more fruits and veggies (undoubtedly better for you) than eat totally organic stuff less often. It's a decision that you have to make for yourself, but it is something to consider. If you're eating less fruits and veggies because you only want to buy organic, you probably aren't doing yourself any favors.

UrthWurm
12-22-2008, 02:54 AM
I agree with you both.. As much as I'd love to buy organic fruits & vegetables, it's not practical. I'd rather have the health benefits of the fruits & vegetables, regardless of what might be in (or on) them.

Photochick, thank you for your advice & patience with me. I was feeling really lost & you kind of put things in perspective for me. I've never been really great with planning, but I guess no better time to learn! I'm going to have my GF help me out with the meals as well, because she's a bit more organized than I at times. :halffull: Thanks for going out of your way to set me on the right path. You were extremely helpful, & I'm finally going to be putting excel to use tonight! We're hoping to knock our heads together & see if we can't figure out a schedule for this week between the two of us. With any luck, we'll have enough money (& maybe even find a ride so we don't have to walk all that way in the snow) to go & buy our supplies tomorrow. I'm really in your debt! You've been more help than I could have possibly hoped for.

Thanks again,
Kimmy

flatiron
12-22-2008, 05:35 AM
Breakfast-
1/2c Organic Whole oats: 150 Calories
1Tbsp Brown Sugar: 30 Calories
1Tbsp Sugar: 45 Calories
Morning Snack-
Quaker Chewy Granola Bar: 90 Calories
3 Ritz Crackers: 48 Calories
Lunch-
1c Organic Chicken & Wild Rice Soup: 90 Calories
Brocolli: 14 Calories
Mid-Day Snack-
1 Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese: 35 Calories
1 Slice Turkey: 15 Calories
Dinner-
Chicken, Egg White, & Veggie Stir-fry: 248 Calories
Pre-Bedtime Snack-
Gudrud Fine Belgian Chocolate: 100 Calories

I would starve to death on this diet. :hungry:

more fruit and veggies for sure!

Lately I have been getting those Japanese tangerines and putting them in the fridge. They peel SO easy, much easier than a regular tangerine and so cold and sweet and only 72 calories so I can have TWO! MMMM they are SO good!

Pandora123a
12-22-2008, 07:13 AM
Utrthworm,

Add some yogurt to breakfast, you could use more calcium and there is some research that milk and milk products help in weight loss.

Ditto on the fruit and veggie issue. Look for sales, things are often on sale when in season. Right now citrus fruits (oranges, clementines etc) are going relatively cheaply.

The average age of independence in this country is 26! I admire you for wanting to be self-sufficient, but if you have parents who are willing, maybe you can ease into it a bit more.

Also, there are a number of agencies that help with credit counseling/financial management. I doubt you are in debt yet, but setting up a livable budget is a skill, and there are ways to learn it. (I work with homeless teens preparing them for self-sufficiency.) Figure that to eat healthy and cheap you need to budget about $40 per week per person.

PhotoChick
12-22-2008, 08:36 AM
I'm glad I can help. :)

One thing that helps a lot, too, is building a list of "standard" or "go-to" recipes that you can use all the time. Once you get used to cooking, there are things that you know you can make that take very little time and that you will mostly always have the ingredients on hand for.

For me it's things like meatloaf, veggie stir fry, an omelette or fritatta, cabbage and tomato soup, etc. These are all quick and easy things that I know I can whip together in a matter of minutes .. so when I'm making a menu I can throw them in there to round out meals and snacks. :)

.

the slim me
12-22-2008, 08:50 AM
I know a lot of young people don't/won't eat beans, but they are cheap, a great way to get your protein and are full of fiber. I use them a lot for chili, salads, soup. They are also very filling!

Thin4Good
12-22-2008, 09:58 AM
Bananas are cheap too! They would be nice to have in or with your oatmeal IMO. I'm glad they are cheap because my family loves them. We eat a lot of beans here as well. -Beans and eggs are very cheap sources of protein.

Tomato
12-22-2008, 10:17 AM
I haven't had time to read the whole thread, I just read your original post.
Do you really need to put TWO TABLESPOONS of sugar on your oatmeal? That a LOTof sugar and it is not good for you, and not really from the viewpoint of calories (although I would rather have 75 calories from blueberries or raspberries).
I do sweeten my oatmeal as well, but I use less about 3/4 TEAspoon of Splenda and about 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar (maybe even less than that). That is literally the only sugar I consume in a day, i.e. in the form or sugar, and only on days when I have oatmeal for brekkie.

chick_in_the_hat
12-22-2008, 02:04 PM
Sorry about sounding less than supportive earlier - I wasn't thinking about the financial part of it. :hug:

Frozen fruits and veggies can be pretty cost effective (even canned if you watch the added sugar/salt) - and you can get all kindsa stuff even when it isn't in season. :D Avoid the stuff in fancy packaging that you can microwave in - the normal stuff is easy to prepare.

WormwoodDoll
12-22-2008, 02:37 PM
Everyone else has said what I'd pretty much advise you.

For a while I was only eating about 1,000 calories, too. But I boosted it up to about 1,600 calories. I realized that I can eat a bit more of dinner (maybe 2 servings, if I am that hungry). Or I can have a snack after breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. I also lost more weight eating more calories!

I am on a budget too. When you go shopping, check out the sales that are going on for the fruits and vegetables and work your snacks around that. This will also rotate which fruits/vegs you eat every week so you won't get bored. Like this week I am getting a 5lb box of clementines. It was originally $7.99 and on sale for $3.99!

x0me880x
12-23-2008, 07:27 PM
I have the same problem. I have an average of about 800 calories a day. Which is not enough at all, but after I've lost 30lb. I am so scared of gaining weight, it makes me scared to eat more. Not to mention if I go a day or two without losing or even gaining, it makes me not want to eat more. Or that I'm eatting somthing I should not be.

kittycat40
12-23-2008, 07:44 PM
I have the same problem. I have an average of about 800 calories a day. Which is not enough at all, but after I've lost 30lb. I am so scared of gaining weight, it makes me scared to eat more. Not to mention if I go a day or two without losing or even gaining, it makes me not want to eat more. Or that I'm eatting somthing I should not be.

OK, I definitely understand being concerned about putting lost weight back on. However, I've read in many places that the lowest one should go is 1200 cals per day. So, you need to up those cals. Or, you might go backwards sometime soon.

Try more exercise to increase caloric need and then you can eat more while knowing your body needs the nutrition.

good luck :) you CAN do it :)

PhotoChick
12-23-2008, 07:57 PM
Which is not enough at all, but after I've lost 30lb. I am so scared of gaining weight, it makes me scared to eat more. Not to mention if I go a day or two without losing or even gaining, it makes me not want to eat more.This is worrying. I'm not a professional and I would never in any way make any kind of attempt at diagnosing anything on a message board, but this does sound like you're creeping towards an eating disorder. It might be a good idea for you to talk to a doctor or a therapist about this. :)

On a more practical level - by eating 800 calories or less, you're screwing up your metabolism so badly that you will likely quickly regain the weight lost if you ever "slip" or decide to eat more. The only way to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF is to do it healthily.

At the rate you're eating once you get to your goal, your body will not be able to handle a regular maintenance level of food, unless you start taking care of it now.

Please please please please talk to someone and get help for this fear of yours. If you keep going the way you are, you're going to damage your body beyond repair.

.

jerzeezfinest
12-24-2008, 04:11 PM
One thing that I wanted to say about eating organic--

If you are trying to eat organic and can only afford a few things that are organic the following list is good to keep in mind:

1) Organic milk lasts much longer-- if you only consume small amounts, but organic because it won't spoil as quickly. It also contains higher amounts of beta-caroteine, vitamin e, and some other good stuff... so the extra $2.00 is worth it if you can spend it.

2) Celery, lettuce, spinach, sweet bell peppers, peaches, nectarines, apples--all most likely to expose people to pesticides... buy organic if possible

3) Onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, avocados, pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, and bananas all consistently test clean-- don't buy these organic if you can't afford it.

4) Buy fresh-- freeze your own if you need to... the frozen, pre-cut veggies are far more expensive than fresh!

5) Buy in season... not only is it cheaper, but these produce items have a higher nutritional content (especially if they are local), taste better!, and stay fresh longer...

ennay
12-24-2008, 05:25 PM
I know a lot of young people don't/won't eat beans, but they are cheap, a great way to get your protein and are full of fiber. I use them a lot for chili, salads, soup. They are also very filling!

Ditto this. If you are on a budget, use beans instead of or to stretch meat and use the money for veggies. Frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh veggies out of season, but not cheaper than fresh in season

Also...this is a toughie and doesnt work for everyone but it's sometimes worth a shot. A friend of mine was on a very very tight budget and she really wanted organic fruits and veggies for her kids. She talked to her local organic grocery and asked about buying the stuff they were pulling OFF the shelf to throw away. She did the same with farmers at the farmers market. Some of it she gets free, some of it she pays a cut rate for. Some say yes, some say no. It does mean she has to show up at the store at specific times to deal with the produce manager directly.

A lot of the food is near the end of its useful life...so the apples might not be great eating apples, but she can make apple sauce or chop them small for salads. She usually takes a couple hours to clean and freeze the other veggies for the week.