Weight Loss Support - Starting to limit intake of calories. Step 2




SillyFilly17
11-15-2010, 01:13 PM
So, my first goal was to stop eating out at fast food (fried) places. I've been doing great for 2 weeks now! I feel so much better but haven't really dropped any weight yet. I figure no worries because I have more energy now and am now craving healthy food.

Now I need to start decreasing the number of calories I intake in a week. Any good suggestions on how to do this?


ElizabethMM
11-15-2010, 01:22 PM
Congrats! I am doing something similar. About to start my second week. I know there are calorie calculators out there to help you find the number you need. They are not a exact science. Do about 500 cals less than the number it gives you and adjust it as you lose weight at intervals.

goodforme
11-15-2010, 01:29 PM
Well, the thing to realize is this: if you were eating pretty much the same calories every day (like I was) and maintaining your (high) weight (like I was) then lowering your calories by 500 a day, at first, should theoretically net you some weight loss.

Write down everything you eat and drink every day for a week. Go back and try to remember it. Did you have fast food for breakfast, fast food for lunch, a couple of sodas, a high calorie coffee drink, something from the vending machine, a nibble of your husband's dessert, etc. etc. Figure out how many calories you have been eating daily will tell you a starting number for losing.

When you stop losing steadily, you can drop it some more.

I went from eating 5,000 calories daily (I am not even kidding you) and maintaining my 242.5 weight for about 2 years. So I cut my calories to 2200 and lost weight.

You could just arbitrarily start eating 1500 or 1400 or even 1200 per day, but someone wrote on here one time and it really stuck with me that DEPRIVATION ALONE DOES NOT BURN FAT. I think eating as much as possible while still losing weight is the way to go for me.


Nola Celeste
11-15-2010, 01:38 PM
Congratulations on getting started! :)

I'm also a calorie counter. Only you know what you most like to eat and how best to devise a plan you can live with for life, but first you have to know the details of what and how much you eat. The two biggest difference-makers for me have been keeping a food diary and weighing/measuring assiduously.

Writing down every morsel I put in my mouth--and I do mean everything--keeps me accountable for my own behavior. It makes it impossible for me to indulge in automatic eating--the 'shove your hand in the bag, grab chips, ferry to mouth, repeat' eating that was such a big contributor to putting on the pounds. I like to use Fitday, but there are other online food journals you can keep that do the same thing and keep track of calories, nutrition, and so forth.

You need to weigh and measure to know that what you're writing down is accurate, too, especially in the beginning. After a couple of weeks, you'll start internalizing serving sizes (though I still make a habit of weighing just to keep myself honest), but until you do, you probably need some outside help in seeing just how much cereal/chicken/whatever is a serving size. The bowls of cereal I used to eat were huge; they were probably two or three or more servings, but I never bothered to weigh them out. No wonder "just eating better" never worked for me--500 calories of Go Lean Crunch is going to keep me just as fat as 500 calories of Lucky Charms!

Oh, there's a third thing I did that I'm convinced has helped me feel more full: I swapped out my big dinner plates and bowls for salad plates and scaled-down bowls. A serving of cereal looks forlorn in a standard-sized bowl, but in my mini-bowl, it looks just right. I would absolutely swear that this small change has left me feeling much less deprived by my measured portions. :)

beerab
11-15-2010, 01:40 PM
Do you know how much you have been consuming on a regular basis up until now? I'd track for a few days or like was suggested remember all you ate and plug in the numbers.

At 249 your body needs around 2490 calories to maintain. I think a good number to start with is 75% of that (it's a number my old trainer recommends), so for you that'd be 1868 calories per day. Try it for a week to be 1800-1900 calories, if you are losing then GREAT! If not, tweak things, if you work out you could probably hit around 2000 calories, etc.

Good luck! Good for you for cutting out fast food!

KenzideRhae
11-15-2010, 01:58 PM
Good job on cutting out the fast food! Like everyone else has been saying, you need to figure out how many calories you consume on a daily basis and then cut down from there. Only you can figure out how much you personally are okay with cutting out, though. Try cutting back by 500 calories, or try cutting back by 75% like beerab said, but if you find you can't cut back by that much all at once, space it out. Cut back 100 week one, 200 week two, etc. so that it's a more comfortable transition. That should help you adjust, as dropping too much too quickly can make you feel hungry and fatigued.

Eliana
11-15-2010, 02:06 PM
I'm one who likes to add up frequent small meals so I never have to count past 200. I eat 200 calories for breakfast, 200 for snack, 200 for lunch, etc. (Or 300, 400, whatever). I like to keep it simple.

As for your method of tips for cutting calories? I have many. ;)

1. Ditch the mayo. Learn to use mustard or ketchup. I like a brand that doesn't have HFCS.
2. Ditch the top bun. I like to cut my bottom bun in half and use the two halves as top and bottom. I'll even use half a hot dog bun with a full hot dog.
3. Serve yourself a normal portion, then put half back.
4. Be choosey. At any given meal is there one item you eat out of habit or because it's there? I used to eat hushpuppies because they came with my meal. I didn't hate them...but I certainly didn't love them or really even like them. I stopped eating stuff like that.
5. Rather than focusing on cutting out foods, focus on ADDING foods. This is more proactive. Eat more vegetables throughout your day. They're incredibly low calorie and can fill you up so you don't want the other crap.
6. Learn to love FiberOne cereal. :D It's filling and I now eat it like popcorn whenever I crave something to munch.
7. Bake and roast whenever possible.
8. Go light on pasta. Pasta is highly caloric.

SweetyKins
11-15-2010, 02:16 PM
Fast food was also a problem for me but I've pretty much cut that out and I am way better for it. Before you start to seriously count calories you may still want to take a look at what you are eating or drinking. Soda can be a big culprit, it's 200 calories a can and diet sode has too many chemicals. Are you eating a lot candy/sweets a lot, those are definitely high calorie things. I also just found out that sugar makes you retain water as well.

The next thing to watch out for is portion sizes. A 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes is a serving and trust me when we usually serve ourselves mashed potatoes it's way more than a 1/2 a cup.

beerab
11-15-2010, 02:37 PM
I'm one who likes to add up frequent small meals so I never have to count past 200. I eat 200 calories for breakfast, 200 for snack, 200 for lunch, etc. (Or 300, 400, whatever). I like to keep it simple.

As for your method of tips for cutting calories? I have many. ;)

1. Ditch the mayo. Learn to use mustard or ketchup. I like a brand that doesn't have HFCS.
2. Ditch the top bun. I like to cut my bottom bun in half and use the two halves as top and bottom. I'll even use half a hot dog bun with a full hot dog.
3. Serve yourself a normal portion, then put half back.
4. Be choosey. At any given meal is there one item you eat out of habit or because it's there? I used to eat hushpuppies because they came with my meal. I didn't hate them...but I certainly didn't love them or really even like them. I stopped eating stuff like that.
5. Rather than focusing on cutting out foods, focus on ADDING foods. This is more proactive. Eat more vegetables throughout your day. They're incredibly low calorie and can fill you up so you don't want the other crap.
6. Learn to love FiberOne cereal. :D It's filling and I now eat it like popcorn whenever I crave something to munch.
7. Bake and roast whenever possible.
8. Go light on pasta. Pasta is highly caloric.


This is really great advice- I specially agree with number 4. When I used to eat out I would eat everything on my plate, now I don't, just the other day I had breakfast with hubby and left my hashbrowns on my plate and half of my omelette because while it was good it just wasn't that great. And I didn't need the hashbrowns. I had my coffee, half my omelette, and my wheat toast :)

2sw33t
11-16-2010, 10:51 AM
Totally OT, but - sweetykins, I love your avatar!

brokengently
11-16-2010, 12:31 PM
I started by focusing on breakfast first - it should not be more than 500 calories. I'd mix up Cheerios, Post Cereals, Yogurt, Milk, Salad, Fruits, etc.... until I got used to counting calories. When I got the hang of it, I moved on to lunch, and eventually dinner.

But the thing is, I ended up eating mostly the same things everyday... which is totally okay with me but may not work for other people.

Eliana
11-16-2010, 12:44 PM
I started by focusing on breakfast first - it should not be more than 500 calories. I'd mix up Cheerios, Post Cereals, Yogurt, Milk, Salad, Fruits, etc.... until I got used to counting calories. When I got the hang of it, I moved on to lunch, and eventually dinner.

But the thing is, I ended up eating mostly the same things everyday... which is totally okay with me but may not work for other people.

I like eating the same thing every day too, for the most part, dinner excluded. I'm really monotonous about breakfast in particular. But for me, I can't have all those carbs. That sets me up for being ravenous later. A good breakfast for me must include a protein (egg, yogurt) and usually Fiber One, the only carb I've ever found that actually keeps me full for a while. I love steel cut oats but they leave me starving.