Weight Loss Support - Does it really matter when you go over your calories? (Long)

07-24-2012, 12:07 PM
And when I say "going over", I don't mean binging. I don't ever "binge", and never really have. My problem has never been the QUANTITY of the food I eat, just the quality and/or calorie content. (Something can be good for you and high in calories, too -- like peanut butter, lol. I'll just have a serving, but a serving is 200cal. Geeze!) However, I am constantly finding it difficult to stay within the 1500 calorie range, and sometimes I eat 16 or 1700. I'm constantly going over by just a little bit, and it's frustrating. Little things keep popping up that aren't necessarily BAD for me, but I know they'll cause me to go over my limit.

Like for instance, yesterday my plan went like this:

- Breakfast was a banana nut muffin with some diet V8 splash juice, totaling at about 220 calories. Not so bad, right?

- Lunch was the other half of my dinner from Applebee's that I had the previous night, and the half-portion of my entree was about 575 calories, which still isn't bad, plus it was their new garlic rosemary chicken pasta which is LOADED with vegetables -- tomatoes, artichoke, asparagus, and mushrooms. Paired that with a frozen drink (smoothie without the milk) made out of two different diet V8 splashes and about a half a cup of blueberries -- totals out to about 630 calories, which left me with about 650 calories to play with, which is USUALLY just enough to cover my dinner and have a little bit left over, so a little later I had a yogurt to tie me over til dinner -- yoplait light, 90 calories for the strawberry banana kind.

And then my mother drops the bomb that she's cooking birthday dinner for my brother, which consisted of pot roast, homemade macaroni and cheese, rice and gravy (juice from the roast), cole slaw, green beans, and a biscuit, plus cake and ice cream. This is my brother's favorite meal, and coincidentally, it's also one of mine, and an area of foods where I have little self control (i.e., I can't resist ANY of those foods). Now, like I said before, I don't binge. I ate one plate of food (one small spoonful of everything), one biscuit with a little squeezy margarine, and I had a piece of cake with some ice cream.

If I don't include the cake and ice cream, the dinner itself totals out 785, which really would've only caused me to go over by 100-200cals. I could've skipped out on the cake, yes, but I figured "What the ****? It's not like I have cake all the time."

But, I have moments like this all the time. The "What the ****? It won't hurt me THAT much!" moments. But at the same time, while the scale isn't going up, it's not going down either and at the end of the day I know I'm not disciplining myself enough. And there's always meals where I eat just a TAD too much (via calories) and it causes me to go a TAD over, and it's making me hover. I guess I'm getting to the point where this is tiring, and I'm tired of thinking about it and worrying about it, and it's not fun anymore. I feel like I can't live because every time something comes up, it's something I can't eat and I hate depriving myself. I know no one really cares about what I eat, but it's like I can't even eat normal food (not junk) without screwing up some how. I keep misjudging and it's frustrating.

07-24-2012, 12:18 PM
Does it matter if you go over your calories for a day or two? Probably not. What if you have those days every week or every day? Yeah weight loss is probably going to slow down.

It sounds like you know what's going on with your discipline. You're right, it's not fun and generally pretty lame to have to be in control of what you eat all the time, but it's necessary if you want to lose the weight. You CAN do it!

"What the ****? It won't hurt me THAT much!

We've all said that. I'm pretty sure that's what got us all here. I still like that quote that floats around here:

"Losing weight is hard. Being fat is hard. Choose your hard."

07-24-2012, 12:25 PM
I have the exact. same. problem. almost every day! If you're only eating 100-200 over, you shouldn't even be going over maintenance calories so, technically, you'll still lose, but just slower (since the 500 calories under maintenance thingy is "supposed" to give you a 1 lb per week loss).

Maybe up your exercise? My fiance and I have added a long walk by the river in our city every night just so I can eat a little more. We walk for about 2 hours at roughly 3mph (I have a pedometer and measured our walking speed). That walk burns a neat 600 calories. So you could take a brisk walk after supper and burn off the extra you ate in an hour. (Mind you, you weigh a LOT less than I so you'll burn less calories than I do because you don't have to lug as much *ahem* "baggage")

07-24-2012, 12:31 PM
If you are consistently over by 200ish calories, why not just burn them through exercise. I know that the 30 Day Shred ( a 20 minute workout dvd) burns around that for the average person.

If you are unable to do that, then I would try and alternate my calories. Instead of a daily goal, why not a weekly goal? That way, on some days you can eat 1700 calories and not feel guilty since you know tomorrow you will eat less to make up for it?

Another way to think of it is 200 calories per day x 7 days = 1400 calories more. Within a two week period, that's almost a whole pound worth of calories that you could have lost (of course its not exact science but that is the general standard). So every month that is 2 pounds you have eaten that you could have lost. Thinking this way is what generally helps me put down the yummy stuff, even if it is good for me.

Another thing I do is if I REALLY want something (it's always always greek yogurt for me) but I do not have it in my calories for the day, I promise myself that I will eat it tomorrow for breakfast. Then I atleast have something to look forward to.

07-24-2012, 12:42 PM
Sometimes, actually a lot of times I'm really good and only eat like 12 or 1300 calories. Then some days I'm back up to 1700. Then I eat right at my limit, and sometimes I just have "I don't give a crap days" where I don't watch it at all and have no idea what I ate, calorie wise. I really am never 100% consistent. I'm getting with food like I get with exercise; I get bored and tired and I just wanna have FUN and I'm tired of constantly living a chore. That's exactly what it is.

My life is a big, giant chore. I go to work, then I come home and diet and go to the gym, and that's about it. I need to take a class, but they're so dang expensive, and I wanna do something with people my age. Most kids in their early 20s are out partying, which I'd love to go party, but I have no one to do it with. Le sigh.

07-24-2012, 12:59 PM
My life is a big, giant chore. I go to work, then I come home and diet and go to the gym, and that's about it. I need to take a class, but they're so dang expensive, and I wanna do something with people my age. Most kids in their early 20s are out partying, which I'd love to go party, but I have no one to do it with. Le sigh.

Oh honey, this is DEFINITELY not true. Well, maybe for some people, but believe me going out and partying comes with it's own problems (no money, credit card debt, liver pain!). I'm not that much older than you, only 2 years or so and my day to day life sounds pretty similar. Life IS a giant chore for adults, that's how the cookie crumbles. Responsible people work, they work A LOT, and then go and do something fun...once a month? Maybe once every two weeks? As for not having anyone to do it with, no sisters? brothers? cousins? friends from work or school? You don't have to have a boyfriend to have fun, heck, sometimes they can hinder the goings out, I know I stopped my partying when I settled down and I don't regret the choice because quiet evenings playing video games >>>>>>>>> going out and spending $70 on booze and wearing uncomfortable 4 inch heels at a club.

07-24-2012, 01:30 PM
My life is a big, giant chore. I go to work, then I come home and diet and go to the gym, and that's about it.
Please don't take this in a negative way, but you need a serious change in attitude. I mean, you need to find ways to have fun! :) Do you have any interests/hobbies besides weight-loss? Can you think of any way to break up the monotony of your everyday existence? Can you plan fun little trips to the mall, zoo, library, or other places on your days off? Can you look up groups with common interests to meet up with via the internet? Rent a movie, do volunteer work, adopt a pet, help someone less fortunate than yourself; heck, join a non-for-profit weight loss group to meet up with people face to face and share ideas . . . heck, do anything other than complain about your life being a big, giant chore!

Life is what you make it. If you don't do anything to actively change the way you feel, things won't get any better. Just two cents from an older girl that's been there and back. ;) Good luck to you. :)

07-24-2012, 01:37 PM
I hear ya! I am almost 70 and sometimes life still seems like a giant chore! I guess I am a slow learner.

I really work hard at the counting, weighing and measuring, but still, stuff happens. I work a ten hour day on Mondays, and DH makes dinner for me. He does it because he cares for me and I appreciate it. Last night, he made meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I love the stuff - I ate as little as possible for the sake of my calorie count, but ended up at almost 1500 [which seems to be maintenance for me] instead of 1200 like I try for. AND on top of all that I was still hungry before bed time.

Elladorine, you are right, of course. Lauren might be "hormonal", but that sure isn't my excuse. LOL. I think sometimes we just get discouraged and need to vent a bit before we climb back on the horse and ride, so to speak. Most days I love my life. I don't even mind being one of the really "older girls".

Arctic Mama
07-24-2012, 01:57 PM
Haha! I made it through two different colleges without having ever attended a party or gotten drunk. I assure you that a few years down the road it just makes me proud of myself, I didn't miss a darn thing by not being a fool like the rest of the campus (who has many more regrets than me from those years, if the Facebook posts were any indication!).

I agree with Ella that a perspective change will do your heart good on this. No, overeating your calories while still in a deficit, especially if you are physiologically hungry for them, is not a problem. But you're going to have an iminently hard time keeping the weight off for life if you resent that you need to or see the grass as greener on the other side. Eventually you'll justify more and worse behavior with food, if you're like the bulk of us here, and it will lead to apathy and regain.

So get your head in the game and find things you like about this life - that you can live with and will keep you content even when you can't socially indulge. It's not worth it to 'keep up with the Joneses' - they're fat, in credit card debt up to their eyeballs, have a crappy marriage and loser kids. Seriously! The end of what is common behavior is not usually the result people want, and in the case of college partying and letting loose they never seem to glamorize beer bellies, heartache, grades dropping, or self esteem in the toilet along with the vomit when they're talking up college parties and social life.

A shift in perspective is so necessary to making this permanent and enjoyable. Sometimes a change in mind is all we need to make the exact same situation look like a blessing instead of a burden. And it has next to nothing to do with what you have and everything to do with what you THINK about what you have.

07-24-2012, 02:02 PM
Sometimes, actually a lot of times I'm really good and only eat like 12 or 1300 calories. Then some days I'm back up to 1700. Then I eat right at my limit, and sometimes I just have "I don't give a crap days" where I don't watch it at all and have no idea what I ate, calorie wise. I really am never 100% consistent. I'm getting with food like I get with exercise; I get bored and tired and I just wanna have FUN and I'm tired of constantly living a chore. That's exactly what it is.

My life is a big, giant chore. I go to work, then I come home and diet and go to the gym, and that's about it. I need to take a class, but they're so dang expensive, and I wanna do something with people my age. Most kids in their early 20s are out partying, which I'd love to go party, but I have no one to do it with. Le sigh.

If it makes you feel better, I am 22 and just finished my first year of university and still don't have anyone to "party" with. I thought that after my first year I would have tons of friends and whatnot, but apparently no one talks to each other in their first year and you don't make friends until the second year (I asked a few people since I was very confused on why no one was making plans for after classes)

As for it feeling like a chore, the unfortunate thing is that it can't be a diet, it has to be a lifestyle change. I am learning that due to error. I went on my "healthy eating" plan from Jan-April and did awesome. Since I did awesome, I felt like I could go back to eating whatever I wanted. However, here I am back to almost 149 (9 pounds up since my lowest while "dieting"). Watching what we eat is going to have to be something we do for the rest of our lives. Instead of viewing it as a chore or diet, try and view it as your regular supper/lunch/breakfast.

07-24-2012, 02:09 PM
Mimsy - You are in a funk! You need to find something you enjoy and DO IT! Joy is not going to come to you...you have to choose to find and participate in it.

I used to have a job that was ok, I got along with the people I worked with and made enough money. I decided that I wanted more than that, I wanted to do something that I loved. My family (kids and husband) and I cut back on our expenses, and I went back to school. I do not have a full time job, I could be bummed about that but I choose not to be! Instead I think about the fact that I get to do what I love and I get paid too!

Weight loss is the same, I was at my high weight and realized that it was holding me back from doing things that I loved to do. I took my kids places to have fun, but sat on the sidelines watching them. I choose to lose weight and get off the sidelines. There are even days when I choose to eat cake...I just choose to be extra careful on the days that follow!

07-24-2012, 02:27 PM
There are a lot of "magical thinking" myths to weight loss and one of them is that a person has to be perfect to succeed. A single bite off-plan somehow magically prevents weight loss.

As if one could lose 2 lbs a week on 1500 calories, and somehow gain 2 lbs per week by eating 1700.

It's not true, and neither is the myth that you've got an attitude problem if you aren't able to stay perfectly on plan. Off-plan bites, and evevn full-fledged binges are not an indication or proof that you're not ready for weight loss or that you need an attitude-adjustment.

You do not have to be perfect, by any stretch of the imagination or by any definition of perfection. You only have to do significantly better than before you started.

If you were maintaining your weight on 1700 calories (not very likely - but definitely possible, especially if you have metabolic issues) then you're not going to lose if you eat 1700 calories or more. But that would mean that on 1500 calories, you would be losing l 1/3 lb or less on the 1500 calorie average.

If you lose weight on 1500 calories, you don't have to eat exactly 1500 calories every day - your AVERAGE just has to be less than the calorie level on which you don't lose weight. If you are losing one pound per week on 1500 calories every day, you'll lose the SAME amount of weight if you calories average 1500 calories per day (even if you eat 6,000 calories one of those days. It's the average, not meeting an exact target).

The "catch" is that even one day of not-counting can skew the average. I've learned that my uncounted days can be astronomically high in calories - enough so that even on 1100 calories per day the rest of the week, one or two days off-plan COULD undo all the progress the rest of the week.

For example, would average 1100 calories during the weekdays, but on the weekend might average 6,000 calories or even more - bringing my weekly average to 3000 calories, not 1100.

Sometimes it would only be one day off plan, so I wouldn't understand "why I wasn't losing on 1100 calories."

I really DID understand, I just didn't want to admit that the truth was possible - that I could "undo" all of the hard work of an entire week with one off-plan day.

I would think that there was no way I could have eaten 6,000 calories in an off-plan day, especially if I didn't gorge myself on a binge (more like a bender). However, it's not that hard to exceed 6,000 calories without "bingeing." One restaurant meal or dessert can do it.

Counting is very important to me, though I do have days (and longer) when I don't count. I usually "pay" for these days with less weight loss.

It is important to work at consistency, because it does pay off. However, perfection isn't the only answer. I've lost 105 lbs making many more mistakes than I ever did in the past. But in the past, I would stay perfectly on-plan, until the precision drove me bonkers, and I'd start making a lot of unplanned mistakes, and I'd conclude (because people smarter than me told me it was true) that the off-plan bites and over-plan days was an indication, if not actual proof that I wasn't ready for weight loss and was doomed to failure.

I screw up a lot, and it's why it's taken me so long to lose 105 lbs (about seven years, the last three being the most successful, because I've become more willing and able to make fewer mistakes).

But if being imperfect is failure, I have "failed off" 105 lbs. And I've gone more than seven years without every chucking my plan and deciding that gaining was less stressful than continuing on trying to be perfect or condemning myself for every mistake.

You CAN succeed, even if you're very prone to falling down. We "do" weight loss in a very strange way in our culture. If we make a single mistake, we often decide that we're going to eat like mad until the next appropriate "starting over point." If mountain climbing was done like weight loss is in our culture, no one would survive the experience, because every time you stumbled, the appropriate response would be to fling yourself off the cliff to "start fresh" from the bottom.

It isn't falling that prevents weight loss, it's refusing to get up (and worse deciding to plummet before trying again later).

Someone here has a siggy that I love, "You don't drown by falling in the water, but my staying there."

Your weight loss will be slower, if you make a lot of mistakes, but slow isn't necessarily bad. I've had far less stress and far more long-term success with my slow, mistake-filled weight loss than I ever did with perfection-weight loss.

I just don't "do" perfection very well - so I don't even try. I don't stress if I'm a few calories over-budget today, especially if I came in under budget yesterday or can come in under budget tomorrow.

I don't choose a single target for my calorie-count, because I feel like I've failed if I eat a single bite over-budget. Instead I follow an exchange plan with some flexibility built in. I chose a 1500 calorie reduced-calorie exchange plan as my base, and then an additional alottment of "optional" exchanges that bring the maximum calories to 1900, with an average around 1800 calories. It's less stressful for me to choose a larger target. I try to make sure I get the minimum, and don't exceed the maximum. Although I still do sometimes come in a little under or a little over, occasionally, but I'm succeeding at a rate I'm comfortable with and that's all that matters.

Weight loss is always a trial-and-error endeavor. You give it a stab, and you tweak and adjust based on your success. If you make mistakes (by your own definition) do not ASSUME you will fail. Pay attention to your results and act accordingly. If you aren't losing at a rate you're comfortable, make some changes and see if it helps.

Don't judge yourself for failing - it tends to get in the way of success. Just try something different. Mistakes won't stop you from succeeding, they can delay you a bit, but you fail only if you give up.

07-24-2012, 02:29 PM
I don't know everything that there is to know about weightloss so my advice is just coming from my own experience. How would you describe counting your calories mentally? For me when I started to do the counting calorie way I just found myself overwhelmed and constantly looking and checking and feeling like oh crap if I eat this then what am I going to do later. So it was a constant battle in my head. Since then I decided to not do it and I just joined weight watchers for a few weeks and instantly realized that the best judge of what I want to eat will be me. Instead of eating until I am full, I take longer to eat and stop when I am no longer feeling hungry. I will eat any snacks I want to but just in moderation. One thing said at a meeting that rang true was if you really want to eat something, it's usually only the first few bites that are the best. Do you feel guilt associated with going over calories? Because if you're doing everything else right in a week, it could be your body holding onto the stress and anxiety which results in no weight loss.

Don't be down on yourself. I am 20 years old and I don't go out partying. For me there are other things out there that I'd rather do.

All the other advice given is awesome.

And lastly a few questions... the most important thing is are you getting all your fruits and vegetables? Are your meals full of protein and fibre? And are you drinking enough water?

07-24-2012, 05:27 PM
Woah- I'm 22 and have been to exactly 2 college parties in my life. People were drunk and throwing up on themselves and hooking up with people and doing things they'd regret... I'm sure some people had a great time... But mostly, I think it's just a lot of hype.

Do I sometimes see pictures of my friends on Facebook and get jealous that maybe they're having more "fun" than me? Sure, sometimes I do. But then I remember that I'm done with school for now, have my dream job, and do not have a beer belly or get winded walking up the stairs.

The grass is always greener on the other side. I'm going to second that quote, "pick your hard."

I also have to agree that a little exercise goes a long way, not neccecarily by burning a ton of calories (how easily can you eat back a two-hour walk?) but by getting some endorphins in you and suppressing your appetite. If I work out hard, I ALWAYS find that my cravings go way down. I also FEEL better when I exercise, like- oh this healthy feeling is nice... I'd like to keep it going by eating healthy foods. ;-)

I think we all have days where "being on a diet" isn't fun. Sometimes we feel like we're missing out... But I'm willing to bet that when you're at your goal and feeling fantastic, you won't regret anything about your lifestyle change.

Hope that helps and good luck!

07-24-2012, 05:32 PM
I say partying, really partying for me is just going out to have a few beers, listening to music and socializing. I don't care about getting trashed. And I guess that's what I mean by partying, they're out socializing. Most of the time I don't have anyone to just be social with -- I'm stuck by myself usually. But things are slowly/surely starting to pick up and I was having a rough morning.

Seriously, who gets over a break up in under a week? Lol

07-24-2012, 06:39 PM
mimsy - glad you are having a better afternoon! I know something was up, but did not know you had just been through a breakup.

07-24-2012, 06:42 PM
Eh it's not a crime to stay the same weight when you're not "at goal" yet. Don't lose sight of that! Just like, you know, don't associate healthy food with being "on a diet" and revert to nothing but crap junk with no nutritional value, but I don't think that's in the cards.

Partying is great, especially when you're freshly single and looking for drama-free fun with friends. Just being out with other folks your age is really nice, even though with that comes the omnipresent obnoxious stupid people who should really not be allowed in public. I saw you had some plans coming up - make the most of them and get invited to do more stuff with them/meet their friends/you play the upper hand and make plans for the next hangout.

And you're totally gonna be over this breakup before you know it. :D