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My eating plan

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Old 12-10-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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Default My eating plan

I love to cook and happen to be really good at it. I cannot possibly live a life where I do not ever create delicious meals and desserts and eat them. A lot of stuff I like to make is really healthy, others are BAD BAD BAD! I do not want to shun anything forever, unless of course it is found that I have some kind of sensitivity to a certain food, but so far so good with that. So I need a lifestyle that allows me to create and consume beautiful foods, be they healthy or not, and also eat a pretty consistent healthy diet.

My current plan (open to change based on any advice I get) is to eat a fairly regular diet consisting of healthy portion sizes, high protein, good amounts of healthy fats, whole grains, and veggies. I must also focus on REGULATING my sleeping and eating schedule. I am all out of wack and have been for the past few years. I sleep at different times all the time and the difference from day to day can be upwards of 10 hours or even more sometimes. Naturally, I eat at zany intervals as well. Most days I only eat once or twice, others as much as four times.

My husband works until 1 am so we are naturally night owls. My plan is to start going to bed at 3 am and rise at 11 am. I have been working on the going to bed at 3 part for a few weeks and typically manage to get to bed at around 3:30 to 5 am and I usually sleep till at least 1 in the afternoon and often as late as 3 pm. I recognize that this is bad and am actively working on it. I hope to have this worked out by the next couple of weeks.

My eating plan is designed to help with my sleep cycle goal. I hear often, including from a doctor recently, that I should eat every three hours. I also know that it is best to eat breakfast within an hour of waking. It is also said to be best not to eat a couple hours before bed. With all this in mind I have designed this eating plan that I think should work for me, but I want to see if anyone has any advice or suggestions. All of the food in my plan are foods that I make often and enjoy very much. I do eat pretty healthy most of the time. I think my main problem is lack of consistency. That, and perhaps, I make sweet or succulent yum yums a little too often.

Breakfast (12 pm)

Two poached eggs over a bed of 1/2 cup of brown basmati rice, wild rice, quinoa, or rarely, about once or twice a month, a slice of HOME MADE whole wheat bread. Accompanied with a large helping of steamed spinach or a thick slice of tomato, lightly cooked in a little olive oil.

OR

A bowl of cereal, Either shredded wheat, Vector, or some other low to no sugar, high fiber cereal, with a handful of frozen blueberries (sometimes maybe a sliced banana instead) and about a cup of WHOLE MILK. Yes, I believe in whole milk, for now. There are reasons I will not get into right now, but this is open to debate.

OR

Egg fried Rice. Something that I often make with leftover rice. It is simply plain cooked brown rice (though sometimes I also make it with quinoa or wild rice), about a half cup, and two eggs cooked in olive oil and scrambled together. I often eat it topped with salt and pepper and sometimes paprika and or other spices. Sometimes I just top it with a little Franks Red Hot. With this meal I will eat a piece of fruit, or make a simple smoothie with blueberries or strawberries and whole milk and add no sugar. About a cup and a half worth of smoothie is what I usually drink.

Snack (3 pm)

Half cup of homemade hummus (from dried chickpeas) with about 5 whole grain crackers or celery and/or carrot sticks and/or cucumber slices.

OR

Fresh salad with various vegetables, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, and some chickpeas or small bit of hummus, or a little goat cheese crumbled in.

OR

Small Fruit smoothie with no sugar added

OR

A piece of fruit, such as an apple, pear, cup of berries, etc

Lunch (6 pm)

Veggie sandwich consisting of two slices of my homemade whole wheat bread, hummus, romain lettuce or raw spinach, onions, tomato, cucumber, carrots, a little red wine vinegar. This is how I would typically make it but the veggies can vary.

OR

Leftovers from last night's dinner ( I almost always save a little for the next day's lunch. It usually fits into a little baking dish that can hold about a cup and a half worth of food, so it is a small but reasonable amount of food.)

Snack (9 pm)

Same options as the earlier snack

Dinner (12 am)

Half cup cooked whole grains (Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa...I switch it up) Half cup lentils of any colour (I switch it up), and about a quarter cup of frozen (but cooked haha) peas, in a curry sauce that is 180 calories per serving (will use one serving only) and 21 carbs. I use other bottles of curry sauces too, but that was the highest carbs and calories, so often, the sauce will have less calories than that.

OR

Half cup cooked whole grains, with sauteed (in a little butter or olive oil) Onions and garlic, with dry spices, and half cup cooked lentils of any colour and peas all mixed together.

OR

Half cup cooked whole grains, with Half cup Cooked dry beans (most often black beans or pinto beans) and about a quarter cup of salsa. About half the time I will put about a quarter of an avocado into this.

OR

Pan seared fish (most often Halibut, haddock, or salmon) in a little oil, with steamed spinach or broccoli and half cup of whole grains, topped with fresh lemon juice.





Ok, so those are meant to be my daily, go to meals. They do vary but my descriptions show the ways they typically end up. My plan is to eat these kinds of meals every day, and to allow myself two or three days a month to make something different. One thing that I will definitely do each month is make a chicken or small turkey. Probably one and sometimes maybe two a month. I am feeding two people by the way so one chicken is not just for me. I like to make chicken stock and often use that to cook my grains. The chicken or turkey meals will usually be either over a whole grain with some kind of vegetable and sometimes gravy and sometimes not, or it will be a soup with celery, carrots, onions and peas.

The chickens or turkey will usually provide two or three meals some of these may be a leftover lunch.

Another thing that I am fond of is Bison meat so I would like to allow myself to do something with that at least once every month or two.

Keep in mind that the two or three days that I am allowed to cook something else beside these planned meals are not necessarily going to be unhealthy meals but SOMETIMES they will be!!! I want to feel free to embrace the deliciousness of some good old fashioned, caution to the wind home cooking from time to time. I'm talking, white bread stuffing, hollandaise sauce, pizza, chilli and corn bread, none whole wheat pasta, lasagna filled with CHEEEESE! bison cheese burgers . Or these could be days when I go out to a restaurant to eat. I want to be able to eat these things rarely. I think that my plan should allow that to happen.

Also, I want to make perhaps, one ridiculous dessert every two or three months. We won't usually eat dessert, but on occasion I would like a little cheese cake, or cookies, or even just ice cream.

My goal is to lose around 5 pounds a month. I know that that is slow, but I don't mind. I cannot exercise very much because of joint pain so I do not expect for the weight to melt off very quickly. As long as I do at least about 5 a month Ill be happy, any more is just bonus.

So how does my plan sound? any advice?
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Oh, and I should mention that my beverages are water about 80% of the time, and Homemade iced tea consisting of about a quarter cup of sugar per 2 liters of tea about 15 percent of the time. Rarely I will drink milk or something else. I drink alcohol about 3 or 4 times a year.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
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That's quite a plan!!! All I would suggest is have you come up with calorie counts for what you're planning? Because as I'm sure you're well aware if you want to lose weight... Calories matter... Now there are lots of ways to make that equation work... and it looks like you put a LOT of thought into WHAT you want to eat... So really the other piece of the puzzle is going to be HOW MUCH are you going to eat... so you can lose the weight that you want to...

Good luck!

And by the way those menus sound delicious
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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TripSwitch, I have not really counted the calories in my plan. I have a general idea about how much is too much (I have counted calores in the past), and I think that I have designed my plan with good portion sizes to keep the calories reasonable. You will see that I am aiming for a certain measure of each ingredient. Actually doing the maths to find calorie numbers is probably a good idea, but I just don't feel like doing that right now, especially because most of the foods I make are from scratch and it will be a pain to break them all down and figure out the calories, though not impossible, as I have done this with other recipes in the past.

I want to try to approach this with a relaxed attitude and not get obsessed about numbers, because I have obsessive tendencies. Get me counting calories and I will end up with 5 spreadsheets all coded to talk to each other and tell me how many points of a calorie I am off and I will just DIE if it isn't EXACT AAAAHHH! I'm crazy haha.

So I THINK without doing the math, that this seems like a good all around eating plan and with the measurements I provided I do not THINK that it will go over my daily caloric needs, but I could be wrong. I think that maybe I should just try to start with this plan, try to get on the SCHEDULE with it, the regular habits thing is a BIIIIG problem for me, and if weight does not start coming off in about three weeks of regularity I can slowly adjust this and that. Until the weight begins to drop. This, I think will be the best way for me to stay sane.

Unless someone thinks this plan sucks please let me know haha!

Also, yes this is a wonderful menu. These are things that I already eat very often and basically always have these ingredients on hand as my basic staples. They are all healthy and delicious and very satisfying.

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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Sounds as if you have a plan you can live with!

And I don't do calorie counts either. I am fairly knowledgeable in what is what and I find that when I am sticking with my plan of mostly fruits and veggies, with other stuff just as sides, I don't need to.

It's not necessary to starve ourselves or always deprive ourselves of an occasional dessert, etc. A healthful plan needs to be something we can enjoy.

I am fortunate in that I hate to cook so sticking a tray of raw veggies in the oven (with lemon olive oil and seasoning) makes me plenty happy most of the time, LOL, along with my supplemental stuff from PCC Natural Markets
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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AprilRT I think that sounds very reasonable and I like the idea of not getting too "obsessed" with the numbers... which is something that a lot of us struggle with... from the trying to figure out the exact number of calories that we're eating and obsessing about that... To obsessing about that All Mighty number on the SCALE or obsessing about GOD FORBID!!! WHY it went up 2lbs. overnight??? So from what you're described it sounds like you have a pretty healthy approach... And I think the good thing about your plan is that depending on how it's working for you... You have a lot of room to adjust it in so many ways... by doing any number of things... reducing portion size, lowering carbs, lowering fat, whatever works for you...
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Thanks Misti and Trip.

Today is actually day one, though I arose at 12:30 and ate breakfast shortly thereafter. The rest of the day I have been pretty much on schedule.

I am currently having my second snack. MMMM! Why is hummus so goooood!?

It is interesting that I feel hungry today. I don't often get hunger pangs even when I go a full 24 hours without food, but today I felt hungry all day except for the hour following each meal or snack. I ate more food today than I usually do yet I feel hungry, not famished to the point that I MUST eat or anything, just a touch peckish.

Maybe it is my metabolism waking up?
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:55 AM   #8
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Out of curiosity I figured the calories I consumed today. It turned out to be about 1875, which seems kinda low. I will see how I feel about this after a couple days or weeks and may actually end up ADDING calories if I think I am not getting enough. Gosh, people need to eat a LOT!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Out of curiosity I figured the calories I consumed today. It turned out to be about 1875, which seems kinda low. I will see how I feel about this after a couple days or weeks and may actually end up ADDING calories if I think I am not getting enough. Gosh, people need to eat a LOT!
1875 calories is definitely not "kinda low" if you are planning to lose weight. It sounds on the high side of average. I sure could not lose weight eating that much.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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I can only speak for myself but I cannot and have not ever lost weight on a plan like that. Every meal has whole grains, every snack has whole grains, every meal seems to have beans of some sort, those are nothing but bulk bulk bulk to me. Your body may work different than mine but the only way I can lose weight is if I get rid of sugar and be mindful of carbs. I'm not talking carb-free, I'm talking carb-smart. A very small amount of carbs can go a long way in keeping you full. But here you're talking rice, bread, cereal, hummus, rice+beans, and sweetened tea all in ONE day. I know people are stuck on the idea that whole grain is healthier, but how much you eat of it plays a big role. Not only that, but starch and carbs makes me even more hungry.

My daily carb intake comes from a slice of whole wheat toast with breakfast and lunch, a half a potato, some peanuts, and fruit. Any more than that in one day and the scale does not budge plus.

Furthermore, your post seems to have underlying tension that you MUST be able to eat treats along the way. Nobody is stopping you however, why are you feeling defensive about it? I cook too, very well and I enjoy cooking. I love making roasts, and pasta especially and I don't plan to quit. However I can't continuously eat pasta because it makes me crave more pasta and then something sugary to top it off. Too many carbs make me crazy and they I just find ways to justify eating them by calling them "whole grain" lol. So that word does little to persuade me that it is something healthy because the amount and how often it is eaten is excessive in my opinion.

I like to think of famous chefs like Giada di Laurentis, who cooks pasta daily yet remains a size zero. When asked about it she says she eats everything, but just a little and steers the bulk of her food towards vegetables.

You are right, consistency is key. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity in several studies. You may also be interfering with your body's natural circadian rhythm and your body may be craving more carbs due to that. Do try to get to bed a little earlier so that you can get a full 8hrs sleep, it helps tremendously in regulating your metabolism.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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I agree with Wannabeskinny and Misti in Seattle. Your meal plan sounds nice and healthy, but 1875 is on the high side of average if you're looking to lose weight. I can only speak for myself here, but 1500 is a splurge day for me. And your meals do sound pretty carb heavy. Again, only speaking for myself, but my fastest weight loss comes when I really ease up on the carbs. I try to get my daily carb intake from fresh fruit (that's also where I get my sugar intake), but I have been incorporating more carbs lately in the form of whole wheat and have seen my weight loss slow to a crawl.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:43 PM   #12
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Wannabeskinny, every snack doesn't have whole grains. A simple piece of fruit or a salad will be common snacks, or hummus with cucumber slices or celery (though I realize you take issue with the number of beans in my diet plan).

The main reason I am planning on eating so many beans is because I want a lot of protein and meat is expensive. Also they are filling and satisfying.

"rice, bread, cereal, hummus, rice+beans, and sweetened tea all in ONE day"

No, no, no. I will eat about one loaf of bread a month, so the bread options will only be a few meals per month. I drink a glass of lightly sweetened tea about once every two or three days. Pretty much all other beverages are water. Cereal will be eaten for breakfast about half the time, and other mornings I will be eating eggs and rice with a fruit or vegetable. As far as eating too much carbs, I am planning on only eating a half cup of grains per meal, and none with snacks. The only possible grain in my snacks would be a small handful of crackers, but this will happen maybe 5 times a month or so. If I am eating too many carbs I may just do away with the crackers and hummus and just always have a veg with the hummus.


"Furthermore, your post seems to have underlying tension that you MUST be able to eat treats along the way."

No tension at all! I am simply pointing out that I WILL have occasional naught NAUGHTY treats. I mainly want people to let me know if they think the frequency is too much. Once or twice potential way off diet dinners or breakfasts a month and one horribly naughty dessert every two or three months. Is that too much?

As far as the sleep cycle. Unfortunately due to my husband's schedule, and my desire to live along side him in the same schedule, the only realistic sleeping hours to get 8 hours is 3 to 11, which I am working on perfecting now. Last "night" I got to bed at 4 and got up at 12. Getting there! lol!


Now everyone is mentioning the cals. I used a bunch of daily calorie need calculators online and, while the vary, they typically state that I need around 2500 cals a day to maintain weight and the ones that give you a recommended weight loss calorie intake suggest an average of around 2200 cals a day. Keep in mind that I currently weight 300 pounds. I do not want to go too low and risk losing more muscle mass. Now if there is something I am missing here please inform me. Is there a really trusted calorie needs formula or online calculator that I may have missed, that I should use? Are these results way off?

I will have no problem lessening my calories if need be, but I just want to make sure that it is the correct thing to do. It was hard for me to eat so much yesterday, as I have been in starvation for most of the last 3 years or so. I did feel a little hungry for most of the day, but by bedtime last night after dinner I felt great, and so far so good today as well.

I am not yet convinced that I am eating too many carbs, but please, tell me, what should I eat instead? Maybe my poached egg breakfast should be on a BIIIIIIIG pile of steamed spinach only? perhaps? instead of a half cup of rice and one serving of spinach? I just don't know how I would get the calories I need without including carbs in my meals. I could just eat a lot more protein and fats, but I feel that there should be a balance. Should I try to ONLY get my carbs from fruits? Are grains just totally wrong?

By the way, one thing that just about everyone always mentions is nuts. This is one thing that I just cannot do! I HATE nuts! lol. Sorry! I know that they are a big dieting snack but I must decline.

I appreciate all the suggestions so far! I am considering it all!
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Legumes are great, they do provide lots of complex carbohydrates, fiber and nutrients. But they are CARBS and not only that but in order to provide you with a complete protein they must be paired with carbs such as rice.

I understand that meat is expensive, you don't need a lot of meat, and you can even be vegetarian and eat lots of protein without so many grains and carbs. What can you eat instead?
- hard boiled eggs
- yogurt
- cottage cheese
- milk
- any cheese
- grilled chicken breasts, or turkey
- fresh fish or tuna from a can

I buy large packs of chicken breasts and freeze them.

Don't worry about the nuts, I find them to be a life saver when I'm on the run and I need a quick hit of protein. But they do pack a lot of calories so I have to limit them. There's nothing wrong with not liking a particular item.

So about those carbs, the only advice I can give is to try to eat more colorful food than brown food. Whole grains tend to be brown. I'm making a navy bean soup at the moment. I've put very few beans in it, the rest is lots of veggies like tomatoes, peppers, onions, celery, carrots, and zucchini. It's more than enough carbs considering that vegetables are carbohydrates also.

Also, don't worry about the calories, for your weight 1800 calories are great for the slow weight loss you are going for. I eat anywhere between 1400-1800 on a daily basis and I'm not looking for overnight results. Here's what my typical day looks like:

Breakfast:
8am - 1 cup yogurt with berries and almonds and coffee
10am - one or 2 hard boiled eggs
12pm - 2 thin slices whole grain bread, lots of fresh meat or tuna, veggies on the side with dip (roasted red peppers + feta cheese + yogurt + olive oil)
3pm - 1tbsp hummus with veggies
4pm - tea, no sugar
6pm - lots of lean protein and veggies, no starches
10pm - 1 piece dark chocolate
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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Wannabeskinny, Thanks very much for all of your insight. I will, for now continue with my original plans and work on regulating my schedule first and eating the foods that I have put in my plans since they require little to no effort, as I am used to preparing them and can kinda, you know, "flow" with my shopping and preparations and such. If, after a few weeks of regular sleeping and eating I feel that something needs to change I will possibly make some of the changes that you have suggested.

There is plenty of colour in my diet already, that is not a problem, but I do recognize that a person must be careful with carbs. I think I am on the borderline there. I do not know if it is too much for me yet, but if I find anything about my plan to be problematic, I suspect that the carbs will be the issue. I will be paying close attention.

Thanks again! <3
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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Wannabeskinny, Thanks very much for all of your insight. I will, for now continue with my original plans and work on regulating my schedule first and eating the foods that I have put in my plans since they require little to no effort, as I am used to preparing them and can kinda, you know, "flow" with my shopping and preparations and such. If, after a few weeks of regular sleeping and eating I feel that something needs to change I will possibly make some of the changes that you have suggested.

There is plenty of colour in my diet already, that is not a problem, but I do recognize that a person must be careful with carbs. I think I am on the borderline there. I do not know if it is too much for me yet, but if I find anything about my plan to be problematic, I suspect that the carbs will be the issue. I will be paying close attention.

Thanks again! <3
I think this is a good idea to stick with your plan... Because I've found when I wanted to lose weight I had to be not only "motivated" by the plan that I chose, but it had to include foods that I enjoyed and wanted to eat... That fit into my calorie targets... Now I know that when it comes to whole grains and carbs those can be real "hot button" issues... I think that is an area that everyone has to figure out for themselves when it comes to dieting... usually through some trial and error... Personally I've lost weight on a very high carb diet and I've lost weight on a very low carb diet... But I felt better and was happier with more carbs... But I run marathons and do triathlons for fun... so more carbs work for me...

And I definitely think you should be able to lose at the rate that you're going for with a calorie target of 1800 calories a day... and if in a month from now you're not seeing the weight loss that you are happy with... You have a lot of places in that plan that you can play around with...

Good luck!
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