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food frustration/calorie conundrum

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Old 06-17-2006, 05:41 PM   #1
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Default food frustration/calorie conundrum

so.
i'm trying to eat my 1200 calories. i am. i'm trying hard. i just keep adding ingredients to things in an effort to make it taste good, be enough calories, but not be too high in fat or anything.

i feel like i've eaten a LOT today. breakfast was just yogurt, because i just don't wake up hungry at all, but i know i have to eat something. lunch was soup with ff chicken stock, green chilies, tomatoes, red onions, and cremini mushrooms, plus a low carb low fat whole wheat tortilla with a crab/ff cream cheese/scallion/dijon mustard filling. it was really good, and i was satisfied and full after that.

then, i just made dinner early because i'm going to work out tonight. 2 scallopini sliced pieces of chicken breast, crusted with 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, and orange zest, plus this primavera mixed veggie blend with some portabello slices thrown in, and an orange. once again, i'm satisfyingly full. not stuffed, but not left feeling still hungry.

it feels like a whole helluva lotta food. GOOD food.
so how does all of that only total about 700 calories? i spoze i could have thrown some couscous or something in with dinner, but i don't think i could have finished all my dinner if i did that.

*whaps head* i dunno what to do. honestly. i've been losing weight, steadily, not too much at a time, just like i'm spozed to, so maybe my body just really is ok with fewer than 1200? they say you're spozed to get hungrier when you get more active, and i find that's true. i AM a lot hungrier now, but it doesn't really take that much for me to not be hungry anymore. i don't want to starve myself and slow down the weight loss, but i don't want to just keep eating for the sake of hitting 1,200 calories. that can't be healthy.

anyway. advice?
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
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When I decided to change how I ate, I decided to eat for health, not just weight loss. I have a lot of food goals that are related to my health and not related to calories specifically (although I am aware of how many calories I eat per day). I don't eat for the sake of eating 1800 calories a day, I eat to make sure I get a full variety of nutritionally powerful foods - lean protein at every meal, 5+ servings of vegetables, 2+ servings of fruit, 2+ servings of whole grains, low fat dairy, at least 20% of my daily calories from healthy fat.

When I concentrate on meeting the nutrition goals, the calories just happen. I eat when I'm not hungry all the time, I don't like being hungry - I sometimes get dizzy and lightheaded. I also tend to make terrible food decisions the hungrier I get.

I eat 6 times a day, around 2 hour intervals. I happen to love eating, love food and I feel good about what I'm eating.

You have to figure out what's right for you. I think you would have a hard time getting all the nutrition you need at less than 1000 calories a day. Also, if your weight loss plateaus when you are eating less than 1000 calories a day, that doesn't leave you many options to break the plateau.

Good luck!
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Old 06-17-2006, 07:35 PM   #3
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I agree with glory87. I may not be quite as specific about amounts, but I make sure that I eat: 3-4 full servings of lean meat, 3-4 servings of veggies, at least 1 serving of fruit, 2 or so servings of dairy, and 4-5 servings of grains as my "base". This alone comes to about 1400 cals, depending on how they are cooked. Then add in some sauces, fats, sugars, dressings, breadings (each in moderation) and extra portions of the "healthy stuff", and I get to my 1800-2200 range that I've been using to lose weight.

I don't trust "hunger" to let me know what or how much to eat. I certainly shouldn't have trusted it when I was gaining weight year after year after year. And, since I am exercising like a fiend now, I need to get in the nutrition and cals to fuel and build my "new" body. I don't want to loose 100 pounds just to find out that half of that was muscle and not fat.
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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I agree with Glory as well. I understand, though, what you are saying. I went through a stage where I had the same problem. I just could not bear to feel even the slightest bit full and had a hard time meeting my nutritional goals. There are lots of foods that are nutrient dense but very light. A handful of almonds packs a 170 calorie punch and is very healthy. An ounce of regular cheddar cheese adds 110 calories and is full of protein and calcium. Neither is terribly filling. If you happen to be using a lot of fat free or reduced calorie products, condsider switching to their regular counterparts. You'll increase your calories without changing the amount that you eat.

It may be true that your body "likes" less than 1200 calories. But, sometimes, you must override what it likes or wants for the sake of your health. It isn't that I would worry about starvation mode (I personally think that gets thrown around rather liberally) or even nutrition (assuming you take a vitamin supplement). However, you have 70 or so more pounds before you reach your ultimate goal weight. Sometime between now and then you are likely going to have to adjust your calorie intake to continue losing at a reasonable rate. If you are already consuming less than 1200 calories you've not much wiggle room once that time comes.

Plus, I think it is likely that you may find this really is just a phase. I've read many posts by people with the same concerns, usually soon after they've really gotten a handle on their weight loss routine (that is when I went through it too). For many of us, losing weight successfully instills a great sense of control over our food and bodies that hasn't existed for some time (if ever) and we realize that food just isn't as big a deal as we've made it for so long. So, eating more of it than we need to feel satisfied just isn't appealing - and we begin to lose our appetites, so to speak. Usually, though, we then start to appreciate food as a fuel and begin enjoy eating on a whole different level. It becomes less about appetite and more about energy, health, and well being. Portions become less important than nutrition. For instance, when I shifted my focus from 100% on losing weight and started thinking more about building muscle, the way that I ate changed and had very little to do with physical hunger. Instead, i concentrated on consuming what I needed to develop the muscle I was working so hard to build.

Maybe that isn't the case (and won't be the case) for everyone. However, I know it isn't uncommon so it is certainly something worth considering.
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:57 AM   #5
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Well, my advice is that at your current weight, you definitely need more than 1200 calories a day. The reason being, is that as you lose weight and get smaller, then your body is going to use less calories per day. If you are eating about 1500 now, and then 30 pounds down the road if you start stalling-you have a 300 calorie window there to "drop" those calories to get things going again. If at around 200 pounds you are already at the very low calorie end of things (and I am saying 1200 calories here...not BELOW 1200, which makes it even worse...) you have nowhere to "go" once you stall.

The way I am seeing it, is that you had yogurt for breakfast, soup for lunch, and a decent dinner. The dinner was absolutely fine...but you are not getting enough the rest of the day. If you are not hungry first thing in the morning, then have that yogurt...but an hour or two later, have another small snack-a spoonful of peanut butter, a piece of fruit...ANYTHING. With lunch, add something to fill out that soup-a small side salad...a piece of fruit...or add a small bedtime snack to the mix.

If you were 140 or 150 pounds right now with a goal of 130-I wouldn't fret so much about you eating at the low end of the calorie recommendations, but where you are at currently, you are not eating enough. You don't need to stuff yourself-but adding 2-3 more healthy foods each day here and there like I specified, will fill your diet out and get you where you should be.
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