Having serious trouble cutting back on calories! Help! - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community

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Old 07-14-2006, 07:05 PM   #1  
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Default Having serious trouble cutting back on calories! Help!

Right now I can manage to average about 2000 calories a day. Before I started weight loss mode I was eating about 3500 and slowly went down to 2000. Now I talked to my trainer at the gym that I see every other week and she said I should eventually get down to about 1600 calories a day. I tried eating 1800, but on those days I just get really hungry and then I end up binging and then my total for the day ends up being more like 2500.

Now I am exercising a few times a week and working on increasing the amount of water I drink the servings of fruits and veggies (I swear if I have 100 calories to spare in a day I head straight for sugar, veggies be damned). And I am losing weight.

I know I have to keep track of it religiously or else I will eat a lot more than I think I am eating and gain.

But how do I manage to lower my calories? I guess I got too comfortable around the 2K mark. I know I need to be eating less, but I am not sure how I can manage to make that transition and stick to it.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:17 PM   #2  
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Hey kyethra

I can tell you what I did. My weakness was the chocolate danishes at Tim Hortons. I'm a medic and we stop there often for coffee, especially nights. So whenever I went in I wanted a danish. So I said to myself, self you can only have one every other time, then every 3 time, then every 4th time and so on. Tonight I am proud to say I went there and had coffee only and it's been 2 weeks since I had a danish. I couldn't banish sugar right away, I wanted it more but now, I'm getting better. I had a friend come over and clean out the pantry and removed all baking ingredients. You see I believe I was a baker in another life and I still want to bake now. Hehehe. Maybe try something like that when it comes to sugar. Sugar calories add up fast unfortunately. Good luck

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Old 07-14-2006, 07:25 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by kyethra
But how do I manage to lower my calories? I guess I got too comfortable around the 2K mark. I know I need to be eating less, but I am not sure how I can manage to make that transition and stick to it.
Just looking at the Fitday for today, you eat a lot of processed, high calorie foods (pizza, rice krispy treats, protein bar, cookies). Those foods are high in calories, but they aren't very satisfying since they don't give your body the nutrients it is really craving. If you switched to more nutritionally powerful high-volume foods like whole wheat toast with peanut butter, sliced vegetables with hummus dip, whole grains, string cheese, oatmeal with dried fruit, low fat cottage cheese, 1/4 cup trailmix, apples, etc. you would do good things for your body AND stay full on fewer calories.

Compare your Fitday to mine (uh, not today, it's treat meal day, heh). I eat more frequently than you, but my calories are a lot less. I also don't eat a lot of processed foods. I eat every 2 hours and I'm rarely hungry.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:25 PM   #4  
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Maybe the next step for you would be to eat cleaner, unprocessed foods. According to your fitday, many of your calories come from sugary junk foods. Use those calories instead for lots more protein, fruits and veggies. I always feel hungry if I don't eat enough protein. You can get lots of fruits and vegs for the same calories as a small serving of junk food.
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:30 PM   #5  
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At your weight, if you're exercising, you might lose on 2,000 a day...I did when I weighed what you do now, if I really cranked it on the physical activity.

Finding the right calorie level isn't a matter of what your trainer tells you - its a matter of what your body tells you. If you're truly, physically hungry, eat! Thats your body saying "hey, you up there! I need something to fuel me!" and you don't want to ignore it. If you lose at 2,000, stay at 2,000. Why fix it if it ain't broke? When you stop losing at that, up your exercise or reduce your calories then. .5 to 2 lbs per week is considered healthy, so you don't want to push your body to lose more than that. Also, later on, you need to have somewhere to go with your calories when your weight loss stalls out - if you start at 1600, you don't have much room before you hit the absolute bottom your calories should ever go (1200).

That being said, if you really want to lower your calories, look for foods that are more filling for lower amounts of calories. These are usually veggies, but also can be any food thats really high fiber (air-popped popcorn fills me really well, for example, but if I'm craving sweet, I get remarkable staying power from a slim-a-bear fudge bar (90 calories, 5 g fiber).

For staying power, you want to look for a combination of complex carbs (not white sugars - think whole wheat, whole grains) and protein, with a good dose of fiber in the mix. This will allow you to stay full longer on a lower number of calories.

Also, make sure you're getting PLENTY of water. When I'm dehydrated, I interpret my thirst as hunger, thinking I need to eat when I really need to drink some water. I try to get 4-6 L a day, but thats ambitious. Just keep a bottle near you and try to go through at least 64 oz a day. It helps fill your stomach and keeps you hydrated.
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:17 PM   #6  
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I agree. You need to eat leaner meats, poultry, fish, etc.. and at least 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-4 servings of vegetables a day. You should also be getting some of your protien from beans and nuts (if you are able to eat those). They are an excellent source of protien and nuts are full of wonderful omega 3 fats, while beans give you a lot of extra fiber.

Believe me, I once had a wicked sweet tooth too. For example, last summer I used to eat a couple of gallons of ice cream a week. Sit on the couch, with spoon in one hand and gallon container in the next just shoveling! When I changed my eating habits, I realized that if I get an ample amount of fruit in my diet, I will not crave sweets as much. I also eat a lot of whole grains in my diet, which are excellent for fiber consumption as well as being a much healthier choice than white simple carbs. Complex carbs, unsaturated and omega fats and lean protiens are the building blocks of our bodies. Once we give our body what it needs nutritionally, everything falls into place. Our appetites adjust and we feel hungry when we're hungry. Also, keeping active helps in that process too. Plus it helps in the whole calories in/calories out concept.

I would suggest following one of the previous poster's advise and try to stick with unprocessed foods like old fashioned oatmeal, whole grain breads and pasta and brown rice. Treat your body to things that are good for it. If you like dairy products buy 2% or skim milk and buy 2% reduced fat cheeses. They are really good. Lowfat yogurt is good too. But becareful because some of them have a lot of sugars. I started buying nonfat plain yogurt and adding my own sugar and fresh fruit. Just as yummy, but better for me. You should stick with smaller portions of meats, fish and chicken too. Deck of cards size. 4 - 6 oz per day. So if you want chicken and beef on the same day. Have 3 oz of chicken on a salad or in a wrap and have 3 oz of lean beef with steamed or grilled veggies for dinner. Or make kabobs. There really are no limits to good, healthy, clean eating. You will not believe how good you feel. And if you want chocolate try some dark chocolate. It's really good for you. But limit it to under an oz a day. Savor it, eat it slowly and let it melt in your mouth. It's better that way.

Good luck! Don't give up.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:19 PM   #7  
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Hi, I have to agree with everyone else. The processed foods won't do anything to keep you full or in the best of health.

I know that you and I are about the same weight and i'll guess activity level as moderate. I wanted to keep my calories about 1600-1800 but find eating every 2-3 hours i'm always full and really have a hard time getting all the food in. I have to say, that my Godsend right now are the smoothies that I make with flax oil/flax seeds/whey protein.(and no you can't even taste it! ) That's a good chunk of my calories with "good fats" and fiber. I'm usually more like 1400-1500. The difference is the types of food. Take a look at my fitday as well.

At the moment i'm in the middle (for the last week or so) of what they call an "elimination diet" to check for sensitivity to certain foods, so it doesn't look like much of a variety, but still very healthy and filling. At the end of next week i'll start adding back items and logging how my body responds, "friendly carbs", grains, dairy, that sort of thing. I will continue with my no salt, no sugar, no flour regimen as I find those of no benefit to me.

Best of luck to you! And by the way, it's always a good thing to be willing (as you are) to ask for help and information. You're on the right track.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:35 PM   #8  
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I 100% agree with everyone about processed foods and eating more protein!

however, I also agree that it's hard to know how many calories to eat... I know when I weighed what you do that I was able to lose around 2 pounds a week eating 2000 cals/day... I don't know that I would have felt comfortable losing faster. Even now I average 1800/day... but only losing about a pound a week. I know I'd lose quicker if I ate fewer calories, but I am more focused on changing behaviors and getting exercise in, and it seems to be working for me, so...

So, I guess my advice is to leave yourself open to finding the calorie level that works for you...
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:37 AM   #9  
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I agree with a lot of what some have said in reply to ur question. I also still have a lot to lose still and 2000 calories is enough for a lot of people who start out and have a significant amount to lose.

Looking at ur fitday diet for that day, I gotta say that u should seriously cut out the fudge popsicle and the rice treat, croutons, and bacon bits. Those are really wasted calories of huge proportions. I try to stay as clean as possible myself but due to having a fixed amount to spend every week I don't, honestly, eat clean. I take in a healthier pizza and a small kids pack of chips here and there (that's my thing). But on some days I eat only about 1400 calories other days I eat almost 2000. Blieve it or not some recent research states going a little on the high end for a few days then going low on 2 days or so is good when ur trying to lose weight. U could also use the cuts on non workout days.

Things u need to do quick to keep ur discipline from being tested too much should include taking in more fiber even if it is from a benefiber or other such supplement. Fruits and vegt are always important and have fiber so that's a given. Also, protein is important when dieting. This keeps u full. U need to get it from meats, whey protein shakes, high fiber foods. If u need something sweet try to get something that has a lot of protein and fiber. Some cereals for instance have some sugars / some none, but get this instead of a popsicle or rice treat ( and get the cereal with high fiber and some good amount of protein). I take in Kashi GoLean High Protein & High Fiber Cereal when I need something sweet or try their crunch one.

By the way if u workout u need more calories so 2000 isn't as bad. I would suggest lifting weights so u could keep up the high calories and still continue losing weight even when ur weight decreases (esp. if decreasing them will not keep u level and going for the better stuff). Lifting will help u increase ur metabolism and ur muscle mass (even if it is only a little muscle it will help, and no u won't look huge with only a few pounds of muscle), so u can eat more calories and still burn them more quickly and easily.
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:12 AM   #10  
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I agree with others also. I was close to your weight when I started out and... at my doctor's advice... eat at least 1800 calories a day and often closer to 2000 (she advised me not to go under 1800). She is right... I am losing an average of 2 pounds a week. A gym trainer is NOT an expert on YOUR body or how many calories you should eat.

However, you very much need to stop eating the processed foods and "junk" foods. Go for unprocessed foods... lots of fresh fruits and veggies, proteins such as lean meats, nuts, peanut butter, etc. You will be amazed at how much more satisfying they are and fill you up better.. AND you get a LOT more food for the calories. You can eat a LOT of carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, and other fresh fruits and veggies, etc., than the wasted calories of high sugar and processed foods. I am honestly never hungry and once you get that junk out of your system you will actually begin to enjoy the taste of the fresh stuff so much more.
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:12 PM   #11  
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I agree with others--toss the processed junk. I've cracked down on myself quite recently, and here is my question to you: if you're trying to lose weight, then why do keep things like rice krispy treats and fudgesicles in your home? My first piece of advice would be to go through your entire kitchen and get rid of all the junk. If your conscience can't handle the thought of throwing away "perfectly good" food (although I'm not sure that type of food actually does anyone any "good"), then finish what you have, and don't buy more! If you must have fudgesicles, try the no-sugar-added ones--40 calories each, and I think they taste fabulous! In place of the rice krispy treat, maybe try some crunchy veggies (celery, carrots, cucumbers, etc.) with a flavored hummus or even a fat-free dip. Can't stomach the veggies (I know I can't)? Try some apple slices with natural peanut butter, strawberries or peaches with low-fat cottage cheese, strawberries with fat-free cool whip...there are lots of healthier options out there. Try replacing the pizza with grilled chicken and veggies, a hearty healthy soup, a stir fry dish, a toasted sandwich...again, lots of healthier alternatives. I'll be willing to bet a million dollars any food you say you can't live without, someone here can provide you with a healthier, just-as-tasty alternative Same bet goes for any special lifestyle constraints you may have--if you're always on the go, if you don't have time to cook nutritious dinners, if you don't like to eat breakfast, if you don't like/know how to cook--we've lived through, heard it, and conquered it all, and we're here to help you in any way we can
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Old 07-15-2006, 05:33 PM   #12  
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Wow Jill fantastic message... you made me hungry for some of that yummy stuff you mentioned! Of course the fact that it is 2:30 and I missed lunch may have something to do with that. I am off to remedy that though LOL
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:32 PM   #13  
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If you're a junk food junkie, you may find it difficult to go "cold turkey" into a low fat, whole grain, high fiber diet. Find some transition foods you like - foods that satisfy the junk food urge, but are healthier than the snacks you love. Baked chips, sugar free frozen bars, meatless burgers...

Go to the health food store and experiment. I just bought quinoa for the first time (it cooks like regular rice, but not quite as long). I really liked it, it looked like birdseed in it's raw state, but cooked, it was chewy and nutty. I made "fried rice" with it (sliced veggies and a bit of turkey ham sauted in a teaspoon of oil, scrambled egg whites, 1/2 cup of cooked quionoa, and soy sauce and garlic powder)

Veggies and low fat dip are my salvation for snack attacks. I use Hellman's low fat or fat free mayo and mix in at least as much fatfree sourcream, and thin it with skim milk. Then add ranch dressing mix to taste (like Hidden Valley, but I buy it in bulk - there are also recipes online).

I have to admit when I started, I nearly drowned each veggie in the dip, but soon I began to appreciate the veggie flavors, and I found I needed to use less and less dip.
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:53 PM   #14  
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I can honestly say that I had to slowly replace bad things with good. The one I started with was wheat bread instead of white. Then I moved to whole wheat pasta (at first I only ate with heavy sauces like marinara that drowned out most of the taste, but now I will eat with anything), if you need to just slowly replace. You get used to the taste really fast and then it is not so foreign. You will get used to it and then just enjoy good healthy food. I am finding now I am having a bit of an aversion to the food I used to like. It is too greasy and too sweet and too...everything. I no longer get acid reflux every night, etc. I am not saying you have to change overnight but get it gradual and you will eventually get to appreciate it. None of us got to where we are today by eating good foods, but we are remedying where we are today and where we want to be tommorrow by eating good foods. I think all of us had a major junk food craving and loved it. We all just have to learn how to fix how we have been eating and you will get it to. It sometimes just takes a while. I can tell you that I probably eat more volume of stuff than I have ever eaten in my life and some days I have a hard time to get up to calories that I need. The important thing is to eat good calories and not junk.

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