I explained a little bit before about watching calories, but I’ll go into a little more detail here about what I’m eating. On the MyFitnessPal program, you can put in how much weight you want to lose per week, and it will give you a calorie goal to stay at per day. I did this and also talked to my brother (a.k.a. personal trainer) about how many calories I should be eating. Right now my initial goal is to burn fat. If you remember from my stats post, my starting body fat was 38% which is super high and unhealthy. So I’m keeping my calories at 1250 per day. Anything under 1200 would put my body into starvation mode, and make he hold onto fat.
To stay around 1250, I try to have five or six small meals a day. I keep my meals/snacks during the day around 200 calories each. I try to do this because I know that I’ll usually end up eating more calories at dinner. A typical day might look something like this;
Breakfast: 1 cup of cereal with 1/2 cup of fat-free milk. I LOVE cereal. It’s great if you’re having a sweet craving. A favorite of mine right now is peanut butter Cheerios. It’s made with whole grains and has a yummy peanut butter taste. Cereal is also a good source of fiber, which is an important part of any diet.
Mid-morning snack: 1/4 cup of almonds or a power/nutrition bar. It’s important to eat throughout the day. It keeps your metabolism working, and prevents you from getting super hungry and over eating.
Lunch: Salad or sandwich, with either tuna or chicken. I’m cutting out cheese for the most part right now. Mostly because it has a lot of fat and calories. I eat it occasionally, in small amounts though. If I have a sandwich, it’ll be on a whole wheat thin bagel, which is 110 calories. And then I’ll add tuna, a tiny bit of olive oil mayo, and lettuce. The great thing about salads are they can be super filling while having a low number of calories. You can eat 2 cups of lettuce and it will only be around 15 calories. So you can have a rather big, filling lunch while still keeping your calories down. I’m also a ranch lover, and I HATE fat-free ranch. It’s just not the same. So I still eat it, I just make sure I check the calories on it and measure out what I use.
Mid-afternoon snack: Similar to morning snack. Almonds, power bar, banana, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.
Dinner: Dinner is harder to sum up. We do a lot of different things, and it’s harder for me to explain them, because I don’t cook them. We love to grill. If it’s nice out, we’ll probably grill. We eat a lot of grilled chicken, pork, fish, and occasionally steak. If we have steak I keep my portion around 4-6 oz because steak is higher in fat and calories than a lean meat like chicken. A good alternative to steak that we love is tuna steak. For sides we’ll usually have either a salad, grilled corn, couscous with chopped veggies, grilled asparagus, steamed rice with veggies, etc.
So this is an example of what I eat. Some days I eat better, other days I eat worse. If I’m craving a cookie, and have calories left in the day, I’ll occasionally have a 50cal cookie to satisfy my craving. We try to eat at home as much as possible, but sometimes it’s nice, and easier to eat out. If I go to a restaurant I do my best to find their calorie information. If I can’t find calories for the restaurant then I usually end up ordering a salad, with dressing on the side. I’m not trying to deprive myself, but I am being very strict at this point. Once I’ve lowered my fat percentage and weight, then I’ll start adding more calories to my day. My brother is always telling me that it’s easier to maintain your weight then to lose it. He says that a body that is out of shape, wants to stay out of shape, but a body that is in shape, wants to stay in shape.
This is what I’m doing and what has been working for me, but it won’t be right for everyone. I think the most important thing is to listen to your body. If you’re feeling tired or weak, then you probably need to be eating more.