Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let's talk about food

Vickie's comment on my post the other day got me thinking.  Looking at other people's food blogs often makes me feel a little insecure about my own food -- they don't seem to eat much, especially compared to me. But I do tend to bulk up my food with veggies.
The breakfast pictured is a good example. I threw about 1 1/2 cups of baby spinach in my frying pan before adding one egg scrambled with a little milk and some fresh thyme. I had something very similar for lunch the past two days -- it's one of my favorites.

It's a little uncomfortable to talk about food because most people seem to have different ideas than I do about what is appropriate. I have been purposely vague about my calorie goals here because I have gotten nasty comments in the past about what I eat and how much, and I really don't want to start that up again. But I'm going to anyway, in case there is anyone out there who feels like I do.

I have never really been a big dieter, believe it or not, given all the emphasis I might seem to put here on weight loss. I have a strong self-protective streak, I guess, because I never tried anything crazy like Slimfast or starvation diets. When I have tried stuff like that I last for maybe a day, or even half a day. The longest I probably lasted on a restrictive diet was when I tried the Live Below the Line challenge and ended up giving up in the middle of the third day because I felt weak and headachy.

I did fine the first time I was on Weight Watchers, back when the program was less restrictive than it is now, but I was always over my points even when I was losing.  And then, when I got my body fat and metabolism tested at goal weight, the techs said that my body fat was still fairly high, and suggested it was because I was on Weight Watchers and running and not getting enough calories to maintain my muscle mass. At the time I was angry with them, but I think that's the reason I had such a hard time maintaining and have struggled so much with my weight since then.

The plan I am using now is the Fat2Fit philosophy (I really miss those guys -- I am afraid that Jeff might be ill again).  The screenshot to the right is the results when I plug my stats into their iPhone app.  I am shooting for 1800-2000 calories per day, even though my activity level is closer to the moderately active level.  Even LoseIt suggests that my calorie goal should be 1684 calories plus whatever I earn through exercise if I want to lose 1 pound per week (yesterday I was under my LoseIt calories but over my personal goal).  I would prefer to stick with a more consistent number of calories which is why I set my goals the way I did.

I know from experience that I will lose if I stick to this plan. It may not be the conventional approach. I know that most people think 1200-1600 calories (or less) is the way to go, but I know for me, if I undereat, eventually I give up. I would rather have a more moderate plan that I can really do than something that gets quick results but an equally quick weight regain.


  1. It's so funny you mention this as I have been envisioning Vickie looking at my food logs and frowning in disapproval at the lack of veg and wondering if I should put huge disclaimer regarding the VAST amount of vegetables in my lunchtime soup ;)

    I could never, ever do this food blogging thing long term. Triggers too much insecurity. It's too easy for someone to look at ONE day of food isolation and say "she eats too much bread" or "her calories are too low/high" without looking at the big picture and if that person happened to have a high calorie day recently and wants to balance it out, or has a big fancy dinner coming up the next day so holding back a little.

    I think you're doing beautifully and I love your checklist :) I'm totally doing the F2F thing too, it's so much better for sanity and sustainability I say! :)

    1. I don't think I'd ever do it either. It makes me too anxious. I just wanted to make sure people know there is a middle way between dieting and eating with no regard to calories. Bouncing back and forth between those extremes could make anyone crazy.

    2. Shauna I often do exactly what you do - have one meal that is chock full of veggies. And when I looked at your food the other day with the great recipe that I printed to try, that is what I thought- she loaded one meal with veggies.

      I was talking about people who have almost no veggies listed for whole day. I have also seen logs where they have almost no real food listed for the whole day. Everything is a shake or a bar or a pudding.

      Jen - here is a thought.

      I may have said this before (here). I know I have mentioned it to Laura.

      My person opinion is to set calories as high as possible while still having consistent (it will be slow) weight loss.

      The reason I say this is to always leave yourself "somewhere to go".

      When people are in the higher end stages, there is no way to tell what will need to happen at the other end of the scale, and no way to tell what will happen at menopause, or what will happen with wonky thyroid or another health problem or aging.

      The people who lose weight on very low calories are painting themselves into a potentially difficult corner.

      Now having said that, consistent, self help, nutritious, good ratios, calories are really important. Yoyoing around all over the place turns the slow into a no, and that complicates everything emotionally and physically, in my opinion.

    3. Aww :) Hope you enjoy the recipe Vickie.

      As well as leaving somewhere to go, I'm hoping it will make the transition to maintenance much easier i.e. you won't really have to do anything differently (like your 'half a baked potato' thing, Vickie)

  2. PS I miss those guys too!

  3. Me, three ... (missing Russ and Jeff). Their method was sensible and worked well for so many of their listeners.

  4. There is a post on the F2F site saying Jeff doesn't want to continue. Russ is trying to decide if he should continue alone or with a new partner. Shauna, you should get with him so it could be Fat 2 Fit Chick With a Microphone.

    1. Nice one Jen ;) That is such a shame about Jeff. I hope he is okay.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07