Q. I was wondering how you budget your calories throughout the day. Do you try to stay within a certain range per meal? I am having a hard time figuring out how to space my calories during the day.
Another question: What does your shopping cart/pantry look like? What do you consider “must haves”?
A. One of the biggest differences from "this time around" losing weight (vs. the previous hundreds of attempts) actually lies in the fact that I budgeted my calories differently. In the past, I always used to "hoard" calories for later in the day. I would eat a miniscule breakfast (or skip it altogether), then a tiny lunch, a large dinner, and I would use all the rest of my calories for pre-bed snacking. But usually, what ended up happening, was that I would be starving by mid-afternoon and I would binge--then say, "Eff it, I might as well start over tomorrow and eat whatever I want for the rest of the day."
Obviously, that was not helpful! This time around, I did things differently. I spread my calories out and I wasn't afraid to use up all my calories too early. I found that by doing so, the urge to binge practically disappeared, because I was always physically satisfied.
To be more specific, I would generally eat about 350 calories for breakfast, 350-400 calories for lunch, 400-450 calories for dinner... plus an afternoon snack of about 200 calories and and evening "treat" of about 300 calories. I didn't adhere to this every single day, but this is a GENERAL idea of how I liked to spread out the calories. Doing it this way kept my hunger satisfied throughout the day, and I still had my special treat to look forward to before bed.
As far as my shopping cart/pantry... my "must haves" are: oats, Smart Taste pasta, brown rice, canned beans of all kinds, canned tuna, pretzels, popcorn, peanut butter, almond butter, wine, Ezekiel bread, 1% milk, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, lean ground turkey, fruits and veggies (whatever is cheap or on sale--usually cabbage, apples, bananas, bell peppers, potatoes, onions). I'm probably forgetting some stuff, but those are things that I always have on hand.
Q. My questions is during your weight loss did you ever take weight loss aids, fat burners, etc? The crap that advertises that it can make you look like a swimsuit model? If no, did you ever consider taking any?
A. To answer both questions, no--I never took any weight loss aids, and I never considered taking any. I've never been a fan of weight loss pills, because I don't think it's reasonable to take them forever. One thing that I was adamant about from day one was that I wasn't going to make any changes that I wasn't willing to make forever. I knew I didn't want to take weight loss pills forever, so I never even considered taking them from the start.
Q. I have a pretty simple question- Why is your goal weight, your goal weight? I forget the exact number you said it was, but it was only like 5 pounds from what you are now- why have you picked that particular number? Won't your pants still fit the same and you'll look the same? I'm working on losing weight myself and I haven't picked an exact number yet I guess because I don't know how to pick a number that far away. The difference between 132 and 138 seems so minimal. Did you have this number in your head when you started or did you zero in on it as you got closer?
A. This is a great question! This is definitely something I would have wondered before I lost the weight. When I was 253 pounds, I could gain or lose 20 pounds before I would notice it in my clothes. A couple of pounds made no difference at all.
When I first started losing weight, I chose 126 as my goal weight--because it would be half of my starting weight, and I had this big dream of being in People magazine's Half Their Size issue. I got down to 128 pounds in 16 months--(the last 10 came off when my jaw was broken and I was on a liquid diet). Once I was able to eat solid food again, my weight jumped up to 137 ish, and I've had one hell of a time getting it back down. I remember feeling like 133 was my "cut-off" weight, where I felt good and all my clothes felt good. And once I was on The Dr. Oz Show, I no longer would qualify to be in People magazine whether I reached 126 or not, so I changed my goal weight to 133.
My body really likes the high 130's/low 140's. I can maintain this weight without counting every calorie, and still eating my daily treat. But my clothes don't fit how I would like them to. I don't feel as good as I did at 133. I know that five pounds seems like nothing, but at this size, five measly pounds makes a world of difference in my clothes. I have a pair of jeans that fit like a glove at 137, but if I get up to 139, I can barely get them buttoned. I have a dress that looks amazing when I'm 136, but at 138, it's a struggle to zip.
At this size, EVERY POUND MATTERS. I'm sure that I'm probably the only one who notices, and it's truly no big deal if I weigh 138 forever instead of 133. But I think that by striving for 133, I'm at least not gaining back every pound I've lost. I'm always working at getting to goal, so maybe that is the reason I've successfully kept off 100+ pounds for almost two years now.
And now a question for all of you...
Do you tend to spread your calories out throughout the day, or do you prefer to eat the majority of your calories at one meal?