March 11, 2012

Reader Questions & Answers #4

On Sundays, I will answer some readers' questions in a post. If you have a question that you would like me to answer here on the blog, just send me an e-mail with the subject "Q&A", and I may include them in a future Q&A post. They don't have to be about weight loss or running--anything is game!  (Remember, I'm not a doctor or dietician, or any sort of medical professional--I can only answer questions from my own experience).

Q. What were some of your favorite foods while you were losing weight? 

A. I've mentioned before that I tend to go through phases with food--I try something I really like, and then I eat it day after day until I find the next thing. So I went through a lot of phases throughout my journey. But from memory, some of my favorite foods throughout the journey were: oatmeal, prunes, apples, peaches, cabbage, Caramello candy bars, tuna sandwiches, pita pizzas, a sandwich made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on two waffles, protein shakes (by necessity because of my surgeries), popcorn with oil and salt, chai lattes, PB2 used a thousand different ways, lentils, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches, feta cheese, Dove Promises dark chocolate...and probably some other things I'm forgetting. Almost all of my dinners are listed on my recipes page

As you can see, I liked a variety of things--both healthy and not-so-healthy. I just ate whatever I was in the mood for, and I counted the calories for it.

Q. When you lost the weight, did you ever hit a plateau? If so, how did you get over it?

A. To be perfectly honest, I actually never did hit a plateau. I define a plateau as a stalled weight loss that, no matter what you do, your weight just won't budge for a while. My weight stalled a few times, but I know that it wasn't a plateau. It could always be attributed to my eating habits--maybe I binged that week, or just ate too much on a couple of occasions. 

For the most part, however, if I was following my plan (measuring my portions, counting calories, and keeping my calories within my range), I lost weight. Whether I exercised or not, as long as I counted my calories, my weight continued to drop.

Q. Can you share a few days of what lower-calorie eating looks like, or give some sample menus that you used while losing weight?

A. I had to dig out my old paper food journals to find a few samples--these were chosen completely at random. But keep in mind, my diet wasn't perfect--not even close! Like I said before, I just ate whatever I was in the mood for and I counted the calories for it.

December 2009 (1633 calories):
Breakfast: Fiber One Honey Clusters cereal with milk
Lunch: grilled cheese with bacon sandwich, and an orange
Dinner: Turkey, black bean, and corn chili, cup of milk
Snacks: Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, cup of milk, 1/4 cup Raisinettes

April 2010 (1497 calories):
Breakfast: cream of wheat with milk and grapes
Lunch: hummus with pretzels and grapes
Dinner: chicken and dumplings, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich
Snacks: Nature Valley Sweet & Salty granola bar, bottle of beer, banana with frozen yogurt and honey

June 2010 (1554 calories):
Breakfast: coffee, oat frittata with PB2
Lunch: tortilla with Boca chik'n patty and Laughing Cow cheese, 1 peach, 1 kiwi fruit
Dinner: lemon lentil soup, salmon cooked with a drizzle of honey, ice cream cone
Snacks: baby carrots with peanut butter, one small bag of popcorn, 2 peaches, Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich with Hershey's syrup, PB2, and cool whip

August 2010 (1322 calories):
Breakfast: oats with almond milk and walnuts
Lunch: wrap with hummus, spinach, and turkey; sauteed broccoli; grapes
Dinner: homemade baked beans, 1 glass red wine
Snack: cashews and dark chocolate chips

So there you have it--a variety of stuff, with a variety of calories. My diet was far from perfect, but I ate what kept me satisfied mentally as well as physically, and this is all stuff I enjoyed eating.

Example breakfast:
Bran flakes with frozen blueberries and milk
Example lunch:
PB&J on a waffle with canteloupe
Example dinner:
White Chili
Example snack:
Chocolate chips and almonds
Example treat:
S'mores Pie


  1. Great info!

    I'm embarassed to tell you that I saw you today ... but I chickened out and didn't say anything. You walked by me with your friend and I was about to say something, but then I just looked at my husband and was like "that's the girl who writes the blog I read" LoL ... sorry. Hope you had a good run! Honestly, it was harder than I anticipated because of the darn bricks and I really don't run on uneven ground regularly so it challenged me. Anyway ... I'm running the Martian 10k in April (a friend talked me into it in November). Maybe I'll see you there and NOT chicken out. ;)

    1. Shannon! I'm so disappointed that you didn't say anything! I was really hoping that someone would come up and tell me that they read my blog, but it didn't happen. I'm a nice person, honest!

      For sure at the Martian. I'm going to be there alone, so I'd love some company!

      I agree, the bricks were awful to run on, and the race was SUPER crowded. Hard to move!


    I liked seeing you like to snack, too. 3 meals and 2 snacks just doesn't cut it for me.

    1. I have the race recap ready to post tomorrow--I didn't want to bombard anyone with two posts in one day! But maybe I'll post it now :)

    2. You could've waited! I din't mean to bully you!

  3. How did you determine the amount of calories where you continued to lose weight and feel satisfied? Do you increase calories when you exercise so you stay within a particular net calorie range?

    Thanks for all of your sharing!

    1. I just experimented with different amounts. I started with about 1800-2000 at first, and I was losing with that amount, so I didn't drop the calories until my weight loss slowed down.

      On the days I exercise, I usually eat half of the calories I burn. So if I burn 600 on a 6-mile run, I might eat 300 on top of my normal calorie allotment.

  4. Great post! I love your meal ideas, I've always enjoyed poking around your recipe blog! You just reminded me I should pick up some boca chik'n patties those are the bomb!

  5. Thanks for sharing some meal ideas, Katie!!!!
    I agree with you about plateauing, I have never had it happen to me either!!! If I am trying to lose weight and it not's happening, I am probably over-eating!!!
    Awesome job on the 5K!!!! I liked the part of the Detroit 1/2 Marathon that went through CorkTown, it was pretty!!! I run on mostly dirt and gravel roads, so I don't think the brick was too bad, but it's all what you're used to!!!
    Your outfit was very festive!!!!!:-)


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