Sunday, 24 February 2013

My Food Diary - How to maintain a healthy low weight. 5 tips for weightloss + What I ate on a 1200 calorie - 1500 cal a day diet


I thought i would share with you how i maintain a size 6 dress size, i think it's important not to be fooled by looking at models and movie stars who say the don't diet! that's not reality. I'm no longer on a diet after reaching a goal weight. I got a shock a while back when i calculated my BMI and realised i was 'Clinicaly obese' WHAT?! I guess being a uni student, on a budget, $5 pizza was at the top of my priorities; not health. 
Now I'm fitting into size 6 skinny jeans - and before you ask yes I'm within my healthy BMI range, i could even lose a few more kilos and stay a healthy BMI. The joy's of being 150-something-cm tall, is that i can be a lower weight than most and still maintain a healthy weight. But to be honest weight doesn't matter to me anymore, i would rather gain a few kg if it meant i was putting on lean muscle. 
For me, an average day is between 1200 and 1500 calories. sometimes i eat more if I'm working a lot (i waitress) but sometimes i struggle to hit the 1200cal. this sounds like a dieters dream, but believe me i need that 1200 cal minimum or i end up dizzy at work or the next day i find I'm overeating to an excess because I'm so hungry from the day before. And when I'm starving... anything go's (bring on that deep fried chocolate bar with greasy chips and a side of mayo - actually I'm exaggerating, but only a little). 
As a result I've learnt to base 1200 cal or there abouts as my minimum. on days I'm too busy at work too eat, or just not hungry, or even cant bothered; i reach for  meal replacement shakes or the ready meals. Having calories too low is dangerous for more reasons than the next days binge session, its unhealthy and stops you from loosing weight, because your body starts to save fat cells - thinking were back in the prehistoric ages when we thought wearing a bone in our hair, was the height of fashion and we had to hunt for our food.
Weight loss and weight maintenance is continuous; if i went back to buying a weeks worth of pizza and pasta i would gain all that weight back .... After all that's how it got there in the first place! but sometimes i slip up or over indulge, just like everyone else (keep reading for more on that)! and that's what motivated me this morning to share what it's really like to maintain a healthy weight - for me. and a few of the simple things i discovered that helped me, so that maybe they can help you too..
At some point late this morning (probably about the time i woke up lying next to a block of half eaten chocolate and the empty 1L bottle of orange juice), I  reflected on my food choices of the past night.... A BBQ with friends seemed like a great idea but perhaps the corn chips with guacamole, chocolate coated sultana's, honey mead and apple cider were not. I take comfort that at least my guacamole was homemade, and not one of the store bought, calorie hiding concoctions- too bad i cant say that about the cake i ate at lunch (my inner glutton was trying to justify that last one with 'but it was pink called a "Princess Cake"'). 

The infamous Princess cake!

It was then that i reminded myself that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, and that if I wanted to keep off the two dress sizes i dropped last year, then i better re-evaluate my lifestyle choices.
Time for healthy me to kick back into gear....

Breakfast: Eggs on toast
  • 1 slice of sourdough rye - 53 cal
  • 1/4 avocado - 63 cal
  • baby spinach - 5 cal
  • 1 whole tomato - 22 cal
  • boiled egg - 63 cal
  • a plum - 30 cal

Breakfast total calories = 229

  • another plum - 30 cal
  • Mocha - 73 cal
  • A glass of orange juice - 113 cal
Snack total calories = 216


Lunch: Beet & feta salad with marinated steak

  • Beetroot and feta salad with toasted pecans (left over from last nights BBQ) - 169 cal
  • Steak - 233 cal
  • Honey & soy marinade - 45 cal
 Lunch total calories = 447 cal

I thought i would show you the difference between using a small plate and a large plate...
Use a smaller plate and it looks fuller!

I inadvertently  put more salad and a larger steak on the biggest plate, even though i intended to make them both equal portions. It go's to show that just by using a smaller plate you can cut down on your portion size.

Weightloss tip 1. use smaller plates

another interesting fact is that serving sizes of meat are much larger than they need to be. The two steaks look decent size enough, but it's actually only one steak that i cut in half and marinated!

This is ONE steak cut in half to make TWO meals

Weightloss tip 2. check your serving size

Serving sizes vary from person to person but as a general rule you should be eating one to two serves of protein a day.
A serve of protein is equal to 65 - 100g of cooked lean meat or skinless poultry. Some of the healthy choices of beef include: fillet, round, blade, topside, minute steak, beef strips or rump.
My steak for lunch was about 150g which is actually more than 1 serve of protein. And that that was only half of the original butchers cut!
Note: This is especially true for canned or prepacked food... i know the front has a big bold only 300 calories!!! stamped on the front of that pasta ready meal, but tun it over and you may be shocked to find that its really only 300 calories per serve and that tiny packet recommended serving is two people; that's double what you originally believed!
for me personally, i try to eat more protein as it helps me feel fuller for longer, reducing the need to snack. I find that when I'm less hungry I'm less tempted to snack, sounds like that should have been obvious right? but it took me a long time to understand my body.

  • Chicken udon noodle soup - 265 cal
  • Vegetarian sushi roll - 148 cal


Another mistake i made when i didn't understand my body for confusing hunger for thirst. I thought i didn't need to drink water, and regardless i never liked the taste, since moving states i found the water tasked icky. so i would eat instead, however the first wouldn't go away and as i had been confusing thirst with hunger, you guessed it, i would keep eating. 

Weightloss Tip 3: Don't confuse thirst for hunger

I also really like juice but it wasn't until i realised i was drinking around 1-2L of juice a day, that maybe i wasn't hungry but was instead thirsty - by the way that much juice is was an extra 900 calories per day!

Weightloss Tip 4: Swap fruit juice for real fruit

by swapping out juice for real fruit i began filling fuller for longer and got all the natural nutrients and fibre that i was missing out on by drinking juice.

The most important Weightloss tip 5: Don't try to be too perfect! if you slip up that's OK! but remember treat yourself, but get right back to choosing healthy lifestyle choices on your next meal. 

I never say I'll start next week, or on Monday, or tomorrow. I've already started so i have to keep going with healthy lifestyle choices...
Yesterday i ate poorly but I'm not going to beat myself up over it, or make excuses why. I did and i had a great night with friends. But i made smart choices as well and its the smart choices that help me maintain my weight. i don't need to be as strict now with my diet but i do need to make more healthy than unhealthy choices so i can stay this way.
I hope this helps those of you who are struggling or reached goal, or even just starting out on your weightloss journey. If i had known these simple tips (and lets be honest, yea i though I knew them, i read most of them before... but if i had  really understood them, and followed them in practise) the journey would have been a lot simpler and easier.
xoxo Dee


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