800-1200 calories a day is absolutely not enough for your height, weight, and activity level. Believe it or not, eating more is sometimes the answer.
And a big part of it is WHAT you are eating. You can eat 1200 cals/day of junk food and your body will disappoint you on the scale. Here's what I do:
You should be getting 5 or more servings per day of fruits/veggies, with the emphasis on fruits. At least 5 servings.
You should try to include some lean protein and whole grains at each meal.
You should have at least 2 servings of fat free dairy a day.
Allow yourself one small "treat" a day, about 100 cals worth.
Keep up your cardio. Are you weight training, as well? I highly recommend it. Yes, you might gain slightly from building some muscle, but as you gain muscle, your body will burn fuel more efficiently.
I would hazard a guess that you need at LEAST 1500-1600 cals a day to lose at the proper rate.
Keep an eye on "picking" (unconscious eating). By tasting things as you cook, having one cookie here and one there, a few nibbles on chips, a little extra wine, you can easily, easily add 200-300 cals a day, and you won't even know it.
Good luck. You can do this. I'd strongly recommend you write everything down that goes in your mouth, even if its just a bite of a cookie. If you bite it, write it.
I bet you'll see results.
I do keep a food journal, the majority of my actual calories comes from my salad dressing I eat 3 small to med. salads a day, dinner one I will add about 4 oz. of chicken or tuna to it. I eat 1 100 cal pack of cookies or 2 - rice cakes (60 cal's each) I eat oatmeal weight control for breakfast (one pack) I eat very little pasta (2x month, always wheat with red sauce) brown rice 1/2 cup weekly. I don't know what else to do. I had gotten up to 1800 crunches a day (went back down after my husband called out doctor and got me chewed out that this is "compulsive behavior" and I knew that this was not a good thing so I brought it down to about 600 weekly (100 daily 6 days a week) Also I do cardio and I use a weighted ball and a weight bench for muscle building (I do my legs mostly with it!!) Still no luck with the weight loss (however I did find out that for about 3 1/2 mon. I was only eating salads and found out that I was only taking in about 450 calories a day! I was shocked) I make my own salad dressing (vinegarette 1 part olive oil 2 parts balsamic vinegar) and I use little amount for my salads but I have to have it!!
I use olive oil and balsamic dressing, too (love it!). If the "majority" of your calorie intake is from this, there is something terribly wrong.
I've lost almost 45 pounds, and I did it in 6 months. Here's a typical eating day for me (5'7", started at 182#)
B--Omelet made from 1/2 cup scrambled egg beaters, 1 slice FF cheese, 2 slices canadian bacon, coffee
Snack post workout--1 cup FF cottage cheese, handful of baby carrots
L--Chopped Buffalo Chick salad (made with 4 oz cooked chicken, 3 cups greens, hot sauce, and 1 T low fat Parm cheese, diced carrots and celery), 4 whole wheat low fat crackers, strawberries and blueberries
Snack--Flat Out wrap with about 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken, low fat mayo (about 1 tsp)
Dinner (will be)--Tilapia fillets dredged in an egg wash/crushed Fiber One cereal and spices and baked, with steamed veggies, glass of wine.
Fat Free yogurt with vanilla and blueberries for dessert later.
See how balanced this is? I get all of the major food groups in. Cardio I do only 15-20 min 3 times a week in the gym. I alternate days for upper and lower body work, do abs every day, but I draw the line at 3 days a week for planned, purposeful exercise. I usually walk the dogs every day, but this is a "fun" walk, nothing strenuous.
It looks like a lot of food, and in a way, it is. I am never hungry, and I know I'm getting good fuel. I have about 4 or 5 favorite breakfasts, which should be a substantial start to your day.
1800 crunches a day???? My God in heaven!!!!!! I cannot even begin to imagine that.
Honestly the crunches didn't seem too bad I wasn't too sore and it didn't take that long but I realizd that it was the start of something I didn't want to lose control of. I have to make sure that I'm keeping myself in control I've heard of how eating disorders start and I don't think I could fall into the trap (I love my food) but I don't think that anyone is immune so I try to be caareful. I realized that I wasn't eating enough when I got a calorie counter I didn't realize that there are so few calories in a salad so that was how I was getting most calories in my dressing. I would eat a good size salad but it was only 75 calories (and that was my lunch) so now I add some FF cheese to it and some chicken or something of more protien I am just so frustrated at the lack of weight loss. I won't take pills or surgery for weight loss, but I'm beginning to worry that something is off with my lack of ability to lose weight. I'm not sure but I don't think that I digest properly expecially since my gallbladder was removed.
Congrats on the weight loss!! and thanks for the info I will try eating a more balanced diet. I try to get all groups in and all but sometimes it makes me feel like I'm eating too much and I get worried.
I think peek is right, you aren't getting enough of a full-balanced diet...you seem especially low on protein. How do you ever get out of bed? Try not to worry so much of overeating....if you eat the right things, even when you do go overboard, it will all come off in the end.
Try to eat more like peek's diet, it's a good one based on Weight Watchers. It's a good model of eating healthy, although the weight loss is slow and there is not magic cure for those extra pounds.
I know of people who have lost over 400 pounds and kept it off.
There are three terms that you have to understand in order to take control over your weight, and they are: Fat, Fiber and Carbohydrates. Fat is pretty straight forward. Fiber is anything that grows out of the ground... mainly fruits, veggies, nuts, grains and berries; and the important thing to know about fiber is that the digestive acid in your stomach won’t break it down, so when you eat fiber, it fills you up faster and keeps you feeling full longer. Finally, Carbs are foods that are naturally sweet, or anything made with sugar or flour.
If you ever heard that by eating low-fat or no-fat foods you can lose weight, well in reality, that’s just half the story. Most people, when trying low-fat diets, go to the store and start reading labels and look for zero-fat products. Well, what if you love spaghetti – on the label it says, “zero fat.” So then you start looking at the spaghetti sauce and it has almost no fat... and then there’s the “no-fat” cakes and cookies – and all that other stuff. So then people think, “Great, I can eat all I want.” They eat almost no fat at all – and end up GAINING weight That’s why you need to know the other side of the story.
If you eat only low-fat foods, most of them are low in fiber and also very high in carbs. Because they are low in fiber you have to eat more to feel full. It’s like trying to fill up a sink that has no stopper. Eventually you can get it to fill up – but it takes a lot more water to do it. So, when you eat more, you take in more calories than you need and your body stores the extra carbs and calories as fat. That’s the other side of the low-fat diet. Unless you eat low-fat and high fiber, at the same time, you’re not going to lose weight.
Another big mistake that lots of people make is skipping meals. Our bodies are designed with the idea that we have to expend energy in order to get food. I mean, if you think back a hundred or more years ago, if you wanted to eat something you had to either go hunting or grow your own food. That’s a lot of work (hunting or farming) – a lot of physical activity – and even though we no longer have to do this, it doesn’t change the fact that our bodies are still designed this way. So, when you skip a meal, your body actually thinks that you’re out in the wild, and, for whatever reason, food is hard to come by. This is a survival mechanism that we all have – it’s built in. So, when your body thinks food is hard to find, it does two things to protect you from starving. First, it slows your metabolism causing your body to burn less fat. Second, the meal you eat after skipping a meal will be converted almost entirely to fat and stored – to protect you from starving. So, if you skip breakfast, for instance, almost all the food you eat for lunch will be converted to fat. We think we’re taking in less food but in reality we’re causing our bodies to store fat. If you want to lose weight you need to eat at least three meals a day, on a regular schedule. You have to let your body know that there is plenty of food available so that your metabolism stays up and meals are not stored as fat, but rather used for energy.
Then, there’s the subject of exercise.... So many people assume that in order to lose weight, they have to constantly do strenuous exercise....And in reality, this isn’t the case either. Now, to understand how exercise effects weight-loss, you have to understand how your body creates energy, and there are only 2 ways it does it. One is by burning fat and the other is by burning blood sugar, or glucose. Even when you’re not doing anything strenuous your body still burns fat. It’s known as “Resting Metabolic Rate.” So, when you’re sitting at a desk, driving a car, watching TV, or even sleeping, your body is still burning fat. But, as soon as you increase your level of activity, like when your heart starts beating faster and you have to breathe heavily, your body will stop burning fat and instantly begin to burn blood sugar – because blood sugar can be converted to energy much faster than fat; so anytime your level of activity suddenly increases your body stops burning fat and burns only blood sugar.
And, when it comes to exercise, most people trying to lose weight make a big mistake of doing the wrong kinds of exercise. Jogging, biking, and aerobics are great for the heart, lungs and circulation, but they do not burn fat or condition the body to burn fat.
Now, the ideal approach is to lose weight without a lot of hard exercising. We still encourage people to exercise – after all, it’s good for you... but it’s not mandatory. Some people find that once they start losing weight quickly and feel great – they actually WANT to exercise.
Now, if that’s the case, what they should do is called Anaerobic exercise, or exercise that increases your heart rate, but not too much... and two of the best kinds of exercise for losing weight are walking (at a nice steady pace) every other day... and weight lifting. These will condition your body to burn fat And when I say”weight-lifting,” I’m talking about getting a couple of small dumbells and working out slowly for 20 minutes every other day (biceps on Monday, triceps on Tuesday and no exercise on Wednesday... Biceps on Thursday, triceps on Friday and nothing on Saturday, etc. This builds lean muscle and muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn.
The approach I took was NO exercise... replaced 2 meals a day with healthy meal-replacement shakes and protein snacks in between. Then, when I reached my target weight, I adopted a maintenance program which consists of 2 meals every day, and replace1 meal with a “diet shake”... protein bars for between-meal snacks.
I want to add to my last post... I make choices in life using the phylosophy of the Law of Attraction. "You Become What You Think About." If you concentrate on Your Weight Problem, your body's metabolism will actually cause you to stop losing weight or, even gain more. If you say to yourself, "I AM healthy and at my proper weight" over and over, your body will respond to follow your belief and because a healthy body is not "overweight," it will shed the unwanted pounds. This system is being used by professional coaches and doctors all over the world to help athletes exell! The practice of repeating your "Wishes" over and over, thoughout the day is known as Auto-suggestion, or, Positive Affirmations. It WORKS, if you believe.
THanks so much for all the awesome information. I've struggled with my weight for 10 years and I've been really struggling with my weight the last year. I mean like salads out the wazoo and I'm still having a hard time losing. I had replaced lunches 7 days a week with a salad (romaine lettuce, green pepper, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots) with an oil vinegarette and dinner the same with anywhere from 2-5 oz of chicken added and 2 times a week 1/2 baked potato with it. NO weight loss at all. I was so frusterated. Breakfast was always two scrambled egg whites and sometimes I would snack a 100 calorie pack cookies or a tortilla with a cream cheese and cinnamin mixture recipe from a book (the trainer from the biggest loser) I think that I psyched myself out of it by all of my negative thoughts and visions of myself. Thanks so much for the help I am staying on track just trying to keep the thoughts positive (especially after a stumble!!)
I see you eat potatoes with meat. That is a mistake most people make. The reason is that your body produces different digestive acids and enzymes when starch or meat is consumed. What happens is that those acids and enzymes neutralize each other and so your food does not get digested. Your body cannot absorb undigested food. If your food is not fully digested, it will not absorb the nutrition it needs for fuel to burn those nasty calories. In order for your system to function with maximum efficiency, try eating meat with salad, and potatoes (baked or steamed) at a different time, with a salad. Potatoes will be digested with salad and meat will be digested with salad. But at different meal times. This might seem strange to you, but why not give it a try. You did say you have been trying to lose weight and tried everything to no avail.
That is so against my upbringing!! Meat potato and veggie = balanced diet. Obviously hasn't worked for me but I only eat a baked potato once or twice a week usually only half maybe I will make that my snack and replace it with a viggie I try to have a salad twice a day I really love salads and I am not sure why it's been such a struggle I keep a food journal and when I got a good calorie counter I found my caloric intake was too low so I increased it and just can seem to see the results on the scale. I don't know I am going to try the type of balanced died above and see if I can see results. I'm on worker's comp and looking for a new job. I can't work the job I used to do and won't ever be able to again (which isn't as depressing as it sounds its actually a good thing!!) The point is that my income was drastically dropped they pay me 80% of 2 dollars and hour less than I was making which is equal to ****!! So I don't feel right taking extra money out to join a weight watchers group right now, but am considering it when I get back to work. Any thoughts on their program? I also joined Curves and went for 3 mos 4x a week and didn't lose anything then either. Thanks.
Also what do you think about those breadsticks they give with a salad? I love them and I try not to eat them but sometimes I just gotta have them!!
HI ....I to have struggled endlessly with my weight..I just finished Jenny craig and now I am on weight watchers..first I think you are not eating nearly enough food for your body..you are defintely depriving yourself...you dont have much protein or dairy...you need to change things around and add yogurt, fruit, lean meats. fish and chicken..I am trying to avoid breads and potatoes..also what about doing ww and following the point system and than you can have a variety of everything..also from working out so much you may be developing muscle and that is why you are not losing...muscle ways more than fat..try WW it really works and you have so many choices...Good luck..Gia :)