Day 30 Food Diary (9/26)

Net calories – 1310

It’s good I ate less yesterday, because today was a planned high calorie day. I probably should have skipped lunch, but I didn’t want to get weird and/or hungry during an important meeting. I’m a leader in an animal advocacy club, and I organized an intro to animal rights presentation during our weekly meeting, followed by a dinner at an awesome vegan restaurant. I ended up being able to just organize the thing and delegate most of the speaking parts to my much more public-speaking-talented counterparts, so I probably could have skipped lunch after all!

I knew it would be high calorie because it’s a burger-and-fries type place–everyone at my end of the table got matching orders of vegan bbq chicken ranch burgers and fries–but we all ended up getting impromptu vegan milkshakes, too… and that was what put me over. I had walked and eaten small enough meals throughout the day to make up for an 800 cal dinner, but 1200 cals was just too much. Despite the fat-fest and guilt I felt the rest of the night, at least I got to meet a bunch of new animal loving friends and hang out with my old ones!

So, today I made myself eat a lot of foods I was starting to develop a stronger fear of: dates, bread (whole wheat burger buns), potatoes, and sugar/ice cream! I certainly won’t be making it a habit, though. (Except maybe the dates)

 

This weekend’s cheat meal. I’m sorry, body.

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Protein pancake: 300

Lunch:

  • Dates with cashew cream and orange zest: 210
  • Rice cake with cottage cheese and tofurkey: 65

Dinner:

  • Vegan burger, fries, milkshake: 1170

Snacks:

  • Tea with soy: 60

Post-workout (strength days only)

  • N/A

Total: 1810 |      Exercise: 500

Net: 1340

Protein: 51g 

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Day 29 Food Diary (9/25)

Net calories – 840

As soon as I decided I’m going to try eating more, my appetite seemed to go away! For some reason, I decided to forego my planned sweet potato dinner in favor of a much lower calorie salad–I just felt like something light, which is shocking for me. I was feeling good at 650 net calories but decided to have my usual shake after my HIIT workout to make sure I got enough protein. Gotta feed my sore muscles (from lifting yesterday) if I ever want them to grow!

I also finally started reintroducing grains by making myself get a brown rice bowl with veggies at a cafe on campus. I felt a bit terrified and nauseous for a moment, but got over it quickly enough. It’s funny how most people consider themselves healthy because they eat stuff like that, yet I’ve been fearing things like brown rice and oats (and wheat of course). I did some brush-up research on foods highest in various nutrients, and I’m always shocked by how nutrient rich brown rice and oats specifically are. I need to kick this fear of grains!

Vegan chicken ranch salad for dinner!

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Protein pancake with peanut butter: 490

Lunch:

  • Tea with soy: 60
  • Brown rice, mixed vegetables, teriyaki sauce: 235

Dinner:

  • Vegan chicken ranch salad: 150

Snacks:

  • Fiber gummies: 15
  • Dark chocolate: 40
  • Tea with soy: 30

Post-workout (strength/HIIT days only)

  • Protein shake: 190

Total: 1210 |      Exercise: 370

Net: 840

Protein: 51g 

Day 28 Food Diary (9/24)

Net calories – 1020

I actually managed to beat my protein record: I got 120g!

The bad news is, I nearly passed out during my lifting class. I have no idea what was wrong with me. It was really hot, and I kept blacking out and was sweating so much I couldn’t even grip the pull-up bar or barbell properly. I also felt like I was going to throw up at any moment. And it was deadlift day–I’d been looking forward to it so much!

I didn’t say anything about how dizzy I was, but the instructor even asked me if I’d eaten beforehand because I probably looked pretty haggard. The embarrassing part is it was one of the highest calorie days I’d had in a long while–shameful.

It was a gross, miserable experience and I hope it doesn’t happen again. 😦

Mashed pinto beans and cauliflower with cherry tomatoes, kale, zucchini, and topped with cheese

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Protein pancake with 2 tbsp peanut butter: 465

Lunch:

  • Pinto beans with veggies & cheese, chipotle-cumin style: 265
  • Almonds: 80

Dinner:

  • Egg white omelette with goat cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, kale: 150

Snacks:

  • Chocolate truffle bar: 100
  • Dark chocolate: 40
  • Peanut butter: 285

Post-workout (strength days only)

  • Protein shake: 290

Total: 1675 |      Exercise: 655

Net: 1020

Protein: 120g 

A New, Healthier Eating Plan is Born!

The Plan:

It’s a general outline for now; I’ll be adjusting the numbers as I go depending on the results!

  • Lifting days: 1300 net calories, aiming for ~100g protein and having most of my carbs for the day just before/after lifting. This means I’ll be eating around 1500-1800, which is a little bit terrifying–but I tend to burn a lot by walking my 2-8 miles a day! (I don’t count the lifting as calories burned; I just use my fitbit for steps)
  • Non-lifting days: 1000 or less net calories, with 15-30 minutes of HIIT if possible.  Aiming for 50g protein at the very least. I’ll most likely be eating 1200-1400 these days.
  • This means I’ll be losing 1/4 – 1/2 pound per week, and gaining ~1/4 lb muscle per week if things go optimally. So the scale shouldn’t be changing! (Which is a little bit hard to accept, but hopefully the change in the mirror will make that okay.)

I’m hoping this helps with my nutrient deficiency symptoms and reactive eating (aka binging)!

The Revelation:

I am someone who does copious amounts of research before making any decisions on anything, especially weight loss related. I knew that 1-2 pounds per week loss is considered the standard, which means eating 500-1000 less than your TDEE.  I keep seeing all these wonderful, positive, motivated overweight individuals losing their 1-2 pounds a week and I always feel so inspired by their progress, wanting to push myself to do the same.

In my slightly convoluted mind, however, I keep forgetting that this standard only really applies to people in the overweight or high-end-of-normal categories; why would there be a weight loss standard for those already in the low end of normal? I am a mere 5 pounds above the underweight category (though I certainly don’t look it), but keep lumping myself in with the overweight–to tell the truth, I’m a bit envious of them in a way.  I share their pain of high body fat percentage (I am quite certain that 99% of them have more muscle than I do), but am at the point where it’s near impossible to shed those last few pounds. I’m stuck in a rut.

Unfortunately, because I am 35+ pounds lighter than most people trying to lose weight, I burn a lot fewer calories; my body doesn’t need much to keep it going. The truth of it is, if I wanted to lose 1-2 pounds a week like those inspiring individuals mentioned above, I would have to consume 400-900 calories; on studying days, I burn a whopping total of 1400 calories. Even with lots of exercise, I’d have to eat 700-1200 to get that kind of loss. (Just imagine the horror if I followed the government’s oh-so-well-founded recommendation of 2000 calories a day!)

Even though I need fewer calories than my overweight friends, I need all the same nutrients. And I can’t get them on 400-1000 calories a day.

So, I need to remind myself that I should be grateful that I’m starting my journey at such a low weight, not upset by how little progress I’m able to make. My new plan is more focused on a balance between muscle growth and fat loss rather than just focusing on the latter.

Day 27 Food Diary (9/23)

Net calories – 1310

Picked up magnesium supplements, so hoping it’ll help with my muscle twitching (eyes, calves, you name it) and maybe the cravings for high magnesium foods!

Still eating far too much, but hoping to bring it back down after this weekend.

Also, I had a rather painful conversation with my boyfriend at night… luckily I resisted the urge to eat away my feelings and just had gum instead!

Smoothie bowl topped with coconut

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Apple and almond butter: 260

Lunch:

  • Bagel with veggies: 365
  • Rice cakes with cheese wedges and tomatoes (3 hours after lunch): 120
  • Plum: 45

Dinner:

  • Avocado berry smoothie bowl: 435

Snacks:

  • Almond butter with dark chocolate: 270
  • Tea with soy: 30

Post-workout (strength days only)

  • N/A

Total: 1566 |      Exercise: 255

Net: 1310

Protein: 51g 

Day 26 Food Diary (9/22)

Net calories – 1290

Spending a few days focusing on trying to eat more and get more of the vitamins/nutrients I’m probably missing, before easing back into lower calories. Today was all about getting tons of protein since it was also a work out day!

The truly incredible amount of almond butter + chocolate I’ve been craving and eating throughout the day is pretty suggestive of magnesium problems (along with the fact that the rest of my diet is pretty devoid of it, and I just realized my multivitamin doesn’t have it) so I’m going to pick up some supplements one of these days… and stop buying almond butter. Thankfully it’s a healthy thing to be craving all day, but it’s far too expensive and calorie dense!

Tea habit continues–please excuse instagram quality

Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Protein shake: 210
  • Fiber gummies: 30

Lunch:

  • Tea with soy: 30

Dinner:

  • Omelette with avocado: 300
  • Peach and half a rice cake: 60

Snacks:

  • Almond butter with dark chocolate: 800

Post-workout (strength days only)

  • Protein shake with banana, psyllium, flax, pb2, whey, casein, yogurt: 290

Total: 1650 |      Exercise: 360

Net: 1290

Protein: 81g 

Water: 4L

Day 25 Food Diary (9/21)

Net calories – 790

I decided (during the day, not after eating a bunch) to skip recording on Saturday because this whole thing was making me a tad too obsessive. So I tried not to count calories, and instead added them up at the end of the day: around 1300 net after all was said and done, with a brownie binge at the end of the day that was a real kick in the butt. I had to throw the rest of the batch away 😦

Today went much better. I think I’m finally starting to kick the cravings! Although, I did kinda overdose on fiber gummies on accident (had 6 when the bottle said 4 max)… it was my first time trying them and they were so delicious! I am now unbelievably bloated and laughing at myself.

But they are definitely a potentially useful appetite suppressant if not taken en masse next time.

I also made some delicious ramen that is approximately 100x healthier than the stuff all my fellow college students are eating. Who needs 500 calorie deep-fried-then-dried noodles covered in MSG, when you could have 85 wholesome calories of shirataki and veggies in homemade broth instead? (It’s amazing that I get so many more nutrients from 85 cals than they do from 500)

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Food Diary

Breakfast:

  • Protein pancake: 300

Lunch:

  • Fiber gummies: 45
  • Almond butter: 170
  • Rice cake with cheese: 90

Dinner:

  • Homemade ramen: 85

Snacks:

  • Tea with soy: 60
  • Chocolate lava truffle: 105

Post-workout (strength days only)

  • N/A

Total: 790 |      Exercise: 0 (walked a mile but not enough for fitbit!)

Net: 790

Protein: 48

Water: 5L