My curernt caloric needs to maintain fatass status are around 2200 cal/day.
My caloric goal is to maintain 1400-1500 cal a day. I cannot drop below 1200, and I will eat whenever I am hungry. I may be eating more like 1500-1550 a day, but as long as I have at least 500 cal deficit, it is ok.
The general idea is to make sure that out of 100% of the macronutrients I am eating, 40% are carbs, 40% are proteins, and 20% are fats. Sometimes it helps me to break it down to 40/40/20 per meal, but that makes it hard to keep the daily 40/40/20 if your snacks arn't balanced.
My lean proteins are mostly turkey and chicken, since I have to be very careful about fish. I am staying away from beef and pork. Shrimp& shellfish are ok every once and a while
Organic sprouted whole wheat and whole grain breads. (Many people like Ezekiel 4:9, but I like the Alvarado St. Bakery stuff. I can get it from HEB. I keep it in the fridge and a half loaf lasts me between 3-4 weeks)
Fruits: I am eating a lot of cantelope, pinapple, apples, oranges, and whatever I find on sale at HEB. Stuff like Strawberries, plums, peaches, bananas, pears, etc. subject to what looks fresh and good the day I go
Veggies: I love stuff in the cabbage family. I'm eating a lot of cauliflower& broccoli, occassionaly brussel sprouts.. snacking on carrots, etc. I try to keep tomatoes around sometimes too, but they don't keep for very long and I don't eat them quickly
Fats: Stay away from all Trans fats and saturated fats! The fats I get daily are limited to the fat content of the other things I'm eating. I'm taking a daily fish oil supplement as well.
In addition to this, to try to help maintain balance, etc and curb my snacking on bad things, I am eating a lot of fat free, sugar free jello(10 cal per little cup), fat free chocolate pudding (60 cal per little cup) and fat free yogurt (60 cal per cup)
My meals usually look like this:
Breakfast: Kashi whole grain shredded wheat, cinnamon flavor. About a cup and a half, in 1% low fat milk. Some of my daily fat comes from the low fat milk.
I have this almost every day, because I love shredded wheat, and it's easy to stumble into the kitchen in the morning and have cereal. When I feel like cooking...
1/2 cup egg beaters, 2 links of low-fat turkey sausage, 1 slice of whole grain sprouted wheat toast
Other things I may have for breakfast include plain oatmeal, cream of wheat, or grits. I like to sweeten all of the above with brown sugar, but I'm told that's not what you are supposed to do with grits... XD
Lunch: A plate with a few slices of turkey or chicken lunch meat, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fat free cottage cheese seasoned with pepper, and a fruit or veggie of some kind. Carrot sticks, cantelope, pinnaple, etc. Today, I'm having about 3/4 cup mixed steamed veggies (cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, lima beans, green beans, red bell pepper). Today's lunch meat is cracked black pepper turkey breast.
When I feel like cooking, I might make some chicken breast instead of the lunch meat. I don't need to currently watch my sodium for high blood pressure or anything like that, but I'm trying not to load up on sodium. A lot of low fat stuff loads up on sodium to make up for the lack of fat flavoring
Sometimes I'll have a bocca burger on 1 slice of the whole grain sprouted wheat bread, with some romain lettuce, mustard, and a slice of tomato. It's really tasty, and I'll have some carrots or somthing like that on the side with it as well.
Dinner: When I don't feel like cooking and I want somthing hot, I'll have a Kashi frozen meal. Most of them run between 280-330 calories per meal, and are low in fat. They are always made with whole grains, whether it be whole grain pasta, or a multi-grain pilaf. My current favorite is the Southewast chicken. It's on a bed of the whole grain pilaf, and I reall love that... and there are roasted veggies (corn, onion, pepper) and a very mild chipotle sauce.
I try to keep my meals below 400 cal, so I can have a kashi meal and not feel bad about having a snack shortly after, if I am still hungry.
Here's an example of the nutritional info for the Kashi Southwest Style Chicken
Serving Size: 10 oz = 238 g
Servings Per Container: 1
Amount per Serving %Daily Value
Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 680mg 28%
Potassium 540mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Protein 16g 21%
Vitamin A 6%
Vitamin C 40%
As you can see, there are 240 total calories. For a meal! omg! This is way under the 400 I've allowed myself, and plenty of room for dessert without cutting into an evening snack if i need one. There are 45cal/5g fat total, but none of it is saturated or trans-fats.
20% of 240 is 48, meaning 45 cal of fat is completely acceptable! That leaves the other 80% for carbs and protein.
Snacks: I usually eat fruit, or have the occassional skim milk mozzarella stick, a jello/pudding cup, maybe a yogurt, etc. I try to keep it diverse so I don't get bored with it.
Additional Food Limitations
This will sound redundant after reading what I HAVE been eating, but this is what I cannot eat:
~Refind/processed flours& other foods. This includes regular white bread, pasta, etc.
~Sodas of any kind (I only drink water and diet/artifically sweetened cold teas now. I love Lipton's Diet Green Tea with Citrus)
~Ice cream (I am crying inside! When I want somthing cold and sweet, I will very rarely have a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich, or 1 cup of sorbet.. but there's a lot of sugar in there anyway, so I have to watch it)
~Refined sugars (I love candy. This is very hard. This is also where I fail most often)
~Booze: Alcohol slows any kind of weight loss. Your body has to burn through all those calories, and until I get to a lower weight, I will not have any at all. Once I get things down a little lower, I will permit myself the occassional wine, beer, etc.
~Honey: too much sugar :(
~Deep fried foods: BAD FAT! I love french fries, but I've found that the closest thing I can safely have are oven-baked sweet potato fries. It's not the same, but it's still good.
~Fast food, chips, candy bars, other kinds of junk food: This should go without saying, really XD
Things I can eat, but am limiting:
~Too much bread! I am limiting myself on the carbs I get even from whole grains. If I have cereal in the morning, I've limited myself to 1 additional peice of bread. Most of the time, I don't even have it. Some days, I like a slice of toast, or a bocca burger, and that's ok. I can't sit and eat like 4 slices of that a day though.
~Nuts: Nuts are great! They have a lot of fat, though. It's ok to eat a handful here and there, but I have to watch and make sure that I'm not eating over 20% of my macronutrients in fat. My favorite nuts to snack on are dry roasted peanuts, smokehouse almonds, and roasted sunflower seeds. Macadamia nuts are expensive, but i'll get them every once in a long while
Things I try to make sure I eat EVERY DAY:
~1 citrus. I keep oranges around the house all the time now, and try to eat at last one a day.
~Butter. It seems like there has always been a raging debate on the healthiest butter substitute. Some people say you should always use margerine, others say margerine is just as bad. There's a third kind of spread out there, too, fighting with the other two. I tried it, and it's disgusting. It's called Smart Balance. It doesn't taste like much, but has this sort of bizzare chemicly, fake aftertaste. It doesn't melt on hot toast, and tastes like a batch of canned ass to me. It comes in many varieties. I tried the low-fat type.
~Sweeteners: If I'm staying away from sugars, I've had a hard time justifying using sweeteners. I like about 1-2 tbs of brown sugar in my hot cereals. I checked out that Agave Nectar, and the sugar contents are astronomical there, too. I mean, obviously, right? >..< Well, I hear there's a sugar-free maple syrup out there, and if I can find that, that may be an acceptable substitute. I haven't tried too hard to find it, because I don't eat the hot cereals frequently
I take one multivitamin and two omega-3 fish oil supplements daily. It's also reccommended to take some calcium supplements, so I have a box of those Viactiv calcium chews. They are really tasty, but I forget to take them ALL THE DAMNED TIME. Side Note: They are also favorites of anorexics, becase they are like 10 cal per vitamin, and taste like a big chewy chunk of chocolate. (they come in tons of flavors, too. coffee, strawberry,etc)
I should be taking 1-2 of the Viactiv calcium supplements a day, but I forget all the time. Maybe I should put them in the candy dish. Matt may take one and get pissed that it's not candy, though. haha.
I've accepted the fact that I am going to cheat from time to time. I am going to feel bad about it, and I'm going to move on and try my best to do better next time. Since I have accepted that, I've found that even if I cheat and have say.. a few hershey's kisses, or whatever, I'm not binging. I really wanted some ice cream yesterday. I always keep some in the freezer for Matt, but I've been really good about not having ANY! :D This is awesome. When I really want some and I see Matt eating it, though, I may have a teaspoon full out of the carton while he's putting it away, and that's ok. I shouldn't beat myself up over that, because zomgz.. that's moderation. I think when I get down closer to a target weight, I won't beat myself up as much over that spoonful of ice cream, or whatever. I'll be able to accept it as an occasional tasty treat. I'm really loathe to call it a "tasty treat" though, because that implies, to me, that it's a reward for somthing. I really do think that I have a problem as seeing certain foods like candy or ice cream as a reward for somthing, so when I'm feeling down, I'm more likely to go to that reward food to snack. XP
A Note for My Vegetarian Freinds
The 40/40/20 is much harder to keep to as a vegetarian, since you won't be consuming animal protein. You have to get creative with your protein intake to make sure you're getting what you need from stuff like soy (bocca burgers, vegetarian meat substitutes) and other veggies like beans, etc.
(Some of the kashi meals are vegetarian.. mwahaha)
Anyway.. that's the nitty gritty of what I've been following, and it's worked for me. It's not any sort of fad diet or anything. It's just what I've learned about general nutrition from a few different nutrition books and websites. It's basically given me what I've been saying I've needed for a long time now. Lessons in how to eat. No selling of supplements, or expensive diet plan. Changing how I eat and learning how to shop, etc. has cost a bit more in the grocery bill department than it used to, but once I have this locked down, it'll get a little better. Eating so much produce is going to be more expensive than eating ramen or boxes of mac& cheese or fast food anyway, though.
Really, it's all been a hard lesson in teaching my mind and body the true meaning of moderation. Anyone knows a dictionary definition of the word, but it's somthing that can be hard to grasp. Especially if you're an instant-gratification person like me.