I get a lot of emails from people asking me how many calories I eat a day to maintain my 100 pound weight loss. They also ask me how I deal with cravings and what I eat any typical day.
I used to talk a lot about what I ate at every meal but honestly that’s boring because I eat the same food! But let’s break it down by calories.
I never skip breakfast. I either have oatmeal (130-300 calories depending on what kind I make) or the usual: eggs.
Michael and I split 3 full eggs with a splash of milk scrambled. I sprinkle a tiny bit of cheese on top and sometimes add salsa and one spoonful of light sour cream. I also have some sort of breakfast meat too.
Usually it’s 2 turkey sausages for a total of 90 calories but this recently it was half of the last spicy bratwurst.
I also have a full glass of unsweetened iced tea (zero calories). When I first started drinking the unsweetened tea I didn’t like it but then I got used to it. Now if I have sweet tea it’s awful! When I get to work I also make one cup of coffee in my French Press (adding 2 servings of flavored creamer).
Breakfast calories: about 300 calories.
Monday – Friday I have a morning snack. It’s usually a banana or an apple sliced. This week it’s oranges.
On the weekends I rarely have snacks. This is usually because I’m out and about and not around the house, plus on weekends I tend to eat just 2 or 3 big meals a day instead.
Snack calories: about 80-110 calories.
Lunch during the work week is almost always leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
If I don’t have leftovers I sometimes make a big salad, or I will have a Lean Cuisine.
I used to solely eat Lean Cuisines for lunch but in the past year I’ve slowed that down. I’m trying to get away from eating processed food as much as I can but sometimes in a pinch I need a quick lunch.
Lunch calories: from 250-400 calories.
I only have an afternoon snack on the days I am going to the gym right after work. If I don’t I don’t have enough energy to workout and I get overly cranky. 🙂
My pre-workout snack is either Greek yogurt (110-140 calories) or a banana.
If it’s a Rest Day I usually skip the afternoon snack because I don’t need the calories, plus I’m going straight home and fixing dinner.
Sometimes I snack on work treats. I try not to. It’s often a struggle to resist.
Snack calories: 100-150 calories.
Since dinner is the typical meal I post regularly on I don’t need to cover that. But I do save about 800-1100 calories for dinner because I know that I will eat more in that meal. If I just worked out and burned a lot of calories my dinner is often higher in calories too. On the flip-side if it’s a Rest Day I eat something “lighter.”
Sometimes I have a glass of wine with dinner. I usually limit that to 2-3 times a week only. Most of the time I just have ice water. Sometimes I have a sparkling water with lemon.
Recently we picked up an amazing cut of steak–beef chuck eye steak. I marinaded it and made Trader Joe’s gnocchi with fresh Parmesan on it.
Dinner Calories: 600-1100 calories.
I also save about 100-200 calories of the day for some sort of treat. I’ve tried skipping dessert all together but that sets me up for binges. Having something small and low in calories gives me the sugar fix I need without going nuts.
It’s often a small dish of ice cream (100-200 calories) or a 90 calorie Rice Krispie Treat.
Dessert Calories: 100-200 calories.
I write a lot about my physical activities and I am a very active person. Part of the reason I can splurge and eat treats yet maintain my weight loss is keeping up with a healthy, active lifestyle.
I like to start my day with a walk. In the morning I walk about 2 miles from where I park my car to my office.
It’s a really nice walk across the river into downtown. Isn’t the morning foggy mysterious and romantic?
I walk across the bridge with the cyclists and runners and enjoy the scenery. When I get to work I often go for walks around downtown on my lunch break. If the weather is nice that is. For example the other day I had some time to kill on my lunch so I walked for about 40 minutes. I get to see parts of the city I’d normally not visit, I get out of the office and see sights like this:
No it’s not real. 🙂 But I enjoy my walks. They are nice and casual but I walk briskly enough to get something out of it.
I workout vigorously 5 days a week with 2 Rest Days. I try my best to fit in physical activity in different ways. Even just going for a walk with a friend is a nice way to spend some time.
QUESTION: Is your day to day food pretty standard? How often do you exercise a week?
Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
I’m not counting calories or tracking my food anymore but I would estimate I average between 1,800 and 2,100 calories every day. I have been TRYING really hard to focus on intuitive eating lately and only eating when I’m hungry and I’ve been mostly successful. I haven’t seen a gain (yet) but I also haven’t seen a loss!
I like to have a BIG breakfast though! I’d say my breakfasts with coffee and everything are usually close to 500 calories. I like to have a big enough breakfast that it holds me over till lunch and then I will usually have an afternoon snack as well as a little treat/snack after dinner!
If you aren’t gaining on Intuitive Eating then you’re doing something right, right? Big breakfasts are a good option, especially if they are packed with protein.
Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
It’s interesting to see how other people break their calories down. My calorie spread is pretty similar but I always think in terms of points rather than calories.
Breakfast = 5-7 points
Lunch = 6-10pts
Dinner = 12-16pts
Snacks = 4-5pts
I get 29 a day. My food tends to vary a lot from day to day because I cook at night a lot, but my breakfasts are usually the same for the whole week, and lunches are leftovers from dinner the night before. It works for me!
It works for me too. I’ve tried to eat smaller dinners and eat bigger lunches but it just doesn’t work for me. Especially if I go out to dinner.
Brie @ Brie Fit
This was really interesting! I am sooo different from your breakdown–maybe I should post something about this too.
Breakfast: 400ish calories
Lunch: 600ish calories
Snack: 150-200 calories
Dinner: 300-400 calories
Dessert: 150ish calories
I find that if I have a big lunch, I snack less throughout the day on things I shouldn’t be. And I’m really not that hungry at dinnertime because it’s after my workout, so I try to keep that a little lighter.
It’s interesting how everyone’s calorie distribution is different. This works for me. I’ve tried in the past to eat less calories at dinner time but that’s always going to be my biggest meal.
I definitely have become a believer in not avoiding foods altogether because otherwise they lead to giving up on calorie counting and exercise and feeling like a failure. Since I’m counting calories now, if I know we’re going out for dinner, I’ll budget throughout the day or exercise a bit longer (or both!). I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I really love salty treats, but I do sometimes wants just a little something sweet (I think those cravings have a monthly cycle!). I recently found that Endangered Species Chocolate has individually wrapped squares. 4 squares is 200 calores but since I get the dark chocolate (it’s vegan) I find that just one square is super rich and is exaclty how much “sweet” I need and for 25 calories I’m not blowing my budget. We found them in our regular supermarket.
My personal breakdown is
~400 breakfast (I workout before breakfast so I’m famished at breakfast)
~500 throughout the day (snacks and lunch)
This is low since I’m trying to lose weight. When I’m on maintainence I’ll definitely increase my calories…although I’m certainly not starving now, nor am I denying myself anything, so I’m not sure where they will go.
Yep! I do that too. If I know I’m going out to dinner I’ll skip the extra snacks during the day and save the calories for dinner. I love dark chocolate and I’ve completed converted to that. You’re right, it doesn’t take much of the dark chocolate to satisfy the craving.
Your calories look good for losing weight. What is your typical breakfast after working out?
I eat a serving of oatmeal with a tablespoon (or two!) of almond butter and ta tablespoon of ground flax for omegas. Trite, but true. It really fills me up. If I’m feeling really hungry, I’ll add a cup of frozen fruit to my oatmeal while it cooks. Frozen mixed berries are my favorite and they turn the oats a pretty color. Oh and a mug of piping hot coffee, black. On weekends I eat before working out and then it’s an english muffin PB&J.
I need to try adding peanut butter or cashew butter to my oatmeal. I’m sure that combo is super filling!
NICE!! Chica you are on the right track with everything. I am glad to hear you don’t eat those damn Lean Cuisine too often. I am so anti-frozen dinners. I used to eat them too… little did I know they were totally effing up my stomach! I admire you lady, you really walk the walk.
Thanks Suzanne! The healthier I get the less processed food I want to eat. It’s like my body rejects it. Some days I think about giving up everything and living on a farm!
I try to exercise 5-6 days a week, but it sometimes just depends upon my schedule.