I want to preface this post with sort of a disclaimer. When I was losing 100 pounds I reduced my calories a lot, but never this low. Going from eating 5,000+ calories a day to under 2,000 calories a day is a pretty big jump. It was a drastic change for my lifestyle and my body. But it was a healthy drastic change.
I got used to eating around 2,000 calories a day and for the year and a half that I was losing weight I was striving to eating between 1600-1800 calories a day. Sometimes I ate back the calories I burned in the gym, sometimes I didn’t and created a bigger deficit. I was writing it down by hand in a journal and just adding my calories that way. It worked for me.
Fast forward a few years after maintaining my weight, I started using an iPhone app to track my calories. I maintained the 110 pound weight loss for 6 years. What I was doing was working. Now here comes the disclaimer. I firmly believe that eating 1200 calories a day is the most bottom number you can consume before it becomes dangerous. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist and you should definitely talk to a professional before doing something drastic.
I can’t say I’m excited about reducing my calories so much because of that. I don’t want to screw up my metabolism, or cause secondary issues (like immune problems or injury–which can happen if you don’t eat enough calories). As a result of these potential issues, I’m not going to be doing this super-low calorie diet for an extended period of time. My HOPE is that doing it for a week or two, maybe 3 tops will jump-start my body into losing weight.
The nutritionist I spoke to suggested I experiment with caloric intake–higher calories AND lower calories–and see what helps. Sometimes your body just gets STUCK and you need to wake it back up. Here is the food diary I have for the first week of trying this.
Breakfast: My breakfasts are usually pretty good and I don’t feel the need to change them up too much. What I’m doing has worked for the most part and keeps me full for a long time. Breakfast this day was 2 fried eggs, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, black coffee with creamer, and an EmergenC drink. Calories: 342
Snack: String Cheese, hot mint tea. Calories: 80
Lunch: I wasn’t quite prepared for lunches this week so the first day of the “diet” (i.e. lower calorie days) wasn’t the best. I kind of threw things together at the last minute. Lunch was a Chocolate Whey protein shake, medium sized banana, and sugar snap peas. Calories: 256
Dinner: Michael was famished after biking to work and needed a lot more calories than I did. I ended up having some leftover rice, a veggie burger, and steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing. Calories: 530
Dessert: For dessert I had some chocolate pudding. Calories: 180
Total Calories for the day: 1456
This is a gym day and I wanted to eat a little bit more calories on this day in order to work out and not hurt myself.
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 1 English Muffin toasted with cinnamon and splenda, black coffee with creamer, unsweetened iced tea. Calories: 362
Snack: Apple. Calories: 70
Lunch: I had some Carrot Ginger Soup, snap peas, raw red and orange peppers with a little salad dressing for dipping. Calories: 220
Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries. Calories: 110
Dinner: I was doing really well and then it was Cinco de Mayo…I got home from the gym and Michael had made guacamole (which I love and have a hard time resisting). Dinner was 4 ounces of grilled flank steak on top of a salad with sauteed peppers and onions. I had some guacamole and chips, and topped it with a little sour cream. Calories: 790
Total Calories for the day: 1622. A little higher than I wanted to shoot for but still less than what was my old “norm”.
Calories burned: I did the elliptical at the gym and burned 374 calories.
Breakfast: Trader Joe’s oatmeal with some brown sugar and dried coconut, coffee with creamer, unsweetened iced tea. Calories: 308
Snack: Apple. Calories: 70
Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup and a chocolate protein shake. Calories: 240
Snack: Trader Joe’s Cottage cheese. Calories: 90
Dinner: Salad with raw yellow and orange peppers, carrots, 5 ounces of baked chicken breast, Gorgonzola cheese and Buffalo Sauce. Calories: 433
Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries, chocolate chips and dried coconut flakes. Calories: 182
Total Calories for the day: 1424
Calories burned: 604
This day was not my best day. I did well until I got home from swimming. I was so freaking hungry I ended up snacking on some tortilla chips while I was cooking dinner. I ended up going over my calories for the day. I’m disappointed but I’m trying not to let it derail me.
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, cottage cheese, coffee with creamer and plain iced tea. Calories: 342
Snack: Apple. Calories: 80
Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup, sugar snap peas and a string cheese. Calories: 231
Snack: Plain Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries, dried coconut flakes. Calories: 135
Dinner: Spicy bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, couscous and steamed broccoli with Goddess Dressing. Calories: 730
Calories burned: Went swimming and burned around 300 calories.
Dessert: Fun sized peanut butter snickers. Calories: 130
Total Calories for the day: 1725. Too many! Went over my calories today.
Breakfast: English muffin with cinnamon and a little splenda, cantaloupe, half a serving of cottage cheese and coffee with creamer. Calories: 300
Lunch: Steamed broccoli with Goddess dressing, leftover couscous, and Trader Joe’s Chicken Shui Mai. Calories: 388
This day is incomplete because I didn’t track my calories for dinner. It was Mother’s Day.
Calories burned: Went for a run and burned 443 calories. Then did yard work and burned a little over 200. 645 calories.
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, English muffin with cinnamon and splenda, unsweetened iced tea, coffee with creamer. Calories: 338
Snack: Cantaloupe. Calories: 56
Lunch: Salad with dressing and two slices of turkey deli meat, celery and baby carrots with guacamole. Calories: 249
Dinner: Couscous, spicy bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, steamed and sauteed Brussels sprouts. Calories: 600
Dessert: strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 120
Total Calories for the day: 1472
Calories burned: Around 80
The verdict: This first week I lost 1 pound! Stay tuned for next week!