Low-Calorie Meals

Diet Meals

Instead of the usual food diary format I’ve been using, I wanted to just share a few of the meals I’ve been having while working on losing this weight. My breakfasts and snacks don’t change a whole lot–I have a rotation of a few different meals and that’s about it. But lunches and dinners are where I am trying to focus on changing things up.

I’m doing my best to avoid the old standby of frozen lunches. Here are a few of the meals I’ve had lately that have worked well.

Lunches

#1 – Miso soup with pad thai rice noodles and green onions, and applesauce. I used a little less than half of a serving of the rice noodles. Calories: 146

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#2 – Leftover baked chicken, cottage cheese and string cheese. Calories: 271

#3 – Cashew Carrot Ginger soup with sugar snap peas and 2 large sesame crackers on the side. Calories: 205

#4 – Leftover baked chicken with guacamole and cucumber, orange and yellow peppers. Calories: 242

#5 – Cashew Carrot Ginger soup with Sweet Kale Chopped Salad. Calories: 240

#6 – Sweet Kale Chopped Salad with cottage cheese and applesauce. Calories: 290 

Dinners

#1 – Baked chicken breast, steamed broccoli, baby red potatoes sauteed with garlic and onions. Calories: 337

chicken

#2 – Salad! A variety of lettuce with sunflower seeds, chopped carrot and celery, avocado, a few Craisins, sugar snap peas, leftover baked chicken and Trader Joe’s Spicy Asian Peanut dressing. A glass of wine with dinner. The Peanut Dressing was fantastic! Calories: 534

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#3 – Fish tacos. I baked tilapia and used an Ancient Grains Wrap (100 Calories). Put in some lettuce, avocado, green onion, Peach Mango Salsa, Sour Cream, black olives and a little hot sauce. Also had some tortilla chips while dinner was baking. Calories: 566

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#4 – Taco salad: lettuce, spinach, lean ground turkey, salsa, black beans, black olives, avocado and sour cream on top. Had some tortilla chips on the side. It’s a good hot summer day meal. Calories: 548

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#5 – Another salad. In this heat it’s the best meal. This time we did steak salads. Greens, blue cheese, Craisins and flank steak on top. I weighed out the steak to 4 ounces. Calories: 454

steak
#6 – We wanted to take Bella to the dog park and then hang out and have a picnic so I packed us sandwiches. Mine was a ham and cheese sandwich on a sandwich thin with mustard, half a Laughing Cow spread, mustard, spinach and then rice crackers on the side with pickles and olives and snap peas. Calories: 491

picnics
#7 – My stomach wasn’t feeling fantastic so I had kind of a bland meal that actually turned out delicious. I made some Uncle Ben’s Garden Vegetable rice with peas and carrots in it, mixed in leftover ground turkey and I had a cup of Miso Broth on the side. Calories: 328

#8 – We had a date night at an old favorite — Good and Evil Wraps! Love this place. They had a new wrap that I tried, the Rip City Wrap. It had steak, bacon, cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a delicious Cajun sauce in a spinach wrap.

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This thing was so delicious! It was large, maybe slightly too big, but it was a gym night and I was starving and I ate the whole thing. I had to estimate the calories. Calories: Around 800-850

#9 – I made some red lentils, added some Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce to it, topped it with baked tilapia and had steamed snap peas. Calories: 577

lentils

Update

Currently I am stalled and not losing like I was when I first started this. I know I gained a bit on vacation (around 3 pounds, so basically everything I lost pre-vacation). I am down 1 pound but that’s it. Stalling sucks. I am hoping I can change something up soon to see another jump start in my weight loss.

Reducing My Calories – Part 1

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.
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Day One

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

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Dessert: For dessert I had some chocolate pudding. Calories: 180

Total Calories for the day: 1456

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It was a pretty good food day, even being a little higher than 1300.

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Day Two

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

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Total Calories for the day: 1622. A little higher than I wanted to shoot for but still less than what was my old “norm”.

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Calories burned: I did the elliptical at the gym and burned 374 calories.

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Day Three

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

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Dessert: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries, chocolate chips and dried coconut flakes. Calories: 182

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Total Calories for the day: 1424

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Calories burned: 604

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Day Four

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

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Calories burned: Went swimming and burned around 300 calories.

Dessert: Fun sized peanut butter snickers. Calories: 130

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Total Calories for the day: 1725. Too many! Went over my calories today. 🙁

Day-5

Day Five

Breakfast: English muffin with cinnamon and a little splenda, cantaloupe, half a serving of cottage cheese and coffee with creamer. Calories: 300

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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. 

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day-6

Day Six

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!