This month’s topic is answering a request on how we eat and plan meals. Anyone who regularly reads my blog pretty much knows how I eat The other AIM ladies – I don’t really know a ton about how they eat and I am very curious to see what that is. That is one of the great things about doing this group is to have 5 different perspectives – and none of us exactly the same.
Me? I just love food. This can be a problem when it comes to weight loss and maintenance. I have to plan what I eat pretty well and be careful about what comes into the house. It’s very easy for me to get ‘portion amnesia’, so I track my food. I actually like tracking my food (using My Fitness Pal). I do weigh my food out of habit now. If I don’t, 1 tablespoon of almond butter will be closer to 2 and I will still track it as 1.
I tend to just think a day at a time, though. I will usually put the next day’s meals in my tracker the night before. It makes it much easier for me to just look at that and follow it for the day without having to think. Sometimes I just enter in breakfast and lunch if we are going out to dinner – or I will erase what I had for dinner because there are some times after a hard day of work when you just want to go out, know what I mean? Spontaneity is a good thing!
As far as my meals themselves, generally I plan around a protein. I am a protein girl all the way. Over the years, I have found that I need to have all 3 components in my meals (protein, carbs and fat) for me to be satisfied after eating. I can’t just have a bowl of spaghetti or a just chicken breast with a bacon ‘bun’. However, protein is really what works best for me as the base for a meal. I have a lot of muscle mass and I seem to just do better with more protein. That’s not a 100% rule, but a 90% rule pretty much. So, I figure out what the protein will be (chicken, eggs, greek yogurt, etc), then plan the 2 sides around it.
Over the years, my carb choice has changed as well. I used to always associate carbs with bread, rice, crackers, that kind of thing. Many times now my carb will just be fruit. This is a very typical dinner for me:
Broccoli sauteed in coconut oil for the fat – FYI. I always eat it this way.
I really only eat bread a couple times a week, which would be bagels! Wednesday and Sunday I have a bagel for breakfast. You all know these pictures!
This breaks the protein rule a little bit, but I love the bagels. I would eat them every day if I thought I could get a way with it. However, I like them to be more of a treat, which is one reason why I don’t buy bagels to have in the house.
I also tend to eat differently at different times during the year. In the winter months (Christmas cookie binges aside), I tend to eat less carbs. When the weather warms up and I am putting serious miles on my bike, I eat more carbs. That tends to be more potatoes and cereal for snacks. It also means I eat these more:
But only on long ride days. You rarely see me eating these in the winter time. I suppose I could if I sat on the bike trainer for a couple of hours, but that just isn’t the same as biking outside and enjoying the fruits (cupcakes) of the ride.
Same with this:
Food like this has to be planned in to my eating. Eating these foods willy nilly is what got me to 250 pounds. Regulating my eating, but allowing splurges correctly has allowed me to lose weight and keep it off. I never really feel deprived. Not that I don’t get annoyed sometimes when I just want to eat the cookie, but I know that for me planning what I eat and keeping to a routine of how I structure my meals (carbs, fats, proteins) is key for me. Some people don’t like to do that, which is fine – because that is what works for them. This works for me. I had to figure that out, and it took a while.
Not that I don’t have binges or ‘unscheduled’ overeating days. I am human, after all, but the key is that is just a day (usually) and then I go back to eating my 90%.
Food is a pleasure in life for me, but I also understand how easily it can get away from me. Accepting that was a big part of creating a new relationship with food.
AIM:Adventures in Maintenance is Shelley, Lori, Cammy, Debby and Lynn, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and, if you haven’t already, check out the other AIM bloggers’ thoughts: