Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Scheduling For Success

When dieting- although you are eating less & restricting your calories, the one thing I've learned is that you should NEVER be starving. By letting your body get to the point where you feel sick or light headed, you are setting yourself up for failure. Once you hit this point, you will eat ANYTHING in sight and are more likely to make a bad food choice. So- by always having healthy foods on hand to get you through those rough spots & incorporating snacking into your daily schedule, you not only encourage your metabolism to burn calories throughout the day, you also avoid that terrible starving feeling. Here's what an optimum day looks like for me:
7:30am Breakfast 250 calories
10:am Morning Snack 100 calories
12:30pm Lunch 300 calories
3pm Afternoon Snack 150 Calories
5pm Pre-Workout Snack 50 Calories
8pm Dinner 350-400 Calories
Total Calories for the day above would be between 1200-1250. You'll notice that I try and snack every 2-3 hours. My afternoon snack is usually larger than the morning one becuase I tend to feel hungry in the afternoon and if I'm working out after work I need some fuel. My trainer reccomends eating 70% of your daily calories before 3pm- but that's still something I'm struggling with. It's hard to adjust to not having dinner be your main meal & I'm not quite there yet. My compromise is eating lean proteins & salads for dinner rather than carbs.
Every day this week I'll give you a few ideas for different meal ideas that are satisfying and fit in the calorie range above. Let's start with "the most important meal of the day"...
Breakfast for 250 Calories:
Yogurt Parfait. Individual size plain or vanilla non-fat greek yogurt (if you like the plain go with it- it's a difference of 70 calories vs. 130) Mix in 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch (95 calories) and then top with fruit. Blueberrys are great for this, only 20 calories in 1/4 cup. Strawberrys are great as well. If you try this breakfast- make sure you are using the GREEK yogurt- not regular Yoplait or other brand. The best thing about the greek yogurt is that a single serving has 14 grams of protein! That will keep you full for a while. They also have a lot less sugar than regular yogurt.
Egg White Scramble. I talk about these a lot and there's a ton of variation you can do. Basically 6tbs (about the amount of 2 scrambled eggs) has 50 calories. So use that as a base and add in fun veggies, some lite cheese, turkey... yum! I like to save some calories so that I can have a side of a half of a wheat english muffin as well (80 calories). This breakfast takes a little more time to make, but is really satisfying!
Cottage Cheese & Fruit & a mini bran muffin. Can you believe you can eat all of that for under 250 calories? Talk about filling! 1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese is only 80 calories and tastes great topped with fresh berrys. That by itself could be a 100 calorie morning snack as well. The mini bran muffins are available at Trader Joes and they each have about 50% of your daily fiber and only 80 calories! Look at the label to make sure you are buying the right one.
Hope that helps encourage some breakfast creativity!
Oh and PS- day one of my "pull it together" week was successful yesterday, I came in at 1160 calories and had a great (=hard, I wanted to die) boot camp and am feeling back on track. Wish me luck today!

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