Sunday, August 10, 2014

August 10th, 2014 Weekend Calorie Management Issues

August 10th, 2014 Weekend Calorie Management Issues

I've really enjoyed the extra sleep lately on the weekends. I slept a full quality eight hours last night and I've felt amazing all day as a result. When I'm feeling well rested, my workouts soar to new levels like it did today on the elliptical at the YMCA. I killed it today (I'm fairly certain that's a good thing).

One of the big challenges for me on the weekends is managing my calories properly. I sometimes don't eat my weekend brunch until sometime after noon. On days like this, I bump up the calories during brunch because an "official" lunch isn't happening. This strategy often leaves me short, regardless.

Dinner was at a restaurant with family in my hometown. My oldest daughter Amber, my grandson Noah and I made the trip. We dined with mom, aunt Kelli and uncle Tim. When I'm in a restaurant, I'm very cautious and on guard--so it's very difficult to allow myself to "bump" anything up. I have strict personal guidelines when I dine out. It was a Mexican restaurant (of course it was--when I dine out, it seems like it's Mexican 85% of the time). My personal rules are fairly simple:

If I decide to have chips (sometimes I don't depending on my calorie budget), I count out my chips on a napkin, separating them from the bowl--and I stick to it-- These are my chips. I can eat them as fast or slow as I desire, but I cannot reach for another once they're gone. I counted out twelve today. I stick with entrees I feel confident about--like fajitas, and I order them "special."

This is me ordering: "I'll take the smallest portion of chicken fajitas you have. Is there a lunch portion? Okay--let's do that. And please ask the kitchen staff how many ounces of chicken comes in an order. No cheese, no pico (I just don't like it), no flour tortillas. I want corn tortillas instead (and sometimes I ask for corn taco shells). No beans, no rice, and the sour cream and guac in separate containers, please. And an extra plate for assembly."

I'm not difficult at all! Sometimes I skip the guac too. On rare occasion, I might ask for the cheese on a separate plate, just to use a 1/2 serving. It would be incredibly easy to eat a thousand calories or more in a place like this--and I have, many times. But I don't do that anymore. I get in and out feeling confident about the meal, my calorie budget and the experience--and I never leave feeling deprived, hungry or left out of anything. It's all good! I also enjoy smiling great big when the server enthusiastically asks, "Did you save room for a sopapilla ice cream sandwich or fried ice cream?" I smile and say no and then I think, if this server only knew. How fun!

I checked my budget after dinner and it was still shy of a thousand fifty. I recently acquired some super nutrition Shakeology packets and I have bananas, all natural peanut butter and unsweetened all natural almond milk--Easy!! I'll just make a big Shakeology when I get home! It'll be my dessert, if you will!

I used a packet of vanilla Shakeology, two cups of the almond milk, a small banana, 16 grams of all-natural peanut butter and a dash of Pyure Brand Organic Stevia. I blended it real well and enjoyed the most amazing 367 calories of solid nutrition. Oh--and by the way--what does 16 grams of sugar free all natural peanut butter look like?
 photo 950E522F-5C0A-4A9A-A6E1-B0FD9928D4FC_zpskagcb6mn.jpg
See where I scraped the paper towel? That took off 4 grams, arriving at exactly 16g. I scrape it off the paper towel and into or onto whatever I'm having.

The peanut butter calories are dense!! Good thing I'm measuring with a digital food scale. If not, I would be drastically underestimating calories in things like this. It's funny, when I'm handling peanut butter, it's as if I'm handling plutonium or something else considered very dangerous! I need a haz-mat suit!

I was still short even after 367 calories of dense nutrition. So I decided a pita pizza was in order. After that 205 calories in my #lastfoodofday, I finally registered above 1700 for the day, but still 150 calories shy of 1200 net calories after exercise calories burned. I'm okay with this today. 

And honestly, the answer isn't "calorie bumping" late--the answer is better planning and calorie management throughout the day. Eating late isn't something I should be doing because my body doesn't burn as much overnight. It's busy trying to repair via rest, not digest a recently consumed meal. Obviously I have some adjustments to make. But you know what? I'm very happy to be where I am. I don't binge and I don't have the urges to binge. That's HUGE.

My next weigh day is Wednesday and we'll see how this adjusted approach is working according to the scale. Regardless of the number I see on Wednesday, I'm feeling fantastic these days and I can tell I'm getting smaller and smaller. I feel it in my clothes and see it in the mirror!

Food Tweets today:














I've made it a priority to reply to each comment left on this blog. So many times in the past I haven't because I thought you might not come back to read the reply. I've enjoyed this new "feature," so to speak--because some interesting dialogue often comes from these interactions. It's like a blog post "after-party" where we hang around and discuss the issues and dynamics explored in the post and how they relate to you and your experience. If you have any questions or comments, simply leave them in the comment form below and as I can throughout each day, I'll reply. Might be several hours later, but I will reply!

Thank you for reading. I sincerely appreciate your amazing support,
Strength,
Sean

23 comments:

  1. Sean, one thing I try to do is plan my meals before the day - all of them. Try posting on MFP what you intend to eat and your exercise goals. Then if you switch out a meal, you know approximate calories to plan for the new meal. It works!

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    1. ^^^This is what I do, too!^^^ It helps ensure that I fuel my body properly and that I am never left feeling hungry or overeating. After doing it consistently for 7 years, I no longer have to log daily but I still plan my meals ahead, at least a day, if not for the whole week.

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    2. Great advice! I do more of what I would describe as "spot planning." The bigger planning for me happens just prior to the grocery trip. I need to consider expanding my "3 P's!" Thank you Gerri!
      Heather-- yes, indeed... Combined between you and Gerri, you have 28 years of consistency! I'm listening and learning from people like you because you got what I want! ;) I'm getting it--and it feels so good! Thank you!

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  2. Were you a Chef once in your career? I mean really, that omelet is a beautiful work of art! This week, I plan to measure all my foods. I have been measuring a lot of things, but not everything because I figure I know what the correct portion looks like. It's better to be safe than sorry, so back to the scale I go. One of the things I like about your journey is the constant learning and adjusting that you do. You've found ways to get more sleep and now you will work on timing some of your eating on the weekends better. I hope to do the same. If something isn't working, I need to identify and find ways to resolve it. BTW, how are you liking those shakes? There are so many protein shakes out there, it's hard to know which one to choose. If it tastes too much like chalk, I just won't use it. Hope you have a great week Sean.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment, LTR! I really enjoy taking pride in my cooking and preparing meals. It's increased dramatically since making the critical decision to photograph and tweet each and every bite in the name of solid accountability. I must tell you--those eggs are much prettier--not because of anything I did necessarily--they're farm fresh, straight from a hen who lives just a few miles from me. This "straight from under the hen and into my pan" makes for richer, more colorful, better tasting eggs!
      The measuring, for me, is paramount this time around. It can be done without all of the exact measuring--because I lost 275 pounds and I never owned a food scale---just eyeballed it all the way. That worked for me then, but I don't feel like it would work for me now. I do measure things so often that I can look at a serving of something and guess with extraordinary accuracy the grams or ounces. And I do occasionally, if I'm somewhere without a scale. But 85% of the time I'm weighing and measuring...it's very important to me. And it's enlightening! I would have never guessed so little peanut butter would have that many calories. I always knew it was dense--but wow. Great thing is--even that small amount spreads a bunch of flavor!
      The willingness to learn and adjust our approach is key to our success. One of the things I hold very dear is my ability to admit when I'm wrong and listen to others who have gone before me. I didn't always (much younger years-Learned everything the hard way). But now--and especially along this journey, I listen--I watch--I study... And then I decide what I can make work for me--and how I can make it work. It is a constant learning experience. I'll never reach a point where I'll declare some all-knowing type attitude. If I ever do--hide and watch--that comes immediately before the hardest falls.
      Shakeology has been wonderful. I dress it up with fruit, almond milk and some organic stevia--but it's fabulous even without. What impresses me the most is the nutrition, it's super dense nutrition and it taste great--while not triggering an insane urge to have more and more. I knew if I was to add calories to help my body become more efficient--it needed to be something like this... What's interesting is, I've never been a "shake person," unless we're talking the calorie bomb ice cream versions. But it's very hard to argue with solid nutrition. I feel very good when I have one. I still have my meals, as you can see--but occasionally using these to help properly fuel my body seems to make good sense.

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  3. You are in such a wonderful place these days Sean. Just keep on doing what you are doing, learning more as you go.

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    1. Oh, Natalie--thank you!! I will-- always learning! You too!

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  4. I'm just the opposite of you - weekends are where I have to watch not to overeat!

    I feel conflicted about this business of getting all the calories in, mostly because I don't think anyone should eat just for eating's sake, which is easy to do if you see you have calories "left." I absolutely think if someone is stomach hungry they should eat - even if it takes them a bit over for the day, but eating because you have calories left, not so much. And I'm not at all saying this is what you do. I think you're smart enough to stop eating no matter where that number is.

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    1. Yeah-- I have a very difficult time eating to hit a certain calorie goal. But again--I think it's all in my planning. Poor planning put me in the position I was in last night. The nutritional science is solid stuff-- and it makes good sense---here's the rub: Am I working out enough to justify the additional calories? That's the key question. An example is Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps--when he's training, swimming miles and miles a day--He eats about 10,000 calories a day. I read that somewhere--then he confirmed it verbally in an interview-- and my mind was blown!!! 10,000 calories?? At my heaviest and during my biggest binges of all time, I don't think I ever hit 10,000 in one day!!! Sounds insane. But when he's working out that hard, his body requires the fuel to operate on an optimal level.
      I'm no Michael Phelps, to be sure-- so I must carefully analyze my calories burned and make sure I'm not eating too much. I did borrow a heart rate monitor-- and I'll be wearing it to spinning class today. It'll be interesting to see what it says in comparison to MyFitnessPal. I can make an adjustment down just as easily as up--so I'm not worried. In it for the long haul! Thank you Helen!

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  5. Chips and Salsa are tough for me at Mexican restaurants. I always tell myself I'm only going to have 3 or 5 or some such number of chips. Sometimes I am successful--but sometimes I lose count. I NEVER eat as many as I'd like to though. I'm going to employ your idea of putting my allotted number of chips on my napkin. That's a great idea!

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    1. I think you'll find that it not only physically separates the chips from the bowl--but it mentally separates us from the bowl. It has worked beautifully for me. If I'm dining alone, I ask for the bowl to be removed. If not, I'll count em out and then move the bowl far away from me! Glad you're going to give it a try!

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  6. Its funny that you are measuring your stuff in Grams here. Now dont tell me the digital scale you have, only has grams on it. Since every digital scale one can buy here in Europe has both, grams and ounces.
    I love my little scale, too :)
    Also, Im perfectly confident, that you can lose your extra weight again and keep it off. So many do it many times over, its normal. And you gain more and more knowledge about yourself and eating.
    I really enjoy the daily blogposts and foodpics. Kind of keeps ME in the right mindset aswell. So thank you :)

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    1. Kai, Thank you for the comment! The scale I use has a button to switch from grams to ounces. It is a little strange, isn't it? An American using the metric system!! But it works for me because most of the calorie listings I use go by grams. I can get more accuracy when I use grams, at least that's how it feels to me!
      I appreciate your confidence! I feel this way too! And you're very right, we do learn more and more about ourselves along the way. I'm so thankful I didn't gain it all back and I am where I am now-- such a blessing. It certainly is a different approach than before. Much of it is the same, with just a few key differences--and shifted perspectives...and biggest of all, an open mind to making adjustments and learning from others.
      I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog and food pics! Thank you for your support, Kai. Very appreciated!

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  7. Have you tried Pb2 (powdered peanut butter)? I personally love it in smoothies and it adds more protein with less fat.

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    1. I haven't tried it--and you're the second person to suggest this powdered peanut butter! I must try it!
      I'll look around locally. Honestly, I never knew this product existed until this week. Sounds perfect!

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  8. Haz-mat suit for the PB, ha ha, that's a good one :D Glad it doesn't seem to be triggering for you.

    I ordered a copy of your book (looking forward to a good read) and ordered the audiobook for a friend who doesn't read English well but understands it better when spoken. Thanks for everything you do :)

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    1. Nikki--It really doesn't seem to be affecting me in the least. Every time I've opened the jar it's been to weigh either a half serving a whole serving. It's a very nice feeling.
      Thank you for the order, Nikki! I hope you enjoy the read and your friend enjoys the audio version! I sincerely appreciate your support!
      Absolutely!!

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  9. pita pizza looks amazing.....thanks for your comment on my post..

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    1. It's so good, PJ!! Have you tried it?
      Certainly, PJ-- I really enjoy your writing and what you do.
      Thank you for doing what you do!

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  10. As usual, the meals you share looks fabulous. What helps me is the size portions you use to balance your meals at your calorie intake. Providing us photo's of everything you eat takes courage to face any scrutiny with the things you eat and commendably for the help it provides, so thank you for that. It's a great luxury to visibly compare your portion sizes to calorie intake and provides a constant reminder how large me portions are sometimes when consuming 3000 per day. This past week I cut my calorie intake back to 2300 per day, still eat the same food and same number of meals by adjusting my portion size to about 75% what it used to be. So far I had great results, no hunger issues at 75%.

    I remember back 22 years ago I lost 100 pounds using a shake meal replacement. It was OK but the problem back then is my eating to loose the weight seemed very unnatural and difficult while still being influenced by artificial sweeteners. It would be interesting to try this being freed of my sugar addition. As long as it fits my criteria:) 1. Provides all nutrition, 2. Something I truly enjoy in my diet 3. Will be equally important for maintaining my weight as it was loosing the weight. What I mean by this is I think it's very important to have the same exact eating habits in place to maintain the weight as you did to loose the weight. If I go with an occasional shake it has to be a lifetime of occasional shakes. Which is why I would not mind you sending me enough for two shakes in exchange for the C.S. Experimental is always good and could see myself possibly using a product like this a few times per month, but it would have to be a few times per month for life.

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    1. Jon, thank you for the kind words about my food pics! Your activity level is incredible--I know you well enough to know that you work very hard--and it makes perfect sense your calorie intake should reflect...And you're losing weight wonderfully.
      I'm not necessarily using them as meal replacements--only as a calorie supplement--to bump up my calories. The Shakeology is solid stuff. No artificial sweeteners or anything crazy. Just solid nutrition. I'll send you some to try like you suggested!
      My biggest thing is, I want to make sure I'm burning enough calories to justify the higher intake. I'll be wearing a heart monitor on the elliptical tonight and we'll see what it says and how it compares with what MFP says.
      Thank you for your wonderful support, Jon!

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  11. My fave: "I'm okay with this today". 5 words of balance :)

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