This past year has been a year of fine-tuning my eating patterns to ensure proper nutrition, sensory satisfaction of the food I eat as well as weight loss. While I am not officially trying to lose weight anymore, I am in fact burning the small remaining fat pockets to reach my goal of being lean and toned. I may lose as much as 5 pounds more to burn the rest off, but at my current weight, muscle tone and fat content, 5 pounds will take until about Memorial Day. I have already exceeded my expectations of success and am very pleased with the results. It feels great to be at the size you want to be where your clothes look good and you no longer feel like a stuffed sausage after getting dressed.
To maintain my weight (or weight loss if necessary), I know I must keep track of not only the portion; but also the nutritional content of my meals. There must not be excessive calories, but there also needs to be sufficient nutritional substance in what I eat to sustain me throughout the day. My personal preference is to eat smaller meals and eat the more often during the day, which supposedly allows for more an efficient metabolism according to many articles that I have read. My meals are 300 calories on average and I adjust as necessary for the size of the actual meal plus the snacks I have during the day.
If you have a small “tank” like that, then you are likely to run out of fuel more quickly. This is my challenge and people laugh at me because I am “always eating”. I eat every 3-4 hours! In months previous, there are admittedly times where I felt hungry and wasn’t in the mood to drink gallons of water to mask that hunger. The further I go along, the more fine-tuning I do to find out what works for me. What I know now exceeds what I knew a year ago. Know that the journey to your weight and fitness goals not only involves many steps, but many tweaks to get there. More than likely the chances are slim that you will pull out a diet from a magazine, say, “this is it”, follow it to a tee and have it work for you right off the bat. People can do that, quit the diet and feel defeated. You must fine-tune your efforts as you go along in order to be successful and achieve your goals. Keep doing what works and tweak and change that which isn’t. What works for me may not work for you at all. But a plan will only work if you stick to it, you just have to keep fine-tuning until you find the right one.
While all calories count regardless of their classification: protein, fats and carbohydrates; perhaps a little tweaking of the ratios will help you feel fuller longer. While I do not pretend to know the intricate science of it all, I have come to realize that I need a little more protein than I have been getting to sustain me between my meals. Today I had a turkey burger for lunch, which was ¾ to 1” thick and was 200 calories with 35g of protein. I feel very satisfied from eating this amount. Perhaps this is because I walk 5 days a week and do my resistance exercises 3 times a week?
I cut up a couple of stalks of celery and a carrot for the crunch (no need for potato chips), then put a couple of tablespoons of salsa on top of the turkey patty and for 265 calories, I had a very fulfilling lunch nutritionally! Being the way I am, I had to have some dessert with that, so add a delightful key lime popsicle for 60 calories and I had 325 total calories for lunch. Not bad and it was fulfilling. Start comparing food on any restaurant or fast food menu, and see how much better you can do with just a little tweaking. As you become more aware of what eating out will cost you in unnecessary calories, it will inspire you to research and come up with a better plan. Knowledge is power and the more you learn about yourself and your body the better off you will be and the quicker you will get to your goals. Don’t give up, just keep trying!