I was pretty restrictive with my calories. I wanted to eat 1500 a day (but it was usually closer to 1800 calories a day). On a side note, I was even evaluated by a “nutritionist” (I use that name lightly because honestly she was just hawking shakes) who said I should be eating 1200 calories a day to lose weight. Excuse me?? To me, that sounds like a starvation diet and NOT healthy.
My typical meals for two years were as follows:
Low-calories cereal with nonfat milk or Egg Beaters scramble with an English muffin and fake cheese (nasty!)
Every day for 2 years I had a turkey sandwich and the exact serving size of Wheat Thins.
Usually a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner with a salad.
I wasn’t perfect with my diet, but I was okay. I rarely snacked in between meals, and tried to eat fruit and veggies when I did.
Boy, am I sick of sandwiches now!!
This diet probably sounds awful to a lot of people. But for me it was great. I knew what I had to eat each day, I knew I would reach the calories I needed for the day, and I learned what PORTION SIZES were!! This is probably the most important lesson I learned in this whole process. I had NO idea what a portion size was.
Once I got comfortable with this diet, I started to change things up. I sometimes made a chicken breast on my George Forman grill for dinner. I love fish, so I baked salmon a lot. Again–not a chef. It wasn’t exciting food. But I learned portion sizes and what I should be eating, instead of what I wanted to eat.
Now before anyone gets too overwhelmed thinking they can’t do what I did…I slipped up many, many times! I was in no way perfect with my food for those two years. My weight fluctuated up and down and I battled the holiday bulge.
My suggestion to anyone trying to lose weight: LEARN PORTION SIZES. Trust me, it’s NEVER enough food. However, if you retrain your body to eat portion sizes, you will not be hungry.