Reminder: I'm not a doctor. Nutritionist. Registered Dietician. Expert of any kind. I hold no magic powers and you shouldn't do a word I say. Talk to your own peeps before making any lifestyle changes. I'm way too irresponsible for that!
Sometimes I think “food” is a four-letter word. Ok, technically it IS literally a four-letter word. But you know what I mean – the kind of four-letter word you wouldn't say around kids.
With my history of yo-yo dieting and binge eating, food is just one of those things I'm never super confident about. I've been through dozens of nutrition classes at fat camp, can name the calorie count in many things, and can estimate carbs/fat/proteins in foods without looking at the label. I have over 20 years of experience in the food-overanalyzing phase. I unfortunately also have 10 years of experience in the food-as-life-destruction practice.
Exercise? Y'all, I like it. Dare I say, love it (at times). I'll yammer about workouts all day long (as you've probably noticed if you've been here more than once).
Food? I don't like giving menus, taking lots of photos of food, or really even sharing much about it. I'm not confident with it. Thankfully over the past 2 weeks or so of logging all my food in myfitnesspal, I have become a lot more conscious of what goes in my mouth. I'm not aiming for certain calories goals beyond what they pre-populate in there. If I miss it, I haven't cared as long as I was 100% truthful of everything that I ate for the day.
Today, I took a scary step and saw a Registered Dietician for the first time in probably 10+ years. I went in worried I was going to be told to cut my calories in half. I took several days worth of print outs from my food tracking. I ate Chick-Fil-A one day. With fries. And I ate an entire California Pizza Kitchen thin crust pizza (the frozen kind). I just KNEW I was going to get flamed. “No wonder you're not losing weight, you eat like a cow!”
I sat down, blurted out my crazy food history in 30 seconds (even though I could talk for hours about it) and said “I need a plan!”
She stopped me right there. She asked more questions about my history, activity levels, kinds of diets I've done, and more. My mind was set on trying to figure out how many calories I was supposed to be eating for weight loss, and what my breakdown of protein, carbs and fat was supposed to be.
Unfortunately, my dieting since the age of 6 has wrecked my metabolism. Of course, I knew this already, but she explained further: My basal metabolic rate could be anywhere between 1200-2300 calories per day. That's nearly a 1000 calorie swing! How the hell am I supposed to know which one I should use when calculating my calorie intake for weight loss?!
She started punching things in her calculator while she referenced all my meals. Sometimes, I leave notes about my day in my food diary. One day, I wrote “ate way too much for dinner today. still freaking hungry. blah.”
Her: “why do you say you ate too much?”
Me: “I ate an entire California Pizza Kitchen pizza for dinner”
Her: “and why do you think that's too much?”
Me: “I ate an entire pizza! A serving of the pizza is 1/3, not a whole pizza. Normal people wouldn't eat an entire pizza for dinner!”
Her: “But who told you it was too much? You said that you were still really hungry afterwards.”
We talked about times of day that I ate my foods, my recent reduction in my pot-a-day coffee habit (sob), and what she could guesstimate my calories and breakdown should be, based on a non-screwed up metabolism.
Turns out, I'm pretty right on the money. I don't have to start eating 1000 calories less per day – yay!
So here's the plan for right now. I'm so, so glad it's little tweaks. I almost feel like a mama bear where “food” is my cub. Don't mess with my cub, bitches! (sorry, language.)
- eat every 3-4 hours: basically eating the same quantity as now, just timing it slightly differently. My meals were being eaten at non-regular intervals, so sometimes I'd have a 3 hours gap between them while other times it'd be a 6 hour gap. Just want to keep things consistent
- balance my breakfasts to contain approximately 45-55 grams of carbohydrates: my breakfasts were super carb heavy- like twice the amount of carbs I eat in other meals
- Reduce caffeine intake to 2 cups/day: right now, I'm at 3 cups a day, so surely I can cut 1 of those cups out? (Forget that I think coffee is the sweet elixir of life)
- schedule a basal metabolic rate test: I didn't know these existed, but now I'm super curious! Some doctors have machines that you breathe in and out of comfortably for a bit of time, and they measure your oxygen intake and co2 expenditure and can determine pretty darn accurately what the basal metabolic rate is! This will help us determine what the true numbers need to be. I love science!