I know that it's best to eat multiple small meals a day, but I work full time and am in college and my schedule doesn't permit grazing. I've read that eating 3 or more meals a day is best, because the claim is that if you don't eat breakfast you eat more in the evening (and naturally it keeps your metabolism going), I even tried Fiber-One bars when I was in a hurry, thinking the fiber would help. But sometimes I find that when I eat any breakfast I end up HUNGRIER than had I skipped!! (And it's never sugary breakfasts like donuts or sweet cereal that would give me a crash)
Currently I have a small packed lunch (a small sandwich, or some veggies with olive oil and pepper, with a jello fruit cup) and various dinners that are usually much better than what I was eating for dinner. I cut out all sodas, desserts (just the occasional hot chocolate with water when severe sweet craving hit), and any little things or sweets I used to pick up or find during the day. So basically, I eat twice. BUT I find that if I eat breakfast, I still eat the same at dinner. It makes no difference, so I don't really see how it would be good adding an additional 200 or 300 calories? Not sure about this because I understand it in theory kickstarts your metabolism. I have a really weird sleep schedule though, so I get up and go to work, skip breakfast (or usually have tea with Stevia), and have my packed lunch maybe 3 hours after I get up. On my days off I eat one meal because I sleep ridiculously late... like 6pm... I stay up late. Obviously I'm not a morning person. But I still eat dinner several hours before I go to bed.
I'm a retail department manager, so I don't sit around at a desk all day (some days I do, but not usually), so I'm usually doing light activity and sometimes even heavy activity all during work. I also added a workout routine that's 25 minutes with cardio, abs, and weight training, and I've done this every day for about three weeks now.
So, despite cutting out a lot of sugar, snacking, sodas, and eating MUCH less, and adding exercise every day, I'm seeing absolutely no results and I'm getting sort of bummed about it. I'm thinking it's maybe my food intake, even though I don't consume many calories. Is it not enough? I'm about 5'5 and about 165. I can only estimate that my intake of calories now is some days around 1000 and others maybe like 1300. I'm wondering if my body is just storing all the food I eat, and sort of working against me?
I drink a lot of water too, especially at work and when exercising. I have no known medical reasons that would prevent weight loss.
I'm guessing that because I've always sort of just had two meals, the same lunches, that maybe the calorie change isn't enough? I never really have eaten a whole lot. Mostly I would just pick up unhealthy stuff in between, or family would bring over cookies or chocolates and I'd add a couple to lunch, or I'd have a dessert, and have a soda every night with dinner. But that's all been cut out. And I eat out less too, which I figured would help.
I don't know? Would adding calories in the morning help somehow? Again, it really doesn't make me less hungry or eat less in the pm. I don't snack as it is, and I don't eat horribly at dinner. I'm just as hungry by the time I eat dinner whether I had breakfast or not.
Does anyone have any suggestions or input? =\ I would really appreciate anything, I'm just sort of getting frustrated of seeing no results after I feel I've sacrificed so much. It feels pointless. Help?
Thank you for any replies =)
(sorry for deleted post if previously seen, was on a friend's account without realizing)
I definitely don't think you're eating enough if your dinner is anything like your lunch. I'm hoping you meant to type sandwich "and" veggies with oil, not "or."
You need to keep a food journal for a bit of time and see exactly what you're putting in. The fact that you're on your feet all day with a retail job, plus you work out, man, you're totally not eating enough, and every calorie you consume your body is holding onto.
I thought I had to cut calories to lose weight though? =\ I sort of have been the same weight for a long time, and I'm tired of it. I just wasn't doing any exercise before except for the activities from work. I didn't gain or lose weight. I still ate two meals a day though (breakfast more often though for a while, only because it was provided, and I think I actually put on a bit of weight with breakfast)... just less junk now... no desserts, no soda, not dinners out as much, less junk for dinner, etc. I thought that'd be good.
I suppose I'm gaining muscle, which actually kind of sucks because I'm already strong for a girl. I really don't want anymore muscle. I know muscle helps to burn calories though, so I'm doing it still. But I'm looking for some change in pants fitting or measuring tape, and I see/feel nothing. I'm trying to drop the flab, mostly lower abs, thighs, hips. I don't know what else to do?
Schedules can definitely make it tricky! I know I used to struggle with it back a few years ago. Luckily I'm not on an 8-5 schedule, and even with a longer commute, I am still home much earlier than I used to. I used to be a full time student with three part time jobs. I eventually had to quit my weekend job because working 7 days a week didn't allow me enough time to do my homework!
What I would have to do is pre-pack my meals ahead of time. I'd take a few extra minutes before going to bed to pack up meals for the next day. If not, then I wouldn't be able to eat because there wasn't time to stop home in thet middle... and I didn't want to eat fast food! I try to eat lots of fresh foods and that has helped me a lot. I eat a salad with grilled chicken for either lunch or dinner most days, plus some fruits and vegetables to snack on. I always aim to have a good source of protein, fruits/veggies, and healthy carbs with my meals. I do try my best to eat smaller meals, but more often. Yes, you will consume extra calories if you add a breakfast, but typically that means you subtract a little off of your other meals if you are indeed eating enough. If you aren't, then it's okay to add those extra calories. I aim to NOT feel full after meals... just satisfied... but to also not let myself get super hungry. Staying satisfied and keeping myself like that, seems to work best!
I'd also be curious to see a little more about your meals each day. Maybe try to write down each things you eat and drink for a couple of days and let us know how it looks. Then we can get a good calorie estimate and see what areas need work! I do know some friends of mine who don't eat breakfast, but they drink sweet tea or coffee beverages, which can very well have enough calories to be a meal practically! You definitely don't need a big breakfast. I typically like to eat a protein bar each morning. Even just an apple to start is good. You probably would have to start small and get used to it before eating a bigger breakfast. I don't care for a very large breakfast on regular days or I get too full!
A couple of other questions- you mentioned that you may eat a sandwich and also the fruit jello cup. Do you eat white bread or do you eat whole wheat or something else? With the fruit jello cup, do you buy the sugar free kind or regular? Some items like that can sabotage weight loss... if I have jello, I buy the sugar free, but I prefer to have real fruit!!
Hmm... when I have the jello cups with the fruit, they're not sugar free. I sort of try to avoid artificial sweeteners =\ Occasionally white bread, but usually like whole grain or something brownish. They're always like, small sandwiches. I usually tear off most of the bread anyway. I think it's possible I'm just not eating enough and my body is storing everything... ??? I did some more research of this. During the first week, I was starving almost because I was just eating lunch and a small dinner. But I thought it was just because my body WANTED food, not NEEDED food. I'm afraid I can't really tell the difference!! I do bring packed things and I don't do fast food, when I do it's 6 inch subway chicken with like no mayo and such like that.
I'm just afraid that because I didn't eat a whole lot in the first place, it's going to be hard to cut down to lose weight before my body hits the point of "omg I'm not eating enough SAVE EVERYTHING NOW." but I want to cut out calories so I LOSE it.
I even bought a rowing machine and now do 30 minutes of it at the 6 resistance (out of 12) in addition to the regular 25 minute workouts. So I'm up to about an hour a day...
I think I may need to add snacks during the day so my body doesn't think it's starving? I don't really know. Dinner definitely varies, I can definitely not give any good example. Sometimes it's the subway chicken, but it's with good bread, no mayo or condiments except the sweet onion sauce, and it's 6 inch. It should be under 375 calories, I just pile it up with veggies. Sometimes I make a bowl of veggies and add some olive oil (for the monounsaturated fats) or italian dressing and a bit of fresh cheese... sometimes I go out to eat, but I always get things like small proteins and salads with not too much dressing, or maybe long grain wild rice... I don't get any fried things or pastas or breads or anything, and I hardly go out anymore anyway. I've had sushi a few times, which I wont because it's not terribly filling. I got qdoba one day... I calculated its calories on the website though, and it was about 600 calories, and that was all I had for the whole day because I slept until 6pm and it was really filling. heh. ... Supposedly protein fills you up, but most of the time it really doesn't for me.
You're right, I should keep a food journal, because yeah, I don't really know what I eat for dinner. haha. I don't drink anything except water or maybe tea with Stevia (it's a natural 0 calorie sweetener). I exercise at night actually a bit before bed, does that matter too much?
Do you think just like maybe a couple of snacks would do the trick? Just to put something in my stomach so it doesn't think it's starving?
I think adding in some nutritious snacks may be a great idea! If you feel starving, you likely do need a bit more food. There's definitely a difference between your stomach growling and feeling hungry (do you feel weak during this time too? I know I do!) and then just wanting to eat something because it sounds good.
I know what you mean about the artificial sweeteners, but regular jello's often have artificial stuff in it too, so if you are concerned about that, I'd go for regular fresh fruit instead! I pack apples in my purse all the time great, easy snack!
I'm with you about Subway for fast food- I still don't prefer to go there too often because some of the lunch meats look questionable (the chicken breast looks fake to me!) and the sandwiches have quite a lot of bread. I also try to load them up with tasty veggies and not use fattening condiments I think Subway is still one of the best options! I also love another deli (although not a chain) nearby work that has great salads. I just bring my own healthier dressing to use on them. They have turkey in them. I know I'll be working late and not taking any lunch breaks at all this week at work, so I'll definitely have to do some meal planning ahead of time!!
For your snacks, try to keep them as healthy as possible. I try to get in a little protein at each snack to help keep me satisfied. I love raw almonds, apples, light string cheese, things like that!
You're right about jello... I should skip that..
Yeah I guess I always just think "I can ignore feeling hungry and save myself another 100 or 150 calories, every little bit helps..." but I guess it's sort of working against me! grr. so frustrating!!!
In about another week it will have been a month of doing this... and if there's nothing by then, I don't know what I'll do =\ I guess I'll have to go see a nutritionist or something.. All week I've been working out an hour every day now. I'm getting super frustrated!! I just turned 24, I feel I shouldn't have such problems losing weight. ESPECIALLY since I did nothing special and basically just sat at the same weight. I ate almost whatever whenever I felt like it. Now I'm exercising a lot and seriously watching what I eat, it seems ridiculous that everything is staying the same. Thanks so much for replying to me, I'll keep trying... I'll start trying to add some protein-filled snacks too, that's definitely a good idea =)