Friday, June 20, 2014

Food Changes I've Made

Going over my blog posts I noticed I talk a lot about the results of my weight loss journey, but not so much about how I actually do it. Well, at least food wise. For this post I thought I would go a little more in-depth about how I changed my eating habits.

As you know, I started counting calories about two and a half months ago. And it was a really positive experience for me. My goal is to stay within 1200 and 1500kcals a day. I didn't take any specific approach (low-carb or blood type diet or whatever), I don't even check protein versus fats versus carbs. I just try to make smart choices within the calorie limits. I keep a spreadsheet with my daily weight, calories in, calories out, water intake and general mood. Although honestly I've been slacking a bit with the spreadsheet lately. It's hard to keep track of everything during busy weekends.

With this tracking, changes in eating habits follow naturally. In the beginning it was mostly about portion control, and after a while I started noticing I could get more satisfied feeling out of food if I ate more of the healthier stuff.

The foods/drinks that I'm now consuming less of:

  • Booze - I used to have a glass of wine or beer several times a week. I looked up the calorie content for my favorite drinks and saw that it just wasn't worth it. I still have a drink here and there, but it's usually only a few during the weekend.
  • Cookies - My employer places fresh cookies at our coffee machines every morning and afternoon. I'm no longer eating them, unless they are those yummy Belvita ones, then I will have one or two.
  • Milk/cream and sugar in my coffee - I used to drink my coffee with milk and sugar, now it's virtually always black. In the weekend I'll sometimes have a latte with stevia or a cappuccino with steamed milk. Yes, in the weekends I'm definitely less strict.
  • Sub sandwiches - I used to have these often at work. I once did the calorie math on my favorite sandwich and it was over 600kcals. Hmmm, not something to do every day.
  • Bread in general - Bread has a lot of calories, actually. I never really knew that. I still eat it, but I will usually only have one or two slices per meal, and add some fresh veggies or trail mix instead.
  • Potato chips - Need I say more? One of my top vices, together with booze. I often had a sneaky bag of them in the evening when Engineer Daddy wasn't home. I checked my favorite kind: 500kcals per bag. I could not believe it. And it's not even that filling; what a rip-off. I will still eat potato chips from time to time, but only when someone else puts them out. And even then it will just be a few handfulls.
  • Portion sizes in general have become smaller. One meal I used to go to town with was spaghetti with tomato sauce. I looove that stuff, preferrably with lots of cheese. Well, I don't do that anymore. Now I have a sensible portion, often without cheese, but with a nice spoonful of hot sauce instead. I've noticed that I got rid of the "stuffed" feeling I used to have on spaghetti nights. Odd, don't you think?

The foods/drinks that I'm now consuming more of:

  • Fruit - I have always been a good fruit eater. But I'll usually have more one or two more servings than before. They help keep me full and keep me away from the cookies at work.
  • Fat-free yoghurt - I eat a yoghurt every morning (125g, 45kcals). Calcium, protein, and keeps me going until lunch.
  • Cottage cheese - Curbs my cheese craving and is so versatile. Throw in some veggies, olives and pickles when you want savoury. Do the same with strawberries, mango or pineapple for sweet. I simply adore this stuff.
  • Crackers - They are basically my bread substitute. For lunch I will usually put some lean lunch meat on them and eat them with a big bowl of fresh soup.
  • Trail mix - I do try to restrain myself when I'm around this stuff because it's still pretty high in calories. It is delicious though, and I find myself craving it more and more so I will happily make space for it in my daily calorie allowance.

That's more or less it, I think. I will probably make a similar post about my workout habits sometime soon.

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