The calorie conundrum

Complete rest day for me today!  I took a Tylenonl PM last night and slept for about 8 hours.  Really needed that.   I was craving peanut butter, probably for fat reasons, so I knew that was what I wanted on my cream of wheat this morning!  I made them banana custard style:

1 tablespoon of PB (1/2 serving), 2 tsbp of fluff (1 serving).  Funny how volume works, isn’t it?

I made my cafe au lait this morning with Pumpkin Spice coffee that arrived in the box from Alissa for the Thanksgiving 5K.  This box was chocked full of goodies!  Check it out:

I am going to host a virtual run for Valentine’s Day, I think.  A heart healthy kind of thing.  Any interest?

So here is the scoop on what I am really doing this week.  Back in the day on this blog, I used to have my calorie counts on there for each meal and such.  As I began maintaining, I stopped doing that more for the fact that I was a little afraid people would just copy what I do and not think about whether it was right for them.   I actually used to do lower calories, but again, I was not exercising as I do now.

I used to think there was not much difference between losing and maintaining, but the further out I get, the more I think that is not true, at least for me.  With maintaining, I have more leeway.  One day I will eat more, then the next day I eat a little less just naturally.  The scale will wiggle up and down accordingly.  See and saw.  To be in actively losing mode, I have to string multiple “less” days together.  That is a very strange concept to me right now.  It feels different for sure.  I had gotten pretty comfortable the last couple of years with what I was doing (even though I said I wanted to shed 10 more pounds).

While I could eat the same and just exercise more, I chose not to do that because I didn’t want exercise to become a chore.  You all know how much I enjoy what I do.  The other thing is that adding exercise takes extra time out of the day.  Cutting calories does not take time from the day.  In December, time can be at a premium.

I decided on 1500 calories for a couple reasons.  First off, I am 42 (only in age, not in spirit), so things definitely have slowed down a bit.   I am also 5 feet 2 inches, and shorties just need less calories to begin with.  I also have an extremely sedentary job.  I mean slug like.  You cannot transcribe and move around at all – it just doesn’t work.  As soon as my hands lift off the keyboard, I stop making money.  That’s incentive to keep them on there.

Another factor is the fact that I have lost 100 pounds.  That in itself will slow your metabolism by 10% or more.   So, to lose weight, I need lower calories.  With that said, the interesting thing is that I can lose on 1500, whereas I couldn’t before I built this muscle mass the last couple of years thanks to lifting.  More muscle = eat more. Love!

Calories  are pretty arbitrary anyway.  What I am really doing is keeping more strict portions.  I don’t really care if I hit exactly 1500 calories.  You just can’t be that accurate.  I don’t care if my banana is a 6 or 7 inch banana.  I don’t care if my pear weighs 60 grams or 90 grams.  It’s just a piece of fruit.  If I am weighing out my oatmeal, I am not going to pick flakes out if I weigh out 41 grams instead of 40…. although I will add them to get up to 40… 😉

What I am hoping is that when this 1500 week is done, I will have really solidified portion control for myself again.   It’s just spending some time being mindful and aware of how much I am eating and shaking a few bad habits that crept in.  So, there’s that.  Guess I should have mentioned this when I issued the challenge to myself LOL!

In the essence of time, I will just give you thumbnails of most of the other food I ate (or will be eating) today.

Calorie tally: Breakfast: 496, Lunch:  292, Afternoon snack:  170, Dinner: 404,  Evening snack:  190.  Daily total:  1553

We are going out to hear 2 concerts tonight. The first is an African drumming concert and then a guitar ensemble.  Yay!  We will be having coffee afterward.

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28 thoughts on “The calorie conundrum

  1. Cilla

    I love the idea of a virtual run, and I’d absolutely join in all the way from the backside of the the world 😀

    That’s a very interesting point you make about more muscle = eat more, and I’m finding it to be absolutely true at the moment. What I used to eat for maintenance just isn’t enough now that I’ve built up my muscle mass… despite the fact that I’m 40% lighter.
    .-= Cilla´s last blog ..Christmas Day Plotting =-.

  2. deb

    I thinks its a great idea to step back and remind ourselves of portion control and review what bad habits have sneaked in. Maybe its something we should do every six months or a year to nip a potential problem in the bud.

  3. Pubsgal

    You’re doing great this week, Lori! I’ve been tracking, and even with making good choices food-wise, I haven’t made my calorie goal yet this week. Tracking is showing me additional places where I could stand to make some changes, and I think I’m going to be much closer today than other days. I know I had some pretty serious portion-creep going on + “sometimes” food was showing up on the menu every day. Nipping those habits in the bud (yet again!) is hard, but I’ll get used to it. Better now than 10 pounds from now.

    Hope you both have a great time at your concerts – that sounds like fun! Mr. H&H and I are going to see guitarist Gary Hoey in a couple of weeks – we love his “Ho Ho Hoey” holiday albums, and we get to see his holiday concert in person finally!
    .-= Pubsgal´s last blog ..Week 2 of the Holiday Hoedown! =-.

    1. Lori Post author

      I was getting more frequent “sometimes” food as well. And a little lax with measurements of things like nut butter. Funny how that happens and you don’t notice it, isn’t it?

  4. Lori Lynn

    I’m almost to maintenance in my weight loss, and it’s something that I’ve been struggling with a bit. I’ve always been in the “weight loss mode,” that I’ve never really gotten to the maintenance part. Your explanation of it does help. 🙂
    .-= Lori Lynn´s last blog ..Authenticity =-.

  5. Jane

    This is a great post, Lori. I learned a lot reading how you lost weight and how you now maintain. The exercise factor was also interesting. I am a short person, like you, and I do believe that it makes a difference in how we burn calories. Now, if Icould just get into exercise and make it a part of my life like you have. Job well done and ongoing…because maintenance is a forever thing.
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..Odds and Ends Weight Watchers New Program and TAGGED! =-.

  6. cammy@tippytoediet

    My maintenance looks a lot like my loss plan, only it has more frequent brownies (or froyo or cupcakes or whatever.) Like you, I enjoy my gym time, but I don’t want to *have* to spend more time there to combat calories. Not all the time, anyway.

    I’m not a runner, but I’d sign on for an elliptical 5k. It’s really just air running. 🙂
    .-= cammy@tippytoediet´s last blog ..Guests Are Arriving! =-.

  7. Leah

    For some reason, this was a very interesting post to me. I think because you are having to be more mindful of what you’re eating and the past two weeks have taught me that I also have to. I haven’t tracked, but even for the little I workout I try and stick to 1500 calories – exercise or not. Maybe because I’m heavier?? I should shoot for less if I don’t exercise, but for me this has been hard enough.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I appreciate the insights into your mind and learning more about why you do what you do.

    I would also sign up for a virtual Valentine’s day 5K. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Throwdown Challenge – Results =-.

  8. Fran

    Hope the evening out was a good one!

    Checked my diary and February 14th is a running day for me, just a normal training. If I can decided the distance myself I’m totally in!

    I think you approached this less calorie eating this week very well. You thought about it and I think it’s a good plan! I really need to get back to portion control and especially no snacking this month otherwise I won’t maintain but gain.
    Give myself the break this weekend and then start watching portions on Monday except for December 8th (dinner date), December 22th (Christmas Lunch at work), December 25th en 26th (Christmas) and December 31th (New Year’s Eve). That’s 5 days of the 20 days left next Monday. That’s 20 days where I can eat healthy, must be no problem.

  9. Kim Zepp

    I don’t completely know how a virtual run works (other than we’re all running in different places), but I might be up for that!
    As for counting calories, I have such a hard time with that. I wish someone could follow me around for a few days and tell me exactly how many calories I’m eating. I’ve tried to add them up, but I end up estimating, and I’m sure I’m off!
    .-= Kim Zepp´s last blog ..No more blank calendar =-.

  10. Helen

    I would join in a virtual run for sure, although it may have to be on a treadmill vs. the roads depending on snow and ice conditions!

    Great explanation of losing vs. maintenance and how you get your calories to add up. I am so with you on not taking the flakes out, but surely adding them in – lol!
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Very Superstitious =-.

  11. Biz

    I didn’t realize we were the exact same age AND height! It’s tough being a shorty! 😀

    I have been eating 1500 calories give or take, and I am maintaining my weight, and need to lose about 35 pounds still. I am hoping by taking group classes at my gym will help the scale move in the right direction.

    Happy Friday!!
    .-= Biz´s last blog ..Gluten Free Pizza! =-.

  12. Joanne

    As long as you’re not suffering cravings and stomach hunger rumblings, you’re doing things right.
    I find I want to pick and eat alot more when I’m at work than if at home. The only time I suffer the “munchies” at home is at about 3pm in the afternoon.
    It’s a bummer we have the “slug” jobs. It makes our morning workouts that much more meaningful.
    .-= Joanne´s last blog ..CEimB Tortellini Spinach Soup =-.

  13. Jody - Fit at 53

    How come you probably know that I agree with all your goals & the things you are doing to lose/maintain! Been there & done that! 🙂 Yes to age, yes to portion control but the way you explained it, yes to weights, yes, yes, yes!

    I have learned the whole maintenance game & the older I get, the way I lost weight & how I maintain tend to slip closer together as the bod fights you. I have lowered calories over time but not to an extreme & upped the intensity (not time) of the workouts even though I already work out a lot. 🙂

    A great plan Lori!

    PS: How did I miss so many posts… I guess with my UCLA trip & other junk.. YIKES!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 53´s last blog ..My Eats Post Below =-.

  14. Susan

    Very good points about losing vs. maintaining. I did around 1500-1700 when I was losing too (albeit, I was also less active and a sedentary student then). And I can’t imagine doing that now. I’ve gotten SO used to the little treats here and there that maintenance allows. I think it’s a good wake-up call though and keeps you from getting complacent about serving sizes and daily intake. I think this is why the scale has crept up for me over the past 6 months of maintenance – complacency!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Weekend Wisdom II =-.

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