AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

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This month’s topic is answering a request on how we eat and plan meals.  Anyone who regularly reads my blog pretty much knows how I eat 😀  The other AIM ladies – I don’t really know a ton about how they eat and I am very curious to see what that is.  That is one of the great things about doing this group is to have 5 different perspectives – and none of us exactly the same.

Me?  I just love food.  This can be a problem when it comes to weight loss and maintenance.   I have to plan what I eat pretty well and be careful about what comes into the house.  It’s very easy for me to get ‘portion amnesia’, so I track my food.  I actually like tracking my food (using My Fitness Pal).  I do weigh my food out of habit now.  If I don’t, 1 tablespoon of almond butter will be closer to 2 and I will  still track it as 1.   😳

I tend to just think a day at a time, though.  I will usually put the next day’s meals in my tracker  the night before.  It makes it much easier for me to just look at that and follow it for the day without having to think.  Sometimes I just enter in breakfast and lunch if we are going out to dinner – or I will erase what I had for dinner because there are some times after  a hard day of work when you just want to go out, know what I mean?  Spontaneity is a good thing!

As far as my meals themselves, generally I plan around a protein.  I am a protein girl all the way.  Over the years, I have found that I need to have all 3 components in my meals (protein, carbs and fat) for me to be satisfied after eating.  I can’t just have a bowl of spaghetti or a just chicken breast with a bacon ‘bun’.  However, protein is really what works best for me as the base for a meal.  I have a lot of muscle mass and I seem to just do better with more protein.  That’s not a 100% rule, but a 90% rule pretty much.   So, I figure out what the protein will be (chicken, eggs, greek yogurt, etc), then plan the 2 sides around it.

Over the years, my carb choice has changed as well.  I used to always associate carbs with bread, rice, crackers, that kind of thing.  Many times now my carb will just be fruit.  This is a very typical dinner for me:

dinner

Broccoli sauteed in coconut oil for the fat – FYI.  I always eat it this way.

I really only eat bread a couple times a week, which would be bagels!  Wednesday and Sunday I have a bagel for breakfast.  You all know these pictures!

bagel

This breaks the protein rule a little bit, but I love the bagels.  I would eat them every day if I thought I could get a way with it.  However, I like them to be more of a treat, which is one reason why I don’t buy bagels to have in the house.

I also tend to eat differently at different times during the year.  In the winter months (Christmas cookie binges aside), I tend to eat less carbs.  When the weather warms up and I am putting serious miles on my bike, I eat more carbs. That tends to be more potatoes and cereal for snacks.  It also means I eat these more:

cuppicake

But only on long ride days.  You rarely see me eating these in the winter time.  I suppose I could if I sat on the bike trainer for a couple of hours, but that just isn’t the same as biking outside and enjoying the fruits (cupcakes) of the ride.

Same with this:

sundae

Food like this has to be  planned in to my eating.  Eating these foods willy nilly is what got me to 250 pounds.  Regulating my eating, but allowing splurges correctly has allowed me to lose weight and keep it off.  I never really feel deprived.  Not that I don’t get annoyed sometimes when I just want to eat the cookie, but I know that for me planning what I eat and keeping to a routine of how I structure my meals (carbs, fats, proteins) is key for me.  Some people don’t like to do that, which is fine – because that is what works for them. This works for me.  I had to figure that out, and it took a while.

Not that I don’t have binges or ‘unscheduled’ overeating days.  I am human, after all, but the key is that is just a day (usually) and then I go back to eating my 90%.

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Food is a pleasure in life for me, but I also understand how easily it can get away from me.  Accepting that was a big part of creating a new relationship with food.

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Shelley, Lori, Cammy, Debby and Lynn, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!

Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and, if you haven’t already, check out the other AIM bloggers’ thoughts:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Debby @ Debby Weighs In

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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29 thoughts on “AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

  1. Jody - Fit at 55

    I TOTALLY GET THIS Lori!! I was never as heavy as you BUT I am one that gains easy & loses slow. I have to be careful with everything I eat & know what is going in my bod. Like you said, lots don’t like this but if I don’t keep control, I can easily gain 5 pound in 3-5 days with a just little extras, not the big ole stuff some people eat to gain 5 pounds. With age, it gets even more important to keep track. I thought it was bad when I was young! 🙂

    Like you I do eat more protein than some women. I do like my breads though & have found really healthy ones – not giving that up yet – I already gave up my daily bagel a few years back & now they are just a treat I have to go buy to eat like you.
    Jody – Fit at 55´s last blog post ..Gratitude Monday & Skinfinity Spa

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    Makes perfect sense to me! It’s a matter of finding what works and making it the center point of the plan. In a way it’s comforting to me to know that while I might swing away from that center point on this meal or that day, I will return to it time and time again.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

  3. debby

    Love that you shared some of your treats AND the sweaty picture of you that SHOWS how hard you work to get those treats! I love that you share your food for the day. As you know, many days I will plan to have a meal similar to what you have shown!
    debby´s last blog post ..AIM–A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

  4. Shelley B

    “Creating a new relationship with food” – that is KEY to maintaining the weight loss…too many times I dieted and lost weight only to return to my old relationship with food, and put every pound right back on. But you show that there is still room for treats – that cupcake looks incredible – in a maintainer’s life, and I love that as well. 🙂
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

    1. Lori Post author

      It is changing the lifestyle. Such a tired old saying, but it’s true.

      That cupcake was good, too. I believe it was German Chocolate.

  5. Biz

    I’ve always loved your bagel Wednesday’s – you never gave them all the way up, that way they are a treat when you have them. And I also like how you guys treat yourself to fro yo on long bike rides – #winning!
    Biz´s last blog post ..The Easter the Oven Died.

  6. Lisa

    It sounds like we have a lot of the same habits. We plan out dinners around the protein as well. Chicken + steamed broccoli or salmon with kale, etc etc. Having something SIMPLE makes it easier to make good choices.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..6 Weeks to Strong Glutes

  7. Lynn

    Before I “met” you, and I was losing weight, I demonized bagels. Then I read your blog (trying to remember how exactly I “found” you, or did you find me?) and I saw this beautifully healthy maintaining woman eating *ohmygawd* BAGELS twice a week?? How can that be? And nut butters? And coconut oil? You really changed my mind about healthy fats and responsible carb eating. You work for your treats, whereas I tend(ed) to sulk for my treats, meaning I was (and still do sometimes) eat out of emotion. Now, though, I’m more apt to work my butt off, thinking I’m doing it for a “treat” and then…I don’t want the treat! LOL It’s a win in my book.
    Lynn´s last blog post ..AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat!

    1. Lori Post author

      Responsible carb eating. That makes me sound so adult LOL!

      I eat out of emotion, too, at times. Usually stress. And it’s whatever is in the house.

  8. Sharon

    If nothing else, this month’s AIM posts should encourage everyone that it’s not only o.k., but smart to focus on developing the personalized plan that works for you. I enjoy (and learn from) seeing how others do it, but remind myself that only I can determine what works for me. I, too am a protein person, but didn’t really grasp that fully until I started the 17DD plan a year and a half ago. It’s made a HUGE difference in my ability to be “satisfied” after a meal.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Wacky Wednesday Weather

    1. Lori Post author

      I never really thought about balancing meals in my early weight loss phases. It actually was something that really hit home me for the few months I did NS, because that was their food and it filled me up. So, I decided to make sure I recreated that with my own meals.

  9. Satu

    It was very interesting reading the comments too. In Finland we don’t eat bagels or sweet dishes like pancakes for breakfast. And it was only a few years ago when I learned how important it’s to have balanced meals with enough protein and fats or you’re going to be hungry in the evening!

    And I think that most women in their 40’s have a fear of fats because of that is how we were taught to think in the 90’s. Now it’s the(empty)carbs that is the demonized macro nutrient.

    I’ve never thought about sauteeing broccoli in coconut oil..
    Satu´s last blog post ..Grumpy Easter

  10. Pingback: AIM: A Girl’s Gotta Eat! | Tippy Toe Diet

  11. Leslie

    Love these AIM posts from you lovely ladies! I got some good tips from you here, Lori. I also use My Fitness Pal, and it’s a great idea to log ahead and I think that would help me keep at it. It’s easy enough to change an entry if something different pops up.

    I’m just beginning to really get honest and real with Type 2 diabetes (not to mention needing to lose 40 pounds!), so bagels are a ways off for me now. But to think of having my BOC (bagel of choice) once a week is awesome. Someday, maybe. Thanks!

    1. Lori Post author

      Well, bagels are just something that I love. I used to eat them almost every day, but realized I could make better choices for breakfast, but I didn’t have to give them up completely!

  12. Sandi

    Thanks for sharing Lori. It has really helped me to see that there are other people that have to give so much thought to what they eat. I eat lots of protein and my carbs are fruit and veggies a lot of the time too.

  13. Kaki

    The whole concept of AIM is such a good one… The work is not done when the diet is over. The diet is NEVER over…You’re right, it’s a new relationship with food. As you guys show us with your continuing posts, you’re always learning about what works and what doesn’t. Lynn said she is a “student of food” and I feel the same way. I learn what feels right, what agrees with me, what moves the scale in the right direction, etc. Thank you so much for sharing your lessons with us!
    Kaki´s last blog post ..Published!

    1. Lori Post author

      You’re welcome! I think this group is good because we don’t have everything all figured out and each of us does different things. There is no one way to maintain (or lose).

  14. Fran

    Very interesting post, as a longtime follower I do indeed know what you eat but soem things are new for me, like the protein part and that you track your calories the day before.

    Tracking calories is always hard for me, somehow this isn’t working for me and I’ve given up on it. I’m trying your 90-10 rule for now and don’t keep track of anything.

    Broccoli sauted in coconut oil? Great idea, never thought of preparing broccoli that way. Will try it someday.

    To me you are one of my biggest examples how to lose weight and maintain and still enjoy food.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Review March 2013

  15. Leah

    I was out of town when this posted, and just remembered today to catch up on it.

    Again, I’m thrilled with this series and was very encouraged to know that this is a lifelong battle for all — and you’re all succeeding in winning.

    Have a good weekend, Lori! 😀
    Leah´s last blog post ..Weigh-In … Signed Up

  16. Jennifer

    That last picture with the broccoli in some sort of wrap looks amazing! What is the wrap???
    I adore bagels also!

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