Thursday, May 1, 2008

Quantity vs Quality for weight loss

So in light of the previous discussion re:hotdogs I've come to some realizations.

1) Shari probably was right in her intent. I am trying to lose weight. What I'm doing is good and healthy, but it's making me mainting. not what I want.

2) I still don't think I would turn down those hotdogs. ;) But I do have to be a bit more strict with things. I find that if somebody else volunteers to make supper, I'm just so happy about that, I over eat.

3) I'm eating great foods (for the most part, hotdog day really was the exception - boy that sounds like too defensive...) Clean eating for the most part. Almost half my daily calories from fruits and veggies! I'm still not losing weight...

Which coincides with this article I read about body transformations (I got it through the TT members website, you can get a trial 3 day membership here, article is Transformation Secrets). The guy in the inteview basically says that for fat loss:
Quantity trumps quality.
I have been living like it's the other way. I really hoped it was the other way. Fruit is like my favorite thing and no question it's healthy. I don't think you'll get fat eating apples. But it's not making me lose fat either. I'm eating about 1850 calories/day. That's obviously my maintenance number as I haven't really changed my eating in almost a year, yet I've been stuck at the same weight for 6 months.

I have to find a way to cut 200 calories a day. I'm gonna try and make breakfasts smaller. I eat a morning snack and I'm rarely hungry by then, so I'll split my breakfast in 2 and have half for morning snack. Lunches I think are good. (usually salad or sandwich and piece of fruit). afternoon snacks are carrots, fruit and string cheese. (the cheese is only 60 calories but has 4 g of protein I think, it's staying). So I can see the a lot of it is gonna have to come from supper. Gonna have to go back to eating like 2 cups of steamed veggies to fill my plate and belly and then just a serving of meat. Something like chicken breast or a couple meatballs. I need to measure out some meat portions to get an idea of calories on them. I know the chicken breasts I typically eat are much larger than a "typical serving". I also need to remember to count my glass of milk with supper. Perhaps I'd do better to cut it out and eat yogurt instead. Same difference nutrition wise, but I'll feel fuller instead of drinking calories. I dunno, this is really hard for me. Probably a lot comes down to serving size. Like it would be ok to eat 1 taco but not 2. fill up on the veggies. I actually bought rice cakes the other day to help with the starchy carb cravings.

I just need to change my attitude a bit from just healthy foods, to low cal foods. When I've got these last 8 lbs gone we can go back. What do you guys think? How do you feel full all day with calorie deficits? Or do you just feel hungry sometimes and deal with it? Distract yourself? Is it all in my head and I eat that much out of habit?

On a happier note, workout yesterday was great. Did my TT workout, not until 8:00 since supper was so late (more below). Then at 8:30, even though it was kinda dark, went for a HIIT session with Daisy. I pushed it during my sprints too, I think sometimes I just run faster, not run fastest ya know? But this time I did. Got home and read some magazines for the rest of the night.

Supper last night was steak from SIL and her fiance. REALLY good steak. Mmm. and potatoes, carrots and onions cooked in tinfoil on the bbq. And slice of cheese bread (I know I said I wouldn't have any, but we didn't eat until 7:30 and I was just too hungry! next time, eat a small snack at 6:00 to tie me over). I should have not had the cheese bread but instead cooked up some veggies, since all I got were the carrots in the potatoes (which I really did try and take mostly carrots and less potatoes).

This week's food has been a little off since SIL's shifts all end at 3:30 so she has been making supper, where normally I do. She is tiny (though I like to think, skinny fat?) and can eat like this regularly. Me, not so much. However, stepping up the workouts should help too.

Workout today is swim day. Did I mention I ordered a bathing suit online but it won't be here for 1-2 weeks (from Monday). And I've got my first mini-tri on the 10th (9 days) so it might not be here by then. Next week thursday I'll have a swim and I'll wear race apparel, as in either new suit, or sportsbra under bathing suit. But today's swim will be a couple arms only and then legs only then a continuous swim for 750 m. Afterwards I'll do some turn practice to make sure my goggles stay put.

Supper today is unknown. If it's me cooking I'm gonna make pita pizzas. If it's SIL, don't know. But I'll be home late, so I might make myself that anyway. (empahsis veggies, minimal cheese)

So what do you guys think of my quality vs quantity issues?


Marissa said...

I definitely think that it is quantity over quality, especially when you're trying to get off the last few pounds.

I like your idea of splitting your breakfast into two parts...that's what I do with mine and I find it works much better for me.

Jenn said...

I think that you are on the right path.
You already eat the good stuff so you have the quality part figured out. Now you just have to cut back on portions to get down to a weight that you are comfortable with.
I think that eating less breakfast is a good idea. Also, figure out how much meat you are eating. And remember that veggies have calories too depending on how you eat them. Cut back to 1/2 a glass of milk instead of a full glass. Or eat 1 less fruit a day.
I think that you have all the right ideas, but that it is hard sometimes to cut out the last few things. Sometimes I do go a little bit hungry because I'm out of calories/points. Drink lots of water when that happens - but never starve yourself. You might just be at your body's ideal weight where it doesn't want to let go of anymore. And if so, that's ok, you look fantastic, and you are healthy!!!

Kate said...

I agree with the other posters, your on the right path, definately. I think when you are trying to get off those last few pounds it's incredibly important.

Like you, I love fruits (and veggies) for me. And quite honestly, it kills be limiting myself on them, I can't wait for maintenance, when I don't have to worry about them so much, like you said, none of us gained weight eating too much of that!

SeaBreeze said...

A calorie is a calorie regardless of what form it comes in, sadly. I know from living with a personal trainer that Lean Protein has less calories per gram than carbohydrates, etc.

I try to eat a fruit or veggie before anything else at each meal, so I know its accounted for. That being said, I favor fruits over veggies and am in the same boat as you on that one. If someone else wants to cook I'm all over and don't care if they make Kraft Dinner as long as I am not the one doing it. :D

Also, bare in mind once you're at your goal weight you maintenance weight will also be lower because as your weight decreases so does your bodies needs for calories (at least that is my understanding of the relationship).

sherijung said...

I certainly didn't mean to say that you should never have a hot dog, just that you should think hard about whether it will get you where you want to be diet-wise.

And yes, Atkins will help you lose weight. But it's not even close to a healthy way to lose weight, and not a sustainable diet, especially for an active exceriser.

You are on the right track, portion control is key. I really don't think you should worry about restricting the fresh fruit though, you'd have to eat SO much to do any damage. Eating the veggie and/or salad before you eat the entree is a great idea. Weighing/measuring the higher calorie items is another. Focus on healthy fats versus saturated fats. You might want to restrict your cheese intake, and focus more on nuts instead for protein.

Remember that you only need 2-3 servings of dairy per day, but do you really not feel full after drinking milk? It's probably better than yogurt because it's not so sweet. I use yogurt more as a treat because it seems to trigger a sweet tooth for me. Or try nonfat cottage cheese, I find that a very filling no fat protein.

Really work to eat every 2-3 hours, BEFORE you feel hungry. I know it's counter-intuitive, but if you wait too long, then it's too easy to overeat(as you've experienced).

You should also consider eating a small refueling snack after you workout, again, even if you don't feel hungry. You might be bonking your metabolism by starving it after you work out. Just 150 calories(protein+carb) might do the trick after your bigger workout sessions. I sometimes do half a scoop of protein powder with some milk after weight lifting, or just some milk (or yogurt) & a piece of fruit after cardio.

Genevieve said...

Hello, I have been lurking for a little while - coming out of hiding here... I love your blog and your overall attitude about health, fitness and eating and you remind me of me and my sister who both struggle with these things for weight loss and maintenance. I have lost over 40 lbs and have kept it off for a year so far. One thing I did while losing weight is that I knew I would be deficient in a couple of nutrients while on the losing side of things in order to have the right calorie deficit so I started supplementing - though not as good as the real thing, a close second. I knew that by losing that glass of milk at dinner that was an easy 100 calories gone, so I now take an evening calcium pill and have water. You easily eat enough dairy from what I have seen so far so it probably isn't of great concern anyways. The other thing is to do your best to go for low fat dairy or small amounts of sharp cheeses (lots of flavour for little calorie). I also take a multi-vitamin as well even though I do eat really well.

MizFit said...

I need to go back and reread and get a more concrete idea of your specific daily food intake (not calories) as my initial thought was NOOO DONT CUT BACK ON BREAKFAST! YOU HAVE ALL DAY TO BURN THAT OFF!

I also (obviously) agree with Seabreeze's comment about the protein.

*for me* I was SHOCKED when I found that sugars consumed by way for fruits (which I love. berries etc in summer.) actually could add saddlebags!

now bear in mind im an all day nibbler and was eating far more than I realized----but it was surprising to me.

and Im also with Jenn on the set point/dont go too too hungry as you may drop el bees but they'll be waiting to come right back!


Sagan Morrow said...

Quantity AND quality! :)

When I first started trying to be healthier, I started by switching to the healthy foods. Then, after I was doing really good with that, I started eating slightly smaller portions. I still have trouble with portion sizing but I'd rather eat the same amount of healthy food than junk. I think you're on the right track, though- now that you've tackled healthy eating, its great that you're moving on to correcting the portion sizes!

Cara said...

Wow that is a great idea to eat half your breakfast and then eating the other half for your snack. Awesome. My oatmeal fortunately keeps me full for 4 -5 hours so luckily I do not need a snack, but if I did, I would do that.

The way I feel full with calorie deficits is to eat foods that make me super full, like veggies, or maybe that is just too bloated to possibly eat? hahaha. But I think after a few days you get used to it, especially if you make sure to eat protein snacks. I don't eat snacks with just carbs anymore, like chips or pretzels. I mostly just snack on veggies, fruit and mini protein bars. Also for 2 weeks I made a rule to only eat veggies and fruit if I needed to snack. It helped keep me full and get my used to lower calorie days.

Sad for me though, if I eat 1400-1500 calories a day I maintain. lame. I refuse to eat only 1200 calories, so I suppose I will just take awhile to lose weight, but am toning up the weight I am carrying nicely which is great. haha.

ashley said...

I have been thinking about all of this for so long. I can't stand being hungry, but I will usually eat healthy food to satiate me. I like the breakfast idea. As for which foods to focus on, how about "healtyh, low-cal"? :)