Based on the My Fitness Pal's website, my recommended calorie intake (for maintaining or losing up to 1lb/week) would be 1400 calories. So we'll see how close I come to that over the course of a week, without checking calories BEFORE eating something.
Day 1: Monday
Today’s a work day, and I typically eat breakfast at work. So this is what I packed & brought with me today.
(I don’t love having prepackaged food for lunch, but we had a busy weekend so I didn’t have a chance to cook anything.)Breakfast (8:30am)
Coffee w/ 1 tbsp Peppermint Mocha creamer & 1 Splenda: 35 calories
Microwave Oatmeal Muffin w/Strawberries & Mini Chocolate Chips: 164 calories, 10 g protein, 2 g fat (this is SUPER filling & delicious. I didn’t start craving my mid-morning snack until 11am. And any time you can start the day with a little chocolate? That’s a good day.)
Mid-Morning Snack (11am)
Oikos Black Cherry Greek Yogurt: 130 calories, 12 g protein, 0 g fat
20 oz water
Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo – 270 cal, 7 g fat, 15g protein
Cinnamon Applesauce – 80 calories, 0 fat/protein
Afternoon Snack (4:30pm)
2 cups mixed veggies – 70 calories
1 oz light mozzarella string cheese – 60 calories, 8 g protein, 2.5 g fat
8 oz can V8 – 35 calories, 0 fat, 2 g protein
Dinner (7 pm)
Pan fried catfish (I prefer to use this method since it requires significantly less oil than deep frying) - 380 calories, 19 g fat, 27 g protein
Corn on the cob w/light butter: 75 calories, 1 g fat, 2 g protein
Broccoli, 1/4 cup: 24 calories
1 tbsp Cajun dip, made w/light sour cream: 20 calories
1/2 tomato w/S&P: 16 calories
1 serving white wine: 110 calories
1/2 cup pineapple sorbet: 63 calories, 0.4g fat, 0.2g protein
Total for the day: 1478 calories, 76 g protein, 31g fat
So slightly above the target. But not too far off course. Based on my height & activity level, (again, according to My Fitness Pal--but it will vary depending on what site you look at & what algorithm they use), my burn about 1900 calories a day just by existing. And in order to lose a pound, you need to burn a total of 3500 calories. So, if you have a caloric deficit (ie - you eat less than you burn) of about 500 calories a day, you would lose a pound in a week. For most "diets", 1 lb a week is the recommended amount (assuming you're not a contestant on The Biggest Loser).
I know a lot of people who take in significantly less in an effort to lose faster. Which can work for a while, and can work for longer if you're making sure that the foods you take in are the most nutritionally dense options possible. If you can meet your body's needs in less, and you never get hungry, then you're on target. But if you take in too little food, you're going to be cheating yourself. Back around my wedding last year, I hired a personal trainer for 4 months to help whip me into shape for The Big Day, and she used this analogy:
Think of your body as a car. A car needs fuel to operate, and the fuel has to be IN the car FIRST before you can drive it (this is why breakfast is so important). If you don't put gas in the car, you're not going anywhere. If you put bad gas in your car, or sugar in your tank, your car is not going to run right.
If you don't eat enough, you won't have any energy. Plain & simple. And if you don't have energy, you're not going to "feel like" going to the gym, or cooking that healthy meal when you get home. That's how diets fail. They're not a sustainable lifestyle choice.
Well--I have to go in the field for work tomorrow...so let's see how that works out...