Usually I eat between 1400 and 1600 calories a day, which allows me plenty of room under my TDEE to lose weight. But once or twice a week, I find myself getting ready for bed having eaten only 1200, and too full to raid the kitchen for a bedtime snack!
1200 calories is the minimum commonly recommended intake for any woman, and I see a lot of people online saying that they are trying to eat that amount a day, and struggling to do so.
Since I like taking pictures of my food along with documenting my daily calorie intake, I’ve decided to share my low-calorie days with you. Hopefully this will show that you can eat REAL food, GOOD food, and DESSERT(!!!) and still lose weight. It’s all about counting those kcals, y’all! Plus, this day is DEFINITELY kid and husband approved–we all went to bed full and happy!
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg & Turkey Frank Breakfast Burrito, Coffee with Creamer (TOTAL CALORIES: 340)
! Which means, although both of them are game to try anything at least once, our meals have to seem like the same kind of food we were eating before we got “healthy!” They like cheese, and sauce, and variety. Hey, who am I kidding, I love those things too.
This breakfast burrito was a big success. My son loves hot dogs, so I picked up some Jennie-O Turkey Franks–only 70 calories for a whole hot dog! I’d been looking for something to incorporate them in (our go to was Velveeta Shells & Cheese), and this was the perfect opportunity.
A wheat tortilla clocking in at only 90 calories, two eggs, scrambled, half of a turkey frank, a light dusting of Sargento Reduced Fat Cheddar, some diced red bell pepper, and a few drops of sriracha because we love everything spicy.
Neither of them drinks coffee, but I do–and creamer is the one vice I haven’t made a serious attempt to drop yet. I will. Eventually. Right now I make room for it in my day and enjoy! 😉
Lunch: Baked Chicken with Roasted Veggies & Toast (TOTAL CALORIES: 154)
Since the seven-year-old is back at school now (second grade. what?), lunch is just me and the baby and USUALLY my husband. Sometimes he isn’t able to come home for lunch, and I just eat whatever. But most days, I try to have a hot, fresh lunch ready when he gets home. He works hard to make sure that I’m able to take care of the house and the kids, and he deserves that kind of pampering. It works well for our family.
Yesterday we had a nice example of what I call a “grown-up lunch:” there is no cheese, and none of the vegetables have to be disguised. I had half of a baked boneless, skinless chicken breast, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, a large helping of oven-roasted zucchini and mushrooms (also seasoned with salt and pepper), and half a slice of bread, lightly toasted. This bread, Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread, is only 45 calories a slice! Also, this picture shows only half of the veggies I ate. They wouldn’t all fit on the plate. Love having seconds! My husband also had seconds of everything, since his TDEE is much higher than mine.
Fresh vegetables really are a new NON-guilty pleasure of mine. The second half of my helping, I ate standing in front of the stove, just picking them off the pan with my fork. Wonderful.
Dinner: Personal Mushroom & Pepperoni Pizza (TOTAL CALORIES: 495)
Confession time: when I planned this meal out earlier this week while making the shopping list, I assumed I could eat only half the pizza. I would have that and a veggie-based side dish, and be totally satisfied.
But when I plugged everything into MyFitnessPal, I discovered that I had room for THE WHOLE FREAKIN’ PIZZA. Seriously. It’s a 7-inch pizza crust loaded with yummy sauce, fresh mushrooms, and delicious (low-fat) pepperoni. How could I say no?? 500 calories for a whole pizza.
By the time I got to the end of it, I honestly could have stopped after three of the four pieces. I was full. But that last piece looked so lonely on the plate all by itself… and I had already logged it in my daily count. I ate it and was a happy camper. My husband and oldest son were pretty stoked too. Pizza has been scarce around our house lately.
Dessert: Vanilla Yogurt with Mini Oreos (TOTAL CALORIES: 207)
Imagine my surprise when, AFTER my amazing pizza that I had all to myself, my log still showed just 999 calories. I’m fine with only eating 1200 a day if my body is okay with it, but I don’t like eating less than that. The whole point is to eat mindfully, and not to starve yourself or avoid eating!
So I broke out the greek yogurt. MMMM, that stuff is delicious. I will mix in or top it with all kinds of things: any kind of fruit, some shredded coconut, cereal… the options are endless.
But tonight, I need calories, and I wasn’t hungry enough after my pizza to eat a whole 1-cup serving of yogurt–so, I raided my son’s lunchbox-dessert-stash, and found these mini Oreos. I weighed out a little less than one serving (7 cookies to an estimated 9) to get my count close to 1200 calories total, and spooned up 140g of yogurt. Talk about a delectable dessert. This really hit the spot, satisfying my MAJOR sweet tooth.
GRAND TOTAL: 1, 196 Calories
So there you have it folks. A satisfying, indulgent day, with a total that is under anyone’s TDEE. Good for kids and adults who like tasty food–easy to double up on portions for those with higher energy needs. Not recommended for those who prefer bland or boring meals, or eating too many calories.