Splurging on a 1200 calorie diet

Although the scale logged a gain this morning, I’m not completely uninspired. I’m ready for a solidly good and mostly on plan weekend.
This article makes me question my diet, but it doesn’t clarify whether increased cortisol levels is due to mental stress (feelings of deprivation) or physical stress (lack of calories, increased hunger) from a very restrictive diet. They make it sound like mental stress. Quite honestly, I feel much more in control and less stressed by my diet this week. I certainly don’t feel myself as hungry as I used to–especially with loading up on veggies, drinking lots of water and making sure I have adequate protein. In fact, last night, I was very full after dinner. Because the hunger has subsided, I’m going to work on keeping a positive attitude about this to combat potential stress. That includes:
  • realizing the potential of my meals instead of worrying about what I can’t eat
  • holding back any expectation on the scale–as long as I see a downward trend, that’s all that matters
  • being more creative with meals and snacks
  • taking advantage of summer’s bounty of fresh veggies and herbs
Last night’s spin class was a big help in getting my head where it needs to be and in feeling like I’m accomplished when it comes to this health schtick. I pushed myself harder than ever and found myself physically unable to complete the last sprint–that’s a first. Typically, I hold back a bit, not knowing how tough it’s going to be at the end (or exactly knowing how tough it will be), and wanting to have the energy for it. It makes for a less intense/lighter workout. Last night, my heart rate was solidly in the 150s and 160s with only brief dips into the 130s and 140s during recovery periods.
It also helps that my mother just called me to ask what kinds of veggies I could eat. She’s preparing pork roast for our belated Easter dinner, but was going to serve it with twice-baked potatoes, butternut squash, applesauce and peas–all high carb foods. I think she’s now adding green beans and possibly a salad. THAT I can do. I’ve already logged my meals for the weekend (on The Daily Plate) to plan out what I can and cannot have, so I can stick to my calorie budget.
Part of the reason I did this is because E and I have been wanting to go to a famous hot dog stand we always pass on the way home. It was recommended by a friend and was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives on Food Network. I was shocked to see that I COULD fit this in and still eat the rest of the day, as long as the rest of the day relied on really low calorie proteins and veg (Egg Beaters, steamed chicken & broccoli, raw veggies for snacks).
I really don’t want to get into the habit of detailing every calorie I shove down my throat, but I do think it’s important to see ways in which we can successfully fit in splurges and even do a weekend away from home and stick with our diets, simply with a little advanced planning.
I am packing some of my own food to be on the safe side. I’ll have a cooler bag with 2 servings of fat-free Greek yogurt and diced peaches with cinnamon. I’ll also have a couple servings of sugar-free Jello with diced peaches. And “veggie & cheese platters” or, more accurately, 3 quart-sized freezer bags, each fully loaded with the following: 
  • 1 carrot, cut into sticks
  • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
  • 1/4 cup of orange pepper slices
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into sticks
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of green beans
  • 1 Trader Joe’s Light String Cheese
Nutritional data: 133 calories * 17.5 g of carbs * 5.5 g fiber * 2.7 g fat * 8.5 g protein
Here’s the rest of the plan:
  • Breakfast: Fiber One Light English Muffin, spring omelet (egg beaters, low fat ham, asparagus, onion, parmesan and fresh parsley), Laughing Cow cheese wedge, decaf coffee with half and half
  • Snack: pear
  • Lunch: roast beef and turkey on light wheat, lettuce, tomato, mustard, pickle, carrot and celery sticks with 1 TBS ranch dressing, a 25-calorie square of dark chocolate, 5 raw almonds
  • Snack: 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese and a light string cheese
  • Exercise: 45 minute run/walk intervals, mostly running
  • Dinner: salmon & tuna sashimi, wonton soup
  • Snack: sugar free Jello with FF Reddi Whip
  • Nutritional Info: 1236 cal * 38% carbs * 22% fat * 40% protein
  • awesome day aside from high sodium
  • Breakfast: Fiber One Light English Muffin, 1/2 cup Egg Beaters, grande nonfat misto
  • Snack: Veggie/Cheese “platter”
  • Lunch: Chicago-style hot dog, extra pickles, onion rings, diet soda. According to TDP, the hot dog is 375 calories and 8-9 onion rings are 275 calories–I’m sure this isn’t 100% accurate, but seems believable.
  • Dinner: Chinese take-out… steamed chicken (4oz) and broccoli (2 cups) with 1/2 cup of brown rice
  • Snack: sugar free Jello with diced peach
  • Nutritional Info: 1363 calories * 47% carbs * 27% fat * 26% protein
  • This surprises me! I thought for sure I’d be at 1700+!


  • Snack: FF Greek Yogurt with diced peaches and cinnamon
  • Exercise: 2-3 mile run/walk with my sister
  • Brunch: omelet, light wheat toast with 1/2 TBS Country Crock butter substitute
  • Dinner: roast pork, 1/4 twice baked potato, 2 TBS applesauce, 2 cups green beans, large green salad with balsamic vinegar
  • Snack: Veggie/Cheese “platter”
  • Snack: sugar free Jello w/peaches
  • Nutritional Info: 951 calories * 43% carbs * 24% fat * 33% protein (I still have 250 calories to work with–may add a 1/2 slice of my mom’s lemon blueberry bread with breakfast and have 1/2 cup of butternut squash or save those calories for dessert.)
  • Pre-workout Snack: FF Greek Yogurt with diced peaches and cinnamon
  • Post-workout Snack: Grande nonfat misto 
  • Breakfast: omelet, light wheat toast with 1/2 TBS Country Crock butter substitute
  • Lunch: Subway 6″ chicken breast on wheat bread, loaded with veggies.
  • Snack: Veggie/Cheese “platter”
  • Dinner: not sure
  • Workout: possibly early AM spin class with my aunt before getting on the road. If not, I won’t be having the pre- or post-workout snacks, which will save some calories. If I don’t do spin, I’ll be doing a long, moderate walk once I get home.
  • Nutritional Info: Not sure… The Daily Plate crashed on me before I could finish it. I think I was at 950 calories before dinner. Depending on what I choose to do for dinner, my day will end at about 1300 calories.

Now… Did I stay at 1200 calories EXACTLY each day? No. But did I stick close to my calorie goal? Yes. And did I manage to plan a do-able diet with limited indulgences? Absolutely.

Off to pack, go to the gym and get ready for my weekend away. Expect a report on whether this truly turned out to be do-able Monday night.


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