What's for dinner?
So how did I go about losing 60+ lbs? Here's what worked for me:
My goal for breakfast was to stay under 300 calories, so I usually had 2 cups of tea between 8 and 10am, and then around 10:30am, I would have one of the following:
- 1 pack of Lu Déjeuner cookies
- Oatmeal made with H20 and then topped with a little bit of brown sugar, cinnamon + 1/4 c milk
- 45g of a high-fiber cereal + 1/2 c milk
As a side note, I also purchased brand-new non-stick pans so I was able to cook all of our meals with absolutely zero oil or butter, removing precious calories from many of the recipes below.
Because I often work out over my lunch break, I usually end up eating lunch around 2pm. I varied between 300-350 calories, often choosing one of the following plus a fat-free yogurt w/a tsp of honey or a clementine:
- Cauliflower tots
- Quinoa and Spinach patties + 1 poached egg
- Lentil Soup
- Carrot and Zucchini pancakes
- Cabbage soup (don't read all of her blabla, just skip down to the recipe)
- Brie, Apple and Arugula Quesadillas with a side salad- seriously delicious!
- Any kind of salad with whatever fresh veggies I had on hand and a small amount of Basil Vinagrette
Most days I had a snack or two in the afternoon, usually between 150-250 calories depending on what I planned for lunch and dinner:
- 1 apple or other fruit
- a fat-free yogurt and 1 tsp honey
- High fiber or high protein bar
- 2 clementines
- and if I was really craving something sweet, a s'mores pop tart!
For dinner, I also shot for 300-350 calories. But considering C was usually eating with me, I spent a lot of time searching for recipes that were very similar to what we would normally eat, just with modified ingredients. Because he didn't need to lose any weight, I often times would also make zucchini noodles or faux rice for me, and real pasta or rice for him. As a side note - if you are skeptical like I was of the faux rice, don't be - if you cook it right, it's actually kind of hard to tell that it's not rice! I used frozen cauliflower to make it, and just ran the cauliflower under hot water for a few minutes before chopping it with our food processor and then cooking it in a pan for maybe 5 minutes. The zucchini noodles were a little more time consuming, but also delicious, and can be used as a spaghetti substitute in any dish.
- Faux Mushroom Risotto
- Chicken with Mustard sauce (minus the brussel sprouts) with Faux Rice and julienned legumes
- Mock Fried Rice
- Cajun Chicken with Faux Rice
- Black Bean, Barley and Avocado salad (hands-down one of my favorite meals!!)
- Crack Broccoli - seriously, follow this recipe to the letter and you will be rewarded!
- Loaded Quinoa Veggie Burgers (made with Mexican cheddar bought at M&S)
- Zucchini Noodles with Pesto - C didn't even realize it was not spaghetti...
- Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Arugula and Roasted Pear salad w/Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (minus the cranberries & parmesan)
I think my biggest takeaway from this though was portion control. If you are going to embark on a weight loss program, go out and buy yourself a digital scale asap. Because of my education, I had a fairly good idea of portion control for meats, carbs, etc, but realized that I was grossly underestimating portion sizes for things like cereal and fruit.
For example, what I thought was considered a "small" apple actually turned out to be a large apple with double the calories, and when you only have 1200 for the day, a lot of small errors like that can really add up and sabotage your weight loss. So I really paid attention to portion sizes and weighed almost everything I ate, right down to every last oatmeal flake or drop of milk that went into my tea.
The other thing that helped out a lot was planning out my meals for the week, or at least for a few days at a time. I think a lot of times people run into trouble when they don't know what to eat, so they just grab whatever is on hand. Planning out my breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner for the week allowed me to take that option off the table, and it also ensured that I had everything on hand for my meals. I also almost always had frozen portions of the Cabbage soup or the Quinoa and Spinach patties on hand, so I could quickly reheat them if necessary on nights when we didn't have much time.
In the next post, I will cover some of the different tools out there that can also be helpful in monitoring your health, as well as how I watched my diet while on the road.
Labels: Frenchwomen do get fat