Haven't found the groove yet
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
I have become that annoying person. That one who looks at my phone after tracking dinner, lets out a big sigh, disappointment on my face. Not because I went over my range, but because I am still terribly under. Then I have a decision to make. Do I try to cram in another 200ish calories after just eating a huge dinner? Or do I let it slide and try to do better tomorrow?
I know that the research all suggests women need at least 1200 calories a day, and really there is a lot of research about how that is even way too low. But I feel like I eat well throughout the day. I'm not depriving myself, I'm not going hungry. I aim for half my plate to be produce, I aim for 20+ grams of protein per meal. I have healthy snacks that include fruits and dairy. I feel like I am eating more, by volume, than I do when I don't track. And yet, I'm struggling to get my meals beyond 300 calories each, and really I only have time for one snack a day. So I try adding nuts, cheese, guacamole, peanut butter. And that helps, a bit. But still, more days than not I'm deciding 1100 is good enough, right?
And then there is the day each week I am off my CFS meds. And on that day, I am hungry and tired. And I am hungry for carbs. Produce doesn't leave me satisfied, protein doesn't help. Carbs and fats, that's what I feel like I desperately need. And even trying to do my best, make better choices, its easy to hit 2000 calories like its nothing. And if I weren't tracking, I'm sure it would be more.
This is where I got into trouble after I lost 50 lbs with spark a couple years ago. I found it so hard to hit my maintenance goal of 1600-1800 a day. Unless I added in some junk food. Chocolate and cookies are really easy ways to pack in an extra 500-900 calories. So then I stopped tracking, because whats the point of tracking if I'm tracking junk? But by not tracking, clearly I was letting those junk calories slip up. If I can have chocolate once a day, why not 3 on a day that I'm home? Use the sugar for a boost when I'm just too tired. Etc. And of course, eating sugar makes me crave sugar, so I always wanted more.
So now, here I am again. I'm doing great. I'm eating well, and really not even craving sugar (when I'm on my meds). I've lost 6 lbs in a month. I know what my body's set point is when I'm not eating sugar. I am fully confident that I can get back down to it in just a few more months. But I'm worried about maintenance. I'm worried about how to find that middle place without adding in the empty calories (or worse, the black pit calories, that just draw in the desire for more empty calories). I just don't know how to boost calories in a healthy way when I already feel like I am eating so much food.