Healthy and Sane

Week 6 weigh-in: let’s change things up again

October 26th, 2010 · 37 Comments · weigh-in recaps

This is week 6 of my weight loss recap journey. If you follow me on twitter, you probably already know I don’t have good news of this week. The scale showed absolutely no movement. I am exactly the same weight at last week – 157.0 lbs. I had a bad feeling about it last night despite the fact that I truly think my week was better than last. I felt like I was much more focused. I brought a big bag of baby carrots + a container of hummus and snacked on those mid-afternoon. I didn’t eat out this past weekend (no really on purpose, just how the plans turned out). On the flip side, there were a few too many cookies at the pumpkin carving party,  I had sandwiches (purchased out) 2 days of the week (I very rarely buy lunch) and only worked out 4 times (one of these was early morning and I am pretty much useless at that hour). SO, a mixed week but I really felt I did better. The scale showed me all I needed to know though. It’s time to change things up.

I’m going back to calorie counting. I used to LOVE it but have definitely fallen out of that habit and I’m not excited to do it again. But it’s time. I know it works and I know I can no longer tip-toe around this issue. I will get back to my normal weight. I guarantee you that. I haven’t really decided on the range of calories I’d like to target at the moment. I’d like to just track for a few days to see where just mindful eating gets me. I can tell you that I thought I was a saint today and I’m over 1,700 calories. I don’t even want to know what I was eating before that. This is going to be a good thing.

How do you keep your portions reasonable? What low calorie foods keep you full? I did the protein shake after dinner trick today and really enjoyed it. I can definitely see myself very easily going back to the kitchen for more, so it’s not a magic pill or anything, but if I’m honest I am satisfied so the kitchen is closed for the night. 😀

I’ll be back tomorrow with food pictures. Yeah, this is a food blog after all. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget. 😉

PS – Thank you all for the amazingly supportive comments on Russian Bites. I plan on posting there twice a week. I cooked a bunch of food before launching the blog (and of course will continue to do so) so hopefully there won’t be any shortage of material. Russian food is quite versatile. You’re going to have to follow my journey there to see for yourself. 😀

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37 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - elyssa

    i’m right there with you on the calorie counting. it’s a hassle – but a very effective tool. i find daily plate (the livestrong website) very helpful! what do you use?

    also, im wondering if in your past experience, youve ever found calorie counting to be detrimental? i took a hiatus from it after i got in the habit of inputting my calories after every single thing i ate and then feeling guilty/resigned to not eating anything else for the rest of the day. thoughts on how to avoid this?

    • #2 - Elina

      Hi Elyssa. I use I’ve definitely been there. I think it’s important to do our best to eat balanced meals but also not to deprive ourselves. And if we do have something a little more indulgent, it’s also important to remember that this is not a race. I think occasional treats are key, even if they don’t fit in that “box” – just make sure that you are including them in a mindful manner and stick to moderation. Also, remember that not eating for the rest of the day does some mental damage and also at the end slows down your metabolism. A lower calorie (but still satisfying) dinner like a giant salad would be the better step to take to make sure you are still taking care of you. I’ll definitely keep you posted on the progress and share my thoughts on all these matters as I encounter them… again. :)

  • #3 - Rachel Wilkerson

    So low-calorie foods aren’t actually what’s keeping me full anymore…it’s small portions of higher calorie foods! I started working with Leah (@ Nutritionista) in the spring and she convinced me to start eating more animal fat like organic butter, full-fat Greek yogurt, whole eggs, etc….and more meat. I was TOTALLY skeptical at first but it’s amazing. Eating higher fat, more protein, and less carbs/sugar made a huge difference and helped me drop some stubborn weight!

    Just my two cents!

    • #4 - Elina

      Hmm, that’s really interesting. I plan on incorporating a lot more protein into my diet as I start a more vigorous weight-lifting program next month. I’ll keep all of this in mind. Thanks for your two cents! 😉

      • #5 - Jess

        I agree with Rachel. Small portions of higher fat foods have helped satiate my appetite as well. Specifically avocado and peanut butter. And hey, they’re both mighty tasty to boot:)
        Good Luck to you Elina, you’re doing great!

  • #6 - Shannon

    wow, well i think your mind-set from this past week is a victory!! and i really like rachel’s comment above. i definitely believe that, although i’m still battling with the eating when i’m not hungry thing…

  • #7 - Alice

    I too agree that calorie counting works. BUT I have found it can also be incredibly damaging. I used to get ridiculously obsessive with calorie counting – making sure I recorded stuff like one pickle (pfft).

    Like you I’m going back to it now after a big break, but I’m not going to do it on the weekends, and I’m giving myself a bigger calorie range (around 1700; before it was 1200!!) I’m also not going to bother logging things like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.

    So, yes, I say go for it! But just be careful you don’t over-do it :) I’d say 1700 is a good aim for the first few days – ease into it! You don’t want to feel like you’re restricting..we know where that leads..

    • #8 - Elina

      Yup – you got it. No restricting, just being more aware of my choices. Good luck to you too!! Oh and I used to do 1200-1400 several years ago. I can’t believe I could survive on that. Crazy!

  • #9 - Lara (Thinspired)

    Keep powering through…things will start to happen! I find it a great comfort that we can always fall back on calorie counting for a little reminder of how we should be eating. 1700 seems great to me, especially with how much you workout! Good luck, Elina, I support you! :)

  • #10 - MelissaNibbles

    I agree with Rachels comment above, but what works for me is also adding in vegetables like spaghetti squash that are low cal but very filling. Also, I think that the scale staying the same is a good thing not a bad thing. I think you’re doing just fine :)

  • #11 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    when i am trying to be really good, i definitely bulk up on tons of veggies! i am curious to see how you do with the switch to counting calories. i am trying to go back to not counting, and find that is almost as hard!

  • #12 - Bridget

    I love following your weight loss journey! I am also a big advocate of calorie counting, even if it’s just for a short period of time to get back on track. I always go back to it if I feel my eating is getting off and I’m gaining weight. It just helps to be reminded of portions and how much calories we are actually eating. I liked when you posted calories of the different things you ate too :)

  • #13 - Di

    I hate counting anything — points, calories — but I need to do it if I want to lose weight. Good luck!

    And just remember, there are weeks of gaining, maintaining, and losing when you’re losing weight. Don’t get discouraged by a gain and maintenance two weeks in a row…it happens to everyone. Promise! :)

  • #14 - eliza

    I think about what I was eating at some points in my life (700-1000 calories with hours of exercise) and I dont get it.. I could never do that now!!

  • #15 - eliza

    Not that its a bad thing– I was super unhealthy about it all.

    • #16 - Elina

      I think that’s a good thing. Our health should be a #1 priority at the end of the day. Losing weight must be done in a responsible and healthy way, not through starvation and over-exercising. I’m definitely a big believer of that! :)

  • #17 - A Boston Food Diary

    You really are an inspiration! Good for you for taking the bull by the horns. I try to watch portion sizes by the size of the plates/bowls I use-so I only use lunch plates for dinner and small bowls for soups etc. I’ve never been good at calorie counting- but I commend you on it!!!

  • #18 - Shelly

    The last time I needed to lose weight, I didn’t exactly count calories (that wasn’t working for me so I went to a nutritionist and she told me to stop), but I definitely paid attention to portions. I ate on salad plates, filled half the plate up with veggies, half with a protein and half with a healthy carb (like half a sweet potato). I also measured out portion sizes for things like oatmeal, granola, brown rice, cereal, peanut butter, etc…
    I also stopped drinking wine entirely on weeknights (I’m a glass after dinner kind of girl) and aimed to only eat out once a week. If I did have to eat out, I aimed for something that I felt was reasonably healthy, like sushi.
    It was hard to be strict with myself because I don’t like having rules and automatically want to rebel, but making sure I was full of good healthy food helped (one thing the nutritionist helped me with was getting enough protein)- I just didn’t have room, calorically speaking, to both be full and have treats every day, if that makes sense.

    • #19 - Elina

      Shelly – it definitely makes sense but that’s actually the thing I struggle with. I want treats but I also hate being hungry so I’ll need to find that right balance. I think that’s why a low calorie allowance is out of the picture. I know there must be a way to find that middle ground and still lose weight :)

      • #20 - Shelly

        I understand but I think that for me, the middle ground is where you end up when we maintain our weight. I don’t know about you, but I was raised with absolutely no idea of how to eat healthy, so if I adopted the behaviors that led me to need to lose weight, I’d just gain it back. Eating in moderation is what I do to maintain my healthy lifestyle. And having a feeling of control over my nutritional health is more gratifying to me than eating lots of treats.
        I think effective weight loss does entail a *feeling* of being deprived- but if you’re not depriving yourself of essential calories and nutrients- and just depriving yourself of extra sugar- you’re not really depriving your body of anything- you’re just fighting a feeling (which obviously isn’t easy).
        Living like that forever is unhealthy, but doing it for a few months isn’t, in my opinion.
        Healthy treat food is always an option too. When I was losing weight, my favorite snack was half a banana with a tablespoon of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter on top and breakfast every morning was 2% greek yogurt with raspberries. Those foods are treats for me so it wasn’t like my food life was bland and miserable. But office treats, heavy restaurant food, and alcohol needed to exit my life for the most part for a couple months for me to accomplish my goals.
        Also, I’m sorry I misspelled your name in my original post, btw!

        • #21 - D

          I totally agree with this. Sometimes it’s just not possible to enjoy treats and lose weight, and there ARE feelings of “deprivation”, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If it were possible to eat three substantial, healthy meals, a couple of healthy snacks, AND treats, and still lose weight, then no one would ever struggle…

  • #22 - jane

    good for you elina! i agree with some of the others that calorie counting can be a dangerous path to go down…but you seem to be in the right mindset, and i doubt it will become a problem for you! i am trying to lose weight, and i do it myself.
    personally, i don’t make an effort to include large amounts of low calorie foods, because i don’t want to get in the habit of huge meals (you know, there’s the whole “it’s lettuce, i can have as much as i want!” thing). i may be on a diet, but i still want my eating patterns to be as normal as possible. i expect that when i reach my goal weight, i will eat pretty much the same as i do when trying to lose weight, but just be more relaxed about things, and when i’m relaxed, i naturally eat the amount of calories that my body needs to maintain its weight. funny how our bodies know that. anyway, i eat mostly whatever i want, i just keep an eye on my portions, count calories, and have treats on very rare occasions. i’m sure you already know what works for you :) good luck!

  • #23 - Kelly

    Weight loss is never easy. I’m slowly in the process of trying to lose weight again (Meaning I am easing myself into it). Are you also taking measurements. I think that can help to round out your perspective. Weight is definitely something to use to monitor the process but I’ve definitely found that also looking at measurements is helpful as well.

    • #24 - Elina

      Hi Kelly. I think the measurements point is a good one. I don’t like using precise measurements – I find that it’s tedious and I don’t see enough changes to make it worth my while. I can tell you that most of my pants don’t fit – so I’m just using that as a guideline. More rewarding anyway than seeing a 1/4inch loss!

  • #25 - Mallory

    oh oh…. if i may put some input here… calories really have nothign to do with weight loss and counting them is the worst way to go about it. you hold extra weight because you are malnourished somewhere in your body be it your hormones, in our head, a bad gut bacteria, something is causing your body to want to eat more than it needs and hold on to extra weight.

    you should really check out the primal nutritional plan…only one rule, eat real food when your hungry and stop when your full

    get the most nutritional bang for your buck outta food, NOT the lowest calorie content.

    • #26 - Elina

      Mallory – I really do believe that intuitive eating works (i.e. eating when hungry, stopping when full) but it’s the latter that’s so much more difficult than it sounds because of all the emotional and external influences. I think I need to get in touch with that part again. Thanks for your input :)

  • #27 - style'n

    Elina-It’s hard and there probably isn’t one right answer. I know when I became “mostly” vegetarian and started cutting portions by eating 1/2 a sandwich instead of a whole one for lunch, or eating dinner on a smaller plate (and not eating the same portion as my husband) I lost several pounds. I think every body is different but you are right-much of it is about calorie intake. I also think it’s ok to walk away from a meal being “hungry” meaning not being overstuffed and feeling like I have to finish everything in my plate. Also cardio cardio cardio works wonders…but at least 40-50 min several x /week. good luck!

  • #28 - Emily A

    It’s been so helpful for me to follow along with your progress and mindset. I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been, and just reading about some of your meals really inspires me to focus on what I’m putting into my body. I wish you all the best with calorie counting. Kudos to you for having the discipline to do it again.

    My favorite alternative when I’m craving something sweet and terrible for me is apple slices dipped in honey and cinnamon. Overly sweet for some, but if definitely keeps me from hitting the Ben&Jerry’s

  • #29 - Pam I Am

    Elina~ I love your blog!
    I have been up and down the weight roller coaster since I hit 25. I have just recently lost 65 pounds since this past December. I had gotten up to 200 pounds (my highest) and I was soooo upset. I have finally struck a balance of eating healthier and I now walk an hour 5-6 x a week. I don’t have access to a gym but the walking (plus hills added) has done it. For the first 3 months I cut out carbs pretty much. Just ate huge salads with grilled chicken and home made soups (a really great filler) and a lot of stir fries with just a 1/3 cup brown rice. I think for me cutting out desserts for the first couple of months helps and then easing back into them. You eat really healthy already. AND remember muscle weighs more than fat! I go by how my clothes feel now and NOT the scale. If you stay the same size, don’t use the scale. Go by how you feel!
    Remember, you are beautiful, healthy, strong and have a wonderful life and husband and family and friends. That is truly what life is about! Size doesn’t matter! LOL : )

  • #30 - Meg

    I’m an active 26 year old in the Boston area.

    I keep a rough calorie tally going during the day. I always end-load my day, because I enjoy a large dinner and snacks at night (including slow churned ice cream).

    Fave low cal / filling foods:
    1) Home made popcorn (nonstick pot + spray butter and salt)
    2) Boston Lettuce
    3) REAL roasted pumpkin (400g = only 80 calories!)
    4) Low sodium deli meat
    5) Peeled Cucumbers with salt and pepper, I essentially count those as 0 calorie foods.

  • #32 - Angela (the diet book junkie)

    i’m not much of a calorie counter, although i know the caloric content of everything i eat pretty much. what worked for me was eating the bulk of my calories during the day when i needed it, and having a nice salad at night. honestly, the weight came off without really thinking about it, and never felt deprived because i DID eat what i wanted (i just ate it before 5pm.) good luck to you Elina, you have a fighting spirit and i’m sure you’re gonna find what works for you! :)

  • #33 - Carolyn Jung

    That’s why I don’t weigh myself very often. I think it just gets us more glum than anything, because rarely are we happy with what the number is. Instead, I figure if my jeans still fit me well, then I’m doing OK. Less stress that way. 😉

  • #34 - A Plum By Any Other Name

    Wait one minute. Where did you find a pretzel baguette?!? I LOVE them and only see them on a rare, rare occasion (usually on a premade sandwich). I guess I am hoping *fingers crossed* that you have some secrete stash …

  • #35 - Car

    I’ve recently been counting a bit more myself. I am not trying to lose weight, but just wanted to give myself a little check. And I don’t actually hate it! Not sure how long it will stick around this time, but I’m not too worried.

    And, what do I eat? I eat a lot of Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese, and pumpkin, and nuts and nut butters :) Just a sampling.

    I am actually contemplating a little series on “cool things to do with protein powder” just FYI!

    • #36 - Elina

      I would really love a post on protein powders!! I recently got a natural kind so I feel ok about using it :)

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