by Khushboo on August 3, 2010

And now I’m going to proceed to blog about the infamous C word: CALORIES. With the constant negative press it receives, you would think it was the plague. Maybe it’s because calories and losing weight go hand-in-hand.  I generally try to avoid calorie counting on a daily basis as it can get obsessive.  However I do occasionally tally it up just to make sure I’m not eating too much.  The volume of tasty food you can eat and still lose/maintain weight never ceases to amaze me.

My cousin asked me this morning what I had for breakfast and boy, did I feel like quite the pig telling her. However, like I stressed in an earlier post, weight loss comes down to consuming less calories than your expending.  This can either be achieved through reducing the calories you eat OR increasing your activity levels.  Ideally, a mixture of the two is best for long-term success.

When people ask me “how many calories should I be on”, I try to explain that it is such an individual figure.  To calculate YOUR calorie needs, here’s a good site which I used: http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/calneed. It will give you the approximate number of calories to lose, maintain, or gain weight based on your height, current weight, age, and activity level.  To lose weight, I need to consume roughly 1800 calories daily (this has taken into account my exercise levels).  After learning the ‘tricks of  the trade’ of to eat minimally when on WW, I can easily consume 1200-1400 calories.  But at the end of the day, it’s unrealistic and boring to live life like.  I also know that a) those few extra calories make me enjoy my food that much more b) eating a few hundred calories more does wonders for my energy levels c) I’m not going to lose weight any faster by eating so little.

On an average day, I eat about 1500-1700 calories a day, as I like to leave some leeway for meals out/weekend.  I typically split up my calorie intake as:

Breakfast: 300-400 kcals
Lunch: 400 kcals
Snack: 200 kcals
Dinner: 400 kcals
Dessert: 200-250 kcals

Today’s menu:
Breakfast: Peanut butter+banana oatmeal with an eggwhite, raisins and almonds
Small bowl of papaya
365 calories

Lunch: Quinoa wrap with a 3-eggwhite omelette, melted cheddar cheese, and vegetable soup
Chocolate granola for dessert
381 calories

Snack: Orange & almonds
125 calories

Dinner: Sweet potato wedges with oven baked chicken, ketchup and a big bowl of salad
393 calories

Dessert: Nanas chocolate chip cookie (my favourite indulgence)
360 calories

Total: 1,624 calories

A lot of food right?? Absolutely! I do have somewhat of a big appetite and there’s nothing wrong with that.  They key is to stretch your calories, not your waistline.  Even if your appetite is a bottomless pit, opting for nutrient-dense foods can do no wrong.  I have a killer sweet tooth but as long as I stick to a ‘healthy’ diet 80% of the time, there’s no reason why I can’t enjoy a few treats daily.

**Just for the record, I’m no expert but this is just an account of what works for me**

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