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Healthy diet but putting on weight?

(14 Posts)
Spocksmum Sat 08-Nov-14 17:27:23

Have I miscalculated calories or something? People tell me I eat much less than they do but I'm actually putting ON weight. Not really changed much at all in what I eat (I'm vegetarian) but a few yrs ago, I'd be losing weight on this diet.

I don't have a smartphone so can't download MFP but can anyone tell me how many calories are in this typical day's food please? (I don't drink alcohol BTW):

Bkfast: 2 soft boiled eggs with marmite rice cakes and thin spread of humus
Lunch: Two spoons of basmati rice with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and about 5 olives - drizzle of olive oil and soya sauce
Supper: Same as lunch or boiled vegetables like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower with 2 spoonfuls of basmati rice - and maybe a dusting of grated cheese
Drinks: 4 cups of tea with dash of whole milk; diluted fresh fruit juice with lots of water added.
Snack: either an apple or a banana

No chocolate, no biscuits, no crisps, no alcohol.

Am slowly but surely putting on weight. In early 50s but not menopausal and have regular periods. Weigh about 12st 4lbs and am 5 ft 6.5ins. Ideal and almost lifelong weight is around 11stone for my type of body (hour glass but bigger below than above). Waist has started to disappear for the first time ever (except when pregnant).

Am I really eating far too many calories? Friends have treats like cake etc several times a week and also drink alcohol but don't put on weight like me. Not interested in fad diets - just want to be able to eat enough to feel strong and healthy and get back to my usual weight again. Mr bra size seems to be out of control too. I was a 34G but am barely fitting into this anymore! Will soon need a wheelbarrow to cart around the chest!

Ohwhatbliss Sun 09-Nov-14 09:06:26

Hi Spocksmum. As an exercise I roughly entered what you have given as a normal days food onto MFP and got the following: (obviously some guesswork in there and I haven't counted ANY of the vegetables or oil)

Bkfast: 2 soft boiled eggs with marmite rice cakes and thin spread of humus

Breakfast comes to 591 calories. The eggs are 422.

Lunch: Two spoons of basmati rice with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, red onion and about 5 olives - drizzle of olive oil and soya sauce

Rice is 185, with veg and oil you're maybe at around 220.

Supper: Same as lunch or boiled vegetables like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower with 2 spoonfuls of basmati rice - and maybe a dusting of grated cheese

Add in the cheese and dinner is around 300 calories.

Drinks: 4 cups of tea with dash of whole milk; diluted fresh fruit juice with lots of water added.

Milk maybe 70 calories, haven't counted juice.

Snack: either an apple or a banana

Apple - 95 calories.

So, around 1,276 calories per day. I don't think this is far too many calories at all BUT if I go over 1200 per day there is no way I would lose weight and would likely gain. Are you physically active? If so I cannot imagine why you would be gaining weight. So that probably wasn't v helpful but didm;t want your post to go unanswered!

Disclaimer!! I know that some people disagree strongly with MFP and its recommendations etc, just stating what applies to me.

Spocksmum Sun 09-Nov-14 12:18:53

Thanks for your reply Ohwhatbliss. It was very helpful and got me thinking.

I'm surprised at the calories in bkfast as that was the only thing I thought I was pretty sure about. The egg packet says 131 calories per egg (so that would be times two) and the marmite rice cakes are 61 kcal for two. Without the humus, that would be 323 kcals then. But with the humus, that could easily push it upwards.

Even so, I'd had this idea in my mind that bkfast was going to be about 200 kcals, which is clearly not the case at all!

I'm sure I've underestimated how many calories are in foods. I get little physical exercise except general and minimal housework - with lack of time being the reason for this.

I've tried eating even less and also not adding any of the carbs at all. I lost about 3 lbs in weight over a long period but then plateaued and began to put it all back on, with no change in eating, as if my body had accommodated. I felt weak and dizzy with lack of food and couldn't easily sustain my v busy life. So re-introduced the carbs and since then, have sort of given up and just tried to stick repetitively to the above diet with small variations.

But my weight is still creeping up! It actually feels as if I'm swelling up with water and instead of it being like this for maybe 3 days of the month and then losing three to four pound after my period starts (which is how it used to be), I'm putting on this and more again after maybe 1 day on my period and then just keeping going with this increase.

But is it actually healthy to sustain a diet on even fewer calories and is it possible to sustain a v busy working life and single-parenting DCs on so little energy intake? This seems to be my dilemma. Either I continue to eat a reasonable amount and have energy to do my daily life - but put on weight - or I fixate on weight loss, eat less, feel hungry and dizzy and tired, find it hard to work - but have a healthier weight?

bakingtins Sun 09-Nov-14 13:15:00

A couple of things that struck me..

1. Have you had your thyroid tested?
2. You are eating very little protein - eggs at breakfast but that's about it.
3. You may be eating too little and pushing your body into starvation mode. Have you tried estimating your energy expenditure? I'm shorter than you and my basal energy requirement ( what you burn just existing) is 1200-1300, my daily activity brings it up to 17-18,000. You are only supposed to restrict calories by 15-25% to lose weight without screwing up your metabolism, which would give me an allowance of around 14-15,000 for the day.

Nillia Tue 11-Nov-14 11:22:13

Happened to me when I approached my 50th. Can't eat as much as I used too. Weight went on around my middle and its much harder to lose now than when I was younger.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 14-Nov-14 18:25:49

2 eggs 422 calories? How did you get that then?

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Fri 14-Nov-14 18:26:38

Eggs are around 70 calories each. Not 211.

notnotnee Mon 17-Nov-14 13:11:28

I would say this is just an age thing. I am 49 years old, 8st 5 and 5ft 4 and have always weighed the same. But recently, I am struggling too. I eat a very healthy diet, go to the gym a least twice a week and, although I do have a drink now and again, really am struggling to maintain my weight. Welcome to the middle age spread :-(

loveheart45 Thu 20-Nov-14 06:31:49

Drink herbal tea. It is always sooving for the tummy and the milk is sometimes fatty

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Thu 20-Nov-14 06:39:01

I think it sounds very low in protein too. Could you add in tofu or more eggs?

Spurtle Thu 20-Nov-14 06:46:14

I'd try ditching the rice and replacing it with protein - tofu or quote maybe? If I eat proten rather than carbs I feel fuller for longer and get less hungry.

Beangarda Mon 08-Dec-14 10:13:42

As another vegetarian, what struck me was how starch-based your day was with the only protein being eaten at breakfast. If this is a typical day, you need more protein. Can you try to incorporate tofu and pulses more? I often have a sort of winter salad of puy lentils, roasted vegetables and crumbled feta, dressed with balsamic vinegar, eaten warm or cold, and travels well in a lunch box. Or a bean soup?

You'll certainly feel better, and it might help with the weightloss too.

Sofarris Tue 23-Dec-14 15:49:03

Do you have time to go for a run in the morning? Since I started running in the morning instead of the evening I've been losing weight. I did it just to help me wake up but I'm not going to start complaining smile.

spidey66 Fri 16-Jan-15 15:32:48

Boiled eggs are about 80 cals, and an apple about 50.

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