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Healthier eating advice - Is this too much food per day

(211 Posts)
paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 16:22:52

I'm 5 foot 8 and wear size 18. I'd always been very slim and verging on underweight until about 5 years ago. I wore size 10/12 before. I've always had a huge appetite. People wondered how I stayed slim.

I was happy at size 14. I felt I had a bit of flesh on my bones. My parents made unflattering comments but I ignored them. They have weird food issues and I felt starved by them as a child.

Now at a size 18, I am determined to lose weight as I feel insecure about the size of my belly. I've cut down on unhealthy food, more fruit and veg, drink plenty of water and reduced snacking. I already get plenty of exercise.

I still have a huge appetite but munch on carrots, cucumber, oranges etc. to fill me up. I drink as well if I'm hungry. I took 5 years to gain the weight so plan to lose it gradually.

This is a general typical day's food.

Breakfast - 2 small slices of toast with thin layer peanut butter or bowl of all bran.

Lunch - tin of mushroom soup, 2 low fat cheese slices on 2 small slices of toast

Dinner - large salad with feta, peppers, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, lettuce and low fat dressing or walnut and feta salad.

Snacks are oranges, cucumber, carrots etc.

I am happy with my diet. I am seeing a small decrease in my belly and feel healthier. I still have a huge appetite and my family still say I'm overeating. I struggle to eat less. Are they right to criticise?

OP’s posts: |
2014newme Wed 20-Sep-17 16:24:09

Not enough protein.
Dutch the peanut butter and cheese for lean protein

Cin3ma Wed 20-Sep-17 16:26:04

I agree with 2014. Add more protein and cut out some of the bread. You'll feel fuller and lose the weight more quickly.

danTDM Wed 20-Sep-17 16:27:46

Doesn't sound like much to me.

I bet someone says it's too much toast, but in the real world this sounds very little and you are getting loads of nutrients. I eat about the same and am slim.

I wouldn't bother with low fat cheese to be honest, eat the real thing but a little bit!.

ErnesttheBavarian Wed 20-Sep-17 16:30:37

I'd forget the whole low-fat nonsense too. Eating carrot sticks etc is not going to fill you up, and constantly grazing isn't good either. I eat a diet high in healthy fat (avocados, olive oil, oily fish etc) and rarely snack between meals. It's much more filling and satisfying.

I would feel starving after your breakfast. It's not a good breakfast.

ShellyBoobs Wed 20-Sep-17 16:36:37

It doesn't sound like a huge amount but as said, it sounds to be very low in protein.

The peanut butter us pretty high in calories. Perhaps replace that with something? An egg with the toast instead would be more filling and lower, or similar, in calories.

Oranges are pretty high in calories, too. If you're eating a couple of those a day there could be 200 calories there if they're large ones.

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 16:37:10

I agree w Ernest. Limit the carbs in your diet - ESP in the morning when we are all a bit insulin resistant - to under 30g and eat healthy fats - saturated and monounsaturated. Avoid foods heavy in polyunsaturated. Trans fats are poison.

Avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, butter are all great.

Protein only 50 g or so a day as any excess gets converted to glucose.

Eat lots and lots of leafy veg for nutrients.

Calories not hugely important. If you can deal with a small deficit that helps.

Then try IF ... and turbo charge the weight loss and add muscle.

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 16:38:47

You’re probably not eating enough ... how do you feel?

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:15:05

Thanks everyone. Good points. It's more the volume of food I'm eating that my parents are concerned about rather than what I'm actually eating. They are very interfering and I'm unsure whether they have valid points.

I feel fine. I've been varying the salads so have tuna and sweetcorn/ avocado and prawns/chicken and bacon/ egg too so I do get more protein but feta is most common. I've always been a grazer and have small snacks throughout the day.

I use a small wholemeal loaf with nuts and grains so the slices are perhaps just over a half the size of a normal loaf. I'm thinking of changing to porridge in the morning/kippers on toast/fruit and yogurt or muesli. I do feel my breakfast needs increasing. It's mornings when I feel the strongest urges to snack.

I sometimes have two poached eggs on toast at lunch instead of the cheese and toast and soup.

What is IF?

I like to have plenty of fruit and veg but over summer I've been sticking to salads. When it gets colder I'll probably do root vegetable stews with meat in the slow cooker.

OP’s posts: |
OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:20:28

It’s not so much the calories - volume of food - that matters but food quality. What you’re eating is spiking insulin which obstructs fat burning. Basically your body can either burn fat (dietary or body fat) or glucose. If insulin is around you can only burn glucose or store it. You can’t access it. So you just keep getting fatter and are hungry more often.

IF is intermittent fasting. You eat what you would eat during a normal day but in a time restricted window of say 4 to 6 hours. This reduces insulin spikes (every time you eat insulin shoots up), promotes fat burning for energy, increases HGH production so you can build muscle and also testosterone which even we women need some of.

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:30:16

So the way to think about weight loss is to consider how food and drink will affect your hormones. And the most important hormone is insulin Which you need to suppress

LovingLola Wed 20-Sep-17 17:33:45

Tinned soups are very high in salt. I would switch to something else instead.

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 17:58:17

That sounds interesting Olivia. What would be a good breakfast? Would a slimfast shake be OK?

I will try restricting my carbs more. I've cut down on potatoes, pasta and rice already.

My wholemeal loaf has seeds and grains not nuts!

What I'm doing overall does seem to be working and I'm happy with the gradual weight loss. My skin and hair are really good and I'm sleeping better.

It's the snacking my parents focus on. When I was at school I would get hungry at morning break and eat some of my packed lunch. At lunch I would feel starving and buy extra food in the school canteen. When I got back from school I would want a snack as we always had a late dinner. My parents would not be happy I wanted a snack when I got home from school.

My packed lunch was small in comparison to everyone else's. It was always healthy but not enough. When my mother was dieting it felt like we were all forced to join in. It seems like the same pattern I have now with food. I could easily have a smaller dinner. It's morning and early afternoon that I struggle and need snacks.

OP’s posts: |
OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:08:09

Slim fast it’s horrible. Has too much sugar. I would recommend eggs bacon or eggs and cheese.

The reason you were hungry when you were a kid probably is because you were eating carbohydrates for breakfast. When you eat carbs your blood sugar rises. This causes your pancreas to produce insulin in order to Bring blood sugar levels down. When blood sugar levels dropped all of a sudden you feel crash and are very hungry.

Since I have been Eggs and bacon for breakfast I have never felt hungry in the morning. Also energy crashes have disappeared

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:10:19

Also it’s important to manage your protein intake. If you eat too much protein your body converts it to glucose which again causes insulin to spike

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:15:50

I'm going for scrambled eggs and bacon with cooked tomatoes too.

OP’s posts: |
OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:16:35

Just in case you’re interested, your body produces what ever glucose it needs from fats and protein. Unless you exercise a lot or Do high-intensity training you do not need carbs

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:17:42

That’s perfect. But make sure you reduce carbs To under 30 g per day

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:18:16

Carbs and fats together don’t make a great combination for weight loss

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:22:56

I do quite a bit of walking everyday but not high intensity. I supervise swimming and work with children so am quite active. I also set up activities so do a lot of moving things around and clearing up.

I never really sit still except on mumsnet.

OP’s posts: |
SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 20-Sep-17 18:23:10

@paranoidpammywhammy2 - I have been losing weight using the My Fitness Pal app, and have found that has been a very practical and usable way to track what I'm eating.

You set up a profile with your weight, height and goal (i.e. to lose 1lb a week) and it sets your calorie limit for the day, then you put in all your meals and snacks, and it calculates your total calories. You can also put in the exercise you do, and that ups your calories for the day.

The app has a huge range of foods, products and recipes so it is easy to find either exactly what you are eating, or an equivalent item, and you can put in your own recipes or ones from the web. It even has calorie counts for menus from a number of different restaurants, like Prezzo, McDonalds etc. Once you start using it, it is really intuitive.

I have been using it for 8 weeks, and have only been over my limit on three days, and am losing 1-1.5lbs a week, which feels so good. I feel as if I am succeeding, not being a failure as I have so, so many times before.

OliviaD68 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:32:00

That’s great advice. I find I have to use it to. I’ve lost two stone using this app

paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 19:16:04

Thanks SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius I may have a look at the fitness app.

OP’s posts: |
paranoidpammywhammy2 Wed 20-Sep-17 20:39:13

This is what my parents think I should be eating.

Breakfast - 1/2 grilled grapefruit
Lunch - small tuna/chicken salad
Dinner - Salmon with vegetables, fruit to finish

And no snacks.....

OP’s posts: |
PostNotInHaste Wed 20-Sep-17 20:49:38

Bloody hell I would pass out if that's all I ate! I'd totally ignore them. Things like MFP are very helpful. If you want to be scientific about it a Fitbit can help to make it easy to monitor your out versus in. I've been doing this since last November and am nearly 80lbs down.

If you are doing a lot of walking make sure you don't go too low on your calories or you'll find it may effect your energy levels over the long term. One of the tips you see everywhere that has helped me is a smaller plate.

If what you're doing is working stick with it.

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