Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Almost Over...

November is almost coming to a close, and it's time to do another reassessment of my new "Monthly Calorie Budget" idea. When I did my mid-month update last weekend, I talked about all the benefits of counting calories this way and how it has helped me so far. And it has continued to be a wonderful learning experience. I think I will continue with it again in December, just because it has helped me stay on track so well. I didn't binge once this month. I have recorded all my calories every day. I am more aware of my eating patterns, too.

One thing I have learned is that there are days when I really am hungrier and NEED more calories, like during PMS, and mid-cycle. If I try to get by on 1400 or 1500 calories on those days I am a raving maniac, walking around feeling deprived with my stomach growling unmercifully. So I need to plan on some higher calorie days when my body needs it. I also will have a few high calorie days each month *just because.* Sometimes it will be a holiday, sometimes a special trip or a meal out. I can make healthy choices and watch my portions but the calories are generally higher. Which is okay, because I also discovered that on other days I am just not hungry. Some days, I can get by just fine on 1100-1200 calories and be happy with that. I never realized that before, because when I had a *daily* calorie budget, I would get to the end of a not-so-hungry day, see that I had only eaten 1200 calories, and think, "oh, wow, I have 400 calories left I can blow!" and I would go raiding the kitchen cabinets for yummy stuff to eat as a treat or dessert even though I was NOT hungry... JUST BECAUSE I had "calories left." With the monthly budget, I see 1200 calories at the end of the day and go, "Huh, that's nice, I am not even hungry. I am sure I will use those extra calories later this month when I AM hungry."

Last week I added some extra calories to the budget. I did this so I would have enough calories to eat reasonably and not be starving for two weeks. This helped a lot, and I felt no pressure to cut back and "be hungry" this week. This whole process is one of learning. The point is not to FORCE myself into some arbitrary number of monthly calories I picked out of a hat, but to pay attention, eat reasonably, and find out how many calories I *should* be eating in a month to be healthy, feel good, allow for high and low days, and still lose weight. For this purpose, the calorie budget is working beautifully so far. I am going to have a much better idea of how many calories to choose for December now that I have had a trial run in November, and if I can lose weight through these two holiday months, I will be a happy camper.

So far this month I have eaten 39,754 calories. That's just about 1800 calories per day on average. During the first half of the month, I only rode my exercise bike six times (30 minutes each time). But over this last week, I recommitted to fitness. I decided that if I couldn't bike in the daytime for whatever reason, I would bike at night after the little one is asleep, even f I didn't feel like it or was tired or whatever. I biked EVERY DAY for the past 7 days, 30-35 minutes each time. I feel great about that. Today is my day off from biking... I have one day of rest per week. I'll still probably take a walk or something though. Anyway, during the first 2 weeks of November I lost 6 pounds. This week I lost another 2 pounds, bringing me down to 226 pounds today. I am pleased. IT WAS HARD WORK. But I am happy with it.

So now I have to assess the rest of November. Counting today, we have 8 days left. One of those days is Thanksgiving. I don't go "hog wild" on Thanksgiving; I'll follow my Successful Thanksgiving Recipes plan just like I did last year. But I know it won't be a 1500 calorie day, either. I currently have 11246 calories left in the budget, which is just over 1400 calories per day. Not realistic. So I am going to add 2000 calories to the budget, giving me 13246 for the month, or 1655 calories/day on average. That, I think, I can do.

If you're ever wondering whether I had a successful day, whether I rode my bike or not, or how many calories I ate in a day, you can look on the sidebar (over there to your left) where it says "Twitter Updates" and see real time updates on how I am doing each day. I just signed up for Twitter a couple weeks ago and I love it. It's an easy way to say how I am doing on a daily basis without giving a full blog post. You can follow me on Twitter or just look here on my front page for updates. If you're not familiar with Twitter, give it a try! It's fun!

That's all for now! Enjoy your weekend.

10 comments:

sonia said...

wowow! 8 pounds this month. Way to go Lyn!

oxo

Marshmallow said...

Some days, I can get by just fine on 1100-1200 calories and be happy with that. I never realized that before, because when I had a *daily* calorie budget, I would get to the end of a not-so-hungry day, see that I had only eaten 1200 calories, and think, "oh, wow, I have 400 calories left I can blow!" and I would go raiding the kitchen cabinets for yummy stuff to eat as a treat or dessert even though I was NOT hungry... JUST BECAUSE I had "calories left." With the monthly budget, I see 1200 calories at the end of the day and go, "Huh, that's nice, I am not even hungry. I am sure I will use those extra calories later this month when I AM hungry."

Now I understand why structuring your calorie counting this way works for you. It gives you the ability to use your calories when your body intuitively wants to use them, as opposed to using them just because they're there. Good on ya!

Karyn said...

8 pounds in a month!!!! That is wonderful! Obviously, this monthly budget is the plan for you! I think it is very creative.

You Go, Girl!

SunflowerDaisies said...

Thanks for the post. :-)

Katschi said...

You know, I just never thought of it before...OF COURSE we wouldn't need the same calories day in & day out. All diets make it seem so though, don't they. What a revelation to have gotten, Lyn!

Alexia@theonelastthing.com said...

I've had a similar experience -- I find some days I'm not hungry and I don't eat as much -- and some days I eat more! Learning to listen to my body, not a diet plan, has been eye-opening.

Hanlie said...

I am so glad that you've found the right strategy for you! And well done on those 8 pounds... it's never easy, but it's worth it!

new*me said...

great progress Lyn! This will be a rough week but if we keep moving and try not to stuff ourselves silly, all should be well :)!

Sheri said...

Hey Lyn, You're doing great! I have to get on track far better than I have been. For me, if considering the monthly calorie allowance, It would be in the neighbourhood of 37000 ot 37500 for the month. That's about 1200 per day. The reason I figure no more than 1200 per day is because my job is so sedentary. I work in a call centre with so many restrictions to what can be done aside from sitting at the desk. So, I am going to try and get this down. The hardest part is tracking, remembering to at least write it down ot put in Spark People later. I've tried this before, many times, and after getting frustrated by constantly for getting I generally give up tracking. I have to say, I do agree with the monthly fluxuations in nutritional needs and cravings. Definitely find that increased need.

Deb said...

You've had some interesting realizations about how much food you need during this trial run at your monthly calorie budget. Sounds like you are becoming more in tune to what your body needs and that is a good thing!