Over the last 3-4 months, I’ve gained a few kilograms. When I hit 65.6kgs, I knew I had to stall the weight gain. I fell of the wagon mainly because I fell ill and then there was some travel and then there was the 10 year wedding anniversary and basically I stopped being conscious of what I was putting in my mouth and stomach.
This time around, it has been a whole lot easier to do this. First time, in 2015, I was using a diary and a pen. Now, I’m using the MyFitnessPal app. I’m using the free version. I do not plan to make this calorie counting a life-long practice. I’m doing it for a few months to get back to my base weight and then I’ll see what I can do further to either maintain the weight and maybe even gain some muscle.
I started the calorie counting two weeks ago and wrote the following on my social media channels.
I put on about 5 kgs over the last 3-4 months. Stress eating. Drinking beer or wine almost each night. Chocolates galore. Travel etc. I was at 61/62kgs. Ideally wanted to be at 58. Has climbed to 66kgs. Using MyFitnessPal to keep track. 1400 calories per day only. I’ve been tracking for 3 days already. 1st day I was over by 500 Cal because I wanted to eat that entire bar of chocolate and have a bottle of beer.
Next day was better because I was prepared. 300 Cal under. Today I’m traveling but because I’m aware and conscious, I should be able to keep it at 1400.
BREAKFAST : 400ml whole cow milk coffee with 3tsp brown sugar. About 160 calories. Usually I have 300ml but today I’m traveling so I upped it a bit for greed. And I won’t be having coffee or milk next two days.
Lunch Salad : quinoa + lettuce + rocket + goat cheese 😍 + red & yellow bell pepper + spring onions + cucumber + tomato + lime juice + salt. About 260 calories. When I don’t have a busy out of apartment day, I’ll have the same salad for lunch and dinner. I cannot eat salad without goat cheese. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep it up but salad 3 days a week is easy to plan for and make. For the rest, I’m thinking of mutton and brown rice. Haven’t yet checked out calories. Let’s see.
How I Count Calories
This weighing machine was given to us by my mother-in-law, as a wedding gift. Suffice to say, it has been put to good use over the years. The battery is easily available on Amazon India and the machine weighs even minute amounts of food. I weigh everything before cooking / eating it. This is obviously only possible if you’re cooking and eating at home. When eating out, it’s a guessing game of estimates, which is also ok.
The Salter brand doesn’t seem to be available in India but Amazon India does have a wide variety of electronic weighing scales for the kitchen.
105 grams of cooked quinoa, as seen on the MyFitnessPal app, is 127 calories
Then I add the salad on top of the quinoa. So that’s about 400 gms of salad. While I was making the salad, I weighed each of the ingredients and found out their caloric values and now I estimate accordingly. 400 gms of salad is about 92 calories. The total salad I made was about 2785 gms and 633 calories in total.
And finally, I add the goat cheese on top of everything else. So that’s about 38 gms of goat cheese. Now the goat cheese packaging comes with caloric information, so this is calculate based on the sticker.
100gms of goat cheese is 247 calories. So, 38 gms is about 94 calories.
I did not use any oil while cooking the quinoa or in the salad, this time. Otherwise, I use Avocado oil, which is about 124 calories per tablespoon. I’m not avoiding fat at all, just trying to make sure I’m getting volume of food as well so that I don’t feel hungry too quickly.
So. This is my lunch. A total of 313 calories.
Breakfast was 300 ml whole cow milk + 2.5 tsp brown sugar + coffee. Coffee has zero calories, so total was 117 calories.
I’m left with 970 calories for the rest of the day. If I add some exercise to it, then I CAN eat more if I feel like it. Usually I don’t.
I’m eating everything as long as I’m able to keep it under 1400 calories per day. This is based on my BMI / age / height etc.
The last two weeks
I have already lost 1.5 kgs, which is hugely encouraging. I do have a problem with drinking water though, so I need to be careful about how I am losing the weight. I weigh myself only once in a fortnight. Weekly weighing doesn’t work for me because the changes are too small and then I beat myself up.
Hopefully, I will be able to include SOME form of exercise as well. I’ve started listening to fiction in the form of audio books again, so some walking around is definitely in my future.
Spring onions + cucumbers ( the dark green variety that can be eaten with their skin ) + red bell peppers + yellow bell peppers + tomatoes + lettuce + arugula + onion + goat cheese + lemon juice + salt + quinoa.
I add the quinoa and goat cheese only when I am ready to eat salad.
To give you an idea of quantities, here’s what the current batch of salad has in it :
Spring onions 347 gms : 97 cal
coriander 80 gms : 18 cal
Arugula 160 gms : 40 gms
Red & yellow bell pepper 690 gms : 214 cal
Tomato 500 gms : 90 cal
Lettuce 180 gms : 27 cal
Cucumbers 740 gms : 111 cal
Onion 88 gms : 35 calories
Will try to document the process on the blog further to keep track of progress.