This summer, we hiked a lot. I mean, A LOT. So much that I went down an entire clothing size - in both pants and shirts! It was awesome, but now it's November, and it's Salt Lake, and it gets dark at 5:30pm, and it's already starting to be cold, and......oh, sorry, I was spiraling into the depths of despair. MY POINT IS, my exercise goes waaaay down in the wintertime by default. And I can't even tell you how many gym memberships I've paid for and never used. I prefer to get my exercise outside, doing something fun that makes me forget that I'm breaking a sweat.
So to try and combat the winter laziness, I've started counting calories again. I realize this is a method that doesn't work for everyone, but it works so well for me. Every time I've done it diligently (AKA stuck with it at least 90-95% of the time), I start losing weight. Counting calories speaks to my personality; I'm a numbers person, a list maker, and a planner. I enjoy figuring out new meals and discovering new ways to eat as much as I can within a certain calorie constraint; this nearly ALWAYS leads me to eating healthier by default.
Like I said, I totally get that this method doesn't work for everyone, but for those interested, I thought I'd share what I had for lunch today to help give you ideas if you're like me and turn into a gigantic slug in the winter.
Honestly, I love food - probably a little too much. I love the way it tastes, the different textures and flavors, the whole process of eating, the social aspect of it...I love it all. So one thing I've found is that in order to stick with eating healthy, I need to keep it exciting and give myself tons of variety. The more different kinds of things I allow myself to eat, the fuller and more satisfied I feel with my meal, and the less craving I have for something "more."
My lunch today
2 oz. sweet potatoes, mashed, salt & pepper only: 65 calories
1 large hard-boiled egg: 78 calories
2 Tbsp. roasted garlic hummus: 70 calories
Red bell pepper slices, between 1/3 and 1/2 cup: ~15 calories (I didn't really measure this)
2 3/8 oz. deli honey ham: 70 calories
TOTAL: ~300 calories
As a disclaimer, my breakfast was 280 calories and I had a mid-morning snack that was 160 calories (2 Tbsp. almonds and a small Fuji apple).
This lunch was awesome, has kept me full/satisfied and took me forever to eat (something else I find helps with getting full faster).
I do my best not to snack in the afternoon when I get home from work, but usually I just end up making dinner really early at like 5 or 5:30 (yes we're 90 years old) because I'm super hungry by that point.
So anyways, there it is! 300 calorie lunch streeeeetched as far as I could make it.
PS. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories. It's awesome, and in the past two years that I've used it (off and on), I've lost over 30 pounds. It really works if you stick with it!