Tuesday, May 29, 2012

FAQ: What Did You Give Up?

"So...what did you have to give up?"
A question that is not uncommon to hear, but strangely hard for me to answer. When I started, I knew that giving anything up would make me that much more unlikely to succeed, so I stuck to my guns: I will eat it if I want it. That meant many a-hungry evenings due to poorer choices and just plain not knowing much about actual sustenance. But throughout my journey, a natural shift occurred. After a while, I started noticing myself wanting certain items less, or realizing that I hadn't eaten such and such item in months. Because I didn't give anything up, I learned how to work around cravings, and I taught my body to stop craving things I wanted above things I needed. But there is one major item that I quickly started to refuse: calorie-filled drinks. On occasion, I will treat myself to a skinny latte, but for the most part, if it's a drink that contains more than, say, 20 calories, I'm out. (I still use milk, but only in smoothies and a splash in my coffee)

Find a low or no cal alternative that you enjoy more!
Calorie filled drinks are one of the worst additions to our diets, and one of the easiest calorie sources to not even consider. I remember, when I was obese, I would only eat donuts as an occasional treat, because I knew that they contained a lot of calories and little nutritional benefit. I didn't really know the specifics like I do now, but I knew the stigma around them was bad for a reason. Where that was a smart choice on my part, I never hesitated to order a Route 44 Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, if that was what I wanted (One Route 44 Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic: 504 calories. For a drink! That's the total amount of calories I usually eat for lunch!). And would I probably have another soda later on that day? Yeah...most likely. Did I know that a Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper had quite a few calories? Yeah, I did. But I didn't understand nor care that much about the calorie world, so my mind placed drinks (and most other foods, tbh) in a completely different compartment in my mind. I knew soda wasn't good. I knew donuts weren't good.  I'm totally in awe of my rationale there.

Nonetheless, I feel like my old relationship with drinks is common for a lot of people, as well. And I'm not just talking soda, here, I'm talking the gamut--soda, juice, sweet tea...lattes, mochas, frappes, oh my!
The average person should be eating around 1800-2000 calories per day, and when you're spending 500 of those on drinks alone (and quite possibly more), you're setting yourself up for a caloric over-dose. So, the next time you are deciding about what to drink, think about how many extra calories you'll be adding to your meal, and ask yourself "is this really worth it?"

Is there anything you've cut out of your diet? Is there something you're nervous you might have to give up and want advice? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I don't eat enough for breakfast or lunch then I have 800+ cals left over for dinner which then I over eat for dinner worried I won't be getting enough cals for the day lol. Or think I can eat worse then I should because I have so many left at the end of the day. What to do?!

    1. It's all about boundaries...set a specific target range for each meal/snack. If you're not a big breakfast eater, set aside 300 for bfast, 500 for lunch, 600 for dinner, leaving yourself 200 for a snack OR room for a bit more of a splurge at dinner, if needed. I, however, am a HUGE fan of breakfast, and not a big snacker, so I eat 500/500/500 and leave 100 for wiggle room. Planning ahead always helps in meeting those boundaries and eating smarter, too. I've found that knowing what I'm going to eat at least 1 meal before keeps me from craving and/or indulging.
      I hope that helps!

  2. I have completely ceased buying potato chips or chips of any kind because I know that this is the thing that I WILL binge on. If they're around at a picnic or something, I'll allow myself a handful but I have had to put a strict No-Chips policy on my grocery list.
    I've been trying to impliment an If-You-Want-It-You-Have-To-Work-For-It rule in my house. If I want junk-food, I have to make it myself. If I want potato chips, I have to make them myself. And they're delicious but I can't possibly make as many as you'll find in a whole bag and I can't possibly make them as fatty and sodium-filled as Lay's can. :)
    Another favorite: Kale Chips. They're so yummy and inexpensive and easy to make.

    1. I'm with you! Chips are way too easy to go crazy on, and making your own are way better...and more fun!
      I haven't been able to try a true kale chip, as we might know it in the States, but I'm looking forward to it! We eat dried seaweed here, which is pretty much the same, but I think maybe thinner? Either way...can't wait!

  3. How many calories does the dried seaweed have? I think it's funny that's the one food I actually LIKED in Korea and you are comparing it to potato chips! lol Go figure!

    I have tried not to give anything up rather to stick with the smaller portion sizes. If you know me, you know how important potato chips are to me. And sticking to that smaller portion I will put a 5-6 in a small bowl and put the bag away, and I find that's all I really need to satisfy my craving.

    My snacks have changed however. Instead of a candy bar or cookie, I now substitute a banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter or trail mix! I'm not working out as much as I know I should, however, I AM exercising and that makes me feel better! I am determined to not go back to where I was a year ago...

    1. I'm so obsessed with nuts and nut butters right now! They're so filling. Love love love that!
      And one small package of gim is only 30 calories...crazy, yeah?!