Work in Progress: Part 2 – Diet and Nutrition

In Part 1, I wrote about my new exercise program, which I am still doing faithfully and loving it! But in order to get optimum (optimal?) results, you must adjust your diet as well. Quite frankly, this sucks. Exercise comes pretty easily for me. But dieting and eating healthy is much harder. My love affair with ice cream, chocolate, pizza, and all things yummy is pretty difficult to give up. So I don’t. Moderation in all things, yes?

Successful fat loss is not all about calories in vs. calories out. With my exercise program, I am building muscle, because the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at all times. Building muscle requires protein, so right before I started the program, I began tracking what I ate on the Daily Burn website. (They also have two awesome iPhone apps which I use daily.) I quickly realized that my diet, while relatively low-calorie, was way too low in protein.

So I began to eat differently, tracking every single thing I ate. Let me tell you, it adds up fast! I usually consume about 1300-1500 calories a day, at about a 40/40/20 ratio of protein/carbs/fat.  I’m working on trying to get that protein up a bit higher, but we’ll see.

For breakfast, I usually have a protein shake made with 1% milk, vanilla protein powder and frozen mixed berries. For a morning snack, I’ll have some string cheese or some almonds. Trader Joe’s has these awesome little packs of mixed nuts and berries. Perfect portion for a snack!

At lunch, I’ll either have leftovers or make myself an omelet, or what I call eggcakes. It’s basically an omelet made with three eggs, a bit of milk, and some cinnamon and then I put some sugar free syrup on it, like a big pancake. Sounds gross, but it’s actually yummy! OK, I went home and made this for lunch today after I wrote this, and I used Egg Beaters instead of real eggs, because they have zero fat. I used a small diameter frying pan, so I ended up with a big fat egg soufflé. It was kind of disgusting. I think I’ll go back to the traditional omelet with cheese and veggies.

For my afternoon snack, I almost always have a Zone Perfect double dark chocolate protein bar.  These are so good, and satisfy my chocolate dark cravings.  (Dear Zone people, please send me a couple of cases of these free). My wonderful husband is the chef of our family, and he always makes wonderfully healthy and yummy dinners for us.  Turkey chili, spaghetti using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, chicken with whole wheat pasta, olive oil and lots of veggies, just to name a few. He just throws things together without a recipe, and they always turn out fabulous.

Once I’ve eaten dinner, I’ll see where I am on calories and decide whether or not to have a snack, which could be some popcorn (done the old-fashioned way on the stove), some sugar-free chocolate pudding, or sometimes even an ice cream sandwich.

I’m pretty strict most every day, and I rarely cheat. But on occasion, perhaps about once a week, I’ll have a cheat meal. Not a cheat day or a cheat weekend, just one meal. It gives me something to look forward to, and once I’ve done it, I feel good about getting back on the wagon.

I subscribe to the “eat every 3 hours” theory. You can find tons of studies that explain why this is good, and other studies that say you should stick with three meals a day, no snacks. Whatever. Since I like to eat, and I like to do it as often as possible, I choose option A.

I also try not to eat too many carbs in the evening, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, especially when Nature Boy pops up a fresh batch of popcorn for our nightly Lost marathons.

God, was that boring or what? I’m sure you just love hearing about what I eat.

To keep my hunger down, I’ve been taking phentermine, a prescription weight-loss drug. In the beginning, it curbed my appetite tremendously. I wasn’t nauseated, but I got full quickly and wasn’t so crazed about when my next meal was. I think it’s starting to lose its effectiveness a bit (as most prescriptions do), but it really got me past the hardest part, the beginning. Now that I have a set routine, I’ll be less likely to go back to old patterns once I stop taking it, which will be in about a month. (You can only take it for 3 months, or risk becoming a diet pill junkie. Which, I can totally see how that could happen. They do make me a bit zippy.)

So that’s it, my diet secrets. Nothing new, just good old-fashioned healthy eating, portion control and strict monitoring of what goes in my body, with a side order of drugs.

So tell me, peeps. What are your diet secrets?



  1. Posted March 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Last year my whole office started tracking what we ate using The Daily Plate. Every single one of us lost weight! I’ll be doing that again after the baby is born!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 25, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Oooh, that’s so awesome that the whole group did it!! And yes, the faster you get the baby weight off, the better! It’ll stay off easier! I gained 50 lbs with my second child, ugh!!!

  2. Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Not that we’ve been particularly good about it, but we’ve been trying to make small changes such as more veggies, more whole wheat, more chicken instead of beef, and less beer. (The last one is the hardest.) And of course, I try to hit my Wii Fit for at least 30 minutes every day.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 25, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Yes, small changes are great and easy!! Switching to chicken instead of beef is a big one, not just for your health, but for the environment as well. All those cows create so much methane gas, bad stuff (off my soapbox now!). Beer is hard for my hubby to give up too! And I LOVE the Wii Fit! So much fun, and a great workout too!

  3. Mark
    Posted March 25, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Dunno if you have found the application ‘Lose It’ but if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch it is a GREAT way to keep tabs quickly and easily of things like calories and protein and sodium… Also, get back into salads. Nature boy should be able to hook you up! Last night had something like 3cups of spinach, cucumber, grape tomatoes, tuna, and salsa. stuffed and stayed that way and YUM and at less than 250 calories (whole can of tuna but you could sub chicken there) snacks are a must!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 25, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Hey Mark! I’ll definitely check out the Lose It app! Yes, salads are a great idea. We made one the other day with romaine, grilled chicken, almonds, grapes, etc. with some raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Love it! Damn, now I’m hungry!

  4. cassiepappathan
    Posted March 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I loved reading this post because I am also obsessed (no, not obsessed . . . too strong of a word . . . okay, yes, obsessed) with eating. Not in the sense that I have loads of junk food and in giant portions – but I’m always looking forward to my next meal or snack (even if it’s a healthy meal or snack.) So I’ve also found that eating small portions and snacks often works well for me.

    I don’t have any diet tricks up my sleeve per say – I really just follow the Weight Watchers method of eating things low in calorie and fat, but high in fiber while measuring out my portions. I always build in some sort of splurge, because life is too short to not really enjoy what you eat.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but I know so many people who’ve been successful with it, so it must be a great program. I think women are so much more obsessed about it, due to our whacked out hormones. My husband doesn’t get this. He eats when he’s hungry, and that’s pretty much it. And hey, I eat when I’m hungry too, it’s just that I’m hungry 24/7. 😉

  5. Posted March 27, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I lost a lot of weight on Atkins and kept it off for many years. Then I moved to the South. I don’t do anything too specific right now (and it shows)but I am edging back towards a more protein & veggie centric diet. Oh. And Emerald makes these 100 calorie packs of dry roasted almonds that I carry around in my bag at all times. Perfect snack!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 29, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I did Atkins about 6 years ago, lost about 13 lbs. But of course I couldn’t handle it long-term. I just have to have SOME carbs! But I try not to eat too many carbs at night. I love the little snack packs! Portion control is hard for me. 😉

  6. Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I *just* went back on Weight Watchers (online) and started on the 30 Day Shred. Both are kicking my ass, although for different reasons. But it’s empowering to finally feel in control of something.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted March 29, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Ooh, I did the Shred for a while! That is such a killer, and I hate Jillian so much when I do it. What level are you on? I did level 1 a bunch, level 2 several times, and level 3 twice, I think. And then I died. 😉 I love those because they’re so short! And yes, it’s so hard, but makes you feel so much better about yourself!! I’m glad you’re having success!!

  7. Posted April 13, 2010 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    um, I watch the commercials for Biggest Loser…

    I need to start doing something. Good on you for doing so well!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted April 13, 2010 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I love it! I think you lose weight by osmosis when you watch Biggest Loser. 😉

  8. Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m terrible at dieting now. I think it’s because I have so much to track with Oliver – that I just can’t focus on food. Instead I just try to cut out my main vice – sweets. I don’t deny myself anything else – and I do have chocolate sometimes – but just not the every day/several times a day spiral that happens around the holiday season each year.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted April 14, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I so understand about Oliver! I’m lucky in that I’m in a place right now where I have a little more have time to focus more on myself, which is key for me. I wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise.

  9. Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I like Sparkpeople ( It lets me track anyhting I eat and all my exercise. When I’m working at doing right, it works well without feeling deprived (I usually feel over-full, and that’s 1500 cal a day max!)In 2 months last summer I lost about 14 pounds (still have about 10 of it off). I also like walking. I tried the Shred, but I’m such a weasel, I keep coming up with excuses not to do it. 😦

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted April 26, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’ve heard of Sparkpeople. I use DailyBurn, which is really similar, I’m sure. Fourteen pounds in 2 months is awesome! I’m up to 13 now, but I’m going to Puerto Rico in a few days, so I’m hoping not to gain any back!! It is so hard to stay motivated sometimes, isn’t it?? That’s the #1 thing that will make or break my program. Luckily, I’ve kept a good streak of motivation going! Hopefully it stays with me! Good luck!!!

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