Friday, January 29, 2010

So what does 300 calories really look like?

In order to help shred that last bit of weight, I've decided to do what I knew was a good idea all along, but never actually small meals frequently throughout the day.

I consulted my trainer (my dad) to see how many calories were appropriate for my weight loss goals and the amount of calories I'm burning each day. We came to the consensus that 1500-1800 calories was a good allotment with the idea that if I was feeling week/tired/hungry that we'd reassess.

So far, so good.

I'm eating 5-6 mini meals each day. Each meal is roughly 300 calories...give or take.

While I was planning this, I did some research. 300 calories is not a lot, especially for a "meal". One thing I kept reminding myself...these are mini are supposed to eat 5-6 of them, not 2-3 of them like other meals.

How I started...
I took meals that I would normally eat, research the calories, and adjust from there. For example, lunch at work would often look like this:
  • Sandwich with cheese, little bit of mayo, turkey, and tomato
  • Pretzels
  • Orange
  • Total - 695 calories

Let's break this down
Sandwich with cheese, little bit of mayo, turkey, and tomato - 375 calories
  • 2 slices of bread - 140 calories
  • 2 slices of turkey - 45 calories
  • 1 slice of cheese - 80 calories
  • 1 tbs mayo - 60 calories
  • tomato slices - 15 calories
Pretzles - 1 serving (10 twists) - 230 calories
Orange - 90 calories

How to fit it in a 300 calorie mini meal
Half sandwich and orange - 295 calories
  • 1 slice of bread - 70 calories
  • 2 slice of turkey - 45 calories
  • 1 slice of cheese - 80 calories
  • tomato slices - 5 calories
  • orange - 90 calories
It's not hard but it does take planning.

Here are some photos I've tweeted this past week about my mini meals just give you an idea.

Meal #1 sample - 280 calories
1 c of Kashi Go Lean Crunch! (200 calories)
6 oz (pre packaged) Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt Cup (80 calories)
The photo does not do it justice. This is a very tasty, very filling meal. A great way to start your morning!

Meal #2 sample - 310 calories
1 small/medium apple (100 calories)
2 tablespoons of Jif Natural Peanut Butter (210 calories)
This doesn't look like a lot, but 2 tablespoons of PB is a lot of protein! I usually have this around 11ish and I'm good to go until 1:30-2:00!

Meal #3 sample - 305 calories
Sammich - 1 slice of bread, 2 slices turkey, 1 slice of cheese, tomato (205 calories)
Mixed fruit bowl (100 calories)
Just like a normal lunch, just about half the size and calories. only needs to hold you over for 2-3 hours!

Meal #4 sample - 310 calories
1/2 c brown rice (120 calories)
1/2 c black beans (105 calories)
2 tablespoons of salsa (5 calories)
Orange (80 calories)
This is a personal favorite. Black beans and brown rice with salsa might be my favorite combo ever!

Meal #5 sample - 370 calories
8" Mission Carb Balance Tortilla (120 calories)
3 oz of cooked fajita steak (150 calories)
Bell peppers and sauteed onions (100 calories)
Very good! This is good for those cooking for people other than themselves. Realizing that the bf is not on my mini meals, I just make 2 of these for him!

This gives me some wiggle room to have a little snack after meal #5, have a coffee in the morning (I don't drink it every day), or have a beer or two at night. Gotta account for even the liquid calories...remember that!

I've been doing this for a week. Since I've been doing it, I'm hardly ever hungry. If I am, I notice it's because it's time to eat again. I've never noticed myself hungry after I've had a mini meal (which means I'm getting enough protein and nutrition!). I've also had more energy and have been less tired.

As I research more and actually find safe recipes I'll be sure to share!

PS - since I've added increased miles and more intense/serious cross training for January...I've lost 7lbs. I'm SO close to that goal weight. Reaching it by this summer like planned, should not at all be a problem!


  1. Your meals have great variety. I had thought that if you're eating 6 meals there would be a lot of repeats. Are you going to change it up most days or is that your M-F plan?

  2. I love mini-meals/grazing!!! Hooray for dropping 7lbs. Thanks for posting your meal pics. You've given me great ideas for grazing and I'll need it for my post-marathon recovery period. That's when the lbs tend to pack back on but you've inspired me to stay on the straight and narrow :)

  3. Wow! That's great dropping those 7 pounds! I may try this!

  4. Thanks Jen. I always start with all the right intentions, but somwhere along the line I get sidetracked by the lack of variety in my diet. I'll be visting more often because there were some great ideas in this post!

  5. The mini meals look great. Congrats on the 7 pound loss!

  6. This is the best way to boost your metabolism! I think you will really start to see results! I eat approx. 5-6 mini meals strung throughout the day and it makes me so happy. I'm like hmmmm what do I want to eat now... but I never feel guilty. :) Good luck!

  7. That looks awesome! Do you feel like it's been tough to make all those meals in a day and has it made your grocery bill more expensive? It looks great and CONGRATS on the 7 pounds!

  8. WTG on those 7 lbs! I've got to get to planning but you've inspired me to finally try the mini meals because Im always hungry!

  9. Hey Jen! I'm new to your blog, but i love it!
    I'm running my first ever race in a couple weeks (just a 5K)!

    Oh, and FYI.. Sara Lee makes a bread called 45 Calories and Delightful and it's only 45 calories per slice... so 90 for 2 (a whole sandwich instead of half of one)
    Just thought I'd share!!!
    Good Luck!

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