"What is normal eating?" 5'1 43F 274.4>234.4=40lb lost


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I've always struggled with this. I've always been obese, not just overweight, and although originally it was due to childhood abuse and trauma... I'm 43 years old.

While those things still affect my choices and my control (I binge in fugue states), a lot of the time I'm telling myself "it's because I'm so short" and "I can't always eat like other people, it's not fair".

Well that's probably partially true, but tbh...

This is a whole subreddit of people who are around my height, or even smaller... and while y'all struggle too ("see, it's a petite problem!"), most of you aren't super-morbidly obese.

Many of you are in healthy weight ranges, and just... becoming healthier and more fit.

Ladies, y'all are my greatest untapped resource, and well, I'm struggling.

2 months in. 40 lbs down. Mobility improved by so much. I'm doing the thing. But I'm starting to falter. I'm losing will.

Surely, what I've been eating can't be the way I'm supposed to eat forever.

I just... don't know how/what to eat.

Maybe if I can readjust my perception of normal eating I can get to a point where I can eat... normally.

So here's what I need to know:

How and what and when do y'all eat?

I'm not talking about your 1200 a day or only apples plan. I'm talking about a normal day. In your regular life. How do I be someone who's struggling with "overweight" rather than someone who's struggling with morbid obesity?

I don't care if I get thin right now. I just want to remove the threat of weight-related death from over my head.

So please...

What did you eat yesterday? Or on an average non-dieting day? What does normal look like for smaller bodies?

Please and thank you in advance.
@joyinyah 5'0 120 lbs and 57 years old.

One thing you should know is that you do not and should not attempt to eat your goal weight's calories. That will just lead to frustration and hunger pangs as you will likely be cutting too far. Instead, just cut out some calories, no more than 500, from what you eat now.

Slow and gentle wins the race, and can also help minimize loose skin. This is about changing your habits. It's perfectly okay to just pick one habit at a time to change. That's what I did over the years.

For example, perhaps you swap your soda for diet soda. Then maybe like me you decide no more than one small glass of juice a day. Then switch over to black coffee rather than loading with sugar and cream and syrups. Then decide to eat takeout/restaurant meals one time less each week. All this adds up, and it adds up fast.

Another trick is to add, rather than subtract. For example, try aiming for as much as 9-12 servings of veggies a day (2-3 of those can be whole fruit). If you can reach this target, you will be surprised how much more easily the rest of your diet falls naturally into place! And no you do not need to skip the dressing, just don't drench your veggies; but some fat helps utilize the fat soluble vitamins & minerals so enjoy.

And instead of counting calories count your protein!

Portion control is a great skill to learn. Eating on smaller plates mentally tricks your mind into be full, faster. Portioning off your restaurant meal into half to take home for lunch the next day also saves money. Getting a scale can be a good strategy initially if you need to learn proper portion size (humans generally suck at eyeballing). Even if you aren't calorie counting, it's enough to know what a portion of say steak looks like vs veggies vs carbs and so on.
@pandafan Oh for sure, I'm not going to cut any more calories atm... just trying to visualize the end game, lol

Adding in more fruit and veg like you suggest should probably ve my next step... I only get very token amounts as it stands... and most of that's tomatoes 😆
@joyinyah Tomatoes are awesome!

Here's what helps me:
  1. For breakfast make a smoothie with a banana, yogurt (I prefer whole milk for this), and a 1/2-cup of frozen berries. That's three servings right there! It is also all the fruit for the day though.
  2. For lunch have either a big salad with bed of lettuce and various veggies, dressing (not drenched, but yes dressing-- don't skip it), and some sort of protein (cheese, nuts, chicken, canned tuna, leftover steak or whatever from last night). With some bread on the side. Fill your plate with the veggies so you've got another 3 servings.
  3. Dinner: fill half your plate with veggies, 1/4 with carbs (more if you've been doing a lot of cardio) and 1/4 with protein. Don't skip the fats-- go ahead and roast those veggies in olive oil. Add some roasted pine nuts or sesame seeds. Add some cheese. Put some butter on that potato. You like pasta? I found it helpful to measure out my pasta for awhile, to learn portion sizes, and then to augment with lots and lots of veggies in addition to the tomato based sauce. And yes meat as well-- protein is important.
  4. That gets you to 9 servings. To aim for 12, you've got the snack category!! Pre-prep carrot sticks, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli. Dip in a yogurt-based dip. Make up batches of veggie-based soups and have them before meals or as snacks. Got a sweet tooth? Roast some sweet potatoes and eat them warm with whipped cream for dessert.
Know that dried fruit is very high in calories but it's also high in iron and all sorts of goodness, so a small (portion controlled) amount a day is good. As is a handful of nuts, every day.

I don't have much of a sweet tooth anymore; but I definitely crave salt and my favorite snack is potato chips. I do indulge and over-indulge but when I'm trying to be better I can be just as satiated with a plate of veggies covered in salt and some olives and pickles and some high-quality cheese. If all else fails, pretzels are better than potato chips.

Upping protein really does take my cravings down a lot. I am not the best at this one, others here can help with this more than me. I do find having protein bars and drinks handy to have around. I also eat eggs quite a lot, love making omelets with all the bits and bobs of leftover veggies, but even if I don't have any veggies left for an omelet, eating two eggs toast with butter keeps me sated longer.

LMK if you want some more recipes and ideas for incorporating more veggies! I am happy to share my standby's with you.
@pandafan Thank you so much!

My tomato think is definitely amplified by my salt cravings... I coat them till they're pink lol.

And this is insanely helpful, actually. I'm still trying to learn to eat any fruit/veg at all, really... parents never bought them so they're all weird/foreign to me.

I can do most salad veggies now, and both raw/steamed broccoli and very trace amounts of spinach. And... that's about it... Fruit, I've learned to tolerate apples, oranges, watermelon and blackberries and I love strawberries and bananas.

Trying to add in more, but it's still a struggle!
parents never bought them so they're all weird/foreign to me.

I grew up in the 70s and though my mom has since become a fairly decent cook back then typical dinner was: a slab of meat encompassing half the plate (usually steak, my dad was from the midwest); a 1/4 of the plate was iceberg lettuce absolutely drenched in bottled dressing (my mom would use an entire bottle for salad for a family of five); and 1/4 some god awful canned veggie.

It was horrendous and I grew up not liking veggies. Until I was older and learned how to cook. I was a vegetarian for a few years, but I'm not any longer. Those years definitely taught me how to appreciate and cook veggies!

Here's my assignment for you:

Go to the grocery store and pick a veggie, it doesn't matter what it is, perhaps asparagus or green beans as they are in season right now. Bring it home, wash it, trim it (google how to's). Then put it in a bowl that has a lid. Sprinkle some olive oil over it (I have an olive oil can, I don't measure it out, if you don't have can try a tablespoon). Grind on some salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake shake shake to coat those veggies.

Oops I was supposed to tell you to first preheat your oven to 350 or so.... and get out your baking sheet, I cover mine with tin foil for quick clean up. Spread those veggies over the baking sheet, and pop them in the oven for 30 minutes. Watch them, you want them to turn colors but not quite get burnt.

Once you taste roasted sheet pan veggies, your world will be rocked forever.

By the way, they can go in the fridge and reheated in the micro the next day or used on salads or in omelets. Or just eaten cold. The oven roasting caramelizes them and it's sooooo tasty!

My other favorite is to make veggie based soups which are freezable. This is how I got my kids to love broccoli. It's simple, just saute in some olive oil an onion and some garlic, then the veggie (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, but anything goes here), plus one diced potato. Add broth to cover (any broth will do, you can also just use water here). Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer about 10 minutes-- you want the veggie to still be bright in color (so broccoli would be bright green) but fork tender. Then using a stick blender blend it smooth. Now you have a drinkable soup that easily ups your 9-12 veggie count, and it's freezable.

As you like tomato I would encourage you to try gazpacho as well, it's very easy to make but for now just tell yourself any time it's on the menu this summer you are ordering it! As a first course. Gazpacho is one of my most favorite foods in the world. I always order it if it's on the menu, or bring it home if my local grocery store has it in the prepared food aisle. Have also made it myself sometimes, when we had lots of tomato crops (not happening now that we're in a condo!).

I wouldn't worry about your salt tooth so much, it can help you if you are striving to eat more veggies, less potato chips.
@pandafan Omg thank you! I'll try the sheet pan veggie thing, and I'm sure I can handle that soup idea!!

And yeah lol idk why I get paranoid about salt intake when losing weight, I for sure got more from chips/fast food than I do now!!
@joyinyah From what I understand, assuming you are cooking fresh non processed foods, you'll probably never add enough salt on your own to equal what is in processed or takeout or restaurant foods.

AND salt makes everything taste better, so especially when you are on a journey to lose weight like you are, if you are cooking at home, I would definitely not be afraid of your salt shaker.

I would also like to add here that I love pepper and tabasco as much as I love salt, LOL.

Food is supposed to taste good, goddammit. Show me a weight loss program where food tastes horrible or boring or plain and I'll show you a failed weight loss program.

P.s. you can do that same sheet pan idea with potatoes, i.e., it's like chips!
@joyinyah Okay try the chips for your first sheet pan meal! You can slice them thin or in wedges, doesn't matter. Follow the steps, preheat oven, line baking sheet for easy clean up, toss in a TBSP or so of olive oil, pepper salt, spread on that sheet pan. Potatoes may take longer so keep the oven light on and check every 10 minutes after 30 minutes. You definitely want them to be getting browned. It could take up to an hour, it depends on how thick you cut them. You may want to try upping the oven temp if all you are roasting is potatoes, I'd go for 375 instead of 350.

Good luck and please report back!!

I can tell we are similar as I absolutely LOVE my chips. Life is not worth living without potatoes. There's some awesome vitamin C in those potatoes!
@joyinyah If you like tomatoes, how about salsa? Really low calorie and has extra veggies in the onions and peppers.

If you like salsa, you can make shakshuka, which is a similar dish with poached eggs simmered in the salsa for a healthy low cal dish. Make it special by adding some feta or low fat mozzarella :)
@joyinyah Firstly congrats on your weight loss so far!

I don't count calories, but here are my last two days of eating:


Yesterday- Greek yogurt, handful of strawberries, 1 banana, handful of almonds, maple syrup, protein shake

Today- 5 smashed and fried fingerling potatoes, 2 hardboiled eggs, topped with spicy Greek yogurt sauce, scallions and sesame seeds


Yesterday - 5 rice balls made with brown rice, Tuna, mayo, kimchi and rolled in nori and sesame seeds

Today - (not as hungry from breakfast) 3 smashed and pan-fried leftover rice balls, 1 pack of nori and a protein shake


Yesterday - Caramel drumstick ice cream come

Today - Snap peas, a handful of strawberries and a banana


Yesterday - Chicken soup with potatoes, carrots, celery, kale and two slices of whole wheat bread with LOTS of butter 😋

Today - Tilapia with brown rice noodles, sundried tomatoes, capers, kale and pesto

I don't usually get too hungry or ravenous eating like this, and I don't get the desperate cravings for junk food I used to. If I am hungrier I will eat more, but I have a rule where I stop eating when I feel satisfied (I was raised to always clear your plate - NOPE! I love leftovers.)

I am hovering around 122lbs right now (down from 140 in Jan) and think I'll likely be set here. I boulder 1-2x a week and lift weights 3-4x a week. I also go for at least 1, but usually 2, 30min walks a day.
@joyinyah i haven’t had dinner yet today so i’ll tell you what i had yesterday.
breakfast: two cups of coffee with oat milk creamer (bc i like the taste more than regular milk), a slice of multigrain toast with peanut butter, half an apple.
lunch: some baby carrots and pita chips with garlic hummus, green grapes, a babybel cheese round thing, some greek yogurt with “keto-friendly” cocoa granola that my husband likes (i don’t follow a keto diet)
dinner: a grain bowl: sautéed chickpeas, mushrooms, garlic, sliced kale and crushed tomatoes on top of black rice with some goat cheese sprinkled on top.
later that night my husband was stress-eating mcdonald’s and i had a couple of his fries because who can resist french fries?
also water, both tap and carbonated, throughout the day.
at some point i had a handful of salt and vinegar almonds for a snack.
i have a major sweet tooth and i love junk food so for me it’s been a lot of rethinking. what tastes decadent to me? goat cheese, greek yogurt. how can i make veggies more interesting? load em up with spices and garlic.

edit: on my phone, sorry for the bad formatting

edit 2, more info lol… i usually eat my biggest meal for lunch. i also do a very casual version of intermittent fasting so i don’t snack late at night. i just go about 14 hours between dinner and breakfast… i’ll stop eating around 8:00 and have breakfast around 10:00. i counted calories for about a week just to get an idea of what a day would look like but it really stresses me out so i don’t typically do it. i’ve been doing caroline girvan videos, one each day, and i take walks. if i can’t go outside or have been really sluggish sometimes i’ll put on a tv show and dance or walk in place or walk around my living room to get some steps in and keep moving. it looks weird and confuses my dog but whatever!
@englishmuffin Yeah, all the rethinking is helping me a lot... never really processed anything much when I was losing before 😆

Trying to be smarter about it this time!

Thank you, the information really helps a lot!!
@joyinyah Hey!
So I'm 5ft 3. (Well, ish. 5ft 2.75 according to the last measurement)
110lbs (50kg)

It's evening here and I've just finished my last meal and thus the last time I'll eat today so today I've eaten:

Approx 7am: string cheese.

11am-ish: tuna salad I made myself and ate whilst I was out and about. (Tuna, light mayo, lettuce, cucumber & 20g light cheese)

2.30pm: 2 egg omelette with 25g sliced ham and 1 babybel.

7.30pm: 5!! Sausages- good quality lincolnshire sausages, 500g (raw) cauliflower - I made cauli mash
@imma Thank you! Both for the information and the congrats lol 😊

I don't eat a meal if I don't LOVE it!!!!

I think that's going to end up on my list of rules lol

It's interesting reading the spacing of your meals... I have always done either smaller "meals" like every 2-3 hours or swung the other way with 3 huge meals at breakfast lunch dinner...

Was your carb decision based on weight? Health? Or just foods you like?
So I'm 5ft 3. (Well, ish. 5ft 2.75 according to the last measurement)
110lbs (50kg)

It's evening here and I've just finished my last meal and thus the last time I'll eat today so today I've eaten:

Approx 7am: string cheese.

11am-ish: tuna salad I made myself and ate whilst I was out and about. (Tuna, light mayo, lettuce, cucumber & 20g light cheese)

2.30pm: 2 egg omelette with 25g sliced ham and 1 babybel.

7.30pm: 5!! Sausages- good quality lincolnshire sausages, 500g (raw) cauliflower - I made cauli mash

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