I would love to see some of your meal plans and or meal ideas for keeping in line with approx 1200 cals for a Vegetarian. I get a bit frustrated at the over reliance on prepackaged foods that I do not have available where I am. So if you tell me you are eating this particular low cal high protein pancake that you can only buy in New York, I am obviously not going to find it helpful. Real ideas from real food that anyone can get...!
I am finding it sooo hard to stick to just this amount of calories! I often find by the afternoon I am up around 1000 already and have to figure out ways to cut out dinners calories!
Some help would be very appreciated!
Reason: moved to Vegetarian forum as more appropriate
First off, you should probably be eating more than 1200 calories. The goal is to lose weight, not starve yourself! And trust me, the two do not have to go hand in hand. 1200 calories is the bare minimum for a sedentary, small woman. If you are at all active during the day and are taller than 5'0", you should be eating more. Plug your stats into the calculator on this website (only if you are over 21) to determine how much you should be eating for safe weight loss. If you are under 21, use this calculator:
Plug in your stats and whatever your average activity level is, choose that and subtract 500 cals to get how much you should be eating to lose 1lb a week.
When you do up your calories it's important not to freak out if you see the number on the scale creep up at first because it's just your system not sure how to respond to having a normal amount of food! I'm 20 years old and workout pretty hard and can lose on 1800 calories a day, so there's no reason to starve yourself!
As for vegetarian protein, I'm also a vegetarian so I can help you out a little here. I assume you are not vegan, so try adding eggs (and a few egg whites!), low fat and greek yogurt into your diet. Try tofu as a meat substitute, or edamame. I just recently discovered tempeh, which can be found at many super markets (I get the whole grain type from Trader Joe's). Obviously beans and nuts are a great choice, and so is quinoa if you have access to it (it's sold in most grocery stores now I've noticed). If you really don't like some of these options, try buying protein powder. I make shakes with chocolate protein powder, a banana, unsweetened almond milk, and 1tbsp peanut butter and it keeps me full for ages and is loaded with protein and other goodness! Just make sure with protein powders to check the ingredients and label to make sure there isn't a lot of added sugar.
Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps!!
Thanks for those suggestions. I eat all of those things!
And, at 28, and having been loosing weight for 14 years now, I know what works for me and what does not. I can only really successfully lose weight by eating around that amount. The only reason I have had to lose weight in the past 6 years is due to having babies, otherwise I lost and maintained my ideal weight at approx 1250. When pregnant or breastfeeding I up my calories, and my weight follows suit. I have tried your theory numerous times about eating more to burn more and have even given it some time, but its just not true for me. What is true for me is the less I eat, the less I weigh.
1200 is hard to manage though, its super easy to go over. But I feel much happier about every aspect in my life when I am smaller in size, so figure this is the lifestyle I have chosen. Eating more and weighing more do not make me happy.
SO, back to the original post. I would like to lose weight (3kg) and I would like to do so the only way my body knows how.
What do you eat for 12-1300 cals a day thats vegetarian?
Soy is a crappy and unhealthy food. Eat it if you want to have poor thyroid function and possibly become infertile (or worse if you're a guy.)
Avoid whole grains too. They're horrible for every part of your body.
Replace "whole grains" with healthy grains such as quinoa, millet and brown rice.
Purchase some almond and coconut flour and make your own soy/gluten/wheat/dairy free pancakes.
I include organic soy products a couple of times a month mostly in the form of Tofu, and as an occassional treat we have vege 'bacon' with our eggs on the weekend. I know its an overly processed food but its for special occassions and waaay better than bacon! I used to drink a lot of soy milk, but on my second pregnancy really developed a dislike for it and massive craving for cows milk. I have not really gone back to it. But if I do, I always try to chose organic and non gmo as that generally has less hormone problems. I think to say that if you eat soy you will have poor thyroid function and become infertile is the same as saying if you eat steak you will get bowl cancer. Thats not entirely true nor fair.
What do you mean don't eat whole grains? I think whole grains are any type of grain still with the germ attached, such as unrefined wheat, or oats (not instant). Quinoa, millet and brown rice are still whole grains are they not? Please explain
I have never tried coconut flour, but I LOVE almond flour. But the high calorie and fat content in it put me off using it too much. Remember I am not trying to go gluten/soy/wheat/dairy free, I am trying to go low cal. I do use almond flour a lot with my kids though, and sneak it into just about all my sons baby food as added protein for him. I'm not worried about allergies.
So, again, anyone; low cal vege diet plans?
Well seems to me you're already eating a healthy diet with soy, tofu, beans, lentils, whole grains, etc. So the only thing would be to cut down the amount you eat?
I keep myself full with lots of low cal salads and soups (I'm vegetarian too), fruit, and high protein bread. I've cut out sugar (for the most part), white bread, white rice, white pasta, soda.
If you feel like you're always hungry and going over the 1200 cals, maybe your body needs more..think about that!
EDIT: I re-read and realized you have a young kids..there is no way you can survive on a 1200 calorie diet and have enough energy to run around with them. I know- I am a mother of an energetic 2 yr old!
Tofu and Soy are not health foods. Let's just put that out there. Neither are whole grain products like pasta or breads.
I'm not recommending you go gluten free, but would you rather be skinny and unhealthy or skinny and healthy? Certainly cut back on all gluten and soy. You won't regret it.
Also what's with the irrational fear of fat on these boards? Eating fat doesn't make you fat. Strangely enough, eating a lot of carbs DOES turn into fat into the body. But fat can't turn into carbs.
plan your day ahead so you don't over eat earlier in the day. what times/foods do you eat now? maybe allocate 300 for breakfast, 300 lunch, 200 post workout/snack, 400 dinner? or up your calories and up the main meals by 100!
have to say that 1200 isn't a lot, especially with a kid to run around after. do you exercise? you could eat 1500 a day and burn 300 cals through exercise, and have much more energy and better fat loss results. i generally go for this method and have a protein cake post workout; a scoop of dymatize elite whey protein powder, an egg and water blended then microwaved for a minute. depending on whether i add a teaspoon of cocoa, a little coffee or berries etc it's <200 cals, 30g protein, 6-7g fat, 2-10g carbs.
there are lots of good protein powders out there, egg, whey, rice etc whey ones often contain lactase.
try getting more protein (25% of your cals, work up to 30-35% if you are working out or doing resistance training)
do you eat low-fat dairy like quark and reduced fat cottage cheese/mozzarella? these are really tasty replacements for stuff like cheddar ie, tortilla/rice cakes topped with 100g quark/cottage cheese and diced veg then grilled = pizza!
loads of beans. creamy bean dip (blended beans and quark) with veg sticks is one of my favourite snacks.
sorry this post got a bit rambly!
chunkylard, I do not have a problem digesting soy or gluten. It does not make me unhealthy. I do not have an irrational fear of fat, I eat healthy amounts of it. I think we have got past the 90's fat free phase havn't we? On the other hand, as a vegetarian its almost impossible to restrict your carbs. While I make an effort to up the protein and lower the carbs, I think I would get very sick if I didn't eat them.
Lkjhg, thanks for your ideas. My downfall is with nuts and dried fruit. I kid myself that its fine to snack on them all day because they are a healthy option, however a quick tally before dinner usually leaves me with only 1-200 calories left for the day when I do that! So I have to think of ways that I can allow myself some yummy almonds or macadamias or walnuts and raisins and dried pineapple (yuuuuum) that keeps thing realistic and under control!
I also find that having a small number does not leave me much room to play with. I always obtain a weekly average. So last week I aimed for 1300 as my weekly average. I was doing great, clocking in 1250 most nights, then on Friday night swung out to 1700 from having a couple of glasses of wine. Thats not a great amount, but by the end of the weekend that bought my average up to 1375 and the result was zero weight loss. I even exersized 5 days out of 7 (grrr!). So I really have to stick under that number to get my clothes fitting me again!
I'm not fat free, not suggesting that YOU become fat free, and not a vegan, but I love her recipes. They taste good, and many are low calorie, filling, and made with a lovely variety of vegetables, whole grains, and beans. There are plenty of soups, sides, and main dishes, and its VERY rare that you see any recommendations for the use of processed food or meat substitutes. She also gives gorgeous colour photos of each recipe, and posts calorie counts on the recipes, so there's no guesswork! If you press "recipe index" on the top toolbar thing of the page, it sorts the recipes into categories, so if you're looking for soup, you can just click "soups" and see all of those instead of going back through the whole site.
wow what a great site! I am saving that one! yumm!!!
I am a most of the time vegitarian in order to lose weight. I wonder what your typical foods are.
Perhaps if you show us a typical menu for the day wer can suggest lower calorie options and tweaks.
For example instead of eating strait nuts try a combo of walnuts with chopped apples ( a little lemon juice to prevent browning) and eating that.
Or if it is the salty of nuts that appeals to you try salted and spicy green beans ( seriously steamed green beans with salt and chilli peppers chilled in teh fridge is a yummy if unconventional snack.)
I can show down on bags of radishes or snap peas as a munch at the desk snack in place of nuts.
ooh and pickles provide a low cal salty savory addition
Okay, so yesterday;
bowl of cereal (light and tasty or some other low fat vitamin and mineral enriched 'womans' cereal) with low fat greek yogurt. This is always weighed and measured so I make sure I'm not overeating here.
1/4 of a pumpkin scone (bites shared with my child) and a coffee with low fat milk. I am usually always hungry around 11 and have a muesli bar or some 100 cal snack with a cup of coffee
Measured 1 cup of quinoa and black bean salad made with loads of extra vege and fresh herbs. 5-10 Raw almonds, 2 dried apple rings and half a square of lindt dark chocolate
I really know I shouldn't but I usually end up eating the crusts of my childrens sandwidges I make them. Sometimes with extra pb added! I usually allocate another 150 calories to doing this. Really hard to stop cause im usually so hungry when i make their snacks!
Fresh seasonal vegetable pasta with home made tomato sauce and whole wheat pasta. We make this a lot, with minimal oil and no cheese or cream. I only have a small amount of the spagetti noodles and opt for huge ladles of the chunky vege tomato sauce
The other half of that square of dark chocolate and half a grapefruit
Ok a lot of what you eat are grain carbs and those are not very filling.
I'd trade the scone/ cereal bar for something like an apple or two or a bunch of sugar snap peas and some hummus. Traid the almonds+ dried apple+ chocolate for two apples dipped into a dip mix of 1 teaspoon nuttella+ 3 teaspoons hot water
Up the veggies in the salad or serve 1/2 cup of that salad on a bed of 2 cups of spinach
Eat a full apple not apple rings dried fruit is nowhere near as filling. Make all of you snacks at snack time. Something like cut up veggies
Seriously if you cut down on the grains (cereal, bread,pasta) and upp trhe bulk of leafy green things (spinach kale salad greens, zucchini, summer squash ect) and drink more water it is easy to feel full on less. But you are eating calorie dense vegitarian foods.
Try drinking more water
But basically you are hungry because every chjoice you make is the calorie dense version. Try a tortilla smeared with a little hummus and stuffed full of spinach cucumber and red peppers
just a question
i jsut started eating brown rice and i love it,but is there a difference between,instant brown rice and regular? cause instant is just easier and quicker to make..
This site suggests that non-instant is better because the glycemic load is less than that of instant. But in the end, if you don't do the low glycemic diet thingy, there are many worse choices out there. Be aware that a lot of the microwavable instant rice, even brown rice, has oil and salt mixed in.
mmm I love brown rice, that was one of my favorite things about visiting Japan, we got to eat it for breakfast!
wow baltimoreamt, thanks for that. I had always assumed that I had to have some sort of complex grain to feel full. I would agree that I am eating a lot of that sort of thing. I am going to make a conscious effort to swap grains for water based fruit and vege for a week and see if that helps.
I am really dissapointed as for the past 14 days I have eaten an average of 1350 calories and exersized for around 45 mins every second day (runnning, training, yoga, walking) but went from 57.9 last week to 58.7 today??!! I just don't get it! Its so unfair sometimes, you work so hard for nothing! I am wondering if it has anything to do with hormones. I am slowly weaning my son so its possible my hormones are running amuck with the decrease in milk production or something. I am also extremely bloated and have been for a good week. (Please dont reply and tell me i'm not eating enough because I am breastfeeding, I tried eating more and put on 3 kilos in a month so not doing that again.)
Hey, fellow vegan here on a 1250 calorie limit! (I too find that calorie limits around 1300 are best for me when trying to lose weight. Of course, if I burn more than 500 calories at the gym I up it, but I'm pretty good at sticking to it).
I looooove to cook and have come up with some pretty stellar recipes that are low calorie. I actually record all of my recipes, so I could send you some if you'd like (I've never used the messaging system before, but there's always a time to learn).
Some of my favs include:
-Overnight oatmeal with rice/almond milk and fruit (~275 calories)
-Puffed millet (or other grain) with rice/almond milk and a chopped apple (~170 calories)
-Salad with homemade dressing, tomatoes, red pepper and raisins (~275 calories)
-Brown rice with vegetable chili (~300 calories) (or just vegetable chili for 150 calories!)
-Hummus and veggies (~100 calories)
-Homemade tomato veggie soup (~160 calories)
-Stuffed peppers (~240 calories, this is by far one of the most filling. Halve peppers, fill them with other chopped veggies like tomatoes and kale and 1/4 can of kidney beans and a little bit of tamari and hot sauce to flavour. Bake them on a tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F)
-Breakfast shakes (~250 calories) [usually involves 2 cups almond milk, some cacao powder and bananas and frozen fruit]
I usually aim for 3 meals (~300 calories each) and then 3-4 snacks (~150/100 calories each)
Have you tried making zucchini noodles as a substitute for pasta? I use a vegetable peeler to make strips about the size of fettuccine. It saves you so many calories and you just add any sauce like you would regular pasta. It's also very filling since zucchini is a starchy vegetable. I now never eat pasta and either substitute in zucchini noodles or tofu noodles.
You can also stuff portobella mushroom caps and make like a personal pizza. Just remove the steam and scrape out the gills. Bake the caps at 350F for 10 minutes or so. Then add your toppings and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Tastes just like regular pizza. One cap is only 30 calories. I usually make two and use about 100 calories worth of cheese and 30 calories of pizza sauce. That ends up being only 190 calories.
I would also eat fresh fruit instead of dried because its much more filling. I think the most filling fruits are melons, bananas, and apples.
I eat between 1200 and 1300 calories a day and this is my typical day:
- Apple, banana, or melon
- 150 calories of raw nuts
- Salad with veggie patty
- 100 calorie pack of raw almonds
- Greek yogurt
- A piece of fruit
- Some cheese
- big salad, steamed veggies with dressing, or "Pasta" (except with zuchinni noodles or tofu noodles)
People who are saying soy isn't healthy are nuts! I know the big soy scare is some AWESOME SENSATIONAL FAD right now (omg everything causes cancer!!), but my Japanese grandmother has been a vegetarian here whole life with soy as her main source of protein and she's 94 and still partyin. I'm a vegetarian and I was raised on a Japanese diet and soy and seaweed are my main sources of protein. I'm in great shape and in perfect health. A favorite meal of mine would be boiled tofu with soy sauce, ginger, scallions and sesame seeds with brown rice and vegetables on the side. Also, fermented soybean (natto) is unequivocally a ridiculously healthy food.
Anyway, if soy scares you, I suggest trying soba, hijiki or konnyaku as an alternative source of protein. Soba has all the amino amino acids that meat has, plus antioxidants. Hijiki is full of minerals and fiber and is delicious simmered with some soy sauce, mirin, diced veggies and thrown over some brown rice.
I don't know if you've heard of konnyaku, but it is a noodle made from yam that literally has no calories- however, I think it is an acquired taste for most people (it's squishy!) but I love it.
Good website for veg food:
Also a vegetarian! I tend to do 1200-1500 calories though (usually based on how much I exercise). It also sounds like your diet isn't very high in protein? I have to add in either processed bars, or other stuff with protein powder which really adds to how I feel and how hungry I am.
I am not joining the anti-soy fad as well. I think it's all about moderation, but to each their own. I also think the Asian communities with a high soy intake are a good source of reasoning for why moderate consumption is fine.
Also, my new favorite thing is seaweed. I have to get it at an asian market, but it's called Nori or Laver, and I get the roasted/salted one (I am not worried about my salt intake, but if you are, probably not best for you), it comes in a little bit of oil (olive oil and other kinds). I cut it up into a chip size and chomp down! Seaweed is great for you, and because it's dried, it expands in your belly! I drink it with a lot of water, and 15-20 min later I am full and stay that way usually for a couple of hours :)
I also had to cut back on almonds, because while I love them and know that overall they are healthy, for me, they do not fill me up, their fat to protein ratio is too high and I've just found they are not filling the need for me. Total bummer, but c'est la vie.
Hope you've been able to find other ways to maintain or cut down, and also consider looking into signs of hypothyroidism and if you match those symptoms, talk to your doctor. It can happen more frequently post-partum.