A Few New Goals

A Few New Goals

Alright, so starting next week (actually it’s already been started mostly) these are the things I really want to incorporate into my daily schedule:

  • Wake up at 6:45 to be able to go swimming for half an hour before work, every day.
  • After work, spend about half an hour to an hour a day doing the following things:
    • Meditate for 10 minutes or so.
    • Do the new Popsugar 30-Day Squat Challenge (I’ve done two days so far and I’m quite happy with it!)
    • Logging in all my food information in MyFitnessPal and estimating what I can’t eat.
  • Don’t drink the coffee/hot chocolate in the office so much. Restrict myself to one cup and then one cup of unsweetened and unmilky tea or something – these drinks are an extra 200 calories in my day that I really cannot afford!
  • Stop thinking about heartbreaking boy and find better and more productive things to do with my life. Get happy myself, so he can’t get into my head.

Let’s see how it goals. I’ll keep you posted! (Especially with reviews of the Squat Challenge. I can tell you, it’s been 2 days and there is BURN).

What I’ve learnt from a few weeks of calorie-counting …

What I’ve learnt from a few weeks of calorie-counting …

I started counting calories (this time) on 26th July 2015. Since then, I’ve been fairly regular, except for brief times when I had no idea how to count the calories (or even guess).

Here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt:

After a bit, it gets really easy: Okay, maybe if I was counting every bite of food ever (down to the five calories in a bit of carrot) as I used to do, it would still be a tedious, annoying process. In the first couple of weeks, I used to spend a fair amount of time thinking and cataloguing the calories in various food. Planning out what to eat during the day became a chore, and I wasn’t sure if I could stick to it. However, after a bit it became really automatic and really only takes about 15-20 minutes that I can do between classes or just before bed. I can do this. I really hope so, anyway.

The blog helps a lot to stay on track: The thing about calorie counting is that it’s easy to make the excuses. “Oh, x day was a birthday/wedding/celebration/whatever.” It is, however, hard to see that number on that screen. Therefore, the urge is always to “stop” counting on days of binges (and I’ll admit that I feel that way too). However, seeing those gaps when I’m trying to write a weekly recap really reduce the number of days when I don’t track. I track all the bad stuff, like days of extra-drinking and restaurants and everything (to whatever extent possible).

I won’t stick to it everyday: This is something I’ve understood, and accepted. I won’t make it to 1550 everyday, not if I want to keep up with my social life and not be the girl who just eats salads or be perpetually hungry and feel restricted. I also know that if I keep up with my exercise goals (or even go for a swim 3-4 times in that week) then I’m burning an extra couple of hundred calories. (Conservative estimate puts swimming thrice a week at about 500 calories. I usually exercise more than that.) I use those to fuel going out and drinking and living it up – though I try to eat and drinking conservative, low-calorie food and alcohol when doing so. Also, I have learnt that 1-2 a week, depending on what is done, is probably for the best. Better for my wallet, too.

I want pizza: Okay look you guys. I make a big deal of pretending that one can eat out, even at fast food places and make healthy choices. I know exactly what I can order from, say, McDonalds or KFC. But pizza is SO DIFFICULT. The most I can fit into my day would be half a medium pizza, which would be well-over half of my allotted calories and still not enough to keep me full. But I’ve decided that if I can eat well for two weeks (by which I mean not going above 1550 calories on any given day) and I don’t eat back my exercise calories, I can probably order from dominos once. Is it going to be worth it? We’ll see.

Calorie counting doesn’t necessarily make you healthier: I mean, it has meant that I pick smaller portion sizes (I have realized, with a little horror, just HOW badly I was eating in the past). But it doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily shy away from the packet of chips or won’t eat a muffin for breakfast. Also it’s sometimes just easier to count them because they have a calorie count on them. While I don’t consider this an absolute sin, I will look into incorporating more fruits and vegetable into my diet pretty soon, I think. Also, looking at the numbers it has made me start exercising a whole lot more. Not necessarily always more strenuous exercise (somedays I’ll pick walking over zumba or swimming, for example) but any exercise.

Sometimes you have to say no: No to the extra slice of pizza, no to going out, no to one more shot. It’s tough, but so what?

Week Recap: 7th September to 13th September

Week Recap: 7th September to 13th September

It’s been a good week!

Food:

Monday: 1540 calories.

Tuesday: 2012 calories. (Keep in mind, this is the day I got the results of my interview, so … much vodka and ice cream was consumed).

Wednesday: 1557 calories.

Thursday: 1576 calories.

Friday: 1512 calories.

Saturday: 1491 calories.

Sunday: 1559 calories.

Exercise:

Monday: –

Tuesday: Dance/Walk for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: –  

Thursday: Zumba for 55 minutes.

Friday: –

Saturday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Sunday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Below my weekly goal, unfortunately, but still very decent. Also more than takes care of the excess calories from last Tuesday.

Week Recap: 31st August to 6th September

Week Recap: 31st August to 6th September

Hey guys! I am thrilled to report to you a week I consider a fair success in terms of … well, everything.

Food: 

Monday: Because of my day at Smally’s, I’m not really sure. But on absolutely no basis at all, I am estimating it at about 2000 calories.

Tuesday: 1521

Wednesday: 1611.

Thursday: 1729. Again, I went out to a nearby joint with my friend. Eating restaurant food is never good for sticking to the limits.

Friday: 1453.

Saturday:  1728. Cafe Mezzuna day.

Sunday: 1621.

So overall it doesn’t look like a win week, right? (I mean, I really shouldn’t go out so much. I think once a week is definitely more ideal). Though the excess on some random days (like Sunday and Wednesday) are probably covered by the deficits on Friday and Tuesday, what about the nearly 1000 calories of excess I have racked up over Monday, Thursday and Saturday?

That’s where the next part figures in …

Exercise: 

This week I finally made my exercise goal of exercising 3 hours in the week! (Okay I know this doesn’t sound super impressive but it is for me). 

Tuesday: Sexy Dance Workout (20 minutes)

Thursday: Cardio Striptease (40 minutes)

Friday: Zumba Workout + Pilates (60 minutes)

Sunday: Zumba Workout + Pilates (60 minutes)

The total number of calories burnt in the week is about 1000 calories accordingly to MyFitnessPal. I’ve used conservative estimates. I know MyFitnessPal does overestimate a little on its activity calories, but I’m hoping this along with all the other random activities I do during the week (running around to submit projects, climbing up stairs, going to places) will safely ensure that my deficit doesn’t go too far below my required deficit of 2000 calories a week. (It is true, however, that in previous weeks I’ve probably gone above this deficit, thereby making my weightloss faster (about 2 kg in the 6 weeks I’ve been tracking) but it doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m not going below my goal of 1 kg/month.

How to Make Good Choices at … Cafe Mezzuna

How to Make Good Choices at … Cafe Mezzuna

Cafe Mezzuna is really new and really hip. Just as a review … I super recommend it. Its very pretty, all the food is of great quality, and for the ambiance and the food the pricing is extremely reasonable. It can be compared to places like Smokehouse Deli but isn’t as expensive.

Cafe Mezzuna
Isn’t it beautiful?

Anyway, unlike at Smallys, I actually felt like I made some pretty good choices here, so let me tell you what I ate.

The Appetizer

AA, PP and I shared a Mezze Platter. The Mezze Platter is huge. It comes with hummus, green chutney, beetroot hummus, sour cream (?), baba ganoush, and one more red dip I couldn’t identify. It also came with a great deal of lavash bread. It was just the right size for three people to share and still be able to eat something else. Plus, it was reasonably healthy,

A rough estimate at MyFitnessPal put this at about 350 calories, though I tried to overestimate a bit because I wasn’t sure what a lot of the things were.

The Main Course

Because the appetizer was quite filling (and I’d been eating a fair bit all day), I opted for a salad: in particular, a goat cheese, slivered almonds and tomato salad with a mustard-orange vinaigrette. May I just say that the salad was beautiful, and so tasty that I didn’t covet my friends’ cheesy/meaty dishes, and quite filling as well. I really enjoyed it and it didn’t leave me stuffed.

A rough calorie estimate of 200 calories for this according to MFP.

The Dessert

Oh my god their Philadelphia Cheesecake is TO DIE FOR. However, predictably, it is a calorie bomb. We reduced this calorie bomb by splitting it three-ways. It was just enough cheesecake to enjoy and not enough to feel like we were bursting out of our pretty black dresses.

A rough calorie estimate of 200 calories (a large slice of blueberry cheesecake with blueberry compote and whipped cream is about 400 calories, so I’ve overestimated slightly).

The Drink

I was already eating a huge meal (and I had a cold) so I opted to not have alcohol or one of their decadent mocktails or milkshakes. I picked a chamomile tea that was refreshing, didn’t make me feel like I was the only one not having a drink, and soothed my throat. All at zero calories.

Total Calories from Meal: 750.

Total Calories that Day (given I’d eaten lightly otherwise): 1728. I know this is above 1550, but it isn’t drastically so, and it is the kind of deficit that can be covered up with some of my calories from exercise instead of being a thousand calorie excess that would be difficult to recover from.

Win!

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Hi everyone! This is my (hopefully weekly) check-in of how I’m really doing with regard to my goals.

Exercise

Monday: –

Tuesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Saturday: –

Sunday: Swimming for 30 minutes (but not very vigorously, as I was teaching a friend).

I wish I’d exercised on Saturday, but still, pretty close to my goals! I’m pretty kicked!

Eating: 

(For reference, the goal is about 1550 calories a day).

Monday: 1455 calories.

Tuesday: 1537 calories.

Wednesday: 1520 calories.

Thursday: 1557 calories.

Friday: 1570 calories.

Saturday: 1477 calories.

Sunday (gah): 1849 calories. [I did make good choices at Subway! But then I got waylaid by an extra large packet of chips while watching a movie in my room. Eh. No regrets. It was end of week and a long weekend anyway.]

Now, this isn’t exactly terrible! I’m sure the extra on sunday is compensated by the lower values on many other days and by the exercise (though I’m sure a lot of the calculations have been off or lower as well).

But overall I’m really happy with this week. It’s been a happy, productive week. Hoping for many more in the future!

How’s your week been?

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Making Good Choices At … Subway

Hey everyone! Today I’m going out to meet a friend. However, I’ve learnt that if I want to eat out, having gone through the menu in advance and picked a “good” option really helps me to not make terrible decisions. (Of course, that doesn’t rule out spontaneous bad decisions, but those are more fun anyway). So I headed over to the “nutrition” section of the Subway website.

Yay Subway.

Pick First: The Bread

I always try to pick a whole-wheat bread at Subway. I don’t know how much it changes the nutrition because the Subway website in India doesn’t have that information, however, extrapolating a bit from the U.S. website, it seems that they’re all roughly the same. I could pick Hearty Italian if I really wanted to minimize calories, but 10-20 don’t really seem to make that much of a difference.

Pick Second: The Sub

I’m vegetarian, so all options are vegetarian. You can decide your own calculation. So, I thought the best option would be Veg. Shammi because Subway had very triumphantly called it “fat free”, and because it had a lot of protein (about 22 grams), but its also has a lot more calories (352) and a lot more carbs (53 grams) than a Veggie Delight sandwich. A veggie delight has about 230 calories and 15 grams of protein. A quick calculation revealed that its almost the same amount of protein per gram, so Veggie Delight it is!

Pick Third: The Condiments

So, the sauces can make or break your sandwich. I love my sandwich absolutely full of sauces, but I’ve realized that I can’t do that. Since Subway India doesn’t tell you how many calories are there in their sauces, I’ve looked at this website and this  website and decided that ideally my sub will have:

  • Honey Mustard Sauces – 30 cal
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – 40 cal
  • Fat Free Sweet Onion Sauce – 40 calories.

That’s a hundred calories. Also, I’d like to add about sixty calories of cheese because I like cheese and it adds a little protein (approximately 4 grams).

Total Calorie Count of Sandwich: 400 calories. 

Pick Last: Cookies, Soda, Etc. 

Anyone of their cookies (as much as I love them) is an extra 200 calories. I will decide whether to eat them depending on how much I want it at that point, and what else I have eaten and plan to eat that day. Since I’ve had almost no breakfast today (woke up late, didn’t feel like eating) I may pick a cookie to go with my meal (or eat another dessert, like ice cream, with my friend).

I won’t drink the coke under any circumstances. In my opinion coke (and other aerated drinks) are just empty calories. They also make me feel all burpy.

In Conclusion: Eat it All. Just Wisely. Also websites really need to do a better job of giving nutritional info for their stuff.