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TOPIC: 1200 calories per day and foods that keep you feeling full

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July 11, 2013 10:17 AM
I'm looking for others who eat 1200 calories a day and have a public food diary. I'm struggling to stay at 1200 and feel like I am hardly eating anything all day and constantly feel hungry! I'm hoping if I see what others are eating at this level, it will help give me some new ideas of what to eat and help keep me full.

Also, if anyone can suggest their favorite foods that are low calorie and help keep you satisfied for hours, please share!!!
July 11, 2013 10:42 AM
Green Giant makes a great cauliflower & cheese sauce frozen dish that I often use as my lunch. A large portion is 1.5 cups and 150 calories. The cheese sauce is what makes it seem indulgent. I typically eat a late afternoon snack as well, but this is a dish that keeps me full for several hours.
  46350269
July 11, 2013 3:26 PM
My favourite snacks are apples, bananas and strawberries but if you're wanting a sweet treat, I eat mini Jammie dodgers. They come in a pack of four and it's only 88 calories altogether (:
  24731511
July 11, 2013 3:30 PM
i love my grilled cheese sandwiches! natures own wheat bread 40 (40 cals per slice) 1 slice American cheese (70 cals) and I cant believe its not butter SPRAY (0 cals)

150 calories total!

great for a snack, or make 2 with a small bowl of low cal tomatoe soup for a meal!
Edited by Mcgrawhaha On July 11, 2013 3:31 PM
  7967499
July 11, 2013 3:49 PM
QUOTE:

I'm struggling to stay at 1200 and feel like I am hardly eating anything all day and constantly feel hungry! I'm hoping if I see what others are eating at this level, it will help give me some new ideas of what to eat and help keep me full.

Also, if anyone can suggest their favorite foods that are low calorie and help keep you satisfied for hours, please share!!!


If you trust yourself to eat more on days that you are hungry, then do so--assuming diet is fairly clean and you are eating because your body is hungry.

Given this, here are things that might help. Drink 8- 12 glasses plain water daily. Incorporate more fibrous food with meals; perhaps a daily fiber goal could be 20-30g. A little more fat and protein in your diet could be needed. If you snack, make them small, such as a few walnut halves or 1/2 apple or 1c raspberries or 1/c c plain yogurt or a handful of raw green beans w 2Tb of hummus or half of cucumber sliced w 1/4c guacamole or half thin slice of whole grain toast w butter and cinnamon. Then top your snack off with a cup of tea or miso broth. The idea is to take the edge off of hunger. Avoid super sweet or salty foods at snack time, because it can be more difficult to moderate quantity. Sweet and salt tend to turn-on an appetite. Incorporate a food you crave into one of your meals.
Edited by lpina2mi On July 11, 2013 3:53 PM
  36002775
July 11, 2013 3:55 PM
You need to eat more...figure out TDEE and BMR, your body needs fuel!! http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/
Edited by Serah69 On July 11, 2013 3:55 PM
  16556021
July 11, 2013 3:57 PM
Up your green veggie content, as they're practically zero cals (watch what you put on them or budget cals accordingly). Consider every grain being whole grain - rice, pasta, and I personally find quinoa very filling and satisfying. Hydrate!

1200 is very low and isn't the right answer for everyone. You may have more luck overall if you're getting good quality food and still feeling hungry. If you're hydrated and still hungry, then you need to eat more.
Edited by epie2098 On July 11, 2013 3:57 PM
  5381121
July 11, 2013 4:02 PM
You can check out mine. I'm at 1440, but there's a lot of days I'm just at 1200. Even though I'd say 50-60% of the time I eat 1200 or less calories a day, overall I've chosen not to ever set my goal that low. 1400 works better for me because I get the added flexibility and don't push myself to eat the 1400 if I don't want to.

Egg scrambles are great as well as peanut butter! Eating slower and taking time to prepare/appreciate/take in the food you're eating are also tricks people use to feel satisfied after a meal. I also do things like eating lunch meat plain (buying good thick-cut stuff from the deli is best for this) because the bread doesn't really do much for me and it makes me want mayo. I don't add rice to meals that would usually call for being served over rice and instead sub veggies. Anything you can do to cut out "filler" foods helps me a lot.
  36120798
July 11, 2013 4:05 PM
I am at 1200 calories too! I am trying a little thing called "carb cycling"! It is from the book that Chris Powell (Extreme Makeover) wrote. It is very interesting! I am kind of combining MFP and the program. I am doing 1200 low carb and 1500 high carb.. (alternating days) It has been pretty easy so far. I always know that I have a high carb day right around the corner! I have lost about 11 lbs so far! I am also only weighing myself every two weeks. I am a bit compulsive with the scale!!

My favorite snack: Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt and sliced stawberries (with Stevia). (120+20) It is yummy and a full cup of yogurt goes a long way!!! I am trying for 300 calorie meals and 150 calorie snack. Good Luck!!!!!!!!!
  4113286
July 11, 2013 4:08 PM
it took me a few weeks BUT--I have gotten there with a few tricks. Walmart has these GREAT wraps in their deli dept. Josephs flax and oat bran wraps. an entire sheet is 100 cals only and half is MORE than enough to use for a sammie. I also cut them into bite size pieces spray with olive oil and some celery salt and toast them on both sides in the oven. F+GREAT snack for the munchies and a movie treat. I also consume ALOT of sugar free jello with some whipped crème--only use the crème in the can NOT COOL WHIP--too much fat. Progresso lite soups are a fav also. And cauliflower--there are sooooo many wonderful recipes for it and it is also very tasty as rice, mash like potatoes, etc....
July 12, 2013 7:13 AM
thanks everyone for all the great suggestions!
July 12, 2013 7:18 AM
I'm learning to recognize my hunger cues and satiated feelings. My goal to lose is 1200 per day but I always shoot to go under and usually do. I have been following a plant-based diet (beans and greens!!) for weeks now and I feel full/not hungry all day long. Very different than I used to feel when I was eating whole foods but lots of dairy and meats.

I have learned a lot about how my emotions and mental habits effect my eating choices. When I decided to skip snacking and increase my water, my feeling of hunger and full changed as well.

All of these changes have finally gotten my weight loss to happen after several years of struggling to make the scale budge.
  299214
July 12, 2013 7:27 AM
I have a meal that I eat almost daily and it really keeps me full. The granola is from A&P, but I'm sure whatever you'd like would be fine. I also vary the yogurt flavors. Target had them on sale for $1.25 last month, so I bought a ton. Normally they're $1.85 in my part of the US. smile Copying from my food diary. HTH and sorry if it doesn't.

Siggi's - Icelandic Style Skyr Strained Non-Fat Yogurt - Vanilla, 150 g
Target Market Pantry - Mixed Berries Frozen, 1 cup (140g)
the Food Emporium Trading Company - Granola (Apples, Blueberries, Almonds, Pecans, & 4 Seeds), 1/3 cup (30 g)

Calories: 300 Carbs: 47 Fat: 5 Protein: 17 Sodium: 105 Sugar: 27
  46743569
July 12, 2013 7:36 AM
I'm actually trying to eat more calories than 1200, but I've been eating higher protein and fat, with less than 70g of carbs per day. I was surprised to find that I rarely hit the 1900 calories I'm allowed because the high protein foods really keep you full.

I snack on tuna a lot. A can is about 160 calories, depending on brand (go for packed in water).

I grill a chicken breast with rosemary, cut it into strips-- tasty finger food for snacks. Depending on the size, about 160 calories.

Eggs are only 70 calories each, and full of healthy things. I eat them every day for breakfast, and am rarely hungry before lunchtime.

I think if you look for foods that are high in healthy fats/proteins, you'll be surprised at how full you can feel despite a lower calorie intake. I used to eat a bagel every morning, which has 300+ calories, and I'd be hungry in a few hours. With scrambled eggs and some berries, sometimes bacon, my breakfast is still only about 300-350 calories, but I'm not hungry until lunch. Sometimes it's not so much the calories in the food, but the food itself that makes the difference.

Not everyone is the same, but I've found this works for me. Hope it helps!
July 12, 2013 7:39 AM
I have this method....300 breakfast, 400 lunch, 500 dinner. Whatever I burn working out in the morning are my snacks. Here's my favorite dinner-keep me full recipe; Have you seen those tortilla oven shells bowls, as seen on tv, comes in a box, pack of four and they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond for $10 or at any Walmart? You toast them in the oven for seven minutes. Well, I use four corn tortillas Walmart brand, which equals 180 calories. 2/3 cup of brown rice 150 caloies, 1/2 cup of pinto beans 100 calories. Add your favorite spices, I like onion and garlic powder. Mix and pour evenly into four tortilla bowls. Top with cilantro and tomato. Add salsa if you'd like. Tastes really good and keeps you full.
July 12, 2013 7:47 AM
OMG! im on the 1200 calorie diet a day, too...talk about rough! Drink more water when you initially feel hungry again, just to make sure youre not thirsty, snacks on hand that are full of protein and fiber will help out a lot- i know it sounds obvious, but for me, even snacks like carrots and hummus or a small chia seed shake or something can help to curb cravings...even a bite of super rich, dark chocolate might help by satisfying sweet cravings. good luck!1200 cals is not easy, but WE got this! :)
July 12, 2013 7:54 AM
I'm on 1200/day as well. Add me if you like. Although because it's Ramadan for me right now so i'm eating even lesser than that.
  40852114
July 12, 2013 8:53 AM
I am in 1200 as well. I found it very hard to do at first. It takes time. If you feel hungry drink water, I do that to drown the hunger. If no matter what, you are still hungry. Take one bite out of a snack (like a few grapes, broccoli, or a bite out of a protein snack it will not hurt you. just something. Then as days go, your body will get used to it. Don't refuse it if you are actually hungry or else you will feel miserable and fall back.) Just takes a little self discipline :)
Edited by neintical On July 12, 2013 8:54 AM
  13024906
July 12, 2013 8:56 AM
hey at first it was hard but you find your favorites I like tuna, greek yogurt, apples, bananas etc... I'll send you a request good luck!
July 12, 2013 9:02 AM
I stick to a 1200 cal a day and am almost never hungry. I eat a lot of hummus and black bean hummus with salsa on top- very filling for lunch if you put it on a thomas's bagel thin or quaker white cheddar rice cake- only about 200 cal and is yummy!
July 12, 2013 9:08 AM
QUOTE:

Green Giant makes a great cauliflower & cheese sauce frozen dish that I often use as my lunch. A large portion is 1.5 cups and 150 calories. The cheese sauce is what makes it seem indulgent. I typically eat a late afternoon snack as well, but this is a dish that keeps me full for several hours.

Just be very aware of the sodium levels on those. I used to eat those as well but then I realized they were a big part of a lot of bloating.
  9677368
July 12, 2013 9:10 AM
My daily amount of calories is 1280, but I'm "cheating" it by exercising and eating some of these calories back. I'm spinning twice a week, doing weights, burning appx. 350 cal and dancing 90 minutes, burning about 600 cal. On the days I don't exercise I tend to go for very long walks. This works for me - I'm allowed to eat more. :)
July 12, 2013 9:20 AM
Filling stuff... lean protein like chicken breast, turkey. Personally I love tofu but I know that's not a popular stance. Tempeh. Lentils and beans are full of protein and really good to fill you up on not-so-many calories.

Investigate fresh vegetables because if you stick to lean protein + veggies I'd be surprised if you could be VERY hungry. You may crave stuff like cheese or pizza but you shouldn't be hungry. Most green veggies are so calorie sparse that you'd feel ill from overeating long before you hit a calorie limit.

My fave workday lunches are about 200g chicken breast and then 100g each of a few veggies; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, butternut squash, onions, eggplant, pumpkin, peas, corn, peppers, beets, cabbage... a good mix of colours so I'm "eating the rainbow" Depends how hungry I am, sometimes I will need about 4 veggie sides, other days I only want 1. A glug of olive oil or some pepper, balsamic vinegar, herbs, maybe some mustard or fat free yogurt to taste as dressing and the combinations are limitless.

Porridge for breakfast is a godsend! Make with water and top up with a little milk just as you're about to tuck in. Add a handful of chopped fruit, it keeps me going all morning.

Make sure you drink plenty too. Water is ideal but sure, tea or diet soda is not going to harm you. Watch your fruit juice intake as it's easy to think "ah it's fruit, that's healthy" and not realise how the sugar is adding up. Just eat the fruit whole as a snack, it's way way better for you, more satiating too.
If you are hungry/ feel the urge to snack have a big glass of water/ tea and an apple or orange or a chunk of melon. I was surpised how quickly the AARGH STARVING feeling went away.

Also listen to your body. If you are constantly hungry and unhappy, up your intake a little. It won't be the end of the world! Moderation in everything. Including moderation.
July 12, 2013 9:30 AM
1. Exercise to add more calories to your 1200 calorie limit.

2. Veggies, veggies, veggies. The majority of veggies are high volume and low calorie. The fiber helps keep me full. Whole fruit has fiber too .... but I have to limit this because of calories.

3. Whole grain everything ..... this is the fiber thing again

4. Protein ..... I try to include some with every meal. Swap greek yogurt for regular (2X the portien). Protien is very filling ... for some it's filling on it's own ..... but I'm hungry again when I don't combine it with something else. You will have to experiment.

5. Fat ..... there are healthy good for you fats (nuts, nut butters, olive oil). Small portions have large calories .... but fat sticks with you a long time.
July 12, 2013 9:39 AM
QUOTE:

My daily amount of calories is 1280, but I'm "cheating" it by exercising and eating some of these calories back. I'm spinning twice a week, doing weights, burning appx. 350 cal and dancing 90 minutes, burning about 600 cal. On the days I don't exercise I tend to go for very long walks. This works for me - I'm allowed to eat more. :)


Eating exercise calories back is not "cheating" .... MFP gave you a calorie deficit with ZERO exercise.... not everyone can/will exercise. This is why you are expected to eat these calories back. It does sound weird ..... but the reason behind eating calories back ...... you will lose fat AND muscle when the calorie deficit is too large.

The problem people experience with eating exercise calories back is that calorie burns are estimates(often too high) .....so eating back a portion of these calories is a good idea. Then adjust up/down as needed.

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