What am I doing wrong?

Today, I had NOTHING except healthy food and yet, I still ate 3 times more calories than I should have. How is this possible and is there a difference between good calories and bad calories? Or are calories, just calories?
Bfast=healthy homemade peanut butter, cocoa powder, banana, and 1% milk
Lunch=salad with fat free dressing, summer sausage, carrots, zucchini, and artichoke hearts
Dinner=grilled cheese(with the kids), and a small smoothie like breakfast with strawberries added. My daily intake was almost 3000 calories when I should have had 1200. I'm confused.
1201. Even if I exercise for an hour tonight, I won't be able to burn the amount of calories I need to burn to lose weight. What am I doing wrong?
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Replies

  • AJ_G
    AJ_G Posts: 4,159 Member
    Calories are calories. The problem you're having is that you're classifying individual foods as healthy and unhealthy. That's not the case. A food cannot be healthy or unhealthy on it's own without looking at the context of the rest of the food you ate for the day.

    Sounds like the culprit is the smoothies with the peanut butter in it. It's hard to tell without you putting amounts or giving access to your diary.
  • calyspencer
    calyspencer Posts: 16 Member
    I would definitely say to plan ahead as much as possible. I enter the foods into my diary before I eat (while preparing). I tried to say calories are calories (last time I tried to lose weight) but unfortunately your body does process calories differently- at least mine does. The nice thing abt MFP is you are not limited w/ what you are allowed to eat, but for example if you were already at 1000 calories before dinner, you would only have 200 cals to work with for dinner & nothing after dinner. :(
    I have 1200 cals per day too. I usually try for approx 300 cal per breakfast, lunch, dinner & then three 100 cal snacks per day. It is flexible though. Measure everything & def log as you go. Don't wait til the end of the day to discover you ate too many calories. It's eye opening. I just re-started my weight loss & healthy lifestyle journey. Feel free to add me as a friend if you wish.
  • rand486
    rand486 Posts: 270 Member
    crazylipz wrote: »
    is there a difference between good calories and bad calories? Or are calories, just calories?

    Calories are calories. No food is "healthy" or "unhealthy" - as long as you get your vitamins and minerals for the day, you could eat twinkies for the rest; it wouldn't really matter where you get your energy from.

    Disclaimer: Don't eat twinkies. This is hyperbole for sake of demonstration.
    crazylipz wrote: »
    Today, I had NOTHING except healthy food and yet, I still ate 3 times more calories than I should have. How is this possible?
    Bfast=healthy homemade peanut butter, cocoa powder, banana, and 1% milk
    Lunch=salad with fat free dressing, summer sausage, carrots, zucchini, and artichoke hearts
    Dinner=grilled cheese(with the kids), and a small smoothie like breakfast with strawberries added. My daily intake was almost 3000 calories when I should have had 1200. I'm confused.
    1201. Even if I exercise for an hour tonight, I won't be able to burn the amount of calories I need to burn to lose weight. What am I doing wrong?

    You need to pre-plan, and weigh your food with a digital scale until you can eyeball caloric content reliably.

    Peanut butter, and sausage are bulking foods in my eyes. Smoothies and grilled cheese can be dangerous as well, depending on what's in them.
  • jessimacd
    jessimacd Posts: 53 Member
    In looking at your diary, I see that the salad dressing came in at a whopping 240 calories. Just that and the salad, without adding the sausage (360 cals), is about how many calories I try to eat at lunchtime when sticking to 1200 calories a day. Try using tuna, egg or chicken breast as protein on your salad instead, and find another salad dressing that's lower calorie.

    I like to consider the number of calories of an item, and think about whether it's worth it in terms of how filling and satisfying it is. For example, you could have the salad dressing for 240 calories, or instead you could have two slices of reduced sugar whole wheat bread with a tbsp of peanut butter. I know I'd choose the latter any day!

    Other small changes you could make would be to substitute unsweetened almond milk (I like the vanilla flavor; 35-40 cals per cup) for your 1% milk, keep the bananas to one per day, and limit your PB to 1 tbsp per serving.

    Hope this helps! Your meals do look delicious, and satisfying, so there's that. :-)
  • RizzaG16
    RizzaG16 Posts: 6 Member
    I couldn't agree more with you all. The rule I always apply for myself is calories in and calories out. At the end of the day accountability is very important, I learn as I go and apply what works for me. Please do pay more attention to food label it can be very deceiving.
  • ramseyarose
    ramseyarose Posts: 8 Member
    Yo get a scale ! Amazon.com has them for 10$ . Once you get a handle on your portion sizes by weighing them you will get the hang of it. Also when you enter your food make sure your doing it correctly your break fast should be 300-400 cal your lunch 500-600 cal and the rest for dinner . Also work out for and hour 3 to 4 times a week and log only half of your work out for example I do a 60 min Zumba class I record it as 30 min so I don't eat all the calories I burn.

    And all that food you listed does not total up to 3000 cal unless your eatting twice the serving amounts . White bread food will eat up your calories . So will fat free things and skim milks . They pump those products full of sugar to make them taste better . sugar = calories .

    I eat butter, olive oil , whole milk and I loose weight don't be afraid of Fat.

    Add me I'm full of useful info
  • calyspencer
    calyspencer Posts: 16 Member
    edited January 2015
    Good tips/ thinking here. I was thinking some of the same things. Apply yourself & you can do this!
  • joneallen
    joneallen Posts: 217 Member
    edited January 2015
    "fat free" dressing always has a ton of calories. Your diary shows what you're eating and where you're going wrong. You're eating foods high in calories. Plain and simple.

    Find better choice meats and dressings. And plan ahead! All the best.
  • Elsie_Brownraisin
    Elsie_Brownraisin Posts: 786 Member
    I was truly dismayed when I got a digital scale and weighed out 15g of peanut butter. It's delicious and good for you, but you get such a measly amount for over 100 calories.

    Before I started eating less, I'd slather it on a doorstop of brown toast and add chopped bananas, thinking that was a 'healthy' breakfast and it certainly was nutritious, but had more calories than a bacon and egg sandwich.
  • enterdanger
    enterdanger Posts: 2,445 Member
    something I find helpful also is to look at the food diary of people who have a similar calorie goal. Mine is open, so feel free to take a look. Be aware that if I don't have breakfast, lunch and dinner logged on a specific day it's usually not because I didn't eat it. I had the flu last week and didn't eat two days. That made me extra hungry on other days and I might not have logged everything.

  • LilyMammoth
    LilyMammoth Posts: 38 Member
    Definitely cut back on the portions and weigh things. 2 slices of bread instead of 3, 1 banana instead of 2, 1 cup of milk instead of 1.5, 3 Tablespoons of dressing instead of 6, etc, etc.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    I would say to eat your cals if you are not getting full. drinking cals will not fill you up as much or as long as food will. also load up on veggies, a lot of bulk for very little calories and have a lot of needed micro nutrients.
  • Lindaendall
    Lindaendall Posts: 177 Member
    I look for lower cal alternatives for as many foods as I can. Always weigh or measure and record BEFORE you eat, not after. That way you can amend what goes in your mouth before it is too late. Good luck.
  • nilbogger
    nilbogger Posts: 870 Member
    Six tablespoons of dressing is a lot. Even half that is a pretty substantial amount of dressing. Calories in smoothies can add up quickly, especially when you're using peanut butter.
  • pants77
    pants77 Posts: 185 Member
    Looks like the peanut butter, dressing, and summer sausage are the biggest offenders there. There are a lot of brands of sausage that are healthier than the one in your diary. Chicken sausage, turkey sausage, etc. And ditto the posts above about reducing quanitities on peanut butter, dressing, and bread.

    Switching to healthier sausage, dropping the dressing, and cutting the bread and peanut butter portions in half will scrape close to 1000 cals off.

    On a related note, I would also suggest that three bananas a day is probably too many. Folks can get kidney stones that way.
  • leggup
    leggup Posts: 2,942 Member
    There are no good or bad calories. If you eat over your maintenance calories, you will gain weight. It doesn't matter if you eat 3,000 calories of spinach and blueberries or chocolate cake, in terms of weight loss.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    pants77 wrote: »
    Looks like the peanut butter, dressing, and summer sausage are the biggest offenders there. There are a lot of brands of sausage that are healthier than the one in your diary. Chicken sausage, turkey sausage, etc. And ditto the posts above about reducing quanitities on peanut butter, dressing, and bread.

    Switching to healthier sausage, dropping the dressing, and cutting the bread and peanut butter portions in half will scrape close to 1000 cals off.

    On a related note, I would also suggest that three bananas a day is probably too many. Folks can get kidney stones that way.

    I would not call the high cal stuff she is eating unhealthy, but it does not fit her diet, due to the caloric density. High calorie =/= unhealthy.
  • jambo27061965
    jambo27061965 Posts: 57 Member
    I tend to have three weetabix for breakfast cup of soup for lunch then whatever for tea I fancy add 5 hour periods of exercise in the week and I'm doing ok!!!! Not sure if my way is the norm
  • royaldrea
    royaldrea Posts: 261 Member
    A food can be considered "healthy" to some people and still be high-calorie...for example a lot of vegan and paleo-approved meals are really high in calories but because those diets are considered healthy diets, people feel as though they can eat as much of them as they want and still lose weight, when they can't.

    This is why many people on MFP advise that if you're trying to lose weight, the best way to view your diet is "calories in, calories out". You have to consume less calories than you burn in order to lose weight. For weight loss, it doesn't really matter what those calories consist of. (If you're into eating 'healthy' or non-processed or trying to gain muscle or you have dietary issues then what you eat does matter, but we're talking about weight loss here and none of those other variables. I am not saying that what you eat doesn't matter at all. I am saying that what you eat doesn't make any significant difference in terms of weight loss, as long as you eat less than you burn).

    Like other people said, what constitutes a "good food" depends on what your goals are. If you're trying to put on weight then a meal which is heavy in carbs and fats is good for you. Trying to gain muscle? A meal heavy in protein is good for you. If you're trying to lose weight then you would be wise to eat carbs and fats in moderation, because it's easy to eat a whole lot of carb-heavy and fat-heavy foods without feeling full, and needing more food on top of it, which will likely put you in a calorie surplus and be detrimental to your weight loss goals.

    Explore the site some more. Invest in a food scale. Stay away from fads and cut down on your portions. Drink lots of water and plan ahead so you don't end up in a situation where you have to go with the only option available. Figure out what exactly it is you want from your body. Don't get frustrated - you're just as strong and capable as the strongest, most successful person on here, and I guarantee you nobody on this site is perfect and everybody has had setbacks along their journey.

    Hope all goes well!
  • ruffnstuff
    ruffnstuff Posts: 400 Member
    After losing 85+ pounds, here's what I know to be true FOR ME (and that might extend to you, too). There is no way I could have a smoothie for breakfast and dinner and not be hungry...don't care how much protein and such I load into it. I have to have chewable food. Smoothie can taste really good and I might feel full right after drinking it, but an hour later I am hungry.

    I don't know any of your stats other than age, but can I ask where the 1200 goal is from? I ask because many of us who've been around MFP awhile see time and time and time again where people try to eat too little and it derails them. I always see my goal as being able to eat as much as possible while still losing weight at a reasonable rate. Because think about this - if you start at only 1200 cals, where do you have to go once you've lost weight and are supposed to reassess your goals and eat less? Unless you are 4'10" at your age, you can probably eat at least 1500 cals a day and lose at a decent, healthy rate.

    You've received lots of helpful responses so far (and a few crazy ones!) about why you ended up at almost 3000 cals for the day, so you already know where it went astray. I guess I would just caution you to look again at your goals with your personal stats in mind to see if you could up your daily calorie goal to something more sustainable than 1200. My diary is open and I cook for a family of four almost every day after work, so if you need some ideas you can feel free to browse.

    Good luck to you. :)