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Maintenance Seems Too Low?

Hey everyone. I was just hoping for a little bit of advice (my food diary is public).

I am 5'4" and 111lbs. I am currently working on becoming stronger, so that I can do work around the farm more easily, and have no access to a gym where I live. MyFitnessPal has calculated my maintenance calories at 1560 a day, which means I often need to go on an hour-long brisk walk just so that I can eat dinner without going over. We're operating on a very limited food stamp budget (about $110), so I don't have a whole lot of flexibility as far as food goes, especially with the garden winding down, the new flock of chickens aren't laying yet, and it's not time to send the pigs to freezer camp.

Today, for example, I ate:
Breakfast
-peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast (fresh bread and canned jelly)
-mug of coffee

I may have overestimated the peanut butter and coffee creamer a little, as I tend to be very sparing with condiments, but not by a noticeable amount. Between breakfast and lunch, a liter of water.

Lunch
-Leftover roast from the other night
-Another mug of coffee (my coffee pot makes 2 mugs full, so I drink 2 a day)

That about uses up all of my calories for the day. I am making a leftovers pineapple beef stew meal served over rice for dinner for everyone, which means I'll need to go on a long walk to win back some calories, and even then I'll be over.

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do?



(Note: days I didn't log or where restaurant meals appear, my fiancé and his family took me out to eat)
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Replies

  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    I eat net 1550 and get 3 meals and a snack in without too much trouble.

    Start on MFP's number, but you may find you can actually eat more.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,038 Member
    edited September 2016
    Well, peanut butter and jelly sandwich = lots of calories.
    Same with a roast (if it's beef) Beef is expensive and high calorie. I have it maybe once every two weeks.

    I eat on about $4 a day, 1600-1700 cals.

    Beans, rice, chicken on sale, oats (rolled, in the big container about $.012 per serving) eggs, cheese in a big 2lb loaf, on sale $4, tuna, bacon or sausage. Butter and yogurt, frozen vegetables, fresh lettuce, apples, bananas, melon, tomatoes, avocado, onion.

    Buy stuff in bulk on sale. Buy spices and whatever else is available fresh at the dollar store.

    It's possible. 1600-1700 calories is my maintenance cals without exercise - however I'm taller, weigh 30 pounds more and I'm waaaaay older, so take that with a grain of salt. You'll need to track your intake for a couple months to dial that number in.
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    edited September 2016
    I am glad to hear that number doesn't seem abnormally low!

    Breakfast was 641 calories:
    My bread recipe is 276 calories for 2 slices,
    Peanut butter is 190 calories for a serving,
    Coffee jelly is 32 calories,
    and a brewed 12 fl oz mug of coffee w/ 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of non-dairy creamer is 143 calories

    Lunch was 820 calories:
    The leftover pot roast was originally a slow-cooker 3lb roast, which I split up into 6 servings. I ate one serving for lunch, which MFP said was 677 calories.
    Coffee was made the same way as this morning.

    I am full now, and will not eat dinner until about 8-8:30pm, but I couldn't have gone all the way until tomorrow on this.

    EDIT: Hello, cmriverside! Looks like you posted while I was typing. Those foods you describe would be lovely, but planning just 21 dinners for 4 people put me at $100, and that was relying on things I already had preserved, spices I have already stockpiled, and meat purchased on sale. That leaves me with very little I can do for other meals, since dairy needs to be conserved for dinners. I am a breadbaker, so bread is something easy to come by.
  • adelanghe
    adelanghe Posts: 27 Member
    Can you explain me what is that Donkin Donuts coffee? Just curious about the high caloric value, and I'm not familiar with that kind of coffee
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member
    I am glad to hear that number doesn't seem abnormally low!

    Breakfast was 641 calories:
    My bread recipe is 276 calories for 2 slices,
    Peanut butter is 190 calories for a serving,
    Coffee jelly is 32 calories,
    and a brewed 12 fl oz mug of coffee w/ 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of non-dairy creamer is 143 calories

    Lunch was 820 calories
    The leftover pot roast was originally a slow-cooker 3lb roast, which I split up into 6 servings. I ate one serving for lunch, which MFP said was 677 calories.
    Coffee was made the same way as this morning.

    I am full now, and will not eat dinner until about 8-8:30pm, but I couldn't have gone all the way until tomorrow on this.

    So you're making the choice to use nearly 300 cals on bread, 190 cals on PB etc...

    my breakfast is usually around 300 cals of protein enriched cereal with milk or fat free Greek yoghurt with granola...

    I'd look at where you can make better use of your cals tbh.
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    edited September 2016

    So you're making the choice to use nearly 300 cals on bread, 190 cals on PB etc...

    my breakfast is usually around 300 cals of protein enriched cereal with milk or fat free Greek yoghurt with granola...

    I'd look at where you can make better use of your cals tbh.

    The breakfast you just described would cost as much as a dinner, not accounting for needing to feed the rest of my family. I can make a whole loaf of bread for the cost of 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp of yeast (purchased in 1lb increments for $5), and water. Other ingredients are added when I have extra. Jellies are already in my cupboard from canning over the last year.

    The dunkin donuts coffee is a bag of coffee grounds that I was gifted for Christmas last year. The brewed black coffee itself has 0 calories.
  • kgirlhart
    kgirlhart Posts: 4,257 Member
    My maintenance calories before exercise are 1560. I am 5'4.75" and 133. I am older than you at 48. I usually end up eating about 1800 calories a day. My plan is usually 450 for breakfast 450 for lunch and that leaves me 660 for dinner and an evening snack. If I do no exercise. I don't work out at a gym. I do 30 minutes of yoga (dvds) on weekdays and I walk about 3 miles daily ,so unless I'm sick I will get some extra calories every day. My typical breakfast is 2 boiled eggs (140 cal) a greek yogurt (100 cals) 2 cups of coffee with 2 tsp sugar and 2 tbsp half and half each (140 total cals) and some fruit. That puts me at 380 calories before I add the fruit and I usually have around 25-50 calories worth of fruit. Based on today's breakfast and lunch it seems to me like you might be able to cut back your calories at breakfast and lunch if you want to have more calories for dinner. Are you doing chores on a farm every day? I would think that you could either add that in as exercise, or consider yourself lightly active and get some more calories that way.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,741 Member

    So you're making the choice to use nearly 300 cals on bread, 190 cals on PB etc...

    my breakfast is usually around 300 cals of protein enriched cereal with milk or fat free Greek yoghurt with granola...

    I'd look at where you can make better use of your cals tbh.

    The breakfast you just described would cost as much as a dinner, not accounting for needing to feed the rest of my family. I can make a whole loaf of bread for the cost of 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp of yeast (purchased in 1lb increments for $5), and water. Other ingredients are added when I have extra.

    The dunkin donuts coffee is a bag of coffee grounds that I was gifted for Christmas last year. The brewed black coffee itself has 0 calories.

    I was just saying there are many different things you can get that are filling without being 600 calories. Not that you had to eat what I eat.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,069 Member
    Lots more vegetables! Substitute Cauliflower rice to serve your stew over. Use spaghetti squash and zucchini as noodles. Keep the bread and peanut butter in moderation. Those things will quickly add up the calories. If it's filling for you, that's fine. Otherwise, bulk up with veggies. This is a great website for inspiration - http://www.hungry-girl.com/

    It sounds like you depend upon the land a lot to provide the majority of your food. Can you hunt for your protein sources and then spend your money on fresh fruits and vegetables?
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    edited September 2016
    Hey guys, it seems like some of you may be reading my tone incorrectly. Please understand that I am not offended or being defensive. I am just honestly perplexed and not sure what I can do within my means. I know it is done, I'm just not sure how.

    I do wear a fitbit to track my steps, which is why I put in sedentary. My farm consists of 2 goats, 8 sheep, 4 pigs, and a flock of chickens, so I do have some physical chores such as hauling hay & grain, cleaning stalls, feeding, wrestling sheep/goats down for hoof trimmings.. but I am not sure I would consider those major calorie-burners. I am perfectly okay with exercising; I just know I'm not doing something right if I have to exercise just to eat dinner!
    Lots more vegetables! Substitute Cauliflower rice to serve your stew over. Use spaghetti squash and zucchini as noodles. Keep the bread and peanut butter in moderation. Those things will quickly add up the calories. If it's filling for you, that's fine. Otherwise, bulk up with veggies. This is a great website for inspiration - http://www.hungry-girl.com/

    It sounds like you depend upon the land a lot to provide the majority of your food. Can you hunt for your protein sources and then spend your money on fresh fruits and vegetables?

    Thank you so much for your suggestion! I have been using summer squash and zucchini that I froze to bulk up casseroles, but I am sure that there is more I can do with them. It would be nice to be able to spend money on fresh fruits, since I know that they are recommended for a healthy diet. Currently the only fruits we have available are drops from nearby apple trees (well, the ones good enough for humans anyway! The others go to the pigs). I may be able to work something out. We could cut back further on meat for now, only having it once every 2 weeks instead of once a week until the pigs are ready.

    Cmriverside, I do thank you for your suggestions. Currently my family is operating on a net loss as far as income goes, and while I am the one in charge of food, I have no control over the finances. Perhaps once these pigs are in the freezer and we're not spending $75/wk on grain, it may be easier (eggs from the new flock will help, too!).
  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,187 Member
    If it were me and I needed to cut calories I would just have the coffee black, and probably ditch the PB or reduce the amount and have it as toast with either just jelly or just a tiny bit of PB and then jelly.

    I'd also probably cut the lunch portion in half, but that's kind of personal preference since I like a smaller lunch and if I eat a big one I get all sluggish in the afternoon.
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    That sounds like a good idea. I could probably transition to drinking it with just sugar, and eventually black (or not at all). The coffee was a gift, so once it is gone, I will likely not drink it anymore. Peanut butter also seems like a good way to avoid calories, and I don't need to be buying it anyway. Surely just jelly would be fine.
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    edited September 2016
    :p Beef is not the norm for me. Because it is so expensive, it's more of a monthly treat (buy one roast and split amongst several meals) but I get what you mean about the calorie-dense foods.

    To be completely honest (and I feel very silly), I've never purchased frozen vegetables. I've always eaten fresh or home-canned. Do they cost much to buy frozen typically?
  • shannonkk
    shannonkk Posts: 192 Member
    could you maybe make thinner slices of bread and just put jelly on it. could you half that roast serving and add some baked potatoe with it. Baked potatoes cooked in juices are my go to when I need to fill up on less calories. Also, maybe you could use a tablespoon of milk instead of creamer.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,010 Member
    :p Beef is not the norm for me. Because it is so expensive, it's more of a monthly treat (buy one roast and split amongst several meals) but I get what you mean about the calorie-dense foods.

    To be completely honest (and I feel very silly), I've never purchased frozen vegetables. I've always eaten fresh or home-canned. Do they cost much to buy frozen typically?

    I guess it might depend where you live, but here in NY I can buy bags of store brand frozen veggies for $0.99 - $1.29 each. Things like corn, peas, broccoli, spinach, carrots. I usually get maybe 4 servings out of them, but adding veggies to other things even in small quantities can add volume without adding many calories.
  • deannasawyer
    deannasawyer Posts: 25 Member
    edited September 2016
    Great idea, Shannonkk. :) That would also stretch the roast longer. Bread is kind of a toss-up since fresh bread goes bad so quickly, but hopefully when the dry winter air comes that won't be so much of an issue.

    I live in rural ME, so those prices should be similar, Kimny72. I'll take a look next time I go to the store. Even if I can't afford too much to start, I can slowly start stocking the freezer.