Easy meals/snacks

G'day all. I am a police telecommunications supervisor that works 12 hour shifts, chained to a console in a tiny room with a fridge, microwave and toaster oven. I cannot leave to eat, nor can I cook my meals at work. I find I'm hungry most of the time so I over pack food for the day but am really good about only packing lean meats, fruits and veggies. I'm entirely too exhausted to eat when I get home at night so I generally eat only at work. Except for my days off. My typical lunch is salmon and 2 veggies but for some reason, could be boredom, I'm hungry just an hour or two later. What are you go to, easy meals and snacks that I can make ahead and prep on my day off? What do you ALWAYS keep on hand to grab and go? What foods or meals do you love that seem to keep you full? I'm eating in the 1300-1400 calorie range but to be honest, I seldom make it to 1000 calories for the day. I lost about 90 pounds 2ish years ago and for the past 9 months have done exactly what I did to lose that 90 pounds to try and shed my Covid 30 with no results. I've thrown in working out recently to see if that helps but I believe my age is catching up to me and making losing weight a bit harder. I don't mind spending my entire day off to meal prep. Thanks in advance!!

Replies

  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 571 Member

    Unless you are a very petite woman...l'd guess 1000 calories is definitely not enough food.

    So are you saying that you typically only eat one meal per day on the days that you work?

    I often keep par-cooked/packaged rice (like Rice & Tasty Jasmine rice). The container includes 2 services of rice (~200+ calories) and I will add a veg and cooked chicken/fish. If I need a quick meal with no cooking other than a microwave I'll do a filet of hot-smoked salmon and that rice. It's kinda plain but it gets some good calories in for lunch.

    I also keep nuts (I really like chili roasted pistachios and the clementine/chipotle cashews) and Larabars/Kindbars around for when I'm hungry in a pinch. You could also supplement with a calorie dense protein powder (something like True Mass).

  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,491 Member

    Single serve yogurts are good to have on hand. I like just plain Greek yogurt and then I can use it for all kinds of things. Add fruit or veg. Put it in a smoothie. Use it as a dressing.

    The, "hungry after an hour" thing is going to happen if you continue to try to keep your calories so low. I think even 1300 is way too low unless you're 5 foot nothing.

    Age isn't a factor really. I lost 80 pounds at age 54. I just logged food and tried very hard to get good nutrition and enough protein.

  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 571 Member

    Just for reference...I'm 5'3" and would lose weight on 1300 cals/day. Everyone's different but yeah...

  • Yukie_OP
    Yukie_OP Posts: 202 Member
    Helpful snacks/food I keep on hand + are convenient:
    - ready to eat broccoli slaw & salads (bagged or in bowls) & ready to eat veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks)
    - sipping bone broth and/or soups *swanson has some convenient cups with good flavors (lemon rosemary/turmeric ginger)
    - single serve cups of hummus, guacamole, and nut butters
    - Jar of nuts (I like a mix: almonds/pistachios/ walnuts/cashews)
    - Protein bars & Belvita breakfast biscuits
    - Tuna pouches (ready to eat, i like lemon pepper)
    - Egg bites * i heat them up over broccoli slaw
    - Fruit * washed, cut up (if applicable) & ready to eat
  • somecoolname0411
    somecoolname0411 Posts: 27 Member

    Unless you are a very petite woman...l'd guess 1000 calories is definitely not enough food.
    So are you saying that you typically only eat one meal per day on the days that you work?
    I often keep par-cooked/packaged rice (like Rice & Tasty Jasmine rice). The container includes 2 services of rice (~200+ calories) and I will add a veg and cooked chicken/fish. If I need a quick meal with no cooking other than a microwave I'll do a filet of hot-smoked salmon and that rice. It's kinda plain but it gets some good calories in for lunch.
    I also keep nuts (I really like chili roasted pistachios and the clementine/chipotle cashews) and Larabars/Kindbars around for when I'm hungry in a pinch. You could also supplement with a calorie dense protein powder (something like True Mass).

    No, I eat/snack all day while at work. I mean, it's not constant, but every couple of hours I eat something. I don't mean to eat 1000 calories but on work days it just seems to be all I get in. I appear to have a problem with that "all or nothing" mentality. I either eat on the healthier side and get too low calories or I order pizza and eat half of it in addition to my daily snacks and hit near 3000....lol. I just recently found that I really like the already cooked packages of rice so I'll keep some of those in my office. Thanks for the ideas!!!

  • somecoolname0411
    somecoolname0411 Posts: 27 Member
    Single serve yogurts are good to have on hand. I like just plain Greek yogurt and then I can use it for all kinds of things. Add fruit or veg. Put it in a smoothie. Use it as a dressing.
    The, "hungry after an hour" thing is going to happen if you continue to try to keep your calories so low. I think even 1300 is way too low unless you're 5 foot nothing.
    Age isn't a factor really. I lost 80 pounds at age 54. I just logged food and tried very hard to get good nutrition and enough protein.

    Good to know about the age thing! Thank you! I'm 5'4". Maybe I should research the whole macro thing a bit more. Maybe I need to pay more attention.
  • somecoolname0411
    somecoolname0411 Posts: 27 Member
    Yukie_OP wrote: »
    Helpful snacks/food I keep on hand + are convenient:
    - ready to eat broccoli slaw & salads (bagged or in bowls) & ready to eat veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks)
    - sipping bone broth and/or soups *swanson has some convenient cups with good flavors (lemon rosemary/turmeric ginger)
    - single serve cups of hummus, guacamole, and nut butters
    - Jar of nuts (I like a mix: almonds/pistachios/ walnuts/cashews)
    - Protein bars & Belvita breakfast biscuits
    - Tuna pouches (ready to eat, i like lemon pepper)
    - Egg bites * i heat them up over broccoli slaw
    - Fruit * washed, cut up (if applicable) & ready to eat

    These are perfect ideas! Thank you so much!!
  • maiomaio71
    maiomaio71 Posts: 231 Member
    edited November 2021
    I use a bento box container that has about 7 different spaces for food. I fill each space with something from a different food "group" ...so one might have nuts and seeds, one might have dairy (yoghurt or cheese) one might have lean protein (sliced ham, tuna, salmon, chicken) one will have fruit etc. That way, I eat one bento space at a time, and it fits with whatever I 'feel' like at that moment. Kind of like grazing throughout the day, but calorie counted and fitting into my macros. For sweet treats, I'll use dried fruit...a small amount of dried mango goes a long way if I'm craving something sweet.

    I also do my own version of bircher muesli, with chia seeds, oats, yoghurt, protein powder, nuts and flavour (vanilla extract, cinnamon, coconut etc). This is very filling and if you add protein powder, eve nmore so.

    The spaces are small, so sometimes I'll double up. But it really helps with portion control!
  • somecoolname0411
    somecoolname0411 Posts: 27 Member
    maiomaio71 wrote: »
    I use a bento box container that has about 7 different spaces for food. I fill each space with something from a different food "group" ...so one might have nuts and seeds, one might have dairy (yoghurt or cheese) one might have lean protein (sliced ham, tuna, salmon, chicken) one will have fruit etc. That way, I eat one bento space at a time, and it fits with whatever I 'feel' like at that moment. Kind of like grazing throughout the day, but calorie counted and fitting into my macros. For sweet treats, I'll use dried fruit...a small amount of dried mango goes a long way if I'm craving something sweet.
    The spaces are small, so sometimes I'll double up. But it really helps with portion control!

    I never thought of the dried fruit! I always have a sweet craving about mid day so that would be much better than the multiple mini candy bars. Thanks!
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 571 Member
    Do you like dates? Or generally like dried fruit/nut bars....those are good for something shelf stable and quick, no cooking but calorie dense. Keep a jar of peanut butter if you like it and you can dip all sorts of things in it lol.

    I also have a job where sometimes I don't have time for a proper lunch, that's why my office/car/bag are full of random Larabars. But I also will eat a big meal once I get home if I didn't eat during the day. So I oscillate between being able to properly spread my calories throughout my day vs. eating a large portion of them at once. And, fortunately so far for me, not eating for a large part of the day doesn't tend to make me ravenous enough to binge later.
  • somecoolname0411
    somecoolname0411 Posts: 27 Member
    Do you like dates? Or generally like dried fruit/nut bars....those are good for something shelf stable and quick, no cooking but calorie dense. Keep a jar of peanut butter if you like it and you can dip all sorts of things in it lol.

    I also have a job where sometimes I don't have time for a proper lunch, that's why my office/car/bag are full of random Larabars. But I also will eat a big meal once I get home if I didn't eat during the day. So I oscillate between being able to properly spread my calories throughout my day vs. eating a large portion of them at once. And, fortunately so far for me, not eating for a large part of the day doesn't tend to make me ravenous enough to binge later.

    I seem to struggle with doing really well and then immediately eating all the yummy things. I do my best to keep healthy grab and go things around, both at work and at home but I'll get a sweet craving and eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. I'll just have to ask my husband to quit buying it so it isn't in the house...lol. Thank you for all the suggestions!
  • Lorelei19
    Lorelei19 Posts: 107 Member
    I'm also a dispatcher and, like you, am chained to my desk for 12 hours. I've been doing Freshly meals for work, since they're pre-made and I just have to pop them in the microwave. I used to meal prep myself, but I just don't have the dedication to spend one of my precious days off prepping. lol

    I found, though, that my biggest issue was the constant snacking. I always feel hungry, so I'd find myself eating my food long before I should have. Which prompted me to start bringing snacks. I wasn't so much hungry as I was stress eating... For actual hunger, I like to keep a dozen soft boiled eggs in the fridge. 2 of those with one of those cute little 8oz deer parks is pretty filling. I also like to bring string cheese for my ride home. But throughout the day? I make myself some air-popped popcorn before work and leave it sitting on my desk for when I 'feel hungry'. Sometimes I'll toss in some chex and m&m's and make myself a homemade trail mix, of sorts.