I’m not on a diet!
But I spend my calories carefully.
I have a daily food budget!
It’s part of the lifestyle I have that really helps me eat healthy and keep the weight off.
One of the best things I learned from my time with Weight Watchers was the point system.
I was given 18 points that I could spend on food throughout my day.
I treated myself to a carrot muffin and medium coffee with double cream like I usually did.
Then I looked it up in my little book. It cost me 12 points! Not a good choice! I didn’t do that again!
I learned from Weight Watchers to make smart choices. I now have a food budget that I keep in mind. It’s something I have been working on for a few years.
When I stay within my budget I maintain my current weight.
Remember it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
We want to spend our food budget calories well! We want to make the best choices throughout our day.
We want to choose nutrient rich foods with a mix of low and high calories.
Here’s how my food budget gets spent throughout my day.
I’m really hungry at breakfast time so I spend more calories then. I have ½ cup each of blueberries and raspberries topped with ¼ cup of homemade granola, with milk or Greek yogurt. Then I also have ½ cup of Fibre 1 bran cereal that I like to eat dry. Weird I know. But it stays crunchy, and milk just turns it to mush. Blah.
Doesn’t that look delicious?
Lunch is easy for me to have nutrient rich foods with lower calories. I have a full plate of fresh cut up veggies with hummus and crackers and cheese.
The other thing I avoid that really helps…. I don’t drink high calorie beverages, like pop and sweetened coffee. It’s not worth it for me. I want to chew my calories.
I drink lots of water, which helps to fill me up and keeps me well hydrated.
I try to have fruit for my snacks.
Then I can eat a regular dinner with meat, veggies and potatoes or rice, but on the smaller luncheon plate. I usually have a small dessert after dinner with a cup of tea.
When I know I am going out for ice cream with the kids I cut back on my calorie-spending at dinner. I save some of my calories to spend on the ice cream.
I will have a bigger salad and regular portion of protein and very little of the carbohydrate.
Every once in awhile I have a really high calorie-spending day, like when I go out to eat twice in one day. Or when we celebrate my birthday and my daughter’s, which are 2 days apart. Those days do happen. Remember it’s a lifestyle not a diet!
For the next 2 days I try to make lots of high nutrient and low calorie food choices, lots of vegetables, fruit and protein.
That’s how my food budget works.
So how can you create your own food budget?
For a few days write down everything you put in your mouth. Then check out the calories and the nutrients of the foods you regularly eat.
I suggest you check out some sites that list the calories and nutrients of the foods you may eat.
Some of these sites also give you an idea of how many calories you should eat based on your current weight.
I leave that up to you to decide. Use that number to help you understand how many calories you should spend but don’t get caught up in the diet mode again. It’s only to give you an idea of what your food budget should be.
Then look over your list and see which foods you should add or remove from your daily food budget. Trade some empty high calorie foods for nutrient rich low calorie foods. Like me, you will probably be surprised at how much some of your favorite treats cost.
TODAY’S little STEP: Give the food budget idea a try! It works for me.
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