Here's a pic of what I had for breakfast this morning. This is typical of what I eat first thing every day. I LOVE eggs and have since I was a little girl. Lucky for me, all the latest studies point to a myriad of reasons why eggs are a great friend of anyone trying to lose weight and get healthy.
While there are no "magic pills" or effortless exercises that are going to trim us down, that doesn't mean that we cannot find foods, exercises and information that really work for us. In the "war against fat," eggs have been added to my heavy artillery. They are one of my secret weapons and this post will explain why.
According to new research from the Rochester Centre for Obesity in America, eating eggs for breakfast could help to limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, by more than 400 calories.
In the study, 30 overweight or obese women ate either an egg-based breakfast (2 eggs) or a bagel-based breakfast, containing the same amount of calories and almost identical levels of protein. The researchers recorded the women’s eating habits and found that just before lunch, the women who had eaten eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and ate a smaller lunch as a result. Better still, over the next 36 hours the group eating the egg-containing breakfast consumed, on average, 417 calories less than the bagel-eating group.
So, every morning I scramble one whole egg and four egg whites. Depending on which calorie book you use and how big the chicken's butts are in your area, that's about 160 calories. I sometimes add a few raw spinach leaves or pepper strips to wilt into the mix. I always have 60-100 calories of fruit on the side. The grapes in the pic above are about 60 calories, making this very filling breakfast only about 210 calories, give or take 20 calories either way.
Lest you say that I am not eating enough for a woman who is 6'3" and exercising like a fiend, remember that I eat 5-6 times a day. Just two hours after eating my eggs every day, I eat a bowl of wheat germ with either low-fat Greek yogurt or 1% milk, and have another piece of fruit at that time. If I'm not eating fish that day, I throw in a few walnuts to get some Omega-3s. I am intolerant of being hungry. I don't let myself go there, which leads me to the next thing I wanted to mention.
I confess to being a real sauce and condiment junkie. I NEVER ate anything plain. Never. And this contributed greatly to the 400-plus pound body weight at which I began this journey. When I started eating less and tried to "eat clean" as the body builders do-- I had a really hard time letting go of the sauces and condiments.
At first I tried substituting "low calorie" or "low fat" varieties of things like mayonnaise, salad dressings, spreads, sauces, etc. This "worked" in a sense, as I did lose weight while eating these things. However, even with my 5-6 meals a day, I was often still hungry! And I am not talking about psychological hunger either. I am talking about watching TV with my husband at night and he can hear my stomach growling. Also, these products tend to be high in chemicals and artificial ingredients which simply CAN'T be good for us.
A guy on one of the body building boards that I haunt suggested that for one week, I track how many calories a day I consumed in added sauces, condiments and little "extras." I was to do this without judgement and without trying to consciously consume less of these things than what I had been doing.
What did I find? Can you believe that I was consuming so many calories per day in condiments, sauces and little "extras" that it was equal to eating a plate of scrambled eggs like the one pictured above, but sans the grapes. HELLO! Not only that, but I realized that even though a "serving" might only be 20 calories -- as in ketchup, I was consuming far more than a serving and not being honest about it.
I had a choice. I could continue the way I was going and still lose weight, but be hungry every night. OR, I could cut out the majority of that stuff and add an extra plate of scrambled egg whites to my daily regimen. Given how hungry I was at night, the eggs won out.
Some time has gone by and I don't feel the need to have the second serving of scrambled egg whites every day. But I always have the comfort of knowing it's there for me if I need it. My style of eating has become cleaner and cleaner as I go along............. more fish, more leafy greens, more raw foods, better fats, etc. I have found that, the better I eat, the less I need to eat.
This didn't happen overnight. Back in the beginning, I didn't think I could survive without Weight Watcher's goodies and low-fat ice cream in the house. But, put a low fat brownie next to that plate of eggs... In terms of volume alone, the brownie just doesn't satisfy me. Ignoring the fact that the eggs are better for me, in terms of the practical -- they fill me up more for the same amount of calories as a low-fat brownie -- and since I can't stand being hungry, I go with the healthier option that fills me up more.
My handsome, 6'3" DH, the same height as me by the way, actually has LESS natural muscle than I do. When I'm at my goal weight I look thicker and stronger than he does. Right now, still substantially overweight, the weight that I can lift or pull at the gym is equal or greater than his. For instance, I can pull 135 pounds in the seated row and he can only do 90 pounds.
Yet, he can hose down TWICE the calories that I can in a day and he won't gain weight. His metabolism is such that he can have less muscle than I do, exercise less than I do and eat twice as much.
If life were "fair," I'd be like him and able to eat everything and anything. But life isn't "fair." For people like us who struggle with the weight and for whom every fitness milestone is hard-won, we have certain choices to make if we are to succeed. The eggs vs the condiments is one of those choices for me. For you it might be something else.
It sucks that we have to make choices that other people don't even have to consider. But we have to concentrate on the way things are, not the way we wish them to be, if we are to have success.
If you stay with this long enough, through trial and error and your own research and experiments, you'll find things that work for you. Don't give up. We aren't going to change the bad eating habits of a lifetime in the snap of our fingers.
Be good to you today! Eat well, move, breathe, believe!