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Reader’s Request: What I Ate To Lose The Weight

January 18, 2011

***Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or registered dietitian. The following is purely based off of my own experience***


One of the questions I got from my Ask Me Anything post was about what foods and meals I ate when I was losing weight. To bring you up to speed, during my recovery from anorexia I began overcompensating and binge eating, leaving me thirty pounds heavier than I wanted to be. After months of half-hearted workouts and trying to cut calories with “diet” foods, I finally found out what worked for me: eating real, wholesome foods and challenging my body through running and yoga.

At the time I was a senior in college so my schedule and access to food was different than it is now. I could take time to prepare my meals at home and had tons of daylight hours to get in a good run (boy do I miss those days). I lived in a condo with a full kitchen and grocery shopped for myself instead of eating at the dining halls where I would have unlimited access to unhealthy foods. I also woke up later, went to bed later, and had many late nights at the bars. Along with changing my eating habits (and having recently become a pescatarian), I was also training for my first half marathon which helped rev up my metabolism and burn calories. Look for a post on my first training plan to come.

Admittedly, I am a creature of habit. Part of the reason I have a blog is to keep me a little bit adventurous with my meals. When I find a meal I love that is healthy and keeps me full, I could eat it every day. And when I was trying to lose weight, I did that very often. Quite honestly, I didn’t have the confidence in myself to try something new. It risked not liking it, not being satisfied, and not knowing correct portion sizes. Thankfully I am now at a point where I am more comfortable being more flexible with my diet, but during my losing phase I wasn’t.

I got hooked on my big bowl of oatmeal (thanks to Kath) and ate that every single day of second semester for breakfast (usually around 10am).

My oatmeal consisted of:

  • 1/3 cup Quaker oats
  • 1 cup water, a splash of vanilla, hefty dose of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • Toppings: handful frozen blueberries, spoonful almond butter

Breakfast @ School January 2010

I had time for my run or workout in the early afternoon, so my lunch usually came after that. Lots of days it was a green monster (my recipe HERE) and an egg white sandwich. This was ~1/2 cup microwaved egg whites topped with spinach, salsa, and a slice of soy cheddar on a sandwich thin.

similar meal from this fall

Snacks were often apples or carrots & celery with hummus.

I had a few staple dinners:

  1. Microwaved sweet potato topped with plain greek yogurt and a side of green veggies from a frozen bag
  2. Can of Amy’s soup with Kashi Crackers & Hummus
  3. Big fat bowl of roasted veggies topped with hummus, black beans, pasta sauce, or a combo of the three
  4. Spaghetti squash with veggies, black beans, and pasta sauce
  5. 6 Inch Veggie Sub from Subway with an apple (when I was on campus studying or in a rush)


Sweet potato & Roasted veggies

Dessert was often a cup of plain Greek yogurt sweetened with stevia and a spoonful of cocoa powder or a deep chocolate vita top. And often lots of beer or vodka waters out at the bars. Do not ask me how I used to get up and run long distances when I was hungover. It’s a mystery to me.

My food intake varied day to day, but these meals were pretty typical for me. I got a lot of inspiration from blog reading and occasionally would try a more complicated dish like Gina’s Eggplant Curry. And while eating the right portions of nutrient dense and filling foods definitely helped me drop weight, upping my exercise played a big role too.  They go hand-in-hand!

Hopefully this helps give you guys some good meal ideas, but remember that in order for you to stick to it you must find foods that YOU enjoy. Not everyone loves sweet potatoes as much as me:)

  • What are some key meals or foods you turn to when you’re trying to trim up?
7 Comments leave one →
  1. Olympe permalink
    January 18, 2011 11:06 am

    Thanks for the post. It is going to help me a lot. I have pretty much the same schedule than you had while in college and it looks pretty simple to follow and logical. Again, thank you! thank you! thank you!
    Have a great day.

  2. January 18, 2011 11:37 am

    When I was losing weight sample days went something like this:
    Skinny latte and a banana
    Oatmeal (prepared from cafeteria) with brown sugar
    Light english muffin with 1T Peanut Butter and a sliced banana
    Egg white omelet with veggies and a little cheese + salsa

    Turkey or lean ham on light bread or sandwich thin (+ 1T light mayo or cheese) with a cup of vegatable soup and a piece of fruit
    Bowl (2 cups) vegatable soup with crackers
    Large Salad with light dressing or just a little oil and vinegar

    Apple or other fruit (1c. pineapple or grapes) and yogurt (only recently fell in love with greek yogurt)
    Carrot sticks or sliced bell pepper with hummus

    Dinner was almost always 1 serving lean protien, 1-2 servings of vegatable, 1 startch
    1c. whole wheat penne, 1/2c pasta sauce, 1 link italian turkey sausage + 1/2 bag lite Ceasar salad mix
    1c. brown rice, 1 chicken breast in teriyaki sauce, 1c. stir fried veggies or side salad

    In the evening I typically had a skinny cow ice cream cone or sandwich.

    At the time I was one WW and this used all my daily points and some weeklies when I added in alcohol or take out on the weekends. Also I focused only on the food aspect and did not develop a steady work out routine until I had reached my goal weight.

  3. January 18, 2011 12:05 pm

    I turn to oatmeal, salad, and lean protein:)

  4. January 18, 2011 1:50 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this. I love to eat Greek yogurt, egg whites, whole grains, peanut butter, green veggies, bell peppers and apples. YUM!

  5. January 18, 2011 6:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing–sometimes real examples are more helpful than vague recaps and this is really heplful.

  6. January 19, 2011 8:11 pm

    i TOTALLY had a lot of subway sandwiches when i was losing weight along with a lot of grapes, special k cereal ( i thought they were soooo healthy haha) yogurt, 40 calorie bread fat free cheese (BLAH) I had some pretty crappy chemical filled methods back then. I was also a creature of habit, i ate the SAME PROVEN MEALS day after day!


  1. Transitioning to Real Food « Fitting It All In

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