Monday, January 17, 2011

Is Planning My Meals the Same as Restricting?

I haven’t really restricted in a long time—at least not the way I used to. Sometimes I eat less—because I’m not hungry—but I don’t eat teeny tiny amounts. However, I admit to still being obsessed with calorie counting. Right now, my magic number seems to be 1300—a number I can maintain my current weight at. I’ll also admit to still being underweight, but only by about 8 lbs and my doctor approved of my weight at my last visit so I think I’m okay.
So basically, I plan my meals ahead of time. Sometimes a day ahead, oftentimes a week ahead. I try to convince myself it’s because I’m in college and I have to keep my food supply in check, but I honestly think it’s my ED speaking up again. But maybe not.
I plan exactly what I’m going to eat at each meal and write it down somewhere. I take into account how many calories it is when I add everything together. Breakfast and lunch must be 300 each, snacks about 100-150 each (I have two a day) and dinner usually ends up being 350. Of course, this doesn’t add up to 1300—it’s always about 50-150 calories less. Is this a problem? I’m not sure, but I think that if I continually eat 100 calories less than I need, I will lose weight, albeit slowly.
So I try to eat 1300 calories (it doesn’t always happen), but then I also think about exercising, too. Some remnants of my ED remain—I do a couple hundred sit-ups a day and jogging in place for a few minutes a day, too. Plus, being a college student, I have to walk everywhere, so I probably get in at least a half hour of walking on a school day. I’m honestly not quite sure how much I’m actually burning. Of course, my anorexia tells me it’s not enough, but the real me thinks I probably should eat a bit more.
Do you plan meals, too? Do you take into account calories when planning? Is it a problem, or does it help you stick with a plan?


  1. I just found your blog, and already I can see the determination in you to beat your ED. My meal plan is pretty much the same right now.

    Some degree of planning is necessary, but I would stay away from a lot of calorie counting. Especially if you have really struggled with it.

    My nutritionist gave me a really helpful exchange sheet so that I don't have to count calories. It shows how much of one food is equal to another. It is divided into sections, so, for example, I know that I need two grains and a dairy at breakfast. Whether that is cereal and yogurt or toast and milk is up to me. This works really well for me.

    Hang in there and keep fighting!


  2. Thanks for the encouragement! Even though I've been in recovery for a year or so now, I felt like it was finally time to really get my feelings out there and reach out to other people who are struggling with or recovering from EDs. I know that deep down, I really shouldn't be counting calories, so I will try your idea!


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