Life on a low calorie allowance (1100 calories a day)


Those of you who read my blog posts regularly will know I am a short (4ft 9″), sedentary (disabled) middle aged (55 years) woman, who has lost a considerable amount of weight (a third of my body weight, 4 stone) over the past 6 years to get to where I am now.

I weigh just above 10 stone; ideally I would like to get to around 9 stone and maintain there. That is still “overweight” for my height, but I am short on account of my disability – so I’ll never be “petite” and both my tall younger sisters (5ft 9″) are size 12/14. I’m presently a size 16, I’d be very happy to reach size 14. I’m in proportion.

I thought I would share a little of my life on a measly 1100 calories, whilst unable to earn many through exercise…

My enjoyment of life used to revolve around food (as part of the enjoyment) but this has kind of settled into what I feel will become “normal” for me…

Two meals most days (lunch and dinner), sweet treats and snacks limited to about 200 cals in total. Alcohol is a very rare treat (I don’t really miss it now), bread less than once a week (which I also don’t miss now). We rarely eat a meal out (we plan meals at home around a trip out of the house) and we eat takeaway food about only 2-3 times a year. This is my “new life”. It has to be.

BUT I have come to the realisation that I don’t feel as though I miss out at all – in fact when I think back to what I once used to eat, it was far less varied, less tasty and less colourful. I put far more planning and thought into my meals now to keep them within calories, I love finding new recipes to try out. We rarely eat the same thing twice in a month (excluding salads, which I am eating daily at the moment, accompanies by different fish/meats).

Those of you who see the recipes I share will (I think) agree that I eat very well! I even had takeaway fish and chips on Friday – which was a very, very rare treat and had been planned a week in advance. My husband and I shared a large portion of haddock and chips between us, so it worked out about 632 calories for me; I ate a salad for lunch and ended the day about 100 calories over… but that was fine in the grand scheme of things.

Exercise is likely only to be about 250 maximum earned once a week (at my 1 x a week 30 minute treadmill session), 50 – 100 additional exercise calories on about 2/3 other days. I wear a FitBit, 3000 steps is more of less what I can expect to do each day.

Exercise for me is a daily stretch session lasting 30 – 40 minutes, but not intended to burn calories, but to keep my poor old body moving and as pain free as possible. I am mostly seated on a gym ball, I put on some relaxing music and really enjoy these sessions.

On the plus side, I am never too adversely affected by life events – other than holidays, where my calorie allowance does increase substantially (to what is “normal” for me) and my exercise levels reduce, as I spend more time sitting about and reading and more time travelling in my wheelchair, plus a reduction in the things which I do on a daily basis which for me require quite a lot of physical effort such as housework, gardening, etc.

So the message is, it can be done. It’s probably taken me 3/4 years so settle into this way of eating and get used to the best way (for me) of making my 1100 calories work. Not everyone would be able to skip breakfast!

I’m confident now (having lost 9lbs in the past 13 weeks) that I will get to that goal and once there (when my calorie allowance for maintenance will rise to around 1300) I’ll be able to sustain the loss.

It’s easy to “resent” healthy eating and losing weight, viewing it as something that has been “imposed” on us.  It’s easy to feel as though we are somehow missing out.

When one comes to a point of “accepting” and “embracing” that this is a different way of living entirely, it certainly becomes a whole lot easier.

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