Okay.  If you know you are going to want to get up at 5am to walk to work, it might be a good idea to go to bed before midnight.  I, of course, didn’t crawl to bed until about 12:20 am, so when my mental alarm went off at 5, I didn’t move.  Well, not true… I grabbed for my glasses and put them on.  I then stared at the clock for 15 minutes.  I then said ‘Forget this’ and went back to sleep until 7:30.  Sleep is important at any time, but it’s actually crucial when trying to exercise and diet.  According to various studies, sufficient sleep is essential for regulating hormones and allowing muscles time to rebuild and recover from exercise.  Insufficient sleep leads to increased cravings for carb and calorie rich food, poor focus and big purple bags under the eyes… it’s just not pretty.  So, sleep.  Ideally I’ll be in bed by 10pm (riiiiiight…) but at least by 11pm.

As for coming off the free-eating day, it wasn’t hard getting back into the swing of things.  I woke up and could feel that I had eaten more than is kosher the previous day, but I didn’t feel bloated or suffer from any gastrointestinal discomfort.  Food wasn’t a big problem… I just wasn’t that interested in eating.  In fact, later in the evening, I had some pita chips just to up the caloric input.

That having been said, let’s run the numbers….

Food Intake:

  • Breakfast – Dannon Banana Yogurt and 1 Valencia Orange – 210 calories
  • Lunch – Leftover Roast Chicken and Celery stalks – 300 calories
  • Mid-afternoon snack – 28 Blue Diamond Wasabi and Soy Almonds – 170 calories
  • Dinner – Baked Tilapia Filet, French Haricote (Green) Beans, Baked Potato (Butter and Sour Cream) – 540 calories
  • Evening Snack – Garlic Pita Chips – 240 calories

1460 calories total

Wow.  That wasn’t even close to 2000 calories, but I was really in no mood to eat anything else.  My energy was high, but I just wasn’t hungry.

As I said, I chose to sleep in.  One of the perks was being able to shower in my one bathroom (fat flap issues aside), but I was halfway to work before I realized that I hadn’t eaten any breakfast.  Crap!  It just takes on thing to throw off a perfectly good schedule.  However, I knew I had oranges and almonds in my office, so I just reassigned the snack yogurt as breakfast and grabbed an orange to keep it company.  The yogurt was… interesting.  Not bad, but it was the Fruit on the Bottom variety, and I was naively expecting slices of bananas.  What I got, however, was a lumpy sort of banana puree.  Without meaningful hunks, there didn’t seem to be any need to sequester the goo on the bottom, so I’m not sure why this flavor exists.

Lunch was more leftover chicken (quel surprise!) and some celery sticks.  Let’s talk for a moment about celery sticks.  The next person who tells me that celery is a ‘negative calorie’ food is going to receive a swift kick to the back of the head.  Say it with me folks:

There is no such thing as a negative calorie food!

Now, if you’re metabolism had stopped completely (you know… you were dead), and the celery was the only fuel available to restart your bodily functions from zero… then maybe… but most of us are not dead, celery does have calories… in this case about 19. (I didn’t say it had a LOT of calories… just that you had to count them.)

Dinner was actually fabulous.  I had forgotten to thaw anything, so I scrubbed and perforated some baked potatoes and tossed them in the oven at 350.  I let them cook for 30 minutes and during the interim I sprayed a 13×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray, dropped in some fresh french cut green beans, garlic and a bit of chicken broth.  I then put the frozen tilapia filets on top of the beans and covered them with some salt and cajun seasoning.  Once the potatoes reached the 30-minute mark, I put the pan in the oven next to them and let everything finish for another 30 minutes.  The meal was a huge success.  Huge.  Big.

Oh… wanna know the key to having butter and sour cream on your potato while dieting?  Choose the smallest potato.  Keeps the potato calories down and really doesn’t require much topping to keep it moist and delicious.  As I shift my attention to significantly reducing fats from my food intake, I’ll have to revisit that policy, but for the moment, I’m focusing on calories.

So, not a bad day.  No exercise, but no hunger pangs either.  I need to work harder at hitting the calorie target, though.  It’s so easy to blow through 2000 calories when you’re not paying attention, but yikes, 2000 calories is a lot of food when you’re actually counting calories.