Quickie, high protein, low cal foods? Diet woes.

Ok, so I’m dieting, basically following a 1,200 calorie a day diet, treadmilling about 3.3 mph for at least 30 min a day and keeping a food journal. Oh, and I take a daily women’s vitamin. During my recent visit to the Doctor, she told me I wasn’t getting enough calories and it was actually slowing my metabolism and having the opposite of the desired effect. (I’m sort of at the point where I’m scared to eat, just because I don’t know what exactly is in the food or how many calories it is or sometimes just because I’m worried about my calorie count…because of that, a lot of days I’m lucky to squeeze in 900 calories.)

She also told me to eat more protein. I’m not on the Atkins diet per se, but she told me that in general, my body seems to love the carbs and wants to hang on to them so I should try and cut back (not cut out) carbs, increase the protein and try and eat four times during the day at work and then have dinner.

Just wondering if anyone has any good suggestions for quick, low cal, high protein (or low carb, I guess) foods that I can eat while at work. I’m not adverse to things I can cook up at home and bring a bit of each day. Mostly, I am just sick of the rut I’m in, plus I’ve reached the dreaded plateau and haven’t lost much weight the last few weeks and need a change. I’ve been having yogurt, string cheese, fruit and various snack bars such as Pria, ProteinPlus, etc. Also been eating a lot of soup but am looking for one with less sodium.

I’m hoping finding some new things to eat will help me over the hump and quit obsessing and get my RDA of calories. Any food or exercise tips, general commiseration, etc. are welcome!

Well…I won’t cover them all:

lean chicken breast/cutlet
many many fishes
turkey breast
lean lean ground meat
My other PC has links to full lists. Bang for the buck, a soyburger packs 13 grams of protein into just 90 cals!! Only lean fish can come close! Maybe egg whites! And boy are there alot of fish options.

Some are higher in fat (salmon…but it is O-Mega 3 rich)…calories might be a bit higher.

Hard bioled eggs - whites only, are also packing about 11-14 grams of protein per 80-90 cals.

Getting double digit protein from less than 100 cals is considered the elite class of protein per calorie.

(oh BTW, my whole list is 10+ grams of protein per 100 cals or better)

Grilled chicken breasts. Cook three times as much the next time you make dinner and freeze individual portions.

The same with lean steaks.

Atkins Advantage bars if you like them (I really like Chocolate Decadence and S’Mores). They’re 220 calories per bar (about as much as a candy bar) but much more filling.

You might want to check out the South Beach Diet. It’s not a low-carb diet, except for the first two weeks, but it does emphasize keeping a close eye on carbs and learning how to reduce your cravings for the wrong kinds. It also differs from Atkins by minimizing saturated fats.

There is a book, but you can get enough free information about it to use it at the Prevention Magazine site.

Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I forgot to mention that I mostly don’t like fish. I’ll eat tuna but generally only in sandwich form. I did have a tuna chop once that was pretty good. Also, hubby doesn’t like fish either so I never cook it.

Philster, I’d love some links when you get to your other PC. I never considered soyburgers. Maybe I’ll give those a try.

High Protein - low carb IS the Atkins Diet. People have this misconception that the Atkins eliminates the carbs completely. They have a 2 week induction period where the carb intake is limited to 20 grams a day just to teach the body not to depend on carbs. After that, you can have foods with carbs so long as it has fiber in it or doesnt come from processed foods like white flour.

Hope you like chicken. It seems to be the easiest to prepare, with the highest amount of protein. Get rid of the skin if you dont like the fat (see…in the atkins diet we dont worry about the fat :stuck_out_tongue: ) Grilling is perfect. If youre going to fry, dont put any of that bread crumbs or crust on it. Barbeque chicken is always good and the old standby…chicken soup. I drop a little wild rice in there for variety.

Grilled pork chops is also a good substiture. Again, no bread crumb crusts. Skip the applesauce. too much sugar.

My favorite has always been beef. The money I save not buying carb filled foods like donuts, breads, flour, cereals, white rice and sugar stuffs like colas, candy and more donuts, I spend on as much steak as I can afford. loooove steaks.

I’m trying to eat this way also; I’m finding that I eat a lot of dairy products to get low carb proteins - skim milk, low-fat cheese, and unsweetened low-fat yogurt. I have a bag of protein concentrate that I mix with milk for a quick high-protein snack. I also eat a lot of peanut butter, mixed nuts, and legumes like peas and beans - I’m looking for high-protein, low carb food, and I don’t worry too much about the fat content when it comes from whole foods like nuts and legumes.

Protein bars are also a good source of quick high protein (but read the labels carefully - some energy bars are high in protein but also very high in carbs, especially sugars).

Beef jerky is also a great source of protein on the go - it wasn’t used as trail food so long for nothing, you know.
A great recipe for a fairly quick, high-protein/low-fat dinner:

1 lb lean ground beef (browned, drained and rinsed)
1 large can of mixed beans
1 cup of kernel corn
1 package taco seasoning mix (I use the low-salt mix - it still tastes great)
1 large can of tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed, it doesn’t matter)
1 medium can of tomato sauce
water to make consistency you prefer (1 cup is about what I use)

Brown the beef and drain and rinse with hot water, add to a stockpot with all the other ingredients in it, add the taco seasoning, and cook covered for anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours (the flavours get more robust the longer it cooks), and serve with a bit of crushed tortilla chips, shredded low-fat cheddar, and light sour cream on top. Adjust the recipe anyway you like to get less fat or whatever - this is a very versatile recipe.

I get what you’re saying. What I meant was that I’m not strictly following the official Atkins diet…I don’t have a book or whatever you need to know exactly what to do to officially follow it. I’m still eating carbs whenever I want to but I’m watching the calories which often means fewer carbs. Fiber, processed foods, etc…I’m not even looking at those things. My favorite dinner is broiled chicken, steamed broccli and white rice. It’s one serving of rice at 160 calories and I have no idea what the carbs are. Basically my Doc said no more than 1/4 of my meal should be carbs and I should eat more chicken or broccli if I’m still hungry.

Luckily, I DO love chicken and I just get the frozen boneless, skinless breasts and they’re so easy to cook. But it’s often what I have for dinner so I’m hoping not to also have it for lunch. Hubby LOVES pork chops and I just broiled some the other night and had a bit of BBQ sauce with. It was really good and I think I’m going to try and add in more pork for variety.

featherlou, thanks for the recepie! Hubby likes tacos so I’m sure he’ll be happy to try this soup out. I am also relying on dairy products for my protein, especially during the day while I’m at work. I hadn’t thought to try the protein mix–where do you buy that? A health food store or vitamin type place?

[hijack]This talk of protein reminds me of one summer when I was in college, our third roommate sublet her room to a random guy (who turned out to be a complete freak, but that’s another thread). He was bodybuilding, I guess, although he was really skinny and not all bulky but was working out like three times a day and all he ate was tuna straight from the can and baked yams or sweet potatos, I’m not sure…whatever they were, they smelled AWFUL when baking. And he was also eating or drinking some kind of supplement that gave him really bad gas. Aside from the flatulence, he just smelled really bad. And he didn’t have a bed (the third roomie took it with her) so he slept on our couch…and after a couple of weeks the couch smelled so bad you couldn’t sit on it anymore. Ugh, what a nightmare that guy was![/hijack]

I can’t believe no one’s mentioned this thread yet. :smiley:

Good Og, 3waygeek…I SO wish I hadn’t clicked that.

I’m in my 3rd week on this program. There are no calories to count, no weighing and measuring of most foods. Honest-to-goodness, my sweet tooth was gone after 3 days! It’s an easy to follow program, and in the first 2 weeks, I lost 8 lbs. Get the book and read it - it’s easy to understand. I can’t recommend it too highly!

When I was on Atkins, I used to poach chicken breasts, slice them up, and bring them to work. (Drop thawed chicken breast into about 3 quarts of boiling water. Cover and turn off heat. Come back in an hour or two, or overnight, and drain and slice chicken. It makes a very firm-fleshed chicken that I like a lot). Check the fat grams on the package, but many string cheese sticks are pretty good snacks. You usually don’t eat very many, and they stick with you for a while.

I quite like most of the recipes at www.lowcarbluxury.com, too.

I get the protein mix at a health food store. It’s soy protein, I believe. It doesn’t taste fabulous, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, either, and when my body is jonesing badly for a protein fix, it does the trick nicely. A bag is kinda expensive, but it lasts a long time since you only use one or two teaspoons at a time.

Instant white rice, I’m afraid, is a pretty high carb food. I have a listing of glycemic index foods (GI ratings rate how quickly your body breaks down and uses the food - a lower GI rating is a food that takes longer for your body to digest and therefore doesn’t spike your blood sugar as quickly) - you might want to look into this, as well. Avoiding some of your higher GI rated foods (like instant rice, potatoes, most breads, most cereals) might be something to look into.

There’s also a great book out about carbohydrate addiction. A rule of thumb for eating more balanced meals in this book is for all the portions on your plate to be about the same size - the veggies like brocoli in the same amount as the meat and the starch. Another rule of thumb I live by is to have protein with every meal and snack throughout the day, and I usually have three meals and three snacks every day.

(I made the taco soup for Jim, and I don’t think he’s ever had three helpings of anything I’ve made before!)

I will make up a batch of chili, then freeze 2 cup portions in baggies for heating up later.

One concern I had about ENugent’s poaching technique- you really shouldn’t ever leave cooked foods out for more than an hour. A better way to poach might be to bring the water to a boil, then add the chicken. Bring the water back up to a boil and boil chicken for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. The result is perfectly poached chicken every time, and no danger from being out for so long!

Once you cut out most carbs, you will see huge changes in your body. Without excercising at all, I went from a size 10 to a size 4 in about 2 months, simply by changing the way I eat. Sure, it was tough for the first 3 days, but then I wasn’t starving anymore, and now I can cheat a bit and still be OK. The funny thing is, I don’t like those high-carbs foods as much anymore when I do eat them!