Food For Better Health,  Healthy Eating

Setting a Caloric Threshold: Weight Loss Plan Step 2

JoAnn's Food Bites Weight Loss PlanI hope you gained some tips on how to incorporate movement into your daily routine from last week’s blog?  I lost another pound this week and continue to stay upbeat about my journey.

Remember these are small steps.  Personally, diving in with both feet when trying to lose weight has never worked for me; so, I make gradual changes.

Read more about Step 1: Get Moving  – HERE

This week I want to share with you some knowledge on HOW to eat while on a weight loss plan.  I have a personal friend, Jennifer Quirk, who is a health coach and during a recent interview, I learned a few tips which I encourage you to adopt.

Eating the Right Amount

Bottom line, you need to burn more calories than you consume.  That is what it takes to shed pounds.  To calculate your suggested daily calorie intake, here is a rough guide:

Suggested Daily Calories
WOMAN 1,250 to 1,550
Suggested Daily Calories
MEN 1,550 to 1,800

The lower end of each range is usually best if you weigh less than 200 pounds and/or haven’t yet worked up to 150 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly.
If you weigh more than 200 pounds and/or are exercising 150 minutes or more each week, you can try the higher end of the range.

The most crucial piece of advice Jennifer gave me was to EAT WITHIN ONE HOUR OF WAKING UP EVERYDAY!

Folks are not kidding when they say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Eating within that first hour stimulates metabolism.  Now, we are not talking, pancakes, bacon and eggs.  It can be as simple as whole wheat bread with peanut butter or a guacamole spread.

The key takeaway: Put something in your stomach immediately.

JoAnn's Food Bites Weekday Eating ScheduleJennifer suggests eating every three hours throughout the day – NOT FULL BLOWN MEALS, but keeping something on your stomach to avoid being hungry.  When you are hungry, your metabolism shuts down and your body STORES FAT!

Eating a handful of almonds between breakfast and lunch is great.  Having a 6 oz. protein smoothie is great.  Something light and healthy.  We will discuss these types of foods more in-depth, next week.

For lunch, eat something satisfying but healthy…a salad with grilled chicken.   A salad with smoked salmon.  Vegetable chili (I am still searching for a good vegetable chili recipe).

For your evening meal, choose a lean protein and serve it with a green of some sort (leafy greens, green beans, broccoli, etc).

Make sure to eat an evening snack before bed – another handful of almonds works good here!

Track Your Food Intake

Yes, I know it is tedious, but you must keep track of what you are putting into your mouth or you will never know what works and you will tend to overeat.

Studies show that tracking your food intake can actually double your “weight loss” efforts!

Here again is where my FitBit is just irreplaceable.   By downloading the app, I can easily add any food and calculate my caloric intake immediately.  It even has a bar code reader built-in.  Thousands of restaurant items are in their database, as well.

Because I wear my FitBit constantly, the app tells me how many calories I can consume based on movement.

Fitbit Alta HR, Black, Small (US Version) 

In the upcoming weeks, together, we are going to explore the shore fired way to lose weight,


It is so difficult to burn enough calories to drop pounds exclusively through exercise.  You would have to work out many hours, everyday and neither of us have time for that.

It is also difficult to do it through eating healthy alone; you would have to cut your calories way, way back.  Then, you would be hungry all day!  Not to mention, by increasing your body movement, you can help prevent some of the muscle loss that naturally occurs when you start losing weight.  And you want to hold on to that muscle because it helps boost your caloric burn!


  1. Figure out your Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy per unit time that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest.
  2. To lose weight, you need to reduce your caloric intake below your total daily calorie requirement indicated by your BMR + activity level. Putting yourself in a 500-calorie deficit every day should result in the loss of one pound every week.
  3. To figure your BMR go HERE:
  4. Then set your caloric limit.  My BMR is 1,660.  I walk a minimum of 8K steps a day, not exercising.  I have set my calorie threshold at 1,300.

Next week we will examine the foolproof guide to


Portion control is something I have always struggled with.  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for next week?  Please share them in our Facebook Group at:  JoAnn’s Food Bites  




  • Ruthie Bowles

    Based on my studies, eating below your BMR is a recipe for metabolic damage. Your inhibiting your body’s ability to take care of the bare minimum tasks.

  • Renee E Goddard

    Cigna is sending me a pedometer. My last one ended up in a toilet. Not on purpose. Lol. I’ll be doing your stretched routine and counting my steps. Thanks for the good advice.

    • JoAnn

      What a great idea! Most insurance companies do offer “health programs.” I am getting much of my information from a program promoted by our health insurance, as well as my husband’s employer. His company has a “health coach” delegated to following their employees and providing advice.

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