Weight Loss: The Thoughts Behind

February 20, 2013

I don’t intend to count calories to lose weight this time around (unless I’m sort of stuck and need some information to move forward), but for fun, let’s talk about them for a moment.

The best way to determine your caloric needs is to experiment and see what level leads to gradual weight loss. No formula can tell you what real life can. I know from time to time some of you ask me in the comments “Is XX calories/portion size appropriate for me” and my response is always “It depends.” It does depend on so many factors because we are all individuals with different day jobs, workouts and metabolisms. Only an individual nutrition consultation and some trial and error can get close to a good guess.


I’ve received some requests for more thoughts behind my food choices. While I don’t count any of the macronutrients I eat, I’ll talk about them here for learning purposes. I have developed an instinct about meal size and my own needs over time. But for the most part, my stomach rules the roost!

As a breastfeeding mama who is active on most days of the week, I’m going to guess my calorie needs are about 2400. That’s about:

1700 for basal metabolism + lifestyle daily activities (what it was before pregnancy)

250 daily exercise (this goes up on active days and down on rest days – so it’s an average)

450 breastfeeding (what a nice bonus! Estimating 450 from this site’s references)

To get to the 1700 number, I put my stats into this calculator and put “maintain my weight” and “sedentary” (because I’ve separated out exercise here) to get basic lifestyle calories required. The second site has a great calculator for breastfeeding moms too. It also notes that it takes a gradual amount of weight loss into account, which is wise.

My goal would not be to eat up to 2400 calories required every single day. Women’s bodies store fat during pregnancy specifically to use during breastfeeding, so I do want to be relying on some of that for my needs and for some weight loss.

This article on Kelly Mom, an excellent site for research-based information, recommends at least 1800-2200 calories to maintain good milk supply. The key to losing weight while breastfeeding is gradual weight loss.

Based on the above, I’d give myself a 2,000 calorie goal. That’s pretty generous when eating real food in the comforts of home. Not-so-generous when going out to dinner or eating lots of calorie-dense foods. I’m sure it’s up on some days and down on others for a nice average. I also always think one should shoot for a conservative number knowing you’ll probably under estimate portions and bites.


I’d estimate on average I eat about 500 calories for breakfast and lunch and 600-700 for dinner plus a 200-300 calorie snack in the afternoon. On days when I do a lot of exercise, the later might get bumped up a bit (a bigger snack or more at dinner). And days when I have a huge breakfasts, lunches are often smaller. My goal is always to spread out my calories fairly evenly throughout the day.

I’m also always thinking about the balance of food groups. If I have bread in the form of French toast for breakfast, I might not have a sandwich for lunch but a salad instead (although I do have salads most days of the week regardless). If I have overnight oats with yogurt for breakfast, I don’t have yogurt again for an afternoon snack. That’s not to say that I can’t have it, but I try to brainstorm other foods to get more balance in my day.

I don’t worry so much about macronutrient breakdowns or grams of protein or fat throughout the day either. Rather I try to eat complex carbs, protein and fat at every meal and snack and hope that the totals will trickle down. I hope the ratios fall within the normal ranges, such as 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein (I’m just picking these numbers as standard breakdowns but they can vary slightly depending on your own preferences). But I don’t know for sure. Vegetables get 100% enthusiasm all the time – if you can! I try to have fruit for breakfast and snacks and veggies at both lunch and dinner. Kudos if you can eat veggies for breakfast – I can never stomach the thought! Except maybe a green smoothie.


Were I not breastfeeding, my goal might be closer to 1700/1800 with a little bit shaved off of each meal, particularly dinner since if I would hopefully be sleeping through the night!!

As someone who food journaled for years, I’m obviously a big fan of the practice if you’re trying to lose some weight. I don’t think you need to log every bite as I once did, but at least for a week, write down every bite and learn what your typical foods and portion sizes count for. Once you get an idea of good benchmarks and foods you might be overeating (or undereating – salads!), then you can go back to a more relaxed, mindful nature with tweaks accordingly.

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amelia February 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Great post Kath. I love how you break it down, especially in regards to the fact that calorie counting is not necessarily mandatory but more about being mindful of what we are eating (for controlling our weight). :)

FYI, I know being a mama to Mazen is #1 and should be, but I def miss your daily posts. :) its such a surprise when one pops up in my reader now!


2 Lisa February 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I miss the daily posts too! I really enjoyed reading about your day, Kath!


3 Christine February 20, 2013 at 9:14 am

Thank you for writing this post, I just hit 31 years “young” and I’m finding that I’ve had to adjust my eating habits and exercise habits to maintain my weight.You provided some great tips!


4 Lily February 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

As soon as I hit 30 things changed – I always thought it was an excuse but with no other external changes my body started holding onto weight despite very regular and consistent exercise and clean diet. Now at 34 I feel like that’s happening again. Constant refinements to workouts and eating I think will be necessary to stay in my happy weight range. Glad I am not the only one to experience this at 30-it surprised me!


5 Christine February 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I have been experiencing the same Christine & Lily! I am 34 and have to have constant changes to workouts and eating. Even more so than in years past. I have to say daily, “Don’t give up”!


6 Mom February 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm

And it keeps on happening. Every five years, I felt the metabolism change. Good you are discussing it as I wish I’d had some warning!


7 Tonya February 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

Let me just chime in with the number 36 and say amen and amen ladies! Going for a run a few times a week helped me to keep pounds at bay without worrying too much about what I ate (while still eating whole, REAL foods and maintaining the balance that Kath is illustrating in this post). I’ve fallen off of my runs sorely. Maybe once the weather breaks I’ll be inspired to start again. Indoor runs on the treadmill are sooo lame. :-)


8 Lynn @ the actor's diet February 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

Such a great post Kath. I love your attitude about intuition nutrition etc. has been so helpful for me w my eating disorder recovery over the last five years.


9 Allison February 20, 2013 at 9:17 am

When you were originally losing weight pre-marriage, what was your ballpark calorie goal each day? Thanks!


10 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

About 1800- but I did a fair amount of exercise!


11 Ali @ Peaches and Football February 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

My family genes don’t like carbs – even complex ones – but seem do to OK with oats so I do a lot of cooking with oat flour in place of wheat. I also love buckwheat in pancakes! A few years ago my folks did a summer diet of 40/30/30 ratios (little less carb and little more protein) and they each lost a good amount of weight. I need to get back to writing down what I’m eating because there also is such a thing as eating too few calories. At that point, you’re body also isn’t functioning correctly and it can cause you not to lose weight. Such a complex process – pity weight loss wasn’t easier! :) I’m off to check that calorie counter link. Thanks Kath!


12 Tonya February 21, 2013 at 11:27 am

Carbs love to go right to my FACE for some reason! LOL Amen to the oat flour substitute!


13 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 20, 2013 at 9:19 am

Great info and a nice peek into how you calculate things for yourself. Thanks so much!


14 Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge February 20, 2013 at 9:21 am

Love this post!! I love the fact that you emphasize intuitive eating too– listening to your stomach and also stopping when you’re full is so important and so many dieters “lose” that– I really do believe that’s a really important concept for keeping weight off for good and missing from so many diets. I offer a virtual program for online weight loss– have you ever considered doing that too?? You have the expertise and audience!!


15 [email protected] February 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

You have the ideal approach for sure. As someone who has suffered from eating disorders for years I know how people can get incredibly obsessive about calories and counting them. Now studying nutritional therapy I place a high value on keeping a food journal so people can become more self aware. I think people need to have a general understanding of calories and aim to eat wholefoods…the two together are the key to successful weight loss and optimum health! :) Great post Kath!


16 Kay Lynn February 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

Wow….this post was SO helpful (I am also nursing) and well-written. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the idea of balance and the calorie breakdowns. Sometime it would be interesting to SEE a meal (or a day’s worth of meals) and its estimated calorie count….I am terrible at guesstimating!


17 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

That post is in the works!


18 Kay Lynn February 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Sweet! Looking forward to it!


19 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles February 20, 2013 at 9:44 am

I like how you stated that your ‘stomach rules the roost.’ Over the years, I have come to the same conclusion. I try to eat as fresh, unprocessed and simply as possible. I have found that since discovering my eldest son had multiple food allergies and severe eczema as a baby…I look more carefully at our food choices. The silver lining… we live a much healthier lifestyle that I am enjoying despite all the food allergies my boys live with on a daily basis. I love all your recipes…your daily menu inspires me to be just as creative in the kitchen. :)


20 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

I definitely think counting your calories for a week if you’ve never done it before is a great idea when you’re trying to loose weight – it can really help you understand what you’re actually eating. I’m the same with macronutrients, I don’t calculate them but I make sure to get all three in every meal because it always keeps me fuller for longer! And as for veggies in breakfast, weirdly I’ve been going through a savory phase and some steamed greens often find their way into my breakfast!


21 Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body February 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

This is such a great post! There have been times that I have found myself focused on the number instead of the nutrition. This blog is a great example of balance.


22 Leli February 20, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi Kath

Have you, as a dietitian, heard of Gary Taubes ( author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat”)?

This is his famous article for the NY Times:


This is definetely a must-read, especially for a food blogger/R.D, I think :-)

Other sources:

Let me know what you think.
Have a nice day!


23 Eating 4 Balance February 20, 2013 at 10:10 am

Would you call your approach along the lines of intuitive eating? Or are your choices more conscious than that?


24 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I would, yes, but if you’re referring to the book Intuitive Eating, then I don’t think I go as far as they do. I would LOVE to have a cookie after every lunch and a glass of wine with every dinner and dessert every night – if I gave myself permission to do those things, I’m sure they would become habits and add up. So I do think I need a little nutrition sense to “know better” than do indulge that frequently.


25 Eating 4 Balance February 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm

That’s good to hear, because that’s how I feel about intuitive eating too. I feel like sometimes there is a difference between cravings and what you really need. I constantly crave carbs, but intuitively I know when protein and fats are better for me. I’ve never read the book Intuitive Eating, but I’ve heard others discuss it before.


26 Maria Tadic February 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

This is a really great post. I have so many people ask me the same thing. I always tell them when you’re satisfied (not full) stop eating. Your body knows how much food is right for you. Just gotta listen to it!


27 Carly @ Snack Therapy February 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

I loooove reading your thoughts on weight loss and calorie counting. You have one of the healthiest mindsets! It’s so refreshing.


28 Maureen February 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Great post! I have found that the times I am successful with weight loss I am logging my food, not for the calorie count, but to see WHAT I am eating and my eating patterns.


29 Katy February 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

I am still working on that meal size thing. I tracked calories for a bit just to be better informed with what I’m eating, but I still have a difficult time balancing meals appropriately.


30 sara @ fitcupcaker February 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

I like this balance, I dont really count calories either but I kind of know what I am taking in. I try to get complex carbs, veggies and protein and some healthy fats in most meals :) I do the same thing, If I have bread or oats for breakfast I try to have a salad with veggies and protein for lunch!


31 Ashlee February 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

I logged everything that went in my mouth religiously for 3 years. Now that I’ve maintained a 30 lb weight loss, I no longer need to physically track every single thing since I am very good about just knowing! This is a lot of good info! Thanks for sharing!


32 Kristen @ Change of Pace February 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

I hate counting calories but I love to see what I eat. I wrote down what I ate a long time ago and it was a huge awakening. I was eating way too much and not enough of it was good food. Instead of counting calories I just try to eat a ton of veggies and exercise. Those are my main goals and it seems to be working :)


33 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

I actually love food journaling (hence why I studied fitness nutrition). I think writing down what you’re eating and the times of day your eating it really can help you, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. For me, timing is a huge thing when it comes to getting in my fuel. I’m also with you on evening things out when it comes to what I’m eating. If I have bread during one meal, I’m not going to carb up on bread the next meal either. The biggest part for me, as someone that is not currently eating meat (I hate food labels and refuse to call myself a vegetarian), was learning great ways to get in healthy protein without supplementing. Not to say that I don’t supplement sometimes, but that’s more for having treats, I had to focus on evening out my macros and getting protein in at every meal and every snack. I actually start thinking about my food from my protein choices and then build around them. That’s what works for me though. I could not agree more either with the fact that nutrition is not a one size fits all scenario. People need to understand that the calorie information on foods is really just a guide since we all burn fuel differently.

Great post Kath! I hope you have a great day!


34 Amanda Cowan February 20, 2013 at 11:00 am

Great post! I’m still so sad and shocked by the number of people who think that they can exist on fewer than 1200 net calories a day. Plus, the people who think ‘what works for me should work for you’. I use My Fitness Pal to journal, first because I started losing weight in September (have lost 20 lbs and about 7% body fat and I’m *almost* at goal) and now I journal because I recently gave up meat and I like to keep track of my various protein sources to make sure I’m making a healthy switch (I don’t want to be a junk-food vegetarian). Anyway, I have a hard time going into the message boards there. You would not believe the information being sold in there as fact. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and now plan to return to school to study nutritional science and It’s something that completely fascinates me and I quite enjoy. Sad to see the majority of people in the dark about these types of subjects.


35 Amanda Cowan February 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

Oh, and I’m not breastfeeding, I’m on a “1/2 a week” weight loss plan, so that puts my base calorie intake at about 1600 (I’m 5’9″). But I also have a fitbit (LOVE LOVE LOVE my Fitbit) which takes into account all movement, not just working out. Plus I do a lot of body pump type classes and core classes as well as cardio, so I actually eat closer to 2000-2200 a day, depending on my activity level and also my hunger levels. Doing this I’ve lost roughly 1/2lbs-1lb a week since September. I’m happy with this slow loss, and also with the new ‘healthy habits’ I’ve started.

My husband has a desk job, but using his Fitbit it’s motivated him to use a standing desk instead, and also take frequent breaks from standing/sitting still. He’s been losing weight as well.


36 melissa February 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

which fitbit are you using? (i think there are different ones?)
i really would like to get one!


37 Grace @ Grace Dishes February 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

I love your approach to eating healthy and mindfully. I think it’s all about balance too. I try to balance my food groups like you :)

Great and informative post!


38 Anne February 20, 2013 at 11:11 am

I was under the impression that you were not supposed to use exercise to “bump” the number of calories you could eat. For example, if I’m supposed to eat ~1700 calories per day but regularly go to spinning or power yoga, I can’t simply assume my caloric needs are closer to the 2,000 + range daily. The logic of this, I think, was that we often eat more than we realize and most of us have no idea how many calories are in our meals. As such, it was better to stick to your target number, knowing you’d go over and under on certain days and exercise for health and balance.

Thoughts on this? Frankly, I was surprised by this info but did notice that once I was eating in the range of calories I was “supposed to” as well as exercising as I normally did, that’s when my pants felt looser. It was a nice change from madly exercising and eating for power but feeling heavier than I wanted.


39 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

There are tons of different ways to manage your intake – that’s just one mindset. If your’e doing a lot of exercise though, you might not be eating enough. If you’re just going on a daily walk, then yeah, eating back 100 extra calories probably isnt’ necessary


40 Marcia February 23, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I agree. Back when I lost my weight initially, I found I wasn’t eating enough. I hit goal, increased my calories, and started losing even faster.


41 Ashley R. October 9, 2013 at 12:29 am

Hi Marcia,

I’m curious what your activity level and your calorie intake was like for both periods. Also, what’s your height?

I’m wondering if I’m going to have a similar experience.



42 Stacey February 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I agree with Kath’s comment. In my opinion the harder the workout, the more ‘fuel’ you need. Your base needs are your base needs to live every day. If you workout at a high intense rate, then you will need to eat more to get through the strenuous workouts. Again, my view.


43 Lisa @bitesforbabies February 20, 2013 at 11:41 am

It’s inspiring for others that you take your health so seriously and that you are taking the steps needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. By the looks of everything you make you don’t seem to have to worry 😉 I myself believe in eating very healthy and I hope to instill that motto in my children. It’s EASY for me because I’ve been eating a certain way for such a long time…and I’m being honest when I say I don’t miss the “junk!”


44 Sarah February 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

I am loving these new posting formats, especially delving deeper into subjects like weight loss, so thanks!

When I went through Weight Watchers a few years back, I learned that my metabolism changes based on how “real” my food is. In the beginning of WW I ate mostly home-cooked foods and lost weight regularly.

Somewhere along the way I succumbed to the constant badgering to eat the Weight Watchers pre-packaged foods and the weight loss completely stopped even though I was still eating the same calories! Plus I was absolutely famished all.the.time.

So I quit WW and now just eat real food and I’ve maintained a healthy weight without any counting. I do credit WW for an important lesson in real food though, even if it’s not the lesson they intended :)


45 Stacey February 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm

A good example in my opinion of how not all calories are equal :) Processed meals full of sodium and preservaties are not equal calories to a fresh, clean meal.


46 [email protected] February 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

Awesome! The way you explained everything really makes a lot of sense in the “real” world. So much of life really comes down to making healthy, intuitive choices overall instead of trying to micro-manage every single meal every single day. Especially when it comes to losing small amounts of weight over time. I find I do so much better (having a knowledge base of the general calories of most foods) eating intuitively, and making sure I get lots of fruits and veggies, then lean proteins and whole grains (in that order) without really measuring exactly. I find that my body FEELS better that way, and I snack on unhealthy items a lot less. Whenever I try to micro-manage my calories I end up focusing too much on it and end up snacking unnecessarily. Great post, Kath! :)


47 Lindsey February 20, 2013 at 11:57 am

Hey Kath!

I love your intuitive style of eating, you have great balance and are my no. 1 veggie inspiration haha. Plus, I’m always stealing your flavor combinations…I may or may not go buy some grapes now for an afternoon salad 😛

Hope your weather is as gorgeous as it is here (just a little north in RVA) time to go for a long walk in the sunshine. Thanks for the post!


48 Spice Chicken February 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Informative and helpful. Like Maureen, Amelia, and others, I like the mindfulness of the approach described here. I’ve developed a similar way of eating to maintain weight loss and optimize nutrition — for instance, yogurt for breakfast? choose a snack other than yogurt to mix things up — and it’s gratifying to see that I’m on the right track even though I don’t have a dietician background.

I know what you mean about veggies for breakfast but what about omelets? That’s the one exception for me. Load ’em up with onions, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, yum!


49 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Only for brunch!


50 Jen February 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks for this post, Kath. Since becoming more conscious of my food choices, I’ve tried to balance things out in a similar way, and your blog is so helpful in keeping me from getting into a rut. For instance, I was reading your post on breakfasts the other day and had forgotten about overnight oats. They made an appearance today because of the reminder. Keep up the great work!


51 Kristen February 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Great post Kath! Love all the info! I’m a fan of the food journaling as well- I find its a good check when I feel like I’ve started getting away from my healthy living goals.


52 Anne February 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Great post! I’m also a big fan of the intuitive eating approach – and balancing food groups and nutrients throughout the day.


53 Emilia February 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

This is the single most down-to-earth and practical weight loss post I’ve ever read, thank you! It’s interesting to see your unique experiences trying to loose weight while breastfeeding, I can imagine it’s quite the mental struggle. Bookmarking this to return back to :)


54 Atsuko February 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm

This is a great post to understand that a healthy balanced lifestyle is important. Counting calories and cutting so much calories is not healthy, I think. One needs to listen to the body like you said. Also, one needs to appreciate what the nature offers us to live well. People, especially women and girls, worry too much about the numbers, such as numbers on the scale and clothing size, but the life is much greater than those. One needs to feel good about herself, love herself, be happy with her own body shape. Thank you for the post!!


55 Lily February 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Kath, I would love to hear your thoughts on the theory that you can eat as many vegetables as you want because of the “negative calorie” fact.

I’ve heard a lot about this but just wondered your take on it.


56 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I think that depends on the veggie – raw celery yes, but the starchier ones, no. Even the hearty greens like kale + collards have more calories than you’d expect. Not at all a reason to cut back on them, but all veggies definitely aren’t negative.


57 Sarah February 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

I’m not Kath (obviously) but I think this is an interesting question. I agree, for sure, the starchier veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, winter squash, probably other stuff I’m not immediately thinking of) are not “free”, and I also think that the “negative” idea is pretty silly. But many veggies are so much lower in calories and higher in fiber than many other foods that you could be eating in their place that just by increasing veggie intake, you feel fuller longer and may eat less of the higher-calorie foods, so that can definitely help with weight loss (or just maintenance once you’re at a healthy weight). Not to mention all the great nutrients you’re getting in those veggies!


58 Karen February 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Terrific post, Kath! I feel the same way re. food journaling and precise calorie counting – awesome for identifying weak links in a dieter’s intake behavior, but not for me unless I ever find myself in need of extra diligence beyond my own intuition and ballpark estimates. I also agree with your re. the practices recommended in the book Intuitive Eating as a bit too lenient for my particular temperament. Finally, I too know I function and feel my best when eating balanced substantial meals throughout the day. Strangely, I seem to require much more calories than any of the estimates indicate- whether due to natural metabolism or higher activity than expected. Knowing this (and b/c I am not in losing mode) I make sure to eat plenty during the day; if I don’t, I find myself overly hungry at night and I hate going to bed on a full stomach.


59 Janet February 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Thanks for this post Kath. What are your thoughts on breaking up your meals into 6 smaller meals as some people recommend? Is it really calories in and calories out so as long as you break up your 6 small meals or 3 large meals into your required calorie deficit, you should be able to lose weight?


60 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm

It is calories in/out, but some people are way better with portion control with mini meals and other people are better with bigger meals (I’m in the bigger meal camp – otherwise I just feel hungry/snacky all day long)


61 Kelly L. February 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thank you for this post!!


62 Amanda Cowan February 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Let’s say I aim to eat around 1700 calories a day, but I do an hour barbell strength class with cardio, which my HR monitor shows burns around 450 calories. If I don’t account for that, then my net is down around 1300. Which is fine, if you’re aim is to lose weight. Especially when you also have a busy day full of errands and whatnot. Somedays I log around 10,000 steps in addition to a tough circuit-training type workout. You have to account for this type of activity. If you sit at a desk all day, then yeah.. err on the side of caution. Don’t cheat your body though.

I understand the idea that the majority of people don’t know what they’re eating anyway, but if you’re pretty conscious of what you’re eating, I also think it’s important to feed your body. Especially if you’re doing “power yoga” and spinning and workouts that really tear your muscles up. Your body uses that fuel to run and repair your body.


63 Anna @ On Anna's Plate February 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I got my resting metabolic rate tested once at a spa, and it was much lower than I expected! I always keep that in mind when I’m figuring out my daily caloric needs. But really, I try just to go on hunger and intuitive eating cues…not that that’s as easy as it sounds, ha!

Thanks for the post!


64 Atsuko February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I enjoyed reading the post! Thank you for shring your healthy eating styles with the readers.


65 Jess. February 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Great post! While I am counting “points” on WW right now, I try to follow a similar approach as far as eating balanced meals & distribution of calories throughout the day.


66 Leslie February 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Hi Kath, As an EBF’ing mama also (our LO’s were born just days apart) I’m still try to find balance in my diet. I had no clue that I would be so hungry while bf’ing!!! I really appreciate you sharing the thought process behind your meal choices and calorie consumption. I could definite benefit by applying some of it to my own food choices. I eat a pretty healthy vegetarian diet most of the time but am definitely indulging in sweets too frequently :) even though most are homemade, low sugar, whole grain flours, etc, they are still desserts! Thanks! Leslie


67 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I’m really hungry too!! And don’t worry – I’m having a hard time figuring out how many extra snacks to eat too. Some days I feel like I’m eating waaay too much but I’m also hungry so who knows!


68 Irene February 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

I also EBF and I’m STARVING most of the time. I’ve been tracking my calories and eating 2,000 is not enough for me. I can usually do 2,300 but I would easily eat 3,000.


69 coco February 23, 2013 at 5:28 am

EBF mom here. I find that right after i eat I feel really full, but the next minute I could feel starving, like starving for a long time already. isn’t that weird that we feel satisfaction/starving so intensely and switching so frequently?


70 Zen Mandala February 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

This post is very informative. I’ve been enjoying your new format :)


71 Avery @ Southern Belle Living Well February 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

It’s nice to hear from some one so informative and straight forward. I agree with the not worrying about macronutrients. I feel like I’d love to be able to do that, however, I don’t do the hard-core lifting for 6 hours a day, then needing to down a 50 gram protein shake deal. I’m more of a cardio, a bit of strength, and then just watch what I put in my body kind of girl!


72 Brianna(senseofsensibility) February 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for providing the link the the calorie calculator, I’m always curious to see what the different sites come up with. I try to low-ball my calorie goal because I tend to have a few more bites here and there than I really record (if I’m being honest with myself). Also, I ran across this article today that you might find interesting:
Do you every question the accuracy of calorie counting?


73 KathEats February 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Nice article. I agree you can never really know how accurate something is… Or even the calculators. Hence my opening point about trial and error. I’m sure restaurants with portion size get the count wrong all the time and even labs have errors. I still think it’s good to have estimates and be aware though… Better than being in the dark about it all.


74 Brianna(senseofsensibility) February 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I agree, also best not to fret too much about it. I think having a ballpark can give a person a good idea of what they should be consuming.


75 Anne @ eatcleaneatreal February 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I admire your practical approach to weight loss and maintenance. I journaled for about 3 years and kept myself between 1200-1500 calories a day, but Im finding I feel so much better eating more. I have gained some back, and its a tough balance between too much, too little, and just right. Keep up the good work girl!


76 Holly @ A Year in Wichita February 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

GREAT post! I’m wanting to lose 10-15 pounds and am trying to decide whether or not to blog about it…..


77 Betsy February 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I’m neither breast feeding, nor trying to loose weight, but I still enjoyed reading this post as much as any other. I just admire your balanced approach to life! I think you will find this article really interesting: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/20/172403779/calorie-counts-fatally-flawed-or-our-best-defense-against-pudge


78 Lisa February 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm

In my own experience, my body holds on to the last 5-8 lbs until baby’s first birthday. If I try to lose those last few lbs sooner my body will rebel by screaming for *more food*! 😉

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how you piece your meals together. I am inspired by the bright colors and flavor/texture combinations. Keep up the great posts!


79 Michele February 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I really enjoyed this post! I would love to hear more on eating the calories you earn for exercise. I know you touched on this a bit but this is something I struggle with. I log everything on My Fitness Pal and on the days I work out I can earn 500-600 extra calories. I usually try not to eat them because I wonder if that defeats the purpose. I am only eating 1200 calories a day and I do get hungrier on the days I work out, but then again, I’m trying to lose so I don’t really want to eat more. It’s all confusing to me.

Also, I would love a post on what to eat before and after exercise. Also, if you should eat different before/after if you are doing cardio or strength training.



80 KathEats February 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

1200 calories per day is not enough for both lifestyle and exercise. That’s a deficient of 800-1,000 calories and that is a very drastic cut. Most people burn 1200 calories lying in bed all day, so you need to factor in energy for daily activities like cooking, making the bed, walking to your car, etc. Give yourself 1600-1700 for that, and then add in your 500 for exercise and you get to 2200. THEN subtract 500 for a pound a week (which is still ambitious!) and you get 1700 to eat. Unless you have a couple of total rest days in a row, I wouldn’t dip any less.


81 Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut February 21, 2013 at 1:08 am

Wow it makes me so happy to see this explained!

This is my thought process behind eating…but it’s so challenging to tell people, “just listen to your body and eat a variety of foods” when people are used to ignoring their hunger/full signals constantly with nary a vegetable.

I am a soon to be RD and this explanation will be so helpful when talking to clients!

Thanks for this post! :)


82 Elisabeth February 21, 2013 at 1:58 am

Great post!


83 Marie-Sophie February 21, 2013 at 3:13 am

I’ve never had to watch my weight or count but recently I used MyFitnessPal to track two weeks of my meals. I wanted to see how I intuitively eat and what my macronutrient ratio is (just curious). I have NO idea how many calories are in my meals, I just try to get all macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) in each of my meals and snacks. Turns out I always have a ratio of around 50 (carbs) – 30 (fat) – 20 ( protein)! Which apparently works for me!

If there was one tip I’d give to someone who is trying to try intuitive eating – don’t count calories but pay attention to your macronutrients! Maybe you work best having a big dose of fat in the morning (that’s the case with me), maybe your snacks need more protein, maybe your dinner should include some complex carbs (I personally cannot sleep if my dinner solely includes protein and some fat and only veggie-carbs). When I am hungry I can guess if my body needs/wants something protein-y, some fat or carbs. Then I can choose from a wide range of foods!


84 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) February 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

It’s nice to hear you break everything down in this way! I’m a fan of intuitive eating and relying on hunger/fullness cues to let me know how much to take in for a day, but I do feel that it’s important to still know about calories and our body’s basic needs.

Great tips, great post! 😀


85 Olivia Green February 21, 2013 at 6:20 am

I’ve never been a huge fan of these “lose weight quickly” type articles. The problem with most of the methods is that, most people end up putting the weight straight back on.

If you want to lose weight permanently, then visit: http://www.healthandfitnessdiets.com. Thanks to the great diet plans and workout routines, I’m currently in the best shape of my life and look great. Furthermore, the weight is staying off!

However, remember there are no shortcuts or magical secrets to a great body – it’s simply a result of hard-work and not giving up!


86 Linda February 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

I normally don’t comment, but I wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your new blogging style. In addition, I appreciate your honesty in explaining the changes…all of our lives change and it’s inspiring how you’ve adapted. Furthermore, I know you get a lot of flack about “sponsored posts”, but I find them fun. I had some to time to kill and went over to fab.com and I don’t know if I will buy anything but it was a fun to look around and it gave me ideas for future holiday/birthday gifts.


87 Alyssa February 21, 2013 at 8:40 am

That is such a healthy and balanced approach to weight loss and motherhood in general! You make nervous folk like me calm down about the aftermath of pregnancy, weight gain and overall motherhood :-) thanks!


88 Katherine February 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

Great post! I love how you eat real food. :)



89 Ali February 21, 2013 at 9:05 am

Excellent point about experimenting to see what is right for your body, because there is no magic number of calories (or combinations of foods) that will help every person get to their comfortable weight. When I was breastfeeding and running daily, I calculated how many calories I was eating per day and it was 4000 to 5000, and I could not put weight on at all. So you never know!


90 [email protected] February 21, 2013 at 9:37 am

What a wonderful informative post. I am tracking my food on My Fitness Pal and its great to see how it all breaks down. Since I am recovering from foot surgery and just starting to be physically active again it’s difficult to know how many calories I should be consuming.

I’m enjoying your new posting format. The posts are so helpful and informative.


91 Carrie @ Season It Already! February 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

I must say that the salads you photograph are always so inspiring. They are different from your everyday salads and it helps me change things up when I get in a rut. Thank you!


92 Monica February 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

What a wonderful post! Thank you Kath! And thank you so much for linking to the breastfeeding calculator.

I have been trying to break into the 150’s for the first time in my life EVER and have had to figure out what me in that weight range requires. So much of it is trial and error, but I am a full-term nurser with my 15 mo. old and his nursing impacts my caloric needs so much. Now that he is working on molars some days he nurses like a wee peanut going through a 3 mo. growth sport, on those days I am starving. Breastfeeding has given me intuitive eating and I am so grateful for that gift.

Thank you again for reflecting on your eating structure, it truly is so helpful to hear others throw ideas out there!


93 Alice February 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Well written article. Not sure I agree with it though and you might, for future consideration, add a note on top that it could be triggering for those with eating disorders or issues of any kind. Oftentimes calculators are very very very wrong and many people need a ton more than you might think. I have other peer reviewed articles I’d link here, but not sure if linking articles will spam me out, ha. Online calculators and “x” calories gets people in mindgames and can actually only hinder ones true metabolism, etc.

I DO appreciate that you note that the macros (50-30-20 are for YOU). I like a lot of fat for one, so everyone is definitely different. It is good that you acknowledge that that is based on your preference and NOT the “everyone must follow” principle just because some pyramid scheme says so.


94 Laura February 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I’m 5’4 and 23 and weigh about 122-125 pounds. I noticed you recommended to an earlier poster that she eat at least 1700 to lose weight healthier. The calorie calculators that I have been trying out online (including the one in this post) all have me eating about 1200-1500 calories a day for weight loss, and 1800-2100 for maintenance. I can’t eat less than 1500 calories. I just can’t. If I do, I feel like half a person, just going through the motions. I would try so hard for so long and then lose all control and binge.
I’m trying to eat 1500-1600 these days, and that feels better, but sometimes I just can’t stand the obsession and yet I can’t stop. I’m just very confused and overwhelmed with what I should be eating. I work out five days a week doing a mixture of cardio, resistance training, and interval training. I push myself, but not to extremes. I know that the pounds I have left to lose are just vanity pounds and so are very stubborn, but I still get so frustrated by my lack of a flat belly and the pudge that just doesn’t seem to go away.
Some days, I convince myself that I’m allowed to eat 2000 calories if I need to, and that I should love my body, and then when I go on a calorie calculator and see that I’m only supposed to need 1200 calories a day, I lose all the good progress I made with my body image and suddenly am overcome with the thought that I’m not doing enough. I already feel like I eat so little. When I go home to my parents’ from university, I have to psych myself up to be around the food they eat and in the quantities, and they eat healthily! I just want to look fit. I just want to be able to eat regular food and regular amounts of it and look fit.


95 Denise February 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Laura, I am not a health professional but you are already at a very healthy weight for your height. I am 5′ 2 and love how i look at 120. You must look very svelte. Are you sure this is about fitness and health?


96 christina February 22, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hi Kath,

Great post! I’m also a nursing mother of a little 5 month old. I’m curious, what time do you eat dinner? I tend to eat dinner on the early side5:45/6PM as I also have a 5 year old. I always find after the intense before bed nursing I am super hungry. Any suggestions on evening snacks? I’m trying to find a balance here, as I don’t like to eat too much before bed, but do find I need a little something else.



97 KathEats February 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

We eat after M goes to bed – around 7:30. I sometimes do need an evening snack, and my favorite is a mug of cereal and milk. It’s not maybe as healthy is veggies and hummus ( :) ) but I find it really satisfying and takes hunger away.


98 [email protected] for the Soul February 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Great article, Kath! I really like how you broke it down in an organized, easy to understand manner. I feel like you and I have very similar philosophies when it comes to health and good food. I don’t count anything I eat unless I’m really curious what that big honkin’ cinnamon roll from who knows where it came from looks like in terms of nutrition and calories, but just like you, I think I’ve developed an “instinct” for what my stomach and body can handle as well. I think it’s such a good way to stay as balanced as possible when I spread out my food groups throughout the day, and this seems to fall into the ‘moderation’ philosophy. :) It keeps the body and the mind pretty happy!


99 Marcia February 22, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Hmm…here’s my experience. I lost 57 lbs in 2002 by counting calories…actually, weight watchers.

I had my first child in 2006. I tried very hard to lose weight with trial and error and experimentation. It didn’t work. I used an online program run by a dietitian based on making small changes. It worked Great! But only to a point. I guess the stress of working full time, nursing a baby took its toll. In the end, I couldn’t lose the last 15 lbs until I did two things:

1. Stop nursing (at 13.5 months)
2. Start back on weight watchers

Fast forward six years to the second baby. This time I started on a fitness and dietary program called Fit YummyMummy. It also worked very well, but I found that I started getting sick more often. I lost 10 lbs the first month but also got sick 3 times…it was my first month back at work. I was eating about 2100 to 2300 cal per day, and I’m 5 ft 2.

So I cut back, and I’ve stalled. By based on my last experience… It was almost two years before I lost all the weight, and I expect the same this time. For me, it only really works if I count calories. Once I lose it, I can maintain pretty easily without counting calories. Just how my body works I guess. I’ve got two kids and a job…I am definitely prioritizing sleep over exercise this time! And I’ve been much healthierthiswinter.


100 The Healthy Apple February 24, 2013 at 9:24 am

LOVE your new style of posts, Kath! Hope you are having a great weekend. Miss you so much. Hugs from NYC!


101 lindsay @ fuel my family February 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

When my second daughter was breastfeeding the most, maybe 7 months old or so, I recorded my calories for a little while because i felt like I was eating SO much and no human being needed to be eating that much, haha. I was consuming between 3,000-4000 calories per day. This was with exercising (running, circuit training) 2-3 times a week. I think personally, breastfeeding just takes a huge toll on my body and it really needs those calories. I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight and not gaining any, so my body was using it obviously. Now she is 18 months and I am weaning and this is when I need to start watching my calories. I am so used to eaing HUGE portions, I need to adjust them for sure.


102 Alexandra February 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hi Kath!

Great post! My question to you is, how long will it take for my weight to normalize if I’m eating at or even under my “maintenance” (based on the calculations its around 2200 at sedentary) and gaining weight, but this is after I was only eating 800-900 calories per day throughout the summer? I lost 30lbs then..and have promptly gained 15 back since actually eating enough.



103 D February 28, 2013 at 2:33 am

The oats are supposed to be good for when you are nursing!,



104 Kim February 28, 2013 at 7:24 am

Fantastic post! Love this kind of analysis of what you eat. You are such an inspiration to me (foodwise) and I have tried many of the dishes you’ve posted (or similar). Thanks for breaking down your daily menu like that. :)


105 Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen March 1, 2013 at 8:36 am

This is a very informative post. Love it, and the focus on everyone needing different things in their diet. And I wanted to say that my friend Brittany had printed out a post you wrote years ago about why calories don’t really matter in the long run, which she gave me a copy of to read–we couldn’t find it on your blog–and it was huge inspiration for me to come out of the calorie-counting closet this week and admit I had turned into a bit of a monster in secret. So thank you for that…even years later, it helped someone out. :)


106 Jim March 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I had this blog recommended to me by a friend as I was looking for an all round website to give me insights into health and nutrition. She wasn’t wrong. I shall be back on a regular basis. Thanks.


107 Amy Everpean March 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

These meals look amazing! I’ve been working with a Personal trainer Huntington Beach professional and they have totally helped me turn my life around. They have me eating lots of salads, so i can’t wait to try some of these ones from this post.


108 Emily R April 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Hi there,

I recently read the book called Wheat Belly. Have you ever heard of or read it?

Overall, the author makes a claim that the reason why so many Americans have trouble losing weight, or have stubborn belly fat, is because of our consumption, or perhaps over-consumption of wheat, or products that contain wheat.

I was curious what your thoughts on this topic are from an RD’s standpoint?

I know that Paleo diets, and high fat low carb diets have gained a lot of attention lately. Just doing general research on those diets overwhelms me, as it’s hard to see past the scare tactics and hype that are so often used by proponetents of these diets.

I know that you and your family run a bread company, and obviously you are quite healthy (which by the way, is very inspiring). So I’m very curious what your opinion on this “wheat belly” topic is. :)

Thank you!


109 KathEats April 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I have heard of it and know a little about it, but I haven’t read it. I think it’s kind of ridiculous to blame weight gain of a nation on wheat though. Our obesity epidemic is pretty new. And plenty of people at ideal weights eat wheat. Of course it’s easy to overeat because it’s so delicious, but people are overweight because they eat more than they burn, serious medical conditions aside. This post has some information from Matt on wheat that might be helpful too.


110 Emily R April 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Thank you for your thoughts! I enjoyed reading Matt’s as well.


111 KathEats April 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

:) Don’t mean to sound harsh, but these fad diets get on my nerves!


112 Emily R April 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I completely understand.

I believe They tend to do more harm than good. Mentally as well as physically.

After deling with disorded eating and body image problems for so long, it is my goal and duty to eat healthy and balanced whole foods, rather than blame and condemn them like these fad diets do so very well.


113 Chris Y April 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Hi Kath,

Beautiful website, very informative and inspiring! I’m a health professional myself, but not a nutritionist, and maybe therefore it is easier for me to have an alternative viewpoint. I love and agree with most of what you espouse on this site, but also gently disagree on some. I say this with utmost respect for what you do and have achieved. This is probably in the area of calorie counting, traditionally the nutritionist’s fortress.

Calorie counting, to me, has its place in the sense that it allows you to have a rough gauge of how much you are taking in, especially at the start of a program. If the figures are astronomical (3000 ++) for an average meal, and you’re not a national olympic swimmer, you know that you can probably afford to cut down. However I hesitate to encourage clients to go much further in-depth with their calorie counting because:-

1) 1843.432 caloric intake, really? – It’s very difficult to get a very accurate pinpoint on the calories you’re actually taking in unless you personally prepare ALL your food and have VERY strong knowledge of how these calories work (e.g diff food prep methods elicit diff calories). You can do that (weigh it and all) religiously, and that will give you a better idea, but it is a LOT of work for what is, at best a very educated estimate.

2) Tendency to obsess with numbers – Place too much emphasis on the numbers, and you run the risk of becoming consumed by the numbers game, which can be unhealthy in several ways. I believe our mental faculties can be better spent on other things! (ok maybe i’m just lazy)

3) Calories are one third the equation – For some reason people with thyroid problems battle weight gain a lot more than others. This suggests that how your -HORMONES-, insulin for example, react to food intake is vital. On a related note, some people can eat all they want and never gain an ounce of fat anywhere from cheek to butt cheek. Their -GENETICS- play a huge role in that. What was your body programmed to do with all that energy? How does it impact how your body works with the calories coming in? Those are more pertinent questions imho. Some animals get really massive eating grass and leaves. which leads me to the final point..

4) Not all calories are equal – Because of how your body responds to different macronutrient groups, calories cannot be considered equal (another spanner in the works when counting calories.. should I now give weightage to different calorie-types?). I always tell clients that the TYPE of calorie is far more important than the actual number. For example, why would an isocaloric beer be way more harmful than having some pasta? One acts like a shot of sugar to the head whereas the other takes more time to break down from it’s semi-solid state.

I believe in a sugar-free (except natural high-nutrient sources, and even then capped), low-carb (unless high-intensity sporting requirements dictate otherwise) diet high in QUALITY fibre, protein, and fat (saturated, unsaturated, everything in between). These are the general rules I try to preach. The rest, as they say, is trial and error, and very importantly a genuine satisfaction with where your body composition settles down to. Everyone is different so the tweaking is the exciting bit of the journey. I haven’t seen anyone bring up anything remotely close to this point (except the unreplied poster who talked about Taubes’ book). I’ve had a client who ramped up training from 2 to 5x a week for a whole year for a marathon and gained 6 kgs at the end of it. You’d think that he’d at least be even after all those calories burnt. Diet > exercise.

Open to responses!


114 Chris Y April 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Haha qualification. uhhhhh, I advocate almost all fats EXCEPT trans fats and maybe omega 6 (don’t know enough on that)! 😀


115 KathEats April 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I don’t disagree with you!


116 Cait July 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Hi Kath,

A thought about veggies for breakfast:
One of my favorite things to make is a veggie scramble – saute whatever veggies I have on hand (like spinach, bell pepper, squash…), add eggs, a little cheese on top. Super easy and yum!

I have found that eating intuitively based on variety of foods and activity level has kept me at a healthy weight and in a happy mindset (especially during pregnancy!). I agree about fad diets being annoying, but I think the main problem is that people just don’t know how/what to eat anymore and they’re looking for someone to tell them how/what to eat to. (There is also the problem of general lack of exercise, but that’s almost another issue entirely…) Good for you, helping to educate with this post!


117 Sara August 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I know this is an older post, but I just found your blog while looking for other oatmeal enthusiasts and stumbled onto this post, which was a huge help for me! I’ve technically been in maintenance since this past spring, but have become increasingly frustrated as I continued to lose weight, following the guidelines of a calorie calculator for maintenance. I’m now 15lbs below my goal weight and was starting to get a bit nervous! However, I just plugged in my numbers into the calculator that you recommended, which I’ve never used before, and it gave me a higher number than the one I was using. I’m going to start going by that number and hopefully that will cause my weight to start to stabilize :) Love your blog!


118 Ashley R. October 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hey Kath,

I have been a visitor of your blog for a couple years. You have great content, very easy to read, and your personality as a writer is very enjoyable!

I have a question about counting calories vs intuitive eating, to which you might answer “experiment” 😉 I am your same height and almost where you were when you started your weight loss journey. I’ve lost weight through counting calories before, but it easily creeps into obsession and anxiety provoking territory. I would really prefer to lose weight intuitively…

Anyways, I am wondering what you think about somebody intuitively eating her way down 25-30 pounds. Do you believe an intuitive eating approach would be feasible to lose this amount of weight?

Thanks so much for keeping your blog going for years! It’s awesome.


119 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I honestly don’t think so. I think you could definitely lose weight without counting calories, but I think there really needs to be a strong mindfulness (which I am using as the opposite of intuitive eating) to really lose. I just don’t believe giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want will lead to weight loss. I am not convinced. But I think parts of the intuitive eating concept are great – follow your hunger cues, only eat when you’re hungry, don’t completely deprive yourself, etc.


120 Ashley R. October 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for answering Kath!

I guess I should have said mindfulness instead of intuitive eating. I know what a balanced day of my calorie range looks like, so I guess I’ll just try being mindful without counting calories for awhile. If I gain, I know I need to adjust. If I lose, I know I’m on the right track. Patience is difficult!

Thanks again.


121 KathEats October 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I totally think you can do it : )


122 Brian January 14, 2014 at 11:17 am

Hi Kath,

I love variety in my breakfast. Sometimes I eat pancakes, other times I eat a energy bar. What do you eat for breakfast?


123 Jessica April 7, 2014 at 10:06 am

I will admit that I am slightly confused after reading a few different RD blogs. Ha! Do calories count, or not? Do I need to count them? I desperately need a lifestyle change in the eating and exercise department. I need to loose weight and am wanting to know the best way to do that. Yikes!!!


124 KathEats April 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

You don’t need to count them, but if you’re feeling lost or want to get an idea of what your day looks like on paper, I think it’s a good idea at least for the short term


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