Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Friday, 23 May 2008

The Oatmeal Diet

I've received some requests for all the details of the oatmeal diet. So whether you want it or not, here it is in all of it's glory (or foolishness)...

It has gone through a slight metamorphosis since it's inception, which I wrote about previously.

First of all, I buy oatmeal in the 100 calorie packets, some "regular" flavored, some "sugar free maple."


3 bowls (1.5 packs each) of oatmeal with sprinkle of TVP and sprinkle of fiber one cereal.
480 calories
3 pieces of lefse
90 calories

1 viactiv chew
20 calories

2 wraps consisting of 1 piece of lefse, 1 piece of tofurkey, slice of tomato, bunch of sprouts, one carb ketchup and mustard.
75 calories each!


Large bowl of oatmeal with TVP and fiber one cereal
550 calories
One and a half medium sized acorn squash.
250 calories
one viactive chew
20 calories

Total Calories 1560

My basal metabolic rate = 1300
Lactation plus excercise = 1500

Net loss: 1420

While this may be a lot of calories for someone who is not exercising 2 hours a day and not breastfeeding, it is easy to eat less oatmeal or less gords as needed to suit your personal weight loss needs.


Allison Chapple said...

But 1500 cals is NOT a lot for someone who is not exercising or breastfeeding. That is the minimum suggested for most (inactive) women.

Danni said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but most people would still lose weight eating 1500 calories/day, even without exercise and without breastfeeding.

If you're running 2 hours/day, let's say on the conservative side that you're burning 1000 calories. You're then netting 500 calories per day. How many did you say breastfeeding burns? That brings you down to what, zero net calories?

I'm sure this sounds critical and I don't mean it to be. But I don't think the key to your quick weight loss is the oatmeal :-) Whatever works for you, that's great.

P.S. You should check out this blog: -- she is super skinny and wicked fast and eats like 4000 calories/day. . . something to consider.

Meghan said...


I would starve and die on day 1 of The Sealegs Trademarked Oatmeal Diet. ;) I don't know how you did it; I'm thinking strong will power?

I don't closely monitor my caloric intake, but I'm positive that I surpass 3000 calories most days, and lord knows how many on long run days. It's almost exclusively good, healthy, nutritious calories to fuel 15-18 hours of exercise per week.

Breakfast- Rolled oats, berries, flax seed, nuts, coffee, milk

After workout foods- Ultragen after hard/long running workouts, milk and protein powder after gym workouts

Lunch- often something sweet potato-based, always including a vegetarian protein and good fat

Snacks- fresh vegetables and fruit, a handful of some sort of nuts, etc.

Dinner- often something wild rice, lentil, or wheat pasta based, always including a vegetarian protein and good fat, perhaps a piece of dark chocolate ;)

Dinner #2- repeat above

You're a doctor and would know this better than most, but I've always assumed that the BMI isn't a fair analysis for athletes as it doesn't account for body composition variations. As in, athletes will have more muscle and denser bones than sedentary people.

My anecdotal example: In November, I started lifting weights diligently. At the time, I weighed about 123 at 5'6", giving me a BMI of 19.9. Currently, I weigh around 127, giving me a BMI of 20.5. I haven't gained any fat; I'm positive that it's all muscle (I have not had my body's composition measured, though.). If anything, I've lost fat with the lifting and adherence to a healthy diet.

I'm sure it will be a challenge to find a point of moderation and stability, now that you've lost the weight you wanted to lose. With your volume of training, I believe that food really is fuel, though. I don't follow the old saying, "I run so I can eat whatever I want." Often this is the moniker folks use to excuse their regular indulgence in a big cardiac burger or a huge ice cream sundae. Sure, that stuff is fun, as a treat. My saying is something like, I eat specifically so that I can train as much as I want.

Oh my, have I ever rambled.

Good luck Sealegs, and thanks for sharing with us!

Allison Chapple said...

These two have great advice! When I am training for any endurance event, I eat 2500-4000 calories a day and my weight and BMI both stay within a low-normal range. I am just worried you're not giving your body enough fuel to power your workouts and to have enough reserve to create a milk supply for your baby. 1500 calories for someone of your athletic caliber would be considered a starvation diet. Just something to think about...maybe it would be helpful to see a sports nutritionist to get a better idea of what your body's needs are? I've done that in the past and it was really helpful to see that I needed more calories than I thought I did and that by restricting, I was just causing my metabolism to come to a screeching halt.

sea legs girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sea legs girl said...

(that was MY comment I deleted up there)

Wow. Really, really interesting discussion everyone. Yes, 1500 is NOT enough. It's a diet. It is approximately 1300 less than I need a day and causes me to lose about 0.2 kg or a little less than half a pound a day (these are all estimates!). I can't be on this diet every day of the week, so I take the weekend off, that revs up my metabolism gain. Diets are no mystery, really, you just need to eat less calories than you need. How many less depends on what you can tolerate.
Meghan, thanks for sharing your awesome-sounding maintenance diet. You can cook for SR and I anytime you like. :) Seriously, you should consider posting some of your recipes on your blog. And you are right about BMI not telling the whole story for athletes!
Happily I am still feeling strong and actually running faster than usual on my daily runs. Losing weight can be exhilarating. The one lingering concern I have is the milk supply. I haven't been able to find any good resources in the medical literature or on the internet. I just contacted the lactation consultants at my hospital and am expecting a call back. I'll let you know what I find out.
All this being said, I am stopping the diet tomorrow.

sea legs girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sea legs girl said...

One more comment. Danni, you'd have to be a man or a very tall woman (at least 6'0" or overweight)to lose weight on a 1500 calorie diet and not exercise.
Check out

Naomi said...

I was going to say that I am surprised that your milk supply is keeping up with your diet. But I see that you are already there. Can you just bump up the calories on the diet a little bit to lose weight and still keep up the milk?

And, GREAT site for BF'ing:

Olga said...

When I started my "food log", and then later made n\adjustments to healthy eating 2 months ago, I figured I get about 2000 cal with tops at 2500 a day. It is less than Ronda, but more than you. Our theoretical level of excercise is even, though I bet you girls (Ronda for sure) have a much higher intensity. I can never put myself on 5,000 cal thing mentally - yes, I know all about BID, and since I were chubby and my emotional state about it is screwed up (long story), it's something I admit and accept. So, back to calories and weight loss - I know I am not in negative net of it, but at least not in positive, and I believe this is what helped me loosing weight lately (and less stressful mind). Now, when I had a second baby and saw pictures of myself (this is where I was the fattest), I got paniky and went bulimic (not so much on diet, as simply purging) and an excercise freak (3 times daily, though again, not near the intensity/miles what I do now, but I guess back then at sedentary level it was a huge jump-start). My weight rolled down like crazy - but (here is a "but" for you) so did my milk. On the other hand, I didn't pump and went to work at 5 weeks - though still walked home for one extra feeding besides nights and so on. I think I missed out on 2 feeding times. So this could ceratinly play a role. However, my milk also was turning thing, and the flow got less. By 4 months I was out. Again, this is a single-out example. I didn't breastfeed my first one longer than that either - totally different reasons (mastitis), but still, may be I am just not "milky":)
Back to calories. In 2005 (what was actually my best racing year) I weighed 145 lbs (17 more than now). In September I decided to crack the whip and hired PT at the gym (lots of weights), upped the runs and trained for a SD100. PT put me on 1300 cal diet (yikes! my resting metabolism was 1450). I did it, first 2 weeks long runs were very fady, but then adjusted. I dropped 17 lbs in 6 weeks - and felt light on my feet yet strong. BTW, I won that SD100 and broke a CR at the time. Go figure - I was fast when I was fat and I was fast when I wasn't. I mean I was just faster back then, but that's not the point. My point is that those changes were all within 1 year, so it's a good way to say that weight along is by no means can be a "make it or break it" cause. So each of us has to have a feel what's best for each of us (and on top of it, what makes each of us emotionally happy - because that's important too!).

Gee, did I just, like, type a whole post here?


H said...

Sea Legs-- metabolism is not so cut and dry as a calculator can give you.

"One more comment. Danni, you'd have to be a man or a very tall woman (at least 6'0" or overweight)to lose weight on a 1500 calorie diet and not exercise.
Check out"

I'm 5'4. I can lose weight on 1500 Calories a day and not exercise. My resting metabolism (I've had it tested; you can do this for about $40) is 1700, plus my daily activities besides exercise. I have a lean body mass of 125 lb (measured by hydrostatic weighing).

Breastfeeding is supposed to burn another 300-500 Calories a day, in addition to your exercise, basal metabolism, and daily activity.

Now, that isn't for everyone. I believe in Pam Reed's book she says her metabolism is such that she must eat much less than her peers...
but it would be ill advised to suggest that each person's metabolism is so low or easily predicted.
(Though per pound of lean body mass, there's not typically much variance. If a person typically eats very little, it might be lower.)

Danni said...

I've also had my basal metabolism checked and am about the same as Heather -- 1700 (I'm 5'4" and 127). So if I ate 1500/day I would lose weight. Not quickly, but I would lose weight nonetheless.