Honestly, maintaining weight loss is a not very exciting, lifelong struggle. I have now been maintaining for several years, although just in the last few months, I put about 20 pounds back on. I am still exercising regularly, but I’ve been straying a bit with my snacking.I’m sure a trip to Italy didn’t help either. But man, the food was good! I also suspect now that it might be partly because of starting to use Flonase, which is a steroid. I started having irregular heart beats again (the reason I started taking better care of myself in the first place) which stopped as soon as I stopped using Flonase. As soon as I stopped using it, it seemed easier to start eating healthy again so I suspect the steroid was increasing my appetite and/or decreasing my ability to resist sugary foods.
In any case, I’m back to tracking what I eat and the weight is coming back off pretty quickly. I’m guessing this is the story of my life going forward, although I usually don’t let so much weight come back before doing a reset, and going back to tracking my food intake for a time.
I think I’ve talked about this before, but one of the things that really helps with my weight loss and maintenance is having a pretty standard breakfast and lunch. My breakfast is just about always oatmeal in some form, and my lunch is almost always a salad in some form.
This baked oatmeal is my favorite way to have oatmeal. You make it once and for 6 (or 3 if you are sharing) days you have a quick and easy breakfast. I adapted it from this Baked Oatmeal Recipe by Heidi Swanson, to remove the added sugar and make it easier to mix together.
Baked Oatmeal with Fruit (serves 6, 319 calories when made with apples & blueberries)
- about 2 cups of fruit, chopped apples, blueberries, peaches, mixed berries, or any combination
- 2 bananas (riper bananas will be easier to mash, and make for sweeter oatmeal)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups milk (can use your choice of milk substitutes)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Thick Rolled Oats, but regular would work)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon (I really love cinnamon, use less if not as much a fan)
- scant 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F (FYI, I make this in my toaster oven and it works great). Spray the bottom of an 8″ square glass baking dish with cooking spray (or use butter to grease dish).
- Place a layer of fruit at the bottom of the baking dish, saving about 1/2 cup for decorating the top. You can use more or less than 2 cups, it is pretty flexible.
- Thoroughly mash bananas at the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla extract until well blended.
- Pour oats directly on top of wet mixture, without mixing in. Add almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, then stir together thoroughly with a rubber spatula.
- Pour mixture in an even layer on top of fruit in baking dish. Tap the dish against the counter lightly a few times to get mixture to settle down into fruit. Use rubber spatula to smooth the top.
- Use leftover fruit to decorate the top of the oatmeal mixture. Press down slightly so it is slightly sunk into the mixture with the top still showing.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, turning once about halfway through cooking.
- Remove from oven, and let cool. Can be eaten immediately, but I let it cool completely, the slice into 6 even pieces and put it in the fridge.
I reheat by removing a slice of oatmeal, placing in a bowl and chopping up just a bit and then pouring milk over the top. I then heat in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes. My husband pours milk over and then stirs it all together before heating. You could probably also leave it whole but the inside might take awhile to heat up enough. I’m guessing you could also eat it cold.
I’ve made this recipe with the following variations of fruit:
- 2 apples and about a cup of blueberries (both fresh and frozen work)
- mixed berries
- 2 peaches and a cup of blueberries
I am currently working on a pumpkin/apple variation. I’ll post it when it is perfected.