Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marvelous Marla

Long-time McDougaller Marla, owner of the Marla's Marvelous Meals recipe web site, has been experimenting lately. On the McDougall forums, Marla has been photographing and entering into the CRON-O-Meter 30 days of her meals (Only 2 meals per day - she skips breakfast) in a thread called Marla's CRON-O-Meter Chronicles. At the same time she's been wearing a Fit-Bit pedometer night and day to measure her energy expenditure.

Want to know what I found out?

She has to eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day to lose any weight, and it's only been about 2 pounds per week. 

Of the 2 meals a day that she does eat, one of those meals is usually a big salad (2 quarts) with a nut based dressing, and a tiny sweet potato.

Her dinner plates appear to average 75% green/yellow non-starchy vegetables and only 25% starchy foods. 

Oh, plus a bowl of fruit on the side, at least 2 servings each to equal about 100 calories, at both meals.

She estimates the daily caloric density of her food is about 300-350 calories per pound, and she eats around 3-4 pounds of food each day.

The only potatoes she eats regularly are Japanese yellow sweet potatoes. I think I saw russets only twice. The volume seems to be no more than a cup each time. When she does have rice instead, it looks like a half cup scoop, 2 ounces in weight (The CRON-O-Meter printout says they weigh apx. 70 grams).

She also must walk/run 5 miles every morning plus another 20 minute walk every evening. She calculated at the beginning how much exercise/calories she needed to lose 8 pounds in 4 weeks. She estimated she needs to do 2,200 calories worth of exercise per day to see any weight loss.

Here is her conclusion at the end of her 30 day experiment.

It's an eye opener thread, that's for sure! I found out that even eating at least 75% non-starchy veggies with fruit and only 25% starch at most, that's still a very small amount of food, volume-wise, unless one eats mostly salads. What she's been eating doesn't really resemble the McDougall *Starch Based* food program at all.


  1. Actually, Marla is not the owner of the "Marvelous Marla's Meals" recipe site. Vegsource is. As she mentioned in the journal, she no longer has access to it to make any changes.

    It would be nice if we could all eat unlimited starches, but some of us seem to need to lower the calorie density of our meals by increasing the non-starchy vegetable content in order to lose weight. I felt a key point of her journal was that she was not hungry as a result of this; she ate healthy whole foods that were satisfying and filling. :)

  2. She had 2 sites - one on GeoCities and the other on VegSource. She lost control of the GeoCities one the same time Sandie and I lost all our pages there, too. I was lucky enough to save all of Sandie's recipes before they closed down.

    I'm sure Marla still has control of the VegSource one, and if she forgot her sign-in there must be a way for her to obtain the password info again. VegSource still is in existence, unlike GeoCities.