Thursday, September 20, 2007

170s, I'm coming back to you! And then I'm leaving you for the 160s!

I'm determined that I am going to lose weight this week and break this seemingly endless plateau. Going through the various w.l. bloggers I read to see their progress has inspired me. I have also gone back through the VP archives to read up on my previous efforts. All of those have combined to make for a back-to-basics week for me--the obvious stuff that it's easy to have slip away from me over time:

1.) I'm eating until I am just satisfied--basically, until I first feel the food hit my stomach. If I stop then, within 15-20 minutes, I'll feel very happy with the meal I've eaten, and generally I'll have consumed a reasonable number of calories. The bonus of eating this way is having lots of leftovers when we eat out!

2.) I'm exercising on a regular basis--both the hardcore kind and the lesser. By lesser, I mean that the little bits of exercise we do here and there add up, so I'm parking farther from the store, getting up from my desk at work more often to move around, grabbing my husband to dance in the kitchen while the green beans are steaming, carrying the few groceries around the store instead of putting them in a buggy. (The bonus with the last one is that it's much more difficult to impulse buy when you have to carry your impulsive purchase along with everything else.)

3.) I'm giving myself a smaller serving at meals and then waiting 15-20 minutes to see if I want more. This is partly a home-eating corollary to #1. If it's already on my plate at home, I'm more tempted to eat it; somehow, putting aside food for later if it has been on my plate at home never occurs to me, even though it's no different than getting a to-go box at a restaurant. At home, it's easier if I just put less on my plate to start with.

4.) I'm keeping desserts as an occasional, once-or-twice-a-week treat instead of indulging regularly. Indulging regularly in desserts can be a total downfall for me. And quite honestly, since I discovered my various food allergies, this has been an area where I have really struggled. I haven't gone completely nuts like I would have 1-2 years ago, but I have eaten dessert more often than I was earlier this year . . . emotionally/mentally as some sort of, "Well, if I can't have that, I can have this" thing. Ultimately, it doesn't make me happy to indulge too often; it takes much of the pleasure out of it.

5) When I eat dessert, I'm starting with a small portion and then waiting to see if that satisfies my craving for something sweet. Often, that's all I want; the first two bites are heavenly, and the rest are just so-so. So one cookie may be the perfect treat. If I want a second or third one after that, fine. But starting with one cookie (or one very small slice of cake, or whatever) seems to be helping me out. I keep the cookies I make in the freezer now to keep me from the on-the-counter snacking syndrome. Out of sight, out of mind? Not exactly . . . but I'm back to telling myself, "It will be a real treat when I eat it--if I only eat it a couple of times a week."

6) When my first thought is that I'm hungry (like right now, for instance!), I ask myself, Do I really want food, or am I actually thirsty? It's amazing how often my body gets those two confused. I don't set any particular water goals for myself these days as I know I get plenty of water, but I definitely feel less tempted to snack if I try out water before eating.

7) I have recently officially been diagnosed as being hypoglycemic--a mild case, I think? I've guessed I was for a long time. If I start to feel that anxious hungry feeling that comes with hypoglycemia, I eat a small snack (a granola bar, or 2 T of nuts) when I first start to feel it coming on. (Also, I find avoiding corn syrup, honey, and sugar early in the day helps me to avoid the hypoglycemia in general.) If I wait until my blood sugar has dropped really low to eat something, I feel panicky in my shakiness and will gobble down way more than I need to fix the problem.

8) I'm planning my meals a week at a time--which I always do--but I'm back to including only one starch at each meal. Serving potatoes? Don't need bread then. Having burgers on buns? Grilled, herbed squash is a great side item. I grew up in what was definitely a 2-starch-per-meal household (bread and one starchy veggie or pasta), and when I eat that way, I definitely consume more calories than I would otherwise.

9) I'm trying to make our meals 2/3 vegetables. This was easier to do with vegetarian eating than it is now that I am allergic to so much vegetarian protein, but I'm keeping it in my mind as I plan meals.

10) I'm focusing on how much oil I use when I'm cooking. It's all too easy to add an extra tablespoon (or two or three) when a food really doesn't need it. With my great Calphalon nonstick pans, I only need to use a little bit of fat for flavor in most recipes.

I'm going to get back into the 170s I so briefly visited, dammit. If it doesn't happen by this coming weekend, it will happen by the next one.


Cory said...

I think you have a great plan put together there to help you break your plateau. I love your idea on desserts, because that's really my downfall.

April said...

*groans* So much work. How do you have the stamina to not eat crap foods? But I suppose you have worked up to these healthy lifestyle changes. If I tried to do all of that at once, I'd fail miserably.

Fatinah said...

those are some great ideas - you'll be done with that plateau in no time!

Sarah said...

You are awesome and will be in the 160's in no time!

the veggie paparazzo said...

Cory, thanks.

April, honestly, even though it sounds like a lot, what it really comes down to is always keeping my health in mind--not my weight but my health. Does it feel good to be stuffed? No. Does it make me healthier to be stuffed? No. I'm certainly not perfect at the game, but it keeps me on track.

Thanks, Fatinah and Sarah!

Jen said...

I suffer from reactive hypoglycemia as well, which has derailed my weight loss efforts too many times to count in the last 20 years. Rather than looking at what you need to eat to get out of the shaky, "oh my gosh my blood sugar dropped and I'm going to pass out" feeling, I really recommend you take a look at what you at prior to that. I've spent most of the summer perfecting the exact combination I need at meals to keep me from feeling this way and it's made a world of difference. (Part of it for me was needing to include not just protein with the carbs I'm eating but more healthy fat...) Good luck with the list and keep up the great work!