AQUAGIRL08   195,303
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AQUAGIRL08's Recent Blog Entries

Changing My Perception Of Food

Friday, September 28, 2012

When I joined Spark People four years ago I didn't have terrible eating habits, I just needed to reduce my portion sizes and reduce my sugar intake. I made some changes to my diet but still had sugar cravings. I added lots of exercise too. My changes gave me some pretty amazing results. Over the past few years, my body shape has changed. I am much more muscular and toned. I have about four times the amount of stamina as I did when I first started. My clothes fit better, my energy level has increased and I sleep better. I stopped drinking diet soda or fruit juice and chose to drink sixty four plus ounces of water per day. My lab numbers drastically improved and my doctor was surprised. Still, I had sugar cravings and the weight wasn't coming off even at the rate of one to two pounds a week. That portion of my journey really frustrated me.

Several weeks ago I made the decision to join a weight loss program. I wanted to seek outside help with my diet. (Exercise is no problem for me - except that I tend to do too much of it every day.) I wanted help for those sugar cravings and felt that a closer look at what I was eating might be in order. What I found was that I was eating foods with the wrong combination of nutrients. I also wasn't eating enough quantity of food. I needed to increase my consumption of power foods and decrease my consumption of food with added sugar. I started to read food labels.

Reading food labels is an eye opening experience. The Spark articles about labels was a good one and I used it as my guide. The sugar listed on the label doesn't necessarily mean that it actually represents all of the sugar contained in the food. I found that I was eating foods that naturally contained sugar plus they had added sugar. All of that sugar adds up. If a food has a sugar content that isn't combined with fiber and protein, you eat it and then your blood sugar spikes. Sugar is digested quickly. As quickly as your blood sugar level spikes, it will crash and leave you feeling tired and dragging. In my case, I also felt a craving for more sugar. Maybe I was on to something here!

My new program has me look at four things when deciding to eat a food. The four things are carbohydrates, fat, fiber and protein. The program separates fiber from carbohydrates even though fiber is a form of carbohydrate. Sugar falls in with the carbohydrates. Fiber and protein are digested more slowly and they enter your system slowly over time. Fiber and protein usually don't cause sugar spikes or sudden crashes in blood sugar levels. If the carbohydrates and fat don't balance with the fiber and protein, then I might be in for some serious cravings. I decided to give the process of selecting my foods more careful consideration. Achieving a good nutrient balance, yet still being able to live my life normally is my goal. I don't want to be obsessed with food because that would mean I can't think of anything else. (Thinking about food all the time can cause cravings too.) I needed to increase my knowledge base so I could just make better food choices. Then a strange thing happened. I started looking at food differently.

When I look at food content instead of just looking at the food itself, my perception of food changes. I am looking at food as fuel and nourishment rather than as something that stops the growling in my stomach. I realized that when I have a food craving, I notice what the food looks, smells and tastes like - period - nothing more. Cravings, especially those for sugar foods, don't take into consideration what nutrients are in the food. I decided to read some of the labels on the foods that I was craving. The ingredient list contained mainly fat, sugar and chemicals. There was a noticeable lack of protein and fiber on the ingredient lists. What this means is, if I eat this food, I know ahead of time that my blood sugar is going to spike and then crash, leaving me to feel awful later and possibly craving more sugar. This knowledge gave me power I didn't even know I could have!

Taking this new powerful knowledge, I am starting to use it to make different food choices based upon what nutrition the foods will bring to my body. This doesn't mean that I no longer eat foods that taste good. (There are many tasty foods that are very nutritious.) It also doesn't mean that I've cut out all foods with added sugar. It is all about balance. Then, a funny thing happened. I started to eat more volume and felt fuller. I felt satisfied and had more energy. I looked at the nutrition tracker on Spark People and for the first time in four years, I am within the range for my vitamins, sodium, calcium, fiber, and protein. I still need to work on getting more healthy fats but I'm a work in progress. Guess what else happened? Most of my sugar cravings have almost stopped and I've lost four pounds. My food is working for me, not against me. Amazing!!!

I am finally "getting it" now. No food is off limits unless I don't want to eat it because it has no nutritional value. I literally am what I eat. I am in control of food, it isn't in control of me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 9/29/2012 12:00PM

    Super blogand good for you!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/28/2012 1:30PM

    I'm so proud of you!! what a WONDERFUL blog..i'm nominating it for blog of the day!!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/28/2012 1:22PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have learned so much and put it into practice. I'm so proud of your weight loss. I know you have determination and persistence, so that when you hit that inevitable slow up or plateau, you will keep on going. That is what it takes. Not only can you do it, You are doing it!! Way to go, Cyndi!! -Marsha

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AQUAGIRL08 9/28/2012 12:53PM

    I don't know the exact ratio of fiber and protein to carbohydrates and fats. What I do know is that if I eat something that has at least 3-5 mg of fiber and 5+ mg of protein, I don't get sugar spikes and I feel more satisfied. I eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and very lean protein. Eating this way all day has made my sugar cravings almost disappear. I hope this helps!

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L*I*T*A* 9/28/2012 12:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETTINFIT-2014 9/28/2012 12:09PM

    What is the ratio of protein/fiber that you are aiming for?

Great post, and congrats on the weight loss! emoticon

Kathy

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I Lost 3.6 Pounds This Week - Finally!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I am doing a happy dance!!! I weighed in yesterday and I lost 3.6 pounds. Finally!!! I was so frustrated being on a plateau for months on end. I've changed my eating plan and am actually eating more, reducing added sugar intake and the result is that I'm losing weight. The cool thing is, that I am rarely hungry. I hope I can keep it up because I'm really liking the way I feel!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/27/2012 4:28PM

    woo hoo!!! YOU ROCK!!! congratulations!!

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MSMAKEOVER 9/27/2012 12:51PM

    emoticon emoticon I am dancing with you.... emoticon emoticon

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MISSB8604 9/27/2012 11:48AM

    Congrats!

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L*I*T*A* 9/27/2012 9:48AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 9/27/2012 9:20AM

    Way to go!

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Day 4 Of My New Eating Plan

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today is day four of my new eating plan. I am doing a great job, much to my own surprise. I tried adding 7 almonds yesterday to my daily food total and it put me exactly at my goal. Thanks Slenderella61 for suggesting it!

Now I'm in the process of juggling the food content. It can be tricky to stay within your range and eat everything you need, to get and stay healthy. This week my focus is on increasing my dairy intake. I had two glasses of skim Lactaid milk today (eight ounces each). I even remembered to take my vitamin D3 and calcium.

Another area that needs work is increasing healthy fats. That would make a great goal for next week. Remember, baby steps can add up to big changes!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 9/26/2012 1:02PM

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/24/2012 7:58PM

    Excellent job!! so proud of you!!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/24/2012 7:14PM

    Good going!! You are just getting healthier and healthier!! You were already more than half way there since you exercise regularly, eat plenty of freggies, drink water, and many other good habits. Now that you are adding the milk and healthy oils, there will be no stopping you!! Good for you for adding the almonds. That is a great healthy choice when you need a bit more to eat. Take care. Keep up the good work, Cyndi!! -Marsha

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L*I*T*A* 9/24/2012 7:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 7:04:58 PM

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MSMAKEOVER 9/24/2012 6:58PM

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Progress Through Variety

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I was getting so frustrated by not making any progress that I decided I had to make additional changes. On Thursday, I joined a weight loss program to enlist some support. I signed up for a monthly pass, knowing that if I'm paying for a program, I will pay closer attention. Stepping on a scale to weigh in once a week and recording it in black and white will make me much more accountable. I am doing this in conjunction with Spark People and am very excited about it.

The first thing that became apparent, upon analysis, was that I don't eat enough food. Apparently this can be common with some people who are hypothyroid. I was shocked to say the least. I am back to tracking everything that goes into my mouth. Right now, I'm taking a look at food combinations. By this I mean balancing my intake of all different kinds food and still staying within my range. I had fallen into the rut of limiting the variety of foods that I was consuming. Yesterday was my first full day eating with a wider variety of food. I had a little bit of difficulty eating enough because I eat so many fruits and veggies and their calorie count is so low. I talked to Slenderella61 about it today at the gym. She suggested that I add more nuts and foods like avocado. I'm going to try doing that and see what happens.

What is amazing is that I'm so over weight and am used to cutting back on what I eat instead of increasing what I eat. However, the focus isn't just on calories but on the value the food is bringing to my body. For example, eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits is good but I need to pair that with more lean protein, healthy fats and .... gasp!!!.... more healthy carbohydrates. In the last week I have rediscovered the joy of the baked sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are delicious when topped with unsweetened cinnamon applesauce. Yummy! I am also looking at the sugar content in the foods that I buy. Staying away from processed food as much as possible helps me to avoid added sugar and sodium.

This morning when I got on the scale, my weight dropped 2 pounds. Finally, I am making some progress. The advantage of this new way of eating is that I am never ravenously hungry. When you feel full, you have fewer cravings. So far so good!!! So, if you see a blur zooming past you this week, that is me doing my happy dance!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 9/23/2012 3:37AM

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DONNABRIGHT 9/22/2012 10:17PM

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/22/2012 9:06PM

    Congrats on the loss!!! I tell so many people...you HAVE to eat enough or you wont lose, and you might even gain!!! the body thinks its starving and nolds onto EVERY SINGLE CALORIE!!!
good for you for taking hole...i know from experience. and listening to that ridiculous cals in cals out thing..that DOESNT WORK FOR EVERYONE!!!
I'm so proud of you!!

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This And That.....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I was much more careful when exercising today. I didn't use weights for my first hour. I forced myself to skip most of the first water class. The second class is range of motion, stretching and strengthening. The final class was deep water and I participated fully but didn't try to be a hero.

After class I ran errands, got a flu shot and went home to eat lunch. I had a big tossed salad with a few sliced egg whites thrown in on top. I finished up with a toasted whole wheat pita and an apple. I've had over 65 ounces of water today so I would consider myself a success.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 9/22/2012 8:47PM

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PEGGYANNSCH 9/22/2012 10:23AM

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DONNABRIGHT 9/21/2012 9:58AM

    I alaways consider you a success!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/21/2012 1:31AM

    Good going!!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/20/2012 10:52PM

    Excellent!! Great job!!!

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