Monday, April 22, 2013
From my friend Nancy - just hit me right today:
“No one needs to know about this handful of candy.”
You started out with measuring cups and maybe a food scale. You wrote down and planned everything that you ate. Then, one day, you had three pieces of chocolate or a spoonful of peanut butter. You did not gain weight from this, and so, you did it again. Maybe you went to the gym and came home extra hungry; so, you ate a little extra.
However, now this has become a habit. You still write down the food that you remember eating, but what about those little “food bonuses,” which you doubt are really adding up to anything? This is a fact—everything that goes into your mouth counts. Yes, even if you eat it fast. Yes, even if you do not even remember eating it. Yes, even if you did not really enjoy it—it still counts.
“One mini candy bar does not even count.”
Actually, it does count. Everything counts. It is the cold, hard truth about weight loss. Even the creamer in your coffee counts. One piece of Hershey’s Bliss® milk chocolate candy contains 35 calories (actually the same as 1 tablespoon (Tbsp) of French vanilla coffee creamer). If you have one piece of chocolate and 1 Tbsp of coffee creamer every day, you have accrued 490 calories in 7 days.
“I am sure that my exercise more than makes up for this.”
A person who weighs 150 pounds burns 358 calories in 1 hour of low-impact general aerobics, 573 calories in 1 hour of riding a bike at a speed of 12–14 miles per hour (mph), 1146 calories running at a speed of 10 mph for 1 hour, and 215 calories in 1 hour of walking at a leisurely pace (2.5 mph).
“This food contains many nutrients, so I should not feel guilty about eating it.”
Sure, that smoothie might contain some real fruit and milk, but a 16-ounce smoothie usually contains 250–300 calories, depending on the restaurant, and while a salad can provide many vitamins and minerals, a hand-tossed Asian sesame chicken salad at Panera Bread® contains 418 calories and 20 grams of fat. That is maybe fine if it is your meal, but not a good idea for a snack if you are trying to lose weight.
“I know that my portion sizes are small or at the most average.”
People are consistently shocked by the size of standard portions, even if they think that they know exactly what a serving looks like. Have you ever actually measured out ˝ cup of pasta or ice cream? How about 1 teaspoon of margarine or 2 tablespoons of salad dressing or maple syrup? Try it for a day. What is the worst that could happen?
“I do not need to keep track of what I eat. I can do it in my head.”
Think about the creamer and the piece of chocolate previously mentioned. Would you think to count that in your mental tally? Most people would not. Yet, 500 calories in 1 week is enough to hinder a weight loss plan. In fact, study after study has shown that the average person dramatically underestimates calories consumed. This is linked to the belief that if a food is nutrient rich, it cannot hurt your weight loss plan
“I should have lost more weight by now.”
Of course, the sooner you hit your weight goal, the happier it will make you. The thing is that making a lifestyle change is for life. Once you have reached your goal, you can not go revert to your old diet.
The good news is that no foods are off limit to you. You can work all foods can into a healthful lifestyle, even when weight loss is the goal. Many people who have successfully lost weight are surprised to find out that they simply can not eat the amount of food that they used to, because of either a shrinking stomach (literally) or changes in taste.
After the initial, exciting loss of water weight, you should lose an average of 2 pounds (lb)/week. Some weeks you will lose 1 lb, and other weeks you might lose 3 lb. Getting angry or upset at yourself is likely to backfire. You might give up and say, “I am not losing any weight anyway. I might as well…” Once you start this mind trick, it is all uphill.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Patience and perseverance. That's what characterizes what's been going on for the past several weeks. And, the scale is finally moving downward.
I was talking with a friend about plateaus, what causes them, and how to break out of them:
First of all, we reminded ourselves, long term weight loss is going to be slower, so defining a "plateau" is hard, and the scale is an imperfect measurement of progress.
Second: we are in it for the long haul, and life-long healthy choices are really the sustaining actions.
Third: take a hard, long look at what you are really doing. Did you stop measuring? Are you eating out more? Are you in a food rut? An exercise rut? The longer we engage in our healthy habits they become just that - habits. Which is great. And, because they become automatic, it's possible that we are getting a bit sloppy too. Or, you might be going to the gym on your regular schedule, but has it become a bit too regular? Are you reading to make the time go faster? Maybe it's time to up the energy level so that you are working out too hard to be able to hold the magazine. Treadmill workouts - are you sweating as much as you used to? Throw in some intervals to really challenge yourself. Know what move your aerobics/cycling/pilates instructor is going to call out before s/he gets there? Consider switching to a different instructor or trying a different class. Your body is designed to adapt. So give it - and your brain - something exciting.
Be honest. Challenge yourself. Be curious. Be patient.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
AND....stick to the positive. Much nicer corner of the world!
Friday, February 01, 2013
For the month of January, I stopped eating all dairy products. It was tough at first, I was remarkably po'd about not being able to eat cheese. I felt incredibly deprived. I felt ridiculous about that, but, so it goes. Gratefully that gave way, and at the moment cheese does not interest me. I'm glad my torrid love (yum!)/hate (calories! fat!) affair with cheese is over.
I am considering re-introducing greek yogurt. I miss the texture. I miss the positive impacts it had on my level of satiety and satisfaction. Soy "yogurt" in not. Not yogurt, that is. It fills the hole where "greek yogurt" is in my daily eating patterns. But it does not look, smell or taste like the real deal. Nor does it pack the same protein punch.
My weight loss went swimmingly June-October. My plan was to get to my interim goal weight, and hold tight through the holidays. Didn't seem reasonable to push my limits during the Season of Eating (from Nov-Jan, most Americans gain 8+ pounds!) The plan was to stay focused, make good choices, and keep the needle on the scale steady. On the whole, I'd claim this a successful strategy.
Now - I want to move the needle down again. The needle's moving all right - in the wrong effing direction! Yes, the aforementioned "husband loses, wife gains" predicament. After some soul searching and thoughtful input from some Spark Pals, I think I've got that one addressed. What the heck else is going on. One thing to maintain, but to GAIN? Hella hella help!!!
Yes, unfortunately Stressina, the familiar stress-related eating monster, is rearing it's fat head. My negative self talk is more than a dull roar. I am eating in the office - a defined no-no. (The office is a place where I tend to eat mindlessly. It's attached to the kitchen, so there's easy access to Stressina's favorites - basically anything in volume)
I find that I have a perfectly normal day, making good choices, feeling satisfied. And then I blow it wide open in the late afternoon or at the end of the day. I don't know that I have a good reason for it.
Through the end of the year, I had a really great activity/workout routine going, including two days with a hot yoga class. I've stayed on track with the aerobic workouts. Quite on track. But I sliced my finger to the bone on a can lid, and I've been out of yoga-commission for the past 3 weeks. That, and I'm a little disenchanted with the yoga studio. The owner/instructor is great - except that she doesn't do a good job limiting class size. The Monday class is SO jammed, and people are not really respectful of each other. Once things get settled, and the class starts up, I can get into my zen mind and just be me and my mat and the teacher's voice. But I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to be enthusiastic about going to class. And then the Franken-finger incident.
Here's the plan on this one: Franken-finger will be mostly healed by next week. I am going to take three more classes at the studio. If it's not ringing my zen chimes, I'm going to - immediately - get myself hooked into another studio. Stay tuned on this one.
Note to self: Stressina's arrival coincides with the absence of yoga classes
Next best choices for the month:
1) So I'm in the groove about the dairy thing. I'm going to finish up the soy-gurt stash and see how the greek introduction goes.
2) I'm going to focus on eliminating some more processed foods. My consumption is already relatively okay - but I want to get out of the tortilla chip and cracker trap I seem to be in. Just because they are Bearitos or Garden of Eatin' or Kashi "healthier" options, they are still processed, and they are some of Stressina's favorite foods.
3) Back to yoga on Monday, with a plan B if I'm feeling squished.
Thanks ya'll for sticking with me.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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