Friday, February 08, 2013
Six days ago my weight dropped to 188 for a total weight loss of 35 pounds. Since then I've held steady at 188. I admit that I am constantly impatient (driven) to reach my goals and that I am grieving, a bit, the fun of those weeks when I would lose two pounds a week. I wish I could report a weigh-in of 186 this morning (or at least 187). But here I am at 188. So instead of letting myself get discouraged its time to keep everything in perspective. First of all, my original goal was to get down to 194 so I am going to focus on being grateful for having exceeded that goal by six pounds! Second, staying steady is good. I could be gaining. Third, I had my annual doctor's check up this week. My blood pressure was 120/80 -perfect. I expect the lab results on cholesterol, triglicerides etc to be good as well. Fourth, I feel great these days. I have more energy. I'm sleeping well. I like the new fit and trim appearance I'm starting to see when I look at myself in the mirror! Fifth, I'm sticking with the healthy eating and exercising routine and I'm enjoying it. I look forward to my workout at the gym as a good break from work. I enjoy cooking, trying new recipes, and eating healthy food. Sixth, I enjoy the interaction with Spark Friends and insights from this program that are helping me in other areas of my life as well. So there! I have at least six good reasons to celebrate (six seems to be the number today). So while I do have this goal of getting to 175 (and I've got drive within me to get there), I need to enjoy the good things I'm experiencing along the way. There are many tough challenges to face but God is good and life is good.
P.S. I'm wondering if I need to drop my calorie range from 2100 (lower end of the Spark People recommendation for me) to 1900 to get the weight loss moving again.
Monday, January 28, 2013
I met this guy at the gym yesterday who is on a crazy diet - he's trying to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. So he has decided to eat five eggs for breakfast and then two to three pounds of chicken later in the day. That's it, nothing else (no veggies, no fruit, no whole grains - just eggs and chicken). In my opinion, that's absolutely nuts! But he did say one thing that I've wondered about (although he takes this to an extreme as well). He is careful not to eat anything at night before going to bed. In fact, he eats nothing during the eight hours prior to bedtime. Should I refrain from eating at night as well? I've heard the opinion that your body has no time to burn off food eaten in the evening - so it goes straight into fat. So I've wondered if I shouldn't stop eating earlier, say, no more food after 7:00 PM so so? But I protest !!! I love my evening snacks and I'll say why in a minute.
With this question in mind I was drawn to read the Spark People article: Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts? There I found a nugget of very good news that I was eager to hear: "From a metabolic standpoint, there is really no reason not to eat food in the evening. A calorie is a calorie regardless of when it is consumed. A morning calorie is metabolized in basically the same way as an evening calorie." Ah, so I can have my evening snacks afterall!
The article had some common sense advice about how eating most of one's calories during the day avoids the desperate evening hunger that can lead to a nighttime binge. It talked about how overeating at night can interrupt good sleep through indigestion and how that can become a vicious cycle because less sleep generates more ghrelin in the blood stream which stimulates appetite the next day. More sleep, on the other hand, produces leptin which helps suppress food intake. So you don't want your food intake causing sleep problems. Plan your meals so no more than a third of your calories are consumed in the evening - the article did recommend not eating two to three hours before bedtime, perhaps to avoid the indigestion problems.
Well, I found all this to be very good news! I can have my evening snacks! I have discovered that I feel much less deprived, and less like I'm on a "diet" if I can look forward to a healthy snack in the evening. Evening would be the hardest time for me to "fast". I do know well the unhappy vicious late night binge snacking cycle described in the article (a problem before joining spark people), accompanied with indigestion and poor sleep etc. etc. But I have discovered that I also have problems with the other extreme. If I go to bed hungry - that also interrupts my sleep. Hunger makes it hard for me to go to sleep and to stay asleep. So that doesn't work for me either.
I doubled checked my food trackers and I have not been eating more than a third of my calories at night I've been eating between 10 and 25% of my calories in the evening (snacks that I really enjoy by the way). I don't have indigestion problems anymore because these are controlled, planned, good portion control snacks - not binges. I'm sleeping well, and I'm losing weight. So I'll keep looking for those 100 to 150 delicious calorie healthy snack ideas and with this new information I can keep enjoying them in the evening. It works for me, I enjoy it, and I'm glad to know there is no problem with what I like to do. The huge difference for me has been learning to snack and track! I check to see how many calories are left for the day before evening snacking and I plan my snacks accordingly, being careful to stay within my daily calorie goal. A few radishes work if there are no calories left for the day. So I can usually have popcorn and other fun healthy things in the evening, sort of as a reward for good eating all day long. I'm glad to know that a calorie is a calorie, no matter when you eat it. That works for me!
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