Let Me Not Eat Cake
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Well, here I am toward the end of week one of getting back on track. I raised my calorie intake goals because I realized that I need about 1800 calories to not feel hungry and to meet some of my other nutritional goals. I was pretty close to that this week --squeaking over a couple of times, but I felt good about that.
I've realized that what I eat in a day makes a big difference. Not just the number of calories, but what make up those calories. That recent news about calorie reduction being the main way to lose weight may be true, but if I eat many sweet things, even while staying within my calorie range, I feel terrible.
This week, Nancy brought home a piece of vegan chocolate cake, and I decided to eat it because I had some room in my calorie budget. It was amazingly delicious. Then, about an hour later, I felt terrible and miserable and like no good could ever come. I've noticed this pattern with sweets before, particularly ones that contain chocolate, but I've repeatedly chosen to ignore it.
I don't want to think of not eating sweets as a way of depriving myself, but rather as a way to give myself the gift of taking care of myself and remembering the consequences. I'm pretty sure that I might chose to suffer the upsetting consequences of my eating sugar some time in the future, but at least I want to do it on purpose.
I've heard that making changes like this will eventually become a no-brainer -- like learning not to touch a hot burner, just a reflex. I guess part of the problem is that the sugar crash isn't immediate, so I have plenty of time to make up all kinds of stories about why I would feel that way. But I've learned that I do not think rationally at these times.
There are a few things I can eat that are sweet but don't do this to me:
Trader Joe's lime pops
fruit and yogurt
sorbet (although this can make my head feel strange and bright)
I've also found that if I eat enough sweetishness with my meals, including fruit or say a cereal bar as a snack, I don't really have the craving so much.
I just remembered that the Yogi brand Vanilla Hazelnut tea with a teaspoon of honey and a little non-fat milk can take the evening sweet craving edge off.
I should start asking people how they handle their sweet cravings. I know plenty of people struggle with this, too.