Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I posted this in answer to fellow Spark Team member Ashley's question and decided to put it on my blog here as well.
For me following a restrictive diet for short periods of time has helped me see what food items I was overeating because suddenly they weren't on the menu! It was the one problem I had with other commercial diet programs that included breads and starches; when in came to starch of any form I was ADD. Call my "carb blind"
Two recent happenings got me thinking about diets and healthy eating lately.
One: a recent study (REALLY recent as in published in May 2010) showed that short term restrictive intense dieting lead to greater LONG TERM weight loss than gradual changes. This makes sense to me because for ME I just didn't SEE gradual changes. They didn't show on the scale. They didn't show in the mirror or in the way my clothes fit.
Two: Weight Watchers recently sent me an email with a coupon for their frozen meals. The email stated that the points value on most of their entrees was going up as a result of new changes to their new points system. Basically, fruits and veggies have no points. And, points values will now take into consideration overall nutritional value and nutrient density instead of just calories, fat, and fiber. For example, if white rice and brown rice have the same number of calories, the brown rice will have lower points because of its greater nutritional value.
Back to my observations on MY diet which involved short term calorie restriction and adding back in healthy foods during phases 3 & 4:
I've said before that every round has been different for me. Between rounds 2 & 3, I lost 7 lbs. I should mention that I waited 16 weeks between rounds 2 & 3.
Part of the reason was probably because I was training for the Queen of Raks Sharqi belly dance competition in July and was dancing every day. But, then, I was dancing every day fat too. SO, maybe not. During phase 4 this time, I added back in eggs,healthy fats, pork, full fat dairy, and yes, the occasional french fry. I did manage to kick my 12-pack a day Diet Pepsi habit. (No that is not an exaggeration.)
I am now in round 3 phase 4. My weight has bounced within 4 lbs of my LIW (from 2 lbs under to 1.8 lbs over.) I have not had to do a steak day.
What I DID have to do, however, is be increasingly more careful about eating breads, sweets and carby cr@p foods. I eat a roll now and I wear it for a week. It just isn't WORTH it to me! I think the closer one gets to thier end goal, the more diligent they need to be about eating healthy foods in phase 4 and maintenance. That certainly has been true for me.
That said, I think it is ALWAYS a good idea to incorporate healthy foods at every meal. So, here is what I do. Some of it based on my Drs' advise - some based on my own research.
#1) Drink 8-12 ounces of water 30 minutes before each meal. Especially since I'm over 40. Recent research says that water does indeed help quell the appetite in those over 40. For the younger crowd, not so much.
#2) Have a bowl of veggie laden soup 15 minutes before lunch and dinner. The soup has a serving of fat in it also to help quell hunger.
#3) Eat on a salad plate. Make sure that ALL meals have at least 1/2 veggies. Yes even breakfast.)
#4) No breads, starches or sweets with snacks. All snacks I have include either fruit or veggies and a small amount of protein.
When I have enough protein, veggies, and fruit, I really don't want the sweets or breads. And, I actually prefer water or tea over Diet Sodas now.
It's been a process and I didn't do all these things with every phase 4 round. They were added one by one although I did follow phase 2and 3 to the letter!
A year ago, doing phase 2 through the holidays would have been unthinkable. Now? Not so much!! :)
A note: I ended phase 2 with a LIW of 143.2. Today, I was 144.