I used to DIET and now I EAT!
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
It’s true. Any time in the past when I tried to lose weight, I went on a diet. You know what I mean. It might have been Atkins or just watching out for the sweet stuff. When I came to Sparkpeople I began to count calories. That made a lot of sense. Track your food, count your calories… By tracking your food, you made sure you would account for everything that went in your mouth. It was important to not exceed the recommended calories for the day. I worked for months at staying between 1300 and 1500 calories. It was working.
But, then life got in the way. I fell of the wagon for a day, and then two, and then a week, and then I was away from Sparkpeople for months. What happened during that time? Well, I found 11 pounds that I had lost.
I gave all of that up. I found something better. Way better for me. It may not be for everyone, but it’s perfect for me.
In October, I changed my eating habits. I now can eat whatever I want, whenever I want it, and I do! I do not feel deprived. I am never hungry, because when my stomach tells me to eat something, I do. I am down 14 pounds since October 15th. I don’t take any diet medication. In fact, quite the opposite.
My diet now consists of whole foods. I eat almost nothing that is packaged, processed or pre-made by anyone other than me. I am saving money, too! Yes, it’s true. I can buy organic and save grocery money. When I cook, the recipe is often enough for a second meal or lunch for a couple of days. I may spend time cooking one night, but then save time over the next couple of days because the work is done.
I do still track my food each day in a notebook. Three lines per day-breakfast, lunch and dinner. One page to a week. I mark the date, the number of days I have followed this dietary change (110), and my weight for the day.
I have changed to a plant based diet. I eat no meat, cheese, dairy, eggs, or fish. If it had eyes or a mother or was the byproduct of something with eyes, it is not on my food list. I do not use any oils in my cooking. I avoid white sugar and white flour.
That all may sound extreme and it is at first.
Once you learn how to cook without oil, and how to create great meals without meat, cheese and dairy, you are home free!
I can go to anyone’s house and any restaurant and still find foods to eat. So what might a day look like for me?
Breakfast: grapenuts, frozen blueberries from the garden, almond milk and maple syrup.
Lunch: leftovers from the night before-- rice, roasted cauliflower, baked sweet potato ‘fries’, along with popcorn, and a clementine
Dinner: baked potato stuffed with broccoli, topped with sautéed (without oil) mushrooms, red peppers, onions, tomatoes. Apple turnover.
There….you see, I couldn’t possibly be hungry! I have never felt better and found it easier to stick to a plan. Before I eat something, all I have to say is “did it have eyes or a mother”? If it didn’t…go for it!
By eating this way, I am not only losing weight, I am protecting myself from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more. The no cholesterol, low fat diet is a very healthy one. I am getting the fats I need from vegetables and grains. And my protein intake is just fine. I do supplement my diet with vitamin D and B12 tablets each morning.
If you want to learn more, I would suggest the following books. This is where I learned what I know.
~Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (just technical enough to explain the science behind this method of eating. Half text and half recipes)
~Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn (lighter and enjoyable read-half text, half recipes).
14 pounds down and the final 14 to go.
Eat right and the weight comes off all by itself.