Thursday, May 10, 2012
Someone sees you eating a salad and automatically assumes you are Ďon a diet.í What does that mean? Diet. Merriam-Websters defines diet in several ways. Food and drink regularly provided or consumed. Habitual nourishment. The kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason. A regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight. Letís look at that first definition. Food and drink regularly provided or consumed. So diet doesnít always mean temporary, right? Diet is what we eat everyday. Diet doesnít have to be something you do for a short amount of time to lose weight.
Iíve tried different Ďdiets.í The Southbeach Diet, The Eat Clean Diet, the low fat diet, the high fat diet, the high protein diet, the vegetarian diet. You name it, Iíve probably tried it. Iíve lost weight with these Ďdiets.í But Iíve always gained it back. Yes, right now some of my weight is from having a baby. But I was big before I got pregnant. I was a good 40 pounds overweight. So letís take a detour from diet for a minute and look at weight and how we measure it.
The most common way of determining whether someone is overweight, underweight, etc. is by Body Mass Index (BMI). The CDC defines BMI as a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. BMI is calculated as follows:
Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5'5" (65")
Calculation: [150 ų (65)2] x 703 = 24.96
Okay, so once you get your BMI number, what does it mean?
BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 Ė 24.9 Normal
25.0 Ė 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese
So for my height and weight Iím considered obese. Really? I need to lose weight, I know that. But when you look at me, would you seriously call me obese? I donít think so. Overweight, yes. Obese, no. In order to get to where the CDC would consider me to be Ďnormalí I would need to lose about 47 pounds. Iíve been in the Ďnormalí range before. You want to know how I got there? By eating 1200 calories a day (or less!), doing twice a day workouts 6 days a week, training for a half-marathon, and doing the P90X program. Now, as a full-time working, mother of a breastfeeding 5 month old, do you really think I have the time and/or energy for that? Not to mention the fact that 1200 calories a day is nowhere near enough to maintain milk supply. So I can lose 47 pounds. I can get back to a Ďnormalí weight. But this time itís going to take a lot longer. And this time I need to be smarter about it so it will last. No more weighing myself every week and fixating on a half pound loss or gain. In fact, I need to stop focusing so much on the number period and more on how I look and feel. I just had a baby. Thatís an awesome thing. My body is capable of so much and I need to respect that. Maybe I wonít weight 135 pounds again. And if I do, I may not wear a size 6 again. My body has changed and will never be the same as it was before, even when I do lose weight. But thatís ok. I just have to keep reminding myself that it took time to put the weight on, and it will take time to get it off. Small goals. Small steps. Big rewards.
Ok, back to diet. So if I want to lose weight and be healthy for life, what do I eat? Iíve been looking at the extremes. The Paleo Diet- Emphasis is on meat, fowl, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, oils, nuts, seed, and tubers. No grains. No dairy. No legumes. No sugar (except fruit sources). Then the other end. Veganism- NO meat, NO eggs, NO dairy. NOTHING from animal sources whatsoever. Emphasis on vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, anything not from an animal. I was a vegetarian for a little over a year. Then I got pregnant. And I craved meat. And my iron was low. And I wanted to do the best thing for my baby. Which I felt was to start eating meat again. So I did. And I liked it. And Iím still eating meat. Iím not eating dairy. Not because I donít want to, but because my daughter has a sensitivity to it. So where does that leave me? I don't like the full on Paleo route because I like beans. haha. Plus I don't want the bulk of my nutrition to come from meat. So I'm not going to make any proclamations about my 'diet'.' I'm not going to say that I'm eating this way or eating that way. I'm going to eat the way that I think is best for me and my health. So right now, no dairy (because baby girl can't tolerate it), lots of veggies, a decent amount of fruit (not too much though- I'll go into this another time), beans, lean meat, limited grains/starches (again, I will talk about this on another blog), and limited sugar (including brown sugar, honey, etc.)