I'm working through the book, "52 Weight Loss Missions" by Michele Connolly.
One of the actions I've committed to is blogging here for a week. As a reward, I will sit in a cafe' and read a novel. Yay!
Today I want to journal about Mission #4, Smart Diet Actions. This topic has been on my mind all day. The mission talks about eating less and eating differently.
I do eat less...because I'm using the calorie tracker "Lose It!" (great free app). But most of the diet tips in the book became habits for me long ago. Things like splitting entrees in restaurants, asking for a takeout box as soon as the meal comes and splitting my meal in half right away, not adding fat to my food like mayo or butter, switching to low fat dairy, and I've completely cut out soda. Hardly ever have a dessert.
But I still need to count calories. The habits were not enough.
I've noticed some important things when in comes to counting calories. When I measure out my food, it usually looks too small. I look at it and often think, "that's not much". But then, because I don't have much on my plate, I eat it really slowly. I draw it out with small bites, making it last a long time. It takes me at least twice as long to eat than it does my husband.
But you know what? I noticed that I'm always full after I finish my measured portion. Always. And food tastes A LOT better too when you have actual hunger, AND eat slowly so you can actually pay attention and taste what you are eating.
I was thinking about that tonight as I ate my dinner. I realized that if I just put whatever I wanted on my plate, it would be a larger amount. And I would stuff all of it in my face, for sure. And it would be too much.
I'm going to try and be grateful for my calorie tracker rather than thinking so much about what a PITA it is to track calories. I need a calorie tracker because I simply do not give myself appropriate portions if left to my own eyeballing of "portion".
I do still drink alcohol, something that many advise you to eliminate. But I'm not willing to eliminate everything. I eliminated sodas and hardly ever have sweets. I have stopped drinking beer and mixed drinks. But with dinner I do like wine now and then, and I only drink 4 oz. I measure it out! No it is not much. So I drink it really really slowly and enjoy it. You better drink 4 oz slow, because that's not many gulps. :) I have a special glass with a 4 oz measure mark on it, it's a beer tasting glass for beer festivals. Makes it easy to measure my portion and I'm not dirtying a measuring cup.
The other diet action I have been working on falls under "eat differently". I have been focusing on eating fruit when I want dessert. I've been doing this for several weeks and I was surprised a week or so ago when I realized I now actually enjoy it! Late at night when I get a craving for dessert, I have actually craved a juicy orange. Sometimes I want an apple. Sometimes I make some PB2 to put on my apple slices. If you don't know what PB2 is, you need to. It's peanut butter powder. It's defatted so it has half the calories of peanut butter, but all the taste. It's fantastic in smoothies, and you can reconstitute it in water and make a paste to spread on apple slices or banana, or even make it a little watery and have it be a dipping sauce.
The other suggestions in the book for "eat differently" are things I changed years ago, too. Eating whole grains, avoiding sugar, eating more vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and water. I have all those down pat.
When I really need some chocolate, I do have a bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips in my freezer. Because they are chips, they are small. I measure them out too (32 chips is something like 70 cal), and I eat them really really slowly... 2 chips at a time. This works better for me than having 2 squares of chocolate. Something about having a bunch of small chips and eating them slowly satisfies me more than only having 2 squares and they seem gone fast.
Water. I have no problem drinking water. But I remember when that was not always so. I do have to filter my water, I think city water tastes horrible. And I chill it in a pitcher in my fridge. But I also make carafes of herbal tea for when I want something with flavor. Unsweetened, of course. Some of the Celestial Seasonings ones taste sweet all by themselves, and of course it is all what you get used to. I like their Raspberry Zinger and the Peach Zinger. PLUS, it's pennies to make lots of tea, so much cheaper than soda. And it's good for you.
What diet actions are you taking? Are you eating differently? What actions help you eat less?