Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I'm nearing my one-month anniversary of keeping my promises to myself to exercise and eat in moderation. I'd become so accustomed to eating my fill, that is, eating until I was full, that I feared that I would be constantly feeling hungry and deprived once I started following a plan to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week.
My biggest surprise? I'm not starved. I'm used to overeating and still can easily do so, but I want the scale to budge for my health. My breakfasts and lunches haven't changed much. My snacks are less frequent and measured instead of unrestrained. Where I made a big change in my habits is to severely curtail my dinners to meet my calorie goals. The quantity of food often seems puny to me--a smaller serving here, a substitution there, skip the dressing, usually skip the dessert. But an hour after eating my "tiny" dinner, I'm not hungry, I'm not starved, I'm just not full either, I'm comfortably empty. Before bedtime, same thing. I may be tempted but it's not by hunger.
This is nothing like my first diet decades ago, the Scarsdale Diet, that left me aching with hunger at bedtime, unable to fall asleep and constantly daydreaming of food.
Previously, I've restricted myself to 1700-1800 calories daily. I can do that easily. That is probably ultimately where my maintenance diet will be. While eating that much would allow me to lose weight slowly, it would be painfully slow unless I exercised long and hard every day. This time I need to increase my exercise gradually to condition, not injure, my body. In the past I felt obsessed with exercise. I want to be fit in order to follow my passions, not as an end in itself. So I restrict myself to 1500-1700 calories per day. Below that feels too severe and I get cold. I don't want to punish myself, then give up out of frustration. Above that it would be discouraging to lose weight so slowly and erratically. I want to start getting extra weight off my knees right away.
Who knew I could eat tiny portions and feel just fine? Not me!