Friday, June 28, 2013
Before I started my weight loss plan on November 16th, this is what an average day looked like for me:
6:50am Alarm. Hit Snooze.
6:59am Alarm. Blearily wake up.
7:07am "Eh, there is nothing to eat in the fridge. I'll just go out for lunch."
7:10am Bowl of cereal with milk. (If I am not too sick to my stomach to eat)
7:17am Make my own ice sugar-free vanilla latte with skim milk.
10:30am "Oh, I am soooooo hungry! I don't have any decent snacks! Ugh! Well, at least someone brought in donuts."
11:30am Go out to eat. Maybe I'll be "good" and eat something "healthy" at Einstein Brothers or Panera Bread, or maybe I'll go to Bugatti's or Red Robin and get something I'll regret.
12:15pm Swing by the coffee house on the way back to work. Order a vanilla latte - "oops, forgot to ask for sugar-free and skim milk! Oh, well!" Need a sweet for the midday - "I'll have a raspberry crisp bar, that's WAY healthier than a scone!"
12:30pm Eat the crisp bar that is supposed to be my snack
1:00 - 3:30pm Zonked out tired.
4:00pm Eat the Red Vines that someone brought in a couple of days ago. Go back and have a few more.
5:00pm "Nothing to eat for dinner - here we come Dairy Queen!"
5:45pm "Gotta have a snack to top it off."
6:00 - 9:00pm Mindless munching
The thing that should be most clear from the above is how I never knew what I was going to eat and ended up choosing something that was of dubious nutritional value.
Now, my day is like this:
6:55am Wake up. No snooze.
7:20am Breakfast with 24oz of water.
10:30am Brunch snack. At least 18oz of water before this.
12:30 - 1:00pm Lunch. Another 18oz of water. An iced or hot Americano here.
3:30pm Snack. Another 18oz of water - or two!!
6:00pm Dinner. This could be as simple as a can of tuna and some veggies or as complicated as stir-fry. Or, if I am traveling, I'll head to a restaurant and order a salad.
8:30pm Dessert. (This is usually when I have one of my sweet treat meal replacements - ice cream or a brownie/cookie. YUM)
A lot of the problem, I think, is that we don't plan out our meals very well. At least, I didn't. I never exactly knew when I was eating or what I was eating. I just was floating along, letting whatever food drive what I ate. And when you are surrounded by donuts, fast food joints, and calorie-laden drinks, it means that food will end up on your body.
Eating on a Planned Timescale has been a HUGE help to me. It regulates my eating. It tells me when I am hungry and when I am probably not (if I don't get my water in, I will most certainly be hungry well before it's time to eat!). It also keeps me energetic, so I don't feel that 1-3pm slump.
Eating Planned Portions has done me a world of good. I'm currently eating meal replacements, so they already come "pre-portioned" in nice 100 calorie sizes. It's fast and easy; a quick bite to keep me going. Even for my main meal, the Lean and Green that I'm allowed, I make sure to keep an eye on my portion size. Sometimes that means measuring things out; sometimes I just really watch how much I put on. I just don't mindlessly dump dressing anymore.
But those two wouldn't do well if I weren't also eating Satisfying Foods. On Weight Watchers, you can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as it's within your daily points. So if you want to spend all your points on Oreos, technically you can. But the problem is that Oreos are NOT satisfying! Eating two doesn't give me the, "Ah, that was good!" feeling. It's the "Hmmm, that's it? Better have another!" feeling.
The foods I eat on program are satisfying. I eat them and feel content. I don't still feel empty after eating them and have to go back for more. I eat my snack, I eat my meal, and I'm "ahhh, that was good!"
But life eating just the "good foods" isn't fun. Which is why it is nice to augment your meals with Favorite Foods. Now, I can't eat many on my plan right now, but I reserve my dessert for something like the meal replacement ice cream or brownie or cookie. It gives me that sweetness I like to end my day on. I'll also indulge occasionally in a bit of Cool Whip, some good Ranch dressing or put my meal replacement mocha shake in my Americano to make it extra yummy.
Unknowingly, I've been following a lot of Kessler's advice. But what about Maintenance? What then?
Well, I have the tools already set in place. I know that I need to eat regularly - not wait huge amounts of time between breakfast-lunch-dinner. I also know that I need to watch my portion sizes. A snack shouldn't be hundreds upon hundreds of calories. A dinner shouldn't take up several plates and half a table. And then I need to choose foods that will make me full and content - but also leave some wiggle room for the foods I love.
I've been following my plan for 7 months and have been doing great. I have no doubt that when I am off the meal replacements, I will be able to take these skills into my Healthy Life in Maintenance.