1-99 SparkPoints 16

Only If It's Worth It

Thursday, May 31, 2012

You all know that I am a traveler. I love going to different places and exploring this little planet we call Earth. It is truly a special place, and I love going to new places, meeting their people, and eating their food.

Especially eating their food.

When I went to Paris, I ate food. Lots of food. I bought one little hat at a street market, and that was it for my shopping experience.

It's food and seeing the sites that I enjoy when I travel. I'm not a shopper. I rarely buy souvenirs. Where would I put it? It usually just adds to clutter. I have a tendency towards hording, so it's just better to avoid souvenirs.

Having the joys of eating abroad, I have to say I've come to dislike American restaurants. I blame Applebee's and Chili's oversized portions for my obesity.

In Spain and France, the plate sizes were small relatively. I could just hear in my head my dad complaining about the tiny steaks. And yet they left me overall more satisfied and well nourished.

Once a regular occurrence, I can't stand to eat at Applebee's anymore. The food is over processed, over salted, and over sugared. The apple pie is so sickeningly sweet, all I taste is sugar lightly flavored with apple.

In France, I had a wonderful apple tarte that was a little sweet, and a little tart. It was divine. I could taste the apples. The delicate flakey pastry complimented the apples with a slight buttery-ness. The Applebee's pie lacks the nuances or the complexities. The over saturated sweetness ruins the dessert.

Back in 2000, I weighed 160lbs and wore size 12 pants. On my 5'0" frame, that put me solidly in the obese category. Those were my high flying days of Applebee's burgers and apple pie.

Today, I weigh about 128 (post vacation weight), and wear a size 6. Almost a size 4 before I went on vacation.

After struggling with my weight for over 10 years, I finally discovered it's wasn't bad genes that was keeping me overweight. It was what I was eating. Which was completely baffling because I followed the dietary guidelines of 60/15/25 carbs/fat/protein.

This was simply a formula to keep me fat. If this worked for you, great. But it did not work for me.

These days, I follow a few simple rules, and I can eat relatively intuitive. Without carb counters, calorie counters or anything else.

1) 80-100 grams protein per day. (Protein with every meal)
2) No more than 60 grams carbs per day. (90% veggies)
3) No calories from drinks. (Low, low sugar consumption)

That's it. Believe me, 60g carbs is plenty. I can enjoy a piece of toast with breakfast, a cup of rice at dinner, or a dessert, but not all together. When I eat mostly vegetables for carbs, I have plenty reserved for something else I like.

Most everyone is familiar with a saying from Kate Moss: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."

It's going to sound shocking, but I kind of understand this now.

Wait, wait. Hear me out.

When taken as an anorexic manifesto, this statement is beyond awful. It's too easy to take the wrong way, especially when you're a young teenage female.

I eat between 1400-2000 calories per day, depending on my activity level. There is so starvation diet here. So this statement means something different for me.

It means, if I eat something, it had better be worth it.

I will never hesitate to enjoy an authentic French tarte with a cup of coffee. However, I will never again touch an Applebee's apple pie.

It doesn't taste as nice as a pair of size 4-6 pants feels.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm not actually sure what my macronutrient ratios work out these days, though I try and shoot for yours. My body doesn't handle grains or starches very well either...at least in terms of it's a guaranteed weight gainer - lol. Could be that you are chowing down more. I am 5'0", but the only meal where I don't eat a veggie is breakfast. I usually eat a big salad for lunch and dinner along with my protein portion, about a head of romaine lettuce (my favorite) per day. I'll top other veggies on top of it, and make a steamed veggie portion with dinner. So that's 1 serving of veggie at lunch, and 2-3 servings at dinner.

    You have me curious, though, and I may start tracking for a few days just to see how things are going.

    Eating this way staves off the binges for me, too. Even when I make baked treats, I'm never tempted to scoff down the whole thing. Which makes me feel superhuman - lol.
    3186 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 4:10:07 PM
    Wow. I must be chowing down on a lot of veggies, compared with you - I aim for at least 40g of fiber per day (to help my target 150g of protein move through the GI tract, LOL).

    I tend to eat around 1700-1900 calories per day, so that might account for some of it. I'm simply eating moar. :-)

    Om Nom Nom.

    emoticon emoticon

    P.S. I eat no starch or grains - I don't handle them well. All my fiber comes from flax seeds, nuts, fruits, or veggies, stuff like that. My macro ratios lately (including fiber) generally break down to about 30% fat, 40% carbs, 30% protein.

    It's so very interesting to compare how other people fuel themselves and what works for them.

    I'm in general agreement with you on the need for lots of protein and limited starch and sugar. It keeps me full, which helps stave off binges, which are my main problem. And my body just seems to run better on a diet like that, anyway.
    3186 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 3:44:55 PM
    I am going by total carb count, which includes fiber. I just eat one serving of starch or grain per day, which gets me well below 100g carbs per day. I can only get above 100g carbs, if I eat starch or grains.
    3186 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 2:36:59 PM
    How are you counting your carb grams? Are you ignoring the ones that come from fiber?

    Just wondering, because I eat no added sugar and limit fruits and certain dairy and other sources of natural sugars. And even with that on a good day (under 100g of sugar) I've still usually got at least 100g of carbs, most of it from fiber.
    3186 days ago
    I agree with you. Recently I ate at Applebee's and chose something that was touted as healthy. When I checked, it had more than a day's suggested amount of sodium. I wrote to Applebee's and complained!
    3198 days ago
    Since I have not traveled outside of the US, I cannot compare US food to that, but I can compare it to homemade food. Even homemade tastes better than most dining out alternatives. My husband and I find that when it comes to vacation time, our preference for a hotel is somewhere that we can do cooking, and I bring salt, onion powder and garlic powder for us to use for seasoning, and it works out fine. I very much agree about "only if it's worth it."
    3199 days ago
    It's SO true. Store-bought cakes and cookies are so cloyingly sweet, I can't stand them. I tried a Mystery Flavored Skittle that a camper offered me and I spat it out (they thought this was hilarious). I'd much rather have a homemade shortbread cookie with just a scant measure of sugar, or some fresh strawberries with whipped vanilla cream cheese. I want to taste my food, not corn syrup!

    But that said... I'm pretty sure that my homemade low-carb dark chocolate souffle tastes as good as skinny feels. It's ridiculous how delicious it is. emoticon
    3199 days ago
    Yep, I definitely know the value of everything I eat these days! I don't bother put something in that I won't love every bite of! That is the key... learning to love the foods that offer you the most bang for their buck!

    And that veggie trick... it's simply amamzing! Eat MORE veggies, you'll lose more weight! It could be a diet all in itself! LOL

    We've had a very similar size journey! I am now around 130-135 and am happier about my body then I ever have been in my life!!! emoticon
    3200 days ago
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