Monday, May 7, 2012

Life Style Change

Alrighty, especially if you are on facebook, you've heard that last Sunday I started a 500 calorie per day "diet". I don't actually really count it as a diet per se, but more like a much needed lifestyle change. I've been trying to "be good" (ie: eating right) since January, however, it just wasn't working for me. I needed something more dramatic. I hate to exercise with a passion. I'd much rather control my intake than eat something and work it off. Maybe that is odd to you, or maybe you're like me. Exercise is the worst (although necessary). The reason I went so drastic for the calorie count per day is:

A system reset
A chance to eliminate all extra calories and only choose the best foods
A chance to shrink my stomach while still keeping metabolism going

I do realize that eating so little is not good, and could put you in "starvation mode" but I was careful to avoid that by eating about every hour (mostly fresh veggies), to keep my body processing foods. I am not suggesting that *anyone* try this or do what I did. I just did what I knew my body needed. You should check with your doctor before trying any weight loss program and see what is best for your body type. I guarantee you no doctor will condone what I did, but I knew what I needed to do that would work for me.

So I started out...hungry!! All the time! This lasted until Wednesday. On Wednesday I noticed a change...I was hungry, but not starving. I was not craving sugars/junk foods. I felt refreshed and well rested (although I was going to bed much earlier to avoid snacking, lol). I was drinking a LOT of water, to help me feel full (I normally hate water).

I came to realize that I was eating A LOT of extra food in a day. In reality, I was likely taking in only about 500 to 700 healthy calories a day - all the rest was not healthy (iced coffee, a cookie, fruit juices, too much fruit, not enough veggies etc). Hmmmm. Also, my portion sizes were WAY too big.

So in one week, I lost 9 lbs. I am upping my intake to 800 cals this week, and 1200 next week, and will add back in some exercise (no exercise when on way low cal intake). However, I am keeping it at 800 (or 1200) healthy calories!

As it is a much needed lifestyle change, and not just a "lose weight quickly" ploy, I am formulating ways to keep all the weight off. From now on, we will be having a meal (like in the pics below, of grilled meat and veggies only) 5 days a week. The other 2 days I will make a "normal" recipe like I used to every night. Lasagna, honey mustard chicken, spaghetti, pizza etc...these things will go on a rotational basis and will be enjoyed in a proper portion (which is for pizza, only 1 slice. Boo). Evening snacks (any food after dinner) is out. I don't even have anything in the house (can't be tempted!).  Thankfully, my kids only really truly love veggies anyway, so they are in heaven, and Brian is also doing this with me to lose about 10 lbs (he did the 500 cal thing too, while working! Although I think Thursday he upped his cals to about 800, so he didn't do quite the whole week, and this week will be about 1200, and he'll slowly build back up to 1600 -which is his goal intake).

I do not intend to place an over-emphasis on calorie counting long term - but in the short term, much needed. Without it I kept slipping back to old habits. Once I feel I am in a good habit of healthy eating patterns, I'll ease off - also once I've lost the extra weigh these (lovely) children gave to me. I am not one to place weight above all else and be some crazed lunatic who has to exercise 24/7. Everything needs to be in balance, and health is one of those things. So until I've achieved "healthy status", I'll be a little crazy about it, but then I can relax in it, knowing my good habits are paying off.
I wrote down everything I put in my mouth, and googled the calorie content. 500 cals a day is NOT a lot, so those foods had to count and be very filling (proteins) or be very low cals (veggies)

Towards the end of the week, I discovered My Fitness Pal. It's an app (Android for sure, maybe iphone too?) and also online (sync's up), so you can track your intake daily. I love it! If you get it, add me as a friend (user name: darbyjane) so we can help each other out! I love this daily chart...it shows you the goal (this is based on 1200 cals, which will be my standard, as suggested to me by my fitness pal, with the goal of losing 2 lbs per week) and then how you actually did. I went over in my sugars yesterday (a 700 cal day), by eating a grapefruit, kefir and raw carrots only! Not a lot of lee-way there, hey?! I guess I won't be sneaking a Snickers in there very often:-)
Grilled chicken, spinach, lettuce, peas and carrots. Standard fare. 1 T of balsamic vinaigrette on there. We season the meats (chicken, salmon and beef) all with the same lemon pepper seasoning (0 cal)

3 cups spinach, 1 hard boiled egg, 2oz grilled chicken, 2 T balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This is my fave lunch (or dinner)!

Food scale. I got this one at walmart for 4.97. Totally worth it. Weighing portions so I know how much I'm eating. I measure or weigh everything, since I am not used to what a "healthy" portion size is. Eventually my eyes will "shrink" I'm sure, and I'll be able to guess at it.

Attempting to drink apple cider vinegar - in 8oz water with 2 t maple syrup added...I couldn't do it. Only got about 1/2 down...it tastes soooo terrible. I hate vinegar! I know it's good for you, but I just can't do it!!

A "surf and turf" 2oz strip steak, 4oz salmon, lots of spinach and asparagus

Dinner on my 700 cal day (yesterday - should have been 800 - trying to get up to it healthily!): 1/4C rice, 4oz chicken in red thai sauce with steamed asparagus and raw carrots. It looked like such a small amount of food. I was shocked. But you know what? It filled me just right!
Kashi freezer meals. Not leaving myself room to be tempted when I run out of time for dinner (ie: eating a big bowl of spaghetti & meat sauce b/c it's quick). They are 9.5 oz each (1 serving) and are 270 calories. They look yummy! There are also a few things you can get from McD's...the grilled chicken caesar salad (with balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead of caesar) will come in at about 270 also. Options for when you're on the go.
So there you go! I am consistently down 9 lbs now, and will keep plugging away at this until I lose 30lbs total! I'll be updating along the way, and will maybe even post a few pics of my healthier self! I never did meet a dessert I didn't like, so this is huge for me:-) But having Brian to commiserate with (we text "I'm starving" back and forth, and have to change the channel when food commercials come on, lol!) has been so great. I don't think I'd be able to handle it without his help!

2 comments:

  1. I have been doing some drastic changes as well. I have been eating way more than my share of food! I pray it goes well for you and you can find the foods you love and can stick with.

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  2. this is incredible! bravo to both of you. love all the necessary disclaimers in your post...consult a physician before trying, but he'll say no, knowing that exercise is best way, just not your thing, not suggesting you try, this is my thing...had me laughing. cuz you know people gonna think you crazy! :) I happen to love your no-nonsense attitude. keep up the great work!

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