The Me Diet

Okay, I hope I don’t jinx myself by writing about this. You all know I’ve hinted that I am dieting. But I’ve started plenty of times in the past few years, and nothing ever stuck, so I didn’t really want to write about it again, unless I was pretty sure I was going to stick with it.

The motivation? First of all, the ortho doctor said out loud what I pretty much knew. That it would be really great if I could get down to 140 pounds. You all know that that is not a weight I have even aspired to in  forever. But the thought intrigued me. And then my lab work came back. And my cholesterol levels were elevated. Ooh, that just made me mad! Come on. Who eats healthier than I do? So I start looking up causes of increased cholesterol levels. None of the factors applied to me except the last one. Weight gain. Strike two.

Then one day shortly after that I had to do some insidious chore, making millions of stupid copies, and I couldn’t really do any chores in between, so I started looking for something to read, and I decided to go back and start reading Shelley’s archives. Shelley started her blog on the first day of her final ‘diet.’ Not too many people have done that. So I really enjoyed reading about the determination that it took in the early days, and the frustrations, and the successes. You really need to pare things down VERY CONSISTENTLY to actually lose weight.

Well, Shelley started out doing a doctor supervised ‘shake’ kind of diet. And that gave me a little idea. So I made a plan.

I didn’t want to drink shakes all day long. And I didn’t want to calorie restrict so severely that I would re-gain everything when I went off of it. And I really really did not want to eliminate any particular food or food group. I did want to include a bit more protein because experience has taught me that protein keeps me from getting hungry. But I did need some structure and some basic rules. And here’s the reason that I call it the ‘me diet.’ Because I know me, and my particular circumstances, and so while this might work for me, it isn’t for everyone.

My particular circumstances:

  • I am a ‘woman of a certain age.’
  • I am a POW (previously over-weight)–some studies indicate that a lower calorie level may be necessary for people who have previously been very overweight.
  • I have a sweet tooth.
  • I am very short. Haha. I don’t know what this has to do with it, but I feel sure that it is partly why it is so hard for me to lose weight.

So here’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 1/2 weeks.

  • Breakfast: My choice. Try to keep it under 200 calories. I almost always have some type of grain product, like my Bare Bones Scones, or Baked Oatmeal.
  • About 11am. Protein shake 140-170 calories. I’ve told you my little experiments with this. But the rule is I can’t manipulate it to be more than 170 calories.
  • About 2pm, coffee break, and a Quest protein bar. Only Quest for now. Because they do not have sugar in them and they have 20 grams of protein. And they do not have that aftertaste that some SF protein bars have. 170 calories.
  • Dinner: My choice. Try to keep it under 300. So usually it is some kind of meat and vegetables. Everything is pretty simple. Just the veggies. And usually just the meat. But it is my choice. If I wanted I could have…well I could have anything under 300 calories. That’s just usually what I do want, because I know it will satisfy me.
  • So if I have made good breakfast and dinner choices, I still have 150-200 calories left for a snack. Totally my choice again. Usually my snack is not particularly nutritious, just enjoyable.

Don’t try to add up the calories and think that I am eating too much or too little. Like I told my BF, that is by my count. It does seem low, but by my count I did not usually lose weight on 1300 calories.

So that’s it. I don’t plan to eat this way the rest of my life. In fact I already have an outline for how I will change it up a bit, probably after I get back from Haiti. But in the meantime, I have learned that a bare bones protein shake really can keep me satisfied for quite a while. One interesting thing that I learned is that the higher calorie shake that I chose (because it came in chocolate mint) was higher in fat content, and so it keeps me satisfied a little longer.

There is no snacking in between. Oh, except baby carrots while I am cooking dinner. And I bought some tomato juice because I noticed Shelley had V8 juice for when she got too hungry. I’ve only drank it once or twice.

Probably the biggest changes are the complete lack of walnuts, and less fruit than normal for me. Again, I made no rules about eliminating these foods. It just happened that they were not the choices that I made. And the smaller breakfast, which I had thought about for quite a while, but had been unable to make myself put into practice.

The results? I’ve lost at least 7 pounds in 3 1/2 weeks. I say about because I actually didn’t weigh myself on the first day. So it might be a little more than 7 pounds, but for sure not less. Oh, and in this same time period, I had four days of celebrating my birthday, and 3 other ‘off plan’ meals at special dinners or lunches. I managed to control myself admirably at most of those meals.

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Protein and Me

 

So I planned on talking about protein today.  Me and my vast knowledge of it.  Then I stopped to ask Vicky (my ex-trainer/foodie extraordinaire) if she had ever tried to make protein bars that were higher in protein.  Which necessitated me telling her that I was doing this higher protein thing, and heaven forbid, that I had reverted to eating those PROCESSED protein bars.  Vickie is well-read, and always has a pretty science-based opinion on all things health and food.  When I said this diet had about 120 grams of protein per day (actually it has about 95-100) she said that was too much protein for long term.  And proceeded to tell me how hard protein was on various systems in the body AND the possible carcinogenic factor of some proteins.  Oh brother.  So, what I already knew.  I will not eat this exact way long-term.  But I am certainly paying attention, and learning to make a few wiser choices.  She did mention that protein is good for appetite control.

I also mentioned to Vicky that I wonder if it is just the higher protein, or that the food choices are pretty much spelled out, or is it that I am just done with all the crap this year and ready to move on.  When there are multiple factors involved in a scientific experiment (the human body) you don’t know for sure what the precipitating factor is.  All I know  is that I am relieved that I am enjoying my food, I am not white-knuckling it, I am not hungry, and I am losing weight.

So.  Protein.  Since I don’t like beans and I don’t much like eggs, my protein sources are a little limited. Here’s a few ways new to me that have made protein quite enjoyable the past two weeks.

  • Eggbeaters in smoothies. This is not that new for me.  I am REALLY enjoying that Egg Nog Smoothie                                      I came up with.
  • Scrambled eggs/eggbeaters with a tablespoon of real bacon crumbles (Costco) and a little sugar free syrup (I know.  I even have to sweeten my eggs…)
  • Lean deli ham–this has come in handy a couple of times when I was on the run.
  • And I am really enjoying having salmon more often  (coated with Mrs. Dash, and dowsed with lemon juice at the end.)
  • I got some frozen cod, and if I cook it on medium high, it gets nicely browned on the outside.  Splashed liberally with malt vinegar, its just like my old favorite, fish and chips.  Well, no chips.  One time I had it with some baked sweet potato fries!
  • I found a new protein bar today that I like.  Detour–15 grams protein, low sugar, less than 200 calories.

As soon as I’m done writing this I am off to eat another meal of protein and veggies.  I’m gonna make a salsa chicken dish with some brussel sprouts on the side I think.

Can I tell you how much I love getting up at 5am?  Presuming I get to bed at 9pm.  I am awake before the doggies (must be what a mother of preschoolers feels like) so I have a nice quiet time to start the day.  Reading a new book I am loving called The Fire of the Word, Meeting God on Holy Ground by Chris Webb.  He is the new president of Renovare and is a very talented speaker.  And now a good writer.  Anyway, I am enjoying it.  This morning I got so much done by 11am it was amazing.  By 11:30 I had my 3rd meal of the day (that was a little weird,) and then I left to do some chores.  The grocery store to get the ingredients for my (now) annual baking of the fruit cake for my mom (here’s the recipe if you want.  I only put cherries, dates, and pecans in mine.)  Then to the library to return an overdue book.  I am liking that you can order any book you want online.  I ordered The Dovekeepers–don’t know where I heard about this, but it sounded interesting, and I ordered The 17 Day Diet, because   Sharon’s recent success has intrigued me.  Oh, and I got 3 really good movies FOR FREE at the library.  On to the gym, where I did the usual bike for 20 minutes, and weights for 20 minutes.  Lately, Paula Deen has been on the Food Network while I was biking, and I find her irritating. The way she cooks does not inspire me to do anything.  On to my treat of the day, a session at Starbuck’s.   Got settled in  my comfy chair, reached for my Kindle Fire, and IT WOULD NOT TURN ON.  Oh my stars.  The instruction manual is ON the kindle, so I was really worried that I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SLAY THE ZOMBIES today.  Long story short, I went on Amazon when I got home, did a little trouble shooting, and its working again.  Whew.

Some photos to amuse you:

Miss Sophie tires of waiting for mom to GET DONE BLOGGING.

Mr. Monk becoming one with the cushion.

Hey, all the couch pictures reminds me.  I’m toying with the idea of replacing it with a bright red ultra suede loveseat.  What do you all think?  Better or worse with the doggies?  It can’t be much worse than the old blue and white sofa with loose cushion back.  The price is right–$299.  I think its gently used, although it looks new.  Comes with a large ottoman too.

The extent of my Christmas decorating so far:

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, here in the frozen tundra of sunny California!