The Experiment - Time to eat.

8:23 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

My rapid weight loss goals were essentially met. I fell off track a million times but in the end I lost enough weight that I feel I am on my way and I have confidence. Today marks exactly three weeks that I have been on this diet. I have lost a total of ten pounds. I may have lost a ton more if all these darn distractions weren't in my way. Ten pounds is pretty good considering the things I have done that are not diet-like. I had a meeting with my wine group where I drank lots of wine and ate tons of wonderful foods, I went to Chico and ate cheesy burgers and greasy breakfasts, there was St. Patrick's Day in there and I had my Irish-themed pot luck party where we had Baileys ice cream among other things....and more. But still, I managed to lose a whole ten pounds and I feel really happy about that. Now it is time to move away from the rapid weight loss plan and onto more sensible eating plan.

First rule of the plan: Eat the biggest meal for breakfast, a medium meal for lunch and the smallest meal for dinner.

This is sort of obvious when you think about it. When do you need the most energy? During the day. This gives you the most power when you are using it, making each calorie more likely to be burned up than be stored as fat. If you eat something for breakfast that breaks down slowly then you are going to avoid having the munchies or starving later during the day where you may then gorge on something naughty. If you are like me, you won't even be hungry in the morning anyways. So you can't over eat. This is an "easy to say, not so easy to get used to", diet plan but it REALLY works and with little effort. The problem areas are, first, eating a large meal in the morning. Who has time for that? and who is hungry then? Not many people, but I will show you how to train yourself. Second, it is very difficult to not eat a hearty dinner in the evening when you are most hungry and most used to having a nice dinner. This proves even more difficult when you are living with people or peoples who are NOT on the same diet as you are. I can help there too.

First, how to eat a large breakfast:
I recommend going to bed a little earlier than usual, maybe 20 minutes, then getting up 20 minutes earlier than usual so you have time to whip up a nice breakfast. This is a good idea because it can also keep you from getting hungry and having late night snacks which I will go into in the second rule below. (If you are sleeping, you cant be eating, right?) For some people this is just not an option due to an overwhelming adversity to being awake in the morning time. I have a solution for this too: Make breakfast the night before. This can actually be easy if you are living with someone who is not on the same diet as you are. What you do is, while you are eating your light dinner, let your cohabitant make the usual, large dinner. Take the large dinner and reserve a serving for yourself for breakfast. In the morning, reheat it and voila! Breakfast is served. Believe me, after a few days of eating lettuce leafs for dinner, you begin to wake up hungry and ready to eat a larger meal.

Second, how to be hungry in the morning:
This one is a little trickier because no matter what I do, I am not really hungry in the morning BUT what really helps is the light dinner at night. I am hungry when I get home from work but I force myself to have a light dinner and I keep thinking about how in the morning I get to eat whatever I want (pretty much) so I just go to bed. I wake up in the morning hungrier than if I had eaten a large dinner the night prior.

Second rule of the plan: Do NOT eat within 3 or 4 hours before bedtime.

I know, I know, Oprah was the first to tell me this but it also makes a lot of sense. It isn't necessarily easy, but it is effective and hey, I still have not told you to exercise, so go with it. My schedule is such that this rule is really difficult but I have ways to deal with it. See, I go to bed at 8:30 (it's not by choice, I have to for work) so that means that I have to have dinner by 4:30 in the afternoon! This, in turn, means that I have to have dinner at work or immediately after I get home. Fight through the inconvenience though, because when you wake up in the morning and step on the scale, you will be very happy you did it. You should be going to bed slightly hungry and that is normal. Most of the times you want to eat at night is just snacking and not to satisfy hunger anyways. If you find difficulty avoiding snacking before bed I suggest you pour a cup of decaf tea instead. This will make your body feel like you are doing something, in effect, distracting it. Plus, some teas will help you go to sleep like chamomile or mint. What I have found is that when I do this, I lose a pound overnight. Most people weigh the least in the morning anyways, but this is a great way to guarantee a little weight loss while you sleep.

The third rule is WHAT you eat.

What you want to eat is only lean meats and proteins and fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Most diet books will tell you this. You make these your staples and build flavor from there. Below I am listing some of the foods that are good to eat....biased towards the foods I like.

Proteins:
Lean Chicken Breast (I buy the frozen breasts that come in a bag at Costco)
Lean Ground Turkey
Eggs
Greek Yogurt
Tofu
Salmon
Tilapia

Vegetables:
Jalapenos
Spinach
Lettuce
Cabbage
Cucumber
also to a lesser degree..tomatoes, onions, carrots, bell peppers

Fruits:
Apples
Blueberries
Blackberries
Grapes
Strawberries

Good Fats to have in moderation:
Avocados
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Flavor Makers:
Ginger
Garlic
Lemons
Horseradish
Rosemary
Vinegar
Salt
Mustard

These are just a few things I wanted to list to give you an idea of what are the foods I am limiting myself to. I didn't list any whole grains because I try to eat them in moderation.

So, this morning what did I have for my big breakfast?

Two pieces of whole grain, crusty bread, lightly sprinkled with olive oil and toasted. Each got a tablespoon or so of fat free Greek yogurt and a half a tablespoon of capers. Then I put about an oz and a half of smoked salmon over the bunch. It was soooo filling and deelish! The total calories in that luxury breakfast was 364 with 6 grams fat, 6 grams fiber, 33 grams protein and 54 grams of carbs. All that fiber and protein filled me up for the morning.

My snack that I munch on all morning if I feel hungry: a bucket of big, fat purple grapes. I had about 10 grapes total (they are huge). This totaled 30 calories, and less than one gram of carbs, fat and fiber.

For lunch:
A small head of lettuce and a couple more ounces of smoked salmon with a splash of basalmic vinegar and capers. Total calories: 84, with 3 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein and 2 grams carbs. Not too shabby.


For dinner I will most likely have an apple 95 calories, 25 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, >1 gram fat.

That is today....but, you know me by now, tomorrow there is going to be another challenge: My cousin's birthday and the ensuing Mexican Buffet. I will keep you posted on that one. For now, I have 16 pounds to lose in 66 days.

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