The Experiment - Grazing my way to Weight Loss

8:25 AM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments


I have done tons and tons of research on various diets trying to come up with my own, personal weight loss plan. A lot of the things I am doing are just an culmination of existing diet plans. I am not a scientist, oh, wait, I am!...OK, I am not a nutritionist or a weight loss expert so all the choices I am making are just trials. I would like to think of them as informed decisions but there are so many fad diets out there and false claims. My method of research is to look at as much data and as many articles and first hand accounts (like blogs) that I can. I have a tendency to lean towards information that is repeated often and towards information that makes sense to me. For example, I am now trying out the 5-meal-a-day diet method. I have read a lot about it, mostly from people who promote the method. I have found one article denouncing it's weight loss effects. That article interested me because I like to see both sides of the story. What I concluded after reading all sides is that this method, which I will go into detail below, is a relatively safe and effective. The only article against it didn't say there was the possibility of gaining weight, just that there is no evidence of losing weight.

What is the 5-meal-a-day diet? It is just as it sounds. Instead of eating three large meals a day you eat 5 smaller meals. This is supposed to make it so you are constantly giving your body the fuel it needs and not going hungry. If you are not hungry then your body won't ever think you have the need to store fat. I imagine, then, by eating all day long, your body is burning up the foods as you provide them and no fat is stored up. Thinking along the same lines, you can control the calories that you are taking in to either maintain your weight (feeding yourself the same calories you are burning up) or lose weight (taking in slightly less calories than you are burning).

This isn't a responsibility free diet though. You can not just eat whatever you want so long as you are eating it in small portions. I have chosen to eat only very low fat and high protein foods. My largest meal is still in the morning and my smallest is still in the evening and I am still not eating 3 or 4 hours before I go to bed. This week marks the first week I am trying out this method. I have a little freedom to try out different diets week by week and then tweaking them to what works for me because I still have 57 days before I leave for Maui.

Sunday I 'cued up some giant chicken breasts. They must have been 8 ounces each. All this week my meals have consisted of the following. For breakfast I had a cup of the turkey chili at 5am. At 8am I had one of my easter eggs with a little mustard.
At 11am I had half of my chicken breast and half a fruit. At 2:30 I had the other half of the chicken and fruit. And when I got home at about 5 I had a hand full of granola and/or some crackers with almond butter and raisins.

The chicken and fruit thing was borne out of necessity. I was sitting there at my desk, staring at a dry piece of chicken. I didn't want to eat just a plain piece of chicken so I took my nectarine and sliced it up and mixed it up with slices of my chicken breast. It tasted pretty good! The next day I was faced with the same problem but I was out of nectarines by that time so I only had a plum. It wasn't as good but at least it provided some moisture and flavor to the chicken.
This method...so far....seems to be working for me. I have lost a pound and a half this week which has always been my weekly goal. Last night was family dinner night and I have leftovers of it today. Mom made chicken tostadas. Last night I had just the chicken on a plate (no tostada shell) and topped it with shredded cabbage, salsa, scallions, black olives and a tiny bit of sour cream. Today I have a tupperware bucket full of just the shredded chicken and shredded cabbage. I thought I would just graze on it all day long because it is a huge amount. I found it to be pretty plain, once again.
Luckily, I work in a mostly Hispanic company and I knew we had hot sauce somewhere in the break room. I figured, if I am going to do something to punch up the flavor of my meal, why not use spice that is proved to increase metabolism? I headed down stairs and started searching around. Some coworkers told me that they are out of hot sauce for now but there are some fresh peppers in the fridge. I grabbed one pepper that was about three inches long and looked like a skinny jalapeno. My coworker told me that they are pretty mild and I should probably grab another. I did. I came back to my office, used my trusty Swiss Army knife, sliced up the peppers and tossed them into the chicken and cabbage mixture. It was then that I realized....today is April Fool's Day.
Is it possible that I have just been swindled into putting crazy hot peppers into the only food I brought to eat today? It was too late to worry about it. I closed my eyes and dug in. It was pretty spicy but not unbearable. Perhaps for some people, but I have such a high tolerance to spice that even if this was meant to be a joke on me (which I do not think it was after all) I was able to handle the heat.

Guidelines to the 5 meal a day diet: I try to give myself guidelines because when there is a regiment to follow, I find it easier to continue with a diet. I found a website where you can enter a little of your physical info and it will tell you how many calories you should be consuming every day to maintain your weight and how many you should consume to lose weight. I was told that I should be having between 1200 and 1350 calories a day if I want to lose weight. This means that I can have three 300 calorie meals and two 150 calorie snacks every day. This is basically what I am going to try to do with a slight modification of having more calories in the morning and less at night.

People have been asking me exactly how much I have lost so here is my breakdown so far. This YEAR I have lost 19 pounds. This MONTH I have lost14 pounds and since I began this blog I have lost 12 pounds. I have lost 2.5 pounds in the past week. I aim for losing a quarter pound a day or approximately 1.5 pounds to 2 pounds a week.

Today's weigh in shows me that I have 57 days to lose 13 pounds.

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