Monday, September 9, 2013

Diet, What Diet?

So, due to a few things like heredity, an addiction to cupcakes and y'know, being 45, I've put on something like 20 pounds in the last four years or so. I've never been a heavy chick, and it's been weird being overweight. Like, I look in the mirror and think "eh...I'm not that bad" and then I'll see a photo and think "yikes. I am that bad." As I understand it, if you've always been overweight and lose weight, it's hard to see a thin person in the mirror. Kinda reverse for me...and while I'm grateful I never had a problem before, it makes me more compassionate to those who have been struggling with their weight for their whole lives.

Now that I've had to buy pants the next size up and weigh about what I did when I was 9 months pregnant, I know it's time to fix things. I've tried things along the way—fish oil supplements, African Mango (thanks, Dr. Oz, for nothing) and the occasional diet—nothing was realistically helpful or easy to do. Side note, how many things has Dr. Oz said are "proven to help you lose weight" that aren't? Just say'n. He seems really knowledgeable, but everything he says can't be the miracle he touts. Otherwise, we'd all be thin. Rant over.

I tried the Reset Your Metabolism diet for 2 days. It's a 28-day reset and I really believe it could be helpful...however, after 2 days of no sugar or caffeine, I totally caved. I had a constant headache and felt so sick. It really proved to me that sugar is a drug of sorts. I felt crazy bad without my fix.

But that realization made me more determined to find some sort of compromise. The 100 by Jorge Cruise seems like a good one. He has an entire book filled with info on how sugar hurts us and tells how the evidence to support that (in forms of studies, etc) has been lost. Jorge says that sugar and sugar substitutes cause our insulin to surge and that is how we gain weight. Coupled with other things I've read about sugar substitutes, this makes a lot of sense to me. He says that calories in vs calories out isn't the right formula because all calories aren't created equal. That is, sugar calories have to be reduced to make a real difference in weight loss. 

Best part of The 100 is how easy it is to calculate. Don't count calories or weigh food, just take the carb content of any food and multiply it by 4. Those are your sugar calories. Now, don't eat over 100 a day of those and you'll lose weight. No need to exercise, although it's not a bad idea. 

How difficult was it to cut down to 100 sugar calories for me? Kinda but not impossible. And, the funny thing is, once you cut way down, you don't crave it as much. I could eat an entire loaf of bread right from the oven, as it is my favorite food. But I've gone a day or two without bread and was ok with that. 

So, how was my first week? Really good! I lost 4 pounds, even though I had a day of eating out and overdoing the carbs/sugars. And I can see my waist better! I'm not as bloated in the stomach (upper by the rib cage), and I feel like my lower stomach (below the belly button) is flatter. 

I felt fine too, which is so important. I was hungry in the morning when I woke up, but not during the day. I could drink my tea and have dark chocolate, which helped with my sugar need without destroying my good intentions. I had a lot more protein than I normally eat and more veggies and frankly, that's ok. I miss eating more fruit, but I could always eat it if I counted it as my sugar calories. I just chose chocolate and bread instead.

I'm not suggesting you run out and try it, but felt like I should share what worked for me. Now, I still have far to go, but I'm encouraged by the fact that it felt simple and that you could still eat carbs (unlike some diets) and chocolate and still lose weight. I'll keep you updated. 

In the meantime, if  you're cutting carbs but still want a casserole, this Cheesy Cauliflower recipe is a good substitute. Here is the original recipe. I didn't have sour cream, so I used a third of a can of Cream of Chicken Campbell's soup with a third cup of cream cheese, a small head of microwaved chopped cauliflower and a lot of shredded co-jack cheese. I also put on the turkey bacon before I baked it and I think you should just add it at the end, already cooked, right before serving. The bacon softens in the oven, and I like mine crisp. Here's a pic of my dish. It's gone now, but it was tasty good!

It doesn't take like potatoes, but it does taste yummy! Mild cauliflower taste and lots of cheesy casserole goodness. 

Have a Healthy Week!