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Monday, May 24, 2010

Weighty Issues

I've been asked to share my weight loss secrets. I'll be happy to do that, but first I should probably tell you that unless you are a sugar junkie in need of reform, this method may not work for you.
I'll get the ugly stats out of the way first, I'm not embarrassed by them:
October 2009
Weight- 226lbs
Size-16 (US)
Height-6'
Average daily beverage consumption:
Coffee with sugar and cream
40ish ounces Cranberry Juice
Starbucks Venti Mocha
Occasional soft drink or milk shake
Occasional water

Average breakfast:
Doughnut, croissant, burrito or nothing at all

Average lunch:
Too much food, usually of the take out variety; deli sandwiches, Chinese, Indian, McDonalds fries, etc...

Average dinner:
Pasta and bread played heavily into my diet and I had no regard for portion size.

May 2010
Weight-189lbs
Size-12 (US)
Height-6'

Average beverage consumption:
water
coffee with cream, little or no sugar, if I go to Starbucks I get regular coffee or unsweetened lattes
unsweeted soymilk

Average breakfast:
plain fat free Greek yogurt with Fiber One cereal or cereal with soymilk

Average lunch:
cheese, crackers, veggies and nuts or a sandwich on sprouted grain bread

Dinner:
protein heavy meals that typicaly revolve around a soy meat product and veggies, some carbs and fat usually in the form of cheese

So as you can see, the biggest difference in my diet was to remove a ton of sugar and carbs and replace it with more protein. The cranberry juice alone was an insane amount of sugar, each serving was 28g and I was probably drinking about 5 servings a day. That alone was about four times the amount that a healthy person should have. Of course, sugar does not have fat, but it does have calories, and as a diabetic, the amount of sugar I consumed raised my resistance to insulin ans lowered my metabolism.
Portion control was the next step. On a typical pasta night, I would heap pasta into a bowl and go back for seconds. I was eating roughly 3-4 servings. Even though I was eating whole grain, the amount I ate counteracted any positives that may have been. Now if I do have pasta, it's one bowl, a small bowl, and I fill my sauce with chunky veggies and "meats" so that I'm filling up, but on the right foods.
I don't count calories, but by monitoring my carbohydrate intake I don't have to. I also don't worry about fat, but I do control the amount of fat I eat. The easiest and probably most satisfying way that I do that is with cheese. My rule is simple, no processed or bulk manufactured cheese. Sure, the grocery store brick of cheddar is $2, but it tastes like plastic. By spending more money for less, I eat less, and usually I don't notice because there is so much flavor that I don't need to add a ton of cheese to my food.
Chocolate is the same. I buy nothing less than 85% cocoa chocolate which has little sugar, but much fat. Rather than eat the whole bar, or even half (which is the typical serving size), I eat a single square, two if I feel like going nuts.
I allow myself the occasional indulgence, but the key word is occasional. In the past I usually bought some sort of dessert almost every day.
I should also add that I eat no processed foods, no reduced fat or artificially sweetened items. I buy organic, whole foods when ever possible. When the recipe calls for butter, I use butter, not that heart healthy stuff that is likely made of motor oil. I also rarely go out to eat anymore. If we do go out it's for Indian or Thai, and I'd say we probably do that about once every 2-3weeks.  
I do exercise, mostly walking and some weight lifting. I've started trying to run, but only when I know that no one can see me. I try to get 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. It's not much, but that's what is recommended for healthy weight management.
More than anything, the reason this works for me is because it's not a diet, it's a total lifestyle change and one that does not inconvenience me or make me feel like anything is lacking. Honestly, I feel that we have been eating much tastier food because of it.
I hope this helped!

3 comments:

  1. Are you sure we aren't twins separated at birth? Not only are our stats incredibly similar (both before and after), I think we share the same gourmet-ish brain and appreciation of higher quality/smaller quantity portions of cheese and chocolate! Congratulations on everything you have accomplished! No small feat.

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  2. Your MaMa PatriciaMay 25, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Hola!

    You make your mama proud. I am also trying to cut out the sugar, but, I will always have a sweet-tooth. I am going to try buying the better cheese, but your brother eats us out of house and home. You should not be self concious about your running as I am sure you run like a gazelle.
    So keep up the good work and thanks for the inspiration!
    from your

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  3. I'm so happy for you! I agree completely about the processed food. I have stopped eating processed food and dropped five pounds in the past month. Hooray! I like your ideas about cheese. I never thought about the expensive cheeses being so much tastier, but I believe you are correct! Thanks for the tips!

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