Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Battle of the bulge

As I mentioned in Monday's post, I am now on a weight loss plan.

The problem started sometime in Nov. As "the holidays" approached I began allowing myself to over-indulge in every kind of delicious and fattening recipe with the excuse that "its the holidays".

Apparently no one told my pants that holiday calories don't count, because my waistband is screaming!

I must say that I did enjoy over-indulging during the holidays. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast followed by several re-runs until the left-overs were gone. Then we had lots of yummy stuff in early Dec for our Christmas tree trimming party. Then there was all the food at my office! Several of my colleagues brought in cookies, several of our clients sent us boxes, baskets, and barrels of goodies, and even some of our vendors sent us platters of positively perfect confections. Then there were the multiple holiday parties, Spouse's mom's birthday party on Christmas eve, and the expected feast for Christmas dinner. Oh, and did I mention the decadent 4-cheese macaroni & cheese Spouse made for Steven & Thad's New Year's Eve party?

I've never met a mayonnaise-based dip I didn't like.
Needless to say, I ate a lot.

But now its time to "pay the piper", as they say, so Mon I started to diet. Not the old-fashioned fad diets like the grapefruit diet or South Beach diet. My form of dieting is really more of a sensible and healthy eating plan with inspirations from Weight Watchers and common sense.

To begin with, I'm cutting out snacking. Unlike Spouse I'm not much of a snacker to begin with, so this doesn't have a huge impact on me. But sometimes I'll come home from work and have a little something to eat because I'm not sure when we'll eat dinner. I'm not really "hungry" per se, its more of a preventative thing. No more.

Another successful technique is portion control. I serve myself the amount of food I imagine an elegant, 110 lb. woman would eat, and that's it. No seconds; no "Hungry-Man" portions.

If by chance I begin to feel full before I've finished my womanly portion, I stop eating immediately. Even if there are only 3 bites left on my plate, I stop eating as soon as I begin to feel full. I'm not a child so there is no need to strive to be in the 'clean plate club' anymore.

I also substitute some higher fat/higher calorie items with lower fat/lower calorie ones. For instance, I used to make sandwiches every day with Arnold Double Protein Multi Grain bread. The slices are large but the 'multi grain' aspect seemed like a healthy choice. That bread is 110 calories per slice. Now I eat Pepperidge Farm Light Style whole wheat bread at 45 calories per slice - less than 1/2 the calories!

But I still struggle with diet soda. I like all the different flavors and real hunger pangs can be temporarily quelled with a zero calorie diet soda! But some studies suggest that despite the absence of calories, diet soda can cause people to gain weight. Then there's the reality of diet soda being made up of chemicals rather than natural ingredients, which makes me think about alternatives. Obviously water is the best thing to drink, but I quickly get bored with the lack of flavor. So an alternative I like is to pour 1/2 a glass of 100% fruit juice (NOT a fruit-flavored drink) and fill the other 1/2 of the glass with water. At first it seems like watered down juice, which it is, but at least it enables me to drink 1/2 a glass of water with some flavor, and I eventually get used to to the taste.

So this is my plan to eat less, eat better, and lose weight. Stay tuned for updates.


Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's and even some other stores sell these little flavor packets like lemon iced tea, lemonade, etc.

You use a standard 500ml bottle of water, take a sip then pour the packet in and shake. They're less than 20 calories.

anne marie in philly said...

to echo truthspew's comment, crystal lite...OMG soooo good!

still doing the gym, but also thinking about joining WW online. need a little boost with my exercise.

Rick said...

You're preaching to the choir. I know exactly what you mean. It's amazing how much I can gain in the 6 week holiday period compared to how long it takes to get it off. I gave up on diet drinks a while back but got hooked on the crystal meth I mean lite and other powder mixes one can empty in a water bottle. But as you said they do little in the aid to weight loss and probably hinder progress. I had myself convinced I had to drink something to cleanse the pallet but I have finally made water my friend.
Good luck on this endeavor and Happy New Year to you. Keep us informed on your progress.