January 21, 2012

Staying Ahead of the Game

I have a few ideas floating around in my head that might help change things up a little bit. I am notorious for jumping the gun on "great ideas" so I have decided to think about all of these for a while before I decide to do anything different. What I am doing seems to be working for now...

But I know am pretty certain the day will come when I have to alter something that I am doing to continue bringing the weight down. I'm getting close to the lowest weight I've been and if history repeats itself, that will likely produce some type of plateau. I'm not trying to be pessimistic here, just proactive. I would rather ease myself into some changes now and keep things moving along rather than get to the plateau and freak out.

Here are some of the things I am considering, along with my thoughts on each. I could do one or more of these things. None are drastic and all would be a positive change that I probably need to adapt at some point anyway.

Eat only "Choose Often" foods
"Choose Oftens" are the foods that offer the best bang for your nutritional buck. I haven't done it in a long time but weeks that I choose foods exclusively from this list I lose considerable amounts of weight. I have also seen members from my FP4H group have great losses by choosing foods exclusively from this list. It reminds me of the "core plan" on WW. Not sure if they still do that? The problem is that it feels too restrictive to me at times if I am only allowing myself to eat those foods. Maybe if I did it every other week? Here is a more in-depth look at the Choose Oftens list if you are interested: http://wearelosingitblog.blogspot.com/p/choose-oftens.html The main things I would be giving up in this are: coffee creamer, sugar, Lean Cuisine meals, regular salad dressing (which I love), canned veggies (easy-factor), saltine crackers, Apple Butter :(...Yes I think it would definitely have to be every other week.

Lower calorie range twice a week.
The calorie range I try to hit (1500-1600) is based on me working out at least 30 minutes each day. But I don't do any physical activity 2 days a week. (I have found these rest days help prevent burn-out for me.) So if I dropped down to the next lower calorie range (1300-1400) I would basically be consuming a half cup less of milk, fruits & veggies, 1 serving less grain and protein, and one tsp less oil. I think that would be very doable and hardly noticeable. Especially if it's only a couple days a week. I can definitely see myself needing to drop down to this calorie range to get the final few pounds off anyway. I feel like the amount I eat now is what I will need to eat forever to maintain a healthy weight...just not sure if it will be the right amount to get all the weight off.

"Protein as side" mentality
I grew up here in the south, where macaroni and cheese is considered a vegetable and if you don't have a huge hunk of meat on your plate it must just be a snack that you're eating. "Meat is a Must" has been my mentality. I think it would be wise to change this mentality to "Meat as a Side" and emphasize *healthy* vegetables and grains as the main parts of my meals and meat would be more like the side dish. I only eat 5 oz. of meat a day anyway so in some ways that has already happened. Example: If I have a full serving of peanut butter for breakfast (2T), then I only have 3 oz. of protein left for that day. Most chicken breasts weigh more than 3 oz.! Before I changed my diet I was probably eating anywhere from 10 to 15 oz. of meat a day. Definitely the star of every meal. Anyway, my point is that I know I am capable of reducing my meat intake. I did some reading on the Meatless Monday website today. Really interesting stuff there. Perhaps I could try that too.

So those are my ideas. Thoughts?


Meghan said...

Is there any reason why you only want to eat such a low amount of lean meats? Chicken is extremely healthy and so is turkey..it helps keep you full and is usually really low calorie.

I'm the opposite. I try to eat 6-8oz of meat at dinner (usually the only time during the day I eat it)and lots of veggies. I try to not eat many carbs with dinner so the protein (meat) and veggies keep me full a lot longer.

There is a good recipe for black bean burgers on the Stacy Makes Cents website. I've made them several times!

Keelie said...

Meghan--I have just always followed the First Place 4 Health food plan (same as USDA nutritional guidelines for weight loss) and it has been successful for me. Honestly, I don't weigh my meat all the time so I probably get more than 5 oz. most days. I have considered switching out my grain and protein amounts though. So I would get 6 oz. of protein and 5 oz.grains. Chicken, turkey, and fish are basically the only meats I eat. About once a week I have lean beef. You said 6-8 oz protein at dinner...curious how many oz. you eat in the entire day? Thanks for your input!

Cassie said...

Hi there

Im trying to stick with a lot of protein, fresh vegetables and some nuts and berries with lots of water. I try to limit dairy, processed food and avoid sugary foods (high fructose) at all costs. Seems to be working for me at the moment. I've lost 5 kilos since Christmas Eve. However, Im always open to suggestions :)

Kyle Gershman said...

As a lifelong carnivore that sneered at vegans, I'm shocked to say that I've become one. I've been vegan since 1/2 from a kickstart program hosted by PCRM. Also inspired by books like The China Study and the documentary Forks Over Knives.

I don't know that I'll go back to an animal based diet, still purely for health reasons. I'll leave the ethical element to either grow over time or not at all.

I strongly encourage your Meatless Monday efforts, more from an overall wellness perspective and disease prevention/reversal and if weightloss also comes from it, so be it.

God speed Keelie!

Dawn said...

I think its good for you to try different things to see how your body reacts to different changes. I keep a journal and write how I feel after eating certain foods...it has helped me a lot.

Jane said...

I really like your idea of dropping down to the lower calorie range a few days a week...it seems like that would mimic a natural pattern of eating where some days you just happen to eat more, and some you just happen to eat less, rather than working with the same amount of calories every day.

Something I try when I hit a plateau in my weight loss (and I've heard Jillian Michaels advocate this too) is actually to RAISE my calorie intake by 200-250 calories per day for about a week. It apparently has something to do with your body going into "fat-saving mode" when you have lost a bunch of weight, so your body tries to conserve energy because it assumes there isn't enough food in your environment. So when you give it MORE food, your brain relaxes and says, "Ok, we're not in a famine" and you go back to using energy normally. Or something like that. It may seem counterintuitive, but it's worked for me a few times in the past...I've hit a plateau, eased up on the diet for about a week, and then gone back to losing weight the week after.

Meghan said...

I get about 60-80 grams of protein a day. I choose protein over carbs or anything else because it keeps me full. I try to have egg whites daily and about 3 times a week I'll have a "real" egg. I've been successful with lots of protein. When I eat a lot of carbs and less protein I notice that I get really hungry and want to graze!

I was just being curious :) I hope my comment didn't sound rude!

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

Your honesty with yourself and foresight is awesome! Does that sound like a fortune cookie?! How about a fortune vegetable?! ;)

Have a blessed Sabbath!

kelly said...

For me personally, I enjoy my morning coffee too much to give it up. I also do much better with more protein and go meatless a few days a week. You look great!