My Dietary Plan

 April 2017 Reboot 

Attitude: I am an addict.  100%, dyed in the wool, no doubt about it, food addict.  Whenever I doubt, I need to return to this thought and fight whatever craving or lack of willpower I am experiencing because it is not my tummy telling me I am dying if I don't get some food in me, it's my stupid addict brain doing stupid addict things.

Food: I started eating a Plant Based Whole Food diet back in October 2016 (aka vegan for health reasons, but honestly it is the compassion now that is keeping me here).  I will likely never eat a dead animal again or any of their secretions.  It is not necessary for me to live, and ergo no reason for them to die or suffer because I just 'want' it. 

Exercise: Totally not worried about this right now until I get down at least 40 or 50 more lbs.  Then I am gonna work back up into my big hikes which I miss terrible and possibly some running depending on how my feet do.

Limits:  This is the big one for me.  I had limits before and they were strong.  When they faded, I started gaining.  Limits are what my addict mind needs.  I will be following the Bright Line Eating limits because I need reference points and what this plan does is exactly what I need to get back to doing what I was doing before, but this time with support and guidance from an outside influence. So my limits, or bright lines are:
  • Sugar - no real sugar,  fructose,  dried fruits, fake sugars or alternative sweeteners, juices.  Just nothing to add sweetness at all.
  • Flour - No flour or products made from flour at all. No wheat, white, rice, coconut, corn yadda yadda .  just no flour at all
  • Meals - only eat at planned and dedicated meal times.  So, no snacking, no unplanned eating out
  • Quantity - I am on a 1200 calorie restriction, with 400 cals max per meal.  Everything will be weighed and measured to ensure I don't overdo it

Below is the plan I followed when I initially lost weight in 2010-2011, a total of 188 pound loss (half of which came back by 2016) The plan was solid, and there is lots of good stuff here which obviously worked.  I will still be following a lot of it, but my attitude has changed slightly.

In a Nutshell (updated Aug 13, 2010):  No sugar, no white flour, avoid starchy carbs, no alcohol, avoid processed foods, lots of water / tea, limit meat intake to 4oz or less per day, control portions by sticking to 1100-1300 calories a day.  And one day I will start to exercise regularly.
Update September 29, 2010 : upped my calories to 1600 a day when I started daily exercise!  A full post explanation of the "whys" can be found right here. Update January 2, 2011 : calories back around 1200 since I am not keeping up on my daily exercise the way I should. 

I am sure I will edit this post as I update my thoughts about where I am, and where I need to be. This is how I plan on continuing from this day forward in my efforts to lose weight:

Meticulously track calorie consumption - I found FitDay to be the best for me. I also bought a digital scale for the kitchen. Go me!

Stay between 1000 and 1500 calories each day - Changed to 1200-1400. Seems a better fit for me. Update: added "zig-zagging" my calories. I do 2 days  @1200, and 1 day @1800 a week. Update 2: not doing to good on the zig zagging, I always end up in the high 1300s. Update 3: my weight has dropped to the point where I can't have more then 1290 cals per day in order to keep up a 2 pound a week loss.

Daily weigh in - but I only record when it is actually down - who wants to see bummer upswings? Update: I as getting too OCD with this. switched to Weekly with a few thrown in when I am really curious.

Increase activity - doing more chores around the house instead of waiting for cleaning. spending part of my day standing at my desk.  Update: lengthening the morning walk with the doggies. Also added 2 15-minute walks per weekday, and I try to take a 40min walk with the dogs after work every other day, but it's really more like 2 -3 times a week.

Increase water consumption - via tea as it turns out. The rule of thumb on this is to take your weight, divide by two, then consume that many ounces of water a day.   Update: found out that water is crazy beneficial a few weeks ago for a number of reasons.  I am now trying to get in at least 150 ounces every day. Update 2: back to drinking more soda and tea. Why is water so hard for me?

Start drinking green tea - check! also quit coffee in the process... can you believe it!

Keep motivated by:
  • journaling - well, that's this blog :) and my paper version one as well
  • joining 3FC and actually making a post- Update: I'm a regular poster!
  • Continue to watch weight loss videos (yes, even surgery ones)- Update: I also read several terrific blogs
Learn to cook miraculous low-cal meals - if people start reading this blog and I start getting requests for it, I will copy my recipes over from my food blog to this blog.

Update February 18, 2010 - I am doing the health food thang.  I am not ready to go vegetarian yet, but that is also a possibility.  White-flour and processed foods have been out of my diet for weeks now.  I can't give up my diet sodas yet though, especially the clear Safeway carbonated fruit flavored waters.  I have a feeling that will be the last to go, if it ever goes.

Update March 15, 2010 - I decided that I need to mix up my metabolism a little bit. I am not changing the 1400 a day, but rather going to do one 1200 day and one 1800 day, just to keep my body guessing.  I am also trying to consume 164 oz of liquid every day.  That is really hard to do, and I am in the bathroom constantly.  And I also feel thirsty all the time now, which is freaking WEIRD.  Because of the water business, I am not buying diet sodas anymore (well, today is the first day where that is the case heh) and instead will try to keep to water - EXCEPT my Safeway carbonated fruit water which I am still not ready to give up and I doubt I ever will be.  Also, I have deemed my official weigh in to be on Sundays when I wake up late, before I eat breakfast.  This is the weight that is recorded on my "weights and measures" page, as well as on the 3fc page.


How I Designed My Plan  I looked at the science and physiology behind weight loss and gain and used my brain.  I learned how many calories I needed to maintain and lose weight, how many calories I burned a day, and that sort of thing.  When I realized how LOW of calories I was going to have to consume to reach my goal, I realized that I was going to have to learn about nutrition and eating right, because if I didn't fill myself with nutrients, I was going to get sick and/or fail miserably in the process.  Once I had that all figured out, I just went for it whole-heartedly.

To help with the nutrition aspect, I have relied heavily on 3 books:   SuperFoods RX, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

I realized early on that losing weight was the easy part - KEEPING IT OFF  was going to be the hard part so I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation about motivation, and the way I was raised, the way my family is about food, that sort of thing.  What I came to realize is that no fad diet,  no "program", no "system" or what have you will ever work for me (or I dare say, anyone else). Once you have lost your weight, you go off the program and  - lo and behold - the weight comes back.  So, what I have designed for myself is something I can do for the rest of my life (increasing calories very slightly once I am at maintenance weight).  During the process of weight loss, you need to learn how to eat and treat yourself for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Losing weight and keeping it off is not magic.  It is hard work every single day for the rest of your life.

I have more thoughts about this that I blogged about HERE and HERE.