I’ve dedicated this calendar year to two tasks: losing all the unnecessary weight I have and paying off debt (primarily to my dad). I’ve shown amazing discipline so far in these endeavors. Well, until the day before yesterday. First, I went to the local pastry shop and got a bagel, a croissant, and a cinnamon-pretzel twist with icing. Then I ate a pint of birthday-cake ice cream. Then I went to McDonalds and ordered ten chicken nuggets, a plain hamburger, large fries, and small fries. Yeah, that day was a disaster.
Instead of being overly critical of myself, I’m observing it all and trying to understand what triggers it. In this instance, I was triggered by hunger. The night before, I had hunger pains as I was trying to fall asleep, and I tried to tough it out for weight loss. (I’m not remotely interested in losing weight via starvation, but whenever I cut calories, I get hungry!) Well, that didn’t work out. So after Binge Day, I saw the next day as an opportunity to try again.
In good news, the McDonald’s was disgusting and overly greasy. In bad news, those pastries and the ice cream were divine.
But, anyway. This is what I’ve been learning:
- You must count calories.
Yes, it would be simpler not to, but calories do count. I’ve started keeping my daily number in mind (or written on the downstairs chalkboard) as I go.
- Not all calories are created equal, so only eat healthy ones.
500 calories of salad is not equal to 500 calories of Wheat Thins. The salad is a healthy food in general, whereas Wheat Thins have starch, simple carbs, fat, salt, and a certain innate addictiveness. And I myself can’t stop at 500 calories. I’ll eat the whole freakin’ box.
One exception I have to this rule about healthy calories is with my packaged salad. It’s filled with healthy greens, but the dressing is somewhat fattening. Since I think that’s a far cry from junk food, I allow it. I’m not disciplined enough to eat a salad that tastes boring. And it’s not even my goal to become that disciplined. It’s salad, and I’m eating it! Go me.
- For weight loss, you must maximize eating foods that are filling.
This is really hard for me. Because do you know what’s filling? A box of Wheat Thins. That’s right–eat the whole box, and you won’t be hungry any longer. You know what’s not filling? Healthy foods. So due to my eating habits, eating healthy always equates to intaking less calories, which leads to starvation. Hunger! I hate feeling hungry. And yes, I’m talking about actual hunger pangs, not the munchies.
My research tells me that you can’t go wrong with protein, so I eat turkey sausage, Luna protein bars, homemade dark-chocolate protein-fortified waffles, and grilled chicken (served with salad or rice). Ashley Leia recommended fiber. In particular, she suggested trying to find some bars (like the Luna protein ones) that are also high in fiber. Unfortunately, I looked into it, and it seems as if all the high-fiber bars use artificial sweeteners, which I have a really humorous allergic issue with. I’ll keep looking, though.
Regardless, I think my salads and brown rice are high in fiber. But I might also add a fiber supplement. They make some chewables, I think.
- Eat popcorn!
I’ve got to thank Ashley Leia for this as well. I did the math on the calories, and a third of a cup of kernels (plus the tablespoon of oil that goes into my popper) equals 320 calories.
So this is my ideal day of eating:
- During daytime (before dinner), eat two protein bars (at 190 calories apiece) and four turkey sausage patties (at 50 calories apiece). Total=580 calories.
- Eat an 800-calorie dinner: grilled chicken with brown rice, grilled chicken in a salad (that’s only 510 calories, so another protein bar can be added on), a grilled chicken barbecue pizza, my high-protein dark-chocolate waffles, et al. Total=800 calories.
- Eat popcorn at night. Total=320 calories.
And look what that adds up to! 1700 calories, which could allow me to lose a pound or two a week. (I think my maintenance diet, at my weight, is around 2500 calories a day, so 1700 is way under that.)
I still want to try an appetite-suppressant supplement that I’ve heard of called olive leaf. But I’m waiting to hear from the supplement manufacturers. They’re going to give me $20 off when my review posts on Amazon for another supplement I bought from them.
In other news, I spent an hour and a half cleaning up the fishies’ tank. It was covered with brown algae, which is the enemy. I’ve also submitted to most of the agents, but not all. I can only do it for so long before I start to zone. (It’s a lot of data entry. Loads of copy/pasting.) Tomorrow I hope to finish it up and also to clean my room.