Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Talking Fat 4: Food Part 2

I am going to breakdown my intake based on what I eat now – though it hasn’t changed much from the beginning, except that I am up to about 1500 calories a day.

1 yogurt (either the small cup of Yoplait, Danon, etc – 35-40 calories)
½ banana
Either a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, or a cup of Special K cereal with a small amount of skim milk

This is fairly dubious. Sometimes I will eat a cup of soup (low sodium), sometimes its coffee & a muffin at Tim Horton’s. Sometimes it’s the other ½ of the banana. Other times it’s another slice of toast with peanut butter. And sometimes I don’t quite get there.

Salad – sometimes I garnish it with a small quantity of cheese; sprayed with salad spritzers (15 calories per 10 sprays!)
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast grilled (seasoned with either Mrs. Dash, bruschetta sauce, or whatever else I’m feeling)
Broccoli…lots and lots of broccoli (sometimes served with cheese)
Usually another vegetable (beans, corn, whatever)
I will also grill a pork chop periodically, but generally chicken is the food of choice.

Rule of thumb for snacking: cut it out at least 4 hours prior to bedtime or your body won’t have time to process the calories. Wasted energy.
These are the snacks that I regularly indulge in:
- coffee & muffin at Tim Horton’s – seems unhealthy but you have to select the “right” muffin; there is a lowfat blueberry muffin, and a wholegrain raspberry muffin. If I have eaten either of these, I adjust my caloric intake accordingly.
- Fruit: following my workout, I will often have a piece of fruit (generally apples or oranges). Remember though – fruits are high in sugars, and even though they are good sugars, they are still sugars.

Other Tidbits:
Because I am a snacker I have gotten into the habit of carrying candy – you have to be careful because candy can be detrimental – I choose sugar free werther’s, baskin robbins candies, etc. It gives me the illusion that I am eating a tasty and unhealthy treat. Ya. it’s about the mind games.

Water – often times you are hungry because you are thirsty. Drink lots of water.

Don’t buy it – the simplest lesson I learned: if you don’t buy it, you won’t have it to eat. Once I stopped buying cookies, chips, donuts etc, I couldn’t eat them!! So simple.

Don’t eat out every day…or even on a regular basis. Sheesh.

Oh and actually read the label on the foods you eat – look to see if there are trans fats, what the caloric breakdown is, etc. And cut out the frozen dinners. I don’t care how lean cuisinish it is…learn to cook for yourself.

Eating healthy is huge commitment. Initially I allowed myself a weekly splurge – on that day I ate everything “bad” that I could possible find. After a few weeks of doing this, I realized that it wasn’t worth it. I felt sick afterwards; and then I realized that for every day I splurged, I was adding on one or two days to this whole ordeal. Sure I have times that I don’t eat healthy – I go out to dinner with friends, there are the big holiday meals, etc. I think what you actually have to realize is that you must accommodate your splurges. I try to be careful – if I am going to have a calorie splurge, I try to compensate by either making sure I do my work out, or I forgo my coffee and a muffin, or do something to try and offset the impact.

Here is the other big thing – I try and stay away from grains, dairy, and starches (which I absolutely love!). I miss pasta, and alfredo sauces but in order to be successful it is just best that I don’t eat them. You need to realize what works for you.

After being on this “diet” for over a year, I do allow myself to eat some items that weren’t originally on my list. I will periodically indulge on chocolate – but I still need to leave it with my mom because I apparently lack self control! Once or twice a week I go to Starbucks and have their molasses cookie (mmmmmm) and a tall strawberries & cream with no whip – on those days, I adjust calories.

Oh…and green tea. I drink a ton of tea…copious amounts. You may hear that green tea is the “secret” to weight loss. I don’t really buy it – you need to drink A LOT of green tea to be able to boost your metabolism – but it is a zero calorie alternative to straight water, so I drink it.

Ultimately though, it is about finding out what works for you, and developing your own tricks and mind games. And about making healthy decisions. These are not short term changes and they aren’t applicable just for the duration of the so-called diet. When you make the decision to change your eating habits, you must maintain those changes. You can’t just eat healthy for a year and revert back to old habits. It’s hard, but it is worth it. I think anyway!

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