Losing Weight (fat preferable)

You do a google search and you get millions of hits for losing weight. Why do I need to add the fray? I find most of it is crap. Herbs, Atkins, Low-carb, Med, etc. etc. etc. All crap. I don’t want to pay anybody for my suffering, nor do I want to eat a diet that doesn’t agree with me (why suffer twice). Everybody is trying to sell a magic bullet. A painless way to lose weight. Losing weight sucks, and it is painful to eat less than what your brain tells you to eat. Losing weight is simple math, you eat less than what your body requires. Some sites tell you can lose weight without eating less…it is all nonsense. And why pay someone like Weight Watchers to count calories for you? Silly. Most of us have basic math skills, and adding is easy.

I’ve am approaching 50, and I’ve lost weight once before (did it wrong), and I am doing it again, right now. About 20yrs ago, I lost 45pds from my rather large frame, which works out to about 22% of my original weight. I bought into the low fat diet, and proceeded to calorie restrict my diet until I lost the weight (1500 calories per day). I did exercise in conjunction with the diet. Lots of walking, and later, some jogging (got bored walking, and running was quicker). I did a little stretching, and crunches (half a situp). I got suicidal. Hindsight is everything, but I am pretty sure the reason was I gave up fat. Your brain needs fat to function. My brain was screaming, and I couldn’t understand why it was so mentally hard to lose weight.

This time around, 20 yrs later, I decided that I am going to do it better, as I cannot go through the above again. A 30yr old can suffer much more than a 50yr old. I do not want to suffer. So, I decided I was just going to count calories. Also, I was going to eat foods I liked, that were healthy. I am not a rabbit. However, I do like salads with protein and fat in them, so I’ve incorporated more yummy salads into my diet (leafy greens, tomatoes, cukes, green peppers, small cube of feta cheese, hard boiled egg, small scoop of yogurt with a tablespoon of ranch dressing for flavor). The dressing is the killer, be careful! If the salad is substituting as a lunch, I put a can of Brunswick herring fillets in it (canned). I calculate about 450 calories for that concoction (will substitute tuna or salmon). One reason I gained my weight back over the 2 decades (rather slowly), is because I love pure Apple juice. While reasonably healthy, it is a sugar drink. I needed to clamp down on drinking juice (1 cup a day = 120 calories). I used to drink double or triple that.

For breakfast, I have two hard-boiled eggs, two slices of toast, and coffee. The bread is a killer, especially with butter on it. I only buy old fashioned whole bread…can’t stand the white crap they line the shelves with. Whole grain breads taste better on a diet, and fill you up better. I use just enough butter to lightly coat bread. Your in a diet, it will taste damn fine lightly buttered. My favorite bread is a sesame sunflower sourdough (100 calories a slice). I put a level teaspoon of sugar in coffee, and lots of 2% milk.  I get about 510 calories for breakfast.

Rounding out the day, my supper usually consists of meat, potatoes or rice and veggies. The potatoes or rice can be another trap. I keep those to a minimum. A med-large potato or one cup of rice can be around 200 calories. I eat one cup of either. I also put on a level ‘teaspoon’ of butter. For meat, I keep to the lean cuts of beef, pork and poultry. I’ll eat about 300 calories of meat (google amounts of meat you can eat). Veggies, like green beans, peas or carrots are my default. I get about 650 calories for supper.

Adding up all my intake, I get 1610 calories. Add in a cup of apple juice, and the total is 1730. For my size, this is definitely weight loss intake (I am probably 800 calories short per day, which means in 4-5 days, I will lose 1pd). I’ll even splurge on odd nights, late at night, and have a slice of bread with peanut butter (190 – 280 calories). You don’t want to go to bed hungry! Getting a full night’s sleep means you won’t wake up in the middle of night starving. I also find I can push my breakfast to lunch, which ensures I feel satiated before bed. That is key. My lunch salad can be consumed at 2-3pm, so I eat supper near 7-8pm. The evening is the time when we are usually taking up residence on the couch, and your diet goes to shit if your starving. This is why I do my best to save my calories until latter in the day. I also keep a bag of apples handy for pre-gym workouts.

Exercise helps the process of losing weight. Can be just a walk (1 mile), or a gym routine. I used to be all about cardio workouts, but I see I was wrong. I still do cardio (treadmill), but weights are divine. I don’t really like doing them, but it doesn’t take long to get results. I do about 15-30 minutes of weight lifting, depending on how I feel after treadmill. I don’t do free weights (takes too long to setup and the boys hog them), but I use the muscle specific machines in the weight room. I go after the muscles in my arms, as walking and jogging take care of the legs. I also make sure I stretch. I go to the gym 5 days a week. I find going to the gym, although a pain to prep for, keeps me consistent. Plus, we have a hot tub and pool at rec center, so those are my relaxation moments.

I am losing weight without killing myself, and I actually feel mentally good! I have lost 15lbs on this diet in two months, and I feel invigorated. I feel limber, more flexible and those flabby parts (under arms, love handles) are melting. And I am stronger. Sure, there are times when I feel a tad faint, but I don’t push it…I just get something to eat. The one great thing, unlike my last diet, is that I am not starving. Sure, I feel hungry, but I have a glass of water beside me at all times to quench it. Also, my hunger is totally manageable and it doesn’t give rise to binging. You know when your starving, and you need something fattening, like ice cream, you will pound back a 1000 calories no sweat. On this diet, I don’t get that feeling. Falling off the bus used to be a problem, but other than buying a 350 calorie chocolate bar 6 weeks ago, I don’t feel that need. I am getting all the nutrients I need, and while I may feel hunger (not all the time), it isn’t food specific. Like when a commercial comes on for a burger or pizza, I don’t feel a panic attack coming on.

One of the keys ( I say that a lot) is portion control. Once you’ve looked up what you can have, and put it on your plate, be honest with yourself. After a short time, I found my stomach shrank, and meals that were mere appetizers to me in the past, filled me up. I have found my lunch super salad is too much at one sitting, so I save leftovers for supper. That in turn, reduces my supper allowance.

Don’t worry about tripping now and again. I allow myself, every other day, to have a slip, but I don’t overdo it. For instance, I will slather on honey for my evening snack of peanut butter and bread. That is only 120 calories extra…I keep a note of it, but don’t beat myself up about it. This is turtle race, not a hare race. Find real food that you enjoy, and use it in your diet. Don’t force feed yourself cracked whole oats for breakfast if you don’t like it. Avoid all the diet yogurts, pop, juice and whatnot. I have never been a proponent of diet foods. Aspartame laden drink caused me to faint many years ago, so it was an easy decision. I just substitute regular feta for extra old cheese. I like feta. I use condiments that have virtually no calories like pickles, olives, hot sauce, soy sauce, mustard etc. I avoid mayo!

Lastly, losing the 15lbs has been a relative breeze compared to long ago. There is no suffering, no mental anguish, and of course, seeing the results, only helps keep me motivated. I just finished supper, and I feel full! I can sit in front of the TV and chill, and the thought of food will not be rattling inside my head.

There is no rocket science, just addition. Easy.

I would say “all the best”, but it doesn’t take your best to succeed. Just one snack at a time…before you know it, you’ll be on a weight loss diet. For starters, instead of two slices of bread for lunch or a snack, use one…

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