One of my coworkers who follows this blog said to me this week: "But you're just eating regular food not diet food." Yes. That is exactly my point. I've always balked at, and never stayed on, diets where I had to eat only certain things or had to buy special mixes or shakes or pills. It doesn't work for me. I never lose weight, and even if I lose a little weight I always gain it back, I'm always hungry, and it makes no sense to me. We're now through the third week of January and I have lost 8 lbs. without even trying, without feeling in denial, and without buying/eating anything that my great-great-grandparents wouldn't have recognized as food.
As I was talking to that coworker, she also commented "But shouldn't you be eating plain broiled chicken and plain white rice? You'd be saving a lot of calories." She's right in that I would save some calories, more in some dishes and less in others. And do you know how bored I'd be? I'd also be making separate meals every time I cook so that Gene, who doesn't need to lose weight, would not be out at a drive through eating burgers for every meal. That's not even the point. Even when "dieting" with real food it doesn't mean we have to be deprived. I've looked at a million meal preps that sauté or broil chicken breasts and then add a 1/2 cup of plain rice and 1 cup of a vegetable to the bowl before they seal it up. That's fine. The difference is I sauté the chicken breast (week 1) and then sautéed onions and mushrooms (vegetables!) in the pan with a little chicken broth, cooked rice or egg noodles in chicken broth, and then made green beans to go with it. The difference between the two meals is 30 calories of olive oil and 10 calories of chicken broth--but mine feels like real life, not a diet.
This is working for me. I lost 5 (FIVE!) lbs this week, have eaten lots of food that's both tasty and good for me, and I've found that I'm hungry for processed food less and less each week. I'm actually less hungry in general. My theory is that it's because my body is actually getting and able to process the nutrients it needs. I snack less, and when I do snack, I reach for fruit and veggie sticks first more and more often. I walked 6,000 steps 3 times this week but am still sucking at formal 1/2 hour exercise but, hey, it's a new week. I averaged 4,500 steps per day and 1,600 calories per day. Funny, I eat the same amount of calories that I have for years now but suddenly I'm losing weight instead of gaining it. So it's not just about calories. It's about quality of calories.
I did find a new web site that's very helpful: Fooducate. Check it out. It's a great way to see the entire food label and get a rating on the amount of processing that goes into most foods at the grocery store. Sure, it's easy to know that a banana is unprocessed but it's a great place to choose the best pasta, peanut butter, cereal, etc. for your family before you go to the grocery store.
Good, clean, from scratch food, minimally processed
5 veggies/fruit per day
1 each seafood/meatless/legumes per week min
At least half whole grains
8 glasses water
6,000 steps per day
30 x 3 exercise per week
For more info about how I use my meal plans, click here: Meal Plans
Breakfasts: Bananas Foster Oatmeal, Shredded Wheat Cereal
Snacks: All Natural (no-sugar-added) Applesauce, Carrot & Celery sticks, Hard-boiled Eggs, All Natural Peanut Butter, Black & Green Olives
Lunches: Leftovers, Soup/Salad
Sweets: Curry Honeyed Almonds, Bananas, Oranges
Pot Roast w/Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, & Onions
Marinated Chopped Salad
Seasoned Ground Beef
Shredded Lettuce, Tomatoes, Green Onions, Avocado
Salsa, Shredded Cheese, & Sour Cream
Served over Fresh Spinach and Ronzoni Spaghetti
Marinated in Honey, Garlic, and Soy Sauce
Brown Rice cooked in Chicken Broth
Sautéed Sugar Snow Peas
Ham and Bacon Quiche