I'm proud to say I'm still on my diet! I started on April 18, 2011, so I've been on it for a little longer than 30 days or 1 month.
So far I've lost 9 lbs. That may not sound like a lot, but here's a comparison: a gallon jug of milk or water weights 8 lbs, and you know how heavy that feels? Well, I'm not lugging it around now. I left it behind. So every step I take, I'm not carrying that gallon jug of water around!
This is not a fast diet, nor was it my goal. My goal was to lose about 1 lb per week. The first week is always a lot more weight loss than subsequent weeks. I now appear to be losing about the 1 lb of weight per week that was my goal.
I'm targeting a loss of 500 calories per day. Normal caloric consumption for a man in my classification (low energy output) is about 2,000 calories per day. So I'm targeting about 1,500 calories per day, which is a net loss of 500 calories per day. 7 days at 500 calories lost per day is 3,500 calories, which is the amount of energy in 1 lb of fat. So 3,500 calories lost per week is 1 lb of weight lost per week.
Faster weight loss is harder on our bodies. I would be dealing with a lot fewer calories, feeling a lot more hungry and have a lot less energy. And, a slow weight loss means I'm not on a hunger strike and thus it's a lot easier to stay with the weight loss diet.
My diet (please see posts from April 2011 for insight) uses recommendations from the USDA for a man my age, and incorporates their recommendations on increased fiber, increased fruits and vegetables, decreased fat, decreased protein.
I think the high fiber is helping to keep me from getting hungry. Hunger has not been an issue, which makes this a stress-free diet, and one that I am confidant I can stay on for the next 1.5 years that it will take me to lose all 76 lbs of weight that I want to drop. That would be the same as 9.5 gallon jugs of water that I would not be lugging around with each step I take. I can't imagine what it will be like to not have those strapped to me! I sometimes imagine that the jugs of water are in my backpack, and every 2 months I get to take one out and leave it behind.
Every day, with a few exceptions, I try to eat 3 meals of 500 calories each. That has several benefits:
- I get used to the same portion size for reference. Since all the meals are about the same caloric size, I find that it's much easier to estimate how much to put onto my plate.
- My body is only anticipating 500 calories, so when I've had that much, it's not yearning for more calories.
- Three meals a day are keeping me from getting hungry and preventing the urge to over eat when I do eat.
- My energy level stays pretty constant, as there aren't big dips.
- I don't short-cut myself and deny myself a 500 calorie meal. When I've done that because of some interruption in my day, rather than over eat on the subsequent meals I've just ended up more negative for the day. On that particular day it's not a problem, but I've notice the next day that I'm much more hungry and it's much more difficult to stay with the diet on that next day, so when that happens, I might have a small snack of nuts later that evening to help out with the next day, and return my daily intake back closer to the 1,500 daily target.
- Our food bill has gone down since we have cut out a lot of prepackaged meals and are cooking more vegetables and fruits and a lost less protein.
- Frozen vegetables, when fresh is not available, are pretty good now. Some brands are better than others, so try some different brands. I think these are better than canned.
- Since I'm not eating special foods, like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, I'm confident that when I do come off of the diet I will be successful eating normal food. I'm also not paying their premium prices for food, and I have the whole world of foods to choose from.
- I'm only drinking 2 alcoholic drinks per week, as those are a big source of calories, and I'd rather have the food.
- I don't eat French Fries.
- I don't eat biscuits.
- I don't eat fried chicken.
- I don't add butter to anything.
- I cut the fat away from all meats.
- No gravies.
Some rules of thumb when eating out:
So far, I've been very pleased!
- I try to be sensitive to what I'm choosing and keep in mind that I'm on a diet, so I look for things that are lower in calories.
- I avoid all chips at Mexican restaurants, except for 2 or 3 to sample.
- I ask for a take-home-box to be delivered when my food is delivered, and I place 1/2 into the box when the meal is delivered so I'm not tempted to over eat.
- If possible and the restaurant posts their calories for each meal, then I use that information to help make a choice.
- I typically don't eat bread with the meal, even if its part of the meal, so I can avoid those calories when I don't know what the meal calories are going to be.
- I don't buy any alcoholic beverages, which leaves me more calories for food and reduces the cost of my meal.
So far, I've been very pleased!
See you next month!