This is something I learned from my doctor. Some people, no matter how hard they try, cannot completely stop eating at nighttime–that’s me. Once I sit down to watch TV, the munching commences. Here’s what he suggested.
It’s probably the crunch that I like, so instead of something like pretzels, try eating dill gherkin pickles–0 calories. I can eat as many as I want. Add to that midget carrots and the crunch should be satisfied. It sounds like a pretty good idea to me except I know I’m still going to want some pretzels. Here’s my solution. I put about four pretzels alongside the plate. I count them out so that I don’t eat out of the bag.
Therefore, I’m cutting back on the carbs, and I’m eating things that are good for me.
Also, I’ve been going to bed a little earlier than usual. Less time for eating. So far I’m doing pretty good.
Okay, I feel we have come to a crucial point in our diet–“Real Food.”
I’m not going to pussyfoot around any longer. I’m going to face the fact that I eat too many fried foods: French fries, Southern fried chicken, fried okra. Whaaaaat? You don’t like fried okra? Well, whatever. Fried foods is one habit I most definitely must break.
But, as always, this is going to remain a laid-back diet, therefore, although I’m going to swear off fried foods, I’m leaving the door open a smidge. If I can manage to forgo fried food for an entire week, I’ll allow myself one serving at the end of a triumphant week. That way I won’t feel like I’m totally denying myself food that I love; but I must remember this is also food that is bad for me.
Gosh, I can feel the pounds melting off me already.
Okay, it’s time to take a good look at my candy obsession. Obviously, the sugar-free candy idea took a nosedive (see earlier post dated 9/1/14), so it’s time to get serious.
First, if you’re really into candy like I am, you already know this is going to be painful, definitely not easy. But I promised myself this diet would be stress-free, so here’s my new approach to the situation. I will give up candy BUT I will allow myself to eat a portion of dark chocolate every day.
Why dark chocolate? Kristin Kirkpatrick, manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, recommends that:
… her clients eat one ounce of dark chocolate a day, since that’s an amount proven to show benefits but not big enough to load you down with sugar and fat. One ounce is roughly one square of a thick bar or one-and-a-half squares of a thin bar. Chocolate has been associated with heart health, with earlier studies suggesting it helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Well, if Ms. Kirkpatrick says it’s okay then I’m good. It’s gonna be hard but I’m putting Mary Janes and my Mike & Ikes on the “no-no list.”
We need a goal. Goal-setting is very important when it’s vital to accomplish something.
Now I think the reason why some people fail when they are dieting is because they set the goal too high. There should be several little goals that are doable with a little effort. So, in my case, I must decide how many pounds I want to lose and how long do I have to lose them.
Here’s an idea from Paige Waehner on How To Set Weight Loss Goals
… set a reasonable weight loss goal for yourself. You can base your goals on any number of factors, but a great place to start would be the general recommendations set out by the American College of Sports Medicine which are 5-10% of body weight or one to two pounds per week. … http://exercise.about.com/od/weightloss/a/weightlossgoals.htm
So, the way I see it – we need a long-term goal and a short-term goal.
My long-term goal is to look and feel better in my clothes.
My short term goal will be as Paige suggests to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week. How hard can that be? I’ve already cut out donuts and soda. Next week, I’ll add a new food to my “no-no list.”
I’ve decided I’m going to take a slow approach to this diet. Therefore, Step #1–Give up drinking soda–all soda–Regular and Sugar-Free.
My thinking is if I ease myself into a diet, there’s a good chance when I get to Step #10 I won’t even notice I’m on a diet because I’ve been giving up a little at a time.
In case you think I picked something easy to give up, be advised that right now, if you looked in my refrigerator you would find: 2 cans of Bargs Root Beer, 1 Canada Dry Ginger Ale, and 1 Shasta Orange Soda. Obviously, I’m a soda fiend. But that stops today.
And as for sugar-free soda, read what David Thorpe had to say about it all the way back in 2010.
In the case of diet soda there are no calories, but the chemicals you are drinking trick the body into believing it’s eating something sweet.
One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is Aspartame (just check your ingredients). This little bad boy will actually prevent your body from producing serotonin (responsible for controlling appetite amongst other things).
And what does your body do when it is suffering from low serotonin levels? It tells your body to go and get some of the foods that it knows will stimulate the release of the chemical.
And guess what, this just happens to be the waistline expanding, high-calorie, carbohydrate-rich, processed “junk” foods that every dieter fears!
So there you have it; sugar free soda is encouraging your cravings for junk food. Bad news.
I was riding past Dunkin’ Donuts last week and I succumbed. The chocolate frosted donuts enticed me into the drive-thru. “Curse those drive-thrus.” They make it so easy to be bad.
I figured, it was only one donut. How bad could that be? (270 calories, FYI)
I ordered my donut through the evil speaker. When I got up to the window I decided I should get a cup of water since I knew the donut wasn’t going to make it all the way home and I would probably get thirsty.
I asked, “Could I have a cup of water?”
The attendant turned to her computer and added $.27 to my order.
I said, “You’re charging me for water?”
Her reply. “Company policy.”
My reply. “I won’t pay for water.”
She shrugged, took the charge off and handed me my donut. (no water.)
What she didn’t know was she had handed me my last Dunkin’ Donut…ever!
Yum, I thought, this is going to work out really good. I’ll satisfy my sweet tooth, but I’ll fake it out with some sugar-free candy and let me tell you, that Russel Stover sugar-free chocolate is to die for.
It’s readily available in the supermarket. I decided this was going to be terrific for me because the doctor told me recently to cut out all sugar and carbs. So I figured I’d make my doctor happy and lose a little weight while assuaging my chocolate craving.
Wrong! Last week I looked at the bag a little closer and guess what it said, “Not a Weight Loss Product.” And I’ve been eating that candy like there’s no tomorrow.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.
Here;s a tip that originated back in the 60s. My mother closed her kitchen between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., depending on when we finished eating our dinner and washing the dishes.
I mean she literally closed the kitchen, same as a restaurant. No food went out of her kitchen unless it was something “dry.” She went as far as drying the sink with her dishtowel, and that spigot never got turned on again until breakfast. Really!
She figured her job was done. The evening hours were for rest and relaxation.
Consequently, eating was kept to a minimum. Any utensils you might need to use were a “no-no” since they’d have to be rinsed in the sink. Think about it. There were no microwaves, so you couldn’t pop popcorn. Fruit was an option and I remember I ate a lot of pretzels (even then I think I was addicted to carbohydrates). But funny thing–I don’t remember being hungry because I was busy doing homework or talking on the phone or watching TV.
Thinking back–I wasn’t eating in the evenings. And I was skinny!
It wasn’t until I got to high school and began to stuff my mouth with a lot of junk food at lunchtime that I started putting on a few pounds.
I’ve been thinking…what was I doing differently back when I was skinny.
Looking back, I know I ate some carbs, but without really thinking about it, I did actually eat a little better and (and this is big), I didn’t eat out as often. I cooked! And I think that’s how I monitored what I ate a little better.
The thing about eating in restaurants all the time is although your good intentions are spot-on and you walk into the restaurant thinking you will order something healthy, once you take a look at that menu, all can be lost. (and often is) And even if you stick to your guns and order a salad or some other healthy selections, beautiful bread is brought to the table with that scrumptious sweet butter and you’re pretty much vanquished.
I always say to myself one slice of bread with butter won’t hurt, but then I only use half a pat of butter and I feel obliged to spread the remaining butter on a second slice of bread, especially if it’s warm and crusty. That wouldn’t happen if I were in my own kitchen.
I know you’re thinking, it’s easier to go out and let someone else take charge of the cooking. But I think there are some kitchen tricks we can try and stay in at least two or three evenings and satisfy ourselves with a great meal.
Next week I’ll explore that possibility.