After doing more research about nutritional deficits in those of us with inflammatory conditions I am more convinced than ever that even though I am trying to improve my diet by eating lest processed food and increasing my veggies and fruits I’m not hitting my nutritional mark. According to some internet research I’ve been doing it is quite possible that I may need more than the average “healthy” person for my body to function at its optimum. I have gone from counting calories, trying the primal diet, clean eating, ect all in an effort to get back to a healthy weight. Right now I am about 25 lbs down from my heaviest and I still have at least 20 to go. I’m sure I can go on some quick fix diet and lose the excess weight by summer only to find myself in a constant yo-yo state trying to maintain my target weight. So I am about to Frankenstein a diet that I think will work for me. I plan to go back to a vegetable based diet. I will keep my carb count at 150 or less every day, and I will allow myself 1 fun size piece of candy a day to keep me from feeling too deprived. I will continue to eat poultry and fish but stay away from red meat. I have vegetarian leanings and I am hoping to one day completely phase meat out of my diet. Right now I’m afraid to do so because I hardly ever hit my recommended daily allowance of iron without giving up meat. Until I find and incorporate enough iron rich veggies in my diet to meat at least half my recommended daily allowance I will be keeping some meat in my diet. In addition to really concentrating on keeping my diet clean and vegetable based I will work out at least 3-4 times a week.
Health is a journey and unfortunately there is no quick fix. I am going to have to understand there will be no 4 lbs lost in a week. It will be slow and steady for me but I believe eating healthy and exercising will get me where I need to be. I believe that the long term commitment needed to lose weight in this manner will become a habit and a way of life. I want a healthy lifestyle more than to look good in a bathing suit this summer. And who knows, I may even make it to my bikini body by late summer anyway.
So I’m back to counting calories. After all, it is the tried and true method in weight loss. I read somewhere that all diets, no matter how they are packaged, at their core are different methods to reduce calorie consumption. Whether it is eliminating calorie dense foods such as carbs or highly processed foods the net effect is calorie reduction. Eating more than your caloric output, no matter how healthy or low carb the foods are, will end with weight gain. So I have decided keep a food diary and record the approximate calorie count of everything I eat and drink. My handy dandy Lose It! app has been a great tool in doing this. It has set my calorie count at 1406 daily and if I add exercise I get to “eat back” those calories-which is a great motivator to get off my butt and do something even when I don’t feel like it.
Does this mean that I am done eating clean? NO! Clean eating, for me, is about making sure that I get the nourishment my body needs. I want to reduce the non-food elements in my diet. I don’t believe eating a diet high in man-made foods is the best for MY body. I believe that I will be healthier overall if I get my nutrients from whole foods rather than enriched foods. But while eating clean will be a clean element in my return to health, it will no longer be what I rely on for weight loss. For the weight loss portion of my journey to health I think tracking my calories is my best option.
English: Vegetables. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Could it really be this easy? Do we not need to count calories, carbs, fat grams, fast for 16 hours a day to lose weight? Could we take the denial out of dieting without resorting to appetite suppressants? The USDA contends that healthy weight loss is as simple as filling ½ of your plate with non-starchy veggies and fruits each meal. They assert that this simple step takes the guess work out of dieting. You don’t have to worry about feeling hungry, you increase your vitamin and mineral intake without supplementation and best of all the cost is minimum-simply a standard dinner plate. The idea is that you fill up on low calorie nutrient rich foods first, leaving less room for your favorites. You simply have less room for the bad stuff! Of course optimally the rest of your plate should be ¼ carbs and ¼ proteins. Right now I am going to simplify it even more further-1/2 plate fruits and veggies and I will fill up the rest of the plate as I see fit. I am going to let my body tell me what it needs and wants for the rest of the plate so long as it is a healthy choice. Best of all for me is that this “diet” plan fits right in to my desire to eat 60% clean. So as of tomorrow I will begin this method to obtain slow, sustainable weight loss. The big test will be my rheumatology appointment next month. Both my doctor and I agree that weight loss is a necessary step in controlling my RA symptoms. I am aiming for a 5 lbs weight loss. I am not looking for quick and easy weight loss. Usually those types of weight loss programs lead to quick results with an even quicker rebound weight gain. So here I go. Hopefully this time next month I will be 5 lbs down!