Well, I saw the Registered Dietitian (Sarah Dunphy-Morris at Kinesis Health Associates) again two weeks ago now. Yes, two weeks ago. I know I’m late writing an update, but to be honest I did it on purpose. I wanted to be able to also report on changes I’ve successfully made since her recommendations. It’s one thing to report about my visits with her, but I also wanted to be able to hold myself accountable and follow through on my homework.
This was the visit I got the thoroughly analyzed results from my 3-day food diary, and learned about what my common trends were and how I could make some simple changes that would make a big difference.
Overall, my calorie intake wasn’t nearly as high as I thought it would be. For someone my age, the recommended calorie intake for weight maintenance is 2583 per day. On Day 1, I had 2815, Day 2 was 1961, and Day 3 was 2108. Overall not TOO terrible I thought. Sarah went on to explain that the recommendation of 2583 was for weight maintenance, not loss, and that most people who consume the “maintenance” amount of calories will actually end up gaining a few pounds per year, which is what I want to avoid. We didn’t focus too much on calories, but she did say that for a slow healthy loss of weight, someone my size and age should be aiming for 2100-2200 per day.
The majority of our focus was spent looking at the number of servings from each food group I consumed per day, plus the percentages of fat, sodium, fibre and sugar. In looking at my personal trends from the three days, there was a lot in common. I consume too much sugar, too much fat, and not enough fibre. Also, I tend to skip breakfast when I first wake up (around 7am) and instead feed my daughter and use the time while she is eating to quickly get myself ready. By the time I get around to feeding myself, it’s between 10am and 11am, and my body has gone into starvation mode. Instead of giving my metabolism an early morning kick-start, I’ve been tricking my body into thinking I’m starving, so that when I finally do eat, all of that food is stored for “survival” rather than burned off as it should be throughout the day.
So my homework was as follows. I had to eat breakfast at breakfast time. We went over how time is an issue for me, so I often resort to pre-packaged “quick” foods. She went over lots of ideas about what I could do ahead of time to prepare and ensure I’m starting my day (and my body) off right. I had to prepare a mid-morning snack to get me through until lunch, and generally try to cut back on the fats and sugars while increasing my fibre.
That Sunday night, I boiled half a dozen eggs and put them in a tupperware container in my fridge. When Monday morning came along (my starting day) I woke up and had one hard boiled egg and one piece of whole wheat toast with some natural peanut butter. The protein gave me energy and got me through until about 1030am. I was at work and I was STARVING! My stomach was growling and grumbling loudly, and I needed food asap! Luckily Sarah had predicted this and said that I SHOULD be hungry mid-morning if I’ve eaten breakfast because my metabolism had a kick-start and was working. I had prepared for this at her advice, and packed a fat-free greek yoghurt with some honey and natural unsalted almonds (about 10-15) all mixed up. The sweetness of the honey helped my sweet-tooth, and the healthy fats from the nuts got me through to lunch. Lunch consisted of whole wheat pita and roasted red pepper hummus, carrots, celery and an iced green tea. When I got home for dinner my fiance had prepared a spinach and kale salad with mushrooms, orange segments, and some grated mozarella cheese, alongside baked skinless chicken breasts done in a homemade orange glaze – I know, he’s a keeper, right?!
The rest of my week continued in this fashion. I did hit up McDonald’s one day for lunch, but instead of my usual bacon cheeseburger and large fries, I got their Mediterranean veggie wrap on a whole wheat pita with hummus, feta cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion. It had some high fat (Sarah and I figured it was from the feta cheese) but it was still a MUCH better choice than my usual pick.
That Saturday night, I gave into my laziness and cravings and ordered Dominos pizza. I felt guilty but I didn’t care. I told Sarah I did this, and she wasn’t upset and said she would never expect anyone to be perfect all of the time, and a treat once a week is just fine. The thing is, I ended up not really enjoying it. 45 minutes after I ate the pizza, I was in pain. My stomach felt crampy and achy and I was in some digestive distress. I liked the taste of pizza, but my body didn’t like it anymore. The grease and huge amounts of cheese just weren’t settling and I felt awful. I had felt great all week on the healthier food, and now I knew why. I was feeding myself garbage and felt like garbage. It was all making sense.
This is week two, and I’m still doing it. I’ve turned down the cookies I’ve been offered by co-workers, I avoided Whopper Wednesday at Burger King two weeks in a row, I’m eating breakfast, and I’ve stopped drinking my iced lattes with pumps of chocolate syrup and am instead drinking either black green tea (which I love!) or regular old coffee without the pumps of chocolate syrup and high fat milk.
It isn’t the easiest thing to do. I’m actually having to prepare stuff in advance so that I have time for breakfast. I have to think ahead of time about what I’ll have for lunch. I’m having to be accountable. It is hard to do, but I’m feeling better for it and it’s only been two weeks. I haven’t stepped on a scale or re-measured myself yet, and I’m not sure I want to. I want to give this a go for a full month or two before I do that I think.
For now, how I’m FEELING is reward enough. That was my intial goal – I was tired of feeling tired, and sick of feeling sick. So far, I’m feeling a million times better, and that in itself is motivation to keep going.
I’ll keep you all posted. Thank you so much for your kind words and support – it means so much to know that I’m being encouraged through this.
I did provide a link to Kinesis Health Associates facebook page. If you like that page, Sarah is often putting up daily tips on how to make little changes in your diet that can make a big difference!
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- Hypocritical Health Hurdles – the 2nd visit. (howtoruinatoddlersday.wordpress.com)