Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My thoughts to-date on nutrition




Since I started my weight loss ventures a few weeks ago, I haven't really formulated an eating plan. But, I've been doing some thinking and I thought I'd share my conclusions to date.

No dieting. I really think I could've lost more weight by now if I'd restricted my calories to 1200 per day, kept track of "points," or omitted all goodies. But what I want to achieve is long-term, sustainable results. I am a busy mom of two and quiet honestly, I have a life beyond fitness and nutrition! I don't have time or energy to count every last calorie. I also have unfortunately seen folks on Weight Watchers, South Beach, or Atkins (the latter by the way I think is TOTALLY unhealthy) drop the weight fast only to regain it later. No thank you. No dieting.

Healthy, common sense choices. What I can manage in my busy lifestyle is making healthy choices and watching those portion sizes. I really think nutrition need not be overly thought out or complicated. This week, I ended up with a fair amount of fruit from the store. I put it right out in a bowl where I could see it - and naturally, I want to eat it! I think the healthy choices do start at the store. If the temptation isn't in the house, it's less of a temptation, isn't it?

Curb late night snacking. I work at night so naturally I'm up later, and get hungry. I really think this accounts for some of the weight gain in the past few months. I'd basically heat up a second portion of dinner (and dessert if there was any) at about 10:30 and eat it while working on my computer. So this really wasn't late night snacking so much as late night eating! I'm more mindful of this now. While I still get hungry at night, I'm choosing low fat string cheese, oranges, or Kashi cereal. And all in moderation.

Water intake. I'd also recently gotten into a rather bad habit of not drinking water, and indulging in too many sugary coffees and juices. Not good. These days, it's mostly water, water, water for me. Last weekend I decided to throw in some green tea as well. I also found I don't seem to "need" coffee everyday anymore. However, when I want a cup (as was the case this morning), I have Splenda and low-fat milk to add (no creamer or sugar!).

Vitamins. About the time of the first wave of H1N1, I started taking my vitamins regularly again. The key I found was to put them in a prominent place and to make a ritual of taking them with my breakfast. I also take 2 tablets of Acai per day, but only because I got it for free at Walgreens. I can't tell if it's making a difference or not. Figure it can't hurt.

Occasional indulgence. I need this and I refuse to feel bad about it. On Christmas Eve, I had a wonderful ham dinner complete with sweet potatoes, potatoes au gratin, and coconut pie. My thinking is if I make good choices most of the time, then I should be able to enjoy a treat here and there so long as it doesn't become habit. Bill Phillips, in his book Body for Life, talks about taking an "off day" once a week after eating well for the previous 6 days. I don't know if I need an entire day each week to eat whatever I want, but I definitely like having a little wiggle room to enjoy a treat and not feel that I'm a complete failure.

So...that's my philosophy on nutrition at the moment. As I transition into long-distance running, things may shift a bit. But for where I'm at in my weight loss journey, I'm perfectly content with how I'm eating.

I've noticed a lot of other running & weight loss bloggers share photos and recipes of nutritious recipes. Hmm. The next time I come up with something tasty, I just might have to follow suit.

Photo credit Sergio Roberto Bichara

3 comments:

Kerrie T. said...

What a great post! I was on WW for a year and got very close to my goal then got pregnant! Naturally, I gained it all back. I rejoined WW Online in May and then quit in October after several months of running. Hmmm...exercise and eating right works!

PS: Thanks for the comment on Mom vs. Marathon! I've been away so I am just catching up!

AJ said...

I linked to this site from the Coupon Project. This year, for the first time in a long time, I don't have a weight loss goal. And that's becuase last year I FINALLY achieved it! Good night, it took a lot of work. I probably didn't do it as fast you are going to, but I lost 37 lbs. in 8 months. Merry Christmas to my husband, I am now the same size I was when we got married...lol. It was hard as heck during the process, but so worth it!!! Even through the holidays, I have kept it all off. Obviously exercise is important, but as far as eating goes, we almost never eat out anymore. And I started making a lot of homemade things: bread, jam, pizza, etc. I am going to venture into homemade granola and applesauce this year. I really think it has helped because I know exactly what I'm eating, without the added grease, preservatives, etc. Best of luck!!!

Angela R. said...

AJ, thanks! While I've been averaging about 2 lbs a week now, I really am not concerned if it slows down. I'd rather follow your approach - slow loss over a period of several months - and have it be permanent than lose it all quickly only to struggle to keep it off. Thanks for dropping by. ;) PS, if you are just coming from the link on the blogroll, The Coupon Project is also my blog. ;)