Sunday, April 17, 2016

More thoughts on food...and the realization I need to eat...well, even MORE!

Yesterday (Saturday) I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 251.6 -- exactly 26.2 pounds lower than the start day, 38 days ago. Just as importantly, that's 4.6 pounds lighter than I was 8 days ago.

Remember, this past week I wrote about starting on a new eating plan for the second month -- eating more each day than I did the first month, That started on Monday, six days ago, and that followed two days off of the diet, when I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, regardless of calories or content.

I was, and still am, a bit nervous about eating that much food and being able to keep the weight loss going. The weight loss efforts seem to be working anyway. I know I missed a couple of meals during the week because it was hard to adjust to eating more, but I feel that was more than countered by the fact that I know I weighed more than on Monday than I had on Friday, after that off weekend.

Needless to say, I was quite happy -- and a little surprised -- to see I had dropped the weight this week. At the same time, I noticed something as I went through the week. Early on, I had a lot of trouble getting all the food in. By the end of the week, I was getting hungry a lot during the day. I felt really good early in the week, but later in the week I was a little more tired, and on Friday night I even found myself struggling a bit to use the same amount of weight on the chest workout that I had used earlier in the week.

Part of that is the irritating habit I have of simply staying up too late each night, and that was exacerbated some by getting up earlier in the mornings to do my cardio first thing each day. Another part, however, was...believe it or not, I think I may not be eating quite enough.

I'm eating clean now, as opposed to eating for calories. What I mean is, during that first month, when I lost 21 pounds, I was watching calories more than anything. Yes, I was building my daily eating around mostly healthy food, but if the kids cooked some pizza rolls and I could fit them into my calories for the day, I might snag one or two. Remember that day someone at work was passing out those little candy mini-bites? I ate three (or was it four?), but managed to fit those into the calories. Same with the night we went to see the Irish musicians and I had some popcorn.

I went the first ten days of that month without an off day from the eating plan, but after that averaged about one off day every week.

Now, the plan for the second months is simply eating clean all day, every day for 30 days. Eating clean means lean proteins (chicken breast, lean pork, and red meat, egg whites, things like that). It means eating only healthy complex carbs -- things like brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and on the rare occasions when I take in bread or pasta products, making sure they are whole wheat versions. It also means getting two to four servings of healthy veggies (carrots, broccoli, onions, peppers, green beans, snow peas, etc.) and a big old serving of green leafy veggies at least once most days, along with low-fat or fat-free sources of dairy and some fresh fruit along the way.

No pizza roles, no fatty meat, no sweets, and staying as far away from processed food as possible. The rice and oatmeal and the like are as close to their natural state as possible -- dry and uncooked, without any flavoring, preservatives and the like. The veggies are fresh or frozen (and not the frozen kind that have all sorts of flavoring and sodium added). The fruit is fresh or canned without added sweeteners.

And this is every day, seven days a week, no off days. The food, while it can be cooked and flavored (naturally, with herbs and sodium-free spices) so that it's enjoyable, is a fuel, plain and simple. It's made for fueling the body.

I've learned that when eating like this, the volume of food you take in increases dramatically, while the calories can stay relatively low. I've probably been a little too conservative with how much I'm eating, afraid it will slow my weight loss.

Of course, I've bumped up my cardio a lot over the past week, doing the stationary bike six days, 30 minutes one day, with all the rest of the days between 40 minutes and an hour. I think that's the other reason I've maintained my weight loss, even with the extra food.

So my goals this week are to continue with the cardio, but make an extra effort to ensure I get all the meals I'm supposed to -- 5 or 6 a day -- and see if I can get my calorie consumption in the 1,600 to 1,800 range and see where we go with that. Hopefully, that's enough to fuel my weight workouts and cardio without slowing the weight loss too much.

We'll see.

Anyway, that's the plan for this week. I'll check in later today to add my eating and workout for the day. Thanks for stopping by!

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