Monday, April 14, 2008

Planning to Sin

From my previous post about listening to Conference, you have probably realized that I'm starting to really equate eating poorly with breaking commandments, so please, don't get offended if that's not how you view eating a chocolate and strawberry sundae with toffee chips, walnuts, whip cream, and a cherry on top. ;) It just I have this writer's craze to have dramatic titles. So, read on - I promise it's not THAT kind of sinning you're planning for.

(First, right up front, some review - your body has a certain amount of calories it needs to maintain weight, called the basal metabolic rate {BMR}. Eat slightly below this amount and you loose weight; slightly above and you gain. Too much below turns on a starvation reflex which slows metabolism and stores everything as fat and is very unhealthy. So, you want to keep the amount you eat about 500 calories less than your body needs to just maintain weight - this results in safe, healthy weight loss and it's a lot slower than you think; only about 2-3 lbs per week, max. If you want more info read over at a Calorie Counter's nutritional articles. Now, on to the post.)

I've lost track of the number of times in the past that I sat down and very seriously and devoutly proclaimed that "I will loose weight and get in shape." And at the time, I was completely committed to that ideal. So what happened between then and now? Usually only about 2 weeks worth of really good exercise followed by gaining more weight. Why? What happened? Where suddenly was all the resolve I had just a few days before?

Usually, it was a case of life. That's it, just life. It got in the way; it got busy; it got interesting; it got tiring; it got (fill-in as you see fit). Life just got in the way, some way or another, and the next thing I knew, I was back to or further back than where I'd started. If you look back through the articles written thus far, you'll see a
number of them are confessions that we hadn't been doing well or had
slipped or had an emotional breakdown and ate everything in sight. Yet, we've continued to loose weight, or at the very least maintain weight - not gain weight. So what's changed? How come now, almost 6 weeks later I have the same resolve and (more importantly) am seeing the results that I want? In a sense we found a way to plan our sins.

The thing I have liked most about learning to count calories as a means of weight loss is that I can eat what ever I want, so long as I maintain balance. So, if I want to eat a load of chocolate, how do I balance that? By eating other very low calorie things. This is where a plan can really come in handy. Stacie and I have taken to planning out our meals for the week. Right now, it's only the evening meal, but eventually I think we'd like to have a plan for each day, all three meals and all three snacks. This helps us know what to shop for, but it also helps us know when we can take a few well-earned "breaks." So, here's an example week's menu:
  • Monday - Baked potato bar w/ broccoli
  • Tuesday - Baked chicken and mushroom w/ leftover baked potatoes
  • Wednesday - Salads
  • Thursday - Spaghetti, side salads with left over salad, and garlic bread
  • Friday - Tacos
  • Saturday - Steak and fries
  • Sunday - Crockpot roast
Now that's a tasty looking menu. Just reading through the list, is there any day that stands out? Any day that you could look at and say, "You know, I think I just might need to have that craving for Cadbury chocolate eggs on that day"? If you said Wednesday, you'd be right. Depending on what you had for lunch and breakfast, there's a good chance that Wednesday would already be rather calorically deficient because there just aren't a lot of calories in salads, even with dressing and cheese. And if you nix those items (or keep them small) you're eating like 100 calories for the whole meal. Since it's not safe to be more than 500 calories below for the day, you'll probably need to eat something else (and pretty substantial at that) to make up the calories so that you aren't starving yourself.

So, what should you eat? WHATEVER YOU WANT! Take a minute to figure out the calories of course, but go have fun! Ice cream, candy bars, chocolate cake, fudge brownies, caramel corn - anything you might happen to want.

This is how you plan for a weekend date night - make sure you eat a lot of rabbit food during the day so that you've got calories to spare by the time you get to dinner. This is how you deal with emotional-breakdown splurges, only you apply it after (cause I know you can't plan to have a bad day) - just do the healthy eating the day after to compensate for what you ate the day before. This is how you go to your cousin's wife's sister's daughter's birthday party and not look like a daft idiot. **"Grant, so nice you could come - please have some cake." "I'm sorry I can't I'm dieting." "Well, then please stop drooling all over my carpet."** Maybe a bit overboard, but I think you get the point.

This all depends on having a working knowledge of what you plan to eat and how much it'll cost you in calories. Thus all the more reason to get that digital food scale and start figuring out how many calories are in that piece of bread - believe me, it'll change the way you view food. For me, it just made me like it all the more because I have no guilt when I eat.

Take some time and start making a plan of what you are going to eat. If you really want to have fun, plan in the desserts too, so you can spend the whole day/week reminding yourself that you're "saving" for that giant banana split you've got planned on Saturday night.

Ciao, happy Monday and happy healthy!


Far & Tina said...

Hey! I love eating cheerios as a snack! I like the idea of adding other things to the cheerios too. Thanks for the idea!!

Grant Gardner said...

I just like the fact that it comes pre-packaged and we don't have to make it. Then we that we could go though and measure a serving size on our own and pack it in a ziplock baggie for ease. Do all measuring up front. Makes it much easier to keep track of the calories eaten that way.

Oh, and welcome to our blog! Hope I see more comments from you two in the future.