Sunday, June 22, 2008

Intro - Why I'm doing this and some general ideas

When I started with my original blog of tested recipes I didn't realize how much weight I would gain while testing the recipes:) So, now it's time to get back on a diet. I could have gone on, but I'm about to reach the point of no return, and summer is right here, not just around the corner.

I started out trying to diet, but by the afternoon I was back on the routine called "I'll start tomorrow". Saying "on Monday" became a joke with my husband, and after a while it wasn't a joke anymore, but more of an embarrassment. The pounds just kept attaching themselves to me.

So I thought I need professional help. Started looking around for weight loss programs but to tell you the truth, I'd rather spend my money on other things like buying myself an outfit at every 5-6 lbs lost to reward myself. I would at least have things to wear rather than spending the money on food and diet programs. After all, I have dieted all my life, and I know what really needs to be done.

The trick has always been simply to take in fewer calories than your body uses. The real math of it all is actually very easy. Every 3,500 calorie difference is 2 lbs of body weight. So, let's say your body uses 2,000 calories per day (the usual number if you are inactive), and you eat around 1,200 calories a day (the lowest safest number of calories a woman should eat), the difference is 800 calories a day. This means you will lose about 2 lbs every 5 days.

That math would be just fine for me. I know the total I need to lose is around 40 lbs. So I need around 20 weeks which is around 5 months to get back to where I was around 1,5 years ago. It's kind of scary, but I have to start at some point, otherwise the gap is getting bigger and bigger. I love eating, so sue me:))

After checking God knows how many different web sites, diet programs, readymade meals that can be sent to your door etc. I saw that everyone wants to charge for the information. Or if they are not charging they are just recycling information that I have memorized by now:

* You should drink 8 glasses of water every day. Who really knows if this is true? It all depends on which article you are reading. Some say it has to be water, some say it can be any kind of liquid you ingest, some say you need more than that etc. I choose to believe the article that says you should drink water when you are thirsty, that your body knows and tells you how much you need...that's what the sensation of thirst if for. So I drink about 2 cups of coffee, about 3-4 glasses of water and a diet coke a day. And sometimes I drink only 1 glass of water and I seem to feel just fine with it. They do say that it's good for your skin, but again, it depends on whose article you are reading and I'm tired of others opinions.

* You should walk half an hour every day. Yeah, I know. But I live in a hilly neighborhood and walking for half an hour seems like torture when I think about it. I'm sure once I start walking I won't feel this way and might actually enjoy it. After all I have worked out, exercised and swam on and off all my life. So I really know that it makes a difference, but I just don't feel like walking right now. So I want a diet that will make me lose weight while I'm not moving at all. Plus, I know when I start losing weight I will feel better about myself and will start moving around more often. Right now I feel like a whale and don't want to move at all. Do you mind?!!!!!:))))

* You should cut down the fat. Years ago I cut down on margarine and butter because a nutritionist friend of mine told me that the metallic taste that I wake up with in my mouth is caused by margarine or butter. I tried it and saw that it is true. So I have been using olive oil whenever I can, because I like the taste of it better than all of the other oils, but that's not to say that I cut it out completely. I do enjoy the taste of it, and when I feel like eating butter I eat it. My body had better know how to handle a little bit of things that may be a little bid bad for it, because God knows whatever is bad for you is really what tastes good:)

* You should eat smaller portions. Now, that's the only piece of dieting strategy that is definitely true as far as I'm concerned: To eat whatever you want, but in smaller portions. But, as far as I'm concerned there are problems with this. One is it's easier said than done. If I could eat smaller portions I would not have gained weight in the first place. So I know my brain knows, but it's kind of hard to convince my taste buds which want more and more, and my stomach that can handle more and more. Two, who can really stop eating what they like? Skinny people are who.

I think there are two kinds of people, skinny people that say they like food, and people that really LOVE food and have to deal with their weights all their life. My husband is a skinny person. I could just kick him when I see him take a bite out of a "small" piece of chocolate. Yep, a bite out of a SMALL piece. Are you kidding? I can eat the whole bar, not a small piece, let alone a bite from a small piece. And then he just leaves it right next to him, and it just sits there. (I hate him at moments like this, just because he can do it:)) ). Never, not once in my life have I been able to do something like that. (And I don't have a sweet tooth. I'm more of a salty junk food type of a person.) This is the difference between skinny people and people like me that have to deal with their weights all their lives.

But at least I know that that's a problem, and I know that it is going to be an effort to lose weight. Kudos to those who say it should not be a diet; it should be a life style. Good for those that have been able to do that, but I'm almost 45 and I still haven't mastered this perspective.

To make a long story short, I have decided to help all fellow dieters and create a menu a day totalling about 1,200 calories, along with small and easy recipes just to keep things interesting. I know that for myself a dieter's diet can become very boring and then it becomes easy to stray. And once you stray, you just get back into the rut of "on Monday". So, I have compiled recipes along with nutrition information. And I have tried to give as much information as possible so that you can easily adapt them to your own tastes.

Keep in mind that I'm not a nutritionist and so I cannot responsibly make claims or promises about the relative health or appropriateness for you of these menus and recipes. But this is the diet that I will be following. I do try to keep it balanced as much as I can. Also, you might not be able to go for 1,200 calories every day, and hit a plateau even if you do. After years of dieting and having friends that have been dieting I can see that every person can handle it differently. But the basic math of things usually doesn’t change. And I think that once you see that you are losing weight it will become easier to stay on the diet.

I've also found some links while working on this that might be helpful, such as a site that lists the caloric content of all foods. There are even some that list the calories in foods according to who is producing them or according to the restaurant names, etc. To me that was just too much info. But if you are interested, the info is available with some very basic web searches.

The first thing that I'm doing is getting a kitchen scale because I know it is a must to measure the food, especially in the beginning, so that you are really getting the calories you think you are getting. Then after a while when you think you have the measuring thing down, start measuring again, you will see that you have been making bigger meals:) The good thing about all this is that eventually, say in about 2 weeks, you will have adjusted to the smaller food portions and they will be satisfying to you, but you'll have to hang it there for a little while, and then try not to lose control.

So, tomorrow is Monday and here I start my diet for about next five months. You're welcome to join me....

1 comment:

atadeniz said...

'' Kudos to those who says it should not be a diet; it should be a life style. Good for those that has been able to do that..''

Ditto!After struggling for over a year or more,I still dont believe in this lifestyle crap..I believe about the benefits of healthy eating and exercising but some days it’s harder than others to put that knowledge to good use..

Smart eating and an active lifestyle works wonders,I know..
I have been exercising every single day for the past two years,but I wasn't being very conscientious about my food intake..
Thanks for the blog Diana,Iam definitely bookmarking your page!

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