Monday, April 1, 2013

Dieting again!

It's been way too long since I posted anything about this diet effort, but need to get back to it to help me keep on track. Unfortunately, like so many diet efforts, I stopped watching what I ate. Some major stress entered my life in October and I started eating too many carbs. Then the holidays hit and we all know how hard it is to control the carbs then. Next came my birthday and the wonderful brownie hot fudge sundae I like to have for my "cake." The bottom line is that after losing 16.5 lbs. I put 14.5 lbs. back on. UGH! By February 25th I had had it (couldn't fit into some of my clothes and the dreaded muffin top was back). 

I loved the Metabolism Miracle diet because I never felt hungry, or at least not for long because you are supposed to eat/snack every 3 hours. One thing I would do differently on that diet is to watch my calories. I found that I was probably only reducing my calories enough to lose 1/2 to 1 lb. a week so my progress was slower than I would have liked. I think the whole process of controlling the blood sugar levels that this way of eating promotes is very important and good to follow. That said, I needed something else to jump start me this time, but I will come back to this way of eating soon.

I am now following The Six-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle. It is based on the same theory of resting your liver and switching your body to be a fat burning machine instead of burning carbs for fuel. The first two weeks were grueling and the second two weeks had so much meat I thought about becoming a vegetarian when I was through. The third two weeks is a time of transitioning back into eating carbs, but only if you have lost the weight you want to lose. I have lost 10.5 lbs. in five weeks so I am really happy with that, but I want to lose another 20 lbs.  This diet is mostly directed to those who have 10-20 pounds to lose around their middle and want to lose it quickly. Today I am starting back on the first two weeks phase and will do that for a week and then switch to the meat week for a week and back and forth until I reach my weight goal. This is the recommendation of the doctors who authored this diet as a way to keep tricking your metabolism.

Even though I am losing weight more quickly on the new plan, I look forward to eating again according to the Metabolism Miracle diet plan. The current diet I am following is awfully strict in the beginning and typically I only get about 1200 calories a day at the most. It consists of 3 protein shakes a day and one meal for the first phase of it. The 'meat week' does include veggies.

Something I heard recently from another diet plan is that "Nothing tastes better than being thin feels." That saying is going on my fridge or maybe better in the cupboard where I keep the milk chocolate chips for my amazing cookies that always get me into trouble.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Our daughters have been running lately and so I got the bug. Actually our oldest daughter infected me. She's been running for a few months (overcoming asthma) and recently ran (and finished) her first 5K. Our other daughter just had a baby and has also started running. The original running-germ carrier recommended a book by Jeff Galloway titled 'Running-Getting Started'. It's exactly the type of program we need. His approach is to keep you from getting tired and needing a rest. The program starts very easy and builds up. Anyway, it didn't seem too intimidating, so this morning was our first 'run', and we survived. Of course, we only had to run for 10 seconds and walk for 2 minutes for a total of 10 minutes with warm-up and warm-downs of about 5 minutes each, so you can see why we survived (we're used to a 30 minute walk). We will do this for a week (only 3 days with walking days in between), then we increase it a little.

We don't have a wonderful, cushioned track to run on (like our daughters), so we are running down a quiet neighborhood street. So far so good with no running injuries or cars running over us. I used to run before we got married and my husband ran cross-country in high school. We are excited about this and look forward to running greater distances and time. There is an elderly man (maybe late 70s) in our neighborhood who runs on a regular basis so we can use him as inspiration, also. In fact, today when we saw him, I wanted to start running to show him that we could do it, too, but we were in a walking cycle. Oh well, it would have paled compared to him as we think he runs several miles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weigh-In 3

Well, it's been 14 weeks since we started this Metabolism Miracle diet and I decided it was time for a weigh-in again with measurements.

I'm happy to report that I have lost 14 lbs. I have also lost 3 1/4" off of my waist and 2" off the chubby below the waist tummy for a total overall inches lost of  14 3/4". I still want to lose at least another 20 lbs. and about 4" off of my waist and at least 6" off the chubby tummy area. A pound a week average is not very exciting and it is less than that per week now, so I'm looking at other things we can try. The one that interests me a lot is one to reduce inflammation in your body which helps it become leptin sensitive (as well as insulin sensitive) which should help lose more weight and help the body regulate its proper weight. It is a very healthy diet with a concentration on nutrient dense foods. I haven't decided for sure, but am studying 3 different approaches to reducing inflammation and addressing the leptin issue. In the meantime, I am incorporating more of those nutrient dense foods in our food choices.

My husband was very reluctant to do a weigh-in today, but he finally agreed. It was good that he did, because now he feels better about his progress. As reported in a previous post, he had cheated on the diet when I was gone, and he told me he had put on 5 lbs. (that's a lot of cheating). That would be very discouraging. I have mixed feelings about his numbers still showing progress, because I don't want him to think he can cheat that much and still lose weight. I think he was just lucky this time. I'm happy to report that he has lost about 26 1/2 lbs. He has also lost 5" off of his waist with a overall inches lost of 16 1/2". I'm not sure what his current goals are, but I'm hoping he will lose at least another 40 lbs. and at least 13" more off of his waist.

We have not been good about exercising, so we do need to get that back in full swing. Our goal is to walk for at least 30 minutes for 5-6 days a week. One of our daughters has taken up running and ran in her first 5k this past weekend. We're very proud of her (she has had to work through asthma to accomplish this). I used to run a long, long, long time ago, and am getting the bug to try again, even if I can only shuffle. Our daughter says shuffling is okay.

Big goals, but I am determined and when Mom is determined, watch out!
This Blog is helping me to be more accountable - YEAH!

Phase 2 update

It's been a while since I last posted, but life got REALLY busy. We have continued to follow the Phase 2 plan for our diet, but sometimes it's been hard. I was travelling a lot but managed to do pretty well. One thing I didn't enjoy was a grilled chicken sandwich at the airport. It had a coating on it that I couldn't scrape off, so I had to count that as my carb (not a very good carb, but carb nonetheless). The taste left in my mouth was so awful (oily) that I ate a couple of segments of an orange I was carrying with me to clean my palate. Thank goodness for oranges. Yes, I probably had more carbs than I should have, but I felt it necessary. I guess the days of eating chicken nuggets are behind me. The more good, healthy food I eat the harder it is to enjoy unhealthy food. I prefer a meal of roasted chicken, 3 cups of veggies, and a serving of fruit. It's very filling and makes me feel good that I ate right.

My husband had a harder time being good on the diet while I was gone so much and confessed to cheating. He won't tell me what he ate, only that I don't want to know. He also said he put on 5 lbs. Needless to say, he has been feeling discouraged lately.

For myself, I have noticed that my weight loss has slowed down to about a 1/2 lb. a week. I guess that is better than the other direction. Even the first phase only provided a 1 lb. a week weight loss. Since I'm not that overweight, it is a much slower process for me. I know that a slow, steady weight loss is much healthier, so I am trying to be content.

We found that we were eating a lot of vegetables that we like mayonaise with, so we're trying to cut back on how much we use. I have thinned the mayo with a little water and that helped. Three nights ago I actually ate a large artichoke with only a tablespoon of mayo - I consider that a miracle - and it was good. One of my daughters said that is how much she uses, so I gave it a try and it worked - YEAH!

Lately, I've been trying to watch the calories a little with the bedtime snack and considering not having one, although, I don't think I'm sleeping as well. Since adding the carbs in, I realize that I am eating 400-500 more calories a day, which explains why my weight loss has slowed down. Following this plan of adding the carbs in gives me the amount of calories I need to maintain my weight, so it's very interesting that I am still losing. That says something for only eating good, real food for your carbs.

We tend to have a nice smoothy (with blueberries) every morning, a BIG green salad with protein for lunch to which I add kidney beans for our carbs, and a basic dinner of some kind of protein, 2-3 cups of vegetables, and a piece of fruit. For snacks we eat a handful of almonds. My idea of a handful of almonds and my husbands are quite different, and since his hand is much larger, a handful is misleading. So, we count out 10 almonds per snack and usually have 2 snacks a day.

We are definitely eating better than we have in a long time, and we seldom feel hungry. I don't think our desire to have goodies is completely gone, but for me it is definitely in control.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adding carbs

I remember when we first started this diet, I felt like I had to plan every meal and every bite. Fortunately, it got a whole lot easier.

My new problem now is adding carbs back in. Yesterday we started with the next phase of this diet. We will be on this phase until we reach our desired weight. In a nutshell, we have to eat 11-20 grams of carbs with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime snack. If it will be longer than five hours between any of these meals, we need a snack with 11-20 grams of carbs. It seems easy enough, but that first piece of toast yesterday was really hard and for lunch I had a grilled cheese sandwich. After that I felt "breaded out." I wasn't sure I could eat anymore bread. Fortunately, you don't have to get your carbs just from bread and similar foods. Although adding the whole grain back in is a good idea.

There are a few more vegetables we can eat now - like corn, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets. We can also add legumes - yeah for kidney beans (I can see taco salad coming sometime this summer). We can also have a lot of fruit now, although not all fruits are available yet. About the only fruits that I can think of that are missing are the melons and some tropical fruits.

Last night I wanted to just have meat and a lot of vegetables, but I had to figure out a carb and I didn't want any grains, so I fixed some diced apples and strawberries. Finding a snack before bedtime with more carbs was also a challenge. I finally settled on some crackers with my cottage cheese and chocolate protein powder. I have grown to love my cottage cheese and chocolate protein powder.

Today we had a nice omelet with toast for breakfast. For lunch we had a big green salad with chicken and avocado and we added kidney beans for our carbs - it was great. For dinner we had chicken, a big bunch of broccoli, and a sweet potato (1/2 cup mashed) was added for our carb. I am still stuffed and we ate an hour and a half ago. For my snack tonight, I'm thinking about having some strawberries for my carbs - YUM!.

Recipe - "Spaghetti" & meat sauce

I've had some rave reviews and requests for my "spaghetti" & meat sauce recipe. Some of it is a little by taste, but here is the basic idea.

1 spaghetti squash
1 lb. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 can (14 oz.) crushed/diced tomatoes with basil and herbs
1+ tsp. Italian seasoning (dried)
1+ tsp. Basil (dried)
1+ tsp. salt
1/2 + tsp. pepper
2 diced tomatoes
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Saute the onion in the butter until transparent, then add the garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the ground beef and cook until browned and cooked, then add the seasonings and the can of tomatoes. Let simmer for about 30 minutes and start tasting. I think the secret to its flavor is the basil.

Cook the spaghetti squash by quartering it lengthwise, remove the seeds and membrane, and then turn the pieces upside down in a microwave safe dish with 1" of water. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave until done (anywhere from 15-30 minutes).

Scrape the "spaghetti" out of the squash. Each serving would have some "spaghetti" with about 1/4 of the meat mixture on top, then some diced fresh tomatoes on top of that, and Parmesan cheese if desired.

This has become one of our favorite recipes. Hope you all enjoy it.

Weigh-in 2

Yesterday was the 8 week weigh-in and we're both pleased. My husband more so than me. He lost 25 lbs. and I lost 10 lbs. It's always discouraging that men lose weight faster and easier, but in all fairness to me, he had a larger body mass to maintain so while we ate about the same amount of food his calorie consumption (even though we didn't count calories) was a lot less than what he needed to maintain his weight. I was about 500-700 calories a day less that what I needed to maintain my weight, so I lost about a pound a week. I'm really excited about the 3 inches I lost off of my waist. That's what the low carb diet is all about - getting rid of that fat around the middle. My hubby has not measured himself yet, but at the last measurement a month ago he had lost 4 inches off of his waist. Hopefully he'll measure himself tomorrow.

I was helping with my new granddaughter for about 2 1/2 weeks and didn't get much chance to exercise so I probably could have lost a little bit more. We started back walking again today, so that will help our weight loss efforts. If I haven't mentioned it yet, we have a reward for ourselves when each of us loses at least 30 lbs. - a trip to Disneyland. By the time I lose 30 lbs., my sweetie will be looking real fine. We'll probably both be at our ideal weight by then. My only worry is that my hubby will stop when he gets to 200 lbs. He's mentioned a few times that he doesn't know if he should try to lose more at his age. He thinks it will be too difficult to maintain as we get more sedentary. I hope we go for the "gold ring" as we'll feel so much better and enjoy life so much more.