I was speaking with a close friend last night about a weight loss and exercise program that she has been on for almost two months. It is a really good one developed by the University of Colorado Medical Center and she is closely monitored by heath professionals and is encouraged to exercise with the trainers. I encouraged her to start writing a journal, a favorite recommendation of mine, and write down how she felt a few hours after she eats. Not if she likes the food, because who really likes meal replacement bars, but as she re-introduces food, really think about how the food tasted to her, and how she felt afterwards. I forget to tell her, to always do this when there are no distractions, taste a sample in the kitchen before serving the meal, let it linger for a minute and check in with yourself, how does this taste, do I love it or just eating it because it’s there.
A recent post of mine, Mindless Eating, received a lot of feedback and I’ve had ideas circling, ready to share with all of you. I believe the cause of most weight gain is the habit we get into of just grabbing food and stuffing it in our mouths, or the patterns of pizza on Saturday night, burgers for lunch, pancakes on Sunday. We just eat it and don’t even consider if that was what we were really hungry for. The only advantage to being alone the last few weeks, is that I get to make the weird food choices that may not always appeal to the Hubby. I eat leftover chicken piccata in the wee hours of the morning. I eat fruit for dinner. I drink a Naked fruit smoothie for breakfast. I eat what my body tells me it’s hungry for. I actually listen to it, and if something doesn’t taste good, I literally spit it out and throw it down the drain.
So liberating not to have to “clean my plate” at the age of 60! Where did that stupid phrase come from anyway? How about, “I hate to waste this, so I’ll just eat it all.” That makes sense, doesn’t it? Let’s just put that extra food in our stomachs, so we don’t have to “waste it” and put it in the disposal.
The only true way to win the battle with your weight, or even just eat more healthy if you don’t have a weight problem is to use a JOURNAL. You need to write down how you feel about the food right after you eat and a few hours later, or perhaps even the next morning. Before long, you’ll realize that you have more energy if you don’t eat a lot of beef before going to bed, or limiting red wine right before bed. Maybe your body is fine if you have those things at lunch, but not at dinner. What if you really don’t even like something, that you just knew you did? I saw Ding Dongs at Walmart yesterday, turned it over and looked at the nutritional values, and realized I could safely eat just one of them. Delighted, I quickly shoved a bite in my mouth as soon as I got the car started. Can you imagine my surprise when I realized that it tasted like wax and Crisco?
I don’t have a scales these days, preferring to weigh every 6 weeks or so at my primary care physicians office. He suggested that I just pay attention to how my clothes feel. He didn’t suggest paying attention to how my rings and watches fit. When we stop worrying about counting the units of anything, calories, carbs, protein or fat and just start listening to our body, we lose the kind of weight that we will keep off forever. I do recommend watching sugars very careful even if you don’t have any health issues. Sugar not used for energy in our bodies, turn right into fat. The kind of fat that causes diabetes.
Get a journal, hear your body’s responses to food and eat until you are feel comfortable and satisfied. It’s so easy and so much cheaper than weight loss plans or surgery.