Thursday, May 14, 2009

How's That Diet Coming?

A week or so ago I had an email from Nan with the casual query, "How's your diet coming?" Much as I understand how boring the details of others' diets may be, I am going to attempt to answer her here for her and the rest of you who may be curious.

In fact, I had hoped to make another video so you could see for yourselves, but my little flipcam is on loan to the University of Alabama for an education project. I know that sounds like a joke, but it isn't. Maybe I'll give you the details someday--in the meantime, I am without a video camera for the time being.

As to the diet, I'm still on it after six weeks. Remember, it was not an effort to lose weight, but to redefine food once and for all and improve my health for the rest of my life. In my case, this means: no snacks, no bread, no dessert (unless you count fresh fruit with yogurt), and very close attention to portion size. I took my recipes for the first two weeks from a book called The Snowbird Diet, and after that I've been winging it using occasional meals from it and limiting my food intake keeping the above "no's" very much at the forefront.

I haven't felt deprived, I haven't felt enormously hungry, I just felt pleased that it wasn't any more difficult than it has been. Oh, there have been moments when I would have killed for a chunk of fresh mozzarella or a couple of handfuls of Craisins, but I haven't had either since April.

I said before that I wasn't in this for weight loss. That's good because I haven't lost any weight to speak of. I had gained eight pounds since moving to Hoboken in December 2007, and since the first of April I've lost three.

As for exercise, I go to the gym four days a week and walk probably a mile a day (since this is Hoboken and I sold my car before relocating). I live in a fourth-floor walkup and climb those stairs an average of three times a day. I get much more exercise than I did two years ago, and am eating considerably less.

Why I'm not losing weight, I don't know. Believe me I've rationalized every way from "At my age it's harder to lose weight" to "I'm eating more carbohydrates since I eat more fiber," but I'm still not sure why it is. But since I didn't start this program as a way to lose weight, I'm trying not to let the situation discourage me. There's a possibility weight will begin to come off in time--I know I'm expending more calories than I'm taking in, it's just that I'm not sure my body has figured this out yet.

So, the answer to the title question is that this isn't really a diet, and I don't seem to be losing weight, but I'm committed to the changes and I feel fine. When my videocam comes back I'll show you.


Steve said...

Interesting. Between the exercise, walking and four flights of stairs, it sounds as if you're active enough.

ZenDenizen said...

Have you incorporated more good fats (olive oil, nuts, etc.) into your diet? That could explain it...

Congrats on keeping it up consistently. I gave up soda and most other sweets and don't miss them much anymore.

Mary Lois said...

I may be eating too much fat, if that's what you mean Zen. The diet that always worked for me was Dr. Atkins, and I love the idea that you can eat copious amounts of meat, nuts and cheese (and olive oil) and still lose weight. But since this isn't a lose-weight deal, I've cut out almost all meat and eat fish, beans, and white meat of chicken, and try to limit portion size and eliminate eating nuts and cheese between meals (my downfall in the past).

Anonymous said...

You are retaining water, not fat. Use a diuretic, natural or prescribed.

Mary Lois said...

Retaining water--that could be it. I do eat a lot of salt. I'm going to try to drink more water than my usual 7 to 8 glasses a day, and tomorrow morning I'll start with a glass of hot water with lemon. Natural diuretic!

Will report my results in a few more weeks.

P.S. Folks: I am shifting some body weight from fat to muscle these days. My weight is redistributing itself and my clothes fit better.

Nan said...

I would guess it might be the portions. When I did weight watchers years ago, it was the portions that amazed me. Previously, I'd pour a bunch of olive oil in a pan to saute and now I use 4 tsp. Little things like that make an enormous difference. The thing I liked (and still do) about ww is that they are all about- it is a life thing not a diet thing. You can eat anything. If you want two oreos you can have them, just count 'em. If you want 2 cups of pasta, not 1, just know it is double the points (what ww uses instead of calories). I've never eaten cheese but the people I know who eat it, love it beyond anything else (as do my dogs!). I read somewhere that it is the most addictive food. Thanks for the update, and I'm with you supporting and cheering from the northern sidelines, dear one.

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