Monthly Archives: April 2015

Healthy Eating for Life

Over the past 20 years I have gained at lost 25+ pounds FIVE different times. I would work really hard to lose the weight over several months and then slowly gain it back over the following year.
In 2011, I lost nearly 40 pounds with the help of two of my brothers, who also each lost a significant amount of weight. We promised each other never to gain the weight back and we set in place a rigid accountability system in which we reported our weight weekly and paid $$ penalties for not making our weight maintenance goals. In many ways it was a good system, encouraging us to quickly lose any weight that we had gained on vacations or during particularly gluttonous weekends.
However, our system had a fatal flaw: it encouraged a regular binge and purge cycle. I would starve myself Monday through Thursday and then eat whatever I wanted Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By Monday morning, I would be up 3-5 pounds and would begin the starvation / carb deprivation again.
I have come to the realization that this is an eating disorder. Like a bulimic, I would binge and purge but instead of vomiting, I would use starvation, carbohydrate deprivation and excessive exercise to purge after a binge on sugary, processed foods.
I have an addiction to sugar. Unlike many addictions where the substance is sometimes difficult to acquire, in my addiction, the substance is readily available at every turn; it is socially acceptable and often encouraged at most cultural events. This, despite the fact that it is killing our country — an obesity epidemic is upon us.
Two weeks ago, I decided to break this pattern and focus less on my weight and more on healthy habits that I can live with long-term. My new plan has already greatly reduced my sugar cravings and has made me feel more energetic and healthy. The plan focuses on portion control and nutritional balance. It cuts way back on simple carbs and encourages more consumption of plant-based foods, lean proteins and water (for proper hydration).
Here’s my daily eating plan:
Two glasses of water
One serving protein (peanut butter, eggs, yogurt, sausage, etc.)
One serving fruit (banana, berries, orange, etc.)
One serving carb (whole wheat toast, oatmeal)
Morning Snack
One serving vegetable (celery, carrot, pepper, etc.)
Two glasses of water
One serving protein (meat, cheese)
One serving vegetable (salad, tomatoes, etc.)
One serving carb (whole wheat bread, baked potato, etc.)
Afternoon Snack
One serving protein (nuts, yogurt, cheese)
Two glasses of water
One serving protein (chicken, fish, beef)
One serving vegetable (salad, tomatoes, etc.)
One serving carb (pasta, rice, potato, etc.)
Evening Snack
One serving fruit (apple, orange, banana)
This equals 12 servings of good, whole food spread throughout the day. It includes serving of a plant, a protein, a complex carb at every meal. I get three snacks daily, including a veggie in the morning, a protein in the afternoon when I start to drag, and a fruit in the evening to stave off cravings. A typical serving of carbs and proteins is 200 calories. Fruits and veggies are not as calorically dense, so they have 100 calories on average. The total amount consumed will be about 1,800 per day.  
Two “treats” per week (desserts) will be allowed as long as I’m in compliance in the other areas.
I will continue to do 45 minutes of cardio and resistance exercise daily and seek opportunities to walk and move throughout the day. I also will strive to get eight hours of sleep nightly.
None of this is earth shattering. It’s all common sense. My weight maintenance plan focuses on moderation and balance. And two weeks in, I’m already feeling the benefits!
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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Health