Over Eating: A 30 Day Trial
The last couple of months have been a real struggle for me weight wise. While I love the 80% raw food plan, it has become a bit difficult to manage. I found myself cheating a bit too often (leading to over eating), and while I loved the fresh tastes and how the food made me feel, I did not so much enjoy the hole it burned in my wallet. When I am making more money, I will probably reinstitute this plan. When I began the diet, I weighed about 179 pounds. At the end of two months of the 80% plan, I had lost 9 lbs. Two months off of it and I put back on all of the weight.
The most frustrating part about my mass lately has been the fact that I’ve been working out 4 to 5 times a week for those last two months. Now, my workout isn’t exactly geared toward weight loss, but I figured it would at least maintain my weight if I got myself to the gym and made myself productive. No such luck. I knew that the key to my weight would be found in diet to cut out any over eating. I just wasn’t sure what.
I remembered back to my wrestling days. I’m not talking about the running with five layers of clothes on (thank heaven for my mother, washing all of those clothes for me back in the day) or spitting into a cup or something. When my senior year rolled around, I maintained and lost weight by making my metabolism work for me.
We human folk are used to eating three meals a day. This is more or less a social construct and as we know, many social constructs are kinda, sorta dumb :). I’m not knocking the festive and gargantuan family dinners that you might be having, I’m just saying that eating about half your daily calories two hours before you go to sleep is not the best idea if you want to maintain or lose weight. You have to spread them out throughout the day.
The last few years, a lot of people have talked about changing the three meal plan to a five meal plan. With the amount of obesity in this country on the rise, you wonder if they just started eating five “American” dinner size meals. The portions of these five meals should be made smaller. By doing this your body can deal with the calories more efficiently, your metabolism and energy go up, and you can begin to lose weight healthily. For those in my family who love to nosh, this is a perfect alternative to any type of fad diet.
So how do we eat these smaller meals and what do we put in them? I’m not going to sugar coat this (I mean, that just wouldn’t be good for the diet :)) you are going to need to use some self discipline and restraint to put less food on your plate. If you are out at a restaurant, you will pretty much always need to eat half (or less) and box the rest up. When you are at home, using measuring cups and experimenting with amounts is the best way to go. Wherever you are, whatever you do, you cannot let yourself totally pig out. These smaller meals help metabolism which will be completely stopped in its tracks by a foot long sandwich at Subway or three pieces of deep dish from Giordano’s. Start counting calories. A good goal is about 400 to 450 calories per meal with the five meal plan.
There will be a million varying opinions about what these meals should include. I will give you my two cents and then you can go hunt for all the other ideas about it. I like to go with a 40%/30%/30% calorie ratio of Carbohydrates to Protein to Fat. Some folks will say that it’s too much protein. I’m trying to include this much to give my muscles a better chance of building up, even though I understand that too much (like the Atkins Diet) can be harmful to my system. I try not to let it creep too much higher than 30%. An older opinion might be that 30% of fat is too much. Recently, low fat diets have been booted in favor of a deep appreciation for essential fatty acids and mono and poly unsaturated fats (a.k.a. the good fats :)). I’m big on these types of fats because I’m a huge fan of raw almonds, walnuts and pecans, all of them fantastic sources of the good fats.
I am a pretty extreme person and back in high school I took this five meal thing farther than it was originally set out. I didn’t do just five meals. I did eight meals. That’s one meal every 2 to 2.5 hours. The five meal plan is great and would be about every 3 to 3.5 hours, but I was really interested in burning some fat from my system the hardcore way. It’s just the kind of guy I am :). By going with the eight meal plan, along with a very rigorous exercise regimen, I was able to drop and keep off the 19 pounds I lost during the wrestling season. I had lost about 11 pounds prior to that using the Atkins Diet, but it was unsafe and too rapid. I do not plan on ever going back to the Atkins Diet again for fear of my health.
I have decided to reincorporate the 8 meals a day plan into my life.
Since I’ve been spending a lot of time at home working on the website, I’ve had a lot more control over my schedule. This allows me to do crazy stuff like eating every two hours :). This isn’t just for me or other people working at home. I think that everybody could potentially benefit from a rearrangement of their meal times and sizes. Whether it’s a five meal plan or an eight meal plan, this metabolism boost has the ability to work wonders.
What’s the big downside to the plan? You’ll be hungry. Your new sped up digestion will eradicate your puny meals quickly and efficiently.
But dieting isn’t about avoiding hunger. Dieting is about losing weight. The plans that try to take all of the hunger out of the equation through pills and genetically modified food products are probably not going to be good for you in the long run.
With this plan, I am actually taking in more calories than I had been before before, and I am burning more calories off. Also, I have read that eating these smaller meals will allow my system to absorb more of the nutrients I take in.
More food. More nutrients. More energy. No splurging. Extra hunger. For me, the positives outweigh the negatives.
I am very excited to keep a detailed record of this, which I will be following up on using the site every couple of days.
I technically started two days ago, and at the beginning of that I weighed 180 lbs. I am not going to set a particular goal, but I will note how much I have lost when I post my updates.
On Days 1 and 2, I started experimenting with different food combos. When I was younger, I went for the quick and easy method of 40/30/30 “nutrition” bars. I picked a couple of them up to help me through my adjustment period. Obviously my anti-preservative mindset as of late affected the taste. They were awful. It makes me feel good about my recent anti-gross food campaign.
I am, however, a huge fan of apples and bananas. I am going to attempt to have at least one raw fruit or vegetable item in every meal as my “carb” portion of the 40/30/30. I have gone with the apples, bananas, a small salad of spinach and blueberries, some strawberries, and a bit of celery thus far. For the protein portion, I have used the bars (gross), chicken apple sausage from Trader Joe’s (mmm), hormone-free turkey, turkey meatballs, Vermont cheddar cheese, and some protein powder I found in the back of my pantry. For the fat portion, I have mostly gone with almonds. I take out about 7 or 8 raw almonds for each meal. I have also alternated between raw almond butter and all-natural peanut butter when I didn’t feel like the nuts themselves.
Each meal should be around 250 calories. You can skew a little less sometimes and a little more occasionally. I would recommend the “more” in the morning when you have additional time to burn off the meal before the end of the day. There are so many great calorie counting resources on the net, I just recommend Google searching to find one.
So far, I’m feeling pretty good. Yes, I am hungry pretty much all the time, but I have built up a lot of will-power the last few months by working on this site, so I’m able to translate it into other parts of my life as well. I will keep you all up to date about my progress, but I have a good feeling that this will help me take off the stubborn weight that’s been hanging around. If you have any good tips for me, feel free to send me a comment and I’ll mention it in my next update. Happy eating…often!
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