Well it's official. I am now in the running for what could be a $1000 payday if I lose the most weight (based on percentage of weight loss, not actual pounds) by March 13.
This meant an initial weigh in, and much to my surprise and delight I've lost 12 pounds since December 24. I saw that scale creeping up to a mind blowing 318 and that was the final straw. I made myself a promise that I will never see those kinds of numbers again.
And today, after two weeks of eating better, I was rewarded with a 12 pound weight loss.
Hallelujah, pass the broccoli.
As I dreamed of how I might spend a thousand extra buckaroos, I developed a plan, my own little "strategery" if you will, of how I will shed the pounds and come in first place. As you know, I cannot focus on the weight loss, I have to focus on the solution - eating for health.
What will make me feel better? What will fuel my body to work better? How do I eat to enjoy overall health and wellness?
What I've discovered works best for me is the low glycemic index diet. This determines what type of food you eat based on how high it is on the glycemic index. Following this plan, based on my Sparkpeople caloric goals, helped me shed quite a bit of weight in the early part of last year.
It falls off, almost effortlessly, just based on modifying the diet.
For example, a regular russet potato, though a low calorie, low fat food, is pretty high on the glycemic index... a 71 or so I believe. The idea is to only eat foods that fall under the 55 or less catagory, so instead I'd eat a sweet potato, which is about a 48 on the LGI.
What is the Glycemic Index? It's a method that measures carbohydrates by how quickly they raise the body's blood sugar. If you eat a food high on the GI, then your blood sugar will spike and then drop, causing you to have more cravings (usually for something high on the index, in my case anything with processed sugar).
Because items lower on the index are absorbed slower, it will help curb hunger, control appetite and actually reduce insulin levels. I'm neither diabetic or pre-diabetic, but as a sugar addict I can tell you that I felt immediately better upon the onset of this eating plan, moreso than any other.
Instead of feeling sluggish, sleepy and unmotivated, I actually had energy and stamina and the "oomph" I needed to get through my day.
That alone is worth the change.
And it's not like you can't have the things you like. This is an eating plan where you can actually have chocolate (candy, milk, cake), depending on where it falls on the GI.
Plus, it makes sense. White bread=high. Whole wheat bread=low. White rice=high. Brown rice=low. The more natural your food is, the better it is for your body.
It's not about no carb (which I am vehemently against), it's about choosing which carbs are best for your body.
In addition to using the GI, I've also decided to concentrate on getting more fruits and veggies. This is where I fall shamefully short. Instead of eating five servings per day, I'm lucky to get a couple.
Which is silly, since fruits and veggies are low calorie foods you can eat a lot of, feel full and not sabotage your diet.
So today I went to the store and stocked up on veggies to take in to work, rather than the processed "diet" dinners I had been eating, as well as some meat to round out the meal.
My only limitation right now is my level of activity. I was sidelined again today with my back, relying on medication to manage the pain. It may take me a bit longer to actually get out and get mobile than I had originally planned.
What doesn't help is the mandatory OT at work, which really aggrevates the pain in my back from long hours in front of a computer, something my health care professional told me was the worst thing for my back.
Given there are a couple of mandatory Saturdays this month, I'm going to take the exercise thing slow. My back is my priority, because if that goes out again I lose work (and can lose my job) as well as really sidetrack my health goals.
If I take away the fitness plan from my Sparkpeople Nutrition guidelines, my daily caloric goals change significantly. Until I can be certain that I can get moving again, I'll go with these more limited daily goals:
My intake for Thursday: