The other day I stopped by Kohl's to buy some slacks. The two pairs I have been wearing all winter are "winter weight" and I wanted some light weight ones for warmer weather (which I still believe in my heart of hearts WILL arrive someday soon). But while pawing through the size 16 "comfort fit" Lee's, I grew angrier and angrier because, once again, I am looking for "fat clothes" when I have a closet full of apparel I could wear if I lost 10-15 pounds. I left the store in a self-directed huff.
A co-worker of mine recently lost weight, after reading Mindless Eating but when I read the book, I gained ten pounds. The holidays might have had something to do with it, but still. All diet books I have read have been less than helpful. For one thing, they don't tell me anything I don't already know. Eat fruit instead of donuts? Duh. Avoid fried food? Double duh. Eat less and exercise more? Triple duh. And their recipes are either too difficult and/or time consuming to prepare or contain exotic ingredients not readily available in these here parts of the Midwest (although that is improving) or become tiresome after a while (Atkins - never thought I would get sick of bacon). And they don't tell you what to do when you feel HUNGRY.
And yet hope springs eternal. After I left Kohl's, I stopped at the library to pick up a book I had placed on hold: Flat Belly Diet. My expectations were low, but after perusing the menus, I thought, Hey, I think I can do this. For one thing, the foods are ones I eat already. Except for the occasional Peanut Buster Parfait (which are currently ON SALE), I make healthy food choices. I just eat too much of those healthy choices. And this book's gimmick are MUFA's - monounsaturated fats - which may help me with that hunger thing.
The FBD has a four-day jump-start phase, for which they even supply a shopping list, so Thursday I shopped up a storm at the Co-op and Krogers. Already I hit a hitch - some of the items on the shopping list are not available, like unsweetened corn flakes (or did they mean unfrosted?) and cream of wheat in individual servings. I'm not much of a cereal person, so I decided the Rice Krispies could substitute for all the cereals. I wish I had paid more attention to the jump-start menus, too, as I thought two "bunches" of mint would be like two bunches of parsley (i.e. HUGE). I could not find any bunches of mint, though, so I bought two little packages of fresh mint plus a box of mint tea. The mint is for their "Sassy" water and it turns out you need only 12 leaves of mint for each day's worth, so I have plenty.
Anyway, about $100 later (a lot of what I bought was organic) I was on my way. Yesterday was day 1. The Sassy water (flavored with grated ginger, cucumber, lemon, and that mint) is actually quite good. I'm not very hungry when I get up, so I decided I would have the snack for breakfast: one blueberry smoothie and two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds. Lunch was deli turkey, string cheese, and a whole pint of grape tomatoes (with NO SALT). I ate breakfast for my afternoon snack: Rice Krispies, skim milk, and applesauce; I ate the allowed quarter-cup of sunflower seeds midmorning. I'm not much of a fish eater, so I substituted chicken for tilapia for supper, which I ate with green beans and a measly half-cup of potatoes.
And you know what? I didn't really feel hungry all day, just vaguely dissatisfied. There is a journal to keep along with the FBD where you can rate your hunger, mood, etc. Since I became more disciplined about morning meditation, my nervous/emotional eating has decreased, so I'm not too concerned with my mood, so as long as I don't feel hungry, I should be okay.
Except for that no-coffee thing. The FBD is about avoiding anything that might cause bloating or water retention. I question the science behind some of their contentions, but decided I would take a hiatus from coffee. Or try to. I drank less than my usual yesterday and went to bed with a slight headache that turned into a major cranial meltdown by this morning. One cup of coffee and two Advil later, I was functioning, albeit in a bit of a fog. An afternoon nap and another cup cleared things up. Tomorrow I will try to get by with just one cup. Maybe. We'll see. I really like coffee. That and swearing are my final two vices.
Anyway, the jump-start part of the diet is 1200 calories a day, which I think is very low, so I am surprised I do not feel hungry. I tend to eat less on weekends, so I'm hoping I can stick with the plan. The regular days of FBD consist of 1600 calories, which will not cause rapid weight loss but should be doable. I would be more than satisfied with a 4-5 pound weight loss per month.
Which brings me to the before-and-after pictures in the book. One aspect of the FBD is to flatten your belly by reducing bloating and water retention. The other aspect is to flatten your belly by weight reduction. The photos represent one month of progress for each person profiled. Not a lot of weight was lost in one month by anyone, but some of those photos look fake, like the subject is either sticking her belly out in the before photo and/or sucking it in for the after photo. I am not taking any before pictures, but I did record my weight and a cluster of measurements for comparison purposes.
Every time I feed the dog, I think, This is what I need: a pre-measured amount of food, twice a day, to keep me slim. The FBD is kind of like that, because it says eat this and this and this, in these amounts, and no more. I am cautiously optimistic. But if I never blog about the FBD again, you will know it was a FAIL.