It’s not that I think Weight Watchers sucks. On the contrary — it works very well for some people.
Just not for me. Not right now, anyway.
The last month or so, I’ve noticed it getting harder and harder for me to stick to my daily/weekly Points allowances. I’ve been hungrier between meals and found myself snacking — increasingly often — on not-so-great choices. (Jelly-filled Munchkins, anyone? They’re only 2 PointsPlus apiece …)
Over the weekend, I spent some time with the wife of one of the Boyfriend’s tennis friends. She looks fantastic … and she’s a lower-carb advocate.
Anyone who’s read my blog for any length of time knows how often I flip-flop between traditional, low-fat eating plans and low-carb ones. Well, I’m flipping back again … kind of.
We chatted for quite some time, mainly about the importance of finding what works for you — and sticking to it, even in the face of pressure from someone else.
And I realized: Part of my problem is trying to fit my diet into a traditional mold.
When I’m following a WW-type of plan, I skimp on meat and fill up on carbs … sometimes (okay, more often than I’d like) of the processed variety. I’m hungry between meals and always thinking of my next snack.
When I’m doing Atkins, I eat a lot more meat (Mmm … bacon!) and cheese. I’m also fuller, longer and can actually forget to eat.
Seems to me like eating carbs — especially sugary, empty carbs — just makes me want to eat more. I can eat one cookie, then go back for two or three more before I catch my breath. Same with pizza. One slice leads to another … and another …
Carbs may not be the enemy, but the wrong kinds of carbs aren’t doing me any favors, either. What I need to do is cut back without totally cutting them out.
I also need to learn how to better tune into my hunger. Amanda’s Clean and Lean Project tackled the subject in a series of emails this week. Among the takeaways:
— True hunger comes on gradually; emotional hunger is usually sudden.
— True hunger makes an apple or steak sound appealing; emotional hunger makes a cookie sound good.
Simple, eh? Reminds me of some advice from “It Starts with Food,” which was to take a moment when “hunger” strikes. They said to think of sitting down a a meal of steak on broccoli. If that doesn’t sound good, you’re not really hungry. But if it does, eat something already.
Amanda’s email also included a quote from the book “Intuitive Eating”:
“Keep your body fed biologically with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise, you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for rebuilding trust with yourself and food.”
The idea of intuitive eating still scares the crap out of me. After all, eating what I want, when I want it, has led me to the weight I am currently (and beyond).
I’m ready to try something new. But not that — not yet, anyway. The idea of slimming down without dieting is the Holy Grail of weight loss, isn’t it? To be free to enjoy food without guilt … without wondering whether it’s something you “should” be eating.
I’m still formulating my personal plan. I know it’s going to be a bit lower in carbs/higher in fat and protein, because that’s how my body seems to work best. I’m going to try to limit myself to around 100 grams of carbs a day
I canceled my WW online membership before my credit card got charged for another month. But I still want to try to get most of my eats from the WW Power Foods list.
I told Lose It that I want to lose 1 1/2 pounds a week, and it tells me I need to eat 1,777 calories a day. Not that I really want to count calories … but the app is making it easy so far. That barcode scanner finds everything! I’m amazed.
Tuesday’s results: 89 grams protein (23 percent), 116 grams carbs (30 percent) and 83 grams fats (48 percent)
And that was with an after-dinner snack of MuesliFusion (20-plus grams of carbs). I added a Tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter, too.
OMG — now I know why everyone raves about that stuff. It was so worth the hype — and the 8 grams of carbs and 6 grams of fat.
And now that Im nodding off in front of the computer, I’d better stop writing now.