It’s not easy to lose weight when you’re obsessed with food but I have found something that seems to be working for me. I came across a plan in which you eat healthy 5 days a week and then allow yourself to have 2 “treat meals”, one on the 6th day, and the other on the 7th day. It’s one meal, not a full day of bingeing , OK. The meal should be no more than 1,000-1,500 calories. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? The plan also recommends a lot of exercise, which I was already doing but getting nowhere. I guess my 45 minutes on the treadmill was just not enough to get things going so the advise to try intervals seems to be working. Now I do 20 minutes but combine high incline, fast jogging, and slower walking in 5 minutes sets, 4 times. I do this right when I get home from work and on the days when I go to the gym, after my hour, yes hour, of weight training with my personal trainer, Sandra Kidd. I work out with her 2 days a week and she is the best trainer ever. She is so worth anything it costs to keep seeing her. When I first went to her in mid June of this year I was hopeless. I had recently looked in the mirror and was alarmed when I saw my arm fat moving as I brushed my teeth. My arms were always well toned. What the heck? Now after only 3 months my arms are quite toned and display worthy in sleeveless clothes. The biggest surprise was what happened to my legs. All those hard lunges and lifts have resulted in some athletic legs I don’t recognize. But back to the weight, even with 3 days of weight lifting, and 4-5 days of treadmill walking my weight was not budging. So, what could it hurt to eat a little different and change the routine. The first thing I had to do was follow the five days of healthy eating to earn the treat meals. Like I said, I’m obsessed with food so I have to look forward to something and this is perfect. I can still cook some gourmet meals on the weekend and enjoy them.
But, this is the big but, I have to eat right for 5 straight days. So, basically I eat what I always intended to eat but never actually did. I won’t bore you with all the details but you know the usual stuff—whole grains, but only 2 servings a day, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, little bit of fat. Main thing is I don’t eat sugar, white flour, “mindless” snacks, desserts, mindless bits of food when I’m cooking, oh and the handfuls of cayenne cashews I love to buy at Central Market.
I was, as you can imagine, looking forward to having the “treat meal” on Saturday. I was craving fried catfish so we went to the Flying Fish. I think I’m going to write a restaurant review on it later, but in a few words here, some of it was good and some of it downright bad. I did enjoy the fish and a few French fries. I brought along cookies to eat for dessert to eat in the movies. These were not ordinary cookies but Gwin Grime’s from Artisan bakery. That was the best part of the meal, actually.
The next day I had the “treat meal” at lunch, a potluck at the Fort Worth Japanese Society. I brought mabo dofu (spicy tofu with beef), rice, and cheesecake with chocolate ganache. I tried several dishes , including mine, and a couple bites of dessert.
The result after a week is a loss of 2 pounds. Not bad at all, considering I was losing absolutely nothing before. Here’s my food related observation: Following the plan for 5 days is hard! I was used to having a Dole’s fruit bar at night and those Belgian Chocolate chips, and a serving of rice even if I had already had a couple other grain servings that day. Going to bed hungry is different.
Treat meals are great but I realized I don’t have to have the full 1,500 calories! That is more like a treat binge than a meal. I will not stuff myself next weekend. Wait—I am going to the State Fair, so I take that back. I will only stuff myself the day of the State Fair, but no other treat meal.
I also realize that if I’m going to have only two of these meals a week they better be good. I am not going to waste a treat meal on mediocre food. Hmmm, that eliminates most restaurants and potlucks. After yesterday’s “treat” lunch I felt kind of bad. I ate a bunch of different foods but none of them were particularly tasty and all of them seemed to be loaded with soy sauce. I felt sluggish and water-retention puffy for hours and hours and it was so not worth it.
We’ll see what happens next week. I have several food related events including a group dinner out with friends Friday night to a place I’ve never been, Saturday at the Azle Farmers Market to demonstrate cooking with sweet potatoes, and then the State Fair of Texas on Sunday if the weather is OK. But one thing is for sure, if the food is not a 10 I won’t bother to eat it.