Before I actually weighed myself, I noted that I felt bloated--that my clothes felt tighter. That was what tipped me off that I needed to check in at the scale. I wasn’t surprised to see it ‘up’. With the way my clothes were fitting and my past history it was to be expected--par for the course.
In my frustration I didn’t really know what to do--I’ve been at this bend in the road many times. What I do know is that I can’t give up. I don’t want to regain the whole 50 pounds I lost back in 2002. But where to go from here--what is the answer?
Help came from an unexpected source: Eater’s Digest Monday--this issue: December 8, 2008
The issue contained several articles that caught my eye and shed some light on what might be my problem. It wasn't new to me information--but I have failed to incorporate it into my eating habits with any regularity. I slip back into old habits.
I got some insight as to what may explain my weight gain and inability to lose even though eating in a range that should cause weight loss.
One of the articles made this summation and in a nutshell it explains what I think is going on with my stalled weight loss:
“someone could be eating a relatively small amount of calories daily but at the same time be promoting a great deal of fat storage by: 1) making poor food choices; 2) combining macro-nutrients in a nonproductive fashion and 3) consuming food infrequently at inopportune times”.
You can read the articles in their entirety. Here they are with their links:
***Overlooked Fat Loss Factor
***High Protein Meals May Help Overweight Burn Fat
***Secrets of Health Conscious Foodies
Who’s to say if the research is right or not? Most of the statements “suggest” a reason for the outcome, so it‘s not necessarily hard core fact. At any rate--I’m taking them to heart. Why?
Number one, I’ve got nothing to lose if they don’t work and number two, because it dawned on me that while my food volume/caloric intake had not really changed, the make up of it had… I resemble the examples given in the articles--so maybe there is an application for me.
I’ve been eating lots of crackers, cookies, bread--simple carby stuff--and very little protein. I've never been a big meat eater and it's hard for me to eat enough protein to promote weight loss. And I've been pretty much skipping the dairy too.
Also I’ve taken to ‘needing’ a night time snack every night without fail (too many carbs and not enough protein during the day?).
Those nighttime snacks have been the carby stuff. I'll feel hungry--get out something low cal but high carb and before you know it I've scarfed down a lot of carbs.
As I mentioned, my protein intake has fallen way off . By days end my protein intake was really low. And that, I think, may explain the weight gain. More carbs mean our bodies store more fluid by volume to metabolize those carbs. Hence the bloated puffed up me. And according to the research a big carb loaded meal causes a rise in insulin which promotes fat storage.
To give you an idea, here are some initial changes I’m putting into place.
--Swap out my one egg and two pieces of toast for 2 eggs and one piece of toast . This changes the protein/carb calorie ratio.
--Eat better during the day (as in more protein) so I don’t ‘need’ the night time snack--but should I indulge in a night time snack, I’ll change it up--no crackers, cookies, dark chocolate chips. Instead --a cup of milk..or some plain yogurt. The milk/carb ratio in dairy is almost perfect. If I ‘give in’ and eat crackers I’ll be sure to accompany them with a low fat string cheese and limit the crackers to a few.
Here are some of the points that jumped jumped out at me:
Fat loss isn't just a matter of calories in, calories out--it's more complex than that.
“the actual number of calories you consume is not the only factor that affects your fat-loss efforts.”
“protein carries the highest thermic effect. Eat more protein; burn more calories.”
"people with higher body fat burn fat better after a high protein meal"
“fiber, as an indigestible nutrient, will not be absorbed…will pass through your intestinal tact undigested” (Key: eat fiber, it fills you up but not out)
“when high levels of insulin are present within the blood, fat burning is brought to a screeching halt” (Key: eat low glycemic foods for fat loss)
“carbohydrate ingestion stimulates a large insulin response and fat ingestion give rise to blood lipid levels--when the two are consumed together, they promote the greatest fat storage.” (Key: eat fat or carbs, add protein)
“large infrequent meals tend to promote storage of the ingested nutrients” (key: eat small meals frequently)
“ingesting a large amount of carbohydrates before bed spikes insulin, deters nocturnal thermogenesis and increases fat storage during sleep....whereas consuming a great deal of calories early in the day does not bring about this problem--these calories are likely to be used as energy to support daily activities”