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Weekly Weigh-In, 2016 Tweaks Edition

Current weight: 285.6, down 3.3 lbs from last week.
Total weight lost: 33.4 lbs from my starting weight of 319 on July 1, 2014.
Average weight lost: 0.4 lbs/week.

So, as mentioned previously, Weight Watchers has made itself anti-useful, and so I have canceled my account. (At least I think I have; their site is vague about it, and I intend to thump them about that later today.)

At laurie_robey's suggestion I have switched to a tracking plan called MyNetDiary, which works along the same basic principles that the WW tracker was built on, except instead of calculating a single "points" value it breaks each food down into calories, fat, carbs, and protein, which are all tracked individually. Like the WW tracker, it has a vast database of foods already in place, but they are mostly user-entered foods so it takes a little more vetting.

It also has a weight loss plan, although it's a relatively simplistic one based solely on caloric deficit. You put in your weight, age, gender, and "activity level" (self-diagnosed, but with guidelines) and it compares your daily record with the Accepted Normal Values™ put out by whomever it is who puts out these things. (These are the same people who claim I should be 185 lbs, however, so I am dubious.) If you consume fewer calories than you expend, you are "on target." It also has a recommended minimum, and changes your target when you enter "extra exercise" which isn't covered by your normal activity. (For instance, if your activity level is "sedentary" and you do an aerobic workout.) My current activity level is "active" due to the Starbucks job, although that will switch back to "sedentary" when I go back to writing/art full time.

So now my big goal for 2016 is to start weaning myself off of carbs, because quite frankly, I eat a lot of them. However, I'm not going to jump off the low-carb cliff as advocated by South Beach, Atkins, Ideal Protein and the like. I've attempted that– without having been warned that it would make me angry, exhausted, and stupid, thank you marketing department– and I'm not going to go through that again. But I am going to be working on finding low (or at least "lower") carb alternatives to a lot of my carb heavy "go-to" current foods.

The hardest part of that is going to be finding handy snacks, because hunger leads to instant headache for me and I can't be in the kitchen making meals all the time. A lot of the low-carby peeps recommend keeping bacon on hand for that purpose, but I am not convinced. We'll see.

In marginally-related news, I woke up in afib again today. -.- Hopefully I can find a way to fix this and not lose the whole day to being groggy in bed. :P

-The Gneech


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2016 07:15 pm (UTC)
I can help a bit with that.

Galadrion, the boy and I eat what my MD calls "the squirrel diet". It's snack heavy with lots of small meals during the day. But it's not unhealthy or portion heavy. We are not by any means low carb. But we do make our carbs count by skipping the nutrition free ones.

Here's the kind of thing I keep on hand for us. I do add to it by season and what is cheap n easy. I also choose low or no sugar/salt options as a rule and whole grain over white carbs. I also usually cook one real meal for us a day. Also a studio artist myself, I can not begin to express how much I love my crock-pot and microwave. That's for another post.

Veggies - greens (salad and cooking), garlic, celery sticks, baby carrots, dried ginger, cherry tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and peppers (these last four often get made into quick pickles)

Fruit - apples and applesauce, bananas, clementines, raisins, cranberries and pumpkin/squash

Carbs - tortillas, bread, crisps, cereal (cooked and dry), beans (all kinds), rice, noodles and potatoes

Protein - nuts and nut butters (peanut butter is popular), eggs (hard boiled!), cheese, yogurt, milk and meat (dried sausage/pepperoni, cooked cold chicken thighs or boneless pork ribs are my go-to)

Sweets - Dark chocolate, honey and brown sugar for decorating coffee and tea.

That's a pretty basic list for out of hand snacking but after giving up white sugar more than a decade ago it's what works.

If you want recipes or to chat once a week cooking I am happy to help. I think one the biggest net benefits to becoming a FT SAHM/studio artist and teacher has been the time and money we save by eating squirrel-wise. Yes there is a bit of time involved but not as much when I worked outside the house. Instead it's more concentrated and enjoyable. Oh and we don't waste as much either.

Anyway hope this helps.
I would also ask your doctor for a Gneech specific healthy list. With your heart stuff I'd be leery of anything bacon heavy or Paleo. One friend of mine ended up with cardiac issues from going no/low carb/Paleo. It was scary.

Jan. 4th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Snacks
Well my heart doc's whole office is on the Ideal Protein payroll, so that's what they would try to steer me towards, so I'm kinda on my own on that front.

Do you have a suggestion for a good low-carb peanut butter vehicle? Beyond just eating it with a spoon, I mean.


Jan. 4th, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Snacks
Ideal Protein? Gah. Blech!

I would demand a referral to a dietitian if I felt the need.

Celery is the best from a diet angle for nutter butter. you actually burn more calories chewing and digesting celery than you get out of it. After that I'd try carrots and apples. A buddy of mine would mix hot sauce in her peanut butter and eat it with sliced apples. It's a pretty good combo actually.

I also like nutter butter on a warm nana bread with a dash of honey.

For calorie counting have you checked out sparkpeople? It's free and pretty easy to use.

Jan. 4th, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Snacks
It's an indicator of how far gone I am that celery didn't even occur to me! XD

I used to do the "peanut butter on apples" thing when I was a kid, but it was always a giant mess. I need something I can just pull out and eat, which could feasibly be done with pre-cut celery. Thanks!

re: sparkpeople, not familiar with it. But I'm gonna give MyNetDiary a bash for a while and see how it goes. :) I'll keep it in mind if MyNetDiary doesn't work out!

Jan. 4th, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
RE: Re: Snacks
It can be mess. Might give carrots a try. not bad combo. throw some raisin in for a bit of iron n flavor.

My SIL uses sparklepeople sounds very similar to diary program.

Myself I use a pedometer program on my cellphone. has a nag program to remind me to get my daily wiggles in. And it'll track sleep, calories and the like too. As most of my exercise is walking and chores it does the trick. i average 3 to 5 miles a day. often more. just have to remember to wear it. which I often don't do in studio.

Now Galadrion walks much farther than that. But he's been doing the walking as exercise much longer.
Jan. 4th, 2016 08:29 pm (UTC)
To back up what Kestrelcat is saying, I'd say that you should probably be following the advice of Epicurus: moderation in all things. Eat less, but be sure not to go all the way to eating nothing. Fewer carbs, but not no carb (very easy to drive yourself into dietary deficiencies that way). Small snacks, but a few more of them throughout the day - you'll probably actually wind up eating less that way.

For protein options which KC missed, there is also fish to be considered - tuna in particular is a great way to boost your protein intake with little effort. Dried salmon also works, but might also be too much of a salt boost. Other types of seafood are also good from the protein aspect, but you start to get into "more effort" territory. Well, there are sardines, but I'm not a big fan - too oily for my taste, and there's the squick factor, but your opinion may be different from mine.

However, I'm not going to jump off the low-carb cliff as advocated by South Beach, Atkins, Ideal Protein and the like. I've attempted that– without having been warned that it would make me angry, exhausted, and stupid, thank you marketing department– and I'm not going to go through that again. Hmph. My thoughts on that are that if you start eating like a caveman, you're probably going to start acting like a caveman. I can't bring to mind any examples of when extremism is the best idea - it's seldom even a good idea. Granted, the Paleo diet was probably the best option for Paleolithic humanity, but bear in mind that the alternative was (for the most part) starvation.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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