starving

Diet Update #1

I’m about 2 weeks in to the low carb diet reboot. I wanted to do an update, but first, wanted to thank everyone who left comments and facebook messages about the diet. It was nice to hear what worked for other people!

When I started this blog, it wasn’t a weight loss blog. I just wanted to share my story of how I lost 110 pounds and kept it off. There aren’t a lot of maintenance blogs out there. A lot of the healthy living blogs I used to read diligently either don’t really blog anymore, or I’ve seen them kind of spiral into very disordered practices, or regaining all the weight back. I don’t dismiss the fact that maintenance is hard–you have to work at it every day–but for me, maintenance has been easier than losing this time around.

Quick recap: when I tried this lower carb diet back in the Spring, I lost 7 or 8 pounds right away. It was very encouraging. Then it stalled and I kept gaining and losing the same 2 pounds for the next few months.

So when I started this diet again a few weeks ago, I was around 170. I lost 2 pounds the first week! That was awesome!

I weighed in on 10/18 and was really happy to see another loss! I was down another 2 pounds! 166.6 pounds (does that number mean something?!?! LOL), which is the lowest I’ve been since I got pregnant! That means I have 9 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight!

 

What I’ve Been Doing

  1. I cut out sugar snacks and treats. Not 100% but close. I’ve had a few things here and there but I’m really happy that I’ve been staying strong and either skipping dessert most nights or having fruit or yogurt instead.
  2. I’m logging everything. I’m pretty good at tracking–I’ve done it for 15+ years and it’s just second nature now. But I am recommitted to being accurate–that means tracking the snacks and nibbles, too!
  3. No bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. The carbs I am eating are from fruit and my Greek yogurt and coffee creamer (never cutting the creamer out!).
  4. Trying to drink more water. I am okay at this during the week at work but at home on the weekends and in the evenings I am NOT good at it. 🙁
  5. No alcohol Monday-Thursday nights. I wasn’t really in a habit of drinking during the week but some weeks I’d find myself having a glass of wine on a Tuesday when I didn’t really need to. I don’t necessarily see that as a larger problem but I do think it was a waste of calories. So I am limited my 2 glasses of wine to weekends.
  6. Trying to eat smart. Eating a lot of protein and veggies and trying to eat more healthy fats.

 

Challenges

It’s definitely felt easier this time around to try low carb. Maybe because I knew what to expect, maybe because I was seeing immediate progress, not sure. Other than feeling like total shit that first week, it’s been pretty easy this time. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t crave bread too much.

  1. I am getting sick of salads for lunch. I have been trying to come up with other ideas but I need something that’s fast and easy to prep and often times that’s just a protein and a salad.
  2. It’s been a challenge to get more fiber in my diet since I’m limiting fruit (I used to eat an apple every day and that’s pretty high in fiber, for example) and eating only certain types of veggies.
  3. I do miss bread. I am not craving it like mad, but I do miss it.
  4. I HATE that soup is so high in carbs!!! Why?!??! Even a vegetable beef stew is high in carbs! I live on soup in the colder months and I’m bummed I can’t seem to find any options. 🙁 If you have ideas, tell me!
  5. I miss buying stuff at Trader Joe’s! There were a ton of things I’d buy every time I’d go but they are not on the diet now so…

The biggest challenge so far? Running on a low carb diet freakin’ sucks. 🙁 I have no energy, it feels like a slog, I sometimes feel light headed, I totally crash from hunger afterwards…I need to figure out an alternative on days I run. Maybe I try carb cycling and eat more carbs before I run. I don’t know…

I am doing a cheat day/meal once a week or so. I think this is important so that I don’t feel 100% deprived, which can lead to a binge.

Week 1 cheat meal was our taco and beer date. 😀

Week 2 cheat meal was pizza!

Deprived

Recently I was chatting with Laura about weight loss, the 90/10 Rule and food and she asked me a really great question. I realized that I never wrote about the topic before. Her question was “Did you ever feel deprived when you were trying to lose weight?”

I paused when I read that and thought, Did I feel deprived? When you are so far from where you started it’s often easy to “forget” how it was in the beginning. I’m assuming a lot of my readers are in the first stages of weight loss. Let me say this: please do not get discouraged. The first few weeks are going to be hard, but so worth it.

So here goes.

I felt “deprived” twice in my journey to lose weight. The first time was obviously when I first started. I went from eating and drinking at least 5,000 calories a day (and that’s a low estimate) to trying to eat 2,000 calories a day. There is definitely going to be a rumble in the tummy with that drastic of change.

The first few weeks that I was staying under 2,000 calories a day was hard. It was a minute-to-minute struggle. Food was always on my mind. When could I eat again? How many calories can I have for my snack? Oh my god, I’m wasting away, I am so hungry! Yes. Dramatic. But that’s how I felt. My stomach felt hollow and I was not satisfied after eating my meals.

Not only was I eating more than half of what I was used to, I also started swimming. Swimming created a hunger like no other activity and I would be in a frenzy during the drive home to eat something. I quickly learned eating a 100 calorie protein bar right after swimming helped.

I got used to the 2,000 calories and stopped feeling deprived. It was the norm. I was also steadily losing weight so that was encouraging me. In those first few weeks I drank a ton of water and a lot of diet soda (not the best idea) to curb the hunger.

The second time in my journey that I felt deprived was after I reached my goal weight. It was kind of a perfect storm for me. I was at goal weight + I started running + I stopped counting my calories. I didn’t think I needed to. I had it down! I could “eye-ball” everything and keep a tally in my head! Totally!

Hm, not so much. The running program made me really hungry and I justified eating a lot more than usual “because I was running so much” and I felt deprived. I told myself I had to have “fuel” for my running. I also wasn’t being very accountable to myself. I committed the worst infraction a maintainer can do: I stopped doing what worked to lose the weight. 

Gaining weight snapped me out of my fog of deprivation and I went back to what worked: counting all my calories and recording them every day.

Currently, I do not feel deprived. I stay within my calorie range almost every day, I eat healthy most of the time, and have a treat (or two)  every day. This works for me. I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything. I think about food less and less. I feel like I’ve created a much healthier balance with myself and food.

QUESTION: Do you feel deprived? How do you combat that?