Friday, March 11, 2011

Part of this Complete Blogfast


Durst fans out there? No? Ok, moving on.

So on January 1, I got news that I had to do yet another biometric screening to earn credits for NEXT year’s insurance. So of course the screening came back that life is good as far as blood goes, but my BMI is still high. They recommended more nutritionist calls.

Now, it’s not that the calls I had last year were bad. In fact, since I was overweight and not obese last year, I only had to have one call instead of 3. It was a half hour out of my life, I could deal. But they weren’t all that informative.

Anyone who works on weight as a lifestyle change (versus fad dieting) knows the basic rules of nutrition. You eat every 3-4 hours, get a lot of protein, lower intake of red meats, up intake of fruits and veggies, and drink loads of water.

So, once I kind of told the nutritionist I knew all that, plus I work out correctly (circuit training and walking, varying workouts week to week), he was a bit stymied on how he could “help.”

I wasn’t looking for help, I was looking for insurance credit. A little of my hard-earned benjamins back in my plus-size pockets, ya know?

But now? Guys, I’ve been stuck losing and gaining the same 3 pounds since October.


My arrogance over my nutrition knowledge is waning. So when the BMI came back high, I just wasn’t really terribly interested in having another one of those calls. I felt I needed help! So I asked the guy setting up the health coaching and he suggested I see a dietician. It turns out they’d just hired some at an on-site clinic at one of our company’s offices.

I didn’t have high expectations, really. My friend saw a great nutritionist and got some good recipes, but used her more as someone to be accountable to.

A skinny blond (shocker in Minnesota, huh?) greeted me at the door. I braced for judgment, but she listened intently and then…I got praise!

You guys, I am so 12 years old sometimes, especially when it comes to praise. I so wish I got grades like I used to. The oldest sibling perfectionist in me just craves constant positive feedback.

She told me I was right on in the timing of my meals and called me an “advanced label reader.”

Woo! I am the valedictorian of label reading, people. Suck it!


Anyway, she showed me how to go slightly deeper into reading labels, particularly in my snacking. What we discovered was that my snacks were tasty and portion controlled (chocolate pretzels and 100 calorie packs), but not necessarily filling.

So while calorie-wise I was doing ok, I had some room for improvement in how I used those calories. She explained focusing on fiber and good fats could help me get over this plateau I’ve been experiencing.

I wanted to share some things I learned because even you skinny people out there know it’s important to be healthy. And for those of you struggling like me, there may be an eye-opening detail here that helps. I sure hope so.

Also? Please share your own experiences/suggestions in the comments. I would really love to get hints from those of you who are out there losing it:

  • For anyone in their child-bearing years, anyone pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, they are now advising 600 mg of folic acid, not 400. Check your vitamins. Most One-a-Days only have 400.
  • For those of you like me who are less in love with water (though hypnosis has changed this somewhat for me), try adding fruit or lemon to water. Otherwise, did you know decaf tea counts as water intake?
  • Stick to 300 mg of sodium or under per serving. The biggest offender? Canned veggies. Use frozen instead. Our biggest offender is beans over here. Rinsing beans can reduce 40% of sodium, but they are still pretty high. Still, soaking them overnight and cooking them? Probably not going to happen. So it just means we have to keep our eyes on sodium elsewhere.
  • Focus on fats, but in a good way. I see a lot of snacks out there that seem so high in fat, I never pick them up. I did not take into consideration what kind of fats they were. The rule of thumb I was given is no more than 3g of saturated fat and trans fats (that’s the naughty naughty kind). Your poly and mono unsaturated fats are actually the good fats, and while you don’t want to eat them all day, snacking on them is actually a good way to get them in. These fats help digestion and are actually anti-inflammatory fats.
  • Also focus on fiber. We all know it keeps things running in terms of digestion, but did you also know that it reduces triglycerides? Items with more than 5 g of fiber are considered high-fiber and will be labeled as such. You should make sure your breads and grains should have more than 2g of fiber (per slice of bread/per serving).
 So, what do you foodies out there have to add? What tips have worked for you?


Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Canned veggies have that much sodium? That's insane! I never knew. That's usually how we get our veggies. I try to cut down salt, especially when I was preg & had high BP.

I struggle with the same things when I'm cutting calories, but water is what I struggle with. Have you tried the flavor packets? They are maybe 5 calories, but I try to put them in a HUGE container of water so you get less flavor and more water. I used to drink the 32 oz water bottles with one packet of flavoring instead of just putting it in a bottle of water.

Kristen said...

thanks for sharing your tips! Most was stuff that my doctor had told me already but I just plateau'd and couldn't move anymore. I finally have started Herbalife, have you heard of it? I LOVE it. I've only lost about 6 pounds in a month, however, I have lost an inch and a half! So I could care less about what the scale says I'd rather look better! Keep your eye on my Tasty Tuesdays!!!! :)

toi said...

Thanks for sharing the tips. I used to read labels but then I stopped. I've put on some weight and I am sure my BMI will be over the normal.

From Monday I am going to try to be healthy again. One thing I am lucky with is that I don't drink too much fizzy drinks, I prefer water. Eating everything you like but fewer potions at dinner tend to help. I know the first few days of turning into health conscious will be hard but I will do some walking and light exercises and hopefully that will help me stay focus. Maybe this will help you too.
Shall we do it together, having a buddy in this endeavour always help a little. We just have to write emails listing what we did during the day – from eating to doing exercise, and even eating the extra chocolate –; maybe that will help us towards the healthy and fitter us :).

Anonymous said...

Lady, thanks for sharing your experiences! I've always wanted to meet with a dietician but just haven't had the courage. I definitely need to start looking at how much sugar is in what I eat, because that's something I'm not doing right now and really should be.

Separately, I'm horrified by how much sodium is in a can of beans!

My eating tips are as follows:

1. If it's processed, run. Unless it's something that you would not take the time to make on your own for obvious reasons (i.e., cheese, bread, peanut butter, that sort of thing).

2. Eat breakfast and make sure it is at least 250 calories and involves protein.

3. Eat fruit like crazy. Have some in breakfast. Eat it as a mid-morning snack. Eat it as a mid-afternoon snack.

4. Drink tea. I don't think it actually does anything but I always feel cleansed.

5. Make half of your dinner plate non-starchy veggies (asparagus, broccoli, a salad the size of your head, all-you-can-eat bruschetta).

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Amanda: Frozen veg is the way to go. It tastes a lot less salty, too. And it's pretty cheap if you find good stock-up sales at your grocery. Haven't tried the water packets. I may try that, although the hypnosis seems to be helping.

Kristen: I haven't tried Herbalife. I'm really trying to commit to losing weight as purely and organically as possible. I'm glad you're being successful though!

TOI: Shoot me an e-mail, I could always use a buddy! I def. recommend getting a professional, though. I'm finding already I feel more accountable after having seen the dietician. I have trouble disappointing people :)

Tenaciously: I know you've been super successful with your weight loss journey, so I'm so glad for these tips. I don't think the tea does much, but the decaf stuff does count was water, so there's that. We're just recently instituting veggies as a side instead of potatoes and pasta.