Portion Control

I’ve been on my diet for a week so far. Not impressive, I know, but I’m surprised I’m doing it at all. I’ve gotten used to being hungry (I’ve read you’re not supposed to eat to get full), and I use water to stave off the hunger to avoid eating too much. To my surprise, junk food wasn’t hard at all to give up. I haven’t had so much as a piece of chocolate, my all-time favorite sweet.

What is hard, however, is eating less when I do eat. As I mentioned in another post, I count the calories in everything to avoid going over my set limit, especially I visit the gym only once a week (and even then, eating too much would ruin my workout). It’s actually easier to not eat at all than to eat less.

It’s not only junk food I’ve had to drop, however. There are even some healthy foods I can’t eat anymore for the time-being because they have too many calories, and I can’t measure out a reasonable portion. Pasta is the biggest example, which sucks, because I like a lot of pasta dishes. One of my relatives cooked rigatoni a week ago, and I ate only eight of the noodles because I could have only five tablespoons to avoid going over my limit. Unfortunately, spaghetti, my most favorite, can’t be measured that way, so I simply to avoid it.

Heck, I’d say I avoid some healthy foods almost as much as junk food due to stay to within my limit. I keep being shocked by how many calories even healthy food has. I have a can of orange juice from school that has 170, and since I can’t have any spaghetti (same relative cooked), I’ve been mentally debating whether or not to drink it to have something for dinner when I do get hungry. The problem is I don’t like to eat or drink anything close to 200 calories, and I already did that during my lunch break (I ate it because it had less than the orange juice). I may just save it for tomorrow or drink it when I get closer to bedtime, so I’m not too close for comfort to my limit with several hours to spare.

I plan to keep this diet up for six months to give any potential results time to show, so I’m hoping keeping my portions small will get easier as time goes on. I would drink only half the can, but I don’t want to throw out the other half (my family throws open cans away if they remain in the fridge for too long).

I think I’m going to have to do a Google search for low-calorie foods. And no, 220 calories is not low! If it’s over 100, it’s not low! I really find it weird some junk food is lower in calories than some healthy food. Isn’t the junk supposed to cause weight gain?

Food, and weight, is weird.

Oh, So That’s The Burn

I mentioned briefly in my last post I started dieting in an attempt to lose weight. Part of dieting is counting calories, so I count the calories in everything, no matter how small. Well, they say small things come in big packages, and counting calories makes me agree!

How many calories are in that apple?! Wait, that banana has how many?? The amount varies by size, which makes sense, but it still surprises me how many calories are small foods. Even if they are healthy, I limit them, so I’m not eating six bananas (630 calories) in one day unless I intend to burn off four of them.

One of my housemates made turkey sandwiches for me to eat later. After a few of counting calories, I knew there would be more in those sandwiches than I expected, so of course, I searched it. 22 (one slice of turkey) plus 158 (two slices of white bread) plus 104 (one slice of American cheese) equals 284 calories total. Yeah, those sandwiches didn’t enter my mouth when I read that. I’ll eat half of one when I return from work, and that’s my sandwich-limit for the day. I’d rather eat the turkey slices single they have the lowest amount and a vast difference to the others.

I went a step further and made a small list of how much of certain nutrients (carbs, fat, sugars, and sodium) is recommended per day and set the limit there. So, I count that in addition to calories. If it’ll put me over one of my limits, it won’t go in my mouth. Water has zero calories, so if I don’t want to eat at the moment, I use that to stave off the hunger until I’m ready to eat. Downside is it makes me want to use the bathroom more than once in a few hours, but they say water is good for you.

So, where’s the silver lining in all of this? The “burn” I reference in the title of this post. Yesterday, I went to the gym. All I did was walk on one of the treadmills for an hour, but in that hour, I burned 340 calories. Before I went to gym, I consumed 365, so burning off 340 left me with 25. According to every weight loss preacher everywhere, you’re supposed to burn more than you eat, so I didn’t do that. But if it means I consumed only 25 calories for the day, I consider that close enough. Of course, I ate when I got home, but I didn’t ruin it by eating 340 calories again. I ate 105, so that left 235 still burned, and 130 consumed for the day. Lovely!

I’ve been at this diet for only five days. I definitely miss soda and chocolate, but I love fruit, so that helps. And it turns out a healthy diet doesn’t mean a lifetime ban of treats and eating out. I love going to restaurants with my boyfriend for holidays, so I’m very glad I don’t have to give that up. Going to have research the calories like crazy, though.

I’m thankful for…

I really don’t have much care for this holiday. I’ve never liked Thanksgiving, not even as a kid. I was much more excited for Christmas. Still, there are things in my life I’m thankful for:

  • My family, despite the amount of times they’ve driven me insane
  • My friends, those close in distance and far away
  • My clinician; she is absolutely amazing!
  • Technology – internet, television, computer, video games, cell phones; all make my life very interesting and fun
  • Art of all kinds; art makes the world visually beautiful
  • Attending college; in spite of how bad it’s gone for me, I have gotten some good things out of it, emotional and material
  • Physical health – I know how fast illness can take over and kill, so I’m very thankful that the extent of my physical ailments is anemia