|Apple Pear, sliced and dusted with cinnamon|
I'm picking a rule, with a sub-rule from Refuse to Regain (by Barbara Berkeley, MD) to write about. My opinions are my own, your experience may vary. I would highly recommend the book.
Rule 1, Step four:
Accept the drug-like nature of S foods and avoid them.
Avoiding sugary & starchy foods is hands down the BEST strategy I've found in my weight maintenance practice. Think: bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, flour and sweet baked goods. I choose not to eat them and that = freedom. I know for some people, restriction sets them up for overeating. But for me, restricting S foods is a release from the up-and-down weight gain in the past.
If you can totally relate :I just want you to know, you are not alone.
If you don't know if you can relate: keep an open mind, think about trying it.
If you cannot relate: Skip the rest of this post. Celebrate that you can eat "S"foods and stay at goal weight.
What works for me:
- Avoiding sugar, flour, cereal, potatoes, and most processed foods all together
- Eating fruit and occasionally dried fruit like golden raisins or dates if I want a sweet food.
- Keeping a Lara bar around for a safe food, for occasional use only.
- Using a Medifast brownie, gluten free maintenance bar for birthday celebrations, or just a good cup of regular or decaf coffee.
- Using 85-90 % chocolate squares (1-2) , for occasional use only.
- Not making an exception or an excuse to grab an S food. EVER.
- Eating "S" foods and telling myself, it's within my calorie/point range
- Buying "S" foods and thinking I could bag them into little portions.
- Going back to eating the "S" foods that contributed to my weight gain in the first place.
- Eating an "S" food because I had hiked or exercised a lot. "I've earned this!"
- Eating an "S" food because I was stressed, had a bad day, or did well and I wanted to "treat myself".
- Buying "S" foods "because the buy one, get one free M&M's could be placed on half a cup of light ice cream and wouldn't that be a great treat?" and other slippery slope thinking.
I was reading Refuse to Regain about 4 months away from my goal weight. At the time I thought I was 2 months away from goal, but goal took me a little longer. Once I accepted the thought that I might not be successful if I re-introduced S foods in my diet, I needed to think back at the past, the present, and the future. And, I needed to plan ahead by thinking about what I could eat in transition and maintenance. I also wanted to know what worked for me and what caused regain.
In the past- (at the time I was at Weight Watchers goal twice) Think : pizza crust, biscotti dipped in coffee, or a Skinny Cow Ice cream. Yes, they all tasted great and in my points range, but lead me to want to keep eating. No Bueno
In the current (at the time I was on Take Shape for Life/Medifast): Gee, all the gluten free meals are the ones that taste the best to me. And, I can eat the Cauliflower Pizza from Sandy's Kitchen, but that pizza did not make me want to overeat. What was different. Sauce- check, mozzarella- check, pizza crust.... OH, there is no flour/wheat in the cauliflower pizza crust. Eureka! That's it. Right there.... This is bueno! A root cause exposed. Fabulous, but now what?
In the future: How am I going to work this? Does this mean no birthday cake or brownies? What will I do if I want to have something sweet? While transitioning from Medifast onto regular food, I stopped at the point where wheat was brought in and started seeing what sweet, natural foods I could tolerate. I also did a 90 Opt out (see the Refuse to Regain book on this) where I ate a Primarian diet and tinkered with a small amount of sweet food to see what would work (see steps 1-6 above).
I continue to fine tune my diet and what does or doesn't work for occasional sweet. I eat 2 fruits a day in my diet (think blueberries and a peach), but sometimes, I'll choose one of the fruits to be an extra sweet fruit. I have to say that golden raisins or fresh pineapple are my most favorite occasional snack. Once a week or so. Sweet, but no urges to want to overeat. And, I don't miss the "S" foods the longer I go without. That is Bueno!
That's it. Thanks for reading. Hopping off the soap box now... get the Refuse to Regain book and work those steps. So worth it!
Anybody else avoiding "S" foods and having success?