I did the low-carb challenge and got nuts out of my diet. That marked the shift of not tracking my food.
I started feeling full and eating 3 meals a day. It took some time to adjust to not eating 4-5 times a day, but eventually, the larger, very, very filling meals meant no or very little hunger between meals. I still get hungry, but it's a normal feeling just before meals OR if I've been very physically active.
Occasionally, my emotional eating brain will emerge and give me the wrong signals. I've trained myself to watch for that, and take action.
For now, eating within my food template gives me a full, energizing meal and stable weight.
I can see the benefits of food tracking, but it's nice to be off the portion control and the daily food tracking routine.
The real break though came when I eliminated nuts and kept my carb range between 50-90 grams on most days. (Long hiking days mean I can go back to >100 grams of carbs- but we're not talking junk food here, just a little more fruit. Small slices of small portions of in-season apples, peaches, pears, oranges.
I typically only have fruit at dinner, and usually berries most evenings. That's been working well, and I'm aware that not everyone who reaches long term maintenance can have fruit or 85% chocolate, so I thank my lucky stars that I can have both.
I've run into people who are concerned about portion sizes. It's amazing to me, since upping the portion sizes of the right foods, I would be too full. Also, if I even think about eating high carb, processed junk food, it just doesn't sound good at all! because I'm so full of the nutrient dense food. Never, ever did I think this would happen.
It took me a long time food and mind wise to get to this place. It was worth getting here, though. I feel great and full. Finally. WOW! Just wow. I think being worried about higher fat (even the right kind of fat) is something that I've put behind me. Especially with my latest blood work.
I can't help but think that getting my food template dialed in has helped with the emotional eating, too. There has to be a connection. I think food tracking has it's place, it's just fun to try and to have found this success, it's almost like an early holiday gift to myself.
Here's what is working now:
1. Tracking weight but not weighing, measuring, or tracking food on My Fitness Pal.
2. Eating a clean low-inflammatory, lower carb 50-90 grams, Paleo template.
3. Eating as much portion size as I want, and trusting my hunger signals.
4. Eating 3 meals a day.
5. Knowing that I can and will go back to tracking, if needed, to trouble shoot any problems.
Here's what did not work in the past:
1. Not weighing in AND not tracking my food. Refusing to connect those dots.
2. Not looking at my carb range at ALL.
3. Not eating enough of the right foods for my body.
4. Eating moderate portions of added-sugar and junk foods many times a day.
5. Not trying different problem solving techniques and moving on to the next tools fast enough.
PS- a big thanks to Dan French, Amy Kubal, RD, and Corbin Thomas for hosting the low carb challenge. And Jimmy Moore's Cholesterol Clarity book so I could finally not worry about my total cholesterol levels. Looking at Dietician Cassie's tweets of PFC- protein, fats, carbohydrates was in influencing, as well. The convergence of these events coming together helped me shift to a better place. That month in May 2013 was probably the best "shift" I've had all year on the food and weight maintenance front. Here's a big cup of coffee to salute to you all.
|Just coffee, no bagels! Oceanside Harbor.|