Weight loss isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
I really hate that notion, because I’ve always been an immediate gratification-oriented person (even before we had the “microwave” and “instant message” generations). I’ve always loved to see the impact of something I’m doing RIGHT NOW, not six months or a year down the line. I never had the patience to plant a tree and watch it slowly, year after year, come to what it should be.
As I get older, I find I’m even less patient in some ways, and in a few of those ways the requirement for even more patience is critical. For instance, my weight loss odyssey.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not only not seeing results, but feeling (which does not, by any means, dictate reality) like I’m moving backward in the weight loss journey. I can’t tell whether I’m losing weight, gaining weight, or holding steady. I’ve not owned a scale for almost ten years, and I didn’t think owning one would be critical to the process, but I have no way of determining whether there IS a process without one.
I can do other things — measurements for one. I ask my wife to measure me on Monday and she did, while I was in a panic and spinning toward depression. I’m still unhappy. I look in the mirror and see what appears to be a fat man getting fatter, and the temptation is to measure/weigh myself every hour on the hour and hope for a change in the right direction.
I know that won’t work, though, so I’m struggling to find another way to keep my spirits up.
My wife says she can feel some differences — the way her clothes fit is her key measurement, but she’s also noticed a difference in how her watch fits her as well. That’s positive for her, and just the right amount of encouragement on her journey. I’d love something, anything, to boost me along the way.
Since determining to add fat and lower protein in our diets, I’ve seen little positive change and perhaps even some negative. I can’t tell whether my protein is still too high, or if my carbs are, but it’s hard to believe my fat intake isn’t sufficient.
This began my pondering: Is it possible the fat intake is too high? I have my doubts, but I also understand not everyone is built the same. So, what does my carb intake look like?
When I tried to figure out my carbohydrate intake, I discovered something — I have no idea what that is right now. And, this is probably the issue. Here’s the breakdown of my daily meals:
- Breakfast: Egg casserole with bacon, sausage, onion, cheese, mushrooms, salsa: about 30g, including half an English muffin. I eat this Monday through Friday without fail, and I am about to stop the English muffin half (which is alone 13 or so grams of carbohydrates)
- Lunch: Various meats and 1/4c of walnuts or pecans, unknown (this is a problem, since many different sources indicate different amounts and no “serving size” is determined aside from weight [e.g., 100g])
- Dinner: About 3c salad greens topped with tortilla chip slivers, three bean salad and dressing, cheese, and Good Seasons salad dressing made with olive oil and red wine vinegar, unknown (another problem, since the tortilla strips say they have 4g per 11 strips and I have WAY more than that on my salad)
So, for my three daily meals (which are pared to only two on weekends), I’m taking in an unknown amount of carbohydrates. How did this happen?
Well, I think the first problem I had is in considering small amounts of carbs “negligible.”
Enough small amounts adds up. 4g doesn’t sound like a lot until it’s put in the light of, “per 11 strips.” These aren’t big strips, by anyone’s measure. They’re tiny li’l things, actually, and so to make the salad have some texture, my wife fills her palm (and she’s got big hands for a lady), and dumps that in. It’s WAY more than eleven strips, but I’ve never sat down and counted them out. So, it’s easier just to drop them and cut that source out.
Additionally, I can maintain the carbs in the breakfast food but I can ditch those in lunch. I don’t know what the carb count is in celery, but then I don’t know how much celery I’m eating either. I can find out, but again, it’s by weight, so I’d need a food scale to make a determination. Since celery seems high in carbs (2g of sugar per serving, 4g total carbs with 2g eliminated via fiber subtraction), it’s probably best to simply eliminate it from my diet, or dramatically reduce how much I eat to a couple of sticks.
On the other hand, carbs from celery probably doesn’t represent that big of a factor compared to the tortilla strips, and I’ve been using the nuts as a source of omega-3 intake. I can probably find the omega-3s in olive oil, so I’m less concerned about replacing the nuts from an omega-3 standpoint. I can also simply supplement if I need to, but…ick. Fish oil pills.
So I can hang onto the celery — initially used to combat diarrhea when doing a low-carb diet, which I now know is due to fat intake being too low — and not worry about it if I start cutting in other places. Any residual carbs from vegetables (green, leafy vegetables, to be precise, which also are a source of omega-3s) can be truly considered residual.
Now, atop all that, I have the fat intake from my proteins, coconut oil used in prep and as an additive (or butter, depending, though CO is my preferred additive fat), and need to find more ways to introduce fat because I can’t tell how much I’m getting and how much is enough.
Talking through all this via my fingertips has been a great help, too. I must remember to journal more often this way, because I’ve discovered yet more hidden carbs in my diet. (Well…okay, they weren’t “hidden” per se, but I didn’t realize they were there, so it’s pretty much the same net effect. Sneaky carbs getting in when I wasn’t looking. Why I wasn’t looking is a matter for another blog post, I guess.)
So with cutting carbs even lower, I move more toward a ketogenic cycle. I hope. But, while I do that, I also debate how to begin a paleolithic period diet. I think if I add berries and seeds I’ll be in the same boat with carbs, right? So how do I work these low-carb, high-fat diets and not neglect doing the right things?
Well, more pondering later. I’m off to trim yet more carbs from my diet.