Eating Less, Moving More

That’s what it’s been about at my house this past couple weeks. Hubby and I finally purchased our dream exercise equipment, after watching eBay carefully for the perfect deals. I’ve wanted a Gazelle Supertrainer for years, and he’s wanted a Total Gym…you know, the kind Chuck Norris endorses? Well, I couldn’t get to town to utilize a gym membership, so we brought the gym to me! And I’m loving it, especially when dh works out with me!

And all this exercising is really making me aware of the foods I’m eating. After all, who wants to spend 45 minutes burning fat to put it back on again during a ten minute snack fest? So I’ve been cutting my meals in half, and the first week I lost a whopping 9 pounds! I’ve lost two more since then, and it’s blowing my mind how much food I used to eat. In trying to analyze it, I think “eating more” during my years of pregnancy and breastfeeding (I bf my girls more than a year when possible) became a habit that I never realized. I’m not a big snacker, but I do love real food. In becoming cognizant of eating only until I’m satisfied–not quite full, but not hungry, I’ve noticed that I’m losing the familiar “urge” to eat more. It’s great stuff!  

I’ve also been reading helpful weight loss tips, some from magazines, some from the net, and have gleaned some from friends. Here are the ones I’ve found helpful:

Paul McKenna’s 4 Golden Rules

I knew nothing about this man before a friend began talking about some of his techniques and “golden rules” of weight loss. So I looked him up online and began reading his site, and the forum comments. Gleaned a bunch of goodies. I really liked his tip of squeezing the thumb and forefinger of your left hand together and thinking nasty thoughts about the foods you’re craving when those inevitable desires arise! It works! We ate at Pizza Hut after church this past week, and I opted for salad bar only…watching my family eat slice after slice was hard until I tried this and my stomach actually ceased growling at me! For motivation, and more on these ‘rules’, definitely visit www.mckenna.com.

The Maker’s Diet

My friend Deborah perked my interest in this one, and I immediately got my hands on a copy of the book. You can check Jordan S. Rubin’s book and testimony out at this link: The Maker’s Diet. It’s based on Biblical guidelines for eating, cleansing, etc. I just finished the book, and highly recommend it. Jordan Rubin was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and after seeing over 70 doctors and health practitioners, he looked like a concentration camp survivor…definitely at death’s door. He regained his health 180% by in-depth study of the Bible and following God’s prescription for diet and health. Fascinating reading! And an especially informative Appendix at the book’s end contains simple and delicious sounding recipes, resources (books and websites) for places to purchase organic foods, essential oils (Biblical ones!!), sweeteners, grains and flours, popcorn…non-toxic household cleaners and odor removers…it’s unbelievable what’s available out there. Informative read!

Don’t Get Distracted

Savor each bite. We’re aiming for chewing this a few more times (25-30 or more) than your normal mom-in-a-hurry bite-and-gulp routine. Concentrate on your meal, and on stopping when you feel satisfied. This has really worked for me. That and drinking a ton of lemon-water if I don’t quite feel satisfied when I’m determined to stop!

Get Distracted

Sometimes you just have to let a little time go by and your common sense will overtake those cravings. Get busy doing something else. I REALLY wanted one of the homemade biscuits I’d made to go with supper the other night. I reasoned that I’d skipped the mashed potatoes and gravy, and only had half a piece of the chicken fried steak, so one little biscuit wouldn’t hurt anything, right? Well, I put it off, thinking it would be a nice treat after we’d cleaned up the kitchen, but I kept eyeing the ziplock bag of leftovers, wondering if it was really worth it. By the time we finished clean-up, I was glad I hadn’t gone for it. There are still biscuits in the bag two days later, untouched by yours truly! (Can you tell I don’t feel at all deprived?)

Be Too Smart to Be Tricked

Foods with the appealing titles of “Home-style Fried Chicken” or “Grandma’s Sticky Buns” tempt us, saying that the food must “taste better”…nah, probably not. Think how long you’d have to work out to burn those calories that you’ll forget minutes after having consumed them!

Keep Track of What You Put in Your Mouth

I haven’t been doing this, but I think it’s a great idea to help us be more aware of how much mindless consumption we’re guilty of. One article I read advised to write down every food before you put it in your mouth.

I’ve never been a calorie counter either, but my Gazelle keeps track of how many calories I’ve burned and a 30 minute workout on there says I’ve burned 160-300 calories (depending on how fast and furious I’m going!) so I got online and started researching some of the foods I’d been eating at CalorieKing.com. Yikes! Go get educated…the bottom line is that most fruits and veggies have barely any calories, while the hamburgers hubby fixed for us the other night each contained 218 calories, plus the 70 calorie slice of cheese, the 1 calorie leaf of romaine lettuce, two slices of tomato at 3 calories each…equals an almost 300 calorie meal. I skipped the bun and ketchup, but had a little mustard at 0 cals. Think I’m obsessed? Well, it’s been interesting correlating the two, burning calories and consuming them. (Yeah, I’ve never seriously dieted before!)

Keep Healthy Snacks Around

I’m snacking more diligently to keep from “starving” between meals. Baby carrots, watermelon cubes, celery sticks, bell pepper, broccoli, two or three tablespoons of tuna fish with lime juice and garlic (as a veggie dip), 6 oz of V-8 Juice…things under 35 calories per serving. They’ve really taken the edge off.

Stay Away From Fat-free and Sugar-free Products

I just read a very informative book called Sweet Poison on the dangers of Aspartame. Really wanted to review it on the blog but ran out of time. If you or anyone you know likes diet pop, or diet/sugar-free/fat-free anything, you need to read this book. Really. It could save your/their life. Did you know that Aspartame is even in children’s Tylenol? It’s in most of the available yogurts, sugar-free gum (both things we consumed prior to reading this book), etc. The author’s  compelling testimony of being diagnosed with a fatal thyroid disorder, Grave’s Disease; she was about to have her thyroid destroyed by doctors (irradiated) when she did her own research and found that her devastating health problems (hair loss, vision problems, migraines, weight gainall tracked back to her daily diet pops and overuse of Aspartame. Within 30 days of giving up Aspartame products (de-toxing, essentially) she was back on the road to good health, and her doctor eventually announced her cured of Grave’s disease, which is uncurable. Anyway, visit the link, it’s much more convincing than I am! (My girls are mourning the loss of sugar-free gum…b/c we don’t chew gum otherwise!)

Well, there’s a lot of “thought for food” to keep ya’ll busy! I do want to stress that it’s not about starving yourself, it’s about moderation! There are SO many ways to cut back, as I’m discovering. I’d love to hear your favorite tips in comments!!

17 thoughts on “Eating Less, Moving More”

  1. Mary, good for you guys!!! I have given up all deserts, that includes anything sweet, even things like pop tarts. Sweets are my biggest weekness. I have done it as a prayer, kind of like a fast, and because I do it that way, I never cheat. I do allow myself to have dessert on Sundays only. I have been doing this for over three months now, and I have lost the rest of my pregnacy weight. I am now down to 120, so it has really been great for me. I do pretty good on eating healthy meals. We don’t eat a ton of red meat. I drink tea instead of soda, and try to drink lots of water. I have not been able to work out, because my husband is finishing our basement, but in a few weeks, it will be done, and then I will do my treadmill again! It is nice to have my clothes fit again! LOL

  2. Mary, Thanks for reminding me! I started out on a similar endeavor earlier this year and have slipped badly. You’re motivating me to pick up again on the idea of eating real food in appropriate quantities. I need to eat to live rather than living to eat. :-)
    Grace and peace, Sister.

  3. I guess I should also add, I never do diet soda and things like that. I have heard for years how bad artifical sweetners are, and I would rather not mess with them. One thing to avoid too is corn syurp, which is in a lot of things, the body can not metabilze it, and it is stored as fat. It is cheaper than sugar so most soda’s and many candy’s and even some canned fruits contain it. It is important to read the labels, and try to avoid too much corn syrup.

  4. Go Mary! So glad to hear your dropping the pounds. Make sure you don’t lose too much too fast, but it sounds like you’ve done your research! I’ve been into the diet drinks lately and really trying to kick the habit, because it makes my teeth hurt! I need to look and see if the “zero” drinks have aspartame as well.

    Colleen’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday: Puppies

  5. Mary dear, It was so gracious of you not to mention in here those deadly croissants I brought to Bible study Thursday! I had checked the specs and each croissant had 3 tablespoons (300 cal) of butter in it and, tho I made them with 100% home ground wheat flour, the total carbs made me see that I can take that recipe out of my cookbook! Keep feeding us the results of your study on this. It is so helpful!

  6. yeah!! it’s a bittersweet experience, is it not? so exciting that you are losing the wait, but oh how much junk we put into our system. The book(s) that changed my life is a series by a woman with the last name of Schwarzbein. Basically, she says, eat what you want, but eat it naturally. again, basically. it’s soo true. the times that we’ve travelled to africa – where we only ate natural food (cows freshly, well, you know), everything freshly picked. in fact, the only “preservative filled” food stuff I rememember is the creamer in the morning tea. anyway, NATURAL, preservative free IS the way to go. I wish eating like that was less expensive than it is and easier. Congratulations.. your achievements are wonderful.

  7. Thanks, guys! I appreciate your comments and encouragement!

    Juli, I’m not missing the sweets too much, thankfully! A bit of chocolate now and then still sounds good, but I’ve only caved once for a mini Krackel candy bar on Mother’s day! πŸ˜‰ You’ve done so well to stay in the 120’s, 130-something is fit for my build, I was right in that range on my wedding day and would like to get near it again! Treadmills are great, my older sister works out on hers all the time and has stayed so fit over the years…it’s so nice to have good equipment at HOME, isn’t it? To exercise when convenient…I just got done doing 40 minutes on my Gazelle, and another 30 of Pilates on my Total Gym. It amazes me how versatile the TG is. Wow. Now I need to go clean out the chicken house. Not nearly as fun, but more functional exercise! Hee hee…hm.

    I’ve never been a diet pop drinker either. Or a pop drinker at all, actually…every now and then at a party I’d have a root beer maybe. I was really shocked at the info in the Sweet Poison book. Thought of all the health problems most people can’t find cures for, and so many of them are stealth signs of aspartame poisoning taking over their health. I’d like to find out more info on the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) too…I’ve done some reading online and at other blogs, so I knew about it, and that it is in everything…but I’d really like a better “how-to” resource, one that maybe lists the common foods it’s in. I’ve really felt great living on mostly fruits and veggies this past couple of weeks. Though I’m not terribly worried about the red meat/heart disease connection, esp after reading The Maker’s Diet book. Everything in moderation is the key.

    Larry! Glad to have re-motivated you! Love that comment on “eating to live” rather than “living to eat”. There is nothing like food to those of us who love it. I have found that if I’m having a favorite meal and am tempted to have seconds…I just tell myself I can heat a little up later in the afternoon or have it the next day…something to look forward to. And by that time, since the “fresh” has worn off, it’s not as tempting to overeat. :) Do you have a “plan”, access to a gym, or machine at home? It really has made the difference for me. I love walking and aerobics, but after so many years of relying on them for fitness, I’m really enjoying these new toys! Here are a couple of websites for you to read on HFCS:
    http://www.femhealth.com/dangersofhfcs.html
    http://www.thefitshack.com/2007/03/23/5-reasons-to-avoid-high-fructose-corn-syrup/
    The last link recommends a couple of books that mention HFCS and its dangers. There is a lot of info out there…these were just two I found when googling it.

    Colleen, I wasn’t setting out to lose so much initially, it just happened with the huge hike in cardio work (w/o starving myself either, I might add, and no diet pills, of course!). I have read that more than 2 lbs a week isn’t recommended, but I assume I’ve finally gotten through the easy stuff because I’ve hovered at the same number for a couple of days now. I can really tell I’m firming up though, and my capris from last summer are fitting much better! I really recommend you reading that Sweet Poison book, or at least browsing her website. I know how hard it is to give up favorite drinks (Can you believe I’ve been Cappuccino free for one year!?! Well, except for one Starbucks cheat on a date with dh!)…I still miss it occasionally, but it is such a treat when I do get the stuff. And no migraines has been a great side effect for me having given the stuff up. When I was looking up the websites for Larry, I found something on Coke Zero having no HFCS, but definitely having artificial sweeteners, though it didn’t say specifically aspartame. Hey, your wedding draws ever closer!!! Are you ready!? πŸ˜‰

    Mom, that croissant was worth it, 100% whole wheat was what did me in, yum! I still lost weight that day, believe it or not! πŸ˜‰

    Teresa, I’m so glad to know about these books…I look at what I’m STILL feeding my family (the snack cupboard for instance…but there is NO way I can wean dh from his Cheezits) and know that I’m slowly being put up back against the wall on changing things drastically. I have yet to go sugar free or totally eliminate white flour. Baby steps I guess. This year we’ll have a garden, our own eggs, and the next step will be to find a dairy nearby for real milk. In the Maker’s Diet book, Ruben mentions that one cup of milk contains over a hundred antibiotics…yikes! I knew about growth hormones and that some of the medicines leached through, but good grief! You are right, this is getting expensive! πŸ˜‰ At least where you live, fresh fruit is plentiful and available much of the year! I’d love to plant some fruit trees…

    Mary’s last blog post..Eating Less, Moving More

  8. Wow I’m so impressed. That is really great I can’t wait to see you. I think the girls and I will be at the Bartches anniversary. Nursing is wonderful to help with the baby weight and it helps tighten things up a little but not much. All the pounds are gone but there are still a few inches hanging around my waist and backside.

  9. Congratulations, your “diet” or changes in eating sound wonderful. I tend to be attracted to the really healthy but very difficult dietary changes, and then can’t keep them up. No one else is eating the same stuff. So, I’m encouraged to keep off the sugar and flour, which I began a couple of weeks ago, and now that cravings are gone, to reduce serving amounts. We went on a cruise and actually didn’t overeat, because everything tasted soooo good, that we savored each bite, like you mentioned. Also we didn’t have 10 kids to eat with or interruptions, or a rush to get anywhere…It was restful and blissful.

  10. Mary and Juli, Thanks very much for the links on high-fructose corn syrup. I can’t imagine why my own research didn’t turn those up! I appreciate the insights gleaned from those articles.

    Grace and peace, Sisters

  11. Hi there, Andrea, been wondering how you guys are doing! I’m not sure yet if we’ll be at the anniversary party, we want to, but our weekends through the end of May are super busy. I’ll get your dvds to Haley in the meantime though, we’ve sure enjoyed being educated in such an array of musicals! My pg weight came off the easiest with my firstborn and I never did understand after the second and third, why all my running around after them didn’t work off the weight! Lol. You’d think God would have had some extra grace in the weight loss dept for us moms! πŸ˜‰ Nursing might have helped tighten my stomach back in, but I always had a voracious appetite when I was nursing, so it probably evened out… :(

    Thanks, Cena…I’m hoping to keep it up, and keep these eleven pounds off. Kinda bummed after the first week being such a boon, I’ve not lost any more…but at least I’m firming up and holding steady at the same weight. Probably some muscle building happening which wouldn’t show up as weight loss, right? πŸ˜‰ I am soooooo glad to hear that you and your hubby had a wonderful anniversary cruise! What a great time together it must have been…we’re glad to have you back online though!

    Juli, what a great article, much better than the ones I linked to, I’m so glad you posted the link–thanks!!

    You’re welcome, Larry, and if you find any particularly good ones while you’re searching, let us know!

  12. On weight loss or the high fructose corn syrup? As far as weight loss goes, they say the younger you are the faster it comes off! No time like now to start.

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