Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Choices

The comments and emails about my eating have been interesting. Some folks think I am eating too much (basing that on my idea of keeping my calories around 2000 for this week). They say I should not be eating walnuts at all because they are high in fat and calories. They say I need to cut way back, but of course no one agrees on how far back: 1500? 1200? 600? Those numbers are all suggestions I got. Then other folks say I am not eating enough, that I need more calories to heal and be well, that limiting myself to 2000 is unhealthy. I should eat more, people say. I've had a couple of friends who are doing Medifast that lament me stopping, and tell me if only I would stay on it strictly I'd lose eventually. And others say real food is the only way to go. It's all conflicting, but I am glad people are sharing what they think. It is really interesting to read the different opinions and thoughts and wonder who is right. Actually, I guess we're all right in some way. Probably different things work best for different people. But I figure I've already done the 900 calorie thing for long enough to see it is not working for me anymore. I'll admit I considered cutting back and doing all shakes/all Medifast an no real food (but Medifast absolutely does not condone this, and it is only done under a doctor's supervision) but when I really sat down and thought about it, I believe that would not be conducive to my injuries healing, my health, and my sanity. And how would I ever come off of that and maintain? I had a close friend who did Optifast in the 90's and lost a LOT of weight. Her hair fell out, she got dark circles under her eyes, her skin looked pale, and she had no energy. But she was thin! Do you know what happened when her doctor told her it was time to get off Optifast? She cried, and said, "no, please, please don't make me stop. I am so afraid I will gain all the weight back! Please let me stay on the shakes." And although she went off Optifast with an eating plan and a nutritionist, she was back near 300 pounds within a years time. And to this day that is where she has stayed. It is very hard, I think, to come back from 600 calories and NO solid food for months.

So since I was not going to reduce to 600 calories, and was not going to continue on Medifast, the only other option is to increase my calories. How much to increase them is where I am not so sure. Maybe 2000 IS too much. Maybe I will gain and gain on 2000. I hate this, but it is something I have to do, I think, to get in the nutrition I need to be well. This is not 2000 calories of junk. It is also not 2000 calories of spinach and tilapia. I am eating a wide variety of foods, aiming for at least 80% whole foods. When I choose something like maple syrup, I am aware that it is just a natural sugar and if I eat too much it will trigger me AND I will have pain. So I measure out 2 teaspoons and fit it into my calories. When I decide to eat walnuts on my oatmeal, I do so knowing what they are and believing they are a good choice for healing. I also weigh them out on my food scale so I don't overdo it; a half ounce is plenty. I count using Sparkpeople, aim for 300-400 calories each for breakfast and lunch, and 600-700 for dinner. I eat 2 or 3 snacks and try to keep those to 100-150 calories each. That totals 1500-1950 calories a day. So far I am on the high end of this, between 1900-2000 calories a day.

As for exercise, I am not getting a lot. I'm still on crutches and sit a lot. I have my weights and resistance bands by the recliner, and I am doing mostly upper body work:

wrist curls, reverse wrist curls
biceps curls
triceps extensions
shoulder press
dumbbell shrugs

Tomorrow I am adding some floor stretches and exercises, like side lying leg lifts, crunches, bridges, and quadriceps presses. My chair workout video will be here soon and I will add that to get my heart rate up. I've tried a few chair workouts from YouTube but they are sooo slow and don't get my heart rate up at all. Mostly stretching, but that's better than nothing for now.

Thanks for all the encouragement and insights!

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lyn,
Curious as to what your foot injury actually is and how it happened. You haven't said. I am wondering becasue you said you ordered a chair workout video. Are you anticipating this not healing soon?

Anonymous said...

This isn't about what "other people" tell you, this is about your body. You have data about maintenance calories for your body. You've often said it's at 1400 calories when you're getting 9000 steps in. So when you're not getting those steps in, you're closer to 1100.

But you don't have to take my word for it, just try it. Start by maintaining your calorie level and moving away from packets. Does anyone disagree about keeping the protein content high, especially in recovery mode? When your weight stabilizes on "real food", then increase the calories by 200/day for a week. If you gain weight that week, don't raise the calories again the following week.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I tripped and tore a ligament in my foot. The doc said 6 weeks. I could be off crutches sooner than that but will need the air cast until then. It's pretty painful.

Karen said...

You have a lot of "what works, what doesn't work" experience. What worked for me stopped working... probably ages/menopause and dealing with emotional eating. I had to change my mind-set and my processes- along multi-year project.

It takes a lot of courage and strength to keep going. Refuse to Regain came out in paperback. The "opting out" part - 90 days of mainly a primal diet- no "S"foods- great place to find your new food intake levels while not regaining much- IMO.

Keep evaluating the support side. Become a student. There was a great podcast by Jonathan Bailor and Carol Dweck (link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bonus-dr.-carol-dweck-change/id541602331?i=169130015&mt=2). It's about changing your mindset from a fixed mind set to a growth mind set.

Have a listen, then seek out support (12 step- online, group meetings online- Half size me, Binge/emotional eating recovery groups, other sources). I could not have done the growth part without a support system.

Choose the tools that you need for the process change you see fit. Good luck.

Deb Willbefree said...

Hey. I don't have time to scroll back and look, right now, but I think you had a period of eating about 2000 calories of near paleo food. Summer maybe? Can't remember. You might want to look back and see how that went.

I truly can't remember...but I'm pretty sure you did that when you went off of Medifast a while back.

Every body IS different, so how your own did may help guide you.

Deb

Anonymous said...

Where did this belief that you need 2000+ calories per day in order to get adequate nutrition and "be well" come from? In the past, you always maintained you were getting good nutrition at much lower calorie levels. Do you feel you were mistaken then, and were actually nutritionally deficient?

I am not trying to be impertinent; I am honestly curious about this change in your approach.

Lyn said...

Karen~

thanks. I really enjoy your blog and your thoughts. I think I am having some hormonal changes, too. I will check out the podcast.

Deb~

Yes, I did a Primal thing over the summer a year ago, and from what I remember I maintained. I don't recall how many calories that was, but I know it's in my blog somewhere. Then in the fall of 2012 I did low carb calorie counting, was maintaining at 1350ish calories a day and losing slowly on 1200. I should go back and look it over.

Anonymous~

it's not a belief, it's an experiment. All the blood work I had while I was on Medifast looked good, and the doctor checked for nutritional deficiencies. But I have also had plantar fasciitis that would not heal for 18 months and now this injury. I do think good nutrition is important for those things, but as for how many calories I need, I am just doing trial and error at this point.

Anonymous said...

1/2 ounce walnuts = almost 100 calories. Just FYI.

Best advice is to just live like a healthy person. Be the person you WANT to become. Healthy people don't eat oreos and cake; healthy people DO have maple syrup in the amount you described and walnuts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn,

I am so sorry you are having so much foot pain. I really hope it heals up. I know how frustrated you are. Is this a new injury or the same plantar fasciitis?

I know I've said it before, but do consider taking Vitamin D3. I take 5000 IU a day. I am 63, menopausal of course, and very sedentary. I exercise about once or twice a week in a pool. I've lost 42 pounds since March and I've come to learn that a lot of it is due to taking D3. A doctor doing research on this put me on it and I absolutely did not believe it would do anything. After about a year or year and a half of taking it, I decided to diet on about 1000 calories a day, 2 meals of it Medifast and the rest regular foods, even cheating every couple of weeks with a candy bar or small ice cream. Mostly I eat chicken, fruit, jello, a vegetable, and a Medifast brownie and chocolate crunch bar on most days. I eat 2 meals a day as I don't work, so that works for me. I know the diet greatly helps the weight loss, but I've never lost more than 25 pounds on any diet. My dr. is studying this and tracking patient blood levels of D3. Those with 80ng/ml and above (I'm at 70 ng/ml) have lost anywhere from 25 to 70 pounds with walking only in most cases. One lady is 64 and bedridden and lost 27 pounds. The D3 is not the whole reason to explain my weight loss, but I know it is explaining a good part of mine because I'm not doing anything different than other diets in the past, yet this time I've lost 42 pounds. It must be the D3, especially since I recently found out that other patients of my dr. are having the same thing happen to them. Get a dr. to monitor your blood level if you do this. I can give you by email the name and phone number of my dr. if you wish to call him and ask to verify this.

I agree with the insights some are posting that you have to find what calorie and exercise level works for you and that will vary from person to person. I take vitamins every day to make sure I'm getting what I need, but I eat more regular food than Medifast, so I'm never tired or lack energy. I actually have more energy, even though I'm still only eating 1000 calories on most days. Some days I've eaten as much as 1500, but not often. I'm losing 1 pound a week right now and have gone from 235 to 193 since March.

Take care and hang in there. Don't worry and just be healthy at the weight you feel okay with. I'll likely never be thin, but I am feeling so much healthier. That's the goal, I think.

Nan

timothy said...

sending healing prayers your way, I KNOW you need to up the protein while healing but i'd suggest adding magnesium for healing the muscle too and severly limiting fruits, our body doesn't actually need them in high doses so i'd try doing mayhaps one banana a day or a handful of nuts etc etc. whatever you do just do something giving up is NOT an option!

Anonymous said...

Why do you have to do everything the same every day? Why can't you do an intermittent fasting type thing. So eat about 1800 cals each day and then on one two days a week cut back so that overall you keep the calories in the maintenance range while allowing your body to get used to higher calories. The low calorie days would insure that you didn't miscalculate your calories and gain.

Anonymous said...

Optifast is completely controlled calories and there are thousands of success stories. Your calories were never 100% sure. You had one non calorie controlled meal where substantial error could occur. While you may have thought you were eating 900 calories the chances that you were and were not losing are quite slim. I would suggest that when you start dieting again you do a test period (1 month or so) where you only eat controlled measured calories and see the result.

Anonymous said...

Is there some reason you have to eat such high calorie dense food? Walnuts / maple syrup does not fill you up but adds high calories. For now, you should stock up on low calorie high volume foods. Veggies, soup, lite bread. There is a book called volumetrics (and tons of lists on the net) of such foods. Do not have a dinner without a bag of cauliflower. Anything high calorie should be out. No butter, no oil, no nuts. Snack on carrots. Egg beaters with veggies in there.

Anonymous said...

Healthy people never have Oreos or cake? Seriously?!

It's one thing to avoid these foods if they're triggering, but quite another to say it's impossible to be healthy if such foods ever cross your lips, even if it's on rare occasions.

Sheesh.

Also, I'm sure Lyn knows how many calories are in a half ounce of walnuts!

Anonymous said...

The story of your Optifast friend is so sad...what a failure she must have felt like (still feels like) to have lost all that weight (just how much did she lose?) and then gain it all back!

Anonymous said...


I am sorry that you are in chronic pain.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

I'm curious Lyn, have you ever tried using a bodybugg or fitbit, etc. to see what your actual calorie expenditure is for a 24 hour period? I used a bodybugg after failing to lose the weight I gained during a pregnancy. I was convinced I couldn't eat more than 1000 calories a day since that was what I was logging. I was SHOCKED by how many calories I was actually burning.

It didn't take much tweaking of my diet/exercise to get the weight off. Turned out for me that one 2 mile walk a day wasn't enough to counter all the sitting on the couch breastfeeding. I found the calorie estimate to be bang on when I REALLY logged what I was eating. Like most people I would take a bite of this and a sip of that and had no idea that it was just enough to put me in maintenance.

At the very least you would know if you had a problem with your metabolism if you are maintaining at a calorie level well below what you are burning.

The other thing the BB helped me learn was that my body was very efficient at not burning calories when I exercised. It was WAY below what every estimator said I'd be burning at my age/weight. I'd walk 2 miles in 30 minute and only burn 75 calories-not the 200 places like Sparkpeople said.

Anyway- I enjoy your blog. I'm just curious if you've ever tried any of these gadgets. It made all the difference for me.

Jennifer

Lyn said...

Wow, that is a whole lot of Anonymous comments! Glad to have them, but surprised how many are anonymous.

Anonymous (Nan)~

new injury. I tripped and tore a ligament in my foot. So far the other foot is pain free. I am praying those cortisone shots don't wear off in 2 months like the last ones did, because it has been almost 2 months now and that would be bad! It sounds like you have absolutely found a good plan for your health and weight. It sounds great! I am going to use the Medifast I have left for snacks here and there since they are only 100 calories and high in protein. I have been taking 2000iu of D3 for quite awhile now, but I will ask my doctor about doubling that over the winter. I take it to help prevent SAD.

Lyn said...

timothy~

thank you for all your support! Good idea on the magnesium. I was taking Natural Calm magnesium powder for awhile; maybe I will get back on that for awhile.

Anonymous~

I thought intermittent fasting was skipping meals for a day. What you describe sounds like what I've heard called calorie cycling, with higher cal/lower cal days. I think it's a good idea, thanks. After this week maybe I will factor in a lower cal day each week.

Anonymous~

I don't feel comfortable going on packets/shakes with no real food. When I was on Medifast, the one real food meal a day was weighed and measured. I guess any food can vary by a few calories in its content even if you weigh it. When I did Medifast the first time, I weighed and measured and lost 15 pounds the first month and about 7 pounds a month after that, but I didn't get even close to those results the last couple of times, even though I was still weighing and measuring the same way.

Lyn said...

Anonymous re: eating no high calorie foods~

that would mean no fats at all. Our bodies do need some healthy fats to function well. Even if it is just a few slices of avocado, a teaspoon of olive oil to cook with, or some walnuts on our oatmeal, fat is necessary and it wouldn't be prudent to cut them out completely. I agree with the rest of your comment though; eating high volume, low calorie, high nutrient foods like vegetables is absolutely key.

Anonymous~

I have come from a place of "nevers" and am working towards a place of being more moderate. So yeah, I agree that even healthy people may have a not-so-healthy indulgence once in awhile, although I try to limit them for weight loss. And yes, I do weigh and log the calories in my walnuts :)

Anonymous~

I do not know exact figures on her loss/regain, but she was down around 135 pounds before she regained it all. So that would be about 150 pounds or so lost.

Anonymous (Jeff)~

thank you.

Jennifer~

I had some kind of device loaned to me wayyy back, early in my blog, maybe in 2008 or 2009. I think it was a bodybugg. I liked it... I might even have the printouts around here somewhere. That would be interesting to look at, ad even more interesting if I tried it again and compared the results.

Sara said...

I'm relieved that you mentioned that you find the variety of comments you get interesting to read rather than frustrating! The sheer variety of what "works" for each individual person when it comes to nutrition and fitness is really incredible, and the more I read about individual people's experiences, the more I believe that trial and error is the only real way to find out what will work for you! Even if Medifast HAD been working to improve your physical health, it was NOT working to improve your emotional/mental health anymore, and that MATTERS.

IMHO, finding a way of eating that you like and can live with and finding fitness that you enjoy incorporating into your day matter way more than getting in the "right" foods (and what is "right," anyway?) or the "right" kind of exercise, because enjoyment leads to consistency. It doesn't matter if you eat Paleo and do Crossfit every day... If all you can handle of Paleo and Crossfit is two months before you get fed up, eat a loaf of bread, and go back to the couch where your fitness starts to deteriorate again (not picking on Paleo here, just using it as an example). If what you enjoy and what is sustainable is eating all three macronutrients in moderation and taking long walks/dog training/yard work (when your PF isn't acting up) along with occasional strength training, THAT is what is going to lead to health (mental and physical) for you because it is what YOU love incorporating into your life.

Ultimately... I hope that you can find a way of eating and a way of incorporating activity that bring you joy again. Wising you the best!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that you have not tried recreating the macros of medifast with REAL whole foods. This is possible and very effective as a long term solution. For example, instead of the steel cut oats you had the other morning what I eat for breakfast for my oatmeal is:

10 grams raw pumpkin seeds
10 g. flax seed meal
10 g. wheat germ
10 g. desiccated coconut
13 g. Body Fortress Protein Powder
29 g. blackberries & liquid splenda. This creates a faux oatmeal that contains 271 calories, 16.6 grams fat (very healthy fats from both the coconut and the flax meal), 20.3 carbs which includes 10.5 grams fiber = 9.8 NET carbs, 16.9 grams protein.

I add boiling water to the mixture, stir and then microwave for about a minute. The small difference in protein quantity, fiber quantity and total carb quantity between your "healthy" oatmeal and my oatmeal is the difference between a minimal insulin release and a significant insulin release.

You CAN recreate the nutrition of medifast meals with real whole foods that are delicious. I measure EVERYTHING on a digital scale (with grams or ounces to the hundredth decimal).

Something like Pam cooking spray that says 0 calories has significant calories. Weighing your cooking pan before spraying with Pam and then after will show a minimum (very smallest amount possible to use) of 4 grams fat. If I sprayed the cooking pan like I used to spray it when I thought it was 0 calories (because that's what the label says), I was probably getting around 12 grams of fat (106 calories). It is very easy to get huge amounts of added calories here and there throughout the day without realizing it when you don't weigh EVERYTHING.

Anyway, I follow a diet that is very close to what Medifast does nutritionally (a little lower in carbs and protein and a little higher in fat), but with real whole foods. I've spent a lot of time fiddling around on Fitday getting meals that are delicious, nutritious, and fit the macros I am shooting for. I have lost 47 pounds since June 20th. More importantly, I have discovered the method of how I will be eating long term. What foods and in what combinations I need to eat to keep my insulin response minimal.

The funny thing is at my top weight (261.2 @ 5' 6") I experience substantially more hunger each day eating my high refined carb SAD (standard american diet) than I do now at my 1000ish calorie very low glycemic foods diet. I lost from 261.2 down to 236.4 over the course of a year and a half eating high carb foods, but calorie counting and then from 236.4 down to 191 (today) since June 20th from shifting my macros to a 20-45 NET carbs, 45-100 grams protein, remainder fat, averaging 1000 calories per day. I eat 3-4 times the volume of vegetables I used to eat (all low carb veggies, berries or strawberries) and a little bit less protein than I used to eat. I let my body guide me on protein intake. I shoot for a minimum of 45 grams of protein (U.S. RDA minimum) and go higher if something like fish sounds good. (I don't love fish, but like it ok, so I know that if it sounds good to eat, I need more protein that day).

Anyway, I wish you would look at a low carb macros, whole foods diet. It works for weight loss, and sets the groundwork for how you would eat long term to maintain a weight-loss. With accurate measuring of everything and some kitchen cooking experimentation you can come up with a rotation of delicious, nutritious foods that you can eat long term for optimal health.

As for soups and stews, I make up a batch and then split into 3 or 4 servings and use 1/3 or 1/4 of the nutrition for recording in fitday.

I eat different foods than my family and will for the rest of my life. I have accepted that. I can't eat the hamburger helper or lasagna dinner they eat and maintain even a reasonable weight. That's okay though. There are a LOT of foods I CAN eat that a very satisfying that help me meet my nutrition & body weight goals.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, Have you read Eat, Guilt, Repent, Repeat? (on amazon cheap!)

Its a spin on intuitive eating, but more it has several bits of information and addresses emotional eating in a sensible, healthy way.

I don't promote what some people call 'intuitive eating' because if I eat whatever I want I gain about 15 pounds a year.

I do promote finding meal choices that are healthy for you individually and not worrying about calories, or the science of it. You are going to have a regain because of the carbs, You know this! But you are also going to have to find a nice healthy way for you to live your life not preoccupied with food choices. Thats no way to live.

I want better for you! Much love, C

Lyn said...

Sara~

that makes a lot of sense! Thanks for the well wishes :)

Anonymous~

wow! That is a lot of good information for me to mull over. I had made a list of whole food "Medifast substitutes" aiming for 100 calories and similar ratios of fat/carbs/protein and fiber, but it looks to me like you are keeping the ratios but eating more calories per meal. So to stay at 1000ish calories, do you only eat 3 times a day? I am going to give this some thought.

Anonymous (C)~

I have not read it, but will look at it on Amazon, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am anonymous 1000 calorie Medifast macro girl. I usually eat breakfast around 11am. For breakfast I either eat a whey protein shake smoothie in the summer. (Made of 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (30 calories per cup), low carb berries, 75 grams half and half, 50 calories worth of low carb whey protein, liquid splenda (EZ-Sweetz on Amazon). You can add in desiccated coconut, flax meal, or raw nuts to change it up, but I measure EVERYTHING on a food scale and watch my calories AND macros. Sometimes in the summer I make one with coffee instead of fruits or nuts. Kinda like an Arby's Jamocha shake.

For the faux oatmeal, if you are sensitive to wheat bran, you can substitute 10 grams of chia seeds (ground or whole).

Breakfast scrambles (veggies and eggs) or veggies sauteed with a little cooked bacon pieces added (I do NOT cook the veggies in the bacon fat, as that makes my calories too high for the day) at the end.

There are soy low carb cereals sold on netrition that you can eat with low carb almond milk. (I do not eat these as I worry about high levels of soy in a diet, although I would consider it for a once in a while treat).

I make salads with avocado, cabbage, tomato, vinegar and liquid splenda a lot. I keep cooked chicken breast and cooked lean beef in my refrigerator so that I can add 1-2 oz of protein to a salad or shiritaki noodles or zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, cooked cabbage etc. There are tons of variations you can make. I use small (weighed in grams on my digital scale) amounts of either sour cream, light cream cheese, xanthan gum or cheese to give my meat veggie mixtures some sauce consistency.

There is an awesome low carb "focaccia" style low carb bread recipe on the internet for adding sandwiches back to your life. I also use the Flatout low carb wraps occationally. (I have to watch my macros closely when I use these as they are higher than I would like, but can add some much needed variation to a weeks menus). I have been eating a low of zucchini style noodles lately with the fall weather. You of course have tried mashed cauliflower and cauliflower "pizza". There are a ton of amazing things you can make if you get on the low carb boards and use your cooking imagination. I occasionally will eat up to 45 grams of green peas (frozen) and I do eat a carrot here and there. (To give you an idea of how high up the glycemic ladder I go).

I think the biggest trick for me has been learing to eat WAY more veggies and eating much smaller amounts of protein with EVERY thing I eat.

I usually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2 days out of 3 will have homemade hot cocoa (made with almond milk, cocoa powder, protein powder and liquid splenda), or peanut butter, or sugar free chocolate, or chia seed pudding, or some sort of small low carb treat that fits into my daily macro/calorie goals, but gives me the treat fix that we all seem to need sometimes.

Most days for me include 50 calories of low carb protein powder that is bringing up the protein amounts on something like oatmeal, hot cocoa, a smoothie, etc. I almost never go over that amount, as I don't feel like it is as healthy as "real" protein sources, but it can be a useful tool to add to the things listed above to up the protein.

I remember you even had a pumpkin oatmeal back on your blog somewhere that I keep meaning to try. (Freezing the canned pumpkin into icecube trays so I can take out a single serving each day).

You CAN do Medifast macros and whole foods. It takes some planning and a LOT of weighing of foods. BUT, I feel like a "normal" person again at 191 pounds (size 14 Gap jeans, size 38C bra). I will weigh every bite I eat for the rest of my life and eat the specific macros if it means I can stay this size. I NEVER dreamed I would ever be a normal size again. (I know I am technically so obese, but the difference between 261 and 191 pounds is amazing!!!)

Anonymous said...

P.S. I forgot to add about the Medifast substitutes... I don't think it matters so much that you stick to 100 calories, ( I generally get 250-300 for each 3 meals and then a 100-200 calorie treat on days I eat a treat). I think what matters more, is that you are making sure that each meal is low carb (under 12-15 NET carbs max) and that you are getting 12-15 grams of protein to help slow down your insulin release. Some of my meals have fat added and some do not. That doesn't seem to make a difference that I have been able to tell. Some meals I make quite fat heavy (faux oatmeal for example) and others quite light on fat. I just make sure each meal has the right protein/carb amounts and that the days total come in under ideally 1000 calories, but if I go higher calorie BUT stick with the carb limits, I consider that a success. (Meaning my additional calories are made up predominantly of fat and some protein).

Janelle said...

Lyn, are you familiar with the concept of Health at Every Size. I don't know you so I can only speak in generalities, but most people who lose a significant amount of weight find themselves in this same struggle. And it isn't because they don't want it enough, or aren't trying hard enough. It is because they are fighting the very biology of their bodies which are programmed to conserve calories and turn that into fat. Some of us are better conservers than others. Your body losing weight at 210 is not the same body as when you were leveled off at 210. It may be that you will always have a bigger body. But you still need to treat it the same... healthy food, joyful movement and enriching experiences. There are many, many studies out there that indicate that your body size/weight are not the best predictors of health if you don't have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol (etc) you are just as healthy as someone who's body is smaller. I do understand your fear of "gaining all the weight back." And you need to find what works for you... but I'd encourage you to look into HAES and see if it might help with some of your worries...

redbird said...

People don't tend to argue a ton with success. But when you're struggling, they're going to chime in with their solutions. It's human nature.

And I get it. They're trying to help. But you couldn't even reasonably follow all the suggestions you get if you wanted to, since half the time they contradict each other. (Restrict calories severely! Do intuitive eating! Don't count calories but be Paleo!)

I don't know the answer for you, Lyn, since I haven't even figured out an answer for me. Most plans work if you can stick with them, but that's a lot easier said than done. No blog comment can make that happen for you.

Have you seen that article going around lately that says Oreos have the same impact on the body as addictive drugs? Not a bit of this is surprising to anyone who has struggled with weight; I feel like sticking to a plan - even a good and sensible and healthy plan - takes a lot of energy. Which you don't have if you're overweight and out of shape. Rock, hard place. I actually told my doctor today that I'd be thrilled if he could just wire my jaw shut. I'm just so tired of looking for the answer. I'm so tired of the books, the articles, the quest, the journey. I'd love to never eat again and be done with this forever. I certainly couldn't host a blog about it, it would be like banging my head against the wall regularly.

Lyn said...

Anon/Medifast macro girl~

thank you so much for coming back and sharing all of that information, not just for me but for others who are reading. That sounds quite healthy and reasonable. Although I still waver on the 1000-ish calories part, I think I can start using some of your ideas for some of my meals while I am trying out a higher calorie level. I really like your ideas, thanks. And yes, pumpkin oatmeal is so good and I have two recipes for it on my blog. One uses actual oats and the other, lower carb version, uses NO oats but just ricotta cheese instead. It sounds weird but it is delicious as a hot cereal. I like sliced toasted almonds on top.

Janelle~

Yes, I read some HAES blogs and so admire many of those women. I guess for me, if I could live the active life I desire at 200 pounds I would probably accept that and not stress over losing more weight. But I do have borderline high blood pressure issues, severe knee arthritis, and then these ridiculous foot issues and injuries. Three different doctors suggested that losing weight may help alleviate these issues, so that's a huge driver for me right now. But on the same note, I am laid up and in pain but I need to find Health In Any Circumstance! I have to find happiness where I am right now even while I am working to change it, if that makes sense. I can't walk but I can do leg lifts. I can't bike but I can strength train my upper body. Trying to be the healthiest I can be, each day.

Lyn said...

redbird~

yeah, it does get old sometimes. And it does take energy to focus and stay on plan. Sometimes I think if I could just drink Red Bulls or whatever the teens these days are all drinking for energy, I'd get so much more done! I've never had those energy drinks though, as much as I'd like to, because of my blood pressure. I totally get the not wanting to eat thing. If I could just take a pill each day and get all the nutrition I need and lose the cravings, that would be great! Thus the appeal of Medifast. Open 5 packets a day, feel satisfied, lose the cravings, weight goes down. Prepping that one meal a day isn't so bad. But yeah, we have to learn how to deal with real food; that's life.

Anonymous said...

Medifast macro girl here...

Lunch (at 4:30 p.m.) was 1.48 oz cooked lean beef with 11.23 oz green zucchini squash julienne peeled into noodles and sauteed (dry sauteed-no oil) then mixed with 30 grams light cream cheese. Meal seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder.

Nutrition for meal: 218 calories, 11.6 grams fat, 11.5 carbs - 3.5 grams fiber = 8.0 NET carbs, 19.2 grams protein.

This meal is so delicious I licked my bowl. (I'm not supposed to admit that am I??)

What's weird is I was starving hungry before I ate (was out grocery shopping so ate about an hour later than normal) and now I am perfectly full. Very satisfied, but I don't have that weird gross feeling that comes along with eating wheat pasta. What's also surprising is that such a tiny amount of meat (1.48 oz is a very small amount visually) helped produce a meal that had 19.2 grams of protein.

I have tried MANY low carb meal plans to lose weight over the years. All failed eventually. I think a big part of the problem was I was eating way too much protein. If you eat enough vegetables a good portion of your day's protein intake actually comes from produce. In this meal, only 12.4 grams of protein out of 19.2 grams total came from the meat. 6.8 grams came from the low fat cream cheese and the zucchini. From what I've recently read, the human body produces insulin at about a 1:3 ratio for protein as compared to carbohydrates. So if you overeat a ton of meat, you can get a substantial insulin release from eating so much meat.

The biggest thing for me has been finding a way that makes me satisfied (and NOT hungry all the time). I truly believe that when you find a way of eating that is lower calorie, but where you don't experience a lot of hunger, it means you body is easily able to access your fat stores on your body for energy.

I would be curious to know if the Medifast was suppressing your appetite this last time like it did when you originally did it?

Dr. Peter Attia (has an amazing blog with tons of information) has a term for the place where you are eating to many carbs to stay in ketosis, but not enough carbs to be sufficiently fueled using carbohydrates for energy, called the "Zone of Misery". This isn't talked about nearly enough in my opinion. When you are in ketosis, the body has low insulin levels and is able to easily access fat stores for energy needs. If you exceed this amount, say eating 70-80 net carbs per day if you're a woman (this amount varies from person to person), you are in this horrible spot where your insulin is a little higher, your ketone bodies aren't sufficient to provide adequate fuel for your body throughout the day and you aren't getting enough carbs to be a carbohydrate fueled machine either. It's a horrible place to be in, where you constantly feel lethargic and hungry. If your carbs are at the correct level, you should be able to easily access those body fat stores for energy. (I have roughly 75 lbs of fat on my body, plenty of energy available to use throughout the day, as long as I keep my insulin levels low enough that my body can actually access the fat, even at 1000 calories per day consumed). That is why carb creep is so insidious. You get into that "Zone of Misery" and you're hungry all the time and you don't feel good.

I've found that over time though (maybe after the first month and a half?), my body became more adept at running off of ketone bodies instead of off of carbohydrates. I feel like I have WAY more energy to do stuff and my brain fog is non-existent.

birchgirl said...

I couldn't tell you what 2000 calories per day would do for you. For me -- 171 lbs, 5 foot 6, age 45, workout moderately, eat mostly clean but do eat some sugar and alcohol -- I would probably gain about 10-15 lbs. My opinion (absolutely NON expert) is it is better to eat real food and stick to one plan, rather than swing radically from one plan to another. Time will tell how that amount of calories affects you. I do know you can eat very healthfully, and substantially, at 1600-1700 calories per day, but if 2000 gets you where you want to be it is hardly a crime.

dlamb said...

I agree with Sara's perspective 100%.

Lyn said...

Anon (Medifast macro girl)~

that meal with the beef and zucchini sounds a lot like something I ate often on Medifast, using Laughing Cow light cheese and a little chicken broth as the sauce. It really is delicious. The difference is, the required amount was 5 oz lean beef and 1.5 c cooked zucchini. That is a LOT of food volume. Sometimes it felt hard to finish it all. Your mini-version sounds nice and satisfying.

I never heard of the zone of misery before! I will have to read about that, thanks.

birchgirl~

that's interesting to hear how the calories would affect you. I wonder if I am gaining... haven't gotten on the scale this week yet... guess we'll see. Hopefully not, or at least not a lot!

LHA said...

So very interested in all of the comments! I have gleaned some wonderful insights and ideas, so thank you, Lyn, for providing the blog as a forum and also thanks to those who pass on their ideas.

Lyn, I do want to mention again that I have found that eating your smallest meal in the evening has worked so well for me for many years. You might give it a try, as you are trying different things to see what will work. You can eat the same amount of calories but get better weight loss results no matter what eating plan you are following. Just bringing it up as hopefully something that will help.

Good luck to you! I continue to be impressed that you have not give up, continue to strive toward your goal of better health, and that you are kind enough to take us along on the journey.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't looked into intermittent fasting you probably should. It isn't not eating for a day, necessarily. There are many different techniques. A lot of people enjoy eating only during a certain window of time per day which is supposed to help with blood sugar because your blood sugar is only raised during the window and not every two hours all day long. There are varying techniques.

Jessica Hartman said...

I second Jennifer's comments - I got "dunked" twice in the past 6 months. The hydrostatic weighing gives you a true picture of muscle vs fat vs organs, and is really reliable. Where I had it done it also calculated what my RMR / calorie count should be if I did not work out, and wanted to just maintain. I was SHOCKED - for my height and weight all the calculators on the internet said I should be able to eat 2400-2600 calories per day but when I was dunked I was right around 1950. Which coincides with the numbers when I was gaining vs losing vs maintaining. Just another idea to give you a baseline!