Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Mistake?

This week it occurred to me that I might have made a mistake in my thinking. I made some assumptions about my eating and weight that probably were not accurate. Let me explain what I mean.

When I looked over my weight loss for the past 5 months of not blogging, I saw that I continued to lose weight (although slowly) even though I wasn't counting calories or carbs or doing organized exercise, and that I was truly eating what I wanted. I did notice that I wanted less, in both portion size and variety, and eating in a reasonable way seemed to have become second nature. Without the pressure of dieting, my weight went down even with little effort. I assumed that this pattern would just continue through the coming year and I'd easily lose 15 or 20 pounds by the end of the year just doing the same thing. And that if I added some walking and biking, that number would go up and I could even be back under 200 by year's end.

Well, I know it's only been a few weeks into the new year. This is my third weekly weigh-in, to be exact, and the third week weighing 229 pounds. Part of me just shrugs and says "eh, it's only 3 weeks, it'll pan out, maybe I will drop 2 pounds next week." But the other part of me got to thinking...

And that's when I realized a pretty obvious error in my thinking which I have been overlooking.

I thought I would keep losing at about the same rate if I just kept doing the same thing that got me the losses over the last 5 months. But my mistake was, I  am *not* doing the "same thing" I was doing over the last 5 months! What changed? I reintroduced gluten. Now, I don't think gluten itself is a factor in my weight loss or lack thereof (I could be wrong, but let's assume I am not gluten intolerant). But the range of food I can eat has expanded dramatically by letting gluten back in! Here's a few examples:

before: driving around town running errands, I get hungry. There are very few foods I can grab at a drive-through so I either get a coffee, get a pear at the grocery store, or wait til I get home to eat.
now: driving around town running errands, I get hungry and pick up a turkey sub with chips and water.

before: I need a quick and easy breakfast in the morning and don't have time to cook, so I grab a low carb Greek yogurt.
now: I need a quick and easy breakfast in the morning and don't have time to cook, so I microwave a turkey, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich.

before: I am not sure of the gluten content of foods at the potluck, so I have salad, vegetables, and deviled eggs.
now: I don't care about the gluten content at the potluck, so I have some casserole, potato salad, and a cookie.

before: if I really, *really* wanted some bread or cookies, I drove to the store and bought gluten free varieties or baked them myself. I didn't keep them on hand all the time, though.
now: I have biscotti in the cupboard to have with my coffee, and I have English muffins on hand in case I want some toast

See how that has changed things? There is just so much more variety of food available to be without gluten restriction that I have been eating more... just because I can... and subbing carbs for meat/produce on more occasions. The net result has been that I'm eating more carbs than before. I think that is why the weight loss seems to have stalled. What do you think?

I have no reason to return to a gluten free diet, but I think there needs to be a change for weight loss to resume.


Karen said...

All your liver will see when it gets carbs of any kind is sugar Sugar is sugar is sugar to your liver Even if it comes from gluten-free products, tropical fruits and high sugar fruits , or winter squash.

How does your glucose react when you eat that those carby foods? Meds or no meds I would think you would have better glucose control with lower carb intake.

My body has no other choice than to store my extra glucose as fat. I don't lack willpower. Nor can I out run my fork. Turns out my binge eating urges go way way down with a low carb higher fat food template. One stop shopping for weight management and glucose control.

I save myself a lot of money by controlling my food intake so I can keep my medical bills really low. Part of my financial solvency is due to my ability to control my glucose. The nice side effect of that is a normal body weight Win-Win.

Lori said...

That could be it. Maybe just watch the carbs and step up the protein. Nothing that feels to restrictive or 'diety' though.

Anonymous said...

Here's how I see it: If you are into a pattern of living that supports a body weight of 229 pounds, but you actually weigh 245 pounds, you will gradually lose until you reach the weight level that your life-style supports. Then you will stay steady at that level until you tweak either the diet or the activity level to a point that supports a lower weight.

Lisa said...

Have you read "Wheat Belly"? Even if you are not technically gluten intolerant, gluten causes inflammation, mimics the proteins that stimulate autoimmune antibodies, and is very harmful. Doctors are typically not trained in nutrition (except if you find a good functional medicine like I managed to find), so it is rare that they recommend going gluten-free.

You should check out Wheat Belly-- it is written by an MD and there is plenty of science to back up the information.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this. You have a set point that is determined by activity and hormones and maybe this is it? Also as you lose you require less good to maintain so it could be that your food intake has to go down to keep losing?

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts, worth a try! And I'd love to see your profile updated! But could understand if u leave it.. I'd like to stay 38 forever :)

Lyn said...

Interesting thoughts. I am going to lay off the carbs a bit and try to be more thoughtful about my choices.

Last Anon~

I updated my profile a couple weeks ago... probably will leave it like that for awhile!

Lori Ann Goddess said...

Boy, do I ever relate to this! Last February I went gluten and dairy free and lost 150 pounds by September. At that point, I started allowing myself limited amounts of gluten and dairy and my weight began to either plateau or yo-yo up and down the same ten pounds. I was in denial for awhile and told myself that as I was in a calorie deficit for my size that the scale would eventually start moving down again, (I still have another 50 pounds to lose.)

Finally, I quit fooling around and removed the dairy and gluten again. The scale immediately began to move downward again and I've lost ten pounds since Christmas! Gluten and carbs in general really do prevent me from losing weight. I don't want this to be as I LOVE carbs but it's just not worth weight gain or plateaus to eat them. And I also recommend the wheat belly book.

Anonymous said...

I think the overall calorie counts on your "now" foods is higher than the "before" foods. I think that, not the gluten content, is contributing to your weight stalling.

Vickie said...

What you are discovering about gluten is what I think about all processed, so much easier to have simpler, healthier choices.

Lyn said...


That is basically what I said in my post. I have more food choices, choose more volume/carbs/calories of food, and don't lose. It's not the gluten itself, it's the wider variety of choices.


very true, I agree about processed foods. When I was eating gluten free I did eat some processed foods like gluten free pasta, breads, cookies, but it was rare because they are harder to find and more expensive.

This morning I went back to skipping the English muffin or toast and enjoyed a breakfast of bacon, coffee with cream, and a fresh pear. I always feel better when I eat that kind of meal to start my day!

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a year or so and I was inspired by your AIP. I am gradually changing to a similar diet for weight loss not allergies. Jan 1 my weight was 267 My resolution was to eat the AIP breakfast like yours (2-3 bacon, 1 fruit, 1 fat either coconut cream or avocado) every day (we emailed about this last year. Thank you for the help). I am down 8 pounds doing just that one change! Next month I am doing your other sugesstion not eating after dinner. Thankx!

Melinda B. in KY

Karen said...

Your glucose meter will give you data. You'll get different readings post fruit and muffins & muffins compared to protein and fat. From natural sources

Use your self data to not keep your glucose spiked. That may really impact how much medicine you have to take It will also impact your overall health.

Take your date into your doctor and you can discuss. There are many things you can control here. Use measures of your own body to guide you.

Anonymous said...

Not a mistake! Just a little bump in your journey. Keep going, thinking, deciding, and doing!


Erin McCann said...

I have been reading your blog for years and I really missed you while you were gone but so thrilled at your come-back! Funnily enough I was already making a 2016 resolution to NOT DIET when I caught up with your return. I do think your "thinking" may be off in expecting the same results from doing something different; it's the reverse of that old saying about insanity. It took everything I had to not log my food and count my calories today but what kept me away from the calorie counting was knowing that my food choices for the day were all healthy, based in protein, produce and healthy fats. I have been thinking about making a cake, something I only do once or twice a year no matter what diet I have been on or not. I decided against baking a cake today because I know for me, it may make me a bit crazy and then feel the need to count calories which then leads to all the other crazy. Just sharing my thinking so you can see how "lose" and kind to myself I am trying to be. I hope, no matter what you do, you are kind to yourself because your readers care about you.

Lyn said...

hi Karen~

I don't have a glucose meter. My endocrinologist does a finger prick A1C to see how my blood sugar is trending. I definitely feel differently when I eat, say, a muffin versus when I eat a piece of fruit.


Thanks! I am loving the no-counting, no-measuring, less stress way of eating. This is something I can do for the rest of my life. I just have to tweak my choices a bit, I think. I'm so happy you're also getting freedom from the diet mindset! I love your thinking and choice about the cake. And thank you so much for caring! It does make me smile and be kinder to myself :)

Anonymous said...

u exercise yet?

Lyn said...


not really, but I did buy a new TV to put in front of my exercise bike :)

Anonymous said...

hey what's for lunch and dinner? I want an idea of your daily menu please.

Lyn said...


I had a huge steamed artichoke dipped in melted butter for lunch, and some more decaf coffee with cream this afternoon. I'm making a cauliflower leek soup for dinner. Will need to get some protein in there somewhere too.

Annette said...

I am a carb addict! When I decided to lose weight I first cut out sodas and the next sep was sugar and carbs. It was so hard for the first three days and after that I was good! (body goes into keytosis) Leaving the carbs (gluten) out will really help you lose and up the protein intake! I might have had WLS but I still have to work hard at losing and protein is your friend! :)

Radonskies said...

Very interesting observation. I'm also eating whatever I want this time around, but you're right - when I allow in gluten/grains, I tend to eat more overall. I need to reexamine what I'm eating, too.

Alison said...

So glad to have you back blogging again - you are such an inspiration to me and have been for years. i am so happy to know you are doing well and still learning about yourself. i think it's a lifelong process.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lyn,

I found your blog while researching MediFast. First, congratulations on losing 100lbs! That's very impressive. Second, I understand you are not using the MediFast system any longer. May I ask why? If you have written a post about this topic and I've missed it, I apologize. Also, would you still recommend using MediFast for weight loss?

Thanks in advance,

Lyn said...

Anonymous (Sue)~

Medifast is too restrictive to use long term (years), and I was using it about 5-6 years ago. They no longer have the same program I used to lose weight, but a new program not based on carb restriction. I have no experience with their new program and many of their new products, so I can't recommend Medifast at this point. I do think the old 5&1 Plan was a good method for weight loss, but only if followed strictly and used one time to get off the weight, with the Transition program following. I wouldn't recommend it for long term or repeated use.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your old posts! I have learned so much from you and I appreciate how genuine and real-life you are. I have made several of the recipes from your recipe page and every one has been tasty. Thank you, and never stop blogging!