Sunday, April 8, 2018

Eating Way, Way More

This week I have sense that my eating has increased a *lot* both in the frequency and amounts. It seems that as I wean off phentermine, my appetite has returned (although cravings have not) and I have indulged that appetite. I've stayed in my lower carb range and still make the same food choices, but I'm eating so much more that it's almost alarming to me. For example, back in the fall I would often have just coffee for breakfast and not eat anything until noon or later. Then I might have a very small meal, but more often I'd just have a Greek yogurt and call it good. I might have a few nuts or a piece of cheese as a snack and then a reasonable dinner. I tracked my calories for several days back then and averaged about 700 a day. Gradually as the months have gone by, I've gotten a bit hungrier and started eating "brunch" more often (an actual meal) along with a snack or two and sometimes a keto dessert. But starting about a week and a half ago, I am eating at least two and usually 3 solid meals every day PLUS a couple of snacks. And the amounts have increased, too. I've also branched out a bit and added some variety, such as very low net carb bagels and breads here and there. They contain a lot of fiber and I think they are actually helping me stay full longer. So for example, here's what I ate yesterday:

3 cups of decaf coffee with half and half or sugar free creamer
an egg fried in butter, a sausage patty, and a piece of low carb toast with butter
an afternoon meal of cheese, a toasted low carb everything bagel with cream cheese, and a large iced coffee with half and half
a keto brownie with whipped cream
a dinner plate of cauliflower rice, Indian chicken curry, palak paneer (cheese and spinach curry), creamy vegetable curry, and raita... and then seconds on the veggies.

I tracked my food for the day and it came out to almost exactly 1600 calories and 58 g carbs. This is probably a bit higher in calories and volume than I usually eat, because of the Indian takeout food. The nice thing is, I'm still losing slowly (down one pound from last Sunday's 199). I am trying to maintain, am eating enough that I am very satisfied, was pretty slack in the exercise department this week (will remedy that shortly) and feel good. I am very happy about that, and surprised. My healthy habits are paying off.


Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you and following your progress for some time now. You're an inspiration and I really appreciate your honesty about the daily struggles.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, have you read this recent NYTimes article?

Basically, it says that it doesn't matter as much what your macronutrients are (ketosis or low carb or low fat) as it does that your foods are mostly whole, unprocessed foods. My only concern with what you're eating now is that yes it's low carb, but it's also kind of processed facsimiles of food I know you are accustomed to like eating, like bagels and cream cheese and toast with butter. And I think that it is harder to be satisfied on processed foods, even if they are low carb, and it displaces healthier stuff like vegetables.

You also won't get as much in the way of vitamins and minerals that way. That's why even low-carbers are encouraged to eat lots of vegetables; you need folate and vitamins A, C, E, and K (Vitamin D is hard to get in food and you basically have to supplement or live somewhere super sunny). I track my foods on to check for micronutrient deficiencies in my diet and even though I've been a bit traumatized by calorie tracking in the past I REALLY like how calories are just a part of the picture they give you; they also give you the whole nutrient situation, from potassium/sodium balance to magnesium/calcium (most of us get too much sodium and not enough potassium, btw, which is super easy to do again on a processed diet).

I'm not paid by cronometer (do they pay people? idk) but I do really like it, after having an uneasy relationship with sites that track like literally JUST calories, which reminds me of my eating disordered days.

I'm sorry I'm anon but I don't have a blog.

Anonymous said...

Lyn - I've been loving this low card breakfast I've been making. Two slices of tomato, sauteed spinach on each, sliced avocado on each, then each topped with an egg. It's really delicious! I find that adding avocado to meals has some staying power. You also may want to increase things like Greek yogurt and roasted veggies to get a little more bang (fullness) for your buck (calories). I've been reading your blog for years and it's so great to see you in this weight range where you want to be! -Beth

Anonymous said...

It is good that you can eat this much and not gain (but take a few weeks to be sure you really won't gain). It means that when you are ready to start losing weight again it will be a simple thing to cut back to that 700 calories a day, with the help of phentermine, and lose. I think you fixed your metabolism after all. I was doubtful a slow metabolism could be restored without vigorous exercise, but your tactic of the eat more-gain-eat more-gain-eat less-lose seems to have worked. Happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Great! At least you do not have to worry about your metabolism! <3

Lyn said...

Thanks to all the Anons for the comments. Where have all the bloggers gone??


Thanks for the info. I am looking at the cronometer tracker and will compare it to MyFitnessPal, which is what I use when I do log. I only spot check my food by tracking once in awhile... not regularly. This whole thing has been a process, with the main focus on healing from eating disorders. I've found that including things that I have enjoyed my whole life (like a piece of toast once in awhile, or even a cookie) helps me feel calm and content with my eating. Cutting things like that out completely has never worked for me in the long run because of the emotional and mental triggers around restriction. But yes to the vegetables, which is why I eat things like cauliflower rice and vegetable curry, which also keeps my carbs lower than actual rice. Can't wait for the farmer's market to open! That always results in a higher veggie count in my day!

Anon (Beth)~

That does sound delicious! I will have to remember to try it when tomatoes are in season. I love garden fresh summer tomatoes! I do eat Greek yogurt as a snack (for lunch yesterday) and agree it is very filling and protein rich.

Anonymous said...

This is the cronometer anon and yeah I feel you on the farmer's market. So I know you are wary of anonymous people because of course a lot of them are trolls, but I really really am not. I don't have a blog because I have interacted with the "healthy living" blogosphere a really long time, through a lifetime of mostly restrictive eating disorders, and I can see that having people critique what I eat and do for exercise could send me right back to anorexia/anorexia athletica, both of which I've suffered from. The reason I started reading your blog is that I also wound up suffering from binge eating after one of my bouts of heavy restriction (I was underweight and hospitalized at one point but then rebounded and gained like 50 pounds--some of that was needed some wasn't) and desperately wanted to read someone who was honest about binges. I guess you seemed more real and nonthreatening than the fitness people who pretend they're perfect. I hope it isn't weird to say that you remind me of a relative of mine who's a very kind, highly intelligent person and still struggles a lot with her weight. I wish she'd try even some of the things you have, because I'm worried she'll die young tbh. She uses a walker even though she is in her 50s, and it makes me sad.

As for tracking micronutrients I think you only have to do like one representative day if that makes sense, I did it for my mom because I wanted to be sure she was healthy after a surgery. It turned out she wasn't getting enough calcium, B12, or protein, so she tweaked her diet and now she's doing very well [her doctor wound up backing me up on the B12 and calcium thing, so I felt especially proud of that]. I offered the cronometer resource to you in the same spirit, a way to see if your habitual intake meets your nutrient needs. To be honest I would be worried if I were you because of how long you've been restricting calories; yes, you may not need many calories if your intent is weight loss, but there are other things, like vitamin B, that you definitely do need. So, if your diet isn't adequate, you can supplement.

This is now like a hugely long message and I'm really sorry, but I seriously want to stress that the thing that MOST got me over binge eating (now, granted, I binged as a rebound from self-starvation and wasn't a binge eater before anorexia so it's different) was also making sure I actually got the nutrients I needed. When my body was starved for things like protein and vitamin D or even good omega-3 fatty acids (I take fish oil and eat fatty fish now), I felt this insane drive to eat all the time! It made me nuts because I had so much willpower, you know? I mean I could survive eating 1 mini-bagel with hummus and a bunch of celery a day. But nutrient deficiencies are very real and can force us into peculiar eating behaviors, like pica (eating non-food items) even. My binges used to be so weird... I had this mental block on eating a whole unit of something so I'd do random stuff like peel off the outside of a ball of mozzarella and eat that but not finish the rest of the cheese, or eat only the outside edges of a candy bar.

Food issues are super hard. Thank you for writing for all these years. You make me feel less alone, even though our issues and life phases aren't the same.

Lyn said...

cronometer anon~

Thank you so much for sharing that. I'm so glad you found my blog a place that helped you with your own restrict/binge issues. I've always tried to be honest about my struggles here, my inner thoughts, the foods I would binge on and how I really feel about it all. It is such a state to be in, when you're stuck in that kind of cycle and I think even though our disorders were different in some ways, we also probably had a lot of the same emotions about it all and reactions to restriction. And it does help me feel less alone too, when I hear from someone like yourself who gets it. So thank you for that.

It has been such a slow and sometimes painful recovery for me and I think sometimes those who have never had an ED don't understand why I am here blogging 10 years later and still not "at goal." It's because "goal" was never REALLY about a number or a BMI. It was about getting free from the emotional and mental chains of binge eating disorder, and then compulsive overeating, and then obsessive food thoughts. That takes a lot of time, and weight doesn't always correlate with progress.

I *really* appreciate your thoughts on tracking micronutrients and I never thought about it quite that way. You're absolutely right and I can see how doing that here and there could be very helpful to me in my healing process. I always tend to think I am fine because I take supplements and get blood work regularly, but I don't really know if I am missing some important nutrients. I'm going to give it a shot and see what that tracker says... maybe enter the day I already tracked in MFP and 2 more days this week or next. Will be interesting also to see how those number improve over the spring and summer as I turn to a more produce-based way of eating. Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

Thanks for putting the effort into this blog. You're very brave to be so honest. It makes me feel less alone in my own struggle with food.

I don't think there is a "goal" with weight loss. It's a life long journey.

Keep up the good work!