Thursday, July 11, 2019

Place In My Head

I am back to that place in my head where I wonder, can a person eat ice cream and tater tots and still lose weight? Can I have some cheese popcorn or a cookie and not flip out? The answer seems to really depend on something I can't quite put a finger on. It's not mindset, because sheer desperation or determination does not always end in success for me. It's not about a diet, either, really. I think it's mainly what my body is seeing, and therefore thinking it needs, as fuel. Like, if I go into eating toast and baguettes every day, my body craves that for it's fuel. Then when I try to cut back and eat lower carb, I have this overwhelming drive to go back to simple carbs and all I want is breads and sugar. And it is VERY hard to fight.

I am 3 days in from making some changes and this morning, I can literally feel the switch has flipped. It's like my body is now functioning on a different fuel framework... like, it can deal with using the limited carbs for fuel and then dipping into the fat as well. I feel a lot better. I know all it would take is a large dose of the wrong food all at once to flip me back, so I am working at being careful about portions and using my old method of choosing my carbs more wisely. Like, if there are potatoes, bread, and dessert at a meal (like there was the other day), I choose ONE of those carby foods and have a very small portion (I chose about 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes) and skipped the bread and dessert. If the dessert looked amazing I could have chosen half a portion of that instead. Anyway, limiting carbs this way is helping me get back on track. I'm also integrating the packets of protein shakes, bars, and other foods I had stashed in a storage bin:

Yep, lots of Wonderslim and Bariwise protein bars, shakes, and other high protein "meals" like pancake mix, cereal, and oatmeal plus a box or two of Medifast hot cocoa... all expired in 2016-2017. So far they taste fine. They make it a lot easier to just grab something on the go or pick an easy little portion controlled, lower carb snack for when I don't want to be thinking about food.

Yesterday I ate:
coffee with half and half
a Wonderslim lemon bar
Starbucks iced guava white tea, no syrup
a handful of cheese popcorn
a Wonderslim peanut butter pretzel bar
a few pieces of salami and cheese with a small peach
one piece of fried chicken, mixed green salad, a few pieces of cantaloupe, and one spoon of baked beans
a small rice krispy treat
low carb peanut butter chocolate ice cream

3 days, -8 pounds (223 on Monday, 215 today) and continuing on with better choices.


Anonymous said...

It has been shown in studies that artificially sweetened foods do nothing to curb cravings, in fact, it feeds them because our brains don't know the difference between sugar and aspartame. If you make having processed and artificially sweetened foods a habit, you'll crave them, and if those aren't available, you'll crave the "real" stuff that you're demonizing.

Anonymous said...

No, a person can’t eat ice cream and tater tots and lose weight.....especially in the long term. You diet is consistently filled with nutritionally void salty foods. You need some bulk vegetables.....fills up your tummy and gives a satisfied filling. Never trust a “diet” that says bacon is good and beans are bad! After following your blog for years, it is frustrating to see you make the same mistakes over and over. You try so deserve to be healthy!! We are rooting for you!

Amy said...

Wow that's a great change already! Very awesome that you are getting into your groove!

Margie from Toronto said...

I don't want to be mean but I have to agree with anonymous - things like aspartame and MSG trigger insulin and cravings.

I can't help but think that you would be better off eating a slice of good High fibre bread and more veg & protein rather than all the pseudo foods. You'd get more nutrition and I think you'd feel fuller in the long run.

I really do wish you good luck.

Anonymous said...

I want to say this in the kindest way possible, but your understanding of nutrition seems to have been warped by the quick-fix diets you've followed in the past. Humans are meant to eat real, whole foods to satiety. The anon above who mentioned eating piles of vegetables was right. I eat, literally, a pound of vegetables with each meal (yes, that includes breakfast). I eat processed foods or desserts about once every three months. As a result I am able to stay lean and healthy without being troubled by hunger and cravings. I have come to see processed foods as a cruel scam being run on me by the food industry. They just wnat to manipulate our desires--they don't care about our wellbeing.

I recommend strongly that you see a registered dietitian who can give you a sustainable plan. Medifast may (rightly) have destroyed your trust for professionals in the field, but there are good ones out there who understand the benefits of eating real, healthy food. And, with the internet and the possibility of Skype calls, they are more accessible than ever.


Lyn said...

re: eating a lot of vegetables~

Not eating a lot of vegetables as a general rule is not because I lack understanding of nutrition; I know all too well that if I ate a lot of veggies at every meal it would be healthier. For many years I have tried to force more vegetables into my body. I ate lots of them on AIP because I couldn't eat much else. I lost a good part of my starting weight by eating from the Farmer's Market. It is just not a natural, or even habitual, thing for me to do. I have worked at it for months to make it a habit, and was able to succeed for many months, but always fall back to the way of eating I learned as a child. I work every day to change it, and have really improved my diet overall (from eating ice cream for breakfast, frozen pizzas for lunch, and hot dogs with Cheetos and Coke for dinner... and Twinkies as snacks). Better, but not someone else's perfect. I still work at it.

MaryFran said...

Good for you for making healthier choices and getting yourself back on track! Every step in the right direction is a good one!!!

I also have to limit my carbs to really see results. But that said, I am really trying to find the balance that allows me to indulge in a tater tot on occasion!!!

Margie from Toronto said...

Lyn - in answer to what you said about vegetables - we'd all rather have ice cream and cake than a salad (or at least I know that I would) but we are also grown ups now and have to be responsible for our own health.

Try not to make it all or nothing and start slowly. Have some scrambled eggs for breakfast with mushrooms & tomato. If you have a sandwich for lunch add sliced tomato and lettuce to it and have some raw veggies on the side. Have a small salad in the evenings and then wait 45 minutes before eating the rest of your dinner. You will build up your intake gradually and improve your nutritional intake substantially. Having those eggs for breakfast, tuna or salmon on your sandwich and some chicken for supper will also increase your protein (and keep the skin on the chicken and enjoy those eggs - you need some fat). And if you steam your veg with dinner add a pat of butter - the fat ensures that you get all the nutrients from the veg.

It's real food and that is what your body needs. It's small steps but I really urge you to move away from the fake & processed foods - they don't offer anything but sugar, salt & a whole lot of additives that none of us need.

Please look after yourself.

BB said...

The more vegetables you eat, the more you crave them — the same cycle you discussed in your post. Your mindset around veggies in the comment above is a story you tell yourself that’s keeping you fat. Its clearly not natural, or habitual, for you to eat vegetables. Re-read what you ate yesterday. It’s really not an improvement from ice cream, pizza, or hot dogs and cheetos. It’s all processed shit. If you’ve been been eating shit your whole life, it takes more than a few months for habit change to kick in. Sneak vegetables into a cheesy casserole until your body starts craving them. You don’t have to eat “lots” right away, but to dismiss and say you always fall back to the way of eating you learned as a child... well, that’s what has kept you falling back into obesity ad nauseam. It’s your life, your body, and your choices, but given your track record, maybe it would be to your benefit to listen to feedback of others and tell yourself a new story about health, nutrition, and weight. Life isn’t about weight loss, it’s about living.

BB said...

You’d probably experience a miraculous shift in weight, mood, mindset, etc if you could remove all processed and packaged food for even a week. I dare you to eat only meat and vegetables for 7 days and report how you feel.

liz said...

Wow! 8lbs in 3 days...

Anonymous said...

We all ate junky as a child, but as grown ups our higher brain needs to kick in. It's not your body that learns to see junk as "fuel," but your brain that learns to see junk as reward. You've acknowledged this before (I deserve, I'm entitled, I indulge). You may not be able to or want to change that at this point, but your body doesn't care and will respond to what you're feeding it (and not feeding it) in scientifically predictable ways.

Best of luck in finding a happy place with the food you want to eat v. the health/body you want to have.

Anonymous said...

It seems like you feel that you don't have any free will over your cravings. Saying "my body craves X" eliminates your act brain from having some role in your decisions. I know you want to beat the system and keep eating the comfort foods of your childhood and still lose weight. Why a painful approach. Just accept that you are where you want to be or learn new adaptive behaviors. To lose 8 pounds in a matter of days requires that you have omitted 28,000 calories this week. I am much older than you are and at your age I was busy ruining my metabolism. It doesn't come back after your body learns to live on nothing but air and junk.

Kerstin said...

Well done on the weight loss, Lyn! That's so encouraging. I am with many others here with regards to trying to limit processed foods and incorporate more whole foods in your diet. When you keep feeding your body foods that are mostly devoid of the nutritions it needs (i.e. most processed foods) it will keep sending you hunger and craving signals. That's its natural reaction because essentially your body is undernourished. But I hear what you are saying about finding it hard to turn your back on the processed foods that you grew up with and that, probably, gave/give you comfort. These types of food are meant to make it hard for us to break up with them, they are like the abusive boyfriend that we cannot let go of because we're too scared to be alone.

If we've struggled with weight most of our lives the ONLY way to get to a healthier place is by LIVING healthier. That means at least 80% natural whole foods and moving our bodies. And if we have a lot of weight to lose it also means creating a consistent calorie deficit. This takes effort, commitment and patience, and NOT negotiating whether we can eat foods that we know don't support our goal. That is the part I struggle with the most as well, I am ALWAYS negotiating, always trying to squeeze in that treat or this extra portion, or eat junk food because it's easy and comforting. Ugh.

Anyway. You're back on track and that's great! You'll figure out the nutrition as you continue. xo

Lyn said...


Thank you! I think moderation is the key.


I agree! I do aim to include veggies in my dinners; that's a start. I have eggs for breakfast once or twice a week (and don't really eat breakfast when I am doing IF).


I can't believe you really think what I am eating now is not an improvement over ice cream, pizza, hot dogs, Coke, and Cheetos. I feel vastly better, have more energy, and am losing weight. And the food I eat now, even the processed bars, has far more protein and less additives and sugar. You may not like the foods I am choosing, but I *have* done it your way, and many other peoples' way, for months on end and I am still here fighting off a regain. If "the answer" was eating clean I would be skinny already because I have done that before for months. It did not fix everything, and really, if I kept beating my head against a wall trying to force myself to eat only vegetables and meat and never eat anything else, I'd be over 300 pounds by now... and certainly wouldn't have this restart going for me. Sometimes people have to use a different method to get going with the weight loss... and then can gradually shift to healthier choices over time.

junky Anon~

I agree, and I am eliminating what I think are "junky" foods even though at times I substitute something nutritionally better but not perfect (for example, 1/2 cup of Halo Top low carb ice cream instead of an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's).

calorie Anon~

Obviously the weight is not all fat; no one ever said that. I've written many blog posts about this, but the main point is that anytime you switch from high carb to low carb, your body eliminates a whole bunch of retained water. That's why people (myself included) can drop 5-10 pounds in a week on keto or low carb if they are coming off a high carb way of eating. (Lost another pound today. It's not JUST water).


Thank you! The nice thing about bars like Wonderslim are that they aren't devoid of nutrition like a regular candy bar, and they are way lower in calories. Most of those bars have around 150 calories, 3-6 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein, and 15 grams or less of carbs, plus some added vitamins and minerals. So not bad. If I did as someone above suggested and grabbed a slice of high fiber bread on my way out the door instead, I am pretty sure I would be a lot less satisfied for about the same calories and fiber, but with a bit more carbs and a lot less protein (only 4 grams... looking at Orowheat high fiber bread). Bread is one food that often makes me crave more food.

Anonymous said...

OMG people! You make it sound like she never eats a vegetable! Don't you read her Instagram? There are plenty of fruits and vegetables! Geez! If everyone had to be perfect to lose weight we would all be obese! Enjoy your weight loss Lyn, you are doing awesome and I am proud of you for stopping the gain.

heidi said...

I think the issue for most of us is not gaining weight. We all know how to lose weight. Most of us who struggle with weight issues have lost weight many, many times successfully. And honestly, there are many methods to successfully doing so. The issue most of us have is drawing a line in the sand regarding what is acceptable weight REGAIN. I did it myself for YEARS. Lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, gained weight.... over and over. When I finally lost weight and kept it off (six and a half years maintenance now of a 85 pound loss with diet ONLY, no exercise), the difference was that as I went down the scale that time, at each five pound increment, I really thought about what my new line in the sand was.

I had read the National Weight Control Registry website that had a lot of ideas from people who had lost weight and kept it off. There were ideas in there that I hadn't implemented before. This time I focus on keeping regain from happening. If I spend the rest of my life at this weight (176 today, which is still about a BMI of 28), I will have succeeded. Sure. I would like to lose more weight, but my focus has to be on not regaining. I need to prevent behaviors that lead to regaining. I weigh myself every morning. It is VERY easy to kid yourself about why your pants are tight... and most of us who have gone up and down the scale a lot, have some body dismorphia I think. I do not exercise ever with the aim of weight loss. I no longer watch cooking programs, commercials, or look at recipes online. I try to really limit my tv watching. (Ever notice how those food commercials send you to pick around in the refrigerator?)

Anyway, it honestly does not matter if you lose the weight with packets, or bars, or carrots and lean chicken breast or 100% exercise or fasting or whatever. What matters is how you are going to draw that line in the sand for yourself about what is a weight you are no longer willing to EVER get to again. You are destined to fail if you can not figure out that portion of the problem. It is not easy to lose weight, but we all can do it. And most of us do. Again and again and again. You have GOT to figure out how to prevent regain. If you did nothing else but maintain 215 and NEVER got over 220 ever again this year, I would say that was an amazing success. You would have at least learned to manage not regaining and could then focus on small chunks of weight loss and then not regaining that weight. And part of that for me means, my normal line in the sand is 5 pounds. Over 180 is no longer OK for me... But I also keep in mind that if something really bad happens in life, like a death in the family or job loss or marital problems, I am willing to give myself grace up to 200... But here is the thing. I will get on that bathroom scale EVERY day regardless. I will no longer gain 20 pounds without checking in with myself every day and recognizing what I am doing to myself. There has to be an end point to how badly you are willing to treat yourself. Even if everything in my life is falling apart, I will never be over 200 pounds again. Part of this process has to be learning how to set limits for yourself and STICKING to them.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Heidi! Totally agree. xom

Anonymous said...

The reason I emphasize food quality is that I, like you, DID weight eating small portions of junk. I was 13 years old and I had the brilliant idea that I could lose weight if I counted calories, and could still eat garbage like marshmallow fluff and peanut butter sandwiches. Since I knew the calories in McDonald's, I could eat McDonald's instead of, like, fresh salmon and broccoli (I was scared of the calorie density of BROCCOLI). I was SO HUNGRY all the time. I went from 110 to 88 pounds. That was my first brush with anorexia, and afterwards my body was so starved of nutrients that instead of simply recovering to normal weight, I rebounded all the way up to 185 through binge eating. I re-attained a normal weight within a year or so, but it took assuming a genuinely healthy, balanced diet and exercising a moderate amount to regular my body's responses to food.

Anyway. IMHO things like healthy/whole food eating and exercise aren't necessary for weight loss. But they are necessary if you want to maintain a healthy weight in the long term. Artificially forcing yourself to eat less does. not. last. I have REALLY good willpower (I maintained at 88 pounds for over a year, hungry and weak the entire time). Even iron willpower cannot fight the instinct of the body to rebound when starved of nutrition and presented with engineered, hyper-palatable foods.


Anonymous said...

I've spent some time on your instagram the last few weeks, and wondering whether to say anything. While your choice of foods has been questioned by others, and I agree that high fat cheeses, hot dogs, bacon, avocado should be left for maintenance, what stunned me was different: the proportions. You eat tiny portions of fruit and veg. Like 4 cherries, 2 strawberries, 1/4 cup coleslaw, 1/2 cup salad. when i have 3-4 times that. veg should be half your plate. and not creamed green beans but plain ones. fruit i eat separately, as a snack, but if you eat it, 8 strawberries, a large bowl of salad, etc. that will fill you up and avoid the need for high fat meats.

Anonymous said...

Much agreed! Another blogger I follow recently described that approach as "dirty keto". Which is meant to be a way to ease into keto when coming from a high processed diet.

Anonymous said...

Also, fruit and veg don’t have the high sodium content of your processed food choices. No wonder you’re retaining water.

Lyn said...

last anon~

I dropped nine pounds this week eating processed foods (and I salt my veggies). I doubt I am retaining much more water.

Anonymous said...

It's a new week, Lyn. I hope the "switch" in your mind is sticking and that you continue to see progress.