Pillars of Pine

Pillars of Pine

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lessons Learned Thus Far.....

As previously mentioned my 'lifestyle change programme' is based around the Protein Power Plan.

Despite what many may say, this is not a high protein diet, such as the Atkins Plan, but rather, it is an adequate protein diet.

Each participant calculates their 'minimum' protein requirement;  for me, this is 65g of protein per day.  This is the minimum amount of protein I need, based on my lean body weight. 

Then, the 'maximum' carbohydrate allowance in calculated.  In Phase I of the programme, this is 40g per day.  You can eat what you like in the way of carbohydrate, but it's most beneficial if you choose your carbs from such things as broccoli, lettuce, spinach, etc. - the green leafy veggies are best.  You can have bread, potatoes, and so forth if you so desire, but as each slice of bread is worth 13 - 20g of carbs, it doesn't take much to reach the 40g mark. 

So, if you reach your minimum protein amount and your maximum carbohydrate amount, and you're feeling hungry (which, by the way, is a rare thing), you are allowed to then snack on such things as a boiled egg, small amount of cheese, or even possibly some almonds or other nuts (but see my note below).

Very rarely do I feel hungry or in need of a sugar hit - but, it does happen on occasion.  I've found this time, I have a good attitude for when I slip up - just pretty much say, 'oops', then pick myself up and continue on.

Things I've learned thus far:

DUMP the Atkins bars! For about a week and a half, my weight didn't move. When I re-evaluated my eating habits, I discovered that the only thing I'd changed was to add in an Atkins Bar each day. After some good-old Google research, I discovered that, while they say 'net carbs' are 2, the ACTUAL carbs are more like 22 - too many for phase 1 of the Protein Power Plan. I ditched the bars, and the weight loss started again after a couple of days.

DRINK heaps of water - see water as your best friend, and drink at least a couple of litres a day.

POTASSIUM TABLETS are a must in the initial phase. Because you're losing so much water, potassium levels are depleted, which can lead to side-effects, such as if you'd just had an overdose of coffee - a thumping heart, feeling hyper, etc. Potassium tablets help with this, and also stopped me getting those horrible migraines that I always seemed to get when starting on the low-carb diet.

WALKING - I started off with a heel spur, so my only exercise was on the exercise bike. However, after only 5kgs of weight loss, my foot had improved so much that I was able to use the treadmill. Nothing beats walking as a form of exercise. 

DO NOT OVERDO THE EXERCISE - There is such a thing as 'too much' exercise.  Too much, without increasing the protein in your diet, can make the body switch into 'starvation mode' - and then, instead of increasing your metabolism,  you'll actually slow it down, which can therefore cause the weight loss to stop.  I've found 20-30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes at night to be ideal.

NUTS -  Technically, nuts are OK - in moderation, of course.  It 'should' be fine to include a small amount of nuts (especially almonds or walnuts) in the diet.  However, whenever I do, the weight loss stops.   And, I did read somewhere that this is a common thing - so, for now at least, nuts are off the menu.

OK.  So, what does my daily diet look like?

Breakfast:  eggs - boiled, scrambled, or fried. Sometimes I have bacon or add a few other things to make an omelette.

Lunch:  Tuna with some sort of green salad, or boiled with broccoli and carrot.

Dinner:  Meat (Beef, chicken or fish) with salad or vegies.  

And, that would be pretty much it.  I have, on occasion, snacked on celery and peanut butter - but one does need to be careful with making that only a small amount.  And, I sometimes add a slice of cheese to my tuna and salad.

So, let's talk.....  CHOCOLATE.  You know, it's really not as evil as some would have us believe.  As with most things, the secret is moderation.  In the case of the Protein Power Plan, it's about counting carbs.  I've found the easiest way to do this is to have the small, packaged, wrapped chocolates on hand, for when 'that' urge just won't subside.  Right now, I have a small packet of Dove Dark Chocolate at the ready - with each piece individually wrapped.  I know that each piece is worth 4.3 grams of carbs, so, each and every piece is included in that daily carbohydrate allowance.

I've also learned that it's very easy to slip, and not so easy to get back up again.  The ideal would be to get on the diet, and STAY on it, without messing up  - but hey, we're only human.

I've calculated my 'start date' as the 23rd of April.  In truth, I actually started properly on the 30th, however, thanks to a rather hectic couple of weeks, in which I had reduced my intake of bread and increased my water consumption, I lost 3kgs (which, due to excess water, is quite usual for week one).  So, I'm just 'saying' it was probably around the 23rd- and who's counting, anyway? (Oh, that's right - I am!  :) ) 

So, let's see.....   that's 10 weeks now.  Every time I work that out, I need to check it several times, because it feels like a LOT longer, but yep, that really is only 10 weeks, and as of today, I'm 14 kgs down.  I'm trying really hard to delight in that number, but I do have the habit of only focussing on how much I have to go - however, that pile of clothes in the hallway (the ones that are now too big for me) is growing, and yeh, it's a pretty good feeling.  :)

Oh, one final little secret - did I mention that my dear hubby bought me an Ipod Touch for Mother's Day?  It's amazing what can happen when you put on some great eighties music and 'zone out'.......

Yep, Mum has an Ipod!


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