A few days ago there was a post about diets and diet pills. I posted saying that I didnâ€™t use diet pills because of side effects, but that I have been working with a nutritionist and offered to share that diet plan. A few people have PMed me and asked for it, so I thought I would just post the basics of the plan, if you have any questions let me know.
A little background â€“ Almost all of the women in my family are diabetic and I really donâ€™t want to head down that road. My insurance plan (Blue Care Network of Michigan) offers a diet and exercise program called Weigh to Go through the Michigan Institute of Health Enhancement. It is a really interesting program and includes meetings with a nutritionist, fitness coordinator as well as a wellness counselor for those who want help with emotional eating. I havenâ€™t really used the wellness counselor, but the nutritionist and fitness coordinator have been very helpful. In order to enroll in the program a person must have a BMI of 30 or greater (obese). I was teetering on the edge and my BMI was 30.1, so I barely qualified, and for the first time ever I was a little excited to be overweightâ€¦but just so I could have help getting the weight off. I started the program on June 19th (ironically the day before I got engaged) and to date my weight has gone from 190.8 pounds down to 177.8 pounds, an average of 1.6 pounds per week. The program is designed to help people lose weight as well as help people make healthy lifestyle changes so that once they lose the weight they wont gain it back again. I have lost this weight without working out, other than occasionally going for a leisurly walk with the dogs or a bike ride. My weight loss has slowed (I knew it would eventuallyâ€¦that whole plateau thing is really crappy). I just joined and started going to a gym, so hopefully the weight will start falling off again (the nutriontist and fitness coordinator keep promising that this will happen).
The diet portion of the program consists of a very basic eating plan that is approximately 1600 calories a day. It is designed for ease of use. Instead of counting calories, you keep track of portions and the goal is to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. For example, I am given 7 starch portions a day. That doesnâ€™t mean that I get to eat starches (carbs) 7 different times. What I do is look at the number of carbs in an item and then check off the boxes that correlate...ie if I eat a small potato, that counts as 3 starch/carb boxes. If I eat a hamburger that is the size of my palm (thickness and same diameter) that would count as 4 protein boxes, plus whatever I use for a bun counting as starches. I know it sounds kind of hard at first, but it is way easier for me than counting calories or anything like that has ever been! I have learned some â€œtricksâ€ to eating, such as I can have 2 pieces of low fat bread instead of just one piece of normal bread to count as a starch. This is very similar to a dietary exchange program that diabetic people would use. I find this easy because I have gotten to the point where I can estimate how many ounces of meat I am eating, look an item and tell how many carbs it would be, etc and donâ€™t need to see the dietary label.
The things you need to know:
*A Starch is equal to 15g of carbs (you can estimate, you donâ€™t have to be exact) â€“ for example, I use two slices of low fat bread which has 18g carb and I count that as one carb.
*1 protein box is equal to 7g protein OR 1 ounce of protein. Another way to look at it â€“ 1 oz is equal to about the size of a box of matches or four ounces is equal to the palm of a small framed man or a large framed woman (thickness AND diameter)
* A fruit or vegetable serving is equal to a small banana or a piece of fruit that is about the size of a tennis ball or about the size of your fist. If you had one of those giant apples that you can buy, it would count as 2 fruit servings.
* A fat is equal to 5g of fat on a label. You get three â€œfreeâ€ fat servings a day to use for things such as butter, mayo, etc.
* You should also have two servings of dairy a day. One serving would be equal to a cup of milk or a 6 - 8oz individual serving of yogurt.
* Itâ€™s ok to cheat from time to time, if you donâ€™t, you will give up and not get anywhere. The goal is for it to be an easy plan that still allows you freedom to eat the foods that you want (in moderation) and still be able to celebrate lifeâ€™s events (birthdays, anniversaries, WEDDINGS).
* If you are hungry, you can ALWAYS have more vegetables (or fruit in moderation) to fill you up, it is ok if you go over your check boxes in these areas, but try not to go over your check boxes in the other categories.
* The important thing to remember:
15 g = 1 carb
7 g = 1 protein
5 g = 1 fat
I hope all of this makes sense to you, if you have any questions, please feel free to PM me. Happy dieting!