(Yes, I do think I’m being funny with that title. Har har har.)
If you’d like to read about the rest of the challenge first before reading this wrap up post:
One month of no packaged foods ended up being really fun for me and a lot more educational than I expected. It never ceases to amaze me how much more there always is to learn no matter what you know.
Probably the biggest thing I learned was that if I cut pretty much everything out of your diet except fruit, veggies, nuts, and whole grains, I can lose weight without counting calories. If I eat all the veggies and fruit I want, and eat reasonable servings of nuts and grains, it’s pretty much impossible to get to my maintenance level of calories.
I’m not sure I’d recommend this. Unless you are quite aware of what your calorie needs are, I can see it being easy to under eat on this sort of diet. It would be wise, I believe, to monitor your intake if switching to this type of diet to ensure you eat enough for your body’s needs. That’s what I did for the first week of the month so I’d have a general idea of how much I should eat. It was a lot more than I had been eating in previous months.
There’s nothing magic about this type of eating, it’s just that I eliminated all the high calorie foods from my diet. Yogurt, tofu, cheese, tortillas, pasta… all high calorie. Veggies and fruit? Low calorie. Simple calories in vs. calories out.
I lost 4 lb this month, which is spectacular. It is the first time my weight has gone on a downward trend for several months. I think I would be wise to get my weight back to the 165 range I was maintaining before I moved. I am pretty amazed at how much better I feel like I look from losing this 4 lb. It does make a difference. My weight was 172 on the first of the month and 168 on the last day.
This is what weight maintenance is about to me. I will never be able to just ignore it like a “normal” thin person. As a formerly obese person, I plan to monitor my weight for the rest of my life. And obviously, it makes so much more sense to take care of a small gain of 5-10 lb than to let it escalate past that point. It would be nice to say I will get my weight back down to the 165 range and never regain it, but I do not think that is the case. I feel that maintaining my weight will be a long term effort of gaining a little here, losing a little there, etc. Life is not static. We do not do the same thing every day. Therefore, I have to constantly steer this ship in the right direction, or risk floating away on the tide. I am happy to find I am able to do this rationally without freaking out. Panic helps nothing.
I wrote about the habits I plan to keep in the last post. I am thinking that adding a few minor packaged items back in will allow me to continue losing weight, perhaps a little more slowly, until I’m back in that comfortable range.
Today is July 1 and so I went shopping for some packaged foods I’d been missing.
Surprisingly, I did not feel the need to buy yogurt, my every day staple breakfast food. I think I’d rather just keep eating fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereal. That’s a big change.
And the first meal I made incorporating some of these packaged items was pesto pasta. I made the pesto from scratch, using hard cheese and packaged pasta. It was delicious.
Overall it was a great experiment. I will look for new ways to break out of my comfort zone whenever the opportunity arises.