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Flat Belly Diet: Day 3

November 23, 2011 Food No Comments

Tuesday marked Day 3 of 4 on the Flat Belly Diet Jumpstart. I’m growing weary…

Why am I doing it in the first place?

Day 1

Day 2

I woke up freezing on Tuesday morning and we speculated that it was because I didn’t have enough energy to burn. While 1200 calories a day may not be enough to sustain me ongoing, I’m pretty sure there’s still enough fat on these bones that my body can keep warm… The scale indicated a 1.2 pound decline since yesterday, which is admittedly motivating (considering my goal of feeling confident in a bathing suit).

Another up-side is that I am usually a little foggy-headed after an evening with Caryn. (<<– understatement) It is usually no problem for us to drink a couple of bottles of wine and open a third. I woke up early this morning with a clear head. Bonus!

Breakfast
1 serving Cream of Wheat
1 cup skim milk
2 T unsweetened raisins
1/4 cup roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
1 glass Sassy Water

This breakfast was filling again today, but maybe not as much as it was on Sunday. I think the reason it feels more filling than the corn flakes is because it takes me way longer to eat it. I don’t really like Cream of Wheat (and I can’t doctor it up with a bunch of sugar or even a little salt), so I take a lot of very small bites. I’m going to try the small bite/slower eating thing in general and see what happens.

Lunch
4 oz. canned tuna (packed in water)
1 cup sauteed summer squash + tomatoes
1 light string cheese
1 glass Sassy Water

I was definitely hungry for lunch when it was time, which was also influenced by the run I did after breakfast. Lunch was filling and I did not need to supplement with an extra cheese. I mixed the tuna and veggies together while they were cooking, which was pretty tasty. I garnished with the juice from half a lemon for a little more flavor.

Snack
Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk + 4 oz pineapple chunks (in juice) + handful ice
2 T roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds

I froze the pineapple in advance because it makes for a creamier smoothie. This was the way to go. I ate the snack around 4 PM, and I was definitely needing food by this time. I started to get a mild headache around 3 PM and was feeling sluggish all afternoon.

Dinner
3 oz grilled chicken
1 cup left over green beans + mushrooms
1/2 cup brown rice
Sassy Water

Dinner was satisfying and enough food, as it was on Days 1 and 2. I had dinner at a friend’s house and wanted a glass of wine with her — and almost gave in!! — but stuck with the Sassy Water and got through it. Again, I think it was just a habit of having wine with Carolina that made it a strong craving.

Day 3 Observations
As I mentioned, I’m growing weary. I need closer to 2000 calories a day to sustain my activity level, so dropping to 1200 is very difficult. Obviously, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do — I look and feel less bloated and have lost a few pounds — but this calorie level is not sustainable for me. I am usually high energy all day and can easily get through a 4.5 mile run. I had to cut the run down to 3.2 miles because I felt so sluggish.

I’m going to get through this knowing that Wednesday is the last day. And I’ll probably have a glass (or two) of wine on Wednesday night.

Day 4

Flat Belly Diet: Day 2

November 22, 2011 Food 1 Comment

Monday was Day 2 of the Flat Belly Diet Jumpstart.

You can read about why I’m doing this here and how Day 1 went here.

I didn’t wake up any more or less hungry than normal on Monday. I don’t weigh myself on a regular basis, but decided I would for this project and found that I had dropped a little over a pound from the day before. I’m sure that there are a lot of factors playing into that, but at least the number didn’t go UP!

Breakfast
1 cup unsweetened corn flakes
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
4 oz unsweetened applesauce
Sassy Water

I ate breakfast at 9 AM and it wasn’t nearly as filling as the Cream of Wheat had been. I was out of the house for a couple of hours between breakfast and lunch, otherwise I think I would have been looking around for food mid-morning. I’m not sure if this was because of habit or because this breakfast wasn’t satisfying.

Lunch
4 oz deli turkey
1 pint fresh grape tomatoes
1 light string cheese
Sassy Water

I had about 1/2 cup of the grape tomatoes and supplemented with 1/4 cup of last night’s grilled squash as my vegetable. I don’t love grape tomatoes. I ate lunch at 1 PM and was really hungry by the time I sat down to it — I had done a light strength workout and hard bike ride after breakfast. Anticipating this, I brought a second string cheese and had it about 30 minutes after my lunch when I knew I was still actually hungry. This tided me over until my snack.

Snack
Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk + 1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries + 1 T cold-pressed flaxseed oil (stirred in after blended)

I was ready for this snack by the time I ate it just after 4 PM. This seemed to be more filling than yesterday’s smoothie, even without the sunflower seeds to chew. I was leery of the oil, but it didn’t ruin the flavor.

Dinner
4 oz grilled tilapia, drizzled with 1 tsp olive oil
1 cup steamed green beans + mushrooms
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Sassy Water

I had a heaping one cup of vegetables, feeling hungry leading up to dinner. I don’t think I had enough calories to replace what I burned on the bike ride. The meal was satisfying and tasty, though a bit blah. Again, I probably would have added a sauce if I were cooking it on my own. I added fresh lemon juice and that helped.

Day 2 Observations
I really wanted wine today. I had a friend over for dinner and it seemed strange that we weren’t chatting over cheese & crackers and a bottle of wine at 5 PM. It’s another “habit” that would have added at least 500 extra calories to my day and I’m glad I didn’t give in. I did have one of the TJ’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cups after dinner. Since dark chocolate and PB are both “approved” items on the diet, I cheated splurged.

With the rigorous workout today, I think it was pretty clear that did not have enough calories. My Garmin indicated that I burned 1145 calories on my bike ride. I started to get a headache and was very irritable and was glad I had thought ahead to bring an additional “approved” lunch item. I am concerned about the cumulative effect of four days on this regimen, given that I am very active. While 1200 calories might be sustainable for a less active lifestyle, I am struggling.

Day 3

Day 4

 

Flat Belly Diet: Day 1

November 21, 2011 Food 2 Comments

I’m doing the Flat Belly Diet, starting with The Four-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart. Sunday was my first day.

“The goal of the jumpstart is to help you reduce or eliminate bloating and the sluggishness that accompanies it.”

I woke up hungry on Sunday morning and immediately went to the grocery store to get a few items I didn’t already have on-hand. The jumpstart gives you two days’ menus (that you repeat once) and you are to follow exactly for the best results. Lucky for me, I like everything on the menus. There are three meals and one snack each day, each around 300 calories. No booze, caffeine, sweets, carbonated beverages, fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods, chewing gum.

Let the games begin!

Breakfast
1 serving Cream of Wheat
1 cup skim milk
2 T unsweetened raisins
1/4 cup roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
1 glass Sassy Water

Breakfast was surprisingly filling. It took me a long time to eat it all, and found that I wasn’t hungry for more than four hours after eating it. Off to a good start!

Lunch
4 oz. canned tuna (packed in water)
1 cup steamed carrots
1 light string cheese
1 glass Sassy Water

Lunch wasn’t that filling, but I wasn’t that hungry so it worked out. I added a few approved spices to the tuna to make it a little more interesting. I was concerned that I’d be hungry before dinner (even eating lunch at 2 PM), but knew I had a snack to rely on later in the afternoon.

Snack
Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk + 4 oz pineapple chunks (in juice) + handful ice
2 T roasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds

This seemed filling as I had it and I liked the sunflower seeds on the side to give me something to chew. I had this snack around 4 PM and was hungry again by 6:30.

Dinner
3 oz grilled chicken
1 cup grilled summer squash
1/2 cup brown rice

Dinner was satisfying in the amounts allowed, but I know I would have eaten more of everything if I hadn’t measured it out on my plate. I missed having a sauce of some sort for the chicken, but I had done a reasonably good job of marinating it, so it wasn’t flavorless by any means. I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the evening.

Day 1 Observations
I’m being forced to break old habits. Breaking the habit of eating an entire chicken breast just because it’s on my plate, or drinking a glass of wine just because it’s 5 PM, or having a piece of chocolate just because I’m finished with dinner. The first day made me really aware of how mindlessly I eat throughout the day.

I didn’t feel starved and I had to really check in with myself about that. Just because I was eating smaller portions than normal didn’t mean I was being deprived. Being on any restrictive diet like this (the jumpstart portion) kind of feels like being punished and that is hard for the first couple of days.

Between breakfast and lunch, I did a light strength workout (probably 30 minutes) followed by a 45 minute swim in the pool. I don’t think 1200 calories will be enough to sustain much more of a workout than that and I may have to supplement with an additional snack.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

 

 

Drastic Measures

November 21, 2011 Food 2 Comments

I’m doing the Flat Belly Diet.

Have you guys heard of this? Don’t worry, the “Sassy Water” I’m drinking is more than lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. (I’ve tried that diet and while it is effective, it is not sustainable. Obviously.)

I don’t consider myself a crash dieter or one to follow every fad that comes along. I’m more of a believer in “everything in moderation” and keep myself in check based on how my clothes feel. Even now, my clothes feel fine and I know it isn’t the end of the world if I put on a few holiday/off-season/winter pounds. But we’ve got this beach vacation coming up, you see, and that is calling for drastic measures.

To my credit, I have stopped eating the kids’ Goldfish crackers and have embraced throwing their uneaten food away. However, left to my own devices, “everything in moderation” still meant that I was having at least one glass of wine most nights. When my in-laws were staying with us for 8 DAYS, it was many more than just one. I was also continuing to have at least one dark chocolate peanut butter cup every night. I never measure my portions and can pretty much justify everything I put in my mouth with the activity I did that day.

It’s no wonder the scale wasn’t moving and those daily swimsuit pictures weren’t looking any better! I know I’m not obese, and I looked at that as free reign to basically cheat at every turn. So, I decided it has to be all or nothing. For me to succeed at this and feel good about prancing around in a bathing suit, I need to have someone tell me what I can eat (in specific amounts) and what I cannot eat.

Flat Belly Diet to the rescue!

Factors that helped me decide this was the right plan for me:

  • Calorie intake is 1600 per day (1200/day on the 4-day Jumpstart). This is sustainable long-term. No one is starving. I understand you can even customize the calorie level using their website, based on your activity level and goals.
  • The approved foods are things I eat anyway. It’s lean protein, vegetables, whole grain carbs, and “good fats” like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and DARK CHOCOLATE!
  • The plan is easy. The 4-day Jumpstart is very rigid — which is what I need pre-vacation — and very fluid after that. I will just need to be diligent about portion control or I’m right back where I started.

My goal is not about getting to a number on the scale or fitting into a certain jean size. Rather, I want to feel confident in a bathing suit on our vacation and otherwise push the reset button on my eating habits. I want to get my portions in control and be more mindful about what I eat and how it affects the way I look and feel.

Here’s how I fared on the Four-Day Jumpstart Anti-Bloat Diet:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4