Friday, May 13, 2005

The better eating thing - how we did it

I need to do a little tag to my previous post on weight gain and poor eating habits. You see, my husband spent my "losing" days just gaining away. So, about two years ago, he decided to do something about it.

I wanted to let you know how he did it. It has worked very well for him, and didn't cost a dime (although it is VERY similar to Weight Watcher's). He did base the approach on WW, but suited it to fit us, our habits, and what is most rewarding to our little cravings.

We researched WW points, etc. We decided that 28 points a day would be a good range for just about anyone to drop some pounds. We found the formula online, and used that to calculate points for EVERYTHING we eat. Here's the formula:

(Calories/50 + Fat/12) - Fiber/5 = points per serving

MAKE SURE YOU READ THE LABEL and understand what a serving is! On a can of soup, you will figure the points, but if you read carefully the whole can is probably two servings. So, if you plan to eat the whole can (who doesn't??), you'll need to multiply by the number of servings.

So, that's that! You keep yourself to 28 points a day. WW's usually does not allow someone to count more than 5 grams of fiber, but we think that's hooey! Your body LOVES fiber, and we never get enough. So, if the lower point value encourages the Colon Blow, then by golly, keep it in the equation!

ALL vegetables (except potatoes and corn - starchy!) were zero points. If you throw butter on them, you've gotta count that! So, pull out your steamer and enjoy some right-from-the-garden-no-point delights!

When you go out to eat, use this lady's website as a reference for all major food chains: http://www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html

NOW, how do you eat just 28 points a day, and not throw yourself off a building? Well, that's when we created our own "reward meal." Every week, if we stayed on track, we earned one "reward meal." It counted for ten points, and we could eat ANYTHING we wanted (repeat: ANYTHING). Whether you're up all night with heartburn or a tummy ache is your own fault. This allows you that one massive craving fix weekly. Oh, how we lived for that meal. It kept us going.

Then, you lose weight. Don't weigh more than once a week (don't do it!!). When you hit your goal weight, you're still not done. Flip the calendar forward one year, and circle the date. THAT is your goal! Keep your calculator handy, and get on about a new, healthy life.

You can add your own little touches. Miguel allowed himself to "bank" points and carry them into other days. That meant, if he didn't use all of his points on Monday, he could add them to another day of the week. He set his own boundaries: points could not be carried for more than four days, and he could never bank more than five points (it's important to eat!).

He also allowed himself to earn points for exercise. He gained a point for every 100 calories burned. Here's a great way to calculate what you've earned: Calorie Calculator

This wasn't about being obsessive about points. It was about truly "seeing" what kinds of food choices were being made. I love this point system for that. We really do think we are doing okay, and we turn our heads just a bit from the "eating for our feelings," and don't even realize how much we do it. For us, this approach has made us ask, "Am I truly hungry, or am I looking to feed an emotion? Because if I'm truly hungry, I'll be okay with a healthy choice. If I'm struggling with that, I'm not ... actually ... hungry."

1 comment:

Amie said...

This is great...thanks for this. I'm sure many other people have benefited from this and have not written...just wanna say I am going to try it!