Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17: The Full Diet Break

Here is something really interesting I learned from my new book, Guide to Flexible Dieting by Lyle McDonald. (Check it out here) After a sustained period of dieting, your body stops producing certain hormones at the same level and then you stop losing weight.  (the dreaded plateau) To jump start your diet engine, McDonald recommends a "Full Diet Break" for a minimum of two weeks.  So for two weeks, I am going to try to eat at my maintenance calories. I think the guy is brilliant, so that is what I am setting out to do.  This is a serious leap of faith for me!

Now, first of all, let me tell you how ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING it is to eat more calories on purpose.  For nearly 5 months, I have restricted my intake.  I've improved my basic eating habits.  I've counted carbs, calories and fats.  I've been very pleased with my ability to "just say no" to the culprit foods that made me fat.  And now I have to eat MORE FOOD!!!

I am terribly overwhelmed by this.  For the past two days I've been trying to get my calories up like I'm supposed to and I haven't made it yet.  First of all, I don't have a lot of appetite because of the meds I've been taking.  Second, I have this horrible nagging fear I won't be able to stop eating once I start.  And finally, it just seems so wrong.

Of course, two of these reasons are exactly why I need a break.  These are not psychologically healthy attitudes about food.  McDonald doesn't recommend eating junk with abandon.  You are still counting calories and eating balanced meals.  You are not dining on cupcakes, ice cream  and jelly beans for two weeks.

I'll be reviewing the book  later today - I really recommend it!

So this morning, I'm sitting here pondering how to get in an extra 600 calories today - it's harder than it sounds, my friends!  As opposed to the picture at the top, mine will look more like this:

Minus the Christmas decorations, of course!

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