After a summer where I slowly lost 5 pounds simply by eating less, the scale has been creeping back up in the past month. I have recently been assessing what may have happened in order to start moving in the other direction again. Here are my thoughts:
1. Protein (or lack thereof): over the past month or so I’ve started cooking a lot more, which is great except I have been making a lot of vegetarian recipes which are on the starchy side and only have beans as protein. This is a great way of eating for a lot of people– but not for me. If I don’t get a little animal protein at most meals, and limit my starch intake to a cup or so I am starving again in two hours and craving sugar as my blood sugar crashes. I know this about myself but sometimes I need reminding. Breakfast is particularly hard because I can not eat eggs or yogurt due to food allergies. What works really well for me is green smoothies: soy or other non-dairy milk, rice or pumpkin seed protein powder, stevia, greens and frozen berries. I feel great after one of those, but I get bored with them. But eating anything else I’m hungry again in an hour and cranky from low blood sugar in two.
2. Sugar: I have tried many times to cut sugar completely out of my life and it doesn’t work. I just end up binge eating it later. All summer long I was eating a small portion of something, usually non-dairy ice cream or something and then putting it away. Ever since my birthday cake at the end of October I have been over doing the sugar. The lack of protein is part of this problem, and also too much baking. The holidays are not going to help this! I think #3 is also part of the issue:
3. Boredom: After spending all of my 20s working and going to school, stretched way too thin, suddenly I have a full-time job where I can work from home half the time and I spend too much time home by myself. I’m still not quite used to all this spare time I have on the weekends not doing homework. I need to find some new hobbies (besides baking!)
4. Exercise: I am terribly unmotivated most of the time to do this– I’ve been really tired lately, perhaps a symptom of the above mentioned blood sugar control, but also whenever I decide on a workout plan I talk myself out of it almost as soon as I begin– weights are too heavy or too light, not enough or too much cardio, etc. Also my gym is kind of far away and that does not aid in my motivation to go there, especially now that it’s cold and dark all the time.
So what to do about this? I’ve already started making sure I get protein at each meal, which does help. I need to cut back on baking for awhile after Thanksgiving (I’m cooking the entire T-day dinner for my husband’s family on Friday) and I’m thinking of going back to the Body for Life workout plan– it’s the first serious weight training routine I ever did back in college and I was in amazing shape when I finished it. Back to basics.