Week 17: Learning to Eat Again

We had a great session last night, which I feel compelled to write about, even if at the risk of boring everyone to death with my weight program!  We’re in “transition” now (like having a baby!), so we are transitioning back to “normal” eating (which, of course, has no relation to what we used to call “normal.”).  A lot of us had fears that we might go completely off the wagon in this stage and suddenly rush out and wolf down an ice cream sundae, now that food is available to us.  (It’s scary to give up the ease and security of opening a powdered drink every two to three hours!) But the instructor, the nutritionist for the program, had some great hints about how to manage this next phase.  First of all, you plan ahead, so that you do conscious, thought-out eating, instead of impulse eating.  So, for instance, you go to the grocery store on Sunday and purchase your mozarella sticks and lean chicken breasts, instead of hoping there will be something appropriate in the fridge for you to eat come Monday. Each day, you plan what meals you will need to prepare ahead of time and carry with you, what your snack will be, where you will get your 64 ounces of water, etc.

Secondly, and this is the part I like the best, you approach each meal  (and each snack) with the 1-2-3 system, checking off three things to make sure you’re getting the balanced nutrition you need:  1) protein 2) carbs and 3) fat.  If you start by asking yourself, “Where in this meal/snack will I get my 4 ounces of protein, 1-2 cups of good, unstarchy carbs, and 1 serving of fat?”, you’ll be able to handle whatever comes at you.  I like the approach:  it simplifies my life.  It also keeps food solidly in its place as balanced nutrition instead of all the other dangerous things it can turn into, such as romance, fun, glamour, comfort, therapy, etc.  It’s also beautifully uncomplicated, so I don’t have to be carrying around a calorie counter everywhere I go.  The final part of the plan:  remember portion control!  I just need to remember to use a small plate and make sure that 2/3 of that plate is made up of fruits/veggies/whole grains and 1/3 is lean protein.  I like it! 

We also talked about low-calorie alternatives for delicious treats, such as mashed cauliflower with garlic and Greek yoghurt in place of mashed potatoes–but that’s a whole other subject.

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