Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How I learned and am still learning what works for my metabolism.

I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I love food. I eat well. I like variety and love to eat out. I love to cook. I love to try new things and go to gourmet outings. All of these things have led me to be overweight all of my life.

In the early 1990's I lost 60 pounds using the Deal-a-Meal (Richard Simmons) method. For those who may not know the details of that particular plan, it works with a set amount of protein, starch, vegetables, fat, dairy etc that you are allowed to eat everyday. You get cards for each serving of an item you are supposed to eat.

When I reached my goal, the instructions told me to add a starch card per day to start maintenance. Well I did that and after 1 week I had gained 5 pounds. Now 1 carbohydrate card was the equivalent of 1 slice of bread or one large baked potato. One slice of bread (large baked potato) is about 70 calories. So, I ate 490 calories extra that week. Since it takes 3500 calories to make a pound, I couldn't figure out how eating 490 calories made me gain 5 pounds. That would have been the equivalent of 17,500 calories if you do the math. (3500 x 5) So, I eliminated that starch card and promptly went back to my goal weight by losing that 5 pounds in one week.

Crazy I thought! What was going on?? So, I tried it again and again I gained a few pounds. And, they came right off when removing the starch card.

At that point, I was a month past my original "goal" weight and still I hadn't been able to accurately get through to a maintenance plan. I decided not to add anything to my choices and continued to lose weight.

I didn't want to lose anymore, so I decided to try some maintenance choices on my own. I added a protein card instead. I still lost weight. The next week I added 3 protein cards and finally I was able to find the "maintenance" plan for me. My body craved protein and when given enough but not too much of it, could easily eat what seemed like an obscene amount of protein and still maintain the weight I wanted to be.

I will never pretend to know what is best for anyone else besides myself. But, for me a low or lower carbohydrate lifestyle is the key to a healthy body and a comfortable weight.

It has been many years since I made that discovery and until this past February, I had totally forgotten it. Now, I am back to trying to eat fewer carbohydrates and more protein and I again have much weight to lose. I am currently following the Simply Filling avenue of Weight Watchers.

My menus and recipes also include other types of food. I am a gourmet after all and I personally can't live on "meat alone". However, I want to attempt again to control my own glycemic index and use the carbohydrates in a conscious healthy attempt to better choices for my health.

I started a new YAHOO! group called A Healthy Gourmet Join me in my journey if you would like.


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