(If you didn’t read Friday’s post – below this one – you should. I’m just going to jump in where I left off, so this might not make sense otherwise. :D)
So I can’t keep doing WW. It doesn’t work for me, and it just makes me crazy when it stops working. Calorie counting is out because it makes me crazy. (Anytime I’ve ever done it, I find myself about 3 weeks in, trying to keep my total consumption to 3 digits or less: so 999 calories or under: NOT. GOOD.)
And then there’s that Metabolic Diet, which is exactly the food plan my doctor recommended I follow. But that diet is really high in fat, which raises any numbers I might want to track, which . . . makes me crazy. Yeah. I know. (And I also know that I’m my own worst enemy here.)
And on top of all that, the weight-lifting book advocates eating a LOT of calories and a LOT of protein (at least, a lot more than I’m eating now). Honestly, the idea of eating 2000 calories a day (on non-workout days – it’s more on workout days) SCARES THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME. On the other hand, I hadn’t really realized that I was so far below it. My days seem to average out around 1200-1400, and I’m not losing weight. But I’ve been doing WW, which is more carbs, and less fat (which for me, by extension usually means less protein, which is bad on a lot of levels for my body). I can’t help looking at the numbers involved and thinking that maybe, just MAYBE, the reason I’m not dropping weight is that my calories are so low that I’m still screwing my metabolism. That combined with the fact that I’m not really eating what’s best for MY body, will make me gain weight: I’ve gained weight eating 1000 calories in the past, so it could definitely be having an impact now. (Actually The Metabolic Diet mentioned that Protein Types – which I am – often experience exactly that, which made me feel better. Sort of like, “See! I’m not crazy! OR “lying” about what I eat!” Seriously, that “lying” – or even “underestimating” – bit always pisses me off, especially since I could probably tell you the calorie content of just about any food, in any quantity, off the top of my head. THANK YOU, ED. [/sarcasm])
SO. I still have my little notebook, which I’d been using as a mock-up WW journal. And I think I’ve jiggered a system that will work.
Since I’m going to start lifting weights (REAL weights, not Barbie weights), I’m going to follow that “New Rules” book in combination with the Metabolic Diet. The NR book says that I should be eating about 30% of my calories from protein, which if I eat 2000 calories a day works out to . . . 150 grams of protein. (Thirty percent of 2000 = 600, which divided by 4 – because there are 4 calories per gram of protein – equals 150.)
Holy hell, that’s a LOT of protein.
So here’s what I’m thinking: I’m going to journal protein grams, because that’s a tangible number I can hit. I’m also going to journal “Points,” but I’m modifying it by assigning every 50 calories a Points value of 1, regardless of fat, fiber, WHATEVER. (Even using WW, that’s the system average: 50 calories per Point.) BUT I’m not going to eat as few points as WW recommends (23 at my current weight, which works out to ELEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY calories a day, a.k.a. NOT ENOUGH FUCKING FOOD). I’m shooting for 35-40, which puts me at 1750-2000 calories a day.
At the moment, I’m not going to worry about food beyond that. The NR book breaks optimal caloric intake down into non-workout days, workout days, and HARD workout days, but I’m already realizing that I have trouble getting even 2000 calories (seriously, that’s a LOT of food for me right now), so I’m going to shoot for that EVERY day, and refine it later.
I can handle protein grams without going insane. And I can handle points better than calories: the number is smaller, so I don’t fall prey to the 3-digit “game” in my head. And it also helps that my mindset has shifted: I’m working up TO a number, instead of working out what I have LEFT. Does that make sense? When I subtract all day (like WW tells you to do) I’m always anxious: “Oh, I’ve only got 10 Points left. Oh, now I’m down to 8. I’d better hang on to those until dinner.” On the other hand, if I’m ADDING points (not capitalized because I’m not talking about WW Points now), I’m not anxious at all: “Oh, I’d better eat a snack; I’ve got a lot more points to eat today. Wow, I still have 8 points left. I should probably have a small piece of cheese or something.” See how that works? It’s a total psych-out, but it works for me.
So that’s the plan. We’ll see how it goes.