“This is what people don’t understand: obesity is a symptom of poverty. It’s not a lifestyle choice where people are just eating and not exercising. It’s because kids – and this is the problem with school lunch right now – are getting sugar, fat, empty calories – lots of calories – but no nutrition.”
I am still scoring more than 200 points per day in JV Life Tracker. However, my scores are starting to slide down a bit. That may be related to my mood drop yesterday. Maybe I can lift my mood with music. Seconds ago, I put on my earphones and started listening to Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon.
I have already made, consumed, and cleaned up a green drink. My goal is to start each day with one. If I wait until lunch, I get distracted by other foods. For the ingredients, see breakfast in the diet diary below.
Calories Under Budget
I have been on this diet for 22 days. I lost the most weight my second week when I averaged 306 calories under budget per day. In the third week, I averaged 166 calories under budget. It appears that if I eat fewer calories, the scale will budge more. Nothing much happened my third week.
Eat Like a Monk
I am thinking of eating like a monk–a monk who eats nothing after his noon meal. I have never tried anything like that, and I know many experts do not recommend it. However, I can get virtually all of my nutrients in two meals. Then I would depend on intermittent fasting. I can fast up to 20 hours or longer. Should I give it a go?
I can try it for a while and see what happens. If I get 1,000-1,200 calories a day, that will probably be about right. That is what earnest dieters have to do anyway. Jenny Craig puts you on a 1,000 calorie-a-day diet. I dieted at 820 calories/day in the 1980s, but I think I can eat more calories than that. However, if it takes 820 calories to make my diet work, I am willing. I programmed computers during that diet and was still able to function.
It is hard to be hungry, but hunger can be managed, especially if you are committed. It comes in waves. If your body knows you will not feed it, it shuts up. The worst hunger pangs arrive when you are still burning sugar. Once your body has switched into fat-burning mode, it does not get as hungry. When burning fat, there is almost an endless supply of fuel available. You have to burn off your sugar before your body goes into fat-burning mode.
We, Westerners, tend to keep topping our tanks with sugar and never get to burning fat. Sugary soft drinks have spread around the world, so now this problem is global. If you sip on cola all day, you will not burn fat. I suggest ditching the habit. It is probably necessary for you to do that to lose weight. I have a friend who wants to lose more than 100 pounds. However, he does not want to give up cola. Has he lost weight? No. His body never gets to the point of burning fat. Therefore, he cannot take it off of his body. My husband had a neighbor who had a severe cola habit. He died prematurely. Not only are soft drinks a threat to weight loss, but they are also a threat to your life.
Soft drinks may not be your thing, but what about donuts? Do you have them at the office every morning? I used to be crazy about donuts myself and could quickly eat four large ones. However, they do not help you lose weight, even if Jason Wachob of mindbodygreen.com likes them. A few miniature donuts a day, and your body is no longer burning fat. The insulin from the sugar will store the fat in the donuts in your fat cells.
Breaking the Sugar Habit
When I started my former blog on September 5, 2018, intending to lose 15 pounds, I was still eating sugar. That was the first habit I had to break. It took a while. Fortunately, I had abstained for years before. However, its hooks had gotten into me again. Part of the problem was that meals at our retirement complex came with desserts included. It seemed like such a waste to throw away ‘good food.’ Without apology, I think you have to.
My husband hung on to the cookies our neighbor gave us for weeks. When it was clear he would never eat them, I tossed them in the trash. Our neighbor’s gesture of friendship was not lost. However, we did not have to eat the cookies.
Why am I such a crusader against sugar? Because I lost a tooth to sugar, part of other teeth, and I lost my waistline. My moods have gone downhill time and time again on sugar. That is what has happened to me. Sugar can cause heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The epidemic of diabesity is caused by sugar, and Dr. Robert Lustig has proof. He has set out to change public policy to protect human health, admitting the fight will not be over in his lifetime. He likens his crusade to getting people to stop smoking and wear seatbelts. These two behaviors have vastly improved over the last few decades.
Not Merely Personal Choice
I agree with him that sugar is not merely a matter of personal choice. Our culture foists it on us. Our parents bribe us with sugar to get us to behave. Then we are hooked. Some parents put it in their baby’s bottles. We cannot go to a birthday party without being served cake and often ice cream, too. Even weddings are hard to pass up. I remember that I ate a lot of carrot cake at my first wedding. I not only ate it at the reception, but there was also leftover cake for days afterward. I started my first marriage, gaining weight. Before long, friends were asking my husband if I was pregnant. I was not!
I am sure you have your own stories.
Back to hunger. It is 10:26 AM, and my intention is to wait until 11:30 AM for lunch. As you can guess, I am already hungry. The V8 in the green drink is naturally high in sugar. It has been stripped of some of its fiber. So if you do not want to use V8, I totally understand. It is a compromise between convenience, economy, and nutrition. Thankfully, the green smoothie as a whole has a lot of fiber. However, one more problem, the fiber gets torn to smithereens by the Vitamix.
Though Dr. Robert Lustig does not recommend smoothies, I have done well with them. They may not be ideal for you. I thought I would warn you, so you will know when not to follow my example to a tee. I like smoothies and used various vegetable smoothies while studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
So what can I do about my hunger until 11:30 AM? I could eat something. I have only eaten 406 calories, 26% of my budget for today. I think I will have some sauerkraut or kimchi. You may hate fermented food. However, it is rich in probiotics and also has prebiotics, fiber on which the probiotics can multiply; yes, they are living creatures. Do not get grossed out, though; these creatures are friendly and support your health.
I ate some Wildbrine Japanese kimchi. On my diet diary, it says kimchi; the generic food record in Cronometer is more complete. Now it is only 20 more minutes until lunchtime. I called Air Care Colorado to see if they will do an emissions inspection without a registration card. “No problem. We don’t need it,” they said. So I am set to get my emissions inspection and register the jeep.
It is almost time for lunch. You may wonder why I am eating by the clock rather than following my hunger drives. My hunger would get me to eat more food than I can burn in a day, let alone have a deficit for fat removal. There are many reasons why we eat more than we need.
As a matter of survival, nature wants to ensure that we get enough food. Science now has an understanding of what hormonally drives us to stop eating. Leptin is a hormone secreted by the fat cells that tells the brain we are full. Snacking after supper blocks leptin’s message to the brain.
The ultimate goal is to train your body to balance your food with your energy needs. My training involves using a clock. One strategy is not to eat after supper to strengthen leptin’s message to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls our eating. Leptin affects other body parts also.
If you are always overeating, do not beat yourself up for it. If we did not have the instinct to eat enough, it would be no laughing matter. Thank your body for taking care of you like that. If you have eaten to excess, use some tools to take it off. It gets complicated because you have to fight against instinct. However, one behavior, not eating late at night, marshals the forces of your body in your service. If you understand all of this, it will help you see the beauty of who you are, regardless of your weight.
Lunchtime is passed. I got an incredibly complete nutritional profile with two meals. My total protein is a little low, so I may do something about that. It is in reasonable balance with my other macronutrients. I need to take a walk before my doctor’s appointment this afternoon. I pray I can hold my fast for 20 hours. If I cannot, I may try again or go for a different strategy. If I have to eat, I will probably have a piece of pork tenderloin.
During my teenage years, I became aware of an older gentleman who cleaned the church. He ate ONE meal per day. He would put it all together, all the food groups, dessert, everything, and eat just that one meal, nothing for the rest of the day. He had the energy to keep the church very clean. I always wondered how he could do that. Now I will try something similar with two meals. Wish me luck!
I walked to the library and back, took a nap with a Weight Loss self-hypnosis mp3, and had a zoom meeting with my doctor. I told him I was doing better, and he said we should do what we are already doing. What a relief! I do not need that expensive medication.
It is now 3:51 PM. I am feeling famished, and the pork tenderloin sounds good. Since my body needs more protein, a slice or two would do it no harm. That blows my chance to be a monk, but it gives me more than 45 grams of protein, which is the minimum the body needs according to my high school foods teacher. I can still get 16.5 hours of fasting before breakfast and avoid eating in the evening. That also gives me 1029 calories, which puts me in the 1,000-1,200 range. I give myself four ingenuity points in Vibrancy each day for solving puzzles and mathematical problems. I think this qualifies.
This is such a nutritious plan, I plan to repeat it. Tomorrow, I will know how well it supports weight loss. There is no added sugar, dairy, or gluten. Fructose is slightly more than 15 grams. I will use more regular V8 and less low-sodium, and that will reduce the fructose. This menu has eight servings of vegetables, which is more than the 6.5 I have been averaging. It is not vegan but can easily be made so by using a vegetable protein as a snack. My fat bombs on Day Three would work. If we do not have pork tenderloin, I may use that solution instead.
The preliminary results for my two-meal-a-day diet are in. I lost weight for the second consecutive day! I still have not passed my lowest point (53 kg), but the trend is encouraging. Fasting most of the day yesterday was less painful than I anticipated. Notice that my eating window (non-shaded area) for yesterday was short. I will use this strategy again!
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One. If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below. Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
This article, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me. I do not claim that it will work for you. Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care. These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease. If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.