Amy After

Tips, motivation & advice for a gluten-free lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Here a Diet, There a Diet, Everywhere a Darned Diet!


Will somebody please tell me the truth?!?!?!?

The Atkins Diet – Protein & fat w/ low carb veggies.

The Dukan Diet – Protein & NO fat/low carb veggies on alternating days.

The Mediterranean Diet – Plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains & fish.

Vegan – Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and soy.

The Zone – Combining an exact ratio of protein, fat and carbs at every single meal to control blood sugar.

Vegetarian – Everything except animal protein.

Pescatarian – A vegetarian who eats fish.

Weight Watchers – Anything and everything in reasonable amounts – budgeted as an allowance type of system.

Meal Delivery Systems – Highly processed in very small portions, usually extremely high in sodium.

You are probably familiar with most or all of these. I have fully committed to each and every one of these over the years with results that were all over the map. Some made me sick, some made me feel a whole lot better but didn’t help me lose weight, but taking certain parts from each and every one of them helped me lose 175lbs.

Each approach has devout followers. Each one has many success stories.  But what about you? Which one is the one for you?

What is your own personal largest obstacle to achieving weight loss?

If it’s blood sugar related – which is extremely common – then I highly suggest reading The Zone, by Dr. Barry Sears. I’ve kept the principles of that book with me for over the last 10 years and know that no matter what plan I’m following, I use those tools to keep my blood sugar rock solid. Because of that book I kept my hypoglycemia (pre-diabetes) from actually becoming diabetes.  The Zone  principals are worth their weight in gold.

If it’s portion control related –  I would suggest something like Weight Watchers, where you have to pay really close attention to the volume of your food. You learn to take note of calories and serving sizes and what an appropriate amount of food really looks like. There are also all of the pre measured plans that take away all the work on your part, such as Jenny Craig. This feature is nice but you have to be very careful as the more processed the food the less nutrients you are getting. Yes you’ll lose weight, but you may also become a bit malnourished too. If your food has a shelf life of a Twinkie – it’s really not good.  Ideal Protein is a plan which originated in France and is a mostly pre measured plan but I think it’s one of the healthiest ones out there if you want to get serious and get those extra lbs off.

After having lived spans of my life on every one of these – I’ve learned how to take the parts from each and customize a plan that works for me (keeping each of them gluten-free, of course).  You will learn what makes your body thrive; which types of foods give you energy while making you lean and healthy.  You’ll also learn that different parts of your life call for different plans. That’s a good thing! It’s fun to keep fine-tuning your foods to keep reaching better and better levels of health and well-being.


Get Really Skinny on the Ideal Protein Diet

I’m in  my first week of my new “Ideal Protein” diet. I’m feeling really energetic! I know I’ve lost several pounds so far and am anxious to see what my first week’s official loss will be. It’s absolutely amazing how different I feel when I get the excess carbs out of my system. Last weekend (higher carb) I slept late, felt groggy and had little energy. This weekend I woke up early and didn’t feel sleepy or tired all day! The doctor who presented the Ideal Protein plan to me summed it up in a way that was so simple and easy to understand:

We have three “gas tanks” our bodies can get fuel from. The first is carbs & sugar. Our bodies always take it’s fuel from there first. So as long as we are eating grains, fruits, bread and pasta that will be what our bodies run off of – even when we’re working out. The second gas tank our body will go to if there aren’t any carbs and sugars in the body is protein & muscle. This of course is bad, as we need to hang onto our precious muscle! But if we’re getting enough protein from the right sources then the body will get all of it’s energy from the third gas tank, the fat. Makes sense, doesn’t it?  If we are getting relatively low carbs, almost exclusively from non starchy veggies and enough protein (the exact values are different for each person) then we’ll run off of our stored fat. When you begin running off of your body’s fat you start to feel like a new person!

  • More energy
  • Require less sleep
  • Scale moves down quickly
  • Inches lost
  • Ability to think more clearly

These are all of my own personal observations but the effects seem to be standard.

I go back to the doctor to weigh in and find out how my body fat % has changed this week. Very excited to see!

From Flabby to Fit in Four Months by Rock Climbing

Okay, I have a new challenge before me. An experiment, really. What do you think? Can I go from being a relatively out of shape, soft, doughy wimp to being an athletic, toned, lean, mean rock climbing machine? In four months?  I say that I can. Let’s put this hypothesis to the test, shall we?

About two months ago an avid rock climber friend suggested that I too try rock climbing. I had, before that conversation, never EVER even considered trying to haul myself up a rock wall. It seems that these days I’m liable to try just about anything so I agreed and drove to the nearest indoor rock climbing gym and gave it a shot. I had to take a belaying (tying the ropes correctly and not letting your climbing partner free fall off of the wall) lesson first before they’d let me climb. When it was my turn to start the climb, I was a nervous wreck! I was stunned to find that not only could I make it to the top (terrible form & technique not withstanding) but I actually liked it! The wave of accomplishment I felt when I reached the top was intense and I was  immediately hooked .

Given the previously mentioned terrible form and technique, I dislocated my wrist during my second visit to the rock wall. After a trip to my chiropractor to set it I was back to my new obsession. I was too excited to waste my time warming up and stretching and went up the wall immediately upon arrival. Then came the second dislocated wrist. Sigh…  I’ve since read that you can learn a lot about yourself while doing this sport so I guess my first lesson was patience.  This time my wrist didn’t want to stay back in it’s proper place so I had several more visits to the chiropractor and a lot of at home therapy. My illustrious two months of climbing has boiled down to about five whole climbing sessions.

The Challenge: my rock climber friend invited me on an outdoor climb which takes place exactly four months from now. It’s in an amazing country I’ve never even been near and the trip sounds just too terrific to pass up. So, I have until June to lose at least 10% body fat and around 20lbs, build lean muscle mass and become a bona fide rock climber.

Deep breaths, deep breaths….

New Super Skinny Goal on Ideal Protein

 With the new year, I’ve changed things around yet again. Instead of counting calories, which works while I’m doing it, but just can’t seem to stick to for more than a week at a time, I am starting a formal weight loss program.  My chiropractor lost over 50lbs doing the Ideal Protein plan. It was devised over twenty years ago in France for the athletes there who needed to lose fat but retain all of their muscle mass. It’s been around in Canada for ten years and has come to the US more recently. It does have prepackaged foods which I usually avoid like the plague, but these are made using higher standards than the “other” ones we’re used to hearing about in every other t.v. commercial. It uses the same low carb principal I used to lose over 160lbs but with added convenience and portability.

I will go to my chiropractor’s office each week in the beginning and go over my food diary, get weighed and scanned for body fat percentage. At this point I want to lose 10% body fat. During my initial visit last week, I was at 28% body fat. I was at 25% six weeks earlier but had some unfortunate fruit, oatmeal and honey binges. C’est la vie. I don’t know what that translates into with the number of pounds I need to lose as I also need to build muscle. I wasn’t careful during my big weight loss about getting enough protein in each day and so I lost a lot of muscle mass along with the fat. Now I have to turn that around.

I vow to work out six days a week – 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes toning/muscle building with my new wonderful, magical Tracy Anderson videos. I’ll also do at least a couple of hours of indoor rock climbing per week and of course my ballroom dance lessons. That coupled with my perfected eating plan should get me to my goal by Spring! I have my heart set on wearing some of the new gorgeous spring dresses with wedge sandals – super cute!!!

What Happens if You Only Eat 500 Calories a Day

After feeling really discouraged from falling off the 800 calorie per day wagon I wasn’t sure in which direction I would go next. The light at the end of the tunnel was illuminated when a friend told me about someone she knew who was losing the last 20lbs she needed to lose on a Dr. supervised diet which advocated eating 500 calories per day and almost no carbs at all. Wow, seriously? I couldn’t handle eating only 800 calories so how in the world would I get through my day on 500? But I’m game to try almost anything so I dove in head first.

For a week I ate 2 eggs fried in a little Earth Balance for breakfast, 5 oz baked turkey breast for lunch (covered in mustard, my new best friend), and a couple Tilapia fish fillets cooked in a little Earth Balance for dinner. I drank tons of Smart Water (extra electrolytes) and several cups of coffee and tea per day sweetened with no carb stevia. I did have the sensation of my stomach being empty quite a bit which is a feeling that I still find unsettling. But I quickly realized that there were no cravings at all! I had tons of energy and my mind was crystal clear. I experienced no sleepiness at all during the day either. So, at the end of the week I’ve lost 7 lbs. I feel great and wish I could follow this plan for the rest of my life. I know it’s a very short term thing, just to get over my weight loss plateau, but I’ve proven to myself yet again how bad carbs can make me feel.  Now I’ll add in a variety of non-starchy vegetables to the protein and see what happens. REALLY  need to start exercising soon…

Eating 800 Calories a Day Can Make You FAT!

I was a bit nervous about putting myself on a 750-800 calorie per day plan. I made a grave mistake by not counting the carbs and thought that since the calories were so low, I could “reward” myself with a few extra carbs. The carbs came from things like raisins, tomato soup, butternut squash soup and LOTS of peanut butter. Now the total carbs were still very low, but for me they were just too high (maybe around 30 grams) . I felt like I was starving to death! I lost 4lbs after getting through the first week but then midway through the second week I couldn’t stand the cravings any longer and started eating everything in sight! I didn’t eat anything I wouldn’t normally eat but ate tons more of the foods I had already been eating.

I absolutely hated being that out of control, it was such a miserable feeling.  By the time I came to my senses I had gained the 4 lbs I’d just lost! Back to the drawing board. I still can’t exercise much at all so I  need to focus primarily on getting those last 20lbs off via diet. Sigh…

800 Calorie Experiment – Week One

After having way too much fun over the summer, I am now back from hiatus. To recap, last spring I was following a 1,200 calorie a day menu. Accompanied by almost daily exercising I was enjoying a nice and slow, but steady weight loss. I have no earthly idea how many calories were consumed over the past four months as I certainly was not counting. My weight fluctuated a bit but I ended the summer in virtually the same place as I started.

Now it’s time to get back to business. I’ve lowered my ultimate goal weight and as of today have 20lbs to lose. For reasons which I will disclose in a future post, I have been unable to exercise for the past two months and I never dreamed that I’d actually miss it! So, since I am still pretty restricted with my physical activity I am trying out an 800 calorie per day eating plan. I’m still gluten-free and low-carb. I try to keep my net carbs below 30 grams per day. The significant change as of late is that after almost three years of being a pescatarian, I have added chicken and turkey back to my menu. I’ve just completed my first week at this amount and lost four lbs. That’s really exciting but I’m nervous that I can’t keep the losses coming without exercise…

I know that this is a contraversial thing to do. The theory goes that if one’s calories are too low, the metabolism will self adjust to that level and weight loss will be impossible. That possibility does make me nervous, especially without the exercise as that forces the metabolism to rev up. But I am willing to use myself as a guinea pig (as usual) and see what happens.  I can say for sure that when my caloric intake is between 800-1,000 per day – I feel fabulous!!! My mind is clear , I have lots of energy and never have to suffer through the mid afternoon yawning attacks. So I wonder how something that’s bad for me could make me feel so good?? When my calories are around 1,200 I feel more lethargic and for lack of a better description, just “over-fed.”  Let’s see how week two goes, shall we?

Weigh-In Week Four

Lost another two pounds! At this point in the game losing a couple of pounds a week is stellar, but it feels like going at a snail’s pace. When I think that I only have twenty pounds to go, it boggles my mind.

Weigh-In Results Week Three

Another week, another pound. Twenty two to go… I was much better last week with my exercise. I did my Tracy Anderson Perfect Design #1 video six days and some sort of cardio five or six of those days. I wrote out my food plans and they came in at under 1200 calories each day BUT after I ate everything on my list I kept going!!! Even though I’d eaten all the food that was written in my little notebook I decided that an extra bowl of fruit wouldn’t matter. Then I decided that a handful of almonds wouldn’t matter either. Well, sadly I proved to myself for the 4,782 time that the extra does matter – even if said extra is healthy! I’m still a firm believer that healthy food should be “all you can eat.” If I start a petition do you think we can make that happen?

Weigh-In Results Week Two

Tuesday- weigh in day. Lost 2.5lbs again this week! That is 5lbs lost in two weeks, 23 more lbs to my goal weight. I feel like it would’ve been more if I hadn’t been so SORRY and done my cardio like I should have! I did my toning each morning but shrugged off my night time exercise. This week will be different – better – I swear!