Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Numbers Game

Maybe it's because I had so much math and science in college. Maybe it's because I'm a huge dork. Or maybe it's because it just makes sense.

I should tell you the latest incarnation of my eating strategy. I hate to use the word "diet" because to me that implies something that you're on, only until you're done and than you can "go off." That just won't work for me. It needs to be a lifestyle change. This year started out with my oldest child more or less challenging me to eat according to the Abs Diet. (There's the D-word again!) You can follow her journey here. We decided on this when we saw the incredible results obtained by my future daughter-in-law's sister. She followed this way of eating and working out, and she looks fabulous. When we asked Aly what her sister had done, she said that she basically doesn't eat crap.

So I started this year on the Abs Diet, but upon doing some reading, I came across what was, to me, a conflicting point. There is no counting, just measuring and eating the appropriate foods at the appropriate times. But the author also talks about limiting calories to lose weight. So my dilemma was: how can a 600-calorie sandwich help me lose weight? I modified this somewhat and came up with Cathy's Diet. It's basically everything I've learned over decades of watching my weight (go up and down!). It boils down to this: three meals and two-three snacks a day, each meal containing a protein and a good carb, each snack being something real (as opposed to processed), at least four days a week of cardio and at least two of strength training. I'm trying to limit my calories to 1200; sometimes work better than others. Darn wine. Since I've been doing this, I've lost weight - not to obsess over numbers, but 5.6 (woo hoo!)

And you know the best part? I haven't been hungry. Seriously. And there have been a few days that have definitely been over 1200. For example, last week on the way home from a funeral visitation, we decided to stop at Smashburger and I had the bacon swiss burger and fries - a whopping 1340 calories IN ONE MEAL!!! Delicious? Yes. Worth it? Yes - that time. But I counted it, and while it was a lot, in the old days I would have figured that since I blew it, I might as well really blow it and anything would have been fair game. We came home, had a glass of wine (definitely needed after a visit to the funeral home) and I started over the next day. If this is to be a lifestyle, there will be side trips to Smashburger.

While I won't bore you with calorie counts and number (unless you want!), I will show you good, healthy foods that will fill you up. As I mentioned, my favorite place for new recipes is Cooking Light magazine. Along with the Abs Diet, they use real foods, real fats, whole grains, and lots and lots of fruits and veggies.

Dinner last night was just such a recipe - from the latest issue of Cooking Light. It's the Sautéed Chicken with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. And OMG. (Find the recipe here.)



That meal was seriously one of the best ever. I didn't have shallots so used an equal amount of Vidalia onion, substituted baby spinach for the arugula, and was reading too quickly so used regular white vinegar instead of white WINE vinegar. (How did I miss the wine?!) It was so delicious that I had the leftovers for lunch today, only over romaine. Spinach was better, but this was more than satisfactory!

I know I have left-over steel-cut oats in my fridge, but I woke up hungry for the breakfast that I eat probably 90% of the time:

Yup. Peanut butter toast (or sometimes a bagel thin or English muffin) and fruit. And coffee. Notice the food scale: While I bet I can scoop out 16 grams of peanut butter 9 times out of 10, I always measure. Just an old Weight Watcher at heart.

Time to post and head to Stitch-n-Bitch. I'll have to tell you about my knitting group another time. I am so lucky!

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