A blip in “maintenance mode…”

by Christine on February 23rd, 2012

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Gastric Banding Surgery

Well, I’ve been driving this “maintenance mode” gravy train for a little over a year, and I’ve noticed that my weight has gone up and down a little bit (say, 5 pounds) but it has stayed well within range.

However, I can feel the weight creeping up right now. I’m at about 8 pounds higher than my Goal Weight. Although I have actually kicked up my exercise a little bit (which isn’t really saying a lot…I was doing NOTHING before…now I’m squeezing in 2 days a week worth of exercise) I have noticed that my portion sizes are getting bigger and bigger. I’m hungry all the time. I’m eating too much. And I’m not feeling the restriction that my band gives me when it’s just right.

I’m going to give myself 2 weeks to try to get this under control on my own. That is to say, I’m going to crack down on my portion sizes, cut out the sweets that keep creeping into my diet, and eat 6 small mini-meals a day. When I was actively and successfully losing weight, my diet consisted of something like this:

8 a.m. Yogurt & coffee (150 calories worth approx.)
10 a.m.: cheese & crackers (150 calories worth approx.)
Noon: canned soup (150 calories worth approx.)
2 p.m.: fresh fruit  (100 calories worth approx.)
4 p.m.: Almonds (100 cals worth), skim milk
6 p.m.: 3 oz of meat (chicken, fish, or steak) with some fresh veggies (150 calories worth approx.)
8 p.m.: 100 calories worth of chocolate for a treat.

That’s what worked for me in the past, so that’s what I’m going to try to stick to this time. 2 weeks…and if it’s not working for me, then I’ll schedule a little fill with my bariatric surgeon.

I know that the gastric band leaks very very very slowly over time, so it’s not unusual to find it more “roomy” as time goes on. Lots of gastric banders get fills once a year or so to keep it tweaked just right. I don’t mind that, but I also don’t want to rely 100% in the band and get lazy with my food. I realize that I need to put out some effort into this as well. Now is that time! Rawr!

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11 Plateau Buster Ideas!

by Christine on February 7th, 2012

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Are you stuck in a weight-loss plateau? Were you experiencing some kind of regular weight loss, and now you’ve stalled out? You’re doing everything the same, you’re being consistent, but the weight just isn’t coming off anymore? (If you’re curious about what causes a plateau, including all the hormone changes, read this article from the Mayo Clinic.)

You need a plateau buster!  Here are a few plateau-busting tips that will get you into your skinny jeans by summertime!:

  1. Incorporate high intensity interval training. Read more about that here.
  2. Drink more water. (And no, caffeinated beverages don’t count!)
  3. Be sure that you are eating protein at each meal. Looks for choices like egg whites, turkey meat, and whey protein.
  4. Trade your starchy carbs in for veggies.  Replace your servings of bread, rice, pasta, and potato in for dark green veggies.
  5. Pump some iron! Lifting weights builds muscle, and muscle burns fat more efficiently. So build your muscles up!
  6. Double-check your portion sizes. Maybe you’ve stalled out because your portions are getting bigger. Remember to measure and weigh everything you eat! You may want to consider  recording all your food intake. I personally find this very helpful.
  7. Mix it up. If it’s not working for you, change it up. Switch up your exercise program and your food regiment. Sometimes your body just needs a kick in the butt when you change life on it.
  8. Get more sleep!
  9. Try “calorie cycling.”  Let’s say your average calorie intake is 1200 calories. Try consuming 1000 calories one day, 1200 the next, and 1400 the third day, then repeat the cycle.
  10. Eat slower. You might find you eat a lot less if you just slow down a bit.
  11. Recharge your motivation. Write down all the reasons why you want to lose weight, buy yourself a dream pair of pants to wear, take photos of yourself, measure yourself, etc. Do whatever you need to do to reinvigorate your commitment to lose weight!
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Bean soup recipe

by Christine on February 6th, 2012

filed under General Information

I made the yummiest soup yesterday! So good! So here’s my recipe:

  • 1 can of red/pink beans (360 calories)
  • 1/2 an onion (23 calories)
  • I used ham stock, but you can use chicken or beef stock, maybe 1 can or so? (60)
  • Garlic, maybe 2 cloves worth (9 calories)
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced (33 calories)
  • Random spices: 2 packets of Sazon Seasoning, cilantro, pepper, chili powder, basil
  • 2 dashes of lime juice

Combine everything in a pan on the stove. Top with some light sour cream (136).

The whole thing is 621calories, and I ate about 1/3 of it, for just over 200 calories. Delicious!

Did everyone have fun watching the superbowl? We had about 15 friends come over to watch the game, and everyone brought food to share. I skipped all the cheesy/beany/sour creamy dips, chips, pizza, wings and instead had a few fresh veggie slices, a little bit of my homemade soup, and a cupcake. My weight is up today, no doubt due to the salt in the Sazon seasoning…it’ll go back down soon, I’m sure!

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