Saturday, July 28, 2012

Valuable lessons from my 6.5-Day Diet

Old me.
Even though I didn't successfully make it the full 17 days {again}, my time following the 17-Day Diet plan was beneficial in that a lot of things "clicked" with me. I've read countless health magazines and blogs, and I consider myself full of healthy living knowledge, but a very out-of-control sweet tooth and zero willpower really snuffed out all of that information - I could never live up to what I knew was right. My good intentions were always easily swayed by the offering of a cookie, a bagel, some candy...

Now, I feel like I've learned how to listen to my body more and to truly think about what I'm putting in my mouth. The most valuable lessons I've learned

1. Controlling my sweet tooth: In the first two weeks of the 17-Day Diet, you're limited to eating only low-sugar fruit {no bananas, melon, mango or pineapple} and obviously all starch/bread/rice/etc. is out of the question. In theory, abstaining from these items should break the sugar addiction {which I 100% buy in to - I love any and everything sugary}. I can honestly say that since limiting my sugar intake on the plan, I haven't had as strong of a desire for sugar. I don't stop at the candy dish at work, and I'm not tempted to grab a little something here and there. Breaking the sugar addiciton was a very important piece of putting myself on the right path for weight loss.

My favorite variety of "sweets" nowadays - I love summer produce!
{Old picture of fresh-picked strawberries from Mother's Day weekend}

2. Portion control: I had always read about it and thought that I practiced it, but now I feel that I can truly do it. Since I wasn't "allowed" to have rice, bread, pasta, etc. during the diet, but I sometimes needed a little boost to my meals, I was allowing myself a very conservative helping of rice or potatoes at dinner. The amount was small enough to not make a huge impact, but enough to satisfy my palate. This really hit home to me - I don't need a big scoop of rice or potatoes or a bun on my hotdog to "round out" my meal. A tiny amount or taste will do.

3. Moderation/lower carbohydrate intake: This is slightly related to portion control, too. Meals on the plan were centered around lots of protein and vegetables, which I knew was how I should be eating {in the past, my body has always responded well to reducing carbohydrate intake}. I love all things bread and potato {who doesn't?!}, and there have been evenings when I'd stop and think "Did I eat any fruits or vegetables or quality protein today?" and sadly, I often had not. I'm now really consciencious of what my "plate" looks like - as many vegetables as I can stand, a serving of lean protein, and a very small amount of starch/complex carbohydrate. If I know I'm going to have a carb-heavy meal at some point during the day, I'll be a saint the rest of the day. I knew we'd be having pizza for dinner on Friday night, so all day Friday I made a conscious effort to limit the amount of carbs I consumed.

4. Mindful eating: I ask myself "is it worth it?" a lot more often now, and as I said, I'm very conscientious of what I'm consuming.

These are all the very obvious steps to weightloss, but until now, I've never been able to practice them. While some criticize the 17-Day Diet plan, I personally found the plan helpful to reset my body and mind in the realm of food consumption.

No comments:

Post a Comment