Recently I was asked…..
Q: Nat, you’ve lost 75 pounds, what diet plan are you following? Paleo, keto, carnivore, macrobiotic-gluten-free-vegan?
A: I’ve lost 75 pounds on the calorie deficit plan. LOL. In all seriousness calories are the “secret”. I do my best to get enough protein, and to not overeat most of the time. I find things that I like well enough* that have moderate amounts of calories, and then look for ways to bump up the protein and/or bump down the calories. I do also go out to eat, and eat ️ birthday cake (I love cake!), and I plan the rest of my week to make room for my indulgences.
*Aside: good enough is good enough when it comes to taste. You don’t want to hate your food, but it can also be too good. Josef would call that “hyperpalatable”, as in Oreos, or even better (worse?) Oreo truffles are not something I can eat appropriate amounts of because they are too damn good.
Kinda Low Fat
For the most part, I have found that cutting back on fat (opposite of keto) makes life the easiest. Veggies, fruits and low fat starches take up a lot of room in your stomach, keep you regular, and they don’t have many calories until you add a lot of fat to them. It’s 80’s retro, but it also work
Not too many salads
I hate telling my husband he’s right, but darnit… he’s told me for years that salads are usually the highest calorie item on the menu, and that they’re not very high in fiber… anyway, so he might be somewhat correct about some of that. Salads are usually a treat for me because it turns out that I kinda hate the ones that aren’t calorie bombs. I do jam a lot of greens (especially arugula) into sandwiches with low calorie bread, or use it as a garnish of sorts.
My weight fluctuates
Right now I’m 177-ish. This is way down from 245, but it is also up from 169, and also down from 188. Snaccidents happen… in other words, excessive and consecutive celebrations happen to me (I never, ever seek them out ). I neither beat myself up, nor let myself off the hook. I am disappointed in myself when I gain weight, and/or fail to follow through, and that disappointment helps give me a kick in my ass to step it up… but I do NOT “should” all over myself and spend excessive time in pity parties (anymore). Pity parties have the worst cake…
High iron diet
It’s embarrassing to admit, but I was kinda lazy in the weight room, and on my step count for a long time. I would train until I hit some level of discomfort, but not really enough to stimulate change. My husband would try different ways to encourage me to push myself, and I would tell him to push his suggestions…. (I hate it when he’s right!)
To make a long story short, I now allow Coach Gregory and Josef to push me, and I even push myself sometimes. I was also kinda delusional about my consistency – I would tell myself I worked out a lot, but it was mostly lower effort, short duration “workouts”… so I am saying that doing 3-4 sessions per week where I whine and work hard, and finally getting my steps in consistently have been game changers for me!
It turns out that a lot of common medications cause weight gain. (Here is more on antihistamines and weight gain.) This is a very deep can of worms, so I won’t get too deep. The only medication I have ever taken long term is an SSRI – once in college, and then for 6-7 years after my first child when I had horrible post-partum.
I had lost 50-ish pounds before I got off my SSRI, but I really think that the 7 years I spent taking it helped push me up to 245, and made getting below 195 very difficult. To be honest, I was terrified of stopping the meds. I feared turning back into the unhinged and mean person I was in 2014. It was really scary.
Happy to say my fears were unfounded. Looking back, and at research on how poorly SSRI’s perform compared to placebos, I probably gave the SSRI’s credit that they didn’t deserve.
I’ve been thinking about that time in my life for a while, and I wonder if the depression wasn’t the problem, but rather trying to make it go away was. In talking to other moms, and looking at statistics, it seems to me that most (all?) women have some level of depression after having children. Maybe we’re meant to be withdrawn and examine our priorities because our pre-baby lives will not work anymore, and we have to grieve the loss of our old selves while learning who we are in our new roles.
So, all this to say I understand the struggles that go into weight loss and getting and staying healthy. As you can see in the fluctuates section, it’s not ever really past tense and it’s never really easy AND it is worth it.
I’d like to help you with an accountability call -these are free for all our T180 ladies. Some women I check in on a weekly basis, some once a quarter and some just when they need it. I am here to help.