I find that when I am getting into weight loss mode, I have to ensure that I am 100% there. It’s a mental game. The questions I usually ask myself:
- Am I ready?
- Can I commit?
- Where will I begin?
- How will I begin?
Then I go into preparation mode. That mode, for me, can either last for as long as it took to answer the above questions or a preparation time of gradually cutting carbohydrates back over a few weeks until I am ready to start counting carbs and be fully engaged. I am currently in the latter mode.
We recently came back from a 9 day vacation – 7 of those days spent at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Let me just say, if my diet was gradually heading towards combustion prior to the trip, then it blew up in a great shower of fireworks equivalent to an Independence Day celebration once those 7 days started! I was a sugar addicted, fast food consuming maniac. A junk food junkie of proportions that surpassed the urges of my 6 and 2 year old. It was R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.
My real problem is that I have no stop button when it comes to sugar and high carb foods. Believe it or not, it is always something seemingly innocuous that stimulates my sugar cravings almost instantaneously – popcorn.
Popcorn is my kryptonite. Popcorn is where my downward spiral started (prior to our vacation). I luv popcorn. Lots of butter or white cheddar popcorn- mmm mmm mmm. I can’t have just one serving. One serving would be fine. But, I have several servings. I could easily eat it as my lunch, snack, and dinner. My daughters love popcorn, as well. So, it’s a staple in our home. Once I have popcorn, I instantly crave sugary goods. Under normal circumstances, a low carb substitute would suffice for craving something sweet. However, after eating popcorn, those substitutions do not satisfy. Because the sugar high has begun. And the downward spiral starts…
Sadly, I have not found an acceptable low carb substitute for my kryptonite. There is nothing you can bake or fry that gives you it’s unique texture. Sure there are popcorn flavoring oils. But what essentially is a popcorn flavored, low carb puff or cracker DOES NOT SATISFY this gal.
So, my low carb readiness gauge is when I am so disgusted with my dietary spiral that I am not even tempted by popcorn. I will try a piece or two and just shrug my shoulders and keep walking. I know I have finally popped out. My daughters are eating popcorn as I type and I am not tempted in the least. Popped out (in more ways than one) status has been achieved. Time to look up some recipes, start using my fave diet app, and break out my friends.
Yes, the journey to weight loss requires these 4 items and willpower. Why?
You have to keep track of your macros. I like to know exactly what my carbohydrate intake is at the time I am preparing my food. Weighing & measuring your yummy goods is the only way to be 100% sure. It might seem complicated, but it is not. I assure you. It’s actually empowering ~ knowing that you are taking back control. Every weight calculation and level measure gives me great satisfaction.
The tape measure – really? Yes. Repeat this to yourself daily:
“I am more than just a number.”
In the mirror, while in the shower, walking out of the house – remember that. When trying to lose weight, the scale can become the crux which will determine whether you have a good or bad start to your day. If you suffer from Have I Lost Weight Yet Syndrome, then you need to remember this mantra.
You get out of bed and feel your stomach to see if it feels flatter. You go to the bathroom, check yourself out in the mirror to see any changes, do your morning rituals, and then step on the scale. Huh? Only 0.2 lbs lost? Next day ~ 1.5 lbs lost in a day! Yea! The following day ~ NO?!! I gained 0.4 lbs?! It’s exhausting.
This is what happens when you ride the daily rodeo scale. DO NOT DO IT! I repeat ~ DO NOT DO IT! Weigh yourself weekly and measure yourself weekly.
Weight loss (or in our case, fat loss is more appropriate) is not a linear equation. When first starting a low carb diet, you might find great losses. Some people can lose over 10 lbs in one week! (I never did but what can I say? My body loves to hoard.) Most people will find that they consistently lose 2-5 lbs a week in the first few weeks (months even, if starting with a high value) and then the slow down begins. Sometimes, you plateau and the scale won’t budge. (There are remedies for that scenario. I will share that another day!) That is usually when people start to become frustrated. Let the tape measure be your guide. I had my greatest “loss” over a period of 5 weeks where I only dropped 7-8 lbs. However, I went from a size 10 pant to a size 6 pant during that time! I could have easily gotten frustrated had I been mainly focused on the scale. My body was in super fat burning mode. My body composition was changing for the better! Hitting maximum nutritional ketosis made it possible. It took some tweaking (another subject in the future); but, success had been achieved! Yippee!
So, gear up and get to know my friends.
If you are seriously considering a low carb/ketogenic diet, do your homework! I’m hand-feeding you the materials:
Food fun tomorrow! Until then…