Kitty emailed me and suggested that I should face the fact that I did, in fact, like "bad food" and should try to work it into my calorie allowance.
Shelley encouraged me to do a meal plan for a week that includes all the "clean food" that I really love and none of the stuff I force myself to eat because it is good for me.
By combining the two ideas, I have come up with an eating plan for this week.
First of all I listed all the things I really wanted to eat, that I could make a healthier version of. For example, tonight I had home made fish and chips - grilled white fish with sweet potato wedges baked in the oven and a little dryslaw with low fat dressing. I am now satisfied and full and a binge doesn't seem on the cards.
I also had a chicken sandwich for lunch on the most delicious Spelt and Ancient Grains bread to satisfy the toast craving.
I have planned french toast for breakfast tomorrow and and whole eggs on toast are another option for when I don't feel like porridge.
I have worked on some new 300 calorie meals and I can have 5 a day.
I also have decided to allow myself to replace any one meal, on any day (or every day if I want) with 300 calories of junk. This means I can have almost anything that I feel I am missing because not many of my favourites fall outside this limit. So instead of eating junk on top of my daily calorie allowance, I am fitting it into the budget.
So here are the rules for the next 7 days:
+ 5 x 300 calorie meals a day (with 50 calories spare for creepage)
+ eat breakfast/meal 1 whether hungry or not but wait until actually hungry for meal 2 (which may be longer than 3 hours later especially if I'm having porridge for brekkie)
+ stop eating if I am no longer hunger and save the rest for later (sometimes I just need a few bites)
+ protein with every meal approximately equal to the carbs (does not apply to treat meal)
+ one treat up to the value of 300 calories a day instead of one meal
+ eat only food I enjoy (which means no diet food that I don't really like = rice cakes)
+ don't worry about getting in 6-8 cups of veggies a day
+ work out the exact quantity of treat food to buy without buying extra for the next day
+ don't cook more starchy vegetables than you need for that meal (because I will pick at the sweet potato and pumpkin after dinner)
+ spinach, lettuce and sprouts can be added at any time to anything and don't count
+ everything must be measured and entered in Calorie King (no squirts of BBQ sauce - measure out a teaspoon)
+ minimise food preparation by buying pre-made salad mixes and pre-cut veggies
+ don't stress over the macros too much - as long as the carbs and protein are roughly equal, the fat can creep up a little - limit is 33/33/33
+ don't worry about avoiding wheat too much as long as it is hearty wholegrain wheat (doesn't apply to treat meal - I can hear a low fat muffin from the bakery calling my naqme)
Obviously this is not nearly as healthy as I was eating for the past 16 weeks but I have two choices
a) eat more calories of clean food (which is what I was trying to do and didn't work - ate all my extra calories and still wanted junk so I binged)
b) eat less calories of not so clean food and include all the things I have been craving.
Strangely (or obviously) now that nothing is off the menu, I don't feel I need to eat everything bad all in one sitting because I won't be able to have it once I'm back on my
Eventually I hope to clean up the eating and get back to loving salads and green veggies, but right at this moment I am sick to death of produce.
The scales are showing a 4 kilo gain (that is not a typo!) but I am hoping I can get out of this minor catastrophe with no more than a 1-2kg gain. I am planning to faithfully follow this new regime for the next 7 days and do a proper weigh in next Saturday.
I feel so much better now I have figured out a solution. Thanks for all your kind words of support, it did give me the impetus to get my sh*t together!
So far ... so good. I'm off to work out a list of junk food I can shove in for 300 calories :)