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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Middle Road

"All or nothing" thinking is frequently attached to either being on a diet or eating crap. In my world, I cannot contemplate eating crap day in and day out, I only have bad days every 7-10 days when I just can't stop eating. Aside from the obligatory Magnum, I binge/overeat on mostly good stuff - raisin toast, dried fruit, crunchola, and rice crackers with hummus. Hardly rubbish.

I have tried the intuitive approach to eating and I just don't do well without a plan and a structure. I feel like I have nothing to measure my progress against and instead of thinking less about food I think about it more because I have to decide what I want each time I eat. But I have been feeling that applying boundaries to intuitive eating is failure. Another example of all or nothing thinking.

So in honour of tomorrow being 1 October and 12 weeks away from Christmas I have decided to modify my approach and take the middle road. A diet for 4 days of the week and moderated intuitive eating 3 days a week.

At the end of 12 weeks I will have two whole weeks of indulgence covering Christmas and New Year and then get serious again on 1 January. I could possibly do another figure comp next year but I don't really think that is likely.

I have been on my new plan since Sunday and things have been going fine. No 'last supper' on Saturday night and none of the deprivation panic that normally sets in about now.

This is what it looks like

Mon & Tues/Thu & Fri - paleo* style low calorie (I know I said I'd never do it again but it is easy to stay low calorie when you choose not to eat grains or anything processed).
Breakfast - Protein powder, egg whites and fruit (protein pancake)
Snack - almonds
Lunch - fruit or salad
Snack - fruit
Dinner - Protein and vegetables
Snack - vegetables

This comes out at 40-40-20 without even trying

Wed, Sat & Sun - cleanish eating high calorie
Breakfast - Oats and protein powder
Snack - almonds
Lunch - anything I want which would probably be a toasted sandwich or sushi or something and depending on the first course choice, a chocolate or icecream to follow
Snack - fruit
Dinner - Protein and vegetables
Snack - vegetables

Haven't logged a high day properly yet so don't know the macros.

Good things about this plan
(a) I have basically worked out which treats do it for me so there isn't much I miss or that doesn't have a healthy alternative (my pancakes beat cafe pancakes any day!).
(b) It is never a very long wait until a high calorie day and I have the whole weekend to enjoy my food. Hubby and I normally do breakfast or lunch at a cafe on the weekend so I can swap my oats with a cooked breakfast if I need to and have oats for lunch instead
(c) Over 7 days I still average 1500 calories a day which should result in easy breezy weight loss.
(d) I will be carbed up by dreaded Thursday and fully pumped on Monday which should almost last through to Wednesday. The only rough day might be Friday but I will see.
(e) My two largest meals on Paleo days are breakfast and dinner so I can have a decent protein serve in the evening when I am normally the hungriest.
(f) Food preparation is almost nothing (I hated making all those containers full of food every single day) - I walk out the door with my nuts and fruit in the morning. If I don't feel like making a salad, I just buy one or just eat more fruit.

I am not, at the moment, thrashing myself in the gym because I am not particularly interested in building any more muscle for now. I don't think eating like this would support hard training.

I will aim for 3 weight sessions a week when I'm carbed up (Mon, Thu, Sat or Sun) and 2-3 of something else - walking, swimming, RPM, yoga. I am feeling very physically fatigued right now and have a dodgy wrist and shoulder. I think my body needs to be treated a little more gently.

So that's it. It's day 2 of low carb (for me 100g is LOW) and I am completely flat with no vein action at all. I just did yoga tonight which seems a good strategy. Wednesday mornings are weigh in days (allowing weekend bloat to subside) and I will endeavour not to hop on the scales on any other days. This week won't be pretty because I ate too much last week so I expect to be more than 63kgs.

*paleo = cavewoman food - nuts, low sugar fruit, all vegetables [greens are best] except sweet/white potato or corn (which is a grain), lean protein, eggs, one serve protein powder


  1. Sound like a good plan. Interesting that the foods you binge/overeat on are the same ones I used to - raisin toast, dried fruit, cereal. Haven't had them for about three months now.

  2. Anonymous7:32 am

    Great post. Can you please put up your paleo pancake recipe??