Now, back to my eating habits, the easiest way to gain back weight is to reform bad habits or form new bad habits. So, every once in a while, I will take a look at what I'm doing. This usually happens when I step on the scale and have either gained weight or not lost any for a LONG time - like today. I have been stuck, stuck, stuck for over a month fluctuating up and down the same three pounds. I was right in the middle today. After I walked for 16 miles on Saturday and had a REALLY great weekend as far as my eating and calorie intake. What the heck? Okay, so I know these things take time, I know this too well, but, honestly, I'm frustrated. I'm in the home stretch here - I have 25 pounds to go - and they are STUBBORN! Okay, so after the little temper tantrum, I did what I have to do and I looked at my eating habits (and talked this through with my husband too). I evaluated what I have and have not been doing and reassessed my habits. The trick is always to be honest with yourself...not always easy, but necessary to succeed. Here are my conclusions:
- This is going to sound ridiculous, but, I have a really bad cheerios habit (of all things, like I'm a three-year old with the cheerios). I munch on cheerios all the time. Now, it could be worse, there are worse things in the world than Cheerios, but they do add up. I haven't gained weight, but I'm not losing it either and I'm fairly certain that my little handfuls are adding up to a couple of hundred extra calories a day. I know the way to control this - I measure a cup of cheerios into a bag - that is 100 calories. That is all I can have. It works when I do it. I will stop at one bag. Something about the measured bag slows down my munching - it's a finite thing - I can't just keep grabbing handfuls and telling myself they are low calorie so I'm not adding many calories. Cheerios are fairly low calorie, that is true, but a lot of low calorie food still adds up to a lot of calories. Anyway, unfortunately, I get lazy and don't do measure my bags...I'll just have one handful, or two...- when I'm lazy, it is not long before my Cheerios consumption runs rampant. So, I either need to start doing my 100 calorie bags again, or I need to stop buying Cheerios. For now, I'm back to the bags, we'll see how that works.
- I don't drink enough water. Water aids with digestion and it helps me not to feel hungry. I simply need to drink more. Water consumption has been the most difficult habit for me to maintain with my healthier lifestyle and diet. I have never been a water drinker, and it doesn't seem to be so important, so I let is slide. I need to actively keep track of how much water I drink or I won't drink it. I need to force myself to drink enough. It's absurd how difficult this is for me. The exercise thing, I've got that down - no problem. The calorie counting thing, got that down pretty well too. But drink 64 oz of water a day - forget it. So, I'm back to tracking my water. There are really no tricks or cheats here- I just need to drink more water. I used to substitute Crystal Lite, and admittedly, I still do to a degree, but aspartame is questionable at best and I really ingest way too much of it, so that needs to go - as does Diet soda for that matter. So - I'm going to need to pay more attention to my water intake and start tracking it the way I track everything else that I eat / drink.
- Finally, I struggle to eat enough fruits and veggies. I eat far more of these than I used to, but I need to work more of them into my diet. Filling up on Veggies in particular, but also fruit, helps me to control calories because I don't get hungry and snack on, say, cheerios, when I shouldn't be. Also, even though fruit tends to be higher in calories and sugar than veggies, it is far healthier and lower calorie than most anything else and if you need a sweet fix, it can work (not always, but sometimes it does the trick). So, I've started taking an extra fruit or vegetable in my lunch - I usually get hungry around two in the afternoon, so now I have something to combat that - and possibly stop me from grabbing that first handful of Cheerios when I get home from work.