Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Thoughts About Week 1--So Far

Tomorrow is the last day of my first week following the Simply Filling Foods plan. It's been an interesting week. I won't know if I lost weight until Friday, but there are other things to write about besides the number on the scale.

When WW says the food is filling, they're not kidding. I did an experiment and calculated what the points would have been had I been tracking. If you don't count the Weekly Points, I've averaged 15 points per day for 5 days. When you include the Weekly Points, I've averaged 22 points per day for 5 days. Since my point level is 26, not counting weekly or activity points, if I were tracking points, I'd be under daily points by an average of 4 per day for 5 days, and not using any weekly or activity points. So, hunger is not one of the problems I'm having with this plan.

However, satiety, feeling satisfied, as opposed to simply not being hungry, is a problem for me with this plan. I really like the food on the list. I can see basing my food plan around them. But this week as I worked out the plan, I discovered that it's super low fat unless you use points. That wasn't really a problem. I don't eat a lot of added fats.

It also ended up being super low carb for me. You can't eat bread without counting points, and I guess that's a huge problem for me, since I keep talking about it. Rice, whole wheat pasta, and potatoes are all once a day foods. I'm not clear whether you can eat them more often if you count the points for the other meals. That question isn't addressed in the printed materials or online. Other grains and starchy vegetables are filling foods and can be used to up the carb count. I don't feel well when I eat very low anything. I feel better if I balance the various food types, although I do go overboard with the vegetables sometimes. I love vegetables!!

The way to make that work would be to plan meals more fully than I do now. I often take a look in the pantry and see what there is. Bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are staples that can become the basis for a meal. Soup and sandwiches are a favorite. Stuffed baked potatoes are another. If I keep the filling foods around, I can still do those kind of meals. I just have to have some things cooked in advance or ready to go. That works fine with this plan, until you head to a restaurant--any restaurant.

One restaurant meal can easily add 10 or more points to the total, even when you choose filling foods like salads, with dressing on the side; grilled meats; steamed vegetables and brown rice. A lot of restaurants are putting their nutrition information in the menu, online, or in brochures on the tables. I use them, whenever possible, to help make the best choices or, if I'm splurging, to figure out as accurately as I can, what the point count is. One restaurant meal can eat up enough of your weekly points that the built-in restrictions of this plan can make me feel like this is a diet, not a lifestyle.

I think that after this week, I'm probably going to go back to the regular point plan. But, I'm going to use what worked for me. I want to base my food plan around the filling food list, but count the points so I can include the variety of foods I'm used to eating, especially my homemade whole grain breads.

At the beginning of the week, I feared I'd overeat, since I could eat as much of the filling foods as I wanted. I started using the hunger scale and discovered that 1/2-1 portion of anything is plenty. I'm going to continue using the hunger scale. I think that, more than changing the food plan, is what made a difference this week. I'm going to continue to stop eating, as I did with the filling foods, when I'm full--even if I don't hit all the points for the day, with the caveat that if for some weird reason I'm below the minimum anyone should eat, I'll eat more. I don't think that's going to happen. If that were a likely possibility, I wouldn't need to lose nearly a hundred pounds.

I'm also not worried about nutrition, since I love the healthy food we're supposed to eat. My weight problem is mainly due to not knowing when I've had enough of those healthy foods. That's where the hunger scale comes it. If I know I'm going to be recording it, I pay more attention to when I'm hungry and when I'm full. I think that's a better way for me to use the program effectively.