Diet Help From The Green Box

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Maintenance

Losing weight is hard enough, sometimes. And when you get to your desired weight, you think, “I am NEVER going to put it back on again!” But lo and behold, a few weeks later, the weight may already be starting to increase, as the pounds pile on. There are several reasons for this and it is NOT THE FAULT of the diet you chose. If you lost weight on that diet and you are healthy as well as a lower weight or at your desired weight, then congratulations! Your diet worked for you and you worked your diet to achieve your target.

After you lose weight, you need a maintenance plan in place to remain at your desired weight. There are several plans you can use, such as 5:2, 16:8, The Mediterranean diet, The Paleo diet, etc and which one you choose depends on you and the kind of food you and your family like to eat most of the time.

Problems

But there can be other problems, nothing to do with the maintenance diet you choose. Once you have lost the weight and are on your chosen maintenance plan, you also have to watch out for these monsters! (Not just the cookie monster.)

Monsters

  1. The Boredom monster: This monster is ALWAYS looking for something to do with your mouth and it usually ends up with eating what you shouldn’t. Once you have finished your weightloss diet, this monster thinks that it’s time to play and play means moving that mouth. Moving it may mean you are eating what you shouldn’t.
  2. How to Beat the Boredom Monster: Drink water, chew sugar free gum, or raid the green box (see below).
  3. The Hunger Monster: This monster tells you that you are always hungry. It kept quiet while you were dieting but now it’s finished, it wants to get you straight back to where it was – yes, into fatland and the only way it can do that is to tell you that you are hungry and get you to eat what you shouldn’t.
  4. How to Beat The Hunger Monster: Use your green box (see below), take plenty of hot drinks, these help you feel full. Eat more protein, take a protein drink. Keep hard boiled eggs in the fridge and eat one or two at a meal, they will keep you fuller longer. You could try a teaspoonful of coconut oil with a hot drink (coconut oil coffee is delicious!). The fat will make you feel full and it is a healthy fat.
  5. The Stress Monster: This monster appears when you are feeling low and stressed. It tells you that it will disappear if you eat comfort foods. It’s lying.
  6. How To Beat The Stress Monster: Use the green box, drink protein shakes. Give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up over it. Try and heal the stress.

The Green Box

Keep a small box in the fridge with green vegetables in it, ready for eating. I like to keep cut up celery and some lettuce hearts. Boredom and Hunger Monsters both want food as soon as possible and they can be kept quiet with a snack from the green box. I also like cucumber but I cut a chunk off fresh when I want it. I also have frozen spinach and I cook about 6 rounds of that at a time and keep it in a saucepan on the stove and again, something quick to eat will keep at least 2 of the monsters at bay.

8 weeks is up!

Picture of clothes too big for model

Finished 8 Weeks

I made it through the full 8 weeks of the 800 calorie Blood Sugar Diet (BSD) though I was rather lax in the last week! I lost over 10% of my starting body weight, more than the diet expects and managed to fit into my designer jeans that have sat untouched in my wardrobe for several years, YAY!

At the start of December, I could not do up my designer jeans. Over Christmas and New Year, they did up no problem, though I had muffin tops overhanging the waist. Now there are not even muffin tops.

But best of all, the chest problems that prompted me to start this diet have disappeared! That’s the best of all.

Keeping The Weight Off

Some nutrition specialists seem to be very sniffy and iffy about diets, whether they are based on low calorie, very low calorie, low carb, high fat, low carb, Mediterranean or paleo diets and all the other diets available, whether promoted by doctors, wight loss gurus or others. Their constant cry is “But it doesn’t stay off”, as if it were the fault of the diet for not being both a weight loss AND a weight maintenance diet at the same time.

Some diets are weight maintenance in a later phase, for instance, some low carb diets, such as the Atkins diet, provide phases of dieting, with phase 1 being weight loss which transitions gradually into phase 4 which is weight maintenance. The 800 BSD diet recommends 2 possible methods of keeping weight off after losing it; to move onto a Mediterranean diet, high in salads, good fats and fish or to gradually add calories back into your diet after reaching your desired weight, until you stop losing, so that you may move to a 1,000 calorie daily diet for one week, then a 1100 calorie diet for the next week, etc. There is of course the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet which will work whichever diet you used for losing weight. I have seen one recommendation that says a maintenance diet in terms of daily calories, is 10 times your desired weight in pounds. On this basis, someone who wants to weigh 140 pounds (10 stone, 63Kg) would need a daily calorie allowance of 1400 calories and someone who wants to weigh 145 pounds would need 1450 calories daily. Whether or not this works, I do not know, as I have not yet tried that. But I am coming to the place where weight maintenance instead of weight loss will be necessary – exciting!

5 Tips For Surviving On A Very Low Calorie Diet

Surviving Low Calorie

It may be good for your health to lose weight if you are overweight or obese but getting the motivation to stick to a low calorie or very low calorie diet can be hard, especially if you are having to deal with hunger, which can be a problem for the first 3 days. The benefits can seem a long way off, while that piece of confectionery or extra dessert is immediate and may be right in front of you.

Sometimes, we sabotage our own diet but other people can also cause problems for us, possibly jealous of our success in losing weight or through pity at seeing us struggle when we so obviously would love a cookie! Some people who do not need to lose weight do not seem to realize that “just one won’t hurt” or “a little bit won’t make any difference” makes it very hard for you to resist, especially when you would love to have some, or even a lot. They also do not realize that having that extra piece of food or a forbidden food can trigger cravings that will be even more difficult to overcome tomorrow.

There are also those who believe they are telling us to stop dieting for our own good. In some cases that may be true. A person with anorexia or who is below the ideal weight for their age, gender and height should not be on a weight loss diet. But others seem to believe that weight loss is bad altogether. They may have their own reasons for saying this or even believing it, including the fear that they themselves may need to follow a similar way of eating or because they have been fed misinformation or misunderstood something they heard.

So here are tips for overcoming the problems and staying on your low calorie diet.

1. Ditch the NaySayers

If you are having difficulties with someone trying to sabotage your weight loss diet, then ditch them, at least for a little while. The 8 week 800BSD is only for 8 weeks. If someone is trying to stop you from improving your health by losing weight with a recognized way of healthy eating, then they are not thinking of your health and you need to avoid them for a while or at least when you are feeling particularly vulnerable.

OK, it’s not always possible to ditch them, so if not, try to avoid conversations about food or diet or weight loss. If they say something like “you’re looking so thin!”, then remind them that you are not yet at your healthy target weight or that you still weigh more than you did when you both first met and that you were not exactly skinny then! They have a picture in their mind of you as being an overweight person. They need to adjust their picture of you to being one of a person at their ideal target weight. That will take them time.

It’s especially hard if the person who appears to be sabotaging your efforts is your nearest and dearest or your parent, who cooks your evening meal every day. They presumably have your best interests at heart but they also have their own interests to serve, even if they don’t acknowledge that. They may be proud of their cooking and feel hurt and rejected if you don’t eat it or not as much as previously. Try to get them on your side, so they are more concerned about your health than about their own cooking prowess. Try to get them to serve more salads and green vegetables and fewer potatoes or less pasta, bread and rice. Even if they are playing the guilt game “you don’t like my cooking any more”, try NOT to play them back, “you don’t care about my health”, but instead, let them know how thankful you are that they care about your health and that they take the trouble to make you a meal, which is much appreciated. Once they realize that their time and effort are appreciated, they may be more willing to make changes that can help.

2. Overcome Hunger

There are some foods you can eat without having to count them in your daily allowance. I have found fresh celery very useful. It’s only about 30 calories for 2 large stalks and that is very filling as well as providing useful fiber.  You can cut up some stalks of celery and keep them in the fridge when you just have to nibble. Cucumber is another useful vegetable. I buy a whole one and cut off a chunk every so often. I don’t count those in my daily allowance. Occasionally, I buy a single red chili pepper and cut it up along with the celery, to give it a bit of “bite” but I try to make the chili pieces last at least 2 days.

Sugar free chewing gum is another way of overcoming hunger. It doesn’t provide (many) calories but it gives your mouth something to do and overcomes mouth boredom which is sometimes translated as being “hungry”. Be careful with this though, if you are not used to it. Many of the types available contain phenyalanine which some people must stay away from and most of them can have a laxative effect, which may or may not be helpful to you.

Eat plenty of green veg or green salads with your meal. Spinach, green beans, cabbage and broccoli (and cauliflower, though it is not green) will all fill you up and provide more fiber, without many calories, as will lettuce, cucumber and other salady green stuff.

If you find you have eaten fewer calories than your daily allowance, make sure you have something quick and reasonable available so you are not tempted by cookies or candy. A small can of tuna has about 100 or 120 calories. A spoonful of mayonnaise has 100 calories, so you can make a quick snack of tuna and mayo to eat with a fork to keep you well fed and with no excuse for eating what you have chosen not to.

3. Renew Your Motivation

If you have a favorite book or article that prompted you to get started on your weight loss journey, keep a copy of it nearby and read it again, to remind yourself of why you wanted to lose weight. Fear; and feelings of doom if you don’t lose weight may not be the best motivators but they may be what you need in order to stick to your diet at times.

Get advice from your doctor. They may already have been trying to get you to lose weight. Some can be very helpful, though many were never trained in nutrition. If not, find a doctor with whom you CAN work and who will support you on your journey.

4. Work out your REASONS for losing weight

  • Do you want to get a beach body for a special holiday?
  • Maybe you want to get new clothing for an event, such as a wedding?
  • Maybe you have had a diagnosis of diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol and want to improve your situation?

Reminding yourself of your reasons and what you will get at the end of your diet will help you stick to it.

5. Record It

Keep a journal or a vision board. Write down your reasons for losing weight and find pictures that will show you how you want to look in 6 weeks or 6 months’ time. Maybe one of you at an earlier age or someone who looks similar to what you want to look like. Keep a record of what you DON’T eat when you are tempted and give yourself a reward for that. Even a check mark in a list can keep you going. You could always give yourself a small monetary reward for 10 check marks and save it towards something special, maybe new clothes or a special outing.

Keeping a record of what you DO eat can also be motivating. The very fact of having to record it, may help you avoid eating something on the no no list.

Keep a record of meals you CAN eat and enjoy and a record of calorie counts in case you are worried about going over your allowance or can add something extra in.