Join Date: Nov 2013
I'm in the same boat you're in - 100 lbs to lose and sort of considering surgery but not really wanting it. I went to see a psychologist to help me decide if I wanted to have surgery or not, and she recommended a book called "The Science of Skinny" (by Dee McCaffery). It's a very factually-correct and informative book about how food affects the body, and it's full of good advice for eating a clean, whole-foods diet. I spent a month following the guidelines in that book, and I lost 15 lbs. during that month. Now, I do my own thing while sticking to a few general clean-eating principles, and I've lost 32 lbs in total.
Clean eating really has worked wonders for me! It's changed my biochemistry and my tastebuds. My mood is better, I have more energy, my taste in food has changed. I don't love vegetables, but I can tolerate them better than I used to. Fruit used to taste sour; now it tastes sweet. I've lost all cravings for fast food and "junk." So, it's worked well for me and the 32lb weight loss is only one of a whole host of benefits I've experienced.
Anyway, your questions:
1. Protein Powder - hemp or whey protein powder. For a while, I was using an organic protein powder called "Tera's Whey." Seriously though, I don't think you need to stress about getting enough protein in your diet. Most Americans eat way, way too much protein and very few people living in our society are in any remote danger of protein deprivation. If you're eating nuts, legumes, grains, you'll be getting plenty of protein. I don't like to eat meat either, so I've been eating a mostly-vegan diet. I occasionally eat plain yogurt, fish, and eggs, but I get most of my protein from plants. I do hard workouts, and I feel fine, and I've been gaining muscle, so I don't believe that protein should be something to stress about if you're trying to get in better shape. If, like nelie, you don't like to eat protein-y foods at breakfast, protein powder is a good option but generally, I don't think it's necessary for most people.
2. Truvia isn't as un-processed as it could be. I use stevia drops called "Sweet Leaf drops" and the bottle was expensive, but it lasts a long time and I don't use much of it. I have the biggest sweet tooth ever! An important part of this process, for me, was giving up sugary, sweet foods. I'll have dessert once a week, and when I do have desert, I like to use real sugar like maple syrup, or raw honey, or molasses, or raw cane sugar, or fruit. Generally speaking, though, I think it's been important to my weight loss to eat significantly less sweet food.
3. Bread - 5-ingredient is a good suggestion and so is sprouted grain bread. Sprouted grain bread tastes awful to me, but it is one of the healthiest options. Also, look at the ingredient list! As nelie said, you don't want to see a huge laundry-list of ingredients. I like to go shopping at Trader Joe's (or any health food store near you), and they usually have a good selection of wraps and pita pokkets with very few ingredients. Also, if you like baking, this is the perfect time of year to bake your own bread, so you know what's going in it. I have a bag of spelt grains and I make flour in the blender. Baking is a fun hobby for me, tho, maybe everyone doesn't have time to bake bread from scratch.
I'm not 100% with this, and I know it's probably not 100% "whole foods," but I've been having good success with La Tortilla Factory's Smart & Delicious whole wheat wraps. For most supermarket bread products, you'll want to check that the first ingredient is "100% whole-wheat flour" because sometimes, the "Whole Grain" labels can be sort of misleading.