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Old 11-25-2009, 01:35 AM   #1  
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Default The "No-Refined-Carbs" 1 Month Experiment

Okay.

So a week ago tomorrow I fell off the healthy-eating wagon. I ate too little early in the day, and was confronted by some pizza on campus. I had a slice. Just one. I stayed on plan for the rest of the day, so I thought I'd be okay. Apparently not. Apparently that huge white-doughy crust is a trigger food that sets me off - I went wildly on a binge.

I had a graveyard shift at work last Friday night. I made the mistake of trying not to eat ANYTHING all night except coffee, green tea, and a serving of strawberries, to "get back on track". I gave up at three in the morning. There is a box of stale croissants in the staff room - I maybe ate three of them that night, plus two slices of white bread slathered with butter and honey. I can't remember what else, but I'm sure there was more.

The next afternoon I went back to work. Unfortunately, I work at a place with a lot of food. Had a flan. And more crossiants. And the next day at work I had two slices of pizza, and FOUR donuts (I would normally NEVER eat four donuts), in addition to the healthy dinner I had prepared for myself at home.

Yesterday and today have been a mess. I have been so stressed out with my term papers - I have been eating sugary carbs non-stop (banana bread, cheese scones, chocolate, and eggnog and caramel lattes from Starbucks) - just eating more in general - and not working out.

Well enough I say.

I felt sick today. It's time to try something new.

I read that it takes about 21 days to establish a new habit. I need a new habit, so I am going to go one month without any refined carbs whatsoever (I picked a month because it seems like a nice, rounded period of time - plus in Supersize Me it takes him a month to gain all that weight, so I figure that changing your body in reverse would probably take about the same time, at least to get started).

I am not going to try to lose weight for this month, although, if I stay on plan, I anticipate that this will happen anyway. Instead, I plan on eating clean at around 2100 calories daily (when I started my weight loss plan I was eating about 1400 calories a day, which may have been too little, I'm not sure).

The point of this is just to get my body in the habit of eating clean, and to kick the sugar habit. Right now there is no such thing as moderation. Maybe when I'm at goal, I can possibly treat myself from time to time. I don't know. I will have to work it out then.

I am going to get up and work-out first thing tomorrow morning before school. Hopefully that can kick start my day.

I am going to try to post in this thread daily for the next month to keep me accountable/monitor my progress. I find that post on 3FC has helped me keep my mind off eating when I first started/given me a sense of motivation, so I hope I can continue that.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:20 AM   #2  
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Good luck! I always felt great physically when staying away from processed and refined carbohydrates. Deprived as ****, lol, but great physically!
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:17 AM   #3  
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It can definitely be done....I've been doing it for close to 6 years now.
All the best to you!!!
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:01 AM   #4  
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Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:43 AM   #5  
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To start my weight loss I did a 30 day vegan diet ... well there were other reasons (a vegan friend of mine told me I couldn't do it) lol

Good luck! Sounds like you're going to be doing Sugar Busters! I know that refined sugar is my binge-trigger too! Best of luck
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:22 PM   #6  
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That should make you feel great

It sounds like your first priority is to *never ever* skip meals or try to skimp to make up for indulgences.

Last edited by JulieJ08; 11-25-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:24 PM   #7  
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Eating clean makes me feel better for certain--healthier, stronger, etc. I cannot wait to read your next post!
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Old 11-25-2009, 02:11 PM   #8  
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That's great, I'm excited to follow your posts and see how it goes for you. I may have to try it too!
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:50 AM   #9  
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Default Day 1

At first, the day was going fine. It's probably the honeymoon phase of things - I'm excited to try something new and all that. Plus I just finished my last term paper so all I have now are exams (I'd much rather write exams than write papers!)

First thing I've noticed (and I've noticed this before), is that sugar is in everything. I was having my whole wheat, organic Kashi cereal this morning. 9 grams of sugar, I didn't even realize! I will have to eat something else for tomorrow morning. There's also some sugar in my Kraft calorie-wise dressing, but it's only 5 calories per tablespoon (and 1 gram of sugar in that), so I think I will stick with it.

Basically this is what I've had to eat today:

B: Kashi whole wheat cereal with skim milk
S: banana and coffee
L: chicken and mango salad
S: apple, sugar-free cinnamon gum, a mandarin orange
D: steamed broccoli + red pepper, chicken (this is where I think I went wrong - waiting too long till dinner, got WAY too hungry ... I should have had some turkey chili in the afternoon like I planned to starve off the hunger ...)

I had class till 9pm tonight, and then I went out to the pub (note I have only gone drinking twice before this fall, so alcohol is not usually a thing for me). Had a beer (it was free), plus two vodka club sodas, and a gin and tonic. And then I got the munchies and ordered nachoes (got the half serving but it was still huge, tried to share it with my skinny friends but they only nibble). Then I went home and had a Nature Valley Honey 'n Oat bar, which has 12 grams of sugar in it.

So not completely sugar free but A LOT less sugar than I would normally consume, and definately less than I've been having these last few days.

I'm going to work tomorrow where there are ALWAYS free pastries, so I am definately going to need to be more vigilant. I will need to sleep well tonight (I didn't sleep at all the night before, was stressed about my paper). I will work out. I will try to eat plenty of healthy, clean food throughout the day to keep from turning to junk. I don't know how the maintainers deal with their appetite, sometimes mine just seems overbearing.

But I'm not giving up.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:01 PM   #10  
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Default Day 2

So far NO sugars or refined carbs today! W00t!

I feel good. I had oatmeal in the morning to get me going, with no sugar. That always fills me up. I think I am going to do that more often (I remember last spring when I tried to lose weight before, it only worked because of my morning oatmeal - but I had stopped making it in favour of the conveinence of my ww toast with peanut butter).

Had some green tea and a banana to snack on. Then I steamed some brussels sprouts with garlic and olive oil and had some chicken for lunch. This was actually really, really tasty and filled me up.

I would've thought all the food I had yesterday would've caused a gain (by my estimates I had about 2300 calories, with the drinks and nachoes included), but I actually maintained this morning (even though I didn't work out yesterday as I planned).

I've never thought about where my maintaining point is before, exactly, and now I roughly know. 2300 sounds like a lot of calories, but I guess I'm resonably tall and can be a relatively big eater (haha, although I guess that is a problem). I dunno, I think I'm still figuring out how much food my body actually needs, where my losing point is, and how much I need to eat to keep me full and away from the binge. By not putting any pressure this month to lose weight (haha, but definately not to gain!), but instead just trying to eat clean, I hope I can figure some of that out.

I'll be honest, I had time this morning to prepare a nice lunch and a salad which I'm going to eat for dinner tonight. I don't often have that, and it seems to make a difference. I guess I'm going to have to somehow carve out some more "me" time and do this thing. Also, I REALLY need to get into the habit of working out more often.

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Old 11-28-2009, 06:04 AM   #11  
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I caved and had some cheesecake and some crackers. Sigh.

Aside from that I've been eating alright. I have a theory now though that the crazy amount of hours I'm putting in at work (on top of school), including graveyard shifts, is precluding my weight loss efforts. It's hard to be healthy when you are not sleeping and seriously stressed. So today I decided that I need to change that; will but cutting my hours down to one shift a week and no gravey starting Jan (also going to take a few days off in Dec to study for exams).

Until then I'm going to continue on with my no-refined-carbs experiment as best I can. Even though I haven't been 100% loyal to it, I DO feel like I have more energy, and a lot less like binging this week than last.

I'm looking forward to soon having more "me" time, and to not feeling guilty about putting my healthy diet and exercise routine as a priority in my life.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:32 AM   #12  
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Oh, the slippery slope! I have the exact same problem. If I let myself have a decently sized and slightly decadent cheat meal, the next 2-3 days I have to reign in a voracious appetite. Normally, I find myself with little appetite, that is easily satisfied with lean protein and complex carbs. I don't battle cravings for even my favorite "off-limits" foods. But once I fall off the wagon, the only thing I want is junk food, in massive quantities. It is so hard to get back on plan, but once I do and remain there for several days, it becomes second nature again.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:57 PM   #13  
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Ugh. It's hard to think that eating one piece of pizza or something that's a refined carb will totally cause me/you/everyone to fall off track. Thanks for reminding me about oatmeal: need to get back on the 1/2 cup every morning routine! You have inspired me to cut some refined carbs as well. I'm a student too! I know that with work and school it's hard to take time for yourself. I need to work on having more "me" time as well. "Me" time that's not only relaxing, but working on healthy weight loss. I wish it were easier to eat more natural foods, but where I live it's a 10-15 minute drive to the grocery store so it's hard to keep fresh foods in the house all the time. I have a lot of Mott's Natural and Healthy Harvest applesauce cups stashed for snacks. Good job so far & looking forward to more posts!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:58 PM   #14  
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Oh, and nice to know about the 21 days for a habit to kick in!
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Old 11-29-2009, 05:37 AM   #15  
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Default Day 4

kobe - Oh yes, that slippery slope. I've been trying to figure that out: the experts say that we should treat ourselves from time to time so that we don't feel deprived and then binge -- so why is it that when we try to do so it instead *causes* us to binge? I wonder if it is a physical trigger from eating refined carbs, or if it is a more psychological aspect of that feeling of "falling off the wagon"?

maintain - Yes, oatmeal is awesome! / After I made this thread, I found another thread on this website for 21 day challenges. I thought that was pretty neat. / I recently made the shift to believing that "me" time includes taking care of my health as well as having fun -- I remember reading another post on this website where someone said that they had to finally accept that their health is a priority in their life and they shouldn't feel guilty for putting it first. So, yes, we're students and we work, but we should also feel not guilty for dedicating time in our lives to taking care of our bodies!

Julie - I'm glad you posted about not skipping or skimping on meals before. So true -- it's helped me stay inline these last few days.

So ... about today. Well, I'm working a graveyard right now, and I had one last night too. I am feeling so physically broken down - the only things keeping me going is that I'm not binge eating these days, and that I know that once I survive this weekend and next, work won't be taking up so much of my time.

I was actually thinking back on my last weight loss attempts (I would consider this stretch to be my third serious attempt, the first being two years ago and the second being this past spring), and reflecting on where I might have gone wrong. My most successful attempt was my first - it lasted 3 months and I lost about 15 pounds (which I gained back). It ended when I started working - long shifts and weird hours. I don't want to blame work on my inability to lose weight, there are a lot of other factors, my own behaviour/responsibility especially. However, it really does affect your lifestyle. I'm not in serious need of money at the moment though, so I really am super excited to take advantage of that and not work so much and lose some weight!

Another thought that I wanted to share, which is related, is that there are four main factors to maintaining good health (that I see). They are, in this order: (1) what you eat, (2) sleep, (3) excercise, and (4) eliminating stress. Just because eating is at the top of the list for me doesn't mean the other factors aren't important. There's a balance - throw one factor out of wack and you'll affect the rest (e.g. in this case not sleeping affecting the other four factors negatively). So you have got to holistically take care of everything in your life.

As of today I don't have a scale any more, so I can't weigh myself until I get a new one. It's going to be strange not having one for a little while, because I've weighed myself everyday for the past year now. It's helped keep me mindful.

Today I had some friends over. Skinny folk. (In fact, one of whom did some modelling not too long ago - she says she weighs 116 WITH CLOTES ON, and she is 5'8. She's trying to put on weight, but she's having a hard time of it. I find that mindboggaling and fascinating at the same time.) Anyway, we had some tea. It was so interesting watching them "nibble" on their food ... stopping in the conversation to have bite to eat only occationally. I followed along, "faked" it like a skinny girl eating (isn't it so awkward to eat more than the person you're eating with? I used to not care, but now I'm really noticing). I was enjoying the conversation and didn't feel deprived of anything. The hard part for me, I'd imagine, is to get into the habit of eating in that way - not a race of speed or amount, but something to enjoy lightly.

Finally, I was having dinner (dinner? It was two in the morning haha) at work tonight. Pork and mashed yams (it was actually very good). Except there was this unidentifiable object on my plate. I ate it, but I am still not sure if it was carb or protein -- so I'm not sure if I broke the no-refined-carb fast for today ahaha.
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