I have been “dieting” for a few years with some measure of success although I tend to lose the same weight over again. I suppose I could claim that I lost a hundred pounds last year, but it was within the same 10 to 12 pound range. Still, I managed to leave 2014 8 pounds lighter than when I entered it.
For the past few years I’ve been on some variation of a low fat diet, and it worked, just like any other diet, as long as you maintain it. In terms of pure weight loss, I imagine all diets are pretty equal when it comes to losing the weight. Maintaining the weight is another matter. But as virtually all diet gurus will say, you have to change your lifestyle. I think on this regard, I’ve successfully accomplished that.
My cheat for that is that I’ve established a spreadsheet and I log in everything I eat based on fat grams or for this year, grams of carbohydrates. Logging your meals establishes a discipline both to monitor your food intake, and it lets you know exactly where you are going wrong. I do allow cheat days, when I don’t log at all, and that’s when the oopsies occur, but normally, the simple act of tracking keeps me on the straight and narrow food wise.
This year, I’ve decided to switch things around and try low carb. What constitutes “low carb” probably can be anything from 150 carbohydrate grams per day all the way down to 25 grams. For real weight loss, you probably have to keep it down to 50 grams a day but 150 grams is probably fine for most people. I still have a few pounds to go to reach my goal weight, so for right now I’ll try to keep it down to less than 50 grams per day.
Since the beginning of the year is the time when everyone hops on the resolution bandwagon, the grocery stores are thick with sales for their “healthy” frozen foods. This week, for whatever reason, it’s Lean Cuisine. Lean Cuisine entrees’ are fairly decent all purpose meals for dieting and can be used in a wide variety of diets. It even has Weight Watcher points on the box for those who follow Weight Watchers. But when it comes to carbohydrates and sugars, you have to eyeball the each package and check the “Nutrition Facts” label.
To save myself some time I decided to go ahead and pre check the Lean Cuisine entrees ahead of time so I’m not some shlub standing in front of the frozen food section with the door open too long. I made an arbitrary call to keep my meal selections to ones that were 30 grams of carbohydrates or less. That way I could eat one of these meals a day and still be able to utilize other low carb items for breakfast and dinner without going over the 50 gram limit.
Lean Cuisine Meals under 30 grams of carbohydrates:
Baked Chicken 30 grams
Beef Pot Roast 25 grams
Chicken Carbonara 29 grams
Chicken Marsala 23 grams
Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce 28 grams
Glazed Chicken 26 grams
Grilled Chicken Caesar 30 grams
Herb Roasted Chicken 20 grams
Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes 25 grams
Roasted Turkey & Vegetables 18 grams
Salisbury Steak 23 grams
Shrimp Alfredo 29 grams
Steak Tips Portabello 14 grams
Grilled Chicken Primavera 30 grams
Rosemary Chicken 29 grams
Stuffed Cabbage 28 grams
More of a Snack but still…
Broccoli Cheddar Dip with Pita Bread 29 grams
Cheese and Tomato Snack Pizza 23 grams
Fajita Style Spring Rolls 20 grams
Garden Vegetable Dip with Pita Bread 29 grams
Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls 24 grams
Pepperoni Snack Pizza 0 grams (?)
Spinach & Artichoke Snack Pizza 24 grams
Spinach Artichoke Dip with Pita Bread 29 grams
Thai Style Chicken Spring Rolls 23 grams
Having a full list ahead of time should save some time at the grocery store and it’s a pretty handy reference. We’ll see how it goes.