I've had two successful periods of weight loss in my life. The first was when I was in high school. There was no diet, just a youthful metabolism ready to perform when given good food to work with. And one day I noticed something strange: The more good food I ate, the less I seemed to weigh. I started doubling down on large salads and drinking copious amounts of water and even the occasional DQ Blizzard out with friends couldn't knock me off my game. By the end of high school I weighed a very healthy, athletic, and proportionate 195.
Then I went to college, home of the dorm buffet meal plan, and gained 40 some pounds. Then I got a job, not a high paying job, but enough that I could eat out frequently. Again I gained.
For two years about a decade ago, I again lost weight, this time on a low-carb plan. I was fortunate that it insisted on green vegetables at every meal. Yes, it was also high protein, but mostly pretty balanced with veggies. While it didn't formally promote whole foods, I ate a fair amount of them. Most importantly, I was eating vegetables frequently and very little processed food, and losing weight.
Eventually I chafed against the structure and questioned a plan that restricted fruit. I drifted, and as soon as refined carbs got a foothold, my addiction to them kicked in and I regained the weight.
Finally, I started the Pounds Off Playoff and lost about 30 pounds. It seemed calorie counting was the most effective way to go. I started to do so, but found that when I started treating calories equally - to the neglect of fruits and vegetables, and the abundance of processed foods - the addictive nature of refined carbs quickly overwhelmed my ability to succeed on a calorie counting plan. I'm kind of a numbers guy, but with a bag of chips in my hand I can't count calories to save my life.
But I'm determined to make it this time, and so I've been searching for a tweak that builds on the lessons of my successful weight loss in the past and what I've learned doing the Pounds Off Playoff. It's back to the basics of healthy eating: quality foods in reasonable quantities.
I have a plan that I'll share next week. I've been doing it for most of the last month and so far it's working. For now, just know that I'm going with 80% fruits/vegetables, whole foods and minimally processed foods. I'll give you the rest in the next post, but this week give it a shot for a day or two: try getting most of your portions from fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, and see how you feel. I couldn't believe how much better I felt after even one day.