Summer Dieting

Summer is finally here! Or at least I think it is. We've had so many temp variations this month there are some days I wonder.

I don't typically like to talk about my weight but it's been a struggle for years due to my having hypothyroidism. Nothing is more demoralizing then to have your doctor tell you that you could totally stop eating and starve yourself and you're body would still put on weight, which is exactly what happened to me about 12 years ago. I'd been able to focus on myself and lost a lot of weight while I was single. It was much easier to focus on de-stressing, eating and exercising when I didn't have to worry about someone else liking the foods I was eating or working around their schedule to exercise or meditate. Now I'm back in a relationship plus the stress of the new job and the stress of life in general and I've started to inch back up again.  I've found several things that have helped and some that haven't that I thought I'd share with others that are also struggling.

I'm watching my carbs but I don't consider myself on a low carb diet. I target my carbs at 50, which is much higher than the 20 carbs that low carb diets target or 10 carbs that some keto dieters target. I feel fruits and vegetables are important but I'm more aware of how often I eat certain higher carb fruits and vegetables. I like the Mediterranean diet but the man won't eat those types of meals so it would be difficult to follow so I'm trying to combine them and make a low carb Mediterranean diet. In about a month I'm down 11 pounds - not a huge weight loss, but I didn't put the weight on overnight (although at times it feels like it) and I'd rather lose slowly over a rapid weight loss that probably wouldn't be sustainable. I also want this to be a lifestyle not a short term yo-yo diet.


UPDATE: I have decided to affiliate myself with Amazon. If you click on any product I mention and purchase the item, I may receive some monetary support from it.  That being said, if I'm aware that Amazon is not the cheapest site I will let share the info with you.

THUMBS UP:

CARB MASTER (Android app which can be found on Google Store or Play Store)

This is an app that has both a free version and a pay version. I use the free version at this time. This app is designed for those on low carb or keto focused diets.

PROS: 

  • I like it because it allows you to set how many carbs you want. Typically the low carb diets target 20 carbs or less per day. I have set my target as 50 carbs per day and I'm still losing weight.
  • It has a weight tracker and food journal/log feature. The food journal/log has the ability to scan barcodes, which I really like. It does not have a built in pedometer but you can manually put your steps in or sync it with a pedometer like Fitbit.
  • There's a recipe search which has the neat feature of telling you if the recipe falls within your remaining carbs.
  • In addition to the food journal/log tracking your carbs it also tracks fats and proteins and shows everything in a pie graph. I like that it sets the amount of fats and proteins based on your carb target. Many low carb or keto diets only focus on the carbs and allow unlimited fats and push unlimited proteins.

CONS:

  • If you don't want to follow a diet that tracks carbs specifically this probably isn't the app to use.

ZEVIA (beverage)


I have a Mountain Dew addiction and knew I needed to try to find something to reduce the carbs I'm drinking. A 12 ounce can of Mt. Dew has 46 carbs! I don't like artificial sweeteners so the diet version wasn't for me. I started making tea but I don't like it sugar free so although lower in carbs, I was still consuming more carbs then I wanted. Zevio is a pop/soda beverage that uses Stevia as a sweetener. I could not find anywhere that sells this locally to try it so I ordered a case of mixed flavors from Amazon.

At $24 a case it isn't cheap but still only costs about $1 per can, which is acceptable. I bought the variety pack to try flavors to see which ones I would like. I was surprised that I actually like these. I've tried "natural" pops before and haven't liked them. They have a Mountain Zevia, which is supposed to be like my Mt. Dew. It's citrus-y flavored but I wouldn't say it was a close match to Mt. Dew - I did like it though. I have tried the Cola, Dr. Zevia and Cream Soda (my favorite so far) and actually like all of them. They have no artificial colors or dyes so it's a little odd pouring a clear cola. I'm not an orange or grape soda person so I'll let my son or grandson drink those. I've taken one of these cans to work several times over the past 2 weeks and have been satisfied without feeling like I've deprived myself. I haven't tried mixing them with alcohol yet but will soon. I have not gotten a artificial sweetener headache or after taste like I did with the diet sodas. I set this up for a monthly shipment to automatically be sent to me.

Craveable Keto: Your Low-Carb, High-Fat Roadmap to Weight Loss and Wellness by Kyndra Holley (Cookbook)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1628602716/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=ndprairiegyps-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1628602716&linkId=248c6bd61975d7fec9c6bee4af8745d3

I've stayed away from low carb cookbooks because most of them call for tons of items I don't have in my pantry and they also seem to rely on a lot of artificial products. I just downloaded the Kindle version of this for $9.99 and regret I didn't order an actual copy of it ($22.07). The pictures are great and the recipes simple. Kyndra Holley writes a blog called Peace, Love and Low Carb that I recently started following on Facebook. My mouth was watering reading the recipes and looking at the pictures with the recipes. I quickly decided to try out the Pizza Egg recipe this morning for breakfast and it was delicious! This came in at only 3 carbs!  I can't wait to try her Alfredo sauce and I already added egg rings to my Amazon order to make the breakfast sandwich. I'll definitely be ordering more of her cookbooks and following her closely for food ideas.

Pizza Eggs from Peace Love and Low Carb webpage

DUDS:

NOOM 


This program is being touted as the millennial's version of Weight Watchers. Facebook is popping it up in my feed at least once a day. They have a free 14 day trial period and then to continue you have to pay. To start you download the app and then complete a survey after which they assign a trainer.

PROS:

  • If you have problems staying motivated you have a trainer to answer to. You can message your trainer about areas who need to work on.
  • App allows you to track weight, food journal and also acts as a pedometer. 
  • After you finish your free trial period you can become part of support groups. I did not use this feature as I didn't continue after the trial period.
  • They do have a menu option for an additional fee for those that like to have someone else design their menus for them.

CONS:

  • You have to pay to use this program.
  •  I asked my trainer to help me figuring out meals/strategies for days when I get forced to stay over my 12 hours at work, sometimes having to work 16 hours, and coming home too exhausted to cook. Her first suggestion was to do a week of cooking on the weekends. I then informed her that I worked alternating weekends so that wasn't a viable option. I also pointed out that I have an extremely busy life and have things I have to do on my days off which typically would prevent me from spending hours precooking meals. Another point I brought up is that although I typically cook for 2, on any give day I could be cooking for a group instead depending on what is going on here on the farm or who might drop in unexpectedly. Her next suggestion was that "I" come up with an idea that would help me. Umm...isn't that what I asked her to help me with?
  • You cannot personalize the food journal, at least in the trial version. It sets you at a specific amount of calories (1200 in my case). There's no tracking of carbs. It also does not let you pick the type of diet you prefer (keto, low carb, Mediterranean, etc).
  • The pedometer feature requires you to carry your phone on you at all times. When I'm home I rarely carry my phone so it is not accurate. I also noticed one day after walking up and down the hallway several times before leaving for work that it had only logged me as having taken 1 step - so I'm not sure how well their pedometer works. On days I work I walk well over 12,000 steps and I had one day that was over 18,000 steps. The pedometer feature automatically ups your target 500 every time you reach the goal. I don't think I need to have my goal upped 500 steps above these levels of activity.
  • There are daily assignments/activities to do. They claim these only take 10 minutes a day to complete but took about 30 minutes or more for me. 
  • If you don't do the journal/log or log in they will send you prompts.

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