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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tweightloss Diaries - Healthier Eating

Photo by David Silverline

I’ve joined the Tweightloss challenge with some of my Twitter friends. I would like to get back into some of those last remaining outfits that I haven’t sported since Sweetpea came along, and more importantly, I’d like to increase my energy level. I was in the best shape I’d been in since playing organized sports when I got pregnant, and it felt great. I slept soundly, had energy all day long and LOVED the feeling of strength and flexibility that came along with my regular workouts.

The past sixteen months have been incredibly rewarding and at times challenging. One thing I’ve struggled with has been fitting exercise into my schedule without sacrificing time spent with family. I hate to admit it, but apparently I have also adjusted my portion sizes to account for full time nursing, which isn’t necessary anymore now that Sweetpea is solidly eating, well, solids! As a part of the Tweightloss challenge, my goals are:

1) make healthy food choices and eliminate some of the mindless evening eating I’ve been doing
2) fit exercise into my schedule in a way that is rewarding and unobtrusive

A few years ago I read French Women Don’t Get Fat and I remember enjoying the practical tips to healthier eating that the book presented. I decided to check this book back out from our local library and revisit it to help kick start my Tweightloss. As an added exercise, I’ll review my “findings” with you! Check back next week for more updates.

Last night I read the first three chapters of the book. It is a fun, quick reading book, and as I’d remembered, full of good tips. After revisiting the introduction chapters, here are the strategies I’m going to employ this month:

1) Keep a food diary - I know this is important, and I’ve been tracking my points but not the specific foods I’m eating. This month I will track the specific foods and timing of my meals to see if there is a pattern that needs “tweaking”.
2) Practice ritual eating - I will return to eating sitting down, savoring my food, and not multitasking at mealtimes. (something I am notorious for now that my time is so scarce) I am also going to start eating off of a smaller plate to help portion my food correctly and keep me from overeating.
3) Eat fresh foods - This is so much easier in the summer/fall when there is a wide variety of fresh produce around, and I’m going to take advantage of that fact. Hand in hand with fresh foods is cooking as many meals as possible yourself, so you are aware of what your eating and what is going into your body.
4) Make healthy substitutions - If there is a weakness you have for a particular unhealthy food, see if you can “healthy” it up a little bit by making smart substitutions. An example would be choosing light butter or applesauce in some of your baked goods, 2% cheese instead of the full fat variety, or reducing the amount of pastry in your favorite fruit dessert.
5) Drink more water - This is one I hear a lot, and I have been making a concerted effort to increase my daily water intake. I like the suggestion from this book to drink a big glass of water before bed and right after waking up—it helps fulfill my 8 glass a day goal, and counteract the dehydrating effects of sleep.

Are you working to improve your eating habits? What tips and tricks are working for you? Check back in tomorrow when I post about my fitness goals.

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Anonymous said...

I'm working on the ritual eating thing at our house....mostly with breakfast. I think The Bean would eat better at breakfast if we all sat down together for it. Hopefully my theory will pan out when I put it into action.

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Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Sweetpea definitely eats better when we all sit down together, but at her age she's still not eating all that much at one sitting. I have been trying to get up earlier to have some peace and planning with my breakfast and coffee-when it happens it's nice, but so far it's hit or miss!

Monica said...

I am guilty of multitasking .... sometimes I eat in front of the computer... yikes

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Hi Monica! Yikes, I'm doing that right now...sigh. I did a pretty good job with everything on the list today until just now when I popped out the vanilla ice cream and decided to do check out the computer!