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How I’ve Lost 11 Pounds

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012

For the last couple of months I’ve been part of a test being run locally on diabetics. Since I’ve been diabetic since 1997, I know a heck of a lot of it but have learned a few things here and there. It’s been an interesting process, and there’s still a ways to go.

spinach stir fry

One of the things I’ve sort of been forced to do is look at foods I’ve been eating in a different light. I’ve had to track the meals I’ve been eating every day, along with the times. I was given a book to help me “diagnose” certain things in certain foods and come up with daily totals. One week I had to measure carbohydrates and try to stay under a certain number. Another week I had to measure fat, and another week I had to measure protein.

Some of the numbers were eye opening. I was told that I was supposed to be having less than 55 grams of fat a day. That meant that what I’d been eating for breakfast, a meal I normally skipped but was told that I needed to try to eat during this study, was putting me on the wrong road immediately. Turns out 2 English muffins with butter and peanut butter was 37 grams of fat; ouch. One day I went to a restaurant for lunch and had 6 grilled shrimp, 1/2 rack of ribs, a small baked potato with butter and broccoli; that meal came to 71 grams of fat. You don’t even want to know how many grams of fat one trip to one of my favorite restaurants was, where I had a burger, fries and ice cream.

I was also told that I’m supposed to eat around 4 – 5 carb groups a day. That’s between 60 and 75 grams of carbohydrates per meal, 4 meals a day; yes, I was supposed to eat 4 real meals a day. My English muffin breakfast was at 4 carb groups, so there it was a fine meal. But that second meal I mentioned above came in at 6 groups, and the third meal I mentioned came in at 9 groups; definitely not good.

Once you start thinking about how you eat, you’re ready to make some changes. That’s probably the goal of the program in the first place, getting us actually thinking about it instead of just knowing it. There was also an occasion to view a movie online that my wife sent me called Knives Over Forks that my wife sent me via email that I had no plans on fully watching, but I’m glad I did. There was a guy in the movie who described symptoms that I often feel, and except for the fact that he also had high blood pressure and a cholesterol level that blows mine away (as in way too high), his symptoms matched mine.

I decided to change up my eating habits for awhile, just to see what would happen. The movie talks about a “plant-based” diet, which of course means more of a vegetarian diet, and that was going to be an issue since I eat few vegetables. I had to think about what I would eat. I like spinach and I like beets, both of which stuns many people because I guess it’s not a favorite of anyone else.

I decided I had to change up how I ate spinach, because I would boil it to death then add lots of butter and salt. I decided I was going to saute it in olive oil along with a few other vegetables that I will eat, those being cabbage, onions and carrots.

I also knew I had to toss some kind of meat in there to help make me full because there was no way just eating vegetables would last me longer than maybe an hour. To that end I decided to go with chicken, shrimp and salmon. I have more of the vegetables than the meat, but it’s a nice mix. Along with some spices, I’ve been surprised by how much I like this meal, and my wife has even bought fresh baby spinach, which not only cooks really fast but brings a better taste than the frozen spinach I’ve always purchased.

Obviously I couldn’t only eat this though. So I bought salad stuffs and have that from time to time, and even though the fat content of the only dressing I eat might be a bit high, since it’s the only real fat I have it’s fine for an occasional meal. I also discovered lactose-free milk, being lactose intolerant, and the dietician recommended eating bran and corn flakes if I liked it, which I always have. Since I buy 2% milk it’s only around 5 – 10 fat grams per bowl. And when I eat out I’ve been eating Caesar salads with grilled chicken, grilled shrimp or both.

Oh yeah, y’all knew I just couldn’t totally leave my sweets. So I get to have one chocolate milk a day if I want and I get to break from Friday dinner time through Saturday midnight. However, I’ve found that when I break from the other meals that I can’t eat all that much, so I’ve brought foods home and thus not had to buy a second meal out unless my wife ate what I brought home.

The question is what changes have I noticed? I still don’t sleep all that well, but I’ve only had a couple of instances where, after eating, I’ve felt bad, and none of it was due to the new foods I’ve eaten, but due to eating something when I didn’t have a choice to eat healthy, such as at a couple of meetings, and in those cases my chest burned and one meal put me to sleep 30 minutes after I got home. Not feeling bad after many meals is a major step forward.

The big two, however, are that my glucose level overall has come down, and I lost 11 pounds in less than 3 weeks; whoa! I expected the first might happen, but never thought about the second at all. Frankly, the second one is having a bigger impact on my staying good than the first, because it’s been 6 years since I’ve been able to actually lose some weight, and right now I’m at my lowest weight since 2006; just amazing. I’m 10 pounds from the weight I was able to get down to back then, and if I can continue this I’ll get there.

Oh yeah, I have done some exercising as well, but I haven’t gone overboard. I’ve maybe exercised 2 or 3 times a week, mainly walking, and that has a big influence on my glucose, and the cardio probably doesn’t hurt with the weight loss either.

I don’t want to say my buddy Evelyn is right, but I guess I have to say she was on the right track. I’m not going to become a fanatic, and I know that at some point I’m going to have my ice cream and cake. But I think this is a meal plan I can stick with easy enough because it doesn’t cost as much as what I’d been doing, cooks fairly quickly, and I like it. Still, I might have to find something else I’ll eat besides spinach that I don’t feel I need to add a bunch of butter to.

So, what do you think? Is this something you could do for yourself?
 

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23 Comments »

Olawale Daniel:

Hi Mitch,

I’m glad I learnt something more from you today. I’ve been gaining more weights than how I was before I started blogging, you know, spending hours in front of your pc with few time to exercise and do the rest is a really big problem for bloggers. But, reading this post, I think I’d have to make proper use of your experience here so that I can lose more weight and regain my normal stature.

I’m glad you wrote something like this.

April 26th, 2012 | 10:28 AM

Good luck with it Olawale; I hate to admit it but sometimes these things do seem to work.

April 26th, 2012 | 2:24 PM

Mitch, when it comes to your health, you can be as fanatical as you need to be. Congratulations on the first 11 pounds. Keep going!
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April 26th, 2012 | 11:52 AM
Olawale Daniel:

I’m really glad he was able to lose 11 pounds and I wish I can have a good testimony as well. Thanks Scott for your comment

April 26th, 2012 | 12:11 PM

Thanks Scott. I’m going to do what I can, but I’m so glad I get to have my free day, as I hear a Snickers bar calling my name. lol

April 26th, 2012 | 2:25 PM

Great advice Mitch, I have actually as of late, been seriously thinking about changing my eating habit as well. I’ve not had issues with sleep, however I’ve had a thyroid issue that continues to show up in my life from time to time. As we get older our bodies are not as forgiving to our abuses or us not taking care of them well. I’ve started the exercise part, now I’ve got to work on the food part. I’ll check out that movie you mentioned: Knives Over Forks. Congrats on your weight loss so far and all the other positive changes you’ve seen.

April 26th, 2012 | 2:28 PM

Thanks Christina. You know, it’s a daily internal battle at times because I get hungrier quicker, and it seems this kind of eating doesn’t really fill you up as much and I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. But I feel like an O’Jays song, Living For The Weekend! 🙂

April 26th, 2012 | 7:15 PM

Congratulations! That’s awesome. I lost ten pounds by going gluten-free at the beginning of this year. I had lots of problems with my stomach for my whole life and as soon as I changed my diet I felt so much better. It’s so weird how food affects your whole life. Good for you!

April 26th, 2012 | 4:40 PM

Thanks Robert. My wife mentioned gluten free and I looked at her as if she’d said something dirty. lol Actually, I really don’t know what gluten is, but I’m doing well with what I’m eating so it’s all good.

April 26th, 2012 | 7:18 PM

Mitch I’m glad you were able to lose that weight and start feeling better.

It’s a huge commitment to actually go through with changing your diet. I know I couldn’t do it because vegetables are my arch nemesis from way back.

I’ll eat spinach before I eat beets! Much respect for being able to choke those down because I just can’t. I ended up sitting at the dinner table for like 6 hours one time because I wouldn’t eat those things lol.

I think the key is in how you changed up the recipe a bit to fit your needs. If it becomes to much of a chore then no one would keep up with it and you’d lose the enjoyment of food.

Anyway keep it up, I hope to be reading a post soon about how you lost that last 10 pounds!

April 26th, 2012 | 10:25 PM

John, just so you know I only eat beets in salad; I’m not just sitting down eating them, although I guess I probably would. I just remembered enjoying them when they were diced in school; I also remember the other kids thinking I was odd (yeah, like that was the only thing they thought I was odd about lol). But yes, the key is that I have changed up some and for whatever reason the weight loss is being achieved, even if that wasn’t what I set out to do. I guess that’s how science works sometimes.

April 27th, 2012 | 11:28 AM

My grandma have diabetes for more than 35 years and she is on insulin for probably about 20 years. I know she keep strict diet and to be honestly I know what exactly she eat. Most of the time is is on protein diet with low level of Carbohydrates and average 4-5 meals a day. About the weight, well, lets say that she know exactly how to do it as I didn’t mention that she was a doctor, however the side effects of illness move to different areas of body, usual foot pain and slightly loosing vision. However calculation for proper diet are not that difficult, but I think that most people can’t keep good discipline and be careful what they are eating.

April 26th, 2012 | 10:30 PM

You’re right Carl, it’s not that most of us don’t know what to do, but it’s hard to stick to because we can’t find foods that are palatable that suit us all that well. I was just eating pure protein also but then cholesterol started sneaking up. With what I’m doing now, other than the milk here and there, little cholesterol in my diet, although little protein as well. I think that’s the case for going off it on the weekends, to put a bit of protein back into my system.

April 27th, 2012 | 11:33 AM

Finding the balance can be challenging at least in the first few months until build a habit and know exactly what food contain. However, Mitch 11 pounds in less than 3 weeks is huge achievement, so I think you are doing great.
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April 27th, 2012 | 9:33 PM

Thanks Carl, although I feel like I gained 5 pounds from tonight’s dinner lol

April 27th, 2012 | 10:59 PM

Hey Mitch,

Good to know you are feeling better now after the program. Eleven pounds is quite big for just almost 3 weeks. That game me much more determination and inspiration to loose some of my weight this quarter. I’ll be engaging in a losing-weight program with some of my friends in the office. I hope I have all the discipline like in what you’ve experienced.

Best Regards,
Blake

April 27th, 2012 | 1:47 AM
Jane:

That Knives over forks movie is really an inspiring one! If you have been diagnosed with diabetes (my husband has) it is really important to loose some pounds, because it will lower blood sugars (check it with A1C test), reduce blood pressure closer to normal, reduce diabetes complications retinopathy neuropathy and foot problems and a lot more and improves chlosterol levels and improves healthy cholesterol levels. Congrats to your goals!

April 27th, 2012 | 4:12 AM

Thanks Jane. I’ve been diagnosed as a diabetic for 14 1/2 years now, and since my last appointment I know my A1c has dropped some, and I expect at my appointment next week it will have dropped even more. Yeah, weight loss is always important but I don’t push that on anyone because I know how hard it can be.

April 27th, 2012 | 11:36 AM

That’s really awesome..I really inspired also losing weight..Thanks for sharing..

April 27th, 2012 | 11:06 AM

Hey Mitch!

This is awesome news!!! I am happy for you.

You see, little changes make a BIG difference. 😉

Lately, I haven’t been doing so good with my diet and it’s okay. I’m not beating myself up about it. I just know what I have to do and keep moving.

It’s okay to have your cake and ice cream every now and then, as long as you don’t do it every day, you’ll be fine.

Best wishes,
Evelyn
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April 28th, 2012 | 11:08 PM

Thanks Evelyn. I’ve noticed this weekend that there are things that suddenly are messing with my body because it’s suddenly used to other stuff. This is kind of eye opening, something I need to get used to.

April 29th, 2012 | 1:37 AM

Congratulations! That is already a milestone! And just for you to know, you can still eat deliciously while eating healthy. You just have to search alternative methods of preparing food using different ingredients that wouldn’t hurt the taste and the weight. There are a lot online, I suggest you try them out!

April 30th, 2012 | 8:33 AM

You know John, the thing about researching things online, which I’m good at, is knowing what it is you want to research online, and that’s my problem right now as I still have a fairly limited range of foods I’ll eat.

April 30th, 2012 | 9:47 AM