Four Hour Body Update! Low Carb, High Protein Dieting…

It has been ages since I gave an update on how I’m doing with the whole Four Hour Body eating plan, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it! Oh no, not at all — and really, I have never felt better!

Meat, eggs, vegetables that grow above ground and are low in sugar, beans, and a little dairy here and there — that sums up what I eat. I do my best to stick with it all the time. I don’t really do the “cheat day” any more – if I do, I try to make sure it is always something gluten free. When I eat wheat, it kicks my ass and I have the “gluten hangover” for a day or two afterwards.

I’m still holding pretty steady at 23lbs down in 9 months, and down 2-3 clothing sizes since I started this, depending on the clothing item. I would love it if it was more than that, but considering the amount of traveling I’ve done this year for destination weddings and the Hot Mama Travel Dates, I’m glad that I have been able to stay steady.

I didn’t do so well staying steady when I was in California in August. Matter of fact, it is the first time I had a major backslide. Yes, I managed to go to Paris & London and only gained 3lbs which I lost within 2 days of being home. But California? I gained 8lbs. ACK! And I know exactly what I did too – I skipped breakfasts, I ate a lot more cheese than normal, I did margaritas one night (a LOT of sugar in there), I had popcorn, I had little “treats” here and there of other sweets, I ate bread two or three times. I definitely did not drink enough water. All the things I don’t normally do – and it added up. UGH! So frustrating. However — I lost it all again within 2 weeks. I’m back to the weight I was when I left. YAY!!!

I am not discouraged by staying steady at this same weight – matter of fact, it is the weight I was when Mike & I met 10 years ago, and considering I’ve stayed steady here (fluctuating within a 3-4lb range, depending on the time of the month) for 6 months, I’m ok with that. I’m not giving up. I’m not going back to how I used to eat — this really, truly has been a life change.

It still fascinates me how many people have commented on my weight loss, ask me what my “secret” is, and then when they find out they have to give up wheat, sugar, potatoes, rice, fruit, dairy, they immediately say that there is just NO way they could do that!

Dude, I’m a SUPER picky eater. If *I* can do it, anyone can do it.

I was a hard core pastatarian before. I ate spaghetti all the time. I also had such painful acid reflux it was miserable. Now? No wheat – no acid reflux. Less inflammation throughout my body. My blood pressure is better. EVERYTHING is better. I honestly can not recommend it enough!

So I continue on. I’d still like to lose another 25-30lbs and I’m making some changes to see if I can jump start that. I will keep you posted!

The Four Hour Body Four Week Update!

I can’t WAIT to share photos and stories from last week at ALT with you, but first I figured I needed to share my Four Hour Body update!

Back in December, I had a breaking point. There are many cooler terms for what happened, but the reality was that I broke. Somewhere between my desire to just be able to buy a dress off the rack at Anthropologie and watching “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” followed up by “Food, Inc.” I ended up deciding that it was time to follow the lead of many other people I knew that had lost 40-60lbs and buy a copy of Four Hour Body.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first. The first few days are rough, and I consider Day Four to be “hell day” for most people. I don’t know what it is, but I bet it has to do with your body just freaking out because you haven’t been giving it all those starchy carbs for four days. But by Day Three I had noticed that without gluten (wheat), my allergies that I’d been battling for what seemed like forever were pretty much gone. GONE! My inflammation was down too, and since that was a huge, huge goal of mine, it made it easier to stick with it and just plow through.

Which brings us to today. I’ve lost 10.4 lbs, and I’m pretty damn happy about that, especially since I was traveling for 8 days last week! Now I’m moving towards my next goal, to have lost 20 lbs by WPPI in a month! (Which is completely possible in my mind if I stick with it.)

In the past month, I’ve heard every excuse under the sun from other people. You all realize that *I* have been using those same excuses for about 10 years now, right? Yeah, they are bunk. Stop it. You guys are always tell me things like, “I could give up (one item), but I could NEVER give up (another item)!!!” (Fill in the blank with flour, rice, potatoes or sugar.) Look, I loooooooove things made with flour. Matter of fact, my mouth is watering just typing that sentence. A good biscuit? I’m all over it. How about some well made tortillas? Divine! But the fact is, eating flour, sugar, rice or potatoes raises your blood sugar, causing your insulin to spike, causing you to get FAT. So if you don’t want to be fat, try giving them up. 30 days. It isn’t going to kill you, I promise. It is just 30 days – you can do anything for 30 days! But STOP giving me excuses for why you couldn’t. And don’t tell me that you can’t do it if you haven’t TRIED to do it.

Carbohydrates from starchy foods are what are making you fat. It is that plain & simple. Cut them and you’ll lose weight.

Things I have learned throughout this in no particular order:

  • After Day Four (aka HELL DAY), my normal cravings for carbs stopped. Feed your body enough meat, vegetables & beans and it will stop craving starchy carbs, the cheap whores of food.
  • If – and only if – I haven’t eaten enough or it has been too long, I then crave carbs. A few cashews or almonds stops the craving, and eating makes it go away completely.
  • Any time I eat gluten, I wake up congested the next morning. Have issues with allergies or inflammation? Try it.
  • Speaking of inflammation, did you know that Type II Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are both related to inflammation?
  • I stop losing weight when I eat cheese. Every time. Skipping cheese from now on.
  • I also seem to stall when I eat fruit. I have been doing one “binge day” a week (I prefer to call it a free day) and I save potatoes, fruit and cheese for that one day a week.
  • I can lose weight while I travel if I have control of my own meals.
  • I can stay steady at my weight loss while I travel when I don’t get to choose my own meals.
  • Gluten-free options are still full of starchy-carbs. (Cheap whores!) Ok on that binge day, but not ok the other six days of the week.
  • Binge days make me gain a pound normally, but ultimately I lose even more by the end of the week following. Plus they keep away the mentality of dieting sucks.
  • Veggies are my friend. I especially love a good spinach salad.
  • I’ve tried new foods and it didn’t kill me. People! This is a big deal for me!!!
  • If I “listen” to my body and eat as much as I want of meat, beans & vegetables, I will eat enough.
  • The biggest thing I’ve learned? I CAN DO THIS.

    At least three times in the past seven years I’ve tried to lose weight on a rather big scale. My goal was to lose 5lb a month – 1.2lb a week – and keep it off. It is all documented here on the blog. Every single time, I was miserable. Dieting in the modern meaning of the word SUCKS. I’m NOT on a diet. I am eating to lose weight. But I plan to keep eating this way for a loooooooong time after I’ve lost the weight. Because it doesn’t make me miserable and cranky. Who knew?!? A diet that won’t make you miserable!

    It brings it all back to what diet is supposed to mean – what you eat. Your dietary needs. Not the four letter word that diet has become!

    I’ve bought new jeans because my old ones don’t fit. The belly fat that has been plaguing me for years is melting away. All I have done is changed what I’m eating. Meats, beans (legumes) and leafy green vegetables. Lately I wake up craving meat or a salad. My how things can change in four weeks!

    10.4 lbs. I can hardly believe it. I don’t think I ever got past losing 10-15 lbs in all the times I’ve tried to diet in the past few years, and it was always an uphill battle to get there. Try this. It works!

    Four Hour Body – What I’ve Been Eating…

    I’m a picky eater. I have been for YEARS. So starting off on the Four Hour Body / Slow Carb adventure was a bit intimidating for me. Mainly because one of the things you are supposed to eat is beans. EW!! Beans! I hate beans!!!

    Then I had to get real with myself. While I truly despise green beans, and I have given them a chance 2-3 times within the past 5 years, I haven’t tried most other beans since I was a kid. Many beans I had never tried at all. Saying you don’t like something seems to buy you time if you just have no desire to try it at all.

    Ok, maybe I would like a lot more stuff if I was willing to try it.

    But I have a really sensitive palate, textures sometimes gross me out, and if anything smells “weird” to me, I won’t taste it. It has to pass the smell test to even make it into my mouth.

    Side note: don’t ever make fun of a picky eater, or try to convince them to try something they don’t like. They have their reasons. Being a picky eater sometimes really sucks. Being harassed about it sucks even more. Unless they are one of those whiny picky eaters – which I am not – then all bets are off. Whining earns you the right to be picked on in my book.

    3 weeks now — no “fast” carbs. No sugar, flour, rice, or potatoes. No high fructose corn syrup. No “white” foods. (Cauliflower doesn’t count as a “white” food. FYI.)

    I’ve lost 7 pounds. More importantly, I’ve survived. And I’ve tried new things. Things that for years I declared “I don’t like”. One perk of my dietary habits is that I don’t mind eating the same thing every day. Doesn’t phase me at all. So for now, that is what I’m doing. Breakfast & lunch, same thing. Daily. That means I don’t have to think about what I want to eat. Mike cooks dinner, and some days I stick to a pretty small list of things I like. Other days I branch out more.

    Breakfast: Huge glass of ICE cold water. Wakes you up FAST! 2 eggs, scrambled, with a little ham added.
    Lunch: BIG BIG BIG spinach salad. I make it in a mixing bowl. I sometimes add turkey and/or ham. A sprinkle of sunflower seeds for a bonus crunch. 2 Tbsps of Newman’s Own Garlic & Parmesan salad dressing. (My only food item that has a little sugar.) Chop it all up with two knives with the dressing already on so it is spread all the way through.

    Those foods on my “no” list above? Honestly, the only find myself craving them is when I let myself get too hungry. If I don’t pay attention to the clock and I suddenly find myself craving bread, I know I’ve gone too far.

    Tonight for dinner I had a little salami and a piece of string cheese. I’m not supposed to eat dairy (4 Hour Body), but even more so I try not to because it is one of my “domino” foods. Domino foods are those things that if I eat a little, I normally eat a lot. I love cheese. But tonight I had one piece. Then I had:

    - 1/2 can of Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans): rinsed & drained, Mike taught me to put 1-1.5 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet, then add the chickpeas. Cover with a lid so they don’t pop out of the pan, roll them around every so often so they don’t stick. Cook until browned & toasty looking. Sprinkle kosher salt over them to taste. We added some chopped garlic to them tonight towards the end, and some kale chips that we crushed & sprinkled over the top.

    - A small portion of the lentil “meatballs” from the recipe at Sprouted Kitchen, with Mike’s own pesto sauce. He didn’t have any basil on hand, so he made a pesto out of parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice & salt. YUM! Bonus? It got me past my texture issue fear of eating the lentils, because instead the texture was like meatballs!

    - Sauteed Spinach with a balsamic reduction. Mike puts a little olive oil in a skillet and once heated sautes garlic for about 30 seconds in it. Then add a mound of rinsed fresh spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir once & cover. Check every couple of minutes for the spinach to be wilted (about 4-5 minutes). Add a splash of balsamic, uncover the skillet, and let that cook down. Serve.

    If you had told me a month ago that my dinner was going to consist of chickpeas, lentil “meatballs”, pesto, and spinach, I would have told you that you were CRAZYPANTS!!! I did like spinach before, but not anything else on that list. Tonight? It was all amazing & scrumptious!

    I’m not dieting. I’m planning out a future post about my rant about that word. But a diet these days is a temporary thing. No, this isn’t something that I can just stop. This has to be a complete change. But it is ok – I’ve hit that point. The point of no return. My friend Brett wrote about his “elephant moment” and I can relate. I’m so grateful for all of the friends & family I have cheering me on and supporting me right now. I want to say I couldn’t do it without you – but I am pretty damned determined. So while I could do it without all the support, it wouldn’t be quite as easy.

    I guess a picky eater can learn to like new things…

    PS – that whole gluten thing? I ate part of a piece of wedding cake on Saturday (it is a job requirement *grin*) and I ate homemade pizza Saturday night. Sunday morning? I woke up congested, and feeling like I was hit by a truck. Lesson learned! I need to really limit my gluten!

    Learning to Love Veggies…

    I’m afraid to write this post. I feel like every time I share something big like this, I immediately sink myself and fail. I’m hoping that if I admit that up front this time, I won’t do it to myself. *fingers crossed*

    My mom has talked a lot over the past year about how she has been dieting & losing weight, and the biggest change? Low (slow) carbs, cutting out bread & pasta, and cutting out high-fructose corn syrup. No “diet” – just making changes. I was inspired, but with our move & everything else, I made some changes to my diet but didn’t dive too deep. I knew she was losing weight, but it wasn’t until she wore a sweater on her birthday a few weeks ago that I know fit her completely different a year ago that I saw how much weight she had lost! Go Mom!

    A few days after her birthday, while I was out Christmas shopping, I stopped in Anthropologie – but I didn’t bother looking at the clothes. I knew they didn’t carry my size, and that made me sad, frustrated, angry – a whole range of emotions. I feel that way all the time when I shop. Even though a huge portion of the women in America are technically Plus Size, plus size clothing is so hit or miss still. (Come on designers! Catch up with the needs!) Right then, as I stood in the store, I set a goal for myself that a year from now I want to be able to walk in there and buy a dress off the rack. I’m adding it to my Life List even.

    Then I watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” last Tuesday. Talk about motivational! Oh my goodness! It is on Netflix, and if you want a swift kick to make you want to diet, watch it. Follow it up with “Food, Inc.” like I did, and it will cause a big shift if you’re like me. I’m fortunate that we already go to Revival Market for most of our meat, and I know they could probably tell me exactly where every piece comes from, plus they butcher things in-house. YAY!

    As soon as I finished watching those movies, I decided to run with the motivation. So what if it was just days before Christmas??? I decided then and there, that very day, that it was time to change my diet.

    By last Thursday, I was off of drinking caffeine. (Fountain Coke is my weakness!) I’ve cut way, way back on the “bad whites” – flour, rice, potatoes. I’ve nearly eliminated flour & therefore gluten as well. I’ve cut back on dairy, because I love cheese a bit too much. My goal is to consume 50% of the volume of what I eat as vegetables. The rest of my diet from meats, fruit and the occasional nut.

    I may get to the point of going with the Four Hour Body diet – I know so many people that have been very successful on it. The Crazy Sexy Diet book has also been mentioned many times. I have even considered juicing for 30 days just to really kick start everything, or at least doing a 5 day juicing fast. We’ll see. Ultimately, I know that in order to make it stick, I have to modify it and make it my own.

    Diets never succeed. They might help get you started, but they are NOT sustainable. Life changes, and improving your eating habits overall? That will stick!

    The whole reason I’m writing this post is so I can look back later and remind myself of why I started doing this, and how after a week of just drinking water and eating lots of veggies, I woke up this morning craving carrots! Not a bready starchy “goodness” full of empty calories, but carrots! And a BIG glass of water, not a Coke. That is already a HUGE change from a week ago!

    Interesting side note – I’ve battled being congested for most of the month of December, and nothing seemed to help. Then I started this dietary change, cut out most of my gluten consumption, and viola! NO CONGESTION!!! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    I made it through Christmas without too much of an issue – I did sample a few sweets here & there, but any time I did I kept it minimal – and I ended up 2lbs down from where I was a week ago when I started. I’ll take that!