Back in August, I wrapped up Phase 2 of my company’s weight loss contest by losing an additional 12 lbs. Combined with the results of the first contest, put me at a total of 41 lbs. lost. I wanted to take a short break from “loss mode” and instead maintain at this point until I was ready to lose the final 13 lbs.
Shortly thereafter, several stressful circumstances combined to challenge not only maintenance but my weight loss, pushing me into some bouts of stress eating. I at least paid a modicum of attention to the scale, checking periodically yet doing nothing as I went watched the number climb up three, five, seven, and finally, twelve pounds. Well, that was everything I’d lost in phase 2 and now it was all back. I couldn’t help but be a little mad at myself (making myself even MORE stressed out!), though I also vowed to not be! Just shake it off, and get back to business. I tried here and there to exercise but I should have really kept up at it as a better way to manage the stress than eating sugar!
By mid-December, personal circumstances were improving, my stress was lessening, and I was gearing up to resume losing weight. I managed to lose a little during the holidays, but really decided to start back up on January 2nd. I wondered whether my company was going to have another contest, which I was hoping. The motivation and resulting success I had last year was exciting and I looked forward to an announcement, which came just before the year’s end!
Backing up slightly, in early/mid-December, at long last I got a Kindle, the new color Kindle Fire. I signed up for our library’s digital collection, and looked up books in various genres, feeling like a kid in a candy store (oops – let’s not talk about candy…) and not knowing where to start browsing for free Kindle books. I landed on the Health & Fitness category and browsed through the array of titles, until one piqued my interest called “The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise.” It was available, and I quickly downloaded it. There were several others in the series (The Belly Fat Cure – Fast Track, The Belly Fat Cure Sugar & Carb Counter, The Belly Fat Cure Quick Meals) and I downloaded all of them too!
I started with Belly Fat Cure Fast Track, which I read very quickly and was motivated to start right away! But it was mid-December and between the holidays and all the food that comes with it, plus wrapping my head around the concepts in the diet and making sure to plan for the correct foods. I continued to read all of the books throughout the holidays, gearing up to get started after the new year.
So, back to the end of December, when the contest was announced, I was excited to have a plan to follow and a way of eating that I could sustain permanently.
So just what is the Belly Fat Cure and the Fast Track version? What makes it something I could sustain permanently? In a nutshell (you’ll just have to get the books to get all of the details!), the concept lies in what made the Elimination Diet of 2009 so successful for me – low sugar! There are differences, however. First and foremost, the elimination diet was not a weight loss diet – that was just a good side effect of it. Its purpose was to try to identify food allergies or sensitivities. The Belly Fat Cure is a weight loss / maintenance plan, and at its core it’s about keeping all sugars low (even from fruit), in turn keeping insulin levels low, and thus shifting the conversion of sugars to fat and instead creating a metabolism that burns fat. The original Belly Fat Cure isn’t restrictive in its variety of foods, just the quantity of sugars and carbohydrates. The magic formula is his S/C value of 15/6, which is 15 g Sugar/6 servings Carbs. A serving of carbs is 1-20 g, so 6 servings of carbs per day would be 120 g.
Keeping the sugars low is a must for me, though on the elimination diet, I ate fruit and still lost weight – with no exercise and without counting calories – how great is that? Last year during both phases, I reduced my sugar intake (except for fruits), reduced overall calories, and exercised alot! I understand the concept of “any” sugars causing an insulin spike, as diabetics cannot have certain fruits or in quantity, so for them fruit is anything but healthy. As I learned on the elimination diet, reducing sugars, even those naturally occurring in fruit, is also the key to reducing triglycerides. My triglycerides have always been very high and prior to the elimination diet, were very close to 500. After the elimination diet? 124! YEAH!!
So as I have been seeking ways to continue my weight loss journey, I know that for me, keeping sugar low as I did on the elimination diet will be helpful. Jorge’s books have loads of good information on products that already fit into the 15/6 range (per day) or 5/2 per meal. Getting those carb servings from whole grain products, lower in sugar, and avoiding as many forms of “hidden sugar” in foods is challenging but NOT impossible. Jorge has some forms in the book for tracking sugars and carb servings; but as I have the Kindle editions, can’t use those! But no matter – going back to my use of My Fitness Pal, that makes a great tool for tracking sugar and carbs. Almost be sheer coincidence, after subscribing to this blog on my RSS reader app, a post on the great blog Me and Jorge, posted just 2 days before the start of the 3rd contest, was about the Belly Fat Cure and tracking with My Fitness Pal. Could she have been reading my mind? LOL
I was busy preparing to have foods ready that would conform to both the original Belly Fat Cure as well as the Fast Track. I wasn’t totally prepared to go strictly on the Fast Track yet (though it’s a 2week program, so that’s not impossible). I just knew that would take a little more preparation, planning, and availability than I could handle at this time. The concept of the Fast Track is still low sugar but not “no” sugar, as a treat of a small amount of certain low sugar fruits (“Nature’s Candy,” as Jorge refers to them), red wine, or 85% dark chocolate are still allowed. It is also not “no carb” as there are certain carbs allowed, the “Super carbs” including asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and others. The avoidance is basically grains. Both the original BFC and the BFC-FT have its place and purpose. I know when my schedule levels off, that I can plan for and commit to two weeks on the Fast Track. For now, I am working on a hybrid of the two. Some meals or even complete days, I am doing the Fast Track. Other days, at least, I am sticking to the 15/6 of the original BFC. It’s definitely a reasonable and sensible plan, full of a variety of foods and the key to my weight loss success, as well as keeping my triglycerides low.
A consistent program of exercise that I can sustain permanently is also key. I’m so great at losing weight but horrible at maintaining. I stop everything and go back to my old ways and expect to maintain, then ignore the scale until the weight creeps back on and I start the vicious cycle again. This time, I am committed to my morning routine of walking at home with the Leslie Sansone DVDs and also outdoor walking as well. We hiked alot last winter and that was fun too. We’re hoping to get back out there this winter as well! I want to incorporate in some higher impact activities (like the swing dance and step workout), but need to be very careful with my neck, back, and knees. The auto accident injuries sustained back in 1996 need maintenance physical therapy exercise and sometimes are aggravated by high impact workouts. A few times a week is fine, I need to balance it out and stay consistent!
So the weight loss contest begins tomorrow, this should be a good journey. While my goal is to end my weight loss mode with this phase, it’s not the end of the journey. I know now that this is a journey for life!