Sunday, May 16, 2010

The bread, the scale and other things

So how is it going for weight loss, you may ask ? We have been following a nutrient dense diet with doing a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in some form 6 days a week. Lots of fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole grains, fat free or low fat dairy and healthy oils. Other than fruits, sugars are limited to no more than 13 grams per serving and sodium is in the very low range. Sounds like a formula for success- so how is it manifesting? Nick finally broke the plateau he was stalled at, Bob has begun to lose again but my body is reading things very different. Loss stalled to about a pound or less, then gain, then stall, and gain some more. It seems that I am still losing and gaining the same 5 lbs. This has been going on for 2 years now, mainly because I keep ignoring the needs of my own body type. I drop the vigilance about starch servings and I can literally gain weight eating lettuce. I think I need to have the starch serving recommendations tattooed on my forehead !

Last week I lost 0.2 lbs and this week I gained 1.6 lbs - not a huge amount but I am taking it to be a heads up that I need to change what I am doing. While I am eating very healthy foods, I am eating too many starches for my body. This week I am going to try to drop most of these in favor of other foods. Fruits are good, veggies are good, meat and fats are good, but the starch group leads me into problems. I am not going as drastic as, say Atkins, but I do need to keep the starch servings down to less than 3 per day, and better if it can be kept to 2 and all of those must be whole grains.

It got me to wondering if there has been any serious thought about the connection between PCOS and these starch carbs. What exactly does it? So I hit Google to investigate, and was rewarded with a boatload of pages. It seems the most recent thinking is that PCOS may be a result of underlying gluten intolerance. Wow! It would make perfect sense from my experience. Perhaps if I adopt a gluten free approach to weight loss it might work. I don’t know if it would involve the hidden sources of gluten (such as that in sauces), but rather an elimination of the bigger sources would be enough? It seems that with PCOS eating whole grain, low GI (glycemic index- which means how it impacts your body as a sugar) grains and fruits with fat and protein works best (oatmeal with cottage cheese or nuts, whole grain crackers and nuts and so forth). Fruits should be eaten with protein as well- apples and peanut butter, strawberries and almonds and so forth. For many, the avoidance of fruits high on the GI index such as melons have proven to be helpful, but I don’t believe that has been a factor with me. It does merit testing out if simply cutting back grain serving does not help.

So my current menu is going to look something like this: Breakfast will be cottage cheese and fruit with a serving of granola (made with oatmeal, nuts, healthy oil and honey) or eggs with vegetables. Lunch will be a soup made with beans, meat and vegetables or a salad with meat and beans, and dinner will be meat or beans and vegetables and a starch serving of brown rice, bulgur or one of the healthier pastas. Snacks will be nonfat yogurt and fruit with granola or hardboiled egg and fruit or lunch meat with a veggie. It’s not radically different, but allows me some mental reminders for the nights when the guys really want something more carby for dinner.

So with this knowledge in hand we went grocery shopping and I added butchering to my Mount Chop Me weekly task. Big pork loins, slab of beef and assorted chicken and sausage things were converted into chops, roasts, stir fries and components for soups or casseroles. This week we got a late start due to Bob being called to sing for a funeral Saturday morning. As much as one would like to, you cannot schedule death, but rather life has to be arranged to accommodate it. We did not finish shopping till about 3 pm and once we got home I went into chopping mode. The guys helped put things away, sort through other things and we worked as a team. All the while the clock was ticking, and suddenly it was after 7 ( we normally eat at 5), chopping was not done and dinner was still about an hour off in preparation. We were all starving, so we consented to ordering one of those big round carby cheesy things with tomato sauce, sausage and veggies. It was good and necessary in this case, but I am kind of cringing at how it may affect me at next week’s weigh in. Rather than be upset by it, I am counting my blessings. We have a roof over our heads to store all this good stuff in, we have money and secure employment to finance it with (as a matter of fact Bob just got a raise and a Promotion at his 9-5 pay the bills and insurance job), we all understand why the big round thing was necessary and we have a place that makes a darned good one. I also have a whole week to follow the guidelines my own body has, so it will be a good week !


Diane Fit to the Finish said...

It will be a great week for you. Diane - I know that you have PCOS and I think your food changes are great. I wonder if some of the weight maintenance you are experiencing is partly because of calories consumed? Just a thought because I see how much you exercise and how healthy you eat!

A big round treat of cheese won't affect you long term - not with how healthy you cook 99.9% of the time!

Congratulations to your hubby on his raise and promotion. You guys are blessed.

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Anything is a possibility . If I was doing what was completely right for my body , I would be losing , but it is waffling so I am missing something. I have tried the strict calorie counting approach and it was still losing and gaining the same 5 lbs as well. Even with using the Weight Watchers points calculation ( for every 50 calories, add one point, for 13 grams fat add another point, if 3 grams of fiber subtract one point and range of points is based on current body weight) it did not budge. The only thing that seems to work is limiting the starch carbs. When I lost the 110 I never counted calories, but simply went by allowances. I have not ruled out the calorie factor- I think I am waiting to see if doing this simple move makes the scale drop more than 3 lbs in a week. That seems to be the most anything drops currently, which has usually meant TOM was going to pay a call in a couple of days. The reason I say that number is because PCOS works in the body the same way other inflammatory disorders do , and if you hit the right course of treatment the body almost instantly releases a boatload of fluids, and there is an initial dramatic drop in weight.The trick is, you have to stay consistent with the program. And yes, one meal of the round thing is not going to kill me. Life happens and sometimes round things will happen. All the more reason to make the best possible choices for all of those other meals and days , so that the occasion does not become the norm !

Nicole, RD said...

PCOS and gluten intolerance are related?! My goodness! I know I'm new to this PCOS business, but I swear, it's related to EVERYTHING. Boo. I think my weight loss is going to be found with strict carb-watching too. I've already cut out oats in the morning, and that about broke my heart! But, we can do it! I like you idea for cottage cheese in the morning! I think I'll adopt that idea! :)

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Hi Nicole ! hugs to a fellow PCOS sister. It seems the PCOS/Gluten connection has just come to light within the last 5 years . It makes perfect sense when you think about it though. For all that is known about PCOS, there is still much to learn - such as how to cure it instead of just manage it. Here is the google page where I started nosing around- - read through for yourself and see what is being discovered by doctors, patients, alternative medicine and more. It has me convinced enough to try this way of eating for myself, and see if it brings a better quality of life AND weight loss at long last.I am going to publish recipes that I find that actually work as alternative to things like bread, pizza crusts and so forth .