If you have read much of this blog, you know that from my birthday in February, I set a bunch of ambitious goals, particularly in the area of weight. The first 3 months since then have been a disaster in this area. I have continued my swimming and have tried to eat better. There have been no results. I’m actually 8 pounds heavier than I was on my birthday. You can’t possibly imagine how frustrated (and at times angry) I have been.
During my physical at the end of April, my general doctor said he was going to refer me to a nutritionist. I agreed, knowing that doing this on my own hadn’t worked. It took a little wrangling, but I finally got to see the nutritionist yesterday. I was extremely skeptical (shocking, I know!). I was expecting to see some extreme naturalist that believes that humans should consume nothing but tree bark, leaves and dirt.
Fortunately, I was wrong. Her office was packed to the ceiling with all kinds of food products. I said, “Nice grocery store you have in here.” We talked about a typical day and week for me and what I eat. The wife was with me, giving her unsolicited nods and head-shakes. Then we talked about what a lot of typical foods have in them.
It didn’t take long to find out what my problem is. SUGAR. Most of the stuff I eat is absolutely loaded to the brim with sugar. Not just Reese’s peanut butter cups, but rice, breakfast sandwiches, most bread products, darn near everything. Yes, some things I eat contain too much of the wrong kinds of fat, but sugar is the real enemy. That’s really the problem with most Americans. Of course if you live off fried food, you have major changes to make. But by and large, it’s the sugar that most of our foods are loaded up with that are what is killing us.
When you are 125 pounds overweight, as I am, it takes a lot of calories just to maintain. So the nutritionist set a goal of consuming no more than 2,000 calories and 40 grams of sugar per day. Also, I should not consume any 1 thing that has more than 7 grams of sugar. I should also strive to eat 5-6 times a day instead of 3. This will help me in my portion control. My main emphasis should be on healthy snacking. The goal should be to eat something every 4 hours or so, to avoid feeling ravenous and eating everything in sight.
She gave us a nice packet of easy-to-understand information, including a sample grocery list. There was also a sheet for AnJanette to help her put on weight. She’s still trying to get back to her minimum healthy weight after losing a dozen pounds during her bout with pneumonia.
I left encouraged. The things we discussed were reasonable and practical and should be simple to implement. I went grocery shopping this morning, and got a bunch of things on the list for the snacks – Greek yogurt, apples, strawberries, and my all-time favorite nut, cashews.
As the swimming kicks up to the next level (more on that in my next post), and I make the changes learned from the nutritionist, things should finally start heading in the right direction.