Monday, June 26, 2017

Food and Weight loss

I think that the biggest change in my life in recent years has been my weight loss.  In all honesty, it’s probably even bigger than the breast cancer, because it’s now a constant part of my life and has necessitated the most lifestyle changes.  Losing the weight has meant completely changing the way that I approach food.

Right now I still focus on counting calories.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get away from that, but for right now it is what works.  Now keep in mind, I don’t count them obsessively, and I also don’t fret about counting them if we’re at a party or something.

For me food currently falls into 4 categories: eat a lot of, okay in moderation, good for an occasional splurge, not worth it.

Things like vegetables fall into the eat a lot of category – though not all veg.  I do tend to eat a lot of veggies and the key to remember with them is to limit the butter and oil.  A cup of broccoli that’s been steamed is going to be a lot different than a cup of broccoli that was sautéed in butter.  These are also the foods that I reach for the most throughout the day.  They form the basis of my meals, and are what I reach for as a snack.  Low calorie rice cakes and popcorn are also in this category.  As are seaweed snacks.

Foods that I tend to eat, but watch how much I eat, are things like starches and meats and some sweets.  One of the decisions that I made early on was that I wasn’t going to cut out any food group.  I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but I eat carbs.  I eat meat or fish every day.  I also have cheese and ice cream.  The key is moderation and choosing the best of something.  Take steak for example.  If I want steak (and hey, it’s what’s for dinner tonight), I choose sirloin as it is leaner and still really darn tasty, and I make sure to have a small piece – 5 or 6 ounces.  I will have ice cream a couple of nights a week as a snack, but I make sure to get good quality ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and only have a scoop.

Then there are the foods that are good for an occasional splurge.  There is a local chain of donut shops that make the most incredible decadent donuts.  This is not something that I’m going to eat on a regular basis, but I did have two for my birthday J 

Finally the foods that are just not worth it.  This is going to be different for everyone.  For me, the first thing that pops into mind is pizza – greasy, take-out pizza, that is comforting while you eat it, but makes you feel so yucky afterwards.  Now don’t get me wrong, good quality pizza, is a worthwhile splurge, but it has to be really good.  A fast food hamburger wouldn’t be worth it for me, but a burger at an amazing burger restaurant would be.

How do you look at food?  Do you count calories, avoid certain foods?  Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I've been a vegetarian with a severe nut allergy since I was around 10-11. I struggle with being creative with food and feeling safe with it, too. I find myself gravitating toward a piece of toast or pasta because it's familiar and it's safe when it really should be a splurge!! Great post!!!

  2. I struggled with an eating disorder for about 18 years, so my approach to food now is vert different (I was a person that counted obsessively, so kudos you can do that in a balanced way). I really try to not get obsessive, and I focus on intuitive eating. I know what foods make my body feel bad, and I know what gives me energy to fuel my yoga practice and workouts. It is a balance!

  3. I recently went to a diabetic dietitian as I am needing help. For me it was a waste. I really think I need to see someone who will give me a realistic plan. I am tired of juggling food allergies, the Fodmap diet and the dealing with everyone's likes/dislikes. I am very interested in how you have categorised your foods.

    1. I will admit it was a bit of trial and error on my part. I looked into the FODMAP diet once, and decided that for me, it wasn't worth it.

  4. I am also in recovery for an eating disorder so to me counting calories is a trigger. I don't avoid any foods and I give myself permission to eat whatever I feel like but only at supper. lunch is always salad or veggies, evening snack is always cereal or peanut butter and crackers. I don't do daytime snacks or breakfast but keep plain unsalted crackers on hand if being hungry makes me sick. I walk everyday which is the only work out i do but I coach youth sports and my job can be physical. It works for me and helps keep me from sliding back into anorexia.