Working on losing weight …..

Cover of "The IBS Low-Starch Diet: Why St...

Cover via Amazon

 

I’m working on losing weight, and over the past year I lost about 30 pounds, but gained back 15 pounds …. though I’m not sure how many times I lost each of those pounds, just that after factoring in the 15 pound weight gain, I’ve managed to lose and keep off 15 pounds in the past year.

 

My tactic over the past year has been to work to limit myself to 300 calories per meal and allow myself 300 calories for a snack each day in total my target as instructed by my doctor to aim for is 1200 calories per day.

 

While limiting my calorie intake, I’ve also been doing my best to aim for 1 hour of exercise per day ….. I haven’t done great at this, but the effort I’ve made is more than I had made before deciding to work on losing weight.  So while I still have room for improvement, I’m doing better than what I was a year ago.

 

I felt like here was more I could be doing beyond simply counting calories, and I came across information about how a low starch diet might be helpful to help folks like me who have Ankylosing Spondylitis manage the inflammation that is a huge problem with AS.

 

While I don’t believe that a low starch diet will “cure” my arthritis like some people seem to think it could, I do have a hunch that it could be beneficial in decreasing my pain at the very least because of losing weight and relieving some of the load my spine and other joints are lugging around.  Everyone knows that a heavy load can be painful to carry after a while even for a healthy person, so I figure it just makes sense that losing weight may help to decrease some of my pain because my joints would have a lighter load then they do now.

 

I now weigh 234.8 pounds with a BMI of 43.21

 

My goal is to get down to about 125 pounds and stay there

 

the past year has been a huge struggle though, and when I read about the low-starch diet, it made me think about things I had read other places about how my body processes starch and stores the result.  It made me wonder if maybe this low-starch diet might be a tool I could use to help me reach my weight loss goal.

 

I called my family doctor’s office today and the nurse I spoke to said that my doctor indicated that he felt this diet would be beneficial to me for losing weight and that by losing weight it would help my arthritis.  So I was on the right track with my thinking, which made me smile a little knowing that I figured out something that could be helpful to me and my doc approved of it.

 

So my next step was to look in my cupboards.  I don’t know all the names used for starches, but I do know that corn and potatoes are huge culprits, so I looked for those words along with the word starch or any variation of it.

 

My conclusion after pawing through my cupboards is that if I were to change to a low starch diet right at this moment I would starve if all I could pick from to eat was found in my cupboards.  High-fructose corn syrup is in just about everything.

 

My other conclusion based on my first one, is that I am going to need to re-think how I buy and prepare my food and do something a little drastic in today’s pre-packaged food culture, and actually learn to cook with raw ingredients if I’m going to have the best chance at dodging as much starch as I can.

 

So other skills like canning and freezing food will need to be developed and I will need to work extra hard at not buying potatoes, bread and pasta …. the 3 biggest problem foods in my kitchen now, and probably the 3 I will have the hardest time learning not to eat.

 

There are a couple of books I’m looking at getting to help with this journey to what I hope will be a healthier lifestyle and a skinnier me.

 

the first is called “The IBS low-starch diet” which is written by Carol Sinclair who has been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Her book is one that I saw was recommended by a site called kickas.org as a good resource for information about a low-starch diet.

 

The other book I’m looking at is a cookbook called “The Ankylosing Spondylitis Cookbook” to help get me started with ideas on low-starch recipes I can try.

 

Both books can be found on Amazon.com.

 

In the meantime until I get the books, I did find a chart that includes a basic starter type listing of foods to eat and foods to avoid on a low-starch diet as well as foods that are in a grey area and could either help or hinder depending on the person.

 

The diet seems pretty simple on paper …..  decrease starchy foods while increasing an intake of meat, fish fruits, and veggies.

 

I know enough about those things to get me started, but I feel like I have a lot to learn before I can feel confident that I’m on the right track with this diet.

 

I also plan on continuing to aim for at least 1 hour of exercise per day like I have aimed for in addition to working on finding ways to decrease the amount of starches I eat and drink.

 

I can say I drink more water these days then I did a year ago, which is a huge step in the right direction, considering that a year ago I was drinking about 3 to 4 liters of Mountain Dew per day everyday and not drinking much of anything beyond that. I now drink between 24 ounces and 1.5 liters of Mountain Dew per day but am also doing better with drinking water and in general drink a minimum of 3 16 ounce bottles of water per day sometimes as many as 5 depending on what the temperature is like and how hard I pushed myself with exercising. if I sweat a lot I tend to drink more than I do when I’m not sweating, but I’m learning ways to trick myself into reaching for water first instead of mountain dew.  It’s something I need to continue to work on, but I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far with decreasing my dew intake, but openly admit I still have work to do in that area.

 

So armed with some basic knowledge  about what I need to avoid to start transitioning to a low-starch diet, I am going to make my shopping list and do my best to find creative ways to get food I enjoy, but at the same time decrease the amount of starch I’m eating.

 

One of my first attempts at a decrease in starch is going to be in the bread department.  I typically eat 6 loaves of bread per month, so this month when I go shopping I’m only going to buy 4 loaves to start transitioning away from bread.  Once those 4 loaves are gone that will be it for my bread for the month.

 

I’m also not buying any potatoes this month since I typically go through 5 to 10 pounds of potatoes per month, I’m going to allow myself 2 potatoes per week with the stipulation that if I want the potatoes I have to walk to the store each week to buy them.  This will do several things.  first it will decrease the amount of potatoes in the house, second I will be walking to get the potatoes so I will be getting some exercise going to the store, and thirdly since I hate freezing my butt off in the winter time the cold weather should help act as a deterrent  which could further help me decrease the number of potatoes I go through in a month.

 

While I’m decreasing those things, I plan on increasing my intake of tuna, turkey, fruits and veggies (no corn or potatoes beyond the 2 potatoes per week thing initially).  Since fresh produce has a short shelf life, I figure buying frozen fruit and veggies in addition to fresh produce will help me to be sure I have enough for the month.  Also since it is winter and I’m actually not a huge fan of meat, but I do like chili, I will buy enough meat to make a small batch of chili each week to help me increase my protein intake and supplement my regular tuna intake.

 

I was told not to try to totally eliminate starch overnight, so that’s why I’m planning on decreasing it gradually and I figure starting with things like bread and potatoes would be the most obvious starting points in addition to continuing to decrease my mountain dew intake.  I’m at a point with the mountain de that I’m starting to entertain the idea of stopping drinking it entirely, but I haven’t been able to convince myself I want to, so for now I’m going to continue to focus on decreasing it a little at a time while I prepare myself mentally for the eventual end of my dew intake.

 

Yes, I know that stopping drinking mountain dew would help me a lot, but I hate the taste of coffee, and tea isn’t a huge draw either, so I’m pretty much left with milk and water for my substances to transition to from dew, unless I can come up with something else that I really enjoy like a flavored tea maybe that has caffeine in it …. that might be doable and would be a better choice than dew.  It’s a work in progress though so I’m leaving my options open and trying different things to see what I can come up with.

 

At any rate that is my current theory for how I am going to work on losing weight a little more effectively then what I have done.

 

I’m also planning on trying to post something on here at least once per month with an update on my weight, BMI and what I’m coming up with to eat that has little or no starch in it.

 

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