I've given this a lot of thought and here are the things I've considered:
My current eating routine is a solid, healthy, well-balanced plan. I'm strict with my food but not so strict that I feel like I'm living on a perpetual diet. I know how many calories I eat and what percentage of protein, carbs and fat those calories make up. I am not sitting around eating Big Macs and large fries.
I know my RMR is 1450. I'm already eating below my RMR which should automatically cause predictable weight loss. But it's not. I'm averaging about 1200 calories/day.
I exercise a bunch. I average about six hours per week. The Nut says when my workouts intensify with the training program that it will make a dramatic difference in her food recommendations. But really... those long training sessions are only happening one day a week and the length of the workouts will increase to about two hours of walking instead of one. So this big jump she's talking about is going from 6 hours a week to 7-7.5 hours a week. That's not a dramatic jump in my opinion. So for her to base her advice on my doing minimum exercise seems silly to me.
Her quote of "some days you might only eat 600 calories a day and that's OK" -- this really bothers me. An active, healthy 185 pound adult should never eat 600 calories a day and especially not on purpose and on a regular basis. Science dictates that my body NEEDS a minimum of 1450 calories per day just to keep my body functioning. How can you ignore that science?
If I look at her eating plan for meals and consider the higher recommendations of food volume, than I'm not that far off from her recommendations already. 4oz dense protein, 4oz veggie or fruit and 1 starch per meal. I probably eat more than 4oz of veggie but then don't eat a starch with most meals - otherwise it's pretty close.
She was very adament about my drinking 2 or 3 protein shakes per day. At 30g per shake, that's 90g. Plus, add 4oz meat per meal that's another 84g (7g protein per 1oz meat). That would give me a total of 174g protein per day. BUT... in the next breath she says "make sure you're getting 60g-80g protein per day." I wonder if she's ever actually done the math.
No food-based snacks allowed. I can see how this rule would apply if you're drinking protein shakes as your between-meal snacks. But protein shakes are not dense protein, right? So if the goal is the keep the pouch full for as long as possible to stave off hunger, then why choose a slider food like a protein shake? My daily schedule dictates that I eat lunch around 1:00 and don't get dinner until around 8:00. That's 7 hours and I know from experience that a protein shake isn't going to cut it to keep my pouch occupied. That's why I have a 4:30 snack that keeps me sane until I can get dinner.
No Yogurt. This ban I can actually understand because slider food doesn't stay in the pouch for very long and you can get hungry again sooner. So if I have issues with getting hungry, I can see following the advice of not eating slider foods. But this really is not a problem for me personally. Is yogurt dense protein? No. But it's got 12g of protein in a serving which is pretty darned good. Am I justifying? Probably.
What if I don't lose any more weight? What it takes me another two years to lose these last 30-or-so pounds? Is my brain in the right spot to live in the body I now have? Am I obsessing about food more than I need to? Am I expecting too much? .... all questions for future blog posts, huh?
My "Resistance to Change Factor" is pretty high. I had a former boss who would always refer to the RC Factor in new employees and the need to have a low RC Factor in order to adapt to all the everyday changes. I guess I need to crank down the knob on this a bit and be more open to changes and trying new things.
I'm taking the PA's advice on the protein increase. I want my prealbumin number to increase and the way to do that is to get my protein intake up to 150g per day consistantly (I'm already averaging 120g).
So here's my plan going forward:
11pm protein drink
LOL! If you have been paying attention to my eating you'll realize that this isn't different. It's exactly the same as what I've been doing all along. The only change is actually the 11pm snack is now going to be a protein drink instead of a food snack, but that's not really different because I'd do a hot chai tea as my late night snack half the time anyway.
But I'm going to make a few changes within this schedule.
Each meal will follow the Nut's plan of:
4oz dense protein
4oz veggie or fruit
Breakfast has traditionally been yogurt w/ fruit or Fiber One twigs. Since I eat breakfast at my desk at 10am, this is convenient and easy. But I'll have to make a change to the above profile at least for now. Lunch and Dinner will be pretty much the same as what I've always been eating except I'll have to figure out how to add a whole grain starch with each meal. My afternoon snack will be, as always, a balance of protein and carbs and will be something filling enough to hold me over until dinner. And I'll end my day with another protein drink (probably protein hot chai tea, of course).
Calories?? I really don't know where my calories are going to end up per day. I'll know more how things pan out tomorrow after I try it for the first time and going forward in the next few weeks as I experiment with different meal ideas. My goal is to stick with a similar range that I'm at right now (1200-ish) but with 150g protein I might need to bump it up a bit. I don't want to go with super low carbs simply because I need them for exercise and general good health. Looking back at my log I seem to average about 100-120g healthy carbs per day, so that seems like a good range to stick with for now.
And because I know myself and my rebellious nature, I'll continue to take weekends off of planning and tracking. If I'm too strict with a food plan (any food plan) and I don't have a couple off days thrown in, I know that I'll start feeling confined and restricted and go off on a binge. So to avoid that, I know I need to give myself permission to NOT count calories. It's not that I go hog wild and eat everything in sight -- the rule is "eat normally and make healthy choices." So I'll use this as a way to balance the strictness during the week.
So there you have it. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.