Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Plan

I always say I don't have "a plan" but I now do, actually. My plan started out with an experiment, but it is working well enough that I have made it part of my diet plan. My plan is to not eat anything with refined sugar for the first 5 hours of my day from the time I get out of bed. This morning I didn't get out of bed until 9am, so no refined sugar until 2pm. That doesn't mean that I can't have natural sugar, such as a piece of fruit, or even honey if I wanted - just no refined sugar. This has turned out to be a good plan for several reasons:

1. It has cut quite a few calories from my diet. I am drinking my morning tea without sugar. The other morning, we were driving to Seattle and I hadn't planned for breakfast beyond stopping at a convenience store and grabbing a banana. Only, the convenience store I stopped at didn't have any bananas or non-processed foods. I ended up driving to a grocery store and buying a banana and some cheese. If I wasn't sticking to my plan, I would have just eaten a doughnut for breakfast with the kids.

2. I'm forced to eat wholesome food. ALL processed foods has sugar, it seems. Even chips and soups. It's crazy! So, to eat food with no refined sugar, I'm having to eat simple, whole foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, even eggs. No bread, of course. I also can eat shredded wheat because it has few ingredients and no sugar. And it has tons of fiber.

3. I'm learning about the food I eat. Beyond the nutrition label, I'm actually reading the ingredient label. This is very educational and it makes me more aware of the foods I am eating.

4. The purpose of the experiement was to see if I could stop the endless eating throughout the day. So far, the plan has been fairly successful in this regard. I have been eating a lot less since I started the plan, although some days I'm still eating more than I should. It doesn't fix everything, but it is improving my overall caloric intake and making me less "insatiably hungry" in the evenings.

5. By gaining control of the first 5 hours of my day, I feel more in control the rest of the day. I am finding that I can turn down junk food even later in the day, just because I KNOW I CAN! I feel happy with myself for sticking to my plan each morning, and that gives me the motivation to keep it up.

The reason I'm only eating this way for the first 5 hours of the day is I would not be able to keep it up all day indefinitely. But I can do 5 hours. Anyone can do 5 hours. Or make it 2 or 3 hours, rather than 5, and build up to it. If you can eat perfectly for even part of your day, you're much better off than eating badly all day. That's my reasoning anyway. And knowing that at some point in my day I can relax the rules and go back to eating most things makes it possible for me to maintain the standard for the 5 hours I need to do it. I have been able to say no to food even when I desperately wanted it, just because I was still in my 5 hour zone. I can do that because I know I can eat it or something similar if I really want to later on. But, later on I usually don't want to anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I like that, giving up sugar for doable periods of time per day. Sometimes I'm a real all or nothing person and I fail to see the compromises available! Just a minute ago I commented on Scale Junkie's blog that I admire that she's gone sugar free, but I'm just not there yet. When I think about it, I'm acually sugar free most days until lunch time. Maybe I could work on extending that hour by hour! Thanks for the eye opener :)