Looking Towards the Future

The past two weeks haven’t been “great” for me, on many levels. First, I haven’t been losing much weight and that has been discouraging and second, I’ve been having a lot of pelvic pain resurfacing so I haven’t been able to comfortably exercise.

During the last two weeks I’ve also been experimenting – if you will – with how my body reacts to different slips in my diet and it’s been a good thing and a bad thing. The good first: I can certainly lose weight even if I mess up. The bad: I can mess up and I don’t want to be able to do that – at least not yet.

When I started Medifast, and the idea that getting to a metabolic state and staying there was so important, I was determined not to undermine my chance at success. I was 100% On Plan that first two weeks and just barely off plan the third (barely=not eating all 5 MF meals), and it wasn’t until the forth week that I became really discouraged by my lack of staggering results.

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Its amazing that the PEAK of calories I’ve had in the last month has still being amazingly conservative in comparison to what I used to eat.

With all that, I’ve decided that for the next three weeks I’m going to be working on the next stage of my journey which will be sans-Medifast but still with much more concentration on carbohydrates than with my previous endeavors.

Having read about various carbohydrate centric (whether to avoid or use) diets, I’ve decided I’m going to put together a meal plan to try “carb cycling” – something previously used for body builders but also can be used for weight loss. The name is pretty self explanatory – but basically you have low carb days and high carb days, it’s that simple.

I found this set of guidelines on DailyBurn:

High-carb day

About 1 gram of carbs (x your body weight)
0.75 grams of protein (x your body weight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day

0.2–0.5 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
About 1 gram of protein (x your body weight)
0.1–0.2 grams of fat (x your body weight)

Which I’ve tweaked to work with how MyFitnessPal tracks, based on my weight:

High-Carb Day
1400 calories

Carbs = 175g (50%)
Protein = 140g (40%)
Fat = 16g (10%)

Low-Carb Day
1200 calories*

Carbs = 30g – 88.5 (10% – 25%)
Protein = 180 (60%)
Fat = 17.7g – 40g (15% – 30%)

* The only way to come close to the guidelines for the low-carb day is to eat 200 calories less – which is not surprising. I’m just going to have to decide if I want to the low end of carbs or the low end of fat – as I can’t do the low end of both. Given how easy it is to go overboard on the bad carbs, I’ll likely choose the high end of fat to begin with and change if I need to.

Now, I simply need to put together a meal plan so that I can prepare a few days at a time to follow this micro-nutrient framework. While I believe I’ve kicked my dependency on fast food and carbs, I don’t know if I’ve quite tackled preparing multiple meals for a few days at a time. But – that’s what the next few weeks will be for!

I’m really excited to be thinking about moving away from Medifast, not because I haven’t enjoyed what progress I’ve made – but because of all the hate surrounding Medifast as a weight loss method. Everyone has the rights to their opinion, but its surprising how many health forums participants don’t seem to understand that most people are fat due to issues completely separate from what they put in their mouth. It’s lifestyle. It’s emotional. It’s physical. So to say, “eat whole foods and walk once a day and you’ll be fine” doesn’t solve anything for most really overweight people.

My Second Weigh-In

Today was my Week 2 Weigh-In and the results are in… *drumroll*

6.4 pounds!

I’m overjoyed to realize that I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds and it’s only been two weeks. Like most people who become over weight enough to try a dramatic diet such as Medifast, I just want this weight GONE so I can try my hand at successfully eating a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. It’s always been that “grass is always greener” scenario for me, so far as I’ve always assumed if I could just get the weight off I’m mature and disciplined enough to keep it off. I’m done with enjoying life via food and ready to reap the rewards of that change.

I’m also relieved that it’s working because I feel very trapped by my previous dieting results and I don’t want to start over on a new plan. Choosing a lifestyle is one thing, dieting for weight loss is another.

This is the end of my second week, and it’s within the first two weeks that most MF users have the biggest loss, so I’m going to revel in this as long as I can and then properly prepare myself for a more realistic weigh-in next week… as long as it’s at least 2 pounds 😛

Even if.

I’m getting close to the end of week 2 on Medifast, and I’m still feeling good. Better than good, actually!

Its true what almost everyone said; after the first three or four days your cravings fade. I used to be on this teeter totter of cravings – mainly between salt and sweet – and I felt like I was constantly trying to get a balance but never could because I would douse each carving so much that it would trigger an opposite. I’d devour (happily, I want to be honest) a bag of chips and then need – NEEEEED – a cold, bubbly sweet soda. Extreme salt followed by extreme sweet. Over and over and over and over again. The MF food is so mild, something many complain about, that none of my cravings are triggered. The only thing I crave is water – and that’s rare because I’m knocking back 64+ ounces a day On Plan.

Something that I didn’t see anyone mention, in all my research of bloggers and forum members following Medifast, is that 95% of women who follow a ketogenic diet have a cessation of menstruation. On day four I began to menstruate, which was odd because I’m on hormonal birth control and was in the middle of my cycle. I went online a few days later, wondering if it was connected to my diet. That’s when I found a few well versed pages talking about studies recorded of epileptic patients who were using ketogenic diets to control seizures. In these studies, some had their calories reduced and lost weight and others had no reduction in calories and therefore did not lose weight. Regardless of their calorie range, 95% of the women had a partial or complete cessation of menstruation until they returned to a normal diet. Most theorize that the female body responds to ketogenic diets in the same way it responds to starvation. I have been menstruating lightly for seven days now. That’s the longest I’ve ever experienced in the time I’ve been tracking. 

After reading the articles, I had a short moment of panic. While I’m anxious to lose weight, I’m not anxious to harm my body. But then I remembered how great I’ve been feeling! Free from the cravings and sleeping well but still having energy at the end of the day to spend time with my kids. I’m not hungry often and I’m thoroughly enjoying my L&G meals, including cooking them myself. I’m not losing a drastic amount of weight, and I’m not exercising heavily either. While the third day was pretty terrible, I haven’t had another day like it and I’m going to keep going.