A delayed post, but life’s been busy. So, I’m one year out. Crazy. And now experiencing my first bout with a slight weight gain. I’m up about five from the 215 lbs that I’d been at from July through October, and while I’m telling myself not to freak out, it freaks me out a little bit. I can’t go back, I won’t go back.
Here’s my latest video, and after that, a written response to a common question I get on message boards, e-mails, etc.
So, video first.
Now, one question I get a lot is “So, what can / do you eat?” And the simple answer is pretty much anything, just not a lot.
Some basic stats, because everyone’s diet is different. I’m a very tall (6 foot 6) 43-year-old male. Sedentary during the day, but work out 3-4 times a week, which had been running but now is elliptical for the winter. I should do more free weights, planks, push ups, etc., but I don’t. So, it’s like 90% cardio.
I have been using a baseline of 1,800-2,000 calories net a day, per my nutritionist, who actually tells me I can go up to 2,200 calories a day if I’d like, especially when exercising. It’s not as hard as it sounds (“That’s what she said.”)
Some people have written in amazement that I can eat so much…I’m not sure what to say. I can definitely eat MORE than I could in the first six months or so, but I also do get full fairly easily, which is wonderful, since pre-op, I literally never did. And believe me, you CAN gain weight eating 2,000 calories a day. I’ve long been a believer that it’s not just calories-in, calories-out that creates weight issues; it’s what you fill that bucket of calories with. At the holidays, with all the shit food, family stress, etc., I did have some things I normally wouldn’t, and paid as a result. Cheap carbs suck.
Anyway, here’s a more-or-less typical day for me. On a typical, “normal” day, I eat what I describe as a small-portion, low-carb diet.
I MUST eat breakfast. It’s probably my favorite meal of the day, and I could eat breakfast foods anytime. I love a good, high-protein breakfast. On days when I have some time, I’ll have a single scrambled egg, with a few turkey (or other) sausage links or meat of about 2 oz in size total. I’ll add an ounce or two of cheese on time. I eat so little that I tend not to use low-fat cheese, and I also think it tastes like crap, so I’d rather use 1 or 2 oz of a good sharp cheddar or something.
If I don’t have time to cook, I’ll make a protein shake (rarely), or more likely work on a Greek yogurt with some Fiber One mixed in, and then have a cheese stick.
If there’s fruit, I may have a handful of berries or an orange. I don’t eat as much fruit as I used to. I miss it.
I also drink 2-3 cups of coffee in the AM, typically, and sometimes get a small black Dunkin’ iced, maybe even one of the syrupy flavors.
I don’t always have one, but if I do, it’s typically a Greek yogurt or a cheese stick.
Typically, a chicken sausage, or some turkey wrapped around a cheese stick, with maybe a piece of fruit or with a Greek yogurt. If I’m on the road, I can do a fast-food-ish burger and just have half the bun. That’s pretty unusual.
If I’m eating out, I typically go for a salad with protein on it, or something heavy protein (for example, Indian buffet, just get some chicken tikka without the rice, etc.).
Depending on how I’m doing, I may or may not have an afternoon snack, but it’s usually the same as the morning snack options.
I usually come how with 400-700 calories to spare, and here’s where it gets tricky. I try to eat what the rest of my family eats, which can get tricky. We meal-plan out the week on Sunday, and I do the grocery shopping. My ideal dinner is 4 oz of a steak with some vegetables, but the rest of my family eats rolls, pasta, etc. I eat most of my day’s carbs at dinner, typically, but I try not to. Even if they do something like baked ziti, we’ll make a meat sauce and I’ll eat mostly the meat with a little of the pasta.
Anyway, dinner is hard with the family’s various likes and dislikes. I do what I can and try to end the dinner with about 100-200 calories left for a little snack at night.
The witching hour. I’m a night owl, and the 7pm – midnight time slot has always been my weakness. Head hunger, bored hunger, emotional hunger. I try to keep sugar-free popsicles on hand, but that only gets a guy so far. Lately, a guilty craving has been Triscuits with some olive oil drizzled over them, which can get tricky quickly on the calorie count. In my ideal world, I work out and stick to high-protein snacks like fat-free ricotta with some Stevia and almond extract (or cocoa powder and instant coffee…yum). But life’s not ideal. I have had binge-eating issues in the past at night, and surprise-surprise, they haven’t gone away with the surgery. But I think I can control them better. It’s all a head game, people. The monkey is never off our backs.
Religiously, at least 8 glasses of 8 oz water a day, between meals. If I’m drinking tap at home, I usually add some lime or lemon juice and maybe some Stevia. If it’s work and the Poland Springs bottle, I stick to plain water. But I’m always drinking.
So, that’s a day’s worth of food. It varies a bit, but you get the idea. I have no trouble filling up 1,800-2,200 calories a day!
Not my normal, every-other-month video, but a big day…my first 5K race. A short little update.
Holy crap, I’m a runner. Also, I need to do something about the lighting in my basement. And maybe trim the eyebrows a bit.
Down 150 lbs. from my all-time high in 1999. Down about 90 since the surgery.