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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Biggest Loser and Weight Loss

Up until 3 weeks ago, I have never watched The Biggest Loser.  Actually, I never watch regular TV at all, however we know live on a law school campus....a law school with LOTS of married students with families.  Some of other other wives started a  Biggest Loser challenge.  We all meet at my neighbor's house on Tuesday nights, weigh-in and then watch The Biggest Loser.   Actually, like any group of women that get together, we do way more talking than watching...but that's all part of the fun. 

Anyway, I must say that watching this show was a bit shocking to me.  I can't believe these people actually let themselves be yelled at by trainers and submit to really, really public (as in on National TV) weigh-ins (not fully dressed either I might add).  It all seems rather disrespectful and shaming, but then I guess we probably only see the "dramatic" parts on TV and not all the nice, supportive parts.

Anyway, since starting a few weeks ago, I've managed to lose around 7 pounds...all in all I would like to lose around 20-25 lbs total..putting me back at my pre- (first kid) weight.  Kids have this really annoying habit of making one gain weight....really annoying. 

Anyways, in other ways of exploring weight loss with the Pater Familias, we have been exposed to Dr. Fuhrmann's Eat to Live  program.   Personally, I'm not a huge fan of it.   It should be called Starve to Live since it basically has you eating nothing but vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. Supposedly people who eat this type of diet live longer.   Now, I don't know about you, but personally I don't want to live to 110 if it means eating nothing but vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes.   Not that those aren't all fine foods...but  life has a lot better food to offer than spinach and black beans.

However, one part of Dr. Fuhrmann's diet is rather good.  He suggests eating 1 lb of raw vegetables a day, 1 lb. of cooked vegetables a day and 5 fruits.   I'm not eating that many servings of fruit a day...probably between 1-3, but I am aiming to get that many veggies in.  Unfortunately, we can't afford to eat them all raw, since frozen vegetables are so much cheaper.  So, many days I have been eating 2 lbs of cooked veggies a day...and therein lies the key to weight loss, I have found.   When eating that many vegetables, there's not as much room for other foods. 

The other key to weight loss I have found is nutrient density. I've found that eating very nutrient dense foods really decreases all the cravings for the bad stuff.   We've been eating lots of lentils and other dried beans lately...not only are they very inexpensive (a MUST for us right now)..they are really nutrient dense...especially lentils.   I've found some excellent recipes lately..that I'll have to share in later installments.

On that same note, we've been trying to eliminate caloric dense foods that don't offer much nutrition (like cheese) and stick with caloric-dense foods that do (ie. avocado, nuts, seeds) which are great. 

However, the vast amounts of veggies is key, I think.  My kids have been eating more veggies..it's great.  I get lots of comments from cashiers when they see my grocery cart is 1/2 full with vegetables, but that's okay...I'm used to being a bit weird.