Monday, January 16, 2012

The Teatime Diet: What's working for me now

This week I am down another 1.2 pounds, which, with the 1.4 from last week, gives me a nice 2.6.  I am shooting for one pound a week, so I am doing even better than I had hoped.  This week, as you can see from the weekly summary, I was about 1,400 calories over my weekly goals, which translates to about 200 extra calories a day. I expected this would result in only a half-pound loss, since my LoseIt! app is set up so that I should lose a pound a week.

Why do I think that this is working?

  1. Frequent, smaller meals on a schedule. I called this post "The Teatime Diet" because my husband and I have our "teatime" either a couple of hours before dinner or a few hours after.  Our teatime is a small snack with hot tea (I like herbal or green, he likes black).  We will have it before dinner if we're eating later so we can cook without feeling the need to rush. If we have an early dinner, teatime helps us avoid the late-evening munchies. I know a lot of people are not fans of this approach, but it works better for me because I always know that another meal or snack is coming soon. My basic plan is borrowed from the Flat Belly Diet, but I customized it to fit my preferences. One of those was to cut the fourth "meal" in half so I could have two snacks instead of just one. Sometimes I'll even add a third snack if I'm feeling hungry.
  2. It really is a lifestyle, not a diet. Yes, I am purposely stealing that line from Weight Watchers, but for me, Weight Watchers felt like a diet, because I was always hungry.  I get hungry now in between meals, but because there is always another satisfying meal or snack coming up soon, I am a lot calmer about it. Plus, because this is a lifestyle I want to be living forever, I'm not cutting my calories as drastically as I have on other plans.  I think I actually have a fairly high metabolism, because I always wanted to hurt the people who said they had "too many points" on Weight Watchers. I was always hungry and eventually, I would give in and blow out my points for the week, and since I had blown it, I gave up and overate.  My LoseIt! target is set for 1,728 "net" calories, plus any calories I burn with intentional exercise.  That's higher than most diet plans (even the Flat Belly Diet) recommend, but as long as it's working for me, I'm not messing with it. I don't want to aim too low and end up triggering myself to give up again. I'm following Russ and Jeff's philosophy of living the lifestyle of the person I want to become. I don't want to become someone who can never enjoy my food because I am restricting it so tightly that there's no margin for error.
  3. I love the food I'm eating. The recipes in the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook are amazing, and we are trying a new one at least every week. I think the extra fats in the diet help me feel more satisfied. I'm not trying to live on veggies alone.  I can snack on nuts or dark chocolate as long as I watch the portions.
  4. I'm paying attention to water and trying to up my intake.  
  5. I'm exercising but not in a desperate attempt to earn extra food. Daily exercise helps me feel more sane. I do a wide variety of activities and they help relieve stress and make me feel great.
  6. I'm doing the "head work." I'm reading Full-Filled: The 6-Week Weight-Loss Plan for Changing Your Relationship with Food-and Your Life-from the Inside Out  (review coming soon) and listening to Inside-Out Weight Loss and other podcasts, participating in the #twitterdiet community for support, and reading a whole bunch of blogs by smart, supportive people trying to lose weight in a smart way, or maintain their weight loss. This support is crucial.
  7. I am wearing better clothes. This may seem weird to include in a list of diet success tips, but I was wearing the same boring, dumpy tops every day because I hate having a "muffin top" when wearing sweaters with jeans. I finally bought a few pieces of shapewear (like this Toning Tank and I can wear all my cute clothes again. I hope that if I keep succeeding with this plan, I can eventually donate them to Goodwill. Feeling better about how I look helps keep me motivated

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. I used small frequent meals to my advantage also. I think I started with 5-6, and exactly as you said - the next one is always just around the corner. Huge help I agree.

    I personally think everyone should have as high an intake as possible for the simple reason that none of us know what is going to be needed at the other end of the scale/maintenance.

    People who cut their calories too low (in their rush) in the beginning often wind up in big trouble. They have no where to go and end up in a vicious cycle. I think it has to be the right kind of food (actual food, I will never forget your weight watchers meeting lady and the ice cream) of course.

    Ditto with exercise. I think we should have moderate/healthy exercise. But if we are doing too much, too early, then we can set ourselves up for trouble as we get down to our goal range/maintenance.

    Very glad things are going well for you.

  2. The calories always seem high to me on those calorie tracking apps, but if it's working then let it be I say : ) You are doing spectacularly Jen!

  3. It really does sound like The Jen Diet - tailored to you. Sounds bloody fantastic and well done on your progress! I keep telling myself, one pound a week = 50 pounds in a year. Slow, steady, consistent... :)

  4. It sounds like a very smart plan geared for the long haul! Congratulations on having the courage to go in this direction. Too many of us think we need to start with starvation level calories--me included. I have found that approach to be geared for failure. Thanks for sharing this.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07