The Diet So Far

So I started the “Diet With No Name” 4 weeks ago today. I said in the beginning that I would tell you what it was, only if it was effective, remember? Well, Nutrisystem, my hat’s off to you! In 4 weeks, I have lost 10 pounds and almost 5 inches. My clothes fit better, my mood is better, I sleep better (when the hubby isn’t snoring!) and I feel like I’m eating all day long.  Oh. And I love the food!

I know what I need when it comes to losing weight; portion control and eating the right kind of food. But my husband, who has done the majority of the cooking for the last few years, is such a good cook! There aren’t many restaurants out there that can compete with him. the problem? He cooks enough food to feed an army. Four people lived in our house when he took over the brunt of meal preparation, but for whatever reason, he cooks for 8 or 10. So this becomes dinner for the night, and lunch the next day. At the end of the week, we choose which leftovers we want and eat them all weekend. Still tasty!

I thought I was smart about eating (and I know there are a lot of other factors that cause weight gain), but portion control is a big thing for me. And of course, I didn’t want to do the work to count calories, so yummy food meant second helpings. And we all know that second helpings, even of healthy food, can be bad for us. As my husband says “It’ll just go to waist”.

Several years ago, we both tried Nutrisystem. It was expensive for two of us to do it, and because there are separate health requirements for men and women, we had to have different meal plans. It was a little confusing back then and, psychologically, eating food out of a box somehow made it seem less appetizing. (Really? Who doesn’t love TV dinners?)

Translation: We were not ready to make the change.

After trying a few other reputable options (and some less so), I decided to give Nutrisystem another look. Either they have changed a LOT in the last ten years, or technology has made it much easier to understand things. Certainly there is more support available online; support groups, blog sites…everything you need to know is available at the click of a mouse. I especially love the Facebook Support Group I found! But the thing that drew me back to them was the portion control.

I have learned that I totally suck at choosing the right foods in the right balances and amounts. Vegetables are all good, but they don’t have all of the nutrients we need to be totally healthy. If I felt something was healthy, I’d eat *more* of it. Less calories? Bigger helpings are okay, right?

The Nutrisystem “diets” (of which there are many; diabetic, vegetarian, vegan to name a few) are formulated by dieticians/nutritionists and the food is prepared by real chefs. There are counselors to contact via phone or chat. Customer Service is also available by phone or chat, AND…I get to choose my menu items! In addition to the packaged food, there are also frozen items (including, but not limited to ice cream!). I get to eat something substantial every 2-ish hours, so I am never hungry. Hence the word ‘diet’ in quotes.

My first shipment came with a lot of helpful literature so that every step is guided; but not restricted! I was given a specific calorie count for each meal, and suggestions for “extras” to help me match it without exceeding it. There’s a food tracker so that if I want to try something comparable, I can enter the information, which keeps me accountable for my choices. They even have a Restaurant Guide to make eating out simple. This is helpful to me, as Wednesdays are Date Night with the hubby, which I refuse to miss, and most weeks we try a new restaurant. We’ve been doing this for about a year now, and have only found one whose cooking he can’t match.

There are no weigh-ins, no meetings, no one that I feel like I have to “report” to if I have a bad week. But there are counselors available and online support groups; people who have GREAT ideas on how to spice up a meal (Did you know there was such a thing as Riced Cauliflower??), a listening ear and, most of all, encouragement!

There are LOTS of options here. Besides the “Shelf-Sustainable” (dry) entrees, snacks and desserts, there are frozen entrees, snacks and desserts. Yes, you read that right. Desserts. Breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner and dessert — I just add the fruits and veggies, string cheese and yogurt. (there are a lot of different things you can add, but these are my choices as I enter my second month.)

And the best part (besides the desserts that include orange and fudge sicles, red velvet whoopie pies and carrot cakes!)? If there’s something in my order that I like less than I want to, I can change my order for next time! Each month comes with 28 breakfasts, 24 lunches and 24 dinners. I’m not a fan of pizza (I got three each for dinner and lunch), so for my next order, I substituted with Mexican food. I can change it every day if I choose, up until the day before it’s shipped to me.

It’s not cheap ($200.00-$300.00 a month, depending on the plan one chooses), but it is, for me, a worthwhile investment in my health. There are online coupons and Costco even sells $100.00 gift cards at a discount.

I started this journey with 56 pounds to lose. After one month, I am down 10 and have lost 5 inches. I am NEVER hungry following their guidelines, I am eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right time of day…and I get ice cream (or a cupcake or apple pie) for dessert.

Oh, and they send you a little bear for every ten pounds you lose as a pat on the back. The picture is borrowed from one of the amazing ladies in our group, but my “10 pound Nutribear” is on its way to me!

So I have finally found a way to eat good food that’s good FOR me without overeating or starving myself. This truly is a lifestyle change, and a sustainable one. As I work to lose the remaining 46 pounds, I am learning healthy habits going forward. And I am learning, with the support of others, that a bad day doesn’t mean I have to quit, or that I “can’t” do this. I CAN do this. I WILL do this. Holy crap, I’m DOING it!

Love, Becca



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