I get a lot of emails from people asking how I manage to try all these things from Trader Joe's and not gain the weight I lost back. I also get a lot of emails from people telling me I can cure myself of the genetic cancer link,arthritis, auto-immune thyroid disease, and heart disease by eliminating gluten from my gluten-rich diet. I'm going to tackle both of those issues today.
In the Olden Days (the 80's), Karen and I did Weight Watchers and developed a plan that worked for us then, and still works for us now. We'd adhere to the plan 6 days a week and on the 7th day, we'd eat whatever we wanted. Our Weight Watchers weigh-in place was in the second floor of a mall, right above a Sbarro, our favorite fast food place. We'd go for weigh-in meetings on Saturday mornings then run downstairs and order a big plate of Baked Ziti at Sbarro. Then we'd go to Cinnabon and get a bun. I will never forget the time our Weight Watchers group leader saw us binging in the food court on a Saturday after weigh in. There was not much she could say since we were losing weight, but the look on her face was priceless. I still follow that plan. During the week, I eat a certain amount of calories (or points) and one day during the weekend, I eat whatever I want. It's a little different now since I am on a more low-fat, low-cholesterol plan for heart health. One thing that helps me the most of anything, is to keep snacks in single serving size portions ready to go. I know this is nothing new and you've all heard this before. I figure it is different when a real person who eats real food tells you, though. Every sunday, I prepare snacks for the week. I can enjoy my Trader Joe's goodies because I portion them out by serving size instead of eating things by the box in one sitting. I can't reach for the entire box of coconut crisps because the box is not a box anymore, it's a bunch of single serving packets. The serving size is written on the side of the box, not in your mind. I keep track of what I am eating all day with the app iWatchr. I eat chocolate (if I want it). I don't deprive myself. I just figure it in to my calorie limit for the day. I limit my fat, cholesterol and sodium according to information my doctors have given me. If snacking is your weakness, I can't suggest making your snacks by serving size enough times. It has saved me. Cereal is surprisingly satisfying! Of course, fruit is good, too, but it was questions about Trader Joe's that got this started.
I eat bread. And crackers. And muffins. Every 6 months I am tested for Celiac Disease (among other things) because it runs in my family. I do not have Celiac Disease. I do not believe that not eating gluten will cure cancer, thyroid disease, or prevent heart attacks. My grandfather Dave had Celiac Disease, never ate gluten, had multiple heart attacks and died young. If I ever do test positive for Celiac Disease, you will know because I will be posting here going "OMG I have Celiac Disease, WTF?!" and then I will for sure not eat foods swimming in gluten. But until that happens, I will continue to avoid the other foods I know for sure will kill me (red meat, bananas). You should avoid the foods you know will kill you (and cigarettes). I think dieting is a lot like religion, do what works for YOU. But the single serving snackbag thing totally works, do that.
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