Saturday, May 04, 2013

My "Just Say No" Diet

Should I really post this when I haven't even begun my "diet"? Well, that's what blogging is all about, right? It's a journal ("weB LOG", right?). it is. I have been a bit overweight for awhile now. And no, I'm not going to define "a bit". Maybe later a few weeks or months...maybe I will.

I also have a family cookbook in the works to share with you some day, and the more I've looked at diets, the more I realize I haven't really changed my mind about the value of most of the foods and recipes in my cookbook. Mostly, it's about balance.

But - I believe -  it's not my own cooking that has caused me to put on weight. It's all the "other stuff" I add or substitute:  the candy or doughnuts I buy at the grocery store; the fast foods or deliciously healthy but sweet semi-fast foods (eg. Starbucks, Panera, etc.); and the vending machines at school - and previously at work - because, after all, it's been a stressful day. At home it might be the handfuls of chocolate chips or raisins because I'm bored or lonely or sad, or the dishes of oyster crackers I crack in half sideways while I'm on the computer you know how much fun that is? (Just to clarify, I don't eat all of those different things in a single day.)  Worst of all, I "need" a soda because I am bored, stressed, sad, nervous, or to celebrate something!

I keep thinking I should "cut out sweets"...or "give up white sugar and white flour".  Maybe that's a good idea but I've never been a "cold turkey" kind of person. And I live in a busy, real world. So, the other day I made up My "Just Say No" Diet. No, I don't plan to market it (hmm?).

In my "diet plan", almost every "just say no" category has exceptions. They say the plan won't work unless you work the plan. So I'm trying to make a plan that I can and will "work". These exceptions should work for me. If you were going to give something up, it might be something different and your exceptions might be different. For example, where I "except" a light spread of jam from my sugar prohibition, you might substitute a little ketchup. Or whatever. Or you might be a "cold turkey" type of person and give up all sugar. But without further ado, here's my plan.

My "Just Say No" Diet  :)

No white sugar except:

A teaspoon or packet of sugar in tea or iced tea (maximum of 2 daily)

A light spread of jam (about a teaspoon) on whole grain toast (maximum of 1 daily)

Occasional hot chocolate, for a treat, when out (maximum of one a month)

Only minimal raisins, chocolate chips (dark or semi-sweet), honey, or other natural sweeteners in:

Small servings of whole grain cereals or whole grain baked goods (maximum of 2 small servings daily)

No artificial sweeteners; no exceptions:

So, with only a teaspoon of table sugar and no artificial sweeteners, sodas are not in the plan, period. (This is the strictest but most important one.)

No white flour, except:

Burritos, quesadillas, pizza, or sub sandwich (maximum of twice a week)

Occasional roll, half-sandwich, waffle or a couple of pancakes, if eating out or serving company (maybe once a month)

Just Say Yes


Eggs, lean beef, chicken, turkey, ham, fresh or frozen fish, canned fish

Dairy products without added sugars. Choose low-fat dairy except for the occasional dollop of sour cream with some of my foods and a teaspoon of half-and-half in my coffee (maximum of 2 coffees a day & no, that's not on top of 2 cups of tea, but more of an either/or kind of thing).


Protein bars

Nut butter


Veggies, lots of veggies; get ones I like, include avocado, and remember, too, that low-sodium V-8 is easy to grab or to take along

Brown or wild rice

Fruits, in moderation

Whole grain cereals, pastas, and breads, in moderation


Butter in moderation on toast

Olive oil for frying

Canola oil for baking

Olives for snacking, in tiny amounts

Avocado (yes, I mentioned avocado twice; yum)

I will check back with you later about how well I stuck with the plan and how successful it was. 

What do you do when you want to lose a little weight? Feel free to share.  

P.S. Well, I can't say I have stuck by the plan religiously but I've certainly tried to "do better". And guess what? In spite of being sick with a virus which turned into a sinus infection (no, being sick doesn't make me stop eating, but it does make me add more sugar, for example, Sierra Mist), and in spite of having company for a week (& eating out nearly every night), I lost a half pound a week for the past month, just by paying attention to the above. And I never felt deprived.  I know I will probably reach a point where I will have to give up more if I want to lose more, but so far, so good.

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