Three weeks ago, I stopped inputting my eats into Daily Plate with the caveat that I should eat as though I was going to log the calories. This was really an effort to avoid excessive BLTs (bites, licks, tastes) or ordering a Monte Cristo when I would never have done so in the past.
I truly expected a disaster: weight gain, worry, lack of control and quite possibly the end of the world as we know it.
But so far, that hasn't happened. The world didn't end (despite all best predictions and a big volcano eruption in Iceland). In three weeks, I haven't gained weight, which is plenty of time for me to pack it on.
Some other things I've noticed so far:
- I feel like I'm eating fewer calories, but I am actually not. As many people warned me, the rainman-like calorie calculations will still happen in my head, even if I'm not officially noting them on paper or online. On a few occasions, I've done a rough estimate in my head of calories at the end of the day and they are in line with what they were before this experiment, despite me feeling like 'I hardly ate anything.' I do fear that I'm not getting enough protein and I need to keep an eye on that. This is a little bit discouraging.
- I'm hungry at very strange times. Like 4am. Regularly. As I'm listening to my hunger signals more, I find that sometimes I'm not that hungry at dinner time or before bed. I suppose that the 4am wakeup call is nature's way of telling me to have a snack before bed, even if I'm not ravenous. The nights that I've done this, I haven't awoken at dawn.
- I AM making slightly different food choices, and part of that is due to the freedom from weighing and measuring. It is also due to the fact that I am listening to what my body is craving rather than what I feel that I 'should' have. I have cut back on my Hugh Jass salads because they just aren't as appealing (I know, I know- ANOTHER one of my 'tricks' of getting back on track...which feels very hypocritical.) My "BLTs" are unchanged and I haven't ordered a Monte Cristo yet, but who knows, I very well might one day if someone would split it with me. On that note, I did order a totally un-Deb-like breakfast the other day with Eden & Janetha: A Dutch Baby from Elmer's. And dare I say that I was almost a little bit proud of myself? Crazy risk-taker, I am! Needless to say, it was freakin' amazing and I was stuffed for hours.
|Usually, I only lust after these 'babies' from afar. I ate ~1/3 or 1/2 and added some egg whites on the side for protein- stuffed!|
|But I added my own label to it.|
- I am not being held hostage to 'actual' serving sizes. Here's a great example: I eat 100-calorie microwave popcorn on most days. I usually have two and sometimes even three if I'm feeling particularly 'snacky' (which is roughly the same as a large bag). Recently, I ran out of them and started making popcorn from scratch in a microwave bowl. I've been grabbing a handful of kernels that turns out to be roughly 1.5 servings, and I've added a tiny amount of truffle oil from a spray bottle. I've been very satisfied and haven't felt the need to go back and get another bowl yet. So my serving sizes are more in line with my stomach and my head, and not with a label. Apparently, this is new to me.
|This was not my usual night in with my Orville Redenbacher 100-calorie popcorn. It was New Year's Eve in Iceland (hence the crazy-hott tiara over the beanie look) and I hadn't had popcorn in about 2 weeks. I was thrilled with this find.|
- I am not going clinically insane. Somehow I thought that I would be a wreck and this is not the case at all. Granted, I've been home and not traveling, so I am able to have my shakes at breakfast and my MOIST protein muffins whenever I get the craving for rich, chocolate cake. And this does help me tremendously. I will be full of trepidation on our next trip. Of that I can assure you.
|"Eating" my go-to breakfast shake: lady-like as always|
So that's the report from here.
Q: Have any of you experienced something similar, or something wildly different when you stopped tracking calories? Or if you still do track, how is that working for you? Any other fans of popcorn, Dutch babies or Monte Cristos (my favorite 'sandwich' in high school).