Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not so much a detox as a system reboot

This is detox week.

I don't normally follow any diet other than "every meal must contain protein, not too many carbohydrates and lots of vegetables". I'm a vegetarian, so I've become accustomed to watching my protein intake over the years, and what I eat tends to be low-fat, though not low-carb. After tracking my general intake, I've worked out that I don't really need to worry about the amount of fat I eat as much as I do carbs. And even those, I don't worry about very much. I try not to eat large quantities of bread because I don't seem to digest it very well, but that's it.

However, the last few weeks have felt a bit uncontrolled, food-wise. J's parents came up to visit and we went out several times, and then my family's Birthday Season started. We have three birthdays within a week of each other in May, and then one a month all summer. So last week contained three birthday dinners (and a strawberry shortcake on J's actual birthday) and it feels as though cake has developed into a major food group lately. I've also had a few more glasses of wine than I normally would; nothing major, but again it's calories I wouldn't normally have.

I've also not been making the best choices for lunch on work days, and I've been finding myself drinking a lot of coffee and not sleeping too well. I know it's partly that the weather is warmer and the mornings are lighter - I keep waking up because I'm too hot, and then I can't get back to sleep at all after about 6am. Which wouldn't be a big problem if I had to get up then, but I don't. So I've been tired and a bit headachy in the afternoons.

The number on the scale isn't looking terribly happy either. (The battery ran out the other day, and when we replaced it I accidentally programmed the scale to say that I was male instead of female, and it displayed my bodyfat percentage as 25% instead of 36%. What's going on there, I wonder? Is it in fact not measuring BF% by electrical impedance, as claimed on the box, but just putting the total weight reading through a sex-specific algorithm? I wonder how I could find out... Sadly it went back to normal once I'd corrected the setting.)

The last party was on Sunday. So this week I'm:

not drinking coffee
avoiding bread
drinking lots of water and herbal tea
making a concerted effort to eat vegetables or fruit as snacks, not carbs or random bits of cheese
avoiding anything sugary
trying to get plenty of sleep

I'm not counting calories or not eating when I'm hungry, just changing the choices I make a bit. So far, I'm doing well on everything except the last (I stayed up late to finish a piece of work on Monday). But then I've been at home. We will see how well I resist the siren call of the chocolate biscuits once I'm back at work. If this goes well, I may extend it for another week.

In the past, I've definitely noticed that if I avoid something for a while, I don't crave it. While I don't plan to give up coffee or bread or sugar permanently, I do want to remind my system that it can do without them perfectly well, and that I don't "need" coffee or sugar to get to the end of the afternoon without falling asleep.

I am also weighing myself every day, just to keep myself mindful of what I'm doing. Today's number was one pound lower than yesterday's, which is probably one of those random fluctuations, but mildly encouraging nonetheless.


Loth said...

Oh, the random bits of cheese. Or in my case, chunks of cheese. I would be Kate Moss' double if it were not for cheese. Maybe. Sounds like your plan is a sound one.

Isabelle said...

Strictly no cake on Sunday!

Possibly a bit of pudding, though...?

old_black said...

Having seen a couple of samples of the beautiful and delicious looking cake from one of the seasonal birthdays, and imagining what the "pudding" might be, I can understand your need to restrict the calorie intake somewhat - I just don't know how it could be done!! Who could resist that temptation?

I did notice a large bowl of rather healthy-looking strawberries at one of the festive events. I reckon they're good value - festive but not too packed with calories.

Another effective strategy to decrease your calorie intake would be to post the cake to me :-)

Rosemary Grace said...

Birthday season can be dangerous! Especially in your family, you guys make the yummiest looking cakes.

Ragged Roses said...

Good luck with the detox. As a vegetarian too, I find it so hard to keep the carbs down! As for chocolate biscuits, there's no chance of me ever saying No!