Ok Julie…..I’m in need of SERIOUS help! I’ve checked out your blog and it is good. What I’m in need of is an overhaul. I think I shared with you this summer how frustrating my weight journey has been.
I know I’m healthy, eat reasonably, exercise A LOT, but I still keep piling on weight. I’ve gained 6 pounds just since the summer…and I know it’s not all muscle.
I met with a dietician a while back who said I was probably eating too much protein. I met with another friend who is a health coach who said I was not eating enough protein. I don’t have any major stress in my life ( no NEW stress at least), so I don’t suspect it is that. Got any ideas?
I’ve never had the ability to work with a significantly reduced calorie diet (not that you recommend it) because of my hypoglycemia. I know I need lean protein, high fiber, and high complex carbs. I usually eat protein with every small meal. Got any bright ideas?
I have asked Rhett for a health gift for Christmas. I’m not sure if it means some work with a personal trainer, weight watchers, or what.
I covet any wisdom you have to offer…and by all means, feel free to blog it if you think it will help others as well.
I am so sorry that you are having a tough time, I can tell you are frustrated! I know that you are a really healthy eater and are super physically active too. In terms of my ideas for you, considering what I already know, we should probably still start at the same place I would recommend for anyone in your shoes.
And I will share this on my blog (thanks for offering) because you are not alone, and I do think that your journey, and our detective work here, can help others too. So, here goes!
Truly, the first step (which may feel tedious when looking for answers) is to track both your eating and exercise for a week to start with. You can do it on paper, or with an app/website, or combination of both.
I have used My Fitness Pal and have found that it is easy to use, and has a pretty good database of foods. If you don’t have a smart phone, then you can write down foods during the day, and then enter them in on that website at night (or whenever). If have a smart phone, can just plug it in as you go along.
It also has an exercise database, that adjusts your calorie needs accordingly. For example, if you run three miles, then the program will show you those 300ish calories. You can then put them towards food, or leave them as part of your calorie deficit to go towards weight loss. You’ll understand when you take a look at it, if my explanation is weak J.
During the food tracking period really try to be as accurate as possible. This is one of only a handful of scenarios where I think being more persnickety is pretty important, because we really do want good data.
Since we are trying to get an accurate picture of how much you are currently eating, and NOT what you think you should be eating, then the way that I like to explain the measuring process is this. So again, for example: If you are having cereal, then you want to pour your cereal in the bowl, then pour it back into a measuring cup to determine the amount. Pour a measured amount of milk into cereal, if it looks like it needs more, then add in more measured milk.
This is tedious, but it only takes a couple days of this to be able to eyeball amounts. And I do think this is the number one first and really important step. Not only does it give us great data to determine what kinds of issues might be going on, but it also teaches us what “a cup of cereal” looks like. I really think that this is a great habit for everyone to get into doing periodically. There are so many different scenarios in which this practice is going to be beneficial!
Next, give me an idea of what kind of exercise you are doing now? The fact that you were training for a half marathon this summer may have something to do with the weight gain.
And we’ll need to chat some more, but one hypothesis that initially crept into my head, is that in order to control your hypoglycemia with the increase in glycogen expenditure with the endurance running, you were getting more calories than you may have thought. I know it seems ridiculous that with burning so many calories with running that you could have consumed too many, but in your body’s attempt to control your blood sugar, it is compelling to keep eating in order to quell the sick and jittery feeling that comes with the low BG’s. Man that is a mouthful (no pun intended)!
So, moving forward, and you know I am biased towards running…LOVE IT! But, I do think that we should take a look at your current exercise regime, and make sure that it is diverse enough.
Running is still a great core cardio component, but to get those extra pounds off, I would recommend including some boot camp style workouts as well, if you are not already. Boot camp workouts that include: a variety of muscle groups, get your heart rate up, then down, up, then down, have you moving in many directions (literally – up and down, side to side, forward and back), and include balancing your body while engaging muscles, have been shown to increase basal metabolism and burn fat. And your metabolism can stay hiked up for 24-48 hours after the workout…AWESOME!
Oh, and personal trainer for Christmas, awesome idea!!!! I do not recommend the other though, for lots of reasons, but definitely not for you!
Let me know what you think, and call me if you want to talk some of this through. Once you have your food and exercise record, I’d like to take a look. I miss you my friend, and wish we were closer and could do some boot camps and runs together!