I’m overweight and recently I’ve been gaining weight at a rate that is far too high for my tastes. (3 kilos in as many months!)
I’ve had a problem with my weight ever since puberty, and I’ve only managed to lose weight three times, each under very differing circumstances:
During high school, when I began teaching dance classes 3 days a week, taking dance classes twice a week, attending dance events on the weekends, and working out for 1 hour a day four days a week, I dropped from 180lbs to 117lbs and kept it off. However, I was consuming an extremely large number of calories, in a rather unhealthy way - a Mountain Dew and a large triple-chocolate muffin for breakfast, no lunch, McDonald’s for dinner nearly every night, plus a large bag of chips (e.g. Doritos) while I did my homework at 2 a.m.
While working in a brainless and motionless sort of job, I was able to reduce my caloric intake to around 1300 calories per day, eating very small portions six times daily. Very little exercise, although I would occasionally stop by a gym and do a half-hour of walking on the treadmill. I went from 160lbs to 145lbs this way, and kept it off until I took on a second job at a Pizzeria Uno. I found I was unable to maintain the energy level required to perform the duties of both jobs unless I had about 600 more calories.
I briefly trialled the Atkins’ style diet and went from 73 kilos to 65 kilos in two months, but then had to give up this diet as my partner and I found it very hard to adhere to when socialising with friends and family who were belligerent and refused to accomodate our “lifestyle choice”.
At this point I really want to lose weight again as I am back up to about 80 kilos and very uncomfortable. I get winded walking from the bus stop up to my uni (about a 5-minute walk uphill).
Because of a hectic schedule I’m not sure I can work a lot of exercise into my life. Also, I have a hard time motivating myself to exercise alone, and my partner and I have very different interests when it comes to physical activity. I love aerobics classes, etc., while he doesn’t even like to walk somewhere we could catch a bus to! I’m trying to find aerobics class partners, but finding the requisite hour where gyms are open, bus service is reliable, and I don’t have a class to take or teach, is another, serious, limiting factor.
So, I’d like to come up with an eating plan that includes a reduced caloric intake and, of course, more veggies and fruits. The problem is that I do a LOT of activities that require concentration - between my studies, my teaching, my additional studies, writing lab manuals and other learning materials, and my involvement in three research projects, I use up a lot of brain power. And when I don’t eat very much, I find it extremely difficult to concentrate on my assignments and other tasks. I can hardly read a journal article without developing a headache and overwhelming fatigue!
My questions to you all are, what kind of foods can I eat that are healthy, low-calorie, but will keep my brain working? (Unfortunately, fish is a rare treat for me, as my partner is allergic to it.) How can I reduce my caloric intake without sacrificing my cognitive skills? Have any of you Dopers had any success in eating light while thinking heavy?