Remember Warren G and his song, Regulate? It’s the song stuck in my head as I try to regulate my carb intake. While I am committed to getting healthy, I’m not interested in banishing carbs to lose weight. For me, it would be cruel and unusual punishment. Plus, what I truly want to accomplish is to get healthy — forever. I’m done with the roller coaster weight loss. Been there, done that and so over it. My goal is to build sustainable good eating habits, which means figuring out a way to incorporate carbs in my diet.
The flip side, of course, is that I love carbs. I. Love. Them. My favorite carbs are potatoes, bread and pasta. Yummy! I could eat them at every meal. And I have. Too often one of those three carbs have been a central part of every meal. Unfortunately, I don’t have the metabolism of a high school quarterback. Instead, I have the metabolism of an almost 41-year old woman who leads a very sedentary lifestyle.
So I have a choice:
1. Be more active .
2. Cut back on carbs.
Let’s Get Really Real
As I shared last week over at A Mindful Migration, I’m getting real and real Tanya is committed to being more active but will likely never increase it to the point where she can enjoy carbs at every meal without being heavy.
This is a fact. I can pout and whine and stomp my feet but it won’t change a thing.
I know me. Not only is my work sedentary, as it is for many people, but I am not an active person, period. Some people regularly workout while also enjoying an active lifestyle. My favorite thing to do is read. Lying down. In bed. For hours.
The old me, the one who failed to her achieve her get healthy goal for almost 20 years, would lie to herself and choose #1. Again. Even with the best intentions, she would still fail. Again. This is why I’m choosing door #2 and regulating my carbs.
How I’m Regulating My Carb Intake
The goal is to be mindful of my carb intake while still allowing them. Please note when I refer to carbs, it is specific to potatoes, bread and pasta, the Big 3 that get me into trouble. I’m not super concerned about carbs from fresh fruit and so forth at this time.
Limit of 1 Carb Per Day
Now when I plan my meals for the week, I also decide where I want to my carb to go. Do I want pasta for dinner? Okay, then breakfast and lunch cannot feature bread, pasta or potatoes. Nor can I have both pasta and garlic bread, which I would do previously.
This takes a little bit of planning because it’s easy to fallback to a sandwich for lunch, especially when I’m busy. Otherwise, it hasn’t been a huge adjustment for me. I haven’t had my typical freakout when I gorge myself on forbidden carbs since they are still permitted, just not at every meal.
Watch My Portions
I barely stand 5 feet … with shoes on, but I could down a plate of spaghetti that would likely impress a high school athlete. Sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, those days are over too. While I need to watch my portion sizes overall, I need to be extra vigilant when it comes to the Big 3 because I don’t have great control. For example, I have never begged anyone to let me lick the frosting spoon clean, but I do beg to lick the mashed potato spoon clean.
No one ever fights me for this honor, which I find weird. 😉
Because of my tendency to overeat, I decreased the amount of starchy carbs I make to help remove temptation. This can be hard because sometimes that small scoop of mashed potatoes seems awfully wimpy. But then I remind myself that at least I can still eat mashed potatoes.
A New Way of Life
My goal for April is to hit 50% success with limiting my meals to 1 carb per day. This may seem like a low goal, but this is also a big change for me. Go too fast and I will set up myself up to fail. Plus, this gives me a chance to identify issues and solve them without beating myself up for slipping up. Every day is a new day and every day I eat balanced, right-sized meals, the closer I get to achieving my get healthy goal and creating a new habit for life.
Do you overindulge on the Big 3 too? What tricks have helped you cut back?