For those of you that read my blog yesterday, you'll know that I made my first attempt at midday calorie loading yesterday. Here's the blog that got me thinking:
Now, I'm not the kind of person to just jump on a bandwagon just because I think it might lose me a lot of weight fast. If the ideas in a plan don't click with something in my head, then it's not likely the plan will work for me. It's one of the reasons I can't follow strict menu guidelines - sometimes I don't like all the foods they propose, other times I think, "But what if I'm not in the mood for a hard-boiled egg?" (for the record, I'm rarely ever in the mood for a hard-boiled egg - I hate the texture of the yolk! YUCK!). But while I was reading this blog I kept thinking, "Well, that does make sense."
You see, the plan is simple. Basically, your body doesn't need THAT MUCH to get going in the morning, so you start with a small breakfast. But at lunch, when your metabolism is busy kicking major hiney, you eat a big meal so your body can use that fuel and process it throughout the day. Then at dinner, all you're really going to do is go to bed, so why would you give your body 500+ calories to do something that doesn't require that much energy?
In my head the wheels were turning. First of all, do you all remember that book about why French women don't get fat or something? From my studies of French language and culture, I know that for a long time the French have seen lunch as the most important meal of the day. In the past they shut down offices and schools to allow families to return to their homes and enjoy a nice hearty lunch together before returning back to school or work. It always sounded so lovely to me too. Taking that break midday to really come together as a family. But here in the good 'ole U.S. of A. we've been programmed that you eat light all day and then focus on dinner as the big meal, the family get together. Lunch is generally regarded as lighter, but....WHY? I don't know about any of you, but I fight my "I'm hungry but it's not time to eat" the most during the day. I always attributed it to boredom - I do sit at a desk all day - but maybe it's my body saying, "Okay! I burned all that fuel, now give me more if you want to keep going!" (That's not to say I don't suffer from the evening munchies, but that has less to do with actually feeling HUNGRY, it has to do with tradition and pasttimes of eating in front of the TV.)
What's more, I suffer from a huge lull feeling around 2-3 in the afternoon. There have been times I've simply conked out staring at my computer screen for 2 minutes around 3pm. I never knew why and whatever I tried didn't really work. But maybe, just maybe, my body really does need more fuel midday. One final nail in the coffin, so to speak, is that I rarely feel ravenous after my workout, even though I workout from 7-8 at night. Is my body trying to tell me something? I get a slight hunger, but never anything where I feel the need to pile on a bunch of calories. I can get to bed with something lighter in my tummy, no problem.
So yesterday I put the plan into action. It was actually a horrible day to try to start the plan because I started my day late, around 10:30am or so. Still, it was an interesting experiment, and one I plan to continue today, now that I have more normalcy in my hours.
Around 10:30am I had a half breakfast. 1/2 a whole wheat bagel, with 1 Tbsp. of whipped cream cheese. I also had my usual cup of coffee with cream, and prepared my to-go cup for the drive to work.
I got to work around noon and immediately started munching on my cup of grapes. YUM!
Around 2pm I was feeling hungry, so I ate my lunch, which I usually would have had for dinner. I had a serving of Shane's Slow Cooker Pot Roast with some of my leftover Roasted Veggies.
At 3pm I felt munchy, and hey, I was midday calorie loading so why not give in, right? I munched on some baby carrots with ranch dressing. It wasn't mindless eating, I was actually quite hungry still. (WTF?)
After that I was pretty much full for the rest of the work day. I left the office at 6pm, telling myself I'd eat my banana on the way home. I actually almost forgot, but I did finally eat my banana and then headed to the gym.
GYM: 13 minutes on the elliptical doing interval type training, nearly a mile done in 13 minutes, not to shabby! Following that, a very intense Zumba class, which felt excellent! I was so sweaty and pooped (and worried about my interview today and making sure I had everything ready), I left after stretching and headed straight home.
My plan was simple - a piece of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter and some pineapple. I ate the pineapple while hubby cooked potatoes to make mashed potatoes (hubby peels and boils, but I mash and add the salt/low-fat butter/low-fat milk to make the actual mashed potatoes. The boys all say I make the best mashed potatoes!). Once I was done with the potatoes, I started serving up dishes to the boys and the smell of the pot roast and the fresh made potatoes got to me, I had already set a dish aside for today's lunch but I found myself serving up another dish - for me! I wasn't hungry, I just wanted it. I knew that and I ate it anyways. I was still within my calorie ranges, so I just figured I would try again today with the same plan.
So, not a major fail, but not what I intended. Still, midday meals/snacks were larger than breakfast or dinner, so I'm getting there.
Already ate my 1/2 bagel with 1 Tbsp. of cream cheese.
Already had my morning coffee.
Already feeling a little hungry so I'm about to munch on my grapes again.
Have pot roast and mashed potatoes for lunch.
Then have carrots and ranch, pretzels, and pineapple for other snacks.
Tonight's workout will be rather long, I suspect. Making up for Monday. Lots of Cardio, Double the ST.
Then when I get home I'm going to have my former mushroom/cheese omelet that used to be my favorite breakfast for dinner. I figure it's perfect, not a ton of calories, a little fat, yes, but mostly good protein - a great post-workout meal!
If I get the munchies again, I'm reaching for either a 1/2 cup of ice cream as a treat or my pomegranate.
What do you think? Have you ever tried midday calorie loading? Does your body give you clues that it might be a better plan for you? Even today I was thinking of going out with a friend this weekend and I immediately thought - invite her to LUNCH, not dinner! *lol* We'll see how it works out.
On a bright note - the scale is finally moving back in the right direction again. Back down to 351 today. I can feel the bloat leaving me (my ankles are back to normal!) and that means TOM is almost GONE! WOOT!