Weekly Weigh-In Feed

The weekly weigh-in: 'Bonus' Points can be tricky

I tried something different this past week: I wanted to see just how many of those weekly bonus Smartpoints I could use throughout the week and still show a loss on the scale. I probably should have added a few, but, no, I used every last bonus Point.

Aaaaand, I gained half a pound, stopping my weight-loss streak at four weeks.

So live and learn, right? 

While I was momentarily bummed, I now know that I should simply focus on my daily Smartpoints allowance and treat those extra Points as something I can dip into perhaps a couple times a week. 

I'm also on the tail end of a sinus infection, so that curtailed my workouts. When I get sinus infections they manifest themselves in a huge nosebleed, and I didn't want to open the floodgates while working out. 

So that's my week in weight loss. But here are some foodie highlights:

  • Ever try shishito peppers? I love them, but they can be hard to find. I get mine at Trader Joe's, and they were restocked so I picked up a couple bags. Usually I roast them quickly in the oven, but I wanted to see how they'd do in the air fryer. They were fantastic. I air-fried them at 380 degrees for around 10 minutes with just a spritz of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Then you just hold 'em by the stem and eat 'em up, yum!


  • I have serious "meal prep" envy, but I've come to the conclusion that the weekly prep fest just isn't for me. I don't want to "assemble" meals all week long -- I actually enjoy cooking every night. So instead of meal prep, I'm simply planning out dinners for the week, writing them down in my planner. I'll also throw in some preplanned lunches and breakfasts, but I usually have a solid handle on those.
  • Speaking of breakfasts, I tried Fit Men Cook's Cottage Cheese Pancakes and they're super good. I topped them with a half-cup container of unsweetened applesauce and a bunch of cinnamon. The recipe makes two servings, and they reheat really well.  

4 pounds and 3 inches off the waist: Let's do more!

Met with my dietitian today and told her the good news -- not only have I lost 4 pounds and 3 inches from my waist, I also dropped my total cholesterol from 210 to 174, increased my HDL, lowered my LDL, improved my ratios and dropped my triglycerides from a longstanding 200 to a stellar 93.

Sounds like something is working!

After the high-fives, we talked over how the 2-week plan went and the week after that. I kinda kept the ball rolling and ate basically the same way using my own plant-based protein smoothies. And since I want to keep this ball rolling downhill, I'm going to do another 2 weeks, this time with a formulation without glucomannan. While the fiber supplement is great for many people, for me it's just not and does the opposite of what it's supposed to do (and I will leave it at that). 

I wanted to know what it was that made me feel so good, killed my sugar cravings and took the weight off.  Was it removing sugar? Wheat? Dairy? Soy? Artificial sweeteners? She said it was basically "everything." 

I don't really miss eating any of those foods -- especially when I'm seeing such good results -- so reintroducing any of those foods isn't a priority for me now. Conversely I'm not afraid of those foods either, so tonight I'm making chicken enchiladas and I'm going to add a little sprinkle of cheese. So where before dairy and, yes, sugar, was a mainstay of my diet, I'm going to use them sparingly and just from time to time, not making them the focus of a meal. (Remember, I lived on Greek yogurt and honey.)

Fitbook lite
I also mentioned that these past few weeks have also been a "diet for my head" by taking away the calorie counting and macro balancing that I used to obsess over. Seriously, it's so freeing! Instead I'm simply writing down my meals on paper in my Fitbook. The one above is the relatively new Fitbook Lite, which is a 6-week book instead of the usual 12-week book so it's thinner.

It wasn't all roses and sunshine (but darn near). I did mention my struggle with finding something to put in my morning coffee that wouldn't taste wretched. I ran the gamut on unsweetened seed and nut milks and finally gave up and used an almond-based creamer that was too sweet. She said that for the amount I use, I might as well use organic half and half, so -- deal!

I also mentioned my occasional, irrational cravings for a diet soda now and then. I really don't drink them at all, but man! last night all I wanted was a diet orange soda. I held firm and used one of the many stevia-based water enhancers I have on the kitchen counter and she was cool with those. There's no artificial sweeteners or colors, so yay! (BTW, my favorites are Water Sensations and Stur.)

Rx bar
And did I mention my protein bar find? I was trying to find one that was dairy, soy and gluten free with no added sugar and a decent amount of protein. I found one -- the RxBar. It gets the bulk of its protein from egg whites and is sweetened with dates and figs. They're 210 calories so I don't eat them too often, but I used one in a pinch for an on-the-go lunch last week, and half a bar is a decent little snack. They come out to around $2 a bar if you buy them on Amazon, which isn't too bad for a "fancy" protein bar. 

 So that's my "weigh-in" for the week. I'm psyched, pumped, motivated all all the other happy words.

Weekly Weigh-In: A visit from the (Doctor) Stork

Boy, did I need to talk to Dr. Travis Stork today. I had missed my Weight Watchers meeting due to unbelievable traffic from a Whole Foods grand opening (missed my kid's marching band performance, too!) and was planning on going to a Saturday meeting but then I thought to myself "Whoa, hang on. You've been a member since October and you've lost 2 pounds. You are NOT getting your money's worth."

So I cancelled my membership.

Shortly after I did that, I got on a phone interview with Dr. Stork, host of "The Doctors," one of the more commonsense medical shows on TV today.

I gave Weight Watchers a valiant shot, and I know it works wonders for many people, me included (when I was decades younger). I used the online tracking, went to the meetings, stayed for the entire meeting, even sitting in a few times on the new member info. I stayed within my Points allowance, used a moderate amount of the bonus Points and exercised regularly. 

All that for 2 pounds.

I have my yearly physical next week, and I can't wait to bitch to my doctor about this. His specialization is diabetes, so he has plenty of overweight patients. (I chose him not because I have diabetes, which I don't, but because I never want to get diabetes.) 

Dr travis storkSo what about Dr. Stork?

He's working with Kellogg's to talk about ways to recharge your New Year's healthy resolve. I asked him how people can get back on the bandwagon or even switch bandwagons.

"You're not on a bandwagon or off a bandwagon. You're on a lifelong journey to good health, and I think it's all about creating good habits, and habits that are sustainable over the long term," he said. "Anyone who knows me or has watched me on 'The Doctors' knows that I'm very much a pragmatist, and I've always joked that anyone who tells me 'Oh, I've gone on a diet and I'm eating twigs and berries' -- I laugh because nothing like that is sustainable over the long term." 

So maybe this month is a time to rethink what we've been doing and perhaps set a new course.

"February is a time, whether you've been on a diet or something new, a resolution that isn't sticking -- it's time to sort of reprioritize and ask yourself 'What do I really want to accomplish for my health for the rest of my life and how can I sustain it over the long term, and, really, it's not some gimmicky resolution, it's putting a plan in place and that's what this [Kellogg's] campaign is about -- it's planning."

Talking about breakfasts, I couldn't help myself -- I asked him about the fad of butter-and-oil laden coffee.

"I did try that, by the way on the show," he said with a laugh. "That gets back to the whimsical nature of new year's plans and resolutions and diets -- to me, in terms of long-term weight loss, it's about the more mundane tasks of 'What am I eating for breakfast?' Am I getting protein, am I getting whole grains, am I getting fruits? Am I getting the kinds of foods that are good for my health over the long term, and it doesn't need to be some fancy diet or some Bulletproof coffee. A lot of times it's the really simple stuff that we overlook. ... It's all about what works for you."

Thank you, Dr. Stork!

So while my Weight Watchers trial is over for now, I'm still going to do what is working for me -- plan my meals, not overthink them, space them out over 3 to 4 hours and track them (back to My Fitness Pal).