Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not-So Ideal Diet

There are cons to my Ideal Protein diet I raved about last post. Every "diet' or "lifestyle" change has its downside.

1. Sleep. I mentioned that my energy level is through the roof. The flip side is that I cannot sleep at night. It takes forever to fall asleep. I miss my solid nights of sleep. Of course I'm not actually tired the next day - I hardly ever even yawn any more.

2. Social Settings. Booze and food are social lubricants. Take that away and frankly some social settings seem more boring. In fact being on the diet makes me less inclined to do stuff with friends unless it is shopping or some activity that doesn't involve food. Prior to The Diet that was my usual social encounters - dinners with girlfriends, lunch with girlfriends. I also never leave the office any more - I bring my lunch and just eat it at my desk. I feel less interesting. I'm sure someone could write some sort of treatise about how this reflects on my psyche but I'm just being honest.

3. Back End. And I do mean the "back end". You eat less so there are fewer trips to the toilet. 'Nuff said. Not sure I really care that much but I know it bugs Husband - men really enjoy their daily duces.

4. Exiting the Program. It's hard to imagine being done but Husband is "phasing" out of it - he's on Phase III and it tries to have you introduce doing all your own food prep/cooking on the regime and it is a pain in the ass. I joked to Husband that I was just going to stay on this diet forever. I may continue to do the high protein drinks for breakfast and lunch - I love the energy level I have sooo much.

This weekend the entire Mommy, Esq. extended family will be together. I am taking a break from The Diet to enjoy wine with my sisters and to toast my cousin getting married. All our kids will be running around in fancy clothes so I'll be sure to take some photos and share them.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ideal Nutrition

Regular blog readers know I don't talk about diet or exercise. Largely because over the past 13 years I have put on Law School Weight, Big Firm Weight (mixed in with Baby Weight), and In-House Weight (springing from the "oh, I don't have to work tonight so how about some wine").

Late this winter I decided to do something about it. In consistent Mommy, Esq. fashion I was looking for a plan that made sense to me, not necessarily a sensible plan. My uncle and his wife did Ideal Protein last summer and so I delved into the details, going to some information sessions, pricing it out, and once Husband said he'd like to do it too (he's a fan of "crazy" diets) we got started. My goal was to lose a ton of weight and then look into a different "maintenance" plan (like Weight Watchers).

There are Pros and Cons to this diet (I'm sure you're all thinking that the most obvious is that it is a "diet" and not a lifestyle change). I will get to the Cons but let me tell you why this crazy diet works for me.

1. IV Line. I used to tell people when I worked in Big Law that I just wanted to have an IV drip in my office for nutrition. No hunger, no distractions. Someone else to regulate my exact intake so I wasn't making bad choices and no hunger pains to distract me from the crazy workload. Now I just have some tea and small talk with co-workers when I need a break instead of hitting Starbucks or scheduling a lunch out of the office.

The "skinny" on this diet (see here) - here are the foods you can eat. You have an IP food for breakfast (I always do a drink - organge, tastes like Tang), for lunch another IP food (again, I do a drink - berry) plus 2 cups of an approved veggie, for snack it is an IP food snack (they are pretty good - a ton I like), dinner you do 8 oz of protein plus 2 cups of an approved veggie. The diet is designed to be low carb (a few in the snack) and low calorie. I use dijon mustard, apple cider and a bunch of spices from our Penzi shelf to make my own dressing when I do salads at night if Husband is traveling. Otherwise I make him cook dinner!

2. Choose Your Lab Produced Nutrients Adventure. Husband likes this diet because the food is created in a lab. I like this diet because once I realized I liked the drinks and a few snacks I have the exact same drink for breakfast every day, the same drink at lunch and a little variety at snack time. The only choice I have to make is what protein/veggie to cook for dinner. And if I am feeling really lazy and Husband is traveling for work I'll just have another drink to replace dinner. I do not miss eating. I do not miss cooking. I do not miss making choices. I can walk into a party and know I will not make bad choices (wine, apps) because I just make NO CHOICES. Yes, as I will explain on my con list it is hard to be in social settings without wine/carbs, but I'm a working parent - how often do you think I get out?

I cannot describe how liberating it feels to not make choices. It's almost lunch time as I'm typing this and I know exactly what I'll be having and it took me 5 mins to prepare - blueberry cran-granata drink plus 2 cups of cut up red pepper. I pretty much have that every day, sometimes I mix up the veggies. I bring my breakfast drink in the car and sip it on my way to work (in one of those big red solo cups so it totally looks like I am chugging beer at 8:30 am). Dinner requires a little more thought since we are trying new recipes that meet the guidelines but if we plan a little over the weekend it isn't too hard - plus we find that just doing a protein and veggie means we eat earlier (8 or 8:30 instead of the 9:00 pm plus that had become customary).

3. Hunger free. Because this diet is high in protein I am never hungry. Sometimes around 11:30 I think hmm...is it almost lunch? But I'm not dying for it the way I was on my carb heavy menus.

4. Energy. I cannot believe how much energy I have! I'm an energizer bunny during the day. They also have a schedule of vitamins (calcium, potassium, multivitamins) because you aren't getting those from eating and they encourage use of salt since you aren't eating processed food so you need it to retain water. I think remembering to take the vitamins is my biggest challenge. You don't have to exercise on this diet but you can after first three weeks. Let's just say I nodded about that "getting back to exercise" since we all know I haven't been doing it anyway.

5. Weight loss. The add says 3-7 lbs. I average about 3-4 lbs a week. I've "cheated" a weekend or two when I've been kid free so my overall total has been I've been really pleased - 35 lbs since end of January. No way am I revealing how much I want to lose! Husband is already done with the weightloss phase (men!) but we are still eating together at night on the IP plan. At this point I am in the clothes I was wearing when I went back to Big Firm after the twins (and I had lost all my twin weight then) - so just Big Firm weight left to go - that's 6+ years of weight left to go. My sisters laughed hysterically when I said I wanted to be the same weight I was at 21. I'm not that unrealistic - but hey, a girl can dream, right?

6. Cheating. Speaking of cheating, it is counterproductive to cheat on this diet as your body will go out of ketosis - I was just happy I didn't gain weight during that week following a weekend when I decided to cheat (an affair with wine and carbs). My uncle did 6 months without cheating - that is willpower! Since you can't just say "oh, I'll make the points up (Weight Watchers) tomorrow" you just don't cheat - there is no point. Unless you plan a cheat like I did for a sanity break. Randomly someone told me that people in ketosis can end up depressed so that maybe it isn't bad to have a cheat day once in a great while (like once a month if that) - but I have no idea if that is true.

7. Ketosis. What is ketosis - see here. How awesome is it that you can change the way you eat and have it be fat burning diet? My dad is a doctor and he says this is totally legit - he has patients regulate their diet to go into ketosis before and after surgery to help with healing depending on the procedure (apparently the liver works harder on this sort of diet - good thing drinking isn't allowed!). It's true what the literature says - first three days (especially third day) of going into ketosis sucks - it is your body withdrawing from carbs. And man, I was a carb addict!! But I noticed that going back in after my cheat wasn't as hard as that first trip into ketosis.

Okay, this is not an infomercial, I swear. But if you have questions let me know. Part two will be the cons.