Renewing for the New Year

Well I took the plunge and renewed my wordpress account after realizing I hadn’t posted anything since last August… which brings me to:

If you’ve spoken to me more than once in the last 18 months, you likely know that I’ve had a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head about if/when/where to open a pilates studio as well as about a number of writing projects that I’ve talked and talked about… the more I talk about them, the more ideas I have! 
While my own pilates studio is still a ways off (barring a miracle), there’s nothing keeping me from writing my little heart out and sharing my projects with you all and the world! So my new year’s resolution for 2019 is: to write. 

The biggest project I’ve had in mind is also an experiment. It will require a lot of discipline, and I think 2019 is the perfect year to start to perfect that. Discipline is something that comes pretty easy to me sometimes, but is hard to attain at other times (I attribute this to ADHD and procrastination tendencies).

Last year I was working with a woman who had struggled with Weight Watchers for over a decade. She shared that when the program revolved around assigning points to foods, she often found herself eating packaged foods full of chemicals over fresh foods in an effort to keep her points down. Since the Weight Watchers program has changed, she’s had difficulty with the transition and re-learning how to eat according to Weight Watchers rules.

Unfortunately, I found myself not completely understanding because I never tried Weight Watchers, and though I am aware that the program has changed, I never really looked into it. Thus I found myself a little frustrated with my lack of exposure to the diet, and realised that there are a lot of other diets out there which I am aware of (and actually can talk about), but have never personally tried. 

I’m calling this project “Do As I Say, AND As I Do”. Us dietitians learn about all sorts of diets in our education, but we’re not required to try them. Some considerations include that I am not going to be following these diets with the goal of a lot of weight loss. I did gain weight over the last couple months by eating Christmas cookies, a lot of BBQ, and enjoying pumpkin beers and stouts, knowing that I will likely lose the weight on these diets. So that will make it a little different for me as opposed to the average Joe or Jane. There is also a fairly high level of physical activity in my life, and my nutrition needs will be higher than the average Jane. I plan on reiterating this through the year. 

A rib combo from Pappy’s in STL, getting my Missouri bbq fix over the holidays 😛

So here’s the plan: six diets, one year. I’ll be starting with Intermittent Fasting (IF) and it’s different variations over the course of three months. I chose to start here because it’s not restrictive for what you put into your face, and I have a lot of grains in the pantry that I need to eat through before doing any of the next three diets. So I’ll be making porridge and risottos to get through the winter.  

Here’s the lineup:

  1. Intermittent Fasting – January thru March
    1. 3 weeks 12:12
    2. 3 weeks at 14:10
    3. 3 weeks at 16:8
    4. 3 weeks Alternate Day Fasting
  2. Whole 30 – April 
  3. Tim Ferris’ “Slow Carb Diet” – May / June
  4. Keto – July / August
  5. (DASH diet, Paleo, Mediterranean, or other) – September / October
  6. Weight Watchers – November / December 

Whole 30 will come second, in a month that doesn’t have a lot going on, is exactly 30 days, and starts on a Monday! If you’ve never heard of Tim Ferris’ “Slow Carb Diet”… prepare to be entertained. Of course Keto had to make the cut, and I chose to do Weight Watchers over the holidays. I’ll default to DASH or the Mediterranean diet to complete the lot, but if something else pops to my attention before September, that may change.

The Google image search result for “popular fad diets” yields lots of goodie

At the beginning and through the year, I will share my nutrition calculations for myself based on my height, weight, gender and activity level; overview and details of the diet, my meal plans, any resources I’ve found helpful to adhere to the diet more successfully, challenges and successes (both physical and mental/emotional), as well as sharing the science and myths behind each one. I’ll discuss issues with traveling on each diet, and will find a way to eat nachos on each one (Whole 30 will be the trickiest for this, and may not happen). At least twice per month I will also be writing about something unrelated to the diet I am on. 

Me, in 2019

Yes, I know that performing each of these diets for a longer period of time would have a greater impact on my blood chemistry and body composition. However, I’m primarily doing this as a way to learn more about these diets from a first-person perspective and to be able to give my opinion about them after I have tried them. Also, some of these diets recommend 30 days to two months because they are “resets” or “diets” and not actual lifestyles (i.e.: Whole 30, and for many, Keto). 

As for you: there are a lot of diets out there, and when deciding on a lifestyle for yourself there are a lot of things to take into consideration. IF works for people but keep in mind the second most strict variation of IF (16:8) means you’re only eating in an 8 hour window. For me, that means I will choose to skip breakfast. “But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day?” Well, if that’s what works for your lifestyle, and keeps you healthy and happy. A lot of conventional advice will get thrown out the window for me over the next year.

Bell peppers – a food you can eat on ALL diet plans!

However, if there are any doctors, kinesiology or nutrition research students, or Composition ID employees reading this who would be interested in tracking my body composition and/or blood chemistry panel through the year, I would love to hear from you! 

After Hood to Coast in Oregon, August 2018

(How I currently eat on weekdays: chug a cup of coffee with cream and stevia before morning classes, then have avocado toast and eggs with tomatoes mid morning, work out at noon, have lunch at 1:30pm-ish, may have a snack at the 4 o’clock hour, work out / teach again most days between 5:30-7:30pm, and eat dinner between 7:30-9pm. On weekends: I work out in the morning and eat when I feel like it, usually lunch and dinner.)

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