Lots of thoughts rolling around in this little brain of mine lately. Maintenance has been foremost in my mind. But mostly I have been wanting to be totally done with this diet (or any diet) and never wanting to keep track of what I eat again. I want to be a “normal” person who doesn’t have to keep track of the food I eat. I want to be a “normal” person who gets to eat potato chips, cake, cookies & candy bars any time the urge to eat them hits me. The fact is that I want to be able to eat whatever I want to eat whenever I want to eat it without any restrictions at all! It upsets me that I CAN’T eat that way without gaining a huge amount of weight and affecting my health in a bad way. But “normal” needs to look different than that for me. So what will “normal” look like for me? I’m still trying to figure that out but I plan to give the Ideal Protein Phase 4 a try to see if I can make it work for me. I just wish they would give us more direction on what this way of eating needs to look like in order for me to be successful with it. Phases 1 – 3 have been great because I was told exactly how to eat…so many packets, so much protein, so many vegetables…it all was very clear. Now I feel like I am left to figure it all out by myself.
But I DO want to succeed, so this is the plan I will follow once I am done with Phases 1-3:
5 days a week:
-Breakfast: Eat what I am hungry for. I love breakfast so I won’t have any problem here.
-Lunch: Protein with low-carb veggies & a salad. This meal can have more fat in it.
-Supper: Higher carb with little to no fat. This one is the difficult one for me to figure out.
-I will need to figure out my BMR (basal metabolic rate) so I can stay at or below that number. I will need to be better about planning my meals for each day so I don’t get to supper time and find I have no calories available for me to be able to eat.
1 day a week:
-Have a more relaxed day where I can eat things I wouldn’t normally eat. This is the day I get to eat that piece of cake or whatever foods I have been craving for.
1 day a week:
-Phase 1 day, keeping it low fat, low carb & low calorie.
The 5-days-a-week supper is the hardest part of this eating plan for me to figure out. Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, the originator of the Ideal Protein Diet, recommends not needing much, if any, protein for this meal. But all my life, I have been told to eat my most “balanced” meal at the evening meal and this would include protein, vegetables, starch (potatoes/pasta/rice/bread) & fruit. So no protein (which was the main part of this meal) is difficult for me to get my head around. And even without the protein aspect it is hard to figure out what to serve at this meal. How do you have little to no fat when you eat spaghetti or pasta with any kind of sauce? I need ideas and lots of recipes so I can figure out some favorites I can live with for the rest of my life and, so far, it is has been almost impossible. Even low-fat recipes have more fat in them than what I am assuming we can have. One of the participants on the Ideal Protein Diet Sparkers Team was told by their coach that 10 grams of fat was the upper limit for this meal. I’ve been busy trying to locate recipes that will work with this upper limit in mind and it is really tough. But I won’t give up!
My coach told me that Chef Verati (who created the wonderful “My Ideal Recipes” cookbook) is creating a Phase 4 cookbook and I will be one of the first in line to buy that cookbook as soon as I hear it is available. But it’s not for sale yet so I am still trying to find some go-to recipes on my own.
I still have some time to get this all figured out because I have actually returned to Phase 1 eating. I have been floating between 158 and 155 pounds for a while because I would eat Phase 3 type of eating for a few days, eat totally off-protocol a day, eat a Phase 1 day then back to Phase 3 type of eating. I would gain the weight, then lose it only to gain it again while eating this way. I have 15 additional pounds I want to lose so I decided to suck it up and return to Phase 1 for a while.
Once I start Phase 4, I will post any recipes I end up finding and liking. I am both excited and scared about what maintenance will look like. But the fact that this diet has changed my life so much for the better is absolutely amazing so I am sure maintenance will be amazing too!