Weighty Matters

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Labels, Quantities, New Directions

on August 2, 2013

Do you read food labels?  I rarely did so in the past.  Most of the time, I only looked at the ingredients to see if a soup, stew or some other prepared food secretly included something I don’ t like, such as mushrooms. These days I tend to with greater regularity.

I’m not a fanatic about it, but there are certain things I try to avoid, or at least minimize.  For example, in bottled dressings, I look for ones where sugar or some form of it isn’t named in the top five ingredients.  Although I really got into making my own soups this past year, I still like to stock convenient, but yummy, varieties in cans or cartons.  For those, I want to see the sodium level.

In all things, the calories matter, as do the carb counts and fat.  One thing I’ll admit that I never paid much attention to was fiber.  Now, a higher number of grams catches my interest.   All of the ingredients with their nutritional breakdowns add up to whether I’m eating as healthfully and appropriately as possible.

I’m a little perplexed this week.  After a couple of weeks where the weight loss was once more moving at a decent rate, I stalled again this week.  I don’t know why.  I’ve logged my food and activity in myfitnesspal every day. I haven’t been wildly eating off plan.  It’s mystery and very frustrating.

Rather than get myself upset, I’m maintaining an even, thoughtful approach.   That’s why I’m noticing labels so much, because I’m looking for less obvious factors that could have slowed my weight loss — like sodium, sugar, and carbs.  I’ve noticed some, ahem, internal system slowdown, so I want to make sure that I get adequate amounts of fiber.  I’m also pushing fluids more, particularly simple water.

Months ago I blogged about how much I always resisted weighing and measuring my food.  I still don’t love doing it, but I’m incorporating the practice more in my daily food prep.  It’s possible that, as months go by, my stomach regains some of its capacity and my quantities could creep up.  Measuring my intake with more vigilance will protect me from overeating.   Granted, my concept of overeating is a whole lot less than it used to be, but I still need to keep things relative.

Instead of guessing that I’d scooped out the proper amounts this morning when preparing the “yogurt parfait” that I wanted to take to work for lunch, I measured.  (I used non fat vanilla Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries, and steel cut oatmeal.)  Tonight, after reading labels and choosing an organic, vegan, low-fat split pea soup, I made sure that I measured out half of a cup exactly and that’s all that I ate.

It’s really not difficult or time consuming to take these measures.  I’m not sure why I was always so resistant.  The only explanation that makes sense is that I was simply terminally resentful and pissed off that I was told this is what I should do; what I needed to do for long term success.    (Imagine my aggrieved sigh.)

Sometimes I just need to get over myself, quit bitching and do it.  So, that’s what I’m working on.  Label reading.  Measured quantities.  Hopefully these new directions will help me get over the stall and step up my progress.


3 responses to “Labels, Quantities, New Directions

  1. Hope says:

    I need to start measuring my food out again. :\

  2. Skye says:

    What Cathy said. It took me YEARS to accept that I need meds to moderate my moods and mental states so I can be functional. It killed me to think that I would never be able to be drug-free. Now it’s a non-issue (okay, except that I want to be on fewer and less drugs than I am on now, but I know I have to be on some). So I understand the basic premise and I sympathize with you.

    It’s great that you see what’s going on finally and are overcoming it. Good luck!

  3. Cathy M says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head about your reluctance to measure your food choices. I know that I can be very stubborn about doing what I perceive is someone else’s idea of what I should do as opposed to a choice that I feel I have made myself. For me I think it’s a little bit of the old “you can’t tell me what to do” attitude carried over from childhood. I think we are more likely to practice behaviors that we internally have selected than behaviors imposed by external forces.

    Wishing you much success with your game plan.

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