I’m not good at dieting

I think it’s personality-based.  Or laziness-based.  Or habit-based.  Or something.

But, I’m just not good at dieting.  At all.

My new OB has suggested, for a couple of different reasons, that with the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy — wait — 9 weeks, now — that I go on phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, and limit myself to about 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.

I didn’t think it would be really all that hard because, as a family, and as the Head Chef in our home, I pretty much always cook and live by “South Beach” type guidelines:  lots of fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, reduced carbs, high protein.   

However, I’m finding the diet quite difficult, and wondering if 100g of carbs is even attainable for me!!  Right now, it’s 2:20, and I’ve had 99g (not even counting the 13g of dietary fiber I’ve eaten), and that’s with me being really conscientious.

The killer for me?  The thing that has set me back the biggest, for the day, is that I had 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.  That’s 26g of carbs.  How can a bowl of unsweetened applesauce be 1/4 of the amount of ALL the carbs I’m to have in a day???

A lot of South Beachers (and other low-carb dieters) rely on artificial sweeteners to make it through.  Well, I don’t do artificial sweeteners.  Well, not usually.  My hubby, who has a profound skepticism regarding their safety, would prefer that I not have any, ever.  (He’s even passed it on to the kids:  During Diet Coke commercials, they generally stick their fingers in their ears and loudly chant, “Blah, blah, blah” so they can’t hear it, and shoot me dirty looks, or give me mini-lectures about Diet Coke, which I typically have ONCE per week.)  Martin does give a little for Splenda/sucralose.  But, Splenda isn’t in a lot of products, and the products that it often is in I think don’t NEED extra sweetening.  Like canned fruit.  When I do get canned fruit, I get the unsweetened kind, or packed in pear juice.  Maybe if I was trying to wean myself off of peaches in heavy syrup, Splenda-sweetened fruit would be more useful to me.  I don’t know.

In lieu of raw sugar, which I used to use, I put stevia in my (decaf!) coffee in the morning, but by itself, it tastes odd.  So, I put in about 1 tsp honey, too.  Well, that honey is 6g carbs.  Per cup.  I usually have two. 


I’m just not your regular American woman who has lots of experience with diets, so maybe my tolerance factor for this whole game is unusually low. 

I’ve been on one diet before, in my whole life, and that was about 8 years ago, when my hubby and I both did Body for Life, which we did with great success, but was an awful lot of work.

When I was a kid, I was super-crazy-skinny and tiny, though that was probably related more to undiagnosed celiac disease than anything.  But, I was the kind of person, who, up until my early 20s, could eat and eat and eat and eat and still be stick-thin.  I didn’t even gain weight in college.  The phrase “Freshman 15″ had to be explained to me.

All that changed, at least somewhat, upon my first pregnancy, where I gained 50 lbs.  I then fairly quickly lost 40 of it…  The same thing happened with my second pregancy:  Gain 50, lose 40.  With my third pregnancy, I decided that the trend couldn’t continue.  I did gain 45 lbs, but I lost it all.  With my 4th pregnancy, same thing:  Gain 45, lost it all.

So, here I’ve been, at 5′ 7.5”, camped out at roughly 155 lbs for the last eight years or so… and not that I could write a book on perfect excercise and diet, but I have remained active — sometimes, even VERY active — and eaten healthily… and while I haven’t been totally thrilled with being 155, my body seems to settle there, and I’m usually wearing a size 10, sometimes a size 8, occasionally a size 12, feeling quite healthy… like an 8.5 on the scale of 1-10.

(Not that my hubby and I eat exactly the same thing, but it’s close to it — even his lunches at work are usually dinner leftovers.  He just had a total health assessment, and at nearly 42, he is completely healthy.  There was not one item in any of his blood work, or any of the other tests that the doc did, that was ‘off.’  Everything that is supposed to be low, is low.  Everything that is supposed to be high, is high.  Again, Martin and I are not the same person, of course, but I think it’s further evidence of our family, in general, living very healthily.) 

So, I haven’t really felt a need to diet.  I mean, for me, it’s always been WAY more trouble than it’s worth.

And, now, I’ve been prescribed one, and I’m finding it very difficult, and I’m feeling a little rebellious.  Like, it’s hard for me to think, “Artificial sweeteners are preferable to honey.”  I just can’t wrap my mind around that.  Or, “unsweetened applesauce just has too many carbs.”  Or, “You better not eat that nectarine.” 

I’m not going to give up yet (I just started on Friday!), but I may just keep keeping track of my carbs, and when I see the OB, tell him, “Well, I can’t do 100g, but I can consisitently do 130g.”  And, maybe that’ll just be the best I can do.  Or the best I’m willing to do.

[Whining is now completed.  Generally pleasant blog should now continue.]


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on August 19, 2008, in Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Medical Stuff, Pregnancy, Whining. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Ooh, I don’t know, I think it’s best to trust your instincts on this one. I would tend to agree with you about the artificial sweetener, and I can’t help but think diets have more place after the baby is born, rather than before. Not that I’m a doctor or have any hard medical evidence to back this up but I’m convinced the fact I didn’t restrict what I ate during pregnancy (i.e. quantity, I ate healthily on the whole) was a big factor in Kiko’s survival after the traumatic birth. He was very strong physically and was able to fight back.

    I know some obstetricians are obsessed with weight gain during pregnancy. I know some people who went to a doctor who gave them pregnancy star charts, a star for minimal weight gain and a blacklist mark for any weight gain over his pre-prescribed limit (which, I believe, did not take differences in individual body types into account). I was horrified when I heard this! I found it embarrassing enough being publicly weighed when I was pregnant and my weight gain being shouted out to a waiting room full of people. In fact, that was so humiliating, it is a factor that’s made me reluctant to have another child. I could not deal with a doctor being strict about weight gain, when it was something I couldn’t control during pregnancy, no matter what I ate.

    Funnily enough, I eat almost as much now, and not as healthily, and yet I’m not putting on weight. I think the body gains a mind of its own during pregnancy!

    Honestly, I wouldn’t even weigh anything – *not* that I’m a doctor!!

  2. Helen ~ Audibly calling out your weight?? Star charts and black marks??? Holy cow. I’ve never had that with any doctor here. The nurses weigh do the weighing, and, IME, they just jot down the results w/ no comment, sometimes sliding the scale back down to zero before I can even get a good look at my own weight. I’ve never had a humiliating experience w/ a doc/nurse and weight.

    For the record, I don’t think that this doctor is particularly obsessed, though he does appear to be more careful about it than my previous docs. He’s basically trying to keep pressure off of my tragically blossoming vericose veins, and keep the weight of the baby down (they’ve all been 8 lbs 13 oz to 10 lbs – 4.09k to 4.55k).

    And, last night, after giving the whole thing a bit more reflection, I found myself begrudgingly thankful that someone was keeping me accountable for my food consumption.

    For instance, about once a month, I treat myself to a pint — a whole pint — of ice cream (not just any ice cream, but Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra, which I realize they likely don’t have in Australia — your loss!!), telling myself, “It’s just once a month.” True. I’m not downing the ice cream nightly. However, it’s probably not the best idea to consume 56g fat and 128g carbs in one sitting.

    Thinking about the “diet,” after grocery shopping last night, I picked up a mini-cup of B&J’s Cherry Garcia, 4 oz. 22g carbs. Not quite as dreamily satisfying, but a much better choice.

    And I didn’t get a Butterfinger candy bar, which was calling my name, either.

    Yesterday, I still ended up with 161g carbs for the day… but I’m also losing weight (only 2 lbs, at this point), which I don’t think the doc was intending for me; I think he just wanted me to maintain. And, honestly, it would be fabulous not to have to lose 40-50 lbs after the baby is born.

    ANYWAYS. This is probably way more about my weight than you care to hear.

    But, I guess my goal is to make better choices — even if I’m sort of being roped into it — though not go overboard and be obsessive. I mean… if the doc’s goal for me is 100g carbs, and I can still eat 150g and lose weight… then 150 it is. Or 175. Or whatever.

  3. Well, I have to say, I blame Kiko for getting me into eating chocolate. Would you believe that before I had him, I didn’t eat chocolate *at all*?! That all changed when I got pregnant, and unfortunately the taste for it didn’t go away. Actually, I got really into this particular brand of strawberry ice cream when I was pregnant too, when I never eat strawberry ice cream normally. It’s the baby, heh heh!!

    I gained 19kg when I was pregnant, not sure what that is in pounds. I was lucky that I lost it all in the 9 months after the birth. I know that if I got pregnant again, though, I’d have to be really careful with what I ate. A certain young man has a taste for going to cafes and insisting we order cake or biscuits, and he has memorised which cafes sell which kind of biscuit. To think we thought he was going to be daft…

  4. Wow, I think you’re lucky to be able to gain 40-50 pounds and then lose/keep it off. BTW, I’ve never had a doc tell me to lose weight and I am a pudge! I think you should just do the best you can and not drive yourself crazy over the number of carbs..unless there’s a REALLY GOOD medical reason WHY it has to be that.
    PS LOL over the Coke commericals!

  5. Helen ~ Same with me!!! I did not understand the uproar about chocolate, but since my first pregnancy, I have been crazy for chocolate. Hm. What’s up with that? … I looked it up — 19 kg is about 42 lbs. I get such a kick over your stories about Kiko and cakes. 😀 The boy knows something good when he tastes it, right??

    Cyndi ~ Well, there is a good reason for me not to gain excessive weight. But, I guess it depends on what “excessive” is. I’m still keeping track of carbs, but I’m not upset that I can’t keep it down to 100. Since Friday, I’ve now lost 3 lbs, and I’ve pretty consistently been eating 150g carbs/day. The Diet Coke thing is rather funny. It’s just that the boys get SO serious over it — they’re certain I’m just going to keel over and die from drinking it. 😀

  6. Ungh. I need to get back on the diet bandwagon. I’m the size of a small whale. And I’m not even pregnant! The only diets I can ever sustain are the low-carby ones … I’ve tried Atkins, Southbeach, Sugar Busters and Kimkins (which I would NOT SUGGEST GOING ON!) I’ll probably give South Beach a try again.

  7. ooo this made me smile. Carbs Vs Sat Fats and ice cream. I have tried a lot of diets and always get a little worried about the ones that limit a whole food group. I like to do weight watchers (without the weekly meetings), but it is a whole new game with a points system or one that is based on your hunger levels. Instead of the slab of dairy milk fruit and nut (that I adore) I now have milky ways … I’m guessing that South Beach is a good one for pregnancy due to the intake of protein…a good website to surf diets is fatsecret. It gives you loads of ideas for recipes and buddies 🙂

  8. Melanie ~ I think South Beach is worth a shot!! Even if, like me, you start with Phase 2. From what I’ve heard, Phase 1 is really difficult, and while I understand the idea is to break the addiction to sugar and other “bad” carbs, it seems like it would work dandy just to jump to Phase 2. I don’t know if, in the book, they recommend a carb limit, but you could start at 150g and watch your scale to see if it’s having an effect. If not, drop it down 15 or 20g at a time until you get a good balance of weight loss w/o feeling like you’re absolutely starved and deprived. (So I say with all my dieting expertise!!!! 😉 )

    ACW ~ Thank you for the comment!! I love chocolate, too. 😦 You’re talking about Cadbury’s, right? ONCE in the last two weeks, I let myself have some dark chocolate chips (which are my chocolate nemesis), but you’re right… oh, the tremendous amount of carbs in chocolate!!! But, yesterday ended up being a way-low carb day for me, so I indulged in a whole cup of ice cream last night — all 42 carbs of it!! It was wonderful. 🙂 The fats… I’m not even looking at the fat content, since simply restricting my carbs is doing the trick.

  9. I don’t believe in South Beach, mostly because I don’t think it’s healthy for any human on the planet to eat the amount of meat that diet requires.

    When I was 26 weeks along in my last pregnancy, for health reasons I switched to the 811 Raw diet (www.foodnsport.com). That diet means 80% carbs, 10% protein, 10% fats. The kick? All your carbs come from fresh, raw ripe fruits. No coffee, no sugar, no grains at all. It was just what my system needed, to get rid of the problems that gluten and casein were causing me. I didn’t have to worry about finding gluten-free alternatives, or substitutes for milk. I ate fresh salads with fresh avocado and fresh lime juice as a dressing. I had all the tangelos, bananas, watermelon I could eat.

    When I started at 26 weeks I was 154 lbs and needed my gall bladder out, stat. When I delivered 14 weeks later at 40 weeks, I was 154 lbs and had passed hundreds of gall stones, and my gall bladder had healed.

    The best part was that 10 days after baby’s birth I was 138 lbs. I had not been that trim since 1996 (10 years prior). 4 months later I was 120 lbs, and I’ve pretty much maintained it ever since. I don’t stick to the 811 raw very closely, in fact I even have meat (chicken or fish, or turkey and occasionally pork- I can’t stomach beef ICK) and I did pick up my coffee habit again. And I use stevia in it, or drink it black. I got some flavored stevia, it’s toffee flavored and is pretty good in my coffee.

  10. Amy ~ Might you be confusing South Beach with Atkins?

    I’m barely disciplined enough for SB… I don’t think I could swing a raw diet. Plus, I don’t like the idea of feeding myself differently than the rest of my family. I eat virtually every meal with them, and right now, it’s weird enough when I’m having a half-bowl of cereal and an egg, while they’re just having cereal… or having only a little bit of noodles or rice with my stir-fry. KWIM? We eat a lot of veggies and fruit, but I’m just not sold on an fruitarian, or raw diet.

    That said, I was thinking yesterday — after only three weeks on SB — how fantastic I feel. And, I realized that this diet has been virtually sugar-free. I have raw sugar in my coffee in the morning, but other than that, I pretty much have none. Maybe that’s it — no sugar. Or, seriously reduced sugar, anyways. I’ve already thought that I’ll probably continue the SB-ish diet that I’m on after the baby is born, just because I feel so good.

    Although I don’t think you could call 178 lbs “light,” it’s the lightest I’ve ever been at 33 weeks, for ANY of my pregnancies, including with my first, when I weighed 20 lbs less on the outset than I did with this baby.

    I feel healthy, I don’t feel ponderously pregnant, I eagerly anticipate continuing on the same path.

    So, while there might be other diets out there that work for others, and likely even more healthy than what I’m currently eating, what I’m doing now is much better than what I was doing before, and it’s working.

    BTW, how does one know she’s passing gallstones??

  1. Pingback: Wee thoughts for Friday « Only Sometimes Clever

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