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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Weight Loss Journey

After having my baby, I was about 15 lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight 10 months out. I wanted to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and my ultimate goal weight which is my high school weight. I am currently at my pre-pregnancy weight after 2 months but am still losing to meet my ultimate goal weight. This is just from a dietary change without an increase in exercise. Who has time when you have an infant who doesn't sleep through the night and work full time?

Here are some of my strategies of things that have worked for me. It was really important to me that these changes are sustainable and something I can incorporate into my life easily.

1) Intermittent fasting:

The old school way of thinking about weight loss happens if calories out is greater than calories in. In Jason Fung's The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss, the idea is that while fasting, metabolism revs up and burns fat causing weight loss even when eating the same amount of calories. Other benefits that have been shown in studies include increased longevity with intermittent fasting (though this has only been shown in animal models thus far.)

For me, I have been doing 16 hours of fasting followed by 8 hours of eating Mondays through Fridays. This worked out for me as I'm not really hungry when I get up first thing in the morning. If I'm too busy to eat, which is often the case in clinic, I don't notice until I'm done with the morning patients. My hours of eating are from 12-8pm but you can choose any 8 hour window you like. Jason Fung recommends longer periods of fasting. I chose 16:8 because it felt more sustainable.

2) Plant based diet:

My cholesterol has historically been high due to genetics. (Thanks, Dad!) I have always wanted to confirm that is the case. I changed my diet to a 90% plant based diet. This meant no meat or dairy at home but if I go out, it was fine to indulge. If I'm at a meeting, I can have what I want. Typically, I eat out once or twice a week. This wasn't very difficult for me as I hated cooking meat anyway. I'm more of a carbohydrate junkie.

When my family first did this, we started out easy. We replaced the meat in the pasta sauce with meat substitute. Instead of a hamburger, we would have a veggie burger. I opted to eat avocados and fruit for lunch. Some other ideas included eating peanut butter sandwiches, bean burritos without cheese, and bean soups. Notice that there is no mention of salad here. I do not like salads. Making it and eating it would be a chore for me.

Over time, we were able to be more adventurous and added more vegan entrees to our repertoire. Our go to favorites include chickpea gyros, chickpea curry, vegan falafel and vegan pizza. We make these from scratch. It is time intensive but when we cook it, we tend to make enough to last for a few days. Plus, it's an easy date night activity. ;)

3) Listening to my body's hunger scale:

I started to listen to Katrina Ubell's podcast. She talks about the hunger scale. Link here.

It made a lot of sense. Food should nourish us. We should only eat when we are truly hungry. This doesn't mean that I no longer enjoy food but rather that it is not a source of regular entertainment for me. If I'm really hungry,  I should be able to eat anything. Think of children. While they would prefer to not eat their vegetables, we ask them to do it anyway. We need to manage ourselves that way as well.

These are the strategies that worked for me personally. I'm not recommending this for you but just wanted to share this as effective for me.




Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Return to posting

Dear readers,

I don't think there are any out there but if there should be any, I'm back. It's been a good 10 years since I last posted. These are the updates in my life.

1) I successfully graduated medical school and completed my internal medicine residency. While I do love the lungs, I have decided to stick with general practice as that was the best decision for my family. My current job is in primary care and hospitalist. I am both a primary care physician but also functions as a hospitalist rounding on a full service every few months and admitting in  between.

2) I am now a mother of a sweet little girl. My family is complete with my husband and my dog. Unfortunately, my cat died last year after 13 years. I still miss him.

The current direction of this blog will focus more on other parts of my life as I work towards different goals in my life. So much of my youth has been spent on focusing on becoming a physician that now that I am here, there are other things to think about and to focus on. My particular interests nowadays are about living healthy, parenting, and cooking.

Hope to see you around,

Serendipity

Monday, January 26, 2009

Breathing

If ever you feel so overwhelmed that you feel lightness in your chest, just stop and breathe. Focus on the inhalation and exhalation. Remember that you are alive and all that you can be thankful for. I know we should not compare but there is always someone who is less fortuante than ourselves. Breathe and remember that you are glad to be able to do so.