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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Changes that helped me drop pounds: Bread, Pasta, Couscous

Please keep in mind that all the changes I discuss were made over the course of years.  I think it would have been impossible for me to make all these changes at once.  For me, that would be a recipe for failure.  Rather I baby stepped my way through these changes, one at a time and didn’t’ make another new change until I was totally comfortable with the previous change.  Our bodies crave comfort and familiarity and maintaining some of those comforts gave me the strength to succeed with each new change.  Some of these changes were tiny and easy to make, others were very difficult and took a long time to accept and absorb into my ‘normal’ life.  However, with each change I felt healthier, had more energy, and the pounds were coming off, albeit slowly, but this validated my efforts and motivated me to continue on my journey.

I love pasta and I used to just sit down with a huge bowl of pasta nearly every night.  I used all different types of ingredients and sauces, but there was always one constant – pasta!  With bread of course.  I didn’t watch portions; I only thought fat was bad and pasta was low fat, so it must be good.  Well as the tides were turning in the health world and there was more talk about good fats and watching overall calories I realized I was downing a lot of calories and I’d typically end up with a very full belly and feeling very sluggish afterwards.  

So I started cutting back on how much pasta I was eating in one sitting and how often I ate it.  Eventually I switched from eating white pasta to whole wheat pasta, from white couscous to whole wheat couscous, white bread, to whole grain/ whole wheat bread, meanwhile cutting back step by step on portion sizes and how often I ate them.  Of course, when you cut back serving sizes of grains, you have a gaping hole in your plate, so I started adding more veggies to fill the gap.  Now I realize that I feel better when I’m eating more veggies instead of the pasta, bread and couscous I used to eat, and my dishes are lower in calories and I don’t feel sluggish after meals anymore.  I have not cut these out of my diet, because I really enjoy them, but I consider them a special treat now, to savor every once in a while, instead of every single day. 

 The above is part of a series which will discuss different types of changes that I have made to my eating habits, my lifestyle and even my home, over the last ten years, that have helped me drop pounds.  Other topics include, changes to: breakfast, eating pasta, bread & couscous, snacking, beverages, portions, exercise and meal planning, among others.

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