I’m back in action, with a diet update for you! In the video, I show you my weight loss from a high carb diet (starch solution) versus my new diet. Plus, what my new diet is & why I LOVED being high carb but it isn’t my current way of eating.
After 10 days I realized that MWL isn’t the best idea for getting back to high carb intuitive eating right now, because it’s a bit too restrictive given my current tastes and makes the “intuitive” part tricky. I definitely want to try it in the near future though, so stay tuned!
For now, I’m going to try to generally eat starch solution/high carb (70-85%) and get more vegetables: I’ll still be striving for the MWL guidelines, but not following them religiously.
Original title: Pre-Christmas Diet Experiment: McDougall Maximum Weight Loss (MWL)!
Hello again! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving 🙂
I haven’t done a diet experiment since Spring, so I thought I’d do another one for you: this time, McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss plan (a silly name for what is really just a healthier version of the Starch Solution). I like to do these experiments so people can see the details of what it’s like, get meal inspiration, see what kind of results one can get, and maybe even decide to do it themselves and spread the high carb vegan movement a little bit.
Since my Spring experiment, I’ve been doing intuitive eating (naturally around 20% fat) and was feeling pretty phenomenal until recently. I maintained the weight loss from that last experiment and lost even more: I went off the pill and lost from 116 to 112lbs without trying simply because I felt less hungry, so it seems like all those fake hormones were causing a lot of my big appetite/craving problems.
Things were going wonderfully in October, then I ended my relationship of 6 years and had another unfortunate incident right at the beginning of November… and cue the emotional eating. Then a week later I went to San Diego (aka home) for a conference, where I ate at restaurants a lot and the unhealthy eating just snowballed. I felt like it totally threw off my hunger signals, and gave me all sorts of weird cravings. I’m still eating intuitively, but this new intuition is all messed up–I keep craving sugar/fat combos like cinnamon rolls and coconut parathas, and that takes a lot of time to satisfy since I make it all from scratch!
So I feel like now is a perfect time to press the reset button with something a little more serious than my normal eating patterns: McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss plan, which is pretty much just Starch Solution with less fat and no processed foods. As much as I love bread and whatnot, I feel like flour messes with my hunger signals when I’m not in my usual intuitive eating groove.
I won’t be counting calories or macros this time around, because it drives me crazy, and I’m trying to use this as a platform to transition back into my good intuitive eating patterns rather than over-police my diet. I’ll try to record pretty precise amounts so you can calculate the calories if you’re curious, though!
Eat when hungry, stop when full–no restriction
Vegan, low fat, starch based diet
Eat lots of unrefined starches: avoid flours, processed foods
Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables (1/3-1/2 of meal), the more raw veggies the better
Avoid overt fats (oil, peanut butter, nuts, etc.)
Less salt and sugar
Less variety; eat the same meals
My changes: I’m still having (low fat!) soymilk because I can’t live without it, and it contains all my B12 and vitamin D that I don’t get from my multivitamin.
My goals (Starting weight: 117lbs)
Get back into my usual form of intuitive eating where I actually crave healthy foods
Spend less money & time on food (satisfying sugar/fat cravings is quite expensive!)
Lean out so I can get closer to abs!
I’m planning on doing this until winter break (~December 12th) at the very least, but depending on how it goes I might continue doing it longer.
For my last meal in Berkeley, I finally tried the deli I had mentioned in my first post of this series: The Butcher’s Son, an all-vegan sandwich shop! I had been eyeing their meatball and fried mozzarella sandwich for awhile, so I finally went and got it for lunch after a very active morning of moving all my stuff.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the mozzarella because it didn’t have much texture for my taste (or maybe I just don’t like fried things anymore?), but the meatballs and bacon macaroni salad on the side were amazing. Although, while eating the sandwich, I actually thought to myself, “I wish I were having baked potato rounds instead.” And I’m usually a huge junk food lover!
I also got a cronut there because I’d never had one and had never seen a vegan one before–I figured it was my only chance. It was so oily I could hardly take it.
So all in all, I think that The Butcher’s Son is a fantastic restaurant for people with normal tastes, but I just can’t stand too much oil anymore! And I’m actually very happy about this fact, because it means that my natural preferences have finally shifted towards healthy food! In high school, I had 3-4 Dr. Pepper sodas a day, and subsisted off of cookies and french fries–so this is an amazing change for me.
Simple, healthy, high carb food is what I crave these days! (Besides the occasional vegan pastry 😉 )
I started off the day by packing up my apartment to move all my stuff into a storage unit for the summer.
And then I packed all afternoon. And then I packed til I went to bed. I packed for about 12 hours! I have too much stuff.
I also noticed something interesting: I was intending to eat a lot today since I had food to use up and figured I’d need a lot of fuel for moving all day. This is the first day in a long time I’ve consciously tried to make myself eat more, and it’s the first day in awhile I’ve ended up undereating! It’s like my body is some rebellious child 😛
I’m also going to add a day 29 tomorrow because I plan on eating some interesting things while moving! Then I’ll do a very wordy wrap up post to sum up my thoughts on this little challenge 🙂
Macros: 76% carbs, 13% protein, 11% fat
Exercise: Walked 5 miles
Mango berry acai bowl
Baked russet rounds
Baked sweet potato rounds
Second lunch (because I’m a hobbit now apparently)
Today I took my last final of my undergraduate career, played with squirrels with friends (and filmed some of it for my youtube channel!), did a graduation photoshoot, and went for dinner and vegan ice cream sandwiches with other friends!
It was a good last real day in Berkeley. (I say last “real” day because tomorrow is just packing, and I fly out the next day.)
And it was a rather high fat day at that. I probably should have made this a 26 day challenge 😉
I decided to make a fun breakfast (because what better day is there for fun breakfasts than Sunday/Mother’s day?), consisting of bacon made out of coconut shreds, which I ate on its own and put on top of plain fat-free whole wheat donuts. I also made some chocolate chip churro donuts which were good too, but I am seriously in love with coconut bacon donuts. I can see why maple bacon donuts have been all the rage lately!
Most of my post-donut day consisted of trying to battle my way through my seemingly endless list of tasks I have to do before moving out in 4 days (!), followed by 5 hours of photoshoots in the evening. All these shoots have been exhausting, but worth it: not only do I love being able to commemerate things for people using my camera, but these graduation photoshoots are paying for some of the furniture I’ll have to buy this September! 😀
Feeling back to my old self! I craved (and ate) potatoes all day.
And alluding to my last post: since I ate all those calories the last few days (like 2200+), I no longer crave any fats–just my good ol’ starches! It’s amazing how much nicer things are when I eat intuitively and let myself eat as much as I need (and as much fat as I crave)… unlike the old days, when it was a constant battle.
I got a blood test today out of curiosity about B12 and whatnot, so I had to skip breakfast–I didn’t end up getting to eat til noon! I survived just fine but it renewed my appreciation for the magic of breakfast.
Also, as for the ravenous hunger point I mentioned yesterday: after years of binging and restricting cycles, my body has a very specific, very strong reaction to losing weight: it craves fat with no off switch. It got to the point where any weight loss attempts ended with me being in a rut with my diet consisting of 70% fat in the form of compulsively eaten almond butter and chocolate chips while still trying to restrict calories.
I think that this experiment activated the same response, because I lost 2.5 lbs in the first week–I only have 25lbs of body fat total (according to body composition tests), so losing 10% of that in a short time span probably put my body in panic mode. My dietary fat intake has gone up as a result (I think my body just craves the most concentrated form of calories to regain the weight ASAP), and my overall calories have gone way up too–prepping this much food is just getting tiring!
After things settle down, I think I’ll just go back to my happy zone around 75% carbs, 12% fat, and 13% protein, with occasional very low fat days around 5%. I think that will be a nice equilibrium because I’ll lose a bit of weight on the 5% days, and keep my body from making me a ravenous beast by eating more normally the other days. If I were to try this higher carb experiment again, I would make myself eat more calories at the beginning to make sure I don’t lose too much weight, so I don’t turn on my emergency fat-craving setting!
If you have excess weight to lose, I am completely confident that a very low fat diet would work just fine for you. In fact, this diet worked too well for me in terms of weight loss considering how little I have to lose, which is why it activated the same defense mechanisms that my past calorie restriction used to!
I woke up with hip pain just as bad as yesterday and it worsened throughout the day, which was demoralizing, to say the least. Even standing hurts! And the weird thing is, it came on after taking more rest days than usual…
And interestingly enough, my toe is healing shockingly fast. Perhaps it’s thank to all these nutrient dense plant foods?
Today was the poster session day for the psych department, where I presented a poster on my thesis study! I’m now officially done with all things thesis-related, and it feels good. (Also, they had free food including bread and grapes. I’d say that’s a win-win.)
Also, I ate a ridiculous amount today, and I feel much better now in the appetite department. But more on that tomorrow!