started dieting on May 15, 2020. Welcome to my journey. So far, I have maintained the same weight (250) for two months. I am currently reading 2 books by Dr. Judith S. Beck about her diet plan.

Yesterday, I had to pick a primary diet and a backup diet in case the first one does not work for me. I chose the African Heritage Diet as my primary diet and the Mayo Clinic diet as my backup.

From the Mayo Clinic Personal Assessment

For 150 years, millions of people from all walks of life have found answers at the Mayo Clinic. Now we are bringing the science of weight loss and the proven results directly to you — to help you achieve your personal goals. Mayo Clinic is a medical institution, and good health is our goal. But aside from that, it turns out that a healthy lifestyle is also a great way to lose weight and keep it off. You get better health and better weight. Not a bad deal. The Mayo Clinic approach sets you up for success by guiding you every step of the way with weight-loss information, tools and techniques.

According to my Mayo Clinic personal assessment, these are the four lifestyle habits I could use help with in order to achieve my weight loss goals:

  1. Limiting sugar to what’s naturally found in fruit. Breaking a sugar habit is no easy task. We will give you tips, advice and recipes to help break those sugar cravings.
  2. Better snacking between meals. Common snacks typically have a lot of calories and little nutritional value. We will help understand what the best snacks are to help satisfy your hunger and achieve your goals.
  3. Limiting TV and electronic devices while eating. Sounds hard, but the Mayo Clinic Diet can help make this a little easier. With tips and recommendations on how to become more mindful when you’re eating, you’ll begin to enjoy your food more and become less likely to overeat.
  4. Eating “real” food. We know that prepackaged foods are convenient, but many are high in calories and low in nutritional value. We will help you make more informed choices at the supermarket that are both convenient and healthy.

As it turns out, just before signing up, I saw that the Mayo Clinic Diet online is a registration based program costing $52 per quarter, or $208 per year. I wasn’t prepared to pay $200 for a program that does not send meals to my door since I will have to buy the food on top of the program price.

Instead of choosing another weight loss program, I am going to go back to counting calories. I feel like I gave up too soon. Even though I counted calories before, I didn’t really change the type of foods that I was eating (still had high fat, high sodium foods with a lot of sugar). I also skipped breakfast and ate more at night when I would not be active enough to burn calories. I now know that this was bad for my metabolism.

With the African Heritage Diet, I will be changing the foods that I eat to compliment my natural health profile. With the Beck Diet as a guide (which I believe will work because I know the power of Cognitive Behavior Therapy), I am confident that I can get to my goal weight. I want to prove that even if you can’t afford a weight loss program, you can still get healthier by learning to discipline yourself.

I have started (slowly) making changes that will work in my favor. Since finding the Beck Diet, I have started eating breakfast in the mornings and not snacking at work, instead of skipping breakfast and feeling starved by 10 am and then binging at work. I have also started going to sleep earlier, getting at least 8 hours of rest per night. This is a huge step because I do have severe insomnia which is managed by medication. Some nights I cannot get to sleep before 5 am. I have in past times, stayed awake for three days in a row.

Now, I basically take a sleeping pill (and other medications) every night. The difference I have made recently is setting an alarm for 9 pm and taking the sleeping pill then, which makes me sleepy by ten. Then I have an alarm set for 10 that just says, “Go to Sleep!” (in case I would be tempted to ignore the drowsy feeling).

Since I am not awake when I used to get the urge for a midnight snack, I am automatically skipping those heavy overnight calorie binges that set my day up for going over my calorie limit.

According to WebMd, “sleep deprivation is a little like being drunk. “You don’t have the mental clarity to make good decisions. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours.”

“A second study found that sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. Add it all together, and a sleepy brain appears to crave junk food while also lacking the impulse control to say no.”

Back to the Beck Diet, Chapter 5, Week 1, Day 3: “Eat Sitting Down”

Today I have to practice eating only while sitting down. No eating on the go or while in transit on the phone walking through the house. Except when I am work, I usually do eat sitting down,  just that it is in front of the computer; not usually at the dining room table.

According to Dr. Beck, while sitting down to eat and having your meal spread out in front of you, you’ll be more “visually” or “psychologically” satisfied as it will look like you are eating more; as opposed to eating standing up when you can’t see everything you are eating all at once and you’ll feel more deprived.

O.K. That’s easy enough. That’s it for day three.

Best of Mental Health and Wellness,

Goodnight.

——————— END ———————

Follow my weight loss journey from the beginning on Facebook. Read My Weight-Loss Journey Day 45. View my weight-loss journey in pictures on Google Photos. Hungry? Check out my cookbook for some awesome recipes!


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