Monday, January 24, 2011

The Basics of 6WBMO: The food part

I thought it would be good to lay out the basics of the plan (if anyone reading is interested), and later give you more about how I am working it, tweaking it, etc. I don't want to break copyright laws, so I won't post exact directions or recipes, just the drift.

The plan is about portion control, that much I told you already.  It is customized based on your body type (gained from taking a quiz which goes over your eating, energy, and hunger patterns). There are 6 body-types (so says the plan), and what you eat (and how much) is laid out via a meal planner and binder of information (lots of good research stuff and common sense stuff and all the reasons behind what the plan is about).

The gist of the program (IMHO) is no-salt, no-processed food, no-added-sugar plus portion control and scheduled eating plan.  This means no grab-and-go meals ala protein bar/shake.  Grab and go is now in the form of a chicken tenderloin and apple. It is a hydrate-till-you-float plan.  This means 100oz of H2O minimum. You eat every 2.5-3 hours (for me an balanced amount of protein/carb + a salad, at lunch and dinner) to keep your blood sugar level and energy up. It is quite simple once you get into the swing, and if you keep with the prep work.

For one person, with a kitchen and tools, prep for a week should take half a day (including shopping). With practice, I have made a week of meals with packing in 3 hours (this was basic foods: grilled chicken, salads, hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, rice, turkey chili, maybe a meatloaf). If you didn't want to cook all ahead of time, you can make dinner fresh each night and then pack your next day meals (this takes longer and for me, sucks up my relaxation time).  For 3 people, we spent most of Sunday shopping, chopping, grilling, mixing, washing, bagging, and organizing for the week. In protein and produce, for 3, we spent about US$100. I bought extra veggies to juice, so the farmers market bill was almost $50 alone. The fridge is packed full and will last us at least the week, with any leftovers to be frozen for use at a later time (more on banking food in the freezer another time).

I like this plan for it's simplicity and its restrictions. While I miss having a steak or a burger (I can have these, but only in 1oz portions, so not worth it for now), I like the variety creative members of the community have come up with. The forums online are packed with recipes and variations. Nothing says you have to eat boring food, but you have to eat real food, not overly processed, fried, flavored, or altered food. It takes some getting used to, but when you get used to not adding salt or sugar, you don't miss it.  Last time I followed the program for over a month perfectly, then the food I ate at the wedding I broke plan for was so salty I could hardly eat.

The restrictions are almost a blessing. Like when I was fasting, the rules for me now are clear and easy to follow. After the "reducing" phase, the plan transitions to something even easier to live with. The other thing I like about "rules" is their structure. I am a highly educated, savvee and smart woman who knows the good from the bad. My tastebuds and will-power, however, are dumb beasts who liken Chicken McNuggets to fine dining. Rules and plans offer me a proven method and ease of management. I know science and math and nutrition behind why the rules exist and it all adds up. If I follow, I will succeed. Simple.

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