I just got off the phone with Jacy. I'm learning so much during this Challenge. Not the least of which is that once you reach 50, as I did several years ago, your metabolic rate decreases as much as 5 to 8 percent every decade. Jacy shared this depressing fact: to compensate for my 50 year old metabolism, I need to eat about 200 calories a day fewer than I did when I was younger. Let me be clear - that's not to lose weight - that's just to maintain my current weight and avoid packing on 10 pounds in a year. To lose weight, I have to take into account this slower metabolism. That doesn't mean that I have to count every calorie, but it does mean that every calorie counts.
Here's something I have to embrace: healthy eating does not equal weight loss. Even if I cut out all processed food, eat organically, and consume a lot of salmon and olive oil, I can still manage to grow my waistline. A serving is a serving; a half a cup of brown rice is the same as a half a cup of white rice when it comes to measuring portions for weight loss. Will the brown rice pack more power in terms of fiber and other nutrients? Absolutely. Can I eat more of it because it's healthier? Absolutely not. Almond butter is a great source of protein, but 2 tablespoons is the serving size, not the entire jar.
That's a hard one to grasp as so many of us assume eating heart-healthy foods means free rein to eat unlimited portions. It doesn't. No matter how heart-healthy, low-fat, organic, gluten-free, or low carb that food may be, you must keep portions under control. And that's hard for me because I definitely suffer from portion distortion. I think the cards are stacked against me because my DNA has me wired to believe that I am still a hunter-gatherer, threatened by imminent famine (even as I drive my SUV to Costco where I am presented with thousands of products, often sold in packages that could feed a small nomadic tribe.)
My motto this week is: the amount counts. Jacy gave me a few tricks to try and goals to strive for and will call me next week to check up on my progress.