Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ok, are you ready? No, really, are you ready? "The Diet Swing", an uncommon, common sense approach.

I will be writing a blog post on each of the following rules, starting with the first, "No drive-thrus".  If you think you are ready to change your lifestyle in order to change your physical condition, experience, and appearance, then start with the following diet....we'll just call it "The Swing Diet"!  Or should I call it "The Diet Swing"?  Since the first thing you need to do is change how you eat, and what you eat.

For 2 weeks

Keep an accurate and honest Food Journal.

No drive through foods, not even coffee (but we know you are ordering a "coffee drink"...and banana bran muffin! Gluten free of course!)
No fast foods
No soda
No "bars" (energy, protein, or granola)
No bags of chips of any kind.
No rice cakes.
No hummus.  
No bananas. 
No bagels.

Do not walk in, or near, a bakery, or near the bakery section of the grocery store if you can help it.  Do not buy sweets in more than one serving, if you find yourself buying them at all....but you shouldn't be near a bakery anyway.   No bags of cookies, no quarts of ice cream, no king size candy bars.  A couple small pieces of candy, or 1 serving if ice cream (no cone) is acceptable if you write it down in your journal!  Did I forget to mention a food journal?  Yeah, keep one.  If you chose not to, then you may not should be excited about this!  You are ready!

Drive-thru ordering and eating has numerous reasons that qualify it as #1.  As a former super fat person I am all too familiar with the allure of ordering drive-thru meals, enough to feed a family, but hoarding it all for myself.  I'm guilty of ordering enough food for 2 people, plus, AND ordering more than one soft drink trying to cover my if the person taking the drive-thru orders cares about how fat I'm making myself.

But the kind of danger this kind of eating, this habit of how you eat, extends far beyond the amount of food that you order.  It extends to the lie that you are living.  Here is a blog post I wrote over 5 years ago.

, NOVEMBER 19, 2006

Secret Eating

Why do we think if no one sees us eat it doesn't count? Or it's not as much as it was? I used to eat in the car on the way home from work, then eat more when I got home. I thought Mark wouldn't think I ate as much as I did.

But I was fat, so I must of been eating alot of food I didn't need. I wasn't "hiding " anything. I was carrying the evidence on my body. When I see an overweight person I know they are eating too much, and probably the wrong foods, and not exercising enough.

One of my favorite responses to the question " How did you lose all that weight?" is, " I stopped doing what was making me fat!". I stopped eating 4000 calories a day and I started exercising.

Now that I've been blogging for a week, I realized how much "secret eating" I had been doing. Yes, I kept a food journal, but not as religously as once had. Somehow really writing everything down keeps you out of denial. Being accountable is only part of it, becoming conscious of the "forgotten details" can make a big difference in some of the choices we make everyday.

My "secret eating" wasn't so much the amount of calories I was eating, but what kind of calories I was eating. That's what I realized yesterday. And keeping a daily log put it right in front of me.

Dieting is an evolution. The further you get into it the more you refine it and tweak it. Like training, it's about progression and individualization.

Because of my journal I was able to see this pattern of craving sugar. I know I've cut my carbs too low when I crave sugar too much. And I had. So I'll try something different. And even though I hadn't gained weight ( the benefit of calorie counting and KB training) I wasn't happy with the division of nutrients. After all I want to live to enjoy this new body I have.

If you feel as if you need to hide who you are or what you are doing that should be the first sign that something is not right.  You should be proud and excited about how you live your life, not hiding in shame.  I'm not suggesting that you be ashamed, but you should not feel as you are living some kind of secret.

No drive through foods, no drive through eating, period.  Be proud of the choices you make for yourself, or make different choices you can be proud of. You deserve it!

I will write more about keeping a food journal, but here are some thoughts about my own food journaling, in case you are wondering...

I think that some people reading this may find it interesting that after 6+ years I still "have" to keep a food journal, but it's just a good habit. It's like balancing your checkbook, no one would say "Geez, what a shame you still have to balance you checkbook. Don't you know how much money you have and how much you can spend?" 

I don't "have" to keep a food journal any more that I need to look at my bank statements. Both are simply ways of staying conscious, and making choices accordingly. Not a big deal, and in fact sometimes it's enjoyable! 

I journal all of my workouts too. but yet no one would frown upon that!


Phillip Rocha said...

Great post Mom! Just another reminder to keep myself accountable thanks!

Carrielovescali said...

Tracy, did you ever have a diabetic moment after you started watching what you were eating and KBing? This is one of my biggest challenges right now. I am fine.. being active then BAM! I start feeling icky, shaking, and it doesn't go away untill I eat some of my sons teddy grahams! or whatever I have nearby. What is this? and will it go away?

Jen said...

So funny you posted the excerpt from 5 years ago. I was reading your original blog last night from day have written some great stuff. Thank you! <3

Andrea Reyna said...

I totally agree! Drive through is a killer. It is so easy to gorge and pretend it didn't happen. Cutting the habit has helped so much. I used to live in an area where there was a massive culture of drive through (even a market) and I sucked into it.

Diana said...

"what we eat in private-shows in public".......

my favorite phrase! Really makes one look at that piece of food before shoveling it in.

Mark Reifkind said...


You should have your blood sugar checked out by a Doc. It could just be hypoglycemia brought on by eating too much high glycemic index food or going too long between meals BUT it could be a sign of something potential worse( diabetes) definitely worth getting checked out for real.

Tracy Reifkind said...


It's more about staying conscious as much as anything. If having to feel accountable is motivating then great. But sometimes just having to feel accountable can create opposite feelings of rebellion and anger if you feel like it's a chore, or punishment. (like being our best is a punishment, huh? lol)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Just wanted to make sure you read Marks reply to your comment,(above) it's important! Personally I never had the same experience as you are having.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Yep, I agree! some good stuff from the early years! I also hope to write some "then and now" posts about how I've changed my thoughts too!

For instance, in the earlier post I was writing it in relation to my sugar cravings. Now it's rare, super rare if ever that I "crave" eating a large amount of sugar. But I'll write more about that soon.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Our conversation about this was the reason why I thought to list this first! It brought up not only the convenience of getting foods/meals, but the convenience of overeating in secret. So thank you!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I find it surprising when I talk with couples, one that is overweight and one that is not, and the thin one says..."But I see how much they eat and it's not all that much!"

We all know the answer...

"Sure, what you "see" them eat is not all that much, it's what you don't see them eat that is!"

Hanelle said...

Carrie, it sounds like you're experiencing a drop in blood sugar. Try some dried fruit, or a snack like a piece of fruit/banana and some boiled eggs or peanut butter (protein and carbs). I tend to get it as well. But Mark is right - get it checked out. My own hypoglycemia had nothing to with diabetes (thank goodness), but was a result of a huge shock to my body. If the doctor gives you the OK, perhaps chat to a dietitian about a low GI diet (I made a whole study of this, and found it very empowering and insightful). And then it's a case of tuning in to your body's signals - I noticed, for example, that I don't necessarily always "feel" hungry in tummy, but that I get p*ed off and unbelievably cranky. Then I know it's time to eat. :) If you get the feeling of nausea and trembling, pins and needles around your mouth, blurry vision, etc. very bad very quickly, sometimes the quickest fix is to grab some Coke - because the sugar is available immediately in your bloodstream and doesn't require any digestion, it helps to pick you up very quickly. But by eating correctly this shouldn't happen very often.

Tracy - why are bananas on the list of things to be avoided?

Tracy Reifkind said...


You'll have to wait for the blog post about bananas! Same reason hummus is on the list....but I'll get there.

lisa~sunshine said...

The best thing I did was to stop fast food .. drive thru eating.. How I did it.. easy.. my drivers window motor went out and i never fixed it yet LOL

Tracy Reifkind said...


Wow, what a great story! Your stars were aligned that day! Lucky you!

And do you miss it? I'm guessing not! thank you so much for your comment!

Alison and Larry said...

Tracy, I would love to see a snap of your food log - I made two changes in the last week, keeping a food log and preparing most of my food.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I have years of my food journal on my original blog, to which you will find a link in the side bar. I also have food journals at the very beginning of this blog.


coffee/cream (150)
1 dried persimmon (80)
3 eggs (210)
1 lg apple (100)
steel cut oats (150)
1.5 oz feta cheese (150)
2 cups plain yogurt (240)
blueberry/cherry compote (200)

I'm up to 1280 right now (2:00pm) ad I have only dinner left. I already know what I'm going to eat, which is about 1 c. corn chowder w/roasted chicken.

The eggs were pasture raised. I buy my feta and yogurt from a woman at the FM that makes it from her sheeps milk. I made the blueberry and cherry compote last fall and pulled it out of the freezer just about an hour ago. Same with the corn chowder, it's the second to the last batch that I froze last fall. (same with the roasted chicken, now that I think about it!)

I'm not really a food snob, but sometimes I let my nutrient balance get out of whack when I have really good quality foods around.

For instance, today is kind of high in carbs, but I couldn't resist the feta AND yogurt, and the only kind of soup I had pre prepared was the corn chowder.(but tons of veggies in it besides corn)

I do not have any salad prepared so that will wait until tomorrow.

I've been up since 3:45am, went for a 50 min walk at 7:00am, Bikram yoga at 10:00. I ate the dried persimmon and eggs at 9:00am (highly unusual that I would eat that early but I woke up earlier than normal and sometimes waiting until 12:00noon is even a stretch for me! The rest I started eating at 12:30. I'll eat one more time around 4:30 and that's it.

My total calories today will be around 1600, low for me. I average around 1900-2200 calories to maintain 138-140lbs. That average does NOT include my high calorie day (Sat).

Ape said...

I love to eat healthy, but food journals are where I struggle. I feel like all those programs are not made for people that eat rather healthy. They are made w/ bar code scanners because people aren't eating broccoli and carrots or a salad. I even recently tried writing down my journal w/ just a pen and paper, but I slacked off again--way too quickly I may add. I know I eat well, and I know where I can clean up i.e., ice cream and my daily piece of dark chocolate that can turn into a few extra dark chocolate almonds. Annoying. Can you suggest ideas for structuring a food journal or how yours typically looks?

Thanks Tracy!