Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whole30 vs Paleo vs WW Simply Filling

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After many months of (barely) skating by, I've come to a realization.  I need a change in how I approach things.  For me, at this very moment in time, the standard WW program is not a good fit.  I am NOT saying that it does not work - my over 100lbs lost proves otherwise.  What I am saying is that the honeymoon is (and has been for some time) over, so I need to spice/shake things up a bit.

A friend of mine has done the Whole30 program as well as Paleo.  The draw for both of these plans for me is that they help you eliminate the sugar demon cravings.  I have started reading the Whole30 book It Starts with Food and it is quite interesting.  I am also going to do some reading up on the Paleo diet.  The sensible part of my brain loves the idea that with both programs you are eating whole/real foods (I'm sure that's the way God intended it!) rather than packaged/fake foods that have so many odd ingredients/chemicals listed that I think we'd be hard-pressed to call them food at all.  I will admit though, that I have a problem with eliminating whole grain foods such as quinoa, which Whole30 does (although it's only a 30-day plan, so possibly doable).  Whole30 also eliminates all dairy products - as a woman in her 30s, I feel dairy is a an important part of my diet for calcium intake.  If I decide to do Whole30 I will have to investigate how much calcium I am getting in the rest of my diet and may have to take a calcium supplement. 

Given my lack of control over the sugar monster - especially when on vacation, I have been doing a lot of thinking on these two programs this week.  But in doing so, I realized that there is a WW option that I have never explored before - the Simply Filling Technique.   The difference between Simply Filling (SF) and Tracking is that you focus on a list of Simply Filling Foods which you eat in until you are satisfied.  It really is an extensive list.  You don't count the points for these foods, nor do you weigh and measure them (except your 2tsp of healthy oil).  There is an option in the online tracker to still track (I have yet to investigate that).  You still get your Weekly Points (49) and would use these for anything not on the SF list (extra oils, starchy veg, treats, etc).  I think this program is much more forgiving than the other two above, but it may offer me a bit too much freedom. 

As I am writing this blog right now, I think I have come to a conclusion though.  I am going to give SF a try starting when my week starts over on Saturday.  I will plan to keep my food selections within the SF list and, in honour of eating whole foods, will try to "Whole30 it up" a bit along the way.  I will try and have a chat with WW Fiona and see if she can offer any insight.  One thing I really need to do is to eliminate my intake of artificial sweetener.  I don't add it a whole lot, but I do use it daily in my oatmeal and I'm sure there are food products in my kitchen that contain artificial sweeteners. I will give SF a try for a couple of weeks, but while doing so will still continue to investigate the other two programs above.  I think by starting with SF, I can ease myself into trying a Whole30 in the near future. 

As you can probable surmise from this post, my food on vacation (yet, again) was a disaster.  I admit that I didn't track at all.  I was conscious of what I was eating most of the time, and I did make some good choices, but overall it was a bust.  I will face the scales on Saturday (if I am brave enough) and will suck it up and move on with a plan in place.  I really need to get a handle on things before I take another vacation.  Vacations will come every year (some years more than once!), so I really do need to find a way to deal with them.  I am so tired of getting on the scales every week and knowing I will stay the same or go up - and knowing it is completely my own fault.  What I am doing is the true definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... it just doesn't work that way.