Warning – Part 2 is a little long – stick with me though.
Back in June of last year, one of my colleagues told me that she had just started going to a new weight loss clinic, Medi Weight Loss and encouraged me to join her as the clinic was just around the corner from my work site. I found myself there for an initial appointment and then an evaluation. The initial evaluation was thorough and included blood work, an EKG and an exam by a PA (Physicians Assistant-RN). I then met with a nutritionist to review their “diet”. I have to say I was impressed with the exam and their professionalism. I believe that most of these clinics are physician owned – not that you will ever see the physician themselves – but this provided me a level of confidence that they knew what they were doing and the diet was well thought out.
Before I get to the basics of the Medi Weight Loss diet, I want to be upfront about a few things. Yes, it works – I lost over 30 lbs in an 11-12 week period. Yes, it is not cheap – 11 weeks was just over $1000 and that cost includes weekly check ups with a nurse or nutritionist, weekly B12 shots, and your first few weeks supply of nutritional supplements. You can sign up for both shorter time periods or longer time periods – I decided that I could stick with it for about 12 weeks. And I pretty much did stick with the diet with only a few exceptions. I also signed up and paid for twice weekly B12 and B6 shots over the weekly ones.
The diet itself is very straightforward – high in protein so that your body goes into Ketosis (hopefully burning fat instead of muscle quickly). It is also very very low in calories – hence the supplements as you are only taking in about 600 – 800 calories a day. Those supplements include various natural stool softeners, such as magnesium and fiber, as eating only protein will surely block up your lower intestines. For the first week all you are allowed is protein, or their proprietary snacks, meals and shakes. I call this type of low calorie diet STARVATION and DEPRIVATION.
At the time, since I was taking low dose Metphormin for the onset of Type 2 Diabetes I was allowed one piece of fruit a day. The first week for me was protein, protein and more protein with one piece of fruit for the day. Week 2 I got 2 servings of vegetables a day and that became my diet for the next 11 weeks. Did I say DEPRIVATION already?
After about week 2 they did talk to me briefly about exercise – this is another word I really do not like nor do I enjoy any thoughts of going to a gym and working out. I am however willing to walk. Not on a Treadmill – can you say BOOOOORING! But a walk outside can be relaxing as well as a way to burn off some calories.
I don’t think exercise was pushed by Medi Weight Loss, as what type of energy do you realty have when consuming only between 600 – 800 calories a day. I kept the food log they recommended I use and showed it to the nurse or nutritionist every week when I weighed in. Those once a week visits lasted about ½ hour and the staff really cared about your progress. And as I said, I did lose weight. And more than anyone should over such as short period of time.
After the 11-12 week period I continued to be careful in what I ate and my appetite was smaller (thanks to a shrinking stomach from the small amount of actual calories I was consuming). I even went on a 17 day cruise with my husband and amazingly lost a few extra pounds. Yes, I did have a glass of wine with dinner every night and indulged a few times in some treats such as cookies with my afternoon tea or a desert here and there.
I was really scared of gaining some of that weight back so I joined Weight Watchers again, but this time only on line and with a “personal coach”. With Weight Watchers you can choose to have a personal coach call you (I believe up to three times a week) for 15 minutes to discuss with you your weight goals. I loved my coach, but we ended up discussing unhealthy food choices more than healthy ones and I didn’t stick with this very long.
Over the next six months or so I ended up gaining some of that weight back, though not all of it and that is when I decided to try to the Whole30. As I have blogged about, there were benefits derived from my Whole3 and not just in the area of weight loss, but in overall body and mind. That is a good thing – however, there are still foods that I really love to eat – such as bread, pasta and pizza – Oh and don’t forget CHEESE.
As this blog is titled “Eat Fee or Die(t)”, I want to choose to “Eat Free” – I do not want to continually diet. I want to find a healthy balance that is right for me, so that I can enjoy the food I love and also not worry about what the scale might say. I am still not going to weigh myself too often, except for once a month, and rely on how my clothes fit and how I feel both physically and mentally.
My current plan is to limit wheat, especially white wheat, and avoid sugar. I will continue to have a ¼ teaspoon of honey in my first cup of tea in the morning and I will try to keep my intake of dairy to lower fat versions. I know that I am going to have to include some form of exercise into my life, which is not going to be easy, so stay with me on this journey and please post any thoughts or comments you might have about what works for you or what doesn’t work. I believe if we share our journey to better health and wellbeing that we can truly “Eat Free”.