A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weight Loss & The Larger Appetite

My reason for being overweight is very simple.  It’s not because of a slow metabolism, or a glandular problem, or childhood trauma, or a physical disability.  It’s because the size of my appetite prompts me to eat more calories than my body needs in order to efficiently work – and the extra has been carefully stored over a long number of years.

This problem of my big appetite hasn’t gone away in the past six months of eating substantially less than I need to survive (in fact, for obvious reasons, it’s slightly worse now) and I doubt it ever will.  Its a part of who I am, a habit possibly developed over a lifetime of enjoying the pleasure that eating food gives me.

This can make feeling satiated after dinner right now very difficult.  So this post is about how I make enough tasty food to feel like I’m not constantly depriving myself during dinnertime – which is the “tricky” meal of the day for me.  My hunger starts slow, and gradually increases throughout the day until it reaches a sort of fever pitch right around five or six PM each night.

My secret weapon to deal with this problem isn’t a secret at all – it’s just a matter of making a variety of tasty, vegetable based side dishes to go along with my meals.  It’s a way to get the highest food volume for the lowest caloric intake.

So here is tonight’s dinner, and if it looks good to you, below are instructions on how to make it:
Veggie Burger:
I like Morningstar Farms.  They come in a variety of flavors and average 90 to 110 calories for each.  I have mine on a 100 calorie Arnold’s Bread roll (although if you really want a regular hamburger bun, those are okay too at only 110 calories).  I dressed mine tonight with sautéed onion, grey poupon mustard and a heaping pile of fresh baby spinach and arugula mix.
Calorie total: 240 (for comparison’s sake, a beef hamburger dressed with ketchup clocks in at around 375 calories).

Baked Brussels Sprouts:
Wash a pound of sprouts and then cut off the woody end, removing any loose or battered outer leaves.  Then cut the sprouts in half and place them in a bowl.  Toss in a tablespoon of good olive oil and spread on a baking sheet with the cut side up.  Sprinkle generously with Adobo seasoning and roast for a half hour at 350 degrees until lightly brown on top and caramelized on the bottom.  Makes three to four servings depending on the size of the sprouts.
Calorie total: 112 per serving.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges:
Peel two large sweet potatoes and cut into thin wedge shapes.  Toss in a tablespoon of good olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until lightly brown in spots.  Makes three to four servings depending on the size of the potatoes.
Calorie total: 95 per serving.

Auntie’s Asparagus:
I like to make this with thin asparagus stalks as they’re usually tenderer.  Cut the woody ends off of a single asparagus bunch, then cut the stalks in half before washing thoroughly.  Sautee in a tablespoon of good olive oil over medium heat until they start to soften (around eight to ten minutes).  At the end, add two or three teaspoons of your favorite soy sauce.  Makes four servings.
Calorie total: 70 per serving.

None of these veggie dishes are time or labor intensive.  My entire big dinner pictured tonight clocked in at 517 calories, keeping me right on track for a sated appetite at the end of the day while also keeping within my restricted caloric goals.

And then I had a 90 calorie weight watchers giant latte bar for dessert.  Because… chocolate!

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