Diet Without Deprivation, part 2

Originally posted on: ‘2012-06-08 07:44:12’, ‘2012-06-07 23:44:12’, ‘(Read Part One) Step 2: The Food Plan Before you start on any plan, you have to identify your targets. For our build, age and family medical history (heart disease and cancer in both our families, diabetes in mine), Mrs. Buena decided we could afford to lose 20 to 25 pounds each, and that we could achieve this in two months. She designed a diet plan that specified the amounts of vegetables, fruits, starch, milk, meat and sugar we were allowed per day. The diet plan followed a scheme designed by the American Diabetes Association called the Exchange List. [Links: Diabetes diet guide on | University of Arkansas PDF of Exchange List Foods] To make sure we were following the Exchange List, Mrs. Buena gave us notebooks in which we could track all our food intake.

At Rob and Jo’s wedding, January 2012
At Rob and Jo's wedding, January 2012
How it works: One serving of any food is called an exchange. The list from the ADA specified how much of a type of food constituted one exchange. One-third cup of rice, for example, was one exchange of starch. One slice of bread was also one exchange of starch. One ounce of meat was one exchange of meat. One small banana was one exchange of fruit. One exchange of vegetables could be one cup of raw vegetables or one-half cup of cooked veg. And so on. In addition to specifying the amounts, the list also categorized foods: which fish and meats were lean, medium-fat or high fat; which vegetables were considered starch (like potatoes, peas and lentils); and which foods had both starch and meat or any combination thereof.
Oneal at Rob and Jo’s wedding
Oneal at Rob and Jo's wedding, January 2012
As if to offer some meager consolation, the list included “free foods”: these foods you culd consume with little guilt because an exchange contained less than 20 calories or les than 5 grams of carbohydrates. If the food item had no serving size listed, you could have as much of it as you want! If a serving size was indicated, you could have a maximum of three servings per day. This was a short list, but it looked to us like a free pass and any loophole was welcome. The list included fat-free mayonnaise, fat-free sour cream, non-stick cooking spray (a dieting cook’s best friend), nondairy creamers and salsa. My diet plan allowed me 5.5 exchanges of starch per day, so that meant in one day I could have a maximum of 5.5 slices of bread, or 1 and 3/4 cups of rice. Oneal’s plan allowed him a maximum of 6.5 exchanges of starch. To help space out the different foods we were supposed to eat in one day, the diet plan also recommended how much we should eat per meal. For breakfast, we were supposed to have: 1 exchange of Fruit 1 exchange of Medium-Fat Meat 1 exchange of Starch 0.5 exchange of Milk So a typical breakfast would be 1 banana, one pandesal/slice of bread/one-third cup of rice, 1 oz of corned beef and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or low-fat milk. Rej’s Diet Plan Oneal’s Diet Plan At each meal we’d try to have salads or fresh fruit. And we did our best to avoid fried food! Which is really difficult when eating out, by the way. Stay tuned for Part Three!’,

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