I am honored to present a guest post by Hans Wendt, owner of the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Bellingham, WA. Hans has operated the Bellingham store for 15 years and worked for the our bakery franchise office for many years before taking the leap to business ownership himself. He has a passion for health, bread, business and whole grains.
February 1st is a great day to recommit to your New Years Resolutions. If you have a weight loss goal and need some inspiration, you'll enjoy Hans' story!
This is not an article by an expert dietician, nutritionist, or doctor. I’m just a person who needed to lose some weight to stay healthy. I avoided any special or popular diets, simply focusing on eating high quality “nutrient dense” foods. I enjoyed all components of food: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. However, I was a stickler about eating the highest quality foods possible. So, for what it’s worth, here is what I did:
METHOD: I ate less calories than I burned
With my very physical job as a bakery owner/operator, I guessed I burned 2500+ calories per day. I determined to eat 2000 calories/day. Generally, I counted calories by 25’s. Approximating, but if in doubt, round up:
|Cup of vegetables
|Slice of whole wheat bread, cup of whole wheat pasta or brown rice
|Slice of pizza
|Tablespoon of fat, butter, oil or peanut butter
|Piece of fruit or handful of cherries or grapes
A tally note in my pocket or taped in my day-planner simplified keeping count. Often I’d pack a small cooler of food for the day for which I had tallied the calories, making it easy to grab a quick bite.
However, I counted everything. Many times my tally read “nibbles - 150 calories”.
To start the day, a favorite breakfast was:
-1 egg fried in butter (100 cal.) plus 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 tsp. butter (150 cal.)
This 250 cal. breakfast eaten at 6:00 am kept me full until about 10:30 am and I could eat eight meals of this size per day and still lose weight!
NO CRAVINGS: Whole grains combined with fats and proteins
By eating whole grains (pasta, bread, or brown rice) combined with quality oils, fats and proteins (olive oil, natural peanut butter, real cheese, real butter, eggs, & fish), I felt full longer.
When I did get hungry the feeling was a clean, empty feeling, unlike the gnawing, craving hunger of the mornings when I’d skip breakfast and instead snack on sugary treats! In fact, I once visited with a customer who said she had lost 40 lbs on a diet that was heavy on whole grain breads because she felt full longer & didn’t snack or overeat.
To be sure I obtained adequate nutrients while eating less food, my “lunch box” included many fresh vegetables from my garden and fresh fruits in season. Natural peanut butter or cheese on fruit or seed breads were also favorites. These simple, whole and unprocessed foods are not only packed with nutrients, but are delicious, inexpensive, easy to prepare and made it easy to count calories.
I’d typically arrive home from the day having eaten about 1200 calories, leaving room for a nice dinner and a bit of dessert. With the satisfaction of meeting my goal for the day, and a full stomach, I’d go to bed looking forward to the next morning’s weigh-in.
MOTIVATION: I weighed in every day
I got on the scale each morning at the same time to track my progress. It was an important
motivation for me, and the daily feedback allowed me to adjust my eating versus activity balance.
My weight fluctuated up and down depending on the day, but the downward trend was encouraging.
Well, that’s what worked for me. Weight loss or no, I’ve become attached to this simple common-sense way of eating. It gives my body a feeling of well-being and sustained energy that I appreciate and enjoy.