Yesterday was the end of my experiment on the Game On Diet. If you need a refresher on what the diet is all about, take a look at my review of the book, but here are the basic principles:
1. Eat five healthy mini-meals a day spaced 2 to 4 hours apart
2. Exercise at least 20 minutes 6 days a week
3. Sleep 7+ hours a night
4. Drink 3 liters of water a day
5. Add a healthy new habit
6. Get rid of a bad habit
7. Communicate with your team and the other players
What I Didn't Like
The hardest part of the diet for me was eating five times a day. Although two meals were supposed to be snacks, I found it disconcerting to be eating when I wasn't remotely hungry. It seemed as if I were always thinking about or dealing with food: timing my next meal, planing my next meal, eating my meal, cleaning up from my meal. I found that food really disrupted my day.
I didn't like eating dinner at a different time from my husband. Mr. BFR works a flexible schedule, and the diet is not flexible. Thus many evenings I would eat alone and then I would sit with him while he ate. Not a lot of fun.
Protein was required at every meal, and because I didn't want to eat meat five times a day, that meant a lot of dairy: yogurt and string cheese over and over. Beans were considered carbs but were allowed as protein for vegetarians. I am not a vegetarian, but I took the bean option for the last two weeks.
It was difficult to limit the amount of fruit I eat, especially because we are at the height of the season (at least where I live). I practically live on fruit in the summer.
What I Liked or What I Grew to Like
I already ate the foods recommended for the diet, and I already avoided or just didn't eat the foods banned by the diet. So that part was a great match for me.
I already exercised almost every day, so that part of the diet wasn't new.
I truly approached the water requirement kicking and screaming. I hated it, hated water, and didn't want to be forced to drink it. But funny thing: I started to like it and then I started to crave it. I found it hard to get all three liters in on some days, but not torture!
I liked having a meal off and a day off each week. That meant that nothing was forbidden forever, making it easier to stay on track.
I loved the habit part of the diet. I hope to keep on with my healthy habit and stay away from my bad habit. That was a great part of the game.
Communicating with my teammates and rivals was such fun! In fact, earning my communication points was almost too easy.
What I'll Take away with Me
The two biggest lessons for me were portion control and water. Remember that I was already eating the right foods (just too much of them) and I was already exercising.
We went out to breakfast this morning to celebrate the end of my diet, and when I looked at the amount of homefries on my plate, I was amazed. Even though the diet is over, I was happy eating just a fist-size portion and leaving the rest.
Water has become such a habit that I asked for and drank two glasses at the restaurant. So I think my body expects to have its water now.
I plan to continue my exercise, drink my water, and stay on track with my habits. I am looking forward to going back to my normal eating schedule and eating only when I'm hungry. The main thing is going to be watching my portions and avoiding seconds. I also plan to live with the idea of one meal off and one day off each week. It's a great way to keep a rein on my week-long eating trends.
And, of course, you want to know about the weight loss. I was kind of a bad candidate for this experiment because I wanted to lose only three pounds. I did that very easily and even lost a bit more. The question will be whether it stays off and how well I'll be able to live with the spirit of of the diet now that I am Game Off!