Thursday, February 4, 2010

Balance of Cooking vs. Dieting

My mojo for cooking has run low as a result of getting caught up in the weight loss fervor that strikes every January as part of the resolution circus. While I am carrying a little extra baggage, I am trying my best to maintain the balance of passion for cooking and exploring various ways to lose about fifteen pounds this winter. Losing weight is no easy task when several obstacles meet you along the way.

One handicap is the lovely Presto deep fryer I acquired for the holidays courtesy of my loving family. I do not partake in heavy amounts of deep fried foods but I have fantasized about making my own tasty items that I usually have to outsource to satisfy my cravings. These deep fried delectable treats include buffalo wings, fried chicken, beer batter fish fry, and donuts. Yes, all unhealthy food, but I do not eat these items every day or even every other day. They are considered more of once a week treat.

The second handicap to launching a meaningful weight loss plan is constantly being surrounded by fellow diners not partaking in the same lower calorie diet as myself. . My lean cuisine 290 calorie Panini does not quite look as tantalizing as the Jimmy John’s Italian Sub enjoyed by my associate during our conference room lunch break. It takes a lot of “will power” from leaving the frozen meal in the freezer and taking a stroll to the deli for “real food”. I would take a freshly prepared meal over frozen processed food any day, but right now I am in the business of losing about fifteen pounds over the next four months, so I choose my lunch meal to be typically a lean cuisine or smart choice type of entrĂ©e which typically maxes out at between 300 and 500 calories.

The last major hurdle to staying focused on weight loss are minimizing exposure to carb laden foods which is no easy feat since I prepare a lot of eastern European cooking. Czech and german cuisine is all about the dumplings, potatoes, and breads. That is all before the pastries arrive at the end of the meal. Good lord. This is all about portion control and perhaps a long walk after dinner.

There is a plan. I have still stuck to my culinary guns and keep cooking. The answer lies in lower quantities, more exercise, and more water consumption. I have started a slightly lower caloric daily diet for three weeks now and have managed taking off two pounds. That does not sound like a heck of a lot of weight to lose, but it is also not a painful diet to endure. I still have access to beer, ice cream and other sinful pleasures without the diet handcuffs. I guess you could say I have taken the diet at a more leisurely pace though I will cross the finish line a little later in the year. I have mixed in the addition of walking to and from my house to the train station as well as hit the gym twice a week. These calorie burning workouts and walks allow me the flexibility to still engage in a daily treat and also allow a cold brew or two on the weekends. The added benefit of walking to and from the train station is getting some fresh air and enjoying the scenery. Best of all I can still do some fun cooking though consume smaller size portions………(i.e. avoid extra helpings). I’ll get there!

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