Somehow I got my wife, her best friend and aunt to join me for 12 days to show what the McDougall Program can do. Although I am finding it much easier than say, my wife when it comes to eating this way. I have heard for the last few days, “I am hungry.” Unlike diets, which usually force people to limit their calories I have been advocating eating more. She has been tempted that past few days by non-McDougall meals, but as I told her last night after finishing dinner, you might need to eat more of the healthy foods to feel full.
Not sure I had this problem with I started eating like this in October, 2011 or not. I was tempted, don’t get me wrong by many foods that I would skip over. Her problem is taking a fresh and friendly meal or snack to work, which is where she typically spends her day. At home, it isn’t much of a problem. Last night, I could have eaten two Falafel sandwiches, but the recipe only made 12 patties and I had 3 other people to feed. So instead I filled up on my couscous salad, cucumber salad and three bean salad.
As I mentioned this is not a diet, but a lifestyle change. You don’t “McDougall” for a month and then go back to eating a standard American diet. The benefits you just gained from the past 30 days will be lost if you load up on dairy, meat and fat. I did tell her to eat some bread! The whole wheat and oat bread I make is very healthy, contains no salt or oils. This will at least be good starch and help fill the hunger craving.
We continue to have a disagreement on a weight goal. I am hoping to get to 175 pounds, but she believes I will be “too skinny” much like when she met me back in 2003 at that weight. Late last year I read an L.A. Times article on American’s and how their ‘ideal weight’ has shifted upwards. “The average man now weighs 196 pounds; the average woman weighs 160 pounds. Both figures are 20 pounds greater than self-reported weights in 1990,” states the Gallup report.
“But Americans’ self-professed “ideal” selves have put on weight too. Women on average said their ideal weight should be 138 pounds — up from 129 in 1991. Men on average said their ideal weight should be 181 pounds — up from 171 in 1991” (source).
Reading a McDougall Newsletter from July 2003 there is an interesting chart put together by Walter Kempner, MD, who established the Rice Diet Program in the 1940s at Duke University. Dr. McDougall has used the “chart from the Kempner Foundation for more than 20 years to help people who think they are becoming too thin to realize that their new weight may actually be an ideal weight when it comes to good health.”
You can view the Kempner Foundation chart here and see where your weight should fall based on height. Dr. McDougall doesn’t look at this chart as a goal chart, but to reassure people that you are not getting too thin. For me, I am shooting for 175 pounds, based on the Kempner Chart, for a 6′-0″ male I should weight 160 pounds, so my target is still a goal to achieve. My wife would like to more than just weight loss. Losing fat is wonderful, as is getting healthy, but being able to exercise and build some muscle to fill out a 175 pound frame is important.
The losing weight part of the McDougall Program is the easy part for me. Exercise isn’t that easy. When I lost a fair amount of weight in 2002-2003 it was not really a great diet, but really limited how much I ate, but would spend 45 minutes daily doing P90 with Tony Horton. It was a great set of videos and movements that made me feel good after finishing them daily.
Currently I am sitting at 192.6 pounds as of this morning, working my way towards my goal of 175 pounds. I still have not set up a medical appointment with my physician yet, but still plan on it. At least I will discuss with him and what I did and hopefully get another blood test scheduled after my 12 days are over.