Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gardening Helps My Diet!

Maybe I should be a bit embarrased to admit this, but I'm on a diet. Just started Weight Watchers at the end of January, since in my 30's the pounds started piling on. So far so good- I've learned a lot of things I never paid any attention to in my 20's - like the fact that olive oil is crazy calories! And that two cups of pasta filling up my whole big bowl is really too much to eat at one time. Worst of all, India Pale Ale, my favorite type of beer, has the most calories of any type by far. Or, maybe equivalent to be the worst- that Chipotle Tacos, my favorite thing to eat out for lunch while I'm at work, are 16 points, a whopping 80% of my calories for the day! I guess it was all of these little things that were adding up.

In any case, the good news is it has been working - I've averaged about 1 pound lost per week for a total of 12 lbs that seem to be staying off. I don't usually feel hungry, or deprived - just making smarter choices. I hope to lose 18 more, so then I'll be at the upper limit of the healthy weight range for my height.

Anyway, what does all this have to do with gardening?!? Well, since April is National Gardening Month (Happy Gardening Month!) Weight Watchers has a few cute articles about gardening on the front page of their website.

I suppose it should be fairly obvious that gardening activities are good exercise. I guess I just didn't realize quite how good! If I weed for 20 minutes, I get 1 activity point. 35 minutes = 2. That means I can have a light beer as a reward. :-) If I plant seedlings for an hour - that's 3 points. If I do it for 2 hours straight like I did a few weeks ago while planting radishes, arugula and mustard greens it is 6 points earned- and that's a whole meal burned off!

All this time I wasn't even entering these activities into my activity tracker. Well, now I know. Just one more excuse to get out there and garden!

Activity: POINTS values for 30 minutes
Digging and spading: 1-2
Mowing the lawn with a power mower: 2-3
Planting seedlings; pruning: 1
Weeding: 1-2
Raking: 2-3
Shoveling snow: 3-4


Jeni Treehugger said...

Hey - well done on your weight loss. My friend used WW to lose weight before her wedding and she swears by it and she looked fantastic.

VeggieLadie said...

Congrats on the weight loss. I have always been leery of WW and other plans since everything is harder when you don't eat least I think it is. I have been on the slow and steady track. I have lost about 30 pounds since my wedding (12/07). The goal is to try to lose about 30 or 40 more. But I like carbs...I know I need to give some of that up!!

Aubade said...

Well thanks both of you! And Veggie Ladie, congrats to you too! Slow and steady is the way to go, that's how you keep it off.

I don't go to WW meetings, which I've heard can be tough for vegetarians. I just punch everything I eat into their online system. Other people have told me who've been on WW a long time, that they've recently enhanced the vegan offerings - you can even search the recipe database by vegetarian or vegan preference! So far I've made their jerk seitan & mango salsa - awesome - and tempeh & tomato caper - also super good.

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