Tunes for Tuesday, Gangnam Style, by Psy
It's the one thing

Do not feed the bear!

Polar bear chilly muffin
Damn you, Chilly Willy! Always the instigator.

I refer to my nighttime kitchen cravings as feeling like an angry bear is taking over. I could be sitting in the living room with the family, watching, oh let’s say baseball (because it’s always baseball), when I spring up off my chair and head to the kitchen and stick my face in the fridge.

The bear is calling – yelling, really.

I mentioned this to the Weight Shrink this week, how this is my absolute No. 1 biggest problem with food. I hadn’t weighed myself for a few weeks, and when I finally did last Monday, I was back at 240, a weight that my body naturally likes to be. That’d be great if I were a 6-foot-5 muscle dude, but I’m not.

I should not be 240, Sam I am.

I’ve been trying to “intuitively eat” the past few weeks, and it turns out that when I do, I maintain my weight. All during the day, I eat in weight-loss mode, but I think the calories I ingest at night, after dinner, kick me into maintenance mode.

Interesting little experiment.

But the experiment is done.

Digest dietYesterday, I joined with a bunch of bloggers and lots of other people on Facebook. We’re trying out The Digest Diet, written by Liz Vaccariello, editor of Reader’s Digest. I finally met her in person and talked with her about the book at BlogHer in New York last month. I previously talked with her about her last big book, The Flat Belly Diet, when she was editor of Prevention magazine.

What I like about Liz’s eating plans is that they’re all “real-food” based and don’t omit entire food groups. There are carbs, and proteins, fruits, vegetables, sweets (she’s a big fan of honey) and yes, fat.

This new book uses the latest research to highlight foods that help people release fat and stay fuller longer. The first 4 days of the plan include lots of smoothies with loads of healthy ingredients (yogurt, fruit, flaxseeds, healthy fats), and hearty soups, most of which have a “beans and greens” base (kale and chickpea, chard and lentil).

Digest diet snackAnd since you’re slurping smoothies and soups the first 4 days, she makes sure the snack has some crunch to it – lettuce wraps, dips and crudités, things like that. Today, for example, I had red pepper strips dipped into a quarter cup of fat-free cream cheese mixed with diced tomatoes and seasonings (at right; dishes by Ikea children's department).

But last night, that stupid bear was howling again (do bears howl?). I caved and scraped the top off a leftover piece of pizza. Gave the crust to the dog.

The Weight Shrink and I discussed The Bear yesterday. I need to embrace the bear and acknowledge its existence. So I decided to make it a friendly polar bear. I used to think of it as a crazed grizzly. The bear starts stirring around 10 p.m., because that has been its traditional feeding time.

But feeding time is over.

Tonight when the bear arrives, I’ll give her a big ol’ Camelbak full of water and let it feed on my reserves. (That sounds pretty creepy, doesn’t it?) But that’s how weight loss occurs – that’s even one of Bob Harper’s rules in his new book The Skinny Rules (go to bed slightly hungry).

It’ll be tough, ignoring that snarling bear, but I really want to see how these foods on The Digest Diet will work with me, and I’ll consider any growling as just the friendly polar bear obliterating my excess weight.