Sunday, March 28, 2010

The 3 Truths of Weight Loss Part 2:

The Second Truth Of Weight Loss : Do Not Deprive Yourself.

I like food.

Actually, that’s not true.

I love food.

It is that love for food that led to me to the brink of 300 lbs. It is that same love for food that would make my quest to lose 100 pounds impossible if I attempted to sustain myself on a restrictive diet. I couldn’t make it through a “pizza party” at work smelling the hot delicious pizza and only eating a bowl of roughage. I would probably eat my own arm off first.

If you have ever tried to diet you know how hard it can be to deal with the feelings of deprivation. Whether you are cutting carbs or counting calories you know how hard it can be to rely on willpower and simply deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy.

If we don’t restrict our diets and deprive ourselves how can we possibly lose weight? The answer will sound simple; make smarter choices.

The first thing that happens when you decide to remove certain foods from your plate is that you start to crave those foods. Think about the times when you have tried to reduce carbs, didn’t it seem like your stomach just longed for the hot buttery taste of a melt in your mouth yeast roll. Or doesn’t it seem like if you try to avoid red meat the steakhouse across the street from your office starts piping in the most amazing smells imaginable.

What usually results is the deprivations leads to cravings and those cravings grow more and more intense until finally you reach your breaking point. The problem is once you are at that breaking point you don’t just eat and enjoy one of the yeast rolls that seemed to call your name but instead you devour an entire basket. This binge only frustrates someone who is trying to be a “good dieter”, who just wants to improve his or her life and health. Far too often this leads to failed diets and frustrated people.

It is for this reason that my second truth of weight loss is simply not to deprive yourself but to make smarter choices.

Making smart choices doesn’t always mean choosing the salad and watching with drool dripping from your lips as your dinner companion enjoys the seafood platter, what it may mean instead is finding items on the menu or in your cabinet that are better choices that will still meet your craving.

For example on a recent trip to Texas Road House instead of choosing the beautiful 16 oz rib eye with the loaded baked potato I ordered an 8oz sirloin with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables. Now keep in mind I like everything on my plate so I enjoyed this meal very much and it left me surprisingly full and satisfied.

Another example of making a smarter choice is when I go to lunch at Wendy’s instead of getting the Baconator with a large fry and a large coke (1412 total calories) I get a chili with a Jr. Bacon cheese burger and water (500 total calories). The key is I still enjoy what I ate.

I can not and will not live on bean sprouts and sea weed. I will eat food I enjoy. The key is to eat food I enjoy in a smarter way.

This is not just for meals but for snacks as well. There is never a need to deprive yourself of snacks, The snacks just need to be smarter. Fruit is always a good snack and it is very portable and extremely tasty. Nuts and trail mix are also good healthy snacks that I really like.

There are times however when fruit and nuts just are not what I want when I am snacking there are times I really just have to have a Snickers bar. I try to fight the urge for a Snickers bar with an alternative like a fiber bar which is only 90 calories, but sometimes nothing satisfies the craving for a Snickers bar quite like, well a Snickers bar, and when that happens I eat a Snickers bar.

It is not a failure to give in to the occasional craving I believe it is actually better go ahead and eat a snack size Snickers now and try to make up for those calories somewhere else than it is to deprive myself now and eventually eat a whole bag of that nutty chocolate temptation

The following are a few tips from the USDA about making smarter choices. Each tip is a link to several more tips. For more information you can go here.

Make half your grains whole

Vary your veggies

Focus on fruit

Get your calcium rich foods

Go lean with protein

Find your balance between food and physical activity

These tips are all great but be sure you implement them with food you enjoy it is the only way you will be able to stick to your plan.

Making smart choices is an individual thing, I can’t tell you what foods you like and what foods you don’t like but if you make smarter choices with the foods you do like I believe you will have greater success. There is something smart on the menu that will taste good, you just have to find it.

The next 2 parts of this series will focus on the misperception of calories and some “tricks” and tips to making smarter choice

34 pounds gone 66 to go; only 2 days until weigh-in Wednesday

Thank to anyone who may be reading and hopefully enjoying. Remember the opinions expressed in this blog are mine and the plan I am following including “The 3 Truths of Weight Loss” is not approved by a doctor, a nutritionist, or a bureaucrat, only by me.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are doing a fantastic job, and thank you for sharing this experience with us. It is something that all of us need to listen to and hopefully learn from your trials. Thanks for the great advice and keep it coming!