Thursday, August 31, 2006

My Diet

I've been trying to decipher in my head why I lost so much ground in the weight-loss war over last winter. I have plenty of excuses. Among them; I was going back to school and didn't have time to exercise, I hurt my shoulder while lifting weights and had to take a break, and it was cold outside so I couldn't ride my bike. All of which is true, but they are still just excuses.

In reality, I think I just got burned out. For over a year, everything that I ate got written down in a log. I would log calories, protien, carbs, fat, sodium, and sugar. It worked great. On most days, I could pretty much hit my target numbers. Writing down what I ate made me accountable for what I ate. It was a system that worked well enough fr me to lose one hundred pounds.

Here's the problem. Writing down the nutritional contents of every scrap of food works very well for short periods of time, but doing it for over a year, or the rest of your life, becomes an incredible drag! For one, it's time consuming. It would take me longer to log down my meal than it would to eat it. Secondly, who wants to carry a notebook around everywhere they go? I just got tired of it. Burned out. So eventually, I quit tracking my food. This meant I lost accountability and eventally started gaining weight again.

What a bummer to think you have to write down everything you eat for the rest of your life.

I think I've found a great compromise. My wife turned me on to the weight watcher diet. The plan is pretty simple. Based on your weight, you get so many points worth of food per day (I get 31 per day at the moment). Food is converted to points based on its calories, fiber, and fat content. You can eat whatever you want provided you don't exceed your daily points. There's some flexability built into the plan as well. You can earn more points with exercise and take advantage of weekly flex points that allow you to "cheat" a little. Once you get in the swing of things, following the weight watcher plan is much easier than tracking all you nutrients like I used to do. I really enjoy it. I've lost over 20 pounds since I started following the plan and I think it might be what I need to put me over the top. I worry a little that it will get harder when my daily points begin to drop with the weight, but my plan is to slowly increase my exercise to help make up for any drop in points.

Basically, the weight watchers plan forces you to learn portion control. I eat whatever I want, but if I don't want to run out of points, I need to watch my portions. Portion control is my biggest weakness. I'm the guy that can eat a whole pizza, an order of wings, and a 2 liter of pop on his own. The part of my brain that is supposed to tell me I'm full apparently died a long time ago. So this weight watchers thing seems to work very well for me. I can eat basically what I want and work it into the daily plan.

I'll let you know how it works for me!



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