The Yo-Yo String of Dieting

Many of us have this thought that diets don’t work, but if we look at diets as a way to basically starve ourselves, and/or sticking to a regime of specific foods that can make us bored or unmotivated, then those diets won’t work in the long term. If we look at a diet in terms of losing a lifestyle, then all we need to do is give our current diet a tweak. We don’t have to eliminate anything from our diet to lose weight. Loving to eat unhealthy foods might not be a conscious decision since it’s has a lot to do with your current lifestyle. I believe eating healthy is something everyone should strive to do, but sometimes it won’t always serve our current situation.

When we’re eating to lose weight, there are a lot of things that have to be considered. One rule is not to be too overwhelmed by all the changes we’re making, or else it can cause us to give up completely. My first consultation with the doctor was to focus on my food addiction and breaking bad habits that can gradually affect my weight loss journey. She knew that if I didn’t change my eating habits, the weight would be much harder to lose and would come right back if I ate a few calories above the limit. That meant I would have to retrain myself to eat regularly throughout the whole day.

I was never a morning eater. I would eat a big lunch around noon or 1 P.M, then eat a big dinner six or seven hours later. I would eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted until I feel stuffed. Beside work, I would usually stay at home with the kids and watch TV. I knew this routine had to change since my metabolism is taught to go into starvation mode throughout the day. It wasn’t the diet itself so much as the changes in outlook that will make it successful for me.

I began eating something very small in the mornings, like a croissant or a Morning Star Vegan sausage patty, then go to work and eat either a tuna fish sandwich or a Caesar salad for lunch. A few hours later I would eat a light snack like fresh fruit, and then a few hours after that I have dinner with my family. Sometimes I have a small snack an hour before bedtime, like raisins or dried cranberries. Eating a small amount every few hours keeps me from getting hungry throughout the day.

I lost two pounds in my first week, but I could’ve lost more because I had eaten food that had too much salt and saturated fats. The reason I haven’t gained any weight this week despite eating junk is because I set some ground rules that are easy to follow. I only ate my snacks in a small bowl! I stick to that rule every time I indulge into ice cream or potato chips, then I’d document what I ate on a calorie tracking website to make sure I stayed within my calorie limit.

I recommend that anyone who’s trying to lose or maintain their weight use a Fitbit Pro. You can log your exercise, calories, and heart rate on it, and the wristwatch is entirely easy to use. My favorite part of using it is logging my daily activities. I take the data and post it into myfitnesspal, where they give you an estimate of how much you’ll weigh if you continue eating and exercising the way you do. Each week, my number kept decreasing after I log in my results. It was very motivating to see my improvement.

The most impressive feature of myfitnesspal is that the calorie counting site has so many people who post in their diets. Nearly any food imaginable is already posted in their database! Even food I’d want to order at a local restaurant is in there with it’s entire nutritional value already listed. If there’s something you can’t find, you can add it in yourself. I don’t think my weight-loss would be as successful without the use of that website. Keeping track of calories on our own is not only difficult, but it’s not necessary to worry about since the website completely takes care of that for you.

I found out that I could still eat everything I love to eat and I don’t need to eat as much of it because I’m eating smaller meals throughout the day. I never let myself get to the point of hunger or fullness, and that’s one of the biggest keys to success when losing weight. I could always go into a store and buy a cookie to take the bite of hunger away if I feel it coming on during the day, so I never let hunger develop into anything serious.

I used to believe my weight was all about what I was eating, but it has a lot much more to do with how much I was eating and how I was eating it. Restrictive diets don’t work in the long term because they do nothing to break the habits that caused the weight problem. For some reason, I think it’s okay to eat junk food in moderation, but once the weight is gone, I can’t eat the same way I used to eat. The old way of eating is the yo-yo string that kept me bobbing up and down between starvation and overeating for the rest of my life. Eventually, that string will get tangled.

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