Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Debate on Choices for Successful Weight Loss

Dr. James O. Hill of the University of Colorado's Center for Human Nutrition suggests cutting out just 100 calories a day as a way to effortless lose weight. For some people that may be a great way to look at it. If you drink soda, drink one less today...or take an extra walk around the block. By reducing your intake or increase the calories you burn by just 100 a day Dr. Hill claims you will lose 5 pounds a year. Not a huge number, but considering most of us GAIN weight every year it is definitely a place to start. And pretty painless at that.

My say "toemahtoe" and I say "toemaytoe", you say "cutting calories" and I say "that's a diet!"

Look...I didn't drink soda, didn't use salad dressing, already used skim milk etc. There were not a lot of obvious easy options for dropping 100 calories a day. And still I was 300 pounds...clearly there has got to be another option.

So what if like me you don't drink soda? What if you can't find a place to easily cut 100 calories. What if you are injured and can't walk around the block...what are you going to do?

I do agree when Dr. Hill says "any diet that asks you to dramatically reduce food intake may work for a while, but you will get too hungry. You need to eat at a level you can stick with." That makes sense.

He continues to makes sense when he suggest you ask yourself how you can do a little better than you are doing right now. Aim to reduce fat and sugar intake rather than trying to eliminate them entirely...that all makes sense...

But when he suggests ice cream lovers switch to lower-calorie versions I have got to ask is he out of his frickin' mind???

I tried that...I just wanted to eat more! Low calorie versions of your favorite foods are NOT the way to go about it. They are not satisfying and your mind remembers the label says "low calorie" or "low fat" or "low" whatever and so you believe you can have more. In the end you frequently take in MORE calories, fat and sugar with the "low cal" versions than you would if you enjoyed a smaller portion of the "real deal."

Start with your mindset...believe that you can lose weight NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CURRENT CONDITION IS!

Then allow yourself to have your favorite foods.

That means if you are an ice cream lover (like me) have the full-flavor version...just not as much. When you start with your mindset and decide to eat consciously rather than out of habit or because of emotions then it becomes easy to enjoy a smaller portion. It might be that you have a pint instead of a half gallon...or 1/2 gallon instead of a full gallon...or one scoop instead of two. Again, start where YOU are...not where I am or Dr. Hill is for that matter.

So, if the low cal versions work for you, then go for it...but whether you choose low cal versions or smaller portions of the full-flavored original you have to start with your mind...because the bottom line is what is going on in your mind has much more to do with YOUR bottom line than what is going in your mouth!

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