6 Comments

Dying to Diet

I recently joined a calorie counting website at caloriecount.about.com.  It has opened my eyes to how much I CAN eat… as long as what I’m eating is healthy.

Basically it’s helped me be understand more about what I’m putting into my mouth.  I only keep track Mon-Friday and use it as a guide rather than rhetoric but I have actually enjoyed learning about what areas of my diet need more attention etc.

I’ve only been doing it for three weeks and already I feel like I have way more energy.  What I like about this is that it’s about life-style changes and awareness rather than crash-dieting (and the resulting yo-yo effect).

Also, I really REALLY enjoyed/appreciated this post from them:

http://caloriecount.about.com/paint-number-masterpiece-b435500?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_20100624&utm_term=title1

Paint-By-Number or Masterpiece?

By michelle_may_md on Jun 24, 2010 03:00 AM in Dieting & You

Nutrition information is a tool, not a weapon—and certainly not a religion!  As you learn to manage your weight in this abundant food environment, remember that your goal is a healthy lifestyle, not a lifelong restrictive diet. The distinction between healthy eating and restrictive dieting is important because restriction usually leads to feelings of deprivation, cravings, overeating, and guilt followed by another round of restriction. This is what I call the eat-repent-repeat cycle.

Work of Art or Paint-by-Number?

The difference between healthy eating and restrictive dieting is the difference between a work of art and paint-by-number. Either way, you end up with a nice picture… until you get up close to take a look.

Healthy Eating

In Charge
Nourishment
Fuel
Quality
Healthy
Aware
Conscious
Mindful
Information
Guide
All foods fit
Balance
Variety
Moderation
Choosing
Deciding
Flexible
Hunger-based
Comfort
Physical activity
Effortless
Trust
Learning
Self-acceptance
Enjoyment
Pleasure
Freedom

VS.

Restrictive Dieting

In Control
Diet
Calories
Points
Skinny
Preoccupied
Consumed
Vigilant
Dogma
Rules
Good or bad
Perfection
Temptation
Deprivation
Earning
Rationalizing
Rigid
By the clock
Portion sizes
Penance
Willpower
Fear
Failing
Condemnation
Guilt
Shame
Bondage

Your Picture of Health

Is the “picture of health” you’re painting constrained by rigid lines and someone else’s choice of colors? Or does it express your individuality, your preferences, and your lifestyle? Choose now how you want to create your work of art. Here are specific steps:

  1. Filter everything you read, hear, and say by asking, “Is this restrictive in nature?”
  2. Begin to monitor your little voice. (It may be helpful to journal so you capture the real essence of your beliefs, thoughts, feelings and choices when it comes to food.)  When you notice restrictive dieting thoughts from the second column above, gently replace them with true healthy eating thoughts from the first column.
  3. Conventional wisdom may have you convinced that you are incapable of managing your weight without rigid rules. Look for role models, support, andresources to help you relearn to trust yourself.
  4. Use nutrition information as a tool not a weapon—and definitely not a religion!
  5. Make the healthiest choice you can without feeling deprived. All foods fit into a healthy diet using balance, variety, and moderation. (Click here for a guided audio lesson: Deciding What to Eat)
  6. Let go of the belief that you need to eat perfectly. Accept that you’ll sometimes regret certain choices you make—that is part of healthy eating. When you don’t get caught up in guilt and shame, you’re able to learn from your experiences.
  7. Repeat often: “It’s just food and I can learn to trust and nourish myself without restriction.”
  8. Discover joy in creating your own masterpiece!


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6 comments on “Dying to Diet

  1. Well said.
    Kudos to eating well.

  2. I followed Weight Watchers on and off for a while (lost 36 pounds following it regularly!) and this is what I loved about it. They teach you what to eat and how much. It’s basically an “eat less, move more” plan, which is why it works. I’m counting calories now, but not being as “good” as I should be. Sometimes, I just can’t deal with it. lol

    I try to eat 95% whole foods and exercise most days, though. It does help a lot with how you feel.

  3. And I want to add that I don’t agree that “calories” and “points” are “restrictive” words. You CANNOT successfully lose weight if you don’t pay attention to how much you’re eating. You just can’t. You can keep it off, but you can’t take it off. At least, I can’t. Even eating extremely healthy and exercising don’t work for me because it’s very easy to eat too many calories and not realize it.

    • I remember thinking that when I first read the post too – that when I stop thinking about the calories (or points for some) then I don’t lose the weight. So I agree with you there, but maybe what they mean is not letting it rule your life… food should still be food and not just some number or stat.

      I also read that when eating healthy think about how good the food tastes rather than the health benefits. That way you feel more satisfied and less like you’re ‘missing out’ with the not-so-good-for-you stuff.

      Congrats on the weight loss and healthier life-style!! I’m on my way 🙂 I’ve lost five pounds so far, but more-so I’ve lost an inch off my butt 🙂

      • Yay for losing inches! That’s really what matters. 🙂

        I think the heavier you are, the easier it is to lose without counting if you’re eating healthier (lower-calorie) foods. But when you get smaller, it takes far less food to fuel your body, so it’s easier to overeat even when you think you’re not.

        I’ve never been and never will be a “diet food” eater. I’ve learned to substitute things like fruit smoothies sweetened with natural chocolate peanut butter (if you like chocolate and PB, you HAVE TO try Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams — no sugar added, fake or real, and you’d never know it!). I also discovered Green & Black’s 85% cocoa dark chocolate. TO.DIE.FOR. So, I get my sweet fix without going overboard.

        And I eat fat. I eat real cheese. I find that you’re satisfied on a small amount of real food just as much as a large amount of fake (diet) food. And I burn a lot of calories so I can have fried something every once in a while. Or a slice of 800 calorie cheesecake if I want it.

        It’s all about balance.

      • Thank you!

        I agree, it is definitely all about balance 🙂 I’m glad you have found what works for you. I’m getting there 😉

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