Monday, August 4, 2014

Dieting, aka Eating to Lose

"Eating to lose isn't as much fun as eating to maintain" - I flippantly wrote this in an email to a very good friend in response to her asking me how I was doing with this diet.  But that sentence stayed with me the rest of the day and I pondered it - how true was my statement?

There are some really nice meals to be had while dieting.  If you're into cooking, you can be creative with your ingredients and make appealing, great-tasting food, absolutely.  For many of us, dieting means that we work a little harder at making our calories count, and instead of eating 150 calories' worth of Doritos (which is 11 chips...ELEVEN), you might eat a cup of watermelon plus a cup of cherries plus 8 raw almonds for the same 150 calories - way better bang for your caloric buck!

But even with great-tasting food, you are eating fewer calories, and - speaking for myself but I suspect this is true of most successful dieters - you will experience hunger.  That's the way dieting works...you eat less so your body becomes smaller.  As with most of us in the dieting clan, we are electing to do this - we're not starving because we can't afford to eat or don't have access to food.  Nope, we are deliberately eating less and choosing to be hungry in hopes of losing weight.

It isn't always fun, this dieting thing.  Being hungry periodically can get annoying.  Not reaching for my standard snack is annoying.  Choosing a dang salad when a group of us went out to eat at a really good burger joint was slightly annoying - although, it was a really good salad so I can't complain too much.

I am exercising a lot more and eating less, so I'm pretty sure that I'm getting lighter, which is my goal.  It's not happening overnight, of course, but I'm still motivated enough to keep doing what I need to in order to reach my not-very-specific goal.  But having been on both sides of this, I have to say that eating to maintain is a lot more fun than eating to lose.  And I am looking forward to getting back to that, and soon!

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By the way, if you're looking for the AIM post, I've decided to drop out of the group...while I think having a monthly post highlighting weight maintenance is great, I've simply run out of steam when it comes to wanting to write on that specific topic.  You can find the rest of my AIM peeps' posts at the usual places:  Debby, Lori, Cammy, and Lynn, and I'm sure they have lots of great ponderings for you all to read!

25 comments:

  1. I think eating to lose (when you are on track and not off the rails as I have been recently) is much more gratifying for one other reason. I still allowed myself periodic treats (this is LIFE...not some weight loss prison) and those treats were so intensely awesome because of the 'special' aspect of it! That is an amazing part of the losing process (and if I want to be honest with myself should be that way all the time! ha)

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    1. You are right on with the periodic treats - we get frozen yogurt once a week now, and boy howdy, do I look forward to it!!

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  2. Great post! I also agree with Mary Fran about treats. There is no way I'm going to live in dieting prison, but my treats haven't become as special if I have them all the time.

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    1. I love that term "dieting prison" - says so much!

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  3. The part I might say that I like about "dieting" is when that constant hunger sort of abates and you find yourself in the groove, and those changes you're reaching for start to happen. Waiting it out to get that point is where a lot of folks quit but it really is worth it to try.

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    1. You are right - waiting it out is annoying, but I'm not going to die from this kind of hunger, which decades of dieting have taught me...

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  4. LOL on the "annoying" paragraph. So I'm thinking my favorite character, Cranky Shelly, might be more visible during diet periods?

    And I KNOW. Eleven chips. That's just not right.

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    1. Jeff might concur with you on the Cranky Shelley appearance. ;)

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  5. I know you haven't weighed in a long time, so are you not going to weigh at all? Are you going only by how you feel, how your clothes fit, etc? Sounds like you are getting much more in tune with your body.

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    1. I gave up weighing myself nearly three years ago - I didn't need those numbers to mess with my mind for one more day. I go by how my clothes fit, how I look, and how I feel. Being able to say that I weigh a particular number, or have lost XX number of pounds, is not important to me anymore.

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  6. Hooray for getting lighter! I'm not real fond of this hunger feeling, but then I remember it is just a sign for me to do better at finding foods that are a 'better bang for my calorie buck'.

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    1. For sure, look for the better foods. Because if I ate the 150 calories of healthy food, I'd not only not be hungry, but I'd probably feel pretty stuffed!

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  7. I am with you Shelley. I cannot tell you how tempted I was to order a pizza for myself at the hotel before I moved into Tony's room. I had my bag of snacks with me and stuck with it - even if I did overindulge in a bit of cheese one night.

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    1. Good going, Biz! Don't let the stress throw your eating too far out of whack...although, a little extra cheese can't be that bad, right? ;)

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  8. I just started my weight loss journey as of June 1, 2014. It's good to know the things I'm feeling are "normal". Hearing it from you makes me feel like I'm on the right track. Thank you.

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    1. You're quite welcome - and good on you for getting started! :)

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  9. I think I'm always way more motivated to eat less to "diet" or lose than to maintain - that's always where I slip up a little. Eating to lose produces results. I guess both do, but the result of maintenance is just that everything stays the same. That just doesn't seem as powerful to me, even though it should.

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    1. Interesting observation about maintenance not being as powerful. Yeah. The thrill is not there, although you'd think we'd be thrilled at continuing to fit into the same clothes season after season, right?

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  10. When I first started tracking my food and transitioning to more real foods, I was amazed at how much food I could have and still stay within my calorie budget. In the summer, especially, with all the fresh fruits and veggies available, I sometimes don't get anywhere near the upper end of my range. And then there are the other days. :)

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  11. Hungry makes me cranky, and that is what I struggle with. Last night after dinner John wanted ice cream for his birthday. Not yogurt, but ice cream. What I really wanted was a big sundae like I get on ride days, but I realized that just couldn't happen without consequences. So, I got a kiddie cup of soft serve and it was really good, but I still wanted the big sundae (like John had LOL ). I lost that martyr feeling that I used to have when making better choices back in the day, and that's probably a good thing.

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    1. You should have taken the sundae. Why? Because John has a birthday once a year and you should have something special on a special day. I would have chosen the sundae and skip the ice cream on the next bike ride but hey, that's just my thoughts about it :)

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  12. You are doing great my friend. Next week I'm going to join you and hopefully the hunger feeling won't be that bad in the beginning LOL.

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  13. I'm just getting started on my journey and find your blog inspiring. I definitely understand the more bang for your calorie buck concept as it is one I'm trying to follow. This hunger feeling is so foreign to me, that I need to learn to like it ....sure it can only get better :)

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