I posted my weight loss post late last night, and I realized that there are several things that I forgot to mention.
Inspirations – My program was inspired by The No S Diet, which I discovered a couple of years ago, and by Mark Forster’s adaptation thereof. The inspiration from No S is that I really like the idea of doing simple things to reduce your calorie consumption. But, the No S rules don’t really work for me. First, the no snack rule is a complete disaster for me. If I don’t eat a snack, particularly between lunch and dinner, then I am starving and gorge myself at dinner, which is not good for the program. So, a sensible snack is a must for me. The whole no sweets and except on weekends doesn’t quite work for me, either. While I’m willing to deny myself sweets in the service of the cause, I find that waiting a whole week to eat any sweets just leads me to eat more on the weekend. And, in general, giving myself complete free reign on the weekend, just because it’s the weekend, also leads to overindulgence.
The thing I like about Forster’s adaptation is the idea of tying your behavior to making progress. But, Forster sets things up so that the goal is to lose 1 lb per week. While this is a very sensible weight loss rate, it seems a little too prescriptive to me. I’d rather go at my body’s own pace, as long as we keep moving in the right direction.
Water – I have been drinking lots of water. While much has been made of the fact that “8 glasses of water a day” is a “myth,” I’m still of the opinion that it probably wasn’t bad advice. The evidence now suggests that most people don’t actually need that much to stay hydrated, but there is no evidence that this level of water consumption causes any harm. And I think flushing all that water through your system, taking various toxins with it, can’t be a bad thing. Also, water largely takes the place of soda for me now, and cutting soda out of my life was probably the best thing I could have done for this weight loss program.
Portion Size – This has been huge for me in terms of paying attention. The portion sizes that we are offered are insane. So, I’ve been trying to eat a sensible amount and then stop. I was in a habit of eating about 4 pieces of pizza — no matter how large the pizza. If it was a large pizza, I usually felt stuffed. So, the last time we got pizza, I stopped after 3. And much as I love Moe’s burritos, they are quite a substantial lunch. I think I’m going to try a taco instead and see if that satiates. And we get takeout Chinese from this place with insane portions. Next time, I’m going to put half in tupperware before I start eating and see if that is sufficient. Part of the secret here is being aware of the fact that there is a time delay (about 20 minutes, as I understand it) between eating and feeling satisfied. So, if I’m not sure if I’ve had enough, I try waiting a little while. Then, if I’m still hungry, I eat some more.
Exercise – I guess I should mention that exercise isn’t really a key component of this plan. Restarting my running regime is high on the agenda for the new year, but trying to lose weight by exercising it away is a pretty tough way to go. It’s quite a bit simpler to keep those calories out in the first place than to get rid of them later.
Anyway, all simple stuff, but it seems to be working for me so far.