Losing weight is never easy at the best of times. Even if one has a personal chef, unlimited financial resources, and all the will power in the world, things still go wrong with dieting. However, the one thing that bothers me the most is all the advice everyone has to offer. Some of it is so ridiculous that I am sorry I mentioned anything about my weight loss goals, while other opinions do come in handy. However, I think the one point that has absolutely been the most important for me is not counting calories.
There is no doubt that when one starts a diet, caloric intake must be reduced. It is obvious to everyone that eating less volume-wise, eating more nutritional foods, and exercising will have a direct impact on one’s weight. However, it is not necessary to starve oneself to the point of experiencing severe migraines and being unable to cope with the daily routine. If you cannot continue to do your job while losing weight, then I would suggest that dieting borders on insanity. In addition, most “well-meaning” people get this part wrong when they talk about dieting.
I remember a time when losing weight meant that you were only allowed to eat half a grapefruit for breakfast. Bananas were barbarically portioned out, as the belief of the times was that only half a banana was acceptable. One day, I was at the Y enjoying my regular swim and aerobics class. When one of the other women saw me take a banana out of my bag, she chastised me for eating the whole thing. I was angry, but she only parroted what the books said at the time.
Today, effective dieting is not so much about staying within a rigid calorie framework, but rather, eating properly so that you do not want more than necessary. In fact, many recent studies have shown that women are more likely to succeed at losing weight by eating a good breakfast. This should come as no surprise, since doctors and nutritionists have always touted the breakfast as the most important meal of the day. So, why would I want to eat only half a banana or half a grapefruit?
Those same tests indicate that women who eat two pieces of toast and two eggs for breakfast will feel fewer hunger pains throughout the day. This is my idea of dieting. You see, I love eggs in any form, except for raw, and if I can have something I love to eat, and know it benefits me, then great. The old “wisdom” just did not make sense to me. It sounded downright stupid, really.
The thing about eating this type of breakfast is that you do reduce your caloric intake because you have not added the fatty bacon, the starchy potatoes, and the biscuits and gravy. You have kept the meal to a bare minimum while providing your body with the nutrients it needs. In addition, you are not walking around starving, and craving something you cannot have.
I do not like watching television shows on dieting. In fact, I hate the word itself. I prefer to think of dieting as better eating, a regimen that follows the Food Guide Pyramid. It seems to me if I eat everything in moderation, and get the appropriate amount of physical activity, then I will feel good and look good.
Indeed, the revelation that I did not have to abide by a strict calorie count, and could, in fact, eat and still lose weight was the defining moment for me in dieting. The pressure was off and I resigned myself to eating properly, both nutritiously and with portion control. I no longer felt guilty for eating a whole banana or a plate of spaghetti.
I felt a release, as I was happy to learn new ways to prepare my foods, and I was elated the migraines along with the trauma of eating a mere 1500 calories per day disappeared. I now enjoy watching my weight and maintaining a healthy body.