I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately. First I was thinking about how to get rid of the Christmas weight (which was only about 2.5 pounds – yay!) and then I was thinking about how food will soon become the thing I can’t get enough of as my training ramps up. And I was thinking about how I really hope that this year’s training lets me lose another 5 pounds over where I was at Vineman because that would be bliss. So here’s what I know about food and eating
1). We eat to live, we do not live to eat – except during the holidays and at really great BBQs and parties and expensive restaurants when all bets are off.
2). Twice as much food does not taste twice as good. It’s better to get a small first helping and then another small second helping to get that “oooo… I loved this stuff and could eat it all night” feeling. Two giant helpings just makes your tummy hurt.
3). Everyone has a food group that is poison for them. For me it is what used to be known as carbs (rice, pasta, bread, potatoes). I say used to because now certain fruits are considered carbs by some as is sugar. Sugar is another group as far as I’m concerned and not a group I have problems with. I also think all fruit is good fruit. But getting back to the point – I LOVE carbs as I define them and they stick to me so if I cut way back on them I lose weight. Other people just need to stop drinking soda or give up ice cream and cream cheese. Identify your poison and cut back but don’t give it up. That alone will help you drop a few pounds.
4). Diets with names have interesting information but they also contain a lot of bad information so you have to be careful.
5). Your body does not harbor toxins. Your liver and kidneys do a nice job of eliminating bad things and if you are exposed to or consume fat soluable toxins, starving yourself, using enemas and drinking hot lemon water laced with cayenne will not make the stuff leech out. Turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to any eating plan that claims to cleanse your body of toxins – it is bunk.
6). Rapid weight loss due to extreme deprivation is well known to result in the weight finding its way home and bringing some friends. It isn’t a horrible idea to jump start weight loss but the only known long term solution to excess weight is to figure out an eating plan that works for you day after day, week after week, month after month. The notion that you can cut out all of this and that and slowly add it back until you get to maintenance is kind of daft. You are far more likely to add it back until you have regained all your weight and, as I said, some fat cell friends have joined the party.
7). Exercise makes a huge difference but you can’t just declare “I went to the gym so I deserve this bowl of ice cream!” That way lies madness – but you knew that already. You actually have to run an over all caloric deficit to lose weight. I don’t believe that it is a simple formula (3500 cal/pound) and it depends on a lot of subtle realities about your particular chemistry (see point 3) but you do need to run a deficit. That part is for sure.
Disclaimer – I’m not a nutritionist nor do I play one on TV but I have been dealing with weight loss and body image issues for over 40 years and these tips are what now guide me. Your milage may vary and you may have some good ideas of your own. If so please feel free to share.