Dieting is a matter of watching what you eat. Every diet ever created does it. I belong to Weight Watchers and they have a food tracking tool that gives you points for each food item you eat. It’s all based on portions. Like most Americans, I didn’t pay much attention to portion sizes. Now that I’m considered obese and trying to reverse that, I realize just how many portions of a food item that I eat in a sitting.
The correct portions seem so small. A half a cup of Cheerios® cereal is the right size? It looks so small. When did we train ourselves to eat so much? Why did we train ourselves to eat so much? It was insidious, the portion size creep. It’s very hard to reverse that trend as well.
I’m working on that, measuring out the food that I eat. I’m losing weight. In the last year, I have lost thirty pounds and I’m still considered obese. I have another twenty-eight and a half pounds to go before I am considered merely overweight. It’s a hard haul, but I’m working on it.
Dieting alone won’t do it any more than exercising alone will. The two go hand in hand and you have to decide that this is what you want. So you have to reduce your calorie intake even as you ramp up your activity. An active life and smaller portions will get you to your target weight. That’s only half the battle. Once you reach your target weight, how do you keep from gaining again? maintain your activity level and portion size. You can never go back to the way you lived before you began dieting. Once you accept that, you will start succeeding in your quest for a healthy life.
You can splurge now and then, but you will need to make up for it either by planning for the splurge or trying to repair it. “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” is a cliché because it is true. You do not want to go backward, if you can avoid it, so you have to decide if you really want to waste your calorie budget on that chocolate bar or not. It’s the same thing as with your finances. You have to decide between a roof over your head or some shiny toy. If you are smart, you can live without the shiny toy, but how long would you last without a roof over your head. Dieting is the same thing. Sometimes it is a matter of life and death, although for most people it’s more a matter of quality of life rather than life and death.
Try to get the people around you on board with your diet. If they can sympathize with your need to stay within your calorie budget, they will be less likely to sabotage you unintentionally. Remember, you can’t change them, you can only change yourself. So keep working on yourself and don’t worry about the next guy. You’ll feel better for it.