There are two components to losing weight. It is all math: increase your exercise (or the amount of calories you burn) and decrease the amount you eat (or the intake of calories). It actually is that simple. If you eat less and you work out more, you will lose weight.
I love food. I love all food. I am not a picky eater, I will eat almost anything that you put in front of me, and it has gotten me into the little trouble that I am in right now. But really, the eating alone didn’t get me to this unhealthy weight. It was a combination of loving to eat and hating to exercise. We like to place all of the blame on our diets, and usually it is the first thing people aim to change when they are trying to shed their load or trim down a size. If someone says they’re trying to lose weight, and you ask them what they’re doing, they will respond with the name of a diet, or the basic principles of one (“oh you know, I’m just cutting back on carbs, skipping that after-dinner dessert”). And of course, most people who are trying to lose weight are not naive enough to think they will be able to do without a little bit of exercise, but I think that is the general goal: lose the most amount of weight possible with the least amount of effort. America!
I hate dieting. It is not something I’m good at, and I have very little interest in becoming good at it. I am choosing to align all of my weight-loss energies with my fitness goals. I am not setting psycho numerical weight-loss goals aside from a short term and a long term. Normally by now I would be weighing myself twice a day and curbing my water intake before weigh-ins. I’m not doing that. I am not going to cut out carbs or go low fat or start skipping dessert. I am focusing my attention on running three days a week, going to yoga once a week, and seeing where that takes me. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t being conscious of what I am eating, but the only thing I can say I am doing is eating out a lot less and eating slightly less...sometimes.
Focusing on what you can do more of, instead of what you need to deprive yourself, is the difference between approaching weight-loss in a positive way versus the negative way. If you are going to sit around and obsess about what you aren’t allowed to eat, the likelihood of success is a lot lower than if you are looking at what you are doing and what you can be doing to add something wonderful to you life. What you gain from exercise is a stronger, happier, body. Now, isn’t that something to be positive about? Whenever I diet, I tend to hone in on what I can’t have, and that kind of mentality is not going to get you anywhere. So, if you are dieting, this is not supposed to discourage you, but please realize that the road to a healthier body will never bypass the gym!
You know, it’s kinda funny. My food habits changed quite drastically as a result of increased exercise. It was that I didn’t want to undo the hard work put in for something as stupid as an extra cookie.
Realizing that extra slice of pizza is an extra 5k kind of makes you think twice if its worth it, and 9 times out of ten I came to the conclusion that It wasn’t worth it to me.
When I first started on the Gluten free dairy free diet it killed me to have any of that food sitting in front of me. I felt so deprived. Now it does not bother me at all. I look at all menus and see unhealthy choices that most people eat. ( And I probably would still choose too!) I eat less sugar foods now and when I eat them I cannot finish most because it is too sweet.
Focus on what choices are more healthy, while not depriving yourself of some less healthy choices. It will come gradually that you actually crave the healthier choices.
Read the book Wheat Belly, it will help you with food choices based on staying healthy.
Blogging as your journal will also help you stay true to your mission.
Keep up the good work.
I agree with Jono too – I find when I exercise that I eat better because I do not want to negate the calories I just burned and all of the effort I just put in. Maybe for someone who might be struggling the trick could be to try to exercise early in the day. It might help them watch what they eat for the rest of the day.
Peter did the Paleo Diet plus non gluten grains as a Challenge from the Gym he was at in June. Took 2 weeks for his body to adjust to the new way of eating and to adjust to shopping only on the outside aisles of the grocery store. No longer on it, but he definitely does not eat the same way- his food choices are different now.
Remember, whatever you decide, it takes a while to make anything a habit. You are on the right track, just have to find the right method for you and not change too many things at one time or it will be hard to follow.
Cheering you on to your goal.
I easily eat to match my exercise, which is why I unfortunately need to diet.
This month I realized that I have made enough progress to feel physically well (this was only a very small difference in pounds) and that this point it is all about future health. So after taking some time off to enjoy this fact, and undo some of the work, I have recently adopted a new, stricter routine and am trying to be very future minded.
Even though just exercise didn’t work for me, I truly hope that it will take you far.