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April 30, 2006

FitDay - Real Weight Control Results

OK, now you know a little about me and my history. I was never really heavy, just experiencing what we all do. The slow, progressive expansion of my mid-section and the addition of weight in general. I was aging. I was slowing down. I was growing!

I did all the obvious things. I dieted. I tried exercise routines. I tried different diets. I gave up. I started over again. Over a period of 20 years I basically worried about my weight gain and did little to change its steady progress. I knew I was losing the battle but the increments were slight enough that I was the only one really aware of that progress except my wife who was disinclined to comment about my slow but increasingly noticeable growth about my equator.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I was able to get pretty good results with the Atkins Diet, and Dr. Sear’s Zone diet, and Suzanne Somers Somersizing. But they all left me with the problem of getting the last 15 pounds off and maintaining a regimen that required constant focus and deprivation. It was not how I intended to spend the rest of my life. Life is to be enjoyed!

It was my daughter who suggested I look at an on line program called FitDay.

FitDay is a fairly simple, straight-forward program that enables one to track calories consumed, calories burned, nutritional balance, and exercise. It also has program aspects that allow you to chart goals and track performance. It can be totally customized for each person.

FitDay does not champion a specific diet or healthy eating program. It provides the programming to enable you to understand what you are doing, target what you want to accomplish, and then monitor your progress and project short term results by analyzing trends. This latter aspect of the program really helped me adjust what I was doing to stay on track.

Fast-forward to today and I can say that by using the program I dropped to my final targeted weight of 155 pounds, a weight I had not seen since my days in the Army. For the last five months I have effortlessly maintained that weight.

FitDay may not be for everyone but for me it was the tool I needed to reprogram the way I approached eating. It helped me to settle in on a comfortable, long-term approach to balancing what I eat that allows me to eat anything I want in a given circumstance provided I compensate for it in other ways. That is, if I know I am going to attend a calorie rich dinner event, I can choose the counter balances before or afterwards so I am free to enjoy the event fully without guilt or remorse. This can be a special dinner or a week long vacation. I am free to live, enjoy and then return to a program that will return me to my targeted weight.

FitDay is not a diet but it did what other diets could not do. It is a weight, activity, nutrition and results-forecasting management tool. You can use all or part of it. I am sure there are other, similar programs available. The key, to me, was that it was a tool I could easily and effectively use to inform me of what I was doing. Then it was up to me to make choices of what to do to attain my goal. Using it gave me control by providing information.

My next post will go back to explain how I got started with FitDay, what I did and why it worked for me.

Posted by Ben at 11:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2006

Experience with the Zone Diet

A Little More History - The Zone Diet

The next phase of my campaign to regain control of my weight was with Dr. Sears’ Zone diet. The Zone diet stresses portion size, balanced with good carbs (veggies and fruit), fat and protein. It is definitely healthier than the low-carb craze. Fruit was suddenly welcomed back. The basics of the Zone diet focused on plate make-up. You “measured” the quantity and balance of your meals by filling one-third of your plate with a serving of lean protein (he suggests it be no bigger than the size and thickness of your palm) then fill the other two-thirds with favorable carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables and add a little "good" fat, such as nuts, olive oil, or avocado. Certain cheeses are permitted as snacks or meal compliments.

On the Zone Diet plan you are encouraged to eat three meals a day, plus two snacks.

For six months I was weighing portions and adjusting ratios and snacking on cheese. On the road it was just too difficult to maintain the portioning. And, like it or not, I think the cheese got to me.

The net result of the six month stint was the loss of one pound and a growing frustration at working so hard and seeing no results. The problem likely was the number of meals eaten away from home. Statistically, Americans now eat 47% of their meals away from home. I certainly fit into that profile with my heavy travel schedule or the need to dine out for business. Add to that times my wife and I went out to dinner or ate out for convenience and we certainly were close to the 47% statistic.

Dr. Sears’ Zone diet was a good start but not the ultimate solution for me. That came next!

Posted by Ben at 8:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 4, 2006

A Little History - Atkins Diet and Somersizing

After many years of making promises to myself and New Year's resolutions to lose "ten pounds or so", I finally made a concerted decision to actually do it. No more kidding around. There were a number of us who felt that we could handle the Atkins Diet and still enjoy life, ie. eating large! The collective aspiration to do this gave us each peer group support, albeit informal. That was early in 2004.

Low-carb, high protien, lots of cheese and bacon. This seemed to be doable, almost easy. And it seemed to work. Over a period of 6 months I did manage to shed about 15 pounds. From 190 to 175. Then things slowed down. But it had taken the first 15 pounds off.

For the next six months maintenance at 175 was not too hard but I was at an impass as far as continuing to lose weight. And I found that I was hungry for large, heavy meals. My bad habits of eating large had not changed much and restaurants were catering to me with extra large cuts of prime rib and bodacious 20 ounce steaks.

Slight slips (pasta, spuds or an extra martini or two) resulted in upswings in weight that were hard to shed again. I had to go back to Phase I, and Phase I is certainly an aggressively restrictive diet. It is hard to maintain while traveling and entertaining.

During this period I toyed briefly with Somersizing. It seemed to be the same low-carb approach with a little more sanity, not much. She suggested good portions of high-fat foods such as butter, cheese, and sour cream, all in moderation. The bad foods include white flour products, bananas, olives, nuts, all sugars, alcohol, caffeine, avocados, and more. And she stressed moderation. But the no alcohol ban was too much of a lifestyle change. Moderation is OK, not abstinence.

Neither diet was helping get below the 175 mark and both intuitively were not great long term diets. So I sought a more sane approach in my quest to get down to 165 pounds. Results with the Zone Diet will be my next post. But progress was made. A little more than a pound a month had been shed. I just needed a better widget!

Posted by Ben at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 3, 2006

A Healthy Eating Plan for Weight Loss

I am a man approaching the Golden Years with an aspiration to stay active and healthy. I am a "Boomer" if you will.

Weight has been a problem since early youth. While never "out of control", I was always a little overweight growing up. In the Army with the required fitness training, I dropped to a trim 155 pounds on my 5'10" frame and felt 100%.

Then life began as an adult which included steady wonderful meals compliments of my wife, limited exercise, and lots of entertaining. Over a period of 35 years I ballooned from 155 pounds to 190 in spite of periodic diets, tennis, and repeated resolves to lose 10 pounds.

This is a diary about how I learned to control my weight, achieved my 155 pound optimum weight, and most important, how I am able to maintain that weight without deprivation diets, fad diets, unhealthy diets, surgery or pills. I tried Atkins, the Zone Diet, Somersizing and all the rest. Some worked and some didn't.

I was always waiting to reach my targeted weight so I could get off the regimen. Now I use FitDay to manage my food intake and being able to manage my daily menu did the trick for me. Not only has it proven effective, it has proven to be an enjoyable diet management tool that makes maintaining my optimum weight an enjoyable process rather than drudgery. At last I'm in control.

Posted by Ben at 5:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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