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July 31, 2006
Knowledge can set you free!
It is interesting how information can change one's habits. The program I have been following is more an awareness of the nutritional and caloric value of what I eat than a specific diet plan. It balances how much I eat with how much my body needs based on my level of activity. The results have been tremendous. Maintaining my targeted weight for the last six months has been virtually painless. I have learned how much to eat, what to eat, and how to compensate when I am more active or when I want to eat something special.
I am not alone in this realization.
There is an Excite News article by Malcom Ritter that demonstrates how our society has lost perspective on portion sizes. Retail and restaurant companies have deployed marketing campaigns to sell "more for less", and as a result, we are eating more.
The article purports that people who used to be satisfied by a 12-ounce can of soda may now feel that a 20-ounce bottle is just right because of the packaging. "It's "unit bias," the tendency to think that a single unit of food - a bottle, a can, a plateful, or some more subtle measure - is the right amount to eat or drink, researchers propose."
Learning how much I can or should eat was the key to my getting control over my weight. I don't have to worry about carbs, fat, sugar or the like. I don't have to be an advocate of a specifc plan. I can choose what to eat. Only now I have the knowledge base to choose wisely. Knowledge can set you free!
July 18, 2006
Vacation With No Weight Gain
Using a calorie awareness approach I find that I can estimate meals easily and enjoy dining out without feeling restricted to a certain diet. I have learned about portion size and what foods are simply laden with calories. I can choose to either avoid the morning muffin at the breakfast bar or compensate for it. But I now know what impact my food choices have on my daily calorie intake. I have become aware of the relationship between what I weigh, what I do in the way of exercise and what I eat. Amazingly simple, it is a direct relationship!
I can say that it really has worked for me. I have maintained my targeted weight for the last six months almost effortlessly. I do control the calories I eat but do so by selecting what to eat and when. Making these choices has become habit and I do not find it restrictive. As an example, I just came back from a short sailing vacation where we ate well, very well! But I also increased my physical activity to include daily swims, hikes and other exercise activities. The two changes in my routine offset each other as planned and I actually maintained my weight without having to forego the drink and food that comes with vacationing. And I felt no guilt! That said, I did not over indulge in sweets or breads. I now know that their impact is simply too great to try to offset.
I seem to have found a comfortable, long-term approach to choosing what I eat. This allows me to eat anything I want in a given circumstance provided I compensate for it in other ways. I am free to enjoy myself on vacations and not have to come back and worry about taking off any weight gained.