108 ways to fight obesity
The British Nutrition Foundation just made this available:
It's a chart showing 7 factors and what we can do more of and less of to help fight obesity. Nothing particularly earth shattering but it made the news here, so I thought I'd post a link to it.
thank yo ufor posting this. It was insightful!
As I get closer to the "maintenance" part of my diet/lifestyle/whatever program, I think about this more and more. Technically, I've only been obese about 3 times in my life, each time for maybe a year or a little more. I've been overweight a lot more, and I've been "normal" a fair amount of the time - mostly after sometimes lengthy periods of dieting and exercising. But I've realized some things about myself that, if unchallenged, would probably lead me to spend most of the rest of my life obese.
There is, for me at least, an addictive component to my eating behavior. There is also a pathological element in my "relationship with food". We've talked about the "off switch" that people who never had a weight problem seem to have, and that we fatties don't - that thing that makes them feel like not eating when they're not hungry, and to stop eating when they've had enough to sustain them. We don't have that, so we have to supply it in the same way that diabetics have to monitor their blood sugar and take insulin.
But there's another element, which is that, for us, the act of eating has replaced nutrition as our primary motivation for eating. We focus on taste, on the distraction and comfort that eating provides, on our psychological associations with happiness (or relief from distress) that eating brings. We focus on the texture, the feeling of chewing and swallowing, the fullness that follows. I don't know about anyone else, but I have, at least a few times in my life, actually eaten myself sick. And, once I'm on a roll with weight gaining, the behavior becomes obsessive and compulsive and escalates with no upper bound that I've ever been able to find.
I've had other addiction issues - nicotine, alcohol, etc - and I've kicked all those habits cold-turkey. I know that I can never have a drink again, and haven't had one for many years. I know I can't just smoke a cigarette. But, when it comes to food, I also know I can't stop eating altogether - not if I want to stay alive.
But I've tried to adopt "Food is fuel" as my mantra, and it's worked to lose the weight I wanted to lose. It's keeping it off that's going to be the issue for me, and I've realized that, while I can't quit eating forever (or stay on a 1200 calorie/day diet forever), there are certain "trigger" foods that I will probably be better off eliminating totally and forever. That list includes:
- All fried foods.
- Belly-bomber foods that are really dense sources of calories - this includes all the cheesy, greasy things they love to call "appetizers" in restaurants. It also includes things like pancakes, waffles, and ... this really breaks my heart ... pizza.
- Sweets, and basically all desserts, cookies, ice cream, Italian Ice, etc. I can't tell you how many great, long-term diets have bitten the dust because I let myself have cake or ice cream as part of a celebration, and then couldn't get back on the wagon afterwards.
- Salty, fatty snacks.
I'm sure I'll think of other things, but this is a pretty big part of the list for me. When I eat these things, it's as if something snaps, and I want to engage in continued gluttony and have a hard time controlling the urge. So, maybe for us "addictive eaters", the long-term answer will include swearing off certain things period.
Interested in hearing others' thoughts.
Some of your comments resonate with me. The few times I've paid attention to what I eat and try and eat the right things then I'm fine; I don't miss the bad food and am happy plodding along. But as soon as I let myself have something sugary as a reward or because I'm tired, then I find it almost impossible to get back on the wagon and before I know it I'm back to all the old bad habits.
It's interesting reading recently about how high carb and high sugar both trigger your body to crave more of those things, making it very difficult to resist.
For me, the answer is to have my meals planned out and to get all geeky about it, with spreadsheets for weight, body measurements, food diary etc. I find the more I focus on it, the easier it is.
However once I slip up, I'm right back to step 0.
Step 1 starts again tomorrow morning.
I stopped smoking overnight, but if I had to smoke 5 cigarettes a day and they had to be brand X, I don't think it'd be long before I was smoking 10 of brand Y a day.
Yes - that's exactly me, including the spreadsheets, etc. I intend to keep up the spreadsheets, but more important is to really internalize the "never eat" list. I did that once before, and was able to keep the weight off for years. Then, life happened, and the whole thing was broken.
High carb isn't as much a trigger for me as high sugar and high fat. I can eat a 200 calorie serving of bread and not want to go nuts with it. I can eat an apple and not feel like I have to keep eating. But give me a slice of pizza, or cookies, or ice cream, and I'm done.
A couple of years ago, I had successfully lost about 45 lbs over a period of about 6 months. A good friend made my favorite cheesecake for my birthday. I had a slice of it, and just couldn't get back on the wagon. It took only about 6 more months to gain back everything I'd lost and then some.
So this time around, I'm realizing that there can be no "special treats", no special occasions, no moderation. I don't have it in me to do moderation, and 60 years old is too old to try to learn. I'd rather spend the next 10 years or so lean, light on my feet, able to ride and climb, to dance ... and have a restricted diet, than to eat what I want and barely be able to lift myself out of a chair.
I hope it works.
Tony: Do you avoid sweet things like a cookie or ice cream?
Originally Posted by tony_merlino
I've been on a 1200 calorie/day diet since the beginning of the year, and so far I've lost 64 lbs with it, so no - I haven't eaten any of that stuff since New Years. But what I'm saying here is that I think it has to be permanently on the "never eat" list - that stuff is really triggering for me, and sets off a pattern of gluttony that's hard to break. Better to just not let it start. I can live without the cookie or the ice cream. Like the commercial used to say, "You can't eat just one .." At least I can't.
Originally Posted by chefisaac
For me, once I've rewarded myself with food after a hard workout or something I seem to rationalise to myself "well I may as well write off today and start again tomorrow" which becomes "well why don't I treat myself now as it's the last time and I'll start properly on Monday".
The old adage "beginning is easy, continuing is hard" is exactly me, in most things I do.