A Calorie Counting Success Story

The Amazing Shrinking Woman

Day 4 – Supper (fish!) and the trouble with fad diets November 7, 2009

Filed under: Weight Loss — felineaids @ 10:23 pm
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As I’ve said before, I’m extremely cheap these days.  When supper time was rolling around, I thought briefly about going out again, because of my exceedingly successful Taco Bell trip last night.  But then I remembered that I had some frozen tilapia in the freezer.  So I thawed it, seasoned it with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, then added a healthy layer of Old Bay, sprayed it with crisco spray, and sauteed it up.  This is surprisingly good.  However, it’s even better when nestled atop a plump spoonful of rich mashed potatoes, sprinkled with some fresh peas.  All of which is drizzled with the drippings from the pan.

But I just had the fish.  I also opened a can of asparagus and ate it all.  For 70 calories, I’m not sorry.

(I just had the urge to take pictures of all my meals and post them here.  Dare I do it?)

-Supper-

2 tiny and 1 medium tilapia filets –200

1 can asparagus –70

1 c. homemade tomato soup –198

Total for supper: 468

Calories remaining today: 567

I find that hard to believe, because I don’t feel hungry at all.  Though I might make some popcorn in a minute…

As a side note, the other day I was sitting next to a guy that I know, and he mentioned that he’d had massive fluctuations in his weight.  Apparently his (now ex) wife would say something about how he was getting fat, so the next day he would restrict his calorie intake to around 800/day.  “Once I lost 30 pounds in a month that way,” he said.  After he’d lost the weight, he’d go right back to eating everything he wanted in mass quantities, and he’d gain the weight back.  6 months later, the wife would nag again, and he’d go back down to 800 calories.

So basically he was doing what I once did on Low Carb.  I lost quite a bit of weight once on Low Carb, too, maybe 50 lbs?  But guess what?  I can’t live without brownies.  Or fettucine.  Or gyros.  Or my mother’s 7 layer cake.

As a veteran of all these diets, I will say that they don’t work.  Strike that.  They do work, but they’re nearly impossible to maintain, and there’s no telling what sort of havoc such diets reek on the body.  I read a book that cited a study from way back when study participants were treated like roadkill, and it said that the “scientists” would severely restrict the diets of the subjects, keeping them around or below 800 calories.  Unsurprisingly, the people started lying about, hoarding, and stealing food.  The interesting thing is that they kept on lying, hoarding and stealing after the study.  So when we do one of these extreme things to ourselves, we’re basically taking normal chubby versions of ourselves and turning them into insane, neurotic, hungry versions of ourselves.

Now… about that popcorn…

 

The importance of measuring food November 6, 2009

This morning I had 3/4 c. of Special K.  In the past when I flirted with calorie counting or weight watchers or low-carb, I would always eyeball measurements.  Eyeballing is the enemy of successful calorie counting.  When you guess measurements, you’ll end up fudging them, and this is one situation where you’re only cheating yourself.  You’re not getting away with anything.

So this lesson is simple: measure your food.

If the box says 120 calories for 3/4 c., then measure it out.  If, however, you gain a good deal of experience measuring your food, then you can start an experiment.  You might want to take different types of food, measure them out to the same measurement and see what they look like.  This will be most useful for things like tablespoons vs. teaspoons, a cup vs. half a cup, etc.  You will still be unable to accurately measure 3/4 c. exactly.  That’s why the smaller measurements will be more useful, especially as you cook.  My theory is that so many people don’t cook because recipes look so daunting with all the measurements.  If only people were more comfortable “feeling out” a tablespoon and not measuring it, they wouldn’t be so intimidated.  But I’m getting off topic.

Basically, calorie counting is measuring.  If you measure, you can eat anything you want.  Anything.  If you don’t measure, you have to be extremely mindful of the things you eat, which is basically measuring in a different way.  If you don’t want to do those things, you usually end up doing a fad diet and gaining it all back.  Calorie counting works because it’s simple math.

Here’s the beauty of calorie counting: you learn to eat right.  By “right” I don’t mean you become a rabbit and nibble on salads forever, but when you know that a Krispy Kreme doughnut has 250 calories, you’re less likely to wolf down 14 of them in one sitting, aren’t you?  You know that certain foods have certain values, and you’re better able to eat sensibly.  Eating sensibly helps you maintain the weight that you want.

Us overweight folks are experts at make believe.  We can pretend that we didn’t eat nearly as much of a certain food as it might seem.  We’re fat because of our genes–our metabolism–and it’s just not our fault!  But it is.  Except for people with thyroid issues, we are fat because we’ve made ourselves that way.  The good news is we can un-make ourselves.  It’s an extreme metabolism makeover, and it begins with knowledge.  Knowing calorie values is your best weapon against unwanted weight.

Huzzah!