Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Musing on my Waistline

I've been overweight my entire life. I've always known how to loose weight, the mechanics of it, yet every time something just got in the way. Loosing weight is not complicated and it's certainly not rocket science. Loosing weight is as simply as making sure that you eat fewer calories then you use. I would be shocked if anyone did not know this.

Yet as I walk through the grocery store what do I find? Isles filled with weight loss aides, pills, bottles, shakes, any product under the sun to try and circumvent that simple mathematical truth. Calories in < Calories out = Weight loss.

I've tried to loose weight at least a dozen times. I've tried Weight Watchers, I've tried food replacement, I've tried a medically managed wight loss program and I'm tried to just "eat better". I'm still fat. I'm currently using FitDay and It's slowly working.

Let's look at our options shall we?

Weight Watchers: When I was on Weight Watchers I lost weight. However, once I was off weight watchers I gained it right back. Weight Watchers programs run off Points, these Points add a layer of abstraction on what should be a trivial subject. Points hide the fact that fiber and protein are good, carbs and sugars not so good. Weight Watchers doesn't really teach you to be cognizant of what your eating and why. However, Weight Watchers works for some people, a lot of people, just not me.

Weight Watchers makes that simple equation above more complicated then it needs to be.

Food Replacement/Medically Managed Weight loss: I'm going to keep this section brief as in a lot of ways it mirrors my concerns with Weight Watchers adding of course the huge cost of involving a doctor in anything. Food replacement is worse then Weight Watchers as it doesn't even give you the understanding of the protein/fiber good carbs/sugar bad that Weight Watchers gives you. Medically managed weight loss is a scam.

Just "eating better": this diet, also known as the "Watching what I'm eating" and "I'm exercising more" diet is the most common. It also simply does not work. Without a fundamental understanding of what is going in your mouth you can not eat better. It's just not possible. Eating five chicken nuggets instead of ten is a start but it's hardly going to turn you into the hard bodied god you so long to be.

So what do we do? What, in my opinion, works?

Simple, uncomplicated, calorie counting.

I first started to go down this route when The Missus was diagnosed with high blood pressure. She had to start watching her sodium. Everything I picked up off the store shelves had to be scrutinized, every label, every can, bag, parcel, Everything. It was not a quick process. We slowly adapted to a low sodium lifestyle. But something more important had occurred. I had begun looking, really looking, at what I was eating. What I saw bothered me. I did not think I was eating poorly, I was exercising, yet I was still slowly gaining weight.

So, I looked for help. What help I found was FitDay.com it's nothing fancy, and best of all it's free. All the site does is count calories. I was forced to look at what I was eating, impartially, as a column of numbers. If that column of numbers added up to a higher total then I was burning in a day I knew I was going to gain weight. if that column added up to less then what I burned I knew I was going to loose weight. It wasn't complicated, no points to track, just the simple uncomplicated mathematical truth of calories in calories out = weight loss.

Now, it doesn't have to be FitDay. The Missus is using a journal, simple pen and paper, and for her that works. I prefer the website. At the end of the day were both loosing weight, and as opposed to Weight Watchers, Medical programs, food replacement, and all the rest I know know what is going into my mouth. I'm looking for alternatives and day by day I'm loosing weight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this entry. Its not rocket science and its not about counting points. Its about cutting out the sugar, cutting out the snacks, reducing the size of your portions and eating real food.

Here's to sticking with it and looking great for your wedding.