Monday, November 29, 2010

Diet /Off


I've done it. I got rid of those 20 pounds I've gained since quitting smoking 2 and a half years ago. I've never really done a "lose weight" diet before since there was never really any need. I was always the one who could eat and drink anything with weight gain immunity. I learned not to gloat about this fact though since most people don't have that kind of metabolism. Well, now I don't either. You never really appreciate something until it's gone eh? So here are a few observations I can make now that I've reached my goal.

1. There really was no secret to losing weight. Ingest fewer calories than you burn. All I did was count calories and stay under my daily "budget" which started out at 2400 per day and then decreased to 2280 as the weight came off. Apparently the skinnier you are, the fewer calories you need.

2. The easiest way to lose weight probably would have been to quit drinking, my new favorite vice. I am a firm believer in having a singular goal though, and losing weight and teetotaling would have been too hard. I would have failed on both endeavors. So I drank, I ate ice cream (one tablespoon per day) and even had french fries (once) and pizza (one slice, twice).

3. I had a pretty regular chip habit with happy hour time and I had to cut that out. I couldn't find any low cal chips (probably an oxymoron, that) so I switched to carrots and celery. When I did have chips, I limited myself to a dozen. I will forever beware of chips now. So damn good (Hello Miss Vickie's Jalapeno!) but might as well just inject the lard into your love handles.

4. Oh my god do avocados have a ton of calories. My favorite fruit too. (It's a fruit, I just checked.) If you have chips and guacamole at a Mexican restaurant, you probably shouldn't eat anything else as you'll likely have had over half your daily calorie budget.

5. Salt makes your weight go all wonky. It's true. One nice thing about using Loseit.com, the app for the iphone, is that not only does it track calories, but also nutrients including salt. If I suddenly gained two pounds in one day, sure enough, I had taken in too much salt. (Once over 5000 milligrams, yikes!) Water retention will happen.

6. You have to be willing to feel hungry. In this consumerist world where "want" leads to "have" with such ease, we are not used to denying ourselves. Luckily, I've had a lot of practice with denying myself so it wasn't so bad. But numerous times every day for 3 and a half months, I have had hunger pangs. Still, those are nothing compared to nicotine pangs.

7. Mozzarella is the cheese to eat when dieting. It's way lower in calories than any of the other cheeses.

8. It is much better to have useless pants in your closet because you have lost weight. They are almost like trophies now. The useless clothing I had in the closet because I had gained weight was like Shame staring at me every day.

9. Restaurant food is the dieters worst enemy.

Now that it's over, the real trick is going to be to keep the weight from creeping back on. Luckily, loseit has a maintenance program. Sadly, I'm only gonna get 250 calories added to my daily budget.

Recompense? I see POUTINE in my future very very soon.

20 comments:

Snooze said...

Congratulations! It makes sense though that if you had the will power to quit smoking, that you'd have the will power to lose the extra pounds. Your diet observations are great. I'll be using them to get rid of extra baby weight when the time comes

franck said...

Well done! Not only for losing the weight, but also for hitting the nail on the head about feeling hungry. It's part of the dieting experience, but too few people are willing to accept it... and then complain when they fail to lose weight

Cubby said...

Excellent work, and congratulations! Your observation #9 (Restaurant food is the dieters worst enemy) has been my mantra for the last year and a half. Even if people do nothing else besides cutting out the restaurants and eating at home, they will lose weight.

Blobby said...

Congrats.

Even w/my increasing gym routine, I haven't been able to get under 184. Diet has NOT been a part of my program.

You seem to have the will power to change some of your patterns and behanviours. So far, this has eluded me.

I'm happy you have a 2nd set of clothes that you can now mock instead of them mocking you.

Jabacue said...

Congrats!!! EXCELLENT POST!!!!
It all makes so much sense. You could 'market' these suggestions. Good work kiddo!
Jim

rox said...

Congratulations! I hate you.

Just kidding. I don't hate you, I hate my lack of self control. I, like you, had the metabolism of a hummingbird my entire life and since I turned 40, that has gone to shit. However, seeing the Tanorexic be so underweight, I'm thinking I want to keep the extra weight to keep the wrinkles filled out. =)

Peter said...

Congratulations on the loss, hope you didn't celebrate with a huge meal and booze.

A Lewis said...

Oh my gosh, those jalapeno chips are AMAZING! But you're totally right....choices must be made, for good, for the positive, for the long term. Congrats!

Mel said...

Go you! I'm more on a maintenance track myself, but still monitoring. It really has to become a permanent lifestyle change, or it's too easy to relapse.

LSL said...

My god, have you been off smoking for 2 1/2 years? We've been hanging around here a long time!

Congrats on the weight loss and those are awesome tips. You must feel great - no smoking and at your goal weight. You're the picture of good health!

GayProf said...

It's getting used to being hungry that is one of the toughest challenges. Alas, I go through periods of gain that lead to periods of needed loss.

Congrats on losing 20!

Mark My Words said...

I'm one of those people that can eat anything and not put on weight, although now that you say that you can lose that type of metabolism, maybe I should enjoy stuffing myself now while I still can.

Maurice said...

Congratulations! I have GOT to get on the same bandwagon sooner than later, so I'll keep your excellent tips in mind.

Java said...

I'm glad I never started smoking. If nicotine pains are worse than hunger pains I'd be in bad shape. If I keep busy with interesting things I can ignore hunger. If I sit around reading or watching the boob tube, I snack

Congratulations on your weight loss.

Rebekah said...

You know, I'm rarely hungry. If I have a choice between green beans and nothing, I usually choose nothing. I eat because it's fun, and I'm good at it.

Not that I'm proud, but there it is.

And she's back at Weight Watchers again.

wcs said...

Congratulations! I had a similar epiphany regarding calories in/calories out several years ago and lost 25 pounds. It seems so obvious in retrospect.

Number 2 (no pun intended) is also a problem for me. I live in a wine producing region and I must (MUST) support the local economy. And I do. But that wine, man, tons of empty calories.

Counting is the way to go.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Strong work, TW. I admire your willpower.

I've never attempted dieting because I know I'll fail. I have to attack from the exercise angle. It's my only hope.

Are you ready for the holidays? Lots of food around, you know.

Rick said...

Congratulations...a great goal reached indeed! You were smart about one vice at a time thing. I'll have to check out their website. Unfortunately they don't have a Blackberry app.

Frank B said...

For chips: air popped pop corn and zero calorie butter spray, as well as the herb shaker type salt replacers....

S said...

My diet secrets: eat everything in moderation (even junk food), drink plenty of fluids, sleep (helps the body repair itself), and get off your ass.

With that, I just saved people thousands of dollars.