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Nutrisystem released the results of a survey last week. It was an interesting read and the news outlets dutifully picked up the story.

Ironically, if the "almost three out of four Americans (73 percent)" did give up television and computers (like they say they are willing to do) in exchange for a flat tummy; they would likely attain the "flat tummy". If you aren't sitting in front of the TV or computer, you'd be doing something that burns more calories.

That begs the question,

What would you do to lose weight?

A couple weeks ago, someone wrote a diary about "fat people killing our planet" and we were then "entertained" with the onslaught of competing diaries arguing for their slice of the phat pie (physically healthy and toned). As I had just started really focusing on losing weight; it gave me food for thought. I loved the anger, passion and assumptions in those diaries. There was a lot to both disagree and agree with, but in the final analysis; What's with the food and fitness police? Why are we obsessed with counting other people's calories? Why do we think we should judge everyone's fitness levels? Why should we assume an obese person can't move their bulk? Why do we assume a skinny person can run a mile without keeling over?

All right, I hear your concerns. It's true that if we eliminate obesity, we'd save $140 billion in health care spending - maybe more. Two problems, we're not likely to totally eliminate obesity and $140 b is only about 5% of the total US health care expenditures. (If you really want to reduce health expenditures, you'll not only put some teeth into MLR regulation; but you'll take on fee for service reimbursements and put together some evidence and acuity based utilization standards.)

$140 billion is worth saving, it's just that forced weight loss and forced fitness with unmotivated patients just doesn't sound like a winner. Not only would it be a Big Brother approach that would be resented, but it would lead to yo yo weight loss/gain that frustrates the dieter. Our health care system needs to do a better job at promoting healthy weight, exercise and nutrition, it's just that those diaries really highlighted why the food and fitness police state would suck.

Personal fitness is, well, personal. Do we really want to relive the embarrassing experiences many of us had in high school gym and health class? Surely, we can do better.

PHAT or just thin?

Healthy is more than looks. Some years ago, my friend's grandmother passed away. This lady was a lot of fun to have around. She was well read, a good conversationalist and laid back. She was thin, but she died prematurely. She didn't exercise and she didn't change her lifestyle to accommodate her health problems. She wasn't overweight, so her doctors thought she was fit. She didn't drink a lot of alcohol, but what she did eat and drink was high fat, real sugar, low fiber; but small portions. Of course, she wouldn't consider raising a sweat or putting down the cigarette. She did leave a good looking corpse for her age. I guess you can have a pretty good looking shell, but looking healthy and being healthy are two different things.

We are willing to spend a lot of money to lose weight

The United States spends $33 billion per year to get thin. Yet, the Nutrisystem survey said 20% would forgo a promotion to lose weight, which makes no sense if you're going to spend $260 a month on prepackaged meal plans to do it. We spend money on doctors drugs and specialized foods to launch our weight loss plan, but we aren't willing to do what it takes to land the weight loss plane.

We continue to look for the magic weight loss pill or gadget, the quintessential device or supplement that will let us lose 50 pounds without effort in record time (for a price). We want instant weight loss gratification, but we don't want to give up or modify the foods we love.

The truth is that the real weight loss solution is truly within us. The reality of weight loss is that it takes time. You probably took a few years to pack on the 40 pounds, so it's likely to take a year or more to lose it. We don't have to go anywhere, spend extra money on people telling us about any "break through" principle or product. We don't have to order special food from anybody. Just pick up the food, turn it over and read the label; then decide for yourself, if it's a good idea to eat it.

Seriously, the only thing you need beside commitment to a healthier lifestyle, is a set of measuring spoons a measuring cup and a small food scale. You probably already have the spoons and cup, so all you need to do is spring for a food scale (usually under $15 in housewares). A Consumer Reports survey showed that the most successful dieters, who kept it off for more than 3 years, do it on their own. The NEJM published a study that says what diet you use doesn't really matter so much as sticking with it does.

Dieting Science

A BMI calculator will tell you if you are at a healthy weight.

A BMR calculator will tell you how many calories you'll burn in a day for your activity level.

You want to figure out what you need to eat to burn 500-800 calories a day more than you eat. That will promote a weight loss of 1 - 1 1/2 pounds per week. Try to lose more and you risk falling off the wagon. I can give no advice on how to gain weight as I can do that with no trouble at all. I'm aware that this can be a problem for some people, but I can't imagine what it's like.

If you need help, this site is helpful in that it's accurate and has a supportive community. You can join, or not. If you join it will suggest a plan for you. You log your food or just use the calorie counter. It tells you what you are burning through the activities log. It's the least expensive method I've found and the more I use it, the smarter I get with food prep and meal planning. You eat what you want and the site calculates the damage. Over the weeks I've moved toward eating what I like, but naturally gravatating toward healtier fare. At least my family now knows why I'm forever pushing the fruits and vegetables (or slipping in a 1/4 cup of quinoa in with the rice).

Most of us know what we need to eat to be healthy, but the government sites are helpful in providing a nutritional basis for meal planning without the biased hype. The grapefruit diet, the hot dog diet or skinny bitch just seems too limited to me; so maybe looking at what our tax dollars came up with is worth a look.

What we willing to do for Exercise

According to the survey only 35% of respondents had a healthy lifestyle. That would mean they eat carefully and exercise regularly. What exercise is good? That would be the exercise program you actually do. We are less likely to spend on expensive gym memberships than on dieting, but only 1/3rd less. We spend over $21 billion annually on exercise stuff. There is a lot of advice out there telling business how to sell a svelte body to get you to part with your money.

How much we spend on exercise and how much time we invest in actually doing exercise seems to be diametrically opposed. Strangely enough getting out of those expensive gym fees might be more of an exercise than actually attending the gym. It doesn't matter what you do, walking, weight training, exercise DVD's, yoga, the latest fad or whatever - you burn more calories moving around than you do sitting down. There's a lot of free stuff out there and there's no reason why you shouldn't check out what your library has to offer.

The most helpful sites on exercise are conservative without the hype. Like dieting, the important idea is to get out there and move.

and, now I digress....

Instead of asking "What would you do to lose weight?" Maybe we should ask, "What would you do for four Hershey's kisses?" wink, wink

The one finding in the nutrisystem survey that gave me a chuckle was that over 50% of women and 25% of men said they would give up sex for a summer to lose weight. That would be counterproductive. If you have sex, you'll burn more calories than you would by abstaining, sitting around watching the teevee eating Chubby Hubby ice cream. Yep, about 7 calories for every 5 minutes of fun (according to Newsweek) or 4 calories a minute by this scale or (I liked this one the best) 300 calories an hour....ok vigorous sex for 8 hours a week burns 300 calories per session x 8 = 2,400 calories or 2/3 of a pound (sigh), but there are side benefits to the sex weight loss program. Hey, baby, there's a great game on in the bedroom. Ya gotta see it! Woo! Hoo! Then, there's other considerations for the sex weight loss program... Maybe, I should not go there. Oh, live a little, (enjoy the grins).

Originally posted to JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:07 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar for getting Physically Healthy And Toned (40+ / 0-)

    a much nicer acronym and who knows, if you stick with it you might end up hot.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 05:54:47 PM PDT

  •  Your anorexia graphic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, aoeu

    is not appropriate for this diary.  

    •  I'm sorry mama, but weight control goes both ways (0+ / 0-)

      Obesity is a problem and is the main focus of this diary, but anorexics die of weight problems too.

      The main problem with anorexia is self image, self hate. People who deal with obesity have the same problem, but from the opposite perspective. ...and, if I could flip the image, I would.

      I sorry you don't like the image, but I'm going to leave it in.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:17:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You evidently don't understand eating disorders (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Anorexia is a cognitive problem, more like a mental illness.  Obesity, while sometimes helped along by mental illness, is not caused by it alone.  There can be many causes for obesity that are unrelated to one's mental condition.  That cannot be said for anorexia.  

        I stand by my objection.

        •  Most of my LCSW and other mental health (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          therapists and psychiatrists deal with bi-polar, depression, OCD and multiple mal-adaptive disorders. You're right in that I don't have a lot of exposure to anorexia nervosa.

          I have a lot more exposure to symptomatic anorexia, which is different. These people are thin and get this diagnosis before the doctor can determine if it's a physiological problem or, if it's as you say, a cognitive problem assignable to the mental health section of the ICD. It takes a while to determine what the problem is, so they get a catch all code until it can be identified. Some people can't absorb nutrients. Others, like cancer patients get assigned the anorexia diagnosis code in the course of their treatment that is a secondary symptom of their primary condition (cancer). I'd have to look it up, to tell you exactly what section it's in.

          Obesity is likely to get reclassified or have some additional manifestation codes added in the next couple years because there are, as you say both physiological and psychological factors to be considered. (i.e morbid obesity with a notation to code also the depression).

          If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

          by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:53:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't read that as an anorexia graphic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JDWolverton, Cassandra Waites seemed like it was pointing up that the fat police are starting to make everyone so paranoid that even thin people think they're fat.

    •  I did move it the thin, but not fit anecdote. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:22:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't have ten to lose but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucklady, Winnie, blueyedace2, Sydserious

    I'd be willing to help someone who did

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:15:05 PM PDT

  •  Well, I would cut my hair (7+ / 0-)

    The last time I cut my hair, it weighed five pounds (my hair is astonishingly think and heavy). It is a few feet longer this time.

    One haircut and maybe one or two more pounds, and I'm down by ten! huzzah!

    Guilt should never be decided by anyone who sells rope.

    by pucklady on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:17:28 PM PDT

  •  I gave up the SAD diet (8+ / 0-)

    the Standard American Diet and started eating a low fat vegan diet and without trying to lose weight, I lost weight.  

  •  Getting in the car and driving to the gym (13+ / 0-)

    always seemed really ... kinda.... weird.

    Actually, as I was walking my dog by a gym today, looking at people on all that high tech equipment, I could only think my goodness, there must be a cheaper and more efficient way to do this.

    Simple walking, the unromantic, unsung form of exercise is the very best way to lose weight.  If you're lucky enough to live in a walkable area and it's safe, it's great. Unfortunately, a lot of times it's a matter of access to walkable areas and healthy groceries, that's a whole 'nother diary.

    •  Don't knock the gym (9+ / 0-)

      Mine is $10.00 a month - it's clean, the showers are hot, the people are nice and it's a great atmosphere to stay healthy - plus it gets you out of the house.

      Nothing against a nice walk though - you are right - a great way to keep fit, de-stress and be happy.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:38:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (4+ / 0-)

        I didn't mean to.

        It's just that there are so many images of glistening, healthy people stepping off a treadmill and shaking out their hair in slow motion on tv, so it seems like that's the way it needs to be done. The image of walkers are always of senior citizens in various life insurance and medication commercials.

        •  It's surprising how supportive a gym can be (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayDean, lazybum, ctexrep, cbyoung, cama2008

          I use a YMCA.  There is any level of activity, and classes for everyone.  It becomes a sort of home.  I guarantee you will make friends if you go regularly.  When I don't show up, I HEAR about it!

        •  No problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Most of the people at my gym...if you looked at the treadmills, you'd think they were making you gain weight....;)...but seriously - it's just people trying to change their lives....I love it!

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:05:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's the important thing (0+ / 0-)

            is to love it, and that's great.  Yikes, you're 4 years older than my daughter.  She actually just discovered running and has lost a lot of weight and because of that she's adjusted her diet and watches what she eats.  She wasn't overweight, but now she's just gorgeous.

            Here's a funny story, she was at a friend's house once and the grandma who was somewhat obese, was serving brownies and ice cream for dessert.  My daughter ate her brownie before the ice cream. The grandmother scolded her for not eating the dessert properly, then gave her an entire 2nd serving.  That was a jaw dropping moment.  Afterwards I pulled my daughter aside and gently advised her that one dessert is enough, regardless of whether or not you ate it correctly.

    •  Walking unless up hill against the wind (0+ / 0-)

      is really not that great. You have to get the heart beating to burn calories.  If you do that with walking on level ground you got other issues as well.  About the only thing walking does is keep you from eating during that time. I'm a big fan of walking for other reasons but not for losing weight. I walk almost 2 miles a day and recommend walking to everyone.  But not for weight control.

      I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

      by thestructureguy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:02:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority, tobendaro

        I've just lost 45 lbs in 8 weeks through a combination of good diet and walking 10 miles a day.

        You don't need to increase heart rate to lose weight - in fact, burning fat is more likely at walking than running speed. Don't confuse calorific efficency (calories burned per minute) or cardio-fitness with calorific burning needed for weightloss.

        The limit of walking is the limit of all exercise - it takes a significant effort to burn 1000 calories/day through exercise, whereas it is relatively painless to take 1000 calories/day out of your diet.

        2/3rds of the weight I've lost has been attributable to diet, only 1/3 to exercise. Exercise is not an efficient way of losing significant weight (good extra, great for maintaining weight) - but of various forms of exercise, walking is far better if you're bigger, as you reduce risk of injury that will see you inactive for weeks.

        "I, for one, would like to welcome our new Belgian overlords..."

        by Morus on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 03:00:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  painless to take 1000 calories out of your diet? (0+ / 0-)


          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 05:09:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If you're eating enough to be significantly overweight, it's really not that hard.

            I was consuming between 3,000 and 4,000 calories per day. I needed maybe 3200 to maintain weight.

            I've lived on 1000 per day for the last 8 weeks, and after day three haven't been hungry once. So I cut about 2500 calories/day out of my diet, and the 'pain' isn't half as bad as doing 10 miles/day was when I first started.

            If I was trying to get a 2500 calorie/day defecit just by exercising, I'd have to do about 25 miles/day. Dieting is less painful than that!

            "I, for one, would like to welcome our new Belgian overlords..."

            by Morus on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 04:46:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I hate the gym (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, mamabigdog

      I hate gym culture. I know women who put makeup on before they go. It's really weird. Of course "gym culture" is a hideous generalization, but I've always been creeped out by gyms.

  •  The key to a healthy (11+ / 0-)

    body is simple for most.  A balanced diet, consumed at times during the day when the fuel is most likely to be needed and used, of adequate portions and balanced nutrition mixed with reasonable exercise.

    I went from 210 to my current weight (which is normal for my height of 5'9") - all told, I lost 80lbs.  I didn't diet or take pills or do anything all that dramatic.  I just... adjusted.  I stopped eating so late at night (when my body least needed the food).  I cut out "whites" and "frieds" - no cream sauces, no fried foods.  I took 1/4 less than what I had always been served.  I started moderate, consistent exercise.

    Food is fuel.  Yet it's sold to us as comfort and pleasure - and while those might be some side effects of food, it's not the intent of food.  If we can only remember the intent and follow some simple guidelines, we would all be at our own individual healthy weight.

    And oh - I did become a vegetarian five years after I initially lost the weight and have been for 13 years.

    •  Congratulations!!! (6+ / 0-)

      That's fantastic! And proof that it can be done.  No pills, no gimics, no surgery, no magazines, just living sensibly was enough.  WOW!

      You always hear stories about people who SWEAR they eat the exact same way that thin people eat, but just can't lose the weight.  I always figured that once your body got used to a weight, the weight wouldn't come off. But I couldn't get that theory to explain how bariatric surgery could work, how could that work if you just can't lose the weight regardless.

      So, Rena, again, I salute you.

  •  Is this diary a part of tbe (3+ / 0-)

    WHEE series? If so, could you please update your tags? If not, well, i ask because of dk university. It'll be easier to find the diary if you update your tag. thanks.

    "It is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize" - Henry David Thoreau

    by blueoregon on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:21:46 PM PDT

  •  I Would Give Birth To A Baby (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, ohmyheck, ctexrep

    But this does not seem practical

  •  I had a little weight problem at one time - but (6+ / 0-)

    then I had a pre diabetes scare and swore off sugar and high carbs.  Hasn't been a problem for a couple of years..the only exercise I get is pretty much yard work and walking (chasing) the dogs.

    I've read diabetes is the next big health crisis in this country...I'm a big believer now.

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth". Albert Einstein

    by Sydserious on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:26:07 PM PDT

  •  drop my wallet in London? n/t (5+ / 0-)

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:29:59 PM PDT

  •  I think I'd go with amputation. (2+ / 0-)

    Now I just need to figure out what limb I can do without ...

    The overwhelming consensus of 2,000+ scientific experts from the IPCC& 18 US scientific assns: climate change is happening and is a growing threat to our wo

    by Cenobyte on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:30:41 PM PDT

  •  I'd rather be fat (10+ / 0-)

    than dead.  I had a tumour in my thyroid; after it was removed I gained a lot of weight.  But I'm alive.

    Being glib about other peoples' weight reflects more about the person being glib than it does on the people who don't meet someone else's standards as to what their weight should be.

    And the illustration sucks.  Big time.

    "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

    by marigold on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:30:49 PM PDT

  •  Nice diary (11+ / 0-)

    I know that it takes a lot of time to add all that linky goodness.

    One thing to give up is anything with hugh fructose corn syrup.

    Things to add are fresh fruits and vegetables that you want and which look good to you. A little basket of raspberries may seem expensive, but it costs less than a Starbucks Frappe.

    Whenever I go shopping, I do the veggies and fruits first and then question anything packaged. So if you want to have a nice pie, make it yourself and put decent ingredients into it instead of all that gooey crap they put into those packaged pies.

    If you don't have enough time to make pies and cakes, then guess what?

    •  Conveniently, HFCS gives me instant migraines. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Other sugars will, if consumed in quantity, give me a headache and upset stomach though to a lesser degree. This is useful as it means that when there is birthday cake I can have a (one, small) piece.

      That rule is actually one I follow. If I want the baked good, I have to get off my ass and go make it. I made chocolate fritters tonight. They are good, but I only wanted about three total. I probably won't want chocolate and fried for a while now. I'm a good enough cook that frequently I want not just any cake but MY cake. (laugh)

    •  eliminating HFCS is key. This one change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carol in San Antonio

      alone will make a big difference.

      I eliminated all junk food from the house.  Not a speck allowed.  And I really don't miss it at all.

      I shop only the supermarket walls.  I buy no "food" from the aisles.  Fortunately, beer is on the wall.

      Eating this way takes a little more time to prepare, but I couldn't imagine going back to my old ways.  With proper planning, the additional prep/cooking time can be reduced.  I'm still working on that part.

  •  I'm in front of the TV with a laptop (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winnie, Snud, ctexrep

    computer on my lap.  It is hard to imagine giving either of them up.  At my age those are more important to me than a svelt body.

    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by Amber6541 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:32:11 PM PDT

    •  I was watching (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Winnie, Nespolo, JDWolverton, Amber6541

      I think Letterman - this was quite a few years back - he had this 85 year old Italian guy who every day, walked 6 hours up a mountain with his boots and ski's - he said the 6 hours was worth it to have the 5 minutes of bliss skiing down.

      He's one of my heros.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:41:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got my bike oiled and tires filled (7+ / 0-)

    and I ride it everyday.

    When I moved into a condo downtown, It was no pleasure to ride it in traffic and up hills. Recently I wanted to lose at least 15 lbs. so I had my son store my bike in his garage. He lives in a beautiful area with little traffic, near the ocean. We'll see...

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry, but none of this is correct. (0+ / 0-)

    Please go read I have used his science for a year and lost almost a hundred pounds without hunger, tiredness, or any of the usual "symptoms" of dieting. In addition, I have eliminated my diabetes, arthritis, IBS, and migraines. I no longer use a wheelchair. I can walk everywhere and even climb stairs. I'm no longer disabled. And I didn't do it using the government food pyramid - which is a load of bunk. I did it eating like we did before we had agriculture, and my doctor is stunned at my progress.

    Please also go read Gary Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories. It will blow your mind and turn everything you've said here on its ear. Bottom line: Calories in - Calories out = weight loss? Bunk. Garbage. B.S. of the purest ray supreme.

    I know nobody's going to believe me, but I know from my own experience that the programs you're advocating not only don't work, they make everything worse.

    There is an art to teaching that is independent of the subject matter. - daveinojai

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:45:46 PM PDT

    •  maybe you're right, maybe not, but you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Via Chicago, yella dawg, JDWolverton

      could be a bit more tactful.

      There is no single right way to diet.  Kinda like religion.

      the diarist put a lot of effort into this very good and helpful diary.

      I'm on my way to check out your link.

      •  The diarist is unaware of the science. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And I completely disagree with you saying "There is no one right way to diet." Actually, I do agree with you. There is no right way to diet. There's just a right way to EAT - the way we evolved to eat. That's a million years of us eating animal flesh, especially the high-fat organ meats, and leafy green vegetables, and berries, as opposed to ten thousand years of grain-based agriculture. I'll take the way we've evolved to eat, and I'll eat that way - as I have been for a year now. I'm healthy for the first time in my life, and I'm angry that it took me until I was 39 years old to find out that I've been sold a bill of goods about nutrition and health.

        I've had it with the WHEE diaries here spouting the non-scientific garbage about "calories in, calories out" which has been demonstrated over and over and over again not to work. My father died of conditions that, had he cut out all grains and all Neolithic foods (that is, "foods" we started eating after agriculture came on the scene), he could have avoided. Angry and tactless on this topic? You betcha.

        I no longer eat grains (including corn), beans, peanuts, or anything processed or with a manufacturer's label on it. I eat completely opposite to how government publications (like the food pyramid) say I should - the basis of my diet is high-fat meat and lots of eggs, and green veggies by the ton, minimal fruit (usually a few berries or cherries - and I do mean a few), a few nuts, and some cheese (not a lot). I eat bacon every day. And I'm dropping weight like someone stapled my stomach - except that they didn't.

        And my blood sugars never go over 110 any more, and my weight has dropped by almost a hundred pounds in less than a year, and my cholesterol numbers are stellar, and my doctor is completely flabbergasted. This way of eating works. It is not a "diet." It is how I'm going to eat the rest of my life.

        It's no accident that the "diseases of civilization" - diabetes, heart disease, and cancer - began to rise at the same time as the human race switched to a largely grain-based diet and moved away from eating what we've evolved to eat, namely saturated fats and animal products. The research is all there - Gary Taubes published a book full of it - if you'll just go read it.

        There is an art to teaching that is independent of the subject matter. - daveinojai

        by Killer of Sacred Cows on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:32:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Glad it works for you. (0+ / 0-)

      Fewer calories in than calories out is doing wonders for me.

      So I 'know from my own experience' that there's more than one way to skin a fat person.

      Note to self: Quit insulting people. Note to others: If I insult you, please remind me that I'm trying to stop doing that.

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 05:49:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When the weight starts coming back on, (0+ / 0-)

        and it will - I've done calories-in-calories-out for years with initial success and then catastrophic failure - go look at the site I referenced. If you want sustainable weight loss, calories-in-calories-out won't do it for you, no matter who you are.

        There is an art to teaching that is independent of the subject matter. - daveinojai

        by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sat Aug 28, 2010 at 11:49:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd be willing to try a weird old tip (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, BardoOne

    if only they'd tell me what it is.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:46:42 PM PDT

  •  Here's an important link (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winnie, Wary, Via Chicago, JDWolverton

    Here is vast info on nutritional information for raw and bulk foods.

    Counting calories is as effective as it is difficult.  YOU CAN'T EAT OUT.  It's just too difficult to get calorie info if you do.  You need to weigh and measure your food and ingredients, which this diary does point out.  It takes a lot of discipline, but it does work.  And I hate to tell you this, but it's best not to DRINK alcohol at all.  (calorie bomb)

    Now on the BURNING side, you CAN WORK OUT.  Regular is better than macho, and I recommend group exercise, because of the community you enter.

    I know it's daunting, but it's surprising how easy it is once you commit yourself.

    Great diary.

  •  I spent all summer long (6+ / 0-)

    In the heat, day after day sitting 5 hrs a day at the pool where I am a lifeguard. 30-40 hours a week.

    I dropped 16 pounds in the first month, kind of sweating it out like in a sauna.

    No food was allowed in the pool area so I was never tempted to eat by the smells of the food.

    In addition, I ate only near farm produced food, mainly gorwn by the Amish--very healthy.

    I began working out in the pool aquasizing 1/2 to hour a day, in addtion to cleaning it daily.

    Over time I lost another 4 pounds. While i need to lose about another 10 pounds, I am so happy to say that I've stayed at this weight steadily for over a month now losing 20 pounds.

    Since the pool will be closed soon, I must begin to walk. Doing additional exercize is difficult now since I just returned to substitute teaching just this week.

    I look and feel so much better! People are giving me compliments and you know when I look at myself in the mirror I am beginning to look like me! I admit for the last 2 years I had put on 30 pounds. Having just entered my 60's I just gave up, thought it was time to 'grow old'.

    I thought this summer would definitely be my last as a lifeguard, not now, already making plans to recertify ASAP to do it again next year!

    Thanks for diary and thanks for reading.

    Good luck to all!

    Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

    by Wary on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:48:05 PM PDT

  •  I'm almost overweight (6+ / 0-)

    at 66, 5'3" and 139 pounds, I'm very nearly overweight.

    But I can't be bothered to do anything about it. Already do the fruits and vegetables.  Will not give up my wholewheat bread (this is tomato season and I want my lettuce and tomato sandwich for lunch).  Never have drunk vile, sugary soda or any other kind of soda, only tea and coffee (no sugar), water, and nonalcoholic wine.

    I live with a man who had a deprived childhood and youth, growing up in wartime and postwar London.  He wants his pudding every night.  So, we have "pudding"--always based on fruit, but still, dessert is dessert, whether it's homemade blueberry cobbler, apple cake, peach crisp, pear pie...

    Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:48:24 PM PDT

  •  I am 47 (4+ / 0-)

    and have an on again off again relationship with exercise.  I am on again - and have been working out 5 or 6 days a week for over six months (running and weights).  I have only just started to see a difference.  It is frustrating to say the least.  Hopefully now that the switch is turned on it will continue.  

  •  What I would do to lose 10 pounds? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well, number one, I'd make it a priority.  It would have to be more important (for a while) than any of the things that I do that lead to eating too many calories -- going out to dinner with friends, going to parties, etc.  It wouldn't have to be like that forever, but in the losing phase, I have to either be able to say no to any temptation, or stay away from where the temptation is.

    Number two, I'd be sure to burn enough calories.  That means exercising enough to burn about 2500 calories a day, because I'll diet, but I won't starve.  What that means in terms of effort and my time is one 2-3 mile walk per day (say 40 minutes) and one 1 hour fitness class per day (zumba or kickboxing).  Or, a longer walk on a "rest day".

    Number three, I'd count every calorie I ate, and I'd be sure to maintain a 500 calorie deficit.  I wear a Bodybugg, so I have a real good idea of what I'm burning, and I'd just stay 500 under that on food.  Or maybe a little more, to allow for occasional slip-ups.

    I'd do that for 10-12 weeks.  I would not lose focus during that time for any longer than one dinner and for any more than 1-2 times per week.

    I'm planning to do this this fall.

    I'm one of those on-your-own dieters who have lost substantial weight and kept it off.  I lost 60 lbs over 2 years back in the early '00s, and I have kept it off (net -- there have been normal fluctuations), but I am still 8 pounds above what the fat police say I should weigh, maximum, for my height.

  •  I am in the process of moving into my office (4+ / 0-)

    The only way I can take a shower is go to the Gym.

    Radical perhaps, but effective. Although money saved on rent may be used for Mexican restaurants as well as creditors.

  •  My theory on climate change is the fat (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayDean, Via Chicago, Chico David RN

    people have affected the rotation of the earth and some how slowed it down.  

    I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 06:58:35 PM PDT

  •  Eat Less (3+ / 0-)

    I run.  I eat healthy foods, mostly cooked at home and predominately vegetables and lower fat proteins.  But I had 20 pounds that I just couldn't lose.  They stuck around for a couple years.  

    Turns out I was just eating too much.  Good stuff, but too much of it.

    I tracked calories online and came up with a plan and stuck with it.  Two pounds per week loss average (which I've read is about as fast as you should lose it).  

    My female friends say "it's easier for guys" and that may well be true.  But after the shock of how little I was eating, I got used to it in a week or two it didn't seem like much of a sacrifice anymore.  

    Sure, I was hungry at times and I don't think there is any realistic way around that, despite what diet books might say.  I read somewhere to "watch your periods of hunger go by with the disinterest of cows watching a passing train."  That helped.  Learn to not satisfy your hunger every single time.

  •  I Lost ELEVEN POUNDS!!!! Ask me how (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamabigdog, JDWolverton

    With the Socialist diet plan

    Month by month. (Hope to see you on Twitter)

    by Muskegon Critic on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:01:57 PM PDT

  •  Also, re BMI (5+ / 0-)

    medical science is starting to suggest that waist-to-hip ratio is a better indicator of health than BMI.

    When I calculate bodyfat% based on my total weight and body measurements, a lot of the calculators give me back a "well, this might be your bodyfat%, but huh, you're strange-shaped" warning, because I am big for my height weightwise but still have a small waist relative to hips.

    •  I've been reading that too. (0+ / 0-)

      The BMI calculator links to a hip/waist ratio calculator. It is a good (probably the better) predictor of obesity manifestations. I didn't put it in the diary because I didn't want to be confusing. The other thing is that my current clients have to use BMI to calculate drug dosages.

      The BMR is the most important calculation, because it gives you your target daily calories.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:29:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gluten free or nearly free (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've started a Gluten free (or nearly free) diet a few weeks ago and the result has been about 12 lbs in weight loss in about 5 weeks.

    I account for this that wheat (which is my main target to eliminate in diet) is often a very high caloric food.  By substituting non-gluten products I am reducing calorie intake.  For example, 2 slices of "uddi" bread that I use instead of the whole wheat bread comes in at 160 calories instead of 240 calories for 2 slices of the bread I had been eating.

    Further, by avoiding gluten I seem to also choose foods that have lower over all calorie counts.

    It is possible that I am also benefiting from the particular health benefit of avoiding gluten. In my case, I've developed a late in life sensitivity and I'm finding being off wheat has calmed my stomach and what comes after.

    I've been on all sorts of diets in my life and they all have their downsides.  This one I don't feel hungry or snacking isn't a bad thing if I do feel hungry. I don't feel deprived and I don't have particular cravings like you might get on some diets.  

    The downside is that I'm having to shop at stores like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods which is expensive!!!

    --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

    by chipoliwog on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:04:17 PM PDT

    •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Several people I know are going gluten-free, suggested by doctors for various reasons. One lost weight, but most interesting is the guy who gained tons of energy. Said he hasn't felt this great in years. Even see a new place serving gluten-free pizza around the corner. I might try this for my sore tummy and hopefully the energy side effect.

  •  funny you should ask, I just did. (3+ / 0-)

    And a little more, and in the process of still more.
    Since the 4th of July, I have lost about 15 lbs on my way to a total of 30.
    I was a fat child and fat teen, then discovered cycling, first for transportation, then sport, and became thin for quite a few years.  But in the last 25 years I have gradually crept up to about 30 lbs over my racing weight.  Generally kidded myself that it was all just part of the aging  process, etc.  Then over the 4th weekend, I visited my old training partner, who is even leaner than he was in the old days, and consequently just as fit.
    He inspired me, and his wife, a Weight Watchers graduate, gave me some tips on how.
    I haven't joined the program, but use a lot of their methods.  For me, what is working:

    1. Cut way down on liquid calories.  I was probably having a 6-pack a week of high alcohol ale, and 2 bottles of wine a week.  Now one bottle of wine and no beer.
    1. Portion control.  We've all gotten used to eating larger amounts than we did 30 years ago.  Weigh and measure.
    1. Fill up on large amounts of very low calorie foods - vegies mostly.
    1. Have a plentiful supply of very low calorie snacks.  My favorite: Dreyers light fruit popsicles with artificial sweetener - 25 calories each.  grab one every time I crave a little something.
    1. Crank up the exercise a little bit extra - I already did pretty well that way, but had to make myself realize that no amount of exercise could totally overcome my overeating.

    It's worked for me.

    "I was asked what I thought of the mainstream media. I said I thought it would be a good idea" - Amy Goodman.

    by Chico David RN on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:05:34 PM PDT

    •  I've decided to start losing over the 4th too. (0+ / 0-)

      August 4th.

      A dear friend had heart bypass surgery and is now on a low fat low salt diet. I don't want him to suffer alone.

      I didn't want to go on any particular diet or have forbidden foods, so I went to

      If I want a Hershey's Nugget, well, I eat it and log it. I've lost about 10 pounds. I've logged about 50 miles of walking and have lost about 3 inches off my butt. That's happy news to me.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 07:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've lost forty pounds and five sizes lately. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm frank. Drug side effects. But I really just used it to learn how to eat smaller portions.  I think the yoga and the weight work I started to do are what has really moved it around.

    I like being fat, personally. But I'll always be what society considers fat, since I have a generous hourglass figure, I'm broad-shouldered, long-legged, and tall.

    At this point, I'd like to lose about two more sizes. Given that I'm still on the Adderall, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Then I want a tummy tuck. I am fairly certain there's fifteen pounds of skin on my torso, and it distorts the way my clothes fit. (I know it's skin because it will compress. A 51 inch waist does not go down to a 36 under compression unless it's mostly loose skin.)

  •  I stopped drinking milk. (6+ / 0-)


    I'm a milk junkie, so if I can stick to water I should slim right down.  Better: my partner is on the wagon, so I have to cut back on beer.

    Ah, beer and slushy milk.  I'll miss you guys.

  •  This is my first week back (2+ / 0-)

    on The Life Transforming Diet.  The first time I tried it, I lost 20 pounds with barely more effort than it took to check the book and see what I was supposed to be doing THIS week.  It's an eating plan that you build up to the full program over a span of 5 weeks, and then continue strictly for a while before you're allowed variations.

    It's based on the principles described in the writings of the rabbi and physician Maimonides.  I bought the book when I was flipping through it and saw a letter printed from a young woman who said all of her friends and relatives had been worried she was anorexic, so she tried this plan to help her eat more healthily and had gained enough weight that they stopped worrying about her.

    I do actually like food that's good for me, so following the plan wasn't terribly difficult - and there are no foods that are absolutely forbidden, although I have learned a lot about kosher rules from reading the book.

  •  I would ride a bike (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I mean, I already do, but I would do it more—and do it where I want and when I want, instead of feeling self-imposed pressure from the nefarious projecting SoCal body nazis.

  •  To lose 10#, I would stop drinking beer (5+ / 0-)

    And then I would instantly be 106 lbs at 5'7".  Like an Eritrean refugee.   Where your collar bones are actually painful looking.   Beer at least keeps a little flesh on my bones!  :)
    Some of us have the opposite problem, and suffer from all sorts of presumptions.  But I realize this is minor compared to people who are overweight.

    One of my best friends is obese now, but we used to trade clothes in college 30 years ago.  And I have spent weeks visiting with her over the years, eating exactly the same things and participating in the exact same physical activities.  The only difference I can see is that I am probably a bit more fidgety at rest than she is.  So the only real difference is our individual metabolisms.

    It's not about will-power or virtue:  some people have slower metabolisms.  And my heart goes out to them.

    Practical advice:  Stop drinking soda.  Stop drinking lattes.  Let black coffee be your friend.  It will take three days to get over the sugar/milk/chemical buzz, and then black coffee will be the nectar of the gods for you.

    Avoid all HFCS.  Shop the exterior of the grocery store aisles.  

    Best wishes to all who struggle with their weight.

    •  Being too thin is a problem for a lot of people. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carol in San Antonio

      The clients I work with have equal numbers of obese and people who can't gain weight, no matter what. (They usually have a gastro or absorption problem; sometimes both.) Some people have primary health problems that make weight gain as challenging as weight loss.

      Then there's the naturally thin like you with a kind heart and compassion. I hope your friend apprecieates you.

      Coffee and many liquids hide calories. I don't drink coffee, I drink all sorts of teas, mostly because I like them without anything in them.

      I walk for 40 minutes a day (mostly for my head and heart) and do some resistance exercises to build muscle.

      I'm only cutting my calories by 500 a day, because I don't want to lose too fast and then have a bunch of loose skin that will take surgery to remove it.

      So far so good.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 08:49:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Middle age hit! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lazybum, JDWolverton

    Yikes. I gave up my nightly ice cream. Didn't work. Bought an elliptical machine off Craigs list and used for 1/2 hour every day starting July 27, except for the nights I cut the grass. Lost 4 lbs & inches off of my love handles. I think I am going to try some Pilates too, but only if I can eat ice cream.

    •  If you are doing the yoga type stuff (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loggersbrat, lazybum, JDWolverton

      you may not need the ice cream.

      I actually get this lovely mellow tranquil buzz off doing my yoga. So I do it right before I have my hot bath and go to bed.

      I don't do a system; just some of the poses that stretch areas I have problems with muscle spasms in, and some all over ones. And I lift light-ish weights for my arms, since I do a hobby that requires some fitness in that regard to do it well. But I've reshaped a lot, and I'm more worried about how my clothes fit than I am about how much I weigh on the scale, so that works for me.

    •  try frozen yogurt. Really, it is a different (0+ / 0-)

      taste, but at 110 calories for the same amount, you might be able to like it.

      Here's a thought. Once in a while my mother would serve a fruit dessert for supper. That it, just the dessert. In June it was homemade strawberry short cake. I think today, she'd serve a salad first and then the dessert. You might try cutting back on dinner to save the calories for your ice cream.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 08:38:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  literal frozen yogurt (0+ / 0-)

        i throw Chobani vanilla yogurt in the freezer.  it's very creamy, fat free, not much sugar.

        it has to unfreeze a little before you can eat it, but then it is a nice dairy treat.

        "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 05:19:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cut off my foot? (2+ / 0-)

    Oh wait--that ship has already sailed. And I'm still fat.

    "[The GOP wanting to debate Obama is like saying] 'Let's see how tough Aquaman is when we get him in the water.' " --Seth Meyers

    by homogenius on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 08:22:09 PM PDT

  •  give up the four white foods (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    no white flour

    no white sugar

    no white rice

    no white potatoes

    I eat six times a day, with small portions of protein, small portions of complex carbs, and large portions of fruit/vegetable fiber at every meal.

    i walk a half hour a day, which is very hard at my weight and hard on my joints, but is the only exercise i can afford right now while i am working part time.

    i've lost a lot of weight in the last 11 months (i don't want to say a number, but waaay more than 10 pounds).

    I have a long way to go.

    But after this many months it does feel like a lifestyle change.

    i compare it to when I gave up smoking--i still think about nicotine from time to time but I choose not to smoke because I know that if I start smoking it would be really really difficult to ever stop again.

    similarly, I crave my binge foods from time to time but I choose not to eat them because I know that if I go back to those habits it will be really really difficult to ever lose this weight again.

    stay motivated, everybody!!!

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 05:17:18 AM PDT

  •  Let's see, I go to Weight Watchers (2+ / 0-)

    which gives me some reinforcement and ideas from other members.  

    Also, I just retired.  My sister and I started walking Saturday mornings to get ready for a 7 mile road race; after I retired we switched that up to 3 mornings a week.  (I have started walking to the library, about 2 1/2 miles round trip, the days we don't walk together.)  We finished the race (barely); our goal for next year is to finish it before they take down the finish line.

    We're considering getting Y memberships to get us through the cold months; some lap swimming and track walking ought to feel good. is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

    by RunawayRose on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 09:22:17 AM PDT

  •  Curses, sorry I missed this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Just happened to click on the WHEE link tonight, 2 days too late.

    I have to say, I yoyo'ed the entire time I 'dieted'.

    The only thing I'm doing now that's working is 'giving up' inactivity and carelessness.  I got new batteries for the kitchen scale, started actually counting calories on pretty much everything I ate and stopping eating once I got 'too high' for the day, and started riding a stationary bike at least 30 min a day and doing a set of 25 reps of bench presses while slowly increasing the weight.

    So I can't really say I 'gave anything up', other than a bit of time and thought.

    Note to self: Quit insulting people. Note to others: If I insult you, please remind me that I'm trying to stop doing that.

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 05:42:52 PM PDT

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