Save the Diet Cost

Well it’s official I had a good vacation.  My work pants are a little tighter than they should be in the waist.  So am I worried or will I go on a diet.  No!

You see diets don’t work.  Period.  You can sugar coat it anyway you like, but in reality diets are by their very nature a temporary thing that is NOT going to help you keep off weight in the long term.   So save the cost of Weight Watchers or any other system or special food.  They don’t work in the long run (hence why these companies are still in existence after all if they really worked don’t you think they would have run out of customers a long time ago).

In my case my normal eating methodology is just fine given my size.  I don’t typically gain weight.  I don’t need a diet.  I just over did the extras during the vacation: too much treats and booze (I firmly blame Santa for the booze because that’s where I got drink martini shaker and glasses which lead me to the great taste of a chocolate cream martini).

So how do I lose the extra weight.  Eat less for a few weeks.  Really that’s it.  Our bodies are very simple.  Energy in = energy out means no weight gain or loss.  Yet when you eat less and keep up your activity level the same you lose weight.  Shockingly straight froward eh?  I don’t even own a scale so I don’t know what I actually weigh.  I just adjust my eating habits by how my pants fit.  If my waist is getting tight I ease off of the extras like dessert or snacks in the evening for a while until the pants fit right again.

So how do you create a healthy eating methodology.  Easy.  You just make sure you eating lots of the good stuff (fruit, veggies, whole grains, you get the idea), keep the meat and cheese portions on the small side and moderate your extras like dessert and booze.  Adjust the amounts of each until you stop gaining wieght for at least two weeks.  Then you found your typical eating pattern where you won’t gain weight.  Now if you want to lose some weight cut back for a few weeks on the extras.

That’s it folks.  The incredically easy and free way to control your weight forever.  It’s sort of reminds me of the generalities of personal finance.  The basics are easy (ie: live below your means), it’s actually finding what works for you that is hard.  Good luck.

12 thoughts on “Save the Diet Cost”

  1. Sounds like a diet to me! I guess you’re suggesting more of a permanent change in diet

    I felt exactly like you until last year my buddy and I engaged in a “Six-Pack by Summer Challenge” to achieve our first ever six-packs and thereby impress our wives. To achieve it we both changed our diets, he more than I, and it worked like a charm. There was very little difficulty in dropped about 25 lbs by switching to a low carb diet. It was easy because everything tastes great, I eat until I’m not hungry, and the energy level was higher than ever. No measuring, very little denial, no fancy food, no trouble.

    Food is one key, which you write about, but the other is what you do. Active people have much more ability to control weight.

    Anyway, our six pack challenge was so enjoyable and successful for both of us that I create the website to run group challenges. It’s online in “alpha” status but it’s working and I have started a Pound a Week Challenge to lose one pound per week until I achieve my target wieght — anyone can join up. I’m also trying to qualify for the Boston marathon this year after missing last year, if anyone can help me out on that one 🙂

  2. Forgot to mention, the diet that I went could easily be permanent. I did throw it out the window towards the end of year starting with Halloween candy and then most of December with Christmas stuff. A diet of 50% candy-canes, Christmas baking, and chocolates offset by present-hunting in the mall does not produce weight control 🙂

    I gained about 7lbs in the last two months and I want to take another 10-15 off after that this year.

  3. Good post – I have found the same thing. The portions for me are the big thing. Also biking to work everyday helps.

  4. Your absolutely right, diets don’t work. But there are a few other tips that I found helpful.

    Use more energy by taking the stairs at work, or around town. Instead of waiting at the bus stop walk to the next one, or if you drive park on the top level of the garage and take the stairs.

    If you feel hungry drink a glass of water first, thurst can feel the same as hunger.

  5. Also, eat QUALITY vs. QUANTITY. You’ll find you’re satisfied with less. I’ll take a small portion of premium ice cream instead of a big bowl of the fat free stuff. Besides, with good quality stuff you tend to get less additives. Go for “whole” food options and eat less of it. Yum!

  6. Astin,

    Ok, if that’s a diet why did I eat a piece of pie last night and feel absolutely no guilt?


    You hit it on the head. You want to permanently change you eating habits. That’s why I refuse to call it a diet. It’s just how I eat.


  7. CD – You changed your eating habits for a few weeks in order to lose weight. That’s the definition of a diet. It might not be a strict meal plan, include calorie counting, or watching which type of carbs you ingest, but if you make a conscious effort to eat less until you feel good in your pants again, then you’re dieting.

  8. CD,

    In your case, I would agree it’s not a diet. You’ve changed your eating habits over the holidays in eating more and put on a few pounds. Now you’ll return to your normal level and get back on track. In my case, my current diet is excessive and needs to be changed. I’m quite aware that I must eat less calories then I burn off, but haven’t been successful on my own. I’ve looked into what I would consider ‘tools’ to help me make the necessary changes and have decided to join weight watchers. WW would argue they are not a diet, I personally don’t care what you call it, but they emphasize behavioural changes, eating healthier, and tracking everything you take in. I think the tracking is quite important. Just as we keep track of our finances to help us reach our financial goals, tracking my food intake will hopefully help me reach my weight goals.

    As far as the cost of WW, I consider it quite minimal. I’ve just joined, but I’ve probably saved my cost so far on simply eating less and making better choices. I could arguably have done this for free, but I wasn’t, so it’s a moot point.

    Additionally, your statement that WW doesn’t work isn’t entirely true. This article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a modest benefit at 2 years (~5kg from baseline) for weight watchers:

    Sure the average maintained weight loss with Weight Watchers is low, but it’s higher than telling someone to eat less.

  9. I would worry a little more about the “whole grains” and a little less about the meat.

    Certainly watch out for really fatty cuts but if you’re not exercising a ton the bread and pasta is going to get you way before chicken or lean ground.

  10. Good article. Diets don’t have to complicated, just a few changes such as eating a lot of the good stuff and moderating the other things (ie. desert and booze) can go along ways. Cheers!

  11. Thought I’d chime in, especially with this being in my field. WW is actually not a bad program, in fact, one of the only ones generally supported by professional for people looking to change their diet (not to go on a diet). It’s a could way to have support for a lifestyle change, while making the change as easy as possible (via the points system).

    Calorie balance IS the essential equation in any weight management program though. Burn more than you bring in and you will lose weight.

    Obviously there’s a lot of information out there, and this post could be quite lengthy. Stick with healthy food choices (get some healthy snacks in there to keep the metabolism going) and participate in regular physical activity and, if nothing else, you’ll be healthier. With a little determination, the pounds might just come off too.

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