Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dr. Diet: Or, Why I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Scale

Every morning, I get on my scale and weigh my fat ass. I call myself a fat ass, even though I lost 60 lbs and have kept it off for well over a year now. So what gives? Well, what gives is the constant fear that I'm going to gain all my weight back. It's not an idle fear, either. I have done it now twice, and it's something I never think is fully possible until I get on the scale one morning and I'm back in the 200s again, a bloated bubble of lard and rolls. So how do I keep it off? Well, it's simple. I weigh myself every morning. When I tell people this, they often shake their heads and say, "I can't do that. I'll go insane!" But that's the point. You want to go insane and worry about your weight. You see, if you're like me and you love food (And if you're American, then you're of course like me), then you know that you can sometimes get out of hand when it comes to your portion sizes. A handful of kettle corn can turn into a whole empty bag. A few cookies right after work can turn into a full-blown snack of 1000 calories or more. And don't even get me started on all the nibbling that turns into a full blown meal by the end of it. The fact is, it's really, really easy to let yourself go when you're not thinking about what you're eating, and that's why being cognizant of how many calories you're eating AT ALL TIMES is so important. Without that, there's really no stopping your appetite.

So that's why Myfitnesspal has changed my life. I can no longer grab a girl scout cookie and say, "Okay, just one more," because when I put in one cookie in the app (Which is free, by the way) and see that I already blew through 70 calories, I kind of pick and choose my battles. Weightwatchers has a similar system, but it's faulty. Certain items, like fruits, are zero points, so you can kind of go crazy with as many fruits as possible and think you're doing a great job on your diet, only to find yourself losing only a minimal amount of weight over time. Myfitnesspal doesn't allow that. Even an orange, which is about 70 calories (As much as one girl scout cookie!)can add to your weight gain, which in turn makes you decide that you'll take an orange INSTEAD of a cookie since it will fill you up more, rather than thinking you're doing a good job on your diet because you're eating as much fruit as you want. That's why it's paramount that you are always counting your calories as well as checking your weight on a daily basis. Half the difficulty is allowing yourself to know your own limitations and what fills you up. If you can figure that out, you can literally have cheat days every day as long as you're within your calorie range. I'll give you an example.

For breakfast, I might have a green juice, which is around 140 calories. You might be thinking, I can't just have a green juice for breakfast. I'll be starving until lunch time and thinking about my next meal, and I won't deny you that. Until you shrink your stomach, a juice for breakfast doesn't seem like enough. But keep listening. For lunch, I'll have like, a lean pocket, an orange, a greek yogurt, spinach, carrots, and a water. This all amounts to about 800 something calories. So at this point, I'm up to almost a 1000 calories by lunch. Since I'm relatively active, that means I can splurge for dinner. For instance, tonight, I had an Italian sausage and peppers sandwich with onion rings and a canoli for dessert. All told, it came to about 1700 calories. Now, you may think I'm insane, but I'm still in the parameters of my calorie count for the day. So I likely won't gain any weight tonight, even though I feel super full. But I'll know tomorrow morning all the same. And you know why? Because I'll weigh myself. So the secret to keeping weight off is to actually make sure that you hover around the weight that you wish to stay at, and the only way to do that is to constantly monitor your weight and to get angry when you go over it. It's really as simple as that. So yeah, scale + myfitnesspal=success. I guarantee it.

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