I am throwing my hat into the diet advice ring with my own observations and successes with losing weight. If you know me personally, you’ll know that most of my life, I’ve been thin and when I try to espouse diet advice friends will usually say, ‘you’ve always been skinny, what makes you the authority on losing weight’? But if you ask anyone for advice wouldn’t I be the best choice of someone to ask? And while I was thin all my life, I hit my fifties and I had gained more than 25 pounds. I didn’t notice until a relative posted a photo of me on Facebook from the side, sitting on the couch.
After the shock of seeing that photo, I looked around at my friends and noticed that everyone was fat. It seems that the only skinny people my age that are thin are the ones who work on it. A lot people my age are on some kind of antidepressant and we all know that makes one fat. Sedentary life along with a slowing metabolism (and maybe a daily Zoloft) is a deadly combination for gaining weight. My literal prescription for gaining weight is my antispasmodic medication. It’s first side effect listing is weight gain.
Analyzing the skinny gene: From my observations (not referencing scientific research here) I’ve noticed that there are skinny people and fat people. I believe that it is less of a ‘skinny gene’ an more of an ingrained healthier approach to food. I am not saying that skinny people can’t be fat or that fat people can’t be skinny. But it will be far more difficult for someone with the ‘fat-gene’ to stay skinny.
If anyone has a ‘skinny-gene’ I do. I a have a fairly healthy approach to food. As an example, at around 4:30 PM after working most of the day, I may get a few hunger pangs. The first thing that I do is look at the clock and say to myself, dinner is at 6:30 and maybe, I may get a drink of water. At 6:30, I go make a salad then dinner. Someone with the ‘fat-gene’ may be able to do this but it probably comes with the ‘denial’ baggage and maybe some sort of anxiety which leads to snacking after dinner as a reward for denying food all afternoon.
Unfortunately all dieting is comprised of some sort of self denial. I can understand why most people are over weight. Most people have pretty shitty jobs with some boss or another standing over them yelling or dehumanizing or whatnot. The last thing you want to do when you are on lunch break, finally with some alone time is to practice self-denial with food. Dieting is also a total bummer when you see how little food you actually need compared to how how much you want. But I’ve found (as one with the skinny-gene) how to approach dieting to get the most out of the smaller amounts of food you’ll be eating without too much pain.
The first diet commandment which you shouldn’t believe and have to throw out is having goals. In my opinion goals just set you up for long term failure. What is the first thing you do when you’ve met your goal? Eat? And what do you do when you haven’t met your goal? Eat? So, how to avoid goals? Make a commitment that
from this day forward you will eat healthier and be thinner. I pig out sometimes if I’m out to dinner with friends or a BBQ or something. I don’t beat myself up. No guilt for the falling-off-the-wagon binging. During the week I’ll be back to being more disciplined. It took me a long time to lose 25 LBS. Remember the commitment said above, this is the long run not goal oriented. And it’s much healthier to lose weight slowly. This is a life style more than a diet.
What to eat? When to eat? How much to eat? Number one rule; eat like a human being, not like a hyena at the kill. Even if you’re at McDonald’s if you eat slowly you should get full before you over eat. I’ve found that during the day at work, I don’t need a lot of calories. In fact I feel more awake and productive in the afternoon if I eat fewer calories at lunch. For Breakfast I will eat a high bran cereal, not just good for shitting but bran is bulky and makes you feel full. Drink water during the day if you feel hunger. (Try to keep
breakfast under 200 calories). For lunch, I prefer corn chips to stale bread so I find the best cheddar I can find and will eat a small amount of cheese with a few chips (maybe 7 – 10 chips). Now this is paltry but if you eat slowly and drink a large cup of black coffee or water it’ll definitely sate you until you get home from work.
For dinner, try to avoid anything wheat, try quinoa which is great. Eat a big salad. If you’re going to make pasta or rice and meat, chicken, etc, double the meat and halve the rice or pasta.
As you can see it’s not really a diet. The idea is that you try to stay under 500 calories for breakfast and lunch because most people are busy and hunger
pangs are easier to ignore during the day. This also leaves you with at least 1000 calories for dinner which is actually hard to eat in one sitting if you eat at a human pace. To avoid snacking after dinner, I find chewing gum after dinner is sating. It’s more of an urge to masticate rather than any real hunger.
If you try it be sure to write me and tell me whether it worked or not and what problems, etc. Remember, the adage: This not a sprint it is a marathon. If you feel you’ve over eaten over the weekend or a raucous dinner, or lingering vacation, no harm no foul, back to it during the week.