Have you suddenly looked in the mirror and wondered where *you* went and where this fat person came from? If you have, don’t feel bad. Back in the fall of 2020, I was doing yoga or trying it, and I decided to film myself. Let’s just say the person in the video and how I view myself were not the same. In fact, I wasn’t quite sure where this lard-ass came from, but I knew she had to go. Initially, I just ramped up my exercise. I have a very sedentary lifestyle so a few hundred calories burned a day should do the trick… Except it didn’t. In fact, over the course of the next 3 months, I would gain an additional 8 pounds. YIKES! The reality is that exercise doesn’t work for me. The other reality is that changing my diet doesn't work. Uh oh…. The two things that are supposed to facilitate weight loss don’t work for me. That’s some harsh truth right there.
Why Changing My Diet Doesn’t Work
It isn’t sustainable. Fresh vegetables rot on me. I don’t want to eat salad every day, and boiled foods are disgusting. I also won’t eat many of those touted “power foods”. I hate Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, plain broccoli, mushrooms, olives, sauerkraut, fish, any vegetable served raw as well as most fruits. To my credit, I’m not a big fan of bread, rice or pasta either. I will eat them, but I don’t eat them very often, and I do not drink any calories. Now, you may be wondering how I managed to regain 47 pounds (from 2015) if I equally hate starchy foods and vegetables. I like sauces and potatoes and every dessert ever invented. I also tend to eat a lot of what I will eat.
The reason changing the foods I eat doesn’t work is because I might be able to choke down everything I hate for 6 months to reach my goal. I have some amazing willpower, but if I hate what I’m eating, I want to get rid of it as fast as possible. So, once I hit that goal weight, I go straight back to eating what I like. This is a recipe for disaster every time.
But But But You Have to Eat THIS Way!
No I don’t, and neither do you. Now, that statement is barring any existing medical issues you may have. I am not a doctor, nutritionist or anyone with any degree in health and wellness. If your doctor says you have to restrict salt or not eat it at all or keep your carbs low, then those are your limiting factors. Same with allergies. If you’re allergic to something, don’t eat it.
But as a general rule, the EAT THIS, NOT THAT is complete and utter bullshit. Cake and carrot sticks are not the same thing, so if you want cake, eat it. Do not eat the carrot sticks. It is a recipe for eating half a gallon of carrot sticks and still eating the cake and probably a jar of icing on top of it cause you denied yourself the cake for hours, thinking the carrot sticks would suffice. That qualifies as a binge, and you can restart your diet tomorrow.
Other Idiotic Eat This and Not That Recommendations
Swap Mustard for Mayonnaise – I hate yellow mustard, and mustard does not taste anything like mayonnaise. If I want to make a sandwich disgusting, I’ll put plain mustard on it. Now, I do like brown mustard, honey mustard and horseradish mustard, but I like it rarely. Mustard has a very strong taste. Mayo does not.
Swap Seltzer for Soda – Bubbly water is NOT Coke or Pepsi or Dr. Pepper. It doesn't even remotely taste the same. Swap your sugar-loaded Coke for Diet Coke. Just be aware that diet sodas are also pure poison so for that reason you may want to cut back your 2-liter a day.
Choose Black Coffee Instead of a Latte – Black coffee is not a latte, and if you are not used to the harsh taste of plain coffee, you will be in for a shock. It is not delicious, and you will get a severe mouth burn because there’s nothing in your cup to cool it off. It’s just boiling hot coffee. Now, you can put skim milk and sugar-free sugar in a latte to reduce the calories, or you can do what I do. Load the coffee with cream, sugar and vanilla and keep refilling the cup without adding more cream or sugar. Eventually, it is black coffee, but by the time you reach that stage, you’re probably on to your afternoon drink.
Eat Toast Instead of Rolls – What? I seriously just read this. Yeah, I’m gonna do this cause I want toast with my roast beef dinner, NOT. That’s a great recipe for not being happy with the meal. Also, it reminds me of my childhood where everything was bread. Toast and gravy, toast for a hamburger bun, toast for a hottog bun. NO. Nonononononononono I’m done with that stage of my life.
Eat Raw Veggies Instead of Chips – LOL This is a recipe for binging because what you’re gonna do is eat those plain raw vegetables AND the chips. If you want chips, eat chips, just not 10 servings.
Eat Red Sauces Instead of White – White sauce is made with milk or cream, butter and flour. Red sauces are made with tomato and spices. Red sauces and white sauces are two different things, and they are not always interchangeable. Let’s go back to the toast. So, now instead of biscuits and sausage gravy, you’re now eating toast and tomato sauce….. Um...ew. I know eating better and keeping calories low can lead to eating some crazy things, but let’s not do this. Also, if you’re making chicken Alfredo and swap the cheese sauce for red, you’re eating chicken spaghetti. Just saying.
Eat Plain Yogurt Instead of Flavored – Have you ever eaten plain yogurt? It’s disgusting. The only place it belongs is in a sauce or in a recipe. Eating it with a spoon is a recipe for hating what you’re eating. Now, I have flavored plain yogurt myself with honey, chocolate, granola and other things because it’s typically better for you, and you can control how much of that stuff you put into it.
What Does Work to Help Me Lose Weight
A food scale and a calorie counting app. Notice I didn’t say portion control. Portion control cannot be done without a food scale! The – that looks about right – isn’t right, especially as you start shedding more weight. You must eat less as you weigh less. I’ve scaled back my calories three times since December. My first calorie cut was from 3500 to 2500. My second cut was from 2500 to 1900. My last cut, so far, was from 1900 to 1700. Why did I do it that way? Because my body was used to 3500 calories a day. A 1000 calorie cut was plenty sufficient to start the process. In fact, I lost ten pounds like that. I lost 5 on 1900 a day, and so far on the 1700, I’ve lost 6 more, for a total loss of 21 pounds to date. Scaling back calories slowly also allows your stomach to get used to the restrictions without causing a whole hell of a lot of starvation misery. Eventually, I’ll probably go as low as 1600, but I’m going to hold off on that one. 1600 is as low as I can go.
Getting Started on the Food Scale Weight Loss Plan
1. Get a Baseline
Know where you are starting from. You’ll hate this. It means standing on that scale and taking all your measurements, and I suggest measuring your calves, thighs, upper arm, stomach (at the widest point), hips (under your stomach), ribs (lower part of your ribs. If you’re really really fat, you don’t have a waist to measure, but I bet you can still find your ribcage.) and your chest. Record everything. This will become motivation later as you start to lose inches and pounds.
The second part of getting your baseline is figuring out what you eat on a regular basis. For this, you have to find a calorie counting app you can live with. I’m in the process of changing mine, so I don’t have any recommendations. Although, myfitnesspal no longer allows you to record exercise. It doesn’t save, so you may not want to go with that one if you plan to exercise. Fatsecret is the one I’m looking to replace. It doesn’t do macro percentages correctly for my needs, and it just stopped saving weight changes.
To get your food baseline, you don’t necessarily need a food scale, but you need a shitton of measuring cups, and you really should put that food scale on order. You’re gonna need it. You must measure or weigh everything you eat. So, if you’re currently eating 5 cups of mashed potatoes at dinner, you need to know that. If you’re eating 5 pounds of meat a day, you need to know that. You also need to know how many calories you are eating a day. It’s going to be a lot more than you think you are eating. I say that I was eating 3500 calories a day, but it varied between 3500 and 4500. A particularly bad day was 5000. A 5000 calorie day was a day where I made brownies and ate half the pan. Oopse.
Now, as you start recording everything you eat for your first week, you’ll naturally start to cut back. This is because recording everything you eat is a pain in the ass. So, you’ll make breakfast, 3 eggs, onions, bacon, jalapenos, peppers all cooked in butter. Then, you’re gonna have 2 slices of toast, also buttered, and hashbrowns and ketchup. You may find yourself cutting a few of those ingredients out because you hate putting them all in. At one point I went from that breakfast to bacon, eggs and cheese. Three things are faster to input than 10.
You’re also going to look at that daily calorie number in shock. It’s 2PM, and you’ve already had 2500 calories. YIKES! You may automatically cut back your dinner portions. So, it’s never going to be a true representation of what you were eating because mindless eating stops almost immediately. You are not going to eat a bag of chips at midnight anymore. You are not going to mindlessly sit in front of the TV with a cake and eat it, because you have to record it. However, it’s still a good baseline. I recommend not changing anything for 3 or 4 days, maybe as long as a week. This allows you to get used to weighing and recording all your food without actually having to work on your calorie restricting.
2. Baseline – 1,000
Once you have your baseline calories per day subtract 1000. So, if you were eating 4000 calories a day, eat 3000 a day, even if it’s not what any calorie recommending app is telling you. Most of the time, they want you to make 2000 and 3000 calorie cuts almost immediately. Your stomach has to shrink, or you are going to be in tremendous pain. Nevermind the fact that if you feel like you are starving all the time, you won’t stick with it, even if you are still eating the foods you like.
3. Give It 2 or 3 Weeks
Give your stomach time to adjust. Once you no longer feel like your stomach is eating itself, go ahead and make another cut. If your calories are still well above 2000, cut them again by 500, and watch your weight scale. Are you losing? How fast are you losing? If it’s 2-3 pounds a week, leave it alone until you don’t see any progress for a week or 2. Then, cut your calories again. At anything under 2000 calories a day, I only cut by 100 or 200. Remember, your body needs 1200 calories a day just for life processes.
What Are You Doing With This Weight Loss Process
You are relearning how to eat your food. You are getting detailed information on how much of your food you can eat per day. You are also setting yourself up for success because you aren’t making dramatic changes to what you’re already eating. Remember, whatever foods you choose must be foods you can live with eating for the rest of your life. In my opinion, it’s just better to learn how to eat the foods you already love.