Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mayday Makeover Day #3

Dietary Diplomacy


There is nothing like losing 30, 40, or even 100 plus pounds to make you into a true believer when it comes to your eating strategy.  Media reports vary as to what percentage of dieters succeed in maintaining fat loss for over a year, but the number seems to be somewhere between 5 and 20 percent.  Either way, long term fat loss maintainers are in the minority of dieters, so it's hard to blame them when they get excited about sharing their experience.

In all honesty, I will share that I got the ball rolling on my fat loss by learning to manage my intake of sugar, flour, alcohol, and starchy carbs.  Certain foods and beverages trigger a kind of madness inside me that shoves aside all my hopes and dreams for health and vitality, and replaces them with the overwhelming desire for more food pleasure now!   In the face of pastries, chips, sweets, and chardonnay, noting matters except the "hit" of sensation I get from the next bite.

It's like a physical neurosis or a dietary character flaw.  I have even read books by proponents of calorie restriction as the only agent of fat loss that do seem to imply that those of us who avoid sugar and flour are the victims of an obsessive mindset of our own making.  That hurts.  It also makes me feel angry and misunderstood, but I close those books, set them aside, and move forward with what has worked for me in the past.

That being said, the longer I work in the world of fitness and physical transformation, the more I see that the the individuals who succeed at permanent fat loss aren't all eating the same thing!

This is why this first week of the Mayday Makeover is so important.  How can you adjust your food intake and energy balance effectively if you don't know how much energy you're taking in?  There are online BMI, RMR, and BMR calculators at your fingertips right now that can estimate how much food energy you use each day based on your size, age, and activity level, but what good is that information if you don't know what a typical day of eating consists of for you?

Between now and May 7th it's up to you if you want to adjust the calories or the content of your daily menu, but the most important strategy is to get clear on how much energy you're taking in now.

You see, the goal of the Mayday Makeover is to gather the information and insight you need to make permanent positive changes in your health and vitality.  We're looking for a way of eating that brings you satisfaction while allowing you to meet your goals for the way you look and feel.  So get out your food journal, or sign up for a free tracking system at fitday.com or sparkpeople.com.  Knowledge is power so let's go get some.