Destination 210: Don’t Diet

I’m not dieting,  but I’m losing weight. Yes, you heard me right. In fact, most people who lose weight and keep it off don’t diet. What I am doing is changing my diet. It’s a subtle difference in wording with a substantive difference in meaning. When you diet, you’re making a commitment no longer than crossing a specific goalpost. When you change your diet, you’re committing to change your behavior on a on-going basis. That kind of long-term change is vital to well-being.

I had to start count calories, at least at first. I had to understand both how much I was eating and how much I should be eating. I can’t do that without keeping tabs on what I’m eating. After a while, I found that I got full much easier than I used to and learned what is a reasonable portion size. I stopped looking for best diet pills here and there,  I also stopped drinking most calories.

Once you look at something as a calorie sinkhole, you’ll start changing your choices long-term. If I’m feeling snacky, I’ll grab an orange. I keep prepped vegetables in the fridge for quick salads and omelettes. If I know I’m going to be eating out later that day, I eat lighter meals and take home leftovers instead of clearing the plate.

It’s a lot of work to keep on top of it, but I had more than a few positive long-term changes from it:

  • I get fuller faster and stay fuller longer.
  • I recognize what a reasonable portion is.
  • I know what foods are filling but not loaded with calories.

I’m taking the view that this needs to be a long-term change for me, not something that I complete. I’ve set a goal to get to 210 (which is on-track for March-ish right now), but maybe I’ll go further than that once I get there, but one thing at a time, right? ) . Whatever happens, it’s a goal for a new maximum weight. The changes I make now have to reflect that.

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