Anvil or Hammer

On Diet

Posted in Rant by Mike on February 18, 2007

I’ve been meaning to do a general diet rant for some time now but haven’t gotten around to it. I feel like I have something to say about dieting, mostly from the standpoint of failure. First a bit about success. When I think of my handful of successes at weightloss, diet has never been a factor. When I wrestled and again when I was in the army, I ate like a champ and a chump. I followed a diet regimine that no ripped out stud would recognize. It is what is often called the “see-food diet”, you see it, you eat it. I recall being in a highschool with a vending machine for some sports drink that has since gone off the market and I forget the name of but it was essential Hawiian Punch with fizz.I would drink three or more of these a day. This is when I went from 185lbs to 140 in a couple years. More of the same in the Army, they fed us well, yet I dropped weight like it was on fire.

Some people talke about eating more making you thermogenic and all there. There is something to that. The problem is that just eating more isn’t enough, in fact, it makes you gain. You have to eat more (no starvation reaction) and exercise more, a lot more. Suddenly you are burning more calories than ever and your body thinks it has ample food and is making no effort to hang onto calories. At least that is how it seems for me.

I’ve had some minor successes with two-a-days. Once in a while I work up the motivation for a few months to get up in the morning and jog a couple miles and then lift on a reasonable schedule in the evenings. I don’ dump the pounds but it is effective. Usually I can level off and sustain that for a while after I stop having the motivation to get up in the morning but it always goes back up.

Lately I have found that I don’t have the time in my day to devote to multiple workouts. More than that, I spend about 12 hours out of my 19 hour day in front f a computer, work, school, side projects, this blog and my own education take time. So I have been struggling to control my diet. In all honesty I am having some success. It comes slowly and is frustrating at times. I am prone to making the same mistakes periodically but as long as I am consisten my weight goes down.

I am surprised by some of the mistakes I am prone to making. I have discovered three key things I have to consider everytime I want to eat. I tend to eat when I “could” eat not when I need to eat. Basically if I ‘m not full, I have a habit to interprate that as hungry. I can be an emotional eater. I like to eat, it feels good, there are chemical rewards going on, this tends to make me want to go back for seconds to try and find that again. Sushi really does this to me, I have found, although the seconds are never as good as the first and I often tend to regret it causing a negative reward. It’s addictive behavior. Last, I have horrible portion control. I think this is really the top two combined but it is a fault unto itself as well. For me it is just as easy to eat two of something as one.

To address these issues I have been packing my food each day. I pack two snacks and a lunch. lunch almost always includes a spincah salad and then a portion of leftovers. I usually use almonds for one snack and yogurt for another. I’m thinking of replacing the yogurt with protein powder worked into a little pudding. It wouldn’t be many more calories but would provide protein that I think I am deficient in.  It seems to work as long as I stick to it and as long as I maintain my dicipline at home as well. It’s very easy to give into the desire to get a frozen pizza and eat half of it. Pizza can be okay but you have to stop at two slices.

I don’t think I will be able to persue real weightloss until I put lifting second behind cardio.  that’s gonna be real hard, I don’t know if/when/how  I will do it but I’m gonna try to make it more of a showcase this summer, I hope. Then the real challenge is keeping it off when I go back to focusing on weightlifting. It seems like a prescription to yoyo dieting to me.