We all enjoy a friend or family gathering around good food and wine (or whatever alcohol you like). We eat and eat… and regret it in the morning, or even an hour after when you feel rough. Food is and will always be a part of our lives, that you want it or not. It’s part of our survival. But food, even though a need, is also, for some of us, our worst enemy. In an area where the supreme perfect body is worshiped, exposed everywhere and an obsession, we tend to try all kinds of diets, and in some extremes, eating disorders.
Fast food as taken over lots of countries such as the United-States, which is known as the “heaviest” country on the planet. Some other countries are not so far behind. Sadly, for some, food is a drug. Like trying to stop smoking or drugs such as heroin, food can have control of your brain.
Now, you try to “eat better”, but the weight is still there, won’t disappear, even after a year or two of “eating well”. And then you have mom or grandma saying “well it’s normal sweetheart, you are getting older, your body is changing”. Huh… wait. Second puberty doesn’t exist! Don’t get caught in this thinking and stop your effort.
But wait! Companies such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Herbal Magic, for example, are working and have success stories! So you go and spend money on their meals, and weight follow up. And yes, if you are motivated, you lose the weight.
I have been through the struggle myself. I’ve always been at 125 lb and some events got me up to 180-190 lb, fast. After I got rid of my unhealthy relationship, I tried to eat better again, now that I could. I lost a little, but was not able to lose it all. I didn’t want to throw some money into Weight Watchers and my boyfriend at the time, was not really active. So I started to do some researches on the internet.
First, forget, like I said earlier that it’s an age thing. The only thing relate is that as we get older, most of us get less active but still eat the same way. So the pounds piles up. Basically and simply, we eat more calories than we burn. Those calories that were not burned and not needed (Because it’s “energy”) during the day, are store in our body. Fat. So a new day, new calories not burned, new reserves. And so on.
So companies that claims they have the secret to weight loss and ask for your money to give you the trick… well, are tricking you. You can do what they do yourself. It worked on me, I went back to 125 lb… but I must be 130 now, being eating a lot for the past few months! But anyways…
How did I end up doing it? Counting the calories I was consuming vs the calories I was burning. The companies you see on TV do the same. They calculate approximately your activity level, the weight you need to lose and “prepare meals” that have the amount of calories you should absorb in a day. So if you have the motivation to do it, start counting! But be warned, this will show you that you eat way too much, and for the first couple of weeks, you’ll be hungry and you’ll want to quit.
The normal amount of calories for a moderately active man is 2200 to 2800 calories per day. For a moderately active woman it’s between 1800 to 2200 calories. So imagine, in a Big Mac there’s approximately 550 calories, and between 220 to 300 calories in two slices of white bread. You are near the 800 calories, half your day, and you have eaten 2 pieces of bread with nothing on it and a Big Mac with no fries… You haven’t had your morning coffee or supper… Ouch, eh!
When I started counting, I got as low as 1200 calories per day. Like I said, I wasn’t active, and didn’t get much of a push to get out there and start training. The only exercise I did was walk the dog. I know that some will say it’s too low, but it’s not a lifetime thing. To help me with the counting, I found the MyFitnessPal website. It’s free and easy to use, they even have an app. But using this app showed me that the Canadian food guide was right on the portion we should eat. The big T-Bone on the BBQ? Forget it. The normal portion is about as small as your fist. I can tell you that I did struggle to be able to figure out meals that would keep me at 1200 calories. So I have changed lots of things. My bread was now a very good multigrain old fashion made bread (2 slices for 120 calories!), I have switched from normal Hellmann’s mayo to light, and there was actually no difference in taste. I had to “stop” pasta, my favorite food. More veggies, smaller pieces of low fat meat such as chicken, white meat fish and bison. I have found a low calorie recipe for cupcakes, absolutely delicious! But once per week, I needed my “cheat day”.
Within a year, I was back where I was. And happy. I do not count anymore, but got use to the habits it gave me on portions and choices.
Believe me, we can all do it. But stop looking at those Victoria Secret and Calvin Klein models. You are who you are.