I got a comment today on an old post, one of the ones I wrote about The Beck Diet Solution. I wrote that post a little over a year ago, before starting my last job and putting on about 10 pounds of commuter weight. At the time I was only about 10 pounds over my goal. I've lost a few of the commuter pounds but obviously still am dealing with most of it. I might have to take another look at the Beck book, which seemed to be helping me until I got hung up on the author's tone. Maybe like the commenters, I can take some of what's there and learn from it. I have already adopted a few things. Like some of those commenters, I have been logging my calories with FitDay, which is proving to be very educational.
A lot of the diet "wisdom" out there focuses on what to eat. Don't eat the skin when you eat chicken. Put skim milk in your coffee instead of half and half. Get the ____-free version of the foods you like (insert fat, carb, or sugar depending on the trend of the moment). I am finding that it's really a lot more important to focus on how much you eat than what it is. My husband was looking at my Weight Watchers magazine and snorted when he saw an ad for the Weight Watchers version of Twinkies. It really is stupid if you think about it. They're 100 calories a piece. The real thing is 150 calories. I checked at the store today out of curiousity. I don't like Twinkies, but if I did, I'd rather spend the extra calories on one real one than have a rubbery Weight Watchers cake. Especially if I could get someone to split a single-serving package (which I think has two) rather than buying a whole box of diet cakes that are around when I have a weak moment. One of the reasons I got annoyed with Weight Watchers is that a lot of the meeting focused on that kind of "have this, not that" philosophy, mostly focused around low-points junk foods.
A better strategy for me, when I have the time, has been to find recipes that include the kind of foods that we all should be eating more often. I found this great recipe for Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesean and made it tonight. It took about 45 minutes to make. There's nothing hard about it, except that you can't really leave the kitchen while it's cooking, but that's the same as regular risotto. This version is chewy, hearty, and very satisfying. I am thinking this is a good one to make in the fall when I want something really warm and filling. I could only eat about 2/3 of a serving. I had tried risotto once before, in a restaurant, and found it a little too rich for me to eat. This version uses just the right amount of cheese and no butter, and barley is a whole grain with lots of protein. This is the kind of switch that works for me. If risotto had been a favorite comfort food, I probably wouldn't have been satisfied with a substitute.
I also do better, mentally and physically, with a lot of exercise. I'm in the process of ramping up my workout schedule. I know from prior experience that once I get to the level that helps keep my mind calmer, I'll start seeing better results. I spent some time today working out an exercise schedule that I think is going to work well for me and signed up for a Spinning class. Adding exercise is a lot happier solution for me than subtracting food.
I guess the real issue here is that I don't want to blindly follow someone else's rules. So even though it's probably going to take me longer to get to my goal weight, I want to find something that makes me happy while I'm losing weight, not something I can tolerate for a short time until I lose the weight. I've done that before and it doesn't work well in the long run.