Throughout my life I have spent a lot of time running, working out at the gym, playing a lot of sports, and in general getting a lot of exercise. While I have generally tried to eat healthfully, the thing I haven’t done is restricted my calories or went on a specific diet for any reason (even as an athlete). I guess I always saw dieting in a negative light and thought that if I went on a diet it meant I cared too much about my looks.
Even though my weight is pretty similar to what it was when I went to college, at age 30 I have decided to go on a diet. Why now, you may ask? Well, after having two children and experiencing a great many changes in the distribution of my skin and body fat (to unwelcome places) I think that now is the time to get toned and lose weight in order to pave the way through my 30’s and into my 40’s and beyond.
After taking a look at various diets, specifically the Paleo Diet and the Mediterranean Diet, I have decided that I don’t want to eliminate particular food groups without having an evidence-based reason. Essentially, I’m not yet convinced that a particular diet that eliminates particular food groups is a good idea for me.
So, if not a particular diet, what will guide me? Well, I started by getting an app on my android called My Diet Diary that helps me track my daily caloric intake and output. Initially, I input my weight and my weight loss goals. Then the app displayed how many calories per day I should consume. The amount of calories adjusts when I input exercise or my weight changes.
I am not only trying to restrict my calories, I am also following some of my own established guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:
- Eat as many whole foods as possible (fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc.)
- Avoid processed foods
- Drink a lot of water
- When I have a craving in between meals I chew gum or drink herbal tea
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Don’t eat anything after 8 pm
- Every day or two enjoy a dessert OR a special drink (usually a latte or gingerale)
- Exercise at least 3 times a week
- Adopt these changes in my life and maintain on a long-term basis
So, these guidelines are purely my preference and may not work for others. Ultimately, I chose these health goals because I think they will be effective and attainable for me.
When I started this diet last week my goal was to lose 13 pounds. Here I am a week in and I have already lost 8 pounds, hooray! I realize weight fluctuates for various reasons but at the moment I am rejoicing at this success with the hope that I can continue tracking my diet diligently through the diet app for at least 40 days.
Now, as I launch into week two, I will be inspired by entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn:
How has dieting worked out for you? What obstacles should I keep my eyes open for?