Back on a diet

After a month of dieting last October, I got back all the weight I lost back then, plus some more (because I stopped being careful of what I was eating). So, I am back to a low-calorie diet, for a week now. I’ve lost 2.5 kgs so far. After the first 15 days that I am supposed to lose fast (because you mostly lose water rather than fat in the beginning), I will be losing about 3 kgs a month. My target is about 105 lbs (around 50 kgs).

There is a lot of different diets and pills out there, but that’s just so the dieticians can get money. The best way to lose weight is to reduce your calorie intake and exercise. I am on a 700-750 calorie diet per day (exactly half of what I am supposed to intake for my age/height). And the good thing is that I am never hungry, because there are so many good low-cal foods available on super markets here in US that I can create full meals without getting starved. My stomach is always full, almost like I am not on a diet.

People in Greece would never be so lucky though. Most of the cuisin there is really fat because of the amount of olive oil used on foods. Additionally, there are very few truly low-calorie foods over there on super-markets (I don’t think you can find a 60 calorie yoghourt, a chocolate desert for 60 calories or slices of yellow cheese for 25 cals, as you can here in USA). Some here in USA are not in better fate either though, not because there aren’t many low-cal/low-fat products to buy, but because most of the women over here have no clue how to cook…

My day usually goes something like this:
100 cal breakfast at around 9 AM (e.g. 40 cal bread slice, fat free spread cheese, 14 cal turkey breast slice and some lettuce, some low-cal fruit juice)
200 cal lunch meal at around 12:30 PM (e.g. burger, linguine with shrimp, chow mein etc)
A 100 cal food at around 4 PM (e.g. half of a ready-made soup, or some yogourt and a slice of bread)
A 200 cal dinner food at around 7:30 PM
100 cals: dessert + salad or fruits at around 10 PM

The whole trick is to learn to count the calories precisely. Then you can create foods with enough quantity (which happen to also be pretty healthy because you are forced to eat more vegetables) so you are never hungry during such a strict diet. I have only to give up on lamb, non-tenderloin pork and some beans. Anything else, eaten in careful amounts, is perfectly suitable for a low-cal/low-fat diet if you know what to buy and how to cook.

A word to those who say that when you use a very low calorie diet you get all the weight back fast: this is true. But it’s true for most diets anyway. From the moment the body knows that it has stored 10kgs of fat for example, no matter if you actually lose that extra weight, the body will store fat at each chance it gets from that point on. It’s like your liver “remembers” of a time that it had lots of stored energy and it wants it back, so it will store whatever it can at any chance it gets. From the moment you got overweight, there is no way back. If you manage to lose that extra weight, then it’s a battle against your liver’s behavior until the day you die. You will have to be careful of what you eat until your last breath. The trick is to never get fat in your life. If you do, then you are at war against your own body.

The only person that I have seen to never get back his weight is my ex-fiance’s grand father. He was a medal-honored SS and after the Americans got hold of Germany he was sent to a camp. For 3 years has survived eating just sugar. Many perished at these camps (just like others before them perished on SS’s own camps). But he had a picture of before the war and he was a pretty strong-built man. After the camp, and until today (I think he is about 85+ years old now) he never added a gram. Extremely thin!

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Tom Dison wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 3:28 AM PST:

I found the points system (I just used a W.W. points calculator) worked well. Unformtunately, I, like most people, did not stick to it and gained it all back and more. I think there needs to be some kind of inner change also, not just what you put in the “hole”. I definitely eat more when I am depressed or not feeling good about my life. OK, enough sharing!

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Eugenia wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 6:35 AM PST:

Thank you both for your comments. Regarding the WW diet, while it is indeed based on points, it is also a pretty low-calorie diet (not as low as the one I do, but low nonetheless). It is very similar to what I do, as you just have to count points instead of calories. And as Thomas said, it’s very expensive too. At least with my way, I can spend only a fraction of that money to buy and cook the stuff I want/allowed to eat.

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Eugenia wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 7:24 AM PST:

Speaking about diets, the Atkins diet is one of the worst things ever created by man. It produces some results but it’s unhealthy, unhealthy, unhealthy…

Tom Dison wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 8:06 AM PST:

RE: Atkins.

Take 2 dogs. Feed one a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet (lots of grains). Feed the second one a low-carb, high fat and protein diet (lots of meat scraps). The first dog will be fattened up. He will be a big, farting monster! The second dog will most likely be lean, with a very shiny coat. This is the heart of the Atkins diet. He demonstrated the low-carb diet (high fat and protein) caused significant weight loss. He beleived a lot of our problems (diabetes, heart and vascualr problems) were due to the obesity from high-carb diets. To me, I see it as fuel mixture. Low-carb diets are like running your car on a low-grade fuel mixture. A lot of smoke out the back end and running rough. We may need higher octane food than we are taught. The studies would be simple to do in the short run (and Atkins book pointed out some), but it is hard to do the long-term studies. I lost wieght and felt great on Atkins, but I really don’t like meat. Give me those potatoes!!

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Eugenia wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 8:16 AM PST:

I tried the Atkins diet almost 2 years ago. After 5 days on meat, I felt like throwing up just by looking at it. It didn’t feel healthy, and it wasn’t. Dogs might like their meat and bones, but humans also need vegetables and their products to be healthy. Humans are more like hens than dogs, concerning their dietary needs: we need a little bit of everything. A careful low-calorie diet provides all kinds of foods. That’s why it’s my choice.

Tom Dison wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 8:52 AM PST:

I’m sure if you stick to it (and have a lifelong maintenance plan you can stick to), it will work. Go for it!

vince wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 11:04 AM PST:

I have a simple diet.. I eat anything I want (constraint being that I’m a vegetarian) but I only eat half. If I’m still hungry after 20 minutes I eat the rest. No guilt. I also try to have a walk every day too b/c diet alone doesn’t keep the weight off.

If you’re interested in counting calories though.. this is the best site I’ve found for it:

Thomas wrote on June 7th, 2006 at 11:31 AM PST:

Hi Eugenia,

did you ever tried a WeightWatcher diet? No this is no spam or sth like that – they’re too expensive and I googled for all the informations concerning their diet. Anyway I’ve lost 26kg from Feb 2005 to Sep 2005. And since then I almost held my weight (I’ve got about 2,5kg back). But I started to note my points again…

I really can recommend this style of diet because you can eat whatever you want to. But: If you don’t have any points anymore then you’ll have to wait for the next day. IMO The sense of this is to think about the food you eat. After some time one mostly eats the food that satiates oneself and that has a small amount of points.


Thomas wrote on June 8th, 2006 at 6:19 AM PST:

According to WW, fat is bad. Since the human first of all tries to consume the carbohydrates and then the fat. Thus fat will be stored in the body’s supply and this is what makes one fat.

Anyway Tom is right when he says that one needs an inner change. As time goes by one will develop a feeling which food is good and saturating (potatoes (you can eat as much of them as you want), chicken, salad, vegetables, fruits etc.) and which one is bad (sweets esp. choclate, pork, sausage, salami, cheese etc, fast food etc).

Yeah, and as Vince stated: It doesn’t work without sports. As I lost 26kg, I’m able to that kind of sports that I want to (currently Squash and Cycling); very effective is swimming.

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Eugenia wrote on June 8th, 2006 at 6:32 AM PST:

I can’t swim very well, and I can’t cycle at all. ;)
The funny thing is that I was the one who taught my little brother and a cousin of mine how to cycle by guiding them and helping them find balance. But I never did that work for myself…

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