To wrap up my week long series on weight loss, these are the things that I'm doing, and plan to continue doing, to achieve my goals - as well as some things I am not doing.
These weight loss posts are part of my plan: I'm telling everyone, friends, family, and even you out there in the anonymous interweb, what I'm doing. In the past I've tried losing weight in secret, and it just does not work because if I give up no one knows either.
Now this has a certain amount of risk of course. If I do slip up it's going to be rather embarassing, for one thing. On the other hand the fear of embarassment alone may keep me on track!
Just about every diet/weight loss book out there says that this is a key to success. I'm keeping track of what I eat in a paper notebook, which to me makes the most sense because it's portable, and input is the fastest. Online food diaries may work for you better (see this post for some site recommendations) I'm also writing following the 100 Day plan on my Vox blog, making those posts that are too private as readable by friends/family or just myself.
I was the one picked last for sports teams in school (except for volleyball because I had an oddly wicked serve) so I am the most unnatural athlete out there. But, I know that exercise is an essential component. I haven't quite kickstarted this part yet but it will come.
Whatever plan you go on - low carb, low fat, low whatever - no one is against vegetables. It happens that I love vegetables but I plan to (and already am) really loading up on them in the form of salads, soups and other dishes. The most successful of these should show up on this site in due time.
And now, what I'm not doing.
With two exceptions, I am not going to be using manufactured low/no-cal products, such as artificial sweeteners, low-fat cheeses, and so on. The two exceptions are Diet Coke (Cola Light), and low-fat milk (which is not unnatural per se), but I'm going to try to replace my habit of drinking diet coke with better beverages, especially water.
There are a couple of reasons why I'm not going to rely on the manufactured products. For one thing, they aren't that available here in Switzerland. There is no Splenda, there are no low-fat , except for some that are naturally low-fat. The number if 'diet' beverages using aspartame (Equal) as the sweetener is very limited. There are some 'diet' products, especially in the form of Weight Watchers™ products sold at Coop, one of the major supermarket chains, but mostly that's about it.
But the main reason I don't want to rely on the low/no-cal/diet products is that I realize that I am going to have to eat this way, more or less, for the rest of my life, and most of these products either taste pretty awful, or I don't know what they will do to my body. White sugar may be bad for me but I am fairly sure in what ways it will affect me. Splenda? I don't really know what the long-term effects will be. I'm going to rely on real, preferably fresh, food as much as possible.
I know that for many people weight loss groups are very effective. They're just not for me. I have joined Weight Watchers and other groups in the past and have always quit, whether or not I also quit whatever program was on offer, after 2 weeks at most. I think the reason is that I regard the process of losing weight and getting fit as a personal issue, for which I need to take responsibility for myself. Also, I don't mind consulting a doctor or nutritionist but those counselors at such weight loss centers just annoy me for various reasons. Or maybe I'm just too anti-social.
This is the last you'll hear about my personal weight loss attempts for a while. Hopefully there were some ideas in there that are useful! I'll report back here periodically...even if I fail. (After which I'll go and hide in a cave. Just kidding. Maybe.)