Diets. Weight loss plans. Counting calories. These are a few of my least favorite things. Honestly, I have no idea how people can subject themselves to some of these things. A friend of mine recently posted to Facebook about a plan he was following to drop “10 pounds of fat and build muscle”. This plan included water-only fasting once a week. Yup. Nope. I’d rather be fat, sorry.
But, his thread prompted me to take a look at my own diet. I know that while it’s ok, it’s not the best. I know there is a lot of room for improvement. And I did gain two pounds on my running break. So my first step was to download the My Fitness Pal app onto my phone. I wanted to record my meals and activity for a week to get a picture of what and how I ate, then adjust my diet from there. The only thing I’d do was try to stay within the calorie recommendation.
I lasted less than two days. December 1st was day one and I felt okay, but by the middle of December 2nd, day two, my hands were shaking, my head was pounding, and I was STARVING. My calorie recommendations for a 5′ 4″ active, 117 pound female looking to “maintain weight” was just under 2000 calories. And apparently my body is not okay with this. The problem I found with the app, for me, was that it kept telling me how much I had left of certain nutrients…or how much I was over. And even though I was intending to just eat my normal diet, I couldn’t help but want to follow the “rules”. I can’t get a good idea of what my diet actually looks like if red numbers and negative signs are staring at me!
And that’s the problem with diets and weight loss fads in general. They go off of random numbers, but aren’t created for the individual. I will always consume more than 2000 calories a day because that’s what I need. I will always lean more towards a higher fat diet because that’s what I need. Every one is different, so everyone needs their own diet, and their bodies are probably craving what they need anyway (aside from sugar…sugar is just a drug that too many of us are addicted to, and sadly I’m one of them). I have a friend who uses a popular weight loss program every four to six months. She starts the plan/diet, does well for several weeks, then plateaus. Then she starts to gain weight again. A few months later she’s talking about turning over a new leaf, starting the plan again (but she really means it this time), and the cycle continues.
These plans don’t work because they aren’t a long term solution. They aren’t comfortable. They are restrictive, demeaning, and don’t change much. I wasn’t even trying to lose weight and I felt guilty, hungry, and repressed. Ugg! Something’s gotta give, and I’m thinking that I need to do some more research. Lots of Americans want to lose weight. Lots of Americans have trouble losing it and keeping it off. Lots of plans aren’t helping. So, that’s my new mission! I’m going to go find something that will work and not leave people feeling hungry or guilty, even if I need to create it myself. Stay tuned!