Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Diet Starts Today

I spent quite a while yesterday checking into different diet plans. I thought about Weight Watchers Online (done that before), the Sonoma Diet (I like the Mediterranean diet but I wasn't sure that I would lose enough weight fast enough to keep me motivated), and the Curves diet (done that before too--good initial weight loss, but it's hard to stay on because of the carb restrictions and eating 5-6 times per day). Then I read an article on with the 10 healthiest diets, as rated by nutritionists and weight loss experts and their number one choice was the Structure House Weight Loss Plan. I'd never heard of it but it sounded like it was very focused on behavior changes as well as eating balanced meals, so I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the e-book and started reading.

At first I got discouraged because it seemed like it had some of the same issues that have tripped me up in the past: too much tracking, weighing, and measuring, too few menu suggestions. But then I realized this plan may be exactly what I need. It's simple in that there are no forbidden foods and you only eat three meals a day with no snacks. Anything you eat beyond those planned meals (structured eating) is considered unstructured eating. You need to not only track your structured and unstructured eating, but you need to track your activities throughout the day so you know what triggers your unstructured eating. It boils down to three things that lead to unstructured eating: habit, boredom and stress. I know this is true for me and I know that conquering that is the only way I'll ever lose weight and keep it off.

As I was struggling with my resistance to the tracking, I thought of a couple things. The first is something that I heard in a Weight Watchers meeting years ago that was a light bulb moment for me and I have often thought of in many different contexts in my life: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." Essentially, I'm not going to find change without doing things differently. I'm going to have to change my habits and patterns and learn new ones if I want a different body. The second thing is that my current habits and patterns aren't making me happy, and by changing them I can not only change my body but find a more satisfying way to spend my time. That was a bit of light bulb moment too.

So today I started the Structure House Weight Loss Plan. The first couple weeks will probably be the toughest. I'm going to try 1200 calories a day, but if that doesn't feel like enough, I may go up another hundred calories.

Today was my fourth day of exercise (30 minutes on the exercise bike). I feel like I'm getting off to a good start.



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