Tag Archives: healthy living

Weight Watchers Wednesday Rebooted: Dieting vs Lifestyle Change

I think I mentioned the idea of bringing back Weight Watchers Wednesday posts and weighing in on a monthly basis, but it’s possible I just thought about it.  I’m notorious for doing that.  In any case, I made the decision to bring it back.  Today was supposed to be the first weigh in post, but my meeting was cancelled last night due to winter storm Saturn (and can anyone please explain to me when and why they started naming snow storms like they do tropical storms and hurricanes?)

So I don’t have a weigh in for you today (I’ll post that for you next week), but I’ve had this post written up in my head for a while now.  It’s actually something I was thinking about when I wrote about getting back into the weight loss mindset, but that post was long enough on it’s own, and I didn’t want to further complicate it by bring in a discussion of dieting.

Yep, I said it.  Dieting.

Dieting gets something of a bad wrap especially in the healthy living blogosphere.  It’s all “diets are bad!”  “Dieting is evil!”  “Viva la lifestyle change!”  “All you need is a lifestyle change.” And while I absolutely believe in the importance of making a lifestyle change and that a lifestyle change is a very necessary part of then weight loss process, I also think that for many, many people, myself included, dieting is a very necessary part of weight loss too.  To me, making the lifestyle change is necessary to help you maintain weight loss, but it will only takes you so far into weight loss.

Enter dieting.  Yes, dieting.

I’m just going to say it.  Dieting is not evil.  Well at least it isn’t inherently evil. Yes, people do a lot of really absurd things in the name of dieting – severe calorie restriction, drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper and honey, only eating foods that are yellow or some shit like that.  This is what makes dieting “evil.”  

But at it’s core all dieting really is, is that “simple” equation for weight loss. To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume.  And when you strip away all the crazy, the process of making sure you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning, that’s dieting.

In a perfect world, I would eat appropriate portions of clean foods 100% of the time (or at least 80%), and the weight would fall away.  Sadly, I’ve come to learn the world is far from perfect and so am I.  If clean eating and portion control were things that came naturally to me, I probably wouldn’t be in the position of needing to lose weight.  I mention it often and mentioned it again in my March goals, but tracking is key to weight loss for me.  If I’m not tracking, the weight does not come off.

I also have to restrict some foods.  I don’t eliminate foods from my diet completely (unless I don’t like them of course), but there are some foods I can’t keep in the house.  For example, crackers.  I have zero self control when it comes to crackers.  Case in point, on Sunday I bought a box of Trader Joe’s triscuit crackers for the tuna noodle casserole I made for dinner last night.  That box of crackers was empty Tuesday night.  When it comes to crackers, my kitchen is basically Thunderdom…or maybe Hotel California.  In any case, I don’t buy crackers.  I don’t let myself have crackers at home, but I certainly don’t stop myself from having crackers in my soup..or on their own…at a restaurant.

Sometimes I also have to make the tought decision and say no to something even though I really want it.  This mostly happens with beer.  You might remember that I heart beer, but I don’t need to drink it every week at game night.  Especially when you consider I’m never drinking some kind of watered down light beer.  I’m drinking the fully (calorie) loaded craft beers.

Call it what you want, but this is dieting my friends.  I changed my lifestyle in 2009.  I’m still not at my goal weight.  If simply changing my lifestyle were enough, I should be there by now, right?  The only time I see the number on the scale drop is when I’m actively tracking my food, following a diet program (calorie counting, Weight Watchers, whatever), and restricting myself from some foods.

I don’t think diet needs to be a four letter word.  I think we just need to redefine it.  We need to stop shunning dieting and embrace healthy dieting.

What do you guys think?  Do you think dieting is evil?  Do you believe in the idea that all you need is a lifestyle change?  Do you follow a diet? 

342. In The News: Is BMI Ever TMI?


I came across this article (That one, above, click the link and read.  I’ll wait.) today which I found really interesting.  There’s a new law in Georgia intended to combat childhood obesity.  Students will be weighed in PE classes, and their BMI information will be sent home to their parents.  The information is also being reported to the state.  There’s definitely an element of privacy/ personal rights and responsibility here, but that’s not something I really see as a huge issue.  In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and the airing of your personal business all over the internet, I often struggle to buy into the invasion of privacy argument.  I’m not saying that isn’t a concern for some: just that it’s not a concern for me.  My concern is whether or not this is an effective method or a wasted effort.

I tend to agree with one of the individual, Randy Weiner, who was quoted in the article.  I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad law, particularly because the information is being provided to parents not the children themselves.  I think the intention is good, but ultimately I don’t think it will be highly effective.  If the parent’s don’t value good health and nutrition then giving them information about their child’s BMI probably isn’t going to change much.

While I think much of the responsibility for childhood obesity falls to the parent’s, I do think schools can impact change.  Personally, I think the more effective way for schools to combat childhood obesity is through education, better nutrition in school lunches, and increase activity for students.  Those are the kind of laws I would like to see passed because those are the kind of laws I think would have the biggest impact overall.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s any sort of “quick-fix” or immediate way to reduce childhood obesity.  Obesity in general is deeply ingrained in our current culture, and I think it order to really impact change, we need to be focusing on more long-term efforts like educating our children so they can, hopefully, grow into healthy(ier) adults and raise children who are healthier than they were.

What do you think?  Do you think this is a good law?  Do you think it’s an effective way to impact change in the current childhood obesity rates?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!



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