Friday, August 30, 2013

Dieting and such

Here's a theory: skip focusing on which diet is best and start focusing on changing eating habits.

This translates to stop focusing on what we eat and getting the balanced diet and change to focus on how we can get people to make healthier food decisions. Are we eating because we are stressed? Do we have bad habits related to the drive through where we make a quick stop on the way home and eat the food in the car?

Researchers look at all sorts of diets - Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers - and compare them all. The FDA issues the nutrition pyramid which is now a plate. But does anyone stop and look at the eating habits we have developed and why we have them?

We live in a world full of light this and fat free that and a widening population. Why?

I used to work with a woman who was a fairly healthy eater at work. She did not snack, she didn't go out for donuts. But she was quite large. I never really figured out why.

Then I went on a business trip with her and  she insisted we stop at the grocery store on the way to the hotel so she could get some stuff for her room. I was happy to go and get some seltzer (my secret addiction). She bought a couple boxes of crackers and cookies - for a three day business conference. I think she went out and made another grocery run later on. I think she was an evening snacker - hence her hefty weight.

So why does a normal, bright, well educated person, sit and eat for hours at night by themselves? That is the question to answer.

If you watch the greater loser shows, people talk about their bad eating habits and are taught how to eat healthy -  no soda, no drive through, healthy snacking. They also get exercise and lose weight. But they change their eating habits. Maybe they eat more salads and fewer french fries but often these shows are accompanied by tears and emotional breakthroughs as well.

I know my weight stems from three issues I have.
  1. At my job, there are more snacks than any place I have ever worked and the kitchen is right next to my office.
  2. I snack after dinner which I shouldn't do. (Why did I eat that granola bar after dinner last night? I didn't have dessert is my justification and I wanted something crunchy. But I didn't need it.)
  3. Sometimes I eat when I am not hungry because I am bored, stressed or in pain.
So if I can get rid of those habits, I can lose weight. I have been working on them, my weight is going in the right direction. The funny thing is I am still eating desserts sometimes and normal food. I didn't switch what I eat. I switched when I eat. My goal is to modify my eating habits so I can get to and maintain a healthy weight but still enjoy eating. I will no live on lite versions of crappy prepared food.

Maybe that's what researchers need to figure out so other people can more easily lose weight.

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