There is no point in enduring the agony of losing 50 to 100 pounds (23-45 kg) if the dieter slips back into his former eating pattern. The influences that made him overweight in the first place are, in all probability, still present, and he will soon regain his excess weight. If the dieter is to be successful, he must reconcile himself to a decided change in his mode of life, and a permanent one. He needs willpower strong enough to defeat the habits of a lifetime. (p. 132)It was in a chapter called "Diseases of Feast," which talked about the history of food shortages and the problems that have arisen as a result of social and technological progress. The book was published several years before I was born, but now, over a quarter of a century later, it's all still so valid. The key, I think, is that this book isn't a fad diet book. It's the science behind weight loss, which doesn't make any promises for losing X number of pounds in a week by drinking only this special shake and doing a particular exercise.
... there is only one remedy for excess weight: a low-calorie diet combined with exercise. This combination, by supplying less energy-producing food than the body uses, reverses the process by which the fat was acquired in the first place. For once the body has used the energy that has been made available by eating, it will then turn to its fat storehouse, making gradual withdrawals until all of the excess has been burned off and body weight has again been returned to normal.Some of the terminology is interesting, but all in all, it gave me a lot to think about. Mainly with strengthening my willpower muscle to get back on track and push forward towards my goals, but also, with thinking about how to eventually maintain a healthy weight.
Any diet may be termed a good reducing diet provided it is low in caloric value and nutritionally balanced ... diet alone is not enough, however. Fat people generally exercise too little, and unless they alter both eating and exercising habits, they cannot attain healthful slimness. (p. 130-131)
So, in the midst of my failed month of non-weighing, I found myself in Target yesterday contemplating buying a second scale. Not for my body though - for my food.
In both arenas, I need this kind of accountability. While focusing on NSVs is both important and necessary, neither NSVs nor scale readouts can be the only measure of progress for me. I need to balance them both. Right now, I am what I'd call a healthy level of obsessed about numbers - until I reach my long-term goal (and even then, I'd say), they matter a lot. Even as measuring my body's weight becomes less of a daily priority, measuring my food will still be something I need to keep up. The changes I have made and will continue to make until I reach my goal won't end when I "cross the finish line." The best advice I've gleaned from maintenance bloggers is on how to prepare yourself mentally for life at-goal, the biggest hurdle of which seems to be accepting the truth that there is no finish line.
This small digital one was on sale, so I got it. About 6 and half pound capacity, measures in both grams and ounces. I have a hard time estimating calories with things that don't have nutrition information printed on them - namely fruits and vegetables, and meat. Underestimating by a few calories here and there can add up.
Example: yesterday morning's breakfast was my standard breakfast these days, yogurt and a banana.
That seemed right to me. This morning, though, same breakfast, except I weighed the banana - which I believe was about the same size as the one yesterday.
That's a pretty significant difference! 40 calories here isn't fatal, per se, but 40 unaccounted-for breakfast calories for a year adds up to over four pounds. And if I'm underestimating here, odds are my other estimates are off, too. A lot of little things can quickly become a big thing.
It's a basic kitchen tool, but still, I'm really thrilled about this investment!
What about you? Do you use a food scale to weigh your meals?