Monday, July 05, 2010

How do you know you're on a "good" diet?

Simple. You like it.

What do I mean?

Tolerating a diet's not good enough. If you're only tolerating your new lifestyle you're certainly not likely to keep living it.

Food wise - you can't be regularly battling hunger, it can't be making you feel unwell and your life has to be "normal" meaning you should be able to include food for comfort, food for celebration, with no forbidden foods.

Fitness wise - you can't be running out of time, running out of energy, hurting yourself or hating it.

Ultimately you're aiming for a lifestyle where you can't happily eat any less and you can't happily exercise any more.

Sure we can all improve our lifestyles but to use an extreme example, do you really think you can be a tee-totaling vegan, shut-in, marathon runner forever?

If you can't happily eat less, you're not going to eat less. If you can't happily exercise more, you're not going to exercise more.

Your goal should be your personal best recognizing that the best lifestyle you can enjoy and the best lifestyle that you can tolerate are two very different things.

Is there any other aspect of your life about which you're striving to be "ideal"?

Bookmark and Share


  1. Anonymous10:04 am

    Ummm, speaking of conflict of interest...from the interview with Goodman on BPA:

    "This work was funded by the American Chemistry Council, but our analysis was completely independent."


    "No matter what alternative to BPA is used, even glass or stainless steel, some part of that material will leach into food."

    Gee, yeah - I guess we all need to learn more about the leaching hazards of glass...

  2. YES!

    I've struggled with my weight my entire life and just recently was diagnosed with PCOS, which explains some of the difficulties I've had in losing!

    I had success with WeightWatchers, but after reaching Lifetime, slipped back into old habits and gained it all back (and then some).

    Since discovering Darya of SummerTomato, I've embarked on a journey to upgrade my healthstyle. I do most of my shopping at the Farmers Market (my favorite place to be on Sunday!), I experiment with new fruits and veggies and recipes all the time, and I even work out a little (mostly because it's the only time I get to read books on my Kindle).

    My weight loss has been what most people would describe as painfully slow - zero to 1 pound a week, but it's been steady.

    The important part - just like you said in this post - I enjoy my lifestyle. I feel like I'm eating foods that taste better. I'm not tied down to a list of approved foods. When I'm hungry, I eat.

    It's pretty liberating and awesome, even if the results are slow.

  3. steve4:18 pm

    And that's why the "paleo" diet and "primal" lifestyle are so easy to stick with, so fulfilling. It's easy to eat very well and you learn to not kill yourself in the gym (but still work very hard - there's a line).

    For those unfamiliar, see

  4. Theresa6:24 pm

    Do you think that the lifestyle needs to be different for someone needing to drop their weight (30+ BMI) than for someone maintaining a healthy weight? (moderation)?

    Do you think two plans are needed? One to reduce and another to maintain?

    Thank you,

  5. Thanks for the question Theresa.

    No, I don't think there should be any difference.

    Lose it the way you'll be keeping it off - I don't believe in a losing weight lifestyle followed by a maintenance lifestyle.

    Change is difficult and having 2 complete sets of changes gives people twice the opportunity to fall apart.

    Yes, you might well lose slower by not being extreme but you'll be far less likely to gain it back.

  6. I agree Yoni. Suffer now to lose weight just does not work. One thing that is consistent about overweight individuals is that their body is often out of balance. The amount of calories you need in a given day is equal to the amount of oxygen you use. Just like the gas and breaks on a car, each individual decides what they drive by managing calories and oxygen. You must exert discipline to get rid of the "extra tanks of gas" and then fill up accordingly.

  7. I've a few, a very, very, few words I'd like to add:

    How do you know you're on good diet?"... "Simple, you like it!"

    No, definitely not that simple!

    I wish it was, but the truth is we acquire habitual tastes.
    Let me give an example: In the area where I grew up the population was almost exclusively Caucasian who ate a very traditional Western diet. This was 40 years ago, and the very idea of garlic was repulsive to people.

    Today, in the same area, people apply garlic to almost everything, however traditional, even the restaurants do it. It is so accepted no one even mentions that they've put garlic in the food before they serve it!

    That was completely unthinkable only 25 years ago - probably much less; I actually think this is no more than a decade old trend - and I actually have to remember to tell people that I can't eat garlic (I'm allergic) before we sit down at the dinner or lunch table, and even so I very often am served food with garlic anyway, because no one takes it serious that some people don't eat garlic.

    I actually had a conversation with a few people about this very issue recently, mentioning that it's a fairly new trend. Guess their reaction: They denied it! "No, garlic is healthy, we've always liked garlic!"

    Yes, 'garlic is healthy', and the health trend is what got them to start eating it in the first place.

    On another note: I think in a more fundamental manner the line I quote is not all wrong, because people will probably be born with some preferences of taste (some like lots of meat, others eat more potatoes, i.e. Already as kids is this apparent), and they're most likely what will provide them with the best health if they are allowed to stick with it.

    My point is: People do not stick with their original preferences, they can't stick with it, because of the pressure from a culture where the masses rule, and the masses follow authorities, fake or otherwise, hence all follow authorities or become stigmatized.

    Apologies! My few, my very, very few, words became a lengthy comment!... '^L^,

  8. Ah, I see you want to approve of comments before posting them. I keep a Blogspot website also, and was thinking about doing the same myself. I chose to just apply a captcha and see what happened, and so far there've been very few unacceptable comments.

    I had expected a lot more negativity, not only because my viewpoints are controversial, but because I write about a subject that tend to trigger emotional responses (for good reason too).

    I guess every website will receive some negativity, but I wouldn't have thought it to be the case with your subject, which is something most people take a positive interest in (or am I wrong?).

    I'll not bother you with details about my own website's subject, just mention it's sociology and psychology related.

    I wish you continued good luck!... '^L^,

  9. I use Captcha for same day comments.

    Older ones I moderate as spammers regularly try to sneak stuff on for SEO purposes.