Dieting from the Perspective of a Skinny Guy

Posted: January 25, 2012 in Food Adventures
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a month since we all rang in the New Year. How is your New Year’s resolution going so far?

I was reading an article earlier in the month that said around 50% of New Year resolutions are related to fitness and weight loss. I thought this was crazy considering the sheer amount of people I see exercising throughout the day (making me feel horrible about my own exercise routines) and the reports on the multi billion dollar diet industry. With this, I thought I’d let my readers in on my own weight maintenance.

I have no problem managing my weight. I tend to eat what I want, when I want it, and don’t really think about the consequences except for extremely spicy food. When I see my weight go up a few pounds, I cut back on heavier foods, take single servings at dinner, and usually I debloat and see the scale tip back to normal within a week.

I get comments from some of my friends and family that I’m “so lucky” that I don’t have to worry about my weight and some have accused me “not understanding what it’s like to lose weight.” That’s true. I don’t know what’s its like for anyone to lose weight. By that token, they don’t understand what it’s like to maintain my weight. It goes both directions.

When I hear people claim that they are starting their diet, I also wonder what that actually means. Are they monitoring what they eat? Are they exercising more? Have they joined a gym or hired a personal trainer? Do they understand what a calorie is? Are they going to start eating balanced meals? I figure these are all personal questions, so I stay away from them, but I can’t help but think that I could help them. Why are they so resistant to taking advice or getting a little bit of education and then applying it?

Dieting is hard. If it wasn’t, America would not be the fattest developed nation in the world – 33% of all Americans, 20% of American children, and 18% of adolescents are considered obese.

74% of Americans are consider overweight by the World Health Organization.

I’m 6’0″ tall and like to maintain my weight between 170 – 180 pounds. This is the lower end of my “ideal weight” according to every doctor I’ve ever seen. The World Health Organization approves of this as well.

When the scales do start to rise, I know it’s my body retaining water or storing energy in the form of fat. I do not exercise nearly enough and I won’t fool myself into thinking I have more muscle than I actually do.

I don’t start dieting. I monitor my diet. When I was growing up, this is something I did naturally. My lifestyle in general accommodates the idea of living and eating healthier.

  1. I enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, I eat many different whole grains. I am okay with eating whole wheat pasta and bread over the more delicious white flour versions.
  2. I refuse to eat processed foods 98% of the time.
  3. I have not gotten my dinner from my local grocers freezer in well over a decade.
  4. I cook the majority of my meals at home. I have no qualms about bring a brown bag lunch to work and eating at my desk while my peers order out.
  5. I know how to read a nutritional label and can determine if my body can handle it.
  6. I shop for food using a list. I do wander through every aisle to see if I missed anything, but I only pick up things I need and not the things that I want.
  7. I don’t need to “treat” myself or “cheat” with a piece of cheesecake, a bowl of ice cream, or a candy bar. If I want it, I have it. This is not that often. I do not eat a whole cheesecake in one sitting.
  8. The scale is not my enemy.
  9. No matter how much advertising is put out there or how available and affordable it is, I know that fast food is not actually food and should never be consumed.
  10. I consider myself a social drinker. When I go out, I will have one or two. When I’m home, I will have one or two. When hosting other people at my home, I will have one or two. A six pack will last me a minimum of 5 days. I use bottles of liquor for cooking purposes. I never drink alone. I know how high alcohol is in calories and how hard my body works to burn it off. Alcohol dehydrates my body, which means I have less water to whisk away the sodium and other things that retain weight.
  11. I use moderation in damn near everything I stick in my body. It’s important.

When I do want to exercise, I don’t make any excuses that gyms are too expensive, it’s too cold outside, I don’t like to work out with other people around, I need other people around to motivate me, or any of the other classics I’ve heard in my life. Exercise is free – I don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment in order to do it. It can be done in my home where I control the warmth.

can do it alone. I need to be self motivated or else I’ll quit.

I’m not here to judge. I’m not here to say that I’m better than anyone or that my way of life is ideal and somehow superior. I am not saying that I have the secrets to weight loss and staying healthy. I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. I am just someone who has always maintained my weight.

My diet is my adventure with food. I’d like to continue that trip for as long as possible even if that means denying myself a second helping, a daily breakfast of donuts, or staying away from the fryolator.

Starting is the hardest part. Why not today?

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