You Know You: Eating to Lose Weight

You Know You:  Eating to Lose Weight

by Charlotte Siems

No matter how you eat to lose weight, calories matter. 

Even if you’re eating “healthy,” if you consume too many calories, too large portions, too many bites, you won’t lose or maintain weight.
It’s rather self-defeating to have the mentality that you can eat as much as you want and stuff yourself to the gills because the food is “healthy.”
Once you eat that skinless chicken breast, the calories are going to go somewhere, the same as if you eat sour cream and onion potato chips.  Your thighs don’t care WHY you ate either one.  They just know that you ate food, and if you eat beyond what your body needs for maintenance, they’re going to turn it into fat.
Dealing with the “why” is often the key to weight loss.  That was probably the most important turning point for me in my 100-pound weight loss.  I was throwing food into an emotional hole that it could never fill, eating way beyond fullness and what my body needed for maintenance.
In addition, it’s great to lose four pounds the first week of a new diet—but can you sustain that way of eating?  What about six months or two years down the road?  What happens when you attend your niece’s wedding or meet friends for dinner at your favorite Mexican restaurant?
The bottom line with any way of eating is that you know you.  If it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t matter if it works for a thousand other people.
What worked for me?  First, I started with exercise, not a diet.  T-Tapp quickly improved my energy levels and health, while motivating me with inch loss.  Eventually I was emotionally ready to address my eating habits. 
When I was ready to eat differently, I instinctively knew I wouldn’t stick to a diet “plan.”  I had tried it before, and I just didn’t have the money or energy to count points, buy special foods, go hungry or forbid certain foods. 
It helped to cut to the chase and tell myself the truth about my eating.  I was eating too much, too many calories, plain and simple, for the wrong reasons.  Addressing the “why” made it almost easy to lose weight.  Almost. 
Focusing on food—what kind, what I couldn’t have, what was good for me, what I “should” eat, what time I ate, how many times I ate—was NOT the answer for me.  Rather, it was a healthy lack of focus on food that helped me.
So rather than count calories, I ate less.  Last time I checked, less food equals less calories, less fat, less salt, less chemicals, less whatever.  After getting used to smaller portions, that seemed normal and reasonable and plenty. 
Being full was the signal to stop eating, whether or not there was food left on the plate.  That’s how naturally thin people eat.
This is what worked (and still works) for me.  I know me, you know you.
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  1. Angeltees says:

    I am soooo glad that you wrote this article.  I too have come to the decision that I can not do a diet.  But, I am gladly willing to eat less.  I have to keep reminding myself, as you wrote, that eating less is still eating less.  A diet doesn’t make eating less better somehow.  Thank you for your encouragement today.

  2. Jan Jones says:

     Charlotte, Just wondering how long you had been doing TTapp before you started changing your eating.  I know Teresa says don’t worry about your eating at first, but with no real time frame, I have had a hard time convincing myself it was time to start eating less.  Do you do like she suggests (or did you at first) and eat good for one or two days before eating manmade foods? I have a hard time arranging my days like that because it seems like there is always something that comes up on a day I am supposed to be eating God made foods. 🙁  I guess in the beginning it may require more planning, then I can relax on what I eat and just eat less of whatever once I have lost some weight?
    Jan Jones

  3. I feel exactly the same….diets don’t work…they may work for a while but if they truly worked, all us lifelong dieters would be thin.  I wasnt to eat like a naturally thin person, honoring my hunger and respecting my fullness.  Intuitive eating.  I’m ready to make a new start and it has to be for the last time because it’s too painful to lose 123 lbs and gain it all back again.

  4. I agree with you about eating less, or just until you are full or satisfied, but I seem to have a problem identifying when I’m at that point.  Usually when I realize I’m full–I’m actually stuffed!

  5. This is so true.  It works well for me when I remember…. but when family is around, I mindlessly just feed my face like everyone else is.  However, I am trying to remember to always have a glass of water on hand, like I used to when I was young and thin.  It’s good to sip on before a meal– helps fill up the space with no calories.  🙂

  6. Dowie49556 says:

    I agree.  I know I don’t want to spend my time focusing on how many calories I’m eating or how much fat I eat.  I have no trouble finding true hunger.  I struggle with stopping at comfortable.  Any tips on dealing with this?  How do you identify why  (emotionally) you are eating?

  7. How did you figure out why? I’ve been doing some self-searching, but I really don’t know what triggers it. I don’t eat huge meals, but I tend to snack a lot, and it’s not usually healthy. It’s not until after I’ve eaten the junk that I remember, “Ugh, why did I eat that?” or “I wasn’t going to snack anymore.” I have a really hard time remembering BEFORE I eat it.

  8. Fab post- thanks 🙂 I finds self eating out of stress or tiredness or anger- but the only person that gets punished is me when I feel rubbish! Today I started to buy a second ice cream (I was alone so no one would know!) and was distracted on my way…after the distraction I realized
    I didn’t actually want the ice cream anymore and was fu-
    It was an AhHa! moment for me bc until then I still felt hungry…realized I probably just need to eat a decent portion and wait or walk away and then reevaluate in 10-20min- could probably cut my consumption in half, easily! Im lucky that up until the past coue years I’ve been burning it all off naturally, but I sense it coming to an end and don’t want to be in a
    Position having to lose lots- not sure I could do it! I always hear my mom saying “easier
    To not gain in the first place than have to work it off!”- very motivating bc she’s in a “work it off” situation after being thin for many years!

  9. Deanne Stowe says:

    My difficulty is understanding when is full. Is it when there is no sensation of hungry? Because I could eat any where between 5-10 more bites and still feel slightly the same of when the burning sensation is gone. I’d rather not have to eat every 1-2 hours because I stopped so soon.. Im way to busy for that!

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