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Choosing a Diet Plan That’s Right for You

Reboot Camp Update #2: Kickstarting My Weight Loss and Progress So Far

In my last post, I made an admission: I’ve got a middle-aged weight problem. Here’s another one: Vanity, thy name is Jean.

As I shared right here, I have got to get in shape for the dozens of tasks for sports badges coming down the pike. But I’ve got more immediate motivation, too: in one week in April, I’ll be headed to both a big birthday celebration for my mother-in-law and my 30th college reunion. I’d sure like to feel a little lighter for these events.

I know, I know — you sweet friends will tell me that it doesn’t matter. You’ll tell me that my friends from college probably *don’t* look as fabulous as their Facebook pictures might suggest, but that’s beside the point. Anniversaries, reunions, birthdays — these are important markers, and we use them to assess where we are — and where we wish we were. So if two sweet, soulful, back-to-back reunions of both family and friends are a good motivator, I’m fine with that. And in your own heart of hearts, you know just where I’m coming from.

How Do You Pick a Diet?

Go ahead and google the words “compare diet plans.” I just did, and I got 125 million hits in 0.2 seconds.  Consider some distinctions:

  • Some have been around since our grandmothers were young with intermittent resurgences of popularity, while others are touted as the latest and greatest.
  • Some promise quick miracles, while others promote a lifestyle change.
  • Some count calories, while others count carbs.
  • Some will deliver food to your home, some stock their products in your grocer’s frozen food section, and some leave the food up to you.
  • Some provide one-on-one real-world support, some offer online support, some have smartphone apps, too.
  • Some promise you’ll never have to give up your favorite foods, while others insist on “no pain, no gain” (should be “no loss,” actually, but that doesn’t rhyme).

They all, however, promise two things:

  • It works.
  • It’s simple.

If I asked you to name all the diet plans you could think of off the top of your head, you might be able to come up with a dozen or so–but there are far more of ’em out there. Here’s a list of the plans I recognized in my search:

I’ve heard of all of these–but I’d sure forgotten about a lot of them.

And, lo and behold, there are a slew of diets I’ve never heard of, like these:

Never Heard of These Before.

* I am soooo gonna check this one out.
** Yes, you substitute meals/snacks with jars of baby food (just gross).
*** If you assumed this to be a faith-based diet, you’d be correct.

One thing is clear: there are more than a few choices out there, and picking one, imo, is a pretty personal decision (as always, see Reboot Camp disclaimer). I had to ask myself a few questions:

Q: How much time do I have to research new diets right now?
A: Absolutely none.

Q: How important is the taste of allowable foods to me?
A: Very.

Q: How important is the variety of foods allowable to me?
A: Not very. I’m generally happy eating the same dozen or so things over and over.

Q: How fast do I want to lose weight?
A: Hastily, but not crazily.

Q: How easy/convenient does the diet need to be for me to follow?
A: Very. Friggin’. Easy. And. Convenient.

Q: How do I feel about weighing and measuring my foods?
A: The less I have to think about portions right now, the better.

Q: Do I want a diet that offers a support system (e.g., meetings, online counseling)?
A: Nope. You guys are my support system.

Q: Do I enjoy cooking/experimenting with new recipes?
A: Only about five times a year, so I guess the answer is no.

Answers to questions like these made made it pretty easy for me to choose how I’d kick-start my efforts: I picked The Atkins Diet.

Atkins, as you probably know, focuses on minimizing net carbs from, in phases, to maximize weight loss. You probably also know that there are a lot of True Believers and Hostile Opponents out there, and I’ll get into that in a future post.

Quite simply, Atkins was my pick because it’s already fulfilled the two promises that all diets make: it’s worked for me in the past, and it’s easy for me to follow. I’m also a BIG fan of butter and cheese — both of which are allowed on this diet in remarkable quantity.

Progress So Far — Most Promising!

I started the diet five weeks ago on February 5th, weeks before the official public launch of Reboot Camp, and I’m delighted to report my first 10 lbs. are gone–25 more to go.

I’ve also lost a total of 6.5″, as measured around my bust, waist, belly, hips, thigh, and arm.

 Again, I’ll be posting very soon about how Atkins actually works–and how I actually work it. I’ll also share why I can’t imagine staying on Atkins forever, and why I’ll need to replace it later this spring with (gulp), healthier, lifelong habits.

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One thought on “Choosing a Diet Plan That’s Right for You

  1. I figured you’d be going with Atkin’s. I tried that back in ’99 and as I worked every otehr saturday at my mom’s day old bread store, you can guess the temptations that were there!! After dreaming of pies and cakes and the like and being able to smell all the various barkery products wafting though the door, via the A/C, OUTSIDE the store one hot, August saturday, I decided that was NOT going to work for me. So I developed Jamie’s Carbo Restricted Plan. It’s a 3 pronged philosophy and more holoistic in respect to actual human behavior.
    My goal was to start at consuming no more than 150 grams of carbs per day for the first 2 weeks. Afterwards, 75-100 g/day.
    One day per week, at random or when my body told me it wanted some extra carbs, I would not count carbs for that day. However, I did NOT use this day to gorge on cheesecake, cheeseburgers or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But IF I did want one (or 2) slices of cheese cake, I could do so with no guilt or selfrecriminations.
    For me this represented 3 Prongs of Success.
    1) It was a “reward” to myself for being good that week. –> Positive Re-enforecement
    2) The low carb metabolism can be taxing on the body, so it allows for a “recharge” and helps maintain an even keel, mood-wise. —> carb intake is a primary step for serotonin production.
    3) It kept my goals and planning to a reasonable week-to-week schedule that kept it from seeming so daunting.
    It was that simple.
    Now understand I was 5 years sleep deprived from undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. As a result I was experiencing “micro-naps” and was drinking 9-15 LITERS of soda a day for the caffiene to try to stay awake. As you may guess, this helped to contribute to me being a Whopping 425 pounds at the time. In 11 months I wound up dropping 110 pounds, with little or no real “effort” on my part, other than religiously reading the carb content of what I ate. Of course, I also swore off soda for the most part too. Hopefully you find this informative and helpful inyour quest to trim down. And yes, you DO still look Fabulous!!

    Jamie

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