Taking on the Joy of Eating

I have begun doing something I never have done before. Dieting. In the past I’d tried to watch what I eat and resist the temptation to have a little bit more. But I’ve never taken it seriously, and I’ve never really had any success losing weight.

So what’s my diet? I’m counting calories. That’s it. I don’t care about fat. I don’t care about carbs. Just calories. I call it the eat-less diet.

Hang on. Here’s a snappier name: The 2,000-a-day diet.

I figured if I limit my daily intake to 2,000 calories, I’ll burn more calories than I consume and I’ll lose weight. My son introduced me to an app called MyFitnessPal. It allows me to calculate the calories in pretty much any food. I store the meals I create in a database. Yes, the database also tells you how many carbs there are and how much fat but, like I said, I don’t really care about that stuff.

The weight isn’t coming off in a flash but it is coming off. I’ve lost 8 pounds in about four weeks of dieting. I want to lose another ten-twelve pounds before I stabilize my weight. This experience has led me to some interesting discoveries.

The first thing I discovered is dieting is a lot easier than I expected. I imagined terrible pangs of hunger, and the expense of great willpower to keep to my new eating regimen. As for those hunger pangs: I feel no more hungry between meals, eating 2,000 calories a day than I did eating 3,000 calories a day.

Yes, losing weight takes some discipline and patience. It requires some organization. Figuring out how many calories are in that slice of bread, that scoop of peanut butter or that glass of wine is a hassle, and it’s a hassle keeping a diary to track all of it. In fact when you do this, eating becomes more of a task than a joy.

And the joy that comes from eating was my big discovery.

When you live in a world of virtually limitless calories, you don’t really eat because you’re hungry, and you sure don’t eat to survive. These days we eat because it brings us pleasure and it’s something to do. Eating is a joy. It’s cheap entertainment. It’s something to occupy you when you’re bored.

You see the glazed doughnut in the pink box that someone brought to work and you anticipate the way that sweet, crusty exterior is going to collapse in your mouth, how the saliva will secrete and how your taste buds will let out a soft cry of pleasure.

Are you hungry? No. Do you need it? No. But you eat it for the thrill and pleasure of holding it in your hand, tearing it in two and raising a piece to your lips.

Maybe this sounds puritanical, denying myself the pleasure of food. But there are more ways to feel good. If you lose weight you’ll feel younger and you’ll feel more alive. So my advice is come up with a plan that makes sense, and just do it. It won’t hurt. And it’ll be easier than you think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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