I’m sure the few friends I talk to on a regular basis are already sick of hearing about this new diet I’m on. I’m trying to eat according to the recommendations by the nutritional therapist I saw some time ago. My main gripe is with the ridiculous idea of eating five meals a day. Five meals! Nobody does that. Nobody but people who live in institutions where someone else does the cooking and the schedules, anyway…
Most days I get to late evening — 9, 10 PM or so — until I realise that, oh shit, I’m supposed to have two more meals today (or, just as often, three)! The problem related to this whole eating every few hours thing is that I’m used to eating about a half of the amount I’m supposed to, according to the recommendations. So, I eat a healthy breakfast, and, few hours later, I eat a nutritional lunch* with all the bells and whistles… and that’s me for the day. Sure, I might be up for a cup of tea later on, but not a “snack break” and “dinner” and “evening snack”. It’s madness, I tell you.
And the cost! I’ve been trying this diet only since Wednesday (that’s five days, now), and I think I’ve eaten at least two weeks’ groceries worth, which means I’ve spent at least two weeks’ groceries worth… in five days. And I’ve been cheating. I haven’t been able to eat nearly as many veggies as I’m supposed to, and entire Wednesday was paid for by someone else (Oh yes, thank you Iz and the Karlsson clan <3!), and I’ve had lots of ice cream and a binge session with sweets. I’m going to have to stop using money on anything else if I’m going to keep this up…
I wouldn’t really care, but I went to see the nutrition lady for a reason. I honestly don’t care if I’m malnutriotioned (I survived this far), but the whole idea is that I’m trying to lose weight. Yes. By eating more. Feel free to throw bricks at me now. (I’ll explain the science of it under the cut, for those of you who are interested.)
All this eating has caused me an almost non-stop tummyache (and no wonder), and I can’t sleep! I think my… inner machine thing… is working overtime to figure out what to do with all this food, and as a result I’m dead tired. And I can’t sleep. Sleeping pills did no good. On a positive note, when I was finally exhausted enough to sleep, my brain was so wired that I got not only the usual action movie dreams, but also the making of and blooper reels!
I’m not even kidding. :D
Aside from eating… And eating… And eating… my other big obstacle is sugar. Oh, the blessed, wonderful sweet stuff. I know from experience that I’ll actually feel healthier if I avoid sugar and starches, but the addiction is so hard to kick. It was far easier to quit smoking than it is for me to quit sugar! I get awfully cranky and unhappy and fidgety when I get the urge for the sweet stuff — it’s doing my head in. I’m stuffed to the brim with my, uh, midnight dinner, but I’m still having to glue my butt to the seat to keep from raiding the kitchen for something sweet to nibble on. Sure, we could discuss the benefits of moderation in everything. But we won’t, because moderation sucks.
And I love sugar.
This is the cut, under which I’ll try to explain why eating more is supposed to make me weigh less.
The body needs a certain amount of energy to function; brain, muscles, tissues, etc. all require energy to work. Energy is measured by joules or calories (or food calories or kilocalories), and it is obtained through the process of metabolism. Simply put, the body takes the food you consume, breaks it apart, harvests the energy, and the rest comes out the other way. Poop! Different foods obviously contain different amounts of energy, but I won’t go into that. The recommended daily calorie intake varies per person, but on average it’s around 2500 calories for men and about 2000 calories for women per day.
In weight loss programs, exercise is usually required with a healthy diet. This goes for most people trying to lose weight; you simply up the energy the body burns while controlling the amount of energy the body receives. For most people, it’s that simple and it generally works (or so I’ve heard). Because of my dietary habits — eating little and sporadically — my body has not been getting the energy it needs so my body has been convinced I’m about to starve!
It’s kind of funny, if you know how, uh, voluptuous I am.
What then happens, is the body goes into an energy conservation mode, and keeps the fat tissue around as a reserve. It starts burning muscle instead: the fat stays put while the muscle mass reduces. I’m obese and malnutritioned at the same time — talk about a first world tragedy! Wikipedia gives a nice, coherent description:
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess (too high an intake) , or in the wrong proportions.
I have the above 1200 kcal sample on my fridge door (with another list telling me how many portions of everything from each food group I should eat daily). My normal daily diet would cover about a half of the meals (not counting sweets or ice cream… *cough*), minus most of the veggies. I used to do WeightWatchers, or some such diet, a few years ago, and I had hard time reaching 1000 kcal per day unless I constituted some of it with sweets, and I suppose I’m at around the same situation now.
So there you have it. I need to eat, eat, eat to lose weight… Insofar as five days can tell me anything, I’ve lost one or two kilograms. I guess I shouldn’t complain.