Picking the diet that works for you

A while ago, I wrote a piece at CNN where I said that I had come to the belief that weight loss was a very personal journey. I said that while something might (or had) worked for me, that didn’t mean it would work for you. I said that I had come to believe that finding a path to weight loss was something that was likely not one-size-fits-all.

I thought it was finally a piece that wouldn’t deliver to me a lot of hate mail. Boy, was I wrong. Even the comments were vicious.

People get very testy about obesity and dieting. They have very strong notions. I still think, though, that there are many, many ways to lose weight, and it’s important to find the one that works best for you.

Greg Maurer* and I have been discussing this topic for some time. He has a rather holistic view towards weight control:

I, on the other hand, [have] as my sole goal the attainment of a relationship with food that I could sustain for the rest of my life.  I do this not by fasting, but through moderation.  Each day I try and hit my goal of 1850 calories (I used to write the calories down; now I just keep a mental tab).  Some days are high and some days are low.  Over a week’s time, I nearly always average out.

I do it differently. I try to keep things lower than that on most days, and then splurge on others. So over a week, I also average out, but with more variability than my friend. He cites a recent NPR piece that on a diet that goes even further:

Dr. Mosley championed a diet that he calls the 5:2 diet:  you eat normally five days a week, but you do an alternative fast the other two days.  On the fast days, Dr. Mosley ate, roughly, a 300 calorie breakfast, no lunch, and a 300 calorie dinner.  Dr. Mosley states that he lost 20 lbs in 9 weeks, and has kept it off since by maintaining a single fast day a week (for him, it is 500 calories on Mondays).

The point isn’t that you should do what Dr. Mosley did, or what I do, or what Greg does. You should find a way to balance your life, and your caloric intake, in a way that works for you. And you shouldn’t let anyone else tell you you’re doing it wrong.


*Greg is a very good friend, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading his blog.

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