Above: Two of the meals that make up my average 1200 calorie day I describe below. Ingredients and calorie counts are listed at the bottom of this article.
I have hesitated to post anything on this topic for awhile now as it is, for many, a highly emotional and touchy subject. But I don’t believe it needs to be emotionally fraught — it comes down to numbers, and numbers have no feelings.
In my mind, there are two things a person should strive to do for their health:
⤐ Understand and keep track of exactly what they eat.
⤐ Walk or run for more than a mile multiple times a week.
Let’s start with number one. Many people incorrectly equate documenting your eating habits with compulsive eating disorders. While food tracking may be part of how an eating disorder presents in some individuals, keeping a food diary does not an anorexic make. In fact, keeping a food diary is a fantastic way to be sure that you are giving your body all of the protein, fat, and micronutrients it needs to keep going. Journaling your food intake is just like keeping a monthly spreadsheet to budget your finances or tracking how many miles you can go between filling up your gas tank. It’s an informative and healthy habit to have.
More than that, a food diary is the only way to hold yourself accountable for bad eating habits. Like many people, I’ve wondered why it was I could never lose weight — I thought I ate a reasonable amount and that perhaps my body was just stuck like that. Most of my immediate family was overweight, I thought perhaps it was genetic. Then I started tracking every single thing I ate in a day, and I learned that I was eating exactly enough to maintain my weight, if not more sometimes.
Poor nutrition and obesity are an epidemic and there is simply no other way to describe it. Obesity is a disease that is killing us, and yet at a time when information is at all of our fingertips, it’s difficult to find correct information on healthy eating and weight management. Myths both new and old are hard to shake loose, particularly when social media provides a perfect ground for peddling to the uninformed.
So let’s go over some terms and knock out some myths. Because one comfort in this is that while it’s not magic or easy, the formula for weight loss is very simple and it works for everyone.