Some Thoughts on Weight Loss For The New Year

by Brad Isaac on January 2, 2007

If losing weight is your Resolution, see this…

Now stay with me – even if you find my words offensive or make you mad.

People often ask me what is one key to losing weight.   Will power?   Is it giving up sugar?   Positive thinking?

Some of you may remember me talking about when I was once 50 pounds overweight.   I had some “sympathy weight gain” during my wife’s first pregnancy.

But if I had to lose weight again here’s what I’d do…
Before I tell you, I’ll start by describing the difference in how I see how overweight people think about food.

In meeting with others, I’ve found that the act of eating takes on a importance.   It’s not just a “grab a bite to eat” or “nosh”.   Instead, it becomes a time of great pleasure.   The taste of the food becomes the focus, instead of quality or nutritious value.

So for lack of a better word, the individual can form an “addiction” to the pleasurable act of eating.   Taste/pleasure becomes the ultimate goal, with health taking a happy second or third in the priority.

Now don’t get me wrong, I experience the desire to eat fun foods too.   But over the years, in my mind, I have learned how to decrease the importance of food and focus less on the taste and the pleasure associated with it.   When I’m feeling the need to take a junk food binge, I mentally lower the importance of eating.   By decreasing the importance of food below another task, such as blogging, or playing an online game, the activity usually gets me through the feeling.
At other times, I eat something small, just to get the act of eating out of the way.

On the flip side, you can raise the importance of some of daily activities to where they are above eating.   Focusing in on a goal you are passionate about can reduce hunger.   If you are consumed with your goal, eating can become an inconvenience.   A busy mind doesn’t get hungry.

So, to conclude, if there was one way to think about food, I’d recommend 3 ways:

1   Put food back in it’s place.   It’s not as important as it may feel.

2   Get busy.   If you are getting hungry in between meals, you might not be busy enough.   Your mind may need more activity.

3   If you feel you are placing a lot of importance on eating, then admitting to the problem can be beneficial.   If you are focusing more on the pleasure of eating than the “nature” of it, perhaps being conscious of it is enough.   Most people don’t like feeling addicted to a substance or act.   Reminding yourself of the pleasure you get from food and how it’s a trick   can be very effective at helping to get a handle on it.

Becoming aware can also open your eyes to new opportunities to replace eating with other pleasures.   Benjamin Franklin used to replace his desire to eat to excess by slowly chewing on a small piece of bread while reading a book.   I know some people who take a 30 minute brisk walk at lunch before they eat.   By the time they return, a sandwich is enough.

Overall, I’d stress the act of decreasing the importance of food and working toward minimizing the feeling of pleasure associated with eating was key to my weight loss, hope it helps others too.

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January 3, 2007 at 9:23 am

Sometimes, when you feel hungry, it is actually your body asking for more water. Scott Adams (of the Dilbert fame) mentioned this in

Though I have no idea whether that is true, at least stuffing yourself with water keeps your stomach feeling bloated, and helps to deter you from filling the human garbage can with energy-loaded stuff when you need it the least.

Brad Isaac January 3, 2007 at 1:53 pm

That’s true. Years ago a bodybuilder told me that and it works pretty well. Not as well as being really busy for me tho.

January 3, 2007 at 11:56 pm

Interestingly enough, I found the exact opposite method beneficial – paying close attention to the enjoyment of eating rather than just stuffing my face. I found that if I thought carefully about what I wanted to eat, and, no matter whether it was good for me or what, made sure I got to have it, I was able to have only as much as I needed, rather than having all sorts of things that weren’t it in an attempt to distract myself from the desire.

Just a thought – generally if one doesn’t work for ya, the other will :)

Brad Isaac January 4, 2007 at 4:03 pm

True Philosophizer, as human being, one size doesn’t fit all. I agree with you for the enjoyment factor – if you are going to eat cake, by all means enjoy it.

My point was more along the lines that some spend significant time making the “right” decision for what tasty treat to have for dinner. For me, if I’ve spent more than 5 or 10 minutes wondering what to have I just eat a piece of bread and I’m done with it. Decision over!

June 29, 2008 at 8:03 am

I used to rely on the water method, but recently I’ve been really gorging myself too much on foods that I like. According to your article, it sounds like I might actually be addicted to some of the stuff I keep stuffing myself with. Perhaps it’s time for me to get back to just turning on the tap, drinking some water, and then getting back to work. :(

July 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I have also heard that the feeling of hunger is your body telling you that you need water. I tried to increase my water intake but constantly needed to use the bathroom! I think the being busy option is easier!

August 20, 2008 at 5:22 am

It is always a struggle to get the weight off and then it takes a conscious effort to keep it off.

Being over weight is an emotionally draining and physically draining situation to be in and many times your struggle is reduced to ridicule and insensitivity.

The exhilaration you feel when you look back 5 months before you made a conscious effort and see positive results is truly gratifying and often creates wide smiles and happy tears.

Losing weight can be accomplish but motivation must come from the inside to change the outside.

You can and will do it, just never give up hope.

Only give up the pounds and the inches.

Fat Butt No More

Fat Belly Is Gones last blog post..Over Weight Because Of Food Or Deceptive Food Labels

September 17, 2008 at 1:54 am

Those are some very good points you have there. Always watch what you eat (nevermind the ‘when’) and you’ll be fine. Keeping yourself busy when you’re hungry sounds like a great idea.

November 19, 2008 at 5:49 am

I agree , food can be very addictive especially to those of us ( and there are a lot of us ) who are emotional eaters. It can be a source of great comfort and stress relief. Unfortunately it goes straight to our waistlines and cholesterol levels.

We should need to practice discipline and a better healthier lifestyle to counter this , which is easer said than done.

June 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm

When I am really busy with a project and need to finish it, I will even ignor if my stomach’s tells me I am hungry! And 5-10 mins later the hunger is gone! So, yes this strategy works, but there are also a lot mental techniques to reduce the importance of (certain) foods in your mind.
.-= how to stop cravings´s last blog ..How to Stop Food Cravings with the Sedona Method =-.

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