Monday, April 4, 2011

Overeating, Crazy Diets & The Constant Battle for Moderation

Recently a friend & I had a quick discussion concerning her efforts with Weight Watchers, training to run a half marathon and her concern with overeating.  She said she’d read something about Overeaters Anonymous and thought maybe she should be attending that group.  I disagreed.  No doubt we all have our moments when we can probably be classified as an overeater.  (Um, yes, I made 24 cupcakes and ate most of them in one weekend with a little help from my sister.  But mostly me.  I just couldn’t stop for some reason.)  But really, I think it’s just that for most of us: moments of overeating.  A good friend encouraged me not long ago to not be too hard on myself in the area of eating & discipline.  I extend that exhortation to all of you as well!

On the other side of things, another friend was telling me about a new diet she was on that is apparently all the rage.  I even saw a brief snippet about it on Dr. Oz.  Evidently you either take injections or pills of some kind of hormone that pregnant women naturally secrete and this hormone helps you lose weight.  Oh, and also limiting yourself to 500 calories a day, eating from a VERY selective list of ingredients (NO fats or oils of any kind at all, only a handful of lean proteins, fewer fruits and a bit longer list of veggies including lettuce, spinach, radishes, etc). 

People can lose up to 1 lb. per day for 40 days on this diet, which is pretty impressive.  But then they also might lose their hair and develop certain kinds of cancer, so there’s definitely a bit of a downside.  Geesh.  I know my friend was under the supervision of a doctor while she was on this diet, but then a different doctor that she really trusts was adamantly against it, so she stopped.  It’s a hard call to make when you really want – or even need – to lose weight.  For those of us that get a significant amount of motivation from seeing the number on the scale go down that quickly, it would be hard to give up such a fix.

HOWEVER.  I am pretty skeptical of any diet that extreme.  More than likely, you will gain back any weight you lost and probably even more.  Because you can’t maintain that kind of eating plan forever.  In fact, it’s not designed to be a forever fix.  This diet has specific instructions for maintenance stages and so on.  But most people eventually go back to familiar eating patterns.

Which is what is so hard about this whole overeating issue.  Because you can’t simply stop eating, like you could stop drinking alcohol if you were an alcoholic.  No, people need food to live.  So teaching ourselves moderation and discipline is not only key, but it’s essential.  If you don’t learn moderation & discipline in eating, you eventually die of any number of health-related causes.  Heart disease, obesity, some cancers, diabetes, etc can be avoided by most of us if we learn moderation & discipline in our diets.  And by “diets” I mean “eating plan”, not something temporary but something we maintain forever.  A total, permanent, eating lifestyle.
What’s the one thing that’s helped you most to learn moderation & discipline with eating?  What did you try that failed completely?


  1. I'm pretty sure I'm not an overeater just an under exerciser. =)

  2. I LOVE the Scarsdale diet. It is definitely a crash diet that you would never be able to keep up forever ---- but it was developed by hospitals for people that need to lose weight in preparation for surgery or something. It's total elimination of carbs and sugar -- and I like it because it makes me so stinking aware of how much SUGAR I eat. UGGG.....