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Savouring Life through the Five Senses

Sunday, February 26, 2012

DDORN comments that it's impossible to "overdo" savouring life: and yeah, that's right! But: he got me thinking (thanks, Don).

Because it's very possible to overdo savouring food. And it seems to me that when we overdo savouring food, we impede our ability to savour all the other aspects of life that our sense perceptions make available to us.

Sight, sound, scent, touch, taste: all huge potential sources of pleasure.

Given that excess indulgence in food causes fat, however, it's amazing to consider that taste itself appears to be one of the least developed of our senses. Really. We've got just five basic elements of taste: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and the most recently identified "umami" or "meatiness" or "savouriness" itself. We don't even crave sour or bitter all that much; in our course of human evolution, many sour or bitter reactions seem to have signalled that the "food" tried was not good for us . . . potentially poisonous. To be spat out.

So if taste is so relatively simple, even crude in comparison to our other sense capacities, why do food cravings cause us so much trouble? Maybe because pleasure in eating also involves all of the other four senses.

The sight of food: that cheesy "pull" in a pizza commercial, for example. Or how often do we have this kind of experience: I've decided not to have dessert, I'm not even hungry after the first course until I see the . . . . cupcakes with their swirls of icing and the cherry on top on the buffet. And then I put one in my mouth anyhow. Plus . . . yeah, the cheesecake looks good too, why not?? We are bombarded with actual food options and visual representations of a huge huge range of foods. All the time. And it's not trays of crudites or pictures of carrots and turnips which cause us problems.

Then there's the sound of food. We can experience such a huge range of sounds. How many irresistible snacks are all about crunchiness? Potato chips, pretzels . . . Or slurpiness? Gravy on chips, hot fudge sauce on a sundae . . . . All those sounds heard intimately inside our heads. With every bite and every smack and every slurp. (Listening to other people eat? Not so pleasurable, somehow!! So maybe I'll crawl off and eat all of this stuff by myself. In secret. No one will ever know, right?)

And the scent of food: deeply linked to memory and to emotion. When you're selling a house, you're advised to have just had bread baking in the oven prior to "show time" because the smell of fresh bread means "home". Proust knew how important scent was to the enjoyment of food; his famous madeleines! We have some 368 olfactory sensors, apparently . . . many fewer than our dogs of course!. People who have lost their ability to smell generally lose a lot of their ability to taste as well. But I have not. My nose works just great. Bet yours does too. And so the smell of chocolate cookies; the smell of BBQ wings: yeah. Gotta avoid these. (Interesting, however, that no one has developed a perfume based on BBQ wings or even baking bread!! Not yet!)

And then there's the touch of food, and this one is really complex. So complex that it's almost impossible to articulate.

Most obviously there is the texture of food: smoothness, or crispness, an infinite array of textures, all picked up by the pressure sensors in your mouth and throat.

There's the temperature of food: icy cold icecream, hot comforting stew. And the other kind of temperature: namely, food's relative spiciness (cayenne) or coolness (mint).

We experience through touch the "gulp" or acceleration of food down the gullet: that glug glug glug of an extra large Coke. We continue to experience food's touch through the "kinesthetic sense" of where the food is located in your body after you've decided to eat it: the mouth, throat, stomach (that craving to be "full", even "overfull"),

And yeah . . . . down the rest of the path. Not generally contemplated while in the moment of eating, actually!! Not contemplated either: the kinesthetic experience of overeating several hours later, even tomorrow. When there will be all the internal body sensations relating, I suppose, to "balance" -- not so much the teetering on one foot kind of balance but chemical balance. Or imbalance. We know when we ate too much salt yesterday and feel totally bloated from water retention. Or too much sugar so our teeth are still aching . . . Or too much fat, so that our guts are clenching. Food hangovers.

And after weeks and months and years of excessive indulgence in food, we know all too well the gross bodily discomfort -- touch again -- of the obesity which inevitably results. Of bellies hanging over waistbands, red-ridged at the end of the day. Of too-tight collars.

With obesity triggered by excess indulgence of taste, urged on by all the other senses (sight, sound, scent, touch) we're right back to integrated sense experience again. And not in a good way.

No need to glance in the mirror to know that overweight doesn't look good. And even if you manage to avoid the mirror, there's no avoiding the condemnatory gaze all around a fat person. Yup, the snide glances of loved ones and even strangers confirm it. . . Undisciplined indulgence of taste has visually unappealing results.

Obesity is not very appealing to the ears either. Thighs chafing together: we can hear 'em, can everyone else hear 'em too? Buttons popping. Seams splitting.

Obesity is not very appealing to the nose. We apply the deodorant, whoosh on the after-bath powders, spray the perfumes: and still worry excess weight might not smell good. We fear offending others with those whiffs from those body folds . . . .

Above all, obesity is not appealing to the touch. Since our bodies don't feel good to us, we're pretty sure our bodies won't feel good if someone else wants to touch 'em either . . . and of course resign ourselves to the reality that this is increasingly unlikely to occur anyhow.

So I'm thinking that for me, the best method of savouring life is to savour hunger. Some hunger. The hunger that signals I'm really going to enjoy my next meal, and that I'm not overeating.

When I savour hunger I put food in its place. I isolate taste, giving taste its fair due. Enjoy every bite when it's time to eat. But taste will get no more than its fair due. I won't eat too much because it looks good, sounds good, smells good and feels good. I will stop when it's time to stop.

And instead, I will savour sight, sound, scent and touch in all their non-food contexts. Of which life offers infinite possibilities.

Sight. Light on snow. No calories.

Sound. Chickadees in the cedars. No calories.

Scent. The perfume of my white freesias. No calories.

Touch. Touching. Being touched. The kinesthetic pleasure of a fit body in motion.

Hey, motion. That would actually be burning calories. Right??

Life is to be savoured. And I'm going to overdo the savouring of all life's savourable moments. All of 'em. As much as possible!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 2/27/2012 2:07PM

    Savouring life? I like that.

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NANCY- 2/27/2012 11:09AM

    Love your blog.
One thing that has helped me get through former desires is to think about the fat content, that usually squashes any desire. There is something about the smell of freshly baked bread though... I'll have to work on that.
Your awareness is enlightening.

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KALIGIRL 2/27/2012 8:45AM

    Love the contexts! Here's to savoring life!

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SWAZY33 2/27/2012 8:34AM

    Our priest yesterday spoke about very similar topic. Temptations are all around and we need to make smart choices... he asked the children sitting aroung the altar to choose from pictures ei...a potato or potato chips? Of course the majority choose the chips because if the perception in the media/ads of the salty crunchy yumminess...he suggested to *pause first* and think what your body truly needs before indulging in temptations that are all around us!

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ID_VANDAL 2/27/2012 1:07AM

    Very well written. TG was absolutely right in talking about how good your blogs are! This makes a whole lot of sense - thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Vandal

emoticon

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DBCLARINET 2/26/2012 5:53PM

    I loved this, once again. Your comment about the sounds of eating -- slurping, chomping, etc. -- made me cringe just thinking about it. I HATE loud eaters! And I hate commercials with eating sounds -- I flip the station or turn off whatever the offending medium is.

You mentioned that being obese doesn't feel good, so you can't imagine hugging an obese person feels good. You know, I've never minded hugging an obese person, although hugging my husband at his lighter weight feels so much better than when he was heavier. But the comment brought back a memory of hugging a female friend in high school, feeling nothing but bones under her shirt, and being completely repulsed, as if I had just hugged a cadaver.

I suppose even savouring hunger can be taken to an unhealthy extreme. But you're not promoting that at all -- you're promoting savouring life, and I like that!

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ROSEWAND 2/26/2012 5:32PM

    Sadly, modern culture and advertising have
disconnected us from the real joy that comes from
eating real foods. The intent of food companies is to
highjack the pleasure centers in our brains that are
there to encourage us to find and nourish ourselves
for survival. The end result is excess consumption of
manufactured non-foods which lead to obesity and
our modern health crisis. Real joy in eating is lost
along with good health and fitness.

I only eat foods I truly enjoy and completely savor.
I deeply, mindfully eat each meal with profound
gratitude for the pleasure and the health of these
foods. A warm bowl of steel-cut oats with plump
blueberries, a hot bowl of homemade soup, or
gorgeous juicy raspberries delight my senses,
stimulates my brain pleasure centers, and satisfies
my stomach hunger.

I have reprogramed my brain to actually crave
healthy foods. Now that I am in maintenance, I have
discovered that my old fears wrapped round eating
are mostly gone which allows me to even enjoy food
more.

And when I have finished eating, I am free to focus
on the rest of my life liberated from any obsession
with food. It is truly about finding harmony and
balance in every area of our lives. Joy is the
core of our being however we choose to express
it.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/26/2012 5:36:47 PM

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FREELADY 2/26/2012 5:20PM

    In connection with over-emphasis on food preventing us from savoring other things . . . I have found this to be true of myself. Through the Beck Diet Solution I was able to begin a planned approach to eating and get some control over it, with God's help. With food out of the picture for a few hours (No choice, no choice) I was amazed at how I started noticing other joys around me. It becomes a positive cycle : waking up to enjoy many other things makes me less obssessive about food, which opens me to enjoying many other things . . .

Thanks for your insights and observations!!

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TBANMAN 2/26/2012 5:19PM

    Great perspective!

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PHEBESS 2/26/2012 4:54PM

    You always give me so much to think about. It's the "stop and smell the roses" moments that make our lives special.

And now, I'm wondering if other creatures savour food, or life - thinking of the cat who sleeps in the sun, the dog who chases waves, the hawk floating on currents of air.

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Savouring a Huge Compliment

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nancy_ wrote on my "links to a lynx" blog:

"You have been blessed with the ability to savour life."

What a compliment. I thanked her. And I've been thinking about that. Because although I don't always savour life . . . it's something I aspire to do. At my best, choose to do.

If I permit it, I'm scared a lot of the time. A person of "mental toughness", that attitude that Steve Siebold recommends on fatloser.com? I'm thinking, not so much. Or at any rate, could certainly use lots more of it.

If I permit it, I'm full of regret for the past. What I didn't do and should have done. What I did do and shouldn't have done.

If I permit it, I worry about what is going to happen next. Whether I'll be able to cope. Or not.

The last year has been one of the most difficult periods in my life. Yup, there are other serious contenders for first place in that category . . . but still, one of the most difficult.

So no. I don't have "The Answer". Or the answers. Not at all.

What helps the most? Focusing my attention on the moment. Right now. Today. The Present.

My cross country ski. It was sunny and sparkly and blowing so hard that it almost blew me off my feet. I laughed out loud. It was late in the day, and the track was mostly blown in. Deep blue shadows. The snow was sculpted into delicate reliefs, alternating smooth and textured, like a damask tablecloth.

Then the gym: upper body workout. Three sets. Grinding out two more reps in each final set. Yeah. As I left, all done, someone held the door open for me, grinning at me with recognition of my pleasure in moving my body, my pleasure in feeling strong.

As I pulled into the driveway, I saw icicles hanging from the eavestrough, ice in the garden gate below, illuminated with the setting sun.

White freesia on the table, and branches of pussywillow I've been enjoying for several weeks, now sending out roots and leaves. I wonder if I'll be able to keep them going long enough to plant in the garden. I've tried it before, I've never been successful at it! Just no spot wet enough, I guess. But sure, I'm going to try it again.

Stripped off my soaking wet clothes. Took a hot hot bath. With a cup of black coffee. And a new bar of soap that smells good.

Now I'm looking forward to my bowl of freshly-made chicken barley mushroom soup. I'm hungry. And I'm savouring that hunger, waiting for DH's roast beef to be ready so we can sit down together. Hunger is not an emergency. It's a reliable signal that I'm not eating too much, and a promise that I'm going to taste every spoonful of my supper.

Savouring hunger? It's for me a key aspect of savouring life. I'm increasingly sure of that.

If I focus solely on savouring food, there's so much else that I shut myself off from savouring fully. (I've been thinking about that more and more.)

Savouring life? I'm working at it. And it's working for me. Thanks, NANCY_, for bringing it to my attention.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 2/26/2012 2:44PM

    When we slow down and really EXPERIENCE our life, it's amazing how much there is to appreciate and be grateful for, isn't there? You are right; savoring what we eat is a small part of the heirarchy...at the top is SAVORING LIFE!

Lovely blog, thanks for sharing!

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CMRAND54 2/26/2012 1:52PM

    Great blog!

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SPARKARINO 2/26/2012 11:54AM

    You have been blessed with the ability to aspire to savouring life -- and it seems like you quite often make it! I love your comment that you don't have 'the answer', but what helps most is focussing on the now, the present moment. Sounds like something my dear yoga teacher would say!
emoticon

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DDOORN 2/26/2012 10:24AM

    Love it...that's what it's all about, isn't it? Savoring life! Now that's gotta be one of the few things that's impossible to OVERDO, no...? :-)

Don

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NANCY- 2/26/2012 9:38AM

    I was just making an observation. Your blogs offer insight and inspire those who read it. I'm so glad that you share with us.

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_LINDA 2/26/2012 1:58AM

    You certainly had a nice day to savour! Hope you have many more moments like it to come :)
Have a peaceful and relaxing Sunday!

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DBCLARINET 2/25/2012 9:44PM

    I am really enjoying this series of posts -- they are inspiring me to do the same. The cross-country ski sounds fabulous; it makes me long for the opportunity to hit the hills with my husband. I'm afraid with his upcoming racquetball tournament and my barely-healed foot, I won't be able to this year, and will have to wait until next year. Sigh. Savouring the anticipation of winter sports?

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Lynx

Friday, February 24, 2012

Yesterday I looked out my back window and saw, in the park behind my house, a lynx!!

It was loping along the fence line down the hill through the woods, warm in its lush taupe fur. Furry tail almost as long as its body and as thick as one of its legs. Silhouetted profile displaying the lynx'scharacteristic dark tufted ears, so expressive.

I opened the door onto our third floor deck so that I could see it better and it stopped, looked up at me, made eye contact for a few seconds, and then continued on unconcerned. It knew, I'm sure, that I meant it no harm. That I was full of awe and admiration. I didn't have a camera handy (I'm no good at taking pictures anyhow) but it looked just like this one.




I've only seen a lynx once before in my entire life -- never in the wild -- and the last time was perhaps 18 years ago, also in our back yard. Swarming up the side of our children's playhouse, a wild thing more than twice the size of the biggest housecat, that had never learned the use of domestic stairs! I've never forgotten it.

They have a life span of up to 20 years. Do you suppose it was the same one?

My lynx moved with grace and power, alert. Do you suppose it was out for a little prowl, confident of locating a rabbit, savouring its hunger? Anticipating its next meal?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 2/25/2012 5:33PM

    emoticon

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PHEBESS 2/25/2012 5:18PM

    How thrilling!!!!!!! What a gorgeous animal!!!!! And I too am jealous that you got to see him. (Her?)

Maybe the child of your previous one? Since they both were full grown.

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MEADSBAY 2/25/2012 2:21PM

    WOW!
Lucky you!
I've never ever seen one.
He's beautiful.
emoticon

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ROSEWAND 2/25/2012 2:11PM

    Could it be a power animal, a totem for you:

Lynx:
"Secrets of hidden and the unseen, ability to see lies
and falsehoods, teaches inner workings of others,
keen sight, careful not to break confidences, people
may become uncomfortable around you, trust
intuitions teaches ability to access secrets, mysteries
and hidden aspects of yourself. Lynx teaches
awareness and insights of thoughts, totem_images,
dreams and visions. Lynx also teaches to be take
care in breaking confidences and the trusts of others,
there must be a balance with this conscious knowing.
Are keeping quiet when you need to express? or vice
versa? Be aware and observe your discoveries."

From the website: Animal Totems

http://www.starstuffs
.com/animal_totems/dictionary_o
f_animals.html

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_LINDA 2/25/2012 1:12PM

    emoticon That is amazing!! I have never seen one of those!! What a special moment!! To have seen one twice is rare and special!

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SPARKARINO 2/25/2012 10:29AM

    That is an amazing experience, not many people ever get to see a lynx in the wild. I am wild with envy, that is a really special sighting! I live on the south West coast of B.C. and we did get to see Snowy Owls last week, at nearby Boundary Bay -- about 20 of them, quite close to the path. They didn't seem bothered by the throng of humans watching them, I wonder if they just aren't used to having humans around as they spend most of their lives in the arctic going after lemmings. They aren't usually seen this far south, so that was pretty awesome to see.
emoticon

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PUDLECRAZY 2/25/2012 7:55AM

    Ellen, I am soooo jealous! How cool is that! Such an honor to see that kind of beauty in your back yard.

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NANCY- 2/25/2012 7:27AM

    Wow a wonderful gift!
You have been blessed with the ability to savour life.


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DBCLARINET 2/24/2012 10:29PM

    That is awesome! I'll bet he was savouring his hunger -- instead of running to the nearest edible thing, biding his time, waiting patiently, for that plump little rabbit he REALLY wants.

Hmmmm... that made me think about how not only is hunger *not* an emergency, but perhaps it is better satiated by spending a little extra time on a truly satisfying meal, instead of hurrying to heat up whatever is quickest. I bet that's what that lynx is up to!

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SPIFFDEB 2/24/2012 9:52PM

    That is SO cool!

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NEWKAREN43 2/24/2012 9:37PM

    Wow! I'm glad you were on the third floor to buy yourself some time if he was coming for you! Beautiful, but wild, kitty!

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Savouring Hunger at a Social Event

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It was OK: I'd planned for it.

Evening dinner meeting . . . had one glass of wine with a very light dinner chosen from the buffet (asparagus, carrots, roasted beets, a little chopped salad, a small serving of chicken): skipped the rolls, butter, potatoes, roast beef, lasagna, huge array of desserts; just had two cups of black coffee.

Fresh berries and yogourt when I got home instead.

And: sure, experienced some hunger while waiting for dinner, plus did not find the dinner choices I was prepared to eat totally satisfying.

But: I enjoyed networking and socializing, felt awake and alert through the business portion of the meeting, and was very glad that I hadn't eaten more!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 2/24/2012 7:47PM

    Facing and overcoming temptation emoticon

emoticon, no, you ARE doing it. You are one amazing woman.

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MEADSBAY 2/24/2012 5:34PM

    You are simply amazing.
I'm so impressed.
emoticon

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NANCY- 2/24/2012 11:52AM

    WTG!!! You know what you want and how to achieve it!
WTG on being mindful of your options.
emoticon

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PHEBESS 2/24/2012 11:22AM

    See, that's what I mean - you are mentally TOUGH!!!!!

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DDOORN 2/24/2012 11:02AM

    Good deal! I went out with clients to a Chinese buffet and only ate a stir fry of selected veggies with a few small pieces of seafood and chicken. There is something about Chinese cooking that fills me up SO quickly! It makes it easy to sit back and strike up conversations while others going after plateful after plateful.

Don

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KALIGIRL 2/24/2012 9:25AM

    emoticon Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!

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BSTAKINGACTION 2/24/2012 8:20AM

    YOU ROCK! And I will be keeping the mental image of your steadfast toughness with me while I find my way through the weekend!

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_LINDA 2/24/2012 12:52AM

    Well done avoiding tmeptations! It actually sounds pretty good they did have some healthy options! But the most important thing you did was to focus on the networking and socializing, which is what you are supposed to do at an event like that rather then think about all those tantalizing treats calling your name! I am not so sure I could be so disciplined, but that is partly because I am a shy wallflower and hid behind food most of my life..I am still nervous in groups of people I don't know.. I have not had a lot of practice dealing with it.
You are well on your way to those 130's if you keep this up!
Have a Fantastic Friday!!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/23/2012 11:08PM

    Wow, I'm impressed.

What a positive way to frame the situation: "savoring hunger" instead of "feeling deprived".

You'll be seeing that middle three before you know it!



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New Weight-Loss Math: Body Weight Simulator

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here's a link to an article in today's Toronto Globe and Mail about a new on-line tool called the Body Weigh Simulator which helps predict how people lose weight on a diet.

www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/
new-health/health-nutrition/leslie-bec
k/the-new-weight-loss-math/article2345013/


The standard weight-loss diet approach tells us: since there are 3,500 calories in a pound of body fat, to lose 1 pound you have to eat 3500 fewer calories or burn off 3,500 more calories with exercise. That's 500 calories a day for seven days to lose 1 pound a week.

But we know that weight loss doesn't happen consistently. Initial weight loss on a diet does tend to follow that pattern. But then weight loss tends to slow. Or plateau. Even if you keep up the 500 a day calorie "deficit".

And that's because metabolism slows with weight loss so that the body burns fewer calories "at rest".

This new Body Weight Simulator tool is pretty interesting because you input age, gender, body weight, height, activity level, weight goal and your time line for reaching that weight goal: and then the tool simulates what diet and exercise changes will be necessary to reach your goal weight. But even more important, what changes will be necessary to MAINTAIN that goal weight over time.

We know, maintenance is the tough part as metabolism slows.

I had lots of fun playing around with this tool. Here's the link to the Body Weight Simulator:

bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov/

What do I think? The simulator seems to me to overestimate by quite a significant margin the number of calories I can eat a day while still maintaining my current weight. Spark People also overestimates the number of calories I can actually eat.

However, what this simulator makes absolutely clear . . . is that although losing weight requires significant calorie reduction during the "diet" phase, it also requires permanent calorie reduction during the "maintenance" phase.

If I want to weight less permanently, I have to eat less. Yeah. Permanently.

I'm thinking that eating less permanently is also going to mean I'll need to savour hunger. Permanently. Is that OK with me? Yes it is.

As Steve Siebold told me on day three of fatloser.com, "Fat people give in to cravings, fit people prepare for cravings".

Cravings can't be eliminated. Not if I want to be slim.

But if I cultivate an attitude of mental toughness about cravings, the cravings don't last long. Twenty minutes, tops.

The slimness, on the other hand, lasts: 24/7. And the slimness, increased energy, general feeling of alertness and self-control? No question. It's worth it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETPQTE 2/24/2012 8:42AM

    I enjoyed reading this- thanks for posting!

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 2/24/2012 8:21AM

    VERY interesting. I'll definitely have to try it out!

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NEWKAREN43 2/23/2012 10:33PM

    Wow! That article is great, and makes some great points, things that we learn here on SP and in our daily lives but don't always "click" in our brains. However, the simulator...wow, if I eat calories like that, I won't ever lose an ounce - not that I've been losing, I'm on a lovely plateau that my body is enjoying far too much! Anyway, I love playing with things like this, it makes me question, it makes me think and those are good things for me. Thanks for sharing!

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DBCLARINET 2/23/2012 8:09PM

    That was really interesting. Mine told me I need to eat, well, about what I'm eating to lose weight slowly -- about 5 lbs. in a month. But then maintenance is pretty high!

Actually, I believe it because I AM losing some fat without getting too hungry, and because a calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie. I fully believe that if I stick to eating whole foods and not starving myself, I'll end up losing fat and keeping my strength.

I'm also really enjoying my evening walks on these nearly-balmy February days to give me extra burn and activity without giving my body a pounding. It's so much better than sitting around the house!

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TRAVELGRRL 2/23/2012 7:43PM

    Yikes,I found it's pretty close to what my BodyMedia armband tells me I burn and the calorie level I should eat. I HOPE it's not significantly off or I'm screwed! emoticon

I am not usually hungry but then I'm still 20-25 pounds from my goal. Maybe at that point I'll need to learn to savor hunger!

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DDOORN 2/23/2012 6:43PM

    Seems like most of these tools, including SP's, overestimate. I find I have to go almost 1,000 calories under SP's and have the best results when my carbs are 1/2 as much as SP's.

Don

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KALIGIRL 2/23/2012 3:37PM

    I tried to get it, but the digital signature had expired...
emoticon

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DSHONEYC 2/23/2012 1:46PM

    You are the most focused and strong emoticon person!

I played with it, but I didn't get a good feeling that it is realistic. I think I know what I should eat, how many calories I can take in, and what I need to do physically after so many years of trying to shed those extra pounds.

Cravings are the monster here! And cravings beget more cravings. Wish there was any easy way to deal with them, but the only way is to withstand them. That's where the strength comes in.

emoticon Send me some!

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NANCY- 2/23/2012 6:11AM

    I understand all too well about cravings and thank heavens they do pass. There is a big difference between desire and need. Meeting one's "needs" fuels us/

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PHEBESS 2/23/2012 5:04AM

    Interesting!!!!

I ran it - and if I add walking for an hour a day, I can eat - gasp - 500 more calories and still lose!!!!!

Not that I seriously believe it.

BUT - the summer I spent in Italy, I walked all over, at least an hour or two a day, with more hills than I walk here. I ate pretty much what I wanted, keeping in mind to not stuff myself - but pasta for dinner, gelato almost every afternoon, those delightful little sandwiches for lunch - definitely more than I eat at home.

And I came home 5 lbs lighter. After 5 weeks of eating like that.

So I know that if I exercised a whole lot more, I could eat a whole lot more. That's my retirement weight loss plan - walk everywhere, eat more.

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_LINDA 2/23/2012 1:29AM

    I wasn't able to open the link :( But I found Spark's range works for me -I do extra exercise to ensure I can enjoy all the things I want to eat. If I do an hour of cardio every day, I can eat up to 1960, which is plenty. When I am on surgical layoffs with no cardio, it dropped down to a max of 1600, which was my dieting range. That is restrictive, but doable. So the bottom line is how hard are you willing to work to eat in a normal calorie range.. It is difficult to do, and especially to keep changing up the exercise so your body doesn't get used to it and burn fewer calories...Yep, maintenance is definately harder then actually losing the weight..

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 2/23/2012 12:52AM

    Since this is based on the same average caloric needs stats as all of the other generic tools out there, I am very skeptical of the value of this tool.

I will stick with my own home-made Google Spreadsheet system, which calculates a running estimate of my average daily burn. It automatically adjusts based on what the scale is doing relative to my intake. If I change my activity level that will automatically be factored in.

Graph here:
docs.google.com/spreadshee
t/ccc?key=0Ah4Kr%20A4GkhKgdEF6d
lJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCWDZNUlE%20&h
l=en_US#gid=5

Explanation of how it works, here:
http://www.sparkpeople.com
/mypage_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=4636113

Comment edited on: 2/23/2012 12:56:50 AM

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/22/2012 11:03PM

    Interesting....I tried a few variations....not sure what to make of it. Depending on what method you use, I've had these things says I can have anywhere from 1800-2800 calories a day to lose weight based on my activity level.

I think the Spark estimator is pretty spot on

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