What Happened to the Common Sense Diet?

Mary Gonzalez's picture

I am not new to writing about weight loss – I have written about a number of diet fads week after week, and I have to tell you that I am deeply perturbed. We have become a society where we as parents try to make sure our children eat healthy balanced meals and then many of us parents enlist the help of the Master Cleanse, Lemonade Diet, Chocolate Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet to help ourselves get leaner. What is happening here – what ever happened to the Common Sense Diet?

I want to state up-front – I am no beauty queen – and I am no longer the teeny bopper I once was. I used to be able to eat a pint of Haagen Dazs I admit in one sitting without serious repercussions but that too has changed. I can “pinch more than an inch” and I’d rather not be able to, but I have also come to the understanding that I am the only one responsible for my weight, and I am accountable for what I put in my body – which is why every night and every morning, I weigh myself to see what the body “forecast” is for the day.

There are days in which I wake up and I have fluctuated more than the norm toward the heavier side and, I admit, I am alarmed, but this alertness I use to my benefit and tweak my diet going forward for the day, avoiding certain heavy foods and empty calories.

We have become a society that is so dependent on others leading the way that I’m afraid we have lost the foundation to common sense. If you
are eating huge amounts of food, especially in the middle of the night, common sense will tell you that you are going to gain weight. You’re just in denial if you’re not doing anything about it. If you are over-eating and really not that active, common sense will tell you that you will gain weight. If you know what an adult size portion should be, and you are constantly exceeding that, then common sense will tell you that there is something here that is not getting addressed.

  • We need to become accountable for what we eat.
  • We need to look for more satisfying foods rather than stuffing ourselves with more and more of empty calories.
  • We need to really listen to our bodies and our minds and learn to distinguish between the hungers that we feel, whether this is actual bodily hunger versus boredom, mid-life crisis, aging, stress, or what-have-you.

Is it not coincidental that many overweight people are married? Gaining weight can be caused by complacency, stress, being overworked, feeling bored with life, or using food as a social activity.

I’ve not totally figured out why I’ve gained pounds but every day like clock work I step on the scale, take account of where I am, and work on further strategies to lose a few pounds. I realize that this is not a quick fix – this is something I will do during my lifetime. So what better way to approach your life than with your own stylized approach and using some good old fashioned common sense, such as:

  • No eating after 6 pm
  • No snacking in the middle of the night.
  • Chew gum between meals.
  • Gradually reduce your portions.
  • Drink a glass of water before you even begin to eat your meals.
  •  Reduce the amount of butter, oils and sugar you use everyday (reduce, don’t cut it totally unless you have to)
  • Keep track of everything because you’ll be able to tweak things if you have it written down.
  • Weigh yourself everyday, multiple times if necessary to become familiar (at least in the beginning) with your body’s rhythm of digestion.

God knows none of us is perfect, so what we’re striving for is to be healthier and leaner, not perfect.

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