My new diet: eat whatever you want, any time you want!

So hey, everyone, don’t know if you remember a few years ago when I was touting the “No S Diet,” invented by Reinhardt Engels. He’s an engineer so it MUST be good, right?

The basic premise was (and still is, I’m pretty sure!) that you eat three meals a day with no snacks, sweets, or seconds, except on days that start with “S” (Saturday, Sunday, or “special,” like birthdays, holidays, etc.). Of course, one of the problems with that “special days” thing is that sooner or later you’re gonna start telling yourself that EVERY day is special!

And it’s all downhill from there. Still, I think it’s a good plan if you have “binge eating” issues, more of a behavior modification thing. Which is good, because according to a study that was released last week, “Time-restricted eating no better than counting calories, study finds“!

Yeah, the study basically confirmed what other “sensible diet” types have been saying for years, that it’s all about them dagnab calories!

“Bottom line, the determinant of weight loss, as well as reductions in body fat, visceral fat, blood pressure, and glucose and lipid levels, is dependent on reducing calorie intake, regardless of the distribution of food and beverages consumed throughout the day,” said Alice Lichtenstein, director and senior scientist at Tufts University’s Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.

There’s more to the story, though!

And as a new convert to Body Positivity, I feel compelled to tell you that the study ALSO showed that even the control group that counted calories, regardless of when they ate them, didn’t really lose a whole lot more weight than the “time restricted” calorie counters. Here’s how it came down:

“One group was told to limit their daily food intake to 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for men, and 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for women. Men and women in the other group were told to eat the same amount of calories, but to eat only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Time-restricted eating has no significant benefits compared with simple calorie restriction in battling obesity, a new study said.

To track compliance, study participants were asked to keep food diaries and photograph all food they ate.

At the end of the year, both groups lost weight — about 14 to 18 pounds (6.4 to 8.2 kilograms) — but eating on a time-restricted schedule didn’t produce any significant difference in weight loss between the two groups.”

–(From “Time-restricted eating no better than counting calories, study finds,” by Sandee LaMotte, CNN)

So there ya go — both groups DID lose some weight at the end of the year, but not a whole lot, huh? And I can’t be sure, but I’d be willing to bet that, if those folks in Guangzhou, China are anything like you and me, after that study was done, they went right back to their NORMAL way of eating, and will probably wind up regaining those pounds in a year or so anyway.

My conclusions? Well, first of all, if you really want to lose weight, try NOT to lose too much, because it’s almost guaranteed that eventually you’ll gain it back (unless you die first), so don’t lose any more than you’re psychologically prepared to get back (along with “all its little friends,” as Flora, a long-ago Weight Watchers leader, once told me).

Second, since just about every legit study shows that losing weight AND keeping it off is virtually impossible for most normal people (and we ARE normal, right? um right?), just figure out a diet/eating style that works for YOU (and anyone you may be eating with on a regular basis), and enjoy your food and your life!

Finally, one thing that DOES seem to work for a lot of people in at least maintaining a more or less healthy weight (for YOU, not for anyone else) is incorporating some kind of regular movement, aka “exercise,” into your life. You don’t have to join a gym (although you definitely can if it’s something you enjoy!). Just go for a walk every day, or every other day. If it’s too hot, or too cold, or too rainy, or too something-else-I-can’t-imagine-right-now,

then just get in the habit of parking your car at the farthest end of the lot whenever you go shopping, or something. Or get some resistance bands.

Actually, resistance is very good for you! Plus you can do it while you’re binge-watching “Dietland” on Hulu, or some other Body Positive show of your choice!

The main message I’m trying to get across, I guess, is that at age 64, I’m kinda at the point where I figure I’m gonna be fat(tish) for whatever’s left of my life, and frankly, I’d rather not spend my declining years worrying about whether I’m eating the 50- or the 80-calorie string cheese.

You do YOU, girl/boy/nonbinary friend(s)! I’ve got yer back, as long as I don’t have to, y’know, actually physically hold you up.

That’s it, my non-diet diet advice for the week! Whaddya think? Let me know!

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