Winner of the “5 Percent Lottery of Hell”
- POSTED ON: Jan 26, 2018

Below is a YouTube interview video of an online “Health Coach”, Isabel Foxen Duke, who takes the position of: Stop Dieting and accept Your Own Body Size and Set Point, whether it is fat or thin. 

It gives an accurate and thorough presentation of the issues involving body image, size acceptance, and weight bias. Research indicates that 95% of all dieters will regain all of their lost weight in 1-5 years, plus more, and will wind up heavier than they were before dieting. Near the end of the video Isabel says people who are able to successfully diet long term are winners in the “5% Lottery of Hell”.

I am a person who is in the “tiny fraction of the population of statistical anomalies who are ‘able to successfully diet long term’  … one of the winners in the “5% Lottery of Hell” …, and I find her statements to be accurate as well as amusing.

My primary objection to Intuitive Eating (aka: the Hunger & Fullness Diet), is that most of its cheerleaders falsely promise, or at least imply, that it will result in weight-loss; and rarely touch on the proven fact that “reduced obese” dieters who successfully adopt that way-of-eating will most likely re-gain all of their lost weight.

Isabel Foxen Duke is an refreshing exception to that norm. She says: 

"The reality of the situation is that when you heal your relationship with food, you will be sane, and you will be whatever weight that makes sense for your body … and that weight could be any number of various weights.  It is not necessarily going to be defined by what we describe by the politically or socially constructed BMI index .”

What she says is compelling, and I agree with most of her positions on dieting and body image.  She says: “You’ve got two choices.  Either accept your body for what it is, or fight it.”

Her recommended choice is to give up dieting and end the fight.

My current choice is to continue fighting my body by dieting to maintain my weight-loss because, at this point, I am simply not willing to accept the high weight that my body clearly wants to give me.

The YouTube interview below, “Isabel Foxen Duke on How to Stop F*cking with Food”,  contains a clear and accurate explanation of Set Point.

Here is a transcript I prepared which contains some of her statements about that issue:

Set Point weight is basically a theoretical term that was used to describe this phenomenon that we see which is that different people … in the absence of interference, in the absence of diet-binge cycling, in the absence of screwing with their food … are just going to arrive at some weight.

If I just stopped dieting .. relaxed, just let my biological instincts take over, whatever happens, happens….  over the course of time, maybe a few years, I’m just going to arrive at some weight, like the weight that children just arrive at.

The idea of a weight set point is basically just a term to describe the individual personal weight that a single human might end up at, when they are behaving generally, holistically around food. Not dieting-binge cycling, not interfering with their food, hunger attunement,  these kinds of things. Just letting their body kind of do its thing. And eating for pleasure, sometimes, is included in that.

Set point concept is … when you stop f*cking with your food, and you’re just naturally, biologically attuned and sort of eating “naturally” or “normally”  … your body has a weight that it just wants to be, and it’s just going for it.  And that weight may be different than somebody else’s weight.  Quite possibly, even two people at the same height will wind up at two different sizes due to different metabolics, different genetics, different environmental factors, all sorts of different stuff.

So, Set Point is a catch-all-term to describe the natural weight your body just goes to eventually when you are eating “normally”.

A ton of people are afraid of their set point weight, but the reality of the situation is that one of the reasons why this term, Set Point Weight, came about was because most people are not capable of suppressing their set point weight.

This is why we see nothing but yo-yo dieting.  This is why we hear the phrase, “Diets don’t work”. The reality of the situation is that, unless you are a complete statistical anomaly, you are going to be unable to avoid your set point weight.  You are just going to bounce around it all day long. Up and down and up and down and up and down.

So the whole concept of set point weight really came about because we started seeing that people just weren’t fully capable of making themselves be a certain size. People would diet, and just have further up and down fluctuations within a general range, … although diets mess with your metabolism, so in fact set points go up as a result of dieting over time.









Tons of people are afraid of their set point weight, but the reality is that it will probably get you no matter what. The question is how painful is bouncing around it, and do you want to be constantly pushing it up? Dieting tends to push up our set point. The more I engage in extreme behaviors around food, or extreme weight-loss mechanisms, the more I’m going to f*uck up my metabolism, and push my set point up irreversibly.

Irreversibly. So, it’s like “when are you going to cut your losses.”

You could continue to try to suppress your set point forever, but the reality of the situation is if you are like 95% of the people you’re going to binge eat. You’re going to gain the weight back plus some. You are going to potentially push up your set point further.  You are not doing yourself any favors even if you were trying to be as thin as possible.

You’ve got two choices, either accept your body for what it is, or fight it. You will probably fail at that. You will probably lose the fight.

Even if you were in the teeny tiny 5 percentage of people who was somehow magically able to suppress their set point weight for more than 5 years; even if you were in the tiny fraction of the population of statistical anomalies who are “able to successfully diet long term”; you would have to be miserable your whole life in order to do it. By definition you are suppressing a natural biological phenomenon. You are hurting yourself physically, emotionally, psychologically. Is that really worth it?

I would make the argument that body positivity and doing body image work is a much healthier and happy way to go long-term than just continuing to diet in the hopes that maybe you can get into the 5% lottery of Hell. Even if you win the lottery of Hell, even if you are able to successfully diet, it’s Hell. Like, Why?

And Again, most of you won’t be able to do it.  Most of you won’t even have the choice to choose Hell. Most of you are just going to Binge-eat. It’s several levels of irrationality when you consider that the alternative of body acceptance is actually pretty great.

For several years now, I have realized that if I were younger … in my 20s, 30s, or 40s but still knew what I know now … I would totally buy into Isabel’s choice to accept my body as it is, no matter how fat it might be. I would just give up dieting and work on body image and body acceptance.

This is because there’s no way I would be able to tolerate living the way I’ve lived this past 12+ years in maintenance for 30 to 60 years or more.  Under any circumstances, continual dieting is hard, but watching my hard-earned weight-loss continue to creep back up while I consistently eat at lower and lower starvation levels is almost intolerable.

My main rationale for choosing the other choice: … Continue to diet and fight with my body … is that, here at age 73, it won’t be that many more years before the battle will naturally be over anyway, because I’m going to be too old to work to control my food or I’ll be dead. Plus, I often find it hard now to move my body about, and I shudder to think how much more difficult that would be if I started carrying around another 100+ pounds.

I am fortunate because over my 60+ years of dieting I’ve adopted a great many learned behaviors that make my struggle more tolerable for me than it is for the majority of people. For example: one of these is my ongoing choice to consider Dieting as a Hobby. … Hence this Article, this Blog, and this DietHobby website.

I’ve been following Isabel Foxen Duke for quite some time. She appears to be knowledgable, thoughtful, and articulate. I’ve found her comments to be both credible and meaningful. She Blogs at: “How NOT to Eat Cake really Fast when Nobody’s Looking, and a link to it exists here in DietHobby under RESOURCES, Links: 2. Blogs of Interest.

The YouTube video discussed above: “Isabel Foxen Duke on How to Stop F*cking with Food”: is posted at the bottom of this article.

NOTE: Originally posted on 1/10/2018, then Bumped up.

Here is My Take on Naps.
- POSTED ON: Jan 24, 2018

About the Scales
- POSTED ON: Dec 04, 2017


Should I weigh?
If so, how often?

Should I throw my scales away?

This issue is frequently discussed by those dealing with diet for weight-loss.

After a lifelong battle with food and with weight (see ABOUT ME), I’ve established what works for me.

Over the years, I have just about every reaction possible to the Scales.

  •  I've eaten because they showed a loss,
  •  I've eaten because they showed a gain.
  •  I've eaten because they didn't move up or down.
  •  I 've felt bad because they went up,
  •  I've felt good because they went down. 
  •  I've felt bad because they didn't move at all,
  •  I've felt good, when they didn't move at all.

Over time, I tried different variations to my use of the scales.

I tried weighing whenever I felt like it, even if it was many times a day.

I tried weighing once a day, and once a week, and once a month; twice a day, not weighing myself, but having a club or doctor weigh me. I spent several years not weighing at all.

I've bought many scales of various kinds, and I've thrown away many scales.

I finally came to realize that my problem is not with the Scales themselves. My problem is dealing with the Reality of objective truth  - which is shown by numbers that the Scales repeatedly registers.

Here is my basic and ultimate problem:

I hate the Reality of the fact
I cannot eat everything I want to eat, all the time.


THAT is what I feel frustrated by, and THAT is what sometimes angers and disgusts me. The Scale is merely a Tool that shows me an objective number, and that scale number tends to force me to face my Denial of the above-stated Realty. 

Like many overeaters, I have a strong tendency to lie to myself. I find it extremely easy to lie to myself about how much I eat,  and ... when I don't use the Scale regularly... it's not hard to lie to myself about how far away I am from my preferred weight. 

n order to face Reality, I need an Objective Standard. So....

  • I weigh every morning after using the bathroom, but before I dress.
  • I write that weight number down.
  • I then record that weight number on charts and graphs that I keep.

I feel emotions during this process, just like I feel emotions about lots of my other daily activities.

I can emotionally eat because I do or don't like the number the scale tells me,

I can emotionally eat over something I hear in the morning news.
............or over anything at all.....

Facts are facts, and emotions are emotions.

I continually work to avoid excessive emotional eating, no matter what the cause. But, not facing the truth of facts is no solution to emotional eating.

Some mornings the scale shows that my body is up 2 or 3+ pounds from the prior morning.
.................. I don't like that.
However, I KNOW my body didn't really gain 2 or 3 or more pounds of fat overnight...
...................because I'm not a moron.

 I know that it's the Big Picture that counts, ...  rather than one individual day, or one individual weight. ... It takes eating somewhere around 3500 calories above what my body burns to gain 1 pound of fat, and I know that the calories I took in the day before was far less than the amount that could cause a 2-3 pound fat gain.

I also know that eating salty foods, or an especially large volume of food, will affect my body's salt/water/waste levels for several days. This means that my body will register numbers higher on the scale.

Whatever the reason, when I see higher numbers on the scale, I know that for the next few days I will need to eat smaller amounts of lower calorie foods.

Sometimes I feel frustrated by this.  Sometimes I am angry and disgusted. But......
I am determined
to stay the course and view the numbers on the scale in a positive way.

Accepting the Reality of the fact that I cannot eat everything I want to eat all of the time, is an ATTITUDE CHOICE, which isn't always pleasant or easy to repeatedly and consistently make.

Here is something I find to be an ultimate Truth:

I must face Reality

Change what I can
Accept what I can't Change.

 NOTE: Originally posted on 1/29/2017.  Bumped up for New Viewers

Eat Small to BE Small
- POSTED ON: Nov 30, 2017

You have to eat small to be small.  If you eat large, you will be large.
When reducing your meal-size,
it is Important to stick to your normal number of meals. 
If you just start eating smaller meals more frequently,
you're not necessarily eating less food overall,

you’re just reducing the amount you eat at each sitting.

A normal undistended stomach is about the size of your fist. This is really helpful in visualizing how much food to eat.  An average-size fist is about 1 cup. A bigger person usually has a bigger hand. A smaller person’s hand is usually smaller. 

Your own hand is a personalized (and portable) measuring device
for your food intake,
and can be helpful in estimating portion size. 

Taking in small meals to lose weight is not a foreign concept.  It’s been around for decades. Your body will show positive weight results if you:

    ▪    Eat at mealtimes only; and
    ▪    Eat no more than three meals daily,
    ▪    Visualize your fist over your plate at every meal,
    ▪    Make certain your entire meal’s food portion is NOT larger than your fist.

The digestive system is only able to digest a certain amount of food before it has to start storing the food for later.

Think of your stomach like a muscle. When it's filled with large meals three times a day, the distensibility (the scientific term for the amount your stomach walls can stretch) increases — just like your biceps would get bigger if you were working them out three times a day,

And when you head in the other direction — eating only small meals of a similar volume — your stomach's capacity drops.

After adapting to eating small meals with no food in-between you'll naturally feel full with less food, and your body will send signals to stop eating sooner.

So, if you regularly eat large meals, your stomach's distensibility (or ability to become stretched) will increase to accommodate the food. If you instead eat only small amounts at a time, your stomach's distensibility will decrease.

Remember, however, that without some type of bariatric surgery, one’s stomach reduction or expansion is only a Temporary measure.  The stomach will stay adapted to eating small meals only as long as one CONSISTENTLY eats only a small amount of food, of about the same small volume, at EVERY meal.  

Consistently practicing portion control has taught me to be more satisfied with the process of eating less food.  An IDEAL weight-loss or maintenance plan for ME is eating small food portions of approximately equal volume at three regular semi-set-mealtimes, with no in-between meal eating.

After bariatric surgery, the entire amount of the food on a person’s plate for their entire meal should be no larger than the palm of their hand.  I found that two Splenda packages exactly fit the palm of my hand.  So I took some photos of the packages, my hand, and my plates.

Below is a photo of that process.

Notice how a palm-sized food portion looks on four different size plates: A tiny dessert plate; a teacup size saucer; a salad plate; and a 10 inch dinner plate. For more, read my article, Palm of the Hand.

I've posted a great many of my actual meals here at DietHobby under the Menu Heading: RESOURCES, Photo Gallery.  The section, Petite Meals demonstrates some of my personal efforts at Portion Control.

One thing that I fully understand is that no matter how precisely I weigh and measure and record my food, it is impossible … due to many reasons…. for anyone living outside a laboratory to get a totally accurate calorie count.

However, tracking my food intake …which includes counting calories… has been essential to me in my own weight-loss and maintenance journey.  I do the best I can to track my food accurately, but (except for a temporary trick of the scale due to excess salt/water/waste)no matter WHAT number my calorie records give me… if my weight is increasing, it means that I need to manage, in some way, to eat fewer calories.

This is because eating only 100 calories above one's own individual-personal-energy-balance-point every day for one year will cause a 10 pound fat regain. 

Serving oneself on a very small plate is helpful for Portion Control.

Think small, eat small..... be small.....

Note: Originally posted in May 2017 - Bumped up for new viewers.

Palm of the Hand
- POSTED ON: Nov 29, 2017

The size of an adult woman’s palm is equal to somewhere between one-fourth and one-half cup depending on her basic frame size. 

Bariatric surgeon, Dr. Duc Vuong, says that his patients should always serve themselves only a very small portion of food, and that the entire amount of the food on their plate for their meal should be no larger than the palm of their hand. 

He makes an exception for salads consisting of ONLY green leafy vegetables, and says for a meal that consists of only raw leafy vegetables, the portion can be as large as the entire hand.  This recommendation is based on the fact that during the first 6 months or so after a person has Weight Loss Surgery, the stomach pouch will only stretch to about the size of the palm of the hand.

Dr. V talks about this in his Facebook videos.  He calls the rule, 2x2x1. The circumference of this food volume is the length of 4 fingers across the palm of the hand, and the height of the food volume is 1 finger. 

In his videos he demonstrates the concept of 2x2, by placing two fingers on one-half his palm, then two fingers on the other one-half of his palm.  Essentially, a “sleeve” gastric surgery results in a rectangular thin pouch (2x2), while a “RNY” gastric surgery results in about the same size square (2x2).

For a long time I’ve been working to eat very small food portions, and now I’m experimenting to see if I can tolerate eating meals that are only as large as the palm of my hand. 

This morning I found that two Splenda packages exactly fit the palm of my hand.  So I took some photos of the packages, my hand, my plate and my breakfast. 

Below is a photo of that process.

I learned that a portion of food the size of the palm of my hand
is even smaller than I previously believed.

Here's how a meal the size of my palm should look on my different size plates.


I've posted a great many of my actual meals here at DietHobby under the Heading at the top of the page, RESOURCES, Photo Gallery.  Those of you who are interested in Portion Control might want to take a look at the photos posted under various meal categories there.


Dr. Duc Vuong, the Support Surgeon

Five points made by Dr. V, a bariatric surgeon,
in his recent Facebook video: "How Much to Eat?"
(Recommending the amount of food-intake after gastric bypass surgery)

  1. Palm of Your Hand - a complete meal should be about the size of the palm of your hand.

  2. You Plate Your Own Food - Use a Very Small Plate - a small Teacup saucer size Plate

  3. 2x2x1 - The circumference of this food volume is the length of 4 fingers across the palm of your hand, and the height of the food volume is 1 finger. 

  4. Salad = the size of your whole hand. A leafy green salad is an exception to the 2x2x1 rule because it is a raw vegetable with very little density.

  5. Don’t Trust Your Brain!   Your brain wants you to eat more. Before eating, portion out an amount of food that is ONLY the size of the palm of your hand. Unless you do this, despite what your brain tells you, the amount of food that you will wind up eating will be more than the size of the palm of your hand. 

Note: Originally posted in May 2017 - Bumped up for new viewers.

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