Conflicting Rules
- POSTED ON: Mar 31, 2011


The diet industry has dozens of ‘rules‘ of fitness
and ways to live a ‘healthy’ lifestyle.

Most of them revolve around some sort of dietary intervention
like changing the timing of a meal, or the composition of that meal.
After that we’re given extensive lists of good and bad foods,
and supplements we should be taking.

These recommendations fail to consider how impractical they are.
They are presented as the Absolute Truth.

However, conflicts exist between many of the recommendations.
It is easy to feel guilty because it is impossible to follow them all,
and we don’t know which are the best to follow.

The stress and guilt from failing to follow these ‘rules’
can easily erase any benefits we get from doing the things we CAN do.

It is important to always remember that every little bit counts,
and whatever we can do...
...whatever fits in with our current lifestyle is just fine.

Instead of following everyone else’s rules,
My choice is to make up a few rules that fit my own life.
Rules that work fine just for me.

My latest recipe video is Peanut Butter Toast .
This is located
in the Mealtime section of RECIPES.
Here's a photo of that food.

The No S Diet - Diet & Book Review
- POSTED ON: Mar 30, 2011

 One should read the book “The No S Diet” by Reinhard Engels  even if only to access his wisdom, common sense, and Habit concepts.  Reinhard Engels is a software engineer who created the diet for himself and lost 40 pounds. His diet has just three rules and one exception: No Snacks, No Sweets, No Seconds, Except (sometimes) on days that start with "S" (Saturday, Sunday and Special Days).

The No S Diet is incredibly simple. It has just three rules.
These three rules
  focus attention on the three primary areas that affect a person’s diet.

No Seconds…means you have to use portion control. 
                All of the food in your meal must fit on one normal sized plate (the one-plate rule).
No Snacks..…means you have to eat at mealtimes food in-between meals.
No Sweets......means you have to avoid foods that have sugar as the principal ingredient.

All of these rules apply on all normal (N) days.

 None of these rules apply on (S) days, i.e. weekends, holidays, and special occasions..
However, you are advised to normally stay with your normal-N day- habit and only SOMETIMES use your allowable exceptions. Just because it is an "S" day, doesn't mean sweets or snacks or seconds are REQUIRED. It just means there's no RULE against them. It isn't permission to binge. Following N day principles on S days is appropriate behavior.

Reinhard's No S is: ..."except SOMETIMES on S days".
Reinhard’s basic warning is: "Don't be an IDIOT".
Putting all of your food on one plate in front of you at the same time is meant to help you see how much you are actually eating, and keep you from deceiving yourself about that issue. Both the "No Snacks" rule and the "One Plate" rule are meant to keep one from DECEIVING oneself about how much one is actually eating. Reinhard hopes that the REALITY of seeing the food all together will jolt one into choosing to eat less. However, this depends on one's subjective beliefs about the size of "normal" food portions. 

The one-plate rule (no seconds) can be helpful information for a "normal" person, who is struggling in the "overweight" category if they understand how little food-intake they actually need, and have simply allowed their weight sneak up on them.
But it isn't very helpful for a person well into obesity, who thinks of large portions of high-calorie food as a normal amount.

No S is a simple, straightforward diet that is non-restrictive in nature. There are very few rules that must be followed. It allows people to occasionally eat foods that are normally restricted. It will fit into any lifestyle, and can be used together with other diet plans. It also is very affordable.

The No S diet relies strongly upon the concept of Habit, and the plan is based on getting people to cultivate habits that are sustainable for life…Habits which are intended to result in weight loss, or at least, result in the maintenance of one’s current weight.

There isn’t any fixed step-by-step plan, which could be an advantage to some, and a disadvantage to others. No S diet does initially demand huge amounts of self-control when it is used by people who have lifestyle habits that normally involve large amounts of between-meal eating, or large amounts of food at meals. You might suffer from hunger pains until your body adjusts to the No S way of eating.
You are the one who decides whether to make healthy food choices while eating within those rules. The No ‘S’ diet plan asks people to stick to a healthy diet plan. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less! The only food problem one needs to address, is the snacking, portions, and sweets part of their diet.

Initially, these rules tend to commonly result in weekend binge eating. This binge eating lessens over time for some people, but for other people weekend binge eating becomes habitual.

The primary problem with the basic No S Plan (known as “vanilla” No S) is that it won’t necessarily result in weight-loss. As Reinhard says,

"The No S Diet is not designed to get you "trim trim;"
it's designed to help you eat moderately (and see what happens

People differ in their energy requirements. The energy requirements for large, active males are far different than for small, sedentary females. This distinction is not addressed in the No S diet, and under the basic No S rules, it is easy for small, sedentary females to eat more than their body requires which, over time, can actually result in weight-gain.

The No S diet is based on the principle of Moderation. For people who don’t want to count calories, carbs, or keep track of points or food-exchanges and want something simple, then the No ‘S’ diet can be a good plan. It is simple, but not necessarily easy. The primary problem is whether you can actually follow the restrictions underlined in the diet.

I am very interested in the No S diet’s Habit concepts, and have watched many others on the No S diet for several years. My personal observation is that "vanilla" No S tends to activate the "binge/fast" cycle for many people, and my observation over the past couple of years, has been that, time alone,does not seem to stop "IDIOT" behavior for obese people who tend to binge. It seems clear to me that these people need additional eating restrictions on "S" day eating.

Reinhard makes some good suggestions on some additions and modifications that might help resolve this problem for some people.My personal version of No S greatly differs from Reinhard's basic plan.
My opinion is that the brilliance of The No S Diet is not in the specific rules of the diet,
but instead in the philosophy of cultivating eating habits that are sustainable for life. 

Everything and Nothing
- POSTED ON: Mar 30, 2011



I've been asked many times what specific diet or food plan I use
now that I'm in Maintenance.

It would be difficult to list all the many, many different eating plans
that I've experimented with
since I reached my weight goal over 5 years ago,
but I will be writing about many of them here at DietHobby.

Everything worked.
Because I'm still in my weight goal area.

Nothing worked,
Because I'm still looking for a better way to live comfortably
while maintaining my current weight.

Dieting is my Hobby,
and I'm always learning new and interesting things about that subject.
As I learn things I'll share them here,
and as I ponder the things I've already learned, I'll share them here too.

Weight-loss and maintenance of that weight-loss takes FOCUS.
I've learned that when that FOCUS stops, weight returns.

Whether or not to maintain FOCUS is a "Lifestyle" choice,
but it is my opinion that a "reduced obese" person NEVER becomes "Naturally Thin".
My observation of myself and of others leads me to believe
that maintaining FOCUS it is what a "reduced obese" person
must do to keep off lost weight.

Making Dieting my Hobby is one of the ways that I maintain FOCUS
on the issues and behaviors that make and keep my body a normal size.

I've posted another new recipe video,  Egg, Bacon, Veggie Scramble
in the Mealtime section of RECIPES.  Here's a photo of that food.


Meal Frequency - How Often Should I Eat?
- POSTED ON: Mar 29, 2011

The Frequency of Eating is one of the main issues in dieting,
and many people disagree on that subject.

One viewpoint commonly held is that frequent small meals are better
for weight-loss and for one's body in general than less frequent larger meals. 

The basic rationale for this is that smaller meals tend to raise metabolism
because of the continual digestion process, and one is less likely to overeat
because hunger will never become intense.

Call me cynical, but I suspect that the recent popularity of this viewpoint
may have something to do with food marketing.

Another commonly held viewpoint is that three medium sized meals are better
for weight-loss and for one's body in general.

There are several common rationales given for this viewpoint.  

One of them is that it has been the Traditional "American" way for the past hundred years or so.

Another is that avoiding all snacks between three meals instills Habits of Moderation,
and after the mind and the body adjusts to this plan, weight-loss and maintenance of weight-loss
becomes easier due to the automatic no snacking habit.

Proponents of the Leptin Diet say that limiting eating to three meals a day,
spaced 5 or 6 hours apart, helps the body's hormone Leptin to function better and
therefore assists in weight-loss and maintenance of weight-loss.

Intermittent Fasting proponents, such as in Eat Stop Eat, and the Fast-5 Diet
recommend eating less often than three times a day. They recommend long breaks
between eating...i.e. frequent periodic fasts,  Their rationale is that this process
helps the body's Insulin and growth hormones to function better and
therefore assists in weight-loss and maintenance of weight-loss.

Other "Experts", including proponets of Intuitive Eating, say that people should eat whenever
they feel hungry and stop as soon as they feel full.

There are also those who advocate eating only two meals daily.  Some say skip breakfast.
Others say skip lunch.  Still others say skip dinner.  There are also those who support
eating only snacks with no actual meals.

The issue of eating frequency is actually an indirect way to restict the Amount that one eats.

If one eats three "normal" meals and also adds in high calorie snacks...they will ingest more calories
than their body uses as energy and will therefore gain weight.

A person can also eat three large daily meals without snacking and still ingest more calories
than their body uses as energy and will therefore gain weight.

It one eats one very large meal every day, with nothing in between, that person can also ingest
more calories than their body uses as energy and will therefore gain weight.

If a person alternates occasional days of fasting with frequent days of overeating, that person
will ingest more calories than their body uses as energy and will therefore gain weight.

  Feelings of hunger and fullness are subjective.
A person's body (physical) and/or a person's emotions (mental) can inaccurately report
those feelings. This can occur whether one has a single meal each day or whether one
eats small amounts of food all day long. In most cases outside an anexoric condition, 
inaccurate signals of hunger and fullness will cause a person to ingest more calories
than their body uses as energy and therefore gain weight.

All of these positions have merit, and they all have flaws. 
SO...what is my personal position? 

My own viewpoint is that all of the various suggestions are acceptable.
  I think people should individually choose to eat as frequently as is desirable
or comfortable for them as long as they can get that plan to work for them. 
Any food plan works if it causes a person to ingest the same or less calories than their body
uses as energy, and therefore causes an obese person to lose or maintain weight-loss.

I find Gary Taubes' writings about insulin's effects on the body to be interesting and valuable.
However, at this current time, based on my own experience, and my observations of others,
my opinion is that, even if his Theories are true, there is MORE to the issue of weight-loss and
maintenance of that weight-loss than merely controlling the carbohydrate substances that one eats.
A low-carbohydrate diet might greatly help with the issues of obesity, and one MIGHT be able to
eat more calories, or better regulate their body's hormonal functions by following such a plan.
owever,  I believe that physical issues are only one part of the obesity equation. 

Even if Taubes is correct, the basic position of calories in/calories out is still valid
if one wishes to reach and maintain a body size which is smaller than one's body
was genetically designed to be.

Consideration of calories in/calories out is also useful when considering eating issues
that go beyond a person's physical requirements.
By this, I mean eating issues which involve
personal appetites, personal habits and personal character.
The picture of the apple and cheese at the heading of this article
was taken as part of my latest recipe video Six Cheese and Sides,
which is located in Tidbits, under RECIPES. 

Science Can't Prove What is True.
- POSTED ON: Mar 28, 2011


 I think one of the biggest and most common mistakes people make regarding food plans, diets, weight-loss or weight-gain etc, is the general tendency to think we are all the same... i.e.  "if that specific behavior works for her/him, it should work for me."

All of the "scientific rules" written by Experts are merely Averages. We are not only two different sexes, we are also different heights, different weights, different ages, and different activity levels.

On top of that, each of us has a different and unique Genetic imprint. Strong Evidence exists indicating that some people "handle" or "process" various foods differently than other people.

At times it seems like the body defies the "rules of science" with regard to weight-loss.
However, there are still many unknowns and variations between individual bodies, and many hormones and other inner workings of the body have still not yet been discovered.

 Science can't prove what is True,
it can only prove that a specific isolated fact
in a specific isolated situation is Untrue.

The current "rules" are based on conclusions from past Research studies, and are not the "ULTIMATE TRUTH" because:

"The purpose of Science is not to reveal the Truth but to eliminate error.
We can only approximate truth by getting rid of as many wrong conclusions as we can."

For those of you who are interested in my current Low-Carb Experiment-of-One which I last wrote about on March 21. I am several days into a planned pause of low-carb in order to assess my stabilized weight at 'normal'-carb in comparison with my stabilized weight at low-carb, so that I can make a personal evaluation of the process thus far.

At this point I have about a 3 lb UpBounce which is probably a result of natural increase in gylcogen (salt/water/waste) due to past six days of "normal" higher-carb intake. Right now, it appears that my stabilized weight with "normal" carb intake continues to run about 3 lbs heavier than my stabilized weight with low-carb intake. 

 Both stabilized weights are extremely resistant to any further weight-loss due to fat-loss. It is possible that this is because my body is currently at its optimal normal weight, however, whatever the reason,...based on my current data....
at the present time it appears that my body's inability to accomplish further fat-loss is consistent,
whether I'm eating low-carb or normal-carb.

I am also evaluating other issues, along with my weight. However, these issues are subjective, involving how my body feels, which includes the issues of levels of hunger and/or cravings, After another week of 'normal'-carb,....assuming I successfully follow through with low-calorie eating...., I expect to have better information on the subject,both objective and subjective.

Anyway, this is ALL part of my Dieting Hobby. I wanted to be certain to share this information here, because today I plan to shoot some more recipe videos, and you will see me tasting some higher-carb food.

I have also added a new recipe category entitled "Tidbits".I choose to do this because I feel that some people might find that many of my low-calorie "snack-type" very-easy-recipes don't really fit into their concept of a "mini-meal" category, and yet I want to avoid labeling them as a "snack".

Portion Control is gospel to me, and you will see totally consistency in that area.
However, all of my recipes will not fit into every single type of diet. Some of my recipes will be lower-carb than others, and some of them will be lower-calorie than others.  I will providing calorie counts, carb counts, and protein counts of my serving portions in every recipe.

My ongoing Personal Criteria for every Diet I choose for myself involves ALWAYS tracking all my food, while making my own personal food choices, based on my individual preferences.
That behavior is always a requirement for me, no matter
 what "Diet, Food-Plan, or Way-of-Eating" that I might choose to use, or to experiment with, during any specific time-period.

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