Calorie Balance
- POSTED ON: Jun 16, 2017

During my lifetime, I’ve lost and regained a great deal of weight.  For the past 11+ years, I've maintained my body at or near my “normal” BMI range.

I’ve experimented with many different diets, lifestyles, ways-of-eating, and non-diets.  See ABOUT ME. 

After all these years, here’s the most important basic fact that I’ve learned about losing weight and keeping it off.

How to Lose weight:
Sustain a caloric DEFICIT.

How to Keep it off:
Sustain a caloric BALANCE.

Various diet “experts” exist who dispute this law of calorie balance.  I’ve spent a lot of time studying and experimenting with that issue, and it has become clear to me that manipulating micronutrients does NOT “open a rift in the space-time-insulin continuum to transport body fat into the fifth dimension”.

I find it helpful to deal with Reality.

There are lots of methods of dieting including low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, high-fat,  ketogenic, intermittent fasting, whole foods, unprocessed foods, food exchanges, etc. etc. etc.

However, cutting calories is the basis for every effective weight-loss diet because the only way to lose actual fat is to consistently get one’s calorie intake lower than one’s calorie expenditure. So in actuality, the bottom line for weight-loss is the average daily calorie number.



There are essentially 3 issues involved in all Diets,

The main food issue is: AMOUNT; and two sub-issues are: KIND and FREQUENCY.

  •  AMOUNT -- of food eaten
  •  KIND – fundamental nature (micronutrients) of food eaten
  •  FREQUENCY of eating food

All Diets involving weight-loss or maintenance of weight-loss place restrictions on one or more of those three food issues.  The fundamental purpose of each of these restrictions is to reduce a dieter’s calorie intake. 

Some diets Directly restrict the food AMOUNT; while other diets Indirectly restrict the food Amount by restricting the KIND of food eaten, and/or the FREQUENCY of eating.  For additional information on this issue, see: The Essence of Diets

Every weight-loss diet requires that, … through some method, … attention be paid to how many calories one consumes, and how many one is burning.

ANY diet will lead to weight loss if one is in a caloric deficit, even one that is based on Twinkies, Doritos and Oreos, like Professor Mark Haub’s junk-food weight-loss experiment diet.

Some Diet Experts discount the importance of calorie restriction in order to get dieters to focus on their recommended way-of-eating. 

For example, Dr. Jason Fung, a proponent of Intermittent Fasting, refers to it as CRaP (Calorie Restriction as Primary).  While he doesn’t deny that a calorie deficit must exist for weight loss to occur, his claim is that calories aren’t the First and Most Important consideration. 

Calories are what matters for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean that all foods are equal, or that one shouldn’t pay attention to the specific foods eaten, because quality affects quantity. Low quality foods tend to be higher in calories and lower in nutrition.

There are “experts” everywhere who will tell you exactly What, and When, and How to eat. 

But food issues are very personal, and many of these involve a need for self-experimentation to find out which food restrictions will cause weight-loss without making one feel suicidal.

My personal choice is to track and record all my food intake in a computer journal which provides me with a calorie count. 

I have consistently done that every day for the past 12+ years, and I plan to continue with that practice. 

Calorie Counting gives me the Freedom to make my own individual food choices.

But with Freedom comes Responsibility, meaning that for ME, it requires consistent Food Tracking.  See: Freedom and Calorie Counting.   At the beginning, doing this can seem time-consuming and tedious, but for ME, it has now become a rather enjoyable habit. 

Accuracy or lack of accuracy is always an issue when counting calories, but I do my ultimate best to weigh, measure, and record consistently and accurately, and I am willing to trust that my personal best efforts are good enough.

While it is impossible for any calorie count to be totally accurate, it is possible

Consistent Effort,
and Honesty

…. to get calorie numbers that will provide successful weight-loss and maintenance. 

Research studies have shown, again and again, that the more regularly a dieter keeps a food log, the more weight the dieter loses.

Formula for Weight-Loss Success
- POSTED ON: Jun 15, 2017


 People may Ask…

WHAT is the Right Thing?

For Weight-Loss, the right thing is to sustain a calorie DEFICIT (by any method that works for you) because this will always cause fat loss in every human body … eventually.

For Maintenance of Weight-Loss, the right thing is to sustain a calorie BALANCE
(by any method that works for you) because when a body takes in the same energy that it uses, it doesn’t gain fat.

HOW LONG is Long Enough?

For Weight-Loss: Until you reach your weight goal.

For Maintenance of Weight-Loss:  Forever … Until you die.

Dieting = Treatment of Obesity
- POSTED ON: Jun 13, 2017

Thinking of Obesity as a Disease,
Dieting as the Treatment Plan.

History of the Concept

Weight loss is a big business which comes with a built-in supply of repeat customers, and medical doctors have been involved in that business for a long time.

In 1942, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company used age, weight, and mortality numbers from nearly 5 million policies to create “desirable” height and weight charts. As a result people (and their doctors) began to compare themselves to a standardized notion of what they “should” weigh.

In the 1980s, the BMI ... which is a ratio of height/weight ... became the standard for determining obesity.

 In 1998, the AMA lowered the BMI cutoff of "normal" weight to 25, down from the previous 27 & 28. 

Overnight, millions of people became “overweight” or “obese”. 

Putting more people in those categories made more people eligible for medical weight-loss treatment.

In 2013 the American Medical Association declared obesity to be a chronic disease. 

Call me cynical, but follow the money. Doctors want to be paid for weight-loss treatments, and they get insurance reimbursement for treating disease. 

Although labeling obesity as a disease put the insurance industry on the hook financially, it also activated the concept of obesity as a “pre-existing condition”.

This could affect any person who has ever been obese … forcing such people to pay higher insurance premiums, and to face the possibly of being denied any medical insurance coverage at all.

Helpful Feature of the Concept

At this point, I want to set aside financial concerns about “Obesity as a Disease”,  and consider how the use of this concept might be helpful to someone dealing with obesity.

Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis are all considered chronic diseases.  Obesity has now been added to that list. 

A chronic disease doesn’t get cured by just taking a pill or a shot.  The effects of a chronic disease tend to linger for long periods of time, sometimes forever.

Embracing the idea that Obesity is a Disease, and that Dieting is the required Treatment Plan, could be used to help make us realize that we need to stay active in managing our weight for all of the rest of our lives.

Some might consider this to be depressing, but consider this.

In order to maintain dental health you have to remember to brush your teeth multiple times a day.

In order to maintain good hygiene you have to maintain a regimen of washing yourself.

In order to maintain good health you have to commit to getting some sleep every day.

There are thousands of routines that we do every single day for our overall health, and we do most of them without feeling resentment.  We can choose to consider managing obesity as just another one of life’s daily requirements.

I’ve now been successfully maintaining my body at or near my “normal” BMI for 11+ years, after spending most of my lifetime with a BMI high in the obesity range. 

This weight maintenance didn’t just “happen”. 

My maintenance success has required ongoing vigilance and … quite frankly.. a great deal of effort … every single day. 

For a great explanation of this issue, see: Running Down the Up Escalator.

Forever Young
- POSTED ON: Jun 12, 2017

Food is Not the Enemy
- POSTED ON: Jun 11, 2017


is not the Enemy,
Torturing myself over it
is not the Answer.


The substance of FOOD is not what made me obese. 
It all comes back to me
and to my personal eating behavior choices.

Every day, I decide and acknowledge what food, and how much food, is appropriate for me in my life.

That includes accepting that for ME, there can be no “forbidden” foods, and that MY life needs to have room for times of indulgence with food.

Many times in my life, I’ve worked to severely restrict my food intake.  I’ve done many diet experiments with all types and amounts of food substances.

But  I’m now 72 years old, and in the end,
part of the diet question has to be: 
Am I happy right now?" 
"Do I feel fulfilled right now?

Time is finite.  Once it’s spent, it’s gone.  At this stage of my life, I’m committed to enjoying as many moments of my life as I can. If I can’t enjoy a moment, then I try to learn from it.

For the past 12+ years, as part of my own weight-loss and maintenance journey,  every day I have consistently recorded all of my food intake into a computer food journal. 

This has kept me Aware of what I’m eating, and helped me with Accountability and Acceptance of my own personal calorie limitations.

My own personal ongoing choice is to eat whatever food that I want in very small amounts, whenever it seems appropriate. 

If I want a cookie,
I eat a cookie, or part of a cookie. 

If I want cake or pie or candy,
I’ll eat a very small amount, like just a “normal size” bite or two.

If I want nuts or cheese or chips,
I’ll eat a small and carefully measured amount of nuts or cheese or chips. 

Even after all these years, I carefully read food labels; and weigh and measure my food.  I consistently record ALL my food ... Every Day ... into my computer food journal which provides me with a running calorie count of the foods I'm choosing to eat. 

For ME, this process is essential for my own personal weight Maintenance, and by using this method I am able to make my personal food choices fit into my daily calorie maintenance budget.

Food is not the enemy, and torturing myself by serving myself food I don’t want, or by avoiding foods that I do want, is not my own personal answer to the question of what and how to eat for weight-loss and maintenance

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